Tag Archive for Self Discipline

The Results of my December “No Meats” Challenge

For the month of December I challenged myself to a “No Meat, No Dairy” diet. You can see the original post here. Let me tell you….it wasn’t easy but I’m glad I followed through with it.

The first week was challenging. I had become accustomed to having some sort of dairy product or meat product with every meal. I was a carnivore who allotted only a certain amount of space on my plate for the “other stuff.”  Cutting meat, dairy, and eggs cold turkey made me want it even more.  That first week of the challenge I probably told my wife 100 times, “I can’t wait until this is over so I can have a big steak….pork chop….rack of lamb….whole rotisserie pig…..rhinoceros thigh….etc.”

However, after that first week things became easier. I started looking forward to preparing new and creative “Vegan” meals. I took pride in knowing that I had set a goal for myself and I was sticking to it. If you read my intro to this challenge you know that for the past few years I have been struggling with high cholesterol. Every meal started feeling like a step closer to victory rather than a step closer to heart disease.

This past Friday (December 30th) I went and had my blood drawn for updated lab work. I will receive the results this upcoming Tuesday. (January 2nd)

I will update this post with those results.

There is no doubt in my mind that the number will have come down. I feel better than I have felt in a long time. I am optimistic about my future. Having a family and dealing with high cholesterol problems always left me with thoughts of feeling that I would leave them sooner than I wanted to. I want to live a long life and be here for them in my later years.

This challenge has given me an appreciation for the “Vegan” diet and has made me realize that I can cut down or completely cut out what was a major staple in my diet. Will I remain a Vegan? Possibly. There are some things that I miss. Like Salmon!

If I do go back to eating meat I can assure you that it will be because I am treating myself or because I am having a cheat day. I do not want to go back to making it a necessity. I love life and my family more than I love food. I will miss them more and they will miss me more than I will miss meat. My body synthesizes cholesterol different than others so this is my solution to the issue. It may not be an issue for you. However, for those of you looking to lose a little weight, I can assure you that by cutting out or cutting down on foods high in saturated (which a lot of cuts of meat are) you will benefit from doing so. If you pair this with a “No Sweets” challenge you will be well on your way to your weight loss goals.

During the month of December I was relentless in sticking to both my “No Meats” challenge and Coach Demitrius’  “No Sweets” challenge.

I lost 11 pounds in 1 month.  I feel leaner and have more energy.

Here are my before and after pictures:

December 1st (Left) ---- December 31st (Right)

The month of December has now given me the inspiration to work hard towards obtaining my ideal physique. I have some substantial goals for myself now in 2012. There are subtle changes in my photos above that are separated by 31 days. Over the next few months I will hold myself accountable to my 2012 expectations by keeping you guys updated with photos.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you my personal journey, and as always, me and Demetrius will be here for you along yours!

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Shoe Review: Reebok EasyTone!

I have heard it all; ShapeUps really toned my glutes, Reebok Easytone’s are revolutionizing the fitness industry, and barefoot running will be the reason I run a sub 3 hour marathon.  Well recently I bought the Reebok Easytone’s and I have been wearing them for 2 weeks. Although they do feel as though I am constantly balancing on a stability ball which does engage my muscles, I don’t know if they are going to revolutionize the fitness industry.

Does this mean I don’t think they work? Of course not, however I do think it is important to buy them with realistic expectations. After reading the reviews I have found that unrealistic expectations causes most people to write a bad review. One person wrote, “I walk 45 minutes a day, 4 days a week and haven’t lost a pound. They are going in the garbage.”

That’s too bad as the shoes cost $80-$100 and never claimed they would magically cause one to lose weight. However they will engage your quads, shins, and glutes and can be a great addition to your workout regimen.

In short, if you are looking to lose significant weight or get fit, you will have to clean up your eating as well as exercise. You can’t depend on a shoe to solely do the job for you. On a positive note, the shoes do give me an extra inch of height which makes me 6’0 tall exactly!

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“I Know I Need To Exercise, But (Insert Excuse Here)”

Quit Making Excuses“I know I need to exercise, but (Insert Excuse Here).”

Ahhhh……The famous spoken words of the Lazy Excuse Makers!

A few months back our very own Coach Snaer wrote an article titled Fat, Lazy, and Full Of Excuses.  In his article he identified various excuses that individuals use to get out of exercising and presented solutions to their “so called” problems.

This article is a continuation of his. Read along as I reiterate and challenge some of the common excuses we hear on a daily basis.

I Have To Watch Young & The Restless

No you don’t! You choose to. You have made TV a priority. It’s not that important. It’s not nearly as important as your health. How is it that you can squeeze in television time during your day, but you cant find time to workout. If for some reason you absolutely can not go a day without watching your favorite soap or reality show, then you need to be creative with your time. Here is an idea…….work out during the commercials! Or better yet….record the darn show. This way you can watch it while fast forwarding through the commercials. That 20 minutes you just saved yourself, use it to workout!

Spending Time With My Kids Is More Important

I agree…..to an extent. If the circumstances only allowed me a short period of time to spend with my kids, I would choose to do so over working out. If it became routine, I would incorporate the two. I would workout WITH my kids. Basketball, tag, dancing, and running are great examples of activities you can do with your children. Knock out two birds with one stone. Spend time with your family and participate in activities that improve both yours and their overall health.

I’m Skinny. I Don’t Need To Workout

Wrong! This is a huge misconception. You may not feel as if you need to log workout hours for cosmetic reasons, but your health is probably suffering. Skinny Does Not Mean Healthy. A research study by the Mayo Clinic discovered that as many as 30 Million Americans who are believed to have a normal BMI, have a dangerously high percentage of body fat. See their article here. So what does this mean. Just because you “appear” to be “healthy” when looking in the mirror, you may be placing yourself at risk of heart disease and other ailments due to your lack of exercise. Use our BMI calculator in the left hand column of our site to calculate your BMI.  Just remember, regardless of where it indexes you, you still need to be exercising!

I Eat Right. That Is Good Enough

Not it’s not! That is only half the equation. Would you follow up a great exercise session with a super-sized meal from McDonalds? Some people would. But the answer is probably no. A two pronged attack is much more beneficial for your overall health. Are you working to obtain your ideal body? If so, then just doing one or the other (exercise/diet) is not enough. By being proficient at both, you will be well on your way to a new you.

It Is Too Hot/Cold Outside

Wow! Sounds like something a 4th grader would say to get out of P.E. class. Too hot outside? Work out during the cooler parts of the day. Wake up early or wait till the evening. Or, throw on a video and exercise in your air conditioned living room. Too cold outside? Dress in layers! (long sleeve, sweater, beanie, gloves, etc.) As your body temp rises from working out you can remove some of the layers. Or, throw on a video and exercise in your warm living room.

Hopefully by now you have realized that we don’t like “excuse makers” here at HealthyFitFamilies. We want you to be the Healthiest you that you can possibly be. We want you to be the role model for your family. We know that your journey to a New You can be rough, but we know that it is possible. You just have to kill your excuses.

Do you have an excuse that you would like us to challenge? Do you continuously hear others make excuses and have challenged them yourself? We would like to hear your comments.  Use the comment box below and lets eradicate as many excuses as we can!

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If Your Health Isn’t a Priority, What is?

Each year over 600,000 people die of heart disease. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. (cdc.gov)

Many people go through extreme measures to keep their homes safe from burglary and themselves safe in cars but do absolutely nothing to keep their bodies safe from preventable chronic illnesses. It is time we get serious about this!

Saying, “I don’t have time,” is actually saying, “It’s not a priority.” If your health isn’t a priority, what is? Take a second to reflect on what you do make time for. Are you texting during times that you could be exercising? Are you talking on the phone when you could be jogging? Are you watching television when you could be watching television and working out at the same time? Is it possible that you have decided that the new gossip on Grey’s is more important than getting control of your health?

Hypertension or high blood pressure is called the silent killer because about 1/3 of the people with it, do not know they have it. Some people completely avoid the doctor or that blood pressure monitor in Walgreens, because they are afraid to know the truth. Are you one of them? Just because you don’t know, doesn’t mean it won’t kill you. Hypertension is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Although it is silent, it is easy to detect by having your blood pressure checked. It is also one of the very few risk factors of heart disease and stroke that is treatable.

So how do you treat hypertension? First, have your blood pressure checked at least once a year by a doctor. The rest is quite simple. Start eating a healthy diet, stop smoking, exercise often, and reduce your salt intake.

So why don’t you have time for your health? Think about all the family and friends who love you and don’t want to lose you to such a preventable illness. Do it for yourself and for them. Start right now. Not tomorrow, not in an hour, RIGHT NOW!

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5 “Lazy Busting” Tactics You Should Implement Today

Do Yard Work With Your Family

1. Park Further Away

Why do you spend upwards of 5 minutes circling the closest rows near the entrance praying for a parking spot to open up? You are wasting time and gas! Do yourself a favor and grab one of the open exterior spots.  You will get to your shopping faster and you can use the extra exercise.

2.  Make Your Own Coffee

Get yourself a cheap coffee pot and a travel mug. Not only will you save money, but your caloric intake will go down.  Look for non-fat creamers and use the sugar sparingly (if used at all). Your average coffee shop charges around $4 dollars for your favorite beverage.  My morning coffee cost me about 30 cents a day and contains ¼ the calories of your ritzy concoction. Read more

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GTL- Life Lessons from the Jersey Shore Cast. Honestly!

9 million people watched the Season 3 Finale of Jersey Shore. Although I wasn’t one of them, I do think there are life lessons everyone can learn from the cast. Honestly!

Gym: need I say more? Make it a priority to head to the gym 3 days a week. Don’t have time for the gym? Buy a few 3-12 pound dumbbells and turn your living room into a gym. Dont have money for dumbbells? Grab a couple cans of non-perishables and use those. Or you can try this Body Weight Circuit in your back yard.

Tan: moderate sun exposure helps produce Vitamin D which promotes bone health. Studies also suggest that sunlight hitting the skin and eyes, shakes wintertime blues. It is important that we reiterate, moderate sun exposure is beneficial whereas over exposure can be very detrimental and put one at risk of Skin Cancer. 15-20 minutes of occasional sun exposure without the use of sunblocks has been proven to be beneficial.

Laundry: many major germs and bacteria live on dirty gym clothes. Wash gym clothes soon after working out. Don’t forget to toss the gym bag in the washer as well as many germs live and grow there.

So there you have it. The HealthyFitFamilies crew finds life lessons on The Jersey Shore.

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