Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Why Do I Workout?

I have worked out for a lot of different reasons along the way. I think my first reason was for basketball. I have always wanted to dunk, I still want to dunk. I want to be quick, I want to be strong, and I want(ed) to be the best. When I got to college I wanted to workout to get more girls. At all times I am pretty sure I wanted a six pack, but I don't think I have consciously thought that's what I wanted until maybe my junior year of college.

I am a little older now, at least out of college for a while, and now I am not sure any more what I workout for. I can only assume that I want to workout because I don't want to feel like a slug and because I want to have a six pack. I am running out of things I want to workout for. I don't play ball any more, not by choice, I just don't have anyone to play with. I am not trying to pick up girls any more. So all I have left is my six pack dreams, my want to dunk, and not being a slug.

I'll start with the dunking. I am 5'10". I have read way too many articles, watched too many videos, and not done enough to get where I wanted to be. I am not sure if I am physically capable of being able to or not, but I am willing to find out. Some people say anyone can dunk, some say that some people just can't. I do not know which category that I fall into, but I am hoping that I am in the former.

Over the holidays I watched some people try to get out of their chair. They grunted and groaned, and it took them way longer than I ever want to take to get out of a chair. While I am not trying to pick up girls or anything like that, it doesn't mean that I want to let myself go and, like I have said, look like a thug. If nothing else, I want to be able to run around with kids, still play sports when I want to, and be able to get up off the floor or a chair without losing my breath.

The six pack. I have wrote about the six pack before, and I am sure I will write about it more. I know fitness and health and everything isn't about a six pack, but what man doesn't want one. I am no exception to that. I look in the mirror and I see like a half of a 2 pack. I know that makes a 1 pack, but that isn't what it is. I can see the line running from my chest to what would be the first of my abs. The top two aren't overly defined, but you can see them, so that is at least a place to start. I really want to be able to look into a mirror and see a 6,8, or 10 pack, I'll even take a 4 pack, and the rest of my 2 pack.

I have read countless articles, OK, maybe not countless, but at least a couple that have said you shouldn't use vanity as a reason to work out. I will be writing a more in depth article on that, but for not, we'll just say you shouldn't. I am going to try to not use that as my motivation and instead going to try and use wanting to dunk, doing a triathlon, and not being a slug as my reasons to workout.

365 Fit for life!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Weight and What Not

I currently weigh 198 lbs. after a successful weekend of eating. This puts my BMI at a nice 28.4. That puts me at about 1 point away from being obese. That sucks. According to the BMI gods, I should have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. That puts my weight range, to be healthy, between 129 to 174. That is a huge range. I can't even imagine myself at 130 lbs. I don't think that I have weighed that since I was like 10 or 12 or something like that. I haven't even consistently weighed 175 since like freshman ish year of college. I would like to be somewhere in the 165 range when this is all said and done. For now, though, I would be happy to be back in my 190 range.

I guess that sums up my weight goals. I'll be talking about my other goals in a later post.

*Also, I know that BMI is not the end all be all indicator of how healthy you are, nor should you rely on it to track all of your progress. I just used it because it gives you a general sort of overall idea of what is going on. If we only used BMI to gauge fitness, I think I heard that Micheal Jordan would be considered obese.

365 Fit for life.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

YouTube Hypocrite

I have been watching weight loss and transformation videos for the last like 3 hours now. I suppose in a way to psych myself up and get a little motivation flowing for my upcoming endeavor. Most of the people that are doing the YouTube weight loss vlogs and videos usually ask for help or tips to help them lose weight. It never fails that someone lists, eat smaller portions, get moving, exercise, and all the other "cliche" tips to lose weight. After reading some of these comments, it just made me angry. I don't really know why it did, I just did.

I am thinking to myself, that can't be right. I can't be mad for people trying to help out other people. I am not mad at the people, I guess it's just the comments. Here in the last few seconds I just figured out why it makes me mad. The commenters just come off as know it alls and that they are an expert on things. It's probably because I imagine they are people who sit and do nothing but watch YouTube and comment on people's vids like they know.

Oh wait... I have been sitting here doing nothing but watching YouTube and I write a blog about being 365 Fit. I know that makes me a hypocrite, I just don't know how I am supposed to stop myself from being that hypocrite. Maybe I am just obsessing over this too much. Anyways, I am going to try and not be a hypocrite because I know those people are just trying to help. After all, that is why I do it, and that is why you people read it.

365 Fit for life!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goals Make The World Go 'Round

I have made different goals through out my life. Whether it be personal, professional, health, or whatever. Most, if not all, have been long term goals, or the end result of something. I haven't made any short term goals, maybe not ever, but at least not recently. I always say I want a six pack or I want to dunk. My most recent one has been that I want to run a triathlon. Goals are a great thing, but sometimes we need to diversify the goals that we make for ourselves.

Here is my silver lining that I mentioned from my last post. I have a plan. That sounds lame, because I always seem to have a plan, but this time I hope it's different. I know I've said that before, but the minute I stop saying that I hope this time is different, is the minute that I have nothing left to work towards or for. That is why I am saying it, I hope this plan works.

When December 2nd rolls around I said that I am going to start working out again. Not in the sporadic sense that I have done recently, but the way that I know I should, the way I have done in the past. I also made another goal, something really simple. I said I would physically go to the gym at least once that week. I haven't been to our gym in at least six months, maybe more. That is a lot of time and money that I have basically just thrown down the drain.

These are my basic goals. I have read a few things that I am going to try, and I am still going to work towards my triathlon. I know it is going to go well.

365 Fit for life.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Falling Off The Wagon

I know the accepted expression is falling off the wagon, but I personally feel it should be, jumping off the wagon. Falling implies that you "accidentally" fell off the wagon, or in my case got lazy, weak, and didn't do anything to improve the quality of your life, or more exactly did everything you could possibly do to decrease the quality of your life.

With the exception of a minute percentage of the population we do not accidentally get fat or become unhealthy. We all make choices every day. Case in point. This Thanksgiving I totally bombed everything. Not only did I engorge myself with the holiday festivities, I then proceeded to drink I'd say 3,000 calories of soda in the course of four days. I ate chili dogs, leftovers, sausage, bacon, heavy gravy, biscuits, more leftovers, cheese dip, chips, and basically anything I wanted.

It didn't seem that bad when I wasn't writing it all down. I didn't accidentally eat all of this. I didn't accidentally drink all that pop. I made choices and while they weren't good choices, they were still my choices to make. They weren't accidents, I didn't fall off of anything, it was just my decisions.

Again, it sounds really bad, and I know it does. There is a silver lining in all of this; that is if you were looking for a silver lining, but I will get to that in my next post.

365 Fit for life.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Am I Really Not Eating Out?

Like myself, I am pretty sure we have all said, I don't want to eat out. Whether it be because of money, nutrition, or whatever you're reason, we have all said it at one time or another. I recently have made that statement. We usually have a bad habit of eating out whenever we get paid. I am sure a lot of other people do that in some fashion or another. Oh, I just got paid, I need to go shopping. Oh, look, money, . Whatever your vice may be, we have all been there.

I did not want to eat out for both of my stated reasons. I didn't want to spend the money, and I didn't want to eat unhealthy. We did good through the first week and then the weekend rolls around. It was Friday after work and we had just pulled into our driveway. I said to my girlfriend, let's go get something to drink for the weekend. We pulled out of our driveway and went to the store that is like two blocks away. When it was all said and done we spent about 16 dollars on drinks and snacks. The weekend was almost over and I had some time to think about the situation. Are we really not eating out?

When we go to fast food places we usually end up spending about 14 to 17 dollars. When we go sit down and eat it's probably around 20 to 30 to 40 depending on where we eat. The point I am trying to make is, while I thought we were doing good for not eating out, in reality, we really were. We were spending X amount of money for "food" that lasted for about a meal.

People do this all the time. They don't want to go out and eat so they think, I'll just go to the store and buy things to cook at home. What inevitably happens at the store? We get junk food, snacks, or something like that. We often go to the store hungry and we often go after work when we are all stressed out and just want to get it over with and our guard is often down. We grab a 24 pack of pop, which incidentally is now a 20 pack it seems, a bag of chips, maybe some dip, or desert. We buy all these things thinking we are doing the right thing because we are making our purchases at a supermarket and not at a restaurant.

Whenever money is involved, or your health, or food, or eating, always make sure you are doing what is the best for you. Just because you bought food from a supermarket, doesn't mean that you are doing the best thing for you. Just because you are eating out at a restaurant, doesn't mean you aren't doing the best thing for you. If you go to a grocery store, have a meal plan ready before you go to the store so that you get only the healthy things that you need. Go to the store when you are not hungry to help avoid impulse buys. Also, if at all possible, do not go to the store with your kids, your sisters kids, or any kids. They will slow down the process, they will want things they shouldn't have, and they will distract you from staying the course.

I hope that we all make the best choice for ourselves no matter what that choice is.

365 Fit for life!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

To Eat Or Not To Eat

I looked into my freezer today and saw what has been sitting there for probably a long time, like at least the last year. I saw a bag of fries and a bag of tater tots. I love fries and tater tots and today I ate them. I guess my reasoning behind it was, I would rather not waste the food, then worry about my health for that particular moment. It's like when you are watching one of those shows where they are trying to get people healthy and they come into their house and just throw out everything.

I have been going way more "green" this year than I have ever before. It's a weird line separating wasting food, and trying to eat healthy. I do not like it when I waste food, and I do not like it when I do not eat healthy. Ok, I take that back, I don't mind when I don't eat healthy while I am not eating healthy, it's just after the fact that I am not so happy with myself. Also, I know that last statement sounds like some weird eating disorder, but I can safely assure all of you that it is not an eating disorder where I am just disgusted by myself and I purge all the sin out of my body.

I suppose the bottom line in all of this is to only keep healthy food in your house, and then when you are faced with the dilemma of not wanting to waste food, you won't have to choose an unhealthy option. No one is perfect, and we all probably will have or have junk food in your house at some point in time. I usually have junk food in my house, and probably will continue to have junk food in my house at any given time.

Moderation is the key to everything and like I tell everyone around me, there is a time and place for everything. Go ahead and eat those fries, depending on who you are talking to it might actually do you more harm to deny your self something want as opposed to just letting yourself eat it. We all need to take a little something for our selves every now and again, just don't over do it.

365 Fit for life.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Weekend Is A Killer

Weekends do one of two things. They either invigorate and motivate you to get out there and do great things; or they sap everything that you ever had and turn you into the lump of all lumps, the couch potato. I have had weekends of both kinds, though lately it has been more of the latter. This weekend I suppose was half of one and half of the other. I didn't really do anything on Friday, and I know I didn't do anything on Saturday. I had good intentions on Saturday, it just didn't quite pan out. Today I did my push ups and my squats and so I feel good in doing that. My push ups I think have gotten better, and I feel stronger when I do them now.

Though I did push ups and squats today, I don't think that I made any real progress in the weight loss department. I will get to that in a different post, however. This week is Thanksgiving week, and I hope that all the will power that I haven't used for the last forever comes to me this week and motivates me to not eat 'till I am sick.

I am looking forward to this weekend, and I feel that it will be one of motivation and invigoration and not one of sloth and gluttony.

365 Fit for life!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Resisting Temptation

I just got paid yesterday and that usually means snack time. It is almost without fail that after I get paid I ususaly stop at my local convenient store and get a soda to drink. We also go grocery shopping and I usually end up buying something to drink there as well. Today we stopped for gas, and we also went shopping. I didn't go into the actual store when we got gas, and I walked by everything when we went shopping. I felt a sort of longing to get something to drink, it was odd. The best thing though was that I resisted the temptation to buy something at either place.

That was the good news. The bad news is that I ate two tacos instead of just one. Like I said in my last post though, you can't do everything at once. I think this is day two of my no soda campaign and it feels good that I have set a goal. As a side note my goal is to not drink soda until we go on spring break in March.

That is my update for the day, and I hope wherever you are that you are doing all you can do to be 365 Fit.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tired And Happy

So there I was sitting on the couch. I was full of taco and feeling kind of sleepy. I knew today was part of my strength day, but was having a hard time making myself get off of the couch. That is what it seems to be like the last four days I have been trying to be active. I'll wake up in the morning feeling tired and thinking, today I don't really want to work out. Then I'll go to work and think, I just want to go home and relax. I get home and relax, and then the want to move my body slowly diminishes. Then for some reason after that I get these thoughts in my head. I want to be stronger. I want to be faster. I have these thoughts for a while and then something just motivates me to get up and get something done.

Tonight I did about 45 push ups, 45 squats, and 45 lunges. I feel good about what I did tonight, it wasn't a lot, but it got me sweating and off the couch.

My downfall has still been some of the snacking that I have been doing. I am probably relying a little too much on the advice of you can't do it all at once, but at least I am doing something at all. My weight has been fluxing for the last three days, and I know it's just been three days, but I still don't like it. I am hoping that here in the next few days I will even out and my eating habits will start to get better.

365 Fit for life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You Are What You Eat

If this is true, then apparently I am a mashed potato cheeto drowning in Mt. Dew. I hope tomorrow when I wake up, I won't be covered in butter or anything like that. I added a menu as well as my current weight and body fat percentage. I do not know how accurate this body fat measure on my scale is, but since it is the only one I will be using it will at least serve as a reference on if I am going up or down. I am going to be posting my current weight for both the morning and night. I find it interesting my weight shift from morning to night and then again to the morning. It's usually in the 6 lbs. range. I doubt that is good for me. I think it might have something to do with what I eat or what I don't eat or what kind of liquids I drink. I am also adding what time I go to bed, well at least what time I lay down in bed, as it's hard to gauge exactly when I fall asleep, and when I wake up. I am not sure what significance this might have, but I think it will be useful in my quest for better fitness.

So there we are, I am listing a lot of vitals for myself to better track what is going on with my body. Stay tuned, I hope good things are to come.

365 Fit for life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pop Free's The Way To Be

Tonight I have drank, drunk, drank, the last of my pop/soda that I have in the house. Tonight is hopefully going to be the last night that I drink pop/soda for a long time. I like pop/soda a lot, probably more than I should, but I love it. Soda is just empty calories, I know it, you know it. I may like soda, but I think I'm going to like looking in the mirror and seeing a six pack of abs staring back at me, and not a six pack of Mt. Dew.

I remember not so long ago when I used to drink nothing but water. I didn't necessarily drink it because I like water, but I drank it because I couldn't afford to drink anything else but the water out of my tap. I don't buy pop very much any more, but I buy it more than I should. So, not only will I be saving money by not buying pop, I'll be saving my waist line as well. Wish me luck.

365 Fit for life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Triathlete Bikeman

I have always toyed with the idea of participating in a triathlon. Since starting this whole parkour thing it has motivated me at least a little bit to be more active. I have made an unofficial promise to myself, not in writing, to do a triathlon.

I started my pseudo training tonight with a little bike riding. I learned three things while riding around my neighborhood. First, like I had said in a previous post, I am out of shape. Two, I do not like biking up hills. Three, hot cheetos and Mt. Dew are not good pre-workout foods.

This is day four of me being active every day, and that is a good thing. I feel tired and achey and tired, and sore, and did I mention achey. I hate that it is getting longer and longer for me to get back to the place where I left off when I worked out for any length of time. I am hoping that in the next two weeks I will be back to a level where I won't feel completely worthless.

*Parkour update - During my bike ride I came across some picnic tables and decided to work on my kong vaults. I was able to dive just a little bit and plant my hands about half way across the table and jump up and onto the table without injuring myself. I just couldn't muster the courage to actually try and jump over it yet. Until then I will keep practicing and let it happen.

365 Fit for life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Parkour #2

I don't know if you can really call this day number 2 or not, but I am going to anyways. Went down to the playground again where I live and just messed around a little more. Jumped off a few things, did some chin ups and push ups. I did some more front rolls, and my shoulders don't hurt or anything when I do them, though I seem to landing hard on my hip when I roll over, so I'll have to work on that. I am trying to work on my kong/monkey vaults, but I don't have anything that I can vault over. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to find something to vault over. I can try to vault over my fence, but it is a little bit too high for my first attempt. I have been watching videos on youtube trying to psych myself up for the jump. Parkour and the elements there of will be good for me, cause I am afraid I will hurt myself. This is the best way I can think of to get over this fear, to just do it. I'll let you know how it goes when it happens. Until then, 365 Fit, for life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My It's Been A Long Time

I just went outside on this awesome November afternoon and started practicing my rolling. I couldn't have been out there for more than like five to ten minutes just kinda running around, jumping, and rolling. Wow, I am more out of shape than I had anticipated. There is something to be said about training like a kid. They just run and run and run and run and that is something we can all embrace.

I just came in for some water and a breather, and now it's back out to rolling around in the grass.

*Update - I just walked down to the playground area in the neighborhood I live in. It was fun to just run and jump on the equipment, do some chinups and swing across the bars. I also had an opportunity to jump over a few things and to jump from a height greater than six inches.

I learned a couple of things while I was doing this. One, if you land wrong it is very jarring and kind of hurts a little bit. Two you should always land on two feet unless you are going to roll, and even then, you might still want to land on two feet to help absorb the shock of landing. Finally, doing unconventional things to workout, such as playing at the playground, really helps to motivate you to keep going.

I hope tomorrow I will be able to find more things to jump over and practice on. I haven't been trying to do anything "parkourish" except for my rolling, but I think to just get out there and jump around and get my body used to impacts and things is going to help out a lot. Oh yeah, also toughening up my hands is going to help a lot cause apparently I have little girl hands that hurt after swinging on the monkey bars.

365 Fit for life!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Time To Stop Deteriorating

I started this blog for probably the wrong reasons. I started it for not myself first, but rather for others. I wanted fame and acknowledgement and tons of traffic. I wanted daily comments and people subscribing and following whatever it was I was talking about. That lasted for a while. I think I got up to around 40 or so posts.

I have made a decision to start again. This time around, I am doing it for myself. I am using my blog as a way to track my own progress and let me reflect on the things that I am doing. I will still write tips when I find them or think of them, and I will write my little blurbs about fitness, but will focus mostly on the things that I am doing. If it helps people along the way then great, I always want to help.

I have done a lot of research on my new fitness ideas, and plan on doing a lot more in the next forever. I am going to start doing parkour. Parkour is basically moving through your environment, any environment, in the quickest possible way. One of the most well known displays of this was during the opening chase scene in Casino Royale. It depicts a person, think its Sebastian Foucan, running through a construction site.

This will be my first venture into anything like this and I hope it goes well. Let me know if you have or want to do anything like parkour.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday June 3rd Quick Tip

Get dressed.

It has been said that if you feel unmotivated or depressed or sad or whatever negative feeling that you are feeling at the moment can help to be alleviated by getting dressed. That does not mean just throw on the same pair of sweats that you have been schlumping on for the last week and a half. It means put on some clothes that make you feel good. Granted you might not have anything that will make you feel good, but give it your best effort. If you need to and can afford it, then go out and buy yourself something that you will feel good in. That might just be enough to jump start your healthy living.

365 Fit for life

*Disclaimer - I am not encouraging you to buy more clothes if you do not need them, or if you do not have the extra money to afford to be able to spend it. Pay your bills!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A New Look Might Be Just What You Need

I think for most guys a hair cut is just a haircut. I personally don't really like getting my haircut. I am also one of those people who doesn't really want to do anything because I'd rather be doing something else. Kind of confusing I know, but now is not the time or place for such talk. Anyways, I had put off my haircut for quite some time, probably close to two months. My hair grows really fast, so I was looking kind of shaggy. I go through phases with my hair. Sometimes it looks good, sometimes I just have to deal with it looking sort of bad. When I went to go get my haircut I assumed it was like any other haircut, I'd go in, get it done, and think nothing more of it. While I was getting it done, it started out the same and then about 3/4 of the way through it begin to change. I noticed that my face got a little thinner and taller, and that my overall sense of well being crept up a little bit. Now I do not think that any sort of magic was involved, although the jury is still out. I do however think that our appearance is a big part of our health, not just good nutrition and exercise.

My recommendation on a haircut is find someone you like and stick with them. It is annoying having multiple people cut your hair. Everyone does it a little differently and you never quite get what you want with new people. If you can get the same person every time then you will get what you want every time. It might take a little bit of trial and error in the beginning, but once you find a good barber/stylist, stay with them.

365 Fit for life

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Is Sauna Sweat Just As Good As Running Sweat

I like saunas. They make you sweat and they make you feel good. Do we get any health benefit from sitting in a sauna. Well I suppose yes and no. Will you start losing tons of weight from sitting in a sauna, probably not, unless you are in there 24/7 and that wouldn't be healthy for anyone. So if you are not losing weight then what are you doing in a sauna. Like I said before, saunas make you feel good. It helps you to relax, loosens up your muscles, and makes you a little healthier. I read that the heat makes your body feel like it has a fever and boosts your immune system just a little bit. Now that's healthy.

People always want a way to lose weight without working. I guess you can say that sweating without moving will burn some calories. But like countless people have said, it is mostly just water. Sauna's do not replace good nutrition and healthy exercise. What it does do is compliment the plan that you are already on. So sit in your sauna after your workout. Let your mind and body relax, clear up your pores, and work whatever other magic you want to believe the sauna does for you. Just don't let that be your only workout for the week.

365 Fit for life

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Longer We Wait, The More We Deteriorate

I read somewhere that as we get older the longer we do not workout from the time that we did workout the more our muscles deteriorate. Now that sounds like common sense, as we get older our muscles need more push to get the same results. Yes that is probably common sense, but how many people have ever really thought about it? I am not old by any means, but I am still older than when I started my working out adventures. When I was younger it was way easier to recover from workouts and I could go a lot longer in between workout stints and not lose any strength. Now it seems like if I miss for a day or two I have lost any and all gains that I have made in the previous week. I can only assume that the majority of people reading this are in the older but not quite old category and here is my advice for you. Keep doing something. It is very simple but it holds very true. There will be days and weeks now and in the future when you will not want to do anything. You will be swamped with school or work, or in laws or vacation or whatever it is that you think is more important than your health. If you do not have time to go to the gym then do some prison style workouts. Google it if you want more in depth stuff. The simple version of it is do push ups, crunches, and body weighted squats, or any other body weighted squats. Take 10 minutes out of your day and get it done. It doesn't have to be anything major just something to keep your muscles engaged and doing something. Trust me, you will regret that week you let slip by because of something else.

My last thought for the day is that while you might think things are more important than going to the gym, remember that you only have one body. Treat it right.

365 Fit for life

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Meat My Only Friend

I love meat. I like hamburgers, hotdogs, steak, chicken, pork, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, is that meat, basically all animals. The problem with this love is that it raises some concerns that I have been reading about.

The inhumane treatment of animals in slaughter houses is crazy. Rotting meat, feces, bugs, all of this crazy stuff is happening in these places and we still eat it. I read in one book that the manager told the workers to mix the obviously rotten meat in with the fresh meat. That is just sick.

I guess the way the process works is that as soon as the animal dies it starts to decompose. That means that you are putting a dead, rotten, carcass in your mouth and swallowing. Which then, since your body has a hard time digesting meat, sits in your stomach and basically rots some more until it passes out of your system. This scenario is kind of like the egg you are eating. An undeveloped baby chicken. Yep, you just ate a dead baby fetus. If you think about it in those terms then we shouldn't eat anything ever.

It is hard to know where the line is between using descriptions to gross you out and having actual information that will be beneficial to you. Is meat good for you, probably. Is meat bad for you, probably. Should we eat meat? Should we not eat meat? Who knows. I think that there is no real consensus on if we should eat meat or not. We can get the same protein and other minerals from plants and supplements. So that means we shouldn't eat meat then right? Again, who knows. If you choose to eat meat then that is what you should do. If you choose to not eat meat, then that is what you should do too. All that I ask is you to think about your food choices and decide which one is the best for you.

365 Fit for life.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Skinny Bitch

I have been doing a bit of reading here as of late and I came across a book that was in my collection and read most of it. The book I am referring to is Skinny Bitch. It's an interesting take on things that goes against the sugar coated norm of everyone needs to do things on their own time sort of approach. They basically yell at you, swear, and tell you that you are a horrible person. Well maybe not the horrible person, but they do call you names. This book or plan isn't for everyone, those that are sensitive need not read this book. For those of you though who want someone to step up and slap you in the face, this is the book for you. Geared mostly towards women, hence the title, the book still offers good advice that can be used by either gender.

The gist of the book is to be organic and vegan. No meat, no dairy, and did I mention no meat. They regaled me with tails of horror stories from meat packing plants and let me tell you, they didn't paint the prettiest picture when it comes to slaughter houses. I love meat, end of story. The stories in the book however made it a little harder to eat meat. I am on day two of my not quite vegan food choice. I have eaten an egg, and I've had some yogurt and cheese, so I am not quite vegan. I am happy to say though that I have not had any meat in over 36 hours. That my friend is quite an accomplishment.

My question for you is this. Vegan, vegetarian, what do you think of all of this. Can you go without meat? Should you go without meat? I'll talk about it more in my next post, but let me know what you think.

365 Fit for life.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Big D Word

Diet. Everyone is talking about going on or being on a diet. I say down with diets. I am going to try my very best to never say the word diet ever again in these posts. Just the mere word diet sends negative thoughts running through my head. Diet means no good food, starving yourself, and being miserable. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound very healthy. Instead I will talk about healthy nutrition choices, eating for life, good food, and anything that promotes eating in a good healthy way. It might be difficult but we all should do it. The less we talk about it the better you'll feel, I'm sure of it.

I'll leave you with this. I was reading an article from a long time ago and it went something like this. We should spell diet, edit. Instead of thinking we are on a diet, we should just edit our food choices. Something to think about, edit.

365 Fit for life

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Justification Is Not The Only Way

We justify everything. We justify why we didn't go to the gym. We justify why we didn't eat healthy that day. We justify just about everything. And to who? And for what? Justify is just a nice way of saying excuse. I am going to not workout today, and I feel justified in saying that because I was so busy at work today. Translation...I am going to be lazy and I just want to make an excuse up in my head so that I don't feel bad about my actions. I think I stated a couple posts ago that if you want to do something just do it. You want that second piece of cake, then eat that second piece of cake. I think that is better that you feel healthy emotionally and mentally then if you feel better physically. Do we really need that second piece of cake, probably not, does it make us feel better, probably. The only caveat to watch for is to not indulge ourselves all the times. Moderation is the key and in this case it is no exception. Back to the topic.

We should feel bad for the choices we make. Not necessarily because of the choice, but because we try to reason with ourselves. That answers the question, who are we justifying this to. We are justifying it to ourselves. Sure you are talking to another person, but no matter who it is, your mom, your significant other, or whoever, we are really just justifying it to ourselves. But the person I am talking to, they want to know and they'll understand what I'm going through. Wrong. While the person you are talking to is going to listen more than likely, and yes they will offer you what you want to hear. "I had a really tough day at work, I am going to eat that whole pint of ice cream and that's OK" ..."Sure it is, you had a tough day that is totally reasonable" or something like that. Sound familiar? Well it should. Each day we justify to ourselves why we should be able to do things, and it's not just with food or fitness, it's with everything. Most people will tell you what you want to hear, and that is agreeing with your decision. Some will say it's cause they can really sympathize or empathize with you. Some will agree with you because you want them to agree with you later. We would be doing everyone a favor if we just told them, no fat ass you do not need to eat that entire block of cheese. OK, maybe you can be a little nicer, but I think you know what I mean. We think we are doing them a favor by letting them feel good about their decision and letting them get over their ordeal with food or another substitute. If you tell them they shouldn't eat that, they will probably be mad, and they will probably say not nice things, but it will help them, I promise. If they do not need to eat something as a friend they should respect that you are trying to help them. Give them some space afterwards cause they won't be too happy, but I'm sure the next day they will say thank you.

365 Fit for life

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday May 27th Quick Tip

Here is another simple tip. I was walking around at work the other day and I took the elevator up for convenience. I think we all know where this one is going. Take the stairs.

I thought about it for a little bit after I took that elevator ride and I thought, well I was in a hurry, and this way was quicker. I suppose I was in a hurry, and taking the elevator was quicker. Then I asked myself did it really matter if I got there quicker. Was that 20 or so seconds of extra walking going to really matter to my time schedule? The answer to that is no. I could have and should have walked that extra bit and took the stairs.

I have heard that a good rule of thumb is, if it is less than four flights of stairs take them. I say let's do one better. Just take the stairs no matter what. This provides more than just a health benefit. Taking the stairs we know takes more time than the elevator. This means that you need to plan for it kind of like planning for the morning traffic. If you know that you need to plan that extra time to take the stairs, then you should in turn get a little more organized at work. Maybe you won't spend that extra couple minutes surfing the net, or finishing up your seventh game of solitaire. Productivity is a great things, and taking the stairs gives it to you two fold.

365 Fit for life

Monday, May 26, 2008

Flexible Like A Bendy Pretzel Bobcat Thing

If you have seen the movie, "Two Weeks Notice", the title of this post might seem familiar. Now I do not remember the exact quote of what she said, but the effect is there, bendy like a pretzel.

At one point we were all flexible. For most of us it was probably when we were like 5, but either way we were flexible. I was flexible at 5 maybe even 6, but I wish I was still flexible like that. Like most I grew taller, and my flexibility sort of went with it. A lot of attention is given to cardio and to strength training but not a lot of attention is given to balance, or flexibility, or to stretching. I am guilty of that as I think I have one post that says anything about flexibility. So I am going to remedy that now.

Flexibility is a key idea to most anything. Oh my hamstring hurts, I can't run....I have said that a few times in my life. I have really tight hamstrings and sometimes they hurt more than they should when I run. Even though I know this, I usually tend to ignore it. Bad idea. I would say flexibility is one of those things that you need to spend time on along with your cardio and strength training. Yoga and pilates are the two most known ways of getting more flexible, but simple stretching is a good place to start.

You want to stretch after you workout, or at least after you are warmed up. I have read that static stretches, one where you are stationary and are trying to stretch an individual muscle, is actually bad for you before your workout. They say that you will actually lose power because of it. I do not remember the details, nor are they overly important. The point of it is just make sure you are warmed up. I would say start with the biggest muscles first, your hips, your quads, and your hamstrings. I like to start with a butterfly stretch and then work in some hip stretches. I then like to lay on my back and stretch out my hamstrings. I stand up, stretch my quads, my calves, and then move onto my shoulders and upper arms.

This is a quick quick version of how I like to stretch. When I get more time I will dive into some more in-depth writing on stretching and everything else.

365 Fit for life

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Skinny Bitch

I recently semi started to read a book entitled "Skinny Bitch". I have only read a couple chapters but it seems like a good book so far. The content is the same that I have read and have known before but there is one key difference in this book. The book yells at you. It tells you to get off your lazy fat ass and do something about it. Now for the most part I am all about taking a nicer approach to fitness. You need to do things on your own time, or at your own pace or when you are ready. This approach will definately work for some people and it will definately not work for others. For those others that's where Skinny Bitch comes in. Those are the people that need someone to kick them in the pants and really tell them whats up. Oh sugar isn't overly good for you, so maybe, you know, if you want, you should probably not eat that, you know if thats ok with you. Skinny Bitch tells you, quit your overindulging habits, throw away all that shit you are eating, and get healthy.

Some people need a little more blunt, and some need a little more subtle. The bottom line is to figure out what you need and get it. If one approach doesn't work then try the other. If you have tried the moderation and being nice to yourself cause you didn't want to burn out or over do it or whatever, then try to be mean. Yell at yourself, tell yourself that you are fat and disgusting and that you need to change. Do whatever you need to do to get the results you want.

365 Fit for life.

*Disclaimer - I am not promoting a book nor am I telling you to go buy this book.
*Disclaimer 2 - I am not telling you to make yourself have a lower self-esteem by yelling at yourself. Before you try that approach, know yourself enough to know if you can handle something that critical.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What Does It All Mean?

Motivation, goals, plans. All of these things have good intentions. All of them mean nothing without action. It's easy to find motivation. It's easy to make goals. It's easy to make plans. Why is it so hard to take action? It seems like I always want to have the right answer to everything. Who doesn't? I have the right answers to a degree when it comes to this whole fitness thing. I understand the principles of lifting and nutrition. I understand what it takes to get results. Regardless of this knowledge, something inside of me fails to pull the trigger when I need to the most. I usually get to a certain point and I ask myself, what does it all mean? Why am I doing this? What motivation do I have to consistently keep going? As of late it seems like there is less and less motivation to keep me going. I always have these thoughts running through my head trying to figure out what keeps stopping me from achieving what I want from my fitness. I have yet to come up with anything solid that will stick with me for too long. I know there are things I could do, sign up for a marathon, join a sports league, or join a club of some sort that would force me to stay more active and eat better. I will figure it out.

Summer for me is only 6 days away. I keep telling myself that I will throw myself head on into my own version of a boot camp during the summer as I will have nothing better to do. I hope that works.

I am writing this post not to depress or bum anyone out, but more so as a reminder to myself and to everyone that I struggle with every day things like every person who might read this. My question for you is this, what do you use as motivation? What do you see in your future that keeps you working towards something? Leave me a comment, I would love to know.

365 Fit for life

Friday, May 23, 2008

All Is Not Lost

I have been covering the proverbial wagon for a few posts now and I can safely say that the wagon doesn't look as good as it used to. The story is going like this. I have been working out doing lifting and cardio pretty consistently. My food consumption has only been going moderately good. I eat a good breakfast, lunch, and two snacks during the day like I should. The problem that I am having is with dinner. We went out to eat a couple times, and I have just been eating more than I should. I feel a little bad about what I am doing, and the only thing that is keeping me afloat is the fact that I am still working out. Usually when I fall off the wagon I tend to go all out, I don't workout I eat junk 24/7 and generally it is a bad experience overall.

I think I wrote a few posts ago about if you have a bad day then that is fine or a bad two days, as long as you don't wait till the next week to start over again. You should just pick up right where you left off. It will save you time and a multitude of other things if you start up again right away. I am half doing that. I can still see my wagon and slowly but surely I will catch it again.

My closing thought is, what causes you to get off your wagon, and what helps you get back on?

365 Fit for life

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday May 22nd Quick Tip

Use a smaller plate. Yep, that's it. Use a smaller plate when you are at home eating your food and you will eat less. If you have a smaller plate it does double duty. One, it will force you to not put as much food on your plate as you would with a larger plate. Two, your plate is smaller thereby giving you that illusion that there is more food on your plate than there really is tricking your mind into thinking that you have enough.

I am not sure how well this one works for me, but it makes sense either way. If nothing else give it a try and if it works for you then keep at it. If it doesn't work, well then you can chalk it up to your list of "you have tried everything".

365 Fit for life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ready Made Is Portions Made Easy

I love macaroni and cheese. Particularly the off-brand spiral macaroni and cheese. I like to make two boxes because well I am a glutton for punishment I suppose. When it is all made up I stare down at the contents in the pot. I grab my bowl and keep scooping and scooping never ready to stop. After my bowl is heaped over the top I sit down to enjoy my feast of noodle and cheese. It is very satisfying for the moment but later I usually regret it. If this scenario sounds familiar to you then read on.

Having ready made portions is one of the reasons that lean cuisine or smart ones or healthy choice or whatever brand of "health" food you buy is so popular. Aside from it being already cooked, pre-packaged, and it's ability to be nuked in the microwave, having it already be the portion of food that you need it to be is very helpful. On the diet that I like to be on, eating my six meals a day, I make everything the night before, except breakfast and dinner. I make my two snacks and my lunch and even my breakfast and dinner are made following a recipe that makes exactly what I need to eat. Instead of making a family size pot of spaghetti, I boil my one ounce or two ounces or whatever it calls for and not the whole box. This virtually eliminates any excuse I have to over eat. I know what and when I should eat, I make my food, and just eat what I have made. There isn't anything more to it.

This is a big help for some people. I am sure you have heard this before, and like I have stated previously I am not writing a new book, merely restating what is known in a forum that I hope to be productive. The moral of this story is make only the amount of food that you need to eat. If you have to make more than that, then go to your local store, throw down your 20 bucks or whatever it costs and buy some plastic containers. Measure out your servings and put them in your containers to store and just pull out one when you need to eat.

Information is half the battle, using that information is the other half. I will provide you with as much information as I can, and all I ask is you use it. My question I pose to you is, what do you do to help control your portions? Leave me a comment or an email.

365 Fit for life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Portion Control Is The Best Control

Like many of you I have read countless articles on health, diet, and fitness. It seems like everyone says different things about how you should go about your exercise and nutrition. The one constant is portion control. I have never seen an expert tell you that you should go and eat a steak the size of your head. Or of course you should get extra heavy gravy on those butter filled potatoes. Moderation is the key to success. I am sure you already knew this, but it never hurts to hear it again.

It is hard sometimes to get the portions you need right. The following are some things that I have found to help you on your way to always getting your portions right.

Portion Distortion Quiz by DiscoveryHealth
This is a quick 5 question test about portion size. After you answer the question it tells you if you are right or wrong, and gives some helpful information about the correct answer.

The Portion Plate
I try to never endorse anything or sell anything or advertise anything on this site. Thankfully I am still not endorsing, selling, or advertising anything. Well maybe advertising if providing a link to something that you can buy is considered advertising, but it's small and I haven't bought the product, so you can call it what you want. Either way this is the portion plate. It looks cool anyways. It's just a simple plate that has the portions of food that you need split up on your plate so when you are dishing up you know what you need to be giving yourself and your family. I am not recommending this product, nor am I telling you that you need to buy it, I am just giving you more resources in your path to being fit.

Readers Digest Portion Size Guide by RD.com
This is a nice PDF file that lists the portions of foods you should be eating in cups and ounces, and also includes a nice every day visual such as a CD or a baseball to help you gauge your portions better.
Portion Size Guide by ChangeOne.com
This is virtually the same thing both provided by Readers Digest. This one is in html form just in case you can't or don't want to view a PDF file.

Size Does Matter - Master Portion Control by AARP.org
Another guide that lists portion sizes and also includes some helpful information about the right portion size for you. At the end there are some helpful tips to help you out.

Food Database by Calorie King
A little more comprehensive then just a portion control sheet it shows calories and serving size of different products.

Food Reflections by University of Nebraska - Lancaster
Shows some good information about how out of proportion or portions are.

Portion Size IQ by WebMD
This has a little quiz you can take, but what is really good is the information it gives to you following the quiz.

I hope these links and information help you to be more aware of the food and the amount of food you are eating. 365 Fit for life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why Do We Fall Off The Wagon

Like I stated in my last post, and if you do not know what I am talking about then read my last post, falling off the wagon is easy. So then, what makes it so easy to fall off that wagon and what can we do to stay on it. I hate to inform you that there is no magical solution, a catch all for every individual that will give you the road map to your success. All I can say is that everyone has their own strengths and preferences and you just need to figure them out and play them up.

Being healthy for the first time is always going to be a challenge. For some it will be a challenge for the rest of their lives. For others it will be so easy that you wonder why you weren't always healthy or healthier earlier in your life. It is easy to be lazy and fat because your body seems to want it that way. My body tends to be comfortable at around 190 pounds. The problem is that I am not comfortable being around 190 pounds. I am not obese nor do I have any major health concerns, but my body likes that higher weight then the rest of me does. Everyone is different, but I am sure everyone can relate to that in some way or another. It's like your body gets to a certain level, and will do everything that it can do to stay there. It is very frustrating. Another reason on why it's so easy, is because food tastes good. Let's face it, food that is bad for you, usually tastes the best. Now I know that there are people out there that love all vegetables, eats only lean cuts of meat, and eats fish like it's becoming extinct. To those people, you are probably not reading blogs like these, so we will exclude you for the moment. I know that I love food. I love my hot dogs, cheeseburgers, tacos, pizza, and yada yada yada. This inturn coupled with that your body is usually trying to always be balanced, tends to lead to some problems in the eating department.

The solution to all of this is to simply ignore what your body is telling you, and focus on what you want to happen to your body. Your body is highly adaptable and very flexible if you make it that way. You don't really need 3,000 calories filled with sugar and chemicals. Your body will work just fine on 1,800 or 1,500 or whatever it is that your body needs. One of the greatest things you can do is work on that portion control. I will talk about that more in depth later, but that is where it all has to start. If you are just beginning your jouney to being fit, then that is a good place to start. It is hard to cut out the junk food that you are used to eating. For some it is easiest and best to just go cold turkey. Get a big garbage bag and just throw out all the junk that is in your house. For others that is not the most economical or reasonable way to start things out. With that in mind that is where portion control plays a big part in it. Instead of grabbing that big bag of chips, put a serving into a smaller bag, put up the big bag, and then go about whatever it was you are doing. Eat your serving, and then at the very least wait 20 minutes before getting another. Chances are that one, you will not want to work to get that second serving, or two, you just will not want it.

I hope this post helps a little bit, I think it might have just been ramble, but maybe you can glean some information from it.

365 Fit for life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Falling Off The Wagon

It seems like the wagon or I should say the proverbial wagon is very tiny. Also the road is bumpy and full of stormy weather. Every day there are more and more pot holes in the road towards success, and every day it gets a little harder to stay on that path. So what happens when we fall off the wagon? Do we give up and wait for a new week to start over? Or do we take control of our life again in that very second and jump back on the wagon before we have to wait for a new one?

It is easy to fall off the wagon. It is easy to justify it. It's my birthday, I have friends in town, it's the weekend, I have to celebrate, etc. All of these are great reasons to indulge yourself. I also recommend that you do indulge yourself. If it is your birthday and you see that cake in front of you, eat that big piece of cake that you know you want. If your friends are in town go out and eat with them and have a good time. If it's the weekend, drag out your grill and go to town on it. If you need to celebrate then celebrate with the best of them. Now you might be thinking that all of this is counter intuitive, and to some it might be. It is not about what happens in life or what it takes for you to fall off that wagon, but like with everything else it's what you do to get back on that counts.

If you are faced with temptation then stare it right in the face and attack it. If you eat just a sliver of that birthday cake you are not only going to regret that you cheated on your diet, but you are also going to feel bad that since you cheated that you only had a little bit. That goes the same for the other scenarios. If you go out with your friends that came to visit you after a long time, you will feel bad that you did not go party with them. Most people would want to have that indulgence and say they had a good time, then feel miserable for not taking advantage of their social situation and that they cheated on their diet.

After you have your awesome day or even before you have your awesome day there are things that you can do to ease that pain that you will undoubtedly feel after the big night. I know I am behind on my posts, so I will break them down so I can feel good that I have a post for every day since I started this blog, even if some of them are posted on the same day.

365 Fit for life.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lifting Through Cardio

In my last post I talked about getting more cardio from your lifting. This time around I will talk a little bit about getting more of a lifting workout through your cardio. The way to accomplish this is through resistance.

Most people usually do cardio on a treadmill, bike, or eliptical machine. All of which provide a good cardio workout. An often overlooked piece of equipment, or at least, I tend to overlook it, is the stair climber. I usually avoid this bad boy because, well, it's hard. It forces you to do more work and keep your heart rate pumped up through the duration. I guess in essence it is probably one of the better machines to use, but with all things, it depends on what you hope to achieve.

Stair climbers allow an increase level of resistance to add to your cardio. You get the benefit of constantly moving which is what cardio is meant to do, but it also works your legs, namely your quads, more so than a standard treadmill would. People usually try to seperate their lifting from their cardio, and I think that is why the stair climber is usually avoided.

If the stair climber isn't your machine of choice, any of the above machinery listed above will work, you just gotta know the adjustments. For the bike you need to increase the resistance. This will force you to pedal harder giving your legs a better workout. On the treadmill you need to raise the incline of the machine making it seem like you are running up a hill. The eliptical you can do both, increase the resistance and the incline. There is a little debate on whether or not the eliptical machine is worth the time, but I will cover that later.

There you go, lifting from cardio, hope it keeps you going, 365 Fit for life.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cardio Through Lifting

Cardio through lifting is not a new concept by any means. It is just picking up the tempo of your lifts. You do that by decreasing your rest period and increasing your reps. I am sure you have heard that they say to build lean muscle you need to lift less weight and do more reps. I am not overly sure how accurate that is, I will have to do some research and post something about it later, but for now, we'll call it plausible that the statement is true.

Decreasing your rest period is probably the easiest way to burn more calories while you are lifting. If you usually rest, the time inbetween your sets, for a standard 60 seconds, then decrease it to more in the 30 to 45 second range. It allows you to spend less time lifting, increase heart rate, and increase muscle fatigue.

If you want to go the increase your reps route, then it's as simple as that, increase your reps. If you do a standard 8-10 reps then do more like 10-15 reps or more. In some or all cases you will probably have to lower your weights. In most cases you wouldn't want to decrease weight, but if you are in a leaning phase, then dropping your weight shouldn't be an issue. Lower weight will allow you to get in those extra reps you need to keep your heart rate elevated and burn those extra calories.

For the best results you should probably combine the two. Less weight with higher reps per set combined with a decreased rest period. One more thing to note, doing some circuit training is also a great way to get more of a cardio workout from lifting. The short of circuits is to do a little lighter weight but rotate through multiple lifts doing maybe a 30 second lift period for all lifts in succession. I will explain more about circuits in a later post.

I hope this little information helps and allows you to get 365 Fit. Keep it going.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To Lift Or To Run, That Is The Question

I like both. I am not quite sure the level of likedness that I have for either, but at some point in my life I have liked both lifting weights and cardio, though usually not at the same time. Both items are a necessary evil in order to be the best you can be. It doesn't mean that you have to be chained to your treadmill or stuck inside your gym every second of the day; it just means both need to be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.

I like lifting weights because of the "pump" you feel afterwards. I am pretty sure that the pump, and for those who don't know it is that feeling when your muscles get all swelled up with blood and it makes it so you can't put your arms down at your sides, means absolutely nothing aside from a physiological response to the exercise you just did, but its a good feeling none-the-less. I like it more than cardio because with cardio, there is no stopping, ever, for what seems like forever. I like the look you get from lifting weights knowing that I am getting stronger for my efforts.

I like cardio because it helps me lose the poundage that I so do not want to have any more. It makes you feel accomplished that you just did something like running a marathon or at least running a mile. I like the sweat that it builds because it makes you feel like you worked hard. I like it more than lifting because I know that in order to see the results of the lifting you need to lose the fat that surrounds your muscles.

If I had to choose one of the other, I would probably choose to lift more so than cardio. I feel more accomplished from lifting five more pounds than running five more minutes. Also for me personally, lifting is easier than cardio. Maybe its cause my lungs like to breathe or I like to be able to rest more, but for whatever the reason may be, I prefer lifting.

With all that said what would happen if we only had time for one, and what is the best of both that we should be doing. In the next couple of posts I will talk about how to combine both lifting and cardio to get a little extra benefit from your workouts. Until then, keep it going, 365 Fit for life.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Am I Fit Or Just Skinny

Am I fit or am I skinny. I have never been really ripped, and on the same note I have never been really fat either. I have always been average. I have always wanted to lose weight not a great deal I suppose at any given time, but I have never thought, man I need to gain weight. So I suppose you could kind of lump people into three categories if you had to. The skinny, the average, and the fat. I am here to talk a little bit about the average.

It seems like the two outside categories get all the loving. Skinny people are either loved or hate as most people are like how can you be so skinny and not do anything. Or I hate you for being so skinny. Fat people will usually get the why are you so fat, or the, why are you so fat. Fat people don't get much loving. Average people are always just pushed into the back of people's minds. Like skinnier folk they usually don't obsess as much about their weight, nor do they try to make fun of themselves for their weight before other people do so they won't feel uncomfortable.

I am average. I guess I could think I want to be skinny, but that wouldn't be true. I want to be fit. Yes I think I might need to walk through the valley of skinny to get to my fit, but I want to be fit. I have heard that your body goes through different phases, a weight loss phase and a bulking phase. I am probably in the weight loss phase as it stands. In this one I am trying to lose as much fat as possible while maintaining or making gains in strength but definitely not losing any. This is accomplished by, you guessed it, good nutrition and cardio. Once I get down to a good weight, I would then hit the weights harder and go for bulk or muscle.

I am not sure where I was really going with this, but I think I went some place. So if you find yourself saying I wish I was skinny, maybe you should say I wish I was fit; or better yet, say I wish I was 365 Fit.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday May 13th Quick Tip

How often do we find ourselves standing around. We might be doing something, we might not be, but I know that we are standing a lot. I remember standing in line at the pharmacy the other day and there was a long line ahead of me and the liklihood that the line was going to move forward in a quick type fashion was slim. Instead of standing there idle I chose to do something about it. I thought what would 365 Fit do? This is what they'd do.

Calf raises and reverse calf raises ( I do not remember what you exactly call them but I'll explain ). Just stand on your toes and then rock back on your heels over and over and over again. Stand up on your toes trying to make yourself as tall as possible. Hold the position for a few seconds before reversing the motion. Rock back on your heels trying to get your toes as high in the air as you can.

I am not sure how much muscle this could possibly build as your calves are pretty strong to begin with so it would need a lot of reps or a lot of weight to encourage muscle growth. At the very least you will be expending energy and therefore burning off a few calories even if it's just a couple.

You might look a little funny doing it and people might stare, but that's ok. If they want to stare then let them stare, in fact invite them to join in on it. Better you look silly for a few minutes knowing that you are doing something good, then to be ashamed and not take every oportunity you have to do something to be fit.

Keep it going, 365 Fit for life.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Day Monday

I was lounging around on the couch this afternoon and the need for a little thirst quencher decided to appear. There is a gas station maybe a quarter of a mile down the road and I made a good 365 Fit choice. I rode my bike. This one was a no brainer. I felt good that one, I got up off the couch, two I saved a little gas, and three got a little healthier in the process.

Well, that's what I did to be 365 Fit today. What did you do? Let me know, comments, emails, whatever you gotta do.

Keep it going, 365 Fit for life.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fat Loss By Any Means Necessary

No one wants an excess of fat. Well I take that back, most people do not want an excess of fat. My last post I talked a little bit about the nutrition aspect of trying to see those abs. This time around I want to talk about the exercise portion of what it takes to get those abs to shine.

I have read that low intensity long duration cardio such as walking is best. I have read that high intensity low duration cardio such as intervals is best. I have read that running is the best cardio, that bike is the best cardio, that elliptical is the best cardio, and stair climber is the best cardio. This is where you need to evaluate yourself a little bit and decide what is best for you. One may very well be better than the other, I am a big fan of running, biking, and walking. If you have bad joints particularly in your knees then biking or walking might be your best bet. If you are just starting out then high intensity intervals is probably not your best bet.

Cardio needs to be fun, because when it's not, you will not do it, period. If you like sports then play sports. Get involved in pickup basketball, go play some racquetball, play soccer with your kids, play tennis, do whatever you need to do to get yourself active. Most places have local leagues or church leagues or work leagues or some type of league that can get you up, get you out, and get you motivated to do something.

I personally like doing a little combination of all things. I love playing basketball so when I get the chance I play basketball. I like the feeling of accomplishment I get after doing a high intensity interval workout. I like taking a walk with my girl and my dog, it is relaxing and I know it is doing some good. The elliptical machine gets me to sweat, and there's nothing better than a good sweat.

Whatever you choose, just choose something, and do it. Like I stated earlier in my consistency post, just keep at it and you will see results. My only rule of thumb is if you do not see the results you want after a week or two, change it, my first thing to change is the intensity. If you walk, walk a little faster, if you run, run a little faster. I say this change first as it makes you work harder and saves time if you do not have a lot of it. The next change is duration. If you only do two days a week of cardio do three. If you do 30 minutes of cardio, do 40 minutes.

Keep on keeping on, 365 Fit for life.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday, May 9th Quick Tip

Breathe. That's it. Nothing more than to simply take a few minutes to breathe. This isn't a time to sit in front of the television, or while you are showering or anything like that. Take five minutes out of your day, find a place to relax, and concentrate on your breathing.

Find your comfy place, sit, lay down, stand, do whatever you need to do to get comfortable. Close your eyes, and visualize yourself breathing in deep and concentrate on the air filling your lungs. Imagine all of the oxygen rushing to each of your organs, your muscles, and every other part of your body. Take a few really deep breaths, holding them for a few seconds each time. Exhale through your nose slowly, and repeat for several minutes.

This will help to de-stress, relax, and generally make your life a little bit better, if only for five minutes.

Good things, 365 Fit, for life.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Food, The Stuff That Abs Are Made Of

I have been reading information concerning abs and how to get them. It seems like there is a general consensus about how to get them, good nutrition and fat loss, but it also seems like no one can come to one conclusion on how to go about it. Basically the main thing I have learned is that you need to control your calories eaten, and how many calories you can burn doing cardio and other strength work. Simple huh. It's not always that easy. How do we go about getting the proper nutrition and the right kind of workout?

Lot's of protein, a little protein, no fat, some fat, more fat, the possibilities seemingly endless on how to go about it. I have read some articles that swear you should eat no fat whatsoever because you are trying to lose fat after all, why would you want to be eating it? Others have said you need to eat "good" fat from foods such as nuts, avocados, olive oil, and fish. I have also read that you should cut your protein intake as you are trying to not bulk up. On that same note, I have also heard you should get plenty of protein so that you gain muscle faster.

Here are my thoughts. While I am sure that there is some magical formula somewhere that will give you the exact amounts of everything that you should eat and do at all times, but I have failed to find such a formula. My best guess is to do the things that you know are going to benefit you. That means, if you feel good eating 1500 calories instead of 2000 calories and you are feeling better, then go with that. If you want to eat more protein to try to gain muscle and you think that is working for you, then keep doing it. If you think that you need to eat more good fats in your diet, then eat more good fats in your diet. The bottom line is check with yourself, check with someone who is knowledgeable about nutrition, and always eat healthy.

Every person is unique and every person will need a different set of guidelines to follow in order to be fit. Keep reading up on the issue of nutrition, and if you have any specific questions, drop me a line 365fit@gmail.com or leave me a comment.

Good things, 365 Fit, for life.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

All I Want For Christmas Is My First Two Abs

Six pack, washboard, abs, whatever you want to call them, we all want them. The six pack is one of those elusive things that seems like it will always just be out of reach. Even for those that are in good shape they may not be able to see their abs. For the next few posts, however many I feel like posting, I will be writing and discussing abs.

I know that I have always wanted abs for as long as I have worked out. You see them in movies, you see them on tv, and every now again you see them in real life. I want to be able to look in my mirror and see my own abs, not abs of another dude.

I'll start with the basics, and get this first one out of the way, though I might come back and touch on it again later. We all have abs, just most people can not see them. Crunches and any other ab exercise while good, will ultimately not give you the six pack that you want. The only thing that will reveal your abs is getting rid of the fat that is covering your abs, enough said.

In order to see your abs you need to get your body fat % down in the single digits. At about 10% you can probably flex and see your abs, but in order to actually see them, you need single digits. At about 9% you can probably see the outline of your top two abs, closest to your ribs. At between 7-8% you can make out the next two of your abs. Finally at around 6% you can see all six of your abs that make up your six pack. These numbers are of course averages of what it will most likely take to see the abs that you want. Some may need to get even lower percentages to get the same results, others might be slightly higher. Also some may be down that far but not see anything at all. This could be just from body composition on where you store your fat, or else it could be an error in your body fat calculations both of which mean you need to just work a little harder.

I hope this gives you a little motivation to do what you need to do to be 365 fit, and to get that set of abs you've always wanted. In my next few posts I'll be covering some different areas of your abs and give some examples of things I've found that have been helpful or informational to me.

*Note - I know that I referred to your abs as a six pack even though you have 8 abs, but for the purpose of this post, 6 pack abs will suffice, more on that later.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Strong Mind Creates Strong Body

This article goes hand in hand with a previous article, Pain and the fine line it creates. It said that you should be present in the moment and be mindful to what you are doing. This will hope to go a little further and explore what goes into having a strong mind and a strong body.

Mind over matter. This is a common saying that people use, but what does it really mean. Your body is built to do amazing things, but like everything there are limits. The things that separate people from one another physically are not always the physical but rather the mental. If two people are running a race and are both matched well physically it will be more often than not the one who has a stronger mind. They will force their body to push themselves harder and longer to do what they need to do faster and better. This is the key to success that most people fail to realize.

Sitting underneath that bench press bar is often an intimidating moment. To some it is the motivation to do something great, and to others it is what is going to make us not. Here is where we need to find the mental fortitude to push our bodies beyond itself and make us better.

The last time that I was in the gym I tried something to help get me mentally fit to lift. I closed my eyes for a second and took some deep breaths, to get as much oxygen to my muscles as possible. I visualized my lift and told myself, I can do it. Getting yourself prepared to do the task is half the battle. I am not sure how much it helped or even if it helped, but I know that I had a much greater chance of success with a positive outlook than a negative outlook.

Strengthening your mind is just as important as strengthening your body. Most people neglect their mind when they work out. So educate yourself, be mentally prepared, and as always, 365 Fit for life.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Consistency Leads To Amazing

This is something that everyone struggles with. Unless you are a super type person, then you have had a problem with consistency at one point or another. I know that I among many individuals have had my fair share of hardships trying to stay consistent in all that I do. It isn't about running a marathon or being an iron man or anything that dramatic it is about doing what you are capable of doing a little bit every day or every other day or however much you feel you can do and still be pushing yourself a little bit.

Everyone starts out with a bang. Monday morning roles around and for once Monday's are a beautiful thing. For most people we dread when Monday happens because it is the start of a new week and the farewell to another short weekend. But for those who are trying to be fit, Monday is a new start, a chance to be that person you always knew you should be, but for whatever reason havn't. Monday is the day that everyone seems to say, this is the start of my new week. I am going to the gym, I am eating right, I am going to take care of myself. So maybe you go strong for that first week. You eat right, you exercise daily, and you generally feel good about yourself. Then the weekend hits and willpower, gone, motivation, gone, laziness, kicking into overdrive. If the weekend didn't kill you than arguably the next Monday usually does. Then it is no longer awesome Monday I get to start over, because you already are on this fit plan, and it is oh great, Monday, I have to go to work. Then meetings happen, life gets in the way, plans are made, and boom, all your hard work from the week before is gone. I have gone over this scenario dozens and dozens of times and I am sure that I will go through it again.

Here comes the good stuff, and a little less of the negative stuff. Consistency leads to amazing. Remember you do not have to hit it full throttle right out of the gate, this is the downfall of a lot of people. They use it all up in the first week, and have nothing left in the tank for the long haul. That is why we start slow, a build up. I was reading through a little bit of the couch to 5k program. It gives some good words about starting slow and it being a process that take time. They went on to say that even if you feel that you are able to do more you shouldn't. This works for those people that are just starting out. One day you feel great and are like I think I should do more. Or it is for people that feel like they haven't done enough. In both cases doing what the program suggests is a good thing. For those people who feel great that day will probably end up over exerting themselves and end up not doing anything good for themselves. If you are one of those people that feel like they haven't done enough, then chances are that no amount is going to be enough, and you like the first group will end up doing some harm to yourself. You should just feel good that you are sticking to a plan and be happy that you got your tasks accomplished.

Starting slow allows you to better accomplish your goals. It allows the consistency that you need to be successful. If all you can do is two days a week, then do two days a week, but do it every week for an extended period of time, like at least three to six weeks. Consistency will get you to where you want, killing yourself for one week will not.

Keep on keeping on, 365 Fit

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday May 2nd Quick Tip

Today's quick tip takes place in the shopping realm once again. It is actually a two for one as they both come from the same place.

If you know you only have a few things to purchase, either grab a basket, or just carry your items. Most shoppers instinctively go for the shopping cart. If you carry a basket with you, it will allow you to carry a little extra weight while you are walking around.

The second tip is when you are leaving the checkout counter. Instead of just letting the bags hang down at your sides like dead weight, why don't you use them to do some curls on the way to the car. Make it a challenge for yourself and see how many times you can curl your bags and the next time try to beat that number.

I hope these little tips help you on your journey to being 365 Fit.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pain And The Fine Line It Creates

I have been asked this question before, and I have also asked this of other people. Are you hurt, or are you injured? To most sports people they will know what that is, but for those who do not, I will try to explain. Most people will think of being hurt and injured are the same thing, and to some extent they are the same. The difference lies in the severity. If you are hurt you can probably work through it and continue whatever it was you were doing to hurt yourself in the first place. If you are injured you most likely will need to seek medical attention, and not continue with your activity.

I want to give credit to 24 Fit Club for indirectly giving me inspiration to write about this topic. You should go check it out as there are some good things there to read.

Pushing through the pain is a common thing for me. I have been told that you can do it and even though it hurts you can still do it. This philosophy will not work for everyone as every person's idea of pain and pushing are different. I like to watch a show called Made on MTV. The short of it is this, a person who isn't good at something wants to be good at something. They get a coach and usually five or six weeks to get good at what they want and at the end they enter some sort of contest to show that they are now good at whatever it was they were trying for. The majority of the people on that show that want to do something athletic, snowboard, play basketball, or any other sport, are not usually that in shape or athletic. I most recently watched a girl who wanted to be a ballerina. She was put on a training schedule and to her it was pretty intense. There was one scene where she was using a step machine and basically had a panic attack because it got to hard and she quit. This is where pushing through the pain needs to take place. That girl on Made was not injured, she was just hurt, and by the standards that I set earlier means she could have continued with her workout. That episode got me to thinking how do you push pass the pain.

I was always under the assumption that to push past the pain you just have to tough it out and do it. Like all advice, it is one thing to say it, and another thing to know how to do it. The first time that you get hurt you are more likely to quit than you are to keep going. I know that when I was swimming I would get a sort of leg cramp or in basketball I would say my toe hurt or some other excuse because I didn't want to continue. Looking back on that it seems odd that I would rather lie to not do something than to simply say I do not want to. I digress... Toughing it out seems to be a learned response. You get injured and you either move past it or you let it stop you. You might not always push past it, but the more times that you do, the easier it gets for you to do it. Yelling and berating someone for not being able to push past the pain, especially when it's their first opportunity to try to, is probably not the best solution to get them to try harder. There is a difference between taking a little time to be able to push past the pain, and just giving up. Most people never give the chance to allow the time it takes each individual to push past the pain and therefore they quit either by their own accord or by the actions of others.

My take on this is simply to do what your mind and body are telling it to do. Your mind and body are both amazing resilient things and when pushed, it will deliver the results that you want to see.

Keep on pushing and don't let a little pain slow you down. 365 Fit,fit for life.

It's sort of ironic that when the girl from made quit cause she was hurt actually continued after she was injured. Just goes to show you can do anything if you want to.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Intensity, Never Just Go Through The Motions

Intensity has always been a pretty major buzz word in fitness. The only problem is it is hard to define making it hard for people to know what it means to be intense. To some it means grunting loudly, nostrils flaring, veins popping. To others it means going as hard and as long as you can possibly go. I hope to cover something in the middle of those two examples.

For this purpose, intensity refers more to how hard you are pushing yourself, whether it be cardio or strength training. As the title states, more often it seems that people simply go through the motions. Oh, I was at the gym for 45 minutes I must have done something good. I just did 20 reps that must mean that I did it right. People simply go through the motions of working out. They hop in their car, drive to the gym, and spend their allotted time. Few people in the casual group of fitness really focus on what it is they are doing.

To get the most benefit out of your cardio workout, it isn't about going longer it is about going harder, or more intense. You will burn more calories running/biking going nine mph for 10 minutes as opposed to doing the same motion but only getting up to five mph. The point is to push yourself just hard enough to make sure you are focused on what you are doing. This means, put down your magazine, stop the chatter with your friends, and for 15 minutes focus on what you came to do in the first place.

I like the idea of interval training and there are many different types to do. The basic premise to all of them is, go hard and then ease up and repeat. I typically like to do a minute of as hard as I can go, followed by two minutes at about 70%. Other way's to do it are short 30 second sprint bursts followed by 10 seconds of a slower speed. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you are present in your workout meaning your thoughts are on is this too easy or should I speed my pace up.

Lifting weights follows the same concept of cardio intensity. Looking back on how I started my lifting I can remember trying to lift too heavy of a weight and only getting in half repetitions. I thought I was doing something good since I was there and I was lifting a decent amount of weight. Now after all I have read on lifting I know that I was doing myself a disservice. I wasn't getting a full range of motion nor was I using good form in my lifts, I was just going through the motion. This is where intensity fits into the equation.

First for most guys, check your ego at the door, it doesn't belong in a gym. After that, for your lifts, find a weight that you can actually lift, all the way through your repetitions, and with good form. This is where being present will benefit you as well. Lift with intensity meaning thinking about good form, powering through your entire range of motion getting the most benefit from each movement that you do. Like with cardio, doing 10 solid reps with the proper weight and good from will be much more beneficial than doing 10 half reps with a weight you can not lift.

Intensity is what will get you through your plateaus. If you aren't happy with your weight loss then run harder, faster, you will see improvements. If you aren't getting stronger, lift with a purpose and you will see improvements.

Keep on going no matter what, good things are just a day away, 365 Fit will always be along for the ride. Good things.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Snooze

I am writing this to you today, well this should have been my Tuesday post, so you will get two lovely postings today to makeup for me not doing anything yesterday.

No the snooze is not some ultra cool person that everyone should know. Although it is an ultra cool something that everyone does know. I am sure that every person at some time in their life has hit the snooze button, again, and again, and again, unless you don't own an alarm clock, or were somehow blessed with some waking up ability that I am not. The snooze seems like a necessary evil that no one really wants to have as intimate relationship with, and yet ultimately we do.

I have read a few different articles concerning this snooze button and whether or not we should use it. Like my water article there is no real good answer. Physically I know that it does us no good. Getting that 9 minutes or however long your snooze is set for, is probably more detrimental than helpful. Psychologically however the snooze button can be a god send. It gives us that little chance for hope that our day is going to be that much better or we will somehow be that much better by preserving our present state of comfort and mostly unconscious state.

I hit the snooze button way more than I should. Lately, and by lately I mean the last three days, I have been doing a better job. I know that isn't very long, but at least its a start, and like all good things it has to start somewhere.

I have also read some tips on the snooze button. Namely for me the ones I like are having a reason to get up in the morning and getting enough sleep at night. I have been getting up at five in the morning to go workout. I lay in bed and I want to hit the snooze button, i truly do, but I do not hit it because I know that I need to get up and go workout.

A viable alternative to the snooze is using two alarm clocks. The first thing you do is find out when you should get up. You can figure this out by using this general rule. Your body goes in sleep cycles lasting approximately an hour and a half. So with that in mind you plan accordingly. I need to get up at 5 a.m.. I want about eight or so hours of sleep. So if I go to bed about 9 p.m., I would set my first alarm for about 4:30 a.m. which would be in the seven and a half hour range of sleep. I set this alarm really quiet in the hope that at that time I will be ready to wake up and the little noise from the alarm will be enough to wake me up. The second alarm you setup farther away from you at the absolute last time you can get up and use this as your last resort. This system is supposed to help you wake up naturally and allow a safeguard to make sure you get up in time for your day.

One last thing that I saw that intrigued me. I am not sure how effective it works but it is an alarm clock that has wheels on it. Named, Clocky, it is literally an alarm clock with wheels. It allows you to set the length of your snooze from 0 to 9 minutes. If it is set for 0 you have no snooze and it just will get off your table and start cruising around your room. Again, I am not sure how well it will wheel around, but the notion that you have to get out of bed to chase this alarm clock sounds comical at least.

The snooze is great, but for us here at 365 Fit it needs to be done away with. I will leave you with this thought taken from an interview over at ESPN with Tiger Woods. He was asked how he is able to have done so many great things but doesn't feel like hitting the proverbial snooze button and take a break or a day off. His response was, the way I look at life is: the greatest things about tomorrow is that I will be better than I am today. That is some powerful words and if that doesn't motivate you to be 365 Fit, I don't know what will. Good things.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Strength, Flexibility, Balance

Strength, flexibility, and balance are all parts of your one whole. Without one the other three are ultimately doomed to fail. If we are not strong then we can not possibly balance ourselves when we are lifting for strength. If we are not flexible then we can not possibly move within our full range of motion getting the optimal benefit from whatever fitness move we are trying to do. If we are not balanced, then we will fall when we lift and when we stretch.

It seems like we fall into one category or another, but mostly into the strength or flexible category. Often we will see mostly men lifting to get strong, often neglecting certain areas that should be worked more than others. With women we see the opposite and they usually go the flexibility or balance route more so than the strength route in fear of becoming bulky.

In all fitness we need to have all three. I have been working on a plan to incorporate all three of them. I have taken ideas from articles I have read and past experiences and this is what I have come up with.

In the mornings three days out of the week comes my strength. I am trying to build up to more complex movements, but mostly focus on my main areas of my body. My chest, back, shoulders, quadriceps/hamstrings/glutes. I do dumb bell bench press to isolate each arm separately to work my chest and upper arms. I do leg press to focus on my quads/hams/glutes. I also know that squats may or may not be better for me, but this is what I choose to do for now. I do bent over dumb bell rows again to isolate my arms and to provide a wider range of motion for my lats. I finish with pull ups/chin ups to work basically everything, my shoulders, biceps, triceps, lats, traps, delts, and even a little of my abs for good measure.

In the evenings I take a chapter from yoga/pilates and work on conditioning my core and lengthening and stretching my muscles as well as adding flexibility. I like to do this in the evenings as it tends to relax me a little more and it's not as intensive. I try to do this every day, especially on my strength days to help get the tension out.

Balance is going to be coming by way of Ray Allen and men's fitness. I read an article about him and it shows him doing different things for balance. I found it interesting looking at him standing on one foot usually with a band around his quads, knees, or ankles and then throwing him things, medicine balls and the like. I think doing some off balance things such as using a wobble board, or a bosu ball, or just standing on a pillow once or twice a week and just moving will help to incorporate some of the smaller stabilizer muscles. I know that you shouldn't be doing everything with an aid ( bosu ball ) since you won't be getting the strength bang for your buck as you can not lift as much weight, but once or twice in a week should help out your balance.

I know this one is lengthy and technical or at least more technical than previous posts, but I wanted to share a little insight on where I was in my 365 Fit goals and plan so that you can see that I am a real person, doing real things, just like you. In the following days/weeks I will be going a little more in depth on each of the three areas, strength, flexibility, and balance and will hopefully clear up things, or add too things as we go along.

Here is to all of you doing your thing and getting 365 Fit, even if the rest of the world isn't. Good things.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Just A Little More

I have been playing around with the notion of, "just a little more." Lately it seems like if I just gave a little more I would be more productive in all areas of my life. If I would just stay on task at work a little more, or if I would cleanup after myself just a little more, or if I would be fit, just a little bit more, who knows where I would be today.

It is easy to be lazy. I am not sure why it was made that way, but for most that is true. Now I know that there are people out there that will go crazy if they have to sit still for more than five consecutive minutes, but it seems like to me as a whole that most people are inherently lazy. If we would take a couple minutes on a daily basis to be just a little bit more, fit, productive, or what have you, that we would all be better off.

I end with this as I have done just a little more. I know that this is just the beginning of 365 Fit, and no one has read this but people I know, but if I am able to give advice, then I should be able to take my own. It is late, or at least later than I would like it to be and I could have gone to bed instead of writing today's post ( even though it is Sunday now, this is Saturday's post ), I took it upon myself to be diligent in my efforts and post something. I feel better now that I have and it took just a little more effort on my part to do the right thing.

I hope that all of you fictional readers take this to heart and every day do a little bit more. I hope this finds you well, and will help you get a little closer to being 365 Fit. Good things.