Monday, January 05, 2015

"Get 'er Done" with Larry the Cable Guy Fitness Plan

Photo courtesy Wikipedia
I've been doing my morning runs while catching up on the new podcast series by comedian Pauly Shore (aka The Weasel): http://www.paulyshore.com/#interested-feature

There's a two-parter where Shore interviews Scott Thompson (aka Carrot Top) with co-host Dan Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy). The double episode is a great ride and if you love the back stories on icon comedy stars, this is for you.

I consider podcasts learning opportunities. That's why I value them over music. So here's today's lesson. If you want to "Get 'er Done" and dump the pounds in 2015, here's what Larry the Cable Guy is engaging for his "weight dropping" fitness plan:

Five days per week

45 minute weights

300 repetitions jump rope then 100 hits on the punching bag (repeat this set 3 times)

30 minutes treadmill

30 minutes cardio glide machine

Sixth day treadmill and cardio glide only

Drink one gallon of water per day

Cut sugar and bread

There's a bunch more on Dan and how he rolls, as well as Scott and his current act in Vegas. You have to give me credit for tying this content to my endurance sport site. Enjoy.


Friday, January 02, 2015

Shift small habits and make big weight loss gains

I really don't like New Year's resolutions. To me, it reminds all of us "we've been bad" and now we must correct for our transgressions and recover.

Let's try something different. Stop looking back - at what was - and motivate by looking forward. For example, I'm entered in the Umstead 100 mile run at the end of March, so I better get my hind end in gear to get ready.

The big piece in my book "Mind Over Diet" is about self-negotiation. You have to get past being told what to do, and instead develop your own plan based on reasoning and motivation through self study and reflection. For me, that's about stirring the pot and breaking down daily habits.

Think about how you start your day. Some habits may be good, or bad, but they do set your mind and body for the next 24 hours. A juxtaposition of events serve as a reminder that things are going to be different and will track in a different direction.

I'd suggest you unpack your own morning habits, but here's my outline for 2015:

1) For over 40 years, I drank black coffee. Then for some reason, in 2014 I got hooked on store brand, powdered coffee creamer. Look at the label and you'll see sugar and chemicals. That's an instant trigger point (see more about this in Mind Over Diet). I'm going to break that down and go back to strong, black, dark bean brew.

2) My mornings start at 5:30 am. I like a slow intro to the day, then to the gym at 7 am. Most of my 90 minute interlude is spent goofing on social media. It's fun, but it's a habit. I'm breaking that down into something more radical. Think I'll trip through the one year chronological bible; that means 3-4 chapters each morning. And to really twist it, I'm going to do this reading my practicing on my guitar. How's that for a wake up event each day? Once again, radical change that reminds me things are going to be different going forward.

3) Here's the one I haven't yet been able to harness. I want to stop using fake chemical sugar substitute in my tea. I love Yerba Matte with Dextrose, Maltodextrine and Sucralose stirred in. Sounds yummy, doesn't it? Research indicates fake sweeteners trigger our brains just like sugar, and they may also screw up our good gut bacteria. All logical reasons to stop, but I love my fake sugar addiction. Just saying, should do it but may hang onto this zero calorie spiff.

So there you have it. Start with the beginning of your day and rattle things up. Build from there. This isn't a perfect journey, it's a war. Pick your battles carefully.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Need positive change? Knowledge is power

I have been an endurance sport and ultrarunner athlete for 31 years. It's not a perfect journey. But, I truly believe one must research and determine a personal diet and fitness plan. Grams of protein? Low carb? No carb? LSD or HIIT? It's a propaganda fest. I'd suggest each of us should vet the popular diet and fitness programs and determine what's right for us, in our time, within our own psychological context. When we develop and devise our own journey, we hold the knowledge, knowledge becomes power, and through power, we gain consistency.

A weight loss plan you aren't going to like

It's that time of year. We're into the holiday season and bad eating choices/over eating topics are all over social media. As one who has been fighting, and winning, the weight gain battle for over 30 years, I have a few comments that may assist in your own personal war with food.
1) The holidays won't make or break your eventual outcome. You may fall into a protracted period where your discipline fades and you binge on the goodies. But if your consider this period over your "norm" it may only account for a 1-2 pound increase. Let's face it; weight gain is based on protracted bad behavior. The holidays are part of the symptoms but not the problem.
2) When I wrote "Mind Over Diet" I over viewed a section on Trigger Points. Look past the holidays and consider your food and exercise patterns across a longer block of time. Where are the bad decisions coming from? For me, exercise is not the problem; I'm at the gym or out running or cycling every day. My breakdown comes in the evening hours, when I succumb to repetitive snacking.
3) This is the point where I let you know there are no magic fixes or herbal capsules that will solve your problems. Instead, consider how to break down the decision tree in your mind. For me, I have decided to bust out my warm running gear and trudge out into the cold, dark nights ahead. No goal pace, no intended distance outcome. Just me, outside, not eating, teaching myself once again that the reason I'm engaged in this activity is because I can't currently sit in my faculty apartment and refrain from snacking. I wish it were different, but it's not. As my book states, much of nutrition and fitness success comes from ongoing self-negotiation.
4) When you do alter your bad behavior, make sure it's not an easy fix. Radical dysfunction requires radical action. Make changes that matter. The negative habits we set are deeply entrenched and require a strong alternative to the psyche. Whether it's eating or fitness issues, change requires strength of mind and character.
Next time, I'll write a bit more about how to address barriers and boundaries associated with fitness.

Fitness setback? Use the healing power of plants

Maybe you're like me. You had achieved a fitness and nutrition peak, but then slid off the mountain. Hey, most of us aren't professional athletes and we aren't paid to be ripped and shredded, right?
Life got in the way. I produced my dossier for tenure, then finished several academic publications. And, there is always teaching and a responsilbity to the student experience.
I'm not proud of the outcome, but that's how it works for me. When I wrote "Mind Over Diet" the key premise was self-negotiation. You must create your own scenarios that drive action.
It's time to start over. My advice is to build your comeback with food, not exercise. Everyone wants to run to the gym and crank the big workouts...how long does that usually last? I'd suggest the food is the ultimate change agent. Eat as close to "alive" as possible; take the processing and chemicals out. Fresh food will bring life back into your body. That's the foundation.
Here's a motivational video. Watch it and engage the premise. Let's get started:

Comeback plan for 50+ athletes

I'm trying to get traction for 2015. Just as I wrote in my book "Mind Over Diet" I am trying to self-negotiate a comeback. Have to admit that after 30 years, it's hard to find the motivation.
Some thoughts:
1) Go all plant food as long as I can. I am convinced it heals the body. A man opened a fruit and vegetable business right on the main street by Appalachian State, I can walk by every day. No excuses for not bringing home the fresh, live products.
2) Get off bars. I love them, have lived on them for years. But no matter what the marketing, most are sugar and chemicals. Sugar is as addictive as any other drug. Once you use it, you want it, you need it.
3) Change up the workouts. I am going to do more with the Tarheel Trailblazers in Charlotte. They ride 4-5 different mountain bike areas and it's a good change up for me. Will take more driving to get there, but it re-introduces the excitement factor. Also, I live right on the Blue Ridge Parkway and there is an extensive trail system. I need to explore more, hike more. Running and related PR's are in the past. It's time to look for a different exercise base. More long distance hikes = less sitting around and eating. I'll take that trade any day.
4) Spiff myself different equipment. Maybe a different bike, shoes, or one of the new fitness exercise bands like Garmin Vivofit. Little motivation tools.
5) Think about long term health. I'm 58 and if one doesn't push to optimize, it's all downhill. No offense, but I look at many who are my age and it doesn't look good. I choose to go in the other direction. No, you can't be 25 again, but you can get the most out of the package that remains.
Well, that's about it for now. This isn't bad, maybe I'll keep reading this to help the self-negotiation process.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I did a double at Tweetsie Trail Trek

Had a great time in two great communities this morning. Made the short drive over to Johnson City, TN and made a big time of it at the Tweetsie Trail Trek. 

It was the grand opening of an all new, crushed rock greenway that connects Johnson City and Elizabethton. I wanted to double up on the fun, so I arrived around 7 am, got my race pack (thanks Daniel Reese for holding my pack from pick up the night before) and then ran the 4.5 mile segment from the finish to the start point in Elizabethton. When the race commenced, I ran the return leg back to Johnson City.

It was a great old school start with local politicians, a rendition of "God bless America," a ribbon cutting for the trail, a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, then the start...which was a blast on the whistle from a Tweetsie locomotive.

Runner went first, then walkers, and later in the day. cyclist. It was an "all in" event for everyone who wanted to participate.

The Tweetsie Trail links two vibrant communities. The path is picturesque, with periodic shaded areas that will shout fall colors in just a few weeks. Some parts of the trail are connected over road with wooden bridge structures. All new and the smell of fresh cut wood was in the air.

I'm not a short distance runner, so it was fun to double up and at least get nine. I enjoyed meeting a variety of people and hanging out at the finish area...apples and donuts and health food mix, several of the local bike shops had displays, and live bluegrass music. The finish also showcased the new Johnson City community center and surrounding property.

I enjoy engaging America, taking it a small slice at a time. Running is the glue that makes it stick.

Friday, August 01, 2014

"Mind Over Diet" video touts self-negotiation

Finally had the opportunity to edit a video for my new book. It's short and sweet, but in today's social media marketplace, that's the best way to communicate with potential customers.

Making a few comments brought back my motivation and interest for this project. Self-negotiating your own diet and fitness program takes effort, but knowledge is power.

Hope you enjoy it.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The psychology of fat

I'm fairly deep into phase two of summer; that's the part where I pay penance for travel and out of control eating. I teach a summer session course, while the rest of my time is mine. That time is usually invested into eating like a social pariah and putting in 2-4 hours of base exercise a day.

But here's the interesting part: This time around, I'm using the same tactics that worked in that past two summers but I'm not getting the results. Simply doing the calorie math (3500 cals = one pound) I should be dropping more weight. But in reality, I'm only down 7 pounds and 1% body fat over three (3) weeks of penance.

When I wrote Mind Over Diet,  the premise was that each of us needs to engage the content that is available, vet the facts, then decide on our own accord what the best plan will be. Engagement = knowledge = power.

So on this day, I'm circling back to more information, more pathways that might allow me to bust out of this plateau and reduce. Google+ gave me the jump start I needed, through a post by Neila Rey: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NeilaRey/posts/MZEGd4Jr1L5. That led to a response post that stated:

If you want something thats laid out perfectly for you that I've found to be unbelievably effective, look into Ashley Conrad's 21 day clutch cut. It's absolutely perfect and 100% attainable.

-Holly Yeoman, NASM certified Personal Trainer

So, I ventured into the material by Ashley Conrad and downloaded her free PDF. That led me to revisit breakfast prior to working out...something I never do. It also revived my self-negotiated debate regarding protein intake; Ashley says 1 gram per pound of weight per day.

There's no right or wrong, just relentless forward motion. Social media has some of the answers, if you mine it judiciously and search for gems.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Motorists and bicycles: A dangerous combination

I was doing a solo ride last night (actually, I was the last rider) on our Monday night loop out of Blowing Rock (NC) to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As usually occurs, motorists come up from behind and need to pass. I have determined there are three (3) types of motorists under these conditions:

1) Astute driver. In this instance he/she looks for gap, gives wide berth, and safely accelerates past.

2) Unskilled driver. This individual knows they need to get around and dart into the other lane, driving right at oncoming traffic.

3) No courage driver. This segment of motorist will idle right behind the rider for a mile or more, missing several safe passing opportunities. When they finally do go around, a backup of 5-10 cars are frustrated and freight train by, creating a cyclist's danger zone.

I bring this up because some angry words were shared between cyclists and motorists on a local Facebook page. I'm sorry that we sometimes delay your day, but it's a matter of trying to recreate and also come home alive.

Let's continue the discussion. Let's keep it civil. Let's keep it safe.