Saturday, November 24, 2007

I am blogging from my...

I am blogging from my new jott.com account. I didn't actually type this message, I am talking it into my cell phone, this will be amaizing if it actually works. listen

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Monday, October 01, 2007

2007 Mr. Olympia Winner Jay Cutler

This is not the freakish, 5 foot 9 inch 274 pound 2007 Mr. Olympia Winner Jay Cutler. No, I just wanted to see if saying "Jay Cutler, 2007 Mr Olympia Winner" would increase traffic on this page.

This is a healthy, 190 pound Frank Zane from 1983. How did the sport go from 190 pounds of artist like sculptured physiques to nearly 100 pounds heavier FREAKS? Welcome to America where bigger is better, and we don't know when to quit.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Exercise, Caffeine Fight Skin Cancer

WISH TV 8: Indianapolis News and Weather - Exercise, Caffeine Fight Skin Cancer

More good news for coffee drinkers. It just keeps coming. Can anyone find me a bad article for caffeine? I swear, Starbucks is behind this.

One more reason to avoid fast food.



I'm just bringing you the facts.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thursday, August 02, 2007

New Rule!

From Bill Maher, August 29th, 2003's show Real Time, during his "New Rules" segment:

All right, New Rule: No more celebrating gastric bypass. Carny Wilson, Al Roker and now Starr Jones are all being heralded by the media for stapling their stomachs shut. They shouldn't be. They're not making a brave choice to change. They're giving money to doctors to reroute their ability to turn food into crap. It's like kicking cocaine by crazy gluing your nostrils shut.

This is why I love Maher. Blunt, but honest, and pithy. I couldn't agree more. Really, people who cut their guts by literally cutting their guts are a direct insult to the rest of us who didn't resort to supergluing our nostrils shut. People ask me all the time when I tell them I lost 100 pounds, "Did you have surgery?" I want to punch them in the face.

Changing your life isn't easy. It isn't something you can go check into a clinic for, and walk out a new man. It's gut wrenching, 100% honest with yourself, painful growth. It's character building. I don't know how to describe it other than what I always say, "The weight is simply a byproduct."

Honest, the weight loss is a secondary effect of you living a healthy life if you're doing it right; mentally, spiritually, and physically. Do it wrong, and you're like the angry excuse making idiots I meet who got surgery. Honestly, I deal with many of them, and they're the angriest most emotionally immature people ever. They come to me looking for things like vitamin B when the weight starts coming back on because they think that's the problem. No, fatass, you've stretched your stomach out again. Face it.

I suppose I've been trained to be hard on myself. Even too hard on myself. However, I'd rather err on that side of the fence than the school of "it's not my fault I'm fat." Therefore, I will take 100% responsibility for my actions, and in this, I know I can be 100% responsible for my future results.

If you've had surgery, and want to defend yourself here, go for it. However, know you cannot talk your way out of a situation you acted yourself into. Tell me "Obesity runs in my family." I'll tell you, "No, the problem is NO ONE runs in your family, slacker."

I'm a bit sick of these people.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Barry Bonds didn't do steroids?

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1640086_1640085,00.html

Let's end this right now. If wasn't steriods, then it was human growth hormone (HGH) or both. There's no question. Men simply cannot put on that much muscle that late in life due to DECLINING testosterone levels.

I'll update this to spell it out a bit more. For now, follow the link and just look at how Bonds gained throughout the years.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It feels good to not be a loser

I don't know why I forget it sometime, but I do. When I'm down, I choose to stay down, and act like a loser. After going to the gym and beating myself senseless the last 2 days, I wonder why in the HELL I would ever not go work out and feel good.

Working out doesn't feel good. After the workout does. Honestly, I beat myself senseless in the gym. I can only stand 20-30 minutes anymore because I'm hitting things so hard. I love the new intensity, and efficiency. You know, there are even a few moments in the gym that I do have fun. Like when I see my bicep bulge as I do a curl, and think, "Damn, I'm a stud." It's fun in an 8th grade sort of way.

Then today, I sit here resting, taking the day off for recovery, and feeling sore all over. My biceps got the smackdown. My chest and back are screaming from Monday. Every way I move, all throughout the day, my body says to me, "Congrats, you're back on it."

Here's an update on the weight. It's around 216, on any scale I step on. I'm going back to NIFS to get my bodyfat checked, my lean mass weighed, and in 8 weeks I will have dropped 16 pounds overall. It'll probably have to be 20 pounds of fat, and add 4 pounds of muscle. I've done this before, I'm doing it again, and I can just fell that my head is finally back in it.

Why did I take such a long break? More after a few more days of good workouts and higher consciousness.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Countdown Clock 3

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cheese and wine for health?

From http://www.cheese_wine.iblog.co.za/2006/09/

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities" The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, 5:23. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) (who claimed the discovery of vaccination and pasteurisation) said that wine was by far the best anaesthetic and analgesic on the planet (he was also renowned oenologue - a wine scientist).

I love, ABSOLUTELY LOVE reading things hundreds, or thousands of years old that support my way of life. If you didn't know, I've upped my intake of fermented foods, and wine. I may need to enjoy my wine a tad less, but I do know that it's antioxidant effects combined with it's uhhmmm...calming effects are a magic combo for me.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Do you know?

Do you know what it's like to look in a mirror and not recognize yourself? I mean, literally, look, look away, and then realize a moment later..."That was ME in that mirror!"

Have you ever wept tears of joy looking at the man you've made of yourself?

Do you know what it's like to have women hounding YOU?

Ever look at at beautiful woman only to realize she is the one doing a double take back at you?

When was the last time you surprised; nay, flat out SHOCKED yourself with something you've accomplished.

Have you ever said, "I never knew I could be so happy." So happy, that you're almost scared at how good it's getting. In awe, wondering, "How much better will this get, and who will I be then?"

And that's where it ended for me. As soon as it was all going great, I threw it all away. As soon as I started wondering, questioning, doubting if I could handle it all, it all went away. I didn't throw it away consciously. I just focused for a moment on fear, took my eye off my goals, and they were swallowed alive by life itself. Life interrupts death; death conquers life.

So be it. This has happened to me before. Hopefully, it won't happen again. There's no reason to worry about that right now though. For me, for now, I need 100% focus on my upcoming success.

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting for the old, but on building the new.”Socrates

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Rob is moving again

A consumate mover and shaker, Rob Cooper, aka "Former Fat Guy" is back to blogging. Check out his new blog here: http://www.formerfatguyblog.com/

Whereas people are shocked to hear I was once 300 pounds, Rob once lost 300 pounds. What a feat!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I'm not lighting farts on fire any longer. No...something dumber.

Change of scenery this week. New job too. And for the last two days I've hit every meal exactly at 2.5, exactly as I set out to do. Well, aside from a little pre/post workout experiment tonight.

I'm back on it. I'm going to let this build this time. No extreme bs. However, in 20 weeks I'm going to be extreme. I'm looking at a bodybuilding show in Indy. Check the OCB website for details. www.theocbwebsite.com

Yes, I know, that's crazy. I don't know if my skin will snap back into shape in time, but I'm going to train like it is. I'm going to have to get the majority of the bulk off quickly if I stand to make it.

Rough outline:
weeks 1-10, lose 2 pounds a week
weeks 11-28, lose 1 pound a week

That's 28 pounds, which puts me at 190 according the 218 I weighed today on the "heavy scale". That would be the scale that reads a little heavy, at Cardinal Fitness. I'll check myself a couple different places this week, to get a rough idea. It's not important aside from tracking my trend; making sure it trends downward.

What about those last two weeks? If I get on stage, it'll get real odd on the scale due to carb and water depleting, reloading, etc.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Blogging in rhythm and sorrow

I don't know what that title means. I'm writing this one, sans any plan whatsoever.

I know not what I'm going through. I'm telling myself I need one week to get it out of my system, and then I'm 100% all in. That is, I am doing whatever I want this week, party hardy, and then I'm back like I was last summer; meals spot on, timed, measured, planned workouts, the whole 10 yards. I don't know what "the whole 9 yards" means, as a first down is 10 yards.

And no I don't care.

I honestly think, my best guess, is that the extra 15-20 pounds I'm carrying has changed my hormones to the point that I'm less conscious than before. I've always talked about building the body for the sake of development of the mind. Well, it stands to reason that I let the body go a bit, and the mind has followed.

I'm just not as mentally sharp, emotionally stable, or positive, clear minded, etc, etc...etc! New goal? See how conscious I can become. If you were paying attention, that means I'm going to see how fit I can become. That's overall health, along with weigh reduction. Did you know the only PROVEN thing to increase lifespan is reducing calories? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction

The plan of attack?

Stupid clean eating, 6 days of cardio, with 6 days of weights. My workouts will be short, intense, with an high emphasis on form and building a tighter neuro network of brain cells. Think I'm nuts? Exercise grows brain cells, as shown in this study http://www.news.uiuc.edu/scitips/03/0127exercise.html

Oh, yeah, I nearly forgot. Day 7? Steven Covey would call it "Sharpen the Saw". A renewal; a day of rest. Whatever. I call it Zen Buddhism Meditation and Yoga. Again, this just improves the mind more, as shown here http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110215950.htm

I'll update everyone with the details of the diet which is going to be heavier in raw foods, especially fish and seaweed.

Friday, March 16, 2007

At Krispy Kreme, Whole What? - washingtonpost.com

At Krispy Kreme, Whole What? - washingtonpost.com
This proves that everyone wants to lie to themselves about weight loss. The average American will come buy a weight loss pill from me for $50 a bottle, after eating a $5 breakfast consisting of a whole wheat Krispy Kreme and a Grande Mocha (low fat, please!), they'll skip lunch because they're too busy at their 9-5, and then eat a shit sandwich washed down by a low carb Michelobe Ultra.

I'm crazy because I enjoy $.20 worth of oats every morning, eat my own meals that I make, and when St. Patty's comes around I'm drinking mass quantities of $5 a pint DARK beer. Life is too short for lite beer. I'm sure I'll be hung over the next day and I'll eat a REAL Krispy Kreme with my coffee.

Hey, every now and again, you need to go off. It's what we do 90% of the time that makes this little diversions so much (guilt free) fun.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Moving from survival mode.

I was just listening to Zig Ziglar, one of my favorites. He suggested that some people might just be in survival mode, and we need to move from survival to stable, to success, and then to signifigance. Interesting thought.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

7%! Rob, I'm all in!

I'm done with debating it. I know what I want. I want to be stupid lean. Why?

WHY NOT?

I've got my reasons. One, is because I know what it will take, and that means getting my entire LIFE in order, on a schedule, planning, etc. That means I can enjoy some anticipatory excitement, as well as the actual excitement of doing what I've planned.

Also, I'm vain, and need to admit it. I'll set out knowing that I'm doing this for vanity, and accept it. In doing so, I am thinking I will lose some of this damn ego I have.

It's odd. Everytime I give up my pride, I gain it ten fold. Perhaps I need to quit trying to give up my ego, as it only seems to grow when I do so. Instead, I'll use a little negative psychology on myself, admit I'm vain, and in doing so, lose my vanity.

Or, am I just crazy? Who cares. I'll be crazy at 7% bodyfat which will be better than whereverthehell I am right now.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm proud of myself, and I can do better


What does that mean, exactly? Well, on the one hand I cannot feel too bad, because I came from 300. On the other, I know I can do better. So I must celebrate the fact that I did pretty good whilst knowing I can do better. I DID good. Now, I must DO good. Better. My best.

The picture is from not my worst, but close to my best. I never got much leaner, and now I'm a tad heavier. I've got to come up with my "WHY?" Why do I want to be totally ripped? Vanity? Attention? Marketing myself? Personal Challenge? What am I looking for???

Personal Challenge. I have no other right now. That's what I'm going with, for now. "Why's" change.

You know, there are some things I do in life that I'm not sure at the outset why I'm doing them. This is part of enjoying the journey.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Blogging while on the eliptical

This is GREAT! I work in a supplement store. There's a personal training studio in back. So, right now, I am:

1) Working, and getting paid
2) cruising about 8MPH on the eliptical
3) surfing the web
4) watching an educational DVD on nutrition
5) blogging

I can multitask, get fit AND paid!! I'm sweating on my keyboard though.

Loving life right now. I'm overeating, gaining weight, and looking better. When I finally cut this summer, I will look fuller at sub 10%. WooHOOO!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Inspired by Twice the Man

My buddy GR, aka "Twice the Man" got back to the weight loss again. Way to go, bro! http://twicetheman2.blogspot.com/

In light of this, I thought I'd start posting more often. This should help keep me on track while I try to bulk a little in the next month and a half. It's an odd mindset to actually try to overeat after being so damn strict for so damn long. I need this though. In time, I'm certain I'll feel the urge to get lean.

So today, I woke up to my normal bowl of groats already cooked in the crock pot. What's a groat? Well, before oatmeal becomes a "flake" it's on the plant as a grain with a hull. Remove that hull, and it's just a groat. Steam it and squash it, it's a flake (old fashion oats). I like mine less processed, thus, the groats. Here's a more detailed explaination:
http://www.karenskitchen.com/a/recipe_oat.htm

Thanks, Karen! A great low GI, and raw food resource. Keep it raw, unprocessed, and REAL.

So, onto the short winded rest of the day.

Meal one, groats and whey.
Meal two, oats and whey (hey, I knew I need the carbs for leg day)
"Meal" three, MetRX Big 100 bar and two Venti Starbucks drip coffee. Uhm, yeah, that is PERFECT pre workout nutrtion. <-That's sarcasm, if you missed it.

Then came the workout. OUCH! I freakin' WRECKED my legs. All I did was squat and calves, but I hit PERFECT form, and I'm hosed for the next 3 days. Seriously, the hardest leg workout I've had in 6 months. Therefore, the rest of the story goes like this:

Post workout shake, 35g's whey and 60g's carbs
Post workout meal 6 oz sirloin, double chicken breast, baked potato, mixed veggies and two glasses of cabernet. Hey, it's SUNDAY! And I did it post workout. AND I'm bulking.

and I'm making excuses for my overindulgence.

The wine doesn't help any. Alcohol blunts testosterone, and that was kinda dumb considering how bad my legs hurt. Maybe I could justify that if I blunt my test production at dinner, it'll have a rebound effect (hormones always do) later tonight when I'm sleeping? Maybe I needed the cleansing effect of the antioxidents in the red wine post workout?

Maybe I can justify anything.

Meal 6 was 50g's whey (because my legs are telling me they're going to need it) and an slice of Oreo Cheese Cake (because my belly tells me I WANT it).

So there's my leg day, and my cheats. Not too shabby. At least I'm cheating at the right time and getting my protein. Well, not too shaby aside from drinking wine post workout. And the Oreo thing. And too much whey rather than real food. And that sugary MetRX bar. And, and, and....

I'M BULKING! Lemme alone!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The old, LONG story

I never posted this here before. It was on my old site, so I figure I should, before it gets deleted.

It's something I did to chronical my thoughts/feelings while they were fresh. I've always hated the length and lack of creativity in this piece, but it not intended to be creative. Just that facts. So, with that cavaet, here 'tis.

How do you lose 100 pounds?

First, you must know...

How does one become 300 pounds in the first place?

Louie Anderson used to have a punch line…”It’s not like I woke up one day, looked in the mirror and said, ‘Oh no! Look at what happened.’”

But that’s kind of what it’s like. You don’t gain it all at once. You don’t see it go on. It was only about 10 pounds I gained my first year in college. Then another 10 the next. Throw in a bad relationship, a failed business, and ten years later, I wake up and said, “OH NO!”

If you could actually know what was happening, when it was happening, it obviously wouldn’t happen. However, the problem with denial is, well...it’s denial. You simply cannot face what has happened, and what is happening. So you keep lying to yourself. Telling yourself you’ll get in shape for next summer, when the weather’s nice. Then next summer, you again cannot take your shirt off on the lake, and you’re talking about getting in shape in the winter. Winter comes around and you say “after the holidays.” The holidays pass and you’re too damn depressed to get up at all, and the cycle goes on, and on, and on.

So how do you stop it? You simply do. Change may take years, but in the end, it happens in a moment. There is a moment, however brief, that you finally just decide. Not think about it, not plan it, not talk about it, you actually break down and get serious with yourself. In one moment, that voice inside your head finally speaks clearly to you. And that is it. No fancy plan here.
I look at it as a cycle. If you can imagine a wheel spinning, you have a cycle. If that cycle is a negative one, get out a wrench and throw it into the spokes. It’s not a process, it’s a moment.

Get real with yourself!

What really happened, the details.
I was honestly at the Taco Bell drive through. I had thought about losing weight for about 10 years, but never did anything besides lie to myself about it. And then it happened, in a moment.
My normal routine was to get really trashed at the bar each night, drink another few at home alone, and pass out on the couch. Wake up, get some coffee and cigarettes, then a couple white bagels with butter. After the nicotine, caffeine, insulin buzz subsided, I’d make my way to a fast food joint. And that’s where it happened.

I backed out, and drove to the store. All I knew at the time, June 2003, was that everyone was losing weight low carbing. I had heard of no one that didn’t lose 5 pounds or so the first week. So I figured, what the hell? I had never lost weight before, and figured I’d start out making sure I would lose.

And lose I did. I dumped 5 pounds, as predicted, week one. Another 5 the next week. Six weeks later, I’d lost 30 pounds. I felt great about the weight loss, but that was all I felt great about. I knew eating bacon and eggs every morning, and bunless double cheeseburgers at night wasn’t the smartest thing to lose weight. The lack of energy and constant constipation confirmed that. If you want to know what carbs do, try eliminating them from your diet.

Phase Two, Intelligent weight loss.

So I began my real search. I was on the hunt for what used to be Cybergenics. I wanted the workout, the meal plan, and the supplements in one box. I wanted it all. It doesn’t exist.
HOWEVER, my search led me to Body For Life, by Bill Phillips. It was the closest thing. The supplements were simple; Myoplex meal replacements. The meal plan was simple; eat 6 smaller meals a day consisting of protein, carbs, and a fruit or vegetable. And the workout? Simple. Weights one day, cardio the next.

I read the book in one night. The next morning, with new inspiration, I began the cardio portion Body for Life style. I walked, then jogged, then ran for 20 minutes. With 270 pounds crashing down on my legs, I got shin splint so badly that I didn’t run again for another year.

HOWEVER, I stuck to the diet. A few weeks later people started to take note. No one had said much during the low carbing. Amazing, 30 pounds and I didn't look much better. But eating a balance of carbs, proteins and healthy fats, and I was looking better, as well as feeling great.
Stalling out.

By eating right, and more often, ala the Body for Life plan, I managed to lose another 20 pounds by that November. So why would I stall out?

I hadn’t left my past life in the past. Through it all, I was still holding onto the old, fat, unhappy me. Steve Chandler, in his book, “100 Ways to Motivate Yourself” talks about selling your house. Not the physical house you live in, but the emotional house you’ve become attached to. You see, no matter how messed up that house is, you still have a hard time selling it because it’s your house.

During the week I was healthy guy. However, when the weekend hit, it was game on. I had lost 50 pounds, was looking pretty good, wanted to go out and drink and show off a bit. So I did.
Then Friday and Saturday night turned into Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was football season after all. So then, who could skip Monday night football? And Tuesday nights are pint night at a local watering hole, and well, so why not get cheap beer? Before I knew it, I was right back in my old house.

I didn’t gain weight here. I just stalled after incredible momentum. How could I have let that happen? In hindsight, I realized how terrified I was to leave that old emotional house. You see, I hadn’t been in any serious relationships since I had become 300 pounds. Now, the ladies were noticing, and I was going out on dates. In my mind, dates could lead to romance, romance to relationships, and relationships meant pain. Subconsciously, I sabotaged my progress by staying fat. The ladies I attracted were marginal in appearance and personality, so there was no risk. I could remain safe. I could remain in my house.

How to make a change-Step one, a have massive anxiety attack.

Skip to July, 2004. I’m on vacation in Texas, starting at 240 pounds. Another 10 down, even through all the partying. Upon arriving in Texas, I meet up with an old high school friend, and begin drinking beer and eating Jack in The Box tacos...at 9 am. The vacation went downhill from there, and nearly 2 weeks later, I’m on the road home to Indiana.

Somewhere in the middle of Arkansas, with the nerves shot from the previous night’s partying, compound by the massive amounts of caffeine I ingested in an attempt to counteract the hangover, I begin to feel some anxiety. Within a few miles, I’m at the next exit, paralyzed by it. I find a motel, and lock the door. I promise myself I’m done. I’m finally going to get it together.
Upon returning home, again, I don’t follow through. It’s amazing what it takes to change. I had gained 15 pounds on vacation, freaked out to the point I should have been at a hospital, not a hotel, and I still cannot get it together?

The real way to make a change-Surround yourself with positive people

For the first time in my life, I surrender to the idea of asking someone to help me. I went searching for a trainer. I knew if I was to spend the money on a trainer, I wouldn’t spend it in the bar. I might have wasted a lot of time, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to waste my money.
Fate, karma, God, some higher power, whatever, sent me into Healthkick, a local nutrition store. I immediately noticed two biceps attached to someone seated behind the counter. Later I learned it was Ryan Benroth, owner and operator. He gave me a card for Dane King, personal trainer. So it was on, right?

Sooooo...September, I finally make a call to Dane. He gave me a pretty hard sales pitch. I knew I needed to change, but was still resisting. However, in a moment, I finally gave in, and signed up for 4 weeks. In the end, a decision is just one moment.

Like this story has drug on, the time it took me to change drug on, and on, and on. The only thing I regret today about my weight loss is that I didn’t do it earlier. I know that sounds cliché; but it’s 100% dead on. Of course I knew that I should lose weight when I was fat. But if for one moment I could have felt how I feel now; the pride, the self respect, the confidence, all the things I feel today, I would have not hesitated a moment. Oh, if only the new me could go back and give the old me a swift kick in the ass.

But it matters not now. The past is in the past, and must be left there. That’s half the battle of losing weight. You get into such a cycle of beating yourself down further because you have let yourself go. In doing so, you defeat yourself before you start. So the negative cycle spins further down.

Allow the positive cycle to spin

I now give everyone the same advice on losing weight. Don’t fight it, and DON’T FORCE IT. Of course, then everyone asks, “What is that supposed to mean?” You have to go through it to understand. The best I can describe it, you simply surround yourself with the positive circle you need, and then allow the cycle to spin. It’s not about psyching yourself up. Will power is overrated. If you’ve truly made your decision, you won’t be fighting urges, or forcing yourself to go to the gym. You’ll simply do it.

However, you need to set up the cycle around you. The means leaving some old “friends”, figuratively and literally. You know who and what they are. They need to be left behind. Trust me, once you change, you won’t miss them. In the beginning, my biggest fear was that I would lose my favorite friends; drinking and smoking. Today? Are you kidding me? I enjoy a beer ten times more now that I rarely have one. Smoking? I tried to go back to it once after quitting. With a new, healthy LIFESTLYE, it was mental trauma to try to inhale.

Looking back, I didn’t just start working out, or start a “diet”. I started a new life. I would wake up, eat, get dressed, and head to the gym, first thing. The workout was simple enough, with weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday, followed by cardio, and cardio alone on the other days. Sundays? OK, maybe on Sundays I was still a drink. Hey, it was football season again.
But the other 6 days I was living a healthy lifestyle. The workout was followed by a stop off at Healthkick to grab a post workout shake and discuss weight loss/muscle building theory with Ryan. Upon returning home, I’d usually surf the web for more info while cooking a post workout meal. That is where I first found bodybuilding.com. I tore into information on insulin and cortisol, testosterone and human growth hormone, whey and casein, whatever I could wrap my brain around, and some articles I couldn’t quite understand at the time.

I ate 6 meals a day, Body for Life style, and was spot on for 6 days. How did I maintain such a strict new life after being such a clown for so long? I had a support group I had surrounded myself with. Ryan, Dane, and Maggie. Maggie?

Even though I was 250 pounds of flabby misery when I started, I had started. I was feeling great every day after I got out the gym. Before the weight came off, I developed a new glow, a new confidence, and a new girlfriend. And she was into working out! I could cook healthy meals with her, do some extra cardio with her, and also go to the gym to do some extra cardio with her. Most of all, I had yet another person to be accountable to.

So the cycle spun faster. I felt like I was making a positive decision waking up to work out. Upon completing the workout, I’d get this wonderful euphoria that would last for another few hours. I knew from the information on bodybuilding.com, that I needed to feed the muscle, so I ate great. Eating great made me feel better, eliminating the highs and lows I previously had from starving and stuffing. I was doing great, and dropping weight, every week. Everyone I ran into was telling me how great I looked. The cycle spun and spun.

I lost a little, and Maggie would tell me I’m doing great. She also gave me a little encouragement in the personal appearance arena. I cut the hair. That really got the cycle spinning. I went out and bought some new shirts to keep updating the look. Some I bought to wear right away. Others I bought skin tight, as I knew I would be wearing them soon. And soon I was. What a time. Positive energy breading positive energy.

The scale is only one tool. Measure, measure, measure.

Before I knew it, it’s the middle of February, and I’ve dumped 25 pounds. Twenty five doesn’t seem like much, I know. But I wasn’t just taking it off. I was adding lean mass almost as fast.. I had the measurements from when I started with my trainer, and my current measurements. I could imagine what it was like 25 pounds ago, let alone 75 pounds ago. It just didn’t seem real.
That is, until I took the first after pictures, and got them developed along with my before pictures. I was beyond shocked. I had actually believed that I didn’t look that bad at 250. After all, I was 50 pounds lighter than 300, right? Well there I was, side by side with my new self, and the reality set in. I almost broke down in a confusing mess of resentment at my old self, and pride of the new self. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.

I got these two pictures back February 19th, 2005. That’s only 25 pounds. It’s not about the scale.

Those pictures are now up a lot of places. I don’t even relate to the guy in the before pictures. I don’t want to know him anymore, I cannot understand why he liked the things he liked, and I certainly don’t want to be him again. I wouldn’t even want to hang out with him. It’s really a different person to me.

Weighing in is only part of the story. A small part. If I had relied on the scale, I would have failed for sure. Thanks to my trainer, I had measurements taken every 4 weeks. I continue to measure inches and body fat percentage along with weight. Of course, I continue to update the pictures. Whenever I’m feeling down, and think I haven’t progressed, I’ll measure again, or take another picture. It’s hard to see the little changes, especially of you only are measuring the weight.

I’m going to preach a little more about the scale, as I think it’s important to totally, completely and fully hammer home the point that it’s NOT ABOUT THE SCALE. I weigh in everyday. I highly recommend daily weigh ins. Not to see weight loss, but to see how pointless a pound or two, even three or four can be. I fluctuate as much as 4 pounds from day to day. When I was 250, it was more. Why?

Sodium (salt) makes you retain water. So does carbohydrates. Just having water in my stomach will cause me to weight in a pound or two heavy some days. What if you weigh in one day and haven’t passed things through your system as much as the previous day? That will add a few pounds. The most I remember fluctuating was 9 pounds in a week.

With all that said, looking at a scale once a week can really throw you off. What if the scale reads the same one week? Did your body fat stay the same? Or did you lose fat, and gain muscle? Did you actually gain a pound, but are more dehydrated? There are too many variables to tell for sure. So weigh in daily, and just make sure it is trending downward.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

As well, I kept a food journal. The journal was a HUGE part of my success. I planned all my meals ahead of time, then recorded what I actually ate. You must plan on succeeding to succeed. Most “diets” fail not because of lack of willpower, but simple lack of planning. If you don’t know what you’re going to be eating next, there’s a distinct possibility that you’ll be caught unprepared, and make less than ideal choices.

Planning ahead insures you’ll be eating the right things. As well, if ever I felt as if I was hitting a plateau, I had a record of why. And those days I weighed in too high? It was easy to trace it to something I had the day before.

I also planned my workouts upon going out on my own. The planning process, I believe, is key to continuous gains. My routine has changed many times. Keeping a record of planned workouts, and actual workouts has been a key to keeping the progress going. Again, if ever I get down, I can look back at my workout log, and see how far I’ve come.

And how far is that? Take a look at that first before picture, with the long hair. Now picture that guy showing up in the gym, 10 AM. He’s got a pair of giant yellow swim trunks on because he hasn’t bought a pair of shorts in 6 years. The t shirt he wears is from the Go-Kart track he got fired from, and is XXL. The sweat is so profuse anytime he turns his head his wet hair sends sweat flying. His three sets of bench press are 85, 75, and finally 55 pounds. All three sets need a spot to get to 10.

Fifty five pounds. To be clear, that is the bar with two fives on it. We’ve all gotta start somewhere. Just start. The people in the gym aren’t judging you in a negative light. They admire you, and are think, “Hey, at least he’s trying.” Really. I know, I’ve been on both sides.
So where does it end?

Good question. I don’t think it will. I learn something new about myself nearly every time I go to the gym. I continually impove upon my diet, as I learn new things and get new discipline. Do I do everything perfect now? Hell no. Far from it.

I think that’s a big misconception when people start out. They believe they need to go from total failure to 100% success without falling. Guess what? Notgunnahappen. Nor should it. Take your time, and learn a little about yourself along the way. Most of all, enjoy the journey, it’s a GREAT one.

I’ll be waiting for you on the other side. The view from here is AMAZING. When you get here, drop me a line and tell me how you got here, so we can direct others to where we’re at.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Streetman’s one page weight loss AND maintenance plan.

You don't need a book. You need simple rules you can live with.

  1. Eat at least six modest sized meals and/or snacks each day to keep blood sugar stable. Eat to feel satisfied, not full. You can eat again around ever three hours.

  2. Eat breakfast immediately upon waking. You are "breaking the fast" and this is the key to getting your metabolism fired up, and elevating blood sugar and energy levels immediately upon waking.

  3. Each meal should consist of a protein, carbohydrate, and a fruit or vegetable. Proteins rebuild muscle, carbohydrates provide that muscle energy, and fats are necessary for cellular rebuilding and hormonal health. Portions can be calculated with one of three methods:

    1. Use your plate. Get a 10" plate, and visualize three equal sections, like a three piece pie. Section one protein, section two carbohydrate, section three vegetable.

    2. Use your hand. Eat a protein portion the size of the palm of your hand, the carbohydrate the size of your fist, and eat vegetables until you feel satisfied, yet not full.

    3. Count. Eat one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, the same number of carbs, and fats grams should be less than half of those. For example, a 200 pound man would have roughly 200 grams of protein, 200 grams of carbs, and 90 grams of fat. This will provide roughly 1/3 of your calories from each macronutrient.

  4. Avoid the “whites” as much as possible. White rice, white potatoes, white flour, white sugar. These spike blood sugar levels faster than their counterparts which provide a steady increase and added fiber. Avoid “white fat”. White fat is any fat that is solid at room temperature and will be high in saturated fat.

  5. Fats should come primarily from fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, eggs. UNSaturated fats; not saturated. Practical application: Replace butter with olive oil whenever possible. Natural fats are high in Omega’s (essential fatty acids). Omegas are essential for mind and body health.

  6. Eat like an animal. Natural, unprocessed foods and colorful fruits and vegetables. The deeper the color, the better. Colorful foods provide needed vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

  7. Drink like a fish. Your body knows no difference between being full from food, or full from water. You'll be less hungry with more water. Drink .01 gallon per pound of bodyweight. ie: If you weight 150 pounds, drink 1.5 gallons daily. Water removes waste and toxins from your body.

  8. Avoid ALL chemical food such as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and other Glutamates (hydrolyzed proteins), High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Trans fats (aka partially hydrogenated oils). Although certain chemical additive often don't have calories, (one such example is Acesumate Potasium), there are numberous scientific reports indications many increase hunger sensations.

  9. Weight loss begins at the supermarket. Stay in the outside aisles, where you find foods that spoil. The inner isles should only be shopped for things such as oats, rice, nuts and seeds.

  10. Read the label on BACK of foods. Ignore the front label which may state "NO MSG", as it still might have other, similar glutamates. It may say "Lite" which can mean light in color or texture.

Final thought: What is an acceptable level of anything? Well, how healthy do you want to be? Nature works in balance. Don’t be extreme in any way, Don’t over or under eat, Don’t be unnatural.



Eat:

Six meals a day, every three hours or less

Breakfast immediately upon waking

Protein, fats, and carbs at every meal

Vegetables and drink water for satiety

Snacks between meals

Naturally occurring, unsaturated fats

Like an animal, drink like a fish

DO NOT

Eat the "whites": Rice, flour, potatoes, fats

Eat carbs within 4 hours of sleeping

Eat any meal that makes you "stuffed"

Skip meals

Eat chemically altered food (MSG, Hydro’s)

Shop in the isles at the supermarket

Get hungry or get stuffed

Flawed questions.

I dated this girl a while back who told me that chocolate milk is perfect post workout because she read it in a magazine. Is she a moron? Nope. To the contrary, she was highly educated with a prominent position in the city. Why, why, why would she think such a thing?

Well, it appears that some numbskulls set up a "scientific" study to prove their hypothosis that chocolate milk is, indeed, better for you than...what? Better than carbs alone. That's proven.

BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S THE BEST, PERFECT, OR EVEN CLOSE TO IDEAL!!!!

This pisses me off so bady, that I'm just going to show you the blatant bias of the "scientific" study here. The questions you ask will determine the conclusions you come to.

Let me ask you, "Do you walk to school? Or do you bring your lunch?"

Let me ask you something else, "Do you still beat your dog, yes or no?"

What's better post workout? A stick of butter, or a stick in the eye?

As an educator, philosopher, and all around proveyor of truth I AM PISSED!!

Just look at the last two lines, the ones I put in red, and in bold.


The Efficacy of Chocolate Milk as a Recovery Aid
[Annual Meeting Abstracts: C-34 - Free Communication/Poster: Post-Exercise Nutrition]
Karp, Jason R.; Johnston, Jeanne D.; Tecklenburg, Sandy; Mickleborough, Tim; Fly, Alyce; Stager, Joel M. FACSM
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
Email: runman@indiana.edu
0850
Sport nutritionists recommend that endurance athletes performing two workouts a day ingest carbohydrates immediately following the first training session to rapidly replenish muscle glycogen. To meet this need, many nutritional products have been marketed as carbohydrate replacement drinks (CR) or fluid replacement drinks (FR) containing less carbohydrate. Since chocolate milk has a similar carbohydrate content to that of many CR, it may be an effective means of recovery from exhausting exercise. PURPOSE: To test the efficacy of chocolate milk (CM) as a recovery aid following exhausting exercise. METHODS: Nine male, endurance-trained cyclists (22.1 ± 2.0 yrs, VO2max 65.0 ± 9.0 mL.kg-1.min-1) performed an interval workout to deplete muscle glycogen (Kuipers et al., 1987), followed by four hours of recovery, and an endurance performance trial to exhaustion at 70% VO2max (Fallowfield & Williams, 1997), on each of three days. Immediately after the first exercise and at two hours of recovery, subjects were given isovolumic amounts (based on body mass) of CM, FR, or CR, in a single-blind, randomized design. The carbohydrate content (1 g.kg-1 body mass) was equivalent for CM and CR. Blood lactate concentration, body mass, and total body water (TBW) were measured pre- and post-exercise. Time to exhaustion (TTE), average heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and total work (WT) for the endurance exercise were compared between trials using a oneway, repeated measures ANOVA. RESULTS: TTE (40.0 ± 14.7 min; 41.3 ± 15.0 min; 26.8 ± 10.3 min) and WT (626.5 ± 262.7 kJ; 590.5 ± 218.7 kJ; 398.6 ± 185.0 kJ) were different (p<0.05)>

CONCLUSION: As compared to the commercial products tested, chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid following exhausting exercise.


Supported, in part, by a grant from the Dairy and Nutrition
Council, Inc.


©2004The American College of Sports Medicine

Monday, January 15, 2007

John Wooden's Seven Point Creed : eConsultant

John Wooden's Seven Point Creed, given to him by his father Joshua upon his graduation from grammar school:

Be true to yourself.
Make each day your masterpiece.
Help others.
Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
Make friendship a fine art.
Build a shelter against a rainy day.
Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Alrighty, what have I been doing?

Before I get to that, let me tell you the current status first. I'm a little off from where I was, but getting back into the routine. The eating and workouts are not clockwork, like before, but they're getting done. Maybe a C+ or B- right now. It's a process.

So, what happened? I went 13 weeks with no alcohol, no sugar, no TV, no internet at home (admittedly, I became hooked on free WiFi), etc. etc. I alienated myself from most people. I even turned off my cell phone at times for full days so no one could find me.

Why? Self reflection/growth/introspective. Why not?

Now, two things happened. One, I learned about myself; A LOT about myself. I went hiking, rock climbing, camping (both regular camping and nudist colony), I went to live performances on small stages, organic farms, and other random, new activities. However, I usually did everything ALONE.

It sucks that in Indiana the oddball is the person who eats for health as opposed to making eating into a sport. I'm a freak because on a Friday night I'll seek out the local performing arts scene, as opposed to the bar scene. You will just as soon find me in my local Starbucks, in front of the fire reading something enlightening as you would find me in the local pub arguing religion and politics.

But I was alone.

So, October came along, and I got out a bit. Then the cold hits, and it's easier to go warm up with friends and libations than sit alone in front of the fire. Don't get me wrong, I love my fireplace, but I must balance.

Christmas brought the old friends back in town, and predictably, more going out. Now, I'm trying to swing the pendalum back the other direction, and balance. I'm not going another 13 weeks (for now), but I am more focused on fitness.

More focused? I'm getting it done. It's building.

The one good thing about this last few months of introspective reflecting, and all out social interaction is that I'm now dating quite a bit. I grew a TON last year through all my time alone, and it shows with those I am attracting now. The best advice I ever heard in regards to finding women is to quit looking. Just work on yourself, and they'll find you. Done.

So now, I am working some workout dates into the mix, some dates without drinking, some activities that stimulate the mind and spirit as much as the physical. With this, I crave the physical exercise again, which in turn I feel my mind become a more fertile ground in which to plant intellectual seeds.

It's a cycle. It's beginning to spin again. I love this.