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Tail Spin

I can see it happening right now.  Right in front of my eyes and I am aware of it.  The problem is, what can I do?

This is NOT a "poor me" post.  This is me really trying to figure out what is going on, and if anyone else is out there going through this, you know you are not alone.  Because right now I am very alone.

So what is happening is that my life, like so many others, is going a bit sideways.  This is what has always happened in the past.  I get some good results....then slide back...then get some good results....and slide back.

I am, without a doubt, overextended.  I am working a full time job that has recently spun into pure overload.  Even with overtime all the time I cannot get all the work done.  My boss knows this and is working to get another person hired, but that could be 6 months to a year out.

I am going to school full time in an accelerated program for my Bachelor degree in Health and human services management.  I have hit the first few classes that require me to actually study and put in time on projects.

Before the opportunity for school showed up, I bought a second house that was forclosed and have been reworking it.  Due to school and work commitments it has been a year and a half in the process. 

So, I am paying two sets of household bills, water bills, taxes and insurance.  So I really need any overtime I get.  But I need the study time so when not working overtime I am doing the study for school.  And occasionally I get a little work done on the house.

The work on the house is at least very physical.  But my food is out of control.  Even if I do alright through the day, I eat too much in the evening.  I am not getting any sort of regular workouts.  All I want to do is sleep and escape. (yes mild depression as mentioned below.)

School is over in November.  But I can do a lot of damage to myself in three months.  I don't want that.

I have no illusions.  This is all about what is happening in my brain.  In the past I would ignore it until I had to move up a pant size, be disgusted with myself and then start over while hating myself for letting it happen.  This is a sincere effort to not let that happen.  But I am losing.  I think most people know that it takes you into a tail spin....you have a bad day, make bad choices, and then feel bad about the choices and yourself....which leads to starting a day where you already feel bad about yourself and your life and makes bad choices easier.....I am trying to break that.

There is no day that I cannot get a 15 minute HIIT workout in, only excuses.

There is no day that I cannot eat what I should.  I have prepared a ton of food and it is in the freezer, all I have to do is heat and eat.  Pack the lunch that is premade.  I do often get breakfast and lunch right, as listed above.  But I am eating out of lonliness, stress, and any number of other emotions, I am sure, at night.  (Read as mild depression due to over extending myself and feeling a bit overwhelmed.)

I do not have a good answer to this problem.  Certainly no easy to follow road map.  The only thing I know to do is to suck it up and attempt to change my view point. 

I am going to attempt to impersonate the person I would like to be for awhile and hope the real me gets there while I am doing that.  Because I cannot keep doing what I was doing.

I sincerely hope you are not facing this.  I wish better for you.  But for those that are, you are not alone.  Keep fighting and I will do the same.

 

Under the bar.....not

A lot of those that will read this know I have been doing stronglifts 5x5.

Last night I could not get myself under the bar.  I don't know what is going on with that.  I suspect it ties into the overextension of my time and energy in every other part of my life. I have been working a lot of overtime and homework from my college classes (going full time) has been more intense than in the past.  

So instead of skipping my workout, I did a HIIT workout with boxing as the focus. Compared to the last few weeks, this is a major win!  I have been considering mixing up my workouts for the next few months just to get my body doing some other things.  So I started last night.

I am coming to understand that I need some variety in my workouts.  Not something different every day, but over months I need some variety.  I develop a mental block after too many months of doing the same type of workout.  (To pursue the strength I want to develop  I am considering getting some strong man training equipment eventually.  This should allow me to mix it up and still work on strength.)

 My point is that I realized last night that I was not going to lift.  It just wasn't going to happen.  But I did do pushups, squats, and a lot of heavy bag work.  I didn't give up or let go of a workout as I figured that any workout was better than none. 

 I am worth the effort.  The effort may not be perfect, but I am worth the effort.

If you are reading this, you are worth the effort.  This is a long term thing.  Make the best choices, get some workout in and don't kid yourself.  Be brutally honest.  But know that you are worthy of love as you are and you are worth the effort.   Because I believe you are.  I believe we are worth the effort.  If you cannot see it, trust me for now....you will get there.

Being Manly

I do not know why so many things in my life seem to run in threads, but they do.

The latest thread is about being manly.  I have a specific idea of what a man is or should be.  Not a male, but a man.  It is my contention that in our society we have a bunch of boys running around that are in thier mid 30's.  There are men that are so worried about political correctness that they are afraid to be a man.  Sorry, none of that business here.

Now before all the extremists flame me, and you know who you are, you should probably try and understand what I mean by being a man.  But let me explain this to those that want to flame me.  Go ahead, flame away.  I am a confident man that does not need your approval and I do not live by your distorted idea of what I should be.

A real man, in my opinion, is not the macho masogynist that is portrayed in the movies.  Let's get that out of the way.  A real man has no fear of strong women.  No matter how strong, good, awesome, or incredible I am it does not make anyone else inferior.  No matter how strong a woman is, or another man for that matter, it does not make me any less...it takes nothing away from me.  People that are inferior make themselves that way through one psychosis or another.

A real man can make mistakes, own up to them, and correct what went wrong or at least attempt to fix it.  There is no shame in making a mistake.  Only in trying to hide or ignoring the problem is there any shame.

I take responsibility for myself and my people.  I, in this case, am fatter than I should be because of my actions.  I own that.  I am trying to correct the behavior that got me here.  I am not rich, but I am responsible.  Part of my contribution to society as a whole is being responsible.  I choose other charity and work, but at the very least I should be responsible.

I will not bend to views that state that I should be less so that others can compete.  That standards should be lowered so that it is "fair".  Life is not fair, men and women are different, and none of that should be a problem. We should celibrate the strengths of each individual and the differences that make it interesting.

I think that there is nothing wrong with being a real man.  Being reliable, dependable, strong, as well as compassionate.  It is part of what it is all about in my opinion.

I do not believe in limiting someone because they are male, female, gay, because of religion, or because of any such differences.  However, I know that not everyone can do every job, not everyone can be what they would like to be, not everyone can do the things they would like to do.  That is part of life.

I will continue to attempt to be the best man I can be.  No matter how much I accomplish, that will never take anything away from you.  I would like to see you be the best you can be.

Rock on.

Coming to terms with Brute......

I found myself saying these words to a woman I know.  Well let me tell you more about the woman.  She has faced many challenges in her life but she works out all the time and is in great physical shape.  Has never been overweight, and has had every excuse to give up on life and just sit....but...she looks at exercise as an escape and a savior....that said I said, "Even at my goal weight, I will never be as physically beautiful as you.  I will not be as aesthetically pleasing to look at, and I am okay with that.  I have the build of a warrior, not of Brad Pitt."

It was interesting because I realized that........yes I finally believe that.  They were not just words coming out of my mouth that sounded cool and as if I were in control.  Not that I would lie.  I knew intellectually that I do not have that body type and it is okay.  But I didn't really believe I would be okay with it.  Wow.  I DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK LIKE BRAD PITT OR SOME CALVIN KLEIN MODEL!  (side note: The irony of Brad Pitt commenting on the Calvin Klein models in Fight Club during the bus ride was not lost on me...) I do not know what my ideal weight will be, but I know it will be over 250 lbs.  I am a very large guy.  This makes a big difference in the numbers I deal with.  It makes it difficult to find many people like me...but that is okay, my friends list has a diverse wonderful group of people.

First I have to say, that all the people both online (you wonderful, diverse group) and in my day to day life that love me as fat as I am and have been have helped with that.  It is huge. It makes a big difference in accepting the physical being that is me.   

Part of this realization has come with the mirror.  Yes I still avoid it some days as it will depress me.  BUT, since I have been lifting I have noticed I am developing a shape...other than round.  Thus looking at what is becoming I have come to the following conclusions.

 I will never have a narrow waist.  My core will be thick.  

My legs are short for my height.  31" inseam @ 6'4" tall.

My beauty has never been in what people see physically, but what they see in the person I am.

I can lift Brad Pitt and whatever he is carrying....he can't do the same to me.....

I need to focus on what I used to focus on.  Doing the most I can with ME.  I used to never compare myself to others...I WAS AFRAID IT WOULD LIMIT MY GOALS.   And so I have let it creep in and it has limited my goals....but no longer.  I will compare where I am only to where I have been and where I want to be.

Go make a great day!

One healthy meal a day

Okay here it is.  I have a friend that is not eating well because life sucks sometimes and the time and effort.......blah blah blah.

 #1

Crock pot (if you don't have one, get one it is less than $30) 

dump a bag of frozen veggies in the bottom, add 1/4 cup water.

Put in a whole chicken, or I usually load it up with chicken thighs.

Garlic powder, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, oregono, basil.  Any combination of them.

Dump a bag of frozen veggies on top.  Put on the lid and set on low.  It will be ready when you get back.

 Freeze what you don't eat and take as a lunch and eat for dinner.

 

 #2

You forgot to do the crockpot thing and you have frozen chicken or beef....I don't care

Boil it in about 6 cups of water for 20 minutes with salt and any combo of above listed spices OR garlic powder, cumin, hot pepper, salt and pepper. Meanwhile turn on the oven to 400 F.

Ppull it  out of the water, dump a bag or two of frozen veggies and 1-1.5 cups of basmati rice in the water.

Pop the meat in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove rice and meat from heat.  Eat and freeze.  Lunches and dinners.....

 

Need more?

#3

Frozen lean burger meat...in a skillet , brown and drain. 

Add a bag of frozen mixed veggies and your favorite chili seasoning.  (I do garlic powder, cumin, hot pepper, salt and pepper, and hot pepper....yes lots of hot pepper)  and a 1/2 cup or so of water.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes. You can add a can of crushed tomatoes if you want.

Eat on a pita, over rice, or just out of a bowl.

 

I do so adore you and want what is best for YOU.  EAT right.

 

Grand Experiment

I decided to try something that sounded logical, it actually is quite logical and scientific.  I gave it two months following it per design.  And the experiment mostly failed.

I look in the mirror and I am disgusted with the reflection.  So, I can feel bad about it or do something about it.  I choose to do.

I say mostly because it was worth it to find out some important things about me and my eating.  And as such I can use something that does work as well as aspects of the program I used that work as well.  I do have a lot more muscle mass, and I have learned.....all worth the effort.

What I have discovered about me is that my signals for hunger don't work properly or I am flat out unable to interpret them due to years of eating the way I did.  My fault, and I need to fix it.  I cannot rely on feeling hungry to eat.  When I do, I go most of the day without eating and then am instantly starving.  I even experienced a sugar crash and that is less than optimal.  So the best plan for me is to eat on a regular basis that is basically planned (have to build in some fleixibility) and log log log.

WHAT I eat I will keep from the program I was using.  I felt full and energetic, but without logging, I have no idea how many calories I am taking in.  More so when I only eat when hungry.  I have not mastered that basic ability.  And no more carbs without protein. Plan and log and plan and log....

The basic schedule will help with my workout plan as well.  The biggest issue I am dealing with is the same one that I have always delt with, well for the last 17 years, work.  My schedule is MORE predictable than in the past, however, I still get surprise nights of late work. 

Speaking of workouts, let me stand on the mountain and preach it....well not really....but I did body weight workouts for a long time, and they are very helpful and have a lot of benifit.  BUT I have to do them 5 or 6 times a week to really see any gains.  That gums up my schedule.  Lifting heavy 5x5 program, I have seen great gains in three workouts a week.   During the month before, and the last month, body weight was all I was doing.  I went back to lift..Yes I deloaded dramatically...and hurt myself.  Not terrible, but enough I took the last two weeks off.  Body weight can be added to my training, but I don't think, for now, it will be the mainstay.

So I am going with the new plan on a Sunday, before the first of the year as I have found that starting on Mondays, or on the first of the year is just a way to fail right away.  And really not starting, just tweaking the program to work for me.

 

I hope you are geared up for the new year and ready to continue or tweak as needed.

Big fat scary love from the big man.

Christmas time for me

It is Christmas time for me, my cousins just celebrated Hanukka.

In my family that means a number of big meals and baked goods galore as well as chocolate, maybe a whiskey or a glass of wine, craft brewed beer, and the ever present coffee.

My family started changing the extremes of food and we have some healthier food at meals during the holiday that have become big hits.  Turkey breast on the grill is a big favorite.

I started thinking of how this time of year affects so many people that are on my friends list.  Specifically the women that are so supportive and so very very hard on themselves.  So I would like to point out a few things.

 You are beautiful.

Your ideal image is what you can become, not what some NY model that hasn't eaten solid food in a month looks like.

You are beautiful.

You must not use this as an excuse to slack or not do the things that improve your health.  You should try to improve in areas of your person that are not what you would like them to be.  But you should love yourself as you work toward the you that you want to be.

You are beautiful.

Beauty truly comes from the person you are.  It is cliche, but beauty comes from inside.  I have met some physically beautiful women that after they open thier mouth I have no attraction to them whatsoever...none, nada, yuck, the selfish evil hateful disgust me.  

You are beautiful.

So go become the great physical being you can become, but stay beautiful.

If you have a rough day, do me a favor......

look in the mirror and say out loud:
"John knows I am beautiful." 

Repeat about ten times and then say,
" I know I am beautiful."

 " I know I am beautiful."

" I know I am beautiful."

" I know I am beautiful!"

Do that for me, it will make my Christmas time better.  If you can't see that beauty after doing that , just look through my eyes.  Because I see your beauty.

 

 

Started by a Punk, Shared with All

 I was writing this for a specific woman, and thought I should share it with all my beautiful friends since it applies.  Guys the details won't apply but the sentiment will.

 

You will never be as strong as me.
I will never be as beautiful as you.
I know you feel pain and you cry.
You have never seen the tears I have shed in front of the mirror after a 5x5 that included a 300 lb dead lift.

You feel alone and like you are fighting your own body as well as the world.

We are alone together.  I am fighting the same battle, but I am unable to express my frustration and self hatred.  The disgust I feel when I see myself in the reflection of the window I am walking past or someone wants a group picture that includes me.

I want to sit down and just give up, cry, scream, lay still until I no longer feel this way.

But I don't.  I work the 40 - 60 hours a week at my job, go to school full time, work on a second house to get moved into it so I can stop paying two sets of bills, and I am trying to get back to set workout days, still going when even the ibuprofen doesn't quiet the pain in my knees, and eating out of a college size fridge so I am limited on what food I can store.  I won't give up, I won't stop, knowing I will never be as beautiful as you.

 Because to stop, to quit, to not try is to disrespect all that you give me each day.  The encouragement, the glimpse of your strange little world as you peek into the insanity I call my life.  And you choose to keep coming back and check in on that world....it is more important than you know.  To know a woman of beauty takes the time out of her day to spend some of her valuable time to say hello, to send me a virtual hug, to remind me that I may be disgusted with me, but you still think I am worth your time and effort.

I am thankful for that every day.

Why I look at your profile

So here I am reading all the chaos on my newsfeed.  Participating in some of the more social aspects of this site.   And trying to beat down some of the things that make me feel as if I am flailing.  Not failing....but flailing....

I bought the Olympic barbell set with a total 300# of weight.  I got a power rack.  But they are at the house I am going to move into waiting to be set up.  The roof repairs and walls needing attention have taken priority.  

To counteract I have been doing some bodyweight training as an interm fix..... but I strained a hamstring Tuesday and spent most of my workout time foam rolling.

 

UGH

 

So cruising the news feed I see a picture of a beautiful woman with the words "not one crunch" on the picture.  So of course I have to go visit the profile.  I look at her pictures. 

She is gorgeous!  How does she do it? I start reading her profile thinking I will send her a message and ask if she is lifting heavy.......well her profile provided me this link that has a ton of information:

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/fivethreeone/view/how-did-i-workout-570888

And then I look at the other blog and I am blown away.

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/1090814-one-year-can-change-your-life-pic-heavy

 

So I AM flailing.  But I am inspired to keep at it.

fivethreeone doesn't know me, she doesn't even know she has had a major inspirational impact today.......

Instead of being that somewhat creepy "thanks for inspiring me" message guy, I thought I would share an inspiration for anyone that takes the time to read this.  Because she rocks.

 

Who did you inspire today?  I would bet that I didn't today......but maybe if I work at it, I will tomorrow.

 

Routine = Armor

I was just thinking about how I have changed over the last two or three years. The most significant thing I have changed is my routine.  Now I realize that I used to say I don't have a routine, but that was not really the case.  It is simply that my routine had different starting times due to my job and what I did evolved.  It evloved as it did because everything I did was a stop gap measure instead of a designed plan.

Of course a routine will change over time, even one that was designed with great effort to be "perfect",  Eventually as our jobs, interests, family change, the routine will have to be modified or completely redesigned.

A routine, at it's best, is a plan that works and is repeated on a regular basis.  At it's worst a routine is a clever way to be lazy and convince myself that I am too busy to take care of myself that I repeat on a regular basis.

 My two biggest success stories on routine change are getting up at 4:30am to work out three days a week, and packing my lunch when I am done with dinner.  

The workout change was huge.  I had to get up at 5 am without a workout for three weeks before I could even get up that early and workout.  Pay off is huge.

The packing lunch after dinner was a small change.  It allowed me more time in the morning to do something else.  I usually pack dinner left overs, and when I don't, I still pack my lunch after dinner so I have no excuse to not have a packed lunch.  I do still buy lunch, usually once a week, but it is by design and I have some great things to choose from.

I realized that these two routines were a type of armor to defend against the things I face during my day.  They give me an advantage to achieve the goals I have.  A better chance to "win".

So at 4:30am on M,W,F I am "putting on my armor" and not just working out.

Just a perspective I thought I would share.  And remember, if you are reading this, I want you to win.  I am rooting for you!

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