There was a time when I was a little more limber, a little younger, a lot more fitter. I’ve always struggled with my weight, as have the majority of my cousins, uncles, aunts, and my parents. Being Hispanic, it seems, is a bad idea in the United States when it comes to weight. We’re more prone to being overweight and obese, more prone to type 2 diabetes, and more prone to heart disease.
But I’m not here to talk to you about disparities. I’m here to talk to you about what I need to do to jump from being a statistic to being healthy.
If you know me, you know that I’ve been running on and off since 2003. I’ve completed one full marathon, about a dozen half marathons, tons of 5k races, and maybe one or two 10k races. But I eat more calories than I burn, and I work in an office. There’s not much burning going on throughout the day.
One of the phone apps that I have to track my running is Runkeeper. A little while ago, it suggested that I try DailyBurn.com. I went to Daily Burn’s site and was instantly overwhelmed and encouraged. I was overwhelmed at the variety of workout plans that they have for their users. But I was encouraged to see that the workout plans are tailored to their users’ needs. There is no one correct workout.
After looking at all the workout possibilities, I signed up for their 30-day free trial and the TBT Workout regimen hosted by Codey Storey. Mr. Storey is a fit-looking dude who also looks like he means business. The tag of “Your body is your gym. No equipment required” sealed the deal for me. Although my wife and I are planning on a mini-gym in the basement soon, I really don’t want to buy extra equipment, especially if I didn’t know I was going to stick to this program or not.
I must admit that I put off starting this program for a couple of weeks because, well, I just haven’t felt like working out after I get home from a long day. I know. I know. I’m not going to get back in shape if I don’t start at some point. So I started tonight…
And, holy crap, did it kick my ass!
The workout started simple enough with some warm-up exercises. Soon enough, though, I was doing some moves on top of a yoga mat that I haven’t done since I was an orange belt in karate back in college. (God, how I miss those days.) I realized almost instantly that I am not as limber as I think I am, and that my body as a weight is, in two words, too much.
I’m much heavier than my body can handle. And this is not a good thing.
Through a set of squats, half-push-ups, and other movements, Mr. Storey guided me through a journey of self-rediscovery. I know again what I can do, what I can’t, and what I need to do to get back in shape. He wasn’t bossy. He wasn’t condescending. He was very, very encouraging and made me feel like I could get through the workout. His three assistants performed the movements at three levels of intensity and difficulty. So I could pick from either three on what was most comfortable to me.
I know I’m totally out of shape because even the beginner moves were painful.
But the pain was oddly satisfying. I really did feel the joints creak and bend into alignment. Like an old Jeep rising from the junkyard, asking to be repaired to get back into the fight, my body asked me to stick with the next move and then the next, because the payoff would be great. I was sweating five minutes in, and it was good.
The workout ends with a series of yoga poses that help stretch out and redistribute the lactic acid you’ll surely build up in the workout. Although I dislike yoga and find it too hard to hold one pose for more than a few seconds, I stuck with the poses as much as I could, reaping the benefits.
So I plan to stick to the TBT workouts for the next month, or so, and see where it takes me. Together with a balanced diet, I hope to begin to lose a few pounds. But, most of all, I hope to be limber and able to carry my own weight again. You never know when you’re going to need to use your body for something awesome. So I might as well be prepared.
I also plan to write about my progress here, in this new category I’ve put together for the blog. You’ll be able to find it on the top menu under “Fitness“, where I’ve also included my running blog. And, if you don’t already, Daily Burn has a blog that you can follow for some good fitness tips.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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