And the last villain is the most feared of all. It's consistent and eternal. There is never an end in sight with this thing. Imagine something constantly coming after you no matter where you turn. No matter what you do. No matter where you go. And no matter how old you are, this body of evil is always......always there. The hardest part perhaps is that this enemy comes in triplicate.
Sure, the weekend looks easy going, relaxing, and care free. It just lures you in and before you know it you don't know what you've done. You don't know what you've eaten. For our guy, he works at a school during the week. There's structure, routine, and it's easy track food intake. However, the weekends pose challenges.
Here's some defense weapons:
--Work out on Friday nights. When treating Friday like just another day, it becomes easier to not overdo food intake. It's just like any other day.
--Have a routine to work out Saturday or Sunday (if you need a rest day on the weekend). Make your workout hard enough to not want to waste it on eating poorly later.
--Keep busy. When occupying yourself with some extra structure for the weekend, it's easier to avoid finding your way to the fridge and snack cabinets.
--Plan your weekend meals just like your meals during the week.
--Allow a cheat meal. Look forward to it. Enjoy it.
--Chop up veggies for the week on the weekend. This not only creates an easy go-to stash for easy cooking during the week, but it makes the same healthy food available on the weekend.
Back in Chapter 1, we met a guy trying to reach new food and fitness goals. In Chapter 2, he shared his new resource for tracking food. Now, we learn about a few villains trying to wreak havoc on our main character's fitness goals.
The first is a shifty villain who is sneaky. When coming home from work, The After Work Craving Villain looks a lot like this...
Those cravings are hiding in there and sometimes they change form and hide in here....
They look so happy, friendly, and satisfying. Warding this villain off usually requires one specific defense: staying busy. When coming home from work and keeping a routine (i.e. get kids off bus, fix snack, unpack backpacks, talk about the day, supervise homework, unpack lunch boxes, prepare for dinner, do dishes, go to the gym, etc.) this villain is usually defeated. Get lazy, let your guard down, and the rest is history.
Another enemy of our main character is worse than The After Work Cravings. Most afternoons of the week our protagonist works out. This villain is aggressive yet predictable.
This villain is hard to defend, but with focus it can be done and done well. The Post Workout Villain is a demon as hunger strikes about twenty minutes after working out and our character wants to eat, eat, and eat. However, without fail, 100% of the time victory ensues with some food planning. This villain goes away in a quick hurry when some protein, few carbs and healthy fat are consumed within 20 minutes after a workout.
Paleo Kits are a great defense. They have the perfect ratio of carbs, protein, and fat.
A sweet potato is another good weapon. Some quality lunchmeat and a small piece of fruit provide similar results against this vicious, evil enemy. If any one of these food choices are consumed post-workout, it becomes much easier to not eat everything in the house when returning from the gym. It just takes some conscious planning before heading to work out.
These are just two villains that keep life challenging for our main character. While he does a sound job fending them off on a weekly basis, no hero-status is warranted. Rather, there is one mambo jambo, incredible, and eternal enemy no one can avoid. This is one you will not want to miss because the bad news just got worse. EVERYONE I repeat....EVERYONE in the WORLD sees this next villain all the time. It's beyond aggressive. It's comes in threes, and it can not die.
Stay tuned for Chapter Four to find out what it is and if our story can live on.....
Chapter 2: Keeping Track of it All: A Great Tool For You
And so it continues.....
Chapter 1 introduced us to our main, uh....only character, a 39-year old, husband, father of two, School Counselor, Health and Nutrition Coach who, like anyone, has had his ups and downs with food and fitness. In the past year, he's found himself in a great place with his fitness and food and plans to never return to The Food Place That Shall Not Be Named. We learned about goals, planning, and how to find new purpose when one has had a string of success.
One of those goals involves tracking food. Now, before you give me this......
......consider this: We live in a society full instantaneous gratification i.e. cell phones, texting, laptops, iPads, fax machines, Twitter, Facebook, cloud services, and much more.
It goes without saying that most people will find at least seventeen excuses why tracking food will not work for them. Instead of wasting precious cyberspace listing a few, let's see what great tool our protagonist is using.
MyFitnessPal is more than a calorie counter. But it is a smart tool that encompasses that very "give it to me now/instant gratification" mindset into something that takes time and patience: eating well and weight loss. This tool literally has over a million food entries in it's library making it easy to find what you are logging. It provides graphical data on how much protein, how many carbs, and how many calories you have left to consume each day and allows you to set your own goals regarding what percentage of each need to consume. Even more, it has a whole social networking component for support. Remember that team our protagonist joined in Chapter One? The one that is trying to achieve new fitness goals? With this tracking tool, now he can see what and how his friends are eating. The benefits to that? You can get ideas of what to eat, when others eat certain foods, and you can offer support and encouragement by posting messages back and forth. And one more piece of that "instand gratification-give-it-to-me-now" mindset. You can enter your information from any computer and then continue from any phone with the free application. It's available for any iPhone, Android, or Blackberry device.
DISCLAIMER: This literary piece of opinion does not receive any benefits from MyFitness Pal, rather we find it to just be a very simple, easy-to-use, intuitive, and motivating tool to aid in doing something that historically takes time, persistance, and patience.
Speaking of patience....in Chapter 3 our main character will face a few evil villains. Stay tuned to see if he can ward of these calorie sucking, carb loading enemies!
Once upon a time, there was an overweight 30 year-old who lost 68 pounds using Weight Watchers. This teacher and soon-to-be-father-of-two ran his first half marathon and over the next few years ran three of them. Soon enough, the pounds found him again, all but 9 of them.
Two years, four globo-gyms, another trip to Weight Watchers, and a personal trainer later, this thirty-something said to his good friend, "I wish there was a place with a boot camp atmosphere, that was as into working out and keeping me healthy in a sustainable way." Enter: Crossfit.
Now, at age 39, this "young" man is in the physical shape of his life. He's a school counselor by day, a father, husband, and Health and Nutrition Coach as well. At the same time, this foodie/fitness junkie recently pontificated the following: "Now that I've changed my body, my strength, endurance, and relationship with food, what do I want to do? What is next? And so he came to a crossroads. Enter: The Crossfit Carmel Training Challenge.
He became part of an eight person team that trains and tracks food together with three goals in mind:
So what does this entail for this almost 40-year-old father of two/husband to a wife who has gone back to work/School Counselor/Health and Nutrition Coach? It means if he wants to lose the weight to be more competitive in the gym....if he wants to do more than five pull ups without having to drop off the bar, if he wants to run longer distances, if he wants to finally shed the last-to-go-belly fat, then he must, I repeat, he must without fail and with full focus do the following:
1. Write out his goals on paper.
2. Make those goals visible and read them every day.
3. Plan his meals in advance in a reasonable time-efficient manner.
4. Decrease weekend beer consumption.
5. Work on shoulder and hamstring mobility every day. EVERY. DAY.
6. Track food intake
7. Track workout information.
8. Be mindful of food intake while still indulging from time to time.
9:35 a.m.: I'm in heat 5 of the first workout which is......
-In 5 minutes do a 400 meter run carrying a 90 lb. sandbag, then row the remaining time. Your total calories rowing is your score.
small talk w/my judge
trying to hang on
9:40 a.m.: I wanted to pass out!
9:55 a.m.: Recovered and excited about workout #2
10:55: I'm in heat 7 of workout #2 which entails: 7 minutes of as many rounds as possible of....225 lb. deadlift w/a fat bar/20 sit up's on the GHD machine/30 double unders.
I'm actually asking God for help here! This sucked!
10:42 a.m.: I thought I may never get over the GHD sit ups!
11:00 a.m.: Excited about the last workout and watching the rest of the field compete.
2:00: p.m.: I am in heat 5 of the last workout which is: 5 minutes of as many rounds as possible of 14 box jumps (30 inch box) and 7 kettlebell snatches of 50 lbs.
2:05 p.m.: Proud of myself for choosing to compete with some seriously elite athletes in a great environment of competition.
This was a day full of eye opening experiences. Sure, there were crazy fit people there. Sure, there were folks there with as much body fat as my pinky toe. But there were also folks like me just trying to see where they stand. Overall, I finished 53rd out of 71 male competitors that day. However, that mattered little to me. What was invigorating was to put myself in a situation that was unfamiliar and just have some fun working as hard as I could. Here's a few of my other favorite other photos from the day.......
Shirt says, "It's o.k. to stare. Just don't interrupt."
Not the best quality shot, but I love the message.