Don’t Call it a Comeback!

It’s almost the end of January in this new year 2022. I have to say that I was pretty happy to be done with 2021. All in all though this year has started out fairly well. My wife and I decided that we would resolve to workout at least three days a week, eat cleaner, food prep to save money, eat out less, and not drink adult beverages during the work week. I know, I know. Sounds like a great deal of work. And in some ways it seems difficult, but we want to have fun with it so we are hoping that helps to make it more bearable.

The Plan

We start about as cliché as it gets. We bought a new scale for Christmas. We got the Withings Body + Scale. It tracks Water, BMI, Muscle mass, Fat Mass, Bone Mass, besides Weight. We were hoping that this would be a good purchase to track all of our improvements.

Next, we enlisted our oldest daughter to create a workout regiment that we could do together. This workout cycles from the spin bike for five minutes to a weight workout for five minutes, back and forth for a total of 3 repetitions. This 30 minute workout was designed to get us going and work some major muscle groups to make the best use of our time.

As far as the food goes, we decided to reduce our intake of cream sauces and try to limit our bread in take. Food prepping for the week seemed to be a good idea so that we can minimize the grabbing of fast food while at work, or just eating out in general. We also thought that if we didn’t enjoy any adult beverages during the work week, we could cut down on some extra calories too.

The Execution

Beginning on January 1st (of course) I weighed in at 203 lbs. Now back in January of 2012, I weighed 206 lbs. Back then I hadn’t worked out at all for years before I thought about getting back into athletic shape. This time, I still have a bit of cardiovascular base even at about the same body fat % that I had 10 years ago. Yep, I started this new journey almost exactly where I was 10 years ago. This time I’m not going as hard or looking to make as big of a change as fast. This time I am hoping just to find a manageable weight and body composition without having to sacrifice all of the food and time. So lets see how it goes!

Week 1 – Monday, Jan 3 – Sunday, Jan 9

Starting Weight – 199.5

Worked out 4 days

Eating was good. No alcohol during the week.

Week 2 – Monday, Jan 10 – Sunday, Jan 16 – Finals Week

Starting Weight – 196.9

Worked out 2 days – It was going good. Worked out on Monday and Tuesday. Revised workout to include a leg day and an arm day. Had a bit of a traumatic experience at work on Thursday the 13th. A student had a seizure during his final and at the conclusion of his final his heart stopped. This was the first time I have ever had to provide CPR on anyone. Glad to say that it worked. Needless to say, with that I was wanting a few adult beverages. Unfortunately this knocked me off of my progress.

Eating still was pretty good despite the extra liquid calories. Our meal prep is working.

Week 3 – Monday, Jan 17 – Sunday, Jan 23

Starting Weight – 196.4

Worked out beginning on Tuesday. Got 3 days in this week.

Eating was good. Still meal prepping. Its nice to save some money this way too!

Speaking of meal prep, I finally figured out how to use the Traeger! This was fun to cook on this past Sunday and we got a bunch of our meals all ready for the week!

Week 4 – In process

Starting weight – 194.7

Notable start to the week was my Monday workout. 30 minutes of Spinning on the EVO cx Fitness Bike (no longer available as a new item as far as I know – thanks Peloton) for a total of 12.4 miles in 30 minutes. Pretty happy with that output.

Hoping that the rest of the week’s workouts continue to go as planned and that I can start updating my progress on a weekly basis!

From out of the Pandemic

What can I say about the last 16 months? I should have taken the time to document something here like the day to day craziness of being on lockdown with the family, or used this time to reach out to people and offer them support (which I did on Instagram and Facebook…kind of…when I wasn’t getting baited into arguments about this or that). I really had every intention of getting back into blogging because I always felt a greater sense of accountability when I did it everyday. And I think in any normal time this may have been the case, however as a teacher in crisis teaching mode from March to June of 2020 I didn’t get to do all of the things that I wanted to. It was just a very stressful time get used to the distance learning model. Then I spent the summer teaching a credit recovery class and creating curriculum for for the dual-enrollment Intro to Business class for my school district. This better prepared me to teach this class the way it is supposed to be taught.

When school finally started back up, both my wife and I were teaching 100% online. We had wired the house with ethernet cables because we wanted to make sure that we weren’t contributing to any lag for our students who may not have had the best internet connections. I set up shop in the bedroom with a makeshift desk and my wife took the extra room / office. Our kids had their own spots too and we were all zooming to school at the same time. We were lucky to have a good set up unlike many of the students that we were trying to teach. We worked through the school year teaching mostly to black screens. And even though we worked to try to provide the same quality of education to our students that we always do, many students found the difficulties of distanced learning to be too much, and yet still others thrived as they were able to do the work on their own time. Either way, many students found themselves responsible for helping their family units function through jobs and child care more than usual. It was all I could do to be there for them and help guide them through the year to be as successful as they could be and I am thankful that the majority of my students did well and my overall grade average for the class was higher.

If there is anything that I learned through this pandemic is that people are resilient and adaptable. I think we have made it through the worst of it. Yet Covid seems to be lingering around and burning through populations of people where prophylaxis isn’t necessarily a priority. Either way, I am here gearing up for a new school year. Thankful to be in person and ready for anything.

I’ve had an interesting past few months to say the least and now I am looking forward to documenting my journey through everything here more often.

Promises. Promises.

In the words of Naked Eyes, “You made me, promises, promises” Alright. Alright. Alright. (Not in the voice of Mr McConaughey) I know I said I was going to start blogging again. And I know I said this over a year ago. But time doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Last January I was finishing up my Career Technical Education credentials in Business and Construction and thought I would have a bit more time to work out and keep track of my health and fitness the way I used to. However, what we often want to do and what happens sometimes doesn’t exactly fall into alignment. Now just a short year later, I find myself in a similar situation. I am currently working on clearing another credential and now I believe I have less time to focus on myself this time around. So what does this mean? It just means I need to get better at time management and prioritizing what is going to help me be the healthiest version of myself so that I may help the greatest number of people.

So after this coming weekend is over, once the bands have played their last songs at the One Love Festival, I will begin to embark on a journey to get back to where I once felt strong and healthy. Some of the friends I made the first time around are ready to join me in this journey as well. And if there is one thing that I have learned is that we are better and stronger together. I hope that my diary of this journey helps you to find some motivation to do a little more for your health and fitness too.

Welcome Back!

So much has happened since the last time I posted something in here. Seems like forever! Here is a quick recap of where my life has taken me over the past twenty months.

In August of 2017 I embarked on my new journey as a full time business teacher with a Preliminary Career Technical Education (CTE) credential teaching Virtual Enterprise, Business Leadership Development, and Keyboarding (Typing and Computer Programs) at East Bakersfield High School. This allows me to use my experience in business as subject matter competency to teach students about business. As is typical being a new teacher, schools seem to always try and add coaching to the list of duties. Knowing that my life would already be crazy with being in school to clear my credential in business and math as well as taking courses to clear my CTE credential as well, of course I jumped at the opportunity when they said they would like me to take over the cross country and track programs because I am crazy like that.

After an amazing first year in cross country, Virtual Enterprise, and track wherein I was lucky to have the honor of working with some amazing kids. Since I was introduced to a life in education, from starting out as a mentor, to becoming a substitute teacher, to now working full time and coaching in high school, I have felt this sense of fulfillment in my career choice that I never really felt in construction management. Luckily, I was asked to return for another year. I love what I get to do! Regardless of how much work it has been to get to this point, I can honestly say it has been worth it!

Now I am halfway through this school year. I am finishing off my credential classes, working towards clearing my CTE credential in business and construction, single subject business, a supplementary in math, and a Masters of Education in Teaching Math. Facilitating the Virtual Enterprise class and coaching are my outlets. I love helping the students and student/athletes work towards being the best they can be in the classroom and on the field. I truly believe that I am where I am supposed to be right now and I am looking forward to being in this role for years to come!

Cinco De Mayo = Recovery Day

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Today was a get stuff done day. I worked on my Signature Assignment for my Psychology in Education class the majority of the day. I thought about letting off some steam and doing a workout, but after yesterday’s Sufferfest I decided to give the muscles a break. I drank plenty of water throughout the day and celebrated Cinco De Mayo with the family at home! My plan is to finish my class strong and get in a couple workouts this weekend and continue to see progress. Looking forward to weighing myself tomorrow!

Focus T25 Day 19 – Alpha Phase

Morning Weigh-in: None taken
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich, Carrots, Chips, Handful Nilla Wafers, and a Kind Bar
Workout: No workout – Rest Day
Dinner: Slice of Turkey Meatloaf, left over Jambalaya Rice, and Green Beans
Snack: 2 Oreos

Valley Air Dictates Safer to Workout Inside

I’ve lived in Bakersfield, Ca on and off all of my life. My family is from here and it is where I am from as well. Bakersfield will forever be a part of who I am. Unfortunately I have also grown up with asthma. So I know that when the wind is blowing, all of those particulates get kicked up and it messes me up pretty good. I wanted to go for a ride in the 102 degree weather so bad, I was even a suited up to go after kid shuttling, but I opted for the safe route once i saw the dust in the air. So I figured out how to make my workout tougher than just T25 – Cardio in the pain cave (fancy name for garage conversion to workout area). I figured a one hour brick workout would do nicely. Obviously hot outside the uninsulated garage leaves temps inside the garage a little more tolerable. I already had my skin cooler gear on and tri-shorts so I was ready to go. The workout was rough even with hydrating plenty but I didn’t overheat. The skincooler gear definitely helped! Time for some recovery (sleep)!

Focus T25 Day 18 – Alpha Phase

Morning Weigh-in: 184
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Left over Fajita Bowl (no tortillas), carrots, and a nutty Clif Bar.
Workout: Cycling 14.8 miles followed immediately by Focus T25Cardio added Beachbody Hydrate to water.
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Dinner: Slice of Turkey Meatloaf, 6 baby potatoes
Snack: 2 Oreos

Day 17 – Fasted Cardio

Today was a serious caloric deficit day. I don’t recommend doing this very often, however fasted cardio does work. Fasted cardio is probably going to leave you hangry and people will not want to be around you, but if you want to drop some fat real quick, i’ll tell you what works for me. Most people do fasted cardio first thing in the morning. The idea is that when you wake up in the morning its been a while since you have eaten and your body is now looking for your fat cells as a source of energy. If you workout in this fat burning mode, it takes your body some time to convert back to burning sugars and you get a few free fat cells burned in the meanwhile. So doing fasted cardio in the afternoon really isn’t that different than doing it when you first wake up. I have to make my workouts work with my schedule. This morning I woke up feeling pretty good, had some great workouts, and ate some yummy food too!

Focus T25 Day 17 – Alpha Phase
Morning Weigh-in: 185
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Workout: Focus T25 – Speed 1.0 added Beachbody Hydrate and Beachbody Energize to Water
Workout: Spinning 20k added Beachbody Hydrate to Water
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Late-Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich
Dinner: Jambalaya (rice, chicken, sausage, spices) Yum!
Dessert: 2 Oreos

Taco Tuesday

Tuesdays are busy! Glad that I was able to get in a quick workout and spend some quality time with the kids! Homework and swimming on a hot Bakersfield afternoon. We are in the middle of a heat wave here, after a workout, I’m so happy to have a pool! Great for the kids to practice their meditation too!

Focus T25 Day 16 – Alpha Phase
Morning Weigh-in: None Taken
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich, Carrots, Peppers, Potato Chips, and a KIND Bar
Workout: Focus T25 – Speed 1.0 added Beachbody Hydrate to Water
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Dinner: 2 Chicken Fajita Tacos on Flour Tortillas
Snack – 2 Handfuls of Mini Nilla Wafers and 2 Oreos (needed carbs during homework)

Day 15 – Taking Care of Business

Monday is for taking care of business. Starting off the week right is so important. Its easy to let the weekend carryover into the week. Fortunately I have a bunch of stuff to do. This is the last week in my Psychology in Education class so I’ll be working on my Signature Assignment. Can’t procrastinate this time. Gonna be way to busy! Getting the workouts in while I can and when I can. I worked on fasting in the morning so that I could burn some fat during my workout. Push-ups were tough but I got through them. Cycling was fun. I decided to work on some leg strength and rode the first half of my ride in the 50-11 gear. Definitely a leg workout. Doing this forces you to really work the down and up stroke to keep momentum. Getting up to speed is the hard part but it was fun to change up the workout!

Focus T25 Day 15 – Alpha Phase

Morning Weigh-in: 187
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich
Workout: Focus T25 – Total Body Circuit added Beachbody Hydrate to Water
2nd Workout: Cycling 26.3 Miles added AcidCheck Granules and Pink Himalayan Salt to Water
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Dinner: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Caesar Salad, and French Bread with Butter
Snack – KIND Bar

The Weekend – A Look Back on the Journey

This weekend was a bit of a last hoorah before getting into full nutrition mode but I’m ready to start this third week of getting back into shape! The first week of getting back into a regiment was just about getting through the initial pain of working out. Massive micro-tearing of all of the muscle fibers in your body is never fun but its an unfortunate by-product of successful muscle growth. Everything hurts and you just want it to stop. I made it through about 4 days with extra workouts before I needed to recover and increase my mobility. My foam roller was my best friend (and still is – sorry babe!). The second week was about hitting all of the workouts and putting in some additional work just because its getting easier to move. My nutrition was decent all week and then Friday afternoon the weekend was upon me. The time when all of my schoolwork procrastination culminates into hours of sitting on my rump in front of the computer to complete my week’s worth of papers. And what comes along with sitting in front of anything for hours? You guessed it, “procrastination-induced anxiety!”

When I was at USC I had a teacher who proposed an effective way to write papers for those suffering writer’s block, or performance anxiety. I am not going to run through the entire story, however I will tell you that it involved at least a few days of drinking adult beverages to help unlock the creative process. I fully tested this theory for the rest of my undergraduate career and believe me, my A average while later getting my MBA was made way more tolerable with red wine and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Thank you Professor! Now I understand why many of the world’s most celebrated writer’s indulged in the wiles of fermented and distilled libations. Unfortunately it does little to help with personal fitness, hence my blow up to 230 pounds after graduating from grad school and one of the reasons I gave up alcohol when I made the decision to lose weight and get healthy again.

One of the things I that seems to derail people when they are getting back into a workout regiment and nutrition plan is that they try to do everything at once. Remember that as is true in nature is also true in our lives – application of force is met with an equal and opposing force – meaning, if you try and do it all at once its going to be way more difficult. There is a reason why cars don’t go from 0 to 60 instantaneously, one of them being, our bodies aren’t made to accelerate that fast. I took the route of shocking my system into submission with the goal of a complete transformation. Fortunately for me I had the opportunity to sequester myself from almost everyone for about 3 months and focus on my nutrition and workouts while I completed P90X. My results were life changing and for that I am forever grateful. However, that model does not work for the majority of people out there who struggle everyday to just get a couple moments to themselves to take a breath…, kids, school, kids, 2nd job, kids, social media, kids. I get it. I realize that this disconnect between my health and fitness journey and those people who really “don’t have the time” to workout. Over the last couple of years I now identify with not having the time to get it all done and its rough. It just that I know if I somehow carved out a little time for myself everyday, that I will have so much more energy to do everything that needs to get done and still have something left in the tank for me. This time, I am coming at getting back in shape with a different perspective.  Less shocking and more phasing. Stepping on the gas a little more each week and building that foundation slowly to ensure a greater chance at success. Here are the last two days of Week 2 – remember “no judgement zone”:

Focus T25 Day 13 and 14 – Alpha Phase

Morning Weigh-in: None taken
Breakfast at noon: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich
Workout: Cycling 28 Miles, added AcidCheck Granules and Pink Himalayan Salt to Water
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Dinner: Ramen with Pork and Spinach, 1/2 Kamisama Roll (Sushi), and 2 IPAs (for their inflammatory effect)
Snack – Popcorn and 4 IPAs (lots of homework – 2 papers)

Morning Weigh-in: None taken
Breakfast: Water and Coffee
Lunch: 1/2 Turkey Sandwich, Pasta Salad, Garden Salad
Workout: Baby Shower
Snack: 2 IPAs (finished homework 😉 )
Celebration Dinner: 1 Margarita and One Pacifico, 1/2 Chile Verde Burrito

Cheers to the end of Week 2! Next week we dial in the “extra calories” 😉