Why 2015 Was A Year That Changed My Life

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to end my last blog post of 2015. This blog has only been up since August 2015. Just a quarter of my year has been captured. Knowing that only a quarter of my 2015 had been captured made me realize that there’s so much more to my quest for my perfect body then what was written down.

Knowing how many years I’ve struggled to get towards my dream body, I guess it was time to write a letter to myself for 2016. I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. What I am a fan of is year long planning with the goal of continuously improving your goals to eventually reach your dream.


Dear Michael,

Going into 2015 you had a fitness goal to do the following:

3/6/12 month Goals for Fitness
The Vision

  • Beach Body!!!
    • Consistent waist under 35 inches
    • Square Powerful chest
    • Arms greater than 15 inches
  • No bags under eyes from lack of sleep (7-10 hrs sleep a night)
  • No chronic joint pain (knees, back, spine, etc)
  • Have less than 20 lbs of fat on my body
  • No travel excuses for eating right
  • 175+ grams Protein, veggies, carb sources mainly from rice and potato sources.
  • Build Beach Body of dreams THEN get stronger with that physique
  • No more yo yo seasonal eating. Avoid the unhealthy relationship with wheat/fat/sugar/processed foods!! This has been my set back for years!

Like all things in life you had a curve ball thrown at you. The biggest distraction came around January 2015, when it was revealed that you would have to attend a specialized training class for a project. That project meant that you would have to spend at least 10 hours of day working in isolation. It took less than a month for you to realize that it was almost like a career death sentence.

You tried your best to deal with the situation but as the weeks kept coming along, you realized that it was a time for a change. Despite how much you loved the company you worked for, you were not in love with your actual job. You made a life-changing decision by giving up your six-figured job.

Introducing Entrepreneur Mike!

Entrepreneur mind with lightbulbThose next few months were exciting. You had a ton of business ideas. At first, you decided just to focus on your side e-commerce business. It became your new full-time job. Despite our best efforts, the business was just not profitable. I didn’t feel like a failure because the experience taught you a lot about yourself.

I started hanging out with people that had dreams of success just like us. Some were successful, others were still finding their way. The people who were doing better often designed businesses around their passions. It was at that point that I realized we should base our business around our biggest passion in life….fitness!

Fitness Goal Review

It was at this point in 2015, that I looked at my fitness goals for the year. I saw how close I was to achieving them back in February 2015, but got sidetracked by life. I thought I would still have plenty of time to achieve the goals, so I didn’t try as consistently. In late June, I attempted one quick fat loss experiment. I got down to 199 but it was just carbohydrate manipulation. The eating method I used to drop the weight wasn’t sustainable.

Who would listen to a person who couldn’t even accomplish his own 2015 fitness goals? I started to doubt myself again. Maybe we shouldn’t even think about going into the fitness industry.

As the negative thoughts piled up, I reviewed our past workout journals. I saw our past online diet journals. I saw all the weightlifting routines we had purchased over the years. I even glanced at our incredible 2010 physical transformation. Looking at all that evidence reminded me that…I WAS THE PERFECT PERSON to teach other’s about getting into shape!

Why Not Me?

31That’s when I thought about creating this blog site. Too many people see the final product of a fitness guru. Well, I wanted to be different. I wanted to share all my faults and doubts. I wanted people to see that I was human just like them. When you see that perfect picture of me, I want you to realize the amount of physical and mental work it took for me to look that way! Getting the perfect body you desire is not easy! That is what separates MicVinny from other fitness sites.

Even if it makes me look like a chump, I’m willing to share my journey. I could never ask you to do something that I’m not comfortable doing myself.

With that being said, as I approach 2016, I want you to remember who you are Michael. You’re the guy who took a big gamble on life. You decided not to be one of those individuals who always wondered “what if”. You are a #1 best-selling author! You are an online fitness coach! Nobody can take that away from you!

Use that knowledge and enthusiasm to spread your message to your Fan Club! Let your journey be the inspiration for others to Release The Beast!! Continue pushing towards your own fitness goals!

If you do all this you will be rewarded with success. I guarantee it!

Love,

Michael 2015

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Six

To stay motivated, Michael has decided to update everyone on his main 2015 goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until the goal is accomplished.

History

Back in January 2015, Michael had a goal to lose at least 15 pounds of fat by the end of the year. If he did not suffer muscle loss, 195 pounds would roughly equate to 15 pounds of fat loss.

Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals for 2015 was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary measurement.

If you missed it, go back view previous weeks:

WEEK 5: December 11th – December 17th

December 18th Stats
Scale Weight: 201.4 lbs
Waist: 34.0″

Week 6 Main Goals

  • 80% compliant with my eating .
    • That means that out of ten meals of the week, eight of them had to follow my healthy eating plan.
  • Get more than 7 hours of sleep a night.
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Two years worth of data shows that this is where my calories need to be to lose weight
    • That breaks down to:
      • 178 grams Protein
      • 178 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
  • Weight Training 3 Days a week
    • Sunday: Chest, Back, Shoulders
    • Monday: Legs, Abs
    • Tuesday: Biceps & Triceps
  • Conditioning
    • 10-30 minutes of steady state exercises three times this week

Observations & Challenges

Going into Christmas I had a pretty solid plan. It looked good on paper but reality hit. I had a very unexpected situation raise it’s ugly head. It totally knocked me off my game. This situation needed to be taken care of before Christmas.

My normal daily rituals got put on hold as I handled the emergency. I ended up only physically working out for one day this week. My plan was to lift weights for three days and do some light cardio in the mornings for the remainder of the week.

Once I settled the emergency, I decided to just go into holiday mode. The situation was so stressful; I needed to just enjoy the holiday season. It was a good reminder that we all just need to enjoy our lives.

NOTE: If you need to build some skills to handle real life situations check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! and gain the confidence you need to live in the real world!!

Food Stats

Here are my food stats for the week. :

Mike's Daily food journal for December 18 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 19 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 20 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 20 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 21 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 22 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 23 2015Mike's Daily food journal for December 24 2015

End of Week 6: December 25th, 2015

  • Scale Weight: ?? lbs
  • Waist: ??
  • 42% Compliant
    • 8 out of 19 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

I was so distracted by the emergency situation, that I forgot to bring my tape measure and scale with me. It’s no big deal. If you take a look at what I was eating throughout the week, I can pretty much guarantee that I’m not 195 pounds!

Even though I’m a week away from the end of 2015, it doesn’t mean I need to panic over my goal of reaching 195 pounds. The real goal was to maintain a waist less than 34.5 inches. I believe I will have achieved that goal.

When it comes to what the scale says, remember that I can only control what I put in my mouth, NOT the numbers on the scale. Those numbers don’t accurately reflect muscle and fat. It’s just a total mass number.

To get a better understanding of my diet numbers I actually performed a caliper body fat analysis on Saturday, December 19th. Here were my stats:

Mike's Body Fat Calculations

That analysis shows that I only have to lose 5 more pounds of fat to meet my goal. With the holidays here, I don’t realistic see me losing that much fat before 2016.

THAT’S OK!!!

I’m blessed enough that I’m already at a place where I’m comfortable with my body. I personally (along with my family and friends who see me) think that I’m too thin right now. The only reason I will continue to pursue getting down to 195 is to show the MicVinny Fan Club what it truly takes to meet a long term fat loss goal.

Getting towards your dream body takes time and dedication. There will be lots of roadblocks! But if you are able to deal with the losses and enjoy the successes, you will be rewarded at the end!

My goal for this upcoming week is to have a Merry Christmas and spread some holiday cheer! I hope that’s a goal for you as well.

7 Reasons Why I Believe Your Life Begins After 30

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan of NFL football. This past weekend I was watching a game and heard the announcers mention how running backs hit the wall after the age of 30. They also mentioned the age of the oldest running back in the NFL. I was expecting them to state that he was over 35 years old. NOPE, he was just simply 32 years old! Seriously 32 years old!

Why were the announcers trying to make me feel so old? My 35th birthday is approaching this week. It amazes me that I’m 35 because I don’t feel “old”. I stopped tracking my age every since I turned 24. The last ten years of my life has been nothing but a blur. I wonder if other people feel that way?

I’m only 34 going on 35. I can only imagine how it feels for people over the age of 40. What about the people over age of 50? With this age issue on my mind, I decided that I should create a blog post about why I feel that your life truly begins after 30!

Here are my top reasons for why I believe your life begins after 30:

You Have Money

Well, this might not be true for everyone but the majority of people have more money after the age of 30. While in our twenties, most of us do not have steady jobs. We were still trying to figure out how to create a career for ourselves.

I remember being fresh out of college and scrapping to get my first engineering job. I had to take several low paying jobs to make a living before getting a job with my degree. Lot’s of former college students can relate.

All those low paying jobs eventually lead to some decent paying jobs. Those jobs have allowed me to have a 401k plan and a savings account. Heck, I even get to have the “pleasure” of having a mortgage because I now have money.

Better Sense Of Purpose

We are always trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up. That doesn’t stop the moment you turn 18. Heck I’m 34 going on 35 and I’m just now realizing that I prefer being an online fitness coach/author than just an engineer.purpose-1-6

Does that mean I wasted my life by going to college and getting an electrical engineering degree? NO!!! That was all part of my life experience. We go through phases of our lives that develop us as people. If I had not gotten that degree I would have never gotten the opportunities to see the world. By seeing the world I was able to grow as a human being and expand my mind beyond America.

As you get older you start figuring out WHO YOU ARE. Life experiences have led you down paths of successes and failures. That is what helps us figure out our purpose in this life.

You Become Stronger

I didn’t get my weightlifting career started off properly. I originally lifted weights only to lose weight, not to get strong. Even though I was using weights ,I was not really trying to create muscles. I just used it as a form of exercise.

As I go back and look over the last couple years of my life, I have gotten significantly stronger after the age of 30 then I had before 30. It makes me wonder what I would look like if I had been lifting weights correctly from the age of 18.

All those years of me consistently working out correctly would have resulted in me being stronger at my current age. When we are at the gym, we need to remember that we are investing in our future selves. So this body I have now is due to all that work I put in my body before the age of 30. With the strength and dedication I have now, I’m excited for what I’ll look like when I hit my forties!

Better Appreciation For Food

Square bowl of kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberriesWhen you’re young you’re dumb. Your metabolism allows you to eat anything and look great. What tends to happen is that we don’t try as hard to be disciplined in our diets.

We read and follow whatever the experts are telling us. Want to grow muscle cheaply? Drink milk! Want to live longer? Ditch the meat and become a vegan!

As the years go by, you will be exposed to various types of foods. Having that exposure helps you have a better understanding of how your body reacts to certain foods.

Remember those ads telling you to drink milk? Well now you’ve come to realize that you’re lactose intolerant, so it’s best you stay clear of dairy. Felt weak being a vegan? Well maybe it’s because you didn’t properly get enough protein in your diet to support your lifestyle.

As a young man I was just trying to eat cheaply while gaining (or losing) as much weight as possible. If an article said to consume protein every two-three hours, I tried my best to get in as many meals as I could during the day.

Now that I’m older I understand that that the end game is what really matters. Protein powder is just one of several ways to get protein in my body. I’m more about eating my calories. As you aged, you got a better idea of foods relationship with your own body. That’s something that doesn’t happen early on in life.

You’ve Seen Some Highs

I peaked around the year 2010. I was on a serious diet and training exercise routine from 2009 until 2010. That routine was geared towards me losing weight, so by the end of it I had become a very lean. I never had my body fat that low in my life. The pictures I took towards the end of the training were inspiring.

That work that I put in during that year lasted a good two years after I finished the training. My discipline allowed me to maintain that body for a while. That was the best my physique has ever appeared. It had happen at the age of 30.

You’ve Seen Some Lows

There were a lot of growing pains before the age of 30. I became the fattest version of my self before the age of 30. In my twenties I battled bouts of being really skinny and then surprisingly chubby.

One of the biggest low’s occurred while gazing upon a mirror after a business trip (I talk about it during this video). Not recognizing the reflection almost brought tears to my eyes.

I know what it’s like to be ashamed. I know what is like to be this guy who talks about fitness and have people look at you like you’re crazy because of the way you physically look like. I was that guy for a lot of years.

Desire To Be Great

Mohamed Ali fist coming at you!

All the years of my life have gotten me to the point I’m at now. I refuse to settle for being average. I want to become a better human being. I no longer just want to let my life go by without doing something about it.

I’ve done enough reading over the years where I’m starting to see the big picture now. I understand my purpose. When reading this blog, most folks come here only seeking fitness guidance. That’s not my only intent. The other message I’m trying to get across is that you need to be happy with yourself. If you’re not happy with that reflection you see in the mirror, no amount of treadmill walks, squats, presses, yoga sessions, etc. will solve that!

I want to inspire others to achieve their own perfect dream body. In this blog, I mention my own trials and tribulations of attempting my own dream body. I like inspiring hope for folks. That’s one of the reasons I wrote the book, Release The Beast. I wanted to inject positivity in other people’s lives.

Why? Because I have a new desire to be achieve greatness. I don’t desire for anyone that I come in contact with to settle for anything less. The fact that I have the ability to change lives is remarkable. The lives I change can then go on to help other people change their lives.

If everyone could help just one person a day and pay it forward…man this world would be astounding!

I just love this new person I’m becoming. I refuse to let anyone tell me that just because I’m over the age of 30 that my life is over.

HECK NO!!!!

My life is really truly beginning. I don’t care how old you are when you read this blog post; just start living your life TODAY! You still control what you can do. You can choose to be happy or miserable in this world. I just know that as I’m approaching 35, I’m choosing to live each day like it’s my last!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Five

To stay motivated, Michael has decided to update everyone on his main 2015 goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until the goal is accomplished.

History

Back in January 2015, Michael had a goal to lose at least 15 pounds of fat by the end of the year. If he did not suffer muscle loss, 195 pounds would roughly equate to 15 pounds of fat loss.

Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals for 2015 was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary measurement.

If you missed it, go back view previous weeks:

WEEK 4: December 4th – December 10th

December 11th Stats
Scale Weight: 204 lbs
Waist: 34.4″

Week 5 Main Goals

  • Get back to being 90% compliant with my eating .
    • That means that out of ten meals of the week, nine of them had to follow my healthy eating plan.
    • I went overboard the days after Thanksgiving. I wanted to get back on track.
  • Get more than 7 hours of sleep a night.
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Two years worth of data shows that this is where my calories need to be to lose weight
    • During the previous week I ate too many calories consistently so this was my main focus of this week.
    • That breaks down to:
      • 178 grams Protein
      • 178 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
  • Weight Training 5 Days a week
    • Sunday: Chest & Calves
    • Monday: Back & Abs
    • Wednesday: Shoulders & Hamstrings
    • Thursday: Quads & Abs
    • Friday: Biceps & Triceps
  • Conditioning
    • 10 minutes of random exercises four times a week after weight lifting

Observations & Challenges

During this past week I was faced with a dilemma that everyone who attempts a diet will be faced with sooner or later. This week I went out to a restaurant for dinner with some friends. So what’s the big deal about going to dinner? I wasn’t going to cheat.

Normally when faced with the prospect of going out to eat, it becomes easier to make that your cheat meal for the week. I didn’t want to use the fact that I was out in a restaurant an excuse to eat poorly. I had already done that (see Week 1). I use to eat out at restaurants all the time when I traveled for my job. It was time for me to get back into restaurant eating shape.

Prior to going to the restaurant, I viewed its menu online. The website didn’t have nutritional facts but it did provide some good details about what each dish contained. Once I got to the restaurant I ordered a roasted chicken salad with the salad dressing on the side.

As my friends and I waited for the food to come out, of course we were presented with breads. This particular restaurant is infamous for their delicious variety of breads. I was so tempted to have one bite, but I reminded myself that today was a day to stay strong. Christmas is next week, and I already have three days marked off as possible cheat days. To meet my goal of getting down to 195, I would need to eat my 1776 calories on this day. I did not need to go over that amount.

Once I told myself that the bread was not in my plan, I got over it. After some good conversation, our food came to the table. As soon as I got my salad, I realized I had just made one tiny mistake. I forgot to order extra chicken for the salad. I needed that extra protein to meet my macro-nutrients for this day. Instead of dwelling on it, I just reminded myself that it was OK and enjoyed my salad. Out of the full cup of salad dressing that was presented to me, I used barely a teaspoon of it. The salad had avocados in it, so that was more than enough flavor.

As I drove home, I felt good about my efforts. I had set out to do what I wanted to accomplish. Sure in the past, I use to eat at restaurants with ease. I’m humble enough to realize I’m not that same guy at this present time. I’m slowly trying to build that skill back up to get back towards that level of leanness. It’s just like riding a stick shift. Once you learn it, it stays with you but that first drive is probably going to be a somewhat shaky.

NOTE: If you need to build some skills to handle real life situations check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! and gain the confidence you need to live in the real world!!

Food Stats

Here are my food stats for the week.  Can you guess which day was a cheat day?:

Mike's Daily food journal for December 11 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 12 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 13 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 14 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 15 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 15 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 17 2015

End of Week 5: December 18th, 2015

  • Scale Weight: 201.4 lbs
  • Waist: 34.0″
  • 94% Compliant
    • 16 out of 17 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

So that’s two weeks in a row in which I’ve been back in the zone. Nothing complicated, just consistency. Like I said last week, all I can control is what goes in my mouth. I can’t control the scale and/or tape measure. I know that if I hit my target numbers, the desired result will come.

As I get closer to 200 pounds, I also know that I am strictly in a fat loss mode. There’s very little chance of me gaining new muscle when going this low. I have to be very careful that I don’t start to lose muscle. In the previous weeks, I was making sure that my overall calorie intake was about 1776 per day. Now that I’m closer to my 2015 goal of losing 15 pounds of fat, I need to make sure it is only fat I’m losing.

What that means is that I will need to make sure that I’m getting enough protein. It doesn’t have to be perfect every day, but I do need to make sure I’m getting closer to 178 grams than 100 grams a day. Remember, that my goal is to look muscular when I lose my fat. I don’t want to appear like a stick figure. That’s why I came up with the macro-nutrient ratios.

My food plan is designed to aid my weightlifting sessions. A couple times during this past week, I didn’t feel like I had my A game at the gym. I got fatigue very easily and I know that’s a combo of my total calories and peri-workout nutrition. For these final weeks, I’ll be drinking Branch Chain Amino Acids before and after I work out. Think of it as extra muscle insurance due to my calories being so low and activity slowly increasing.

I’m confident I can still get down to 200 pounds just by following the same routine for another week. There’s no need to reduce calories even more and/or add too much activity to my workouts.

This upcoming week will be somewhat of another curve ball like Thanksgiving. This is the week of my birthday and Christmas. Two days I definitely plan on eating what I want! I expect my stats to increase slightly before I weigh in just like they did for Thanksgiving.

My goals for this upcoming week is to have 80% compliance (going slightly down from 90% due to 3 planned cheat days) or better eating habits, try to get closer to 8 hours of sleep (I’ve been averaging 7), and do four 10-minute cardio sessions after I lift weights.

With the weeks dwindling down in December, do you still think I got what it takes to be 195 lbs by December 31st? Or will this countdown have to cross over into 2016? Stay tuned for Week Six!

Why It’s Time For You To Seek A New Road In Life

Imagine that you travel down this one street for all of your life. That street is laced with familiarity and comfort. You know exactly what you are going to get when you ride along that street. There are no surprises.

Days turn into weeks. Those weeks turn into months. Those months turn into years. Yes, YEARS of being comfortable on that same familiar street.

One day you see a brand new road. This new road is somewhat of a myth. Nobody that you associate with has ever successfully traveled down that road. Due to the mystery of this road, all sorts of rumors spread about what goes on in that road. Some say that there’s happiness down that road. Some say lots of riches await the person daring enough to go down that road.

This brand new road is not in any GPS system. You cannot just Google it for a sneak peek. To go down this road will require you to use your natural instincts. It will require the use of all of your senses to keep you alerted of any possible dangers you might encounter.

As you look down this road, your mind just goes crazy with all the thoughts and possibilities that could happen for the person brave enough to go down that road. You wonder if you have the courage to go on that trip someday. As you ponder that thought, you decide to keep going on your familiar street on the way home.

TIME GOES BY

white picket fence houseWhen I first started this blog I was on my familiar street. I saw a possible new road and decided just to walk a block down that road. On that road appeared a couple of houses that I did not recognize. On the front porches of those houses, were people glaring at me. They were not necessarily giving me the evil eye, but you could feel that they wanted to make sure they knew what I was doing in their neighborhood.

Just like you, they were not use to change. For so many years, they had not seen a soul walk down their street. They were very curious about me. Instead of being intimidated, I just kept walking…slowly. I was observing to my new surroundings. The houses were bigger then what I was use to. Each house had a nice sized yard. These homes were what I always envisioned the American dream being.

After I walked down that first unfamiliar block, I turned my head back towards the path I had just walked. I could clearly see the street I always knew. I figured it was time to go back home. I did enough exploring for one day.

MORE TIME GOES BY

Another month goes by before I decided to venture back onto that unknown road. This time as I walked down the first block, I didn’t see as many stares at me. It was as if the residents knew I belong. After I got pasted that first block, I noticed that the ground started to incline. As I had been walking, I had only been keeping my eyes down. Given I was in unfamiliar territory, I didn’t try to look ahead.

As I approached this incline, I decided to raise my head up. That’s when I saw that in order to keep going; I would have to walk up a hill. I’m talking San Francisco category of hills!San Francisco classic Hill

I couldn’t see exactly what was on top of this hill, but I could see that it was high and scary. From where I was standing I could still look back and see that familiar street. It was more than a block away, but it was still there. It was comforting knowing I could always go back to my familiar street.

Something in me changed though. I could feel my mentality start to shift. I had been on that familiar street for so long, I knew that I had to see what was up that unknown hill. It looked like it would challenging to climb, but I was wanted to climb it. So I took two deep breaths and started to walk forward up that hill….

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN

This article is about life’s choices. You see, I was faced with a major life-changing decision today. I had the opportunity to go back and do what was comfortable. I decided not to do that but instead take a risk. Everything you see on this blog site is me taking a risk.

I was making over $100,000 doing my former line of work. Just because I was making a decent amount of money, did not mean I was happy. That money was just a sign of me being comfortable and not willing to see what other paths were out there in this world. I told myself when I started this blog that I would never look back on my life anymore!

I don’t want to ever have any regrets. I hope you feel the same way in your life. Whether that’s at your job, your health, your relationships or a combination of things, I want you to feel brave enough to walk down that path of unfamiliarity to change for the better!

If this is your first time reading one of my blog posts, stop being a stranger! Give me a holla and join the Fan Club! Let’s walk down this new path together!