Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kris Gethin's 12-Week Transformation: Week 6

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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

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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

Meals


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

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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. 

Feedback


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...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kris Gethin's 12-Week Body Transformation: Week 3

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It has been a few weeks since my last post, so I figured it was time to update you on the progress I've made in between weeks two and three. In this post, I plan to share my complete measurements and offer a few pictures to boot. So, without further ado, let's get started.

Body Measurements


One of the things that I regret not doing was taking my measurements and pictures prior to starting the transformation. It wasn't until week three that I finally got on my game. With that written, let me preface this section by saying that the last time I measured my progress was back in December of 2012. So, for this exercise, I'll take those numbers as some form of comparison, but just keep that in mind as you review the stats.

Body Part December Today Difference
Weight 248.4 lbs 228 lbs -20 lbs
Waist 42.5 inches 39.5 inches -3 inches
Neck 16.25 inches 15.5 inches -0.75 inches
Hips 45.25 inches 43 inches -2 inches
Thigh 26 inches 25 inches 1 inch
Calf 16 inches 17.5 inches +1.5 inches
Bicep 16.75 inches 16 inches -0.75 inches
Body Fat % 20.2% 14.8% -5.4%
Chest TBA 41.5 inches TBA
Stomach TBA 41 inches TBA
Upper Stomach TBA 36 inches TBA
Shoulders TBA 50 inches TBA
Lean Body Mass 204 lbs 194 lbs -10 lbs
Body Fat Mass 51.5 lbs 33.7 lbs -17.8 lbs

Note: I was unable to secure December measurements for my chest, stomach, upper stomach, and shoulders. However, based on the trends, imagine that they were probably a larger number. 

As you can see from the table, the transformation is working. To be fair, I began the 12 weeks weighing about 238 pounds. Additionally, my weight hit its lowest point of 223 pounds during week 3. Unfortunately, when it came time to weigh in, I was about 5 pounds heavier. This variance could be due to the time of day that I weighed myself (evening) and the amount of water I consumed (nearly a gallon). Moving forward, I plan to take measurements before my morning cardio session, which tends to be my lightest weight of the day. 

Visual Inspection


During week three, I decided to finally post some actual pictures of my progress. Like my measurements posted above, I didn't begin this transformation with a set of before pictures. So, I found a few images from my July 16, 2010 photo session and decided that I'd start there.

At first glance, you can see that I've lost mass in the shoulder, neck, back, and chest areas. It's most likely a loss of both muscle and fat. At the very least, I can summarize it to say that I'm slimming up and becoming a more lean, mean, fat burning machine.

Looking at my back, I can see more definition and the location where cuts will eventually shine through. My waist is getting smaller and I'm just carrying less fat around. Those are really good indicators. Not to forget that I've also had to buy smaller pants as everything I own is just too big.

I would be remiss if I didn't share with you another initial reaction that I had after looking at these pictures. The most memorable gasp came upon the front shot. I immediately said, "OMGoodness, I look sick!" My face looks so much skinnier and my upper body too small. Eeck!

On the bright side, I suspected that this was going to happen. With over a decade of carrying extra baggage, I knew that I'd lose both muscle and fat. It's the price that I was willing to pay for a healthy body. In saying that, just know that when I reach my goal, I'm putting a whole bunch of muscle on these bones. Lose the fat, keep as much lean muscle as I can, and then apply mass. That's the plan!

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

Final Thoughts


In reviewing the past few weeks of this transformation, I have been receiving tons of supporting comments and questions about what I am doing to lose the weight. I am so appreciative of the attention, but know that I am just getting started. There is still so much more work to do and heavy loads to lift. What I am doing, anyone can do. They just have to want it bad enough to get outside of their comfort zone and make the difference.

With that written, let me report that I have done a fairly good job of eating and working out according to the plan. Unfortunately, I have to also tell you that I've missed about four cardio sessions and gone off the meal plan to include parmesan cheese over my fish, feta cheese by itself, and two bags of chips. I'm not proud of it, but it's the truth. I also bought some whole grain noodles and added it to my diet, Kris said it was ok, but I immediately saw my weight shoot back up from 223 to 228 lbs. I stopped not long after.

Over the next week, my goal is to focus on making every cardio session as outlined in the transformation. Immediately out of bed, I'm hitting the stairs for 20 minutes of cardio.

In addition, I am going to write more often about my transformation and the lessons that I'm learning. I find that waiting an entire week is just too long.

Well, I think that's about it for now. Again, thank you for the support and return visits. If you have questions, comments, or just want to talk about the process, let's do it in the comment section below.

Until next time...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Team Diamond T-Shirts Are Now Available

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Good news! The new Team Diamond shirts have arrived and I couldn't be more excited. I know, I know, you're thinking, "...but they're only t-shirts." Well, that may be true, but it means so much more to me. Here, let me explain.

What Is Team Diamond?


Let's start from the beginning, shall we? In WorldVentures, the company I promote, representatives tend to build their businesses in packs or teams. I love the concept because I was always of the opinion that we can do so much more together than we ever could apart. 

In 2012, when I joined the club, there were two main teams: Team Vision, led by Carlos Rogers, and Team S.W.A.G.G., which is led by Dwayne Lodge and Lee Morgan. Both teams are actually related, with Team S.W.A.G.G. falling under the leadership of Team Vision. To a large extent, at least in the beginning, Team S.W.A.G.G. consisted of members within North Carolina while Team Vision was more on the national scale. Both have grown over the year and expanded beyond those borders. 

My team, Team Diamond, started around June or July of 2012. My friends and I wanted something that we could call our own. Following in the footsteps of our leadership, we wanted to brand our team and build momentum where we were. Most of us lived in or around the Raleigh/Durham area. 

Because the other teams were so much larger than us, by having our own team we could give recognition and support in a more intimate setting. As a result, we started having our own team conference calls (each Sunday night at 8:30 pm), email list, Facebook group, and team outings that we labeled LEAP Events. LEAP stands for Learn, Earn, and Play.

What Is The Meaning Behind Team Diamond?


Many of the "founding" members of Team Diamond were also members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Using the diamond made sense because of the fraternity's relationship with the jewel. The diamond represents excellence, achievement, and distinction. We all want to enjoy the finer things in life and the diamond is a reminder of that.

The two smaller diamonds resting in the "D" represent Fun and Money. Because WorldVentures is known as the Fun & Money Club, we wanted to show that our team is apart of the one big team.

In the middle of the words "Team Diamond," there is a small diamond with the letter "V." This is the logo for Team Vision. Similar to the Fun & Money Club, we wanted to pay homage to the team that covers us all.

On the back of the shirt, it reads, "Achievement At Its Highest Level." Again, this is a reminder that team members are about achievement in everything we do. We don't want to just do enough to get by, we want to excel and enjoy life to its fullest. It's about those peak experiences.

When And How To Wear The Shirt   


This t-shirt is available to anyone that joins Team Diamond. People who buy it should do so because they believe in what we believe. They should take action everyday to achieve at the highest level and in everything that they do. Whether it be at work, at home, or at play, we strive to be the best.

This is a shirt that may prompt questions like, "What is this Team Diamond?" In turn, members can use that opportunity to talk about the club, the team, and lifestyle we lead. 

This shirt should also be worn at national and local events. It shows solidarity among members and is a representation of our growing team.

Where Do We Go From Here?


Based upon the success of our branding efforts here, I can see us adding additional items like hats, sweatshirts, and even backpacks. Yes, exciting times!

So, put on your shirt and throw your diamond in the air. Let's go! For more information on how to join Team Diamond follow the Fun & Money Club links below. To get your t-shirts, hit me up at damondnollan@gmail.com.