Archive for the ‘moving your body’ Category

My marathon was over, walking and dejected, as I approached the turn at mile 23 a man stepped off the curb right in front of me and reached towards me. He changed my life. LISTEN IN

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Listen in to the awesome small stepper philosophy of Mr. Sid Garza-Hillman of the Approaching the Natural Podcast.

Check out Mocha Vegan Performance Podcast episode #17. It’s free and it should be. 🙂

Put the sweat to the test. Run time! Dropped the work clothes and weighed in at 185.0. This is my “before” weight.

Ran a little over 4 miles. Important points:

  1. I did not stop and drink at the drinking fountain.
  2. I did not use the bathroom during the workout until after I did the “after” weigh in.
  3. After the run I stripped back to the same amount of clothes as the “before” weigh in.

“After” weigh in 183.0. Before – After = 2 pounds of sweat lost.

2 pounds lost divided by 8 pounds per gallon = 0.25 or a quarter of a gallon. 0.25 x 128 oz per gallon = 32 oz of water lost! That is an entire quart (or liter if you live in a metric world). Four cups of water in a little over 4 miles.

Try it yourself! Be careful and use what you learn to stay hydrated!

These notes are from last year (March 2013). One of the many tools that I brought into my toolbox was My Fitness Pal. 

I am loving this journey!  I am now consistently drinking 18 cups of water per day (6 of my water bottles).  I owe much of my consistency to the iPhone application My Fitness Pal.  It has a simple water cup tracker to help keep up with your hydration. It has a built-in bar code scanner now allows me to log things as I go, after the fact or even at the grocery store.

It is great.  I can actually scan items right at the grocery store and add them to my foods or a meal as zero servings and then put in what I actually eat when I do.  It is VERY convenient.  I enjoy weighing myself most mornings and understanding the body works on a cycle.  I also love that I can drink tons of water and it doesn’t stay with me.

2014 update:
What I eventually discovered was that I am most hydrated in the evening; that is typically when I weighed the most – after dinner / before bed. I figured out the daily cycle based upon weighing in at different times of the day when I was off work last year and in close proximity to a scale.

 

When I was regularly tracking my weight, I liked to use my morning weigh in after a bathroom break. I could measure without clothes, before I got dressed and it takes away many of the variables that provide uncertainty when tracking your weight. Things that leave doubt in your mind can steer you away from your goals. Find a private spot, weigh in naked and you eliminate the concern about whether your clothes weigh five pounds or a half pound; they are not a part of the equation.

I have learned so much. It helps to be a little obsessive about tracking what you are doing. What many people think is an unhealthy obsession can more aptly be termed LASER FOCUS.

 

By weighing in multiple times per day, at the same times each day, I discovered that you cannot rely on an individual weigh-in or snapshot to evaluate where you are in the process. My weight would fluctuate as many as SEVEN POUNDS during a single day or two.

Only by looking at weekly snapshots over several weeks can you see if you are trending up or down in weight.

Back to 2013:

My TapouT XT workouts 6 out of 7 days a week are extreme in their intensity and test my resolve, but the calories added to my daily food intake are worth the effort.  Plus the changes in my body are fun.  I am really starting to burn fat around the middle and I really didn’t think it was possible.  I had always just considered that the spare tire would remain no matter what I did…I guess I just hadn’t found the right thing yet.

Keep smiling,

Mark
@MochaVegan

Working Hard

I wrote this note last spring regarding how I was feeling trying to change my fitness level and overall health, entitled Day 20: I Wonder What They Think.

Last night was the 6th workout of my 3rd week in TapouT XT.  As I grunted and growled through Sprawl and Brawl on my garage floor, I thought of Monica Seles in a championship match and wondered who might be walking by outside.

I didn’t think it would happen.  I weighed in at 218.8 on day 1 and could barely limp downstairs since my right knee hurt so bad from the Pinnacle Peak run on Super Bowl Sunday morning with Craig.  218.8 pounds after a morning pit stop and wearing nothing but a sad look on my face.  I was still working my way through another crappy illness brought home for me from school by my kids.

The workout was a lesson in the ridiculous.

 

I struggled through the warm-up with my knee, but it complied eventually.  I don’t know how many times I exclaimed: “Seriously?!” during the workout while I tried to work past my still injured right shoulder and elbow and my general upper body weakness.

My push up(s) looked like I needed a Medic Alert necklace and someone to push the button for me.

I pressed on through the first workout.  My glimmer of hope rested in two things: I liked K-Train.  His approach appealed to me and there were portions of the workout that were designed to be more cardio than strength and, in these, I held my own.

I pledged to return for the second day looking forward to a challenging journey towards an eight pack stomach.  Seriously, is that really something ever proven visible in my family?  My equator measurement was 40.5″ that first morning.  How far towards the center of the earth will I have to go to find this mystical eight pack?  Must be WAY down there.

No more excuses.  Just honest effort and a LOT of sweat.

Through the first six workouts and onto the couch for my first rest day.  Seriously on the couch, bed rest-like, with my 9-year-old son home sick from school.  We watched Netflix and dozed a good portion of the day away while my wife, Lynn, home from her travels that day, entertained my 2 1/2-year-old, Michael.

The rest helped and the killer cold subsided gradually.  The family in general coughed less and I hit the second week with energy after seeing a half-inch slide off of my equator in a single week and feeling sore in places I didn’t know you could feel anything.

Think of how you could change things up in your daily routines.

My great fear relating to my new-found positive eating habits has been what happens when I am taken outside my comfort zone. What happens when I am removed from my safe zone – my Blendtec for morning green smoothies, produce in my garage fridge and my healthy bread and black bean or veggie burgers in the freezer at work. Not to mention the cooler I carry with carrots, bananas, apples, oranges, grapefruit … you get the idea. I was so concerned with this that I had considered making green smoothies to take with me. TSA doesn’t allow liquids of my proportions through security and there wasn’t time to check bags due to my half day at work.

What I did was to pack my little cooler with things I thought would travel well. I brought snap peas and cashews. I put a bunch of bananas in my roller bag. I brought my water cup empty to fill up after going through security. It was a good thing I brought the cup because we waited for several hours due to weather in L.A. and had to switch from LAX to Burbank as a destination. There was SO much turbulence that there was no drink service on our flight. My daughter, Lizzy, and I had our water. At the PHX airport they had this really cool water dispenser at the drinking fountain in the low C gates with a counter where it said it had saved 45,131 plastic water bottles. I am a huge fan of NOT using plastic water bottles. Bring your own container and fill it up, people! Carrot sticks and blueberries rounded out my supplies with some Kid Z Bars from the pantry. I eat the iced oatmeal ones if the kids don’t – they are great to keep in the car if I grab a run after work.

Once we hit town and walked outside with no rental car reserved since it was $62 / day for a purse-sized car here compared to $18 at LAX we went to Super Shuttle. I had called the hotel and found out that they enforce $18/day for parking at our hotel near old Pasadena, so we took the $32 shuttle AND ate our Subway that we brought with us from home. The rain and Friday rush hour traffic are best left to the locals anyways. We got a great driving tour from a local passenger while we drove. The fact that we are on the road with no car in a strange place energizes me. Once we settled in, I immediately searched for a market on my phone and found a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods along with an old town area that had crazy amounts of restaurants. My gymnast, happy to be settled in and full from her Subway, bid me farewell for an hour. I emptied my backpack to carry treasures found and head out INTO THE DRIVING RAIN!

Being from Phoenix, I quickly reached ecstasy since it hasn’t rained on me in many months. Though it was raining so hard that I couldn’t look at my phone for directions, I ran. I crossed a freeway bridge and I don’t remember that from looking at directs before, but that’s fine – I have an hour. I explore the streets of Pasadena and eventually find myself in front of a place called City Thai. Cool. I walk in, dripping, and explain that I will order their best dish and then return to pick up (I think this was good for them due to my appearance). I had them make Pad Thai with tofu for me, vegan-style, and add some chicken on the side for Lizzy. My order in place, I continued my quest for Whole Foods.

I quickly found Central Park. Very cool, but the size of a small town park center square, but still cool. I felt some stress over the food timing sneak in, but the rain and the run soon made those concerns evaporate. The two-story market appeared on my right. It was so big city compared to places in Phoenix because you had to climb steps up from the sidewalk to get to the entry and exit doors where there was an elevator that brought you up from underground parking. I stepped in to a more familiar environment even though this was my first time into the store (Sprouts was my go to in Phoenix). I was greeted by Engine 2 Diet on a stand inside the door. I knew I wasn’t going to make it back in ten minutes to pick up my food (if I even found the place again). I found a couple of green smoothies in a bottle that fit my morning style and felt as if the store was too small – I couldn’t find any beer… I asked directions and found there was a second floor. Wow, are you kidding me!?! There was a center food prep area that had pizzas being made and all sorts of awesome things that would have cost me two hours if I wasn’t tight on time. J I found a six-pack of Bison Chocolate Stout made with Peruvian cocoa (not from bison), a box of Kashi Crunch (Lizzy and I love cinnamon crumble) and this awesome organic chocolate bar for Lizzy (her only request). Later we discovered that the bar wrapper, when unfolded, had a map of how they made the bars and rivaled a Willy Wonka-style cool way to do things.

Back out into the rain with my bag of food partially stuffed into my backpack. The trick to running with a six-pack of bottled beer is to be in better shape than I am. I didn’t want shaken up beer, so I had to carry the beer in front by the backpack handle. I don’t typically carry stuff like that when I run. I guess it falls into the begin-with-the-end-in-mind mentality, but really doesn’t let you RUN. I did find my Thai food and then cut through Central Park, just so I said I could, past the Del Mar train station and found my way back without spilling my food. Walking and jogging in the rain is so much better than NOT doing anything. It took me 4.4 miles to travel about a mile (if I knew where I was going). Now THAT is how I like to do things. Take what would be ordinary and turn it into the extraordinary.

Spending my 46 ½ birthday with my daughter was nice. Traveling and just hanging out and watching Mall Cop while she eats grilled cheese from the hotel restaurant. Life is good, just focus on making each moment into a memory and you will live a full life.

As I was getting ready to post – A quick shout out to Sid Garza-Hillman – great Spreecast today. I have some insights for you based on others that I watched.

Mark
@MochaVegan
from Pasadena, CA