Motivation?

So, I lost the weight, and I’ve kept it off (so far). You have lost, or are in the process of losing weight, getting healthy, and finding your fine. Then, maybe like me, you have hit a wall or find yourself on a plateau with no view, no direction, and you think maybe it’s time to go back to the way you were (I was). DON’T DO IT! Don’t give up. It’s just a matter of finding your motivation. Sometimes you only have to remember why you started to find your fine. Sometimes you do need to find new motivation. Both of which are possible.

Why did I start my journey? I wanted to improve my health, quality of life, self-confidence, and (I ain’t gonna lie) there is a certain amount of satisfaction (call it revenge if you like) in looking fine when certain people from the past are now where I was. My health has improved from a blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol levels, etc. My quality of life has improved movement is easier, I have more energy, and I am less self-conscious about how I look when I’m out. In fact, I now enjoy going out. So hopefully, remembering why you started in the first place will keep you motivated.

But what happens when these things have been achieved and are no longer as motivating as they had been? Where do I go from here? Am I done? Is there more? I’m bored! It’s no longer exciting. It’s no longer satisfying!

Find new motivation! It is a process. It won’t end. There must always be something we are striving to achieve. If you ain’t growing, you’re dying. If you are just trying to stay where you’re at, you’re dying there too. So my new motivations are personal growth, pushing my limits, and enjoying the pride of accomplishment.

How am I working toward achieving my new motivations? I am participating in an event in August called the Warrior Dash. Check it out at Warrior Dash. It is a 3 mile obstacle course filled with mud, fire, rough terrain. I begin training for it in 2-3 weeks. Right now, I am putting together the training program. I am excited. I am MOTIVATED!

And, I have a continued plan of continually growing and pushing my limits. At least 5 years worth of plan right now. Think about how you’d like to challenge yourself and find ways to do so. If the Warrior Dash looks like something you’d like to do, let me know. I am going to be training others for the event, come join us!

Michael

American Diabetes Association Alert Day is on March 22!

http://bit.ly/i3oU2Z

The above link is to the Stop Diabetes ADA Alert Day on March 22, 2011. You can fill in your information to take an online assessment as to your diabetic risk. According to the American Diabetes Association, 79 million Americans are prediabetic. That is a huge population and research is showing that cardiac and circulatory damage is occurring in people who are prediabetic.

The following is copied from :

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/how-to-prevent-pre-diabetes.html

Prediabetes is a serious medical condition that can be treated. The good news is that the
recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study conclusively showed that
people with prediabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making
changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. They may even be able
to return their blood glucose levels to the normal range.

While the DPP also showed that some medications may delay the development of
diabetes, diet and exercise worked better. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical
activity, coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, produced a 58% reduction in
diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association is developing materials that will help people
understand their risks for pre-diabetes and what they can do to halt the progression to
diabetes and even to, “turn back the clock” In the meantime, we have a wealth of
resources for people with diabetes or at risk for diabetes that can be of use to people
interested in prediabetes.

While I was not prediabetic, I was definitely on the fast track to developing Type 2 diabetes. I was obese, sedentary, and had family history working against me. Thankfully, I became angry enough to take action. Are you angry enough? Do you need motivation? Talk to me! Let me help you achieve your fine! Do not become one of the 79 million and growing! JOIN ME IN SHRINKING THAT NUMBER AND YOUR WAISTLINE! Do not sit there on your couch or in your recliner and let diabetes control your future! TAKE CONTROL OF YOURSELF FOR YOURSELF!

Remember to eat well. Have you gone to mypyramid.gov yet? Are you moving (and breathing) to increase your physical activity? If not, there is no better time than now! Please share this information with your friends and family. Let us STOP DIABETES together! For more information got to diabetes.org

Michael

The Workout pt. 2 (You better breathe)

Have you given much thought to how you breathe during your workout? If not, you should. Again, consult your physician before starting a workout program.

Breathing is important to your workout and your health. When doing resistance training you want to breathe in when the muscle you are working is being contracted and then breathe out as it is being stretched. The reason you want to breathe this way is that you will get more oxygen to the muscle you are working if you breathe in when contracting the muscle. The more oxygen you can get to the muscle the more energy it can burn during the contraction giving you a better workout. It can sometimes feel awkward breathing this way, but it is worth it.

So, what happens if you breathe out on the contraction and in on the stretching of the muscle? A slightly less efficient workout is all. But we want the most effective workout we can create, right? So pay attention to how you breathe!

Most importantly just breathe. Do not hold your breath! DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH! Do I need to say it again? Do not hold your breath. Here is why: holding your breath lowers your blood pressure. If you lower your blood pressure by holding your breath, then release your breath you can raise your blood pressure too quickly. This is called Valsalva Maneuver. So, remember to breath.

Now that we know how to breathe, let’s talk about blood pressure. Do you know what your blood pressure is? You should. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because so many who die as a result of having high blood pressure never knew it. If you don’t know it, please find out what it is.

Blood pressure consists of two numbers. The first number is the systolic pressure which is the pressure exerted by the contraction of the heart. The second number is the diastolic pressure which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is relaxed. Blood pressure is often stated as a number “over” a second number. For example, 120/80 is stated as 120 over 80. 120 is the systolic number and 80 is the diastolic number.

Once upon a time a normal blood pressure was in the range of 90 to 135 over 50 to 85. If your blood pressure was more than 140/90, then you had high blood pressure. Do you remember in a previous blog I talked about how movie theaters were enabling me in my obesity by widening their seats and even having arms that lifted up if I still needed more room? Well, unfortunately, even the medical community is susceptible to such behavior. Remember to consult your physician about your blood pressure! But we now have new levels of blood pressure due to the increased blood pressure of the population. They are as follows:

Normal
Less than 130/80

High Normal
Between 130/85 & 139/89

Mild Hypertension Stage 1
Between 140/90 & 159/99

Moderate Hypertension Stage 2
Between 160/100 & 179/109

Severe Hypertension Stage 3
Between 180/110 & 209/119

Very Severe Hypertension Stage 4
Over 210/120

Are they serious?!?! This approaches insanity or some absurd (and not funny) joke. What are they thinking? Please, do not be satisfied with anything other than normal. Even at my most obese my blood pressure was about 120/80. Now that I have lost 125 pounds by working out aerobically & anaerobically and eating right I have watched my blood pressure fall to 108/54. I felt good. Now I feel great! And, my heart thanks me for it.

Consult your doctor about your blood pressure. You should know what it is. If it is high, get it under control!

Here are a few factors associated with high blood pressure or at least the risk of high blood pressure:

Smoking (if you smoke, please quit)
Stress (don’t sweat the small stuff)
Diabetes
Sodium intake (put down the salt & give Mrs. Dash a fair shake)
Alcohol (please drink responsibly)
Not exercising (the heart is a muscle, y’all)
Family history
Oral contraceptives
Weight (too much is not a good thing)
Gender (women once again are proven to be the superior gender, sorry guys)
Race
Age (the one factor that I can’t outrun, well one of three – gender family history too)

Take care of yourselves. Let’s continue to work toward you fine. Remember to breathe!

Until next time,
Michael

Workout Music

This is important! What type of music do you listen to when you workout? Which artists help get you going? Are there particular songs you HAVE to workout to?

I want to know so I can add them to my own playlist! And you might help others discover a great workout song that helps them out. Who knows? You might even find a new song or two, as well!

My first and foremost workout song, the one I can always listen to is Control by Traci Lords. I listen to this song whether I’m doing cardio or resistance training. It’s a butt kicking song. I do listen to different music depending on my workout. I prefer techno, house, and dance for cardio. Angry rap and metal are my preferences for weight training. Oh, and I can’t forget Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill; the whole album is good for my weight training. There’s something about Canadian, angry girl, rock; Alanis for weight training and Avril Lavigne for cardio, haha!

Music can be helpful to your workout. The beat can help you set the pace. The lyrics and music can inspire you to push yourself a little harder. It can help keep your mind off the time, so that you are focusing on the workout. I find that music makes for a more enjoyable workout period.

Tell us what you listen to while working out. Thank you.

Michael