Today is my first ‘birthday’ and I am celebrating. I started off my day of celebration with a kick ass workout at 24 Hour Fitness at 2am. I’m funny that way in that I love to workout in an empty gym – and it doesn’t happen nearly enough. Now I am back in my lair, cooking oatmeal for breakfast and doing what I love to do – writing.
Obviously I am more than a year old – and no I am not celebrating a year of being sober (although I cannot remember the last time I was drunk – and not because I blacked out LOL). I was magically reborn a year ago today when I decided to start eating differently – and started treating myself better (although I’m still constantly learning more and more about how to do that on a daily basis). It was the genesis of a program I am putting together, tentatively called “The Joe Abs Live-It”. (I would LOVE to hear suggestions of better names).
When I started eating differently one short year ago, I had a couple of different motivations. Perhaps my biggest motivation was to attract the girl of my dreams and be a positive influence on her life. She is almost 20 years younger than me (sorry Baby – I know you hate me talking/writing about that) and even though I did not know her well at the time I could tell she needed a lot of love, support and to be shown that it is possible to make radical, positive change.
Besides being 18 years her senior, I had some other challenges standing between me and my dream girl. I’d been unemployed for over 2 years, was living in a garage and felt that I really did not have much to offer. BUT – I did know that I could show her love and be a positive influence on her while helping her achieve some of her goals that I’d been reading about while ‘stalking’ her on social media and her blogs – including weight loss. I also knew that many women go literally crazy over guys with abs. I wanted to be one of those guys and have that advantage – I thought it would be give a better chance to get to spend some time with this Hawaiian beauty. It turns out I was right.
Before I started on my quest to be able to see my abdominal muscles, I thought that all the people we see all cut up with rippling muscles on tv and in magazines were “juicing it” – or taking steroids. That has never had any appeal to me and was never an option. I had seen first hand the toll it had taken on a friend of mine who was a world class body building champion – and after visiting him multiple times in the hospital for various ailments caused by steroids and diuretics I was totally turned off to those. Then I started reading – and reading. I read book after book on fitness, but most of them didn’t really teach me anything new. Some how, I was lucky enough to start reading about fitness and eventually came across a most excellent book by David Zinczenko, Editor of Men’s Health Magazine, called The Abs Diet. It is probably the best single book on fitness and nutrition that I have ever read – even though I am constantly reading, researching and consuming information on both fitness and nutrition.
In the Abs Diet, it was where I first read that nutrition has A LOT more influence on how you look and feel than exercise does (that doesn’t diminish the importance of exercise at all – it just emphasizes the importance of nutrition). Many people in the know feel that nutrition is about 80% a factor in your body composition, while working out is only 10% – the other 10% being related to genetics, which we cannot change anything about.
Although I was NOT trying to lose weight at all, I did lose a 2 full inches off my waist in the first 60 days of my new eating plan – and I was eating A LOT more food – just better food. I had cut out most of the sugar and many of the processed foods from my diet, as well as most of the alcohol, baked goods, pizza and other fat-laden foods I had been eating my entire life. After all, as someone who had been raised on the typical American diet, I just didn’t know any better before my discovery.
After the first month of my version of what I would later find out was referred to as “Eating Clean” by many in the fitness and nutrition industries, I was feeling great and my self confidence was soaring (despite my many other personal challenges). I finally got the courage to ask the girl of my dream to go out with me – well, kind of … I’ve always hated being rejected and because of that, as a protection mechanism, the first couple of times we met up I asked her to meet me at some events. Soon after we had our first real date at a really good sushi restaurant and shared our first kiss – and ended up talking and making out in the car until the wee hours of the morning. I felt like a teenager again! (and in many ways was probably acting like one too).
We soon became an item and were changing our relationship statuses on Facebook (which was surprisingly a HUGE deal – most likely because of our age difference and us both wondering what everybody else would think and say). We have now been together for almost 11 months and are very much in love. I am very proud to say that as a result of her change in eating habits, exercise and an ever-improving healthy lifestyle that my girl has gone from an obviously unhappy size 12 all the way down to a size 6! She has made a great effort to make positive personal change – and has been a big inspiration to many along her journey. I know that it has not been easy (although it is very simple) to make these changes – or to deal with me, my idiosyncrasies and my “asshole gene” (more on that in another post). I am so very thankful for my Millionairess, Miss Stacia Loo. Sorry for any embarrassment Baby – but I do love you and am VERY proud of you. Keep up the great work.
Besides being grateful for my beautiful lady, there are so many other people who have had a positive impact on my life that I need to recognize and acknowledge – and this is far from an exhaustive list, but do want to mention a few special people. I am very grateful for the previously mentioned David Zinczenko and his book that has helped change my life. I am also extremely grateful for Rob and Kim Murgatroyd, of Jet Set fame. They are both fitness models who walk the talk and produce very popular programs called Jet Set Body and Jet Set Life. They have been an inspiration to both Stacia and I, and lead a lifestyle that we both want very badly.
It so happens that just last night I was on a 90 minute webinar with Rob and David “Site Man” Garland of Rise to the Top, where they were giving amazing tips on how to really transform your body. After the webinar, I thought, yeah I know and practice most of what they were talking about – but I have known for awhile that my workouts need improvement. This morning at the gym, I really changed it up, started practicing the some of the “proper form” that both Rob and David preach. My workouts in the next few months (leading up to my 50th birthday) are really going to be A LOT different – and I am super, super excited about that. I fully expect to see much better results in the next 90 days and I hope you will follow along.
Before signing off, I also want to acknowledge a new friend who I had the privilege of chatting up online the other night. Sam Botta of Live Fearless TV lives in Beverly Hills and works in the ‘industry’ in Hollywood. I first reached out to him because he has the balls to put his half naked photo on his Facebook page and I could tell that he has been eating clean for a long time. He has an amazing story and I look forward to learning more of it in the coming days, weeks and months. For some reason, I have a distinct feeling that we will be meeting up real soon and be collaborating on ways to help people improve themselves. You can tell by watching some of his YouTube videos that he is much more polished than I ever will be – and that he just has a wonderful way with people (including interviews with many, many celebrities). I asked him the other night if he was mistaking me for someone else after he told me that I was an inspiration to many – but I think he just likes to flatter people.
Sam has already become a big inspiration to me – and I feel like I’m real close to “growing a pair” and starting to show off my progress online (in other places besides this blog) and maybe even revealing my real name (although that is easily tracked by way of this post).
Thanks again to Stacia, David Z, Rob, Kim, David G and Sam – your are all helping my life get better, better and better. I love y’all! If anyone who reads this post is looking for any inspiration or expertise in the fitness and nutrition industries, I fully recommend following each and every one of these really cool – and smart people.