Friday, October 20, 2017

Focus on the Victories

Every morning seems be some kind of challenge. I live in an 18 hour home. Getting to bed at night is often the biggest challenge of the day. So i'll usually go noo-noos around 12 or 12:30. Then my son usually wakes me up at either 3:00 or 5:00 for a bottle. Either way I always wake up in the chair with him at 7 with an aching neck. I put him down and grab a 30 minute snooze. Which I really shouldn't do, but whatever. So I get up with just enough time to get my workout in, get the kids ready and off work. Well, today my body decided to interrupt me right at about the 8 minute mark of my workout. I'll not get into details, but as I was sitting there, all I could think was "I should have just stayed up at 7". I tell myself that EVERY morning, and still haven't done it. My bad. So now I'm running out of time and I'm having a huge crisis. THEN when I get back to my mat, I hit the wrong button on the remote and stopped the dvd. Then I hit the wrong menu item and started the wrong workout. Then when I started the right one (Energy) I found out the my player does not have a real fast fast forward. So all of this is just eating time. I'm watching the clock and I can clearly see that i'm running out of time. Then my mind started getting all logical on me. "You're already running late, might as well just quit now and do it later." Its amazing how many thoughts you can have in just a few seconds, and how many times you can use the word then in consecutive sentences.

It was decision time. I have learned that if I give in to those kind of impulses, its starts a chain reaction which never winds up ending well. So I just doubled down and decided that there is something else I can sacrifice to get that 5 or 7 minutes accomplished on the floor of my living room.

For me, anyhow, when I'm able to make those kind of decisions, something switches on in me and I go into overdrive. I find myself pushing even harder to overcome the feelings of discouragement and defeat. So today I made up my mind that I was going to do ALL of the 3 count pushups. And you know what. I did! Monday I was struggling with doing 2 and today I did them all. I pushed my big, fat carcass off the mat with everything I had in me and when I stood up and my arms felt like jello and I was all lightheaded, I was as proud and victorious as I've been in a long, long time.

I'm working real hard to stay on track even if i'm not 100% on plan. I have something of an extremist mentality, that if I can't do something 100% I shouldn't do it at all. That developed at a time when I had far fewer responsibilities, obligations and distractions and I could be captain hardcore. Today I have to be more fluid and flexible. I can't compromise the mission, but I can recalibrate and make adjustments. Instead of focusing on what didn't go 100% right and getting all discouraged, I'll focus on what I accomplished and celebrate a series of victories.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Everyyyyyy Body Huuuuurrrts... Sometimes.

I'm not in the habit of quoting Michael Stipe, and yes, it's out of context, but its my article so I'll write it as I please, thank you very much.

But seriously though. I woke up today and I had the good ol' sore body syndrome. I was sitting there feeding my 5 month old son and my mind went to war with me. "You're sore, listen to your body, take a day off, recuperate and come back stronger." And for a brief moment, I almost bought into it. But then I started to think about our Military and what the guys go through in boot camp. They don't get a day off to recover and pamper themselves. They don't get a soft shoulder to cry on when their feet hurt and they can't lift their arms over their heads. NO, they work just as hard and even harder every day to become physically capable specimens of awesomeness. So, yeah. I'm not taking days off because I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable. I know that pushing through will give me not only great physical benefit, but also continue to develop the mental toughness required to power through all of the other things that come my way.

Now that's not to say that I don't occasionally take a day off. Sundays are probably one of the busiest days of my week and its the day I spend focusing on making sure i'm ready for the six days that follow. For me, it helps to take that day off (from exercise) to recalibrate and focus on the game plan for the next week. I do a little bio-feedback and evaluate where i'm at physically and adjust the challenge level to push my limits just a little bit more. Small gains add up to huge accomplishments.

The old saying "No pain, no gain" really is true. There is no growth without discomfort, or in my case no shrinkage of my freaking fat gut. Did I mention what a horrible fat ass I've become?

My weight has always fluctuated. I was a "husky" kid. Any idea how embarrassing it was to go shopping in the "husky" section at Sears? I wasn't a fat kid, but I wasn't real trim either. I hated stick and ball sports but I played on a few school teams. Then I got a killer bike and some freedom and the nI got a skateboard and it was ON! I put myself through SOOOO much pain trying to be a bad ass skater. I was always hurt: ankles, knees, wrists, cuts, scrapes, scabs and scars. I worked through the pain because it was important to me. Granted, at age 44 I'm paying the price to some degree, but looking back I remember that never say die attitude.

Once depression kicked in, and the hurt was more the kind that Michael Stipe caterwauls about, I lost the will to fight. It hurt too much. Drinking sure seemed to help so I did lots of it. I also developed a ton of other really, really bad habits, many of which I've been battling to this day. something shifted  and I was hopelessly lost. I had ballooned up and got all bloated and gross looking which didn't help  the way I felt about myself. And I hurt. Everybody hurts, right? That's what the song says. That's why bars are full at all hours of the day. That's why liquor is an unbeatable industry. That's why people eat themselves into morbid obesity trying to medicate the hurt and emptiness. Hyper-palletable foods are just as much a drug as anything being sold by your shady neighbor with a mullet down the street. Its like cocaine. Seriously. no wonder people are hooked. I was. I mean I was literally physically addicted to food items. I'm detoxing right now as I type this. But by the Grace of God, I'm on this side of it. I know, I know, isn't this like the 3rd (more like the 30th) time ''ve "seen the light"? Yes it is. But i'm not going to let my past dictate my future. I'm not going to allow a little discomfort derail me.

On that note, as far as this venture into the depths goes, I got in a little motorbike accident about 6 or 7 years ago. I landed on a brick planter with my arm which caused my elbow to break a few ribs and puncture a lung and at the same time my head hit the tree that was planted in said planter, highly aggravating an existing injury to my neck. At that point MY BODY HURT. I couldn't physically do the work. Every time I would get a routine going , my elbow or neck or wrist would flare up and it would HURT. I'm not talking muscle soreness or discomfort, but my body literally telling me "STOP STUPID!".  So I did. Discouraged, hurting, disappointed. But that crummy food sure made me feel better. And I've been eating lots and lots of it for years now.

At some point however, I just got (insert cliche phrase here) sick and tired of being sick and tired. Well, really I just got sick of being in pain which was the root of all of my other maladies. I wanted to eat right and exercise, but because of my faulty wiring I have an exceedingly difficult time doing one without the other. So I found some things that have really helped me along the way. For personal reasons I simply will not take pharmaceutical pain relievers or muscle relaxers or any of that kind of stuff. As a result, I've suffered. A new dietary experiment and some miraculous nutritional supplements have really helped with the physical pain, anxiety, and depression. It was the break in the clouds I needed. When I stared doing DDPY again about a month ago as part of a half hearted effort to make my wife think I was getting serious about my health, I realized that much of the pain and discomfort had healed enough that I could get through my workouts and not feel damaged afterwards. What a moment!

So here we are. Day 4. My body is aching but my spirit is filled with a sense of conquest and domination. But mostly I want my wife to think I'm smoking hot and want to get in my pants.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Yeah, I've done this enough times to know that I hate day 3. Day 1 and 2 my body is just kinda confused. It's all like "Hey, what's going here. Something aint right". But by day 3, my body is in full revolt. "WHERE IS MY COFFEE???" "GIVE ME CREAM AND SUGAR!!!" "CHEESE AND BREAD!!!" Then it decides to get back at me by giving me a headache for about 72 hours. It sucks. Really. If you've never been hooked into cigarettes or drugs or whatever, you get a small taste of what your body goes thru when you kick. Why? Because its a similar type of detox. I've got many of the symptoms. Lethargy, irritability, irregular feelings in my guts, and a constant sense of hunger, but I'm not hungry.

Usually when I get back on the wagon I engage in some good old fasting. I didn't start doing it on purpose, I just got so used to not eating breakfast that it didn't occur to me that I should eat something before I left the house. I usually go from dinner around 9 to the next day at around 1-ish. I can't tell if I'm hungry or adjusting or what so I just kind of ignore it and power through. It helps that i'm super busy in the first part of the day so I really don't wanna stop and eat anyway. I've also found that for the first week any way, the long fast helps me stay clear headed.

My wife is dying right now. Not literally, of course, but her challenge thing has her all jacked up too. She's a caffeine junkie of the highest order so she's a wreck right about now. Misery loves company, you know.

I've learned over time to just listen to my body. Exercise first thing in the morning, eat when I'm hungry, sleep when I'm tired. Its a pretty simple formula. So i'll just keep responding to what my body is telling me and I'll start feeling much, much better every day.  

I know its only temporary so that makes it a little easier, and there is something kind of noble about sacrificing for your cause. Maybe not, but it makes me feel better about myself as I curse my own body for doing this to me. I guess payback is just deserts. I've been terribly unkind to my body for many, many years, so if I gotta eat a little crap to achieve greatness and immortality then so be it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lets see how many times I can do this.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I know. Mr. Inconsistency. What can I say? I'm a flawed human being who has not yet developed the skill set to overcome some of my failings. But I'm working on it.

So here it is, October, 2017. 2 kids later, and I am FREAKING HUGE! Are you sensing a pattern here?

I hit my peak at 270lbs back in February. I got on the ball and lost 30 lbs, but once my youngest was born, all bets were off. Something in my mentality shifted. I'll save all the gory details, but suffice it to say that I found myself in a very unproductive place. I put back on 20 lbs, so as of yesterday morning I weighed in at 258 lbs, but what the heck, lets just call it 260. I'd say 100 lbs is a nice round weight loss goal, so 100 lbs it is. I really like myself at about 160. Now i'm not sure if like John Travolta my head has put on a few pounds or not, but I'm pretty sure I can still fit nicely into a 160 lb skin bag.

My wife put on a decent amount of weight between the two kids and surgeries and business of life and all that. She always managed to stay pretty slim over the last 13 years, but by her own admission sh had gotten pretty large for her standards. She naturally eats pretty good and doesn't have the same wants for sugar and fat and flour and.... So she started eating better, and she joined this 28 day boot camp at the gym her friend goes to. Well not to be out done, I went out and joined that pizza planet gym just to make it look like i was doing something too. I wasn't all in, but hey, 30 minutes on the treadmill 3 times a week at 10:00 PM is better than nothing right? I mean no better way to burn off that Big Mac I had for lunch.

Well then she went and upped the ante on me. She joined in on this 6 week challenge they have at the gym. something like 20 lbs guaranteed if you follow the plan to the letter. Now, she has been coming home every night all beat up from her boot camp, so I knew what she was up against. I know how these trainers think you have to kill yourself for results. So I told her I would do my own challenge along side of her to show her just how simple it is with DDPYoga. NO burpees for me. Pass the bacon. Thanks.

Before my youngest son was born, I lost the 30 lbs based solely on what I put into my mouth. Now I'm curious to see how my new eating plan mixed with with DDPY will turn out. I'm expecting big things.

So yesterday was day 1. I crushed it. I'm off to a good start today. Honestly I want to not exercise, and i want to poison my body with horrible things that look like food, But more than that I wanna run with my kids, get back on my skateboard, swim in the ocean, and walk around with no shirt and show off all the tattoos I'm gonna get to make me look more edgy and tough.

Its funny how simple this stuff is. I mean really, I've been doing this on and off for so long its like putting on your favorite pair of (fill in the blank). It takes no thought to put my food together, the exercise portion is as difficult as pushing play on the DVD player. But we make it so tough because we are lazy, selfish, and short-sighted. Yes, Ben and Jerry's is the most delicious thing on the planet, and I can eat it by the quart, but nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.

I'm going to be hot again. 45 years old and smoking hot. Salt and pepper gray, tailored suit, chiseled features hot. Watch out world, I'm coming at you.