Happy Halloween... (update)

We apologize for not having much recent content lately as this year has been a very crazy and has taken our slogan of "It's never too late to have a new beginning" to a new level. Even though 2015 isn't over yet, it has given us many reasons to be alive and well.

Meeko and Cotton have no idea what's coming their way but they are excited even though they don't really show it in this picture.

As you can see that the last update was at late March 2015. The reason we have not been posting anything since then is that both Leslie and I have been very busy prepping for a new addition to our lives. If you didn't guess it by now, Leslie is pregnant! At this point, we are about 4 weeks away until the actual due date. However we were told that there is a possibility that she could come anytime now. For those who do not know, Leslie sought out Youngevity as one of the main concerns the doctors told her was she could have difficulties conceiving. Well we are glad to say that we proved those doctors wrong! As of today, we are on track to delivering a healthy baby girl. We can't wait to introduce her to the world and start this new journey as parents for the first time. There will be lots of challenges ahead of us, but like every other challenge out there we are very excited to face them head on. 

For those who are curious about my health updates, I'm proud to say that I have been an active gym member since January of 2015. This year marks the most active consecutive weeks I have been since my high school years. I have had my membership to 24 Hour Fitness for over 8 years now but I have never gone for more than 6 months without dropping out. There have been even years where I never set foot in the gym or picked up a weight.

My photo from work. I was told to wear this ribbon for the day as my coworkers gave me a baby shower. I appreciate them very much for this and am more grateful than they will ever know. 

Even though my weight has been fluctuating throughout the year, unfortunately I can't really say I have "lost" a significant amount. However, I have been told by my friends and family that they can see a significant difference in the efforts I have been putting in the gym. On that positive note, I have gone down about 3-4 inches in my waist. I am now fitting a 38" waist in pants. I know to most of you, that is still fairly large. To put things in perspective, I haven't worn size 38" pants since my early years in high school or possibly before then. Not only that, my strength has vastly increased. I haven't seen myself push the kinds of weights I have been lifting in 20 years!

With all this great progress, I am overly excited and have found even more motivation to exercising. Once Leslie gave me the news earlier this year, I made a vow to her and myself  that I will not be one of the parents who watch their kids grow up from the sidelines. I will be right there running alongside them as they grow from an innocent child to a young eager adult ready to face their own world.

We will try to update when we can but with the recent news, we can't promise how often that will come about. If you guys don't hear back from us we want to wish you all a Happy Holiday!

February 2015 Progress Report

I have finally completed my first month in my shift to a healthy lifestyle. I started eating healthier meals, less portions and sticking to my Youngevity Healthy Body Start Pack. I also started going back to the gym doing weight training. Since the beginning of 2015, I have lost about 10 lbs and gained a significant amount of strength. All my clothes have started to feel a lot more loose and some friends and family have also noticed. 

This is a progress shot. You might be able to see some minor difference. One important question you might ask ... How did I get so tan in the middle of winter? My answer global warming. SoCal has been receiving all the hot weather while the rest of the nation freezes in mounds of snow they are getting. That also means I have yet to go snow boarding this season ):

This is a progress shot. You might be able to see some minor difference. One important question you might ask ... How did I get so tan in the middle of winter? My answer global warming. SoCal has been receiving all the hot weather while the rest of the nation freezes in mounds of snow they are getting. That also means I have yet to go snow boarding this season ):

I have made better decisions about the types of foods I choose to eat. I find that eating a home cooked meal is always the healthiest choice but sometimes that's not always possible. This month alone I had a wedding to go to, a baby shower to attend and sometimes I just want to treat myself because I had a hard day's work. Like many of you, I do "fall off the horse" and eat something I shouldn't be eating. Nobody's perfect and in reality, you should be able to eat anything you want. Just be sure to get back on that road to a healthy lifestyle as soon as you are able.

In the beginning of the month I was NOT able to button this shirt as seen on the left image. Today, the shirt is still snug as noted by the stressed buttons on the right image, but at least I can button it up. I last wore this shirt in 2007 when I was a lot more active and skinnier. I kept this shirt along with a few others  as a reminder/inspiration that I will once again fit into this shirt. 

In the beginning of the month I was NOT able to button this shirt as seen on the left image. Today, the shirt is still snug as noted by the stressed buttons on the right image, but at least I can button it up. I last wore this shirt in 2007 when I was a lot more active and skinnier. I kept this shirt along with a few others  as a reminder/inspiration that I will once again fit into this shirt. 

I apologize that the next topic I will have to "bro-out" on some of you guys reading this. 

I have been following a few people in the Youtube fitness community for a while now. Towards the end of last month I started to go back to the gym to exercise but without a  real routine or structure. All I know is I wanted to be active and lift some weight. It wasn't until a few weeks ago I  found a free strength training program by a Youtuber named Jonnie Candito  (www.canditotraininghq.com/free-strength-programs). He developed a spreadsheet that you can track your progress,  give you options on workout routines and even track how much weight you should be lifting in ratio to your max effort. As expected, I was pretty weak upon starting the program. However, am confident that I will soon grain the strength back that I once had and hopefully more. With only two weeks into the program I have already seen some great results in my strength. Some of the other fitness Youtubers I follow are Bart Kwan and Omar Isof and for you ladies interested in weight training, you can check out Geovanna (Geo) Antoinette. These guys gave me the motivation I needed to get back into weight training. 

This is the same shirt I am wearing in the main blog page header image. You might not be able to tell directly from the image, but this shirt is quite lose on me now compared to the photo taken in the main blog page almost a year ago.

This is the same shirt I am wearing in the main blog page header image. You might not be able to tell directly from the image, but this shirt is quite lose on me now compared to the photo taken in the main blog page almost a year ago.

I feel that this is the most motivated I have ever been to lose weight in my life. I owe it to my wife as she too is helping reach this goal with her positive attitude and healthy home made cooking. I hope to continue my progress in the coming months and reach my first short term goal by the end of April 2015.

Scaled to Size

I'm sure many of you have come across the frustrations of using a scale. From previous years of losing weight, I too have my share of irritations, aggravations and disappointments with using the scale. In the past, I have changed to a healthier diet and started a weekly exercise routine. After a month I have yet to see the scale move or make any significant changes. I once had a fitness trainer* a few years back and even he was surprised at my lack of progress when it came to weight loss.

I am fully aware that the scale does not necessarily show fitness progress. At the rate that I exercise, I'm bound to gain muscle and muscle does weight more than fat. After a 2-3 months of rigorous training and dieting, I have only managed to only lose a demoralizing 5-7 pounds. Not that's a bad thing, but I was expecting more.

Perhaps it's societal expectations and the results of others that have pushed the idea that everyone should have similar results after following a set of fitness and nutritional guidelines. "Just follow this meal and exercise plan for three months, and watch those pounds of fat disappear!" The only thing that is disappearing  is my moral. Shortly after, I feel the frustrations and dissatisfactions with my results and eventually I quit. Not because it was too hard, but because I wasn't seeing the results others achieved.

Just follow this meal and exercise plan for three months, and watch those pounds of fat disappear!

After a while I have learned to deal with the scale frustrations. Currently I have lost somewhere between 3-4 pounds since the beginning of the year (Jan 2015). I found that is similar to my past results and have accepted that. However, I also realized that after a few months of following my diet and exercise plan, I tend to lose weight significantly faster than the first few months. In the beginning my body just doesn't lose weight as fast as other people.  The real trick to losing weight is being committed to your plans and to give your body a chance to work itself out. I didn't gain all this weight in a matter of 3-4 months so why should I expect to lose it within that same amount of time.

Other forms of measuring weight loss is to measure around your arms, thighs, waist and neck. The easiest way that I found is to take note of your clothes. I tend to notice my clothes fitting better or more lose. My belt begins to go down a few notches while my shirts don't seem to be bursting at the seams especially when I sit down. I'm sure many other people have similar issues and I'd like to know your thoughts about scale frustrations.

This is an Anchor Blue* shirt I purchased over 5 years ago but never had the chance to wear it because it was too small. I wanted to keep this shirt as a reminder to myself that I will one day fit in it again. Today I wanted to try this on and to my surprise, it actually fit without any struggle with the buttons.    *Anchor Blue went out of business in 2010. 

This is an Anchor Blue* shirt I purchased over 5 years ago but never had the chance to wear it because it was too small. I wanted to keep this shirt as a reminder to myself that I will one day fit in it again. Today I wanted to try this on and to my surprise, it actually fit without any struggle with the buttons. 

*Anchor Blue went out of business in 2010. 

*The first time I signed up for a gym membership, I had a 10 day free trial with a fitness trainer. He showed me the correct methods in using various machines and other exercise routines to try out. I fully recommend getting one if you are unaware of properly utilizing the various machines around the gym. Instead of exercising 10 consecutive days with the trainer, I only met with him once a week for 10 weeks. Each week he showed me something new and at the end of the month he recorded my measurements. It helped with my motivation as every time I got measured, I wanted to see results. 

Positive Attainable Goals

It’s always good to have goals and the goal of this blog is to show our progress in our change to being healthy. One of the results to being healthy is losing weight. Weight loss, in theory, is an easy task to do. It’s really about calories consumed vs calories burned.  When the calories consumed is less than the calories burned throughout the day, you are going to lose weight. I know it’s much more complex than what I explained and I know from personal experience that it’s much more difficult to execute; but that’s the short end of it.

Controlling my diet has been a positive experience so far. I know I have made a definite change in my food choices and especially in the amount of food I eat. I have recently added exercising back into my routine. These two things will be a lifetime goal that I would like to maintain from this point on.

It’s also good to have some short term goals. I read that it’s good to gauge yourself within three month increments. It's short enough that I can't procrastinate to make any changes. It's long enough to show some significant results in my progress in maintaining a steady weight loss.

Finding an attainable goal is very important. A goal that’s too challenging would only cause failure in the end. I would find myself feeling defeated and even wanting to quit since I would fail time after time, goal after goal. Nobody likes to lose. Disappointing yourself is one of the hardest losses to bounce back from. On the other hand, having a goal that is too easy would be just as much of a waste of time. If I were to have a weight loss goal of five pounds by the end of April; then of course I would be able to achieve this. Let’s face it, ANYONE can lose five pounds in three months with just a small incremental change. In my opinion, that wouldn't even feel like a challenge at that point. However, even that isn't a total loss. At least you are losing weight.

So for my three month goal, I would like to see myself 30 pounds lighter by the end of April 2015. I believe 30 pounds is a pretty high number but very much attainable. I have done it once in the past but was very challenging. I would have to maintain my healthy diet while on a continuous exercise routine and so far I’m on the right track. 

I'm also aware there's a good chance of failure. If I managed to only lose 20 pounds then all is not lost. Losing 20 pounds is still great progress and something I haven’t achieved in years. For the next three month goal, I might need to adjust my goal or find out why I didn't make it. Did I eat the wrong foods, perhaps too many cheat days or did I slack off when exercising? If I lost another 20 pounds in three months, that would still be fantastic. Not many people can say they lost 40 pounds in six months or even a year. Always maintain a positive attitude. The only negative you should see is in the weight you lost and in the size of your waistline shrinking.