Finding my way... the living journal of TaoTeTrav
Everyone has something that works for them. Some like yoga. Some like Tai Chi. Some like pumping iron. I've see it on this site...everyone believes what works for them (dietary/workout) is THE thing that will work for everyone else.
I disagree with that. We are all unique and we should all celebrate this uniqueness. Part of the celebration of yourself is understanding yourself. On this site, I have seen this referred to as N = 1. This is performing an experiment on yourself, by yourself. How do you deal with the absence of this food item, or the addition of this movement.
This journal will be my public undertaking of my N = 1 experiment. I am a beginner in most things health and fitness related; but, as most, I have grown up with strong opinions on most things. Unfortunately, these opinions have come without any personal research in the physical realm. Oh, that makes sense so it must be true. This, I now believe, has been my biggest failure in my own health and fitness.
So, I aim to change this.
Tao Te Trav is kind of a misnomer, especially for you truly familiar with Taoism and the Tao Te Ching. I am calling my journey the "Way of Trav" (Name is Travis). It is not an exact translation perhaps, but it is a clever pun and I stand by it .
I hope to make some good friends, and assume I'll make some enemies. After all, what is life without balance?
So, to get on with it... I'll see you on the flip side of health and fitness... on the side where I will be healthy and fit!
Cheers to the future!
I am celebrating my first paycheck in 5 months. This includes beer (more specifically Mirror Pond Pale Ale) and chips (Spicy Nacho Doritos). This isn't a regular thing for me, but damn it feels good. I will probably never give up beer. I am a beer snob. I look forward to getting back into home-brewing. That doesn't mean I will be drinking a 6-pack every night. Quality over quantity. Which makes me think...doesn't PB allow "quality" and "quantity"? Good food and as much as you need?
That is one big draw for me. I hate counting calories and protein grams and all that non-sense. It may work for some, but sure as hell doesn't work for me. I hate the very notion of making my food a math problem!
Back to it....
I started back in June with Primal-style eating. I lost ten lbs almost effortlessly on Pork Chop and Eggs meals. Goddamn they were good! Since then, I've had to revert to rice-and-beans type of fare. Economics can be a bitch! But, cheap is cheap, and I was glad to eat. I have a paycheck again, as previously disclosed, and can once again afford what I should be eating...plenty of greens and meats with some fruit thrown in.
To throw some numbers in...
I have quite a bit I want to detail in this post, to give you all (and myself) an honest recounting of how I got to be where I am. But for now I have Pale Ale and Doritos (may they be my last) to eat. Celebration, my friend...celebration!
I suppose in order to find your way, you must have a destination in mind. Perhaps this is why many people do not find their way: they wander around and enjoy the scenery but have no fixed goal in mind. This is not to say that when you DO have a fixed destination, that you cannot enjoy the scenery as well! In fact, I encourage it! No sense in doing anything if you cannot enjoy it.
So, In this post I will do just that: establish my health and fitness goals.
Generic short-term goal: To weigh 199 or less by years end. This morning I weighed in at 222.2 lbs. There are 12.5 weeks until the end of the year. So, that is just under 2lbs a week that need to go! I hear that 1 to 2 lbs a week is a realistic goal to have for weight-loss.
I've read here and there that weight loss is not intended to be the primary goal of Primal and/or paleo lifestyle. For me, it easily sums up many goals. To lose weight, I will have to eat more nutritiously and have to exercise more. These two things will be increasing my fitness and health, which will push the weight loss.
Specific long-term goals:
1)Bench press more than my weight.
2)Perform 10 consecutive muscle-ups.
3)Jog 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes. Right now I go hiking every other weekend (or so), and I have a hip problem that keeps me from doing any kind of jogging. Actually, my hip was feeling a little better earlier this year, and I was able to jog on the beach for about 15 seconds. 2 years ago, I had a hard time walking.
4)9% Body Fat. I don't think I want to keep that number, but I would like to see single digits at least once in my life :-)
5)Goal weight is 185lbs. With decrease in bodyfat and increase in muscle, this should be a relatively easy number to reach. I would like to maintain 180-185 lbs. Of course, I may feel different when I get there!
Definitely going to keep my goals flexible as I have physical limits (like the hip) that may not be able to be overcome. That isn't to say that I won't try my damndest though!
Last edited by taotetrav; 10-06-2013 at 10:17 AM.
Reaching the goals.
I want to outline what I think needs to happen for me to reach my health and fitness goals.
1)Bench Press more than my weight. This is representative of overall strength gain for me. I've always struggled with bench pressing and it has, in the past, been a mental hell for me. I know that bench pressing may not be the most significant way of measuring true overall strength, but gaining that mental/emotional triumph is more important than any physical strength I might gain. I have been working out with a Kettlebell for about 2 weeks now - not very steadily though. I definitely need to add more pushups into the equation. I plan on joining a gym in a few months (or sooner), but I feel I need to get that 'beginning level of strength' first.
2)Chin-ups. I can't do a single one right now. I bought a door strap yesterday that will allow me to start doing some rowing type of motion. I don't have a good place to add a chin up bar except for the garage. That will come in time. I also bought 2 25-lb hex dumbbells that will really help with bicep/tricep strength.
3)1.5 mile jog. Right now I can't jog at all. Combination of being a previous smoker (quit about 2 years ago) and a hip-joint issue. In the past two years, I've gone from not being able to walk without pain to a 15 second job on the beach this summer. I haven't been able to continue with a chiropractor due to life (what a year it's been!) but I will again soon. My plan is joining a gym and using a treadmill to do a 5 minute routine. That is you jog as long as you can, and then walk to finish off the 5 minute time period. Repeat that 5 times or so.
4)Single-digit body fat. This will come with time and effort. I'm not even going to think about this one until I get down to a healthy weight first, then I will devise a plan of attack. I have a feeling it's going to take a heck of a lot more cardio than what I'm getting right now!
5)Maintain 180-185 lbs. I think this will easily come with healthy eating and exercising more.
Last edited by taotetrav; 10-06-2013 at 10:22 AM.
1) Hip joint. This has been a problem for just about 2 years. The left hip bone doesn't sit right and needs constant adjustment by a chiropractor. I haven't been to have an adjustment since April. I have money again, so this is coming soon. At least I can walk without pain now, for the most part. As of right now, I can only hike 3 to 3.5 miles in on any hike, before I have to turn around and head back. That is really limiting my enjoyment of East Idaho's great outdoors! Also, a fixed hip will allow me to jog again to get that 1.5 mile goal.
2)Shoulder. I don't know what is wrong with this, but as soon as my hip started getting fixed and my posture started getting better (thank you Zhan Zhuang standing!) my shoulder started to hurt. Always the left side - same side as the bad hip. I believe the alignment of the hip has a great deal to do with the alignment of the shoulders. As the lower spine gets corrected, the shoulder has to sit different. I am hoping that finding a new chiro will get every fixed!
3)Work schedule. I work 10 hour shifts with a 1 hour lunch. All said I am at work from 7am to 6pm. Thankfully it is only 4 days a week. These days it is hard to do anything after work. Usually I am pretty hungry by 6pm and I am having to cook right when I get home. This will just take some planning to overcome. If I can pack a snack to eat on my drive home, I can get an hours worth of exercise in from 630-730 and make dinner after that. It's all in the planning, isn't it!
4)Analysis Paralysis. I have this head problem where I think too much and research to much. I get so much information that I just can't take action on any of it. This whole journal is going to help with that. If I make a goal to write something everyday, I can at least try to have some kind of action everyday. The important thing for me is to DO SOMETHING. I can make it better later. What is it that I've heard here...something like "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good"? I definitely need to take that one to heart!
I want to make a note of what my starting workout is. I would like to have it written down so that I can refer to it in later days to see what has changed, etc.
Right now it's just a Kettlebell workout.
1)Wrist circles. (20)
2)Orbit the waist. (20)
3)Orbit the head. (20) - this one tends to bring some pain to the shoulder joint, but I do it anyway.
4)Pushups - (15 working on 20) one hand on KB and one hand on floor. Alternate.
5)Push-press (lift the moon). (15 working on 20) Holding the KB in front of chest, do a squat. At top of squat press the KB above your head.
6)KB swing. (30) I alternate between single and two-handed. If I do it single handed, I do it Russian style. Double-handed I do it American style.
That is one set. I repeat for 3 sets. This usually takes me around an hour. A little longer than most, but it takes a while to catch my breath in between some of those sets. Plus, I don't like to rush things. An hour for this is long enough to keep me busy and feel good that I'm actually doing something.
I have been trying to do that every other day. I need to include more ab work and more stretching (good for the hip) on my 'off' days to round out my workout schedule.
I know this will change as soon as I get a gym membership in the months/weeks to come. But right now, this is what I have. Additionally, I just bought 2 25-lb hex dumbbells , a door strap, and a fitness ball. I have to figure out how to add these into the equation. Also...cardio. This will have to take care of itself with squats and KB swings for the time being. Until I get the hip adjusted...no skipping rope or jogging for me.
Pushups are a Nightmare
I can't say that I hate pushups.
I can't say that I like them either.
Pushups, for me, represent every physical weakness and physical failure I've ever had. Since being a child and too weak to hold up a trumpet (say about the age of 7), throughout high school being the wimpy kid, and into adulthood. I'm still weak at pushups, but due to a large gain of flesh (some of it muscle!), I look a lot stronger than I actually am. Sigh.
Pushups have haunted my entire existence. I'm not sure why I've had this mental block against them, but its been there my entire remembered life. It's always been there....and I'm tired of it!
It is time to spring into action. I am going to make pushups my main exercise from now until... well, until I no longer have a mental block against them. I am going to conquer this 'beginner' exercise and then go on to greater things. I am going to OWN THESE BITCHES!
Goal: 10,000 pushups by Aug 4, 2014. (39th b-day....holy shit!, when did I get old!)
10,000 pushups in roughly 9 months equates to roughly 40 pushups a day. I am looking forward to seeing how much this changes my physique, strength, and mental state. I will add a current picture soon. Apologies in advance for any bleeding eyes and troubled souls.
Right now I weigh 225lbs. I got into the pushup position on my scale and that comes in at 170lbs. I've never been able to bench that much; pushups will be a challenge. I will most likely be starting at less than 40 per day until I get required stability strength, i.e., tendons and ligaments, core strength, etc. I will try to follow a natural progression. Some days I imagine that I won't be doing any pushups. Some days I might do 100 a day. I am betting that will be more towards the end. I would also like to see how much my max pushups a set change.
Today I did two sets of pushups. 5 repetitions each set. My shoulders hurt and hip hurt. I don't have a lot of strength in my torso to hold it straight during the pushups. I certainly hope that will change. I may have to add in ab exercises (ab wheel or planking) in addition to pushups to strengthen those beer muscles.
I will end every post with the current number completed. Wish me well on my journey!
I should add that I was doing incline pushups (on garage steps) during my kettle bell workout. I could do about 15 of those in a row. This additional weight (normal pushups) is either a) really crippling to my strength or b)a real mental block; as my max reps went from 15 incline to 5 normal. Ugggh.
Pushups today: 10
Pushups completed: 10
Last edited by taotetrav; 10-13-2013 at 09:09 PM.
So I am having a slow start to the pushup challenge. I did my short workout today, and I could feel the chest muscle working it, near the edge of the armpit area. I want to take it slow so that I can perform pushups everyday.
On another note... I don't know why, but recently I've been into buying a soda everyday at work. That stops now!
Pushups today: 10
Pushups completed: 20