Running from Your Debt

Tangent: Men at the gym, please stop using the blow dryers on your privates. I know it’s not technically touching anything, but it still just freaks me out.

Starting Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Debt: $109,710.00
Total Paid Off: $16,600.77
Income Going to Savings: 1%

I used to be really overweight. I’m 6’5″, and at my heaviest I weighed 296lbs. That’s four pounds short of 300 for those of you with math skills similar to mine. Long before I got into my current financial situation I decided to do something about the extra “el bees,” and boy has it helped me deal with some of the stress!

For starters, I went on the keto diet. I had done Atkins back in the day, so it was somewhat familiar to me. In effect I just basically stopped eating sugar and processed flour. I enjoy meat a lot, so the diet was easy for me once I got in the groove.

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Tangent: As much as I like meat, I did recently try an Impossible Burger, and sweet maple syrup was that burger delicious. I will be eating one of those bad mammy jammies again very soon.

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Along with this, I started exercising. I’ve always gone to the gym around 3 days a week, but I decided to up my workouts to 6 days a week with one “off day” that I rarely take off.

Here’s a typical week for me:

Sunday – “Off Day”
Monday – Lacrosse Practice where I coach my son’s team. I run a LOT!
Tuesday – Gym for arm day and at least 2-3 miles on the treadmill.
Wednesday – Lacrosse Practice
Thursday – Gym for shoulders and at least 2-3 miles on the treadmill.
Friday – Gym for chest and at least 2-3 miles on the treadmill.
Saturday – Morning run of 3-5 miles.

With that you can sprinkle in a small bit of housework (my wife would use the term “tiny”), playing with two young kids, a rambunctious black lab, and maintaining 3.5 acres of yard where I handle all of the weed trimming, mowing, bagging, cutting and sobbing each time I have to take care of it. Turns out grass grows pretty fast on human tears…

So I get a lot of exercise in!

I was recently reading about anxiety and using exercise to cope with it. This was not the goal when I started, but as mentioned above it has become an absolute necessity during these challenging times.

I lost ~95 pounds over the course of about 18 months, and have kept it off for some time, so that’s good.

What’s great is that I’ve found a way to trick my brain. I don’t know about your brain, but my brain is kind of an asshole and it likes to keep me from sleeping when I get stressed out. I keep it so incredibly busy that it doesn’t have time to play these types of games with me. Then at night I’m so exhausted that I tend to power right through my worries and crash right to sleep.

I’m very fortunate that my work supplies a gym membership. It gives me an outlet to go throw heavy things around without yet another bill. It also gives me an environment where I have to focus. I concentrate on form so that I don’t injure myself, because I had a catastrophic back injury at a young age that required surgery, and I know just how much of a pain in the ass that can be.

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Tangent: Men at the gym, please stop using the blow dryers on your privates. I know it’s not technically touching anything, but it still just freaks me out.

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Now exercise has become as critical for my well-being as meditation. If I skip even for just a few days, I start to feel my stress levels and anxiety rocket through the roof. I firmly believe I was at high risk of severe depression were it not for the fact that I decided to get some hardcore physical activity in every day of the week.

It can be incredibly difficult to motivate yourself to partake in any physical activity even when you aren’t stressed out. However if you work slowly into a routine over time, you’ll find that the benefits are undeniable!

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