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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Diet and Exercise: Don’t Be Afraid To Mix It Up

Diet and Exercise: Don't Be Afraid to Mix It Up | Dr. Marctagon™

 

“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.

 

Read the rest of my guest post over at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…

 

 


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Doc’s Log #10: 2 Weeks In (Biggest Loser Challenge Update)

Doc's Log #10: 2 weeks In - Biggest Loser Challen

Greetings lovelies and gents! It’s another beautiful Tuesday morning and I’m back with another update. I meant to post last week but hey at least, I didn’t wait 3 months to update you this time (i.e. I’m getting better!).

It’s been an interesting two weeks since the Biggest Loser Challenge got started. For starters, I didn’t work out the first two weeks BUT I did find a new workout I wanted to try. I recently discovered that  Shaun T (the mind behind Insanity) has come out with another workout series he calls Focus T25. So, I checked out the trailer was immediately intrigued by 2 things. First, the workouts are only a timed 25 minutes long (excluding the cooldown, so really 30 minutes). Also, it was less intense than Insanity. Now hol’on, before you get that grin of relief on your face, I didn’t say it was easy. If you’ve ever done a Shaun T Workout (Insanity,  Hip Hop Abs) then you know it will still be difficult and T25 is no different. I liken it to Insanity the way you liken Power 90 to P90X. It sacrifices all out intensity to focus on form and conditioning which is exactly what I needed. With Insanity, I found myself fighting to keep up and when I wasn’t doing that, I was sitting down panting for breath.

Now don’t get me wrong, any workout will have me panting and huffing and puffing because I’m out of shape but if you find yourself not doing more than you’re doing in a given workout, you may have bitten off more than you can chew. I won’t break down all the differences between T25 and Insanity but I found an interesting article that does it for me.

Moving right along…

My diet has been on point for the most part which has been my saving grace. I haven’t been tallying my calories with MFP but I know my portions have been what they should be and I’ve been eating the right foods. I’ve also decided to give a different style of intermittent fasting a try. I’m adopting the 20/4 IF style, which is 20 hours of fasting on nothing but water and a 4 hour window where I can eat food. I actually started last Friday. 16 hours still takes getting used to from time to time, especially if I didn’t follow it the day before. Not eating breakfast is “normal” now so i don’t fret about that but on days when I have to get up super early, I do drink coffee which technically is a violation of my fasting because with the cream and sugar, we’re talking 200 calories in a cup. Since I’m not that big on the taste of coffee, my cup ends up being about 250-300 calories from how much I add to it. Luckily, I only drink coffee 2-3 days a week. I have recently decided I’m going to give cold water a try instead and try going to bed at a decent hour, you know, like a normal person.

But back to the Biggest Loser Challenge. I’m happy to say that two weeks in, I’m down 3.8 pounds from 294.2 lbs to 290.4 lbs., making a total of 29.2 pounds for the year.

I’m pretty much back to where I had gotten before the holidays last year. With the holidays coming up, I can’t have the 30 pound weight gain I had last year, definitely not.

I look forward to starting Focus T25 tonight and I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going! Have a great week all!


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Discipline and Why It’s Better than Motivation

Discipline and Why It's Better than Motivation

Webster defines motivation as “the condition of being eager to act or work”. Motivation is awesome! It’s that wonderful feeling that makes you want to do exactly what it is you want to do. It’s what spurs you to action. It makes you want to start eating better. It makes you go for that run or get that workout in. It makes weight loss all the more easier because your mind is in it with you. There are plenty of different types of motivations to be healthy and fit: you want to lose weight, you want to lower your blood pressure, you want to run run a race, you want to be fit, or simply you just want to improve your health. When you’re motivated, life is awesome.

 

However, there are those moments where motivation is lacking. Despite how much you way want to, you can’t bring yourself to act the way you know you should. You know you shouldn’t eat that whole cake, but you do it. You know you should get that run in today but you can’t bring yourself to do it. When you’re not motivated, life sucks.

 

There is a remedy though. Discipline.

 

Continue reading my post over at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…


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Want to Be a Vegetarian but Love Meat Too Much? Be a Flexitarian

About 2 years ago, during the summer of 2011, I decided I was going to become a vegetarian. Over the course of those 3 months, I slowly phased out meat adding one extra day without meat every 2 weeks until eventually I was meatless everyday. I must admit, it felt awesome. I felt lighter on my feet. I didn’t get that sleepy feeling (known to some as “the itis”) when I ate too much and I had a lot of energy. Now I don’t really blame the bad feelings solely on the fact that I consumed meat with regularity but more on the level of fattening (or fatteningly prepared, see: deep fried) meats I consumed with regularity. This and a desire to pursue a more plant based lifestyle is what led me to decide to become a vegetarian.

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned.With meat totally eliminated from my diet, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Though I kept fish in my diet, I missed the taste and texture of flesh. I missed the “meaty” foods that I enjoyed. I hated missing out on so many of the foods I enjoyed in my past. There was a void that I had a hard time filling. I later found out this taste that I missed is called umami. A savory taste, which along with sweet, sour bitter and salty make up the five basic tastes. Even though I had so many other things to choose from, there were moments that my hunger for that umami needed to be fulfilled and only meat could fill it. So once or twice a week, I found myself indulging in meat.

 

Continue reading at my post on Yahoo! Voices…

 

 


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Think Diet Soda is Better Huh? 3 Ways Diet Soda Is Bad For You

Think Diet Soda is Better Huh? 3 Ways Diet Soda Is Bad For You

When you decided to make some changes to your eating habits, especially that five soda a day habit you’re had for years, you figured, “I’ll switch to diet soda. It’s zero calories so that’s perfectly fine.” In a way, you were correct. You’re definitely benefiting by saving yourself over 600 calories a day and over 150 grams of sugar but switching to diet soda isn’t without its consequences. I’ll put you on to 3 reasons why. Let me learn ya something…

 

1. Artificial sweeteners are no bueno. Though artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda) do proclaim to be zero calories and are multiple times sweeter than ordinary sugar, the fact that remains that they are artificial. With regular usage, they have often been reported to cause problems as minor as skin rashes and diarrhea and as major as seizures and cancer. Your body can’t process it as well as it does natural sugar. Despite not being sugar, they’ve also been known to raise your blood sugar just as much table sugar does. Zero calories does not mean zero effects unless we’re talking about water.

 

Continue reading over at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…


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Doc’s Log #8: The Long Overdue Update

Doc's Log (Notepad)

Good afternoon, friends and fellow (weight) losers! In the words of Rakim, “it’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you.

I can’t believe this summer has flown by so quickly and that I haven’t given a progress report all summer! I’ve missed you all. Life happens and unfortunately my poor blog suffered in the process.

As always, there is a good and bad news and developments but I’m trying not to make those post too lengthy. Consider it a “Best of…” or a highlight reel of what’s been going on with me and my weight loss quest.

Here goes…

1. My blood pressure is back to normal. I took my blood pressure being high very seriously and I adjust my diet accordingly. I lowered my sodium intake, got my water intake up to a gallon a day consistently and just ate better overall. And you know what? It helped. I didn’t expect it to go down so quickly but by July, it was 120/80. Awesome!

2. I got my weight down to 293. This is great new considered I started the year at 319. Reducing my sodium helped with this as well because so much of my weight gain seemed too come from water retention. The day after a sodium packed meal or even the day after a cheat meal, sometimes I gain as much as five pounds overnight.  While 26 pounds isn’t a whole lot over the course of 8 months, even the smallest victory is a victory for me.

3. I haven’t worked out all summer. Sad to say, I haven’t run, lifted a weight, done a push up or anything along those lines all summer. My excuse? None unfortunately. It was a combination of being unmotivated and simply lazy. I have started a new job recently though that keeps me very active. Not active as far as impact and intensity but active as in I spend a lot of time on my feet and walking. I downloaded a pedometer app for my phone and on average from the start of the day to arriving at home, including my work day, I take over 22000 steps, with at least 20000 steps being taken at work. That’s the equivalent of 10 miles a day, going by the rule of thumb that walking 2000 steps is the equivalent of walking a mile.

4. My diet has been pretty much on point though. That’s pretty much what kept me from gaining weight this summer. As soon as I got a hold of my diet, things started clicking. I was far from perfect, don’t get me wrong, and a few of my cheat meals went over board but overall, I’ve been eating pretty well. I’d say about 75% of the time I eat the way I’m supposed to. Also I’ve been waiting less. My intermittent fasting plan has me eating 4 times a day but  I usually don’t eat more than three often not eclipsing 2000 calories for the day but I’m not starving myself. I just don’t feel all that hungry all the time. My cheat meals are actually beneficial in this case because they give my metabolism a jump-start to keep it from burning too slow.

5. I decided to push the 9+1 back to next year and focus on fat burning through the remainder of the year. As September has arrived, there just aren’t enough short-range options of races for me to complete the 9+1 before the year’s end so I’ m going to push it back to next year which would prepare me for guaranteed entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon. I also still want another marathon under my belt so I’m planning the Honolulu Marathon for next December. However, I will be applying through the lottery for the 2014 NYC Marathon. If I get in, then the 9+1 will be null and void and I’ll run in 2014 instead.

Other than that I’m just concentrating on getting back into the routine of working out, flexitarian living (ate too much like  carnivore this summer), and sticking to intermittent fasting and getting into the habit of blogging more regularly than every 3 months.


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But Where Do I Start? 5 Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight

But Where Do I Start? 5 Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight
I get it.  Losing weight is tough. It’s difficult, requires so much effort, and takes way too much time. Hell, most times just getting started is the hardest part. You deprive yourself of everything that tastes good for a bunch of health food crap. You go in and try to walk off all your pounds in the first week and then a week later you’ve already given up. It sucks, I know. I know how you feel.

 

What would you say if I told you losing weight was much simpler than you may imagine? Now, by simple I don’t mean easy. Losing weight isn’t easy. Just ask the millions of people who are giving it a shot as we speak.

 

Becoming a gym rat and a health nut will come eventually but right now, you just need to get started doing SOMETHING. Never fear, I’m here to give you a few pointers. With these, even if you do nothing else but these six in the beginning, your body will benefit, trust me.

 

Here are 5 quick ways to start losing weight right now:

 

 
 


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Doc’s Log #6: Back Under 300, Progress Pictures, Hypertension Challenge

Doc's Log Notepad

 

Hey all! I hope all is well and that you’re excelling in your individual fitness endeavors. I’m going to keep this latest edition of Doc’s Log pretty brief.

As of Tuesday, I am officially back under 300 pounds at a weight of 299.8 pounds. I weighed 3 times and the scale said either 299.6 or 299.8 so I decided to just go with 299.8. I’m very pleased to be back on this side of 300 pounds and I look forward to the number going down even further. The next goal is to get under 290 by June 21st which is the first day of summer.

I also decided that as of this coming Sunday, I’ll be taking progress pictures weekly. I won’t be posting them on the blog but I’ll be keeping them in an album in my Google Photos that the menu bar above will have a link to. Feel free to visit when you want to but I won’t be drawing much attention to them except for every 3, maybe 6 months or so.

Finally, I took my BP this week and it was 163/82, meaning my systolic is at Stage II hypertension levels, while my diastolic is normal. From what I read, this is more common and normal in older patients but at my age it’s a concern if at this level for a prolonged amount of time. I wouldn’t consider it an improvement over my previous reading but it’s not worse either. It still remains that something must be done so I decided to put myself on a Hypertension Challenge.

Continue reading


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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.

Continue reading


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