and trolling the Cowboys) was about my mother’s family history of health, or lack thereof. It was pretty sad to hear some of the losses, for it seems the last of my elderly relatives on my mother’s side seem to be the anomalies in the family, even though they have other problems to speak of. And it really saddened me, to the point where I drank a year old Cherry Chocolate Bock from Sam Adams and a year-plus old 1554 from New Belgium. The fact I didn’t get sick from drinking the old concoctions made me happy, for my younger cousin and I were joking that I might get explosive diarrhea out of the situation. But it illustrated another metaphor about my life. Don’t wait too long to finish something, for you never know if it will still be good down the line. Fortunately, the cherry chocolate bock was amazing and the 1554 was still smooth as ever, but there was still a chance I could have been walking into some painful moments in the bathroom.
Truthfully, I want to remember why I decided to pursue personal training at Parsons Training. To this day, I just say “My parents made me a deal I could not refuse” in regards to why I started. It seems kind of morbid, that it took money from my hard working parents to finally open my eyes and work on my health. But that was the state I was in. I just loved putting stuff off and saving the whole “I’m still young enough” mantra in regards to my health. But that mentality is long gone, and is never coming back. I anything, I can’t remember the days I had to go to Ross on the weekends, looking for pairs of 44-inch pants that looked stylish and respectable. I mention I had to make multiple trips, merely from the fact that so many of the size 44 and up pants had ridiculous stitching on it, the kind of gaudy artwork that gives you a good reason why these pants are more than half off at Ross. I’m glad I don’t have to go through that nightmare anymore, because now I can just shop at a regular store and look for relaxed fit size 36 jeans or straight cut 38s (which look like skinny jeans for my chiseled legs, hehe). I like the fact the world is a little more accessible to me now, and these recent events are starting to set off a new persona within me. It’s time to start getting intense again. I have the tools, and I have the fire to do it. Now I just need the dedication.
I have to start learning how to channel my dedication for my eating habits into my workout habits. If anything, the life of a plant based eater has been good to me, and it has made profound impact on my life. It was kind of funny on a thread for one of my various pro-vegan groups. someone asked the question of what was their last meal in regards to eating animal products. It was kind of funny how much of the people couldn’t remember what they ate. I gave a pass to the people that had been vegan for years on end, including one person who had been so for 35 years! But I found it weird that so many couldn’t remember, even it was somewhere in the neighborhood of seven months before. I remember very detail of my final meat meal. On October 20, 2012, sometime in the mid-day, I thought I should go vegan and give it a try. I made the official start of new diet to be October 22, even though I technically started on October 21. Anyway, I decided to have a last supper of sorts, going to Mr. K’s Barbecue and ordering up a huge order of Texas Hot Links, pulled pork and smoked brisket along with plenty of steak fries. I ordered the family sized order of their really good macaroni and cheese and ate the whole buffet by myself in the parking lot. I was so tired and sluggish the rest of the day, it proved to me once and for all that the path I was taking was the wrong one, and a necessary change was needed. It was probably a good thing I quit, because apparently Mr. K’s quality really slipped, and in fighting within the family eventually caused the place to shut down (but on the other hand, they had set up shop in a spot that was and still is notorious for failed restaurants). I like to joke and say they went under because I stopped going, but I know it is not true. Remembering that moment is always a good way to help me stay on the path.
So I have decided to finally set another goal, and this is one I really need to stick to. It’s time to start doing something about my body. Now, I know a lot of people would say I look fine and such, but they don’t seem to understand the half of it. Yeah, I look okay and I can perform okay in regards to fitness, but it is time to kind of look the part. It’s a condition I have kind of denied and not cared too much about, merely because I can do so many things now that I was never able to do, even when I was healthier. But on the other hand, I just think it is time to start reducing some of my weight, and in some part, meaning I have to work a little harder. So on December 1, 2014, I decide it is time to do a little weight cut. I guess what this means is I consciously want to work my but off and reduce some of my food intake in preparation for something I have been putting off for too long: an actual physical. And I mean the type with blood work, which means I will truly get to see where I am at and what I need to continue doing. If anything, it will set some new standards in my life to achieve and illustrate to me areas I need to fix.
I don’t really know why I want to do this. I have little going for me right now, and doing this regiment might seem kind of crazy. But why not? I keep saying I want to look like Joe Mangiello or something, but when am I actually going to do it? I keep saying I want to break the mold of the typical male vegan, but when am I actually going to take the steps? I keep saying I wanna improve my health, but when am I going to take steps to push it even further? I complain abut the love handles and the fluff on my stomach that won’t go away, so when am I gonna do something about it? I feel it is time, and I feel ready. Jon and the other trainers at Parsons Training have all put time and effort into my fitness regimen, and it is time to show them the fruits of their labors.
I don’t know how long I will be able to keep up the pace I want to set, but it is certainly the time to try and set a high standard. Since I hate actually stepping on the scale, I’m going to use a good pair of pants I have as the key. If they fit better by the end of the month, I will know the challenge was worth it. They fit pretty good already, but if I sit down in them for too long, my circulation gets a little cut off. Plus, it is hard to get my phone and wallet out of the pockets. So that is kind of the challenge for myself, and I have already hit the ground running when it comes to achieving this new goal of mine. When I came up with the idea on Monday, I knew full well what I wanted to do when I hit Parsons Training that day. I wanted to hit the weights, and hit them hard. A month or so ago, I maxed out on the deadliest at 365, and I have been posting around that I could probably do 400 now. Monday was the day to prove such boasts. If anything, the dead lift is something that has become my nemesis, and I treat the exercise like someone I want to beat up. I easily got up to 345, taking one or two reps on just about all the tries I had after 285. So the moment came to do 365, and I passed with flying colors. The last time I attempted that weight, I struggled to get it off the ground, dropping it as I reached the apex of the movement. Everyone that was watching gave me the set, but this time around, I wanted it to be more legit. I got it fairly easily, with no slippage and square shoulders. Right then and there, I knew my strength had already improved. I moved on to 385, which I did with a little bit of trouble but was still able to square my shoulders, legitimizing the set. I made a couple attempts at 405, but just couldn’t do it. I guess the generalized term that I can dead lift 400 will be nothing but a generalization until further notice. But I didn’t stop there. I ended up doing some more dead lifts at 255, stopping only when Jon told me to. He suggested I do some dead bugs with 50-pound dumbbells and go until I couldn’t go anymore. I ended up doing 72, which was far more than I had ever attempted at that weight. I finished the night with 30 bent over rows with the 50-pounders and decided to call it a night. But that wasn’t the end of the night for me, for I decided to do a short three-mile run and completed it in a shade over 30 minutes. Twelve hundred calories were burned that night, and I was feeling good. If anything, I’m going to use Mondays as a way to test my limits and establish my personal bests untilI can start paying Jon again. Next week I will either attempt my back squat best or the bench press. Haven’t decided yet.
I didn’t stop there, for the next night, I wanted to really push the envelope. I wanted to run roughly five miles and see how fast I could do it. My running partner Jaime talked me into doing six, for much like me, she wants to burn some extra calories as well (even though she really doesn’t need to, but I’ll help anyway!). Either way, I pushed the pace pretty hard. The problem was made worse considered the humidity was in rarified air that night, hovering around 60% and making me remember the disgusting travails of the past summer. Either way, I did pretty good in spite of the humidity, churning out a 10.07-per mile pace that I never even came close to this past summer. And I did this with a full Camel Pack as well! If anything, this type of mentality is going to be hard as hell, but like I have said this entire blog post, the time is now. Heck, I might even try Crossfit, hehe.
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.