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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Diets of Deprivation

You don't have to deprive yourself to lose weight.

A diet of deprivation is starvation! Stop defining goals on can't. Good things don't grow from seeds of negativity.

Instead, work on switching worse habits with better habits. It's not about perfection, it's about progression. Make a discipline of continual improvement.

You can't solve problems with the same level of thinking that caused them. Switch up a few variables and discover a new solution.

Take the wheel and explore until you find something that works, then worry about upgrading your autopilot.

Though we be products of our environment, we have the ability to create our own environment. We have the ability to change. Try immersing yourself where you want to be. At least try to immerse yourself at the halfway point.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Buried In Bread

In the beginning of this year, I quoted Bilbo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring.

“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Since then, I have come to find there is always too much bread.

Bread is something you can't control. There's always another interest, another issue, another emergency demanding your immediate attention. What's more, none of us has enough butter or attention to consider the amount of bread piled on our plates. It grows by the minute.

Good News. We can control is where we scrape our butter. We control where we pay our attention. Ask yourself, where do you pay yours?

2015

In 2015, I scraped my butter over everything I could get a hold of. With work and family, I was ran a Dungeon & Dragon's Adventure League for the Greater Houston Area. That was 3 full time jobs itself and I didn't even know what I was doing. I also dedicated a lot of my butter to video games and to a structured, role playing game theology vlog.

Note: You can still see most on my videos on Youtube.

All that doesn't even attempt to encompass other hobbies I also had in 2015 and before.

I look back and ask myself, How did I manage it all?!

I didn't!

I just stumbled through life!

What's funny is I don't feel I do much better now. Sometime it feels like I'm in less control!

But then also I realize how much more mindful I am to my surroundings. I have the same amount of time, but now I'm more aware where I spend it. And... now I can see many of the time traps I'd got lost inside last year. Reflecting, it's pretty impressive how far I come. Go Me! Even better news is... If I can do it, you can too!

Expected Destination

In my first draft, I mentioned missing my expected destination, but where did I expect to be last year? Dwelling on it, I blew goals out of the water I( never even had. I never dreamed I'd be able to do half these things!

How could I know the route I would take? Could it be done faster, better, more efficient? How can I even know that, much less answer it?

What I know now is, I am better today than I was last year. By progressing, I'm getting better. Even in failures, I'm learning. I'm adapting, making better decisions with better knowledge.

Don't expect to apply perfect amounts of butter on all relevant breads of life. Instead, learn which breads are relevant. Focus your butter there, and neglect the stale bread.

You might not realize you're improving, you may doubt your progress. Look again! You may be blowing things out of the water you never envisioned back then. Here are a few victories I encounter I didn't plan for this year.

  • I can deadlift over my body weight. In January, I could barely climb 3 flights without taking a break.
  • I can wear a medium tshirt. I wore larges in high school, 20 years ago.
  • I can do 20 proper pushups in a row. In January I couldn't do 5 sloppy pushups in a row.
  • I can go halfway across the monkey bars without swinging my body. This one is still hard for me to believe.
  • I can maintain a happy vegan lifestyle (I can still eat meat but I don't 'need' it). I mocked vegetarians most my life (sorry).

Food For Thought

There's enough people to worry about the mundane. Focus on more important things like becoming mindful. Focus on calming the raging storms of thought.

Slow down to focus on the important. Endeavor for wisdom, physical, spiritual, and mental.

Taking time to make another's day better. Share revelations. Help others out. Be the change you enjoy seeing in the world.

Stop hiding from what's important. Do the work. Put in the time and effort. Dig deep to reach things of value.

Remember your failures too. They are valuable.

Monday, November 14, 2016

GMB Elements

This weekend I attended a disc golf tournament. I didn't take part in the tournament itself, I was just there to support it. While there, I took the opportunity to run around and have some fun with the kids. I don't remember last time I had that much energetic stamina. I could keep up with them all!

One of my favorite parts was with the organizer's kid. We were bear crawling up hills, hopping like frogs down, and moving like monkeys. It was great fun doing that without gasping for breathe after 5 minutes. Or course, Anyone who's followed me this year may recognize those moves I referenced. They are the keys to GMB's Elements.

Looking back, I remember when I first found out about GMB Elements. I was looking for an exercise routine to get into shape. Elements was one of my final choices, but in the end there were 3 reasons why I didn't pick it.

  1. Because I felt it would be too elementary for me.
  2. I wasn't interested in flexibility, just getting into shape.
  3. Stronglifts is free and came with a handy app to track progress.

Reasons (or Excuses)

Let me tell you how wrong I was about the elementariness of the Elements routine. More than once, I collapsed before the warm-ups was over. The energy and focus to hold a squat opener when you've evaded stretching for 30 years is ridiculous! More than once, my daily exercise consisted of lying on the mat, exhausted.

I also found flexibility and stabilization is important for strength training. Without a stable surface, you can not build a strong structure. You can only get so high before your form crumbles and if lucky, you don't injure yourself when you get there.

Once I could deadlift my bodyweight and started focusing on my form, I saw I was doing so many things wrong!

  • My back was in compromising positions.
  • My legs weren't steady and it was causing lower body issues.
  • I was getting plantar faciastis from over compensating.

Don't get me wrong, the training material was great. It's that my listening material is not so much. I tried to rush through the program for max gains and am a bad representation. I recommend trying the routine. I don't recommend rushing through it.

Last reason, I didn't think Elements was worth $75 when I first saw it. Why pay that much money to walk like a bear, monkey, or frog? It is a ton more in-depth. In fact, the information in the 1st week overwhelmed my lazy self so much, I ended up doing it twice. There is a lot of material you can go through and the video tutorials with Ryan and Junior are quite in depth.

I came to find out, Like in Stronglifts, I tended to rush through the program. I attack the more difficult variations before I have a grip on the easier variations. Yes, it's a consistency of mine. I'm impatient. I am working on my mindfulness and patience.

Findings

Elements kicked my butt, but I'm getting stronger, more capable. Before, when I recorded my movements, it was just for self evaluation. But now I'm at the point where I'm doing cool stuff and I kinda want to share it. So I am! I think the stuff I'm doing is great!

What's more, I can do it anywhere Just today I bear crawled and did 'baby parkour' in front of a hotel before lunch. It was great! It's also a lot less embarrassing now that I've done it a few times. A few people with me are now interested in the program. it's cool showing people cool stuff.

Anyway, I'm trying to be more reflective. This was on my mind. I wrote it down. Now I'm sharing it with you. Icing on the cake, here's some videos I was talking about. If you enjoy them, toss me a like and comment. See you next time.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Interview Prep

A videographer recently asked to interview me. I figured it prudent to dwell on my past to better convey it to the interviewer. Mindfulness is still something I struggle with so any prep I have is good. Anyway, while pondering, my mind chased a few rabbit holes. They were insightful, but maybe not what the interviewer wished to frame. I want to share them with you.

It's hard talking about the past, I look back and wonder, what was I thinking? Where was my head at? In 2015, I was over 300 lbs. Obese, depressed, feeling like an empty shell of a person. I Felt I lost all my passion in life. So many wasted opportunities I squandered floating down the lazy river of life.

Looking back, my life wasn't even that bad, but I kept comparing myself to others. I focused on how other families had more time, more love, more success. I ate that up. I devoured the toxic fruit before me. Looking back, I'm wondering why was I tripping? It's hard to get back into that mindset... or is it?

Reality, it's still a battle. I still hear I can't do that. I won't ever make my wife happy. My kids won't ever grow up to be functioning adults. But I'm learning to recognize that voice and tune it out.

You know what, there's another voice in there too. It's telling me I can do it. My wife, overburdened at work and exhausted at home loves me with all her heart. She's not neglecting me! She's TIRED! I can't go run off into another room and expect her to chase me down and give me attention.

And my kids. I am so fortunate to have kids as good as these. Sure, they have their problems but who doesn't? Stop comparing them to the highlight reels of Facebook. Let it be well with my soul these kids will grow up to be wonderful pillars of society.

I realize, I have a long way to go. To be honest, the path never ends. It's continues as far as you take it. The challenges on aren't necessary harder, but different, because you haven't been there. But also, I'm also come a long way! Sure it was painful but it was worth it.

It's cool someone is interested in the story. I hope you are too. Let me know if anything on my blog has effected you. I'd love to maybe interview you.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Giving Bad Directions

Giving directions to a place in Houston does you no good if you're in the middle of San Antonio. Direction matters but so do current positions.

You can make great time going west on I-10 but if you're in San Antonio, don't expect to see Houston for some time. Of course, going west from Beaumont is a great idea if your destination is Houston.

What I'm saying is before you tell someone to take an offramp, find out where they are.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Supplements are Additive

Supplements are additive. They only work if you work. They don't counteract damages from bad diets.

Instead of loading up on supplements, start a food journal. Become aware of the food you eat. Then, start making small changes and track your progress.

If you need help doing this, message me.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Protein Shakes

Those protein shakes look amazing but they don't outperform bad diets. Stop falling for fool's gold.

Until your eating habits change, you're going to remain where you are. Good news, change doesn't have to be hard and it doesn't have to be radical. All you have to do to start is change one thing but change that one thing today.

Health isn't binary. It's an ideal and every day you have the opportunity to progress toward it.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Fighting my Failures

I suck at push ups. What's more, this year, two friends nominated me for the 22 push up challenge for veteran suicide awareness.

Yeah, I did 5 before giving up. Not 5 days, 5 push ups! That bad!

After my first failed attempt, day 1, I told myself I'll just hold off on the challenge until I get better... But If I never practice, I'll never get better. Right?

I needed to set up a routine to do push ups so I could get better, so I could take on the challenge.

Backstory

This wasn't the first time I met a challenge I couldn't overcome. This January, several coworkers created a stair challenge at work. 6 flights up and 6 flights down, once a day.

Well, the first day I tried, I barely made it to the 3rd floor. That's right, in front of everyone else, I had to stop, sit down, and recover.

My legs were on fire and my breathe was gone. I felt pathetic I was so embarrassed. I knew the next morning everyone would meet back and they'd stop at my cubicle on the way to see if I was going.

I wanted to quit so bad. But I was also terrified I could only make 3 flights of stairs.

The Plan

So I decided later that same day to try the challenge again. I didn't get much further, but over the next few weeks I was able to reach the 4th floor without stopping. Later I made it to the 5th floor, and finally I reached the 6th without needing a break!

Of course, by that time, half the group quit but I realized I doubled my ability. Holy cow!

Why couldn't I do the same for upper body? I decided to try incline stair push ups.

Level 1

I began easy. There are 12 steps per half flight, counting the landing. Because of my height, I could use 8 of those step to perform my exercise. I decided my first challenge was to do 1 push up for each performable step. Simple!

Well, the last one was tougher than I'd like to admit but I did finish 8 inclined stair push ups my first day. Looking back, it doesn't sound like a solid victory, but it was to me. Shoot, entering the stairwell was a victory.

Confident, I tried the same challenge later. 16 in total plus a good work out at the gym. I was content with the day but I knew I could do better tomorrow. I needed to up the difficulty.

Level 2

My next routine was a pyramid of 20. 1,2,3,4,4,3,2,1. That's more than my body was used to. You should of saw my first attempt. My triceps were on fire!

What's more, my second attempt of the day was even worse. It was going to be a struggle to get 40 push ups in a day.

Still, I made the decision to do this challenge no matter what. After a few days, I finally completed it without a significant break. I was so proud of myself but it was only a single step on the road toward victory.

Level 3

For my next challenge. I decided to try an ascension of 46 incline stair push ups. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. What a challenge! It was, in fact, a little too challenging!

By the time I was on 6, I was was finding muscle fatigue and failure. The last 3 steps I spent more time recovering than actually putting in the work.

So the next day I reversed the routine from 8 to 1. I was much more able to accomplish the revision so I stuck to it.

Level 4

After a few days, I accidentally did 10 push ups on the first step.

I decided it would be a great challenge to up my current routine to a descension of 10 to 3 push ups to build strength and conditioning. Twice a day, that's 104 incline stair push ups!

I'm also performing Elements from GMB. My shoulders and arms are getting their work out! Believe me!

I'm also going slower and focusing on the form, looking to land perfect push ups. That bumps up the difficulty quite a bit.

22 Push Up Challenge

I finally think I can start to attempt my 22 push up challenge. That mean a lot to me. It's incredible. To be honest, I didn't think I could be able to do it this year. Of course I won't if I don't try.

So I'm going to try. And maybe I'll suck the first few days. But at least I'm moving toward that goal.

Maybe you can use this to reach your goals too. Can you use this routine to improve your body strength? Are you wondering how you can even complete a 22 push up challenge?

Let me know. Good luck!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Back on Track

The last few months, I've been ranging around 210-215 lbs. in weight.

As you may know, my original goal was under 200 lbs. by the end of the year.

The thing is, I'm happy about current weight. I look great and I feel great!

So now I am wondering why should I even lose more weight?

What's more, instead of going for my original goal, how about I work on another goal (which I have been doing).

My new goals are strength based and skill based, like pistol squats and pull ups.

Revelation

Well yesterday, I had a revelation.

It is a lot easier to lift 200 pounds than it is to lift 215 pounds. 15 pounds is significant!

I realize remaining where I'm comfortable will prolong my journey toward my next goal.

It would behoove me to get under 200 pounds. Not like I can't gain the weigh back once done, right?

Anyway, I get more into it in this video. I hope you like it.

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If you know anyone trying to lose weight, send them my way. Maybe I can help them out.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to share this message.