self improvement

One year anniversary of a very important date

NO-SMOKING

So, one day shy of exactly one year ago, I posted a quick article about making it one whole week without any tobacco intake. It was not an easy decision to make to quite smoking cigarettes...for good, and here I sit, over one whole year later, an accomplished man. In that post I pointed out how I was coping with the tension and withdraws: by working out. Weights and cardio all the way. That was my approach. It was health that I was after, so putting the focus on actively doing healthy things instead of the negation of unhealthy things just seemed to make sense to me.

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P90X Round three....take two!

So...My first attempt at doing the P90X Doubles routine...failed. This routine adds a CardioX workout to 3 days of the weeks in phase two, and 4 days of the weeks in phase three. This is adding in 2 hours and 15 minutes of workout a week in phase two, and three additional hours a week to phase three. I made it into phase three, second week (week 10 overall) and the holidays hit. Too much running around, really. Too many commitments with time, and a serious loss of will-power. This was the fail. I made the excuse that I have been going strong since April, so why not just take an extra week off? But I still didn't eat like a pig, or gain substantial weight or size, so this is good.

Now, if you look at the spread-sheet attached to this post, then you might see the dates don't add up. If I started in early October, then I should have been almost done by Christmas. Well, here's the other reason I had to press reset: during the middle of the second phase of this round, I had an abscess form under my right arm. Apparently the antiperspirant I was using found a way into my pores, clogged it up, and caused an infection. Sweet. I had a forced open hole in my armpit for a week or two, and then had to let it heal. So, time out for working out. Lesson learned: antiperspirant is product of the devil!

While this is no huge loss, I am a bit bummed out that this has kept me from reaching my weight/size goal for the new year. I wanted to be down to a size 32 waist for certain, and perhaps a size 30 if I could manage it. I am sitting pretty at 34, 215-220 lbs depending on the time of day I weigh myself (I was actually fluxing 10 lbs from morning to afternoon there for a while, is this normal?).

With all of that lost time, I just decided to reset the system and start over. Yes, I am going to do the doubles, again, I'm committed to getting through this. I'm still very, very pleased with the results from my 2 1/2 rounds of p90x so far, and as soon as I get through these doubles I want to try out the P90X Plus! routine, I'm looking forward to that. I also have my eye on a totally other program: Muscle & Fitnes System Home Training program. H'mmm. We'll see, I suppose. I don't think that one is as fine tuned as P90X. In the mean time, I have to get my momentum back, there's a noticeable loss of endurance and energy, so I seriously need to get that back. Yes, i can still get through the workout, but it's just that much more grueling after all of this lost time!

Well, after all of that, and a renewed commitment, looks like all I can do is to do my best, and forget the rest! (Thanks Tony!)

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p90x Round two....NAILED IT! What about you?

Well, three months later and I can say...round two...I nailed it! That's right, I finished another round of p90x! HA! The measurements and statistics are not in yet (haven't taken them yet) but I can say that I am comfortably wearing jeans that are 8 inches less round than when I started! HA! Take that, fat! So what does this mean? It means...on to round three. Already started it, considering doing the "doubles routine" (adding a whole world of cardio to month's two and three ON TOP OF the regular work-outs).This was a rough round, though. I injured my right shoulder pretty badly the very first day of this round...but I DID NOT STOP! You don't stop, you modify (Than You Tony Horton). I persevered, and it payed off.

So, I have been actually thinking about becoming an official P90X coach, I have been getting people into this thing (this weird...fitness thing) and that might even be more satisfying that the workouts themselves. Accomplishing something great for yourself is one thing, but being able to share that with someone else, enabling someone else to partake in something that has added to your immediate quality of life SO MUCH, well..that is another thing all together.

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I DID IT!!! what? p90x BABY!!!

Two days ago I spent an hour doing a series of relaxing, rejuvenating stretches. Over the course of the last three months I have gotten to set aside on hour per week to doing that, one of the things that keep me looking forward each week. After spending an hour to an hour and a half each of the other six days of the week grinding my way through grueling and vigorous work out programs, that stretch comes with a real sigh of relief. Not only is it a great relaxation, but it is a great moment of pride and accomplishments, since it means I have put one of the 13 weeks of the work-out cycle behind me. But the stretch I did two days ago came with even a greater sense of relief and pride, since it marked the FINAL DAY, and hence completion of a full round of the P90X workout program!!!

I DID IT!!!

Yes, I know what you're thinking..."Is he, then, now ripped?" Well...I can say I lost (at last count over a week ago) 3 inches, and about 20 pounds, have gained A LOT of muscle mass, am stronger and more flexible now than I ever have been...and it feels GREAT! I am going to do another round...another 90 days, and this time I am going to post before and after pics at the end, along with detailed measurements. To be honest, I was too ashamed of myself to take the obligatory "before" pics 3 months ago, but now I really wish I had, because I know that the change is phenomenal just from the way that I feel when I wake up every day! THANK YOU Tony Horton!

One last thing that I want to say about this. I have struggled with weight since I was in the 4th grade. Going through periods of excessive gain, to periods of profound skinniness...the unhealthy toothpick variety, and back again. Like a pendulum. But I have never been strong like this. I have never before 1) been more confident in my ability to keep the inches off 2) been more confident in my ability to become stronger, leaner, and healthier, and 3) been more confident of the fact that, while I am not in absolute, optimal fitness and shape, I am EXACTLY where I aught to be, and I am pretty damn proud of myself.

See you in 90 days.

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My Entire Body Is Sore

Well, here I am, on the 16th day of training on the p90x fitness program (which I mentioned here a few weeks ago), and I still have not 1) died from exhaustion or 2) simply given up! That's right kiddies, I am working on my 3rd week of this pretty INTENSE fitness program, and even though my body is stiff and pained EVERY DAY, I am plodding along (even dieting to go with it). I am proud of my once chronically unfit self.

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His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama

When I heard about the Dalai Lama's scheduled visit to Ann Arbor (where i live), and the series of lectures he was scheduled to give, I was overfilled with joy. It has been 14 years since Tenzin Gyatso last visited Ann Arbor, I was not fortunate enough to have participated in that visit, and have been wondering for years if I would have the good fortune to ever see him speak. Especially with the recent violence and heat surrounding Buddhist monks in China. Today, that wonder was put to sleep at 10:00 am when, with pro-China protesters gathered outside, the Dalai Lama gave a lecture on Buddhist thought and values, and I was there.

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The challenge undertaken

So, I thought it worthwhile to mention that I have embarked on yet another journey. In a bold maneuver designed to take my life in a totally new and fresh direction I have decided to engage myself upon the worthy path of P90X!

That's right, I have gotten myself the Beachbody P90X fitness program, and at first glance, it's no joke. There are twelve different intense workouts that get all shuffled about, keeping you working (HARD) every single day. There is an incredibly detailed nutrition plan, and it leaves NO room for mistaking. This thing looks merciless, but I feel I'm up for the challenge.

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I QUIT SMOKING!

Stewie In Shock AnimationOne week ago today, was the first smoke free day. That's right, been one whole month..wait, week, yeah, only one week so far. Anyway...((twitch...jitter)) things are just dandy, been exercising a lot, running, lifting, etc. For the record, no patch, no gum, no nico-replacement of any kind, no hypnotism, no work book or anything like that.

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