Tag: diet

#bern200 – The Marathon Continues…

marathon

It has been 699,840 minutes, or 11,664 hours, or 486 days, or 69 weeks (rounded down), or 1 year 3 months 29 days since I decided to take control of my life and health. When I started I wanted to go from 380 pounds to 250 pounds in a year, but once I saw how quickly I was losing weight, I decided to set the bar at 180 pounds in a year. I still haven’t hit that goal, but I’ve passed a number of unimaginable milestones since last March 10th. Each one motivates me to work even harder. This fitness journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and the more I progress the more goals I see for myself.

Around the year 2010 I was at my heaviest, weighing in at over 400 pounds. I had so many health problems that I disguised as normal everyday occurrences, keeping denial as the roadblock to my life of fitness. There wasn’t one specific incident that made me want to change my life; a collection of situations, embarrassments, and disappointments over the course of 4 years lead to me deciding enough was enough. After numerous failed attempts at losing weight I made it my mission to work out and eat right EVERY DAY with no days off.

Three months in, I lost 68 pounds and was overjoyed with happiness. Not a single day or meal cheating, and an hour of cardio each day made this transformation possible. Afraid of the “inevitable” plateu, I started introducing a few carbs back into my diet each Saturday morning. I didn’t want to entirely fall off of the wagon, so I ate two biscuits just to balance things out. Staying consistent helped me progress.

By the time October 2013 rolled around, six months into my diet, I lost 130 pounds and hit my first goal of 250 pounds. However, this month I moved to El Paso from Los Angeles. With new surroundings, it was hard to keep up my routine. Also, being around new people meant lots of eating out and socializing, which slowed progress of my diet.

Holidays came and went, and while I continued to work out consistently (though not every day), the food I was eating wasn’t the best for weight loss. In addition to my lack of eating discipline, I started lifting weights as well. From October 2013 to May 2014 I only lost an additional 25 pounds.

Discouraged, I decided to give my body a restart and get back to the strict routine I had at the beginning of my journey. In June 2014 I participated in the Whole30 diet, which is famous for detoxifying/resetting the body, but fell short in staying consistent after 17 days. Though I didn’t complete the whole 30 days, the results of my efforts were incredible, as I was less bloated and had more energy. I was ready to get back on track.

That brings us to July, where I’m back to lifting and cardio 7 days a week, and a structured strict eating plan which includes an 80/20 Paleo plan with a protein shake for lunch. No junk food, fast food, fried food, alcohol, or anything else that will slow me down. I hope to be below 200 pounds by my 30th birthday in October.

Since starting last March, I’ve accomplished things I have NEVER dreamed of, even when I was younger and in my then peak physical form. I ran a mile in 9 minutes, I can do more than 1 situp lol, and I can bench press more than I ever have. My waist is smaller than it was when I graduated from high school (when I was 190 pounds) and I feel GREAT.

The moral of this story? Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency is still the only way to conquer your tasks, and although you might fall off every now and then, you can always get back on. But STAY THERE; don’t let your slip-ups undo all of the hard work you’ve done. Take 4 weeks to get yourself in a routine, STICK WITH IT, and don’t cheat. You’ll see how easy it gets, over time.

I’ll end this with one of my favorite quotes.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

#bern200 – Six Tips To Help You Reach Your Goals

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They say a goal without a timeline is just a dream. It has become more popular to talk about the things you want to achieve than to actually put plans into motion. However, talking doesn’t get you anywhere in life and plans turn into regrets of missed opportunities and wasted time. I’ve put together six tips that will help you achieve your goals and taste the success you desire.
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#bern200 – Week 37: How Much Does 141.2 Pounds Weigh?

pounds

I weigh myself daily. This is not recommended for the most part, because depending on what you eat / drink, your weight can fluctuate 8-10 lbs every day. However, I eat and drink the same amounts day in and day out, and I consistently see progress on the scale in the form of lower numbers. Losing 3, 4, or 5 pounds a week seems like a small amount, but when you multiply that by the total number of weeks I’ve been going through this process, it adds up to a lot. I rarely sit back and reflect on how much progress I’ve made thus far, but I saw a post on the internet the other day comparing weight to everyday objects, and it really put things into perspective for me.

At my heaviest I weighed well over 400 lbs, but I don’t know the exact number because not too many scales go over that amount. I weighed myself this morning, and the scale read 238.8 lbs. When I started in March 2010, I was 380.0 lbs. This means in the past 8 months I’ve lost 141.2 pounds. How much is 141.2 pounds in the real world though? I searched the internet to find things to compare with this number, to put things in perspective.

I’ve lost 141.2 pounds since March 2013, which is more weight than

  • 7 Automobile Tires
  • 5 Technics 1200MK2 Turntables
  • 4 Cinder Blocks
  • 4 Mid-Side Microwaves
  • 15 Gallons Of Water
  • 1.8 Gold Bricks
  • The complete Encyclopedia Britannica
  • The average adult woman (at 5’4″, the average height)

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I am very happy with my progress thus far, as well as surprised with how rapid the progress has been. However, my goal is still to lose 200 pounds total in a year, so I have 58.8 pounds, or the equivalent of an average 7 year old child, more to lose. Whatever your goal is, try to put it in perspective, and remember that life isn’t a sprint, its a marathon.

#bern200 – Maintaining, The Paleo Way By @KoreanGold

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Food should be good. Food should taste good. Food should be good for you.

I can honestly and sadly say I have lost and gained about 300 pounds since puberty. My problem has never been getting the weight off; it has always been maintaining weight loss. Falling out of habit, 5 pounds become 10 becomes 20 becomes 50 becomes 80. So this go around, it’s more important to learn and sustain healthy eating habits and to learn how to deal with stress the right way NOT by stuffing my face with sugar laden, fat laden food.

Over the years, I’ve learned that my body doesn’t respond well to certain food. Unfortunately, cakes, cookies, pies, breads, muffins, and other foods filled with bad carbs are the ones I enjoy the most. Being locked in a bakery is a common reoccurring dream! It seems as though my body holds on to these foods. Sometimes, I like to think that my body is literally allergic to these foods. Sounds crazy, huh?? Until I found out that many people feel this way and as a result they resorted to the Paleolithic diet or more commonly known as “Paleo”.

The concept of Paleo is simple enough. Quoted from RobbWolf.com, “The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility.” This diagram sums it up.

paleo-food-pyramid-1

A diet like this can be a real life changing routine. It gives you the ability to eat a variety of great tasting, nutritious food that is good for you, while excluding everything that’s not.

After extensive research (Google) and personal interviews with those who have adopted the Paleo lifestyle, I decided to give it a go for a month in February. I REALLY enjoyed the results. I had more energy and I could see a noticeable change in the way my clothes fit. However, those old habits kept calling my name, so I told myself I would do a week of cheat meals for the first week of March and resume the Paleo lifestyle. Needless to say this did NOT happen! Who plans a week of cheat meals? That’s planning for failure. Still, it matters not how many times you fail but instead how many times you get back up. Therefore I’m back at the Paleo lifestyle as a way to enjoy food without the guilt of processed foods.

To change your life, you must first change your life.  Weight loss is about finding a lifestyle change that works for you. I love food and I love to cook and I love to look good! Follow me as I explore this Paleo lifestyle!

To learn more about the Paleo diet, check out http://robbwolf.com/

Have you adopted a certain diet as a means to stay healthy? Have you tried Paleo? What’s your favorite “diet” food?

 

#bern200 – The ‘We’ In ‘Weight Loss’ by @KoreanGold

support-system

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much “ Helen Keller

I made a bet 7 months ago. It was a weight loss bet; a challenge to see who could lose the most percentage of body fat. I’ve gained and lost weight before, so I figured it was going to be an easy win! The prize for the winner was a plane ticket to see the other person. Lose the weight and get to see the man I’m interested in at HIS expense? This was going to be an easy win.

Fast-forward 7 months; he’s lost 130 pounds, I’ve gained 10. In that 7 months I acquired a trainer, modified my eating, stopped going to the trainer, and started eating WHATEVER I wanted again. I had the desire to lose weight. I also had the knowledge; eat less, work out more, eat healthy. But I could not exercise the control or discipline to maintain consistency. Food was/is my drug and that, coupled with my unhealthy relationship with exercise, meant I was headed on a road to extreme unhealthiness.

Week 1 October 14-20: one of the HARDEST weeks of my life!

As a single mother working a mid career professional in an understaffed non-profit organization, to say I am busy is an understatement. Looking at my schedule, I decided that the BEST time to work out at 4:30am before work. I’m not even a morning person at 5:45am to get to work by 7:30am, so this 4am alarm clock was NOT going to be my friend. However, achievement takes sacrifice, so good-bye sleep.

The workouts weren’t so bad. The “diet” was pretty easy.

But the way my body was responding to the combo was MURDER. I was dog-tired every day of that week. I wanted to quit EVERYDAY, but I didn’t because I wasn’t in this fight by myself. I had someone struggling with me everyday, someone encouraging me everyday, someone who was eating the SAME thing I was eating everyday and that partner made those workouts, wake ups, and meals easier to endure.

This brings me to my point. The decision to lose 1 pound is hard, the decision to lose almost 100 seems impossible and it can only be done 1 pound at a time. No human being is an island, sometimes you need help, and with a massive goal you need some serious help.

I am fortunate enough to have a team to help me. I am fortunate to have a man who holds it down with me at work, a close friend who plans activities that do NOT revolve around food, and close friend at work that stashes healthy snacks for me in her office.

When making this hard lifestyle change, supportive people around is THE most positive thing you can do for yourself. The value of a team to keep you encouraged, share healthy recipes with, and to relearn how to have fun without food is immeasurable.

So many people will tell you that you CAN’T do it. You CAN do it. Find those folks in your life that believe in you and your ability to do whatever you can put your mind to. This not only applies to weight loss but in ANYTHING that you desire to do. The ‘we’ in ‘weight loss’ means more than you think.

#bern200 – Fecal Impaction aka The Cheat Meal Nightmare

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Over the past 7 months that I’ve been eating healthier and working out, I’ve had my fair share of cheat meals. I’ve stuck to my diet about 90% of the time, but vacationing and celebrating milestones was often accompanied by alcohol and fried foods. This post isn’t to discourage you from having cheat meals. In fact, a lot of doctors and nutritionists encourage cheat meals as a way to reboot the digestive system when the body gets used to healthier foods (search for ‘refeed’ on the web). This post is telling the story of how a person can overdo a cheat meal/day, and the repercussions of this action in the form of what’s called ‘fecal impaction.’ This post is graphic in nature, so do not read while eating lunch or if you’re squeamish.

After the first 3 months of sticking to my diet, I would have 2 buttermilk biscuits Saturday mornings with breakfast to introduce some carbs back into my diet slowly. I also had the occasional beer once every two weeks. These additions didn’t do much to my body. However, I decided to celebrate losing 65 pounds by getting drunk and going out of control with fast food! One Saturday evening I ate two chicken sandwiches, a large fry, and a bottled water (because no matter how drunk I get, I can not drink soda). The food went down fine, and the following day I decided to splurge and eat half of a large pepperoni pizza.

All of this seemed okay, until the following Tuesday. During my morning cardio session I needed to stop and use the bathroom to pass some of the food I consumed. This is normal, as doing heavy cardio usually causes my bowels to move. However, this instance was slightly different, as I noticed blood in my stool. I didn’t pay it any mind, and didn’t think much of it until 4 days passed and I hadn’t experienced a bowel movement since.

I did what any other young American would do in this situation; I searched the internet for the answer. Ignoring all of the “you’re dying” extreme articles I came across, I found the answer that most closely matched my symptoms was a condition called fecal impaction. Fecal impaction, as defined by thefreedictionary.com, is an immovable collection of compressed or hardened feces in the colon or rectum. This was more than likely caused by all of the bread/starch I consumed in a short period of time, after I went a long period of time without having much of each. All of this starch at once piled up in my digestive system, causing a big piece of sh*t to form. Sounds great, right? Well, what’s more interesting are the remedies for this condition.

Going to the doctor and getting surgery was out of the question, since I don’t have insurance, so I tried every home remedy available. First attempt was in the form of a laxative, which was only good for flushing out the food I ate AFTER the fast food, and not the actual impaction. Listening to a friend, I then tried one of those herbal diet cleanse teas, which worked exactly the same as a laxative but was much harsher on my stomach, and still didn’t move the impaction. The next step, and probably the most embarrassing, was a mineral oil enema. This was supposed to soften the stool so it could break down and pass in smaller pieces, but IT DIDN’T WORK. Finally, after three attempts and 4 days passing, I tried a cherry flavored magnesium citrate laxative, and it worked like a charm. 

So what did we learn here? Besides a number of different ways to flush your system, you should take it easy on your cheat meals. It’s necessary to have some carbs in the form of starch / bread after you’ve been dieting so long, but have them in moderation. Maybe a small serving of spaghetti, some pancakes, or even some toast in the morning. Your body needs it, but if you overdo it, you might find yourself in a similar situation. Beware!

 

#bern200 – My Daily Diet / Exercise Routine

 sam

The most frequently asked question I’ve come across has easily been about my diet and my exercise. Often times people struggle with losing weight because they have a hard time controlling what they eat, as well as setting a meal/workout schedule. This is understandable, seeing as how most overweight men and women get this way for eating whatever they want, whenever they want, and combining that with little to no exercise. It was a struggle, but for the first 12 weeks of my journey I followed a very strict meal / exercise plan, and after the first 8 weeks I made it such a routine that it became second nature. I initially researched the Paleo diet, but I found something that I was comfortable with and that I could do 7 days a week. Hopefully this helps one of you out on your journey.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, trainer, or any type of certified anything (besides DJ). The following is just a list of what I did to get where I am today. Please consult a physician / doctor before changing your diet / starting a workout routine. I will not be held responsible for anything that happens to you as a result of following this same plan (unless you lose weight and feel great; I take full responsibility in that scenario).

Breakfast
om
8oz water with lemon
4 eggwhite omelet with jalapeños / mushrooms
3 pcs nitrate free turkey bacon OR 3 chicken sausage links

Workout
1 hour cardio (800-850 cal burned on the Elliptical)

Between breakfast/lunch
1/4 cup of raw almonds or small red apple

Lunch
8oz Baked chicken breast fillet
1 cup romaine lettuce/salad

Between lunch and dinner
One red apple or one banana

Dinner
salmon
6-8oz salmon or tilapia fillet
1 cup steamed broccoli or cooked spinach

Throughout the day
A gallon of water

RESTRICTED FROM DIET
processed sugars
starch
dairy
alcohol (actually any drinks besides water)
red meat

Excluded from the diet is fruit juice as well. The reason for me is because there is a lot of natural sugar in 100% pure orange juice, and I was trying to avoid that. I have added tofu to my diet to make up for the lack of calcium intake, but this routine totals about 1300-1500 calories consumed. What do you think of this diet? If you’re a nutritionist, what would you add to this diet?

(note: the above picture of breakfast is two servings of egg whites, 2 large eggs)

#bern200 – My Top-Secret Strategy To Lose Weight Fast!

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SPOILER ALERT: THERE IS NO MIRACLE SHORTCUT / SECRET TO LOSING WEIGHT. Since March 10th I’ve lost 130 pounds, and it had nothing to do with a revolutionary diet, secret supplement, or extreme workout routine. As with all things in life, shortcuts are not the answer when it comes to losing weight. You’ll either end up with no results, or immediate results that are easily reversed as soon as you fall off of the “lose weight fast” routine. For me, the “secret” to losing 130 pounds so far, and on track to lose another 70 by March 2014, is dedication.

Persistence through adversity is the difference between those who start, and those who finish. Most people that try to lose weight fail because they go into it with a ‘microwave’ mindset. The need for instant results is why fast food restaurants are so popular (and why most Americans are overweight in the first place). Think about it; it takes years to get 200 pounds overweight, so in order to reverse this process, it will take more than 2-4 weeks of effort. Those fad diets are appealing because they promise instant results, but you’ll gain the weight back quicker than you lost it as soon as you go back to your normal, unhealthy lifestyle.

What’s so hard about dedication? I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t struggle with sticking to the plan. I don’t enjoy going to the gym every day, eating the same meals every single day, and restricting myself from going to social events knowing that I may consume something that’s outside of the guidelines of my diet. However, my struggle with weighing over 400 pounds was much more challenging. I know that every step I take is progress every day, and no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, it’s one step closer than I was yesterday. I make a conscious effort to put in the work every day and to dedicate myself to making a change, because losing weight is one of the rare things in life that is 100% up to the person.

Dedication works best when you have a goal in mind. Those moments when you want to quit, whether it’s with weight loss, school, your career, a relationship, or whatever else, is when you need to think of your ultimate goal. Your desire to want to achieve that goal must outweigh the temporary struggle you’re going through when you want to quit. In the beginning there are days that I wanted to cut my workout time in half, but I knew that the additional 30 minutes of cardio a day would add up to several more years of living life healthy.

Whatever your goal is, the secret to success is dedication. Being dedicated to your goal and visualizing yourself crossing the finish line will make your temporary frustrations, struggles, and hard times less severe. It’s all about the bigger picture. What does dedication mean to you? Leave a comment below.

#bern200 – My Journey To Lose 200 Pounds In 12 Months

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I was a dead man walking. At over 400 pounds, I was risking my life everyday.

It was easy for me to ignore the signs. The shortness of breath, chronic lower back problems, swollen feet / ankles and sleep apnea were just conditions I became accustomed to. Eating fast food three or four times a day seemed like an average life for a twenty-something year old bachelor. I would sweat profusely during my DJ gigs, and chalk it up to my heavy alcohol consumption. Being the confident person that I was, I never saw any of this as a problem, and neither did my friends and family

During countless nights of cold sweats, I dreamed of years in the past when I was slim, active, and healthy. It wasn’t until a nightmare of a heart attack woke me up in tears that I decided to make a change. I made the conscious decision to be a man and take control of my life. One day at a time, I would regain control of my health and my overall well-being.

#bern200 is the story of my journey to shed 200 pounds in 12 months. However, it’s not just about weight loss. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions. It’s about recognizing yourself as you are, visualizing where you want to be, and getting there at all costs. Since March 2013 I’ve lost 130 pounds, but I’ve gained much more in the experience of what happens when you work hard and stay focused. As I continue towards my goal, I hope to inspire you to find the same determination in yourself to pursure whatever your goal may be. Whether that’s losing weight, pursuing higher education, advancing your career, or any other goal, remember this: persistence through adversity is the difference between those who start, and those who finish.

Check out www.djbern.com/bern200 starting October 1st to follow my story as I discuss topics from diet tips, exercise routines, music playlists, and personal experiences that have helped me make my way to my goal.