Diet Day 4 – 342 Pounds

Cardio AM – 45 Minutes
Stretch – 45 Minutes
Swimming – 15 Lengths
Cardio PM – 45 Minutes
Weights – 45 Minutes

Breakfast – Hot Oatmeal, raspberries, strawberries, pineapple and bananas

Woke up at 630AM for day one with group A-1. Very excited to hit the gym and get started but before I do that, I stopped off for some breakfast. As my sciatic is still ever-present, one of the staff provided me an ice cushion to sit on, it provided me some relief but I am still concerned it will cause me some difficulties in the gym.

Got to the gym at 7:15AM, pulled my file from the file cabinet and proceeded to get my vitals checked. I weighed in at 342 pounds, huge smile on my face with a loss of 4 pounds my first day. My pre exercise heart rate is 80 beats per minute (BPM) and my blood pressure is 140/80. I am amazed that it is so low, it has only been one day since I have stopped taking my blood pressure pills. I decided to start the cardio class off on the treadmill as I prepared the treadmill with my settings the clock struck 730AM and the morning class instructor is motivating the group on the microphone welcoming us all to the A-1 class. Todays instructor is Pedro, he is providing us with instruction on what we will be doing this morning with great enthusiasm. He told us that  we will start with a warm up for seven to ten minutes then increase our output accordingly while listening to his favorite playlist. As we approach the half way mark of the 45 minute class the Pritikin team members are moving about the room taking moving blood pressure readings, I am at 138/78 and my pulse is  138 BPM. Okay, this seems to be working for me, lets keep it going. After thirty minutes into my strides  my right knee is starting to ache, I am slowing down but rather than give up, it was suggested that I switch cardio machines to the elliptical.  The elliptical provides less of an impact to the body and with that adjustment I concluded the 45 minute session with ease. The sciatic is still present, but I made it through the class. My post exercise vitals are 118 BPM and Blood Pressure 122/78.

The next optional classes start in fifteen minutes, it is not a requirement but well worth attending. Weights or Stretch class is for 45 minutes, you can either do weights in the gym or go to the exercise studios and complete a stretching class. I decided to do the stretch class to see how flexible I am. I am hoping a good stretch will relieve some sciatic pain.

As I am on a journey and am completely motivated to succeed I am taking every possible step to achieve my goal. With that being said, I consulted with a trainer after stretching with the intent of adding a training session to my schedule each day of the week. I am not looking for a trainer to take me for walks or watch me pedal a bike, I want a trainer to focus on body building and core training. I was introduced to Pritikin’s Director of Fitness, Scott Danberg of whom I immediately connected with. He set me up with a schedule, Monday through Friday at 2PM and a complete overview of what we would be doing. I look forward to working with Scott, this is going to really add a new element to my day.

So here I am, feeling pretty good about myself and ready to move on with the next task. I am headed to the physical assessment department for a DEXA body scan, this is exciting. They are going to scan my entire body and provide me a full composition of what I am made up of. Bone Density, Muscle and Fat Composition, I am looking forward to finding out what I am made up of and to have that information on hand so I can monitor my composition as I move forward.

I ran into Doug Godfrey on my way down to the DEXA scan, Doug is in the Sales Department at Pritikin, he was my first contact on the telephone when I initially called Pritikin a few months ago. Doug worked with me from start to completion on getting things set up. Once you get to know me, you can really appreciate that is not an easy task to look after my chronic needs. His efforts and patience in dealing with all my requests are a full-time commitment and he succeeds at every level. So far everything is in order and could not be better.

The DEXA body scan took only a matter of minutes and the results were rather amazing. It clearly identified that I had some excess fat on board, actually 38.6% to be specific. I will schedule another DEXA in three months to do comparisons and I will post the results to a separate page within this blog.

Lunch time has arrived, busy morning and I am still going full speed. I am ready to sit down and fuel up my body with some premium fuel. I have not learned much with regard to nutrition just yet, but I can tell you that the body needs good fuel to perform, just like a Ferrari engine. Feeling more confident already, I sat down at the community table and met some great people from various places across the World. We had some really funny conversations ,  it is amazing to hear everyone’s story, the comments of how great people are feeling, not just those that arrived when I did, but those who have been in the program since the prior week. The community table had energy and provided me a new outlook on being more social. I was learning and gaining a better insight into the program along with becoming more of a healthy person. For lunch today I started off with a large bowl of assorted fruit, chopped salad and some lentil beans, rice and mixed steamed vegetables.

I am feeling really good, lunch is over and its time to either attend a lecture or find another activity to do. I chose more cardio, this is being done outside of the prescribed class, so vitals were not mandatory, albeit the gym staff were present and available to me should I require anything. Scott had set up our first session for 2PM, so once I finished my cardio I rolled directly into some weight training with him. Scott is a Paralympic Athlete and fully understood how to keep me motivated in the gym. I loved my first session with Scott, he brought back memories of the day when I was body building with Kyle Murphy on a daily basis back home.

So I have had my fair share of exercise today, perhaps I should slow down or perhaps I should continue at this pace. I have to schedule in some Lecture time, each day once in the mid morning and once in the mid afternoon Pritikin’s provides a Lecture on various topics. These classes are very important to the program and my new lifestyle, I am however here for six months and the classes repeat every two weeks so I have time to get to them all.

Dinner starts at 6PM so I make my way to the restaurant. I decided to sit by myself as I wanted to have dinner then drive over to the The Sports Authority. As I was about to order a couple requested to join me and sat down. They are from the West Coast visiting for one week, I as well am from the West Coast so we started off talking on common ground. It ended up being a very enjoyable dinner. I decided to  start off with the bean soup and salad and the feature of whole grain pasta with mixed vegetables. I am feeling my confidence building and am realizing being shy or recluse is kind of boring and I am starting to have fun socializing.

Dinner finished later than I had expected but  I still had time to head out for a quick shopping trip. It was amazing, I had passed every fast food restaurant you could imagine, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and did not stop. I was sure thinking about it,  but I want to be strong and do well. I didn’t end up buying anything, but the outing was a good test to my will power in the real world.

Tomorrow is another healthy day!