Crazy Goals and Preparing for the Adventure of a Healthy Lifestyle

If you’re going to have a crazy idea, I say make it really crazy.  As I was thinking through this idea of getting healthy in 2012 I wanted to set some big goals for myself, and I wanted to build in some accountability.  I was sitting in Starbucks jotting down some ideas of what it might look like — a change in diet, a rigorous exercise program, a target weight, and to make it really crazy, some challenging events along the way.  And if you know me, you know social media would have to be part of the plan. I want to share my journey because I know I will I need the support of friends and family from around the world to make this insane idea happen. I also want to share it to encourage others to really think about their health and to actively pursue a healthier lifestyle.

So I messaged a new friend, Ed, who owns a gym, and I pitched a crazy idea about him working with an overweight, out-of-shape 42 year old guy and using social media to tell the story. Ed bought into the idea and thus the adventure began.  On Jan. 9 we kick off this crazy idea with a Whole 30 nutrition plan and working out 4 days at week at Ed’s Gym .

I also decided to set some crazy goals for where I wanted to be by the fall. “Healthy” can be measured in a number of ways, but I wanted to push myself in area that I could easily measure.  My goals are to lose 60-70 pounds.  Right now I weigh close to 265 and I want to be back at the weight I was when I married Julie 17 years ago.  I also wanted to push myself to achieve some other goals along the way. My plans are to run a 5K, climb a 14er, do an adventure race and end with a marathon. I’m hoping my body holds up. The real goal is to just be healthy, and to be around in 30-40 years for my wife, kids and hopefully grandkids.

I scheduled time with my doctor to run some blood work and clear me to begin this journey. He was almost giddy at the thought of me getting in shape and gave two thumbs up.  As I started sharing the idea with friends and family, I was surprised at how many were not only excited for me, but wanted to begin their own journey to health. If you are thinking about jumping in too, I encourage you to talk to your doctor and get an all clear before you start. As we all journey together, I hope to share some of your stories here as well.

Before we begin this crazy adventure I wanted to thank you for your support. I hope this little corner of the web will be a place we can share our stories, get encouragement to keep pressing forward, and celebrate our successes.

To Life!


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  1. Ed Stedman says:

    Jeff! I’m getting psyched up about your journey! I’m looking forward to working with you and helping you achieve all your goals (and more)!

    Kitchen Clean Out on Friday.
    Healthy Grocery Shopping on Saturday.
    1st Training Session on Monday.

    Who else wants some of this? Feel free to contact us at Ed’s Gym.

  2. Chris Cree says:

    I always wonder what things were like when someone first got a crazy idea. So I’m going to enjoy watching this idea of yours unfold, Jeff. From a distance, of course. ;)

  3. Greg Abel says:

    I am going for 25-30 lbs. Need to strengthen my ankles but want to be in shape to play in adult soccer league this summer.

  4. Renee says:

    I’m a 53 year old woman and starting my first Whole30 tomorrow so we’ll be *virtually* in it together. I stocked up on good stuff this weekend and am hyped to get officially started. I’ve been “practicing” since a bit after Thanksgiving, but tomorrow will be the real deal. I’m stocked up with lots of grass-fed meat, coconut oil and coconut milk (I discovered it tastes really good frothed and put in coffee) and veggies of all kinds. I just discovered acorn squash, kale, and chard in this past month. I also have a chunk of pork fat for sauteeing greens. There are so many great recipes and blogs I’ve discovered. and are a couple of my favorites. I’ve got a business trip coming up right in the middle of this thing so that will be a challenge. Good luck to you on your adventure, and to me!

    • jeffabel says:

      Renee, my wife Julie is so thankful for the coconut milk in her coffee! Thanks for the recommendations for the blogs with the recipes, I’ll have to take a look. We have a business the day after our Whole 30 ends – which should also be challenging. We’d love for you to write a guest post on how you prepared for the business trip if that would be something you are interested in. Thanks for the comments, and keep us posted on how your 30 days are going.

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