Doc’s Log #12: #Lent, The Daniel Fast and Exercise Stuffs

Doc's Log #12

 

 

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: wakeupworkout workout

 

And alternating between these two cardio workouts on opposite days:

30MinTreadmillSprintWorkout1-480x369

Though it says treadmill, I’ll be doing it outdoors.

C25KBeginner

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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Doc’s Log #5: A Wake-Up Call and Lent’s Aftermath

Notepad

My how time flies, friends. Here we are, a quarter of the way through the year already. How have you all been doing on your wellness quests? Shedding those pounds? Running those races? Going those extra few miles? However you define progress, I hope you’re doing it fo sho.

Recently, I donated blood. This is not unusual for me. I donate blood, on average, 2-3 times a year. Anyway, they take my vitals every time I go: blood pressure, temperature, etc and I received some particularly troubling news. My blood pressure was 140/96! 

Now, my blood pressure has always been slightly high (hypertension runs in my family) but usually in the 130/85 range so this came across as a shock to me. 140/96 put me in the level of Stage I hypertension. Now, to put it in other terms, Stage I hypertension is the hypertension equivalent of an early diagnosis Type II diabetes, meaning meds may or may not be necessary but the situation isn’t so dire that it can’t be reversed with the right diet and exercise program.

So upon receiving this information, I said “Aww, hell naw! Something must be done and now.” I told a select few people and didn’t bother to measure again to see if the number had gone down. The initial reading was enough for me to know that something has to be done. I can’t lollygag like I have been or continue to yoyo as I have been. This is my heart and my life and I’ve seen too many male relatives die young due to heart conditions.

So, that leads me to my next topic…new challenges!

Now that my Lenten fast from the Internet is over (more on that later in this post), it’s onto the next challenge. Sparked by the  news of my BP, I decided to attack things head on and on an intense note.

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Doc’s Log #4: Marathons, (Lack of) Motivation, and More

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Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I contributed a personal post and I know you’ve just been itching to find out what I’ve been up to (wishful thinking!). Well, the short answer is in some areas a lot but in others, not much at all.

So let’s get into the important stuff first, diet and exercise…

Well, my eating has been about 65/35, in favor of good. I’ve been eating sensibly and last week I made a change to my current eating style by making a switch to 16/8 intermittent fasting, which is eating all my calories during a selected 8 hour window of the day while fasting the other 16 consuming nothing but water or zero calorie drinks. I do also partake in sugar-free gum because anyone who has fasted knows that it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and makes your breath smell to others too. I’ve stuck to it all but 2 days since I’ve begun 8 days ago. I’m not sure if I’ve gained or lost weight since I’ve begun since I haven’t weighed but I will say this, knowing that my eating is confined to this particular window has actually made me more disciplined. Knowing I can only eat between 2PM and 10PM (my chosen window) makes it easier to stay focused on other things because I know what time I can eat. I will aim to keep this going as many days as I can but like I said if I get an invite out for breakfast or an early lunch or I attend a gathering with food in the morning/early afternoon hours, I won’t punish myself for it or I’ll just make my 8 hour window begin earlier in the day.

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Intermittent Fasting: What Is It?

Intermittent Fasting

 

What is Intermittent Fasting or IF? You may have heard or read the term at some time or another and are wondering what the hell it is? I know I had been. I fast weekly typically anyway but didn’t know that term was what was used to describe it and various other ways of fasting.

My research led me to the Internets and I found a few interesting resources that explore it in detail. The first was a website called The IF Life and page on their site called Intermittent Fasting 101.

The definition and benefits of IF as laid out by the site are as follows:

What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

For those that may not be familiar to the term, intermittent fasting is just taking “intermittent” times of fasting (no food) and working them into your lifestyle. This can be either daily or a couple times a week (will get into that more below).

From what I have read/learned from years of independent research on reduced calorie intake (CR) and IF (**studies listed at end), the conclusions are that using short-term calorie restriction/fastingmay be effective when it comes to:

  • Reducing blood glucose and insulin levels (improving the state of the overall glucose metabolism)
  • Increasing fatty acid oxidation with increased FFAs (through increasing lipolysis hormones GH, glucagon and adrenaline)
  • Sparing and preserving muscle tissue (lean mass)
  • Increasing various health factors (lower inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduced oxidative stress, increased protection against neuro-degenerative diseases, and more)
  • Keeping the metabolism strong/healthy (as eating more meals does not “speed up” your metabolism)

There are also a multitude of lifestyle benefits such as not being a slave to eating all day long (like modern “diets” seem to preach), having more natural daily energy/focus, and even just learning how to enjoy eatingonce again (with good foods and friends).

Overall it can be a simple eating lifestyle that can not only help you lose weight, but more importantly let you relax and provide relief from obsessing about food or “diets” all day.

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Weekly Recap: 10/1/12-10/7/12

 

I know I missed last week’s recap but you didn’t miss much by not having to read it.

However, I do bring good news this week…I’ve lost over 5 pounds since my last weigh-in!

As of this morning,  I am 292.8 pounds, just over 40 pounds less than my max weight of 333 pounds, which I was around 2008. This feels great because not only am I convincingly below 300, I’m very close to being under 290.

Although I didn’t post it, I weighed in at 298 last week. which was pretty much the same weight I was each week of the last 2 weeks prior give or take 0.2 pounds or so.

So let’s talk about how I got here….

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Weekly Recap + A Few More Days: 9/17/12-9/26/2012

I’m a few days late with my weekly recap so it’s more of a 10 day recap this week. But better late than never right? RIGHT!

The momentum I had last week seems to have died down unfortunately. I’ve only worked out once in the last week or so. It’s a combination of stress, life situations, just being busy and  just plain ol’ laziness somedays.

I was reading at article on Joel Runyon’s “Blog of  Impossible Things” and the title was “Get Disciplined, Not Motivated“. The main point of the article was that motivation was about feelings and it was rarely ever consistent. It’s true, no one is motivated all the time. No one ALWAYS feels like doing whatever it is they are supposed to be doing but DISCIPLINE, once established is consistent. Once you establish that discipline, it’s hard to break. It transcends your mood, it’s now about how you feel. You just get off your @ss and go and do it.

My past 2 weeks are a perfect example of that. The first week I was motivated but the second week, not so much.

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Vegetarian, Interrupted: The Return of the Carnivore (Kinda)

As many of you who know me know, I made a decision last year to stop eating meat. I phased it out over the course of 12 weeks and coinciding with when I completed the marathon. From then on, I was what is commonly classified as a pescatarian, meaning someone who follows a mostly vegetarian diet but still includes fish. I was pleased with that and I definitely noticed a difference in how I felt. I felt lighter on my feet and I definitely took less calories then before but giving up meat is harder to give up than expected as I explained in a prior post. I still have yet to go 30 days without eating meat, not a full 30 straight anyway but out of a 30 day month, at least 27 were meatless.

Now, my reasons for giving up meat weren’t because I thought meat was bad for me. It wasn’t because I don’t think you can lead a healthy meat-inclusive lifestyle. It was more for spiritual reasons because I felt that that was what I needed to do. However, on the other hand, my body still enjoyed meat. I didn’t enjoy fully depriving myself of it.

Then I found myself at a crossroads…

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30 Day Weight Loss Challenge: Redux

Weight Loss Challenge

 

I started full steam ahead for a good 3 days to started the 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge which began on September 1st and then things just sorta unraveled. Even the first 3 days were uninspired. It’s hard firing yourself up after you have been idle for a while. I finally got things back under control earlier this week and decided to start over. After missing 5 days after working out 3, doesn’t really make sense to continue where you left off. I’ve been officially working out again since Tuesday, today marks 3 days in a row (Day 30 is October 10th).

Yesterday, I burned 1700 calories, doing the Insanity Fit test in the morning, then doing yard work, then hitting P90X’s Cardio X workout last night. I woke up sore this morning but it was a good sore.  It was certainly a morale booster for me. This morning I went for a run, 0.75 miles, from my Couch to 10K: Marctagon Edition program and this evening I’ll be doing Insanity again. 2-a-days are no joke, but definitely the jump start I need to really do what I’m trying to do.

 

I’m feeling much better this time around…I have hope faith that this feeling will last!


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Veggie Confessions

nomeat

Monday, May 7th will mark 6 months since the day I chose to give up eating meat. I had a 2 month phase out of it, going from 1 meatless day up to 7 in 2 week spurts that coincided with my marathon training. So, the decision was made a while before Nov 7th but Nov 7th was the day it officially took effect. I never put a time limit on exactly how long I planned to do it. I said if I could do it for 6 months, then I’d try a year, if I made through an entire year then I could do it for life.

I’ve learned since I began though that old habits die hard. It’s hard to relinquish old ways of eating. While 90% of the time there is no meat on my plate, I have yet to go 30 days without meat. In a given 30 day month though, I’d say 28 or 29 of those days I haven’t had meat. I don’t feel bad about choosing to eat meat those days and I said that if I really wanted meat bad enough I would go ahead and eat it. Considering how much meat I used to eat, I’m doing very very well. I am doing my part in helping not only my own body but the planet.

However…

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Hey Doc, Where the Hell Have You Been? (#2 of 2)

So when we last left off, you knew what’s in store for me on the race front…but how do I plan to train for it? Well, I’m finally going to fully commit myself to the Insanity workout program. With this obstacle race coming up, I need to not only shed fat fast but I need to get my strength and cardio up too. Insanity will help get me there. I’m also going to be doing the Couch to 5K 3 times a week too. I want to be a faster runner, so what better way than to run fast! I’m about three weeks through it already. I’ll be starting week 4 of 8 on Monday. So three days a week, I’ll be putting in a 2nd workout. I may throw in my Perfect Abs DVD on the other 3 days I’m working out. It’s just an 8-9 minute but intense routine but we’ll see.

Alas, we move on to the topic of diet. How have I been doing on my quest to live a meatless lifestyle? 90% of the time I do great but I can’t say that I haven’t slipped up. I ate meat intentionally Thanksgiving Day and it turned out I didn’t even need it. It didn’t fulfill a deep need within me. After that I went about 30 days without, then I fell off for a few days. Old habits die hard. It’s not that I don’t want to give up meat after all but it’s not like I loathed it. I still love meat and how it tastes but I made the choice to give it up. I don’t regret my choice one bit either. It just takes a lot more discipline than I expected but I still want it, so I will have it. I have been eating meat the last few days, I admit. I’m giving up all junk food for Lent, which begins on Wednesday the 22nd,so with that I will restart my engine. I’ll do a fruit and veggie detox again and start all over like I did in November. It should be a great experience and I should also shed a few pounds in the process as well. I have to buy the fruit sometime in the next few days. The next few days will be filled with BAD eating. I already have planned for it. Perhaps not super bad but bad enough.

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