Thursday, July 30, 2009

Embrace The Kettlebell Part I

[Trying to keep your hands dry in the TX heat and humidity is a real M.F. Sweat + scuffed handle = blister on palm.]

I owe myself an apology.

Outside forces( some that where out of my control, and some that totally were in my control) have caused me to neglect my accountability. If I can not hold myself accountable for my goals, then why the hell do I set goals in the first place? Setting a goal without holding yourself accountable for achieving it is like drawing a bowstring past its anchor point, which will cause the arrow to fall off the string to the ground below. I guess that's what happened to me. I drew my bowstring too far back by trying to accomplish too much at one time.
I don't want to make any excuses for this neglect...,
...but 4 months of studying for a promotional exam tends to take your focus away from a few things. Training (my self) gave me a 45 min escape from the monotony of reading page after page of technical fire fighter BLAH BLAH BLAH all day. I trained for strength. I trained for endurance. I trained for conditioning. I trained because I got to beat my aggression out with a sledgehammer. Training became such a big part of my mental rehab that I lost sight of the "why" and focused on the "do it" for the sake of doing it. I was still focused on preparing for the RKC, but I wasn't going about it the right way. I ignored one of the basic, yet one of the most important, concepts of training; the S.A.I.D principle (Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands). "...basically means the best way to prepare for a kettlebell cert. is to train with a kettlebell" (enter Eric J. Moss, RKC). I ignored a basic rule..that I knew and implemented with my clients. It was like I was learning how to speak Spanish by taking Japanese. A trainer should know better. Well, a great trainer would know better and, apparently; I still have a lot to learn.
Aviod reinventing the wheel.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and I am no mechanic. When I first decided to embark on this journey, I thought it would be awesome if I came up with a personalized ETK program that not only helped me prepare for the RKC, but also for the physically demanding life of a fire fighter. ( Hello idiot!. ETK can do both.) Throw a few heavy dead lifts, tire flips, hammer chops, and sandbags into the pot. Pour in 2 cups of KB clean and presses, TGUs, swings, and snatches. You've got yourself quite a stew brewing, but too bad it smells like 'shit house door on a tuna boat' (you can thank Doug Sr. for that one).
Deep down, I knew it. I guess I was just trying to create something that I could take ownership in and maybe put in a book. 'ETK: The Fire Fighter Way' had a nice ring to it. Talk about premature confabulation!
Time to pick up the arrow, clean the tip off, and take aim.
I went down the wrong path. I know that now, and now is not the time to dwell on it. I have recognized my mistakes and know how to fix them. I would like to write more, but it is getting late. I still have a few more chapters that I want to review before I go to bed. Tomorrow, I will list my life goals and how I plan on accomplishing them. This ,and future post, will be here for you to read at your leisure. They will serve a much greater purpose for me. They will be my motivation, accountability, and a log of how I got to where I am going.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Real Man Food: Part 2

[Look at all that fake food. Makes me sick! I tell hya what!]

Travel back in time to about 480 B.C. to the pass of Thermopylae, you'll find a guy there cutting up a bunch of Persian , tap him on the shoulder, tell him he's not a "real man" because he doesn't eat "real man food," and see if you can make it back to your time machine with all your limbs attached to you.

Too unrealistic? Ok book a flight to Las Vegas, take a taxi ride to 4055 West Sunset, open the door to Xtreme Couture MMA, ask to speak to the 6 time MMA Champ president ( if you're lucky he might be eating a spinach salad.), tap him on the shoulder, tell him he's a pussy for eating "rabbit food", and pay your hospital bill after waking up in an ICU 3 days later recovering from a coma and reconstructive surgery on your now disfigured face.

Now that I've ruffled some feathers, I'd like to show you how I shop at the grocery store

First, let me clarify that I am NOT a professional nutritionist. I've spent a lot of time researching and applying different ways to eat healthy, and have come up with an system that works for me based on what I'm doing in the gym. What works for me may or may not work for you. However, I will say that you will notice drastic changes in the way you look and feel once you start incorporating more whole foods into you diet.

  1. Know Your Grocery Store: If it is dirty, the produce looks like its about to expire, and you get a feeling the staff is unprofessional, find a better place. My wife and I drive out of our way to go to HEB because the Kroger's with in walking distance from our house looks like a flea market and the stench of expired produce slaps you in the face when you walk through the door. If the inside smell worse than the garbage can outside,...I don't need to tell you what to do.
  2. Make A List Of Exactly What You Need Before You Go: Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive. You'll save money by getting only what you need for the next week. It is OK to stock up on bulk things like nuts, grains, and other items that will keep for a while. For example, if you generally only eat one apple a day, don't buy ten. This will keep you from over eating and keep you from wasting money on spoiled food. I also feel that it is best to shop early on a Saturday or Sunday for the coming week so that you don't risk overstocking your tummy and fridge. As you can see in the picture above, my basket if full of fruits, berries, veggies, nuts, lean meats, organic eggs, and occasionally organic milk and Greek yogurt.
  3. Do Your Best To Stay On The Perimeter: Generally, grocery stores have all their whole fresh foods on the perimeter. I guess they do this so you have to pass all the canned and processed shit on your way to the milk and eggs. Don't dabble in the center for too long or else you will leave with more than you intended to take. (i.e. That "spare tire" you thought you sent to the junk yard.)
  4. Only Veer Off The Path For Whole Foods That Are Not On The Perimeter: This is where you will pick up things like walnut/flax seed/ e.v. olive oil, bulk nuts, seeds, grains (organic, raw and unsalted of course) goji berries, spring water, organic no salt added canned tuna (sometimes), Organic coffee (sometimes),organic nut milks and butters, vitamins, minerals, freeze dried greens, fish oil. You get the idea. I will occasionally buy Ezekiel sprouted grain cereal deping on my workouts. Again, don't be tempted to grab the Lucky Charms over the Ezekiel. If it is in a box or can and the ingrediet list is longer than the Bible, put it back. ( see "spare tire" comment above)

In Part 3, I'll give you how I generally eat from week to week and why. I would also like to give you an update on some changes I've made on my ETK paln. Drop a comment below and let me know what you think about this post, or if you want to add anything to my list. Look forward to hearing from you.

"When In Command, Take Charge."

Real Man Food: Part 1

[If you think a "real man" eats this, you're a "real idiot."]

Sorry, I had to disappear for a while. I caught a stomach parasite two weeks ago and have been slowly trying to regain my strength. All is well now, but for about a week, my toilet and I became close friends.

Anyway, on to the point of this post. I am constantly being ridiculed at work for how healthy I eat. Does it hurt my feeling? Not at all. In fact, I take it as a compliment and take pride in my healthy food selections. However, being out sick for a week added fuel to the fire for all the "health experts" at my station. Apparently, I got the parasite from "all that healthy shit you eat..." and the well educated remedy was that I need to start eating "real food," I'm sorry I mean "real MAN food." Well if "real MAN food" is three square meals a day of fried pork chops, green beans with bacon, butter w/ a side of mashed potatoes, washed down w/ Kool-Aid w/ extra sugar added ( for the diabetics), and topped off a generous portion of Bluebell; you can call me Mary. I could really give a fuck.

I didn't have the heart to tell the peons that I had eaten off of my regular routine a few days before and that was likely the cause of my illness. My sister had ordered fajitas for my nephews B-day the weekend before. I felt that I was justified to cheat a little to celebrate the little dude's day. My stomach saw no justice in it a few days later.

In Part 2, I will show you what I consider to be real man food show you how I save money and my life buy shopping for this real man food.