Friday, August 24, 2012

Day 62: Losing It!

In the last week, I've been getting up early and going to the gym.  My workouts are part of a new method I'm trying called circuit training.  This involves training your body differently every time you work out.  The eight-week work out I'm working on has me pumping iron three days a week.  On Mondays, I do a set of exercises in a moving circuit.  In other words, I perform a set of one exercise, then move on to the next.  Once I've completed all of the exercises (which work the whole body), I go through each set again, then repeat one more time.  I do three sets of each exercise in rotation.

Above is an example of a circuit training routine.

On Wednesday, the exercises change and so does the pattern.  I go through the first set of exercises doing one set at about half the weight as I would normally do to warm up my muscles.  Then, I go through the entire set again at max weight, but increase the repetitions from 10 to 15.  Finally, I do about 15 minutes of hard cardio.

On Fridays, the exercises change again, as well as the pattern.  This time, I do all three sets of an exercise (10 repetitions) before moving onto the next, resting only for a couple of minutes between sets to keep my heart rate up.  

This type of rotating circuit training accomplishes several things.  First, it turns on the fat-burning mode to get that unwanted fat off the body.  Next, it challenges the body to adapt to different exercises using different muscles every time.  This way the body doesn't get used to a specific stagnant routine.  Finally, it maximizes the amount of work your body gets in less time.  So, there are less excuses to not hit the gym or park.

So, has this been working for me?  Well, with the diet changes and consistent exercise, I have noted that my clothes are getting looser.  So, this morning I decided to get on the scale.  I haven't done that in a couple of weeks, because I was staying stagnant at around 253 pounds.  This morning I was 246.  Since I started my 90-day challenge, I've lost almost 15 pounds.  My total weight loss since last year is about 40 pounds, which means I'm nearly halfway to my goal of 85 pounds.

The lesson here: Stick with a program as long as it's working.  Once it stops working, don't be afraid to change it up.  The most important thing to remember, though, is to get out there and exercise.  Of course, always try to eat the most optimal food ever.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 60: Why Organic?

Tonight, I attended a talk at a vegan restaurant that happens every week.  We discuss issues about healthy living, like a plant-based diet, detoxification, exercise, etc.  Tonight, the subject was mostly about the importance of eating organic food and avoiding foods with GMOs (genetically modified organisms).  Because this is so important to me and to the planet, I would like to discuss some ideas we tossed around tonight.

Food that has been grown conventionally creates problems on many levels.  First, from a health view, it contains chemicals that build up in the body, suppress the immune system, create disease from allergies to cancer and rob the body of important nutrients.

Second, conventional farming practices pour massive amounts of poisons onto the plants and ground.  This gets into the food chain, contaminates our water supply, has devastating effects on pollinators like bees and butterflies and ruins the soil.

Third, many crops are now contaminated with GMOs, especially corn, soy and wheat.  These foods are found in almost all of the boxed, canned, frozen, and prepared foods that so many of us eat.  Foods from fast food restaurants, commercial grocery stores, coffee shops like Starbucks and virtually everywhere else contain at least some ingredients that have GMOs.  Research about the effects of GMOs on our bodies and the environment is inconclusive and already starting to show negative results.  Please educate yourself about this important subject and try to eat organic food as much as possible.

Eating organic food that is grown in good soil with love means that you are creating greater health for yourself, the planet and all living things.  As much as possible try to make a commitment to eat as close to 100% organic food as you can.  Eat local.  Grow your own food.  Stop supporting companies that sell contaminated food.  Be healthy.

Mystic Merman

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 55: Still at it

Well, I haven't been blogging as much about my 90-day challenge, but that doesn't mean that I'm not up for it.  I'm still rocking it.  I'm spending more time outdoors and trying to stay away from the computer, which is having a great impact on my waistline.  Today, I fit into a size 38" waist, which is a great accomplishment.  A year ago, I was a size 44.

The last week has been a bit more challenging with my workouts because my hours at work changed.  I'm staying later which makes it more difficult to go to the gym when the place is mobbed.  I'm reading about fat-burning workouts, so I plan on incorporating some new weight-lifting routines and I'm switching to the mornings before work.

My cardio workouts are going well.  On Tuesday, my friend Jay and I went to a grassy park and did some interval training.  It was a combination of sprinting for 30 seconds, burpees for 30 seconds, and jumping jacks.  The burpees really suck, but I impressed myself that I could keep up to a full sprint for 30 seconds.  We did a total of 10 explosive intervals, so I was hurting a bit the next day.  We have plans to meet again tomorrow afternoon for another hardcore workout.

I continue to refine my diet by eating less, juicing, making smoothies and eating small, light snacks.  Planning is so important when it comes to eating right.  If I don't have healthy food around, it becomes easier to get hungry and grab something less than optimal.  My goals for this next week include planning my shopping and diet ahead of time.

Well, I'm off to the gym.  Hopefully, the scale will reflect the same good news as my new pair of 38" shorts!

Be Healthy!

Mystic Merman

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 46: Just over the halfway mark

Yesterday marked the halfway point on my 90-day challenge.  It feels less like a challenge every day and more like a lifestyle, which is the main reason I took this on.  As discussed in the last post, the momentum keeps going in the direction we choose to go.  The more we pour into positive choices, the better results we get.  

As it's getting kind of late, I just wanted to post a quick update.  I haven't posted in about seven days because I had family in town over the weekend, and I'm still playing catch up at work after a week off.  Also, it's been very warm here, so I've chosen to be outside more, especially at the beach.  

Last week, I had a great week because I juiced every night for dinner and ate a smoothie for breakfast.  My diet was almost completely liquid, with an occasional tomato or sliced radishes.  This week, I've included more solid food.  Today, I ate my superfood smoothie for breakfast, had a simple salad for lunch, and a nice raw meal for dinner at a restaurant where I've been co-hosting talks on raw food and nutrition.  Because it's really heating up here, I'd like to spend the rest of the week eating high-water content food, juicing and blended greens.  

My workout routine is still strong, but I need to focus on my strength training.  I tend to do the same routines at the gym, which is not as challenging and I'm not getting results as fast.  I have some great books on workouts which I plan to look over and come up with a really challenging routine.  I'll probably work on that this week and implement it over the weekend.  The cardio workouts are still great, so I'll stick with them and try to get in the ocean several times a week.

That's it for now.  By healthy!
Mystic Merman

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 40: The momentum is unstoppable

Today is the 40th day of my 90-day challenge.  What's amazing is that the more I support good habits, the greater the momentum gets.  Every day, it gets easier to make green juice or a superfood smoothie instead of filling up on starches, grains and fats.  Every day it gets easier to go straight to the gym, the stairs or the beach after work instead of heading home to do more sitting on my ass.

As I discussed in a previous post, whatever we feed grows.  If we continue to feed habits that we know are bad for us, it becomes harder and harder to break away from them.  The same goes for the opposite.  The more we feed our good habits, the easier it becomes to continue these good habits and the bad ones begin to fall away.  

While I still have a lot of work to do, I'd like to make a list of the positive habits I'm forming right now:

1.  Eating a whole, plant-based diet every day that is free of processed grains, chemicals, bad fats, and overly cooked food.

2.  Taking the time out of every day to make one green juice to clean out my body, nourish my cells and lose weight.

3.  Reducing the amount of cooked food I eat to be no more than 10% of my diet.

4.  Spending three days a week at the gym in strength training to increase muscle mass, protect my infrastructure and bone health, and burn unneeded fat.

5.  Spending 30 or 40 minutes, three days a week on interval/cardio training to increase my metabolism, strengthen my lungs and heart, and create stamina and endurance.  

6.  Creating a more positive image of myself in my mind to attain my goals and continue to be good to myself.

I could probably list more, but these are the main part of my focus.  I'm so grateful to be where I am now and look forward to a healthier, happier me.  By healthy!

Mystic Merman

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 36: Back to the routine

After a week at a kid's camp in the mountains, I'm back to my regular routine.  The camp was amazing, and allowed me to stick to my challenge as much as possible.  Exercise was not what I have been doing at home, but it certainly was a lot.  My cabin was situated at the top of the hill, so I got a great cardio/leg workout about six or seven times a day.  Also, I took the kids canoeing, swimming, hiking, and helped run team games.  There was rarely a moment of rest, so it's hardly a wonder that I lost another 5 pounds.

Food was a bit challenging, but fortunately there were other vegans and kids with gluten and dairy allergies.  I was able to find something to eat at every meal and always had a big salad.  I also brought some superfoods to snack on during the day.

Yesterday was my first day back at home.  My roommate and I went to Encinitas for the day, spending the better half of the morning swimming in the ocean and walking around the cool city in the afternoon.  Today, I started my day with a smoothie, had a liquid lunch and a salad for dinner.  I actually felt really good having liquids, so I might consider doing only liquids for the rest of the week to get a fresh start and continue the weight loss.  35 pounds lost, 50 more to go.  I'm doing it!

Mystic Merman

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 26: Juice Therapy

Well, the first 26 days have gone by so quickly.  On Tuesday, I'll be 1/3 of the way through my 90-day challenge.  While I committed to doing more juicing, it got off to a rough start.  I found myself too busy in the evenings to pull out the Green Star, so I stuck with salads, quinoa, or other meals.  Last weekend, I decided to stop making excuses and set aside time every night to juice.  So far, I've juiced six days in a row.

Tonight's green juice (I'm drinking it as I write this) contains the following ingredients:

Dinosaur Kale
Green Apple
Mixed Spring Greens
Red Onion

Now that will clean you out!  Another thing I've been doing every night is following my green juice with a coffee enema.  If you don't know anything about these, you can read about it here.  This is a really fantastic way to stimulate the kidneys and liver to release toxins into the bowels and get them out of your body.  There is nothing better than a clean body.  Green juice and coffee enemas are one of the best combinations to do just that.

Well, for the next week, I won't be blogging or posting on my Facebook page.  I've taken on the responsibility of a camp counselor at a kid's camp.  I choose the vegan option for food, but who knows what that is going to look like.  I'm actually going prepared with a lot of superfoods, so I can stick with my diet.  Exercise won't be a problem, since they'll be 50 kids to run around after and activities planned for every moment.  I will give a report when I'm back.  Until then, be healthy!

Mystic Merman