For Lack of a Better Word

I've ever been fond of the phrase "No Excuses". I know many use that motivational term to inspire people to get off their butts,  exercise or get active. Personally, it's a little condescending to just tell that to someone when they don't even understand their situation. Their "excuses" or reasons may be valid to them but to someone else it's just another reason to be lazy

If someone tells me get fit, get healthy and "stop making excuses", it doesn't motivate me in any way. In fact, it only makes me feel like this person doesn't even understand what I go through each day. Do you think I like being unhealthy? If I could do it, I would but at this point in my life, I can't because of my personal circumstances. I'm sure there are people "making excuses" not to go to the gym, however there are many of us out there who lead a busy life. Those of us working multiple jobs, multiple kids, multiple bills, and multiple EVERYTHING. How can you just sum up their life situation and tell them "stop making excuses"?

Instead of force feeding people to get their act together and get healthier, we can be a little more understanding. I know a thing or two about being busy and yet I find a way to get myself in the gym and try to eat as healthy as possible. I don't drag anybody with me but I'd rather show them my progress in how I physically look via my weight loss. Forcing someone to change their life around by telling them they are just "making excuses" doesn't make them feel any better bout themselves. I'd rather empower them and help them in their journey to a healthier lifestyle. Show them, don't tell them. 

Fitness Update: Week 5

This past Friday was the completion of the fifth week and the end of powerlifting program. I am very pleased with my numbers. I am especially impressed with how far I have come with a particular lift, the deadlift. The last time I was deadlifting was back in high school, just under twenty years ago. Judging by what I did yesterday, I'm very close to achieving my first goal of getting back to that youthful strength I once had. I'm pretty sure in my next training cycle, I might achieve this goal or even surpass it!

Unfortunately, the scale still does not agree with me. I know for a fact that I can be doing better with my diet, but I'm also certain some of the weight gain is due to an increase in muscle. Either way, everything is still on a positive outcome and I can't really ask for more then that. 

Youngevity Convention 2015

We are going to the Youngevity Convention in Ontario this year. This will our first Youngevity convention. You can find us there on Saturday roaming the floor and taking in as much as we can. We hope to have some fun and learn a lot while we are there. Don't hesitate to come say hello if you see us there. Anyone else planning to go?

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.

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. 

Listening To My Brain And Not My Stomach

One of the things I have been trying to do is listening to how my body feels. Like many of you, I have a 9-5 weekday job where I wake up, go to work, and then go home. Rinse and repeat for five days a week. Somewhere in my day is breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I'll talk about what I actually eat for my meals on another day but right now I want to comment on the fact that I have started to listen to how my body feels when it comes to hunger.

Unlike many people I know , I actually make time to eat breakfast. One reason is that it helps to subside the struggles of hunger as I approach the mid-day, better known as my lunch break. I try to pack my lunch because it's less expensive than eating out, and gives me better control on what I will be eating. When I pack my lunch, I think about what would be enough food for myself at that given point in the day. For example, I eat only what I had packed for lunch. When I say I eat what I packed, I mean I finish everything, but not more than what I had pre-planned. 

A while ago, I realized my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all of the other adult figures in my life helped cultivate a dangerous seed in my young and impressionable mind. I'm sure many people have heard these statements: "Finish your food! Don't waste it because children in <insert third world country here> are starving so be grateful you have food in front of you."

I'm not putting all of the blame on them, and I know their intentions were good. I see many children and adults today being so wasteful, and I can't stand it myself. While living and growing up in the Philippines, I noticed that fresh cooked food was a luxury many people didn't have; and throwing it away for any reason was like treason. Unfortunately those words resonated with me all the way up to my adult years, instilling the behavior that I HAVE TO finish all my food, regardless of whether or not I feel full.

As long as I enjoyed the taste, I ate until the message relayed to my brain from my stomach that it's full. Too bad that message was running on 56k dial-up and I was eating at the speeds of broadband cable. Once I realized that one plate of food was actually enough, I was already two or two and a half plates in. Room for dessert? ALWAYS!

I still find it a little difficult to gauge what will actually fill me up; especially on those days where I'm were too busy to eat at my usual time due to workload and other factors. Once that hunger hits, all I feel is the need to stuff my face and get food in my stomach until my brain says "stop". Well, I know that story never ends up well for me.

I have now slowed down my pace ... or at least I'm still  training myself to let my brain catch up to what my stomach is actually trying to tell it. I found that waiting about 3 to 5 minutes after finishing a portion of my lunch has helped me significantly. It allowed me to gauge if I need the extra banana that I packed or the other half of that chicken adobo that I brought for lunch. If I still feel hungry after a few minutes, then I'll eat what I have left. If not, then away it goes for the next day, or perhaps my dogs will get an extra treat that night.

I know that giving myself a few minutes to digest and reassess will lengthen my  usual "eating time". I'm also aware that I will not always have that luxury of extra time whenever I eat. In the end, a few minutes to myself can literally gain years to my life in the end. That's one message my stomach and brain can instantly agree on.