How Much Is That One Bite Worth?

Imagine spending weeks putting together the perfect plan. A plan that will get you in top shape to get you towards that perfect body you always dreamed about. You plan on omitting the junk foods you crave to ensure you will be eating only the foods that will aid in developing this new body.

There’s not an ounce of sugar in this plan. Not even a slice of white bread. Your enthusiasm is great. Your willpower is even stronger. You know that this time will be different.

One day you’re home in your safety zone. Your safety zone is completely clear of all temptations. The foods in the zone are geared towards aiding your diet and training plan. Up to this point, your training and diet have yielded great results in your body.

You feel unbeatable after weeks of success. You know that a big holiday is approaching and you think that it’s finally ok for you to stray from your perfect diet. You’re not even going to think of it as a cheat meal because all you plan on doing is having some dessert to your standard meal. How bad can that bite be?

Three days later you wake up with a odd sensation in your stomach. Your mind is blurry and hazy. You feel like you went on a alcoholic binge but there was no alcohol involved in this unfortunate situation. Your attempt to be perfect for so long has backfired. Welcome to the world of the holiday weekend binge! As you place your hand on your head, you ask yourself

“How much did I give up for that one bite?”

ALL OR NOTHINGWoman in a All or Nothing top

Too often we demonize foods. We as humans have an All or Nothing mentality. This is the mentality that tells you that if you’re going to lose weight you have to be super strict. This is the mindset that tells you if you’re going to eat some pizza, you might as well eat at least half the pie. This is the mentality that tells you that if I take a sip of soda, I should just finish off the 2 liter.

If this doesn’t sound like yourself, congratulations because you are in the minority. Today, there are countless people who suffer from the All or Nothing mentality. I know I’ve been one of those for the majority of my life.

I’m not one to snack away on small portions. I’m the type to go big or go home! When I eat cake…..I EAT CAKE! I don’t tip toe around it. I know it’s something I should not be eating on a regular basis, so I will over indulge.

My Name Is Mike…..And I Have A Problem

Why is this fitness coach telling you this? By admitting that I have a problem it’s easier to identify it and prevent it from happening too often in my life. That’s one of the first steps towards recovery.

I live in the real world. In this world you should be happy. There’s no need to demonize food all the time. The most successful and healthy long term food relationships occur when you can accept things the way they are. That’s why I create trigger food lists.

Trigger Food Lists

Trigger food lists allow me to record all the foods I have issues with. I have two lists, one yellow and the other red. The yellow trigger food list is a list of gateway foods. These are foods that I can control myself around but know that they can lead down a path of binging. An example would be peanut butter and bread. Those items can be in my house without me craving them. But if I was to eat them together, I normally would make a PB&J sandwich would then turn into me craving something even sweeter a few days from now. That’s a yellow trigger food.

My red trigger food list consists of foods I know I shouldn’t be eating. These are the foods that I know I can’t control myself around at all! There’s no such thing as taking one bite with these foods. I will eat it all! These are the foods that keep preventing me from going to that next level of fitness. I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I just can’t control myself around these foods, so they should be put on this list.

Jubilee-cakeIf I know I have a problem with cakes consistently in my face, I don’t totally give up on eating cakes forever. No, I just ensure that I do not make them a part of my daily life. That’s why they would be on my red trigger food list.

I’m not perfect so I try to eat red trigger foods occasionally then on a daily occurrence. If I would keep cakes around me all the time, there’s no telling how far I would balloon up too. I would eat sugar so much, that I would become immune to it. The sugar would force my brain to continue to eat more and more. Not out of necessity but more out of dependence.

Food Can Indeed Be A Drug

That’s why it’s important to know what exactly you’re getting yourself into when you do have just one more bite. Right or wrong, be prepared for the results.

If you find yourself two days from now still stuck in a junk food coma, you’re not as strong as you originally thought you were. Those months of perfect planning are now out the door. It shows that you were not quite ready to Release The Beast. Do yourself a favor, and put that food in your trigger food list.

Having that food properly labeled and identified will help you in your long term fitness journey.  Unnecessary binges and setbacks no longer have to happen.  When faced with the occasional cheat meals, you will have identified whether or not you should attempt to eat that particular food item.

You now have your answer to that question….

“How much is that one bite worth?”


Why keep doing this journey alone? Take a peak at Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside and get the mental help you need!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Nineteen

Welcome to Week 19 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat which that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 2016

**SPECIAL NOTE**:
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 health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals 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 (but way more accurate) measurement.

WEEK 19: March 18 – March 24 2016

March 18th Stats
Scale Weight: 205.0 pounds
Waist: 34.3 inches

Week 19 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 205. to 204.8 pounds.
  • Keep waist from going over 34.6 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was the third and final week of me performing Vince Gironda’s 8×8 routine. I am soooo glad that it’s over after today! This is one of the simplest and efficient workouts on paper. You only spend 20-25 mins at the gym so it’s excellent for those with time constraints.

BUT DON’T LET IT FOOL YOU!! You better be ready to work your butt off because your muscles will be screaming at you! My entire body is aching from exhaustion. I did not do a single “normal” leg exercise yet my legs are extremely defined right now! Vince Gironda was a genius when he came up with his simple workout routines.

Now that the 8×8 workout is over I will be doing a deload week for my Week 20 workout plan. A deload week is a week where you let your body recuperate by performing exercises at a reduced weight/pace. You’re giving your body a rest but not completely sitting on your behind all day.

Socializing & Cheating

Social Gathering # 1

This week I had two planned social outings. Unlike last week, these were going to happen on two separate days. The first was a dinner banquet for an award ceremony on Saturday.

Thankfully, the event had a good diverse selection of healthy food that I was able to almost not call this a cheat meal. The only part of the meal that would be considered “cheating” was the chocolate mousse cake I had. Right after my first two bites I realized that my taste buds had changed. The cake tasted too sweet.

For my dinner that night, I decided to get some more sweet & salty goodies. I settled for the same two coconut crème pies that I had for Valentines Day (see What Cheating On Valentine’s Day Taught Me), pizza bites, and some potato chips. I hadn’t had pizza bites since I was in elementary school and was curious to how they taste. A couple bites in, I wasn’t impressed. They definitely weren’t as good as my childhood taste buds remembered.

The potato chips were an interesting choice because they are a known red trigger food for myself. These particular chips were Cheddar & Sour Cream. As soon as the first handful went in my mouth, I instantly knew why I put these on my trigger food list.

Within the hour I had polished off the entire bag. At one point I told myself I was done, but just couldn’t let the rest of those chips in that bag know they had won! They had to be mine on that night!

I’m joking but it’s that’s the type of thinking that lets me know I can’t control myself around certain foods. That is why potato chips are on my red trigger food list.

After polishing off the chips, I ate the coconut crème pies. Just like the chocolate mousse cake, they were too sweet. It’s amazing because about a month ago I didn’t think so.

I’m proud to say that I am in “The Zone”. Some call it Da Grind. Others may call it “in control”. Whatever you call it, it’s just the point where you’ve been constantly eating healthy for such a long time that the foods you shouldn’t be eating just do not appeal to you. That seems to be my case with store bought baked goods.

Social Gathering # 2

During my second planned social gathering of the week, I went out with some friends for a long overdue gathering. Due to my “two cheat meals in one” day, I wasn’t sure if I was going to cheat or not for this gathering. I originally was going to be strict since my friends know I watch what I eat.

Once I got to the restaurant, I decided to let my guard down and just enjoyed myself. I didn’t gorge myself. I just made sure I stayed in control. I even ordered an apple pecan pie.

When I got home, I got a strong desire for some more sweets. I knew I had some microwavable sweet kettle popcorn in the pantry. My mind became obsessed with thoughts of eating that popcorn.

As I thought about it, the voice of wisdom whispered in my ear….

Michael, remember what you told yourself last week what you would do!

So with that thought, I pulled out my iPhone and looked at my Release The Beast advantage card. I instantly remembered why I didn’t need the popcorn. This simple stupid jester put me right back on track.

Note: If you’re wondering: What’s an advantage card? What’s a trigger food list? What the heck is this guy talking about? You need to check out Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside!

Food Journal

Here are my painfully honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 18 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 19 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 20 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 21 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 22 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 23 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 24 2016

End of Week 19 Stats: March 25th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 204.2 lbs (0.8 lbs loss from previous week)
  • Waist: 34.3 inches (0 inches lost from previous week)
  • 86% Compliant
    • 18 out of 21 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

I’m pleased with this week’s results. I mentioned last week that a great fat loss program for someone who’s already in shape would have you average .25-1 pounds of fat loss a week. That’s what I was able to do this past week.

Upcoming Week 20 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 204.2 to 204 pounds
  • Keep waist from going over 34.6 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Take a Deload Week and recuperate from the past 19 weeks of constant weight lifting
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

19 Weeks Down……9 Pounds (of Fat?) to Go……Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

Easter Weekend is here and our hero has his heart set on devouring a big chocolate bunny! How will it taste? Will Mike finish the whole bunny? Will the bunny find a way to escape from Mike’s evil clutches?

Tune in next Friday for Week 20’s Results! Happy Easter!

How I Finally Understood The Importance Of Leaving A Legacy

I will never forget my second business trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. I was going to be in town for a week’s worth of events and came prepared. I had mapped out the entire area and knew where all the grocery stores, restaurants and gyms were. I wanted to make this trip an exemplar trip for my upcoming busy 2013 business travel schedule.

Upon my Sunday afternoon arrival at Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport, football was on my brain so I rushed to my hotel room.  Once I got to my hotel, I saw the local TV station games were of no interest to me so I went to the grocery store. I picked up healthy food items that would keep my physique in check for the entire week.

Now that I had completed establishing my hotel “Safety Zone” (read Release The Beast), I proceeded to continue watching football while surfing the Internet. You see, Christmas was only a few short weeks away and I wanted to help my sister buy laptops for my nephews.

I called my sister and spoke about my gift ideas. After awhile, we started to talk about other topics. Eventually, I expressed to her how I had been reading this book on the flight to Knoxville that blew away my mind! That book was Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro & Napoleon Hill.

Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro and Napoleon HillThink & Grow Rich

Most inspiring entrepreneurs have heard of the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Not too many are aware of the Black Choice version. As an African American, I highly encourage you (no matter what ethnic background you have) to read this version of it. It’s captivating to read stories of poor Black Americans rising up and creating dream lifestyles despite impossible circumstances.

The last chapter I read before talking to my sister, talked about creating your legacy. Up into that point I never really thought too much about my legacy. I had always gone by day by day. Sure I saved money in the bank due to my well paying job, but I never truly thought about what I was leaving for future generations.

My wife and I currently do not have any kids. What I do have is several young cousins, nieces and nephews. As I started to think about their current lives, I realized that these family members are a part of my legacy. It’s up to me to make sure they understand what I have been through in this world. For better or worse, it’s my responsibility to look after them and share my past with them.

Is This My Life?

As I sat in that hotel room it was like a light was shining on me. I sat and thought about my daily routine. I had been just showing up at work without really having an end game in mind. I was collecting a good paycheck but didn’t really have a true purpose at the job. I was only content with being in the job position I was in and not moving upward. I start thinking that if I wasn’t going to move upward or laterally, what would my next twenty years look like?

Have you ever had a job where you’ve seen someone at the same position for their entire careers? Never striving to be anything more then average? Despite all their talents, they were just happy with collecting a paycheck and staying in place. Is that the type of person I wanted to portray to the next generation? Is that how I want them to remember me as?

If I was to die today, I started to think exactly what would I be remembered for? The person who never spoke up about anything? As a youngster I was always told how special I was. Everyone would tell me how smart I was. At what point did I stop advancing? As I read more and more into the chapter, I just knew that couldn’t be me!

My college years damaged me tremendously. I always hated school but after graduating college, it just furthered my hatred. (Note: I look forward to writing my book series about my college life later this year. It’s been loonng overdue! )

Despite my hatred for school I understood the importance of education. You need some sort of education to understand the past so you can properly prepare for the present and future. So where exactly was my future taking me?

Present State Of Mind

That thought provoking process a few years ago is what led me to the point I’m at right now. You see, I’m in the midst of creating a legacy I would have never guessed ten years ago. I always had bosses that saw the potential in me, and told me that I would be able to run my own company some day. I use to be too young and naïve to really listen to them. As the years have went on, the message they were trying to teach me has become crystal clear.

We all don’t know how much time we have on this planet. If that were the case, wouldn’t it be awesome if you lived your life each day! Whether that’s in business, family, relationships or fitness, just imagine actually living life to it’s fullest. Visualize the day you’re gone and the smiles on people’s faces. Not sadness and depression. But actual joy on their faces because they knew the life you lived. They know that you did not live a selfish life but one of excellence. A life of making this world a better place.

The Legacy Of Two Incredible Women

Aunt Betty

When I think about legacies, the first people in my life that come to mind are my Aunt Betty and Aunt Pam. My Aunt Betty passed away from cancer when I was six years old. I only knew her for a short period of my life, but it was long enough to leave a lasting impact.

Whenever I see myself eating something new and exotic, I think of my Aunt Betty. I remember the countless restaurants she would take my mom and I out to for lunch.

Chinese Food with sweet & sour chicken plus friend rice, lo mein noodles.
My First Sweet & Sour Chicken Experience was With Aunt Betty

There’s without a doubt that I got my love and passion for food from my Aunt Betty. To this day when I try new restaurants, I can’t help but smile because my Aunt Betty helped plant that seed in me. It’s a gift that she passed to me without even realizing. I look forward to thanking her some day.

Aunt Pam

My Aunt Pam was someone extremely special and dear to my heart. She was one of the nicest people to ever walk upon this planet. My Aunt Pam had two boys the same age as my brother and me so we were very close as children. Even when my mom moved from Ohio to Virginia, we still stayed tight like brothers. In the summers my brother and I would stay in Ohio with my Aunt Pam. That’s why I always felt she was my second mom. I didn’t’ shy away from calling her mom on occasions.

As I became older, it became evident the sacrifices my Aunt Pam made to make us all happy. She hid her pains and frustrations from us kids. Her exterior was only to make the people around her lives joyful. I have yet to meet anyone that knew my Aunt Pam that didn’t instantly feel in love with her generosity and kindness. She didn’t have wealth of money but she had a spirit about her that remains unmatched.

After high school, my college and professional career kept me from being able to consistently stay in touch with my Aunt Pam as much as I would have liked. The simple phone calls did not happen as frequently as they should because I took life for granted.

My Aunt Pam passed away in 2013.

I’m thankful enough to have been able to speak to her before she passed away and tell her just how much she impacted my life. Even in that short emotional conversation, I don’t think she got the full impact she’s had on my life. There’s so many things instilled in me from our time together. From the way I clean a bathroom, to the way I make a sandwich, to even letting my guard down so individuals could see the goofy side of me. That was her legacy to me.

A Legacy Is More Than Wealth

Both of my Aunts were not rich. Neither one had any type of monetary inheritance to bestow upon their families. What they did do was unknowingly leave something much greater than money. If I could only impact someone’s life 1/100th of the way those two impacted my life, there’s no dollar amount that could equate to that!

That’s the type of legacy I wish to achieve someday. If I could just change one person’s life the way they changed mine, I would have lived my life to it’s fullest! I can only hope to achieve something so similar to another person’s life.

As you go about your day today, think about my story and ask yourself ……What’s the legacy I’m leaving behind?

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Eighteen

Welcome to Week 18 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and than maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat which that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)
November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 2016

 
**SPECIAL NOTE**:
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 is 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.

WEEK 18: March 11 – March 17 2016

March 11th Stats
Scale Weight: 206.2 pounds
Waist: 34.5 inches

Week 18 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 206.2 to 205.5 pounds.
  • Maintain waist under 34.7 inches
  • Average eating about 1776 calories a day
    • To support my activities and achieve the desire physique look I’m going for that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

My legs were extremely sore last week. This week it appears that my body has slowly adapted to the 6 day training schedule. The Vince Gironda 8×8 routine only takes about 20-25 minutes to finish. It’s a very short and efficient workout that isolates your muscle groups.

I usual promote doing the big compound movements and then maybe some isolation movements if necessary. Vince’s 8×8 plan is so effective at getting your muscles to pop up, I can’t hate with his plan! If he were living, I would shake his hand!

The only problem I’m having is that it appears that my body is trying to grow muscle instead of losing fat. I haven’t been doing any conditioning while doing 8×8 due to its short rest time. I feel that I may need to start doing some simple cardio like walking to supplement this workout routine.

Sleeping

My wife and I had a big curveball throw our way. It all started with a planned outing with some friends at a bar. We got home around 2 am and didn’t fall asleep until after 3 am.

The next day we had to take a short road trip to visit my wife’s parents. We wanted to start driving by noon, so I had planned to get a good 6-8 hours of sleep. Of course that didn’t happen, because I forgot to close the bedroom curtains!

As soon as the sun started to shine around 7am in the morning, I woke up. AGH!! I knew from that moment it was going to be one of those zombie sluggish days. So that entire day I was in a daze.

To top it off, another obstacle was thrown our way that Saturday night. The clocks went forward! So that was another hour of sleep I lost.

Once home, my wife started to suffer from allegories and caught a cold. That totally changed both of our sleeping patterns due to all the sneezing and coughing.

Sleep this past week has not been a given. I stopped waking up as early as I normally do so I could try to catch up on my sleep. I know there’s no true way to catch up on missed sleep, but my body does feel better now. Next week, I’m sure our sleep will return to 7+ hours.

Socializing & Cheating

As I mentioned early, we had two back-to-back events planned. The first was an outing with some friends. The next day was my father in laws birthday. Looking at these two events I wasn’t sure if I would totally have a cheat meal for both or only on one day.

Hanging out at the bar with my friends, I was going to try to only go slightly over my calories. I pre-gamed by drinking some protein shakes before the event.

As we arrived and the conversation got going, I decided I would try one alcoholic drink since everyone else was drinking. I regret the decision. Not because that I think drinking alcohol is bad. The cocktail drink I bought tasted like super sweetened cough syrup! It was way too sweet and disappointing for $12.

For my dinner I settled on a burger that didn’t turn out well either. It was grilled way too long and tasted more like char than burger. I ended up eating more fries than I normally would have. That unsatisfying meal left me hungry for more. On the way home I stopped by Wendy’s for another burger fries and a shake.

The next day on the drive down, I skipped lunch at our house. I thought I had enough to eat from the previous day to hold me over until dinner. For the first hour I was right, but the fact that I ate mostly junk turned my body against me quickly!

We stopped at a Wawa and I got a sandwich, chips and honey bun. I think I will write about that food combo in my next Junk Food Diaries post. When you look at my food journal below, take a look at how much fat is in a honey bun. I use to eat those daily when I was in high school. No wonder I was skinny fat, those food stats are crazy!

After eating those foods, my stomach was full. A couple hours later, we ended up going out to dinner for the birthday celebration. I had a nice dinner but the junk food in my system made me overindulge in some sweets that night.

I got back on track that next day but I know I could have done a better job with those two days. One bad alcoholic drink led me down a 5,000 plus calorie journey.

I would not have gone deep down this path if I had just used my Release The Beast advantage cards. I now have a daily reminder in my phone.

Food Journal

Here are my “You can’t judge me!” food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 11 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 12 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 13 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 14 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 15 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 16 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 17 2016

 

End of Week 18 Stats: March 18th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 205. lbs (1.2 lbs loss from previous week)
  • Waist: 34.3 inches (0.2 inches lost from previous week)
  • 75% Compliant
    • 18 out of 24 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

The day before I weighed myself, I thought I wasn’t going to experience any weight loss due to the way I looked in the mirror. I spent three hours contemplating what additional changes I needed to make to get me over a imaginary hump.

When I woke up this morning to weigh myself I took a quick glance in the mirror. Amazingly my body looked slimmer than it had these previous days. I knew that once I stepped on that scale and took my waist measurements, I would be pleased with the numbers.

I am definitely in that slow fat burning zone. I’ve been in a deficit for so long, I can no longer expect big weekly drops. It hurts the ego but that’s my reality!

Like everyone I want quick results. That’s why depending on your own willpower and guidance is so hard. This is where coaches and personal trainers can help you get out your own way. When you are so focused on the short term, they are there to keep track of your real overall goal.

In my case, I wanted to lose 15 pounds of fat. Yes this is called “Countdown to 195” but I don’t care about being exactly 195. That’s just a hypothetical set point that 15 pounds of fat loss would equate to. Fat loss is my priority while keeping (or maybe gaining) as much muscle as possible.

A great fat loss program for someone who’s already in shape will have you average .25-1 pounds of fat loss a week. Losing 5+ pounds of fat a week is unrealistic when you’re already close to your target weight.

Now if I were out of shape and overweight, then YES, 5+ pounds of fat would fly off my body with my current workouts/nutrition plan!  Heck, if I went completely on a no carb diet I would lose weight quickly as well….BUT that would NOT be fat loss!!  It would be water/glycogen loss which gives you a false sense of accomplishment.

I accept that I have to do a little bit more than the average person to lose weight. So that means in the upcoming weeks I will be introducing simple cardio like walking into my routine.

Upcoming Week 19 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 205. to 204.8 pounds.
  • Keep waist from going over 34.6 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

18 Weeks Down……10ish Pounds of Fat to Go……Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

Fat loss is starting to come to a crawl. Is our hero going to freak out? Is a cake binge on the horizon? Just who does this guy think he is? Tune in next Friday for Week 19’s Results!

How Mirrors Reveal The Truth About Ourselves

We all know the story. An evil witch looks into the mirror and wants to know whose the most beautiful of them all. The mirror talks back (because you know mirrors do that!) and tells the witch that a princess is better looking. The witch gets mad and goes searching for the princess…..yada yada.

That story is all all fine and dandy in fantasyland but what about reality? How often do we actually observe what the mirror is really telling us? Do we actually SEE what the mirror is displaying to us?

In my journey to reread Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical and Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside, I’ve come across Chapter 22: Mirror Stare Down. The book challenges the reader to use this instrumental piece of home furnishing for further self-development. With all the technology you have in your possession, how often do you actually think about how valuable your mirror is in your life?

Daily Lives

Think about all those countless mornings with you standing in front of a mirror. Staring at your mouth as you brush your teeth. Watching the foam create a toothpaste beard around your mouth.

If you are a guy, remember that first shaving experience? Smothering your whole face with shaving cream for a full Santa Claus beard. Once the cream was on you drove your razor through it without a care in the world. After two strokes you noticed several red dots dripping as you glanced in the mirror. Once you washed the cream off, you placed tissue paper in the areas to soak up the blood like a true rookie.

Ladies, how many hours have you spent doing your makeup in front of mirrors? How else would you see if you put just the right amount of foundation on your face before going out with the girls? Or looking at your body as you twirl around making sure the outfit you had on was fierce enough to get the attention of that special someone that night.

The mirror has become an overlooked staple in modern homes. It’s impossible to envision a bathroom without a mirror. Heck, outside of a toilet I feel that a mirror properly defines a bathroom. It’s always just been there. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has felt that we take it for granted.

Gateway Into Reality

This tool allows us to explore a world that would be lost to us without its invention. Every day we see the planet through our own eyes. The view from our eyes only allows us to naturally see certain parts of our body like the front part of our body along with our appendages. But that’s only about half of our body.

What about our faces and backside? That’s where mirrors come in handy because we can’t always rely on another’s opinion. We want to see the truth for ourselves.

Once presented with the truth, what do we do with it? Despite having this tool to show us our reality we still try to ignore it! As a child I remember glazing in the mirror and seeing a person more heroic and stronger than I was in reality. Due to my lack of self-confidence I didn’t want to see what was really there.

cat looking in a mirror and seeing a lion

It wasn’t that I didn’t see my reflection but it was the fact that my mind wouldn’t allow my eyes to truly accurately see the reality! For so many of us that have been trapped within our own struggles, we refuse to see the reality in the world. We can see an image but we just can’t put together what’s truly there!

Do you get what I’m saying?

When I was the heaviest in my life, I remember looking into the mirror every day and not seeing my obesity. I saw exactly what I wanted to see. Not the reality of what the mirror was trying to expose. Does that sound familiar?

Well, it’s time to wake up!

Face Your Reality

When you get the chance today, I want you to really look in the mirror today. Look at that reflection looking back at you. That is you! That is the image the world is seeing of you. What do you currently see?

Are you smiling?
Do you look happy?
Are you sad?
Does that image represent strength?
Does that image represent courage?
Is that person physically in shape?
Is that image scared to make eye contact?
Does your eyes look them in their eyes or goes straight to their body?

Make note of all those feelings and reactions you experienced when looking at that image. Now just close your eyes and take a deep breath. This time when you open your eyes I want you to Release The Beast!!

Stop all that negative thinking!

Know that you have a chance to change this image of you RIGHT NOW!

For the next week just take a minute each day to really look at yourself in that mirror. Look into that reflection’s soul and let them know that you got their back in life! Use this to build confidence to live a better life!

At the end of the day, that person in the mirror is the one that’s going to help you succeed in life! It’s time to show your appreciation with positive acknowledgment and love that person in the mirror.