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Beginning Weight: 195.8

New Weight: 195.2

Weight gain or loss: -0.6 pounds

Total Weight Loss Since January 1, 2013: -4.0 pounds

What went right, what went wrong

Last week was full of mixed results. I only got in 4 workouts, I like to get in 6, possibly 7. I also ate terribly on the days that I didn’t work out. It’s always hard to maintain my discipline with eating when I don’t exercise.

On weeks where I don’t get as many workouts in as I would like, I have decided to make the Insanity portion of my routine the priority. Of the fours days, I did Insanity 3 days and P90X once.

Goals for the week

1. Get a full week’s worth of workouts in. Holidays throw me off a lot, and I am still seeing that from when I was out during Easter.

2. If I don’t get a workout in, I want to really practice being more disciplined when I eat. I nee dot get better in that area.

3. Just pay attention to the way my body reacts to the reintroduction of weight lifting. Adding weight to my body isn’t a bad thing so long as it is muscle. That being said, I also have to pay close attention to the way I eat because if I eat poorly all week and my weight goes up, then it probably isn’t muscle.

One other thing, I am going to try to blog as often as usual (1 or 2 times a day) but we are getting really close to State tests so my time will be really crowded during these last few weeks of school.

Have a great day ladies and gentlemen, and may all of your fitness dreams come true!

Justin

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Yes, you are Shaun T

Insanity is done. I promised that I would give you an update on how it went, and I am a man of my word. It has definitely moved to the top of my list as far as far as exercise programs go. It works you like nothing I have ever done before, and you can’t help but feel stronger after you complete one of the workouts.

Why No Pics?

There are three reasons I don’t have before and after pics on here. The first is I am doing you a favor by not including shirtless pics of me because of the body hair I have. I have a lot. Like, Chewbacca levels of body hair. It’s not easy to see muscle tone when you have a lot of body hair. Keeping it shaved is also too much of a hassle, so I just don’t do it.

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Despite the rumors, Chewie and I were not separated at birth.

The second reason I don’t put them on here is because I am a teacher. The last thing I need is a picture of me without my shirt on being passed around by my students. It would be one thing if I could restrict the access of it, but in doing so, it defeats the purpose of having a blog.

The third will have to do with the results themselves. I was rocking along and seeing some awesome results for the first six weeks of the program. Then I got sick and there was a drastic change in how much I was able to exercise and how affectively I was able to do so. I gave back a little of the work I had done at the end of the program, so it wouldn’t look as affective as it was. I will try to find some pics before and after that weren’t taken solely for that purpose and post them at some point, but I haven’t found any good ones yet.

The numerous variation on push-ups will work your entire body.

The numerous variation on push-ups will work your entire body.

The Good

So what did it do for me? The first area that I noticed was the obliques. I’ve always had the dreaded love handles, and while I haven’t gotten completely rid of them, they are much less noticeable. There is a much straighter line down both sides of my body. I attribute this to the way Shaun T just pounds your core muscles. Almost every move of each workout focuses on the core muscle group. Had I not had such a hard time the last couple of weeks like I did, it think I would have been a lot closer to the six-pack abs that so many strive for.

Another thing that I have noticed is just how much my endurance has increased. When I did Max Plyo Interval last night, it was the first time I didn’t have to sit or lie down during the 30 second workouts. When I first started the program, it felt like I was about to die during the breaks.

One benefit that I did not anticipate is how much more intelligent I have become about exercise. I know the value of engaging your core in not just your abdominal work, but in pretty much any exercise routine you do. If you engage and work your core constantly, you can make all the other exercise you do a lot simpler.

The Bad

So what’s the bad of Insanity? Not much. It’s a complete body workout. There are very few parts of your body that the program doesn’t work. The only thing I missed throughout the program was really intense arm work. The program does have an Upper Body Weight Training DVD, but it can be difficult to find time to work it in.

The Ugly

Suicide Drills are aptly named.

Suicide Drills are aptly named.

The Ugly would be my form, especially at the beginning of the program. It has gotten better, and it continues to improve while I have entered my hybrid program of Insanity and P90X. If you have done it, you probably know what I am talking about. If you haven’t, your form will probably be pretty good for the first couple of minutes, but the more it pushes you, the harder it is to keep it looking clean. The thing I had to constantly remind myself of was that it would get better the more I did it. It takes a lot of perseverance to complete this program.

My overall impression of the program was overwhelmingly positive. I know I am in better shape for having done it. Perseverance is key. You have to know your limits and know how hard you can push yourself. It also helps to have a little dose of humility as well.

Have a great day ladies and gentlemen, and may all of your fitness dreams come true!

Fitness Update 3/22/13

Posted: March 22, 2013 by Justin M. Strawn in Fitness Updates
Tags: , , , , , ,

Exercise PictureExercise: Insanity Max Plyo Interval

Calories Burned: 943

Total Calories Burned for the week: 3,251

Weight Watchers Daily Points Used: 42 of 42

Weekly Points Used: 16 (23 left for the week)

Activity Points Used: 0

Activity Points Remaining: 32

Successes: I followed most of the plan that I had set out, so that’s good

Failures: I planned to have one White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie. I had two. Not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it was more than I needed.

Outlook for today: No obstacles that I am aware of, so just don’t give in to any temptation that may pop up.

My workout tonight will be P90X Legs & Back. I plan to start back with morning workouts next week. I haven’t done Legs & Back in a while. It is by far my least favorite workout on P90X. Chicken Leg syndrome runs in my family, so doing leg work kills me. I am hoping that all that Plyo I did with Insanity helps make this easier.

My goal for today is to make sure I get my workout in. I want to get back to doing it in the morning. It may not happen this week, but I plan to get back into the swing of things by next week. Have a great day ladies and gentlemen, and may all of your fitness dreams come true!

Justin

Buyer Beware

Posted: March 21, 2013 by Justin M. Strawn in Encouragement
Tags: , , ,

You’ve made the big decision to lose weight. Congratulations, it’s something you definitely won’t regret. And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “It must be easy with all of the products that advertise how simple it is!” I wish that were the case, but it isn’t quite that simple. There are a lot of phrases that these companies use to sell their products. The other frustrating part of this is some these companies are legitimate weight loss companies and they use deceptive phrases to lure you in. Here are some things to remember when you are contemplating using one of the many products or services.

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Weightwatchers likes to tout you can eat whatever you want.

This phrase or something similar is technically true. On a lot of diet plans, you can eat whatever you want. The key is how much of it you eat. Weightwatchers uses this phrase a lot in their advertising. I use it, and I have pointed that out on many occasions, so I obviously believe highly in what they do. And they aren’t lying. You just have to factor in how much else you are going to eat if you have a half pound hamburger covered in mayonnaise. You probably won’t be able to eat anything else the rest of the day if you want to stay within the boundaries of their program.

No Counting Calories

You here this one a lot. The selling point behind this is it is difficult or annoying to count calories. Once again, this is based in truth. Programs that promote this don’t make you count any calories. They typically give you pre-prepared meals. This doesn’t mean your calories are being restricted. Typically, these programs typically keep women to 1,200 calories or so, and they put men on about a 1,500 calorie diet. You are still getting your calories restricted, it is just someone else is doing it for you. As long as you don’t venture outside if the pre-packaged meals, you should see a lot of success with these programs. Just don’t go into it thinking that you are going to be free to eat as much as you want.

Nutrisystem can keep you from counting calories.

Nutrisystem can keep you from counting calories.

You Can Have The Sculpted You Want In Five Minutes A Day

Is there truth to this? A little bit. You can spend five minutes working one body part a day for five minutes everyday and see results. Will you see it on your entire body? Not unless you are spending five minutes a day working each body part. There simply isn’t any way you can spend that short a time frame with one piece of equipment. You also are going to have to incorporate some changes to your diet as well.

This dude didn't get this ripped just using the Shake Weight.

This dude didn’t get this ripped just using the Shake Weight.

Why Do These Companies Advertise Like This?

It boils down to the one thing we all want, a quick fix. We get frustrated with how we look or how we feel and we want it to go away and go away now. As hard as it is to believe, we don’t get unhealthy overnight. It takes time to put ourselves in that kind of situation and it is going to take time to get out. These programs aren’t lying to you, but they aren’t necessarily presenting themselves in the most truthful manner. They can help and many of them are great tools that you can place in your weight loss toolbox. If you’re looking for a quick fix to your weight problems, I’m afraid you are going to be out of luck.

Have a great day ladies and gentlemen and may all of your fitness dreams come true!

Exercise PictureExercise: P90X Arms & Shoulders

Calories Burned: 570

Total Calories Burned for the week: 2,308

Weight Watchers Daily Points Used: 42 of 42

Weekly Points Used: 7 (39 left for the week)

Activity Points Used: 0

Activity Points Remaining: 21

Successes: I used 7 of my weekly points, but as long as I don’t go too much over that, I’m doing alright.

Failures: Nothing I can think of yesterday where I slipped up, so I won’t call anything a failure.

Outlook for today: No obstacles that I am aware of, so just don’t give in to any temptation that may pop up.

My workout tonight will be Insanity Max Plyo Circuit. Still having a hard time getting up. This time, I forgot to set my alarm for the right time, so another day for night exercise for me.

My goal for today is to make sure I get my workout in. I want to get back to doing it in the morning. It may not happen this week, but I plan to get back into the swing of things by next week. Have a great day ladies and gentlemen, and may all of your fitness dreams come true!

Justin

Broccoli is a food that strikes fear into the heart of many children.

Broccoli is a food that strikes fear into the heart of many children.

Exercise is awesome. It makes you feel great, you get a huge boost in self-confidence, and you take a major step toward gaining a healthy lifestyle. The problem is if you don’t eat appropriately, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise. You’re just going to be spinning your wheels. This is a challenge for a lot of people who don’t like healthy foods. Is there hope for them? Absolutely, but it is going to take some serious determination.

Slow And Steady

I could have filed this under confessions, but I chose to go with encouragement. The reason it could have been a confession is because I spent about the first twenty years of my life being one of the poorest eaters possible. I wouldn’t eat anything that was remotely healthy. I lived on a mostly fast food diet. I have chronicled how I got up to around 260 pounds on my blog, but that wasn’t always the case. I didn’t eat that much in high school, and I stayed pretty active during that time, so my weight was never really an issue. The weight problems started when I got to college. I wasn’t nearly as active as I had been, and I had a lot more down time on my hands. It didn’t take long for weight to start heading northward.

So what made me change? The biggest thing was embarrassment. When I was in college, I spent two and a half years as a part-time youth minister. The members of the church would often invite me over to their homes after services were over. It became apparent that they all thought I should eat like an adult. I knew at that point I had to change and it wouldn’t be easy.

I didn’t all of a sudden start eating a vegetarian diet. I would try to add in something I didn’t usually eat one at a time. There were times when I thought I wouldn’t be able to expand my diet, but the more I tried a lot of things, the better they began to taste. I also made a decision to try things that I once thought I didn’t like.

Now, I eat a lot more than I did 15 years ago. That’s not to say that I like everything I once didn’t. I still am not fond of tomatoes, and there aren’t many fruits that I enjoy. The point is, if I had tried to incorporate a bunch of new foods into my diet all at once, I probably still would have the appetite of a 4-year-old.

Improve Stuff You Already Like

My newest food craze, the omelet.

My newest food craze, the omelet.

There is typically a way that you can make almost any food you currently eat healthy or at least healthier. My current food craze is the Omelet. The great thing about it is you can make it pretty healthy. You can also put just about anything in an omelet. If you want it to be healthy, put healthy stuff in it. If you want to indulge, you can do that as well. Burgers can be made with ground turkey. Steaks can be eaten in smaller portions. There are lots of things you can do to make what you currently eat healthier.

My preconceived notions about Greek Yogurt were way off base.

My preconceived notions about Greek Yogurt were way off base.

Be Adventurous

There are always foods that you are scared to eat because you have either heard horrible things about them, or you just think they look terrible. At some point, it would be a good idea to try them and make up your own mind about it. I did this with Greek Yogurt. I had a little a help with a stomach bug to push me in that direction, but I got there. It’s actually really good.

I hope this helps if you are a picky eater. Have a great day ladies and gentlemen and may all of your fitness dreams come true.

Exercise PictureExercise: Insanity Max Interval Circuit

Calories Burned: 1,108

Total Calories Burned for the week: 1,738

Weight Watchers Daily Points Used: 42 of 42

Weekly Points Used:  3 (46 left for the week)

Activity Points Used: 0

Activity Points Remaining: 17

Successes: Nailed my eating plan for the second day in a row.

Failures: Once again, can’t say that there were any failures to speak of. Week has gotten off to a solid start.

Outlook for today: No obstacles that I am aware of, so just don’t give in to any temptation that may pop up.

My workout tonight will be P90X Arms & Shoulders. It’s probably my favorite of the P90X series. Always feels like I am a little bit stronger after completing it.

My goal for today is to make sure I get my workout in. I prefer working out in the morning, but I have had a hard time getting out of bed the last two days, so I have had to do it at night. Just do it whenever I can. Have a great day ladies and gentlemen, and may all of your fitness dreams come true!

Justin