Archive for the ‘set backs’ Category

Well Kane has kept me close to his bed side for the last few days grounding my workouts and runs.  However, starting tomorrow that can change.  While Kane still isn’t mobile he is a bit less whiny- no doubt because his pain is lessening as his body heals.  So with him able to allow me some personal time mor ethan three feet from his bed that means I have a lot of catching up to do since it is Tuesday and I have three resistance training session and at least three runs to fit into my schedule.  As a result I will do some doubling up.

My schedule for the next few days includes an early morning session of stretching:

Neck/Trapezius Stretch (seen to the left; do in all four directions); Wrist Stretch (seen to the left; do in two positions- palm facing body and knuckles facing body);Seated Hamstring Stretch; Bent-Knee Forward; Bridging; Pat the Back; Seated Side Straddle; Back Straight Leg Extension; Back Curl to Extension; Spinal Twist

Each stretch is done twice for 30-45 seconds each with a few seconds rest in between. (more…)

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I don’t know if I am the only one, but I absolutely-totally-understandably HATE when I hear the following words.

I love you, I’m just not in love with you.

Those words make my blood boil.  But I have to admit, when it comes to my workouts- that about covers my current relationship with exercise.  I love the idea of working out and I love the memory of past workouts, but when it comes to present workouts there is little joy top be had.  And I don’t mean to imply any sense of ease when I use the word joy.  some of my best workouts have been stomach curdling and involved severe nausea and lactic acid burning in my muscles that rivaled a four alarm fire for intensity.  And as a former fireman whose been face-to-face with extreme heat and crackling flames I can speak from experience.  My lack of passion led to a bit of mild depression about the future of my workouts- which as of late have been little more than a roughly choreographed bore fests.

That was until I happened across the Men’s Fitness Magazine website as I was doing research for another post (set to drop later this week).  On the front page there was a link to an article on an MMA fighter’s workout.  A few clicks later I was enthralled by this fast paced, intense, hard pounding exercise routine.

Ever tried anything like this? (more…)

It is always interesting that whenever you take on a major lifestyle change the old habits always seem to find a way to creep in when you let your guard down.  They find the cracks in your resistance and slip on through with ease.  For me it was stress from school that got me eating like I used to and skipping my cardio.  I tend to eat when I want to get my mind off of whatever is stressing me.  That is why I reached 206lbs back in law school, as I was constantly stressed out back then.

Thanks to my continued resistance training I haven’t fallen too far off track, but for a perfectionist like me, I am INCREDIBLY frustrated that I am still hanging around between 167 and 171 lbs.  I should be 159lbs by now.  Well, I would be, if I hadn’t succumbed to my basest urges.

So now is a time for rededication of sorts.  To throw myself back into this fully and fit into this shirt– not to mention make it look good!  So for the next two weeks I am going to reintroduce cardio and bring my eating back under control- no more cookies or chips!

Come up with a bold plan for change and wouldn’t you know it, I end up catching my daughters cold/flu.  I am in the early stages now and trying to down as much Airborne as I can.  But as I type my throat is achy, my sinuses are beginning to stuff, and I coughed a few times during my lecture.  Here’s to hoping this passes sometime soon.

How far can two weeks of perfect meal plans and just the right amount of exercise- given that I don’t deviate in even the slightest manner into unhealthy (but all too well charted) waters?

Why don’t I (we) find out?! This is going to be the two-week transformation to end all two weeks transformations. Here are the simple to understand (but admittedly super hard to follow) rules.

1. 6 meals a day w/ lots of protein. (Easy enough)

2. I am cutting out almost ALL non-fruit/non-veggie/ non-whole wheat carbs from all my meals EXCEPT for breakfast. This means that when I stop by Chick-fil-A I will buy the grilled chicken, ditch the bun, and eat it over a salad. That is just ONE example of MANY I no doubt will be frustrated by over the next few weeks. (Very Hard)

3. Resistance training and Cardio go together! This is similar to what I’ve been doing off and on for about a month now, but I will stick to it much more consistently this time and with a higher level of intensity. (Hard)

4. Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance!

And here are three “before” pictures today. This is my starting point. Let’s see how far I can take this, together.

oct 7 crop   oct-7-crop-side-close.jpg  back-closeup-crop-oct-7.jpg

Create Goals, Engage Focus, and Gain Desire

Setting realistic goals isn’t just an exercise in penmanship. When you set goals you engage focus and gain desire. Without focus desires will run your life and send you in a thousand different directions- which usually amounts to going nowhere fast. You need goals to engage your focus, to center on that point on the horizon where you want to be. Your focus will breed desire to get to that point, to be that person, to live up to your potential.

How: Take today to create three goals, and harness your desires to become a better person.

Apply Honesty, Gain Perspective

Honesty usually isn’t hard when dealing with other people, but when dealing with our own actions and bad habits most have a habit of taking a less than honest approach. Too often we look at our failures and blame others, we look at our success and take all the credit. Can you be honest with yourself? If you can be honest with yourself, you will gain perspective. Perspective is the unique ability to look into your own life and see what you are doing right and wrong without resorting to the defense mechanisms of blame, excuse, and rationalizing.

How: Take some time at the end of the day and review your choices and decisions. Ferret out any excuses and rationalizations, assign blame or responsibility appropriately. Think about the causes and effects of your actions. In addition, find friends, family, and co-workers who have a vested interest in you and are willing to be honest with you.

Discover Core Values, Gain Traction

While your goals are limited and focused, you need to have core values that are open and broad in perspective. For example, while a good goal might be:

Lose 10lbs by September 30th, 2007,

a good core value might be:

To live a healthier lifestyle in how I eat, exercise, and how I handle stress.

Your core values create a checkpoint for future actions. Is that food something you want to eat? Should you be sitting on the couch or out running? Run these situations past your core values and you will find that you now have a light to guide your path. Core values and goals go hand in hand.

How: Look back on your life. What do you regret? What are your proud of? Find your core values and write them down, commit them to memory. Bring them together with your goals, and begin living a life with conscious direction.

Our present financial condition is similar to my physical condition back in February. My wallet is horribly out of shape; my credit cards are stretched like me waist used to be; and cash flow is almost non-existent (much like my previously well concealed six pack). I think that is enough analogies for now, you get the point.

Where are we right now? Well, sad to say, we are burdened by about $15,000+ dollars in credit card debt. That debt costs us about $525/month just to stay on top on minimum payments. Crazy, isn’t it? It wasn’t always like this, when we got married we had three credit cards. It got this way because we (and most often me/I) got suckered into those credit card giveaways. We bought a new mattress and took advantage of the no interest, no payments for a year if you signed up for store credit card “special.” Of course we didn’t pay it off within the year, so we got charged the back interest. Same thing with a digital camera. We also had medical bills we couldn’t pay, so that ended up in a medical credit card. So right now we have about 9 credit cards. I could just smack myself for getting into this mess.

To make matters worse all those cards are maxed out. Why? Well, since my wife is a school teacher and I am a grad student we had two months each year with NO paycheck. We didn’t save/budget well so we ended up living off our credit cards.

So what now? I can’t go back and change this, but I can create an action plan to pay-off this debt. Chances are you could use an action plan too.

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