August 21, 2017-Health Challenge Day One

I haven’t blogged in quite some time and have really missed it.  Blogging is my accountability and when it comes to my health I haven’t been accountable so today I take my health back.

For years my friend Karen has been trying to get me to take 6 months off from gluten, sugar and alcohol so that I could heal my gut. The first time I got sick I took it seriously. I gave up gluten, sugar and most of the alcohol. This was during my Ironman Coeur d’alene training and it made a huge difference. I was in the best shape of my life. I was at my ideal weight and felt and looked great. I kept this up for awhile but then gluten and alcohol started creeping back into my diet. It started with once a month then all of a sudden it was once a week for the gluten and more for the alcohol. I still felt good so I didn’t pay much attention to it.

The second time I got sick was a year later after Ironman Boulder in which I ended up in the hospital with diverticulitis. I was in Boulder for 7 days before the race and I wasn’t feeling well and blamed it on the altitude. I should have known something was wrong when my teammates were eating 3 times as much as me. When I got home Karen gave me a plan. This time I took it half serious until I started feeling better. She wanted me to take a break from Ironman training as part of the plan but I had such a bad run in Boulder I had to do just one more so on to Ironman Texas.

I trained hard but also partied and ate hard. Probably not the best idea but it seemed to work for me at the time. I ended up with my best marathon ever so in my mind what I was doing was working. After the race I ended up with Shingles, which is when Karen insisted I stop which I did. The only problem is that I went from full training to TV binge watching till 3am all thanks to Netflix and my inability to turn off the TV. After the Shingles I have dealt with colds and flues like I have never experienced before.

After six months off I started training again. It hasn’t been going well and I really have been feeling off. By this point my eating habits have gone down the drain and I was enjoying the wine a bit too much. I know I always do everything to the extreme so there was no surprise that I went from Ironman training to couch potato. I kept saying i’ll start back tomorrow but there was always some excuse until now. I got my blood work results back last week and holy cow no wonder I feel like I do. So this brings me to my new challenge. As my doctor said “I want you to take this challenge like it is the A race of your life. You are disciplined so I know you can do it. Everything here is fixable but you need to cut out the sugar, dairy (which is something I had given up for many years but it also crept back in. Who doesn’t love cheese?) and alcohol for the next 6 months. I am adding gluten because I know I am intolerant.

So today I started the journey and decided to track it the same way I tracked my first Ironman. I got up weighed and measured myself and took a photo of my face. I want to see the change as time progresses. I will do this every Monday along with some notes about the challenges I faced and what I learned the previous week.

Weight and measurements not looking good but here we go.  Accountability right?

140 LBS, Chest 38.5″, Waist 33.5″, Hip 37.5″, Arms 10.5″, Legs 20″

Let’s not forget the quote of the week.  I am on my way.

Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind and your spirit. Then get back to work.

-Ralph Marston


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