Some of you remember that a few weeks ago, that I was asking for your support to be a speaker at this year’s Fitbloggin’ conference. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in that way. I didn’t make the top by user choice, nor did I make the second 7 voted by the Fitbloggin’ committee.
So I took one last effort to get to Fitbloggin’ for free and I applied to liveblog one of the presentations during the conference…
..and guess what?
You guessed it, I got in! Your boy is going to Fitbloggin’ in Savannah, GA! This is such a blessing not only because it saved me money I didn’t really have at the moment but it also affords me the opportunity to attend my first fitness conference, meet some of my fitfam that I’ve been connecting with on Twitter for the last few years, as well as getting my blog some exposure.
So this works out to a win no matter how you view it!
But in other news…
I’ve decided not to apply for the New York City Marathon this year. I’m going to do the 9+1 guaranteed entry this year for next year. I haven’t run a race in over a year so some warm up races would be great plus also budgetary constraints. This month is a really tight month as far as expenses because of a transition I’m making with regard to my career so while the 9+1 will end up costing me more in the long run, it’s not an urgent cost I have to pay all at once plus I get a guaranteed spot for next year’s marathon.
But (and there always seems to be a but)…
I do have a marathon planned for this year. I’ve never been to the Caribbean and I’m SO in need of a vacation. So I will be heading to Jamaica where I’ll be running the Reggae Marathon! Why not kill 2 birds with one stone right?!
So 3 posts in 2 days, yeah that must be a new record for me. But I’ve had so much to tell that I needed to break it up. Let’s see if we can keep it at 3 days (not in a row) a week from now on.
This is very uncommon for me, writing 2 entries in one day, but this update is long overdue. So let’s get right into it…
Long story short, I’m back up to 315. Eating has been crappy and workouts have been nonexistent. Lacking motivation has made progress not only nonexistent but has reversed it.
It’s pitiful, I know.
I’m as disgusted to say it as you are to read it. So with Lent starting yesterday, I decided I needed to do something drastic and I needed to make the promise directly to God and ask for his guidance.
So this year I decided on the largest Lenten changes I’ve made since I’ve been taking a part in it. What are they, you ask? Glad you asked, I’ll tell you.
With the exception of updating this blog, I decided on giving up all social media again this year. Some people asked me why do I keep giving it up every year? It’s because every year it’s still hard to do. For 45.5 weeks every year, I’m Facebooking, tweeting, G+ing, instagramming, etc. just about everyday so when Lent comes around, it’s the perfect time to take a break. The first day is always so surreal because I’m used to being bombarded with info. This morning, I felt a stillness and in some ways, loneliness. It’s like living in the big city all your life then spending that first night in the quiet of the country. The quiet is almost deafening. Imagine that but for your eyes. That’s pretty much what I experience and today was no different. As I get used to it, it begins to feel normal but the first week is always difficult.
In addition to that, I’ve also elected to add in two things to do over the course of my Lenten fast.
Yesterday, I began the Daniel Fast. As written in the description, it’s a “biblically based partial fast” which is derived from two scriptures in the book of Daniel, Chapters 1 and 10 to be exact.
Here is a brief overview:
It’s designed to be done at least 21 days but they recommend no more than 50, so my goal of 46 days is pretty close. Essentially, this is a vegan diet but with more restrictions.
Below is a list of the allowed foods:
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon
All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.
As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot to choose from as far as food groups but it’s definitely not impossible and it’s not calorie restrictive. I think what I will miss most is bread (no PBJ!) especially since I can’t have meat but luckily I can have whole grain pasta, rice, and quinoa which I all enjoy. This will DEFINITELY be a journey.
My only exception will be my mom’s Sunday dinners. Those will remain. Outside of that, it’s all Daniel Fast, all the time…or as often as possible. There may be some moments where I don’t have that option but I’ll do my best to limit those or keep it as close to the Daniel Fast as possible.
I’ll continue to practice Intermittent fasting with this. That style of eating has become a style that I’ve gotten used to and have grown to enjoy and since that is time based, it can work with any style of eating.
I’m also committing to working out everyday during this fast. Incorporating a basic but intense (for me) calisthenic workout, I’ll be alternating between two circuits on opposite days:
And alternating between these two cardio workouts on opposite days:
Though it says treadmill, I’ll be doing it outdoors.
I’m two days in, with 44 to go so so far so good.
The ultimate goal of Lent is to bring myself closer to God. THAT is the priority. Asking the Lord for strength and turning to him when I feel myself going wrong is crucial. Lent for me has always been about simply the challenge while totally missing the most important part so, in that respect, this will be different from all my past Lents.
So, if you pray, pray for me. This is going to be tough but, I think, necessary. When this is over, I’ll be a better man. I can feel it.
Work like it’s all on me, pray like it’s all on Him. Later, friends…
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This blog has undergone many incarnations and many platforms (Blogger to Tumblr then back to Blogger then here to WordPress). It began in 2004 as simply a place for me to vent and share my thoughts, then it became a ghost town unused for years. Then it became a place for me to just share stuff.
Then it became the creation I came to call and you came to know as Dr. Marctagon™.
I didn’t really think of the anniversary of when I started this blog until I had a conversation about it. And I thought, hmmm, when would my blogiversary be?
So I looked back at the posts and I decided on the first post of the latest form of the blog and saw the date, March 5th , 2011. So while I didn’t get to celebrate the 1st two anniversaries, better late than never right?
So Happy 3rd Blogiversary to me!!
Ironically, I’m pretty much back where I started so I don’t really feel like I have much to celebrate but at the same time I have so much to celebrate because while the scale hasn’t moved and physically I’m still out of shape, I can say I have 24 races under my belt, including my first marathon which is definitely up there as one of the best (or worst) days of my life.
I’ve evolved as a man. I found and fully embraced the Lord since I started Dr. Marctagon™. I was baptized and I joined my current church. My outlook on life is more positive and open than it’s ever been. My heart has enveloped itself in so much love that sometimes it feels like it’ll burst. So I spread that encouragement and love to others because it’d be selfish to keep to myself.
I’ve been told by many that my actions have inspired them or my words have encouraged them and, in hindsight, that’s more rewarding than any weight loss.
..and this is a big but…
I still have weight to lose. I still have my physical weight loss journey to complete and other goals that depend on it. Pretty soon, I’ll begin studying for my Personal Trainer Certification but how can I train people if I don’t train myself? So, while I prepare myself mentally, I have to prepare myself physically.
But we’ll get to all that later…today we celebrate!
I want to say thank you to everyone who has read, shared, commented, contacted me via e-mail or social media, or prayed for me. I value all of it and I Love you for it. I want to spend this next year meeting some of you in person, becoming more familiar with your journeys, and connecting with you.
This blog is only partially about me. I’m here for YOU. I want to help those who need it and see you succeed, whatever that means for you.
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As we begin a new year, and 2013 became 2014, did your life change? No. Did it feel different? Maybe.
So what makes people so excited about the start of a new year? Simple.
That is when people are the most motivated.
Everyone believes the new year is “their year” but unfortunately many lack the follow through to reach those goals. They start off white hot and, in a month, they’ve gone cold.
I’ve been there, we all have at some point.
Every year, I think to erase all the previous entries in this blog and start over. What good are my past accomplishments if I’m still where I started? What good is a weight loss blog if I’m not losing weight?
This year though, despite being so tempted to, I talked myself out of it. Good and bad, this blog is me and erasing my past in print won’t erase it. Besides, my accomplishments are not to be disregarded.
I have run a marathon and 23 other races. Despite gaining it back, I have lost weight. I have inspired and motivated others. I’ve given sound advice even when I haven’t always taken it myself.
This takes me back to a recent post I wrote about being flawed. I make a ton of mistakes and I regret none of them.
They have all gotten me here and brought me closer to God.
But, alas changes to need to be made. And in that respect, the new year wipes the slate clean. Not because it erases 2013 but because I’m focused on what’s coming.
As I sit and relax, I look at the clock and notice that there is only about a half hour left in my 34th year. At the stroke of midnight, I’ll be 35. Damn, how time flies!
I’ve been in a pensive mood all day thinking about what has essentially been the first half of my life (give or take a few years, considering the US male life expectancy is around 76).
I won’t wax poetic about time I feel I’ve wasted or things I wish I’d changed because there’s no reason for it. I can’t get that back. I will say 2013 was a good year. Not one of my best years but definitely a year I’ve continued to evolve on a personal level.
So, as the next year of life approaches, not only birthyear but calendar year, I continue to focus on the resolution I have every year: to improve each day on the ME I was the day before. I pledge to try to give everyday the best of me.
So where does that begin and what does that entail as far as 2014 is concerned? Well, I’m glad you asked because I do have some goals set aside. They’re not all tangible goals that can be measured but goals that will contribute to improvement over time that can be measured.
It is now 12:01 AM and officially my birthday.
1. I want to reach my goal weight of 210 pounds. 10% bodyfat will take some time, I’m not rushing for that but I want to reach my goal weight. It’ll take an average of just under 2 pounds a week to do it but it can definitely be done with hard work and consistency.
2. I want to adhere more to my flexitarian diet. This basically means I want stick to eating meat/fish no more than 3 times a week.
3. I want to blog more consistently. Between this blog and my tech blog, more consistency is definitely necessary. I can’t expect to make progress if I don’t continue to deliver new content, which brings me to my next point…
4. I want to take a stab at podcasting. I’ve been toying around with the idea for a while now and I think it’s time to move forward. I’m not sure whether it will be audio, video, or video podcast with the recorded audio also available but that’s the last of my worries. The first will be content and frequency.
5. I want to network more and make more in-person connections. I definitely spent way too much time behind a computer and not enough time out in the world this year. Not simply for networking purposes but also reestablishing relationships with friend. I always like virtual contact (texts, tweets, etc.) to microwaving food versus in-person connecting which is like stove cooking. Microwaving does the job in a pinch but won’t cook the food nearly as thoroughly or keep it hot as long which brings me to my next point…
6. I say this every year but I want, no need, to start calling people more. Family, friends, associates, everyone in my life. It’s so hard to transition back to using the phone as so many other forms of contact exist now but that’s no excuse.
7. I want to complete my Personal Trainer and Health Coach certifications. At first, I was going to wait until I got my body how I wanted to pursue these things but then I thought, for what? Why can’t I do both at the same time? Even if I get the certs before I get the body I want, it doesn’t mean they’ll be any less valuable to me.
8. I want to read at least 20 books this year. This may not seem like a lot to some but as someone who takes up to a month to finish a book sometimes because I tend to only read when I’m commuting and I read slow, this is the equivalent of a book every 2.5 weeks.
9. I want do more volunteer work. This year I was given the blessing of serving food to the disadvantaged and homeless of our city for Thanksgiving and it was easily one of the most rewarding things I’ve done this year. I want to do more of that and I’d also like o see about becoming a Big Brother. That’s been on my mind for years, time to make the move toward it.
10. I want to live more in the moment. What does that mean exactly? Learning to appreciate my surroundings. Literally stopping to smell the roses. From a more practical aspect, getting rid of multitasking as often as possible. I blogged about the need to focus not too long ago. That is important. Also, planning for the next day and no further as often as possible. If I know what I’m doing today and don’t think about tomorrow, I can focus better on today.
So there you have it, my 10 goals all stemming from my own resolution for next year. On Jan 2nd, we begin…until then it’s #HolidayCheatWeek!
How about you? Do you have any resolutions/goals? Leave them in the comments…
If you started following this blog looking to see a man who met his goals every week, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
If you started following this blog looking to see a man who 5 days a week consistently, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
If you started following this blog looking to see a man who ate right all the time, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
If you started following this blog looking to see a man who got the right amount of rest nightly, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
More importantly, I’m sorry to disappoint me.
If you’ve been regular reader of this blog or even if you’ve simply read my weights and measurements page, you’ll know my weight often fluctuates. I’ve been gaining and losing the same 30 pounds for the last 5 years. This year was no different.
And it trickles down to my blog being flawed because I hate reporting bad news, especially when it could have been prevented and it seems I so often have bad or lackluster news to report. Challenges started but never finished. Workouts planned but never executed.
I’m not here to make excuses because there are none. I won’t blame it on not having time to work out. I won’t blame it on not having healthy options around. I won’t blame it on having too much to do to get some rest. The fact is, that’s all bull. Health should always be a priority over everything else. Taking care of everything else before you take care of yourself is like paying the light bill but not your rent.
Sometimes it’s hard to get out of shadow of comparing myself to others. I love to see my #fitfriends and blogger buddies doing their thing but I am also envious. Not envious in a way that I wish them ill will but in a way that makes me wish it was me. The fact is they wanted it more. You can yearn for something but if you don’t take the actions to go and get it, you don’t want it bad enough. It’s that simple.
I totally botched the Biggest Loser Challenge. There’s still 6 weeks left and still a chance to make progress but my chance at the money is slim. That’s okay though, while it would have been great to have, I wasn’t in it for the money.
There are times I wonder what the hell my problem is. Am I lazy? Do I fear the hard work that I know it takes? It’s not like I don’t know how to start or how to be successful. I know what needs to be done but somewhere in between knowing and doing there is a disconnect. Sometimes I’m full steam ahead but other times I can’t even pull out of the station.
But, I am happy to say, I’m at the downside of that 30 pounds again having dropped from 315 down to the low 290s again. This time last year I was around 305 so there is a bright spot here.
I DO not want to go back over 300 again. Tired of jumping that line.
So, to you, my readers, I apologize.
Excuse me for being so emo today. I won’t make any promises because quite frankly, I’ve done that before. Just keep reading. Bear with me, it will get better. It has to.
I spend so much time doing 3-4 things at once. Well, not really at once since multitasking is a myth but toggling between multiple tasks at the same time.
I don’t necessarily mean 3 or 4 goals but I’ll have e-mail open, writing a blog post, tweeting, chatting and perhaps researching all at the same time. In the end, you know what gets done? Not much of anything. I divide my time and end up losing any tangible results. The only thing I really accomplish is the feeling of being overwhelmed.
I was watching an episode of Dr. Oz last week and he had Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the show. Basically, what Dr. Gupta was saying is that toggling between all these tasks is basically killing our brains faster than normal causing our capacities to degenerate. It’s affecting our comprehension and concentration. It’s affecting our ability to create new memories because we’re so overstimulated.
In a way, I’d have to say I agree because I’ve noticed that in me. Plenty of times, I’ve read chapters of books while simultaneously answering notifications on my phone or jumping to check Twitter or looking at other things that I often finish the chapter without remembering a thing I read. It’s gotten to the point where even when I do one thing, my mind is still jumping all over the place. Many adults call it ADHD when in reality 1. it’s not that simple 2. it’s not a condition.
We brought this on ourselves!
We live in a society where it’s not only revered but expected that you multitask and succeed at multitasking at all times of the day. However, it’s those who give 100% of themselves to one task at a time that come out on top. I don’t know about you but I’d rather get one thing done perfectly than to have four things 50% finished.
So it’s up to me to take it upon myself to change this while I’m still young and healthy enough to do so.
First, I have to focus on what needs changing.
I need to get more sleep. That’s a definite. Running on 4 hour sleep and masking my tiredness with coffee is not the move anymore.
Put down the coffee. See #1.
Tone down my social media presence. I use a Chrome plugin called StayFocusd. When used properly, it limits my social media time during the hours and days that I choose. Sometimes you have to admit to yourself that you can’t do it alone.
Meditation and prayer. Meditation helps immensely with focus when practiced often especially if you have a wandering mind which I’m totally guilty of and prayer always helps with ANYTHING.
Immersing myself in one activity at a time. When I decide to do something, I will do exactly that and that alone as often as possible, at least as far as the important stuff. Watching TV and tweeting? Sure that’s fine. Writing a blog post? That alone. Reading a book? Just read that book, nothing more. It’s a step I am not just willing to take but I need to take.
Exercise more and do more mind games. Taking care of my physical fitness will enhance my mental fitness. I’ve always believed that and I’ve always felt that my concentration was better when my body was taken care of. It’s been a minute (almost a year) since I really took my physical fitness seriously so this is the perfect time to go there. As far as mind games, I’ve always wanted to get good at chess and I can’t think of a better mind game outside of brain teasers, puzzles or Sudoku.
So my game plan is laid out. Only thing left is implementation. Simple but far from easy.
“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee
Typically, when it comes to diet exercise, we do a lot of searching to find the thing that “works” for us. We look for that routine that will get us where we want and that type of diet that will shed us some weight. Usually when we find them, we stick to them and keep doing the same things until we reach a plateau and wonder what happened.
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*whispers* Hey, come here. I have something I need to tell you. Can you keep a secret?
I don't like working out.
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Last month, I was given the honor of being a part of Ivy LaArtista of See Body. Love Self.™’s Birthday Bash for the month of October over at Seebodyloveself.org. It was a month of a group of fabulous women (and me!) sharing post of their body love stories. A beautiful thing, indeed, in all senses of the word.
In my post, I took the time to make a video post identifying my own struggles with body image as well as sending out a message to all the women out there.
Click the picture below to view the post and let me know what you think in the comments…