Remodeling a Lifestyle

To say I am consistently inconsistent with my health would be an understatement. Twice a year, I get highly motivated to get in shape, go though the first week and a half of soreness at the gym, and then I’m over the whole “working out” thing at the 3-4 week mark. I walked into the gym a few weeks ago to try and get back into the swing of things and the dang thing had been remodeled – top to bottom! Everything from the carpet to the TV’s to the lockers had been torn out and upgraded. The only thing that was still original was the stupid friggin’ scale that’s been “lying” to me about my weight all these years. I have to admit, I was embarrassed. The fact that it had been so long since I went to exercise that they could completely remodel and be finished without me knowing it had even started was just bad, man.

As usual, it was a particularly intense 2014 holiday season of explosive growth in the size of my butt! Usually my “eat-a-thon” begins at the end of September, slowly ramps up to Thanksgiving, and stays constant until after New Years Day. “Fall is the season of love and food” says me. It certainly is, BUTT uh oh, I’m 41 now and my weight doesn’t just melt away. “Say what Frank Lodato?” The days of 2 weeks to lose 10lbs are gone gone gone. What’s happening now is that my fat is using the magic of compound interest to increase last year’s “profits” to turn me into a bigger Frank than last year. Great. Now what?

My family has a history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and high cholesterol. Based on the ages of my family members at their deaths; if you can make it past 55 years old you will probably live to 95. I have a family of 5 kids and a wonderful wife with an adopted sixth child on the way and I’m about to run a 15 year gauntlet of high risk health issues.

It’s time to remodel.

So why why why will things be different this time? When every attempt ends in me simply getting bored with exercising and wondering “why the heck am I doing this?”, why will this time be different? The answer isn’t in one sentence or a “go for it” mindset. Instead, it’s a comprehensive overhaul of your diet, exercise, and eating habits – whether you see great results, moderate results, or no results. It’s a complete remodeling of your temple, a lifestyle remodeling.

The truth is, people who change their lifestyle don’t struggle with consistency because health is a priority, not an afterthought. They don’t see missing a day of working out as inconsistency, they see it more like a skipped meal or shower. It’s something that MUST be done, not something to do if they have time. It starts with your priorities, not a weight loss program.

As a person who has always felt that I am on the outside looking in to healthy living, I have decided to “Remodel Lodato”. This has already started and I will share with you what I am doing…

Make a spiritual sanctuary

Having a place to ingest God’s word is the most important thing I can do. It is truly my #1 priority. Karen and I have created a place in our house to shut the door and quitely read. This is where any lifestyle change needs to start – daily devotional and prayer. I will also be specific about what I want from my  lifestyle change in my prayers.


Are you getting the right vitamins? Are you getting ANY vitamins? Yes, I fall into the 2nd category. My diet was cake, meatballs and oyster dressing for 3 days at Christmas. I’m sure there was something good for me in there…right?  Nutritional supplements are great for this because you get much of what you need in one shot. I use a supplement called Ningxia Red. A combination of wolf berries, juices, and essential oils, Ningxia Red supports a healthy function of a wide variety of body systems, including my immune system. Superior immune system function is key in having a consistent workout routine, because I can’t work out if I’m sick. I take 2oz in the morning on the way out of the door.


Change your gas, but don’t overfill your tank

Do the research that you need to do in order to determine if what you are putting into your body is good for you. Really look at the effects of a long term, poor diet. Ask yourself how things will ever get better. Who will be responsible for making sure this happens???…. You! I will tell you this – processed foods, dyes, and sugars are bad. These companies putting garbage in their food don’t care if you live or die, only that they get your money while you are here. If you don’t change your lifestyle, you will pass garbage-eating down to your kids and these same companies will reap the benefit of their poor health.

Portion control is also a major problem for me. My appetite is just ridiculous, but I also have a problem with wanting to eat everything that is on my plate when I’m not really hungry. Then, I sneak food off of the kid’s plates as I clean them. Surround yourself with low cal food to scratch your itch. Another tool in my box is peppermint essential oil. Applying some to my hand and sniffing/inhaling it a few times helps to curb my appetite when I know I should’t be eating. It’s a natural way to help manage your fuel consumption. 🙂



Find a “good fit” to get fit

So what is it that you like to do? Are you a former athlete with a good idea of what it will take or are you a person who has never really exercised? The right fitness plan varies from person to person. I am about 35 pounds overweight and about 15 pounds too heavy to run like I want to. Last time I tried running my feet were in constant pain. I was carrying too much weight around and putting excessive strain on my feet. This means that I will have to lose 10-15 pounds before I can start a running routine. I am dealing with this first batch of weight by cycling 20 mins everyday during the work week. By keeping the workouts short, they won’t seem so daunting and I will actually do them. Oddly enough, the peppermint essential oil I use for portion control and curbing my appetite is also great for a pre-workout boost and concentration. I rub it on my shoulders and wrists to give a cool sensation while riding, but I find the scent keeps me focused on making my 20 minutes count.

Be active

This will get easier once you start your lifestyle change. The more healthy you become, the more energy you will have. You will WANT to walk the dog or just go do something. Frisbee golf, throwing the ball with our kids, bike rides, or even participating in road races. Remember, you want a lifestyle change. This will require that you change your input. Karen and I like riding our beach cruisers to our dinner or lunch dates just to work some of the fat off. But… what if we were making healthier choices at lunch? Think of how productive that bike ride would be.

There you have it. The answers aren’t all here, but this is where it begins for me. Karen and I cleared our home of processed foods long ago and are constantly reading labels to see what we’re feeding our family. Except for the occasional Ibuprofen, we haven’t used over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in over a year. Anytime we have a say in the matter, we go the natural route. It’s nice having a head start in this area!

Stay tuned for more posts on the “remodel”…


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4 thoughts on “Remodeling a Lifestyle

  1. Pingback: 2015 Idaho Balsam Fir Harvest: True Men’s Health | Oil Sistas

  2. Frank I am in the same place you are. Thanks for the info. We have gotten rid of the processed foods and are using oils, but I needed the encouragement on the exercising piece! Thank You. and God Bless!

    • Mike,
      Just an update… I ended up joining Weight Watchers for a a couple of months. I don’t do it anymore, but the program really taught me how to eat better and much smarter. I have lost the 15 lbs I needed to lose to start running and I’m now training for my first mini sprint triathlon in September. I have been increasing my workout times, but have stopped losing weight. I’m getting skinnier, but I think I’m building quite a bit of muscle from swimming and cycling. I swam a mile today!!!!!!! I still can’t believe I just typed that, but I did.

      It took a long time for this to happen (since Jan 19), but it’s been working. If you can force yourself to go just 3 weeks, you will start to WANT to do it. Anyway, I just wanted to give you an update. I’m still rockin’ that peppermint too. Hope this motivates you if you still need it!

  3. That was a great post on lifestyle change from a “real person” with a very busy life (as opposed to a singleton or “rah rah rah, I’m 23 and in great shape, and you should be, too.” You’re right, it’s a lifestyle change vs. a temporary change. You reminded me (a 53 year old whose 68 year old husband is in better shape than she is) to add “walk” to my daily calendar. It’s the least I can do for myself.

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