Building Better Habits

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”- Jim Rohn

Step 1: Stopped drinking coca-cola

Step 2: Starting doing yoga/stretching in the morning

Step 3: Added one everyday workout challenge

It all started with one small task. Then slowly I added other small goals into the mix.

Building better habits can be a hard thing to do if you try to do many things at once, as I have come to find out. The things I am trying to slowly change about myself are things I have never done before.

But why do I make these changes? For the same reason that most people want, to be able to just move around more without becoming exhausted. I am on my butt all the time! I barely even leave the house!

When I do leave the house, like to go shopping with friends/family, I get exhausted and can even go home feeling sore! Seriously something had to change if walking around the mall was tiring me out. And not to forget, I don’t fit into most my clothes anymore- and like heck if I have the money for a new wardrobe! I am a window shopper…

No, the better thing for me to do –and better for my wallet– is to find ways to lose the weight that I have gained. That is my motivation. My reflection is my motivation. My clothes are my motivation. My wallet is my motivation (not by choice).

I have so many anime and band shirts that I refuse to give away or throw out!! I swear I will fit into them someday!

So for anyone out there who struggles with weight loss like me or is simply wanting to make changes in their everyday life- please take that age old advice- TAKE THINGS ONE STEP AT TIME. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to change overnight, there is a high chance that it won’t last. You should just start with one thing, then slowly bring on others. But what the heck, if you want to prove me wrong and become a better person overnight, then you do you boo boo!

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Fitness Reflection | AK | The End

Reflection on the End

Hello All!

As most of you are aware from my previous blogs posts, I was participating in a May fitness challenge. My goal was to get down to a size 36 before my graduation. Unfortunately, I did not reach my goal. I mentioned at the Midpoint struggle I had run into a few issues. I had gotten sick and then hurt my foot. I tried to still complete my challenge to the best of my ability, but the foot setback was a little much to overcome.

I want to make one thing clear; there is no excuse I’m leaning on to why I did not reach my goal. I failed, but I learned a lot about myself trying to do something like this 30-day challenge.

First, when doing a heavy cardio challenge hurting your foot will affect your overall performance. I think with a longer program, or if I were working with a trainer 1-on-1, I would have been able to re-plan and redirect my workouts to continue progress without taking many steps back. An injury can wreck your performance when you are trying to accomplish so much in such a short time on your own.

Second, diet is critical. Even though my meal plan was a basic plan, I was able to change some bad habits of mine. When eating pre-made meals and following a strict plan, I noticed I wasn’t stopping for fast food. Even Taco Bell sounded disgusting when I was hungry. My chocolate cravings went away. Typically, I will stop at gas stations for a chocolate bar or horde cookies at my house. As the program went on because I was eating better, I ceased needing to pick up candy at every gas station. Even with these minor changes, I felt better. I noticed little weight come off from these changes, but I began to feel better. My energy was up, and I could stay up and focus on homework. Something I could not do over the last few years. I also did not gain any weight when I could no longer do the cardio challenges. I held my weight loss at 246lbs. The meal plan alone kept me from yoyoing. I typically always thought I could work around the diet, but with this challenge, I realized you cannot outwork a poor diet.

The Final Thoughts

So I may not have gotten to my goal this time, I am still encouraged. My failure was learning experience in how much support matters. Injuries are better dealt with when you are working with a trainer 1 on 1. That diet is so much more important than I had ever considered. My failure was a great learning experience as I get ready to move on to a summer program and start to rehab my foot. I’m still very positive about my experience and hope my story has helped. I will keep reporting about my fitness journey as know I focus on a summer goal.

-AK

Fitness Reflection | TMD | Setting a Goal

This is going to be a challenge….

I have been drinking Coca-Cola my whole life. At one point my family splurged on getting a fountain machine in the house that held Coca-Cola, Sprite, Hi-C, and I think some lemonade drink.

It has been a staple in my house, with my family, and I have struggled with dropping this delicious drink from my diet for as long as I can remember. I know you can have things in moderation, so I am aware that it probably will never fully go away, but I have to start somewhere.

I have seen the benefits of when other people stop drinking pop that it can drastically improve their quality of life and I want that for myself. It’s just that when I eat, let us say pork (doesn’t matter how it’s cooked) I crave a coke. Water just doesn’t make the cut of quenching that thirst. It is as if the coke has become part of the meal- like it is a key ingredient.

However, as of May 11th, 2017 I have decided that I going to start weaning myself off of coke. I would go cold turkey, but I have less than half a case of coke left in the fridge. So I will only allow one coke a day, probably with either lunch or dinner. Once that case is done I will no longer be buying coke. My fiance doesn’t drink coke so he will have no issue with helping me kick the habit.

I have to do this one step at a time. I can’t say for sure what will happen when I go to a restaurant or to the movies if I will order a coke or stick with water. I think this might help me be more open to different drinks on the menu (I know I have to take into sugar content into consideration) which will be an interesting change.

Although what I need is it to be publicly known – I need my friends and family to understand where I’m coming from. I need them to hold me accountable and to be on my side during these first few weeks.

This is but one small step in the right direction. One small goal to achieve in the larger scheme of things. Hopefully, this one goal will lead to other goals. Then we can start to see change happening.

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Fitness Reflection | AK | MidPoint Struggle

MidPoint Struggle

Hello all!

It’s been a bit since we have last talked. So, I wanted to update you on my challenge journey. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was doing the RE fitness summer challenge. The challenge included a meal plan and a morning HIIT workout. The first 10 days went amazing. Every morning I would wake up to a new workout meant to be done fasted. Toni helped keep me on track by waking me up in the early morning hours so I could do the workout and start the day. She also helped me with my meal plan by helping to cook parts of the meal and packing them up in meal plan containers. I am the type of guy who tries to cook his meals 20 minutes before I have to leave. The only part I struggled with was the apple cider vinegar. I do not know how people get that down daily. I tried mixing it and doing it as a shot with a chaser. I just couldn’t. I know people swear by it but I just can’t.

Results since May first- I was sweating it out. The workouts were kicking my butt more than I had expected. I noticed after a few days I was waking up earlier. I had more energy through the whole day. I was more focused and accomplished more daily than before the start of the challenge. I held off on cheating on my plan for 8 days, even going back the allowed cheat meal. I did weigh myself on day ten, and I was down 10 lbs or 4.5kg. I went down to 246 lbs / 111kg from 256lbs / 116kg.

Then the Struggle Hit

After that ten day mark, I hit my first challenge. I got sick! I still tried to eat my meal plan or modifying it to when my appetite allowed me to eat while being ill. I also tried doing my best to do my workouts, but more in the night when my stamina would return for a bit. I lost a lot of the progress over the next 4 / 5 days as I tried to recoup. I started to feel back to 100% on May 12. I thought I was back to normal and ready to get back to kicking butt! Unfortunately, I did something stupid while on a tour for my school. I jumped off a wall after taking a picture and injured my right foot when I landed. I am currently trying to figure out how to do more than just the meal plan before the challenge is up while rocking an air cast and crutches. I have been down and severely discouraged.

The Comeback

So my plan to fight through the pain. I am going to lean on my support. I intend to go over workouts with Toni and see how we think we can modify the workouts so I can still maximize my whole challenge. I know diet is 70%* of any exercise program, but if I cut out the workouts, I feel like I am cheating myself. I never realized how important a support system is until you really need one. So stay tuned hopefully my next update will more results and less bad news!

-AK

Fitness Reflection | TMD|Fitness Schedule

MY PLANS

Let me start by saying I get bored easily. I need things to be changing up constantly. I also need everything to be planned out. I cannot just go to the gym without having a plan in place. So in my case, I have three different options, two that can be done at any time of the day (I like the flexibility). One, deals with group classes, that I don’t have to do much, if any, thinking- I have an instructor telling me what to do. Perfect! Less work for me and I feel like I get my money’s worth of my gym membership!

| Gym Options |

In the short time that I had a personal trainer (just 8 sessions to help get me started at the gym), we worked on different types of workouts that did not require a lot of machine use. I use some equipment like a stabilizing ball and free weights which is why I can’t do these workouts at home. Most of them are very basic moves. Again, peeps, I am not a trainer so please take that into consideration when checking this out. I will list YouTubers, personal trainers, and anyone that I believe to be more useful to you so that you can get your plan together in a separate blog post!

Sunday: Workout 1 [ Full Body ]

Monday: Workout 2 [ ABS & Squats ]

Tuesday: Workout 3 [ Arms & Abs ]| No Legs (hurt from so many squats)

Wednesday: Rest Day | Walking my dogs (longer period of time than normal) | Option 2: Cardio/Treadmill day

Wednesday can be used as my “makeup” workout day in case I miss another day of a workout

Thursday: Workout 1 [ Full Body ]

Friday: Workout 2 [ ABS & Squats ]

Saturday: Workout 3 [ Arms & Abs ]| No Legs (hurt from so many squats)

I keep all details of these workouts on my favorite list app Wunderlist! https://www.wunderlist.com/ I am able to check them off as I do the workouts- then uncheck them to add them back for the next workout. No, I am not sponsored, I really use this for all of my list needs (besides google keep).

 | Class Options |

Some of these classes will change every month. My gym likes to bring in some new classes every now and again which is pretty cool. (N/A = no classes that I want to take)

Sunday:

AM Options: ZUMBA!!

PM Options: N/A

Monday:

AM Options: N/A

PM Options: Yoga, Drum Alive, or MORE ZUMBA!!

Tuesday:

AM Options: Zumba Toning

PM Options: Kettlebell Xpress or Yogalates

Wednesday:

AM Options: N/A

PM Options: Rest Day | Walking my dogs (longer period of time than normal) OR Treadmill

Thursday:

AM Options: Piloxing, Strong by Zumba, or Zumba

PM Options: MORE ZUMBA! Or Barre Fusion, Kettlebell Xpress, or Kickbox Jam

Friday:

AM Options: Zumba

PM Options: N/A

Saturday:

AM Options: Yogalates or Zumba

PM Options: N/A

| YouTube Option |

Each of the options below offers a wide range of workouts that can target different parts of the body. You can create a playlist of their workouts or use what they have provided. The best part is that you can do these workouts at any time of the day and can do it as long as you have access to the internet. These are just a few of my favorite YouTubers!

YouTubers:

Blogilates – LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIJwWYOfsCfz6PjxbONYXSg

Description as found in the ABOUT ME section:

Full-length POP Pilates, PIIT28 and fun Bootcamp Sculpting workouts to Top 40 Hits with certified fitness instructor Cassey Ho.


Ryan Engel Fitness – LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXhFin-CQKx5_KEZT16APFA

Description as found in the ABOUT ME section:

“Never intimidate – Always inspire.” With 10+ years of fitness experience, I promise to always bring you accurate knowledge from my own experience. The fitness industry is foggy, it’s a blur. It can be tough to know where to look for good information. I’ll be uploading weekly at a minimum to cover everything from general fitness – to advanced aesthetic bodybuilding topics.


The Fitness Marshall – LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyqR7WkL8i1b6xtSssDmW9w

Description as found in the ABOUT ME section:

BOOTIES AT ATTENTION!
Get ready to sweat yourself sexy with The Fitness Marshall!!

Original dance workouts created by Caleb Marshall.

Choose your songs, make a playlist and dance along with Caleb to your own customized workout!
TWO Warm-Up Videos
EIGHT Main Workout Videos
ONE Cool Down video!

Each video is labeled in the description with the section it belongs in.

| Other Options |

Running/Walking with my dogs. I have a few apps on my phone that can help with timing me when it comes to running and walking. The one that I love is the Get Running app LINK: http://splendid-things.co.uk/getrunning/ . It talks you through a nine-week training plan. Get Running will gradually ease you into running, even if you’ve never run before. Once you complete the plan, you’ll be ready to run a 5K. I personally will repeat the first week over and over again since I don’t use it often enough – it’s just a workout replacement.

| Conclusion |

I love having options. I can’t fathom doing the same workout all the time. And my mood changes, so I like workout similar to my mood. If I want to relax and stretch because I feel stiff then I can do yoga. If I don’t want any jumping then I can do my planned workouts or take a yogalates class. If I want to move to some music then Zumba it is! With having this ‘plan of options’ in place I know that I can help prevent a freakout moment when I don’t know what to do. And this works for me. What do you need to do to make sure you get your workout in?

Fitness Reflection | AK 36 Days to 36

36 Days to 36

MAY 6th

I graduate college in 36 days. By the time I walk the stage I want to be a size 36. I am currently sitting between a size 38-40. The reason behind this is simple, and I set an achievable goal. So many times I have set a goal to drop X weight in Y time and it’s a monster of a task. It feels like I am trying to change overnight. That’s when I begin to slip off my meal plan or take days off because the goal and time frame are just too big for such a short period. That’s why for my first fitness goal I wanted to set a goal I know I can achieve. Setting reasonable goals whether it be in fitness or in life is a great stepping stone to achieving bigger goals like getting down to 91kg or 200lbs. As you hit each goal, the next goal becomes easier.

So how do I plan to accomplish this?

Well for starters I plan on being in the gym 5-6 days a week using my own weight lifting program I have been putting together over the last few months. I have also signed up for RE Fitness May summer challenge. RE Fitness (ryanengelfitness.com) is a personal trainer I have been following for about 2 years. Through Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube he offers free fitness advice. He tries to connect with his followers to help them with their goals even if they haven’t purchased a plan through him. RE Fitness also does challenges every few months. This time around it is a summer challenge I have chosen to take part.  The summer challenge includes morning fasted cardio and a meal plan.

The workouts are sent out every night at midnight and are meant to be done first thing in the morning. These workouts are all isometric designed to be done in multiple rounds in rapid succession. Each workout comes with a YouTube link so you can preview the exercise if you are unsure how it is performed. As I mentioned before these workouts are done fasted right after you get up. I am a little skeptical on this part as I have always been taught to have a pre-workout meal and to never workout with nothing in your system.

As for the meal plan, I chose to go with a generic meal setup from RE Fitness. He did offer a custom meal plan for $47 dollars more, but after seeing the generic meal plan I felt it was sufficient.  Since I float between an Endomorph and Mesomorph, I wanted to really put my body in a caloric deficit for maximum results I went with an Endomorph diet. This is roughly 1700 calories and 176 grams of protein. The meal plan consists of 3 main meals and depending on workout day 2-3 snacks.  All the meals and snacks have the ability for variation and easy prep.

I also chose this route because I have a limited time to work out. I am currently a full-time student, I work full-time, and I have a part-time internship. So I have major limits on how much time I have to commit to achieving my goal. RE Fitness challenge address that with 15 min at home workouts and diet plan. Two things I struggle with the most are staying on a meal plan and cardio.

Oh, do I hate cardio!

Hopeful the combination of the two programs will help me stay on track and achieve my first goal. Stay tuned for my next post as I will break down workouts, meal plan, and the secrets to life. See you at the starting line!

-Ak

Fitness Reflection | AK Introduction

Introduction

Hello Mirror Me Fitness world. My name is Aaron, after talking with Toni, I will be blogging my journey in weight loss and fitness from a guy’s point of view. Before we get started, I wanted to say I am not a trainer or fitness expert. This is just an account of my journey through the fitness world, what I am doing, what I hear about, and my struggles.

Now, a little about me:

Age: 30

Height: 5’9” (180cm)

Weight: 256 lbs (116kg)

My goal is to be 200lbs or about 91kg.

I have some fitness experience. I used to be highly active in sports in high school and even had a trainer for football. So I would say my knowledge for self-help is about novice. I am also currently trying to build my workout plan and meal plan.

I do realize that I may need more help than just going alone. So, to reach my goal, I will be utilizing my plan that I have built along with a plan I have bought from RE Fitness. I will be talking about my journey, my failures, and my successes in hopes to inspire or motivate others who may be struggling. So please follow me on this journey and talk with me about yours, because we all have to start somewhere!!

-AK