Archive for April 2012

Match-Up #4 – I now have a burlesque name vs. I’m not a freaking dancer!

Another day, another match-up. I’m still behind, but I am slowly catching up. (I’m currently about five workouts behind.)

I figured it up there other day; without rest days (which I will surely take), I’ll be done with this bracket by mid-September, right around the time our baby is due. I wonder who will get here first, the bracket finishing workout or our little bundle of joy? Tina and I have talked about doing Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution when she is healed up and ready after giving birth, but we’ll see. That’s still a long time away.

Today, I am going to tell you about the match-up between Goddess Workout: Cardio Burlesque and The Firm: Total Body Time Crunch.

Before I tell about the video, I should tell you a little something about Tina. She is the girliest of girls. If it is pink and frilly, she likes it. But she isn’t some naïve, childish girl. She’s very womanly about her girliness, if that makes sense. She likes 50s Pin Ups. Granted, she doesn’t like 50s Pin Ups in the same way that I like 50s Pin Ups, but she digs that girly, frilly, lacy image. Cardio Burlesque is a workout that (if it were tougher) would be right up her alley.

But sadly, this video was a dud. It wasn’t toning. It wasn’t cardio (except for one very brief two minute session). It was mostly me strutting around our living room like a show girl. Geeze, that’s embarrassing to admit.

On the plus side, I did get to watch the instructor sashay in various burlesque type outfits, so that was nice.

My favorite part of the video? Delphina (the instructor) said that everyone should have a burlesque name, a name that appeals to the sense and is enjoyable. She suggested something food-related, like Cupcake or Mojito or… I don’t remember, Pineapple or something. All I remember was the name I gave myself.


Okay, on to the other video. The Firm: Total Body Time Crunch was light years tougher than Cardio Burlesque. I still wouldn’t call it a hard video, but it was definitely tougher.

My biggest complaint? Too much time was spent on overly complicated dance moves, and they kept calling right and left AND they used that stupid exercise video mirror system. I HATE THAT! Basically, what I am referring to is when the video participants say “Go right!” and they are all actually going left. I can freaking work it out on my own; I don’t need to pretend like you are my mirror image!

Sorry, rant over.

This video consisted of straight cardio and strength training. This video did get me sweating.

The winner?

Total Body Time Crunch, who advances to the field of 32. Sorry Goddess Cardio Burlesque. If you had been more of a workout and less of an excuse for Delphina to sashay around (and fully clothed at all times, too, dang it), you might have given me more of a workout.

Geeze, there has to be a dirty joke in there somewhere.

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Tired or Excuse?

I am a big fan of listening to your body. I think when you are too tired to exercise, you shouldn’t.

I was writing a quick blog post, right now, about that very thing. I was going to post one of my match-ups (I’m a bit behind), and I was explaining about how tired I was and how I felt I should take a rest day today.

And then… even though it’s already 8:45 at night… I just had a mini-epiphany.

Am I really THAT tired, or am I just a little tired and using it as an excuse?

I still don’t know. I do think I’m tired, but I know that if I go to bed at 9, I’ll just play on my iPad until 10:30. Or, I could put on my sneakers, strap on the heart rate monitor, exercise for an hour in my living room, take a shower, and be in bed by 10:00ish with a good thirty minutes of time to spend some time with Tina (and my iPad) before 10:30.

Maybe I am tired. Maybe I’ll be so useless when I start working out that I’ll realize I should have taken a rest day.

Or more likely, I’ll start, forget why I thought I was tired, and at 10:30 when I turn off the lights to go to sleep, I’ll be happy that I made this choice.

I can’t use being tired as an excuse. When Moon Pie gets here, I know I’ll have even less time, but because I want to be the healthiest dad I can for him or her, I have to make time.

Today, I am making the time. I am exercising. For an hour, I will better myself.

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My Reason #1 (a.k.a. Sweat and Zombies)

I haven’t seen many people do this, and I don’t know why. I know some do, and I’d have a hunch that those who do are more successful than those who do not.

Writing down our goals is huge. I teach literacy, and one of the things I teach my freshmen is this. If you write something down AND visualize it simultaneously, it triggers an action in your brain that releases dopamine. It is part of the reason I encourage my freshmen to rewrite their notes while actively recalling everything they can about the lecture they took those notes in. Those students, without fail, do better academically than students who do not. (For those of you still in school, there’s a free tip for you.)

Dopamine does a lot of things for us. Virtually every type of reward that we humans engage in (food, sex, listening to music, watching movies, whatever) results in increased dopamine transmission. In addition, (and this is what I am going for), dopamine increases motivation. So, writing plus visualizing equals dopamine which equals increased motivation.

I am going to start a running list of the reasons why I want to lose weight on this blog. Now, I don’t know if typing is the same thing as writing out in longhand (my hunch would be yes), but I’m going to start a hand-written list somewhere else. I encourage you to do the same. (And I’ve love to read blog posts. If nothing else, feel free to share your reasons in my comments below!)

So, what is the first reason for why I want to lose weight?

I sweat too much.

It may be genetic; I may be a sweaty thin guy someday. But the fact remains, my obesity definitely plays a role in it.

I sweat in the winter. I love the winter, because I do, admittedly, sweat less. Others will ask me, “Where is your coat?!” My answer – in the car, and it’s only there in case the zombie apocalypse occurs before I get home from work and I have to camp out somewhere cold for the night. I’m fine being cold. I relish it.

I sweat in the spring and fall. I sweat to the point of dehydration and heat exhaustion (seriously – it’s happened to me six different times) in the summer.

Sweating is disgusting. The only time I’m okay with sweat is if I’m working out; sadly, that isn’t the only time I sweat. Sweat makes me stink, it makes me oily, and it makes me look unkempt and sloppy.

I sweat walking to the building where I work from the parking lot, and the two are separated by only maybe a hundred feet.

This spring, which despite being early April already feels like late May, has been rough on my sweatiness. I know I sweat more than my colleagues. I sweat more than Tina.

I probably sweat more than you, unless your name is Sweaty McSweaterson, and even then, I’ve still probably got you beat because a name like that is just flash with no substance. Show off.

I want to lose weight so I will sweat less. It may not be as powerful sounding as “I want to lose weight to live longer” (which is true). But I want to sweat less. I don’t want to look disgusting. I don’t want to smell bad at the end of a long day. Heck, I don’t want to smell bad at the end of a short morning.

I look forward to the day when I can say, “I’m wearing my winter coat. The only thing I have in my car for the upcoming zombie apocalypse is my Gator Machete Pro.”

(So you don’t have to google it later. Available wherever fine Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tools are sold.)

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Match-up #3 – “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” vs. “Tough kickboxing lady made me cry”

I did this match-up a few days ago, but I’ve gotten a bit behind on my posting. Also, I had a thought. I probably shouldn’t share my actual calorie burns on each workout, or it may make it a little too easy to pick the winner when we get down to the final games. So, I’m just going to talk about what each workout was like and declare a winner.

This matchup was between Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies and 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp. The name of the match-up refers to the first song during the cardio portion of Sweatin’ 1 (It’s My Party” and the second refers to the fact that Kickbox Bootcamp was a HARD workout. It didn’t really make me cry, but it certainly made me burn, in a good way.

Let’s start off with Sweatin’ to the Oldies.

This is the first workout video that Richard Simmons released, and I’ve had it for years. Suffice it to say, I know every move of this workout by heart.

Most of Richard’s workouts have a theme, and the theme of this one is high school prom. It’s a fairly short video, but it still got my heart rate up, and to be honest, I even felt like I’d gotten a workout in. I’ll admit – it felt like a light workout, but hey, on days when time is short, this video is awesome.

This match-up also featured a kickboxing workout. The 10 Minute Solutions videos consist of several 10 minute workouts, and as I said when I announced the rules of this game, if it was a video where you could select one or more workouts, I was going to do them all. That means this workout was effectively a 50 minute workout.

Hosted by Keli Roberts, this was a TOUGH workout. It was a blast for me; I have a background in taekwondo, and a lot of the moves felt very familiar to me. Keli was a great instructor. My only complaint – I didn’t like only have an instructor. I prefer having some fellow athletes working out in the video, but this seems to be the trend for 10 Minute Solutions videos.

One comment – holy crap, this was tough. There were several moves that my 360+ pound body just could not do. Rather than sit by and wait it out, however, I made modifications.

After finishing this workout, I was DRENCHED. And that was with me doing modifications.

Winner? Keli Roberts’ 10 Minute Solutions: Kickbox Bootcamp. No question. Sorry Richard. Kickbox Bootcamp beat us both. But hey Richard, your Sweatin’ 2 video made it to the field of 32, and you have several more videos left in the overall bracket. You still have plenty of opportunities to advance.

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369 Weigh-In: Focus on the Positives

Have you ever just found yourself in a good place and things are going awesome?

I love reading healthy living blogs. I often feel bad for the various writers I read, because many seem to go through various trials and tribulations. I understand, because (although I have never battled depression), I’ve still been in a place where it seemed like nothing was going right.

But now, I really do feel like everything is going right. In fact, everything is going GREAT.

If you are suffering for clinical depression, then this information I am about to share may not apply. I am not a therapist, psychiatrist, doctor, or anyone otherwise capable of diagnosing or treating depression. Please do not think I am in anyway making light of the suffering that depression can bring.

For everyone else, this may work. And if you have depression, I don’t think what I’m about to suggest would hurt. But see previous disclaimer.

Basically, I think we are all often our own worst enemy. It is SO easy to focus on the negative and ignore the positive.

I can look back at my weight in September of 2010 and see that I was in the 330s. It’s easy to look at that and curse the fact that I put on almost fifty pounds. Oh well. At least I am still alive to lose the weight.

It’s even easier to look back to 2006 and see me at 250ish pounds. Again, oh well. I am still moving; I am no diabetic; I am not dead. I can do it again, and I thank God for the opportunity to do so.

I want to focus on the positives only. Screw the negatives. I don’t need those in my life at all.

That’s why I am changing my weigh-in.

The weekly weigh-in has never felt exactly right to me. I might weigh one thing on Sunday and my weight temporarily jumps up on Monday and then decreases again on Tuesday. Well, if I record my weight on Monday, then it looks like I gained when I really didn’t.

Instead, I want to celebrate each pound lost. I’m using a free online program called Physics Diet. Basically, you enter your daily weight, and it calculates your average weight. For every pound I lose, I’ll post about it here.

Today’s post is 369. With willpower, effort, and positive thinking, I will do all that I can to keep from weighing 369 ever again.

The next time I post a weigh-in, whether it is in three days or seven, I’ll weigh 368. And then 367.

For every pound that I lose, I am going to post a celebratory post.

Goodbye 370. I won’t miss you. 368, watch out. I’m coming for you next.

Oh, and I may be posting daily this week. I have several video match-ups to share.

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)