Archive for the ‘total transformation’ Category

It has come to this.  The metaphorical tornado that is my life swept through over the last couple of months and now I have to assess the damage caused by stress, apathy, inactivity, distraction, and gluttony.  I hate doing this, always have, but it is essential to starting over.  It’s hard to climb out of the hole when you don’t know how far down you are (not to mention which way is up).   It would be far easier to sulk and stew where I am, ignore the depths to which I’ve descended, and find comfort in a blissful ignorance of my current condition.  After all, if I am unaware of how much I weigh now or how many inches I’ve added to my waist then I can’t have any depressing thoughts about how much ground I’ve lost over the last few months.  Well, I can have those thoughts, but as long as they aren’t confirmed by the scale and the tape, I can push them to the side and ignore them with much more ease.

No longer though.  This morning I braved the tape and the scale.  The knowledge I gained wasn’t pretty, but it was essential.  I have returned to a 37 inch waist and about 188.5 lbs.  This is still far better than the 209 or so lbs I started out at, but a far cry from my best weight of 166 lbs.  I did some chin-ups only to find I lost some, but luckily not a lot, of my upper body strength (down from 7 chin-ups to about 4).

But my workout for today isn’t going to be fun, nor will it be easy.  I designed it to be part fitness assessment, part penance for my previous apathy.  Perhaps it will be a cathartic exercise (pun intended).   (more…)

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313V25BAZXL._SL500_AA280_Anyone can punch one of these things, but where is the fun in that? Well, okay, that can be fun.  But isn’t it more fun to take something intended for one purpose and think up a dozen other good uses for it?  If you’re me, then the answer is an emphatic yes.

Allow me to introduce my heavy bag.  I picked it up from the local used sporting goods store for $35.  At 100 pounds that works out to 35 cents per pound.  Not a bad investment.  Here are three exercises that involve nothing more than you and a heavy bag of your choice.

P1010517Heavy Bag Squat.  Stand the heavy bag on its end, and squat down with the bag between your legs.  Wrap your arms around the bag- a standard bear hug will do.  I like to start on the balls of my feet and drive my heels into the ground as I propel my body and the bag upward.  Head position is up to you.  I like to bury my chin in the bag so I can keep it tight against my chest and hips.  In addition, this helps me keep my hips tucked in and my torso straight. (more…)

313V25BAZXL._SL500_AA280_Coming Up: A piece of workout equipment that costs as little as $35 that can help you build strength.  I am of course referring to the heavy bag.  Stay tuned for more (with pictures)…

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…)

Well the spare room is almost completely painted- the doors need a third coat of paint. With that done we can start putting together our introduction book.  What is an introduction book you might ask?  Well even if you didn’t you are about to find out.  The Introduction book is a scrapbook that showcases your family (immediate and extended), home, and neighborhood to both social workers and potential adoptive children.  It provides them a way to get to know you and your family during the initial stages of the adoption process AND it can assist social workers as they decide whether a child is a good fit for your home and family.  Moreover, it is a great way to get family involved in the adoption process (parents, grandparents, uncles, cousins, etc.).  The prospective table of contents for our Introduction book looks something like this (more…)

I am realizing that after May 5th, I will have to endure a whole summer without a gym.  You see, the gym that I go to is located on campus.  Said campus is 1 hour and 45 minutes drive from my home.  I ain’t driving 3 and a half hours round trip to go to the gym.  So what does that mean?

It means I am back to where I was when I started: no gym, no barbells, no treadmills.  Nope, none of that.  I am back to busting *ss carrying buckets full of rocks, duck walking with big pieces of wood across my back, and running on the blacktop in my subdivision.   And you know what?  The idea is kind of exciting to me!

Wanna know why?  (more…)

I now no longer owe even a single dime to Household Bank. That is one card down, six more to go. This means that roughly 22% of our peak credit card debt from last year has been eliminated.  Gosh, this feels even better than I thought it would.