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.


Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic pill that we could take that would produce results  while we sleep? It would burn excess fat, build lean muscle, give us super human strength, provide us with speed and stamina, and while its at it, might as well make us smart and good looking too right? I am going to go out on a limb here and say that there is no such product, but yet billions of dollars a year are spent on products that claim to provide people with one or more of these results! Maybe its just me, but it seems that people are willing to spend more time, money, and effort trying to get out of doing something than if they were to just do it and get it done. They must try the latest gimmick, apparatus, 7 Minute Abs, 6 Minute Abs, this chair, that diet; do people believe that they are entitled to look like they eat healthy and spend four hours in a gym a day without some basic effort? Entitlement is Paralysis as far as I see it. You can believe all day long that you deserve that promotion at work, but you know that unless you actually enjoy what you are doing and do the best you can with your present responsibilities, then you will never move forward. So why do people believe that they will become healthy and fit without putting in the work as well? I have found that the reason is “with success comes responsibility”. Once you achieve great results you become expected to maintain those results. People watch to see if you can keep results, or if what you did may be just a flash in the pan. This may be true to an extent, but people are human and life sometimes gets in the way. The best thing about getting results is knowing that if you put forth the effort, you can always get them again if what you did is reproduce-able. If you slip a little bit, its OK. Remember: All we can do is learn to do our best given any situation and enjoy life along the way. Otherwise, what is the point of living?

This is my transformation story: The picture above is of me, the one on the left is what I looked like up until around September of 2011, the one on the right was me a couple weeks ago. Before, I enjoyed good beer, ate way too much food, and hardly ever exercised, as you might have noticed. Unfortunately, I didn’t think there was anything wrong, I knew I was a little overweight, but I looked around and I thought I looked better than average. Well maybe on the outside I felt I was still better than average, but on the inside I was a mess. My blood work came back and I had high cholesterol, triglycerides were ridiculous, and blood pressure was higher than normal. Physically I was in the hole. How do you think I was doing mentally? Yep you guessed it, emotionally and motivationally I was a wreck. I was just going through the motions, and believe me, when you are in poor health, everything is in slow motion. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was done feeling sorry for myself. No more unhealthy me. Being a competitive athlete in my younger years, I wanted to get back to a place in my life and health where I could run again, but that would take me losing at least 46 pounds. I am six foot tall and in September I was 226 pounds and probably around 30% body fat. First things first, I quit drinking excess calories such as alcohol and soft drinks and started exercising a few times a week. I had some success and started feeling better about myself, but I like so many people was still looking for that magic pill. I thought that I didn’t have enough time to workout, nor did I feel I could spend the time to cook healthy food for myself. Boy was I wrong. I found out about Beachbody and their Beachbody Challenge, 90 days commit to drinking Shakeology and doing a work out every day at home. I thought this is what I have been looking for, a chocolate shake everyday and I get to workout in my own space where I don’t have to worry about people seeing me do push-ups from my knees. Sign me up! On January 11th, 2012 I weighed in at 206 pounds and 24.1% body fat. I drank Shakeology every day and loved it. I felt good instantly, reduced my coffee intake drastically, and looked forward to my new breakfast with eagerness. I started pushing play on my DVD everyday and did the workouts religiously. I chose P90X as my workout program because I had heard great things about the format of the program and how quickly people were getting results based on the effort they put in. I also changed my eating habits. No longer did I eat anything that was modified, processed, or artificial. This was of paramount importance to get the noticeable fat loss that hides the body’s more famous muscles. Without nutrition there can be no six pack (as you find out when you get older). After 90 days I was 180 pounds and 11% body fat. I was hooked! I decided that I was ready to make my comeback on the Triathlon circuit.  A few weeks later I started P90X2. When I started I was 175 pounds and 10% body fat. This program was developed to build upon the results from P90X.  I started swimming, riding, and running as a supplement to the P90X2 workouts. After 14 weeks, I am 166 lbs and 7% body fat. I recently went in to have my blood work taken again and I have lost 90 points on my Cholesterol and everything else is within normal ranges. I feel amazing. I competed in my first Triathlon in 18 years this past July (Castaic Lake Sprint Triathlon). Tomorrow I am going to compete in Race #2 of that Triathlon Series. It is my hope that since this past month I completed the Performance Phase of P90X2 that it has helped to grow me as an athlete. I definitely feel faster and my training times have improved, so lets see if I can put them all together.

The whole point here is that there is no magic pill to get results. You still have to put in the work if you want the rewards. The smart thing to do is to do things that are proven to work. Commit to regiments that are reproduce-able. Be smart about your nutrition. Have a want and desire to do your best in any situation. You will get results if you follow this advice.

Here are some links that helped me and I know they can help you succeed as well. If you are open to it, I will help you achieve your goals, no matter how lofty you feel they may be!


Sandbagging is No Fun, but it sure is a Good Workout!

The past few days I have been helping my parents fill in an area with sand that fell victim to a landslide a little while ago.  My father, who is 70, and I filled a bunch of sandbags and placed them in order to stabilize the slope.  Needless to say, this is back-breaking work and was such a good workout that it took the place of my regular workout for 4 days (I still rode and swam a little bit just to keep the muscle memory current).  My Dad and I have a new found respect for those volunteers who go and sandbag in times of flooding.  Our hats our off to all of you who take the time to help others in dire need.

Volunteering your time is a rewarding experience when done out of selflessness and pure of heart reasons.  The idea of giving without receiving is such a good message.  I would be remiss to think that some people volunteer there time so that they may receive some recognition.  Even though the basis for the giving of time may not be pure, help is still received by those in need, perhaps just a little tainted.

I challenge everyone to take on some project, no matter how big or small,and donate your time to some organization that needs your help or that you can fill with your expertise or personal knowledge.  Do so without telling anyone that you are doing it besides maybe your immediate family so they don’t wonder where you are 😉 . My guess is that after you do this you will feel amazing in the fact that you just selflessly helped someone.  And that folks is what life is about.  Putting others before ourselves.  It is a humbling experience and one you will never forget!


Stepping Up

Many of us have trouble committing to a decision.  Whether it be ordering from a menu at our favorite restaurant, or keeping to that workout regiment we promised ourselves we would stay on at New Years, a non-committal attitude in our life leads to compromise. Now the time for compromise definitely has its place in life, relationships being one of them, but leading a life full of compromise leads to us living the life that someone else wants for us and not one that we have decided upon for ourselves.

The next time you are faced with a decision where compromising will have a negative effect on your life, take a second to think about the consequences and what you are giving up before you give in.  You just might take that first step up towards leading a happier life!