Keeping an Open Mind

The Tension

I’m the type of person who typically follows instructions, a recipe, a training program, or a diet without any room for changes.  If it calls for 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, or 3 days strength and 3 days cardio, or measure 21 inches then cut with a circular saw then that’s what I do…no more, no less.  So when a friend of mine says to me that I should really, fill in the blank, when I’m in the middle of my training schedule, there is a little alarm that goes off in my head that says, “Danger, Will Robinson!  Danger!”

It was different this time.  In my last post, I described my recent journey with Body-for-Life and how I allowed certain trusted voices to help me decide to go down a different route.  How often it is that I think I know best and how stubborn I am to even consider another option.

Some people might say that I have “black and white thinking”…it’s either one or the other but nothing in between…no gray areas…no room for modifications.  This is where having an open mind can be helpful especially in the area of health and fitness.

I’ve only ever had one personal trainer and he pretty much told me what to do and I did it.  However, when he became to expensive to keep I was lost but I didn’t know it.  You see, he didn’t teach me how to create a training plan.  He didn’t teach me how to modify my exercises if I became injured.  I didn’t learn how to plan for progress but rather track performance.  I didn’t know how to plan my future workouts based on my log books.

Little did I know that I’ve had informal “personal trainers” in my life who actually had been encouraging me to think and do things different than what I had been; people like my chiropractor, my running coach, and my co-workers!

Would you consider yourself as having black and white thinking like me?  Do you still?  Knowing what you know now, how do you function when you’re faced with keeping an open mind?

I’d love to hear your story.

~ Tony

Oh No! I’m Bored!

file0001568691154Two weeks into the Body-for-Life (BFL) program, I started to lose interest in my journey.  I suddenly remembered why I stopped the 2nd and 3rd attempts at BFL.  While I know that I’m the type of person who needs structure and simplicity, both of which BFL provides, it lacked something!  Maybe it was variety; maybe it was accountability; maybe it was details; maybe I was distracted!  It was then that I started to a little research on other ‘programs’ like CrossFit and the the Paleolithic diet (aka Paleo Diet).  I asked my trusted health conscious friends for some ideas resources and the ones that I kept going back to were Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson.  I watched a video of them presenting at the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium here.

So after 4 weeks of BFL, I decided to follow a prescribed 21 day transformation regiment from Mark Sisson which addresses not only nutrition, but exercise, sleep, and fun!  Long story short, I was amazed by one of the measurements I tracked, body weight, after only 3 weeks of this.

  • Post Marathon Weight = 255 lbs
  • Post BFL Weight (4 weeks) = 250 lbs
  • Post 21 day Primal Blueprint Weight (3 weeks) = 235 lbs

Hmmm…I think we’re onto something here!

Life After The 2013 Chicago Marathon

1394012_10153395002350397_1473579959_nIt’s been about 6 weeks since I completed the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13th!

As soon as I crossed the finish line with my brother, Joey, I told him, “I am not going to do this again unless I have lost 60 lbs. at the time of registration.”
“Sixty pounds?  But registration is in February!  You can’t lose 60 lbs. by then.”
“Oh, well!  I guess I won’t be running in 2014!  Ha ha!”

I’ve heard it said and have read that a runner may experience ‘post marathon blues‘ after completing such an accomplishment.  This is typically due to having a race goal to work towards for so many months and now, nothing.  I might relate it having lost a sense of purpose or significance.  I would guess that no one willing desires to experience this, myself included.  I knew I needed to do something!

I set a weight loss goal of losing 60 lbs at an average of 5 lbs a month.  That would work out to reaching my goal weight by the end of October of 2014.  I thought that going back to what I was familiar with would be the best solution.  In 2010, I participated in a program called Body-for-Life (BFL) created by Bill Phillips.  Essentially, it is a 12 week program whereby you exercise 6 times a week with structured interval training exercises, you eat 6 times a day with healthy portions of food combinations focusing on the right carbs and proteins, and you track your progress in a journal.  Back then, I lost close to 25 lbs.  It just makes sense that I would repeat something that was proven to work.  So, after taking a week off of any activity I started my 12 week trek towards the 60 lb peak!

Thanks for following my progress!

Tony