Tag Archives: Beachbody

Time For A Change

Two days ago I started an new workout program, The Masters Hammer and Chisel, a weights and sculpting program, having completed two rounds of Body Beast, a weights program.  I’m pleased with the results from Body Beast with one exception: my belly.  I can’t seem to get rid of my excess middle!

So I’m going to try something for a while.  I’m going to consciously minimize-not eliminate-my intake of refined carbohydrates.  For example, last night I had leftover organic spaghetti with homemade marinara.   While the spaghetti was organic, it was still a refined carb.  Ever since I went vegan, I think I have unconsciously gravitated toward carbs.  When I do have refined cards from this point on, I’m going to seek out whole grains.

Lucky for me, I have a Fitbit that I can use to help me track my intake.  So far today by mid-morning, my refined carbs have consisted of two fig Newtons.  Wish me luck!

My weakness!

The Space In Your Life

Decluttering your life is about more than just getting rid of the stuff that takes up space in your home. It’s also about getting rid of the stuff that takes up space in your life. OK, that metaphor is a bit of a stretch, but bear with me.

Over the past couple years I’ve been on a decrappification kick. I have indeed reduced my possession load (or anchors in a manner of speaking). I have also managed to streamline my life as well as my possessions. Here are a few of the things I’ve done, in no particular order.

Digital versions of publications cut down on paper waste and accumulation. I stopped buying newspapers and magazines in favor of online versions and e-zines, respectively. Now I have less paper cluttering up my house, less to store and/or archive, and less to lug to the recycling center every week. I also buy most of my “books” now for use with the Nook and Kindle apps on my tablet.

One place setting is enough dishware for one person. I stopped using up all my clean plates and cups before doing dishes. I bought a large plate, a small plate, and a soup bowl-all plain white. When I use one of these I wash it when I’m done. This minimizes the time I spend doing dishes unnecessarily. And they are easy to keep track of.

Online bill payments are a great idea in my opinion. This not only eliminates incoming paper (i.e., bills) but it pretty much gives me an instant receipt. I automate these bill payments whenever I can, which means I have less to remember and deal with. It works out well for me overall, and I can keep all the records I want on my laptop without occupying any space. Just remember to back up your files if you go this route.

Gyms are nice but streaming workouts is convenient. I have a collection of Beachbody exercise program DVDs I’ve accumulated over the years. Then about a year ago Beachbody on Demand came along with the ability to inexpensively stream most of their programs on laptops and tablets. It all came together for me a few months ago when I got an Amazon Fire Stick, which includes a Beachbody on Demand app. I now stream my workouts on my full size TV, at my convenience. I also recent bought the “digital unlock” for a new program, Body Beast. I don’t even need the DVDs now!

Maybe the best thing I have done for myself is that I take a digital Sabbath every Sunday. Basically, I don’t go online for Facebook, Twitter, and so forth on my phone, tablet or laptop. I don’t text or instant message. I still call and take calls on my phone, but I don’t think of that as being the same as Facebook, etc. It is surprisingly restful regardless of anything else I may be doing. Surprisingly, the world continues to turn without my active oversight!

There are lots of other ways I declutter my life, large and small, but this gives you an idea. Hopefully, you are inspired to try it yourself.



Simple and Easy Are Not Always the Same

We are all familiar with the general concept of seeking simple solutions to our problems.  I agree with the general concept that when we can, we should avoid complicating things unnecessarily.  And in practical terms often we already know what we need to do in a given situation, or we can easily find the answer in these connected times.

Just to take a common example, to lose weight all we need to do is eat less and exercise more.  We all know this to be true.  It couldn’t be any simpler, right?  Well, if it were just that simple the CEOs of companies like Beachbody and Planet Fitness would be as poor as church mice!  My point is, simple and easy are not the same thing (especially true with weight loss, and on this I speak from personal experience).

Rather, we need to keep our wits about us when we are seeking solutions to the problems with which we must deal.  Problems are basically opportunities for change in disguise.  Approach them mindfully and don’t shy away from putting in some real work when it’s called for.  It is far easier to maintain the status quo but if we don’t face our problems, we miss the opportunity for growth-stagnation is no way to live.  So don’t let simple but difficult solutions to your problems cause stagnation in your life.  Face them head-on and invest in yourself!

Three Things That I Know Are True

1.  Garbage in is indeed garbage out. I don’t care if you are talking about what you read, what you eat, what you listen to, or whatever. Anything which involves you allowing something in to your body or your mind has the potential for commensurate impact. If you eat high fat, high sugar junk food full of chemical additives all the time, then your body will react by storing excess calories as fat while making you hunger for more in an attempt to get enough proper nutrition.

The same principle applies to the mind as well. I recently stopped watching the morning news-national and local-because it is predominated by doom and gloom (“if it bleeds, it leads”). Instead I listen to a local worship radio station while catching up with pals on Facebook after my morning workouts, before I head out to work. Which leads me to my second point.

2.  How I start my day sets the tone for the whole day. For reasons which I have forgotten, I had been in the habit of doing my daily Beachbody workouts at 7:00 PM. I’ll be honest, there were days when I would get home from a particularly annoying day at work and not really be enthusiastic about working out. Just about a month ago I had to switch to morning workouts because we were having outreach meetings at my church each night for a week. So, I started getting up an hour early (5:00 AM) and doing my workouts in the morning. (I’ve been fat and I didn’t want to be fat again.)

To my surprise I got used to it and have continued to get up at 5:00 AM and working out. Then I have a leisurely cup or two of coffee while I listen to a local worship music station as mentioned above, and catch up with Facebook and the online newspapers. I have stopped watching the morning news, since that inevitably sets a negative tone for the rest of the day. Between the early workouts and foregoing the doom and gloom morning news, my days are a lot more pleasant.

3.  Eating lower on the food chain works. A couple years ago I did a 3 week cleanse which included two weeks eating a vegan diet. After it was over I discovered that my body no longer tolerates beef. I won’t give you the details, suffice to say my body’s reaction to beef is not at all fun. Last winter I watched a couple documentaries (Forks Over Knives and Weight of the Nation) that persuaded me to forego industrially produced meat for ethical reasons. I now limit my animal protein to wild caught fish and eggs from a friend’s chickens (since I personally know how the chickens are treated).

I freely admit it was not easy at first. I mean, there is a local restaurant here that has fantastic barbeque! But here’s the thing: if I adhere to my principles only when it is convenient, what good are they? None at all, that’s what. Here’s another thing: by reading and researching and paying attention, not only have I gotten used to a largely vegetarian diet, I’m thriving on it. Plus, I rest a bit easier knowing that I don’t support an industry which is characterized by cruelty to animals and workers.


The Truth-Just Ahead!

Truth is truth even if one does not believe the truth.

Three Multiple Muscle Moves

Are you feeling a little pressed for time?  Here are three exercises I’ve picked up here and there that maximize your effort by working two or more muscle groups.  Now, I don’t recommend doing this all the time, since a balanced workout regime with approximately equal amounts of cardio and strength moves is important, such as Beachbody’s P90X.  These will get you through a day when time is in short supply, however.  Let’s face it, any workout beats the daylights out of no workout!  (Don’t forget to warm up first.)

  • Pushup and dumbbell row.  You will need a pair of dumbbells of a challenging weight.  Start in a plank position with your hands grasping the dumbbells, even with and slightly forward of your shoulders.  Keeping your back and legs straight, do a pushup.  When you return to the starting position, lift the left dumbbell as high as you can, with your elbow as close to in-line with your shoulder as possible, and return it to the floor.  Repeat, with the right side.  That’s one rep.  Go for maximum reps, stopping short of failure.


  • Squat and dumbbell curl.  You will need a pair of dumbbells of a challenging weight or a resistance band.  Start in a standing position, feet slightly wider than shoulder width, holding the dumbbells or band handles down at your sides, palms facing forward.  Drop into as low a squat as comfortable while keeping your back straight and feet flat on the floor, and raise back up.  When you reach the start position, do a basic two arm curl.  That’s one rep.  Go for maximum reps, stopping short of failure.


  • Lunge, hammer curl, and press.  You will need a pair of dumbbells of a challenging weight or a resistance band.  Start in a standing position, feet slightly wider than shoulder width, holding the dumbbells or band handles down at your sides, palms facing inward.  Step forward with your left foot into a lunge, with your right leg as straight as possible.  Perform a hammer curl (a curl with hands facing inward).  At the top of the curl, perform a two arm overhead press, rotating your hands so they face forward.  Return to starting position and repeat on the right side.  That’s one rep.  Go for maximum reps, stopping short of failure.