Posts Tagged ‘health’

Has it really been almost five months since I last posted an update?  Is it true that since that update I’ve had several failed attempts to get back into my fitness journey?  Unfortunately the answer to both is yes.   The last five months I have done a much better job procrastinating and indulging than getting motivated and active.  Of course I could blame the many tentacled octopus that is my dissertation; the beast that devours my time, energy, and life.  Or I could blame my darn cavity riddled teeth I can’t afford to fix that bring me so much continual pain– especially in the cold weather.   But I won’t (although since I mentioned them I guess that is sort of a not-so-subtle way of gaining your sympathy; and by your I am probably speaking mostly to the comment-bots)!  Instead I will let you know where I am in my fitness reboot.

The honest (and painful) truth, I look like this guy again.  And no matter how hard I try I can’t help but return to this point over and over again.   Where am I now?  I weigh in at about 207 lbs and my waist measures 41.25 inches (disturbing those measurements are almost exactly the same as back in 2007 when I started this blog).   And what of my goal of competing on Ninja Warrior?  Well, it shouldn’t be hard to guess I never quite got to that.  I am not one to give up on dreams though.  The Ninja Warrior folks have been helpful by creating tryout out in California– so my goal will be a bit easier to achieve given it won’t require a passport or flying across an ocean.  So why not begin again?  Why not take what I have learned from all my failed attempts and let the wisdom of time (and accumulated error) benefit my present out of shape self?  I don’t see a reason why it shouldn’t.

So I am throwing my hat back in the ring (is that even a real saying?).  I am throwing it in knowing the first couple of weeks of workouts are never easy.  I am throwing it in knowing that the first two months of running feels more like balancing jello on two taped together chopsticks than something elegant you could call “running.”  I am throwing it in knowing I will be stressed out writing a dissertation chapter that is due on January 20th, 2012.  I am throwing it in knowing my teeth will undoubtedly hurt.  I am throwing it in knowing that this might not even be a real idiom I have used to structure this paragraph.   (more…)

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Learn how here.

A happy New Year to all those who still scramble up the crag that is this old worn out blog to view my inconsistent (and sometimes incoherent) fitness ramblings.   I know you are expecting me to talk about how I resolve to post more to this blog over the coming year, but actually I don’t.  I plan on posting more and I expect to be more active than I have been the past year or two, but it isn’t on the top of my to-do list.  I was putting too much stress on keeping this blog up and anxiety was getting the better of me.  I hope that with a more relaxed attitude I can better keep up with this blog, minus the stress and anxiety.

So what are my resolutions?  Before I get to that I should note that experience has tempered my firm belief in specific goals.  They are great until you reach them.  Then what?  A new goal?  Where is the joy in that?  Instead, it is better to find general guidelines for how life should be lived, live by them, and reap the rewards as they come.   No more stress or pressure to hit specific numbers.  I will take my victories as they come.

So the question is changed to what are my guidelines and how do I plan on implementing them.  I answered that question by creating three general guidelines, short enough to remember, but broad enough to allow for a considerable amount of change in the life of myself and my family.  I have termed these “Family Commitments” as they impact both myself and my family.  However, because of their dual nature I will refer to them interchangeably as family and individual commitments, depending on the context.

The three primary commitments are:

  1. Keep God first in all things
  2. Eat fresh and be active
  3. Buy less, throw out more, and organize what we keep

These three commitments hit on the big four: mind, body, spirit, and wallet.   Commitment 1 will keep us spiritually balanced and aids us in keeping commitments 1 and 2.  Commitment 2 will keep us healthy and aids us in keeping commitments 1 and 3.  Commitment 3 will keep our bad spending habits (and my tendency to hoard things) in check, and reinforce commitments 1 and 2.

Now how do I turn these three broad commitments into a plan of action?  Like this: (more…)

[UPDATE: I found the post where I listed my cholesterol numbers back in January 2008.  I have updated this post accordingly.]

Aside from the stats I mentioned a few posts ago, now I have some more numbers that will help me measure how beneficial the Alternate Day Diet might or might not be for my health.

  1. Cholesterol (total): 208……….was 193 in 2008
  2. HDL: 48…………………………….was 39 in 2008
  3. LDL: 141……………………………was 142 in 2008
  4. Triglycerides: 93………………..was 57 in 2008
  5. Fasting blood sugar: 82……….was 75 in 2008
  6. Kidney function (BUN): 14
  7. Liver function: AST = 22/ALT (23)

Aside from the cholesterol numbers everything else looks good.  And with the cholesterol numbers, at least my triglycerides are at a healthy level and my overall cholesterol is only marginally higher than normal.  Yet my LDL is disappointingly high.  Right now I am trying to locate my cholesterol test from 18 months ago to compare, but I can promise I will have the test rerun in a month and we will see if things have improved.

Not that kind of Double Down...I wish.

One of the things you might be asking as you’ve read my last few posts about the Alternate Day Diet, is how I plan on working out on 500 calories a day.  The simple answer is, I don’t.  Aside from a short walk I don’t plan on exercising on my down days.  Well, what am I going to do since I used to work out 6-8 times a week?

Solution: I plan on doubling down on my workouts on my up days.  Getting up early enough to do an A.M. workout and then, in the afternoon or evening, fitting in a P.M. workout.   It worked well yesterday.  Yesterday morning I woke my family up early and we drove over to the public park.  Once there, like a kid at Christmas time, I opened up my Universal Strength Apparatus (U.S.A.) and did a 25 minute workout.  I didn’t write it down since my goal was a more about experimenting with the options and limits of the U.S.A. then it was about a conventional workout.  However, I can list some of the exercises I was able to do with the U.S.A.:

Suspension push up, reverse row, flyes, reverse flyes, hang & twist, knee-tucks, Y-lifts, single-arm chest press, kickbacks, bicep curls, and one-legged squats.

It was fun, exciting, and new.  I am already looking forward to my next bodyweight workout.

After a nice calorie recharging lunch, snack, and dinner I went outside and did a H.I.T. station workout. (more…)

I got back from the doctor’s office earlier today.  I had an annual physical with some blood work done.  Unfortunately I won’t know about the blood work until Monday, but I do have some numbers to post for today.

  • Weight: 191 (taken on home scale)/195 (doctor’s office, fully clothed with shoes on)
  • Waist: 38.75 inches (taken @ home)
  • BP: 114/68
  • Pulse: 62
  • Respiration (Rate): 14
  • Hemoglobin (Finger Stick): 16.8
  • UA (Urine Analysis): 1.020 SPEC GRAV/6 PH (everything else Negative)

As I mentioned in my last post this is my first day on the alternate day diet.   And honestly, I haven’t really felt any pangs of hunger yet.  This morning I had to fast for my blood work, so I didn’t get any breakfast with the exception of a couple cups of water.

I must be the world’s worst blogger.  Nary a peep out of me for months on end.  But the truth is, the last several months weren’t so great health wise.  Stuck with terribly painful wisdom teeth, attempting to come in sideways into the teeth in front of them, I was in misery.  A horrible distracting misery.  Without dental coverage and the funds to pay for that kind of thing, I suffered in silence (although I did complain to my wife).  But working out was the furthest thing from my mind, and when I tried to work out I found myself distracted by the pain.  I let everything go to heck: I stopped exercising,  I stopped eating healthy.  Worse than that, some days I ate like a glutton.

The result of my months of sloth and gluttony?  My waist is back up to 39 inches and I weigh 192 pounds.  I am so out of shape I get winded running up the driveway.  My belly jiggles when I brush my teeth.  This is SO uncool!

I am taking some big steps to get back on track.


  1. Back to protein shakes between meals.
  2. Back to eating 6 meals a day (about 2-3 hours between meals and snacks).
  3. A return to reasonable portion sizes (no second helpings- or third helpings)
  4. More veggies, meats, and fruit, and less processed grains and junk food
  5. Almost ZERO dining out.

Exercise (more…)

(1) I’m back to 6 meals a day.  For an idea of my average day check out my meals from yesterday:

  • B/Fast: 3 eggs, 4 slices center cut low-fat bacon, 100% whole wheat toast
  • Snack: Apple (sliced up) with 2 tablespoons organic peanut butter
  • Lunch: London broil slices with mozzarella cheese, onions, garlic, cooked in 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Snack: 12-hour protein shake
  • Dinner: Curry chicken breast with carrots, rice, corn, cucumbers
  • Snack: Pistachios

*NOTE: all the above foods contained no added sugars or High Fructose Corn Syrup.

(2) My Workouts are up and running again.   I am sticking with a simple formula of 30 minute workouts based around three two exercise supersets of ten minutes each with a rest of 3 minutes between each.  I go all out for ten minutes, from one exercise to the next and back again until time runs out.  For example, Wednesday’s workout:

  • Superset 1: Goblet Squats (reps descending from 10 to 1)/Push Press (reps descending from 10 to 1)
  • Superset 2: Push-ups (10 reps per set/7 sets)/ Side-to-side knee movement (8 reps per side/7 sets)
  • Superset 3: Chin-ups (1 set as many reps as possible, remaining 6 sets 10-30 second negatives)/ Skull crushers on kitchen bench (seven sets of 5 reps).

(3) I’ve scheduled more “fun exercise” into my daily routine.  30 minutes on the trampoline with my daughter.

(4) I’ve instituted a level of financial discipline which should carry over to my nutritional intake and exercise routines.  Our new grocery budget of $65/week (a considerable drop) has done wonders to cut the excess snacks from my cart.

I am looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish before the first day of class on January 19th.

The breakfast of champions, the protein shake.   But not just any protein shake, Elite 12-hour, which is in my opinion the best protein shake on the market (NOTICE: I am NOT being paid to say that).  Throw in a handful of wild grown frozen blue berries and you’ve got yourself an anti-oxidant rich, protein dense meal.  And for lunch today: grilled lamb, tomato, and onions with a bit of Worcester-shire sauce.   Probably a protein bar, an apple, and a pear somewhere in there and cap it all off with some chicken breast and veggies.

As far as activity goes this lingering cold/sinus infection isn’t making that easy.  I am keeping it to a minimum today with 30 minutes on the Wii fit plus (mostly yoga) and lots of stretching.  Hopefully the next couple of days will see this sinus infection pack up its bags of mucus and split town.

So here comes a new year.  So many chances to embrace constructive change.  If only I had more control over some of the things I wanted to change, like, I resolve not to catch either a cold or the flu this year.  But those type of things aside I’ve embraced the following resolutions:

We will maintain budgetary discipline.  How?

  • We will use cash only to make purchases.
  • We will leave our debit cards in the car wherever we go. (accessible for emergencies but inaccessible for impulse buys)
  • Only one dinner out per month.
  • Make and live by a budget.
  • Allison will be in charge of meal planning and grocery shopping (we found that too many chefs in the store led to too much waste in the refrigerator).

I will reestablish physical and nutritional discipline.  How?

  • Back to a high protein, low carb lifestyle.
  • Make my high water intake more consistent.
  • Get back to my tires and sandbag.
  • Get on Freecycle and find more outdoor equipment (I am thinking of an old barbell and some old weight plates).
  • Aside from Jan. 1st, I will cut back on sleeping in and late bed times.  Not to mention 7 hours of sleep a night.
  • Be more consistent with recording my nutritional intake and exercise.  I am much better at journaling workouts than I am nutrition.  Could be because writing down reps is a good way to get rest between sets, I usually don’t have to rest between bites- if I did that would mean I was disturbingly out of shape.

Goals to achieve by December 31st, 2010

  • Publish article
  • Get 1/2 way through my dissertation
  • 100 consecutive push-ups/sit-ups
  • 55lb Turkish get-up (@10 reps)/50 burpees/12 chin-ups (or 1 one-arm chin-up)
  • Design or build at least 3 new workout toys in the backyard (Keg full of sand is my next project plus replacing my broken slosh bar)
  • Weigh in at between 159 and 165lbs
  • 31 inch waist or less
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Run a 6 minute mile
  • Not essential, but it would be nice: rediscover my six-pack mid-section.

How about you?