Sunday, February 28, 2016

5 Things I Learned In The Last 52 Days

The latest 52 Day Challenge came to an end last Friday. It was my first challenge after a 5 or 6 year absence, and it was as much fun as I remembered it being.

My Final Numbers
CE: 93/104/89 (104.49%)
RT: 13/15 (86.67%)
CT: 20/15 (133.33%)
PG1 (Weigh less each week): 6/7 (85.71%)
PG2 (Read 3 times per week): 29/21 (138.1%)

CE - Clean Eats
RT - Resistance Training
CT - Cardio Training
PG1 & PG2 - Personal Goals

I could've made the RT number if I did a few 2-a-days, but it's not something that I normally do so I felt as if I was "skirting' the challenge that way. CT numbers are usually easy, because most every hotel has a treadmill or a sidewalk for a walk or run.

CE's & PG1 went hand in hand (you can't out train a bad diet). I stayed away from the beer and in the last week or so really cleaned up the diet. 52 days later I am down 9 pounds.

PG2 was set in place to unplug and get away from the connected devices...... and then I ended up reading using the Kindle app. Actually I found the app easier than carrying around a book with me everywhere I went.

5 Things I Learned In The Last 52 Days
  1. Globo Gyms do kind of suck, mine offers free Pizza & Bagels once a month and they have a huge bucket of Tootsie Rolls on the counter.
  2. You can't out train a bad diet, unless you're a genetic miracle.
  3. Just like Oprah "I love bread", unfortunately my body doesn't. No Gluten intolerance or Celiac disease here I just think my body says "Oh look a sandwich, don't even bother digesting it, just shove it right there, next to his F'ing belly button".
  4. There's something about accountability and community. At the start we were all in this together and no one wants to let anybody down.
  5. I miss Crossfit, unfortunately my time schedule just wasn't meeting up with my boxes. I enjoyed the variance of exercises and not having to plan a workout template. My box has a great community, from mud races to birthday parties it's a solid group of people.
and cardio still sucks.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday - By celebrating the "Sunday Funday" you can extend your weekend festivities just a little longer before hanging up your party pants. This day typically starts out with mimosas or bloody marys aka hair of the dog. It then typically continues through out the day until you find yourself wasted by about 6:30ish. Since the "Funday" ends early enough, you can rest assured that you will go to bed aka pass out early enough to be perfectly refreshed for work on Monday morning (thanks Urban Dictionary).

For me, Sunday Funday usually consists of getting prepared for the week ahead, grocery shopping, expense reports, laundry, packing for the week ahead as well as some yard work.  Today I added food preparation, in the form of home made salsa, caveman style. 

  • 6 plum tomato's chopped up
  • A bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 an onion, maybe more
  • A hot pepper, today it was a ghost pepper
  • A few spoonfuls of garlic
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
Throw this in a food processor and pulse a few times..........instant salsa. For whatever reason we have a rule in the house, and right now a very unpopular rule, if you use the food processor you have to clean it.
I'll take the cleaning bullet, since the freezer is filled with stuff that sits nicely under fresh salsa.
Tomorrow yet another food adventure begins, 30 days at a minimum, but I will survive.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

10 Things About Going Primal, Again

I'm a fan of body hacking, is it shaving years off my life, who knows. The body is an amazing organism, able to heal itself in many situations as well as benefit from outside stimuli. 
Recently I've, once again, decided to change up the diet, and this time I'm going back to primal, in part thanks to a recent Joe Rogan podcast. 
I've gone primal in the past, the first week or two is a giant cup of suck, but 20+ days later it does produce results.

A bullet point outline of the basic concept.

1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.
2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.
3. Lift heavy things.
4. Run really fast every once in a while.
5. Get lots of sleep.
6. Play.
7. Get some sunlight every day.
8. Avoid trauma.
9. Avoid poisonous things.
10. Use your mind.

Not rocket science, but it does require discipline. I'm like Mark Sisson, and his Daily Apple site. He offers plenty of free information as well as an online store.  If you're completely new to this concept it might be worth throwing down a few dollars, if you've been around a bit you can download enough free stuff (yes you'll need to give them an e-mail address) to guide you through. 

Bring on Monday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

52 - 42 = There's Still Time.

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' Into the future Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' Into the future.  Steve Miller Band – Fly Like An Eagle

I equate 52DC math to sleep math (It's 12:00 PM I have to wake up at 6:00 AM, if I go to sleep right now I'll get 6 hours). I've got 10 days left in this challenge, and I'm a bit short on my goals.

CE: 73/82/89 (82.02%)
RT: 8/15 (53.33%)
CT: 15/15 (100%)
PG1 (Weigh less each week): 4/7 (57.14%)
PG2 (Read 3 times per week): 21/21 (100%)

That RT: 8/15 (53.33%) number is a giant cup of suck, and it's all my fault. Yes, I can probably crank out 7 RT's in the next 10 days but playing catch up isn't what this is all about. Of the last 42 nights, I've spent 20 of them in hotels, still plenty of time to get in 15 RT's, but I decided to do differently. The 52DC is all about accountability and I own that one.

PG1 - lots of events that involve food will make you fat as well as take you away from the RT's, and I own this as well.

PG2 - a strong indicator of time on the road, besides I'm an information junkie. Like I always say "fact is stranger than fiction".

All in all with 10 days left not my proudest 52DC performance, but life is a journey, not a destination


Monday, February 15, 2016

The Nerds Shall Inherit The Earth

Yes, I work in IT,  but I've never seen Star Wars or Star Trek, never read Harry Potter and I don't play video games........ I am not one of you, I am not a nerd.

However, I have been a fan of Nerd Fitness for several years, and for a couple of reasons. First I'm a sap for those Before & After stories and second Steve uses great graphics on his site.

Recently I decided to begin reading using electronic media instead of using a book, told you I wasn't a nerd. Using a $10.00 Amazon gift card I bought my first Kindle e-book, Level Up Your Life. I did miss the feel of paper against my fingers and the sense of accomplishment as I turned each page. However I did like the ability to highlight important passages as well as being able to click on the hyperlinks (nerd term) included in the book.

The content of the book is nothing groundbreaking, eat healthy, limit booze and do full body workouts. What's different is the approach to how one applies this to their life and goals. In a nutshell, treat it all as a video game and then list your goals as quests. Give each "quest" a point value and every 100 points you level up. Easy goals like drop 5lbs might not garner many points, but major goals such as publish a book might be worth jumping up to the next level.

It sounds simple, measurable goals with a sense of achievement as you move forward, almost like the 52DC. I know that 'Leveling Up" makes total sense to the gaming community, so why not apply it to your life.

If this interests you check out Level Up Your Life and create your own "Alter Ego".

Monday, February 8, 2016

My Useless Travel Gadgets

When your job requires you to live out of a suitcase, you'll find yourself taking on a minimum of two new roles with your family and friends.

The first role is that of "Travel Agent" and the other is that of "Travel Gadget Guinea Pig". 

The "Travel Agent" role can be a bit of fun as you get to share hidden gems with others.

The "Travel Gadget Guinea Pig" role isn't nearly as fun because you end up with drawers full of useless travel gadgets. I've been on the road over half of my business career, and for the most part I travel lightly and very efficiently. With that thought in mind I have been "gifted" numerous "make your life easier travel gadgets", most of which have been stored, fancy word for hidden, in a drawer somewhere.

My top 5 useless travel gadgets are below

1) Neck Pillows - Seriously, unless you have a 50lb head these things are useless. Useless for two reasons, they're big and bulky and not worth lugging around for their benefit.
2) Luggage Scales - If you travel regularly you have a general idea what your luggage weighs. If you travel infrequently then try this, weigh yourself and then weigh yourself while holding your luggage. Now subtract the smaller number from the larger number.... that's what your luggage weighs. Plan B, take your luggage to the grocery store and weigh it on their scale. *Side Note* Dirty clothes weigh more than clean clothes, nothing magical just a fact.

3) Travel Irons - Most hotel rooms come equipped with an iron, if yours doesn't consider switching your hotel alliance. There's really no need to iron on the road. If you need help folding your suit jacket check YouTube, and most dry cleaners will "box" your shirts if you ask. Besides I'm not making my in-room mega-grilled six cheese sandwich with my own iron.
 4) Money Belts - Seriously, if the inventor of the Money Belt pitched this idea to Shark Tank he'd currently be managing the local "As Seen On TV Store". This is another product that's really not worth the hassle to use it. If you're worried about pickpockets then wrap a couple of rubber-bands around your wallet and keep it in your front pocket. The rubber-bands create friction between the wallet and the inside of your pocket making it harder to steal.

 5) Luggage - Ones relationship with luggage is a very personal thing, and it should be left that way. No matter how good your intentions are buying luggage for someone else usually ends in disaster. First many of us are brand loyal, be it TUMI or Samsonite, we want our gear. More importantly I know how I pack and I know that I want two pockets on the outside of the bag, no pockets on the inside and only two wheels, you can keep your four wheeled bags.

Road warriors are similar to Thoroughbred horses, we perform in a very organized and disciplined way, and if anything changes neither of us are worth a damn. If you spend much time traveling with a road warrior you'll notice a pattern of consistency, on a plane normally we put the same items in the seat back pocket and are loyal to the aisle or window seat (the middle seats are for rubes). In a hotel room most of us immediately hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and unpack in the same way each evening. These consistent patterns insure that we don;t leave items behind.

Not looking to hurt feelings, but when you give us a travel pillow because you knew we didn't have one, it's nothing more than an opportunity for us to leave it on a plane or in the trunk of a rental car.

In the future there will be a Useful Travel Gadgets post.