A New Goal..A New Plan

I have to remember that this is a journey I am on. There are times when I wonder if I will reach my goal. Sometimes I wonder what my goals really are. Sometimes I wonder if I am on the right path. Then something inspires me, or have and epiphany and it all makes sense again.

This time I realized that I am on a journey to true fitness. I am not just trying to lose weight, although I am enjoying that part of it, but but I am actually growing as a person through all of this.

I am learning new skills, creating new relationships, and learning about myself more and more every day. I learn more about what kind of person I am. What motivates me. What I care about most.

In fact what I care about changes often. For example, I am leaning more about nutrition and supplementation. I am not interested in having a beer with the boys, if you know what I mean. I can’t stand to sit in a smokey bar or restaurant anymore. It literally hurts me.

I am learning how to run. Actually how to run properly. How to pace myself. How to enjoy the time I am spending doing it. I am learning how to strike properly, etc…

This journey is about getting healthy again. That means cleaning up the things in my life that make me unhealthy. My environment, not just recycling, but my home, my car, my office. Looking at the products I use, changing the air filters, etc…

It also means understanding what I put into my body. The food I eat, trying to eat more whole and natural foods. Learning more about nutrition and changing my eating routine.

And of course there is the exercising. Besides running, like taking different classes,and trying different workouts. Kickboxing, MMA conditioning, Spin, Yoga, Cardio Max, etc… By trying different classes and workouts I learn more about me. I learn more about what I like, what tools I have that can help me achieve my goals.

All of this leads to the fact that through all of this exploration and experimentation I am changing my lifestyle forever. I am growing as a person, and will never be the same man I was when I started. So the journey never ends, and there will be many new goals along the way. That’s the point!

Staying motivated…

So, lately I have been struggling with making myself get to the gym. I am feeling better about myself and now is not the time to quit. However, it’s getting nice out and I would rather play golf than go for a run.
I want to hang out on the porch in a social setting rather than eat my prepackage meals.
I realized the other day it has been almost a year since I signed up for my first session with Craig. WOW! what a long strange trip it’s been! ( for all you Dead Heads out there):)
So what do you do to stay motivated? How do you keep yourself going when you’d rather be with all the other non-gym going slackers?

I am open to suggestions!

Running again!

So we all know by now how I feel abut running.  Yep. I hate it!  However, I am getting better at it I think.  I ran yesterday for 45 minutes, and I completed 4 miles.  Now, there is some detail I should include.

First, I did walk for the first 5 minutes to loosen up, and I can only jog for about 15 minutes before I want to jump off (a cliff).   So I have to trick myself into going farther.  I start with intervals for 10 minutes. I jack the speed up to 7.0 for  a minute and then down to 3.0 for a minute and back up. Then when I can’t breath any more, I drop the speed to 5.5 and increase the incline to about 4.0.  Then when my legs want to leave the rest of my body I drop the incline and pick up the speed a bit.

By the time I figure out what is going on, I am down to the last five minutes or so, then I go back to intervals.  The Most important part for me is the cool down and the stretching.  I notice a lot of other people who come in and run do not use the cool down period, and they rarely stretch afterward.  This is BAD!

Lactic acid builds up in the muscles and causes cramping, pain, and can even breakdown muscle.  Stretching is not or at least should not be considered optional!  I personally like the way a good stretch feels. I get great euphoria from  the stretching!

So the moral of the story is two-fold: Even though you may not like an exercise or be good at it, or both, doesn’t mean you should give up.  Chances are that the reason you are not good at it is because it is he area where you need the most work.  Sticking with it may just give you much-needed improvement. The second pat of this is the value of stretching, keeping your muscles loose and limber prevents injury, and reduces fatigue.

Can you commit to one exercise you know you should do, but hate, and do it 3 times a week for a month? Try.

There are few things in life I hate more than jogging!

So Amy, my nutrition counselor, has instructed me to pick up the cardio side of my workouts.  I am supposed to get one hour of moderate (150-160 HR) exercise per day.  Well, for me the best way seems to be jogging.

When I jog, I get my heart rate up fast, and I can keep it up easily. However, my legs hate running! after about 15 minutes it is purely a mental game!  After about 25 minutes my legs are killing me! Now , part of me wants to push forward, and keep going in hopes that I will get better, and I will reap the benefits sooner.

The biggest problem is that I get bored fast. Even though  and listen to music, or watch TV, I still get bored.  Nothing keeps my attention long enough.  So I am starting on the treadmill for 35 minutes, and then moving to the Arc Trainer or an Elliptical to take some of the pressure off of my calves.

The pain I get from running isn’t in my thighs or my knees, it’s in my calves the stabilizers around the ankles. They start killing me about 20 minutes in and are unbearable about 35 minutes in.  By changing exercises, I can keep going, and not get bored.

What exercises do you know you should do, but don’t?  Why?  Is there a way you can change you perspective to get though it? Is there another way you can get the same results?

If at first you don’t succeed….

So I have talked many times about the importance of and trouble with exercising when traveling.

I travel a fair amount usually once or twice a month. When you have a tight program like mine, where I have workouts and meals scheduled every day it can be very disruptive to up  and leave your routine. For example, I have cardio Monday morning, and Muay Thai Monday night.  Well, if I am traveling, I obviously can’t make class that night, so it becomes more important not to miss morning cardio too.

The cost of missing both workouts is devastating to my nutritional plan and metabolic rate. Also, my muscles get too relaxed and they forget that I have goals in mind for them.  When I do finally return to my routine they need time to catch up.  This is the equivalent of taking two steps forward and one step back.

Now some may argue that your body can often use a break to recover.  The assumption there is that we all over train, and do not give our body’s enough calculated recovery during our normal routines.  My rebuttal would be that after 6 months of beating the shit out of myself, and working with a number of professionals including doctors and chiropractor, I now have a sense of what is “enough” for me.

So what I am really getting at today is that over the last six months, I have really struggled with traveling, and keeping to my routine, and not paying a price when I get back.  I am the first to admit how hard it is to not eat things that are easy or convenient simply because you are out of your element.  You can’t go home and cook, or prepare you meals ahead of time.

With the help of Amy Henry of Venice Nutrition, I have learned to keys to my success. One is to eat something every 3-4 hours.  This will help keep my blood sugar stable. ( you can learn more about why that is important on Atlantafatboytv on YOU-Tube, or at http://www.AmyHenrynutrition.com) The second is how to read a food label and make better choices.  Believe it or not, with the right knowledge you can eat food that is made for you AND convenient.

Also, I have realized the importance of making certain declarations. Such as, ” I am going to workout every day I am traveling”.  And then realigning and planning around that declaration.

This is the first time in six months, that I have stuck to my plan.  But, it is SOOOOOOO worth it! I feel like I have made a huge breakthrough for myself. I am moving toward a truly healthy lifestyle, not just a diet or program.  The distinction by the way is that the former is never-ending and the latter has an established time line associated with it.

This week, I have not missed a workout, and I have stuck to my”plan”, meaning I have found ways to be me wherever I am. Live my lifestyle where ever I go.

Can you do the same?

Sunday…Prep day yet again!

So as you well know by now, Sundays are my day to get ready for the week. Laundry, groceries, cooking and packaging, etc.. Well this week I am starting Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Classes and Muay Thia classes. So today I had to shop for some new equipment too.

I am going to have a new training schedule, a new nutrition plan, and new classes! Whew!  This is exciting and scary all at the same time. I can’t wait to try the new classes. I started BJJ last week, and given that I haven’t done it in about 10 years, I think I did well.  I have to say, the strength and conditioning classes with Craig are definitely paying off. I had no problem with keeping up, and staying strong!

I had even done Fast Twitch that morning.  So my day started at 4:30am, class at 6am, and then BJJ at 8pm. I can’t lie, Friday was painful!  I was sore, and stiff! I had all kids of bruises on areas I didn’t even know I hurt Thursday.

It was awesome though! I loved it. I know I am going to love it even more when I start learning the more of the counters and re-counters. I am also looking forward to my new Muay Thai class. This is going to be a great cardio class, as well as technical striking! Nice!

So, back to Sunday prep day.  Not only am I preparing meals, and clothes for the week, I am preparing mentally for a whole new experience! As I write this I wonder how this can be translated in to my work environment more. Can I get my work ready for Monday on Sunday? How? What about setting up my schedule more strategically?

Makes you wonder huh? What are you doing tonight to make sure your wek is as successful as possible?

Here I am ….

Here is a video of me, and some Atlanta friends working out together at the first ever Atlanta Fitness tweetup.

This was a great experience! WE all had so much fun, and a great workout.