Tag Archives: health and fitness

IF I can do it, so can you…the way to save America.

The IF stands for intermittent fasting.  How I never knew about this structure of eating blows my mind, but I started to think back to my first couple days of my cleanse. I thought about how good I actually felt and it wasn’t till that third day where my body actually shutdown and started to preserve fat for energy.  I’ve seen the term intermittent fasting on some other sites but they never really dove in to the whole concept.

If you don’t already know what intermittent fasting is, an easy way to describe it would be:

You limit your caloric consumption for short periods, followed by longer periods of fasting, or no caloric intake. The periods of fasting can vary from 16 to 48 hours, but during this time you only consume water. When you fast, your body uses first your blood sugar, then your fat reserves for energy. The more the ratio of sugar to fat utilized shifts, the more fat you will burn.

Some of the benefits of fasting are as follows:

Activates Human Growth Hormone

According to the website the Lean Look, intermittent 24-hour fasts are especially beneficial because after you’ve fasted for about 18 hours your body releases human growth hormone, which allows the body to burn fat and maintain muscle. This means you have six hours of accelerated fat-burning.

Regulates Digestion

If your digestion is sluggish, it affects your ability to metabolize your food and burn fat. “Fasting: The Ultimate Diet” notes that intermittent fasts can regulate your digestion and promote healthy bowel function, improving your metabolic function.

Trains Your Body to Burn Fat

“Perfect Health for Kids” reports that fasting forces your body into fat-burning metabolism by temporarily depriving it of the sugars it would normally burn for fuel. This not only burns fat in the short term while you’re fasting, but resets your body to burn more fat for fuel during normal eating.

Regulates Blood Sugar

You might associate not eating with feelings of intense hunger, but intermittent fasting can have the opposite effect, notes “Perfect Health for Kids.” Hunger is mainly caused by dips in blood sugar, but when you are fasting your body is burning fat at a steady rate, so you don’t feel ravenous.

Improves Eating Habits

According to “Fasting: The Ultimate Diet,” regular fasts help change your attitude toward food. Instead of being dependent on it, you can gain clarity about your diet and determine what your body really needs for optimum function. Eating right energizes your metabolism.

Slows Aging

By giving your body a rest from normal digestion, fasting can slow the aging process, according to “Fasting: The Ultimate Diet.” This is significant because one of the primary effects of aging is a slower metabolism. The younger your body is, the faster and more efficient your metabolism’s fat burning potential.
Now…I only started this a couple days ago, but so far it makes complete and perfect sense.  I’ve only craved things that are going to nourish my body to it’s full potential and the couple workouts I’ve done while fasting have been amazing, no lack of energy whatsoever.

I once talked to someone about how I feel like you can shock your body to get better results in your diet, the same as you’d do with your workout routines. That person thought I was crazy for thinking this, but to me, this is exactly what I was talking about.  If you’re looking for something different, I recommend it at this point and I’m excited to see the results over time.  If you’ve hit a wall, definitely give this a try.

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The Bible (the little things)

No…this isn’t that sort of bible, although the name is based around a belief I have towards the bible.

I’m by no means going to get in to religion, but I believe the bible is a tool to follow and help outline your life.

Therefore, I have been researching every muscle/muscle group of the body and compiling different workouts that I feel fit within what I’m trying to accomplish, and I’m putting them together in one book. So far this has been good for multiple reasons. I’m learning about the muscles that make up the human body, how each one works, and what functions it supports. I feel like if you know that, then you know the purpose of what you’re doing. Along the way I’ve been also learning about different precautions as well as developing a good idea as to how much and how often to work certain parts of the body so that they are proportionate as I develop.

This may be ignorance, but I never truly realized how much the glutes support your lower back and therefore, I’ve put more focus on them, as well as my core and I think it’s been a good 25 days since I’ve had any back pain in the last 10 years. This is the FIRST time I’ve actually been able to alleviate my back pain through work outs. (BIG Smile)

I also am starting to understand that, it’s about the little things. For example, do you have a double chin or a little extra fat under there you want to get rid of? Even some of the skinnier people I know have em…well, there’s about 12 workouts that help get rid of that. They aren’t something you’re going to do in the gym, but it’s something subtle you can do at home, or any time throughout your day actually.

It’s things like this that I’m learning and that is why I’ve instituted a “maintenance day”. On Saturday I’ve decided to do a full body workout focusing more on the little things that are secondary that we tend to over look.

I told someone I was working on my finger strength and they thought I was crazy. Well…we use our fingers all day long, in fact, I just used them to type these 380 words I just reached with the number 380. Finger strength is crucial to many little things, it’s going to make my lifts a little bit easier when I’m fighting gravity holding a heavy weight in my hand. I truly feel that finger strength could be the difference between on less or one more rep.

I always say it, but I don’t expect anyone to go to certain lengths, but just stop and think about where you’re maybe struggling the next time, break it down, and focus on the smaller muscles that are some times harder to target. In the big picture, it’s going to improve your core lifts, but don’t go crazy and treat them like they are a core muscle group.

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UPDATE

So this past week was not a good week, but in hindsight, it was a necessary pain to have gone through.  Last Sunday I went to the hospital in an insane amount of pain in my kidney and appendix.  I later found out that I have 2 kidney stones.  I first had thought it was my appendix but it turns out one of the stones was pushing against it, causing irritation.

This whole week was basically spent passing those stones, I’m not sure if I passed the second one, but after the passing the first stone on Thursday, I ended up in the ER again with intense pains.  Due to burning when urinating I have suspicion that I ended up passing the second stone because it broke down…I’ll later blog about this as it’s a longer story as to why I think this is the case.

Today was the first day I worked out again and I feel amazing.

Regardless of the fact to how shitty of an experience this past week was, there’s good to it.  What I went through was because for years I ate greasy foods and I consumed alcohol.  That is why I had kidney stones and it’s because of my journey to heal and rebuild my body that it was time for my body to push them out.  These are foreign objects and my body no longer wanted them.  I can tell you one thing, I never want to go through that again.  So now I have yet another life long motivation to carry with me.

Not every aspect of this journey is going to be positive, you have to endure pain at times and face adversity to learn and grow.  The one thing I realized from this is that regardless of all the new knowledge I have…I still have a lot of improvements to make.

So as of this week, including a week where I wasn’t able to do any working out and I had to drastically change my diet, I am still down 40 lbs.

Am I proud of this, kind of, but I’m not satisfied by any means.  There’s so much more I can do and now after going through this my eyes are opened as to how deep I need to really go.

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Gifts?

The past week I’ve been a little derailed in my journey due to 2 kidney stones but this gave me time to slow down and think about some things that I’ve been wanting to follow through on.

I did a lot of thinking about squandering the gifts we are naturally given in life.  When I was about 5 years old, I came to realize my first gift and my first passion in life.  I remember it like it were yesterday.  I don’t recall what I had done, but I was grounded as usual.  So while in my room and laying in my bed, I decided to draw one of the ninja turtles on my ninja turtles bed sheet.  This drawing was not like that of what most 5 year olds would produce.  I’m sure it wasn’t perfect, but I knew that days that I found something I liked….maybe that’s why I always got grounded? so I could draw in my room?  It’s a reach but who knows….

I never gave up on it, I kept drawing and I knew my whole life that people were impressed by it.  I also vividly remember my sister asking me to help her on a project.  Turns out it wasn’t a project, but something she submitted in class for a drawing competition.  Needless to say, she won and “her” drawing was put on display.  Disclaimer: That story may be skewed a little due to me being really young and still bitter about it!  I kid, I kid.

My mom signed me up for a drawing class at the park district, I was very much against it, but I tried it out.  Needless to say, I only attended 1 class.  The teacher wanted to me to do all sort of grids and shapes to help create the perspective of the subject…a very common practice in drawing but that’s not how I worked.  I would just see things, find a point that felt right (usually an ear) and then just go from there.  My perspective was always flawless and while I did have to start over at times, usually it was a one and done.  When I got in to high school, I loved and hated the opportunity to take art classes.  I had to take all the basic stuff to get up in the more “freeing” classes.  Junior year I got in to AP Art (typically a senior class) and that’s when I really started to understand my gift.   AP art at our school was amazing, the teacher let us have a lot of control in regards to what we would create, she didn’t confine or limit us.  I came to the realization that I was given a gift to express my thoughts, that I could move people, and manipulate their thoughts and emotions….I could give them something to think about.   Maybe I was technically sound and I didn’t take classes like a lot of the kids to learn how to do different things and use different mediums.

My teacher and I had a very odd relationship, she once told me “I don’t like you as a person, but I love you as an artist” and she also took me aside one day and had expressed she felt I was one of the few students she had seen in all her years that could actually make it in the fine arts.

Now, my parents didn’t agree with this, they didn’t feel a degree in art would be something that I could make a living off of.  Now in life, I completely understand their thought process and I don’t blame them for wanting me to go to school for more practical applications.  They weren’t art people or creative types at all, they didn’t come from creative or artistic families, so they didn’t really understand that world and again, I don’t blame them.  Essentially they wanted what is best for me and to them, art wasn’t the path to take in life.

Today I also realize that was the day that I gave up on my gift of creating art with my hands that express what is going on in my head.  This is my fault and I only have myself to blame for not continuing to make art with my hands.

My life took a fun turn and led me back to being “artistic”, every day I get to use my gift to oversee the creative aspects of my business.  People love us because they have ideas, but they don’t know how to make them happen.  One of the things we do best is taking their ideas and not only making them come to life, but we better them in the process.  I’ve always had this gift to hear someones idea, no matter how detailed or vague it may be and then get 10 ideas in a matter of seconds as to how we can make it happen, improve it, or go in a different direction.  I’m blessed to have this gift, it’s just how my brain works and I truly feel this is a big reason why our company (my father and I) has gotten to where it has…don’t worry, I’m not taking all the credit, it’s been an amazing partnership, tho it sometimes reflects that of the Tuttles on American Chopper….

There’s a “but” to this story.  As much as I love what I get to do every day and how I get to be creative,  I have come to realize that I gave up on a dream and the gift I was originally given, the gift to create something that expresses myself and manipulates peoples thoughts and emotions.

So my goal is to get back to painting and creating in general.  Creating concepts and ideas that come from within my head and from my heart.  Ultimately I would like to do things that get shown in galleries, I don’t know how the things I create will be accepted, mostly because I don’t have a “fine arts degree” or because I’m not trained.  But that’s not something that I will let prevent me from trying.

What are the gifts you were given in life and have you given up on them?  If so, I encourage you to find them again and fit them back in to your life.  We were given these gifts for a reason, don’t be afraid to use them.

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