Wed 19 Oct 2011
Tue 29 Dec 2009
It’s here– the New Year’s Resolution. Everyone talks about it; many act upon it and all of us stumble doing it. This is human nature. Even I had bouts this year with my 2009 Resolution. Last January I decided to make a point to get more serious about my health and fitness. I grabbed a copy of the
P90X In-Home fitness program and give it a try.Wow. What a ride. It began in the first week where I was miserable because of making new choices to fuel my body. No longer was I going to consume pizzas, 6-packs of beer or even foods high in salt and fat. The workouts were so grueling that I was in no shape to be even doing a program such as this. “What did I get myself into?!”The first week then became, the first month. The weight I needed to lose came off. The inches came off. The clothing became more loose– “…this is working!” I kept pushing on. My path led me to become a BeachBody Coach to help others become successful and achieve their goals. For once in my life I felt normal. I woke at the correct time each day; I went to sleep at a decent hour. I started to read various sites about health and fitness as if it was going to be a new career. I discovered a few new perspectives on eating well and to fuel proper workouts. I kicked all the packaged foods and went all natural and mostly organic/locally grown foods. This was the beginning of a real lifestyle change I can succeed.
Then came baby. No excuses here. Not blaming anyone but me. When my wife and I discovered that we were pregnant, that began a cycle that has been spinning way out of control. The pounds came back; well a few of them. An inch came back. My dietary habits were becoming a problem. Not that I went back to eating pizzas and beer, rather consuming more carbohydrates and grains than I have before. Then came Christmas. I think I ate my weight in Christmas cookies– yeah, not so good.
From January to July, my weight went from 247lbs with a 42″ waistline to 196lbs and a 34″ waistline. Not bad. Fan-F$@KING-Tastic actually. However, here I am sitting at the keys once again months later thinking, “How was I able to climb back to 205lbs?”
It’s pretty simple. We all do it. We all fail. We all give up. Everyday I try and remind myself of a great little phrase that I was told when I started this journey:
“Failure is giving up what you want MOST for what you want in the MOMENT.”
The last 5 months I have been giving into what I wanted in the moment instead of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I had goals. I wrote them down and look at them daily, but for some reason life became invincible to me and I thought “Why would I need to count calories anymore? I am a fit guy.”
Simply. Not. True.
We are all human. We celebrate our successes and we embrace great things when they happen to us. Becoming pregnant was such a high for me (and a terrifying realization) that I decided to celebrate too much– the party is over ‘bro.’
Back to the mat, back in the saddle; whatever you call it, it’s here. January 1st– but wait! Why does it even have to be January?
My resolution started yesterday. “Dig Deeper. Work harder. Better fuel.” I popped in a great Cardio Intervals DVD and 45 minutes later I was mopping up my own DNA from a great workout. While I was working out I thought of my wife, my baby, and my heart. Thinking about how important all those things are to me. This is my drive. Make today happen.
For those of you who actually need some guidance I have some advice on your goals to complete a healthier lifestyle. Below is what I am following for my successful 2010 Resolution. This balances the grueling beginning of a regimen and the onward push needed to get stronger and healthier. It combines a three-dimensional cardiovascular program (not chronic-cardio!), a strength program to build lean muscle to power your activities to achieve those goals, and finally a stretching and cleansing of stress yoga program. These three elements combined with a primal way of fueling your body will get you to your goals and complete the health you are looking for. So to you I say “Bring it 2010!” God bless.
Month 01: Cardio Circuit > Easing in
M: Cardio Intervals (One On One w/ Tony Horton)
T: Chest and Back X (P90X)
W: REST DAY
Th: Shoulders and Arms X (P90X)
F: Medicine Ball Core Cardio (One On One w/ Tony Horton)
Sa: Legs and Back X (P90X)
Su: Yoga X (P90X)
Week 4: Recovery Week
M: Kempo X+ (P90X+)
T: Core Synergistics X (P90X)
W: Fountain of Youth Yoga (One On One w/ Tony Horton)
Th: Core Ball Sandwich (One On One w/ Tony Horton)
F: Patience Hummingbird Yoga (One On One w/ Tony Horton)
Sa: Cardio Intervals (One On One w/ Tony Horton)
Su: REST DAY
Consume between 1800-2400 NUTRITIONALLY DENSE Calories daily. My plate for each meal should consist of 60-70% Vegetables and 30-40% Proteins. Keep non-nutritive fats to a minimum. Eat more saturated fats from flax, fish, muscle tissue (not the fat tissue) from pastured animals, egg yolks from pastured chickens, nuts (not peanuts).
- Chicken Breasts
- Lean Beef
- Lean pork
- Cold water fish
- “Valuable” Vegetables
- Steel Cut oats
- Olive oil
- Grains and flours
- Corn and corn meals
Month 02: Strength Circuit > Embracing Pain
To Be Continued…
Mon 14 Dec 2009
First resolution; I’ve decided to keep my site fresh. I’ve used my website over the years to communicate with my friends and family and allow others to keep in touch. Using Facebook changed that. I seem to notice that my entire life sits on a public site that causes me to waste hours of my time trolling others lives and staying connected.
This is good and bad.
The good part is that I’ve made some new friends or connections that helped me grow spiritually and mentally. I’ve been able to say hello to many old faces at any given time. That part is cool.
The bad part is that its impersonal. I scout through things I want to consume in a news feed. I read text about someone’s life and think it’s keeping me up to date on them instead of picking up the phone or even meeting in person. I’m becoming anti-social. This just has to stop.
My second resolution is stay fresh with friends and family “in person.” Not so difficult.
The next step is to really stay on top of my goals. Last year around this time I realized I needed a life line into a healthier lifestyle or I was going to end up in a coffin– that may be a bit harsh, but not far from the truth. I was eating whatever I wanted when I wanted and consumed way too many calories that were simply not valuable. I made a resolution to myself and my wife that 2009 was going to be the year that I made a lifestyle change.
It worked. Being terrified about growing old and having a life of illness was just too much to deal with that I realized that making this goal was going to stick. I had had enough. Almost one year later, I have been able to reach this resolution to almost ninety percent. The other ten percent I gave up. I lost vision a few weeks out of this year to realize I was heading back down that path. Getting my head and heart of straight was tough for me but the man in the mirror reminded me of what my goals were.
How is it possible that all these years I would make the decision to take better care of myself, but finding that by March I lost vision? Why do I fall short of my goals after only persisting for a few weeks?
I think for me it’s pretty simple, when I set a goal I get excited that change is near and because of not making myself a priority I place things that are not important in front. We all do it. Things that are unimportant like leveling up on a video game, or watching that favorite television show should never get in the way of making yourself a priority. Parents have the hardest time because they have situations like driving the child to soccer practice, a dance recital or even things like grocery shopping. We all have priorities.
Placing these priorities before taking the time to work on your health can really cause harm in your life. The saying goes something like this; “A person that can’t find the time to take care of their health can surely find time for illness.”
Since we know that there is never enough time in the day to get everything we want to accomplish, we need to at least make the time in our schedules for “me.”
Yes, I know, “…but Dan, how can I do this? I have no time!”
Simply–not true. Think of your day as 24 hours. You need at least 8 hours to sleep. Your work day may be 8-10 hours. If you work more than that, then you need to consider a new career. If you are working a 12 hour day, every day of the week I have news for you– you will burn out. I mean really burn out. Unless you love pain, stress, and being overweight; you need to figure out something while you are working. The rest of the time in your day is where you need to evaluate what you are doing. [For me] I found that I had almost 2 hours every night and 1 hour in the morning that I can spare for a workout and proper time to prepare my food for the day.
My workouts are 40 minutes to 1 hour long. On some days I am able to get a 15 minute abdominal workout in on top of that 1 hour.Â In the morning I use that 1 hour to prepare my food for the day. Lunch and a few snacks to keep me satisfied throughout the day is not rocket science, it’s clean eating.
This coming year, I am making another resolution. I will focus on the mental health in my life. I plan on cultivating some relationships I may not have been so healthy. I plan on taking the time to listen more. I will preach less and volunteer more. Making this new resolution will not cloud the old one. When we make a resolution, we need to stay focused. Last year’s goals are never in the past. They are there for us to regard as a milestone. If we achieve them, we must stay focused and keep moving forward. My goal of spending the entire year in health and fitness was a success. This doesn’t mean it’s over in 2010. I keep pushing forward, I keep moving on. Sweating, keeping nutritional goals under control and putting my health as a once a day priority.
Remember, if you can not take care of yourself; how can you take care of your loved ones?
Tue 22 Sep 2009
Man its been a while since I used this site. I hope there are still people out there reading, but since “teh facespace” came out, I seem to use that as my “what is Dan up to.” Problem is, the site won’t archive anything so my journal is missing. Hence why I am here.
I recently have been “that guy” who sits around the campfire and rambles on about how we should eat and debating the “science” about nutrition. I recently read The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. Great read about a lifestyle that allows for a higher fat diet, more plants, some fruits, and lots of movement. I learned much from this book and I’ve been thanking Mark personally for his perspective. Since I read the book, I’ve not gained any weight, but not lost any more weight than before when I ate a low fat, higher carb diet from some grains. I seemed to become a real food elitist and would find myself getting into these heart felt debates over a study done in the 50’s by a man backed by the corn industry. I probably have become hard to be around so much that I noticed that my friends stopped having me over for dinner due to my “paleo” style diet. (Just an observation, I am sure its speculation on my part.)
So I’ve discovered that the topic of nutrition really boils down to this: As a human species, we are built with this immense brain and neurology system that allows us to balance our own nutritional “diet” and we need to spend more time really listening to what we need and ignoring “cravings” of foods that don’t work for us. I really believe that nutrition “science” is fortune telling really. Sure there is data out there from real research but there are always anomalies out there that point to another conclusion. Think the stories of people’s grandparents eating tallow fried potatoes, home made buttermilk biscuits, and bacon breakfasts and living until 70 in great shape. Therefore, I am discovering no one “diet” can work for all. The hard part is knowing what is food, and what is not food. I think that processed, GMO’d, highly modified, man made foods are what is killing people rather than saying “Going Primal” is the only way to eat.
For instance. I ate some soy/corn/wheat wraps last night. Today I feel a bit more bloated than before, but I certainly wont pack the ponds on, or get pancreatic cancer from it. Moderation of anything is key. That is the lesson I learned this year.
My conclusion from the last nine months of this weight loss journey and fit lifestyle is basically boiled down to one statement.
“We all need to move more, and eat less [modified] food.
That one sentence alone can help lower anyone’s cholesterol and keep unnecessary weight off. I really do believe this. Take for instance last year I put on over 35lbs in less than 9 months. What was I doing for this to happen? Well if I look at the website here, I can see that I was baking bread like crazy. I can pretty much draw a conclusion that I was working out less (if at all) and eating lots of bread followed by lots of beer.Â I am probably a bit wheat intolerant. There is real science that demonstrates that we are somewhat wheat intolerant; people are allergic to grasses– wheat is a grass. Again, it’s not a one way perspective, rather a personal conclusion. I exercised almost 8 hours a week and dumped eating bread and lowered the brew guess what? I lost weight. Almost 50lbs and keeping it off. Have I eaten bread? Sure, but not 2 loaves a week with butter and jams. I’ll enjoy an occasional baked confection, but its wheat free or even rice free.
I am getting off topic here. So this is an ongoing research project in my life. Something that I think we should all decide and commit to. Moving more, and spending the effort placing what we put into our bodies for a nutritional purpose under a microscope with every meal is a great way to stay alive longer. Not to mention the endorphins that we produce from a great 30 minute workout spreads hours of great Karma to others. How can that be so tough? I can tell you it’s not. I always start off with this anecdote “If a 250lbs blob of unmotivated crap can get his butt off the couch and put down the remote and beer to workout for 1 hour a day can do it, so can you!”
And that my friends is the end of the chapter of Dan Merk as “The Food Elitist.”
Enjoy Life, in moderation. Peace.
Thu 13 Aug 2009
So it’s been a long time since I’ve updated this site. I’ve been losing weight, working out very hard and keeping the nutritional area really solid. I am really happy being an Emerald Independent Beachbody Coach. It has helped me lose lots of weight and most of all allowed me to help others get the same results. I have to say that I love P90X and I will keep doing it, but I am really loving what Erwan LeCorre and MovNat has done to my perspective on fitness. I’ve been adding in P90X routines in what I am calling “Primal” working out and that I think is really helping me understand about how to workout. This is why [I believe] people give up on working out not knowing how to work out.
Last week I constructed a Mace or Gada. It is a weapon yet, I am using this for working the core muscles. I never intend to use this on a human other than to get stronger muscles. Its construction was pretty simple. Buy a post hole digger handle from the Depot ($8), a 80# bag of concrete ($4) and a kids mini basketball ($3). Cut a hole large enough for the handle to fit in, mix the concrete, pour in, insert handle (I added a few doll rods in the pre drilled holes to bond to the concrete) and let sit overnight. I painted it black to look real. That is pretty much it. So here is the workout I’ve been doing this week. I plan on one more week of this to see how I feel. So far I really like this routine.
Primal Fitness Routine #1
- Speed Rope 1min
- Mace Swings 10R/10L
- Kettle Bell: 10 2H swings, 10 1H toss + Catch each side, 10x around the waist each side, 10 snatches each side
- 10 Burpees
- 2-4 min rest
- Repeat 2-4 times
- 1x Sprints all out for 60 seconds
- 2-4min rest
- Repeat 5 times
- 10 Burpees
- 1-2min rest
- Repeat 2 times
- 25 In-Outs
- 10 V-up Roll ups
- 25 Mason Twists
- Lite jog back home
Wednesday : REST
- 10 Squat Shoulder Press with 50# sandbag
- 10 2arm curls with sandbag
- 5-10 each side Shoulder loads with sandbag
- 30 seconds of Bear Hug Walk with sandbag
- 4 min rest
- Repeat2-4 times
- Yoga 1hr
- 2h Early Morning Hiking
- 10R / 10L Mace swings
- 25 Sumo Squats with some heavy object
- 25 Walking lunges with Mace
- 30 Jump Squats
- Rest 2-4min
- Repeat 4x