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Hygiene

I brush my teeth everyday.  I clip my toenails.  I trim my nails.  I have my hair cut on a regular basis.  I shower every day, I clean my ears.  I wash my hands a LOT.  Of course I do work in a hospital.  I try to keep my house clean (fight with the animals that don't want it clean).  Dishes are done everyday; trash taken out as needed and to the curb weekly.

I do all this work to take care of myself.  So yesterday, when the idea was presented to me of exercise being part of hygiene, it struck a chord (Thank you Freddy of www.bodyrock.tv )  How had I missed it for so many years.  How is it that exercise and diet are not considered part of hygiene by all of us?

I am as guilty as anyone of the following.

Guys, myself included, will spend hours getting a hair style, shoes, clothes, hats, jackets to create a "style" that allows them to look thier best.  Women will spend hours with hair and make up, clothes and shoes again, to make them look thier best.  Nothing wrong with that.  

But how can we spend all of those hours looking at how to make ourselves look good without  doing the most basic things to make ourselves look good? 

Exercise.  I mean any type of "on purpose" exercise.  Let's face it, even if we don't want to be 8% body fat  body builder types, walking and some resistance work doesn't take that much time.  I would suggest that it takes a lot more time to hide the flaws of a fat body than to work out 4 times a week, eat right, and just not have the fat.

 How many days are you willing to go without a shower, brushing your teeth, washing your clothes?  So as basic hygiene shouldn't we feel wrong if we go a week without exercise?

If all I eat is snickers bars and fritos, isn't that bad hygiene? (I am not talking about the occasional or responsible eating of said substances)  Here i guess what I am saying is eating without concern for nutrition is bad hygiene.

I am a fan of  Sylvester Stallone (sylvesterstallone.com)  I know some of his movies have no redeeming qualities.  However something he said, and I will paraphrase, in an interview struck me.  He said, when asked about the obesity in America, with all the hobbies people have, why can't the first hobby be fitness?

As many of you know, I sat down and considered my life.  I changed jobs and will make less money this year.  This was on purpose, because it allows me to have control of my life.  My hobbies and projects all fall in line AFTER my commitment to my health.  Not an easy decision to follow through on, but I did. 

Some things are going to wait several months to get done because workouts come before any home repair or upgrade that isn't an emergency.  My family understands that I may eat before I come over during dinnertime as I will sit with them when they eat and have something to drink, maybe even a little dessert, but I may not partake of what they choose for dinner if I cannot fit it into my plan for the day.  (Usually now they give me a heads up so I can plan accordingly)

Fitness, health, hygiene are now my first hobby.

How to answer

Lately, more than once, I have felt the need to respond to some of the people on my FL in a manner that I did not really want to answer.  But I went through my routine and answered in a manner that was honest and perhaps a bit harsh.  At least that is what I thought when I hit the comment button.

 

It then dawned on me that I HAVE a routine that I go through when I see a post I feel needs a hard answer.  I am going to share what I do.  I don't know if anyone will find this useful, but I am going to share anyway!

I have a person on my FL that was/is facing some challenges and felt defeated.  Was headed for the place where they would eat like they used to and sabatoge the hard work they had put in already.  I felt, in my heart, gut, and hair folicals that to be "supportive" would have been to be an enabler in destructive behavior.  So I called them out and told them it was because I care, and that is all true.  But what did I do first.

First, I remembered that a lot of people on MFP are not as thick skinned as I am.  A harsh negative attitude might be as bad or worse than telling them that it is okay.

Second, I made sure I wasn't saying things to improve how I feel about myself.  Telling someone something that might be true, but trying to elevate myself somehow with my "superior knowledge" or something like that is no good and would reflect in what I said.  In other words, I had to make sure I was being humble.  

That ties in to three, I don't know the whole story.  No matter how much they put on the page there may be forces in play way beyond what I can understand.  So if I am honest with the understanding that I might be way off I can do so with a clear conscience.  So I make sure I give the advice based on what I know and avoid snarky remarks.

What I don't do is avoid the comment.  I have found that most of the time the honest hard truth is at least respected, and usually appreciated.

 I make my "look how clever I am" comments like anyone.  But when I feel that the hard replies need to be made, I go through the above to try and be a real friend.  Not just a clever 2D Caricature.

Go be Awesome.

The %*&@ Scale

As promised my opinion on the scale.

The scale is not smart.  The scale is one of many tools we have to measure our progress.  However, the scale is NOT a direct measurement of what we are trying to do.

The scale measures the effect of gravity upon mass.  What we are trying to do is lose unwanted mass The scale does NOT know the difference between fat, bone, muscle, water, food still in your system, clothing, the cat, your significant other putting their foot on there when you aren't looking.....It just sees mass and the effect of gravity upon it.  

So, at BEST, the scale is a mirror reflecting our mass....but that mirror is cloudy.

A body builder has a website that on it he covers a lot of what I am going to talk about.  His conclusions are the same as what I have discovered, although he has actual test data to back it up.

I weighed myself three times a day for a week to find out how my weight varied.  I would flex 10 lbs a day.  One day from my morning "empty" weight, I had a change over the day of 12 lbs.  From the morning when I was empty and needed water, to after dinner and full of water and food a change of 12 lbs.  I have heard of changes more drastic than that.

If you are using a digital scale, they are sensitive to temperature.  There can be a large difference, up to a few pounds, if the temperature is not the same when you weigh yourself.  Next time you are in a department store, grab three scales of different brands, grab a 10 lb weight from the sports area and weigh it.  There will probably be up to about a 2lb variation just with that.

Your scale needs to be in the exact same place every time you weigh yourself.  Slight variations is the floor can change how a scale reads.  You need to stand on the scale the exact same way every time as most scales will read a variation in weight distribution differently.  Stand on your scale facing the left or right instead of facing the read out....did your weight change or just the read out?

The scale is a good tool.  But you have to understand it's limitations.  You also have to know that you did not gain 5 lbs of fat overnight.  It is water weight combined with any variations in the temperature and the floor and your distribution of weight.

So you can either weigh yourself every morning and AVERAGE the weight over a month, which I do NOT recommend.  Or do what I do.  Weigh yourself about twice a month, if you remember, and trust that you are losing weight when you have to buy new clothes.  Trust when you feel like you have more energy, trust when people tell you that you look like you are losing weight.

The truth is, I wouldn't care if I was 400lbs at 6% bodyfat....I would probably drive to Hollywood and audition....
I want to be healthy and fit, able to do some pretty cool stuff with my body, like some of the Parkour things.  

So set some fitness goals, check the scale once in a while, and do the work.  Focus on fitness, not weight.

Buried by Detail

When I started here, I had a goal to lose 100 lbs.  Nice round number.  I changed that to 107 to hit a nice round number of 300 lbs.  (That is the weight I used to fight at in Judo and Jiu-jitsu when I was training 6 days a week.)

I did not fall into this trap, THIS TIME, but I have and I see people doing it.  It is human nature and I am NOT giving anyone the smack down for it.  I am simply observing and commenting.  Detail detail detail.

 I am not talking about the person with eight pounds to lose.  But those of us that have a significant amount of weight to lose, that are not even sure what our goal weight looks like in our mind.  

We bury ourselves in the minutia of nutrition and exercise.  I have seen people post in an absolute panic because they were 500 calories over one day.  Now yes, some of this is driven by the need for drama and attention.  But here is the point.  When you have to dig a swimming pool, you don't worry about the details until you are near the edges.  Just start digging.

Now there is a lot of information out there.  But when you are 100 lbs overweight, you may want to make some adjustments to your macros, but just focus on eating at a deficit and moving your body.  Doesn't matter what you are doing at first as long as it is activity.  I have watched people obsses over a couple percentage points in the macro's or if they were getting the most efficient work out with free weights and on and on.  

These things are and will become more important.  But to not be doing anything because you are still trying to plan out the perfect work out, diet, life, romance, whatever.....it is an excuse.  Make a plan, start doing it, you can change the plan if it isn't working.  But the big ideas work. 

More nutritious food, less calories than you burn, exercise as hard as you can without injuring yourself.

We then wonder why people go off and eat 8000 calories one day.  After trying to fit there life into this perfect plan they have devised.  It doesn't work like that folks.....

There is no one size fits all.  There are things that work.  But things that won't work for me.  Let me give you my example.

I like to have a beer.  A good beer.  None of that swill.  Now if a person stops drinking beer they will take in less carbs, reduce caloric intake, blah blah blah.......  But to stop drinking beer can help a person achieve weight loss goals.....blah blah blah.

For me this will not work.  First I want to be healthy and happy.  Health without a beer is not happy.  I don't need to drink a case a night, but I will be having beer in my caloric intake.  So I have to find out how to include that and reach my goals.  Do I write some fantastic formula to calculate how to get beer into my diet (as in how I eat, NOT a fad that I do for some short period of time with unrealistic expectations of outcome.) and balance the universe? 

NO.

I eat fewer carbs elsewhere and make sure the calories are accounted for.  Simple, move on to the next thing.

I guess the short version of this is K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid)  I apply that to me.

When you are closer to your goal you may need that detail so study up.  But when you are way out, the doing is more important than the detail.

Do the work, drink the water, eat right.  You will get healthy.

This also applies in relationships, well, most areas of life.  You know what needs to be done.  You know what you want to do, and you know what you can do.  

Start the plan and adjust enroute.

 

 

Completely selfish

Have you noticed how selfish my blogs are?  Maybe not.

 When I sit here and write, most of the time it is when I have a few minutes at work.  Not a single blog has taken more than 20 minutes to write.  So I don't have time to craft a blog.  It comes through with one read through to make sure I didn't totally lose contact between my thought and my words as they appear here.  I think on a few I have later gone back and made an edit to clarify something.  But the point is, it is what I am thinking at that moment.  I am not thinking about who might read this and what they want to hear.

 So many of us found our way to MFP because we were not selfish, or we THOUGHT we were not being selfish.   But we were being the most horrid kind of selfish we could be.  Let me see if any of this sounds familiar, I will start with my very own personal failure:

I have no time due to my career.  I am doing this because (insert family description) depends on me and I have to put a roof over thier heads and food in their mouths.

What I was saying is that I am too selfish and lazy to get up 30 minutes early, go to bed 30 minutes earler instead of watching a Sinfield rerun, to exercise.  I am too selfish and lazy to make sure I will eat right, or at least eat reasonably and not use food as comfort.

 Here is one that may upset some, but I had to call my sister out on this:

My children need so much care and attention that I don't have time to exercise or eat right.

This one kills me.  I had my sister and nephew living with me for the better part of the first six years of his life.  The children will eat healthy if you feed them healthy food.  Then you can eat healthy food.  And taking time to exercise is one of the greatest things you can do for your children as it makes you more sane and able to keep up.  It also teaches them that adults need to exercise.  Leading by example.  Of course they want stuff that isn't good for them.  As adults we set the rules, or should be.  Treats are fine as we all know, but not everyday and not all the time.  Most parents feeding thier children McD's and candy every day really do so because that is how they want to eat.

The above has also been used for elderly parents as well as children.  Sometimes this is a bit more complex, but it is still just an excuse to be selfish.

I am going to call out a person on my FL, and I hope he is still there after this.  The man has kids and is a machine.  He is a stud and shares all kinds of knowledge here with people that are giving it an honest effort.  The man is a rock.......pun intended.....  UponThisRock.  Contrary to what a lot of people think, he doesn't have super powers.  He just has his priorities right and is reaping the rewards of his effort.  Check out his blogs they are awesome! 

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/UponThisRock

 

Now once you get past the big ones, I have to start fighting the smaller ones.  Things like:  

Well I got home late, I will order some pizza so I have time to work out.

Wow, how many times did I trick myself with that one....and a number of times I didn't even work out.

I don't know about you, but since I have started trying to be less selfish, I have noticed that I am able to accomplish a LOT more.  I hope you are too.

Make a great day and remeber there is mad <3 from the big man.

NSV's and Celebrity and driving to work.

First, the NSV in my pants.....

 I commented a while back in a post that I had to change underwear the other morning because I did not trust the boxers I had on to stay up.  So I went last night and stopped at a store and picked up a couple packs of boxer briefs.  I did not go to a big and tall store.

I now truly understand what all you women go through when you are trying to buy a smaller size.  I never really did before.  In the back of my mind...well more towards the middle pushing to the front, I was thinking, "If they don't fit I can always fit into them when I lose some more weight."

When I pulled them out of the package at home, I knew they were too small.  But, I tried them on anyway and just like all the stories I see all of my lovely women friends posting, I was surprised they fit.  So I am throwing out all my old undies tonight.

Second, slightly sad NSV and not because it was at a memorial service.  I was not the heaviest person in the room.  I may have been the "biggest" in the room.  I was the tallest and most imposing.  But that is because of my nature.  But there were at least three people there heavier than I am.  One of those was probably a good 100 lbs heavier.  And I stared at him at first because it dawned on me and I was caught off guard....so I am sure he thought I was a jerk.  I didn't get a chance to actually talk to him as I had to get back to work.

The guy that has 100lbs on me ties into a picture that came together as I was driving to work. Earlier I had heard a group he was in talking about Miley Cyrus and how she was getting married.  And I was thinking when I heard this, " a group of 30+ guys talking about Miley Cyrus' personal life. WTF?"  I mean if you like her ...entertainment, I can see discussing that, but who cares if she gets married or doesn't?  What does her life really mean in my life?

Driving into work, listening to a radio station that plays music a bit heavier than Miley commented that Miley had bragged that she spends something like $25,000 a MONTH for a personal trainer.  My first thought was she should get a refund, the second thought was I get all my workouts for free, and then it came together.

Why was a radio station that would never play Miley Cyrus talk about her?  In this case it was to laugh at her and play the class warfare angle for the blue collar listeners that make up a majority of the channels listeners.  Why were the guys at the memorial service talking about her?

Here is what I think.  We distract ourselves so we don't have to live in our own lives.  My life is boring, they are so much more glamourous than I am ... blah blah blah....

This is how we avoid living our lives, taking responsibility for making our lives interesting, living a full, powerful life.    We get caught up in the consumerism of celebrity. How many countries of children has Angela Jolie adopted, who is wearing what, who looked fat at the beach.......and we buy in.

Let me ask you this.  Do you think when a popular musician or actor gets up in the morning thier breath smells any better than yours?  Do you think they don't have issues and problems, self-doubt?  Look at how many are doing drugs.  How many have plastic surgery?  Think of Gary Coleman......where is he now.......

The point is, let all that garbage go.  Go be your own superstar.  Make your life interesting.  Write, read, and make your life everything it can be.  

BE involved in your own life.  You are driving this body and this life until the wheels fall off. Make it one that people will talk about.

Self Imposed Limit

I did my 30 day fitness test, and to be honest it was a 36 day fitness test as I didn't repeat the fitness test until 6 days after I was supposed to do it.  The results were great.  My numerical improvement was about 40% total.  But there is a deeper story.

The fitness test I was doing is a High Intensity Interval Training fitness test.  The circuits of four exercises three times through the circuit,  50 seconds as hard as you can go, and then 10 seconds rest.  During the 10 seconds you write down your reps.  I knew the numbers from the first time I had done the test, it was there in front of me.  I was beating all my old scores.  Near the end of the second time  through the circuit I realized I was beating all my old scores but I was failing. 

I was not failing to do the exercises or improve my rep count.  But I was failing myself.  As I realized I was beating the reps from the first time I was easing off, not pushing as hard as I could.  The last set I was able to go all out and leave nothing in the tank.

Even with that failure, the fact that I did all the superman pushups without going to my knees to finish was AWESOME....I am pumped up about that.

But I got to thinking about the easing off.  I was reaching the goal I had set, but I had set it too low.  Or perhaps had the wrong goal.  

In setting my sites on beating my old scores, I had a definative goal that I did achieve.  But it did not make me do my BEST.  I now realize that I should have set the goal to push as hard as I could and get as many reps each time.  Focused on just that part of the workout for that 50 seconds.  Leave nothing in the tank.  So I am going to do that exact same challenge in 30 days and see if my new goal brings better results.

The idea is there though.  How many of us base what we can do on old, outdated ideas of what we couldn't do a day, week, month, year before?  Even with the best intentions we can set limits upon ourselves.  What limits have you imposed upon yourself?

Have you found yourself saying things like, " Wow, I wish I could do that but......"  Stop saying that.  If you really wish you could, find a way to do it.  Let me tell you what I want to do...it is a bit scary, because if I put it out here on the internet I have to follow up on it. (if I don't, I am not being the person I want to be.....)  I do not want to run long distances, or even do all the stuff I have seen.  But as my NO LIMIT GOAL  I want to be able to do some of the Parkour or Free Running stuff I have seen.

Now let me tell you how ridiculous this is, at least in the "normal" world.  I am around 6'4" to 6'5" tall.  My competition weight was 305lbs. when I was competing in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and training 6 days a week.  So my best guess is I will still be a good 285 lbs if I really cut it down without loss of muscle mass..... gravity and I do not have a good relationship....But I know I can do it, at least the stuff I am interested in.  I do not particularly want to jump off of two story buildings onto the ground, more power to those that do.  But I would like to do the wall scaling.  I am even looking at doing a obstical type run, a shorter one, Warrior dash or mud bog as a kind of beginner step. See the mention of non long distance running above.  Wow so it is out there.... Might even do an MFP 'Tour' of obstical runs to meet up with some of my MFP people when they have one in thier area.  Wow...a lot is out there.  I guess I better start pushing harder.

What is your NO LIMIT GOAL? What is your plan to get there?

I can't look at myself

Today I cannot look at myself in the mirror.  It is discouraging.  Because I don't see all the weight I have lost, I am seeing what is left.  I am looking in the mirror and I know that my original goal is only the beginning and I will have to set another goal after I lose the first 100 lbs.  And I recorded a two pound loss today.

I am happy about the two pounds.  I have been level for a week or two recording no loss.  I am on the last hole in my belt, I have to buy new pants, I am fitting in pants I bought that were too small in January and they are a bit loose.  Lots of good things happening.  I just hate what I am seeing in the mirror.

I have often told people to stop trying to lose weight and get healthy, the weight will reflect the effort of getting fit.  And today it did reflect the effort.  Thank goodness.

The amount of weight I have lost since January ( 44 lbs) is the same as the weight of one of my boxers.  The weight I have lost since my heaviest point (64 lbs) is the weight of the other boxer.  I still need to lose another big boxer of weight.  It is odd how much more fat I see now that I have lost a big chunk.

(The large boxer is named Fezzik.  Extra points if you know where that name comes from)

All that being said.  I have not lost any motivation and I am in good spirits.  Because of you reading this.  I have seen a number of people posting losses!  People overcoming any number of issues in thier lives.  NSVs posted, or just someone seeing how beautiful they are for the first time in years.

Being able to cheer others victories, and seeing a move on the scale are all helpful.  But we all have days we just can't look at ourselves, because we arent' seeing the good stuff.  That is when cheering others on, sending out a snoopy dance, a WOOT, a good job, a keep it up is more important to me than it may be to the person that receives it.

So keep up the good work.  Every push up, every mile you run, every pound you lift is helping me reach my goals.

Pay up front

I find myself saying this a lot.  It seems to speak to so many things in life.  So I am putting it here as a reference.  I just put this in a PM to a friend.

 

I will tell you a secret that no one told me. It is complex so follow me on this.

You can choose to be successful or you can choose to waste your life. It is your choice and you will be the one that has to live with it.  But don't expect others to live with it.

If you choose to waste it don't bother being upset that people around you don't want to hear you complain.

If you choose to be successful, then you have another choice. Pay your dues now or pay them later. If you choose to pay them later they require interest and it will delay success.


If you choose success, then you have to choose what it means to be successful and that may evolve throughout your life.

 I would highly recommend that you do NOT let others make this choice for you. They will only hold you to a higher standard than they hold themselves and you will never really be happy.

No matter what you choose you will have good days and bad days. That is the nature of life.

 Then I thought of some other things....

The first step in choosing to be successful is deciding to be happy.  Happy with a sunrise or a sunset, happy that it is raining, happy that it is snowing. Happy with any honest effort you make and willing to celebrate the small steps that lead to grand accomplishment. 

Stop trying to eat an elephant in one bite.....

 

You should also try to see every challenge as an opportunity.  A positive attitude can overcome a lot of moments that could be unhappy ones.

Pay your dues now. For fitness, for a carrer, for a relationship.  It will cost you much less in the course of your life.

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