Burn & Quiver

What a difference! While I have just signed up the family for membership at the local gym, I am already feeling a difference when working out. If it all works out I will be at the gym 4 days a week working on different body parts and including cardio, starting with 30 minutes and working my way up to 60 minutes. Thankfully I have a co-worker, who was a body builder and he has been introducing me to difference exercises depending on the body part we concentrate on.

Take nothing away from the Bowflex Revolution, it was great to start working out with this machine but I don’t want to go back to it. If I miss a day due to plans or scheduling that’s fine, but hopefully I can work my way up to 4 times a week at the gym. I think the dividends will pay off sooner than expected. Tuesday we worked our chest, I missed Wednesday due to my son’s swimming lessons, he took Thursday off and we did arms today. As I sit here typing I can feel my triceps still quivering. I believe I will be sore in the morning.

I never really got sore with the Bowflex. It could have been I wasn’t using enough resistance when doing each exercise, but after just two days at the gym I feel different. In fact my arms felt HUGE today with as much as we worked on them. I leave the gym feeling very good, much like the feeling I got when I started using Tony Horton’s P90 program back in 2003. This time around I already have the diet under control, so I should see some faster results, not that I have any immediate goals set. I do believe working out with a friend at a gym will be more beneficial than going solo at home.

It will be interesting to see some of the pictures I have to see if the changes are apparent. Much like P90 taught me, take a before picture, 30, 60 and 90 day picture. Three months should provide enough time for the exercise to make some of those physical changes.

Welcome Back Tony

It’s been 9 years since I purchased Power 90 with Tony Horton from a late night infomercial while working the graveyard shift at United Airlines. At the time I felt I was overweight and wanted to get into shape. I had tried diets and gyms and had not really had much luck. My daily diet consisted of a burrito from Chipotle, a few Red Bull Energy Drinks and a some chicken sandwiches from a fast food joint for dinner. Not exactly the image of health. I don’t believe I was cooking many meals at all, it was always food on the go or eating out at local establishments.

I started the program at a weight of 210 pounds on March 16, 2003 and over the course of 30 days I saw a 10 pound weight decrease and looking at the pictures (the ugly truth) I took of myself on day 1 and day 30, there were some minor changes in my body. Most notably, a 1″ increase in my chest and a 2″ loss on my waist. Still after 46 days, when I stopped keeping up a journal at Team Beachbody, I was not where I wanted to be.

This time around, I have half the battle already won, as my diet is under control and I have already dropped 26 pounds since October 30, 2011. I know I seem to bring up that number every time I talk about how I did it, but I am still in awe that I could see changes so quickly. Since moving to a plant-based whole food diet I have more energy and have my cholesterol under control. Unlike my 2003 attempt I was still not eating healthy while using Power 90, but I was loading up on recommended supplements as advertised on their web site.

Today was my reintroduction to “Tony and the kids.” Tony being fitness guru, Tony Horton who leads us in “combined quick, intense cardiovascular exercises with moderate-level strength and weight training moves” (source). His kids are the male and female he used in the video to help those, like me accomplish the moves in this DVD series.

I started with Sweat Cardio I/II today and I’ll be honest couldn’t keep with the simple moves. I had a few added breaks in the 36 minute workout. This DVD combined cardio moves, kickboxing and Pilates before moving on to 100 ab moves in 10 minutes. I know I don’t feel it now, but coming tomorrow or the next day I am sure it will start to take effect. I am a bit tired after the 45 minute workout, but like my previous attempt, I feel good and better about myself as I know I can break down the barriers that prevented me from being successful in 2003.

Combine Power 90 with 30 minutes of walking at work and my “plat strong lifestyle” and my health outlook is nothing short of spectacular! Looking forward to it in fact. the most telling sign will be when my wife begins to notice the changes. She can tell a difference in the loss of 26 pounds and damn if I can notch my belt over one more loophole. It’s the small things, right?


Good Eats!

Somehow I got my wife, her best friend and aunt to join me for 12 days to show what the McDougall Program can do. Although I am finding it much easier than say, my wife when it comes to eating this way. I have heard for the last few days, “I am hungry.” Unlike diets, which usually force people to limit their calories I have been advocating eating more. She has been tempted that past few days by non-McDougall meals, but as I told her last night after finishing dinner, you might need to eat more of the healthy foods to feel full.

Not sure I had this problem with I started eating like this in October, 2011 or not. I was tempted, don’t get me wrong by many foods that I would skip over. Her problem is taking a fresh and friendly meal or snack to work, which is where she typically spends her day. At home, it isn’t much of a problem. Last night, I could have eaten two Falafel sandwiches, but the recipe only made 12 patties and I had 3 other people to feed. So instead I filled up on my couscous salad, cucumber salad and three bean salad.

As I mentioned this is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. You don’t “McDougall” for a month and then go back to eating a standard American diet. The benefits you just gained from the past 30 days will be lost if you load up on dairy, meat and fat. I did tell her to eat some bread! The whole wheat and oat bread I make is very healthy, contains no salt or oils. This will at least be good starch and help fill the hunger craving.

We continue to have a disagreement on a weight goal. I am hoping to get to 175 pounds, but she believes I will be “too skinny” much like when she met me back in 2003 at that weight. Late last year I read an L.A. Times article on American’s and how their ‘ideal weight’ has shifted upwards. “The average man now weighs 196 pounds; the average woman weighs 160 pounds. Both figures are 20 pounds greater than self-reported weights in 1990,” states the Gallup report.

But Americans’ self-professed “ideal” selves have put on weight too. Women on average said their ideal weight should be 138 pounds — up from 129 in 1991. Men on average said their ideal weight should be 181 pounds — up from 171 in 1991” (source).

Reading a McDougall Newsletter from July 2003 there is an interesting chart put together by Walter Kempner, MD, who established the Rice Diet Program in the 1940s at Duke University. Dr. McDougall has used the “chart from the Kempner Foundation for more than 20 years to help people who think they are becoming too thin to realize that their new weight may actually be an ideal weight when it comes to good health.”

You can view the Kempner Foundation chart here and see where your weight should fall based on height. Dr. McDougall doesn’t look at this chart as a goal chart, but to reassure people that you are not getting too thin. For me, I am shooting for 175 pounds, based on the Kempner Chart, for a 6′-0″ male I should weight 160 pounds, so my target is still a goal to achieve. My wife would like to more than just weight loss. Losing fat is wonderful, as is getting healthy, but being able to exercise and build some muscle to fill out a 175 pound frame is important.

The losing weight part of the McDougall Program is the easy part for me. Exercise isn’t that easy. When I lost a fair amount of weight in 2002-2003 it was not really a great diet, but really limited how much I ate, but would spend 45 minutes daily doing P90 with Tony Horton. It was a great set of videos and movements that made me feel good after finishing them daily.

Currently I am sitting at 192.6 pounds as of this morning, working my way towards my goal of 175 pounds. I still have not set up a medical appointment with my physician yet, but still plan on it. At least I will discuss with him and what I did and hopefully get another blood test scheduled after my 12 days are over.