Shrimp and Grits

We did it.

Fifty-Two Weeks of seeing a Personal Trainer three times a week. One hundred and fifty-six training sessions. 

The results are pretty mind-boggling.

Lookin' Good!

Victor has gone from a Body Fat Percentage of 38.5% to 31.4 and a BMI of 32.2 to 27.5.

I went from 32.7 to 20.8 and a BMI of 31.4 to 24.8.

I’m wearing 34″ waist pants down from 42″ and we’re both now exclusively in large t-shirts – down from XXL. It’s nothing short of a miracle – and a lot of hard work.

The first low plank I did a year ago lasted 34 seconds. Today I did two and a half minutes – and could have gone longer. Three times as many push-ups, three times longer on a wall-sit. And I didn’t want to die, afterwards. Victor was right there, as well – doubling and tripling what he was able to do last year – and he did a hellava lot more sit-ups than me. I hate sit-ups.

I really credit Charles, our Trainer, for pushing, us prodding us, and giving us the confidence to do it. He has read us well – knowing when to push, knowing when to back off, and working with each of us as individuals even when we were doing the same routines – adjusting them to suit our needs and abilities.

My biggest area to work on will be flexibility. I still can’t get close to touching my toes, but I can pretty much pick something up off the floor without kneeling – that’s something I couldn’t do a year ago.

Victor can touch his toes and pretty much bend himself into a pretzel. He wants to lose a few more pounds, so we’ll be back to watching portions, better. They’ve been creeping up…

We’re taking a month off from Personal Training because we need a break – three days a week for a year has been pretty intense. Next month we’ll be back one day a week for about six months to fine-tune things and keep us on track.

And I think the gym will be a regular feature in our lives from here on out. We’ve come too far to fall back into our former slothful ways.

That, of course, doesn’t mean we won’t splurge on things or overeat or gorge on ice cream now and again. It simply means we won’t do it a lot – and we’ll be aware of it when we do so we can balance it out with a few less calories and a bit more work.

Our celebratory meal, today, is Shrimp and Grits – with the Grits coming from Anson Mills. Actually, it’s their Rustic Polenta Integrale, but I’m not quibbling.

I made a very basic polenta – a lot, because it’s also going to be a part of tomorrow’s dinner – and topped it with Anson Mills Sea Island Red Peas mixed with shrimp and just tons of fun foods and flavors.

The basic ingredients included:

  • shrimp
  • green pepper
  • onion
  • garlic
  • celery
  • Penzey’s Cajun Spice
  • Anson Mills Sea Island Red Peas
  • tomato
  • corn cob coins

A simple saute of the onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery with the tomatoes and beans adding the necessary liquid. On went the lid and in a few minutes I stirred in the shrimp. The cover went back on and in two minutes it was ready.

Shrimp and Grits

It was a fun and filling dinner – lots of eating with fingers – and the perfect meal for a fun and fulfilling day.

The numbers surprised me. I knew we were doing well – but seeing the actual numbers made an impact – and a decision not to fall back. I’m not putting myself through this, again.

And I think it also proves that if we can do it, anyone can. We started this journey at 66 and 67 years of age. There was a real fear that in retirement, I was going to cook and bake us to death. Let’s face it – our love of food has never been a secret. The foods we were eating were relatively good, we were just shoving way too much of it into our mouths. The excess weight fueled the lethargy that fueled the overeating that fueled the lethargy. We needed to break the cycle – and we did.

If you’ve been keeping track this past year, you’ll note that we are not dieting. There are no foods that are forbidden, there are no ingredients we cannot eat. It’s more about just being sensible. It’s been rethinking our meals and our portions – and learning to stop when we were full and not licking our plates clean.

We still have dessert every night, but it’s now usually fresh fruit or popcorn instead of pies, cakes, and cookies. The pies, cakes, and cookies still appear, but in smaller versions. You can make a 6″ cake with 3/4 cup flour and a half-cup of sugar – just don’t make them every day.

But simply eating better is merely one part of the equation – moving is the other. We’ve broken the sloth-cycle, as well.

So here’s to the past year and to all the years ahead.

We’re ready.