Bob’s Resolution Story

By Mark Szabo

Most people who decide to get healthy for New Year’s will have quit in disgust within two weeks.

Why does becoming healthy have such a high failure rate?

To answer that, let’s look at our friend Bob:

Now Bob lives a fairly sedentary life. He’s seated commuting to his 9-5 desk job. Seated again commuting home to his wife and two kids.

They typically pop some frozen meals into the oven after work then eat in front of the tv.

Spending a couple hours on the couch while having a few beers, they’re then off to bed.

Bob doesn’t feel like he has much free time with his daily commute, so he never gets to the gym.

The only walking he ever gets is between his car and his destination.

He knows he doesn’t feel good these days. He has these persistent pains that pop up here and there, in his gut, his back, and his shoulders.

And that darned dryer keeps shrinking his clothes, so he has to buy larger sizes.

Bob knows something needs to change, so he makes a New Year’s Resolution to make this the year he gets healthy.

Bob has always been a “go big or go home” kind of guy, so he wants to do something that feels drastic.

  • He completely changes up his entire eating routine.
  • He decides to go zero-carb on every meal.
  • He’s switching to black coffee, no sugar.
  • He decides he’s going to hit the gym at 4 am every day before work.
  • Wanting to alleviate his back pain, he plans to attend Yoga class every day after his commute.
  • He’s also committed himself to zero alcohol until he gets himself healthy again.

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He is totally stoked to get started; he *KNOWS* this is going to work!

Day One goes great!

Bob is so excited he’s up before his alarm.

He cringes through the bitter adjustment to black coffee while convincing himself that a bowl of cottage cheese with a sprinkle of cinnamon actually tastes good.

Then he drives to the gym where perky, mid-20’s, New Member Coordinator, Lisa, gives him a whirlwind tour showing him absolutely everything the gym has to offer.

It’s a large gym with equipment everywhere. They have a running track, a swimming pool, and various activity rooms for spin classes, Yoga, self-defense, dance, and such.

Bob was overwhelmed when Lisa asked him if he had any questions at the conclusion of the tour.

He had tons of questions, but nothing could make it from his brain to his mouth before “uh… thanks, I’m good,” escaped his lips.

Lisa tells him that the Trainers will be happy to show him how to use any of the equipment properly and asks him if he’d like her to set up an appointment.

He declines her offer because he doesn’t want to get suckered into paying extra, and Lisa leaves him to start his workout.

Where to begin?” thought Bob.

He hadn’t worked out since High School, and back then he did what his buddy Chris told him to do.

All they had was a bench, a bar, and some old York plates, so Bob was most familiar with the free weights.

But after viewing the free weight area of the gym with the very intimidating, well-muscled, extremely fit individuals, he feels unworthy and decides his flabby self needs some cardio.

Selecting an exercise bike from the array of available machines, Bob pedals his way through a sweaty, seat-chaffing, excruciating 10 minutes before his lungs convince him to stop by attempting to jump out of his chest.

Once his lungs have agreed that movement is again an option, Bob decides he needs to pump some iron like he did back in school.

But he’s too embarrassed to be seen with the sculpted people in the free weight section.

Instead, he finds the isolation equipment.

Bob then performs one warmup and one work set for every major muscle in his body that he can find a machine to work.

His efforts resulting in a full-body workout in just under an hour.

Bob was proud of himself!

Was that the right kind of workout for Bob to do? Sign up for the 5-Day Health Shift to get my take.

Riding that high all day, at lunch he avoided the all-you-can-eat buffet and opted for a salad with chicken and bacon smothered in zero-carb ranch dressing, and loved it!

He downloaded the gym app and found a Yoga class to take on his way home.

It wound up being a Gentle class that Bob found excruciatingly boring and he left feeling unfulfilled.

As part of his Health Transformation, Bob convinced his wife Beth to give cooking a try since she typically got home several hours before him.

When Bob got home that evening, instead of pre-cooked frozen instant meals, Beth had a steak covered in mushrooms and butter with sauteed broccoli on the side waiting for him.

He was in heaven, only slightly enviously watching his wife and kids chow down on loaded baked potatoes. Bob slept well that night.

The next morning slapped Bob awake with his 4 a.m. alarm.

He woke up sore from the day before which brought a “no pain, no gain” smile to his face, yet moving was challenging.

He got himself ready as he grimaced through his cottage cheese and black coffee breakfast.

Then headed off to the gym where he managed 12 minutes on the bike and a couple more reps on the work sets of the machines used in his full body workout.

At work he had the same salad again and booked his evening Yoga class, this time called “Vinyasa.”

Toward the end of the day Bob is feeling a bit “off” and “edgy.”

He doesn’t realize it but he’s feeling the effects of carb depletion with his no-carb diet.

By the time he gets to Yoga class he’s downright grumpy.

His body hasn’t transitioned over to fat-burning mode yet and Bob is experiencing carb withdrawal.

Hoping this class makes him feel better, he’s greeted by an instructor named John who tells him this class will be non-stop movement and to listen for alternative cues for adjustments with the blocks.

John’s class was much more challenging for Bob. He liked it better than that Gentle class because he felt like he had actually accomplished something.

At home that evening Bob was feeling drained and famished.

Beth had made pasta for herself and the kids and offered Bob a boiled chicken breast with some leftover broccoli.

Is Beth mad at Bob for something? Find out with the 5-Day Health Shift 😊

Dousing the breast in salt, pepper, and garlic powder, he ate it with a serious side of food envy; he was really craving that pasta.

Bob fell asleep on the couch and Beth had to wake him to come to bed.

There he then tossed and turned before finally falling asleep about 5 minutes before his alarm.

Bob woke exhausted, worn-out, and sore from head-to-toe, spending every ounce of motivation he had to get himself up and to the gym for Day 3, where things proceeded poorly.

He called it quits after only 5 minutes on the bike, declaring himself “warm enough.”

He struggled to get even the same number of reps out as he did on Day 1, but did finish and made it to work.

At lunch he broke down and had an Italian Sub, justifying it as salad on bread.

Looking at the Yoga schedule, he saw something called “Hot Yoga” in his preferred time slot and thought that might be good for his aching body.

Whoa! Hot Yoga was too hot for Bob,

and this class moved way too fast.

He tried to follow Katie’s cues, but was simply unable to keep up.

He did sweat a lot though, so he jumped in the shower as soon as he got home.

Beth made steak again, although this time with a medley of mixed carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, along with loaded baked potatoes for herself and the kids.

Bob was beyond exhausted and could barely keep his eyes open on the couch, so he went to bed early, sleeping soundly even as Beth finally retired.

As the alarm sounds the beginning of Day 4 the first thing Bob notices is how awful he feels.

Everywhere hurt, every time he moved, in any direction; not only the muscles but his joints too.

Should Bob be going to the gym when in this much pain? The 5-Day Health Shift has the answers.

He didn’t remember pain like this when he worked out with Chris.

He chalked it up to getting older and trudged his way through his morning and into the gym.

Again, he managed a meager 5 minutes on the bike and faced a similar struggle with the rest of his workout.

Bob didn’t understand how he could be getting weaker instead of stronger.

When he got to work people could see his Grumpy Gus demeanor coming down the hallway and quickly turned to walk the other way to avoid him.

Bob knew he needed to get back on track with the diet so he ordered the salad again, dreaming of an Italian Sub while eating it and scrolling the app for a Yoga class.

“Yin” was in his slot tonight. Hopefully it wasn’t hot…

As Brooke the Yin instructor was explaining that Yin was about getting a deep, supported stretch into the tissues of the body, Bob was relieved that the studio was at a reasonable temperature.

The long, active lengthening Bob experienced felt amazingly good on his aching body. Bob absolutely loved this class!

Walking back to his car, Bob felt great, like he was actually walking taller, which he thought was weird.

Sitting down into his car, he realized for the first time how scrunched over a position his seat was contorting his body into.

He jacked the lower lumbar support as far up as it would go, raised the seat up a smidge, straightened the seat back to a more upright posture, then had to readjust the headrest to stop it from jutting his head forward.

The entire ride home he couldn’t believe how slouched he’d been this whole time.

For years!

How did he never notice?

Is it really possible to straighten your body out with Yoga? Sign up for the 5-Day Health Shift!

Beth made chicken breast for dinner again, this time roasted in the oven with some balsamic oil and vinegar drizzled over top, with a side of steamed carrots that she cut into 2” long chips.

She and the kids had pasta on the side.

The chicken was a bit dry, but Bob washed it down with some water.

Nothing could spoil his mood after that class.

After dinner as they sat on the couch the post-Yoga-class glow began to wane and the aching joints and muscles made themselves known again.

Not as badly as before class, but Bob was definitely feeling the pain creeping its way back in.

It wasn’t enough to keep him up though and Bob slept soundly through the night.

The next morning Bob had thought the pain would have diminished by now, but it was as bad if not worse than the day before.

He moved very slowly as he begrudgingly dragged himself through breakfast and on to the gym where his performance was as dismal as it was on Days 3 and 4, leaving him feeling drained and lousy at the outset.

Not realizing he was feeling the effects of carb depletion again,

moodiness was the theme of the day at work and Bob was not a pleasant fellow.

For lunch he *REALLY* wanted a big-ass burger with a side of fries, but opted instead for food envy as he scrolled the Yoga app, munching away on salad while watching others eat their carb-y deliciousness.

Bob booked a “Restorative” class for tonight.

At the studio Bob was again pleased to find a comfortable temperature as Jen explained the basics of a Restore class.

It was similar to Yin, but with the goal of letting the tissues of the body relax fully instead of actively stretch.

Bob counted an entire four poses for the whole hour, but they were so relaxing that he was almost asleep in each of them.

Beth cooked a frozen cauliflower crust pizza with chicken, peppers, and onions for Bob while she and the kids had takeout pizza from their local place.

Is cauliflower crust frozen pizza healthier than takeout? Register for the 5-Day Health Shift here.

Their pizza definitely looked better than his.

Bob found himself crashing on the couch, so he retired before Beth.

Not bothering to set his alarm for the weekend, he welcomed a rest from the morning gym routine.

He woke to the sun peering in through the windows around 7 a.m.

Still achy, he was hoping the weekend off would do him some good.

Following the scent of coffee to the kitchen, he found Beth making frozen toaster waffles for herself and the kids.

Bob watched jealously as they chowed down on their buttery syrup confections.

While he had another freaking bowl of cottage cheese with cinnamon.

Bob’s craving for carbs was palpable at this point, but he stuck to the diet.

The weekend was time for garage projects,

and though Bob had his hands full maintaining his winter equipment, his mind was free to dream of big, juicy burgers.

When he had worked up enough of an appetite he came back inside and shouted, “Who wants burgers?”

Even though it was only 20° outside, Bob grilled 5 burgers, two patties for himself and one each for Beth and the kids.

He used lettuce as a wrap instead of a bun to keep it low-carb.

After spending the rest of the afternoon in the garage and Beth not wanting to cook that night, they decided to go to their favorite Italian restaurant for dinner.

Beth and the kids each order their favorite dish: Chicken Marsala with penne, Vodka Rigatoni, and a Chicken Parm sandwich.

Bob struggled to find anything that didn’t have carbs in it.

What should Bob have done instead? Click here for the 5-Day Health Shift!

He settled on an antipasto platter.

It wasn’t really what he wanted.

His favorite was their Frutti di Mare over Linguini, but that was way too carb-y right now.

This. Was. Torture.

Later that evening as they’re watching TV, Bob thinks he feels like his body is starting to recover.

They both stay up a little bit later than they wanted to but manage not to crash on the couch.

Sleep comes quickly in the bedroom and Bob doesn’t wake until morning.

With the sun gently nudging Bob awake he begins to stir.

Moving his arms and legs, flexing and stretching, the muscles are feeling better, but those joints are still complaining.

In his quest for coffee he discovered Beth in the kitchen again, this time with microwave pancakes.

-_- This cottage cheese shit was getting really old.

How long would you last eating cottage cheese for breakfast every day? What should Bob have done instead?

Bob’s usual Sunday Football routine felt off without the beer to his left and a bowl of chips and cheese dip on his right.

Beth picked up some lunch meat and sliced cheese for lunch.

While she and the kids had sandwiches, Bob made some meaty roll-ups with lettuce to wrap it all together.

Beth made chili for dinner that night.

She had never made chili before, but she had a container of chili seasoning spices and could read the spice to water ratio on the label.

She browned the meat, then dumped in the spices, stirred it all in, added the water, then stirred it again.

Then served it with a package of microwave 90 second white rice, and a, “Boom! Chili 😊”

Bob skipped the rice and had the meat by itself.

It wasn’t bad, really.

I mean, it definitely wasn’t going to win any chili cook-offs, but it was decent for her first attempt.

They watched the night game and went to bed at halftime because it was a blowout.

He tossed around for a little while, but Bob finally managed to get back to sleep.

He woke the next morning to the sun shining in.

Shit! I forgot to set my alarm!” he exclaimed as soon as he realized it was Monday.

“But, man these joints are still killing me. Maybe I should give it a rest until they feel better.”

Several weeks went by before he felt up to going back to the gym.

By then he had blown the diet and not tried to restart it, so he figured why bother.

He was still making it to Yoga three days a week, so he had that going for him.

He stuck with the black coffee, and Beth continued to cook at home.

But it would be another year before he attempted to diet again.

So, what did Bob do right, and what could he have done better?

How could Bob have approached this in a way that would have guaranteed his success?

To find out, sign up for my FREE 5-Day Health Shift, launching Sunday, Feb 5, and set yourself up for success! Simply Sign up with your email, and for 5 days, learn healthy strategies to feel better, live longer and enjoy life! Sign up today!