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Tribute To Marsha: Fight Heart Disease and Strokes Through Nutrition and Excercise

Yesterday I had a very good friend die from a stroke.  Marsha App had just turned 67 the other day.  That’s 3 people who have died within the last year that I was close too.  Two of the three died from cardiovascular complications.  I also came very close to losing my father from a massive heart attack.  Fortunately, he survived and is doing very well.

My transformation has done much more for me than just change my body.  It has changed me.  I have learned more this year than any other.  I have become more open-minded. I have discovered that I can do much more than I ever thought possible at my age.  These things and many others have become possible for me because, I have been able to take control of my own mind.  For me it breaks down to being able to S.W.I.M. (Self Control, Will Power, Inspiration and Motivation).  The one thing that I can’t control is what happens around mean.  I can’t control the death of someone who I care about or someone who is close to someone who I care about.  .

What I can do is continue to write my blog and hopefully change the lives of people who I care about and even people who I don’t know.  You can improve your health and even your active lifestyle.  You can be there for your family.  You can be active with your kids.  They can be your motivation to live a longer happier life.

Marsha did live a very happy life.  She always thought about others first and left behind a son, a daughter and a grandson and many friends who will have some great memories of her.  I will miss talking with her and going out to dinner with her.  She always made me smile.

Fight Stroke and Heart Disease by eating healthy and with exercise.   Take control of your life and learn to S.W.I.M.

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Midwest Super Spartan 2012

In about 5 hours I’ll be running in my first Spartan Race.  Even cooler, I’m running on the Dial For Men Team.  About 6 months ago I ran in my first obstacle race.  It’s amazing what a life changing transformation can do you for you.  It’s not just about changing your body.  My biggest change has been psychological.  I’m not crazy anymore.  Well maybe I am, but my perspectives have changed.  Like I say in other parts of my blog, I can now  S.W.I.M.  I have Self Control, Will Power, Inspiration and Motivation.  If I see something that I want to do because I think it’s fun or because it’s a challenge, I will now go out and do it.  I don’t like being a spectator, I want to participate.  I’ve missed out on to much of life waiting on others to join me or waiting on me to get prepared for something or making an excuse not to do it.


While surfing the internet about a year ago I came across Tough Mudder.  I thought that this looked like a great event.  The first problem with it was that it was 12 miles and I had no intention of running 12 miles.  I started to notice other shorter races that were similar types of races (obstacle races, mud runs, zombie runs).  Many of these were only 5k.  That I could handle.  The most I had ever run before was 8 miles and I did that twice (with no obstacles).  Funny thing is I noticed that 30 plus Facebook friends like Tough Mudder and even some of these other races.  Even funnier, like me, most of them haven’t done the Tough Mudder or even the shorter ones.  But a lot of them have told me that they want to do them. Why like something if you aren’t going to do it?  Naturally, I liked it too.   Maybe some day I would even see what one of these races were like.  If nothing else “LIKE” as many as possible on Facebook.

My first race was early in my transformation and it wasn’t easy.  I tried to find other people who would race with me, but either they had plans or hadn’t trained for it.   I’m not going to say that today’s race will be easy either but these are challenges that are continuing to help form my new life.  For those of you who think they would like to do one of these but are using the “I’m not in shape or I’m not ready” excuse to not do it.  Think again.  Do it at your own pace.  I see a lot of people who do these things for the fun of it and they are not always the fittest people, but they have fun.  If you pick one out several weeks away and start working out now, you can make dramatic changes in 3 to 6 weeks.  If you decide that you like it, the next one can be more of a challenge for you if that is what you want.

Don’t just “Like it” on Facebook, go out and do it.  Don’t wait for someone else to join you.  If they do, great.  Get out and S.W.I.M.

 

My Transformation: It Almost Ended Before it Began

My Transformation: It Almost Ended Before it Began

Now I had to figure out when I would begin my new program.  I had a trip to Denver coming up and decided that I would wait until I got back from that trip to begin.  Oh I had a trip the following week and then one right after that.  I’ll figure it out.  I was just making more excuses.

A few days later I notice that Bill Phillips had started a new company.  It’s Bill Phillips Transformation.  This was the same guy who founded EAS and started Body For Life (BFL).  He revolutionized the fitness industry with BFL by helping millions of people transform their lives.  Body For Life and it’s Champions from the first BFL like Porter Freeman were what inspired me the in 1998.  I checked out his new company and saw that he had come up with a new and different program that helps people transformation their bodies and lives while participating in his new challenge.  I decided that I should sign up.  The registration deadline was April 2nd.  Today’s date was April 2nd.  What a coincidence, no more excuses, I’m signing up and starting right away.  I had been stalling and hadn’t really planned anything out.  One of my biggest problems with my nutrition and even working out was travel.  A trip was what was keeping me from starting my new journey.  I had no other choice but to start the next day and plan things out during the first week.

In order to give myself an edge I decided to hire a personal trainer.  I wanted an outside perspective.  I wanted a new atmosphere and I wanted a place that was all about training.  I wanted a performance center.  I checked out a place that I heard about that was actually a little closer to my house than my gym.  It was called Emerge Fitness.  I took a look at the trainers online and liked what I saw as far as experience.  I drove over and met with Matt McCarthy.  We talked for a while and I told him that over the next 12 weeks I wanted to drop from 240 to 200 and I showed him my old before/after pics and said that I wanted to achieve the same goal.  I was thinking that he probably thought that I was full of crap but later he told me that he thought that I could do it, because of my confidence.  I liked what i heard and  I bought 50 sessions so that I would have a full commitment.  If I didn’t get results it would be my fault and I would have wasted $2,500 and would have had nothing to show (more motivation).  Workouts were set up for 4 days a week with a 5th that I would do on my own.  My first workout was the next day.
(I’ll get into my cardio program and nutritional program in a future blog, but my diet was very clean.)

I got through the first 3 workouts and my motivation had climbed.  I left for Denver keeping in mind that I had to be very careful with my program when I traveled.  Traveling had been a major problem for me in the past.  I wouldn’t work out and the entire trip was a cheat day.  I ate anything and everything and drank a lot more alcohol on the road than at home.  Some of my bad habits would make it back home with me upon my return and could last for a couple of days or a couple of weeks.

I landed in Denver  and that night went out with one of my friends/clients Jarvis Green (former Defensive End with the Patriots and Texans).  It was a great dinner I ate two loaves of bread, shared a few appetizers including fried calamari and ate some kind of pasta.  I also had about half a bottle of wine and had a number of beers.  That night back in my room, I felt awful.  I had just done what I promised myself I wouldn’t do.  I already failed.  If I can’t take control of my diet and my training program on the road, than I wasn’t going to be able to accomplish my goals.   I stay weak minded, I had to take control of myself.  I needed something that I could stick with.  I decided to write off that dinner as a cheat meal and the next day I got up and jumped on the tread mill and an hour later had scrambled eggs and oatmeal for breakfast.  The rest of the day I ate very healthy.   I went to dinner again with Jarvis, only this time I left the bread alone and I ate a salad with salmon and balsamic vinegar in it.  I did drink two beers but other than that I was pretty happy with how I had gotten through the night.

The rest of the trip was great and the best part is that I stuck to my nutritional plan and continued with my workouts and cardio.  My failure on this trip made me stronger.  It’s better to screw up early.  I felt like I had made it over the hump.  I finally had a trip that I didn’t come back heavier from.  I actually lost weight out there.  After this trip I knew that I was on the right path.  For the next several weeks, I went on several more trips.  Each one was a challenge, but I passed up drinks at parties and clubs with friends and food that in the past I would have stuffed myself with.  

Identify your biggest problems.  Be honest with yourself.  Face your fears.  Overcome and you will succeed.

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