Sunday, February 22, 2009

Motivation From Competition

I know I have been on again off again in my own journey to weight loss. I know that I haven't been setting the best example to the people who read my blog. I know I can do better, and I think I have finally found a good way to go about it.

Spite.... I don't like to lose. I like to compete. Did I mention that I don't like to lose? I started a competition with one of my college buddies to see who can drop 20 pounds first. Prior to this competition I felt lethargic, sluggish, and every other adjective to describe a lazy person. If nothing else I am getting up and moving because I don't want to lose, health and fitness aside.

Maybe that is what everyone needs, a little competition. Or at least something that will motivate them. What motivates you to get up and do something healthy?

365 Fit For Life

Thursday, February 05, 2009

February 5th Quick Tip

Trying to save money at the grocery store is like trying to push a rock up a hill. Both are doable, you just have to work at it. My tip for the day is to go to the grocery store with just cash in your pocket. It is hard to keep a budget when it is so easy to swipe some plastic. If you only have cash in your pocket, meaning literally leave all credit/debit cards at home or in the car, then you have to force yourself to really look at what you are buying. Do I really need a name brand food item? Do I really need another box of 100 calorie packs? I have done it now a few times, and I think it works. I still get nutritious food, and I think I save money because I only buy what I really need.

365 Fit for life.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Reality Check

No one likes to hear truth, especially about weight loss. Reality however, is just what people need to hear. We all want a yes man in our life to sugar coat everything. Someone to give us reassurance that if we eat too many cookies that we won't pay for it later. Why do you think we talk to so many people all the time about the same topic? We are all looking for someone to agree with us. Reality isn't supposed to agree with us, reality isn't supposed to take sides, reality is just that, reality.

There are many different ways to look at things. Some need a soft touch, others need someone to yell at them. In either scenario, we all have to accept some truth, it's up to us to decide how we want it, but in either case, all that matters is that we get it. I hope that you are able to take a reality check every now and again.

365 Fit for life

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lower Body Nobodies

I talked earlier about the guys that do nothing but arm lifts. These are the ones with hulking arms, and stick skinny legs that you see exclusively near the bench press. I was walking on the treadmill at the gym and I noticed a few of these, lower body nobodies.

I am not sure why I find these guys to be of such interest or concern to me, but they are. I think it is because I like to be balanced and well rounded. I see these guys every day I am at the gym, and I wonder if they know that they could get bigger upper bodies by getting bigger legs.

While doing my cardio I saw two guys that I usually see at the gym. They definitely qualify as the lower body nobodies. A thought came to mind on what type of information do they read. Obviously they care about their fitness, or otherwise they wouldn't be at the gym so much. I just wonder what is telling them to lift the way that they lift.

I do not want you to think that I know everything, or that my approach is the best way. Far from it. I just hope that in whatever you do, you try to do it in the best most efficient way possible. I love to read information about fitness, and I hope I can share as much of it with you as I can.

365 Fit for life.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Urban Exerciser

I have decided to create my own class of gym goer. I am going to call them the Urban Exerciser. We have all seen them at one time or another, you might even be one. These are the guys that go to the gym in their jeans, usually ripped, work boots, or dressed in some other attire than what we would traditionally see in the gym.

I was at the gym the other day and I saw an Urban Exerciser. He was wearing a bandanna, with ripped jeans, and a shirt that started out like a normal shirt but then was reduced to a t-shirt version of a wife beater.

I am not necessarily saying that the above mentioned attire is a bad thing, because to each their own, I am just saying that I am not an Urban Exerciser.

365 Fit for Life.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

How Did I....

How did I? That is a question that I am sure every person on this planet has asked at some point. How did I lose my job? How did I gain so much weight? How did my marriage end? How did I become so lazy? I have been asking myself these same type of questions. Since this is a fitness blog, I have asked myself, How did I get so fat?

I suppose we would need to decide what fat is? Is fat what other people say about me? Is fat what society deems me to be? or... Is fat what I have decided for myself? Fat, is as subjective as you want to make it. A girl that is 100 lbs may think that she is fat, while everyone else around her thinks she is too skinny. Fat might not be 300 lbs to some, but extremely obese to others. Fat has to do with a lot of things. How tall you are seems to be a big factor. While media and other outside sources have a great deal of influence on what we decide is fat, it ultimately boils down to what you decide for yourself. At various times through out my life, I have decided I was fat. Today is one of those days. I am not at the heaviest I have been in my life, but I am close enough to it to not feel good.

People always seem to ask themselves, when did I get this way? Or, How did I let myself go like this? People know the answer, they just never want to say it. I know why I feel this way. I know how I got to where I am right now. It is by doing all the things that I know I'm not supposed to. I hid behind my own pride that no matter what I do, I will always be able to bounce back.

I am definitely at the crossroads once again in my life. Down one road I can live with my foolish pride and see how long I can go without doing anything about it. On the other road I can swallow my pride, and do everything that I know is right. I am going to try and choose the latter. I went to the gym the other day and that is for a new post, but I will leave you with this: It is never too late to do the right thing.

365 Fit for Life.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I Went To The Gym

I went to the gym on Friday. My girlfriend was visiting her mom for the night, so I figured that this would be the best night for me to go. It has been at least a solid 3 months since I have set foot in my gym. I know I know, that is a sad thing for anyone to say, especially when I try to encourage anyone who reads this to make good healthy choices. If you have been following this blog, I have changed my forum up a little bit. I still offer as much advice as I can on whatever it is I decide to write about, but I have also added more personal things about myself. I tried in the beginning to write every day, hence the title, but not writing about things that are personal makes it difficult for me to write every day. Now that I have thrown in more things about myself, I find it easier to write the 365 like I had intended.

My gym experience was both a good thing and a bad thing. The good, obviously, is that I went to the gym. I did some shoulder and chest work and then did my cardio. It felt like I was doing this for the first time, in more ways than one. First of all, my gym got a face lift. The front entrance was different, the machines were different, the placement was different, it was like I was wandering around a new gym for the first time. Second was that my mind wasn't really in the right place. I'll write more on that later, but let's just say that I couldn't convince my body to push itself like I usually can.

I did only four miles on the bike and I only walked for 30 minutes. Usually I run and/or do intervals, but today, I just couldn't make myself. I talked to myself a little bit reminding me what I was doing, and that I knew that running was better for me than walking. Despite my efforts, I felt content and comfortable with me walking, and I felt justified that I didn't want to hurt myself the first time around. I suppose I will have to live with that justification in the hope that it will pass in time.

Despite the bad, I still feel good that I finally got up and did something. If nothing else, it gave me a couple new things to blog about. I hope that today is the day that you have decided to get up and do something good for you, regardless of what it is or the outcome.

365 Fit for Life!

Friday, January 30, 2009

New Day's Resolution

I am 26 years old. That means I have probably made something like 12 or so resolutions. I am sure they have ranged anywhere from I want to do better in school, to I want to save money, to I want to be in better shape. My resolutions as of late have been more towards the latter. New Years resolutions are great. The only problem is that more often than not they are only great in theory. I don't remember where the first time I have heard a rant like this, and I know I'm not the first and I know I won't be the last, but here is my own version none the less.

We need to get rid of New Years resolutions. They make the people who actually follow through with their goals look bad. Resolutions seem like nothing more than setting our selves up for failure. It seems to come from those who want that instant gratification. It is those people who think they can give up an addiction in one shot over night. The problem is that is seldom true. Procrastination, sloth, gluttony, laziness, they are all addictions. We are addicted to being lazy, to being unmotivated, to being depressed. We let ourselves go all year and we think that the best time to start anything is tomorrow. Tomorrow usually comes in the form of New Years resolutions. It is the time we think that a new change can be upon us. That this one fateful moment is what we need to turn our lives around.

Now I admit, for some people this works. A new year is a new start for a lot of people, and a lot of people do take advantage of it. What we all need to do, whether you can stick to your resolution or not, is stop waiting for the new year to make a change. Every day is like a new year, because every day should be new. Every day we can wake up in the morning, know it's a new day, and make our daily resolutions. I can wake up in the morning and say to myself, I will not hit the snooze button today. I will eat a carrot for lunch instead of a bag of chips. I will turn off the tv and go outside. I will walk an extra flight of stairs today instead of taking the elevator.

Each day is a new day. What is your new day resolution?

365 Fit for life.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Untouchables

There has been a lot of focus on people in the media. Whether it is girls that are too fat, too skinny, or guys that are getting fatter or are on the juice. There always seems to be a scandal or an epidemic or a something. Let's just forget for a minute that there should be more important things to be concerned about then if Jessica Simpson weighs 15 more pounds than she did 5 months ago. ( I only say this because I saw it on a show the other day )

Everyone says that all these celebrities and models and what not are the cause of girls becoming anorexic or that they have this unnatural ideal of what beauty is and everything else that is bad about an attractive woman. We look at celebrities and we have decided that it is their job, whether they wanted it or not, to be the role model for our youth. Granted, I do think that they have some sort of moral obligation as people do look up to them, but at some point we need to take matters into our own hands.

This is likened to the debate whether or not violence in the media creates a violent kid, or if fast food is what's making us fat. Every day people are going to be bombarded with ad after ad of the latest this, or the best that. In that same time we are going to see violence, we are going to see hate, we are going to see all the mean nasty things that no one wants to be apart of. Maybe we should stop blaming the super model that we all worship for the reason that our children have unnatural eating habits. If you notice that your child isn't eating, don't be so quick to pull the trigger on those horrible celebrities. "It's their fault [celebrities] that my poor Britany is the way she is. How can she be expected to look like that?" Gee mom, I don't know, maybe you have some type of magical super power that can stop something like that. Oh wait, you do, it's called being a good parent. Kids are going to find out things on their own, and they are going to make up their mind on what they think is right. The best thing you can do is just talk to them. If they see a woman on the cover of a magazine and tell themselves that this is what I want to look like, then encourage them. Encourage them to be strong, to be a positive role model, to be healthy and to be the best they can be. Because that is what the person on the cover is being. If your daughter reads the tabloids and thinks that she has to be stick skinny to be hot, start talking, and stop blaming the media for turning your daughter anorexic.

I digress.... I thought I knew where this post was going, but apparently I turned it into a weird rant about parenting. Oh well, still good thoughts. I'll write the real untouchables post at a later date when I don't feel like I'm in a hurry.

365 Fit.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Viva La Spring Break

Ahh spring break. A timeless tradition full of debauchery and booze. I have never really had a "typical" spring break. I spent one in Fargo, ND, sleeping on the floor of a college dorm room of one of my high school friends. I spent one spring break in Arizona at his Uncle's house picking up a car. That about sums up my spring break experiences. How does that tie in with fitness? Good question.

Every year that I was in college, right around the middle of January when we got back from Christmas break, I noticed a huge shift. There would be tons of people in the weight room trying to tackle their New Years resolutions. This would last for about two weeks and then it would thin out a little. It would take about another two weeks for people to give up and not be seen again, until.... You guessed it spring break time.

There was a magical two week or so where people would again flock back into the gym. At the beginning of March you would see the same type of people come back to the gym. They are usually the guys who think they can push some weight around for two weeks and get all buff for spring break. I can not say that I am not one of those guys, though I do think I had a little more effort than that.

The sad fact is that people love vanity. Vanity is what makes people do stupid things, or makes people do great things, depending on how you are looking at it. If guys want to try to get a six pack to impress the ladies for spring break, then more power to them. The only problem is that instead of waiting until March, they should have started the day after they got back from spring break when they realized after they sobered up, that they weren't as hot as they thought.

Spring break is coming up for me. Even though my college days are behind me, I still want to look good for spring break, I mean, who doesn't? February is right around the corner and while I am not making any promises, I am feeling a little more urgency to get back in the routine so that when the magical week arrives, I'll be at my best, well, my kind of best.

Fitness is a journey, not a destination. As cliche as that sounds, and as cliche as me saying it is a cliche sounds, that is the reality. Sure, events, places, people, are all good reasons to get in the gym. People just need to plan a little better to get to there. I have found that if I make too many goals, such as the obvious, I want to be in better shape for spring break, I am just setting myself up for failure. Instead I am going to set this goal. Tomorrow I want to make one choice that makes me healthier that I didn't make today. What is your goal for tomorrow?

365 Fit for life.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Want A Super Sized Choice

I love the documentary, Super Size Me. It actually made me want McDonalds more than not after watching it. I know, I know, that sounds sort of sick and anti-everything that I have wrote about, but truth is truth. The point of this post isn't to talk about McDonalds or really even the documentary. I wanted to share a little life experience I had when me and my girlfriend ate some fast food the other day.

My girlfriend was out shopping with her mom and she called up and wanted to know if she should bring home something for dinner. I was like sure. She said she wanted Long John Silvers. I, of course, do not like fish, but there is an A&W attached to it, so it's all good. The funny thing is that they also offer vegetables, like the steamed variety as one of the sides. I have no idea how long they have been offering that at Long John's, nor will I probably ever order it, but I still like the idea.

The reason for the title is that at the end of the documentary during Morgan's monologue, he talked about choices. Fast food is going to be around forever, mostly because the food at McDonalds doesn't decompose. I digress. People are going to always eat fast food and it is only up to them to make a personal choice to eat it or not. The best thing producers can do is make choices for others. Sure go ahead, eat your big mac and your super sized fries. All we can do is give people choices, and let them decide for themselves. I don't have to eat all the fries. I don't have to order the double double burger. I don't have to drink a quart of coke. I can order the steamed vegetables or a broth based soup. I don't have to get the loaded baked potatoe. You get the idea.

365 Fit for Life!

Monday, January 12, 2009

She Likes It Big

Now that I have your attention, we can pull your head out of the gutter, and get to the real topic. She likes big shoulders, big chest, and big arms.

When I was in high school and would go to the gym with my friends, I saw them do two maybe three lifts the entire time they were there. They would do bench press and bicep curls. They would do this every day they were in the gym. I never followed them because I didn't know exactly the reasons at the time, I just knew that wasn't the way to go.

It is true that some women like bigger things. I still see guys doing only upper body lifts. They will be these huge guys on top, and have scrawny legs on the bottom. I have done a little research over the years and this is what I have found.

If you want bigger arms, you need to have bigger legs. The more weight your body can move, the more testosterone your body will produce. The more testosterone you produce the more your muscles will grow. I know this isn't an exact science, but it shows my point.

With that said, you need to do leg lifts. Squats are the best thing in the world for you. Dead lift is awesome. Get your legs going and you will see better results in your chest and arms.

Lifting has come a long way from the bench press and bicep curl days. I hope that you progress along with it.