Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why Do I Succeed?

Why Do I Succeed?

I succeed because I am willing to do the things you are not. 
I will fight against the odds. 
I will sacrifice. 
I am not shackled by fear, insecurity, or doubt. 
I feel those emotions drink them in and then swallow them away to the blackness of hell. 
I am motivated by accomplishment, not pride. 
Pride consumes the weak-kills their heart from within. 
If I fall, I will get up. 
If I am beaten, I will return. 
I will never stop getting better. 
I will never give up, ever.
That is why I succeed. 

~ Anonymous

Monday, July 21, 2014

My 12 Week Transformation Begins Today

Today is the first day of an 85 day transformation. As I begin, I am both excited and cautious about where this journey will take me. On the up side, it has the possibility to dramatically change the direction of my life, as well as the lives of those around me. At the same time, it could be three months where nothing changes at all. The road in which I decide to take rests squarely on me. 


As a child, I was always great at running sprints. I may have started out slow, but I'd always find a way to come up from behind and finish strong. In a goal driven life, like the one I chose to live, we borrow the concept of sprinting to equate a short period of time by which we give life all that we have in order to create momentum. That momentum allows us to change our current situation into something else, preferably something better than where we are today.

Leaving Las Vegas last week, I made a decision to sprint into the next rest point, which is October 17, 2014. By this date, I would like to make considerable improvements in my health, wealth, and education.

Why A Sprint?

It's Short

A sprint, unlike the marathon, requires a short, but extremely intense, burst of energy toward a goal. Sure, one may feel winded after completing it, but it's over shortly after it starts. The positive side to all of this is that the pain and discomfort will be short lived, but the results will be amazing.

It's Fast  

Have you ever heard this saying, "Fast is fun, slow is painful?" The idea behind this statement is that we all want to see growth in our lives, the faster the better, right? For some, and this was me for many years, I wanted to keep everything under control and live life at a pace that I could control. Unfortunately, every day that I'm overweight, struggling financially, or living without a terminal degree, it hurts. Wouldn't it be better to fix the problems as quickly as humanly possible versus waiting years to do the same thing? Absolutely! I say.

It's Rewarding

One of the advantages of living in a microwave society is that we want to see the benefits of our labor sooner rather than later. Therefore, delaying gratification only three months sounds much better than three years, right? Knowing this fact, it's easier to fight off distractions and other short term desires with a promise to indulge once it's over. As a result, the outcome will be so much more sweet and rewarding.


I Won't Feel Like Doing It 

Yes, there will be moments (ok, a lot of moments) where I won't feel like taking action. I will try to put it off until tomorrow or justify why I shouldn't complete the task. To this challenge, I have to remind myself of what I want to see happen at the end of this sprint. In short, what is my WHY?

Life Will Try To Get In The Way

No matter how much we plan, life sends the unexpected event or series of events into our journey. When this happens, I have to remind myself of the quote, "Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him" by James Allen. What kind of man do I want to be? Pushing through life's unexpected events will reveal it all. 

How Can You Help?

In the past, friends would often ask the question, "How's your workout coming?" To which I would reply, "Oh, it's going great!" Moving forward, feel free to ask the following questions instead:
  • What page of the dissertation are you on? 
    • Today's Answer: Page 54
    • Goal: 139 
  • What do you weigh today? 
    • Today's Answer: 219 lbs
    • Goal: 190 lbs  
  • How many more until you reach the rank of Director? 
    • Today's Answer: 127
    • Goal: 0
By putting measures on each goal, you can easily tell whether or not I'm making progress from week to week. We call this being accountable.

Closing Thoughts

A quick thank you to everyone who has and continues to support me. This journey is one that I may be doing for myself, but I know that I'm not doing it by myself. Here is to a life changing 85 days.

Let's Go! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kris Gethin's 12-Week Transformation: Week 6

It has been about two weeks since my last update and I'm pretty excited about the changes so far. In this post, I'll update my body measurements, share the latest pictures, and talk about any other observations that I may have since week 4. Let's get started.

Body Measurements

This week, I am comparing body measurements from November 26 and December 10. In review of the table below, I notice the greatest differences are measured on my waist, hips, and upper stomach. Even before I knew the numbers, my pants told the story. Shoot, my whole wardrobe needs to be replaced. At this point, I can no longer wear any of my suits. They are just too big. Soon, I'm going to need new khaki pants, jeans, and most of my button up shirts. It's a GREAT problem to have.

Secondary improvements are found on my neck, upper arm, chest, stomach, and weight. Interestingly, the scale has gone as high as 229 lbs during week 5 back to 224 lbs this week. I blame the dramatic fluctuations on adding salt into my diet while also cutting back on water. I read somewhere that drinking too much water was not good for our kidneys. I'm not sure what was going through my head, but it cost me a few pounds on the scale. Nevertheless, I have removed the sodium and went back to drinking a gallon of water per day.

Over the next 7 days, I would like to get my weight under 220 lbs. Hopefully, with the increase in cardio (25 minutes per session), higher intensity workouts, change in supplements, and increased water consumption, I can make this happen. We'll just have to wait and see.

Body PartNov. 26Dec. 10Difference
Weight225 lbs224 lbs-1 lbs
Waist39.25 inches38.5 inches-0.75 inches
Neck15.25 inches15.25 inches-0.25 inches
Hips42.5 inches41.75 inches-0.75 inches
Thigh25 inches25 inchesNo Change
Calf17.5 inches17.5 inchesNo Change
Bicep16 inches16.25 inches+0.25 inches
Body Fat %12.7%12.7%No Change
Chest41.25 inches41 inches-0.25 inches
Stomach41 inches40.75 inches-0.25 inches
Upper Stomach36 inches35.25 inches-0.75 inches
Shoulders50 inches49.5 inches-0.5 inches
Lean Body Mass196 lbs195 lbs-1 lbs
Body Fat Mass28.5 lbs28.45 lbs-0.05 lbs

Visual Inspection

Ok, so it's been about 3 weeks since my last photo shoot. For a visual comparison between my earlier progress and today, I'll add pictures from week 6. You may also notice that I've added some pictures where I am not posing. This will give you a greater appreciation for my current status. Needless to say, there is progress, but I still have work to do.

In looking at the photos, the word for this week is "slender." I notice that my body appears to have lengthened. No, I'm not getting any taller, but as my stomach slowly shrinks, my abdomen looks longer. I like that.

While I am appreciative of the changes, I have to call attention to my stomach area. Unfortunately, it's not going away fast enough. Sure, it is shrinking, as noted in the body measurements, but it's just shrinking at a snail's pace.

Understandably, the stomach, for men, is usually the last thing to go. Knowing this, I just have to be patient and consistent. If I keep doing what I'm doing, it will get addressed, eventually.  

July 2010
Week 3
Week 6
July 2010
Week 3
Week 6
July 2010
Week 3
Week 6
July 2010
Week 3
Week 6
July 2010
Week 3
Week 6
Week 3
Week 6
Week 3
Week 6

Final Thoughts

Having discussed my results above, let's talk about some of other changes that I have made since week 3.

First, Kris added BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids) to the supplementation list. According to the literature, this will help protect our lean muscle mass. As I continue to cut fat, the body is looking for other sources of energy, which includes our muscles. Using BCAA's, we can protect our muscles from being broken down while encouraging the body to continue using our fat storage. That's pretty important if you ask me.

Second, I have upgraded my thermogenics to include GNC's Meta-Ignite instead of the triple green tea. While the green tea worked, I wanted to get maximum results and felt this product would do that. I tried it this morning, without any coffee, and I could feel the energy within the hour. Truth be told, I'm still feeling the effects 6 hours later. Wow!

As far as following the workout plan, I've stuck to it as outlined. This week, Kris seriously upped the intensity of our weight training and I feel it. From supersets to giant sets, my heart is racing the entire time. Unfortunately, I have still missed a few cardio sessions in the evening. Typically, I'm running behind schedule and I'll need to get out of the gym. To improve, I just need to focus on my schedule and stick to what's written.

As week 6 comes to a close, I have two more weight training days ahead. I realize that I have accomplished so much in just 6 weeks, but I also know that I'm only half way through the transformation. This fact leaves me excited and anticipating the continued improvements. It's been way too long since I've seen a flat stomach and I know that it's coming soon.

"Thank you!" to all of my friends who are supporting me. It really means a lot. People are noticing the changes and it just feels good. If I can do this for my body, what else can I do? What else can YOU do?

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kris Gethin's 12-Week Body Transformation: Week 4

Happy Tuesday! I'm officially in week 5 now, but I wanted to take this opportunity to report on my Monday morning weigh-in.

In this post, I'll share my official body measurements, give you an update on my meals, and offer a perspective on how I'm feeling during the transformation process. Ready? Let's go!

Body Measurements

Week four resulted in some pretty positive changes. The most obvious change was a loss of 3 pounds. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about the progress, but I thought I'd be a bit further. I write that because a little over a week ago, I made it down to 223 pounds, which is something I haven't seen since. That's what I get for eating the small bag of chips, huh? 

Along with the weight loss, I have also noticed a reduction in the waist, neck, hips, and body fat percentage. Clearly, my stomach, which is the worst offender, will be the last thing to go.

Body PartWeek 3TodayDifference
Weight228 lbs225 lbs-3 lbs
Waist39.5 inches39.25 inches-0.25 inches
Neck15.5 inches15.25 inches-0.25 inches
Hips43 inches42.5 inches-0.5 inches
Thigh25 inches25 inchesNo Change
Calf17.5 inches17.5 inchesNo Change
Bicep16 inches16 inchesNo Change
Body Fat %14.8%12.7%-2.1%
Chest41.5 inches41.25 inches-0.25 inches
Stomach41 inches41 inchesNo Change
Upper Stomach36 inches36 inchesNo Change
Shoulders50 inches50 inchesNo Change
Lean Body Mass194 lbs196 lbs+2 lbs
Body Fat Mass33.7 lbs28.5 lbs-5.2 lbs


During week three, I made a mistake and ate a few small bags of potato chips. I felt really bad about it, so I have been pretty strict about not missing a meal and that seems to help with the cravings.

I'm eating about 5-6 meals a day, getting my multivitamins and supplements in, drinking nearly a gallon of water, and consuming both the pre and post-workout shakes.

A couple of small changes this week. The first one is this, I'm eating my eggs, oats, coffee, and consuming fat burners before the morning cardio session. The difference being that I used to eat breakfast after the cardio. However, I noticed that Kris would eat first, so I made the change to match his leadership.

Second, I'm keeping a very close eye on how often that I'm eating. At this point, I'm eating every 2-3 hours. Sometimes, I'm just not all that hungry. So, I graze.

Meals consist of broccoli, chicken, steak, brown rice, water, multivitamins, supplements, and protein shakes.

Other Observations

While I am excited about the weight loss and change in numbers, I have to admit that I just feel tired and exhausted a lot of the time. There are those moments where I'm beaming with energy, but at other times, especially around the afternoon, I'm just dragging. I kid you not, I felt like taking a nap, which is something rarely do. 

As far as sleep goes, I'm getting somewhere between 5 to 6.5 hours of sleep a night, which feels like plenty in the morning. 

With regards to my energy in the gym, I have enough to blast it, but I just thought I'd share that with you. It could mean nothing or something, I just don't know.

So, that's about it for now. I'll keep you posted on my progress, but I'm excited to hear about what you're doing. I've received a number of messages from people who have jumped on board. What's the experience like for you so far? Let's talk in the comment section below.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kris Gethin's 12-Week Body Transformation: Supplements

At the start of the transformation, I provided the meal and supplement plan as outlined by Kris Gethin. However, as the weeks went by, Kris began sharing additional nuggets of information related to supplements and when to take them. This post attempts to share what I know.

Pre-Cardio Supplements

  • Green Tea
  • Yohimbe
  • L-Carnitine
  • Black Coffee
Purpose: The purpose of this supplement stack is to help maximize your fat burning activities. By doing cardio immediately after waking up in the morning, the activity will produce greater results since your body has been fasting all night long. To support your cardio session, the body will tap into fat reserves, which is exactly what we want.

Timing: The recommended time to take this stack on an empty stomach at least an hour before cardio.

Observation: Thanks to the amount of caffeine I'm consuming in this stack, I definitely feel the surge of energy in the morning. Outside of that, I cannot tell you how effective or ineffective the other products are, but I have been losing weight and dropping inches. Is that caused by my increased activity level, supplements, or all the above? For now, I am going to continue taking them because I am seeing results and that right now is all that matters. 

Pre-Workout Supplements

  • Green Tea
  • Glutamine
  • Creatine
  • Carbohydrate
Purpose: The purpose of this stack is to prepare your body for a rigorous session in the gym.

Timing: This stack should be taken at least an hour before your workout. Also, consider eating a meal before the session as you will need the energy to make it through weight training.

Observation: The caffeine definitely helps in the afternoon/evening as it helps kickstart the workout. The creatine, carbs, and glutamine are helpful in getting through the session. After the first week, I haven't really experienced the soreness or down time I'd normally have during such a grueling working. I give credit here. 

Post-Workout Supplements

  • Whey Isolate Protein
  • Glutamine
  • Creatine
  • Carbohydrate
Purpose: The purpose of this stack is to feed your exhausted muscles with essential nutrients. Much of what we're taking has been used up during the workout.

Timing: This stack should be consumed within 10 minutes of your weight training, but before the second cardio session.

Observation: I believe this stack has helped refuel my body. I can't say that I feel any different afterwards, but muscle soreness hasn't been a problem. Is that just the way it is or is it affected by these supplements? I'm not sure, but I am getting stronger and recovery seems to be shorter.

Closing Thoughts

Prior to this latest transformation, I was adamantly against taking so many supplements. One, I didn't understand them and two, I didn't want to hurt myself taking the wrong stuff. 

In following Kris' advice and leadership, I haven't experienced any negative side effects. I have plenty of energy, I'm losing weight, and getting stronger in the process. 

The only other concern that affected my decision in the past was how expensive this stuff can be. During my first visit to GNC, I've spent over $120 acquiring the essentials. When you add six meals a day, plus supplements, and other related costs, it's not the cheapest endeavor. However, I asked myself, "Is it worth it?" Do I want to continue carrying around excess weight? Do I want to continue paying for blood pressure medication? Do I want to maintain this on-going risk of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes? The answer to all three questions is, "NO!" 

Pay it now or pay it later, but one way we're going to pay. I just choose to sacrifice my money for improved health, vitality, and an overall success story today, not tomorrow. 


I would love to hear your story, answer any questions about my experience, or discuss the subject of supplements. Feel free to leave me a comment in the section below.

Until next time...

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