Are You Losing Your Mind Trying To Become Healthy


675678

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind trying to get healthy; is it really that hard? I now know why people give up and drift back into eating whatever they want and why gym memberships come and go like night and day.

  • How much protein should I eat, how many carbs should I eat?
  • Should I eat carbs at all?
  • Should I lift high reps low weight or low reps high weight?
  • Can I work out too often?
  • What do I do and where do I start?

I can sum all the questions regarding fitness and health with one short answer. Everyone is different and what your goals are can change what you need.

Like many people searching for the “truth” about fitness and a healthy lifestyle the internet can become mind numbing and even frustrating at times while trying to filter through the endless fitness and health related topics.

I have been consistently focusing, reading articles and watching hundreds of hours of videos on YouTube trying to narrow down the truth about fitness and the only thing I have found that is 100% accurate is that we are ALL very different.

sure there are some things that are consistent for human beings in general, but most changes with the individual.

I respond very well to Intermittent Fasting, I respond terrible to the ketogenic diet, no matter how much I work on my legs they remain smaller than my upper body in proportion to the rest of my body. Genetics plays a large part in how our body will respond to health and fitness and we all have trouble areas as well as areas that develop better than others.

1234

Yes there is a way to overcome all the obstacles and have the desired outcome no matter the shortfalls you may have. It all starts with discipline and consistency. I will never be as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger; however I have a unique physique the I am learning to embrace. my positive areas are larger Lats, Traps and I accept that my legs look like a never train them.

Here are a few steps I have learned over the last few years that may help you narrow down the searching and time on the web.

  • Know what you want – Do you want to look like a runner or bodybuilder, do you want to look good or be strong.
  • set a goal that appeals to your desires  
  • Look at your family and any other blood relative to see the traits that they have (good or bad) . This will give you a head start with pinpointing the “trouble areas” you may have. Look at their lifestyle and see how they respond.
  • Research and understand how your body works and responds to everything. how do you respond to your diet, cardiovascular workouts, lifting programs, etc.
  • Be realistic with your progress and know that it’s taken you a long time to get to where you are today, changing that will not happen overnight.

It has taken me 34 years to learn I was overweight and unhealthy. I’m a little over 2 years being serious with my fitness journey and I am very far from being where I want to be. With that said I am very excited to see the progress I have gained and want to share that.

During my adult life (20 years old – current) my highest weight has been 248 lbs. (113 kg) and my lowest 167 lbs. (76 kg) and I have felt the complete gamut of conditions, from complete crap to incredible and full of energy. Find what works for you, learn what your body responds to, seek the truth about your specific goals and most importantly have fun with it.

Are You Living Too Small


reallife

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”.- Anais Nin

Your life will travel in the direction you are looking; the goals and dreams you visualize will guide the steps you take. So why don’t we have the Lamborghini our driveway? Why are we struggling with our health? Why is it that nothing seems to be working out?

Well partly because you haven’t aligned the other areas in your life to reach the goals you set. Your employment may not provide the financial stability to afford such an expensive dream car. Yet you remain in the job due to fear of leaving your comfort zone and looking for a better one. You think about going to the gym and eating healthy but fail to follow through. When nothing seems to be working out, maybe you are focusing on the problems too much and less on the silver lining or what IS working.

“If the desire to reach your dreams is big enough to inspire the courage to change the situation you are facing, your dreams will become possible”. – Scott Jenkins


I personally do not want a Lamborghini, I want a healthy lifestyle, a long happy life with my daughters and as life evolves into the empty-nest stage, a little house on a lake with the woman I love.

Yes there have been some huge roadblocks in my financial stability that will not allow this dream to become reality, at the moment.  However that has not changed the dream, it has not stopped what I want in my heart. My dream has not wavered one bit through divorce, financial destruction and many losses of loved ones. My dream and the vision for my future is much bigger than the external events that life has and will continue to bring.

Did I plan for this?

Absolutely not, I never planned on being in the situation I’m in at the moment, however it hasn’t changed what my heart desires. In fact, do to some of  the changes in my life it has allowed my life to align with my dreams a little better than it may have in the past.

“Believe in yourself; dream big dreams, set important goals, take action on those goals”. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Think bigger picture, stop focusing on right now all the time, stop looking back at what you don’t have and set your heart on what you desire. Daydream, drift off  in your mind into driving that Lamborghini, imagine how great it will be to walk out your door and smell the water as the sun rises on the lake. Visualize your dreams, smell it, hear it and feel it in your heat.

I am not where I want to be today, maybe not tomorrow but I will be one day. Believe in the power of the mind and spirit of the heart and your dreams will come true. In my opinion most importantly surround yourself with positive people and those who are also motivated to become more.

Never Let Yourself Down


I found something interesting, well to be honest I’m not sure its a real thing. I have found that I need much less sleep while doing Intermittent Fasting. I was averaging between 6-7 hours a night and now I hit 5 pretty consistently and actually feel quite refreshed and I have more energy with less caffeine.

Here’s a good example, I was up about 8am Sunday morning and hit the gym pretty hard. Up all day and worked 3rd shift last night getting out about 5am this morning. Went to sleep about 5:45am and was up at 9am feeling great.

I’m not sure why, if this is actually a real byproduct of the (IF) or just coincidence.

I have also modified my diet to more of a full Keto diet, attempting to cut my body fat % more. My unofficial goal is 10% body fat.

Being that I completely hate cardio the only way I can see a cut is to restrict carbs and its day 3 lowering my carb intake. I’m not cutting it cold turkey so to speak.

I am monitoring how many grams I had in my normal diet and cutting that in half daily until I reach about 40 grams a day. At this rate I should reach that by Wednesday, today is Monday.

I know some people say “my God, why do you keep changing everything“?

My answer is simple, without change you stay the same, I don’t want to stay the same.. I want to gradually become the best version of myself that I can be.

Yes I can be a bit manic about it, I just know what I need to motivate myself and what I need to stay away from failing and if I want to continue to be discipline with my fitness this is what I need.

Here are a few guidelines I like to use.

  • Being honest with yourself is in my opinion the most important person you can hold accountable. I have a motto I tell myself, “if I can’t be honest and have integrity with myself I will for sure not have either with another person“, and to me both are very important to have.
  • If I set a goal in my mind, I will reach it. That should be your focus. Forget letting others down, there is a 100% chance of that, do not let yourself down.
  • Set a goal that YOU want and do everything in your power while respecting other and maintaining honesty and integrity to reach your goal.

If you continually let yourself down eventually you will have a feeling of worthlessness. Trust me, I have felt this and it can overcome and snuff out any chance of happiness in your life.

An update and Further Separation of Real Life and The War on Sugar


real

Hey there again, this is just a little update and maybe a little further separation between the two blogs I have been writing.

As you know I began Real Life about 4 years ago and December of 2016 branched some of my posts into a fitness and lifestyle focused blog named The War on Sugar.

Mostly the War on Sugar was a way for me to focus my fitness and discuss life topics regarding the fitness lifestyle and have a more of the emotional well-being topic on the main Real Life page.

Both are equally important to me in my life and I have been getting questions regarding fitness that at times get lost in the emails from the main Real Life blog so in hopes to help both I have created a new email for the War on Sugar topics. Thank you for the support and I would love to continue my support by sharing my journey both emotionally and physically.

For questions regarding fitness refer to reallifewaronsugar@gmail.com

Update on this Journey of Intermittent Fasting, but Can I Even Have a Drink? 


Welcome back to The War on Sugar and it’s a perfect day to discuss my fitness and intermittent fasting journey.

I am currently walking, it’s too beautiful out to be in a gym at the moment. The temperature is in the mid 80’s here in West Michigan and I feel the need to trade my gym time for a long walk.

I changed up my work-out this week and tried to hit some PR’s and to be honest my entire body hurts from the attempts to push myself.
So, how is the IF going?

Well, my weight is hovering at a consistent 186 lbs. (83 kg) for a few weeks now, and only increasing due to my random failures with my diet, well its either that or alcohol consumption, yes I drink… However I have been researching the topics regarding the consumption of alcohol and what it does to your body.

Basically, alcohol is not healthy!

However I enjoy an occasional adult beverage here and there. So there are a few rules when it comes to alcohol consumption and understanding the rules will help in your fitness lifestyle.

Drinking pauses ANY fat metabolism whatsoever. So if you drink, choose wisely.

Tips if you drink:  (best to poor choices)

Clear liquor, colored liquor, light beer, regular beer or ( craft beer) and mixed drinks should be at the bottom of the list.

Beer is high in carbs, mixed drinks as well so clear liquor is the best bang for your buck (if you drink) the best bet is to limit consumption of alcohol all together, it is a poison to your body and I enjoy a drink from time to time.

Lately I have been focusing less on the damn number on the scale and more on the reps, sets and weight I’m lifting. I would rather be strong and healthy than look good with my shirt off. Although that is pretty appealing to me as beach time is approaching quickly here in the mitten.

I am worrying less about the look and more about the function, partly because the last little stubborn belly fat is holding on for dear life and keeping my 6 pack cozy under a nice thin layer of subcutaneous fat and I really don’t feel like fighting to get rid of it.

I am choosing to enjoy living and eating far too much to sacrifice the caloric reduction it will take to lose it.

Life is far too short to worry so much about the little things that only matter to you. No one cares that I have a 4 pack not a 6 and who wants to date someone that always has to complain and be picky with food. I’m sure my girlfriend would agree.

Yes it’s nice to be health conscious and desire to eat healthy (and we both do) but to be a freak that can’t eat “normal” food is not appealing.

So learn to have fun with dieting and fitness. You are far more likely to maintain and partake in something that is fun and that you enjoy doing.

This is why most diets fail; They are not fun and limit far too much. Dieting can be hard to maintain over a long period of time and it slowly drains the fun out of life. I’m 36 now, I began “dieting” in my late 20’s. Failure after failure of fad diets helped me never following through with any of them. I have found something that works, and works very well for me. The best part is it fits into my life not my life fitting into a diet.

Small changes over a long period of time is the best way to enter into anything regarding fitness.

“Imagine if you had a switch that could balance your metabolism and do a deep cleanse without the use of expensive fan dangled detox kits? Your body is designed to do so by using a genius mechanism known as autophagy. Celebrities have discovered that intermittent fasting, or autophagy,  is one of the best techniques used to turn on this anti-aging reboot switch”.- Longevitylive.com

Here is an article and list of celebrities that also have used Intermittent Fasting to reach their goals for movies.

www.longevitylive.com/editors-choice/why-celebrities-practice-intermittent-fasting/

The list includes: Miranda Ker, Liv Tyle, Christy Turlington, Ben Affleck, Beyoncé, Hugh Jackman, and last buy surly not least Duane “the rock” Johnson.

I’m not trying to pressure anyone into anything and I sure as hell do not get paid for this. I just know how long I struggled with my weight and never being able to find something that worked that I could maintain almost effortlessly.

Please read about Intermittent Fasting for yourself and follow me on Real Life (the war on sugar) to read more about what I learn as I navigate my own fitness successes and failures.

My Amazing Little Girl


PhotoGrid_1496223038974

16 years ago today my life was changed forever by the birth of our first of two daughters.. That is hard to say, 16 years old! From day 1 she has always been a kindred spirit to me yet fiercely independent. Not much has changed over the last 16 years, with a few exceptions. She is becoming an amazing woman full of fire, motivation and determination for life.

There is no doubt that you will do great things as long as you set your mind to it, follow your heart more than your mind and listen what I say once in a while. One day you will see that all the “crazy” things I say just might be close to the truth.

My dad told me something once that I can completely understand now. He said “having children, no matter how old, how much they talk or see one another are little pieces of your heart in the flesh walking around on earth”

He couldn’t be more right, I feel like I have two little pieces of my heart walking around, risking their safety, experimenting with their own lives and growing older every day.

I know there will be times you think I’m crazy or I don’t know what I’m talking about, I remember the exact same thoughts when I was growing up. I’m not saying I’m always right however I’m mostly right and I also understand the thoughts of an artist and having independence. I know you have to experience things for yourself to understand them just like I did. Keep the words I say in the back of your mind as you head out on the journey of life and never forget I’m here for you always.

One day you will be out on your own, making a life for yourself, falling in love, getting married, starting a family for yourself, working all the time, and may not have time for your old dad. The only things I want from you is for you to not make the same mistakes I made and live life to the fullest, don’t settle for second and never forget who had your heart fist.

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be” – Robert Munsch (a book named Love You Forever)

I love you Haylee, happy 16th birthday

Losing Keys


Screenshot_20170524-100355

I can’t describe what an emotional few days it has been in words; the best I can offer is it’s been like a whirlwind in my head. A little over a week ago I received the news that my grandmothers health was rapidly declining and her illness has reached terminal. Not fully understand the reality of the situation I stopped by to visit with the girls. As we walked in she was resting, such a beautiful peaceful rest too. It was so precious I told my grandpa not to wake her, she needed rest.
As we sat there and whispered to one another about the normal topics with grandpa, who has a boyfriend, who is about to drive and get into all kinds of trouble and after about 20 min he ran out of amazing one liners so we decided to wake up the real talker.
As she woke up she looked a little confused as to what was going on and why we were there. After a few minutes she began to come out of the sleep fog and chat a little. Although she was definitely not the normal fiery redhead full of energy she was on a normal day. We carried on for a bit until we were interrupted by some business that needed to be discussed with some of the family, so I gave her a hug and said “see you later grandma” as we walked out; totally thinking I would see her again. That was the last time I would see her…
Later that week I went out of town on business and while on business I received the phone call I really wasn’t ready to receive. “Scotty, Grandma has passed away” I didn’t know if I should cry or smile knowing she was not in pain, she could breathe again and in a much better place. Putting my personal life on hold I informed my team of the news, to hear from one of the other teammates that Chris Cornell has committed suicide. With the passing of my grandmother the news was harder to not feel through team and set the tone for the day.
The family talked here and there about the details of the viewing and funeral arrangements for grandma and they were set to be held on Tuesday. Monday morning I received another phone call from a friend at work that a co-worker has passed away as well on Monday morning. Already full of emotion due to my grandmother passing it hit me hard, but not as hard as what was coming. As I grabbed my car keys later that day I saw this little item on my keychain. Something so insignificant and small yet so full of meaning, there it was, a little key.
I know you may not understand the meaning of this key; let me explain. Remember when you were younger and you bought the yin-yang friendship bracelet or neckless for you and your best friend. This little key was given to me because we worked a lot of overtime and also loved music. My co-worker had brought in a nice Bose speaker and didn’t want anyone to walk off with it so we decided to lock it up. I had one key he had the other. It was a trusting gift between him and I.
This morning I’m sitting here with this key, trying to figure out what to do with it or who to give it to.
Life is like that, something so meaningless as a key can hold so much emotion or something as precious as a hug that may be the last hug you give. Today I’m really struggling, my heart is broken, my friend is gone, my grandmother no longer here to bicker with my grandpa. Today I’m sitting here holding so many keys that others have given me. I’m keeping this key, it was a gift of trust and friendship and I’m holding onto the last hug I gave my grandma. My heart hurts so badly today struggling to find a way to process the losses in my life not only to death some losses are lost due to not living bold enough. R.I.P. Mike (money) Meister I will miss you

IMG_20170523_175025_287.jpg   I love you and will miss you Dorothy E. LaCoss

April 21, 1935 – May 18, 2017

Convincing Our Minds We Are Capable


wqer

It’s time for another War on Sugar post (IF) update, and this time I bring to you some science proving my lifestyle change has improved my health. I recently had a physical by my Doctor and also some Lab/ blood-work checkups due to being Hypothyroid.

I know from previous labs that quite a few numbers were “off” so to speak. Not terrible but not even in the “acceptable range”.

I received my results yesterday and all my numbers were either better than or in the high average range, proof that my Intermittent Fasting lifestyle is paying off. It has also been over a year since he has seen me, actually closer to two years. First thing he said was “wow, you look great” always a nice thing to hear from a doctor. After we had our “how is life” chat we began to talk about my fitness, I had questions regarding my (IF) and Hypothyroidism.

His exact words were “whatever you are doing, do not stop” YES, I have reached a healthy lifestyle that I can maintain and not even think about.

My weight is a steady 185 lbs. (84 kg) and I have visible abs. I’m no longer in the range of overweight and slowly approaching my goal of 10-15% body-fat.

I feel better than I ever have, stronger, faster and far more energy and I’ll be 37 this year. This is including my best shape in my late teen years. That without the proof in the blood-work is enough to want to tell everyone YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!

One of the biggest lies ever is that a healthy lifestyle is not for everyone. We are all human, yes genetics plays a part in the results, but your lifestyle WILL overcome if you excerpt the effort to change. You are not alone, find a friend, get to the gym, get up, get out.. Whatever it takes be willing to do it, and most importantly DO IT FOR YOURSELF!

Do you Desire or Fear Connection


asdfadsf

I read a post this morning that hit me harder than most. It was about seeing how much time we waste doing things that do not matter. It really made me think about how much time I spend doing nothing.

It is sad to think of what the internet has done, or I should say, allowed us to do to ourselves. It has destroyed our patience, lowered our value for communication and intimacy, almost completely desensitized us to the evil of the world, now what once was a video you had to be 18+ to see is now a click of a button, the words that couldn’t be said on television are now not even noticed when said.

It’s scary to see what our children see and hear, I sometimes struggle as an adult to hear and see some of the things our children have the opportunity to see and hear every day. It breaks my heart to think back to when life was so simple, when our time was important and when we had to say what needed to be said and not hide behind our phones and use text to communicate.

I feel how important it is to have human connection and am seeing as I get older how priceless our time is. In 2 years my oldest will be 18.. Where has the time gone? What did I miss while I was too busy living my life and working to create more?

I do not fear death, I fear missing out on what is important and having to live with the fact that I had the chance and didn’t take it. People will forget what car you drive, what clothes you own; they will never forget how you made them feel. To me the connection I desire most is the one that changes my heart, the one that feeds my soul and inspires me to give back.

Setbacks are a Part of Life


fail

The War on Sugar never ends..

This has been a not so great week, lots of stress at home and work, I haven’t been eating right at all. In fact I have spent the entire week eating wrong. One thing I have been doing, well the only thing I have been doing is staying consistent on my Intermittent Fasting schedule. My workouts have been nonexistent, my Macros have been a disaster and my stress level has been way up but I’m still losing weight.

Stress increases Cortisol levels which can by itself destroy any fitness goals you have. I have felt it this week and hope to jump back on the fitness train Saturday or as I jokingly call it the “gain train”.

In the back of my mind I fear my weight loss may be a little muscle loss but I’m lying to myself and saying it’s just water weight or fat loss. My apologies for this not so positive post but this is Real Life, failures happen, slips will be a part of our fitness journey. For today that’s all I have, I’m getting back up and trying again. Failing isn’t the opposite of success, it is a part of success. All success is, is the ability to overcome failure while reaching your goals.