Negativity

I have undergone a pretty dramatic transformation in the last year and three months.

In March of 2011 I was 235 pounds, unhappy, and generally feeling like crap. I committed to P90X and lost 25 pounds in the first three months. Three months later I was down another 10. Three months after that, 10 more. 15 months later, I am 180 pounds, sub-10 body fat percentage. I feel great. I have more energy. I am a better person, a better father, and an all around healthier human being.

I have completely changed the way I approach nutrition and fitness. I eat well. I eat as much unprocessed, whole foods as possible. I try to make conscientious decisions every time I am in the grocery store or open the refrigerator or pantry. I have decided to commit to drinking Shakeology every day, because based on the research, there is no one food item that I can ingest that will give me the same level of nutrition. I have chosen to spend my money there instead of on the myriad of other unhealthy things I would have in the past.

But beyond the diet and exercise stuff, my entire outlook on the world has changed. Where I was tense and negative in the past (my fantasy baseball team name is “The Judge” for a reason) I have tried to become more patient and thoughtful. I have tried to enjoy the little moments with my family that in the past I would have maybe missed. I have learned to enjoy the journey.

Having undergone this transformation, and feeling a desire to share what I have learned with others has led me write about it here. So earlier this week, when I was told that someone blocked me from their news feed on Facebook because they were “sick of hearing about Shakeology”, I was really upset. I was even more upset when that person apparently said, I don’t know what it is, but I’m sick of hearing about (google is an amazing tool).

Hearing this has led me to really reflect on what I have shared here and why. I had to ask myself why I write about this stuff, why do I share it with anyone. My immediate reaction was to feel like I should stop. That this one person’s opinion was reflective of the opinions of everyone on the internet and no one wants to read it.

The longer I thought about, the less I felt this way. I went for a run last night to clear my head (this has been bothering me for a few days now). On my run I realized that the emails that I get from total strangers and old friends alike are proof that someone is reading and cares what I have to say, regardless of opinions to the contrary.

I share these things because when I was 235 pounds and feeling like absolute crap about myself and the world, I stumbled upon a website where the person was sharing their experience with P90X and Shakeology, how to eat right, how to get the most out of the workouts, how to get results, and it changed my life. What if I had found that earlier? What if I had a Facebook friend who had done that, and I could follow their journey and change my life? How many days, weeks, months and years of my life did I waste living overweight and unhappy because I lacked guidance and motivation?

I have always disliked an “ignore the haters, because they are always going to hate” mentality, because I think it is important for people to listen to, and reflect on criticism. That being said, I am going to continue to write about P90X, I am going to continue to share my experience with Beachbody programs and supplements (including Shakeology) because these things have worked for me (and literally hundreds of thousands of others).

I appreciate the criticism, I think it is important. However, I wish this person had emailed me and said “hey, I see you posting about Shakeology a lot, what is it?” instead of blocking from their news feed.  I can’t help somebody if they don’t ask.

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P90X2/Asylum Hybrid- Phase 3 (with some changes)

Today marks the first day of the final phase of my P90X2/Asylum Hybrid. I started off this morning with X2 Chest, Shoulders + Triceps.

I completely forgot how hard this routine is. I tried to up each and every number from the end of my first round of P90X2. In doing so, I was completely exhausted at the end of the workout. I love this routine because it is only 47 minutes long. I finished up with X2 Ab Ripper.

I took an awesome recovery week last week that included

  • X2 Core- Monday
  • Foam rolling and 3 mile run Tuesday
  • Insanity: Core Cardio and Balance Wednesday
  • X2 Core Thursday
  • Foam rolling and 3 mile run Friday
  • Yoga Saturday
  • 4.5 mile run Sunday

I felt awesome today. I have finally decided to stop screwing around and do something about the pain in my right lat muscle. Like an absolute idiot, I got talked into a pull-up competition at school on Thursday. So my back, which was feeling better, was on fire on Friday (I also got roped into two foot races with students, and won both handedly). For the next four weeks I am not going to do a single pull-up or back exercise in an effort to let this thing finally heal. That means that I will not be doing V-Sculpt on Wednesday. Instead I am going to do Chest, Shoulders +Tris on Mondays and X2 Shoulders and Arms on Wednesdays with Insanity: The Asylum- Speed and Agility Tuesdays and Asylum- Vertical Plyo on Thursdays. I will repeat this schedule for four weeks, ending with our trip to Cape Cod, which I am going to treat as a recovery week, followed by 2-3 weeks of the P.A.P routines from P90X2. With that I will have completed my second round of P90X2.

I am trying some of the new Beachbody supplements starting this week. I will get a review up once I give them a try. I just feel like it is time to switch things up a bit.

Speaking of supplements, I have about five packets of chocolate Shakeology that I am looking to send out. If you are someone who has been considering Shakeology, but are unsure if you would like the flavor, shoot me an email or a message of Facebook with your address and I will get those sent out. I will be ordering more samples of all three flavors in the coming weeks. Check out my Shakeology Posts for more info.

I’m Eating Healthy

Summer is officially upon us. Here in Western NY, it feels less like summer and more like the surface of the sun (can I take a minute to point out that it is my belief that the same people who bitch and moan about the snow in winter are now flocking to Facebook, Twitter or their social media outlet of choice to complain that it is hot out).

With summer comes picnics, cook-outs and vacations. All of which are a recipe for disaster if you are trying to eat healthy. I know from my own experience that no matter how “on-point” I am with my diet throughout the week, if we have a picnic or family party on the weekend, my ability to stave off temptation lessens. Especially when you throw in the added pressure of people around you making poor dietary choices. For me, one oatmeal raisin cookie can quickly turn into 4 if I don’t watch it.

I know that going into my first round of P90X, I was completely overwhelmed by the nutrition guide. Danielle and I sat down and looked at it, and both said “there is no way we can afford all of this.” The problem was, we were stuck in an outdated  “also” mindset, as opposed to an “instead of” mindset (which is exactly how I overcame my fear of purchasing Shakeology). Due to this attitude, I did not follow the diet guide. I ate better (or at least I thought I did) and had some results. It wasn’t until I became a member of TeamRIPPED that I started to understand the vital role that nutrition plays in shaping one’s success or failure. Once I started tracking my food (using myfitnesspal.com) I was able to better understand what to put into my body every day to achieve the best results possible.

To this day, there are times that I could make better choices. But because I track my food and know what I have eaten, I am able to account for every calorie.

I have followed the same 1900 Calorie Fat Shredder Diet for about six months now, and I am feeling great about where I am at. The problem is, I have had nothing to offer as far as advice goes for women, because I was pretty clueless what a woman’s body required while trying to lose weight. That was, until Coach Wayne posted his wife’s Fat Shredder diet. Feel free to use this link to help plan your eating. I strongly suggest using the MyFitnessPal app to track your food, at least until you get a firm understanding of what you need on a daily basis.

As far as shopping goes, I found this video:

Which does a great job of explaining what to look for at the grocery store. This is almost exactly what I use every day. I am still drinking Shakeology daily. I actually switched up my chocolate for greenberry this month and am loving the change. I think I am going to change again to Tropical Strawberry for July, as it just seems like a great summer flavor. For me, and I know I have said this a number of times already, Shakeology is the essential foundation stone to my daily nutrition. I know that every day, no matter what happens, I put the healthiest thing I possibly could in my body for breakfast.

The prohibitive factor with Shakeology is the cost. It breaks down to about $4 a day. Like I mentioned above, I started treating it like an “also” cost, and more like an “instead of”. The other thing I did to help with the cost was sign up for a coaching account with Team Beachbody. Coaches save 25% on all purchases, and because I am on monthly auto-ship, shipping is free.

I was stuck in a rut with my nutrition for a long time. I had to break 28 years of bad habits. It wasn’t easy. Change never is. But if what you want to do is live a healthier life style, look and feel better, and enjoy life more, these are the things I have done to do just that.

If you have any questions about diet, nutrition or Shakeology please do not hesitate to ask. I know for me, this was the most overwhelming and confusing part of the process, which is why it took me almost 9 months of P90X/Insanity before I really understood what I was doing.

Body Beast Available Now

I mentioned this program a few weeks ago when the preview video was released on YouTube. I am still unsure if I will do it (although I am leaning more towards trying it out).

Body Beast is the newest offering from Beachbody, the company that has brought you P90X, P90X2, Insanity and ChaLean Extreme among others.

According to the Beachbody website:

Pack on 10 pounds of muscle in 90 days with Body Beast. Created by world-class trainer and former “Mr. Israel,” Sagi Kalev, this proven growth-inducing program includes 12 extreme workout DVDs, plus valuable fitness tools to help you get healthy, increase your confidence, lose fat, and give you the physique of a bodybuilding champion.

Along with the program, Beachbody has introduced four new supplements which you can learn more about HERE.  The supplements and program (along with any other program that Beachbody offers are available through the shopping cart link on the right side of this site, or at teambeachbody.com

Not every program is for everyone. For someone looking to build muscle mass, this program looks to be the one to try. I have found that although I have had great results with P90X2, I have not built a ton of muscle, which is what has me interested in giving this thing a shot. I do plan on purchasing some of the supplements, at which point I will write-up a review.

Red Wings Game

We took Avi to the Red Wings game last night.

I have tried really hard to not shove baseball in her face. The way Avi works, if you gently nudge her towards something (Harry Potter, Lego’s, Josh Freeman etc.) she tends to become somewhat interested in it.

I have tried to take this approach to baseball. The other day we were listening to the ESPN Radio fantasy baseball podcast (the best 45 minutes of my day) and she asked me: “Dad, why do you love the Mets so much?” Which was a really tough question to answer. On a side note, one of the audio drops on the show is for when a player records a “Combo Meal”, which consists of hitting a home run and stealing a base in the same game (as Andrew McCutchen did last night). On the drop, there is Latin music and a voice says “Ay… It’s a Combo Meal, home run plus a steal”. Now, whenever I say “Ay…” Avi will follow-up with “It’s a combo meal”.

The other day we were laying on the floor at my parents house watching the Mets game. She laid down next to me and started watching the game. So I took the opportunity to show her how a pitch can be a ball or a strike, and how the batter gets either 3 strikes or 4 balls (foul balls complicate things). She started trying to tell me which pitches were strikes and which were balls. By giving her something to look for, she started to pay a bit more attention. It didn’t last long, but I didn’t push it on her, and she cared, a little.

Last night at the game, we were sitting very close (thanks again for the tickets, Mike).

And like she does when going to a movie, she sat with her pretzel and popcorn, in her too-big-for-her seat munching on her goodies. It wasn’t until the 4th or 5th inning that it dawned on me that she was basically completely unaware that there was a game going on less than 30 feet from where we were sitting. So I pointed out to her where the pitcher and batter were, how there were two teams, 3 outs etc. She became slightly more interested in the action on the field, but once again, I wasn’t pushy.

At the end of the day, she got a ball (which we got Mitsy to sign, which is really all she cared about) and had Spikes sign her glove (which she asked to put on to try to catch a foul ball). It was a perfect night at the park. Avi had her family with her, and I got to continue the process of introducing her to my favorite game. What could be better?

Success Stories

I created a new page on the site today. If you look just under the title, you will see a page entitled “Success”. I plan on using this space to spotlight my personal successes as well as those of others.

If you have assigned me as your coach, and would like me to share your story on this site, please let me know. If you have not yet signed up for an account with Team Beachbody (which is totally free) you can do so by following the “Join My Team” link on the right side of this site.

I was incredibly intimated the first time I posted “before” and “after” pictures of myself. Reading back through my blog from my first round of P90X, there are virtually no posts about my progress. I was scared to share my progress. I almost feel like I hid for three months out of fear. Even now, with over 10,000 people having viewed my YouTube video, I still get nervous about posting pictures of myself. I have found that sharing my success story with others has been both personally liberating and motivational for others. I get emails and Facebook messages weekly from people I know and people I have never, and will never meet telling me how inspirational they found my story.

This is why I always suggest to people starting P90x, Insanity or any other workout program, take before pictures. As unhappy as you may be with how you currently look, those pictures will be invaluable when you get to your goal. My refusal to take Day 1 pictures when I started P90X last March has reached legendary proportions around our house (as Danielle constantly reminds me). But, how are you supposed to know where you are going, if you don’t know where you have been. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my appearance last winter. I hid from cameras and mirrors. Now, because of my hard work and the support of my Team Beachbody coach, I am proud of how I look and love how I feel.

 

P90X2/Asylum Hybrid: Recovery Week 2

I started my second recovery week this morning. I did P90X2: Core this morning. I pushed as hard as I could (I know, not very smart for recovery week) and was exhausted at the end of the workout. I upped my numbers on almost every exercise.

I am feeling good, although my legs feel a bit dead and my right lat muscle continues to be sore from the strain. I think I will skip any pull-ups this week in an effort to let it calm down a bit. Tomorrow I plan on taking a short run, followed by some intense Rumble Rolling.

On a completely unrelated note, today was Aviendha’s graduation from Pre-K. She looked beautiful, and I only cried twice.

It is really hard to wrap my head around her going to Kindergarten next year. I was doing good until the end of the video her teacher put together. The song was Jack Johnson’s “Better Together”. I sang this to Avi almost every night before I put her to bed when she was a baby. Any time she woke up in the middle of the night. For the rest of my life, I will always associate this song with her tiny body in my arms.