Monthly Archives: January 2014
After stressful events this past weekend I was reminded of how much we take for granted. We get into our daily routines, sweat the small stuff (that we perceive as a huge, insurmountable problem), get mad because of stupid things (that of course are the most important things in the world while we are in the moment), but when we put all of our daily discomforts against a real, large issue, that’s when we get perspective.
I have to admit, I took for granted the safety of my own home up until it was almost compromised. I complained regularly that living with 8 people in the house was unbearable until it got to the point when I wished I had all 8 of us standing against what threatened us. I use to think that my military father and his “super hero cop” brother were paranoid when they insisted on teaching my me and my brother certain things, until I instinctively found myself searching for a weapon in the darkness of my house while a man at my door was trying to get inside.
I am not sure what would have happened if my other half wasn’t thinking on his feet and didn’t call the police when he did. I am not sure what would have happened had we not installed the security system that we did… Frankly, I don’t want to think about it especially in lieu of new evidence that these people have been watching us for a few days. These people knew we were home and they were coming for us.
I write here about being strong mentally and physically. I tell you that you can achieve and overcome everything if you put your mind to it. I write about having the steel resolve to rise above. Well, I have to say, some things bring even the strongest to their knees. I am mad today because I am still letting these people and their actions get in my head. I am mad because I flinch every time I hear leaves move in my yard and every time I see headlights around my house. I guess it will take time for me to get over it.
The reason why I am telling you all of this is: be grateful for every day that you have and every carefree minute that you get. The stress that you are under today can easily be doubled or tripled tomorrow. Appreciate your friends and your family, tell them daily that you love them, and forgive them their small transgressions and annoying habits. Be kind, be generous, be genuine, and be you, because you never know when that moment can get taken away from you.
On December 17th of 2013 I decided that I am going to take the Spartan challenge and do the 17 workouts that the actors did to prepare for the movie 300. Below is the assessment workout that I did at the beginning and at the end of the 17 workout period (a little over a month).
I have to say, this is not for the weak or those that are just starting their training, but if you have been at it for a while, it is a good way to test your strength and endurance. At the end of the challenge I completed this workout 20 minutes (!!!!) fast then the initial. Can you believe it? I couldn’t!
Another worthy point to mention is that before I embarked on this journey of becoming a Spartan, I was deathly afraid of box jumping and bear crawls. I just never thought of myself as the kind of person that was coordinated enough to do these exercises and escape in one piece. Now, I deliberately seek out boxes to jump on and bare crawl whenever the opportunity presents itself.
But enough about me! Let’s get back to this workout! Complete the following exercises in as little time as possible. Don’t stop, keep pushing! Log your time and share it below!
I discovered my passion for cooking right around the same time as I discovered my love for fitness. Nothing makes you feel more alive and in the moment as a new PR and an amazing meal. Quickly realizing that my love for gourmet food and my love for fitness can’t coexist, I had to do something.
For years I studied, read, and practiced various preparation methods and techniques, took cooking classes, and searched for places to procure clean, organic meat and produce. As a result of my obsession with flavor and the need to maintain a lean and strong physique, I have developed hundreds of recipes that were beneficial for my health and for my abs, not to mention supported a number of local farmers.
Last year, when I started Fierce Miles, I had a bright idea: why not write an actual cookbook? The majority of the work was already done, all I had to do was test, photograph, write, edit, format, market, and sell the book! Not a big deal, right? Right. After a few months of writing, re-writing, editing, and writing some more, I am just a few short months away from the big day. I am excited and yet a bit nervous.
When I first decided to do this, I had no idea how much work I am going to have to put into this project for it to be what I really want it to become — the absolute go to for every fit food lover. So far, we are right on track. Our Kickstarter page goes live next week, our graphic designer is working on a fabulous book cover that’ll be ready around the same time, and I am almost done organizing the content and the recipes into chapters.
I know, this is an unusual Monday post for me, but I’ve had this on my mind for so long, that it was time to share it with you guys. Stay tuned for more information on Fierce Gourmet: A Fit Foodie’s Cookbook.
It’s the middle of January and many of you might be starting to think that the New Year’s resolution you made wasn’t an objective one. Maybe you motivation began to wane and you started to skip workouts, slip off your diet, and began making excuses to justify it while feeling guiltier than ever in the process. Does that sound like something that you are going through? Don’t worry, there is a way to fix it.
Step One: Guilt is Overrated
Stop feeling guilty and beating yourself up over your past failures. What’s in the past is in the past and there is nothing that you can do to change it. What you can do, however, is resolve to be dedicated to your goals and promise yourself to practice disciplined behavior day in and day out from this point on. Minor slip-ups will happen and we have to move past them. Train your will power just like you train your body. Saying “no” to a piece of cake gets easier after you said “no” 500 times before.
Step Two: Re-Evaluate, Set Goals and Benchmarks
Re-evaluate your New Year’s resolution. Why did you make it? Is it realistic? Is it sustainable? Answering these questions will help you set benchmark goals along the way which will help with the process of achieving your greater goal. For example: “I want to lose weight” is too generic of a goal but can be your greater goal. “I want to lose 5 lbs by the end of February because I am running a 5K on February 28th” is a specific goal with a modifier (running a 5K) which can be broken down into two (or even three) separate benchmark goals: 1) benchmark goal being losing 5 lbs by the end of February, 2) run a 5K on February 28th, 3) finish a 5K at a certain time.
Benchmark goals are smaller, more achievable goals that help you celebrate your wins and achievements. Setting these goals keeps you more motivated, more concentrated on the task at hand especially if there is a satisfaction of an achievement and a reward at the end.
Step Three: Food is a Reward for Your Pet
Don’t reward yourself with food. When you achieve your benchmark goals, reward yourself with something other than a trip to the bakery. Agree to treat yourself to a SPA day, a new tech toy, a new outfit, or a night out at the movies. Do something that you enjoy, but do not derail your progress by eating food that isn’t on your plan. After all, you are not a dog, you don’t need treats.
Step Four: Get Involved
It is easier to stick to a resolution when you are part of a community. If you like to run — join a local running group (any specialty running store will be able to give you information about running groups in your area), if you prefer fast paced exercise that tightens and tones – find a crossfit gym, if you don’t like people but still want to get in shape – pay a personal trainer. Even the most seasoned fitness enthusiasts have someone who holds them accountable. One might even say that having an accountability partner accounts to 60% of successfully met goals for most people.
If you are still having trouble sticking to your New Year’s resolution after reading the steps above, consider doing a bit more reevaluating and editing. Remember, your goals can evolve out of the initial resolution and the deeper you dig, the more you might be able to find. If you need help “distilling” benchmarks goals out of your greater goal, feel free to contact me via Facebook, Twitter, or just comment below.
Since many of you are just starting your fitness journey, I’d like to talk about a few things that might help you avoid an uncomfortable situation and save you the dirty looks. You may already know this, but there is a certain gym etiquette that most of us prefer you abide by. Below I have assembled a short list of gym faux pas that everyone should know:
Using Your Phone
No one, and I mean no one, wants to hear your conversation with your girlfriend about how awesome the party was last night, how horrible your boss is, or how hot that guy / girl is that you hooked up with last night. There is a time and a place to use your cellphone and it is definitely NOT while you are working out. Plus, if you can talk on the phone that means that you are not working hard enough, taking up valuable time on the equipment, and annoying everyone who is actually putting in the work. Think of it this way, your gym is like a movie theater but instead of watching a film, you are watching your health and body composition. Don’t be a jerk and disturb everyone around you. Hang up or take it outside!
Have a Question? Ask Somebody!
This seems self-explanatory, but you’ll be surprised how many people lack common sense. If you have a question about a piece of equipment, ask someone, google it, or simple look at the machine. More often than not there is a demonstration of what it does and how to use it. Don’t just jump in and assume that you can figure it out. Why risk a chance of injury?
Leaving Sweat on the Equipment
We know you are working hard and sweating bullets. That’s what you are supposed to do! However, be nice and wipe your sweat off the equipment so the other person can come in and use it without having to worry about your funk.
Not Racking Your Weights
If you can do ten reps, you can do one more to rack your weights. Be considerate to others and to the gym employees who will have to pick up your mess.
Unsolicited Spotting and Hovering
It is NEVER ok to spot another person unless they asked for it. Don’t be that creepy person. Just mind your own business.
Waiting to use a machine? Don’t hover. You can always do something else while you wait. You can also politely ask to cut in while the other person is taking a rest. More often than not, they’ll let you.
Locker Room is NOT Your Bathroom
That means be modest, don’t leave your stuff lying around everywhere, and don’t be gross.
Smells are Bad
I really don’t know what could be worse than being hit by a wave of perfume or cologne while you are in the middle of a heavy set. It is disorienting, nauseating, and extremely annoying. Why would you want to wear a fragrance to the gym anyway? Who are you trying to impress? Remember, you are here to workout, not to strut your stuff!
However, perfume and cologne are not the only offensive odors. If you know you have bad BO, take a shower and put on some deodorant, if you are a smoker, please try to refrain from smoking before you come to the gym.
Finally, if you think that what you are doing could be annoying or impolite, it probably is.