Sunday, April 3, 2011

Still going strong! Where my exercise is at!

Just a quick note to say I am still here and going strong. Work has been extremely busy the first quarter and I have been using free time for playing and relaxing as much as possible.

Diet has been good - I am still doing IF daily with a 16/8 eating setup. I love the freedom to get up and go to work without any prep and enjoy using lunch time at work to go shopping for the evening's fare. It has become a routine break to avoid any chronic stress - for some reason that 45-60 minutes out of the building recharges all the batteries for the afternoon so much more than shutting the office door and reading news or making calls.

For my twice weekly body weight sessions I have incorporated a suspension trainer for some exercises. Mostly I alternate them in for push-ups every other session instead of plyometric ones. I also use them for Australian pull-up which I have added to the routine and hanging L sits.

This weekend I just finished up a set of parallettes to incorporate more gymnastic type work. I find it very challenging. The last bit I am considering acquiring is a punching bag - I think I would enjoy it and the kids are asking about one as well.

My body weight workout sessions have grown from Mark Sisson's primal blueprint framework - I have included more exercises as I have progressed. I have not done anything with added weight and I still maintain the muscle mass I had when I was using heavy weights and a bodybuilding type routine 6 days a week.

Here is my current session with original exercises from the primal blueprint noted (PB):

Twice weekly:

20 Plyometric Clapping Push-Ups (PB) or 20 Suspension Trainer Push-Ups
12 Pull-Ups (PB) or 12 Chin-Ups (PB)
16 Full Dips
12 Australian Pull-Ups using Suspension Trainer
15 Pistol Squats each leg (PB) (I am still using the suspension trainer for balance on these)
16 Hand Stand Push-Ups (PB) (Legs against the wall still)
90s Cross Spiderman Planks (PB) (One arm one leg touch cross knee to elbow)
60s One leg one arm rotating planks (PB)
25 Leg Raises (Dip Station)
10 Flag Raises
Back Bridge Progression - 30s Feet - Shoulders, 30s Feet Hands, 30s Feet Head, 30s Full back bridge
3 x 15s L sits using the suspension trainer

Typically one properly completed rotation is enough to exhaust everything - if I am particularly energetic I will do a second round hitting the alternate exercise for those listed as either or. I also add one sprint session once a week that takes up ~10 minutes of time.

So total weekly for exercise is probably around 2 hours not including any walking/playing. I don't exercise to lose weight - I do exercise to maintain whatever weight I am in the best form possible. I still get a lot of comments at work about how much dedication it must take to lose all that weight - I just nod politely. Really two hours is nothing - and I really enjoy it! I suspect they are assuming I am working out daily for sad it does not need to be that way!

Now that I have the suspension trainer and parallettes (both home made!) I am going to work on gymnastic skills - mostly for the challenge and fun. It would be totally badass to be able to take them out on the lawn and do some free form head stand push-ups, planche push-ups, etc...

I amazed each workout - I always think back to 415 pound me and how impossible it would have seemed to him that he could in two short years be doing pull-ups, Dips, etc...Hopefully by the end of the summer I have even more feats of fitness he would disbelieve.

With spring here I will be spending less time inside so if you don't see a lot of posts I am still here. Follow me on twitter for updates, etc...or the posts also show up on the right sidebar here.

I am off to enjoy the semi-spring day (we just had snow Friday....).


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Reflecting on almost two years and approaching -200 pounds!

February 14th 2009 I started on the path that has led me to where I am currently at - so Monday will mark two full years of change! As of last weigh in with the life insurance exam I have lost -190 pounds. 225 pounds current weight (from a high of 415)!

Some days the old me seems light years away, looking at pictures and videos, when I pull out the old clothes, he seems surreal and almost an impossibility. Then other days he  is much closer - when I get a pang of self consciousness in the middle of a room, just before a presentation (I do a lot of training), and sometimes when I just get up and stare at myself in the mirror I can see him looking back at me. Almost haunting me some days.

That old me is a sobering example of despair. He was so physically out of shape that 3 steps made  him lose his breath, he couldn't tie his shoes without a struggle, he could not fit in a booth, he could not fit in an airplane seat, he could not run with his children, his appearance paralyzed his career growth, he was miserable inside and out, he had no future, he was dying, he was lost to the world.....

I am glad he is there whether close or far - that old me is a reminder of how far I have come and motivates me to keep pushing forward.

I can see him smile as I play, run, jump, with my children. He can breathe a sigh of relief when I bound up stairs, slide into that small booth, and easily relax in a single seat with room to spare.

And sometimes me and him are one for a short spell - when we reflect on all we have been through and where we are now - there are tears of joy and relief.

I apologize I have no new advice - just some personal reflection on an upcoming milestone. One last thought - if you are out there reading this, and you do not like what you have become, consider starting your own journey, you will thank yourself somewhere down the path.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Learn to "live" Primal as normal!

With the New Year's resolutions being pursued full force in January I see alot of discussion around the different forums worrying about which restaurant to go to, what to eat at a party, what to eat on planes, etc...I think it is great to plan ahead for these events when starting out - but the long term goal needs to be to learn to adapt and reach a place mentally where you are not living in a strange foreign land with strange food and backwards customs.

I believe the same goes for physical activity/exercise - so much worrying about the details, routines, etc....but the bottom line is it needs to become normal for you to and also be enjoyable. Bottom line with both the food and exercise is if it is not enjoyable it will not stick! Even if you have the mental strength to make it stick - do you really want to live the rest of your life struggling with a lifestyle that you are forcing?

I can honestly say today - almost 2 years (officially 23 months and 2 days), minus 180 pounds, minus the Standard American Diet - that I feel normal and everything I have adopted "feels" normal. Actually I feel more normal now than I ever have - even though most of my new beliefs and practices are contrary to most of the conventional wisdom. It did not happen overnight - but  following this basic stepped approach I have made each small change part of my "normal".

Looking back making small steps was a large factor in maintaining normalcy. The sum change is the same in what I did progressively and what I would do today if I could implement everything all at once, but the shock to the system and lifestyle between the two would be huge. Consider the transition made in my progression below and imagine doing that overnight!

Steps 1-4: Dietary Progression

1. High Carb                         ----> Low Carb
2. Low Carb Processed        ----> Low Carb Whole Foods
3. Low Carb Whole Foods   ----> Low Carb Whole Foods No Sweeteners*
4. Primal Food                      ----> Primal with Primal Eating Patterns**

 Steps 5-6: Physical Activity/Exercise Progression:

5. Minimal Activity              ----> Normal Activity
6. Normal Activity               ----> Moderate Primal Exercise

* a.k.a Primal Food
**Periodic Intermittent Fasting.
So for those out there worrying and struggling - stop, take a breath, and consider thinking about how you will make all these changes normal. It is OK (or in my opinion preferable) to chunk off your resolution into small changes, attack one, make it your normal, and then move on! Before you know it you will be at the goal you wanted all at once - but you will have an excellent chance of never going back!

For any one new looking to make changes have a look around, read about ditching the Standard Approach (Part I and Part II), and consider the Beginning Weight Loss Journey Guide as a start!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

22 Months of Change

It has been a while since I posted some pictures so here are some from today showing how far I have come in the last 22 months! The before pictures were size 56 pants and 4X shirts - in the picture is my newest outfit - size 36 pants and a size Large shirt! No more "Extra" in my size!!

I haven't been this small size wise since the 7th grade! All done one step at a time - roughly as outlined in my beginning weight-loss journey guide.

and for good measure a picture of my new five fingers I bought as a treat! I am uber excited to have found them available locally:

I hope there is some inspiration for others in the before and durings - I am still a work in progress, but am already living a new life!

Happy Holidays!