Archives For Exercise

I had that special moment today…the moment when time stands still and you realize that your life has changed…and it’s changed for the spectacular.

Let me back up a bit…

I Spin three times a week.  On a rare occasion (and I mean rare) I will Spin on Thursday nights during our 4:30pm class.  Yesterday I decided that I was going to drive in JUST for Spin.  So at 3:30pm, I left my house in Petaluma and drove to Novato.  I got to my office just before 4pm.  I set up my bike and waited for my instructor (Glen), and the other students, to arrive.  I remember looking at the clock…it read 4:20pm…students are here, but no Glen.  No Glen?!  This is odd.  Glen has never missed a since he started teaching this class over two years ago.  I feared that something happened…my fear was heightened given that Glen recently purchased a motorcycle.  My mind went a little crazy and I hoped and prayed that nothing serious had happened.  I asked Sue, one of my Staff Managers at the club, if he had called.  She said, “No.”  Even more odd.  Glen would have called if there was a problem.  The clock now reads 4:27pm…

I think to myself, “I’m going to have to teach this class…”

I duck into our orientation & therapy room and compose myself.  Forget that I’m about to teach my first Spin class TOTALLY unprepared…but I was completely worried that something bad had happened to Glen.  But now, there was no time for conjecture or panic.  I had a room full of students who were ready to Spin.  The clock on the wall reads 4:29pm…

As a health club manager, I just move into operations mode and handle the problem.  I’m not focused any longer on the fact that THIS will be my first class, I just have to make it happen and make it good.  I tell the class, “I’m not sure where Glen is, but let’s get started.  I have not prepared a program, obviously, for this class…but I will give it my all and I promise you a great, fun class…” Oh my God, why did I just say that?!  The clock reads 4:30pm…  Time to start…here I go now…

From the moment I opened my mouth on the bike…from the moment I spoke the first instruction…I was calm and focused.  All that matted was that I delivered a superior class.  My worries and fears did not exist and I refused to give power to something that is created out of thin air.  Before I knew it, the clock read 4:50pm…  Had twenty minutes passed already???

My energy was high on all levels.  As soon as I started I mapped out a program in my head.  I need to follow the program, keep my energy up, and watch my students for correct form and posture…all the while being aware if my form AND balancing my breathes so I could talk over the headset microphone.

I used some traditional moves and used some of my own.  I mixed it up and gave them something new.  I didn’t want to rest on what was easy.  I wanted then to love this class.  I didn’t want any of them to feel disappointed because Glen wasn’t there.  But I caught myself…I have no control over their reaction.  I only have control over my delivery and attitude.  I stayed focused and kept giving it my all.  The clock now read 5:15pm…and that’s when it happened…the moment it all clicked for me…

In the midst of my coaching, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror…a glimpse of me on the Spin bike, coaching, instructing…thriving in the moment…  Who is that guy?…that thin guy?…that guy with defined, strong legs and that smallish butt?  Oh my God…it’s really me!  This is surreal…  The clock reads 5:23pm…  The class has seven minutes left…

My students…let me say that again…my students…were working their butts off…I could see how tired they were…the loads of sweat pouring off their bodies…  On the other hand, I was on fire.  My energy level was so high I thought I was going to jettison right out of my seat.  I smiled and realized I was going to finish hard and strong…and I was going to lead my class to do the same.  The clock now reads 5:25pm…the last song is coming on…

I tell everyone to take a deep breath…that we are going to ride this one out with fury and fun…we’re gonna give it our all…I tell them to, “…Focus on the beat of the music.  Ignore any tiredness.  Know that you are strong and will finish strong.  Know that you can achieve it if they focus on what they want…”  It’s now 5:28pm on the clock…only two minutes left…everyone is giving it their all…

Right now, I’m just a ball of energy and inspiration.  All I care about is the group finishing strong…praising them for their work, their commitment…I’m trying not to yell into the mic, but I can’t hold down my excitement…only a few seconds left…almost there.  The clock reads 5:30pm…it’s over…it done…my first Spin class as the sole instructor…My students sweaty, tired…and smiling…

I’m on cloud 9….no, more like cloud 27…

I completed the class with a few traditional stretches and some new ones.  My students all liked the new moves.  They came up to me and let me know they really liked the class.  They told me that i worked them hard and they like it.  I was beaming…

It turns out that the stars aligned for me to get the validation I didn’t even know I needed.  Here’s what happened:  Glen missed a class.  I happened to be there.  I taught the class.  I had not prepared.  I gave it my all.  I was good.  The class was happy…

If it had happened any other way, I would not have had the experience of how really prepared I was to teach a Spin class on my own.  I knew deep down I could do it…but I did have nerves…I had nerves because it mattered so deeply to me.  Being thrown into the fire without ANY preparation taught  me how strong I was.  It taught me that I have been ready for some time…more than ready…

I could not have done what I did if i hadn’t committed to transforming my body from the inside out.  My clean living and eating provided me with a body that could “do the work” and do it well.  Although far from perfect, I now have a body that acts like a well oiled machine.  It gives me the energy I need when I need it and can sustain coaching a 50 minute, intense cardio class…while talking no less!

What a great evening!  I’m still on a high.  I was smiling all the way home.  I was smiling in the shower and doing little happy dances.  It was like I was in love…that feeling when your falling in love and everything is new and fresh and you are smiling all day long just at the thought of the other person…that’s how I feel right now…right at this moment…

The clock reads 12:11am…  I am in Spin in less than six hours…Time for sleep…

Yes, I am in love…with my life…and all the possibilities…

Mark-Before-and-After-090913I have to be honest, when I woke up this morning and stepped on the scale I was very disappointed.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I had gained a pound in a week.  This was the first time in four months that I hadn’t lost any weight in a week’s time.  Just before stepping on the scale, I thought to myself; if I only lose one pound, that would be okay…but the way I feel, I’m pretty sure I’ve lost two or three pounds.  I even entertained the possibility that I could even have hit 189.  I knew it was a stretch, but I had been working sooooo hard, I thought it was in the realm of reason.  So again, I was shocked when the scale indicated that I had gained weight.

I got off the scale and started to contemplate; Had I done anything different?  Had my food changed?  Had my exercise changed?  Nothing pointed to any lax behavior which would cause the gain…and then it hit me…I had to have gained muscle.  I had lost fat and gained muscle.  In the last week my clothes were fitting looser.  I could see the definition in my upper legs emerging from cycling at least 15 miles…everyday.  My waist seems smaller and my pants were looser.  In four months I have gone from a 40″ waist to a 32/34.”  But, even with this realization, I still wasn’t embracing the big picture.  I was still focused on the one pound gain…until I took my 120 day pictures…WOW…what a reality check.  Looking at the AFTER pictures, I could really see how my body has transformed, not only in the last four months, but in the last 30 days.  It’s for this very reason why it’s so important to take before, during, and after pictures as you lose weight, gain muscle and move towards a healthy lifestyle.

People are walking up to me and calling me “skinny.”  In relationship to what I was four months ago, I guess I am skinny.  It’s hard to believe that I could be called skinny at 195 pounds…but then again…it’s all relative.  It’s not as though I’ve been sitting on the couch consuming an unhealthy liquid diet without exercise (hello, can we say Optifast?! Gross).  On the contrary, I have been committed to exercising and building a better body through exercise, daily!  It doesn’t matter how much I weigh, it matters how much my percentage of body fat is actually decreasing…and that is going down steadily.  Again, the pictures don’t lie.  My closes fitting looser don’t lie.  Measurements don’t lie.

Yesterday was a busy day (as so many of them are these days) and the sun was beginning to set when I went for my usual daily bike ride.  I try to go early in the morning, but it doesn’t always work out for me.  My commitment is daily exercise, and I’m open to however that shows up in my life.  It could be a bike ride or a walk with a friend.  It could be a run or a friendly tennis match.  It could be a 30-minute swiss ball workout or a hike with a colleague…However exercise show up is just fine with me as long as I stick to my commitment of choosing it daily.

So far daily exercise has not been a problem.  I look forward each day to working out and exercising my muscles.  It’s become a tad bit addicting.  I’m not so much addicted to the endorphin rush as I am excited about how, at 46 (47 in less than 30 days), my body is performing better than it has been in some time.  I feel like I’m in my twenties…seriously, I do…and I was in good shape in my twenties.

So back to last night and my late bike ride…I had a definite moment of clarity that moved me emotionally.  As I rode back towards home, the sun was setting beneath the rolling hills of Sonoma County.  I was riding fast and the wind was whipping past me.  My legs were a bit tired but my exhilaration of the experience kept me focused on having a great ride.  I loved being on my bike and didn’t want to end quite yet.  I felt free and alive and was so incredibly grateful for the life that I’m experiencing…living…right now.  And then it suddenly hit me…this new attitude…this new way of perceiving exercise…it was a joy…a privilege…something that was a gift to myself and not an impediment of my day and time.  It was a new way of living…and it literally took my breath away…

I had never experienced such a feeling.  I’ve been active all my life (sometimes more than others), but I have never embraced exercise as a gift and privilege…I always perceived it as a necessary nuisance to achieve good health.  Exercise, for me, was the price you paid for the chance of living a quality life.  It never occurred to me that being able to exercise is the evidence of living a quality life.  It has become clear to me that exercise–the harmonious moment of your body–is a gift to yourself…a symphonic-like reminder of the incredible machine that you are.

I pray that I never forget that…and in not doing so…I celebrate every movement my body allows me to create until my last dying breath.

I can’t believe that it’s been almost two weeks since I posted last.  I just don’t know where the time goes.  I’ve been really busy with both my work at the health club and my graphics consulting.  I’ve been doing some film work in my design business which has moved me from my desk into the filed.  The good thing is that I end up burning a great deal of calories even though I don’t get a chance to complete any official exercise when I’m playing film director…and playing almost every other role there is to do in the filming process.  On location last week, I was bummed that I wasn’t going to get a chance to work out since I had a full of filming on location.  Turns out the next day when I weighed myself, I was down almost two pounds!  In retrospect, I had a FULL day of exercising.  I was setting up and tearing down film and sound rigs all day.  I literally was bending, twisting, squatting and climbing for eight hours…natural fitness in the best way.

Breaking Two Hundred

I officially broke the two hundred on the 18th.  After my weigh in, I held my breath because I knew my body could choose to do one of its little adjusting trick and pull me back into the two hundreds in a pinch…which it did…the following morning.  However, I was back under two hundred the very next day and started to slowly descend into the 190s.  I haven’t had the number “1” in front of my weight for almost 10 years.  When I was working out with Michael on a regular basis I had a little more muscle packed on than I do know and The lowest number I achieved was about 215…and I looked and felt good.  My body fat percentage then was about 23% (maybe a little lower).  I was eating well, but I was definitely NOT eating Paleo AND I remember always being hungry.  Right now, I’m 26.6% body fat.  I looking to get down to 15% body fat.  Now THAT will take some work, but I’m ready to take it on.

Seeing The Big Picture

I have to be okay will the weight coming off a bit slower now.  I may only lose a pound a week, or less,and I have to remind myself of the big picture and my longterm goal; to live a life of health, vitality and joy.  The game I playing is creating a healthy existence and not how fast can I drop the weight.  I need to remind myself to be present and acknowledge where I am now, which is a damn good place!  I look and feel good.

I have found myself recently looking in the mirror and becoming fixated at the little flaws…focusing on my “love handles” and thinking, “Oh, I want you gone!”  Then it becomes a slippery slope…I move on to dissect other parts of my body…I see how my inner thigh is not at tight as years gone by…I see how, in general, my skin is much looser…and I begin to feel unhappy and displeased.  Then I remember my own advice…in times like this, call on the person you used to be…imagine that person who was you four months ago at almost 260 pounds…imagine him standing in front of you…what would he say about you ranting and raving about your body…what would his two cents be?  It is then I can hear my heavier self chime in with extreme attitude…“Are you nuts!  Seriously, what is wrong with you?  Maybe you suffered hypoxia when you were Spinning or something because with that attitude I think you have some brain damage.  You look great and feel great.  Why don’t you focus on all that you have done right and stop focussing on the ridiculous fact that you have an ‘inch to pinch’ on your side.  I would give anything to look like you now.  So, go eat a carrot or something and shut up!”…Well, he told me, didn’t he?

The Same Thing In Reverse

In my experience, many people enjoy biking which leads them to maybe try a Spin class.  I did the same thing but in reverse.  I starting Spinning in October of 2011 and just this weekend bought a bike.

I remember my first day in Spin.  I thought I was gonna die.  The only thing more bruised than my ego was my butt.  How could anyone find this fun?  I kept up with it and it began to grow on me.  The advantage of owning the health club in which you attend classes is that you can make the class anything you want…so I worked with Glen (my very dynamic and fun Spinning instructor) to make the class great.  Almost two years late,r the Joy of Spinning at Healthworks is the most popular class at the club.  I am now a certified Spinning / Indoor Cycling instructor and will soon be teaching an advanced Spinning class in October.  I’ve come a long way baby…but I digress…

Did you hear about the Spin instructor that didn’t own a bike?  Yep, sounds like the opening of a great joke, but it’s true.  I didn’t own a bike.  I had one and I ended up giving it away years ago because it was gathering dust in the garage.  The last time I really rode was in 1998 when I bought a mountain bike so that I could ride in a race with my friend Nadine (Michael’s wife) in a race called, Bike Around The Buttes held in Butte County.  We did a 50 mile trek in both sunny weather and rain.  It was really fun because I was with Nadine but I wasn’t really into biking…I just liked adventure.  After the race the bike went into the garage and I never used it again. Several years later I gave it away to someone who needed a bike.  Flash forward to this past Saturday when I purchased a new bike at Mike’s Bikes in Petaluma.  Once a year they have an annual sale with 20-30% off all bikes and merchandise.  I promised myself in May that when (not, if) I dropped beneath two hundred pounds, I would buy myself a decent, but not expensive, bike.  The other part of that promise started long ago when I said I could allow myself to buy a bike once I passed a year attending Spin classes.  Well, I greatly surpassed that original goal!  Now I found myself under two hundred and it was time to honor the promise I made to myself.  I researched online and found that what I needed was a hybrid bike–one that could be used on pavement and light off-roading.  A hybrid is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike.

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…hot and sweaty after my first bike ride with my new Specialized Crosstrail!

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The new best friend!

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“Why, yes…I am a very serious cyclist…”

So I attended the sale on Saturday and bought a 2014 Specialized Crosstrail…and I’m in love!  In all honesty, I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a bike…ever…even if I go back to my childhood…I think I’m more excited now than then.  You see, I grew up on a dairy ranch.  There were no flat, paved roads…only dirty, dusty, bumpy roads that didn’t go very far and didn’t lead anywhere…at least anywhere I was allowed to go…not so much fun for me.  This was a time way before mountain bikes were popular or as technologically advanced as they are now.  We had dirt bikes, but you felt every bump in the road…again, not so much fun for me.

So, I got my bike home from the store and I was ready to take it for a literal spin around the block when I realized that the sales person forgot to put my new helmet in the bag…Argh!  Now being the safety boy that I am, I got back into my Jeep and headed back to the store to retrieve my helmet…safety among all else I say!

So now I have my helmet and I’m off for my new bike’s maiden voyage.  Wow, how fun is this!  I decided to just try it out since it was getting late and I wanted to go for a real ride in the morning….which I did at 6am on a Sunday!  Now that’s dedication (or pure excitement) for you.

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My Garmin Fit app helps to track my progress and makes the journey just that more fun!

Today I went for my second ride and went farther than the first time.  Going farther each time is a goal of mine as I stay committed to riding at least twice a week.  Today I went just over ten miles.  That might not be far for most people, but it’s farther than I have ever traveled on my own without someone to enjoy the experience with.  I used my iPhone and a Garmin Fit app to track my time and distance.  I really enjoyed going out and biking by myself.  I took several moments to acknowledge the journey I have traveled in a relative short period of time.  On my ride this morning I felt young and invigorated.  Am I really going to be 47 in just over a month? I can’t believe it…I don’t feel my age…that’s a good thing.  I look forward to pairing or grouping up with others for future weekend rides.  The idea of that is really exciting.

Oh, So Crunchy

My new favorite snack is Alive & Radiant’s organic and raw, Veggie Krunch.  It is very crunchy and very yummy.  If you are like me and have a tendency to be pulled toward the savory, crunchy and salty foods, you’ll love this product.  Sweets were never my downfall, but a bag of potato chips ALWAYS was my kryptonite.  Like many others, I could never have just a few.  Once a bag of chips was open, it didn’t survive the night.  It quickly ended up an empty, crumbled bag in the trash.  I don’t miss chips per se, but I do miss that salty-crunch factor.  Enter in my new discovery of Veggie Krunch.  The product is raw and dehydrated.  No oil is used and the product is not heated in any way.  It’s completely raw and healthy for you.  They have many flavors, but my favorite is the Cabbage Arugula.  Delicious!  It’s kind of expensive for what you get, but it’s high quality and you don’t need much to satisfy your craving.  It’s available at Whole Foods and other major health food chains.

I need to get payroll for the club going, so I’m going to end this post here.  I promise to be more frequent than once every two weeks.  My goal is at least twice a week, even if its short.  I welcome any feedback you have regarding what you would like me to write about or share.  I’m up for anything!  Okay, here I go now…Case-Veggie-Krunch_Arugula-2

I used a Garmin app to track our distance and time.  I wish it had the ability to give me our elevation...because we were high up!

I used a Garmin app to track our distance and time. I wish it had the ability to give me our elevation…because we were high up!

This past Sunday I went on my first hike in about two years with my friend Kevin.  I’ve always liked hiking, but really haven’t taken the opportunity to get out there and do it.  We hiked up from Indian Valley in Novato to the top of the mountain where the city cell and radio towers are located.  About two-thirds the way up the trial the difficult is minimal…but THEN you go off the main trail to a secondary “no man’s land” trail, as I call it, straight UP to the top of the mountain.  It’s a steep climb for most of the way.  It took us two hours to hike up the mountain and about two hours to hike down.  They say that the uphill climb is the hardest part, but the downhill venture was a battle in itself.  Sometime the path was so steep and rocky that you could barely keep your footing.  There was at least twice I had to run ahead of a potential fall.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  As you go trekking down a steep mountain and you begin to feel yourself slipping forward, you need to engage in a jog or run in hopes of regaining your balance.  I would have to say that going down the hill was a little harder than going up.  It really put a strain on my knees, but I was fine by the time the hike was over.  The next day I didn’t have any aches or pains.  The following day after that, my legs ached a little bit, but my knees were golden.  I have to say that my knees would have really hurt if I hadn’t been eating so well.  The cutting out of foods that cause inflammation in the body has been a godsend.

At the top of the mountain!  What a view!

At the top of the mountain! What a view! CLICK to enlarge!

I have to say that Kevin’s support during the hike was extraordinary.  He told me that we were there to enjoy ourselves and that we would only go as far as I felt comfortable.  He was committed to me having a great experience and not hating my first time returning to hiking.  His support was free ego and the pressing of his own agenda.  He held no expectations and was clearly present in the moment of what mattered: walking with his friend Mark in the beautiful outdoors…nothing more.

It’s so important to have supportive people in your life when climbing towards a goal.  Good support is unconditional without strings.  The supporter simply desires to offer encouragement and validation.  The key to good support is that the supporter has no investment in the outcome or result.  So many times our support may become tainted because we desire a certain outcome to occur for a friend or loved one.  We get so focused on them achieving the goal that we forget that it is their journey and not ours.  I’ve had friends in the past become “disappointed” or “sad” when a certain goal I was striving for was not achieved.  Their reactions varied from actual verbal criticism, to a silence and avoidance of the subject.  When such situations happened, I felt crappy. I felt as though I not only let myself down, but I let others down, even though my goals had nothing to do with anyone else.  A good friend supports you no matter what the final destination.  They are simply a cheerleader on the road with you during your journey…and no matter where you end up, they are there to bear witness to your effort and determination.

Now, when I’m talking about support I’m not talking about offering honest and truthful feedback.  That is very important in any relationship…to offer up the “things” that people don’t often have the courage to tell one another.  Just realize that what you might deem as reality is only your perception of the matter and not what actual is.

Down 40 pounds!

Down 40 pounds!

On another note, I have made it past the 40 pound mark!  Yahoo!  It feels real good to be down 40 pounds.  I’ve gone from a 40 inch waist to a 36…or have I?  Actually, I have made it into 34 inch shorts!  I was looking for my stack of 36 inch waist shorts the other day when I stumbled on a stack of 34s.  I thought I would try them on and see if I could tell how long it might take me to actually fit back into them…and they fit!  They fit perfectly.  On further examination I realized that my 36s were getting really loose.  It was like a free shopping day.  There was even a pair of European cut shorts (cut tighter in the hips) that I was never able to get on and they fit superbly!

I have just over 13 pounds to break under the 200 pound mark.  I’m anxious to get to that point but I will let my body do it’s thing and get let it get there when it wants to.  I mean, I’m not going to push it by cutting needed calories or go crazy with exercise.  I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing because it’s working.  As soon as a get into the 100s, I’m moving to weighing in once a week.  If I had to guess, I would think that I should hit that mark sometime in mid to late August.  I’ve enjoyed and needed to weigh myself in daily to learn how my body is reaction to my food and exercise regime.  I think I have a good handle on it right now.

A word that I try to incorporate in my daily life.

A word that I try to incorporate in my daily life.

A final note on my hike with Kevin.  When we got to the top of the mountain, I took a moment to take in my accomplishment.  I realized that it took something to get up that mountain; to push through any pain, discomfort and exhaustion and get to the top.  I didn’t make any demands of my body other than to have it push on.  I didn’t have any time expectations on how long it should take me, I was just going to finish.  At the top I looked at the beautifiul valley floor and gave thanks for my ability to make the trek to the top.  I gave thanks to all the people who hike the trail and take the time to make sure that it is clean and safe.  I took a moment to be grateful to all those people min my life that inspire me on a daily basis…and just before I headed down the mountain, I took a rock from the ground and scratched the word “inspire” on an old rusty sign post.  Here’s hoping that it will motivate others when they get to the top.  There are many things we can do for others in our lives; many gifts we can share.  One of the greatest is to be a light for greatness towards the betterment of life.  Simply put, we are meant to…we need to…inspire

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After I ran through the shadows into the light, I turned around and captured my journey…

The other day I went for one of my walk/sprints.  It was a beautiful day.  Almost a perfect day.  I had the music on my iPhone set to random.  For me, listening to my music in this manner is like listening to the radio.  I have so much music that I really don’t know what I have, so songs pop up that I have never heard of and many cases I end up liking or even loving it.  Case in point of the other day’s venture out for my walk/sprints.  I was just starting out when a song came on which seemed to be some kind of song about championing over the darkness of life.  The bridge of the song was “…wielding the shadows…” (The song I was listening to was Now And Forever by Tiësta) This was repeated over and over.  I had never really heard that term used before.  I took this phrase to mean that we should not only draw power from the light, but use the darkness (or shadows) in our favor.  In other words, don’t look at life’s negatives as negatives.  Things are only negative if we think they are negative.  Things are in the shadows because we often put them there…into the darkness we create.

So I’m listening to the song and I look out to a long stretch of sidewalk covered in trees which were casting shadows on the pavement.  At that moment I thought to myself, “You’re going to sprint faster than you have ever have before through the shadowed pathway until you come back into the light…”  And with that, I did a small leap into the air and when I came down I was in a full-out sprint.  The lyrics pounding loudly in my earbuds, “…wielding the shadows…”  My eyes didn’t leave the sight of the sunlight out in the far reaches.  I hadn’t felt this physically powerful in some time.  My body was performing like a well oiled machine.  For a moment I felt like 20 years-old again…for a moment.  I soon busted through the shadows into the light and I felt great.  I looked down at my feet and took some deep breaths and acknowledged my small victory.  And then I noticed it…it was gone…my stomach!  I looked down and nothing was protruding out.  The was a straight shot from my lower chest down to my feet.  I thought, “I don’t feel fat right now. I don’t feel skinny either, but I definitely don’t feel fat.”  THAT was a really good feeling.  I’ve accomplished a great deal in just over 60 days.  I’m 2.5 pounds shy of losing 40 pounds.  It took something to get this far.  I do have to say that I’m proud of myself.  I’m liking the man I’m seeing in the mirror.  THAT guy on the outside looks like the guy on the inside.

I’m so very excited to see what the next 60 days brings.  I’m committed to a life that is lived out loud!

Fashion Forward…

June 13, 2013 — Leave a comment
My pants are getting very loose!

My pants are getting very loose!

I’m currently in that awkward stage where my clothes are just a little too big but the next size down is just a little too tight.  I am currently wearing a 38 waist pant.  I’m actually closer to a 36 waist now, but it is just a bit too snug for my comfort.  I’m pretty confident that by the end of the month I may be fitting to my 36s.  I stored them all away knowing that I would get back into them.  Um, that was over two years ago!  The truth is that my normal waist is a 32.  Somewhere in a storage box I have my 32s, 34s and 36s.  I shouldn’t have to go buying clothes until some time in the near future.  I say I shouldn’t have too, but I will…like I did yesterday.  In all fairness to me, I had a 30% off coupon for Kohl’s that expired to today, so I had to go shopping.  Hey, 30% off is a big deal.  It would almost be a sin not to take advantage of it. Right?

My closet is an ocean of dark colors heavily weighted with black.

My closet is an ocean of dark colors heavily weighted with black.

So I went to Khol’s and bought a few things.  A few pairs of shorts and a couple of colorful T-shirts.  Well, colorful for me that is.  I admit, I’m a “black” man.  Thin or fat, I have always liked wearing the color black.  Black is always in fashion and it always leans towards the air of dressy to matter what the cut.  My closet is an ocean of dark colors heavily weighted with black.  Anyway, back to shopping…I looked around and I found my eye being drawn to some colors…like a muted salmon color.  Okay other guys would say orange, but I’m a graphic designer here folks…correct color identification is my life!  So I bought the “orange” T-shirt and another royal blue one.  I would have never bought these colors at 250 pounds.  I would have definitely felt like a Macy’s day float.  I know some of you know what I’m talking about.  The last thing an overweight person wants to do is draw attention to themselves.  I’m going to try to add more color to my wardrobe.  I know I wear too much black when friends comment enthusiastically that I’m wearing anything of a remote color.  I saw a very close friend the other day.  I was wearing a sky blue shirt.  She was in awe and repeatedly told me how good I looked in that color.  The underlying message?  “Hey Mark, you’re not  Johnny Cash nor a 75 year-old grieving widow.  Let’s lighten it up at bit shall we?!”  Message heard and noted.

In terms of my diet and weight loss, things are still going steady and strong.  I’m still eating 100% Paleo and I can’t say that I have had any glitches along the way.  I’m averaging 6 days of exercise in a week.  Yesterday I did Spin in the morning, went for a walk/sprint in the afternoon and took a walk after dinner.  I’m finding it slightly harder to sit still.  After a somewhat early dinner last night, I couldn’t resolve the fact that I would be relaxing on the couch until bed.  I just didn’t want to sit down after eating so I went for a walk.  I felt better after a 30 minute stroll around the neighborhood.  It just goes to show you, a little exercise can work wonders.

It’s been about three days since I have done any physical activity in terms of a scheduled workout.  I normally spin on Fridays, but I gave up my bike to a member who was really disappointed that he didn’t sig up in time to get a bike.  In spite of me losing my seat for spin, I should have blocked that time for exercise anyway…but I didn’t.  I chose to catch up on some sleep.  So, instead of waking up at 3:30am, I was able to sleep in until 6:30am.  NIce!

I did experience a new behavior on my part while I was not exercising daily.  A behavior I don’t think I have ever experienced before.  What is it you ask?  Well, it’s quite simple really, but for me it has always been a behavior that was foreign.  That behavior is…drum roll please…reducing the amount of calories I take in when I am not physically active.  I know, sounds simple, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who inhaled large amounts of pizza (and beer) without having run a marathon prior.  Let’s face it, we Americans eat large amounts of food.  Food that usually possesses high calorie values.  We’re consuming calories for no reason other than the sake of eating tasty food.  I have been guilty of this craziness over and over in my life.

So far my hunger has really been in check.  I have yet to feel hungry eating a Paleo diet.  I also get full much quicker.

I completed my first (in a very long time) weight-lifting workout today.  I incorporated swiss ball into the workout.  It was simple and not to complex, but it did get me sweating.  Here’s what I did:

      1. Squat press-ups with 2-5lbs weights.
      2. Chest press on the ball 2-5lbs weights.
      3. Overhead press sitting on the ball 2-5lbs weights.
      4. Press extensions, forward on the ball 2-5lbs weights.
      5. Russian twist on the ball.
      6. Push ups on the ball.
      7. Split squats.
      8. Back extensions on the ball, superman style (one set only).

I did three sets of each movement 8-12 times.  It did feel good to complete these movements.  It has been over two years since I did any weight lifting.  Boy did my body feel ALL of that missed time.  I proud of myself for working through it by myself.  I workout better with someone pushing me.  Off to bed.  Here I go now…