Archive for October, 2013

It’s not as hard as it sounds, but it seems like lots of people I know are struggling with this right now.

Recently, I posted a progress pic to Facebook and I shall shamelessly put it here as well.  No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks…that is, indeed, a mirror selfie.

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DON’T JUDGE ME.  Mostly because I kind of loathe myself for stooping so low ( and I may have made fun of my own mother for posting a selfie…again, sorry Mom).  As usual, I digress.

After I posted it, my kickass family and friends gave me all the wonderful support that I have come to expect from them because they are awesome.  What I started running into, generally from people I saw in person, was, “Man, I wish I had half the strength you do.  I’d love to get in shape,” or some derivative thereof.  This was followed by a, “I don’t know how you do it,” type statement.

I wasn’t sure what to say to this, at least at first.  I mean, I knew they weren’t talking about what I literally did to get in shape.  Most of them had seen me eating piles of spinach and chicken at some point.  They were talking about how I maintained the self control necessary to see results.

The answer is twofold: Baby Steps and Focus.

The first part is the easiest to explain.  I took every day as it came.  I didn’t worry about the next day; I concentrated on each challenge as it came my way.  I mentioned in the first post that, once I started seeing results, it became easier to keep on going.  I became my own perpetual motivation machine by the mere realization of, “Holy hell, this is working.”

Stick it out for 2-3 weeks, give yourself an opportunity to see results, and you will succeed.

That’s the easy part… sort of.  To achieve that initial push, and continued success, you need to focus.  You need willpower.  I’m not trying to go Mr. Miyagi on you, but you need self discipline.

Luckily, I firmly believe that willpower is a muscle; all you have to do is exercise it.  Which, brings us back to the baby steps thing.

I know, my thought processes are whack.  Bear with me.

Start making small changes.  For your next meal, instead of fast food, go hit the grocery store and get a salad.  The next time you go shopping, knock one of the unhealthier items you always buy off of your list and replace it with a healthier alternative.  Do this every time you go to the store and, soon, you’ve revamped your entire shopping list.  Go for a 10 minute walk tonight, tomorrow do 15, and so on.  Make small changes that will build on themselves to improve your life.

This is gonna sound weird coming from me, and I tell a surprising number of people this; don’t do what I did.  Not unless it’s going to fit the way you live and want to live.  I, admittedly, went to the extreme in my lifestyle changes to achieve my goals.  Not everyone can do that, and that’s okay.  That doesn’t make me better than anyone else who’s trying to become healthier.  I made the changes I did because I knew that I was cutting my life in half, at the very least, by they choices that I had been making.  That being said, don’t sell yourself short, I wasn’t positive I could pull off what I did when I started either.  A huge lesson I’ve come to learn; you’re capable of more than you know.

I guess I’ll come back to what seems to be the running them of this blog; do what’s right for you.  Trust the process, make baby steps, and focus.

Results will follow.

-Moody

In the interest of full disclosure; I’ve been desperately searching for something to write about, and this post has proven to be a most elusive beast.  I think, though, that it’s a nice change of pace.

First of all, I have nothing I am currently struggling with in my quest to be fit and healthy.  I’m not dealing with people who are being kind of douchey about me being healthy.   I’m not even dealing with some existential issue that defies all logic (like some people still think that Han didn’t shoot first).

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I came to a pretty awesome conclusion, though; that’s okay.

Not every day has to be a struggle.  We don’t have to be working through some minor crisis on the way to our goals every step of the way.  So this first little blurb is all about taking the good days with the bad.

If you had a kickass day at the gym, hold your head high and be proud of it.  If you ate all of the healthy stuff you needed to eat, be happy about it.  If you managed to say, “NO” to your boss’ wife’s delicious double chocolate brownies with nuts in them and those little cream cheese swirls; go ahead and cry a little bit, but do it with a smile.

Carry that confidence into the rest of your day.  Yes, this was my gratuitous segue into a post about confidence.

I didn’t used to be confident.  Hell, sometimes I’m the exact opposite.

“Heyyy hot girl with hot friends, wanna see my sweet room at my parents house?  Do you like Xbox?”

See? It comes naturally.

What I started doing, though without realizing it, was faking it until I made it.  There’s a sweet TED Talk I’ve posted below about this; so if you want to avoid my mindless rants then, please, skip ahead.

If you’re still here, however, I’ll attempt to boil down my main takeaway.

I had not seen this TED Talk until very recently and it made me realize what I had done to build my confidence.  No, I didn’t take 2 minutes a day to pose in some power stance (I’m totally not attempting to type this in a power stance at this very moment.)

Seriously, I’m not.

Mostly.

What I did was start acting like I belonged wherever I was.  It could’ve been school, work, the bar, the gym, the sidewalk, etc.  Regardless, wherever I was at I made an effort to simply belong there.  So I walked confidently, made eye contact, greeted people, and kept on moving.

Eventually I not only made it, but as Amy Cuddy mentions in the video, I became it.  That confidence somehow became a part of who I am.  Now, again, that is not to say that I’m a cocky bastard.  We all know there is a fine line between confidence and cocky, don’t mess with that line.  There are certainly days and situations where I’ve got to put back on the “fake it” mentality and hope for the best.

Ladies, I’m looking at you.

I am saying, though, that it doesn’t matter where you are in life or maybe even your fitness journey; confidence is half the battle.  Own wherever you are and whatever you’re doing; the results will follow.

Be sure to check out the video, it’s worth it.

-Moody

I’m for serious. It’s telling you a whole bunch of stuff and, if you’re anything like me, you probably aren’t listening nearly as much as you should. Much like when you don’t finish the “honey do” list — fellas I’m looking at you; if you don’t listen, you’re gonna have a bad time.

So, onward to the background:

I had been doing my HIIT/turbulence routine for a few months and decided that it was time to change it up. My doctor had told me losing weight is no longer my problem and that I just needed to lose the excess fat.

This, my dear friends, is wonderful news. This means that I can start lifting the way I want to; which is to say really heavy. My goal so far was, “lose weight” my goal now is “get jacked”. What I want to do is put on quality lean muscle without the fat. I’ll continue to burn fat during this period, but it’s more of a bi-product of the muscle building. What I hadn’t fully anticipated, though, was that I would need to alter my strategy in the kitchen just as much as my strategy in the gym.

Oh sure, in theory I knew I needed to change a few things, but I didn’t think I would be able to feel a difference and that I would just eat more of the good stuff that I had been eating.

Never have I been so wrong.

I came out of the gym on the first day of my new routine ready to fall over, feeling like I was gonna vomit. I went home and splayed out on the couch feeling miserable for myself. About 20 minutes into my self hate, I sat up and said “a sweet potato sounds delicious.”

I do not know why I said this, but I listened. I took my miserable ass to the kitchen and grabbed a sweet potato I had already baked, heated it up, and I nom nom nom’d the hell out of it.

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It was like Popeye and spinach. I felt awesome. Then the lightbulb went off over my head and I felt like an awesome idiot.

My body had essentially been consuming itself because of the intense workout I had done. It NEEDED fuel, in this case, it needed carbs.

Since then, I’ve done a suitable amount of research into what I need to do to fuel my body correctly for my new goals. I feel a million times better after my workouts and I’m seeing genuine progress.

A few things I’ve learned:


1) Your body needs fuel, this I knew from losing weight. Carbs, Fat, Protein. Your goals decide how much of each. When your goals change, however, your fuel needs to adjust as well.

2) Pre-workout meals and Post-workout meals. Timing is everything and everyone is different, but for me these variables can be the difference between an average workout and mind- blowing workout.

3) Track your macronutrients. Carbs, Fat, Protein. I’m not saying you need to weigh your food or obsess over every little number. Just have an idea of what your putting into your body so that when you need to make changes you have a stepping off point.

So, take a look at your goals and really try and pay attention to how you’re feeling. You’re body knows exactly what it needs, all you have to do is listen.

-Moody