2018 Rising

Hi friends. Well, it’s 2018. We made it. I’m not usually the resolution setting type, but I do resolve, no, will try to blog on a more regular basis. If you’ve frequented this blog then you are probably aware of my issues with following through on things. I can’t make any promises, but I will try.

I am very happy and grateful that Denice is back from Phoenix and doing well. I feel like the road has opened up before us. It’s a new year, and we are both becoming new people. We have some big dreams that we intend on pursuing this new year, but for now, we are working on building a strong foundation.

For me, there are a few things that I was able to maintain some consistency with in 2017. I am going to try really hard to build on these and turn them into habits. The one big thing that has taken root in my life is barefoot running. I have fallen in love with it. I have been struggling as of late due to the winter cold, but I am hanging on. Every time the temperate peaks above 50F/10C, I am out there. I am still running in my minimalist shoes when it’s colder than that, but it is nothing close to the same experience. It’s dull and awkward. Even so, I don’t want to lose what conditioning I’ve obtained, so barefoot or no barefoot, I am going to run.

I have also been pretty consistant with intermittent fasting. I almost don’t think that term is appropriate anymore. Eating once a day is just my normal eating schedule now. I don’t really get hungry during the day. What I would like to improve on however is the quality of what I eat throughout the week. I don’t want to make it any more complicated than it should be, so I am going to try to follow these simple rules: One meal a day, Monday through Friday. Whole foods only, nothing processed. And, absolutely no refined sugar at all.

The other persistent thing in my life has been the Wim Hof Method. I haven’t been as consistent with it as with the others, but it is a regular practice of mine. I got a good three cycles in this morning. The focused breathing exercises of the WHM also double as a meditative practice for me. I feel better when I do it, and I am certainly going to try to make it part of my daily routine.

I think that’s enough for now. Let’s go get this new year going.

The Protocol 2.o

Hi, friends. I would like to touch base (I hate that phrase. Sounds super toolish) on my protocol. I have yet to regain full composure with my dietary program. I have been able to mostly stay on schedule with the intermittent fasting, but my food choices have not been the best. I have reverted back to the SAD (Standard American Diet). As bad as this is, the full negative effects of this have not been realized, mostly because of the fasting I believe. I am still slowly losing weight, only about a pound or two a week, though. The most concerning thing about this is that my nutritional needs are not being met. This must change immediately.

The program I had been following, the ‘Slow Carb Diet,’ consists of five basic rules:

  • Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
  • Eat the same few meals over and over again. (keep it simple)
  • Don’t drink calories.
  • Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose –> glycerol phosphate –> more body fat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are excepted.
  • Take one day off per week and go nuts. (I take two days. It still works.)

This diet worked pretty well while I was doing it, but I have not been able to sustain it. The main issues I have with it are the not being able to eat starchy vegetables and fruit. I’m not sure that these two rules are the best for me. After all, I am very comfortable with eating only once a day. I doubt a potato or two, or an apple once a day is going to have an impact on my weight loss. I think adding these foods back into my diet would allow me to better meet my nutritional needs, and help me stick to the program throughout the week.

Another problem that I have been having with my eating protocol is my completely uncontrolled “cheat weekend.” I don’t just relax the rules on the weekends, I shred them. I eat so much junk food on Saturday and Sunday that I often get physically sick from it. This cannot be healthy. I have to find some kind of balance with this stuff. So, here is what I’m going to try out starting tomorrow:

  • Two sessions of the Wim Hof Method (once in the morning and another before bed).
  • Eat one meal a day, six days a week.
  • Reserve Saturday only for anything goes.
  • Drink water only
  • All whole foods are ok (even starches and fruits), but nothing processed, and no bread or dairy.
  • Daily Exercise (specifics to be determined)

I am going to start keeping better records as well. I have to track what I’m doing better or I will have no foundation to make effective changes.

I’m hoping these tweaks will allow me to get back on track and move forwards towards my goals. I have every intention of being a super healthy person in the near future. It’s going to happen. I will not be denied.

 

The Return of the Beagle

Happy Tuesday, mammals. Day two back to work is in the can. It was busy today. In the very recent past, I would have probably stayed over an hour or so on a day like today, but the man is cracking down on overtime. That is a good and a bad thing. It’s good in the sense that I get off earlier, and as a result, have a healthier and happier life. It is bad in the sense that my department will most likely start falling behind in their work. Surprisingly though we did very well in spite of the shortened (or normal rather) hours. So, all is well.

I picked up Lilly from the vet today. She looked like she had been ridden rough and hung up wet. The vet said that the tumor on her spleen was very large and would have most likely ruptured and killed her if we had not discovered it. I guess it’s a good thing that we took her in for completely unrelated issues when we did. It probably saved her life. She is currently resting on the couch with her pack, one spleen and six teeth fewer. Oh, and her reproductive system has been disabled.

I am still having a hard time getting back on track with my protocol. I fasted all day with no problem, but when I got off I went and got us Wendys. Oh, and no-bake cookies and buckeyes from Food City. Yeah, I need to get my shit together. I am losing ground. I’m going to try to reenergize things tonight by getting in a deep session of the Wim Hof Method, a nice cold shower, and to bed early.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. See you primates later.

Bad Habits

I seem to be stuck in a relapse of my former bad habits. For the past few days I have eaten food whenever I felt the compulsion, and the food I have been eating is not in any sense healthy. Tomorrow I weigh in and I can only guess how much fat I have reacquired. This is unacceptable. I have come too far to revert to the creature that I was before.

Yesterday morning I did wake up and do three rounds of the Wim Hof Method first thing. That day I was able to hold off eating until the afternoon. I have not had any cold or contrast showers all week. I’m going to try to reboot things tomorrow. I know I will get back on track, I just hope I will be able to do it before I have to go back to work on Monday.

Besides my cutting loose into debauchery, everything else is going well. I’ve been enjoying getting to spend a lot more time with Denice. We haven’t really been doing anything besides hanging out at the house, but it’s still nice. I always take the path of inactivity when I don’t have a plan. If there is no structure, I fall apart. This is troubling seeing that I would like to have a more financially independent lifestyle in the future. I really need to work on correcting this weakness. If I cannot self-organise my life outside of a company imposed schedule, I’m not going to have a good time with it. I need to learn self-discipline on a whole other level than what I am operating on now.

On a positive note, I did complete one project that was on my list. I successfully replaced our sink sprayer. The old one was worn out and would not immediately stop spraying when the trigger was released. Replacing it and the hose was much more difficult than I had expected. The connection of the hose to the faucet module was very hard to access. There was not enough room to get a wrench on it. It took a while, but I eventually worked it free and got the new hose connected. It was a frustrating but ultimately rewarding task.

We have two Redbox DVD’s to watch tonight: Deepwater Horizon and Denial. Denice is taking a nap, so I’m going to go wake her up.

Til tomorrow.

The Game

Greetings my mammalian friends. Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Denice and I got back from South Carolina last night. We had a great time. The Lady Vols (currently unranked), crushed the South Carolina Game Cocks (#4) with brute force! It was a great game. I’m not really a sports person, but I do like watching women’s basketball. Denice is a big fan of basketball and sports in general.

The trip down was very relaxing. It took a little over four hours, and the first leg of the journey was through the Smokey Mountains. There was a light dusting of snow on the ground as we passed over. It was a stark difference from Columbia. The temperature there was in the sixties during the day. I felt like late spring.

The past few days I have gone a little off the rails with my protocol. It has been a festive time with Denice’s birthday and my vacation, so I have relaxed my adherence to the rules. I am guessing that I have gained a few pounds. I had predicted this lapse. I usually lose control for a little while whenever I am off work for any amount of time. I am going to try to get back on the wagon tomorrow. I will start out with getting a good session of the Wim Hoff Method done in the morning. I have eaten a lot of food over the past few days, so I could probably go a few days without eating if I want to. I’ll reevaluate that tomorrow.

That’s all for now my friends. Till tomorrow.

 

Slacking Off

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I had a couple of diversions from my protocol last week. The first was on Wednesday night when Denice and I had diner out at a Mexican restaurant. To compensate for this indiscretion I fasted all day on Thursday. Friday I had a planned deviation from the plan due to a celebratory lunch out with my team at work. I was hoping that both of these incidents wouldn’t blunt my progress too much. Well, it did.

When I weighed in Saturday morning I had gained five pounds. I was a little shocked. Going off track just a couple of times had reversed all of the progress I made over two weeks. And that’s not all. I have slacked off on doing the Wim Hof Method and the cold shock training. I have gotten fast and lose with my protocol as of late. That cannot continue. I am convinced that the WHM is the driving force behind my success with the weight loss. Starting tomorrow I am going to make sure to practice it twice a day, and not neglect the cold exposure. I think that’s a vital part of the process too.

I am also going to begin the kettlebell training that I have been talking about for a while now. I’m planning on doing kettlebell swings on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays after work. So, by next Saturday I intend to have made good progress in the right direction. I’ve come too far to screw this up now.

Tomorrow is MLK day. Martin Luther King Jr. was a very interesting and influential person. I think tomorrows post will be about him and more importantly his philosophy of nonviolent resistance.

Till tomorrow, my friends.

Three Day Weekend Survived!

Last week because of Christmas I had a three day weekend. I spent all three days in an epic binge. I did pretty well the rest of the week so I still lost two pounds. This weekend due to New Years I had another three day weekend. Today was a different story though. I was able to hold my ground and follow the protocol. I did four rounds of The Wim Hof Method, followed by a cold shower this morning. I fasted all day, and just had a delicious Slow Carb diner of pork chops and veggies. Feeling strong.

A year of Change

I have heard much of the woes of this past year. It has been a tough year for many. This is true. We all suffered through one of the most turbulent presidential election in living memory, with a result that almost no one is truly happy with. Terrorist attacks seemed to surge in 2016, and death claimed an unusually high number of the famous. For me though, 2016 has been a year of transformation.

For most of my adult life I have been stuck in a rut of mediocrity, living the same day over and over again, slowly spiraling into a lower state. At my lowest point at the start of this year I was on the verge of passing the 300 pound mark. Denice and I lived on junk food and fast food. I had terrible gastric problems that would leave me sick almost every morning, and I could not produce results in almost anything I decided to undertake. I was a wreck.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I remember the turning point. It was spring or maybe early summer of this year. I ran across a short documentary on Youtube called, ‘Inside the Superhuman World of the Iceman.’ The documentary was about a Dutchman by the name of Wim Hof, the one they call The Iceman. He holds dozens of world records for what can only be described as superhuman feats of strength and endurance, especially endurance of the cold. He credited everything to a simple breathing excercise that he developed from observing how his body reacted when exposed to the cold. The breathing exercise and short cold showers seemed easy enough, so I decided to give it a try. What followed was a subtle, but very real change that happened in my life.

The first two or three days of doing the breathing exercise made me feel, um… off. I felt short of breath and foggy in the head. I stuck with it though and this sensation passed. Slowly but surely my mind cleared up and my energy increased. I began to think in ways that I han’t before, and this led to other changes. One of the following changes that I made was trying intermittent fasting, which has helped me to lose 65 pounds to date. My stomach problems have completely disappeared. I have also started blogging on a regular basis. My outlook on life has gotten much brighter too, and I am now dedicated to continual personal improvement.

So for me 2016 was a year of awakening. I don’t know if I would be where I am at today if fate had not brought a crazy Dutchman into my life. It was the first domino to fall, triggering a cascade of changes that has pulled me out of my rut, and is taking me into the future.

I guess if I could wish you one thing for 2017 it would be that you find your own Wim (or version of him/it) to push your first domino over. Transformation is possible. If you need it, I sincerely hope you find what you need to make it happen. Happy New Year.

Cheat day… um, I mean weekend

This weekend has been especially debaucherous. I have eaten so much sugary junk that I have insulin leaking out of my eyes. It’s been great!

I’m going to modify my protocol for the next couple of weeks. For starters I am going to follow a five on/two off eating cycle. I’ve been having trouble keeping my ‘cheat day’ contained in just one actual day. I don’t have a lot of problems doing Slow Carb during the week, since I am at work and don’t have time to think about all the delicious food I could be eating. On the weekend it’s a different story. So, I am going to test out doing a strict five days of Slow Carb on an eighteen/six-hour intermittent fasting schedule. That is actually an increase in my eating window. I’ve been doing a three-hour eating window, so I will be doubling it. The real change is going to be attempting to stay 100% compliant with Slow Carb for five days out of the week. I think that if I can do that I will still be within the ‘minimum effective dose’ that I need to keep the fat coming off.

The rest of the protocol will be staying more or less the same. I will still be doing the Wim Hoff Method twice a day (two sets of thirty deep breath/retentions), and ending my nightly showers on five minutes of cold. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but I think it is enough to get the effect I am looking for. Now for the excercise.

It turns out that I was doing the wrong excercise protocol from the Four Hour Body. I am going to be doing a slightly modified version of Occam’s Protocol for the next couple of weeks. Occam’s Protocol is a super minimalist routine that only requires a maximum of one hour a week (two workouts of less than thirty minutes). The protocol involves doing weight lifting at a very slow cadence of five seconds up and five seconds down, and continuing the set until muscle failure (the inability to move the weight). It is completely different from any method that I have ever tried, and I am excited to see if it will work for me.

To sum things up, I am going to be eating like Homer Simpson on the weekends, and walking the talk on the week days. Hopefully that will be enough to keep the fitness train moving. We will see.

I Think I’m going to McBarf

mcbarf
Artist: SPQR | Location: Bristol, UK | Year: 2009 | Source: HuffingtonPost.com

It was bound to happen, sooner or later. Tonight I regret to inform you that I have went completely off the rails. Tonight, we ate McDonald’s. The horror… gag.

So, why did this happen? I was doing pretty good today. Did a few rounds of the Wim Hoff Method on my morning break. I fasted all day, and felt great. But, when I got off work, I realized that making dinner would require me decide what to eat, go shopping, wash the necessary dishes, and cook diner. Basically I wasn’t prepared, and it caused me to revert to old, disgusting habits.

The up side of the situation is that I can use it to refine my program. I must be prepared, every day, and in order to be prepared I need a plan. Planning and execution is what must happen on a consistent basis in order for me to be successful.

With that said, I am going to try something new. This Saturday I will devise a detailed plan for the week to come. This plan will comprise everything health related: shopping, cooking, fasting, breathing exercises, and resistance exercises. I am also going to try to cook all my meals for the following week on Saturday. If everything goes according to plan, I will have food ready every night. I will succeed through continual self-improvement.