Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My aching back, the remix (in a better way)

Holy crap, after yesterday's workout my upper back (trapezius)was sore. It wasn't like I had thrown my back out, it was like I had kicked it's but.

We do a ton of back exercises: upright rows, standing bent rows, TRX Rows, shoulder shrugs, lat raises, etc. Yesterday we did some Jumping Jills. You might be saying to yourself, Jumping Jills, surely he has lost his mind. He means Jumping Jacks, but you'd be wrong. A Jumping Jill is similar, but instead of raising your hands above your head, you move them forward like you're clapping, then open them straight back. We perform these with resistance bands attached to the wall. As I did them, my back started to cramp.

Then I got on the train, and it kept getting worse. I got to work, and still worse. All day at work I sat in weird contortions trying to stretch it out, those muscles are difficult to stretch, at least for me.

When I got home, I convinced my sweet wife to rub my back. I tend to get some big knots right around my shoulder blades, and they were there with a vengeance. This time they went all the way across my back. My wife rubbed my back for at least 30 minutes, and still couldn't remove all the knots. Her hands were hurting, and she had to use her elbows. Her conclusion is that we will have to try again tomorrow.

So I go to the gym this morning, and of course there are more back exercises. Rope climbing, upright rows to name a few. I look at the trainer and tell him about it. His response? "I love it! Ha Ha Ha."

Thanks Jason.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Is this weird?

I just realized that I can actually stick my chin in the collar of my buttoned up dress shirts. That seems weird to me. I think this means it is officially time to buy some smaller dress shirts.

Day two, week two

Okay, so it is now day two of week two of my flush. So far I have encountered some problems, mainly holiday foods at the office! We have a special committee, I believe their official title is the "Some Sort of Committee", because no one really knows their focus. They have arranged a Festivus for the office. This will last all week, and is centered around Seinfeld themes. Mainly it involves eating. Today's theme is the Muffin Top. This morning I came in to find, muffins, cinnamon rolls, blueberry bread, and doughnut holes all laid out for everyone to sample. Being human I did take a small amount, but have adjusted other carbs out of my meals for today.

Yesterday, someone gave me a chocolate-bacon cupcake. I only ate a portion, but curiosity was killing me. It was reasonably good. (It was really good, it just felt odd to taste bacon in a cupcake.)

I was pretty convinced that the weight-loss would slow down this week, but in two days I'm down another pound. That means over the last eight and a half days I've lost six pounds total. This is ahead of where the flush says I should be, but I also have more to loose than many people.

This second week I have cut down on many of the carbs I eat, but don't have to do the extra cardio work everyday. (It's okay, I do some extra cardio in the form of restraining our dog as we 'proceed' around the block a couple of times. I usually get a two mile walk/jog in every night.)

I'll keep you posted on how it continues to go, but so far, so good!

Friday, December 9, 2011


I just wanted to drop a note, which means have a big, long write up, about the new cleanse, or flush, I'm doing.

Over the past few months, I've become a little more lax on my eating habits. I've kept my caloric intake fairly low, but I haven't kept my meals balanced, and have gone back to carb-heavy eating. This has resulted in my weight loss plateauing (by the way, I spelled plateauing correctly on my first attempt, and kind of surprised myself.) I've still been working out very hard, and can feel a difference in how much muscle mass I have, I'm just not loosing the fat.

This month my trainer, Jason at Firehouse Fitness, has released a new 28 day weight loss plan. He uses some tips and tricks he learned while getting ready for body building shows. He has also warned us that once we are done, if we don't return to good eating habits, the body will pack the pounds back on. I plan on returning to my early workout eating habits after the next three weeks. This really isn't hard, it was just making sure I had a good protein/carb balance, and not pigging out on anything.

His plan, which he is selling so I won't give away much, is broken down over four weeks. During this four weeks, you need to be performing a resistance exercise routine three to five days each week. He also lays out a diet that consists of a good balance of protein and carbs, and involves eating five meals a day*.

During week one and three, you have a diet with more carbs and add in some cardio workouts on top of the resistance training. His plan lays out when to eat and exercise to optimize weight loss. If you are interested in purchasing his plan email him at, please mention my name.

Week two and four remove the additional cardio exercise, and cut the carbs in your diet. He still tells you when and what to eat, you just don't have to worry about the extra cardio.

So far, I've been doing it for five days, and have lost 4.5 pounds during that time. I can say that I've felt hungry at times, which is weird. I've eaten more for breakfast and lunch than I normally would. The extra cardio has made me tired, but I overall feel great. (The big problem with the extra cardio is that I'm going out jogging/walking and it has been extremely cold this week.) The jogging is making my leg muscles more tired than usual, but that's all good. Nothing like muscle soreness, eh?

As I go into week two, I'll keep you updated on the progress.

December First

Seeing as it is right before the holidays, things have been busy. Not only that, I've been tired, thus the lack of posts.

The last two weeks have been pretty good, with the exception of the wrath of God, I mean windstorm we went through. Last Thursday morning, and I mean 12:01 a.m., we had a child who would not sleep. Our youngest has autism, and one of the interesting things about autistic children is they tend to have sleep problems. He sleeps really well, once we get him to sleep. We have to give him medicine to get there, usually.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011, we gave him his usual medication. We waited about three hours, and when he still wasn't asleep gave him some melatonin, an over the counter supplement. Melatonin is a chemical your brain produces when you should be going to sleep. So when the sun goes down, and you feel sleepy, that is partially from an increase of melatonin in your brain, or the long day you just went through. This still didn't produce any results except for happy screaming child jumping on our bed.

I had to work, so I was banished to sleep on the couch. My lovely wife sacrificed herself for my sake. (I read a study awhile ago that indicated that women who don't get enough sleep report it causing major strains in their relationships, where as men who didn't get enough sleep reported no change. Weird.) I woke up a little after 4:00 a.m. to hear major winds. This was to be expected as the weather man had indicated we would receive winds up to 70 mph. I went and traded places with my wife to let her get a few hours of shut-eye. I usually go to the gym, and thought I might have a chance if the youngest went to sleep. I laid down with him, and turned off all stimulus I could find. I finally got him to sleep about 6 a.m., when I was supposed to be at the gym. This is the same time that our power went out.

Now we have been lucky over the years, and have only lost power on 2-3 occasions. We live in an overlap area on the power grid. If the homes East of us lose power, we get it from the West side, and vice-a-versa. We went completely down. I woke my wife up to deal with the older children, and drove up to the gym. While trying to pull the van out of the driveway, it felt like the parking brake was on, but it was just the wind. I saw trees blown over, fences felled, and even street signs on the road. Also, no one had any power, not even the gym. I turned around and went home to get ready for work in the dark.

I usually take the train to work, and this was no exception. I live exactly .5 miles from the train station, so decided to walk, like usual. (I mainly did this because my wife had only been asleep for about one hour and forty-five minutes.) I will say that walking in 70+ mile an hour winds is an adventure. I was so cold. I was even whipped in the eye by a tree branch blown from across the street. I felt pretty lucky seeing the carnage a block North of our house. We are pretty sheltered and only lost a few shingles. There were houses that weren't even 10 years old that had lost the roofing on one side of their house. The really sad thing was the trees that were lost. Just East of the city cemetery there are 80 foot spruce trees. Now there are far fewer. The damage was even worse a little further North. I saw some pictures of stores that looked like a bomb had gone off in them.


Well, that's all the time I have right now. I'm going to try and get a post in later on my new "flush" I'm doing. Happy Friday