Category Archives: bodybuilding

Running to Lose Weight

I’m going to run because I want to lose weight. I am going to do a triathlon so I can shed some pounds. Oh you are a triathlete, you must be able to eat WHATEVER you want!

These are all statements I have heard on a regular basis. Yes running would aide in weight loss, doing a triathlon would help you be in a calorie deficit, but no triathletes cannot eat whatever they want. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Let’s break this down a little further.

Yes I have lost and successfully kept off a lot of weight and yes I am also a triathlete. However those two things do not necessarily go hand in hand. For me, I lost a majority of my weight through resistance training. Participating in endurance sports has only aided in keeping the weight off.

When you’re beginning a life changing journey, such as losing weight, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Let’s dive into them.

  1. Pick activities that you enjoy- Maybe you don’t like running endless miles, maybe you are intimidated by the free weights, maybe you don’t like traditional cardio. Whatever the case may be, there are 1,000 of ways to get your heart rate up and get your sweat on. Even if you don’t like anything, there are some things you dislike less than others, do them. This doesn’t have to suck, you can get enjoyment out of working out and it can actually be FUN. Some other easy and fun ways to get moving would be to get up and walk around your office 1 every hour. You can use your lunch break to go out for a nice walk instead of sitting at your desk. Even simple things like taking the stairs over the elevator can add up over time! If you enjoy running or cycling or swimming, by all means, incorporate those activities into your plan. Just know that in order to get the results that you are most likely interested in, it would take hours on end of these activities in order to achieve the goal of fat loss.
  2. Don’t pick activities based on calories they “burn”- Odds are, even if you wear a heart rate monitor, the calories burned are slightly off. Wearable devices can be up to 50% off when it comes to calories burned. There is no way to get a 100% accurate account for calories burned outside of a lab and having lots of testing done. Pick
    activities based on number one, not based on the perceived calories you could burn. If you pick an activity you even somewhat enjoy you are much more likely to continue.
  3. Weight loss or fat loss come down to 3 things- intake, expenditure, and progress. It is much easier to measure intake and progress. Intake is counting your calories or your macros. “Macros” short for macronutrients are the three large categories foods can be broken into. Carbohydrates, Protein and fats. You can choose to measure by the number of macros(in grams) you are eating or the amount of calories. The decision is really up to you, there are arguments for each and it really depends on YOUR preferences, I can’t tell you which one I think is better. What I can tell you is that proper nutrition (i.e. lots of good veggies, fruits and lean meats) will keep nutrient intake up and assist in keeping calories low. Expenditure is the amount of calories you burn (again very hard to accurately track). Lastly is progress, this can be measure a number of ways, either on the scale, through body fat tracking or through measurements. I just want to forewarn you that measuring too often can cause a feeling of standing still. You do not need to measure everyday if you don’t want to and for most I would suggest not. Doing measurements once a week or maybe even once every two weeks may be better as this will yield changes and decrease chances of dropout. You can use calipers and a friend to measure you body fat loss or you can use a measuring tape that a tailor would use. Some of the common areas to measure would be around the upper arms, thighs, neck, waist, and midsection.

Here are a few more things to consider when you are starting your journey for fat loss. Most people are actually more interested in losing body fat, not body weight. Therefore, burning calories does not equal fat loss. You can shed some pounds by merely by burning more calories than what you are eating. It’s probably safe to say that you would also like to burn fat more than just losing weight. So becoming aware of what you are consuming would be very beneficial to your goals. If you monitor two of the three things listed in number three above, you will be well on your way to your goals! PS if you are interested in reading a short post about setting goals check out this post from last week! I will write a more detailed post on setting goals next week!

When developing a plan or working with a trainer, you should be performing a mix of cardiovascular activity and resistance training. This plan paired with monitoring your consumption will enable you to track 2 of the 3 keys for fat loss! Just as an FYI if you have hired a trainer and they are handling your workouts for you, follow what they say. Every trainer has a different process and a different approach. Many even vary their approach from client to client, so don’t compare your workout to anyone else’s. They are the professional, just trust them!

Lastly but possibly one of the most important things to note! As previously mentioned, calculating the number of calories you are burning during exercise is complicated. Never, ever, EVER attempt to loosely estimate the number of calories burned OR the number of calories you are consuming. People have historically and wildly over estimated how many calories they burned. On the flip side of that you will underestimate the number of calories you are consuming. You do not need to be 100% accurate and weigh everything down to the gram when tracking, however, use a tracker. There are many options out there, if you prefer counting calories try the MyFitnessPal app. If you find yourself more interested in counting macros check out this app by Mike Vacanti.

I want to wrap up by giving you a few example workouts you can do for cardio that will help during your fat loss journey.

  1. If you are doing cardio in the traditional sense you can do steady state or interval training. For steady state cardio you want to go for a set amount of time, at the same effort. This effort should be somewhat easy. Say if you are walking or jogging on a treadmill next to someone you should still be able to have a conversation with them. You words should not be broken but you should still be breaking a sweat. If you are doing some form of interval training it can be broken down in many ways. 1 minute hard followed by 1 minute easy is a great way to get started. Your work intervals should be hard, you should be counting down the seconds until you get to stop!
  2. When you are first becoming aware of your nutrition there are a few key things to key in mind. Processed foods are one thing that should be avoided. Now is it ok to have ice cream and pop tarts here and there, yes absolutely! You want to abide by the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of the food you are eating should be clean. Lots of fresh vegetables are good, along with fruits and lean protein such as chicken, lean cuts of beef and turkey breast! Being prepared with these foods or even snacks in the fridge at work or in your desk will help keep you from getting into a situation where you are trapped with poor choices. Nuts and seeds also make for a great snack to keep in your desk or car. Just remember that nuts have a high fat content (although they are good fats) you still want to limit them.

When approaching this journey you need to keep one thing in mind, its about consistency not perfection. You don’t have to weigh food, you can estimate, you can measure progress and you can play the long game. If you are someone who is over weight, you did not get that way in a month, 6 months, a year, maybe even 2 years. This is not going to change over night. Consistency is the game here my friends.

As alway if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me

Until next time!

Thanks for reading, it would mean a lot if share with a friend!

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

New Years Resolutions and Adrenal Fatigue

So here we are 8 days into the new year as I write this and I am doing well with my 1-2X posting per week on the blog.

If you haven’t checked it out already please read my last post on how to do a triathlon on a budget. I know that many people consider this as a goal for New Years resolutions but are nervous about the cost of participating in such an event.

As for me things have been going well so far, it’s early yet though. I am still fasting most days during the week. This has helped me immensely when it comes to staying in a calorie deficit. I did have one day over the holidays that kind of scared me a bit. Normally I work on Saturdays during the fall winter and spring. Recently I have had no trouble completing my training sessions in the afternoon after work. On this Saturday however I woke up and I was completely drained. My body felt weak, my legs felt heavy and all of this was more than usual. The only thing that was different would be the stress and strain I placed on my body through the holidays. There were a lot of late nights, a few drinks (some nights maybe more than a few haha) and holiday parties. I think my body had just had enough and it was time to just relax. So I did not train that Saturday or that Sunday. I actually got over 12 hours of sleep the one night and it felt great! Sparked by the scare though I have been attempting to cut back on caffeine consumption at least 1 day per week and I have started taking an adrenal gland support supplement. It is common to have some form of adrenal fatigue syndrome when training for long periods of time so I thought it would be an good idea to give this a try. From my general understanding adrenal fatigue syndrome is when you feel fatigue even after a good nights sleep. You have difficulty getting up early in the morning, cravings for salty foods and you may abuse caffeine and sugar. You are basically feeling way more tired that you should be even with a good nights sleep. I will let you know how I feel in the coming weeks!

The next thing I wanted to touch on is New Years resolutions and the inherent negativity that surrounds them. This time of year, whether you are a regular member of a gym or not, you have probably gotten some sort of marketing email about how there are no joining fees, special rates, and even deals on personal training sessions. You have probably also heard the “facts and figures” of how many people make resolutions and don’t keep them, join gyms and never go back, etc. When it comes to resolutions, I am a fan of the idea. I love someone wanting to make a change, especially for the better. I also can see how January first is an appealing time of year to do this. It’s not only a fresh start to the month, but you get to hit reset on another year. I made a resolutions myself, I just chose to do it at the start of the “school” year instead of the calendar year. Deep down I believe that resolutions are amazing no matter when you decide to start.

There are a few things that I do not like about New Years resolutions however. The negativity that surrounds them drives me insane. I can’t stand how people view resolutions and basically chalk it up to something 99% of people won’t complete. The other thing that annoys me is the “regulars” bitching about the influx of members in the gym. Yeah things are a little busy, yeah there are sometimes not enough treadmills for everyone at the gym at that time, but we all started somewhere and you were that first timer once too.

If you are reading this and you were considering a resolution, are working on a resolution, or just looking to get better, here are some tips I have to help you.

  1. Have a plan- most people create resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better”. These are great goals, but they are not measurable or specific enough. When you do not see the results you are looking for, thats when you will quit. Instead, create a goal for yourself that is specific such as I will go to the gym 5X per week or I will perform cardio 3X per week.
  2. Write your goals down! On January 1st I hung a whiteboard. I have my goals for the month and week written on there and I mark down each time I do that. I look forward to putting a tick everyday for the things I have completed and this builds momentum. Momentum is key! You do not need to use a white board, you can use a notebook or even just a piece of scratch paper. Just write it down! And keep it some
  3. You do not need to be 100% perfect all the time. Especially when it comes to counting calories or macros, whatever your preference is. If counting calories is helping you reach your goals and what you want when you look in the mirror then count calories. Which ever you decide, you do not need to be 100% perfect. This is about the long game, patience and persistence, not being perfect. To build off of that, start small. You do not need to cut everything “bad” out of your diet starting day one. Start small, but not too small. What do I mean by this? Start off drinking more water than sugary empty calories. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables and then build from there. After you have built momentum there, then you can start cutting processed foods out and going with more whole food. When I first started counting calories, thats all I did was count calories. After that stopped working, I began to figure out how my food could help me with my goals. It’s a learning process but you need to be willing to put in the work.
  4. Last and most important, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Utilize the people around you. There are way more people than you think out there who were once in the position that you may find yourself in. Utilize those people for their knowledge.

As for the first two ish weeks of January that’s it for me. If you are looking for a place to go for some support and motivation, come join me in the Facebook group I have created. There are no sells, its not MLM, I am not pushing products on anyone. This is just real, down to the grit motivation. If you are interested please join us!

I hope that you have set goals for yourself for the coming year, I know I have some big ones for myself and for Do It For Yourself. I look forward to sharing this journey with you and I thank you as always for reading!

All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Back to the Basics

Its no secrete that I have been slacking with this blog. I felt as though I couldn’t “create” enough content for the readers and so it led to me slacking on this blog. I have been following and consuming a lot of content from Gary Vee and Mike Vacanti and I have learned that putting things out there consistently is far better than not putting anything out there at all. So my vow for 2017 is more consistent posting.

So here it goes….

My year this year with tri was busy to say the least. I had some tune up races early in the season and a late peak. I won’t bore you with the details, I have posted race report from the season that you can read up on those.

One thing that has really been lacking, other than my blog posts, is my nutrition. I haven’t been nearly as locked in with it as I used to be and so I decided to start a Facebook group for No Cheat November. I knew I needed to get back on track and this would be the perfect way. The month started and it was back to basics for me. Tracking calories and macros, eating the right foods and cutting out the crap. Yes this means no soft pretzels 3X a week, sometimes more. It was hard at first, I’m not going to lie. I knew I needed to do it and I knew that I could do it, but for some reason, getting rid of this 25-30 pounds that I put on, was harder than when I first started.

I knew what I had to do, it was just bringing myself to do it! So the group was perfect, holding each other accountable. It worked very well and we actually decided to continue the group through the holidays.

When I started the group and the clean up though, I had one thing that I wanted to give a try and I was nervous. Intermittent fasting has always peaked my interest, why I don’t know, I love food but I always thought it was never possible. How on earth could someone skip breakfast and not eat until like 1-2pm?! I decided from the start I would do it on rest day, I would be trying to keep calories low this day anyway and wouldn’t be training so it made sense.

The first time I did it, it was kinda like the first time you take your kid to the doctor, I had no idea what I was in for but once I got there I found out real fast what was going on. The only thing I had from dinner the night before until lunch was black coffee and green tea. In the following weeks, I almost looked forward to the challenge. I knew what I was in for but I was ready for the pain. In some sick twisted way, I am convinced that I just love pain. There is really no other explanation for it to be honest.

Since then I have begun fasting everyday except for days when I know I will be training 2+ hours. It’s something that you think is impossible and then you try it and it’s really not that bad. I usually eat dinner pretty late because I train after work. Dinner is usually between 8-9pm after training. From there its nothing for 16-17 hours except for black coffee, green tea, and water. I was against the idea of gum at first but its negative calories (you burn more chewing than what’s in the gum) so I also have gum from time to time.

Here is the other key, when I break my fast I am not eating burgers and fries and whatever I want like these “trainers” you see on Instagram. I still keep things clean and as always I am conscious of my macros. If it is something that interests you give it a shot!

There are many benefits to intermittent fasting depending on if you can make it work with you schedule. The whole idea of “breaking the fast” in the morning is no longer 100% the only way to go. If you are trying to stay in a calorie deficit and you’re not training this can be difficult. With intermittent fast I typically skip about 500 calories from breakfast and another 200-250 in a snack that I would have mid morning. If you are interested in the more detailed explanation of how this could help you, stop over to Octane Athletics blog and read this article from Blake, he goes in depth on everything you need to know if you want to give it a try!

As far as everything else goes it is just back to the basics for me, thats what this post is all about. Back to black coffee, lots of protein, healthy complex carbs and just getting shit done. Don’t get me wrong I will have plenty of beers through the holiday, pie on Christmas, and everything in between. But then it’s right back on track. That’s the biggest thing I have found so far, is that before when I would have a little slip, the wheels would fall off, now however its back to normal and I am thankful that I can recognize that.

Thank you to everyone who joined the Facebook group and shared your thoughts and journeys for the month of November. I plan to keep it open through the New Year so if you are a reader and you would like to join the link is right here

My attempt to be more consistent with this blog from now on is 1-2 posts per week. I am going to do a reverse bet (shoutout to Mike) and if I don’t do that then I will need to do something that makes me even more uncomfortable. Leave your comments below and share something you plan to do in 2017 that will make you better!

Until next time, all for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Don’t Take Nutrition Advice from 150lbs Pro Athlete

Well here we are friends, through the holidays, probably ate to many cookies and not trying to get back on track. No? Just me? Well lucky you!  For me I probably had one to many sweets, ok maybe 5 too many and a few too many beers.  I like beer and donuts, it could be worse.  Post a wonderful run of bronchitis I am not back on track and finding myself carrying around a little extra.  Did this all happen over the holidays? Absolutely not, it was due to my own mistake or course of mistakes that made me sit down and really think about what I was doing.

We’ve all heard it right? That famous phrase that at times infuriates us enough to even harm a small puppy….wait for it……

“Oh you do triathlons, you must be able to eat WHATEVER you want!”

Well let me be the first to say, no, no I cannot eat whatever I want.  This also leads me to my next point, do not and I repeat DO NOT EVER FOR ANY REASON take nutrition advice from a professional triathlete that weights 150 lbs soaking wet, possibly even holding a brick. 
Awhile back I read an article from a very famous, pretty quick, triathlete.  You may or may not know him.  Mr. Andy Potts. You haven’t? What do you live under an effin rock?!
Now listen, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that everything in the article was bad, nor do I have anything against Andy.  From what I can gather through social media he is an awesome down to earth guy and he is wicked smart when it comes to this sport.  He did however give me just the amount of ammo that I needed to just go off the deep end.  He stated that “if you want a bowl of ice cream, have a bowl of ice cream.”  Now granted for him, he could probably have a bowl of ice cream every night if he wanted and still not gain a pound.  I am no professional in nutrition by any means, but I can gather that Andy Potts logs a little time training.  Maybe, I mean I am not sure, but I just have a hunch that he probably trains twice a day most days.  He is also focusing on the half and full distance race, so he’s burning a few calories here and there.  Still I do not think that this was the point of his article.  I think he was simply implying that you can treat yourself every once and awhile.
For someone like me however, I was looking for any and every excuse to eat whatever I wanted.  I have NEVER been able to do this before, why did I think I could do it now? Oh that’s right because I was a triathlete! I could eat whatever I wanted! WRONG!  This was when I realized that my mood, energy and everything else had decreased significantly.  What was going on?! I was blaming everything I could, when deep down inside, I really knew what I needed to do.  Cut out a few sweets and add a little more greens.
So now here I sit, back on track and focusing on next year.  Do I eat ice cream and donuts still? Yes as a matter of fact I do, but only on as what coach Dave calls it an “earned day”.  Just because I swam doesn’t mean I get a donut, just because I did a long ride doesn’t mean I get a cheeseburger from Five Guys EVERY time. You’re not an effing dog, don’t reward yourself with food!
Do I blame this fully on Andy Potts and him telling me to eat ice cream if I wanted it? Yes, he’s an ahole and I’ll never root for him again.  No absolutely not, he didn’t hold me down and make me eat the ice cream.  I was looking for affirmation that what I was doing was ok and I found it in that article.  That little thing between your ears is crazy powerful.  If you are looking for something, you will in fact find it sooner or later.
My advice to you? Get MyFitnessPal, track your calories and be smart about it.  Your food is your fuel and it will either help you or hurt you.  There are so many articles, blogs and posts out there for you to read and do with it what you may.  My best piece of advice is don’t take everyting for 100% truth, any idiot can sign up for a blog, look at me ;).  And lastly, track your calories and do not over eat.  If you can “afford” some extra go for it, if not you better earn it!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies…

I find myself reflecting as I lay down here in bed.  I find myself going back in time, far back in time.  Not just weeks or months but a few years back.  A time where things were very different, I was very different.  I didn’t have a care in the world, about anything.  I was a teenager, I enjoyed simple things and I loved life.  I was so naive about life, love and the pursuit…..

As I lay here I wish I could go back in time and talk to that person I was.  Tell them(OK maybe scream in my face) that there are bad people in the world, bad things do in fact happen to very good people and yes you can and WILL get screwed.  People are going to talk about you, people are going to look on and judge like they know you when they probably don’t.  There are more bad people than good and there are going to be times where it feels like there is a rain cloud stuck right over your head.  There will be times where it feels like the world is crashing down on your shoulders.  There will be times where it feels like no one understands. There will be times where it feels like people treat you like dirt and you just won’t understand how they can do that.  It was a time where I thought I was on top of the world and nothing could ever possibly happen.  I was very wrong and I think  had I gone in knowing that these things could happen, it would have been different.  Maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so out of control so fast, maybe things would be different.  Then again if if’s and but’s were candy and nuts, everyday would be Christmas right….The person I was is not the person who I have become however…

Things are very different now that is for sure.  I am certainly different than I was both inside and out.  I wouldn’t change things for the world.  I have come so far and learned so much over the past year.  Things are turning around and beginning to become different, but it is a good different.  I find myself getting excited about things I would have only dreamed of in the old me.  If I have learned one thing that would sum it all up it would be that nothing is going to be handed to you.  If you want something, you are going to have to go out and get it.  If you sit around and wait for things to happen, it won’t, bottom line.  When you work for something so hard though and you get to where you want to be it is quite possibly the most rewarding feeling in the entire world.  The last thing I learned is that there are going to be people who come and go in your life.  There will be people who come though and never go.  Those people will be there day in and day out.  Those are the people who will ALWAYS be there.  The trick is finding who those people are and hanging on to them for dear life.

If you are reading this, you probably found it via twitter, facebook, or instagram.  We also probably share some of the same interest, from swimming, biking, running, or all three.  Eating healthy or working out to better yourself.  Regardless of why you are reading this I would like to say thank you for one.  People like you are the reason that I can keep going.  Support from people who read and like my posts means everything in the world.  The second and last thing I want to say is that everything isn’t always going to be rainbows and butterflies.  Although I would like it to be, as I am sure you would to, its not.  When things get tough, you have two options, you can throw your hands up in the air, quit, walk away and say screw this I am not doing it anymore.  OR you can step up to the plate, bat in hand and give it your best swing.  If you never try though, you’ll never know whether you could do it or not.  So why not step up and try?  No it is not going to be easy, yes there will be times that suck more than anything, but it’s a fight and when you win that fight you’ll be so happy!  On top of that, you’ll be ready for your next fight and whatever that may be. 

I thank you all for reading and if you are in a place right now where you don’t know if you want to fight or flight, I highly urge you to fight on.  Things will get better and that sun will come up to push that rain cloud away I can promise that.  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have a productive week!

All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Tomorrow is my birthday!

August 12th….it is always bittersweet when this day comes around.  It is sweet because it is my birthday, obviously that is exciting as always!  However it always indicates that the end of summer is near.  I am excited for the end of this summer for so many reasons.  I start student teaching in the fall and it means I am in the last stage of college.  It is the final stage, something I have been waiting for, for the longest time.  I know I still have a long road of job hunting after I graduate but it is one step closer to teaching.  The other reason I am excited is because my race is in September as you already may know.  It is what I have been working my tail off for since September of last year and I will finally be put to the test!

 This past week was another one which wasn’t too exciting.  I worked and I trained.  No sailing this week because I took over at my buddies house to babysit his three dogs and they left early so I didn’t want to leave them for that long.  I have continued to lift two days a week and I can definitely feel myself getting stronger in the weight room.  For whatever reason when it came to to my bike and run this week though it was very difficult to get myself going.  I think taking so much time off last week definitely hurt me.  I also did not swim this week, which I don’t like but I will be back in the pool this week, I can promise you that.

My buddy who I am house sitting for was a personal trainer and is still into working out and staying fit.  One morning when I woke up I found an omron machine in the bathroom.  I decided to fire it up and plug in my info and see what it had to say.  I could see the little lines blinking across the bottom and the anticipation was building.  When the numbers popped up I had to rub my eyes and look at it again.  It told me I had 18% body fat.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME 18%!!  I didn’t have one of these machines when I first started so I cannot give you an exact number for where I was, but it had to be somewhere between 25-30%.  I couldn’t believe it…I was beside myself. 

Last week I was talking with a guy Brandon who I work with at my health club.  I used to see Brandon when he would come in to swim when I first started working there and I was super inspired.  I knew he was a triathlete and I knew that, that’s what I wanted to become.  He has definitely been an inspiration throughout this whole thing and he has helped me more than I could ever imagine.  When I was talking to him, I told him that I wanted to get better and faster on my bike.  I am averaging about 15 mph on every ride when I go out but I want to be faster.  I also can feel how I am still a little hesitant when it comes to descending hills.  This is obviously something I need to work on because there are so many hills where I ride.  After talking awhile he said “it will come with time man, don’t worry about it!”  This is so true….I constantly need to remind myself that I have just entered into this new world of triathlons.  I did not run or ride before I started.  I am basically starting from square one and he is right, it will come with time and practice. 

Today I woke up and grabbed some coffee before I went to church.  I knew after church that I needed to do a brick workout.  I was just delaying the inevitable.  I grabbed my water bottles, my Powerbar gel and I was off.  I started my ride and it was hot.  Not nearly as hot as a few rides I have done, but the sun was definitely beating down.  As I was descending one of the first big hills I went to change gears and my chain totally locked up.  I couldn’t pedal and I immediately started freaking out on the inside.  I knew I just had to make it to the bottom of the hill.  When I got there I jumped off and started fooling around with the chain.  For whatever reason it had popped off.  As I said before I am totally new to this and I had to idea what to do.  I was over 6 miles from my car and I have no idea how far I was from home.  I wanted to just call it quits, call my friend to come get me who lives right in the town of Oxford and go home.  I finally figured it out and jumped back on the bike.  I rode some more and as I was descending another hill the same thing happened.  Luckily this time it was easy to fix because I knew what to do.  I popped the chain back on and finished my ride.  It was just over 17 miles.

Strava report from my ride.
When I got back to my car, I popped the wheel off and switched my shoes and started off for my run.  I headed over to the park across from where I parked my car and my legs felt like jello.  For my first mile it felt like I wasn’t even moving.  I got through two miles in around 18 minutes and I knew I had to finish….I had to hit my 5K just for myself.  I was already over an hour into my workout and my legs were dead. In this moment I wanted to quit so bad.  As I was running I thought of a picture that I posted on my instagram last week and it pushed me to keep going.  I finished my 5K and although it wasn’t my fastest time, I some how managed to go 8 min on my last mile!
Strava from my run with my first negative split!
As I said multiple times in this post, I am entering into an entirely new world here.  I am someone who wants things instantaneously.  I see something and I want it right then and there.  I have become better about this on this journey however.  If you go back to previous posts or check out my twitter(ForYourself15) You will see how I have gotten faster since I started running at the end of last year.  I know that I am getting better and better with each training sessions.  I can see my body changing and adapting to everything I have been doing and I am so happy with how far I have come.  I would have never thought when I started that I would be where I am today.  2-3 years ago….HA! I would have never even dreamed of doing what I am doing right now.  Still is it selfish of me to want more, to want to be faster?  No I don’t think so….I have never wanted something quite as bad as this and I can promise you that I will stop at nothing until I get there.
I am not sure how you found this blog but I can tell you that I have found some amazing people through instagram who have been incredibly inspiring.  If you are on there or not on there, you should check it out and find me if you want to put a face with the blogger (doing_it_for_yourself).  People post their story and their progress and it is awesome, I love it!  It is insane how your body responds to the pressure you put on it!  
This week is a busy week coming up, yes tomorrow is my birthday but to me it will just be another day.  I am going to train, I want to swim and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I had a great dinner with family tonight and I am so thankful for them. They have been absolutely amazing through this journey and I would be truly lost without them.  Wishing you all a wonderful week and I hope you enjoy what is left of your summer!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Time FLIES when you’re having fun!

Time is literally flying by this summer and I can’t believe it is July 14th already….I have only made it to the beach once or twice and we are half way through the summer!  Today is Sunday, which means Monday comes next and it is right back to work for me.  Most people use their weekends to RELAX and enjoy the time that they have off.  Nope not me!  I was constantly going this weekend… I woke up Saturday and knew I had to do some speed training this weekend because I hadn’t done it yet this week.  I had a swim lesson at home Saturday morning so I woke up and enjoyed my coffee and THANK GOD the weather held off! 

So it was lesson time!  I have been trying to schedule this family since the beginning of the summer but between vacations and this stupid rain this was the first time they were able to get in.  I love ALL of the families that I work with over the summer but this family is just SPECTACULAR.  They are one of the nicest families I have ever met and I could not wait to see them!  I hadn’t seen them since last summer so naturally they were beside themselves when they walked on to the pool deck.  After raining me over with wonderful compliments I got in the pool with the kids.  We had a great lesson and I couldn’t believe how far their daughter has come since last summer.  Her parents also told me that they were getting into some small 5K races this summer and it just so happens we are doing the same color run!  I think it is so cool that they can do stuff like that together!  I want a workout partner like that!!

After the lesson I jumped in the car and headed out to the gym while slugging my second cup of coffee.  Good and bad idea all at the same time.  When I finished that second cup as I was pulling into the gym, the intensity level of speed training shot through the roof.  I was so ready to go.  As I was doing my 800’s I glanced up and noticed that I CRUSHED my 5K PR at 24:20 and decided I wanted more.  I ended up finishing 4 miles in 30 minutes and some change. I felt absolutely incredible.  It is amazing the endorphin rush you get from working out.  I then went and blasted abs since I had to skip them in my lift this week.  Weighted situps and then a tabata with Russian twist, planks, flutter kicks, and ab roller.  I did two rounds of each and I was DEAD!  I headed straight for the smoothie bar to get my favorite recover shake and then it was off home for the party!

About the same distance as Saturday’s run but look at that time difference!
Saturday when I got home my next door neighbor was outside.  We have had a few confrontations with this family and when I arrived I saw him and thought oh god, here we go….I got out of my car and I could just feel him starring me down.  I sitting here thinking, what could his problem possibly be.  I purposely turned my music down and rolled down the street at a crawl of 5 mph.  He looks over again and says, “Holy crap man, how much weight have you lost?”  It took me a minute to process…but I decided ok, just go with it.   So I started talking to him about my race and riding etc.  He opened his garage and showed me his bike and I ended up talking to him for about 20 minutes.  The entire time I was standing there thinking to myself, is this real? Is this seriously happening right now?!  Do you remember saying you were going to kill our dogs like two weeks ago you wacko?!  Either way I entertained him and then went on my way.
Saturday evening I had some people from work here.  A girl who I work with came up with a challenge to Swim Across America.  Every lap that we swim converts to distance on the map and we have certain check points.  We hit our check point for New Orleans and so I offered to host the party at my house.  I was bumming a little bit because all of my friends happened to be heading to the beach for running of the bulls in Dewey.  I was a little low on cash though so it was no biggy.  Once everyone got here we fired up the grill and everyone had a really great time!  It was nice to have some people here and enjoy time away from being at work, that’s for sure.  When we were sitting around the table someone looked over at me, and right in front of everyone said “Ian!! Holy cow, look at your arms!”  Now if you have learned anything about me from these posts, I HATE being the center of attention! So of course someone else joined in and complimented me and I was just beside myself.  She followed it up with “Every time I look at you I am just amazed!” So even though I was the center of attention for a minute I didn’t mind it because that was one of the greatest compliments I have received yet. 
As for the rest of last week, nothing too big happened.  I workout, I eat and I teach swimming.  That’s about my life right now.  I did take my friend on a ride last Thursday.  It was her first ride on her bike so we took it slow and I just gave her a chance to crunch through some gears and get used to the roads around here.  After circling back to where we started, I hadn’t had enough yet and wasn’t ready to go back home.  So naturally I went back out.  I ended up killing my ride and really enjoyed it.  I know I said it before but there is just something about clipping into your bike and forgetting about everything else that is going on. 
Even after a slow start I still managed 20 miles in an hour and a half.  Can’t complain!
Tomorrow it is right back to work.  I am excited to start the “power phase” of my lifting and I really hope it carries over into my riding and swimming.  Everyone keeps telling me that if I just learn how to flip turn that my times will get faster but I won’t have to flip turn in my race so why waste pool time so close to my race on learning it and perfecting it.  Definitely something to consider for the “off season” though. 
Last thing I want to share is a picture of the family in front of the camper(that gave us a hell of a ride down) at the beach.  When I saw this picture I must say that I didn’t even recognize myself.  Still there are some days where I will walk passed a mirror or something and see my reflection and catch myself stopping for a second look.  It’s a great feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
 Thank you to our awesome photographer Susan for this shot of the whole family!
Here we are in front of our camper for the first time!
I think I covered most of the stuff I wanted to cover, naturally I am sure there are things I have left out.  I am going to make it a conscious effort to post more often on here even though it is hard with so much going on!  Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.  Try to stay cool and HYDRATED with this heat wave coming across the east coast here!!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

WOW that’s all I have to say…

It’s been quite some time in between this post and last and I apologize.  Things have been very busy around here with the summer in full swing.  At times it feels like I am rolling downhill with no brakes, but it is keeping me busy!

I left you off with the annual 3rd of July party and it was a good time as always.  Just like vacation this year was different than previous years.  We were short quite a few friends this year but that is to be expected with everyone going different directions in their life.  We had a great time none the less and it was very enjoyable. 

The 4th was nothing to write home about, we had a few people here by the pool and a small BBQ but nothing too crazy.  I had to be up and out early on Friday for work so I wasn’t getting too crazy.  It really just felt like a pretty routine week for me, with a little extra time off.  This isn’t helping me much since mother nature hasn’t been cooperating and I haven’t been able to teach many lessons.  Friday after work I wanted to go for a ride but I didn’t want to go alone, it was extremely hot and I had just about every excuse there was in the book.  Nonetheless I geared up and went for a ride.  There is something about climbing on your bike and just going.  It got me right back to where I needed to be.  The terrain here is quite different than anywhere else I have ridden so far.  As soon as you hit the peak of one hill, you are going down to the base of another!  It was a challenge but at the same time I really enjoyed it…NO CHALLENGE NO CHANGE!

My Strava report from my ride.

As for the rest of the weekend it was really routine here.  Didn’t get too crazy or do too much at all.  Just a lot of the same old same old.  Sunday I woke up and went to church then went for a swim.  I need to get a little faster in my swim if I want to hit my goal on finishing top 10 in my age group.  It I go sub 1:15 for my race this is completely possible and I am stopping at nothing to get there.  After this we went to a birthday party for my cousin who turned 4 on July 3rd.  It was a party with multiple 4 years stuck inside because it, yep you guessed it, RAINED!  So sick of this weather!  None the less it was good to see some family that I haven’t seen for awhile and I don’t have any complaints, I love being around kids!

Here’s the a little dude with and entire plum shoved in his mouth!

I have a few things that I really wanted to share so that is why I wanted to write this post.  The first was that I started this blog and made my first post in May.  Since then I have had over 700+ views on here.  When I logged in to see that, it was so rewarding. WOW…. Just absolutely INCREDIBLE to me.  700 views….I can’t even wrap my mind around it.  I did not think in a million years that there were that many people interested in what I had to say!  I hope everyone is enjoying the post and getting something out of it because at the end of the day, that’s all I want!

Next on the 3rd we were sitting around the fire and playing a silly game.  We had to go around the circle and say something nice about or to the person sitting to our left.  A very good buddy and workout partner of mine was sitting to my right so it was his turn.  Mind you this is one of the guys that really got me started.  There were multiple who have been absolutely instrumental in this whole things and he is definitely one.  However, I was not prepared for what was to happen next…it came to his turn and he said:

I’ve been in the gym with you since day one brother and you have come so far, it’s awesome and you need to keep it up brother…great work.”
I have looked up to this guy since we started lifting together back in January.  He ALWAYS pushes me to work harder, give it my best, and walk away knowing I left it all out there.  For him to give me respect like that was an irreplaceable feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Again another WOW!
On Saturday we went out on the river for the afternoon.  I left the gym after a lift and I was feeling great.  I threw on some boardies and my tank and I was ready to hit it and show off my hard work.  We left the dock and had a nice ride down to the flats.  When we got there I looked over and saw some chicks sitting on there boat and they looked over at us.  Naturally I was all excited because I just left the gym and I was feeling great….Until they started laughing…WTF?!?! AGAIN!!  Was the laughter directed at me or was it a coincidence…? I will never know but naturally I could only assume that it was.  I wanted to walk over to their boat and say “Do you realize how far I have come?!” But I didn’t.  I jumped in the water and went to play some games with my friends.  Yeah it got to me a little but not enough to go and put my tank back on and that is what the old me would have done.  It’s a start right!?
When I got up to brush my teeth somewhere over the last week or two I noticed some changes.  Some changed I REALLY like.  I am beginning to see my shoulders and Bi’s develop and it’s a great feeling.  I have never seen changes like this before and so every little thing counts and every little step is more like a giant leap for me.  It helps me and pushes me to keep going.  I have stopped getting on the scale as much as I used to and really just focused on the changes I am beginning to see and it has helped a ton.  Check out this pic of my “shoulders” starting to pop out a little bit!(yes I took it while brushing my teeth, don’t judge!)
 Also take not of my sweet road id that I am super excited about!
Lastly today I was on my phone and someone responded to a tweet on my personal account.  He was asking about the “challenge” that I keep posting about.  I told him that it was about the last 10lbs I want to get rid of before I hit the 100 mark and that I was helping motivate a good friend who I was helping get started.  He said that was awesome and gave me congrats.  I didn’t even know that he was following me, let a lone paying enough attention to what I was tweeting.  It was pretty cool that someone saw something and wanted to know more about what was going on.  I am overwhelmed with people inquiring about what I am doing, who actually care and want to see me succeed.  And that was my third and final WOW of the evening. 
I have been up since 4:45 and I am absolutely exhausted, I probably forgot some things I wanted to say but I think I hit on most of it.  Tomorrow I am up early again to do some meal prepping and such before work.  Going to also try and squeeze in an AM run before I have to jump in the pool to teach some lessons.  I went out and bought tons of food today so now the only thing left to do is cook it.  Have a plan or plan to fail my friends!!  Keep doing what you are doing and remember stop worrying about those other people!  There are always people who are going to talk and as long as you are doing what YOU want you’re good! They have to put their head on the pillow at the end of the day and at least you can do it, knowing you did something you are happy about!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

A little of this and a little of that

So this post will probably take me awhile but I want to make sure to get all the things out there that I have in my head. As you probably already know, there’s a lot going on up there! Haha

So it’s Monday May 20th. I am coming off an awesome weekend away! Had a blast with my buddy all weekend, yeah the same one who left me high and dry on the run! Haha just kidding 😉 I was showered over with compliments and boy did it feel great!  I’m not someone who goes fishing for compliments or needs them just to get through the day. HOWEVER I will have you know, I do love me a good compliment now and again :). Other than that, it was a pretty standard weekend away. A hell of a lot of  NOTHING to do in Chambersburg PA that’s for sure. 
Today is a pretty standard Monday for me, got up and made breakfast. Decided I should probably go green smoothly to detox some of the crap that was in my system. I only cheated twice, but my theory is if you’re going to cheat, ya gotta at least make it count! So I had a big ole burger one night and some chicken wings the other. Nothing too crazy though. I have learned through this little journey that for me if I have a craving for something, I eat it. If I want a cookie I have one, or ice cream or candy, etc. If I deprive myself from things like this then all I do is think about it for the next three or four days.  Cue the downward snowball effect now and next thing you know I’m eating and entire box of cookies as opposed to just eating one when I had the craving for it. As I have said before I’m not the best out there, hell I don’t even know half the things some do, but I have experienced it, I have lived it, so hey maybe I know a little something. 

Here is my delicious smoothie from this morning:

1/3 cup each of avocado, strawberries, and blueberries. 1 green apple and a little bit of water BOOM!

After I devoured this deliciousness I headed out the door to work. I jumped in the car and poked around my radio stations, then comes Teenage Dream by Katy Perry and I about lost it. It’s incredible how one song can take you back to this spot in your life where you were and you feel everything you felt in that moment. I hate it and I love it all at the same time. This song was probably one of the first songs someone said they thought about me when they heard and so they would sing it to me or text me the lyrics, blah blah blah, I won’t sit here and bore you with the details of it. It’s just crazy how the words took me right back to that point. Now why am I telling you about this you may ask?  I am not really sure, I just need to get it off my chest to be honest and this is my outlet for one. For two its the third or fourth time in less than 24 hours something has happened and I’ve immediately thought of…well yeah you can guess by now. 

I guess the other reason I bring this up is because it ties in to what one of the guys said to me this weekeend in a way. If you’ll remember he said “don’t let anything or anyone get in your way!”. When it comes to something like this, something that takes a lot of focus out of you sometimes it can be hard to not let thing get in your way. Especially when you’re talking about feelings. Like I said before I’m taking everything careful but I’m certainly not brushing it under the rug, everything happens for a reason. Along with that I came to the conclusion that with this sport, it is about 10-20% training and probably 80-90% mental. It takes a huge toll on you mentally to stay on track and stay dedicated to what you want. But when you want something as bad as you need to breath you will make it happen!

This weekend was a reminder that I am doing great things and I CANNOT and WILL NOT give up!  The motivation that I got to keep going was incredible and I loved it. I needed it and it was absolutely the perfect push. This game is so mental and when someone gives you that push by showing they care, it amazing. I would love to have the effect that these people have had on me on someone else. That would make me successful. That would be just absolutely amazing. 

Well I am done work and done what I think is everything I had to say so it’s time to pack it in and go hit the road for a little run!  Thanks for reading, come back again 🙂

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself