P90x Protein bars

As you know by now I’m a huge fan of P90x.  In the past year I’ve completed P90x three times and am currently in week 2 of Insanity.  I can’t begin to express how thrilled I’ve been with the results of theses programs, but if you check this blog, you’ll get an idea.

This is really my first complaint regarding any thing I’ve received from BeachBody.  For the past year, the whole family had been drinking their P90x recovery drink and eating their protein bars.  The drink is pretty awesome and all of us look forward to it after a hard workout.  And the protein bars have fought away the hunger and provided a wonderful snack between meals.  The peanut butter bars has been the wife’s favorite while the fudge bars were mine, until recently.

You know how it goes, “New and Improved” that’s what the box says and according to the nutrition facts they’ve managed to strip 10 calories out of each bars and scattered about a few additional improvements for the fudge bars.  Unfortunately, neither the wife or I care for the “New & Improved” version – they suck compared to the original.

Beachbody – please realize what Coke did in the 80’s and return to the original formula.  You had a great product, with good nutrition, that tasted wonderful. The new and improved formula is mediocre at best.

Do the right thing.

Tony Horton nails it again this month and this month “Fail and try again”, along with “Persevere” mean something to me.  Vacation, baseball, softball, etc., have all gotten in the way of my exercising and eating right in recent weeks.  I guess that’s to be expected at times, but there’s also been an attitude of “Ah screw it,” too.  It’s been so freakin’ hot, get up at 5 am and it’s already 80 degrees with 80% humidity or more and go run 4 miles then stairs. COME ON!?!?  Excuses – that’s all when it really comes down to it, a bunch of reason to not do the right thing.

So this week, I’ve been getting back into the game.  If it’s too hot outside – then P90x routines inside.  Don’t want to do that?  Then get your butt out in the heat and run and stop being such a baby about it.  So far it’s working and honestly it’s been interesting doing some of the P90x routines after taking about a month off.  Mix and match – different, that’s the key to staying motivated and engaged.

We have become the United States of Quick Fixes.

Why are we so addicted to shortcuts, tricks, and magic potions? Far too many people in this country live in some kind of wannabe fantasyland. We’re trying to keep up with the Joneses without working as hard as they do. This bigger, badder, and faster world doesn’t give us an opportunity to stop and look at real and authentic ways to achieve greatness.

How many people have you talked to about Power 90® who, when they find out they have to exercise and eat right say, “Forget it!” There are millions of people in this country who have absolutely no clue that you have to work hard, take risks, and be willing to fail over and over again to earn what’s worth having. Hard work, risk, and failure . . . “Forget it!”

This is a very sad commentary that reveals what we’ve become in this country. We have the best of the best in the U.S. of A., but we hold the record for the highest percentage of fat people. Why do we reach for drugs, alcohol, sex, food, lies, blame, anger, hate, guilt, and self-pity far more often than power, courage, discipline, forgiveness, wisdom, and self-reliance? We’ve become a bunch of crybabies, filled with excuses, blaming everyone else for our problems!

You can read Tony’s full article here >>

Final P90x update

I haven’t written much about my P90x progress or lack of lately.  Admittedly, I’m sort of off the program – not exercise as a whole, just the P90x program.  I knew this summer with all the travel associated with baseball and softball that it wouldn’t go well.  And so I began running about a month ago in preparation, and frankly I’ve enjoyed running again, it’s something different and mentally I think I was ready for that.

I hadn’t been making much progress in round two – a little more weight a few more reps, but that’s about it.  My body had adjusted and I stop seeing changes – my fault likely, mentally I was bored with the routine and probably wasn’t bringing it like I should.  Running has changed things up a bit, OK, a lot…  I’m running about 16-20 miles a week, sometimes more and I’ve already lost another 5 pounds.  Down to 150 now – I haven’t weight that since I was 19.  As I tell my wife all the time, you never see a fat runner… never!  And the reaming body fat is melting away.  Yeah!  I think that six pack is finally just around the corner.  I still do variations of the P90x workout on some days…  Example: I still do Ab Ripper, some of the pull-up routines, some weight lifting and many of the stretches, etc.  Basically I feel I’ve learned enough from the program that I’m comfortable winging it on my own.

It’s been a long journey getting back into shape – a full six months now of hard work. I don’t think I’ve taken 10 days off the entire time and likely those “days off” involved some sort of exercise.  I’m a shell of what I was some 30 pounds lost now and several trips to the clothing store.  If you ever wanted to get back into shape, you can.  All you have to do is make up your mind and “bring it”.  I won’t kid you, and I’ve told several others this is probably one of the top five most difficult things I’ve done in my life, maybe higher.  It’s taken a long and sustained effort, you have to push through those days when you don’t want to do it, those days you’re hurting and those days your sick.  It really is a life style change and a mental change.  Discipline and work ethic are the keys – no excuses, if you want it, it’s waiting for you all you have to do is get started.

I can’t say enough good things about the P90x program – no I haven’t done a video and no, I’m not a coach, I don’t get paid by them; I’m just an average person who did the program, did my best, kept pushing play and embraced what was being taught.  It change my life and is something I’m truly grateful for.  Later in the year when when the weather starts getting nasty and running gets old, I’ll come back to P90x.

If you don’t know where to start and you’re in decent physical shape, P90x will provide you with everything you need to get started.  Remember, you don’t have to be great to get started, you only have to start to become great.

Stress

I hadn’t really come to think of Tony Horton (P90x guru) as a philosopher, but his words about stress in this weeks newsletter are spot on and worth a post.  I especially liked the responsibility angle… so few folks today accept that they are responsible for their actions.  Sure, we all have bad days, bad moods, unexpected things happen to us and the list goes on and on, but at the end of the day, how we react and what we do is our choice.  We’re (you are) responsible for how we (you) treat others, the things we say and what we do or don’t.  The rest is an excuse and a pitiful way to try and deflect responsibility.  The choice is yours.

Stress management. Do you realize that if you took the fear, worry, and anxiety out of every “stressful” situations in your life, the end result of that situation would still occur? You can panic and freak out all you want, but time will still pass and the end of that moment will still happen, whether you freak out or not. So why not choose something different? When do fear, worry, and anxiety ever really help a situation?

So what is stress? It’s the inability to move through a situation logically, peacefully, positively, productively, and gracefully. To be stressed out takes lots of ENERGY. Being stressed out can severely affect how well you’ll sleep at night. Stress is when you assess blame and don’t take responsibility. (“I’m stressed out because of______, and that’s why I can’t______.”) Don’t let stress be your scapegoat.

There’s a story about 10 people in line at a bank when three armed robbers come flying in, screaming and yelling and pointing guns. They terrorize everyone and steal all their money. The moral of the story is that these 10 people will be affected by this experience in 10 different ways. The two extremes range from one having a wild story to tell at work the next day to another being severely traumatized for the rest of his or her life. Where would you fall in that spectrum?

There’s a saying that there are three kinds of business: “God’s business”—things that happen in this world that are out of my control; “their business”—the choices other people make based on their life experiences so far; and “my business”—the choices I make that shape my life. If I focus on what I have to do to make my life the best it can be, and NOT on God’s and everyone else’s business, I will have less stress, which in turn will give me the ENERGY to live the life I’ve always wanted.

Don’t waste your time on gossip, ridicule, envy, self-pity, anger, guilt, arrogance, need, impatience, regret, manipulation, jealousy, fear, worry, and anxiety, because they’ll zap your ENERGY and cause you stress!

Choose understanding, truth, clarity, patience, devotion, gratitude, vulnerability, acceptance, wisdom, hope, forgiveness, empathy, discipline, perseverance, community, and peace. Because if you do, you will gladly kiss stress goodbye and say hello to all the ENERGY you’ll need.

– Tony Horton

P90x round two week 4

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated anything on the workout routine…  A sudden and obvious unexpected death in our family sort of derailed things a bit in week three.  Missed workouts, not eating right, stress, etc., meant that I decided it’d be best to just repeat week three.  It was the first time I missed back to back workouts since beginning P90x.

Truthfully, I have to admit that I’ve become a little bored during round two… some of the exercises I like… the lifting, push and pull up, plyo, stretch., these are cool, but kempo, yoga – not so much.  On those days I run instead – three miles, then run stairs for a bit (I get in an extra run on stretch day too).  I’m modifying what I feel works best for me right now.  I’ve also loosed up on the diet a little, put on a couple pounds, but those pounds are certainly muscle.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

That’s about it… not a lot to report, same ole deal.  It’s amazing what can be achieve when you get off your butt and bring it.

P90x summary lost

Yeah, I still owe you guys a summary…  it’s been crazy with baseball, softball, work, etc.

I’m still at the whole P90x thing – didn’t miss a beat or a day, just kept on going, starting over with day one.  I’m now into my third week, almost complete with Phase one for the second time – hard to believe, time just flies.  Going for more weight and trying to bring it with all I have.  Paying particular attention to all the pull-up exercises in this phase – all the way down to freely hang, then all the way up.  And that cut my reps in half, its amazing how this simple change has made the workout so much harder.  Talk about being spent.

Diet wise, I’m a tryin’…  Shooting for 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fat – I get there most week days, the weekends not so much.  I use a calorie counter app on the iPhone (myfitnesspal.com) it’s awesome and I track everything that goes into my mouth.  I’m even drinking a ton of whey protein and eating protein bars.  It’s a difficult thing to achieve that 50-30-20 ratio of protein, cards and fat – impossible (for me) without the supplements and a calorie counter.

I’m eating about 1400-1600 calories a day, that’s 200-400 more than I was during the first round, but still about 1500 shy of where the P90x diet plan would have me.  I certainly feel more energetic now than I did in Phase 3, but still feel like I’m draggin’ a lot.  I’ve been reading about a Zig-Zag approach, where one day I’d jump up to 2000 calories (+500 or so), then the next, my starvation diet of 1400 and keep alternating for a few weeks and see how my body adjusts.  If the experts are right, my weight loss (not that I really need much more) and fat reduction should increase as my body shifts out of starvation mode.  And if all goes well there, you keep reducing the starvation days until there are none, then you’d bump your calories again, another 500 or so and repeat the process until you get the diet dial in.  Given I have a desk job, I don’t think I need anywhere near 3000 calories a day, even with all the exercise, but 2000, I can see that.

That’s about it… I’m still a fan, still at it and doing my best.  Next up I’m thinking Insanity (Sheri’s doing that now), then back to P90x for a third round over the winter months.

P90x day 85

I’m well into the final week of P90x, a recovery week, thus an easy week.  I’m still not entirely sure what’s next, I’ll probably just wing it a bit.  I thought about another round of P90x, but this time following the diet program.  I know I didn’t eat enough during this first round and while I lost a ton of weight (25 lbs), I know it hurt me when it came to building size.  Unfortunately, with softball and baseball, I just don’t think it’ll be possible to stick to either, the diet or exercise.  So for now, I’ll attempt to maintain and stick to a modified P90x plan.  I’m thinking P90x Monday-Friday as usual, some weekends I may get some exercise and others I won’t.  As for the diet – I’ll just try to watch what I eat and eat as healthy as I can.  Once we’re through the youth sports season, late October, I’ll tackle another serious round.  However, if I’m unable to maintain (weight or strength), I’ll just have to find the time somehow, there’s no way I’m going back to my old habits and lifestyle.

P90x day 79

Or so I think…  it’s been awhile since I last blogged – shocker.

The whole P90x thing is still on track and I don’t really think there’s a lot to add.  I’m still at my goal weight, although I’m beginning to wonder if 155 lbs is truly a weight I can maintain over the long haul, but I’ll give it my best.

I’ve been pouring myself into the workouts the last few weeks (actually for the entire program) and have begun doing doubles lately.  Meaning, I’m doing the usual workout in the am and an additional cardio workout in the evening.  That little extra layer of fat that covers them lower abs is a SOB to melt away…  I’ve even started running again for the first time in a very long time.

All the workouts have become fairly easy at this point.  I keep pushing it, but the recovery and ability to keep up or go beyond is pretty easy these days.  That in itself is amazing considering many of the workout routines I couldn’t do in the beginning.

Unfortunately, I’m still not sure what I’m going to do when I get to end of P90x.  Kicked around the idea of P90x Plus, Insanity, the new One-on-One… I just don’t know.  Even thought about just going another round with P90x, which I may do until we make up our minds.  What I do know, is that after working this hard to get into shape, I don’t want to stop and I certainly don’t want to revert to bad habits. So, staying active and continuing this new lifestyle is top of mind.

P90x day 68

It’s been a crazy week and pretty successful week… I’ve really tried to push myself, either upping weights or reps with each exercise.  That’s not anything out of the ordinary, but I’ve tried to focus extra hard on it this week.  The morning workouts have actually been pretty good to me and the bonus has been that I’m active a couple extra hours each day.

I’ve also kept busy working on my car (1970 GTO)… it’s been like and extra 2-3 hour workout most nights and that’s left little time for eating, another plus.  All this has help me achieve something I never thought possible.  Today was my weekly weigh-in an much to my amazement the scale read 154.2 – holy crap.  Five additional pounds in just a week and crossing the 155 barrier, something I never really thought I’d see again.

With three more weeks of P90x I wonder now where this will end.  150? Nah… I expect that I’ll remain focused, but I don’t really want to drop anymore weight, though I wouldn’t mind continuing to loose a little more body fat.  Otherwise, it’s about starting to find that balance between working out, diet and maintaining.  All-in-all a very good week and three weeks ahead of schedule.