Archive for the ‘long range plans’ Category

In order to better understand where you are headed it often helps to see where you have been. Throughout this fitness journey I’ve been through a lot.  I went from my highest weight ever of 206lbs to my lowest weight in almost a decade of 166lbs.  I’ve grown stronger, improved my endurance, pushed through obstacles, and made quite a few mistakes.  Looking ahead I benefit from the knowledge that while I’ve grown a lot there is still a tremendous amount of room for improvement.

I have to begin training specifically for Ninja Warrior; I have to eat cleaner (less refined sugars and snacks); and I have to ramp up the intensity of my training sessions 100 percent!

But before we get into all that perhaps it would be helpful to see where I’ve been over the last year and a half.

I started out on February 8th, 2007 @ 206lbs and with a higher body fat percentage than I care to admit.

As disheartening as it was to see how I had let myself go, I was glad to have visual confirmation of my own failings when it came to living a healthy lifestyle.  How did I get there? For me it was two things- too much soda and NO portion control.  I look back and remember some meals where I had thirds on a full size 11 inch plate. (more…)

All three provide good and useful services, but is any one of them clearly better than the other two?  The reviews are based on the features most of us would expect from a fitness tool/advice site.  For each category/feature I will rate Traineo, Gyminee, and Sparkpeople.  The format is simple, five categories (user-friendliness, groups, nutritional logging, exercise logging, and graphing capabilities) judged by placing each site into first, second, or third place.  First place is awarded 3 points, second place 2 points; third place 1 point.  At the end of this review the points are added up and the winner announced.  Pretty simple, right?  Good, well let’s start the reviews. (more…)

I was dumping the compost bin outside the other day when an idea struck me.  Nope, it wasn’t a great opening sentence for my novel.  Nope, it wasn’t a replacement for oil that is both cheap and clean.  Instead, I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be neat if I could do a split!?”  Of course I am forced to admit that at no point in my life have I ever been able to perform a split of any kind.  So what was I to do? (more…)

1. Fill up that Trash Can. Go to your refrigerator, pantry, and wherever else you hide food, and find EVERY food items that contains any of the following three ingredients:

Trans-fat, white flour (bleached, unbleached, enriched), and high fructose corn syrup.

You may also want to consider ditching foods that contain processed sugar in exchange for more natural sweeteners like evaporated cane juice. [Why is Cane Juice Better? Click Here to find out] Oh and, if at all possible, ditch the diet sodas. I mean if you absolutely MUST consume soda drink diet instead of regular, and even then limit yourself to less than one can a day.

2. Shopping. With your pantry cleared out, head on over to the grocery store and stock up. Once again avoid anything with the following ingredients:

Trans-fat, white flour (bleached, unbleached, enriched), and high fructose corn syrup.

Instead of transfat, find foods that contain healthy fats like mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. Instead of white flour, accept nothing less than 100% whole wheat flour. Instead of high fructose corn syrup how about foods containing evaporated cane juice or some other less processed sugar substitute.

Learn three more ways to start living healthier today by clicking below…

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It is a beautiful snowy day here in North Carolina. So as I enjoy the snow with my daughter, I would remind you that we need all the help we can get financing our dream (the non-profit ranch). We are doing our best saving all our change, cutting back on the unnecessary purchase, and paying down those pesky credit cards with their income gobbling interest rates.

If you want to help just click on the link below and send a few PayPal bucks our way. Thanks in advance for all those who drop us a few cents or a few dollars.

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In order to win you need to have a plan. Plus, if you begin with a plan and you succeed you get to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” And since I love success AND I love quoting the A-team I am approaching my friendly wager with Israel (and whoever else joins in) with a both brilliant and intense fitness and nutrition regimen that will push my body to the limits of muscular growth.

My Plan to Win

Resistance Training: I will be following the H.I.T. training methods outlined in The New High Intensity Training. That means I’ll be resistance training between 2 and 3 times a week. My workout sessions will include no more than one set, and no more than 11 exercises per workout. Each set will be taken until complete muscle failure.

Cardiovascular Training: Three to four times a week I will be engaged in hard hitting, fast, and short cardio routines. My principal cardio tools will be my trusty jump rope, public roads, and the treadmills at my university’s gym- so basically jumping rope and running.

Click Below to Discover my not-so-Secret Weapon..

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Well, what are my blogging plans for the next month or so (at least the highlights)…

First, I will be writing three posts for StraighttotheBar.com.  [Click on the link now and see a video a guy bending a wrench].  Most likely the posts will be entitled:

“Eliminating the Lug Nuts: How to Find a Good Trainer.”

“The Power of the Negative.”

“Visualization: No Longer just for New Age Hippies.”

Much to my wife’s chagrin over at Musings, Rants, and Monologues I will be posting on my recent quest to build the perfect minority.  Trust me, it will be both offensive, sophomoric, and politically incorrect to the 1,000 degree.

And right here on this, my main blog, I will be posting on my recent struggles with food, our upcoming travels, getting a handle on credit card debt (our experience), and the kind of things you do to start a mental transformation that can keep pace with your physical transformation.  See you later!

I’ve written about our family’s dream several times on here before.  For those of you who need to catch up, check out the links below.

A Farm of Our Own

Setting Our Goals

Also Scroll down to the bottom to see a Brief Summary.

Caught up?   Good.  So here is the idea.   Anyone who can afford to share a little just drops a bit in the donate button below.  Who should do this?  If you have some spare change laying around in your PayPal account (or in that jacket you haven’t worn for months) you would be a good candidate. It is all up to you.

You see, I am very curious what could happen if the hundreds (possibly thousands) who have visited this sight over 52,000 times donated a dollar or two towards a fund to help us achieve this dream.  What do you think?  Maybe we could have a good part of our down payment ready to go.

So you ask, what’s to keep me from blowing all the money on booze and comics?  Well, just my word.  I would hope that after almost ten months and tons of embarassing pictures, you guys would know how much a share without reservation.  If anything I am TOO truthful.

If you don’t want to donate, no hard feelings.  Well, maybe a few.  But for those who do, thanks.  Let me know if this whole PayPal things works, I’ve never used it before.

DONATE

Warning: This donation is NOT tax deductible. 

What will we be doing with the money?

1. Down payment on a piece of land- small to medium acreage (30-60 acres).  We are still locating the right piece of property and we are waiting to see where I end up in two to three years with my Ph.D.

2. Run a small scale animal rescue (dogs/horses).

3. Combine the animal rescue with a program for at-risk youth.  We are still learning lots about this, and it is very interesting stuff. Click here to read about one such pet training program currently employed in prisons.

4. Run a fully operational ranch and/or farm (depends on the land) where we can sell a portion of our agricultural returns and donate the rest to local individuals in need as well as local charities.  Some ideas we have include orchards, crops, milk, and eggs.  There is a big learning curve on all this stuff and I spend much of my limited free time reviewing books on these subjects.

5)  Care to make any suggestions to fill this space?  Anything I missed?  Drop a note in the comments section.

God bless you whatever you give- including those of you who give nothing.

BTW, for those of you skittish about PayPal, you can email me and drop a few small bills or a check in the mail.

As we near out first pay check in over two months (times have been tough but God provided) we are set to implement some money saving procedures and a much improved budget.   What have we done?  Well I will share with you three tips today to shrink your expenses and saved lots of money

First, perhaps the biggest change for us, we are limiting our grocery/all things Wal-Mart budget (excluding dog food) to $250 per month.  We are going to enforce this budget limit by taking out $250 cash at the beginning of the month and placing said cash in an envelope to be used each time we shop.  When the money runs out, no more groceries.  As an incentive to save more, 50% of the money left over at the end of the month can be used for ANYTHING we want.

Estimated Savings: $200-400/month

Second, we are going automatic.  We are signing up as many bills as possible for automatic bill pay.  We have been paying anywhere from $5 to $25 dollars in late fees each month.  The main offender is our water bill.  It is the only bill that comes without a return envelope and is therefore easy to forget about.  To make matters worse the local water department are known in our house as the water Nazi’s- if you are two weeks late with your bill they shut off the water and charge $20 bucks (plus late fee) to reconnect.  As if they weren’t selling the most abundant resource that only cost about $30 a month, and we were somehow going to run off without paying that hefty $35 dollar water bill….geesh.

Estimated Savings: $5-$25 dollars

Third, we will be paying down our lowest balance credit card in a month or two and using that card for gasoline- NOTHING else!  Well okay, emergencies, but only real emergencies.  The card will be paid off before the end of each month.  It will help us budget our gas money and allow for quick and easy gas purchases.  Tried buying gas without a credit card lately?  It isn’t fun.

Estimated Savings$10-$25/month on interest

OVERALL estimated servings:  $215-$450 dollars

Why don’t you make your savings automatic- that is after you finish paying off those high interest credit cards? Let me address the latter before tackling the former.

It makes no sense to put your savings in a bank account with less than 2% interest while your credit cards accumulate debt at 16-20% interest. Plus, if a true emergency occurs (i.e. your car breaks down) you can access that money on your credit card just as easily, if not more so, as if it were in your savings account.

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