Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Seventeen

Welcome to Week 17 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 17: March 4 – March 10 2016

March 4th Stats
Scale Weight: 205.8 pounds
Waist: 34.9 inches

Week 17 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 205.8 to 204.5 pounds.
  • Drop waist under 34.9 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

This is the first week of me switching to a workout I had much success with in the past. This workout is an original routine designed by the late great Vince Gironda. Vince Gironda was a golden age bodybuilder who helped several great bodybuilding champions develop their trophy bodies! There would be no Arnold Schwarzenegger or Larry Scott without Vince.

Gironda style of workouts is more about getting muscle definition by isolating the muscles with typical reps between 8-12. His workouts are all about the technique with minimum exercises. The real kicker is his short rest periods of 15-20 seconds. Because of the short rests, his training plans don’t require you to do strenuous cardio routines. That’s why some of his trainees in the past were in such great condition.

In January 2015, I had great success following his programs. That was how I lost so much weight in a short time. I purposely hesitated in doing this style of workout again because I wanted to use it once I got closer to my goal.

The past few weeks I was doing a strength/hypertrophy hybrid. That style of workout switched between heavy weights and light weights.  I like the workout but knew that after 6 weeks it was time to shock my body with a completely different movement pattern.

Gironda’s 8×8 workout is all about light weights. There’s no way you could survive the workout doing heavy weights! Gironda’s 8×8 workout is the ultimate ego killer! Maybe that’s why I like it so much. On paper it looks easy, but to those who actually attempt it, it will bring tears to your eyes!

I’m a big boy so I didn’t cry this past week……..I’m just limping around everywhere lol. My quads are S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G! All I did was Gironda’s Sissy Squats using my bodyweight. Talk about being humble! Just last week I was ass-to-grass front squatting 185 pounds and now here I am limping due to only using my body.

Maybe I’ll get the courage to post a video of me doing the Gironda Sissy Squats so people can see just how hard they are. If his workouts were easy everyone would be doing it!

Sleeping

I started using my SleepCycle app again to see how my sleep is going. I started the week of strong with 7 ½ hours of sleep but as the week has gone on, my sleep quality has waned. I’ve been doing a good job of going to bed around 9:30 PM and getting up at 5:00 AM but i’m still tossing and turning throughout the night.

I have a habit of waking up at least twice nightly. Luckily, I still fall back asleep within 5-10 mins. But that’s a habit I would like to break. I’m assuming it’s stress related.  Or it could be due to the weather changing.  I prefer a colder room and it’s been pretty warm this past week.

I’m not quite ready to start turning on the AC yet.  I’ll keep a eye on this next week.

Mentality

I feel pretty good. I would always love faster progress but I’m currently where I deserve to be. I let myself slip up throughout this winter and just now feel my groove getting back. As long as I keep my eye on the prize, I’ll get there sooner than later.

Food Journal

Here are my delicious food stats for the week:

 

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 4 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 5 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 6 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 7 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 8 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 9 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 10 2016

End of Week 17 Stats: March 11th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 206.2 lbs (0.4 lbs gain from previous week)
  • Waist: 34.5 inches (0.4 inches lost from previous week)
  • 79% Compliant
    • 15 out of 19 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

This was another great week. I could visually see the changes in my waist. I think I’m finally at a point where fat loss is happening exactly where I want it to happen, which is my stomach.

Whenever I’m trying to lose fat, my face, arms and legs are always the first to shrink. The three areas in which I really don’t need to lose any more weight! Such are the cards I’m dealt with. It’s just the nature of my fat loss beast.

I was surprised to see that my scale weight had not changed. It makes me wonder if that’s due to muscle gain, water retention or maybe the dinner I had the night before still in my body? I have increased the amount of water I’m drinking to almost 120+ ounces a day. So maybe it is water weight.

Despite the weight gain you need to remember one key point…..I REALLY DON’T CARE HOW MUCH I WEIGH!!! MY PURPOSE IS TO LOSE FAT!! That’s it! If you depend only on the scale, you are sitting yourself up for sabotage. The waist measurement and visually test tell me I’m making great progress again.

Upcoming Week 18 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 206.2 to 205.5 pounds.
  • Keep waist from going over 34.7 inches
  • 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

 

17 Weeks Down……8-10ish Pounds of Fat to Go……Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

Weather is warming up…..I feel skin revealing season starting soon! How will I handle the pressure? Tune next Friday for Week 18!

Six Habits You Need To Become Your Own MVP

This past Saturday, I was watching American Sniper for the first time. Once the movie ended, I remembered that there was a potential great basketball game on between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder. As a sports lover without cable TV, I try to catch network games whenever possible.

Once I started watching the game, Oklahoma City was already up by ten points. As the quarter moved on, the lead pretty much stayed the same. Instead of just watching every minute, I decided to multi-task and started to watch some other TV shows and surf the net.

Every time I turned back to the game, Oklahoma City held a firm lead. By the time the fourth quarter came around, it seemed to me that this game was over. Oklahoma City was going to give Golden State their sixth loss of the season. I went ahead and watched another Netflix show until I feel asleep.

On Sunday night, I found myself surfing the Internet right during the Oscars preshow. I happen to stumble upon ESPN.com and saw this article about Stephen Curry breaking his 3-point record. I noticed a whole lot of articles about the Golden State Warriors.

“That seems odd, why so many positive articles when they lost last night. Wouldn’t Oklahoma City get some attention?”

That’s when I saw it….

I saw an article stating that Steph Curry hit a game tying shot in the 4th quarter that led to Golden State winning the game in overtime.

HOW IN THE WORLD DID THAT HAPPEN!!!!

I was completely blown away. That game was over! Golden State was getting handily beaten by an aggressive Kevin Durant & Russel Westbrook combination attack! Golden State was missing shots and just getting their butts kicked.

HOW DID THEY WIN THAT GAME!!??

I then looked at the highlights of the game and realized exactly how they did it. It was an all out effort of the reigning MVP, Stephen Curry!!

I posted 6 Wonderful Life Lessons You Need To Learn From The Golden State Warriors back in December 2015. At that time they were still undefeated. I felt a sense of history happening at that point in time. Now that Winter is almost over, the Warriors have only lost five games up to this point!

Golden State is a great team, but there’s without a doubt now that Stephen Curry is the current greatest playing NBA player! Sorry Lebron James, Sorry Kevin Durant…I respect both of those players but Stephen Curry is the MVP!

For those who think that Steph Curry’s Super Star status happened overnight (or any of those other former MVPs), you better think again! We all love to fantasize that all it takes is having a camera pointed at you and you will become a superstar. The Kardashian effect is not realistic. If you want to get to that next level of greatness, you need to become your own MVP.

Here are six habits that you need to develop if you are to become your own Most Valuable Player!

Jan 21, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors won 126-113. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY SportsNever Give Up

That game taught myself a valuable lesson. NEVER GIVE UP. No matter what the score is, no matter how hard your life is…you have to keep going! Life is not divided up into four perfect quarters. The game of life rarely goes perfect for us at the beginning.

What it takes is you grinding it out one step at a time. Eat one healthy choice at a time. Go to one gym session at a time. Each one of those habits add up over time. You may not physically see it, but your life is a scoreboard. You can either win or lose. The choice is yours. Why not put up as many points as possible and never give up!

Accept Criticism

Imagine winning a major championship and getting an MVP award after years of being ignored and made fun of. Then image having the majority of your peers talk about how awful your team was, and didn’t deserve the championship you had earned. Then image a whole network broadcasting this hatred 24/7. Now you hear the hatred from peers, the media and even fans of the sport you play.

stephen-currymvp3Can you imagine how angry that would make you? Imagine taking that anger and using it to have one of the best records in the history of your sport. Not just a season, BUT THE ENTIRE HISTORY of the NBA!

Despite this awesome record, imagine still getting hated on. Imagine people you admire talking dirty about you. Imagine them saying just how garbage you are. That what you are doing DOESN’T matter!

That’s what Steph Curry is currently going through. He is constantly hearing nothing but criticism. Day in and day out. So how is he responding?

He is currently putting up a historic season that cannot be ignored! He is showing the league that he is no fluke. He is embracing this criticism and using it to drive to new heights!

If he can accept that high level of criticism, why can’t you?

Practice Practice Practice

Stephen Curry dribbling two balls during pre-warmupNobody is great at anything when they first attempt it. The first time I ever attempted a deadlift; I almost injured my lower back. That tends to happen to a lot of people because you refuse to develop the routine over time with practice.

Stephen Curry did not make his first three point basket. Heck he could barely shoot a free throw. Now look at the guy! Those are the two areas he leads the NBA in! That accuracy took years of practice. Not a day. Not weeks. Not a month but YEARS of practice.

Build One Skill At A Time

We get sidetracked so easily that we forget to get good at one thing before moving on to another. Before every game, crowds are amazed at Steph Curry’s pre-game rituals. It involves dribbling two balls at one time for hand-eye coordination. He then takes amazing shots from everywhere on the floor. Increasing his range with each attempt until he’s almost near half court.

Each one of those skills were developed one at a time. Stop trying to master everything at once and you end up being a master of nothing!


Be Humble

Despite all the analysis Steph Curry has been getting, the one aspect I admire is just how humble he is. He and his teammates have every reason to be cocky. They have the best record in the NBA with one of the best players on the planet. Steph Curry decided to go against human nature and stay humble.

Remember that as you go through your own journey. You’re going to have people who want to distract you from your goals. Those ones hating now well eventually be the ones asking for your advice later. Do yourself a favor and just stay humble. It will make you a better person in the long run.

Enjoy The Process

Stephen Curry has worked hard to finally get the appreciation and attention he’s getting now. Whenever you see him, he always has a smile on his face because he knows just how hard the process was. The process is never easy! A lot of people fail to keep going on their journeys towards their goals.

You can either choose to be bitter about the process or you can just sit back and enjoy it. If you maintain that positive attitude while achieving your goal, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy it!

I don’t know what’s going to happen with the Golden State Warriors, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can. It was incredible when Michael Jordan and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls set the record for the most games won in a season.

This ride is becoming even more enjoyable because in the midst of it all, is a young man proving his MVP status by taking his game to a new level! It’s one of the most inspirational things to watch, and I’m so glad to be able to experience it!stephen-currymvp2

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Fifteen

Welcome to Week 15 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)
 November 20, 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 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 15: February 19 – February 25 2016

February 19th Stats
Scale Weight: 207.6 pounds
Waist: 35.0 inches

Week 15 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 207.6 to 207 pounds.
  • Waist under 35 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

I have to admit…..I saw a VERY shiny object Wednesday night! It was so shiny that it kept me up thinking about it until 2AM in the morning! This shiny object was a completely different workout routine.

That’s just how distracted I was, I sacrifice my normal bed time to stay up and research this workout routine. I even created a workout template trying to figure out how I could stop my current workout routine and immediately start it Thursday morning!

As I woke up on Thursday morning, I was tempted to just totally skip my AM workout due to lack of sleep. I had been on my current workout routine for 4 solid weeks. I can honestly say it definitely challenges me and the gym results are awesome!

Why would I want to change it? Well, like anything that you haven’t tried before, the exotic nature of something is always more appealing than what you currently have. There’s no question in my mind that my diet and workout are working in perfect harmony right now!

I would be an idiot for changing my workout too soon right! Well, the other factor that made me look at other workouts is that normally around the four week mark is when people change up their routine. Given that my weights have changed consistently there’s really no need to change the workout, but when you are use to change every 4 weeks, that habit sticks with you.

Sleeping

I’ve noticed that my sleeping has been off again. I am able to get up around 5:20 AM with no problem. My problem is going to bed around 9:15 PM to ensure that I get around 7 ½ hours of sleep.

My sleeping these past few days have been 7 hours or less for a few nights in a row. I also started watching too many TV programs past 9 PM. I need to stop myself from slipping back into bad habits. In order to avoid stressing my body too much, I need to make sure I’m getting 7 ½ or more hours of sleep a night.

Eating

I’m pretty much in the zone right now. Last Saturday, my wife and I went to see a movie. While there, we shared a medium sized popcorn. If I was going to go into super cheat mode, I would have normally eaten about ¾ of that popcorn by myself.

Given I was in the zone, I barely had ¼ of the popcorn. Due to the taste of cornels on my tongue, I did have some more popcorn later that night at home. But I still didn’t go crazy! I ended up making that day an official cheat day but I really just ended up eating more fruit than I normally do for dinner.

I felt really good being in control this week. I could feel myself becoming lighter this week due my current targeted daily calorie number.

Mentality

On Thursday morning, I decided that I would still go through my workout despite my lack of sleep. I owed it to myself to be great. So I drank my water and did my normal morning ritual. Due to this being a heavy day, I had a pre-workout drink of BCAAs. That along with some motivational music on the way to the gym lit a fire in me!

I bounced up and down in my car and felt the rhythm of the classic hip hop songs blasting on my Pandora playlist. I glanced at the rear view mirror, and repeated my Release The Beast chants…..”Release The Beast!!!…..Release…The….Beast!!”

If you have no idea what I’m talking about you need to check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside!

That mentality got me through a grueling workout. I felt so energized that all the heavy weights I used felt light during my lifts. It’s awesome what the right motivation will do to your progress!

Food Journal

Here are my honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 19 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 20 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 21 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 22 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 23 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 24 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 25 2016

End of Week 15: February 26th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 206 lbs (1.6 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 35.0 inches (0 inches lost from previous week)
  • 95% Compliant
    • 21 out of 22 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

This was a week in which the mirror told a different story than what the measurement tape and scale said. I can see my body changing in the mirror. I see how my waist is started to shrink, while certain muscles have started to become more defined. My measurement numbers could have been influenced by what I had for dinner last night, so I can’t take them seriously

This was a good week for myself. A pound of weight loss a week is a good thing at this stage in the game. It means I’m not losing weight too fast and losing muscle. I need to just keep riding this wave of confidence.

Upcoming Week 16 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 206 to 205.5 pounds.
  • Waist under 34.9 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

15 Weeks Down……11 Pounds to Go……Just 0.5 inches left to lose from my waist!

I hope you are enjoying my journey! Let’s see what happens during Week 16!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Fourteen

Welcome to Week 14 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)
November 20, 2015

 

December 2015
January 2016

February 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 14: February 12 – February 18 2016

February 11th Stats
Scale Weight: 210 pounds
Waist: 35.6 inches

Week 14 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 210 to 209 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.5 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

I’m currently doing about 5 weightlifting workouts a week.  Two days involve heavy lifting, while the other two days involve lighter weights.  I feel really good doing the simple routine.  I can feel my gripping strength get better as each week passes.  That gripping strength plays a big part in my ability to do pull-ups, deadlifts and stiff-leg deadlifts.

The injury I suffered last week has been a non-factor.  The area is still sore but has not caused any pain while working out.  I’ve been sure to stretch out this entire week.

Mentality

This past Valentine’s Day was a planned cheat day.    I talked more in detailed about that day in What Cheating On Valentine’s Day Taught Me…..and NO, I did not cheat on my wife!!   It was just a innocently planned cheat day.  I had a plan to get down and dirty with some form of baked goods!

For the past two weeks, whenever I had been watching tv on Hulu, I saw a Dunkin Donuts commercial for Valentine’s heart shaped donuts.  At first I resisted.  But by the time I saw the commercial for the hundredth time, my mouth started to drool for the donuts.  I could feel my name changing to Homer!

Homer Simpson eating a doughnut

So on Valentine’s Day when I approached the Dunkin Donuts, I could see just how powerful my willpower has become again.  I had no plans to get a dozen.  I subconsciously knew what my past was like when getting a dozen so I instantly only wanted three.

After ordering my donuts, I instantly had buyers remorse.  They didn’t really have the types I really like.  The donuts that were in the commercial were on display, but I remember being disgusted by the actual taste of those donuts a year ago.  Despite that constant advertising, I wasn’t going to fall for that trap again!

Prior to going to the Donuts, I had been at a restaurant in which they served coconut creme cake.  My wife’s not a fan of coconut, so I don’t eat coconut treats that often.  The fact that I didn’t’ get that cake at the restaurant made me want to have some sort of coconut treat.  I think that strong urge for coconut kicked in at Dunkin Donuts because I searched for a coconut donut and did not see one while ordering.  As I left the store, that’s when I noticed the coconut donuts but I had already paid and moved on.

Once I got home, that coconut craving kicked in again.  The donuts I bought just became a ugly duckling compared to this new coconut craving.  My wife and I proceeded to the grocery store.  Once at the grocery store I purchased a small coconut creme pie.

The fact that I purchased the smaller coconut creme pie instead of a normal size pie is a big change in mentality for myself.  Whenever I’m in my sugar binge mood, I always go for the value which normally means the bigger sizes.  On this day, my rational side kicked in.  I knew that a large pie would have meant that I selfishly got an excess supply of sweets just to become addicted again!

I’m happy to say that after I ate my donuts and pie on Valentine’s Day, I had absolutely no cravings for anything else.  Just like I mention in Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! , you should pay attention to advertising.  It’s amazing how what you see in commercials causes you to desire items you really don’t want!

Food Journal

Here are my honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 12 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 13 2016  Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 14 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 15 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 16 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 17 2016Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 18 2016

End of Week 13: February 19th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 207.6 lbs  (2.6 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 35.0 inches  (0.5 inches lost from previous week)
  • 95% Compliant
    • 18 out of 19 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

My results are exactly what I expected to see once I lowered my daily calories to 1776.  There’s no need to do another adjustment.  For my own curiosity, I might track how many hours of activity I do this next week.  That will help me determine how much conditioning or extra curricular activity I will need to do when the weight loss comes to a halt.  I suspect that if I didn’t change my workout routine, my weight loss will stabilize around 204 pounds.

 

Upcoming Week 14 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 207.6 to 207 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.0 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

14 Weeks Down……It still amazes me that my lowest weight during this countdown happened on Week 6.  Right smack in the middle of the Holidays!  I would have never thought I would still be doing this….but here I am.

I hope you are enjoying my journey!   Let’s see what happens during Week 15!

What Cheating On Valentine’s Day Taught Me

Here I was…..About to walk into the lion’s den! This is the place where weeks of abuse started. This was the place where countless dollar bills were wasted for simple cheap delights! This was the place I once considered my favorite place on Earth. This place provided childhood memories of me glancing at the naughty pictures. This place provided memories of my college years where I realized I had what it takes to become a man.

This place is the sexy…..curvy………tantalizing……. Grocery Store!

Recent Infidelity

Every since the holiday seasons, any encounter I had with a grocery store involved me getting some type of dessert or snack related food. It was always a spur of the moment type of deal. I would be driving to a fast food joint and stop at a store for some sort of cake to pair with the food like a wine connoisseur.tumblr_lqkqd95r2c1qf5zj9o1_500

I could be reading a book and see the word cheesecake in a paragraph. Two hours later, I’m at the grocery store with a variety pack of cheesecake that’s only meant to be a one night stand. I can not think of one single moment that I had went to the grocery store for real shopping these past few months. For those that have been keeping up with my Countdown to 195, you see that there are healthy meals being eaten by me. How are those healthy foods being bought?

Well, my wife does our grocery shopping. We have a mutual agreement that she does the grocery shopping. That habit developed in our five-year marriage due to my work schedule. My work schedule usually involved me traveling or being gone for 10-12 hours of the day. My wife’s work schedule revolved around later evening hours, so she had easier access to the non-crowded hours of the grocery store.

The Tipping Point

As I recently reached a boiling point while rereading Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside , I got tired of my unnecessary binging. It’s a cycle that happens almost ever season. The cold winter months are the worst offenders for me.

So for the past week, I got my cravings back under control. In Week 13’s Countdown to 195 check-in, my measurements did not drastically change when compared to Week 12. What did change was my mentality. I know that I’m back to my normal sane self. I know that because of what happened on Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Cheater!

woman investigator taking photos in a car

As my wife and I prepared our meal planning for February, we both agreed to do a brunch for Valentine’s Day. In my mind, that meant I was going to have a cheat day. Based on my current realistic goal, I’m trying my best to aim for a 80% or better monthly compliancy when it comes towards eating. That just means 80 out of 100 meals for the month need to follow my normal eating plan. If I do that, I’ll be on the way towards my current goal of getting down to 195 pounds.

The days prior to Valentine’s Day, I did not stray from my diet. I even reduce my calories two days before Valentine’s Day and felt completely ok. Despite the reduced calories I still attacked my workouts like a monster! The sessions made me feel like Godzilla roaring!

 

When Valentine’s Day came, I sat down at the restaurant and knew exactly what I wanted! It was Eggspectation’s California Dreaming eggs benedict.

California Dreaming Eggs Benedict from Eggspectation
Look At That Sexy Plate of Goodness!

 

As I glanced at the menu, I also wanted to add another item to the dish. Eggs and grits sounded like a good addition!

As soon as I thought about adding them, I thought to myself …
Do I really need it?

It was like a light bulb went off. Somehow I was very rational and just told myself to go ahead and just get the dish as it was.

I planned on getting something sweet once I finished my main meal. I had seen the restaurant had coconut cream cake and today was a cheat meal so why not! As the waiter placed the check on our table before I could ask him for a slice of cake, the light bulb went off again….
Did I really need it?”.

I left the restaurant with no cake and proceeded to a nearby Dunkin Donuts. I had seen them advertising for the past week and subconsciously wanted a doughnut. When my wife and I walked in, a light bulb went off again…
Did I really need it?

If this had been a month ago, I would have went crazy with a dozen donuts. Today, I only picked out just 3 for myself.

Trip To The Store

Once we got back home, we determined that we should just go ahead and go grocery shopping today due to a expected snow storm on President’s Day. I told my wife that I would come to the grocery store….and then a light bulb went off again!

As we approached the grocery store’s entrance, I realized that this was the first time I had been grocery shopping in months! What I had been doing these past few months was basically use the grocery store like I was a drug addict going to my local dealer. On this day, I was back to using the grocery store like it should be used!

Grocery shopping basket full

Guess Who’s Back

When I walked down the aisles, I was amazed at how focused my vision was. Anything sugary and non-diet compliant was off my radar. I was so tuned that I parked my shopping cart next to some chocolate Easter bunnies on display! I’m talking over 200 big sized Easter bunnies! This past Easter I went to this grocery store looking for a chocolate bunny and could not find a single one! Yet, today here was over 200 of the delicious bunnies and I could care less.

Anybody that’s reading that’s new to my world probably doesn’t realize that I love grocery shopping. Judging by the tone of this post so far, it comes across that I only go grocery shopping when I need to. That’s the furthest from the truth! The truth is that I love grocery shopping! It’s one of the things I look forward to the most. I’m a huge fan of cooking. One of these days I hope to start posting recipes on this blog site, that’s how much I love it.

So as I walked out of that grocery store I felt like my old self. I felt like the guy who’s completely in control of his life again. No more constant temptations! I feel my winter blues have ended. A hurdle has been jumped over, and that I’m back on track to finish my race!

finish-line