TGIF: Dieting (And an Injury Update)

Greetings fellow brothers and sisters,

It’s another late Friday night here in cold and snowy Dayton, OH. I wanted to hop on here and update y’all on my recovery progress. I also wanted to talk about some recent changes I’ve made and my advice to those seeking to make the same kinds of changes.

First, let’s talk about the left quad. I’ve done everything that I could this past week to give my injury time to heal. I canceled all of my OTF workouts and instead used the time to do some foam rolling exercises to help rehabilitate the quad. I learned a few things while doing this. For one, I realized how big my ass is, as I recorded myself doing the exercises to ensure I had the proper form while conducting them 😂. Then, I realized how much of an impact foam rolling has on various muscles on the body. As I worked through different areas, I felt a lot of pain. At the same time, I felt relief. It’s as if the pain in my muscles were big balls of dough, needing to be flattened and stretched. The foam roller has been my lifesaver this week and because of it, I feel confident that my recovery will be quicker than expected. I’m able to create a lot more movement with my left leg. If anything, the quad still feels a little stiff, but pain free which is a good sign. I’m expecting to stick with my scheduled workouts at OTF next week in hopes that, if all goes well with those, I’ll be able to return to training next Sunday. Let’s cross fingers and hope for the best!

Now, I’ll dive into the changes I talked about earlier. After taking some time to research the benefits of sustaining this type of diet, I decided on Tuesday that I would begin the process of becoming a vegetarian. I’ve made this change with the ultimate goal of becoming vegan within the next two to three years. There are a lot of benefits to enjoy from sustaining this diet, such as having a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. It’ll also help myself stay conscious with the foods I eat to ensure I’m treating my body like a temple. I know it’s going to be a rough transition to go through. I can already feel my body wanting to give in and break my minimal progress thus far. However, I remind myself that I went through the same type of change last year. At this point in 2019, I decided to stop making excuses for why I felt the way I did on a daily basis and start taking action. One of the first things that I adjusted was my diet. To be fair, I didn’t take on a monstrous diet such as this one. However, I looked into the bad foods I ate the most of and cut them out little by little. I developed a game plan to attack this head on without punishing my body too quickly and too drastically. It’s important to understand that your body needs time to adjust to any changes you make (whether it’s your diet or exercise routines). Was I perfect? Absolutely not. Did I give up when I cheated? No. Did I accomplish what I set out to accomplish by making this type of change? I sure did 😁.

So what does this mean for you? What type of advice should I give to you if you’re looking to make a change in your health routines? It’s simple. You can take the same type of approach that I take anytime I think about accomplishing a milestone (see one of my earlier blog posts about that topic if you want more info on that). It’s all about what you invest in making these changes happen. Remember that all good things take time. It’s important to understand the challenges of your journey and what it’s going to take to reach the end point. Are you going to feel like death after a few days of starting a diet? Yes (I feel it right now not having had chicken when I’m used to eating chicken at the chicken place that I work at five days a week 😭). Should you put yourself down when you make a mistake and cave in? No. What matters more than anything is how you respond and recover from these moments (Do you brush it off, move forward and do your best to stick with the diet? Or do you call it quits and waste your time and energy for nothing?). Are you alone? Absolutely not. Remember that you’ll always have someone to support you in your endeavor of living a healthier lifestyle. There will be people who don’t understand the changes you’re making for yourself and perhaps they’ll judge you harshly for it. It’s okay for them to not understand. All that matters is that you feel confident in what you’re doing and that you’re doing this for you, not for them. They can judge you all they want. In the end, it’s you that’ll come out on top, reaping the rewards of your hard work and commitment.

I’m excited to see where this diet will take me. I believe it’ll not only benefit my health in the long run, but it’ll also positively affect my marathon performance in October. I’m sure y’all will hear my progress with this along with my injury progress within the next couple of weeks. Be sure to stay tuned for that. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions (including vegetarian recipes or foods that any of you vegetarians recommend for me to try), please feel free to reach out to me! Thank y’all for your time once again. Stay warm out there.

-Matt

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