Quarantine Workouts!

After living with the shelter in place order for several weeks, I noticed I was falling back into old undesirable patterns of stress management. I have gained weight and noticed I was doing a lot more “comfort” eating. I wasn’t doing a great job of consistently working out before all of this, but my patterns were taking me further away from the healthy full life style I wanted for myself.

Last week I decided it must stop and I chose to do the following workout every single day. It’s simple and effective. It requires nothing except me and an approximately 6×3 patch of floor.

My Daily Exercise Routine

  • 10 x Jumping Jacks
  • 10 x Squats
  • 5 x Push-Ups
  • 10 x (each leg) Mountain Climbers
  • 10 x Plank Jump Ins
  • 10 x (each leg) high knees
  • 10 x Seated Leg Pull-Ins
  • 10 x (each side) Cross Crunches
  • 10 x Leg Lifts
  • 2 minute rest
  • 3 sets (each time through the list is one set)

If you can’t do every rep that’s okay. Push yourself to the point you can’t do anymore of that exercise and then move onto the next exercise. Each rotation is a set and your heart rate is going to be way up while you’re pushing through each set and then you’ll want to do some breathing exercises in the rest period to bring your heart rate down. This is high intensity interval training.

After I go through this, I take a hot shower. This helps my muscles stay loose and keeps the heart rate up for an extended period of time. It also feels like a nice reward for pushing myself.

If you find 3 sets is easy, then start adding sets. Each set takes just about 3 minutes, so adding in a set or two does not make it a lot longer. If you’re in great shape you may want to go up to 7 sets. My goal for 2020 is to be able to do 5 sets by the end of the year.

If you’re really on it, you can cut down your rest period to 1 minute or add in a weighted vest to increase the resistance without changing the routine.

I’m sure there are other approaches that work great for folks. This is what I need to eliminate all the excuses. The only reason I have to not do it is that it’s not a priority, because all I need is a piece of floor where I can fit to do the push-ups. I can find that anywhere.

I do this because the person I see myself as is healthy, fit, and sees the value in the freedom of choice this discipline enables. I feel more energized, more confident, happier, and more capable of maintaining my health even in the face of a pandemic.

If you’re struggling to figure out how to get motivated to do this, here’s some ideas:

  • Do it because I’m expecting you to do it.
  • Do it because You expect yourself to do it.
  • Do it because “They” know you won’t do it.
  • Do it because You want to do it.
  • Do it because it’s part of your identity.

You can rest tomorrow, today we work.

Stay Safe and Healthy Friends,


Change The Relationship Food

Huel is Cool Fuel for You(l)

For over three years I’ve been on a personal journey to get more out of myself. I started with food and I’ve been working through other things I want to change. I use this mental trick to help get out of my own way, I call it changing my relationship with X.

When I began changing my relationship with food, it was a weight loss journey, no doubt about it. I weighed 290 lbs and I did not feel great. I felt like I had no control over my weight and I felt trapped in a situation where I found it extremely challenging to make time to exercise. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to eat healthier and I certainly have plenty of experience with exercise. The problem for me was how I looked at these things and the role they played in my life.

I had built up a belief that I had to exercise to lose weight. I had a belief that I needed to eat foods that weren’t helping me because I was stressed and just wanted to enjoy myself. There were a lot of other factors in play certainly, but these were two major aspects of my limiting beliefs.

When I turned 35, I decided enough was enough. I had to find a way to change what I was doing. I remember wondering how could I possibly get to a point where I was not stuck eating endless bags of chips, large portions of meat, barely working in vegetables, and feeling terrible regularly. It seemed impossible at first because those were all so many things I had done for so long, they were part of me.

I decided to think of eating as a relationship. I had a vision of the identity of the person I wanted to be as a long term goal, but I wouldn’t try to become that person overnight. Instead, I would change my relationship with food. I did more research and realized that simply changing what I ate and how much would be enough to promote weight loss. I read some studies about protein and already had a familiarity with the concept of keto dieting.

I created a spreadsheet to track my calories. I used a bunch of excel formulas so I could track the foods I wanted to eat. This made it possible to continue eating some of the less healthy foods, but also see how it was impact my progress towards my goal. I could eat 1 chip, or 20 chips, or none at all. I could eat 1 brownie, half a brownie, a tenth of a brownie and still track it. I made it so I could track my own recipies that I made up and this made it possible for me to incorporate the tracking into my regular life.

I began experimenting with different ways to make meals that fit within my framework, made me feel full, and taste great. Because I wasn’t set into a specific type of diet and was just keeping myself open to changing my perspective on the types of food I was interested in eating, I became open to trying to a vegan diet for a week to see if I could eat totally vegan and still hit my macro nutrient targets. I realized that I could, but also that I was not ready for a 100% vegan lifestyle at that point.

The crack was made though. I have increasingly incorporated meatless options into my meals. It helps that so many more options are going mainstream and the core ideas behind my nutritional approach are more widely understood.

Sometime in September last year, I discovered the Body Love book by Kelly Leveque. My wife listened to it on auidble as well and we both began incorporating fab four ideads (fiber, fat, protein, greens) into our diet. My wife identifies as a highly picky eater and has some very strong aversions to a variety of foods. She was inspired by the book as well as Rachel Hollis saying she ‘may not like the taste (of the smoothie), but she drinks it because it’s about putting good fuel in her body.’

My fab four smoothies were different from my wife’s, but we were both on the train. We both did start to get some upset stomache issues and it may have been that we were having too many chia seeds or something along those lines. We weren’t sure, but it did present a speed bump for us.

Then I found Huel! I began with one Huel a day for myself. I loved it and found that I wasn’t having the same kind of stomache issues as I had with my self made smoothies. Huel does have a few more net carbs than you might find in the typical fab four smoothie, but there aren’t any added sugars. There is not 10 grams of fiber, but it’s close. After about a month of me drinking Huel and raving about it around the house, my wife decided to try it as a breakfast replacement.

Around that time, I decided to move to two Huels a day. The biggest gain I personally find is simplicity. At first, my wife was not a fan of the taste, just as with the fab four smoothie, she had to tell herself it was good fuel for her body and not about flavor. I’m so proud of her for being able to take that step, it was a substantial mental shift for her.

The v3.0 Huel was a game changer for her. I think it’s better as well, but now that I’ve been having two Huels a day for the last month and honestly, I feel better than I did when I was just having one, my wife has decided to go for two a day as well.

This still gives us a nightly dinner we can sit down with the kids for. It also helps us both ensure we’re getting a big jump on our core macro nutrients during the day in a simple way. I love that it’s vegan and 100% sustainable. I am not entirely gluten free, but I have some food issues and wheat can be a problem for me, so I get the gluten free Huel.

If you’re interested in checking it out, do us both a favor and save some money using this referral link!

I will continue sharing my experience with changing my life because I believe there are many more people out there like me. Those who know they have more, but are not sure how to unlock it. We can unlock our best lives together. Be good to yourself, pay yourself first. This isn’t just a recipe for financial freedom, it’s a recipe for health freedom as well.

My journey saw me lose 70 lbs in the first 6 months using a largely keto style diet. Mine was my own creation and not typical keto approach. However, since my goal was not purely about weight loss, but about discovering healthful eating and changing my relationship with food, I backed off the extremely low carb approach and have been working towards maintaining the weight loss and building up healthy relationships with food.

I’m proud to say that I’ve not gained the weight back and while my ultimate goal is to weigh less than I do now, I want to be sure I get there in a way that is sustainable.

I will continue to share my journey with you all. In future posts, I will give additional insight into other aspects of my food journey as well as how I’ve used changing relationships in other areas of my life.

Stay Safe Out There,