My Take on New Years Resolutions

I understand that the New Years resolution has become a bit of a joke. Yes this is mostly due to the large majority of people who sign up with a gym in the new year and aren’t going anymore within in a month. I have a theory about these people. Usually people that are big on resolutions are procrastinaters. The type of people who have one bad meal and instead of dialling it back in right away they will write off the whole weekend and “get back on track” for Monday. The NY resolution becomes so appealing because it is the best day to push unappealing things to.  I know the vast majority of people can relate to this, I know I can! This is one of the greatest challenges I face. The attitude shift from this to “I’m going to start right now” and “I messed up, but I’m not going to let it effect my next choice”. It’s different for everyone but once this attitude shift happens, that’s when most people start to make serious fitness progress. BUT, one thing I hate about resolution season is the huge amount of pessimism that surrounds it. I’ll never put somebody down, or judge them for setting goals. If you have given someone a hard time about making a resolution maybe you should take some alone time to ponder why you have such a negative attitude. 

Do I have any New Years resolutions? Yes, having a fresh start is always motivating. My main goals are to shift my sleep schedule so that I’m an early riser, I usually wake up around 9-10am I want to get it down to 6 or 7. Although it’s not necessarily a resolution I want to learn more about, and get into meditation. Their are multiple reasons behind this but basically things in my life have been a little chaotic over the last few months and I want to try to control and understand my mind a bit better.  

Fitness-wise the holidays did take a toll! I basically let loose for a week. I drank alcohol most nights aswell. I gained about 5 pounds but I was expecting it, and okay with it. I wanted to unwind and have a little bit of fun. Anyways I’m back on track and have been going strong since the holidays ended! If your reading this thank you, I hope you have a great day! 

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What I Have Been Up To

I’m not sure how long it’s been since I posted my last blog, however I know it’s been way too long. I think it’s important to document every failure I’ve faced on my journey and failing to keep my commitment of 1-3 blog posts per week is  a fairly large one to me. 

I have had a tough last few months, I’m not going to go into details but me and a girlfriend I dated all through highschool, and also a few years after broke up, and some family stuff. I believe other things take priority over a commitment to things like writing, and relationships and happiness are definitely one of them. I want to be as honest as possible about my journey, so even though I don’t like talking about it I will. I’ve been pretty unhappy, and I’ve never felt like that in my entire life. 

This effected every aspect of my life, fitness definitely being one of them (but I will go in-depth with that in tomorrow’s post) I’m not one for making excuses but I believe you have to prioritize your life and realize which things are most important. I’ve had things I felt that required my full attention until they were resolved. Anyways I just wanted to give an accurate documentation of what I have been up to for the last month and a bit. I hope everyone had an amazing holidays, and as always, thanks for reading.

Update: November 27th

I fell off, I started a new construction job, then I started missing workouts, then I started being too lenient with my diet, and lately it’s been a free for all. My biggest problem is that at first I was still losing weight (surely due to higher calorie expenditure from the job). Then this whole time in the back of my head I have assumed that I’ve continued to lose weight or atleast maintain. Nope, I knew something was up when I didn’t check the scale for 5 days (I check daily, I find it to be a motivator). My weight at this exact moment is 215.4 lbs which isn’t crazy considering the lowest I got was about two weeks ago at 209. In a way I do feel like I’m starting over, but another part of me really enjoyed pigging out these last few weeks and I think working so much softened the blow. Anyways back to the grind. 

Why Motivation is Overrated

Everyone is so hung up on being and staying “motivated”. Motivation is an amazing thing to help START a fitness journey, or any journey really. The issue I see is when people start saying things like they need motivation, or they ask questions like “How do you stay motivated?”. When they ask this it tells me that their mindset is totally wrong. The question I hear is “How do you stay disciplined once the motivation phase has passed?” I see the motivation phase to be similar to the “honeymoon phase” of a new relationship.”. Usually people don’t break up in the first couple weeks of dating. But once that initial romance has worn off the amount of effort that goes into the relationship may decline. 

Motivation is very helpful in short bursts throughout a weight loss program. That may be watching an inspiring video before a workout, or looking at transformation pictures when your results are starting to plateau. So your going to watch a video before every single workout  for the next year?! On the other hand, when it comes to the long-term, discipline becomes the main problem and I don’t believe that can be solved with motivation. After the romantic first week of clean eating it starts to suck for a lot of people, so what do they do? “I need motivation”. No, you need to find that mindset, you need to find ways to ensure longevity. For me this is eating clean foods that I enjoy, sacrificing some calories to make food more enjoyable (example, 30 calories worth of salad dressing to eat my spinach salad), and doing workouts that are fun. 

Discipline is the key to progress, I know this is a fact because no worthy progress, in anything, happens in two weeks. No start up business started with 0$ on day one then was worth ten million on day fifteen. No obese person lost 100lbs in a month. The people who find success can see the finish line, their aware that it’s very far away, and they embrace that while enjoying the process of getting there. If you don’t enjoy the process then you will probably fail, or miserably make mediocre progress.  Do yourself a favour and stop looking for motivation, look for ways to stay disciplined over long periods of time, because that is the key. 

Foods That I Eat Regularly to Maintain My Sanity

I know I would love to get some feedback from you guys, not for any particular purpose. I’m just curious about some things. First off what is your least (and or favourite) body part to train? I’d also love to know what your favourite little foods are that keep you sane, I know I have a few! 

First of all, for me personally I am not a huge fan of training core, I’ve always had a weak core and it effected my skating, and significantly effected my relative strength (especially on body weight movements). My favourite body parts to train are two that go hand in hand, shoulders and chest. Call me a cliche but there is nothing like having a full chest and nice rounded shoulders after a workout. As for some of my favourite foods to eat while cutting in order to keep my sanity are: flavoured rice cakes (50 calories), goldfish crackers (much better choice than chips or regular frackers), salted pop corn, and dark chocolate. These are foods that I regularly eat, the most important thing is not exceeding my calorie goal. I’d love some insight on your guys opinions and maybe some of your little tips and tricks. 

It Happened…

Two days in a row I significantly over ate. Both nights included pizza, and additionally last night contained wings and garlic bread aswell as pop/soda. Each day I finished around 3000 calories, which is garbage. 

To counter this I ate extra clean and lean today; fish, spinach, and rice for lunch and dinner preceeded by a breakfast of Greek yogurt, an apple and almonds. I finished today at approximately 1600 calories and I know this won’t reverse the “damage” (to my goals) that I did the previous two days, I did it as more of a mental refresher. I wanted to have a super positive day because honestly, I was feeling pretty disappointed in myself. Not so much the fact that I over ate but that I over ate  two consecutive days. I needed to bounce back really well to get back on track and I did just that. 

This was one of the reasons I fail which was mentioned in an earlier blog post. Usually today would have been the day I quit and that’s why I put so much pressure on myself to crush my nutrition today and have a solid workout. I actually did find myself rationalizing and the temptation to reach for unhealthy foods was worse than any other day. I recognized that so I did the exact opposite. Im still floating around 216-218lbs but I know if I can keep it up I’m heavy enough that I will continue to see consistent progress. That’s my little update for the day, hope you guys enjoyed. Thanks for reading! 

Why>What

This is a little motto that I like to use when I am either learning something, or teaching somebody something. I’m going to use the example of learning something because at this point in my life I’m doing a lot more learning than I am teaching. It’s all fine and dandy to know what to do and how to do it. For example, do this workout “x” times per week and eat these foods will yield “y” results. If you want to take your understanding to the next level and truly optimize your results you need to ask why? Why am I doing this particular workout? How will it effect me? How does my body react to these foods and why is that important? If you know the answers to these questions I promise you that you will gain insight that is significantly beneficial. Oh, I’m doing these exercises because they work my chest, delts and triceps. Now I ask why is this important? Okay, this matters because all these muscles work together, and I can target different muscle groups another day and allow my chest, delts, and triceps to rest and recover properly. How do certain foods assist this process? Do you see where I’m going? 

This is something I apply to every aspect of my life because I think it is so crucial to success. I implore you to start asking why. Learn the complex details of what you are doing and I promise it will pay dividends. 

Today is a rest day for me so I’m keeping my calories a little lower than a training day, around 1900 versus 2100. I woke up today at 215lbs and that’s the lowest number I have seen on the scale in years, so I’m super pumped about that. Anyways, hope you have a great day and keep grinding! Thanks for reading.

Reasons I Have Failed

     Failure is a part of having goals, whether that be coming up short on your goals completely or not executing something you need to do to reach your goals. I have tried to get back in shape many times before and I failed every time. It is good to accept failure or a set back. It is crucial to understand why it happened. You need to identify why you failed so that you can alter your plan to get back on the road to success. Sometimes you will realize your goals were unattainable or maybe unrealistic for your lifestyle. 

     I’m not just speculating here, so these are these reasons I have failed in the past. First of all I’m an emotional eater, it’s not really a comfort thing though. For me personally it’s more that I get so down in the dumps I stop caring. Remaining emotionally neutral is important for me to stay consistent. Also social pressure is a big problem, whether that be a restaurant with friends or going to the bar on Friday. These have held me back before but neither of them are the main causes of my failure. My cause of failure is that I will have my scheduled cheat meal, or night out, after my full week of clean eating and not be able to get back on track. Its usually a downword spiral effect. I have a big burger on Friday night, then my friends say let’s go out. My thought process is I already ate a burger so what harm is a few beers on top. Next thing you know I’m drunkenly getting pizza at 3am and then McDonald’s breakfast at noon. Now instead of a cheat meal I’ve got half a cheat weekend under my belt and I feel like I set myself back so much there is no point in continuing. 

     So now here is step two: figure out what you need to change in order to avoid making the same mistake twice. Identifying the problem is useless if you can’t find a way to avoid it. I am learning to keep my emotions in check and handle small wins and set backs. My plan has worked thus far and this is why. To combat my issue with social pressure I have made the change that I never take part in anything that wasn’t planned ahead of time. Now if I get asked to go to the bar at 8pm on Friday I’ll be the DD. This way I still get to hangout with my friends, have fun, and not miss out on all the great times that take place. I apply the same concept to going out to eat. On Monday every week I already know what and when my cheat meal is going to be. 

    Hopefully someone found this post helpful. I think it’s an important skill to effectively handle failure in any endeavour. Thank you for taking the time to read this.  

Fitness Update: Honesty Time

Alright, honesty time. I have made this blog about poetic crap instead of consistently tracking my progress in detail. So here we go. I’m 5’11”, I naturally carry a good amount of muscle, my father is the same way. I am turning twenty in January. I don’t think I looked fat necessarily, more like a college bro who works out a lot but eats a large pizza and drinks a case of beer on the regular. An in-shape-out-of-shape guy. I was starting to look fat though, at my heaviest I was about 235 pounds, maybe slightly more. The scale is embarrassing when you are unhappy with your body and doing nothing to change it. That was about 2 weeks ago. 

Since then I have been eating 90% clean, and I have only went over my calories once, and it was planned. I’ve been strength training 4-5 days per week. I woke up today at 216.5 lbs so realistically I am probably around 218-220. I know this is dramatic progress but I went from eating only junk food, to a strict clean diet overnight. I’m aware that my progress will slow down and fat loss will become increasingly difficult with more progress. I don’t think friends and family can see much difference but I have noticed some changes. My face looks leaner for sure, and my legs and butt have slimmed a decent amount. I have naturally strong and muscular legs, which is awesome but when I started putting on weight my legs and butt blew up so I’m honestly glad to see them slimming down. My goal right now is to get down to 200 pounds then dial in my macro-nutrients to cut to 195 and retain as much muscle as possible. At my best I was 195 and about 14% body fat. My long term goal is to get to 190 and about 11% body fat. 

If you enjoyed this more personal post leave a comment, I appreciate the feedback. As always thanks for reading, have a nice day! 

Fitness Update

I drank last night. Too much. I think I prepared for it well though. I didn’t miss any workouts because of it and I somehow managed to stay under my calorie goals. I definitely wish I would have ate more because I am bed ridden today. I’m making sure I’m eating those clean foods though and drinking a ton of water! Anyways I just wanted to post a quick update since I’ve been quiet the last few days. Hope everyone had a fun and safe halloween!