A Hundred Pounds Lost

“A Hundred Pounds Lost” is a site dedicated to my personal journey of not only losing 100 lbs but also my pursuit of a better life. I’m not perfect. I have gained some of the weight back, lost it and repeated that cycle a dozen times.  But each day I wake up and am thankful for the health I have and my goal is to help others who are just looking for support.

I may not be a doctor but through trial and error and countless hours of research I have found the 1st and most important secret to weight-loss: THERE IS NO SECRET. Each person is different. We have different body’s, minds, struggles, addictions, aches, pains, diseases and reasons on why we shouldn’t work out today. Fat is there are no “secrets” to weight loss and there’s no magic wand that will make the fat disappear. It all comes from hard work, consistency and dedication…Losing 100 lbs wasn’t easy but man was it worth every painful step.

You too can change your life but it’s starts now. Don’t wait. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you later.

My transition from Crossfit to normal life and why I’m sad.

This past Saturday morning, after two years of Crossfitting from my garage, I came to one of the toughest health based decisions in my life— I had to set aside what I love to do for the betterment of my body and stop Crossfitting.

For the past several months I’ve been dealing with horrible back spams that at times have been debilitating. Low back pain is something I’ve struggled with for the past 10 years but this was not that. These spasms were in the middle of my back along the spine and any time I tried to move my hip or twist, the muscles would spasm and nearly drop me to my knees. At first they’d go away after a few days but they’d come back after a month or so. This last time, however, my back never recovered. The muscles stayed in a constant state of instability.

Important lesson learned: Listen to your body.

I tried everything. I looked at my diet. Was I eating too much sodium or not enough? Was I dehydrated? I stretched my lower body (back pain can be attributed to tight leg muscles). I even tried using different shoes, thinking the lower heel of my new shoe was causing my whole body to be thrown off (which can happen). Maybe the 15 lbs I gained during my wife’s pregnancy (which I’ve lost 8 lbs of the 16) is the cause? Nope. Nothing worked. Not even losing weight.

So after my back went out again on Friday night I had finally had enough. CrossFit had to go.

Note: I’m not blaming CrossFit.

Why? Cause it works. My back issues are not the fault of Crossfit. CF didn’t make me gain 100 lbs from 2002-2009. CF didn’t make me ignore my lower body and back while losing weight. It’s not CF’s fault I was born with tight hips and hamstrings.

There are a lot of articles out there full of uneducated people writing uneducated things trying to discredit CrossFit. Look, if you read some “articles” or watch youtube videos of people doing stupid things while CrossFitting and that’s the basis of your opinion, well I have no words for you. Don’t even listen to people who tried CF for a few weeks or months and gave up.

I’ve been doing CF for two years and I can tell you there is no better approach to Strength and Conditioning for the layman. But just like with everything in life, CrossFit isn’t for everyone. Sure, I could have scaled back some of the movements and made it work, but to me, that would defeat the purpose. I want to progress in my training, not go backwards. In the great words of Winston Churchhill, “Whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”.

So I have to listen to my body. If my back can’t handle the constant stress that CF places on it (which is not a CF problem), the decision is simple — I have to stop.

So what’s next? Traditional weightlifting, I suppose.

I’m sad because that style of training is outdated and boring to me. Doing back and bi and chest and tri days makes me yawn, not excited. I’ve spent 700 days being constantly challenged and pushed to my limits. So moving from “Three rounds for time” to “3 sets of 8″ is like going from eating steak daily to eating McDonalds.

But I’ll figure it out. I’ve been researching and trying to get my mind right. I’ll take what I learned in CF, apply it to my new routine and hopefully my back issues subside. I’m going to start getting monthly deep tissue massages. I’ll do more twisting ab workouts to help strength the muscles that are spasming and if that doesn’t work I’ll try something else.

If I learned one thing while losing 100 lbs it was that you have to try everything and find out what works best. I simply refuse to be beaten by muscles. I refuse to take medication to “heal” my back. I will do whatever it takes and I will not surrender. It’s just not in me.

Why Are You (We) Fat?

OK, so I totally just stole the title of Gary Taubes‘ book “Why are we fat and what can we do about it?” but I did so because it is the inspiration behind this post and my new eating lifestyle. Over the past 3 years and 105 lbs I have eaten a balanced diet consisting of whole grain carbs, low fat, lean protein and lots of veggies. This worked for the first 50-75 pounds but I’ve had to make some changes along the way because when you are 325 lbs, any healthy change in your diet works. But if you truly want to lose fat and get lean you have to know your body and how it works best. I’ll get into the new diet in a second but first lets discuss the question, “Why are you (we) fat? I’m sure you know this but there is a reason but it’s probably not what you think it is.

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question,”Why am I fat?”, figured out the answer and then probably had very mean thoughts about yourself afterwards. I’m sure there was a lot of blaming parents, maybe genetics or your love for cookies, cakes and fried foods. You probably said to yourself, “Well I hate to exercise and I eat like crap” or perhaps “I don’t know cause I eat decently healthy and exercise”. This has probably led to some frustration and possibly to the conclusion that you’ll always be “fat” and there is nothing you can do about it. Well I’m here to tell you that is false on so many levels.

So who is Gary Taubes and why should we care what he thinks? Well….

Gary Taubes (born April 30, 1956) is an American science writer. He is the author of Nobel Dreams (1987), Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993), and Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), which is titled The Diet Delusion in the UK. He has won the Science in Society Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times and was awarded an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship for 1996-97.

Born in Rochester, New York, Taubes studied applied physics at Harvard and aerospace engineering at Stanford (MS, 1978). After receiving a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University in 1981, Taubes joined Discover magazine as a staff reporter in 1982. Since then he has written numerous articles for Discover, Science and other magazines. Originally focusing on physics issues, his interests have more recently turned to medicine and nutrition.

Taubes’ books have all dealt with scientific controversies. Nobel Dreams takes a critical look at the politics and experimental techniques behind the Nobel Prize-winning work of physicist Carlo Rubbia. Bad Science is a chronicle of the short-lived media frenzy surrounding the Pons-Fleischmann cold fusion experiments of 1989.

Note the second paragraph…This guy is smart and I don’t mean just kinda smart. This dude has three degrees from three of the top Universities in this country. He’s smarter than you and probably most of the people in the country. But it wasn’t his credentials that made me pay attention, it was his use of science and the human body. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to follow some new fad or some skinny persons opinion who has never dealt with weight gain. No Gary has never been obese but his diet has a lot to do with that. I won’t attempt today to explain all of Taubes’ points and the science behind his findings. Instead, I’ll quickly summarize and then provide you the links to the youtube videos that opened my eyes and changed what I believe. He’s not some blogger (like me) with an opinion or some “fitness guru” at a gym. If I were you I’d listen and pay close attention to what he has to say.

So what is all this science?

Gary’s main hypothesis is that if you are overweight, it’s not because you ate too much and didn’t exercise. Yes, these are factors on why you got fat but it’s not the reason. As you will see in the videos Gary did extensive research showing that you can become obese and still be starving. That cultures that were once thin and healthy, became obese and riddled with heart disease during famines. (How is that possible?) This very thought challenges our core beliefs. After all, we’ve been told for the last 50 years that obesity is caused by overeating and being physically inactive. I mean, how is it possible for people to gain fat while starving? (watch the videos to find out more)

Gary Taubes “Why we are fat.” Part 1

Gary Taubes “Why we are fat.” Part 2

Gary Taubes “Why we are fat.” Part 3

These videos are long and they are full of information. Just take the time, watch them and learn something.

Well one of Gary’s main points is that we’ve been lied to by the American Heart Association and doctors since the early 1960′s. That their science is just bad.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

hmmm….In the 1960′we were told that eating fat makes you fat and eating carbs is good. Is it a coincidence that in just 50 years, since the creation of the food pyramid, the obesity rate has QUADRUPLED?? I think not. As Gary explained, once society started to eat a high carb, low fat diet, obesity and heart disease reared its ugly head to the point that it’s now considered to be an epidemic.

So lets cut to the chase. If its not fat what makes us fat? EATING CARBS MAKES YOU FAT. Well, at least for certain people. This is not new science and what Gary has found isn’t some new revelation. But for some reason it still challenges us to the core. Why? CAUSE WE’VE BOUGHT IN TO THE LIES and we haven’t listened. Also, we don’t want to believe cause truthfully we like carbs and desperately want to eat them. They taste good and are delicious. But carbs (not all mind you) are toxic to those of us who struggle with weight loss. It’s like a smoker who is told, you WILL get cancer if you continue to smoke, yet they still smoke a pack a day. If you do so you are ignoring truth. Here’s a great video explaining why some people (those of us with excess fat) are in fact fat…

So, remember how you would think, “Man that person eats whatever they want, never exercises and doesn’t gain a pound. I HATE THEM.” Well now we know why. Some of us, and if you are overweight you are one of these people, are insulin resistant and do not use carbs properly. Carbs are our greatest enemy. It’s science. Protein and Fat do not make us fat. And in fact, the reason why you are so hungry while on a diet is probably because you don’t eat enough fat, which makes you feel full. That’s why people hate dieting. They don’t want to feel hungry all day.

So no, losing weight isn’t about calories in and calories out. It’s not about how much exercise you do or how little you eat. It’s about WHAT you eat. I’ve been on this diet a week and have already lost 7 lbs. I feel full all day and I never have those intense cravings. I plan a cheat meal every Friday night for one meal only but the rest of the week it’s virtually no carbs. Now go do some research on the glycemic index and you’ll find a ton of carbs that are OK to eat. I’ll have a post up next week explaining this is more detail but for now, if you haven’t done so already, go watch the videos, buy his book and stop listening to the lies we’ve been told for 50 years.

Build A Better Warm Up (with videos yay!!)

What do you do as a warm up before you begin an exercise routine? A light jog on the tread mill? A few stretches which probably includes bending over a few times, stretching the tricep and maybe bending your fingers back to stretch the fore arm? Maybe you are one of those people who don’t do anything at all besides a few reps of bench press? Perhaps, and hopefully, you treat your warm up like a mini workout that includes both stretches and warming up the body slowly but methodically preparing it for the hell you’re about to put it through.

Stretching vs Mobility

Most people, and six months ago Lyell, believe(d) stretching is just something you do for a few minutes  to help prevent injury. The idea of “mobility” never even crossed our minds. Well let me tell you, though stretching is important, mobility is way more important to someone who wants to get the most out of their workouts. Stretching isn’t necessarily mobility and mobility isn’t exactly flexibility. All these terms work together but they have their own purpose. For instance, someone who is mobile has the ability to move freely and that has nothing to do with flexibility. Let me have an expert explain it a little better: From www.mobilitywod.com

Stretching only focuses on lengthening short and tight muscles. Mobilization, on the other hand, is a movement-based integrated full-body approach that addresses all the elements that limit movement and performance including short and tight muscles, soft tissue restriction, joint capsule restriction, motor control problems, joint range of motion dysfunction, and neural dynamic issues. In short, mobilization is a tool to globally address movement and performance problems.

Mobilization will allow for better range of motion and will help speed up recovery. For instance, if you have tight hips, hams, Achilles and glutes your lower body exercises will struggle. Subsequently, you won’t be able to get in that deep squat position and other muscles will take the brunt of your poor flexibility which will eventually lead to injury. This could also effect everything you do from bending over to pick up your child or just simply working in the yard. Another example is shoulder mobility. Yes the muscles of the shoulder should be “loose” but what about the rotator cuff, the tendons and ligaments surrounding the shoulder joint? What are you doing to prepare them for work? You can seriously injury your shoulder if you press too hard without having proper mobility in that area.

So think Mobility not just stretching or better yet think about them both.

What Your Warm Up Should Look Like

First off you should always plan ahead. Before starting your your warmup think about what exercises your workout will include. If you are about to workout the upper body, your warm up should include some upper body movements but not ones that would tire them out. For instance, do a 3 sets of 5-10 pushups, dips and pulls ups not 3 sets of 15. The idea is to prepare them not work them. Your warm up should also include lower body, some cardio, stretching and mobility work. My goal is by the time I”m done with my warm up my body, from head to toe, should be ready for anything.

Example of my Warm-Up. Three rounds with each round consisting of 3-4 sets with 2-4 movements of: stretches, some cardio and mobility work. Videos posted below.

Round 1- 100 Single-unders (jump rope), 30 seconds Toe on wall calf stretch (both feet) x 3 sets

Round 2- Shoulder external rotation work (about 45 seconds) , Hip Opener Stretch (about a minute for each leg), 7 knees to elbows or sit ups x3 sets

Round 3- sit in bottom squat position (1 minute), Couch stretch (3o seconds each side) 3 sets

Round 4 (optional. If you have tight Ham like me you’ll want to do this round) Hamstring stretch, 5 slow air squats, legs crossed bentover hamstring stretch 3 sets

Here’s the video for the Hip Opener Stretch

Video for “toe on wall” (scroll to about the 3 minute mark but the entire video is good info)

Video for the “couch stretch” (scroll to the 2 minute mark)

Video for “sit in bottom squat”

Video for “knees to elbows”

Video for “shoulder internal and external”

Video for “Ham Stretch”

As you can see my warm up doesn’t contain much cardio or any movements like pushups or dips. Why? Well my workouts typically work my cardiovascular system and my biggest problem is mobility and flexibility. So my warm up focuses on my weaknesses not my strengths. If you want to throw in a 400 or 800 meter run in the beginning instead of jump rope go for it. That certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea. You could also interchange most of the movements above depending on your workout for that day.  The one thing you will notice is the focus on the entire body and preparing it for work. It doesn’t really matter what my workout will be, my body will be ready for anything I throw at and that my friends is the whole idea.

 

They Don’t Call It Your “CORE” Just For Funsies

Right now I want you to stand up and try to touch your toes and then stand back up. OK, now, twist your torso back and forth…Take your right hand, reach towards the sky and then bend your body to the left..Try and do a full squat…Do a sit up, push up, jumping jack, jog or even walk a little bit. Hey, just try and get up out of a chair, bend over to pick up your kid or simply just try and get out of bed. Know what was an essential body part for all those movements? Yep, you guessed it, your Core. The problem is most people do “crunches” to build core strength or sadly do nothing at all. We think the core is just the abs and forget about the obliques (love handles), glutes (butt), the muscles surrounding your spine and that little muscle just above the rear end called the Quadratus Lumborum (lower back).

Question: If the core muscles are such a vital part of almost every movement in life, why do we ignore it? Answer: I have no freaking clue.

OK, maybe I have some idea. Personally, I was ignorant of the importance of core strength (even though I had been told over and over again) and to be really honest, core exercises suck. Planks are not fun, yoga is boring to me, palates seems like a chick exercise, crunches hurt, back extensions make me dizzy, and there is nothing more humiliating than being over weight and trying to do situps around a bunch of skinny people. Seriously, screw that 170 lb guy who can do a billion situps and pullups with ease. Let me throw an additional 50 lbs on your back and see just how easy it is. Anyways, humiliation aside, working your core is probably the singular most important exercise you can do. Without core strength your squat will suck, forget about dead-lifting, you will suffer while running, you’ll have a weak forehand in tennis, you won’t have power in your drive and you will struggle doing everything else I listed above. Ever wonder why bending over hurts or why you have lower back pain?

So, how do we fix this problem? Well lets first talk about what your core is. Your core can be defined as- The girdle of muscles, bones, and joints that links your upper and lower body. Sounds pretty important, huh? Here’s a picture for you visual people:Do you think just doing a few crunches a couple times a week will adequately strengthen all those muscles? Of course not. Building core strength, just like any other movement, takes time, repetition, and dedication. One of the reasons I love CrossFit so much is how they incorporate core building exercises into every workout. Most of the time without you ever knowing. When I first started CrossFit my squat and deadlift sucked because I “had a bad back”. Wanna know why I had a bad back and use to hurt it while just working in the yard? I’m not gonna answer that cause you already know. Alright I will….CAUSE I HAD NO CORE STRENGTH.

Did you know that doing body weight squats is a great core exercise? How about Kettle Bell swings? Pull-ups? Push-ups? Sprinting? Dead-lifts? Power Cleans? All these movements work the entire core unlike just doing crunches. You know what doesn’t work your core? Isolation exercises that lock your lower body into a fixed position like bicep curls, tricep pull downs, lat pull downs, shoulder press etc. Try doing these workouts standing up and ENGAGE YOUR CORE.

For you people who don’t like heavy lifting (compound) movements below are a few core exercises you should automatically add to your routine. Start out with 3-4 sets of 10, 3-4 days a week, then progress the reps to about 20-30. Once there start adding weight or resistance.

The Plank

Get in starting position and hold for as long as you can. A more advanced movement would be to start in this position and then alternate dropping down onto your elbows and returning to the start position.

The Air Squat

Notice the knees tracking just above the toes, the straight back and head up. Make sure not to bow the back or lean to far forward. If you struggle with form try this exact movement but sit on a box or chair. Remove the chair or box after a few weeks. Here’s a great video showing good and bad form.

Sprints

No image for this exercise. Just get on a treadmill or on a straight track or road (or even a hill) and just run….fast. Here’s a video showing proper sprinting form. (yes there is a right and a wrong way to run)

Back Extensions

Notice the straight back at the top of the movement but a slight curve at the bottom.

Butterfly Sit-ups

Notice the knees out to the side creating the “butterfly”. The only thing I will add is that at the top of the situp don’t round the back like the image shows. Keep the back straight through the entire movement. For beginners, start with anchoring your toes.
Couple of final random thoughts:

Engaging your core is not “working” your core. Example: While doing bench press your core is engaged but not directly worked.

Just cause you don’t have a six pack doesn’t mean you don’t have a strong core. I certainly don’t have a six pack but my core strengthens every day.

Try to move away from isolation exercises and progress into more compound movements. They work more muscles and make for a more efficient workout.

Ab workouts suck. Get over it.

 

 

Build A Better Salad….NOT PIZZA

Man do I have a salad for you…That’s right I said a salad. Don’t laugh until you try it. I came up with the recipe myself and it was a big hit around the house. And though I’m typically a meat and potatoes kinda guy, this salad had me at Manchego cheese.

Ingredients:

Baby Spinach

Clinatro

1 yellow and 1 red bell pepper

2 ripe tomatoes

1 tsp Minced Garlic

Fresh avocado (optional)

Small block of Manchego Cheese. This is a Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk. It’s somewhat soft and not overly strong. You could substitute a feta cheese here but that would take away from the Spanish theme I was going for.

Salt and Pepper

Vinaigrette:

Olive Oil

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar (you don’t need both but if you have them lying around why not)

3 tbls Lemon juice

Salt and Pepper

note: When it comes to the measurements for the vinaigrette it’s more to taste than anything. When I made this the first time I didn’t measure everything out. Sorry.

First off you want to make the Vinaigrette and set aside. To do this you want to combine the vinegar, garlic, lemon juice and S/P. Then slowly whisk in the Olive Oil until combined. If you’re not sure how to do this YouTube it :)

Slice the peppers long ways in to thin slices and add to the Vinaigrette. (The longer you let the peppers marinate the better). Cut the tomatoes into thick or small chunks. I prefer big but this is completely up to you. Sprinkle the tomatoes with S/P and set aside. (If you are letting the peppers marinate for a while do this step just before you are ready to combine all the ingredients). Remove peppers from marinade, shaking off the excess.

In a large bowl combine the spinach, peppers, tomatoes, chopped cilantro and toss until well incorporated. When you are ready to serve, portion out accordingly and then add the sliced avocado, shredded cheese and drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top just at the last moment.

What makes this salad so great is how fresh it is. Sure you can buy a store bought vinaigrette but why not make it yourself? Also, the crisp peppers paired with ripe tomatoes and the bite from the cheese is heavenly. Trust me your taste buds will thank me later.

Note: If you wanted to add some grilled chicken that would be a pretty awesome choice.

Enjoy!

Can’t Do A Pull-Up? Well Try This

I (use) to  hate Pull ups..a lot. Fact is up until about 4 months ago I couldn’t do a single one. It has always been a workout that has intimidated me and I’ve always said, “I weigh 220+ lbs.. Pull ups are super hard for big guys.” That was nothing but fear and laziness. It’s a lot easier to make excuses on why you can’t do something rather than working hard to overcome a weakness.

So one day I jumped up on the Pull-up bar and tried one and low and behold I was able to knock out a few. So every other day I would jump up on the bar, crank out 5-6…that grew to 8-10…and eventually stalled out around 12-14. When I started CrossFit I immediately found out that Pull-ups are a very important movement. I would say they apart of at least 2-3 WOD’s every week and are apart of the standard “CrossFit Warm-up”. I mean some WOD’s call for 40 plus Pull-ups (not all at the same time mind you) and there is one that calls for 100. So I just knew that only being able to do 12 wouldn’t cut it.

Enter the Recon Ron Pull-up program. This is a program that will step by step help you improve your Pull-up. Literally if you can only do one “dead hang” Pull-up (starting by literally just hanging on the bar with your arms straight. No bend at all) you can do this program. If you can do more than one, then you can start with a different stage. If you can’t do a single pull up at all, I will post a beginners program at the end. 

Over the Top on ‘Dead Hang’ Pull-ups
By LtCol. Stanley J. Pasieka, Jr., USMC (Ret)

After fifteen years in the Marine Corps I am finally able to “max” the pull/chin-up event on the physical fitness test. You can too if you follow this schedule. Before you know it you will be able to accomplish what the Marine Corps has set for a perfect test score.
Although everybody knows that the only way to increase your ability to do pull-ups is to do them over and over, I was never able to make this sound advice work for me. A few years ago, I received a “guaranteed to work” schedule from one of my former platoon commanders. He assured me that in merely six months I would easily be able to complete twenty pull-ups. In just 23 weeks on the “Recon Ron Pull-up Program,” I completed 21 chin-ups. If this program worked for me, there’s a good chance it can work for many other Marines, if they are willing to give it a try.
The program is based on performing a manageable number of pull-ups each day, and gradually increasing the number. The total number of pull-ups done each day is completed in five sets. Each step is repeated daily for two weeks before progressing to the next step. Time is not a factor, but each workout can complete in less than ten minutes.
As an example, when I started this program, I struggled to reach nine pull-ups. Thus, I selected what I reasoned to be manageable number-26 pull-ups in ten minutes (step 13). Surprisingly, I was able to accomplish the workout with little difficult in five and a half minutes. It seemed to me that this initial success was far better than straining and possibly quitting the program before giving it a proper chance. After doing a set, I would walk around and generally finish all five sets in less than eight minutes. But, as I progressed to the steps with fifty and more total repetitions in each workout the time required became secondary, and it was good to just finish.
I can verify, as an experiment of one, that this plan will enable you to max the pull-up event on the physical fitness test. Set your goal and begin by adjusting the schedule to suit your particular fitness level.

Step 1: 1,1,1,1,1

Step 2: 2,2,1,1,1

Step 3: 3,2,2,1,1

Step 4: 3,2,2,2,1

Step 5: 4,2,2,2,2

Step 6: 4,3,2,2,2

Step 7: 4,4,2,2,2

Step 8: 5,4,3,2,2

Step 9: 5,4,3,3,3

Step 10: 6,4,4,3,3

 Step 11: 6,5,4,4,3

Step 12: 7,5,4,4,4

Step 13: 7,6,5,4,4

Step 14: 8,6,5,5,4

Step 15: 8,7,5,5,5

Step 16: 9,7,6,5,5

Step 17: 10,7,6,6,5

Step 18: 10,8,6,6,6

Step 19: 10,8,7,6,6

Step 20: 11,8,7,7,6

Step 21: 12,9,7,7,7

Step 22: 13,9,8,7,7

Step 23: 14,9,8,8,7

Step 24: 14,10,8,8,8

Step 25: 15,10,9,8,8

Step 26: 16,10,9,9,8

Step 27: 16,11,9,9,9

Step 28: 17,11,10,9,9

Step 29: 18,11,10,10,9

Step 30: 18,12,10,10,10

So obviously you won’t be trying to complete a Marine Physical Ability test anytime soon but you do want to be able to do more pull ups. So this program is perfect for you or really anyone. Remember this is a “Dead Hang” pull up. That means when you reach the top of the pull up and descend, the arms must become completely straight before going back up. Here’s a video showing perfect form. Anything other than this would be cheating. Don’t do it. Don’t be that guy or gal. So pick a stage and get at it!

So what if you can’t do a pull-up? Where do you start? Well you have to remember that a pull-up works nearly every muscle above your hips. So if you have a weak upper body you’ll struggle. Pull ups can improve your shoulder and bench press and vice versa. A great way to mimic the pull up with out using your entire body weight would be a “Reverse Row” . Video here.  You can also do assisted Pull-ups either with someone holding your legs or with a machine. Another good sub would be the “Lat Pull Down”. Video here. This doesn’t exactly mimic a Pull-up but it’s very close. So you can do the same program above but either with the Reverse Row, assisted pull-ups or a Lat pull down movement. But eventually you’ll have to jump up on the bar and attempt one all by yourself. Don’t be afraid. You can do it.

A No B.S. Look at “Diets”

NEWS FLASH…Most diets work and it’s the people on the “diet” that typically fail.

Let’s be real honest, if there was one diet that worked for everyone…everyone on earth would be on that diet and everyone would be thin. Also, the person who created said diet would be filthy, dirty rich.

So, how do we go about picking the “diet” that works for us? Well, the answer lies in yourself. Just picking a diet based off of someone elses results, and not your likes and dislikes, will more than likely lead to failure.

The following  (in no particular order) is a pro and con list of what I feel are the most well-known diets today. Yes it is rather lengthy but I wanted to be as thorough as possible. Remember, these are my opinions and should be taken as such.

Continue reading

Originally posted on A Hundred Pounds Lost:

Every morning I wake up, take care of my daily “business” and step on the scale. It can either be an exiliarating or extremely frustrating process. The following is a representation of the emotions and reactions that follow:

At first if I’ve lost weight I’m typically like:

BUT if  somehow I didn’t lose weight or possibly even gained then it may look like something like this:

Cause obviously I SHOULD HAVE LOST WEIGHT. So there must be something wrong with the scale, right? So the blood pressure starts to rise and on the inside im like..

On the outside my face is like “Whaaaa?”

Since the scale is broken and needs to be adjusted I decide to step off the scale..gently kick it..move it..pick it up.. (Cause you know that helps) then get back on and do one of these:

If its good news (My weight dropped like .10 of a lb) I’m feeling very..

If its bad news…

View original 98 more words

Finally A Better Peanut “Butter” aka PB2

Not to long ago I wrote an article on the poor effects Peanut Butter had when it came to health issues/dieting.

According to the website Peanut Butter (obvious name huh) 71% of Peanut Butters calories come from FAT. (NOT GOOD) 14% from carbohydrates and 15%  from protein. It’s high in trans fat which is also not exactly good for you.

Well I’m here to tell you THERE IS HOPE. If you are one of the millions of people who love Peanut Butter you no longer have to worry about it being something to scoff at. Thanks to the fine people at Bell Plantation a new product called PB2 has transformed peanut butter from a faux pas to THE GREATEST THING TO EVER TOUCH YOUR LIPS.

So what is PB2?

Well to be honest it’s not really Peanut Butter. Take what you think about Peanut butter; smooth, creamy, sweet and think “Roasted Peanuts exploding in your mouth”.  

What they’ve done is used what Bell Plantation calls a “special process” (I have no clue what that means) and removes 85% of the bad fat from roasted peanuts. What you are left with is basically powered peanuts. (I know that sounds weird). All you do is add some water to the powered peanuts and voila you have the most delicious peanut “butter” you’ve ever tasted. You get all the amazing flavor of peanuts but without all the crap. It’s not as sweet but trust me PB2 is 100x better than its Jiffy counter part.

A few things to point out from the picture.

1. PB2 is 100% NATURAL. No preservatives or additives that make it “low in fat”.

It’s what’s not in PB2 that makes it so good for you. For starters, our special process removes 85% of the fat calories without the chemicals typically used in producing reduced fat foods. Something else you won’t find in PB2 is preservatives. What you will find is natural roasted peanut flavor.

2. The ingredients are “Roasted Peanuts”, “Sugar and Salt”. That’s it. Again, no processed crap that may end up one day leading to some type of cancer.

3. 1.5 grams of Fat per serving (2 tbsp for both PB2 and PB) compared to nearly 15 grams in regular Peanut Butter. WHAT!

4. 190 calories per serving in PB and only a whopping 45 in PB2.

Seriously, PB2 may be the greatest diet “supplement” that I’ve come across, ever. Oh and I almost forgot, PB2 also comes in a Chocolate flavor as well. I bought both regular Peanut Butter and the Chocolate version and let me tell you, I may prefer the Chocolate one. IT’S THAT FREAKING GOOD.

Where can I buy PB2?

Well that depends on where you live. I only found it at a local organic store here in Tallahassee, FL. Bell Plantation has a handy-dandy “Store Locator” link so you can see what stores in your area sell PB2. If you don’t have a distributor in your area, you can also order direct from the Bell Plantation website.

So go get yourself some PB2. You’ll thank me later.

Be blessed,

Lyell

My Faith and Weight-loss. Yes They Are Connected

My readers may not know this but I am a Christian, a husband to a wonderful wife and a father to an amazing little girl (and soon to be a baby boy). Honestly, A Hundred Pounds Lost is not a political or religious website. I didn’t create this blog to push an agenda on things not linked to health related issues. However, this is a blog about me and my life. So every once in a while I’ll speak about my life and the world around me. In the end, you don’t have to agree with me but at least respect my heart.

At times I can be harsh and according to my wife, preachy. For instance my latest post, I’m Pissed For A Very Good Reason, is a perfect example of my passions running rampant through my fingers. If that post offended anyone, I apologize. I don’t mean to be this way, I really don’t. I just believe I was put on this earth for a reason and I can’t sit by and watch people slowly die and not say anything.

Enter my faith. As a Christian I believe in a higher power. I believe we were put on this earth to not only serve God but also serve his people, the people he created. If I sit by and never share the Gospel with unbelievers, what would that say about me and my “faith”? And if I sit by and say nothing I feel I will be held accountable for this. Conversely, if I sit by and say nothing about someones unhealthy lifestyle, and they later die due to that lifestyle, again I feel accountable for that. Hence my passion.

A little background:

When I started losing weight three years ago, I never knew how much effect losing 100 pounds would have on my life and my faith. All I wanted to do is lose some weight. Who knew how bad things would get? Just how bad was it? Well, instead of my faith driving my weight loss, I became selfish and inward focused. All I cared about was losing weight and how I looked. It became my life. And this selfish attitude almost destroyed my marriage. Thank God I realized my sin before things came tumbling down around me.

The Bible is very clear that all things are meaningless if not centered around Christ. It is all vanity.

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14

I could lose all the weight, write a ton of blog posts, help people lose thousands of pounds, become famous for these efforts and all that would be meaningless, like chasing the wind, if my focus was on selfish desires. For nearly three years I was just running in circles trying to catch something that wasn’t attainable. And it took almost losing everything to realize just how off centered I had become.

Just like losing 100 pounds, coming to the end of myself has been and will continue to be a long, hard process with many ups and downs. But now that my life is centered correctly my perspective has changed. I see now that my faith and my health are directly connected. Instead of fighting against each other, they work side by side with my faith leading the way. That my passion for saving physical lives can also be connected with a person’s spiritual life as well. I have no idea what this will look like. I do not have a plan. I just know if I sit idly by, watching people die, I will somehow be held accountable.

Be blessed,