Wednesday, September 18, 2013

10 weeks later

With any major lifestyle change, there’s much trial and error involved. Today I’m going to go over what I’ve learned so far while doing the DDPYOGA program the past 10 weeks:

1.       Balance is much easier to achieve than flexibility, at least for me
I have been surprised at how well I can balance my 300+ pound body. I may not be able to hold a Road Warrior 3 for long, but the fact that I can do it at least for a time is very surprising to me. Conversely, I’m not much more flexible than I was the day I started the program. I’m still not getting close to those toes. On the Red Hot Core, I’m still not able to hold my toes and pull my leg out very far. I’m not giving up; it’s just a bit surprising.
2.       I’m capable of long workouts like the Diamond Cutter
The last week, I have done the DC twice, and while I was winded after it, it didn’t put me completely out for the entire day, nor was I sore. I never remember any lengthy workout I did where I didn’t hurt for days after. If I hiked a couple of miles in the woods I would probably be sore after it.
3.       Nut butter does me in on the scale
Whether it’s peanut or almond, the result is the same. I eat too much of it! Last week I ate it like it was going out of style and I gained a slight bit (sorry, I haven’t bought into the one month weigh in yet-maybe eventually). I have discovered a better option called PB2. I’m about to do my first recipe post with it as an ingredient-and let me tell you, it is a fantastic recipe. I just want to make sure I get all the tweaks on it just right
4.       Morning is the best workout time for me
I have an 11 month old son and a 2 year old daughter. When I’m not working, they demand my constant attention. My only way around it is to wake up before they do. 5AM is my only chance. I know everyone can’t do that, but for me it accomplishes 3 things: I’m done for the day early, I get the benefit of an empty stomach which supposedly helps fat burning, and I’m not at the mercy of a child’s whim. I would advise anyone to try it for a while and see how it works for them. Truthfully though, the best time to work out is WHENEVER YOU CAN-just make sure you get it done.
5.       Cheat days are the Debil (reference from the Waterboy)
Years ago, I did a program called Body for Life (which obviously was not the case for me). The program espouses a “cheat day” every week where you can have what you want. The times I have tried it, I have been severely disappointed. I have still lost, but it throws my body off the momentum of the DDPYOGA eating program. One week I gained weight. I have abandoned that idea now. It might work if I was in my twenties and had a great metabolism, but I’ve got to use every minute of every day to my advantage given the way my body works at this moment. Not to mention, it gives you a view of food where it is being used for comfort. Maybe at some point I’ll be able to work in some gluten free stuff that tastes like what I like as a treat. Right now, I’m just focusing on fueling my body. It’s just where I need to be mentally.
6.       I’m now 10 weeks in without missing a workout
While I have not been completely where I need to be on the eating front until most recently, I have been intense with my workouts. 6 days a week for 10 weeks, and I haven’t missed. I’m hoping to keep up the streak. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 6, 2013


This week was a huge WIN for me. I have been plugging along averaging under 2 pounds every week. I’ve been making a focused effort lately on having less modifications with my workouts and trying not to eat past 6PM every night. The 6PM idea came from Diamond Dallas Page on DDPRadio last week when he was answering a caller’s question about hitting plateaus.

A funny thing happened: I actually ate more at suppertime than I have been eating. I believe there is absolutely something to the 6PM thing. It gives your body a chance to burn calories while you sleep. The toughest part for me is that I start getting cravings about 9PM every day. Water with a bit of lime juice and stevia has been quite the savior for me during those cravings.

HERE WAS MY WIN: One week, four pounds! Me? Four pounds? I had weeks where I have worked like a dog doing 6 days straight of these DDPYOGA workouts and maintained my weight. During those weeks, in my mind it wasn’t adding up. How could I be working this hard and not seeing returns? In fact, my very first week I maintained my weight! I have been on programs where I did no workout at all and lost 10 pounds the first week.

But in retrospect, it all makes sense. I have been working out muscles I rarely have used. Muscle is being torn down and built back up. There is no way I was losing muscle because I always get the right amount of protein. Now my body is trying to maintain the muscle, and what’s coming off? FAT.

HERE’S MY ADVICE: No matter where you are-If you are having diminishing returns, if you have slow week after slow week, or even if you’ve gained a bit. DON’T GIVE UP. DON’T QUIT. One day you’ll have a victory that will make it all worthwhile.

Follow me on twitter @thinmanwithin

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Who Inspires Me: Jake 'The Snake' Roberts

This is the first of my blog series about people who inspire me to get where I need to go in my journey. While Jake was not the first person to inspire me, he certainly has been the one who has gotten my attention the most this year with his journey. Due to the timeliness of his journey, I felt it important to focus on him first.

Growing up as a wrestling fan during the heyday of Hulkamania, there were few wrestlers as cool as Jake “The Snake” Roberts. I mean, as a kid, what could be cooler to see than a big python? But it wasn’t just the presence of the snake. Jake Roberts was an innovator with his in-ring psychology. Also, his promo skills were second to none. Just check out this clip from his feud with Ted DiBiase:

Over the years, there has been a well-documented spiral in Jake’s life. I don’t need to rehash any of those things. There is Google and anyone can easily access information about his drug and alcohol issues. I have always rooted for Jake each and every time he has battled with those demons. WWE has been surprisingly supportive in getting him help. Say what you want about them, they have done a good job lately trying to help curb the statistics…but we all know the success of ANY rehab program in general is fairly unpredictable.

In the past, there hadn’t been anything that had really taken root in Jake’s life over the long haul. I can relate to this. I have struggled with what I believe is a food addiction. I can’t get enough of simple carbs…Those types of food can have very similar effects on the body as drugs…big difference being that you can’t be completely abstinent from food…you can quit certain types but you have to eat to live.

Enter Diamond Dallas Page. This man is positively affecting lives all over the world, and Jake is no exception. DDP picked up and moved to Atlanta and set up an “accountability crib” where Jake has a support system and a group of people to be accountable to. Jake’s goal is to stay off drugs and alcohol in order to hopefully compete in the Royal Rumble next January. Do yourself a huge favor and read the Yahoo article entitled "The Resurrection of Jake 'The Snake' Roberts. It will blow your mind to hear the story of his journey.

I started paying attention to what Jake was going through last January. I still put off getting back into DDPYoga until July, but his story and continued success has driven me to focus on bettering my health and life. I have had a gazelle-like intensity with the program since July.  I know that like Jake, I can’t be doing this or any program without accountability. I have the support system in place of a local friend who is on the program with me, and there’s the support of Team DDPYoga.

I’m happy to report that I have successfully completed 6 weeks of the workouts-with 6 days a week (with a day off each week) and never missing a workout. My eating has only gotten right just recently, but I’m moving forward and getting stronger. I probably won’t see Jake compete in the Rumble in person, but I will be rooting for him from home and I'm planning on doing so in skinnier pants. There will be few bigger Jake fans than this guy right here, and perhaps few that have been as positively affected.

Workout Calendar Added

I have now added my workout calendar below. When I complete them, I will write a "BANG!" in there to signify that it is done.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quick update

Just a quick update. As you can tell by the number above, my pounds to lose has gone down. I am down 2 more this week. It's what I would call a small victory that will add up to bigger ones down the road. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It really is different this time

How many times have we said, “The diet starts tomorrow?” Then maybe, out of frustration, we add that little addendum, “And THIS TIME I MEAN IT!” We go shopping for some veggies and stuff we don’t normally eat, then by the middle of the week we’re back on the Fritos and the vegetables sit in the fridge and rot away. I’ve started to realize that I have set myself up to fail COUNTLESS times (and I mean that quite literally-I can’t count how many diets I have been on in my life) by having that mentality. I’ve even done it with the DDPYoga program many times. That program guide seems so restrictive the first time you read it, so you think, “I’ll do things my way. I’ll go Atkins plus DDPYoga.” Or, “I’ll won’t restrict gluten” or “I’ll eat oatmeal.”

That may be fine for some people, but for me it doesn’t cut it. The fact of the matter is, I’m 1 ½ months in on my workouts, but only a couple of weeks or so in on the actual nutrition program. I worked out for 6 days a week for the first month. I lost 7 pounds. That would be a great result for most people, but when you are looking to lose 135 pounds, you expect to lose 7 your first week.

Times have changed for me though. I’ve always heard that the more you diet and gain back, the harder your body works at holding onto the weight. Not only that, I’m about a year or so from 40, and at that age metabolism slows regardless of how active you are or restrictive you are with what you eat. And my body is holding onto every pound for dear life. 2 weeks ago I lost 4 pounds in a week…my best week yet. Then last week the scale didn’t budge in spite of doing tougher yoga workouts and adding cardio.

The best thing I did for myself this week was a viewing on Netflix of the documentary Hungry for Change. I rather tire of the old cliché, “It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.” But it is the absolute truth. That movie nailed it home for me. At one point, there was a statement that you must switch your brain from saying, “I can’t eat that” to “I choose not to eat that.” There is a huge difference. I have to choose not to eat gluten and GMO-laden food. So I dusted the old juicer off this week.

Results? It’s been a gamechanger for me. Rather than eating the gluten free toast, I have a more healthy influx of complex carbs in the morning. I’ve decided that my juice doesn’t have to taste sweet. By adding kale and tomatoes, it’s more of a peppery savory drink. At first I told myself, “This is medicine” to get over the initial shock of the taste. But every day it tastes better and better and I look forward to it. And it feels amazing. I get a nice pick me up out of it that doesn’t have the crash of coffee.

I’m owning it day by day, little by little, small changes adding up to big changes. The thin man in me is breaking through barrier after barrier.

Follow me on twitter @thinmanwithin

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Positivity, Pressure, and Time

My last post gave you a background on the journey I have been on, and I’m trying to not look back as much and look forward to where I’m going. Many times it is important to look back and see where you’ve been…to learn from the past for the purpose of bettering yourself and your circumstances. In my case it is even more important to not dwell on the past though and move forward to the future. Because it is a new day after all. DDP posted something Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

And my future is bright…and I am positive about it.

In reading my last post, I think at times I came across a bit negative about the past battles I had fought. I think perhaps I had  looked back too much. I am reaching forward, and hitting milestones constantly. For starters, I have worked out 6 days a week since July 8th. I have never been that consistent. The amazing thing is, I have many more distractions now with having 2 toddlers in to than I ever dreamed of having the last time I started  DDPYOGA. My buddy Brian is the number one reason for my consistency in spite of the noise. I’m required to text him what workout I did every day. I also email him my food journal every day. This is accountability folks. It’s something I heard Stacey Morris talking about the other night on DDPRadio. She mentioned how Teri had been both her inspiration and accountability partner. As you can see on Stacey Morris' website, the results speak for themselves.

And it’s working. I’m seeing results. For example. I can hold my 300+ pound body up for a 9 count plank position on ENERGY. When I began, I would have to be on my knees. I would also have to go to my knee at certain points-now I only have to go to my knee on the Twisting Lunge…which I’m now able to hold up for a couple of seconds.

My diet is making me feel worlds better. I have looser pants. I have more energy throughout the day.

I feel like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption slowly chipping away at his cell wall with a little rock hammer. As Red said in the movie, “Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes, really, pressure, and time.”

Ready to keep up the pressure. And willing to take the time…whatever may come.