2016 Fitness so far

So it’s April 9th. I just finished week 13 of p90x3. This is my blog about all the fun and pain.
I started Dec 28th to get almost a five day head start on the new year resolution. That worked well.

It took me 15 weeks to do the 13 week program. I did week 5 twice due to missing 4 days that week and I did week 9 over due to missing most of that week. Both of those were due to business travel and Army weekends. It just made it logistically too hard to hit all seven days. Overall I am very proud of myself for completing the program. I could have done some parts better, but as they say, “Do your best, and forget the rest.”

Pros:
Only thirty minute tapes every day.
15 tapes provided plenty of variety. You never do the same pattern of tapes for more than 3 weeks in a row.
Many of the tapes focused on full body exercises and core regardless of it is was leg day, cardio day, arms, etc.
Emphasis on stretching and flexibility.
Modifiers for every move showed how you could adapt if needed.

Cons:
Some of the yoga moves were to advanced for beginners.
When I was following the diet strictly it was difficult to hit all my macro nutrients every day.
A lot of the stretching and exercises hurt my very weak lower back. I ate a ton of tylenol throughout the program. (I probably should have went to the chiropractor, I just never got around to it.)
I was tremendously sore the first 3 weeks. Painfully sore, but I pushed through it even though I probably should have rested some.

Diet:
The program calculator told me I should be eating 2100 calories a day and 160 of that should be protein. The diet made alot of sense, but requires alot of planning if you want to be successful with it. MyfitnessPal is a great tool for tracking your exercise calories, food eaten, and macro nutrients. I did good with this for probably the first 5 weeks and then off and on the rest of the time.

Results:
Starting weight: 176
Ending weight: 174

Day 1:

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Day 60:

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day 90:

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While I didn’t get insanely ripped like the info-mercials, most of those people are after 2 or 3 rounds of 90 days. I did tone up quite a lot and I can tell some noticeable differences to include:
My biceps improved the most and are much more visibly toned even though not that much larger by measurement. (lighting in my photos don’t do them justice. 🙂 )
My triceps look about the same but are stronger.
My lats are every so barely starting to show.
My chest has firmed up and now actually looks like pecs and not flabby man boobs like they did before starting.
My stomach is flatter and more tone. I still have a small pooch, but have a flat stomach when I engage my core. You can even see the top 2 abs occasionally. Had I followed the diet more strictly I’m sure my results would have been better as I can tell that my core and abs are a lot, lot stronger.
I can actually do some pullups now without using a chair. Not a ton, but some.
I am much stronger in my chest and shoulders and can work harder with pushups and planks.
My legs are definitely stronger. Quads are tone and I am not getting shin splints as often when running.
I am extremely more flexible due to the yoga. I still have a long way to go, but the stretching and flexibility and core focus has helped me tremendously.
My energy levels are great.
I have developed a healthy habit of wanting to work out at least 5 times a week. I miss it when I miss a day due to busy life. I enjoy that I feel healthier and have a lot more energy. I also feel lest guilty when pigging out on junk food occasionally.
I have actively exercised more days than not exercising in 2016 and I’m proud of that.

Motivation: My motivation was best in month 1 and then month 2 during weeks 6-9. I missed the most days in month 3. I started rationalizing that as long as I was getting in 5 days or more I was doing pretty good. I also went running 7 times for an average of 2.67 miles each time. That was about once every 7-15 days. Sometimes this was in addition to a workout, and other times it was to replace a workout I didn’t want to do.
The last few months have been an extremely stressful and difficult year due to life circumstances and job(s) uncertainty. The stress level has been intense. I’m sure I would have had a much harder time if I wasn’t working out 5-7 days a week. I am grateful I got into this program when I did as life has hit hard lately. I haven’t hit all my fitness goals, but many of those will take longer than 3 months. This has been a great starting point and I’m going to keep going.

I would highly recommend this program to someone who doesn’t have a lot of time but wants to be active and work on fitness. It is a very well rounded program. I am thinking I will probably do p90x2 next as I think my goals align pretty well with that program. I know the hour workouts will be harder to fit into the schedule, but I think I will still enjoy it and continue to make progress in my fitness journey.

Good luck with your fitness goals and may you find a way to be healthy.

Later,
Derek

Leadership

I thought I knew what leadership was. I’ve even thought I exhibited it occasionally. I know the definition of it. I’ve seen both great examples of it and poor examples of it during my time in the army.

Tonight I saw the finest example of it in my life. I watched from the back of the funeral home as my friend walked his two children up to the casket to see their mom resting peacefully. He explained that even though she looked like she was only sleeping that she was gone. I watched him do all this and keep his composure. He held it together for his children as I cried from the back of the room wandering if I could ever be that strong for people I love.

I know that he is hurting more than the rest of us. I know his children may not fully understand. I know that he has cried and will cry again when he’s ready.

But I watched him be a leader. Not only in this small window of time, but ever since the diagnosis. He stood by his wife through thick and thin. He loves his boys and would do anything for them. I witnessed him be a leader and a father in a situation where I feel that I would most likely run away. I know he will continue to lead his two boys as a great father and that there will be joy and happiness in future days. I know he will keep going.

This is my new definition of leadership. When the whole world has come crumbling down on you, when you have nothing left to give, when every moment is full of pain and sadness, you drive on for those you love. One step at a time, one breath at a time, one moment at a time. You keep going because of love. Not because you want to, or because you have more to give, you keep going no matter how empty you are because of love.

My heart aches with Jeff in this difficult time. No words can replace your loss.

But in this dark time, you have truly taught me something my friend. You have taught me how to be a leader. May I never forget it.

-Derek

Intentional Living

It’s January 1st. Time for silly new years resolutions posts. Ha. I’m not gonna do that. But I will talk about a concept I feel I’ve started to understand in 2015.

Intentional living.

I define it as follows: Living life with a purpose and goals. Making things happen in your life, instead of waiting for or reacting to things happening to you.

You can sit back and be reactionary in your life and complain about the circumstances and situations that come your way, or you can work hard, be intentional and do your best to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. Basically not having a victim or entitlement mentality. Life is hard, the economy sucks, etc. I get it. I really do. But really you only have two choices. Roll over and die (slowly) or take it head on. No one owes you anything. Not the government, not your family, not your job, and not your friends. Anything you get from any of those is just a blessing. You’re not guaranteed anything and you shouldn’t expect anything. Man that sounds depressing right?

However, in 2015, I feel that I’ve started to learn a little bit about this. Some of the intentional things I’ve been able to achieve this last year are as follows.

I’ve really gotten a handle on budgeting and being intentional with my money. We’ve paid off over 32k of debt and are almost debt free.
I completed my Masters degree.
I obtained my CCNA certification.
I obtained a VMware certification.
I traveled internationally for my company and had many successful business trips.
I dropped 23 lbs and kept if off for six months.

Am I perfect? No. Do I have it all together? Not quite yet. But I plan to take this mindset and keep going further in 2016. I wrote a list of over 15 specific goals a few weeks ago for 2016. They are specific and measurable. I’ve created a spreadsheet to track them. Will I achieve all of them? I don’t know. But I’m going to give it a shot. They are at least a road map of goals to shoot for during the year. Better than not having a plan.

Some of the things on my list include:

Continuing to improve my diet and adding exercise into my regular routine. (7 days straight so far!)
Reading at least 5 self-improvement books.
Obtaining one or two certifications this year.
Getting a raise at work.

Those are just a few of my goals for 2016. I also have goals that are 2 -5 years out as well as family and career goals to hit by age 40. I’d rather have a plan and shoot for my goals than just see what happens. Will things happen that are out of my control? Sure. Will my plans and goals change and adapt to the circumstances that life brings my way? Absolutely.

So think about how you can be intentional with your life this year instead of just reacting to things. Write down your goals and go after them hardcore! The only thing stopping you is the person in the mirror.

Hit me up if you have any questions regarding this idea of intentional living. I’d be glad to talk more about it with you.

I hope you have a great year in 2016 and may your year be intentional!

Later,
Derek

A quick update

So I haven’t updated in a while. Life sometimes has a amazing way of getting busy. Here are some bullet updates. There are too many thoughts and ideas jumbled in my head to get them all out now in paragraph form.

  • I’ve travelled to Minnesota twice since my last update for work.
  • I just got back from a week in Chicago. I walked over 30 miles in a few short days and only lost one pound.
  • Being sick sucks.
  • Thanksgiving was good to see my Grandma and family.
  • I’m enjoying seeing some of my long term budgeting plans starting to come to fruition. #intentionalliving
  • Work has been really good at times, and also really stressful at times.
  • This year has gone by extremely fast.
  • Having 3 kids is way more of a challenge than having two.
  • I’m excited for the Christmas season. It helps me to remember there is still good in people.
  • The Royals celebration parade was crowded.
  • Maybe I’ll start trying to post movie reviews.
  • I’m getting really burned out on stupid people and their opinions on the internet.
  • I got promoted to Staff Sergeant this summer.
  • Music is amazing as always.

And now for random photos from my phone.

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Later,
Derek

Caroline is 1 year old!

Caroline is one year old today.

This last year has seemed to go by both very quickly and very slowly. After having two toddlers who are now pre-school and elementary aged, I had forgotten what life with a newborn was like. The last year has been a very accurate reminder.

Caroline has a very interesting personality. She is a super happy baby and loves to play with her brother and sister. However, if she’s tired or not getting her way, she will definitely let you know. If I thought my first two kids were strong willed, Caroline has shown me that my definitions were way wrong. She can be very opinionated/stubborn sometimes! She is walking really well these days for just having started about 12 days ago. She loves electronics and wants to be in the same room as other people. She has no fear and will climb up and on anything she can reach. She is alot of fun at this age and I can’t wait to see who she’ll grow into as a kid and later adult.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of her.
Happy Birthday Caroline, I love you.  – Dad

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