Monday, July 1, 2013

The 59 mile challenge

I am stupid. Plain and simple.

I have this incredible friend on Facebook who has lost over 100 LBs. She has been one of my inspirations as is to many. She posts at the beginning of every month "Like this status and I'll bike 2 miles for every like". Easy enough right? She got 121 likes on her status. That is 242 miles. Yes 242 miles. That is further than driving from Round Rock, Texas all the way into the ocean. So I got the bright idea well hell I want to do that too. I'll do .5 miles of walking/jogging or running. I thought ok, i'll get 50-60 likes and have to do 25-30 miles which is easily done and i'll kick start myself back into losing weight etc. Well holy crap.....

Yep 118 likes as of the time of this blog entry. I tried to say well I'll cut this off at 80 likes but as my friend Mark pointed out, I never put any clause or time limit on this. So there it is. My goal is 59 miles this month. I may not make that goal but I am sure going to try!

I'll post the result from Endomondo at the end of the month to see how close I came to this. Thanks for everyone who liked the status!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Honey I'm in labor....

This is part 1 of the "birthing series" and my perspective of having our newest member to the family, Magnolia Joy. I want to preface this by saying that this is not my typical posts about diet health and fitness and this may have a little more detail than most people would generally be comfortable with. I guess this my little disclaimer.

            So a little background on the birth my wife and I chose. We wanted a natural  birth. After doing a lot of research we decided that the hospitals are very quick to intervene in the birthing process. We learned that c-section births are about 40 percent  and most of those are not due to a medical necessity. My wife had a c-section with our first child and I can honestly say it was one of the hardest things that I have ever seen anyone go through. It is major surgery. They cut through several layers of your body and pull the baby out. This also causes a lot of unnecessary hormonal changes in the woman because it stops the natural process of birth and the way the body handles it. Now our first one "MAY" have been medically necessary but that's up for debate because our first child was breach (head up instead of down).

             Another part of the decision was the cost. Having it at home would cost a total of $3000 all together! This included all of the pregnancy appointments, postpartum visits, supplies and birth.  With our first child all together the cost was upward in the $10,000 range which included all of the same things and that was with insurance mind you. Plus we read about the care and the midwife becomes a part of your life during this period of time. They spend time with you and get to know you. The doctor process takes about 2 hours of waiting and them to see you for around 15 minutes and then send you on your way. Big difference.

             So home it was, that's what we decided and we got some crazy looks and comments about it, but we knew this was the right decision.We will now fast forward to Monday June 10th.

           I woke up around 7:30am  like I usually do and was getting ready for work. I had already not slept well because I had a HUGE interview scheduled at work for me, so I was focused on that. As I woke up my wife looked at me and said "I have been up since 5am, I think something happened". I perk up immediately and ask what happened, as I thought something was wrong. She told me that she had some water like stuff leak out. My first thought was " HAHAHAHA She peed per pants!" but she explained to me that she thought it was an issue and the fluid around the baby was leaking out which is a bad thing. I was concerned but dismissed it as she felt fine, although she had a few stomach cramps here and there, hell I had an interview to worry about. Luckily that day she had her final midwife checkup appointment and could check it out.

            From that point on I was at work and was preparing as much as I could for my interview. Around 11am, my wife went to her appointment and I was left in my own thoughts to stew on the interview. I get an email saying my interview was postponed until Thursday, which kind of left me disappointed but relieved that I didn't have anything high stress to worry about, or so I thought. I get a call from Sum, and she was kind of excited. She exclaimed " Honey, I am in labor!!" Oh that's fine honey....wait what?!" She told me she was in labor, and that leak she had was her water breaking. So much for not being stressed right? At this point I went into super husband mode. I was overly attentive and wanted to help her out. I had gotten visions of movie births where someone's water breaks and then they are flocking to the hospital and going nuts and have a baby within 10 minutes of screen time. Well I quickly learned that for the most part, this isn't the case.

             She got home from her appointment and I was all over the place, we had a place lined up for our 1st child and she went over there for our birth, we figured that the birth process would probably go into the night and i'd be able to get her in the morning or so. So she said she was having contractions but they weren't very intense so we could go eat and pick up a few last minute things that we needed. Yes you heard me right, we went to eat and to go shopping. First thing we did was go to a chinese place and have a full meal, then to Hobby Lobby and old Navy. Not your typical birth process right? She was starting to tire out so we went home and rested. The Doula and midwife were to show up later in the evening and so this point was to take it easy.

The next part of this series I'll continue the story and explain what a midwife and doula are. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's been a while.....

So it's been a good long while since I've posted anything on here. I wanted to give an update as to what I was doing currently and how I was doing.

First off, I gained weight....on purpose...well kind of......

I wanted to build some strength, and just get strong again. To do this I decided to forget dieting for the most part and go with the flow and just lift. I have been getting stronger but haven't been able to hit the gym as often as I'd like due to having our second child. I went from doing 225 on bench press 6 times for 3 sets to 300 3 times. I feel great with the progress. However I ran into an issue with my form. I have an online coach who took a look at my form and it was garbage. So having to re-learn how to squat and bench have been fun and I notice a big difference already.

As for my food intake, I haven't been completely paleo as of lately but 99% gluten free and I don't feel bad at all. The only bad thing is that I have put on a little too much weight. I am going to cut a little bit and try to stick more to a paleo style diet to get healthier and shed just a tad bit of weight. I wanted to warn people that my next blog posts will be about my childs birth. One thing that has pushed a lot of my training and dieting to the back seat is having a 2nd child. My wife and I went through a crazy journey and I am going to use this blog to post about it. After that I will go more into details about my workouts and diets etc.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Patience is a Virtue?

I actually googled this phrase, not because I didn't know what it meant, but because I wanted to see what people actually thought about it. It's pretty simple right? Being patient is good and being impatient is bad right? To many (like myself) having patience is actually a vice. It's hard to be patient in this world due to how the world runs. We want things and we want them NOW. Patience is something that can be misinterpreted though. This doesn't mean that if you want something, you sit there on your butt and patiently wait for it to fall into your lap. Most of us have to persevere through a lot of trial and error before things come together. As I stood on the scale last week, I weighed 253.5. Almost the same as I did last week. I got very discouraged and wanted to quit. How could I be eating so little, and feel like I am killing myself on some days and not make any progress? I watch youtube videos of all of these people who are absolutely jacked and look amazing and eat way more than I do. Am I incapable of losing weight or looking like them?

Well the answer is No and Yes. I am definitely capable of losing weight, but everyone is different. I learned the hard way that my body does not process carbs correctly yet. It can be in the genes or body type that some people do not burn carbs well. Even with the slight increase that I had (150g of carbs a day) it kept putting the weight on me. Also my cheat meals contribute to this. It's the one step forward, one step back cycle that is easy to get into. I had to realize that I am not Chris Jones and I cannot eat 250 grams of carbs a day and lose weight. It just isn't going to happen. Yet. Since then I've tried something new and am down 3 pounds in 4 days. Yep that may be water weight but my measurements have been awesome. I'll get to that in a moment.

Now am I incapable of looking like one of these bodybuilders? Absolutely not. Sometime with all of the media and videos and articles that we have access to we can get hung up on the top of the line. If you read about having six pack abs every day and see workout videos of people who have six pack abs, you will start to think you have six pack abs after 3 workouts. This will never happen. It's just like the joke a comedian said. If you're on a plane and read about a disease on that flight, you will think you have the disease by the end of the flight. The mind is a crazy thing especially when you dwell on a certain thing day in and day out. Well after some research you will find that bodybuilders have worked out for YEARS. Not get ripped in 2 months, but get ripped in 3-5 years! Some people have crazy genetics and can get six pack abs in 6 months, but us normal folks? Years. That's years of consistent training and eating properly. Straight losing weight can be different depending on how you started out, but even that takes several months. When I lost my big chunk of weight, it took 6 months on a strict diet.

My point is anyone can look like anything, but it takes time. I encourage everyone to read the articles and watch the videos but don't get caught into it. You aren't them, but you can use them for the knowledge they are offering so you can become who you want to become. Make a long term goal, but make smaller goals to track the progress. If you aren't progressing then change what you're doing, but give it at least 4 weeks before changing as sometimes the body has to heal or adapt to doing something different.

So as I mentioned above I am still weighing around the same. I have been around 253-256 in the past two weeks. I changed my diet with the advice of Phillip Stevens (a pro powerlifter on iron radio podcast)  to cycle carbs. I was also hearing from some of the top professionals that some people cannot burn carbs properly if they have been or are overweight. I had to face the facts. Although I lost 60 pounds I am still overweight. With my parents both having type 2 diabetes, I may not be able to process carbs as well due to my gene pool. Thirdly I sit down a lot of the day due to my job, I may not be able to expend enough energy to burn off carbs like normal folks. So now, I eat 100-125 grams of carbs on days that I lift. I carb cycle, which means I focus on taking in the bulk of those carbs before my training. After those meals, I switch back to a keto style meal plan in which I eat mostly fat, protein and minimal carbs. So far I've been doing this 4 days and my weight is going down. Today I weight 251.3, the lowest since before Christmas.

My measurements were:
Chest 45.5 (went up .5 inches)
Belly 39 (went down 1 inch!!)
Hips 43.5 (went down .5 inches)
Arms 16 and 17.5 flexed (.5 up in flexion)
Thigh 28 inches (went up 1 again)

This is absolutely crazy to me. I am going up in my main areas. My chest I went up, which means I am putting on some mass in my back and chest. My legs are still growing which doesn't surprise me and my stomach and belly are getting smaller. Right where I want to be. I am going to continue this carb cycling and see where I am on March 1st. If I am in the 240s I wont purchase a coach.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hey I know this is crazy, I just saw your youtube video, be my coach maybe?


       It's been a couple of weeks and since I have the luxury of sitting in front of a computer all day long, I am on information overload. I read about diet and nutrition all day long. I listen to podcasts, and I try different things. I have stuck with pretty much the same thing for a while and am not dropping weight. My family and friends all tell me I look great and getting more muscular, but if I am eating at a caloric deficit, I should be dropping the weight. So I am trying a few things differently for a couple of weeks and I have made a deal with myself.

First thing is I am going to carb cycle. I am going to eat the majority of my carb intake centered around weight training. This will give me the energy and recovery I need, but in the meals after that I will not be ingesting very many carbs. I will split this basically to 75 grams of carbs in the morning before workout and 75 grams after workout. Then at night very little. This seems to already be working as the scale is moving downward. I will not check my weight again until next week. I was down to 252 today.

Second thing that I am going to try is a different workout plan. I want to hit every muscle TWICE a week now. I have read and heard some research stating that those who work out body parts more often have better gains than those who don't. Frequency over quantity. Back in high school there were times where we would bench press three times in a week. Looking back on it, this seemed really stupid and unsafe. HOWEVER, that is when I was at my strongest. I could bench 300+ pounds, Squat 500+ and deadlift 400 pretty easily. So maybe they were onto something.  So here is the plan I worked out.

Upper A (Heavy) (Tuesday)
Bench Press 3 x 6
Dips until failure
Bentover barbell rows 3 x 6
Lat pull downs 3 x 6
Shoulder Press 3 x 6
Standing Curls 4 x 8
Rope Pull downs 4 x 8

Upper B (Light) (Thursday)
Incline dumbbells 3 x 10
Machine Fly 3 x 10
1 armed dumbbel rows 3 x 10
seated cable rows 3 x10
Shoulder Press Dumbbells 3x10
Side Laterals 3 x10
1 arm hammer curls 4 x 8
1 arm tricep kick backs 4 x 8

Lower A (Heavy) (Wednesday)
Leg press 5 x 5
Straight leg deadlift 4 x 8
Donkey Calf machine 3 x 12

Lower B(Light) (Saturday)
Back Squats 3 x 12
Lunges 3 x 12
Leg Extensions 3 x 12
leg curls 3 x 12
Calf Raises on Leg press machine 3 x 12

I basically took my normal workouts, split them all in half and combined them into upper and lower workouts with the first of the week being heavy and the end of the week being light.

The deal I made with myself

      I made a deal with myself. I watch a lot of fitness and bodybuilder youtube channels.Some of those guys  offer coaching. I have never had a coach or a personal trainer or anything. If I am not back in the 240s by March 1st, I am going to hire a coach to get a different prospective on things to try to get my goal of 230 by April 28th. If I am in the 240s I will go ahead and keep doing what I am doing and probably lower carbs. I may be doing just fine right now, but I am such a scale junky that I want to see that lower number on the scale before I focus on physique and getting bigger. Lose fat first, then build muscle. It'll get done one way or the other. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Caffeine Sucks, The Scale Sucks, and I'm Weird

Decided to toss out another update since it's been a while.

Caffeine Sucks

So here is an update on how I have been doing without caffeine...BLAHHHHHHHH...OK it's not that bad but man it was a rough first week. I went from drinking 18 oz of french pressed coffee to drinking 1 coffee mug of green tea. The first few days I switched to a blend of decaf and regular coffee and then switched to just green tea. I haven't really had issues with energy during my workouts. I take A B12 or vitamins (orange triad) on those days and seem to do just fine. I don't have any energy throughout the day but it has gotten better. I did go without the green tea one day and it was awful, I felt like I was a zombie. I do seem to have sustainable energy, but nothing great thus far, but the main thing is I haven't been sleeping better like I thought I would. I did for a few nights but the same waking up in the middle of the night business is still happening. I hope that gets better.

The Scale Sucks

Well my wife did a good thing. She hid the scale from me last week, and she and I agreed that I would weigh first thing in the mornings on Wednesdays. Well I did this morning and....Didn't lose a friggin pound. I was very distraught and wondered what the heck I could be doing wrong. I had her check my measurements and then I saw what happened. I lost an inch on my chest and stomach again. Yes a full inch, so I am almost back to the size I was before my Christmas massacre of calories. The kicker is I haven't lost weight? So what has been happening? Well I been hitting the gym HARD, especially on leg days. I had her check those measurements and BAM. 1 inch gained in my legs and hips. I can definitely tell that some muscles are starting to come out and that I look a bit better, but my legs are growing and they will always be the first to grow. I'm happy with that progress. As long as I am building muscle, the fat will fall off right after, but that doesn't necessarily translate to weight loss.


My wife was talking to someone about going to a party. She was asked if she was on that weird diet that I was on. She politely stated that eating real food is hardly weird. She was told that because it had so many restrictions, that it was weird and she stood by her comments. This kind of bothered me at first, but to be honest this is how the world views people who want to be in shape and healthy. It's weird to get up and go to the gym 4 days a week. It's weird to be able to push 850 LBs with your legs. It's weird to eat unprocessed food and watch your calories. If it was easy, everyone would have great physiques and no one would have diabetes or health issues. Folks, don't pay attention to the masses. Everything that you do is going to be weird to people. It takes hard work and dedication to make your fitness goals. It also takes sacrifice. It may be weird to your friend that you don't go out on Fridays and eat like crap and drink all night, but you know what? Saturday morning when you're running and got through a work out. You've accomplished something. You're one step closer to your goals and physique while they're sleeping until noon recovering. If that's weird, then I am all for it. I'd rather be weird and healthy, than "normal" and out of shape.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Calories in vs Calories out + Update

Back again for another blog post here. Today I was just thinking how hard all of this can be, and for anyone starting out, but in the end it'll be all worth it. Right now I cook most of my meals, log everything, write about it, research and help other people as much as I can. It can be a daunting task and even tedious in some cases. However this week I saw the weight that I had put on during Christmas start to come off and it gave me a sense of accomplishment and renewed my motivation. Just remember stick to it and you will reap your gains.

A person recently asked me on facebook "Hey how much do i need to do at the gym to lose 10 lb's" My response was to not worry about what you burn rather what you eat. It's easy to think that if we go run for hours or ride a bike that the weight falls right off. I used to think this as well. I'd work out for an hour, do 30 mins of cardio and feel great, only to follow that by going to eat some crazy fast food meal. Lets look at something here:

Estimate calories burned during a 1 hour (yes 1 full hour) of cardio at the speed of 5 without stopping is 600 calories.

A big mac value meal, not even super sized is 1000-1100 calories. So even if you ran/jogged for a full hour you would still be in a caloric surplus! (I know there are other caloric losses after the exercise, this is for simplicities sake) This doesn't even take into account that your meal you just consumed has 200 grams of carbs and only 30 grams of protein. This will leave you hungry in a few hours.

What is all boils down to is calories in vs calories out. This is something I had to learn, and yes Paleo helped me lose weight due to the caloric deficit but it was those foods that helped me feel full and satisfied. A lot of the chemicals and by products in processed food clog up your body's sensors in thinking that it isn't full. Real food does not do this. That is why I stick with paleo(ish) foods. So next time you think about jumping into a gym and doing all of that work, make sure you know what you're eating and that it doesn't sabotage all of your hard work!

Now my hypocritical ass will give an update of how I am doing. It took two weeks for me to start shedding weight. My body either had to get used to me eating normal again or maybe it was the increased carb intake then what I was used to, but it's finally coming out. My two week weight is back down to 254.2. I started out at 261. I could not believe I put on 15 pounds over the holidays, but I can't dwell on the past and just need to focus on the future. My measurements are all the same as they were when I finished the challenge, except my arms are getting slightly bigger (woot!). There are two things that I have decided on and i'll share those in their own paragraphs.

First I am tapering down my caffeine in take and may even cut it out completely (for a while). I have had sleeping problems like no other, and I super caffeine sensitive. SO I have put two and two together and gotten that I may need to cut down or even cut out the caffeine to get to where I want to be. I have already started halfing my caffeine intake  from 18 oz of coffee a morning to 9. This already is giving me slight headaches and withdrawal symptoms. Tomorrow I will do even less coffee and by sunday, I am only going to be doing green tea. Wish me luck on this one.

 Once I hit my normal weight of 240-245, I am going to start an intermittent fasting protocol. I am going to follow this website's guidelines: Basically the premise of it goes against everything anyone was ever told ever in the fitness world but it has some incredible data. My ultimate goal is to be 220-230 and hopefully this will catapult me into that by my 30th birthday.  

As for the Ocean Avenue stuff, I am completely out of the smoothie protein. This stuff was absolutely fantastic. It tasted so good. THe only thing is 1 serving is 13 grams, so I was having to use 2-3 scoops post workout of even for a snack. I still take the empower but I do not see any result or noticeable results from it. I do not take the empower or focus any longer as they were giving me weird headaches. I do have the berry protein and it is good but a little too tart for me. My wife loves it though. All in all the products are very good and if you would like to try them I can put you into contact with the right people for samples!