The 90 day challenge – zero hour

Dear readers,

Today I will embark on a new journey; some might call it a workout routine coupled with a proper diet but I may as well call it a quest  to get into the best shape of my life. “Sit mens sana in corpore sano” (woah I just went Latin on you!) is Latin for something.  Most commonly this can be translated to “a sound mind in a sound body”, though I like to interpret it as “only a healthy body can produce or sustain a healthy mind” and there is nothing wrong with that.

lazy cat is lazy

lazy cat is lazy

I have always tried to be or stay in shape, with various degrees of success. I suppose if someone were to plot a graph of me being in shape over time it would look like the Dow Jones ticker with a rapid drop around when global economy hit a recession.

I don’t think that I need to elaborate that we live in times in which we have people thinking that it is chic to be thin and others who just do not think before they eat and start getting some serious hip meat, you know the kind that if you were to poke it, it would jiggle for a good while. Though my tone is derogatory in the last sentence, I do know that eating disorders have many different psychological and physical underlying reasons. Some eat to comfort them, others have no impulse control (cough me cough), others have a glandular problem, etc. There are too many different valid reasons out there for people who are out of shape. There is nothing wrong with that, unless of course you don’t mind being ostracized by society and having a lower life expectancy.

fat cat is not impressed

fat cat is not impressed

Thin or thick, we all know that sometimes we fit into these opposing extremes, but we want all to be in the healthy middle (the only time we actually want to be nothing more or nothing less than mediocre) or so society wants to make us believe at least. Turn on the ‘passive tube’, by that I mean the TV and you will be overwhelmed by so many different gizmos and programs of how to lose weight fast. Buy this to achieve that. The same goes for magazines, fancy before and after pictures to show how easy it is to achieve ‘your’ goal by purchasing item x that will guarantee results for you. We have all seen them, maybe even tried them. With various degrees of success, most of the time utterly failing.

king of fail

king of fail

My problem with most of these gizmos is that they do not particularly address you 100%, most of the time they only seem to address 50% of you. Why thank you, please treat me as a full human being, not just half. But I digress, what I mean with 50% is that they only want you to use the item and completely neglect nutrition or they just focus on the nutrition part and do not even mention the crucial other half, namely being physically active. But as a matter of fact that is what needs to be addressed, getting in shape relies on eating consciously and proper physical activity.

See the difference between us ‘normies’ and celebrities who are in tip top shape is that they have something in abundance that we don’t have. Money, and with money they have an excess of idle time on their hand. I stress the importance of idle time because, let’s face it, if you have idle time on your hand, how ever you fill it is totally up to you. You could sit on the couch and eat potato chips, you could spend it with your friends, or you could spend it with your family, cook dinner for them etc.

Celebrities on the other hand have the luxury of other people taking care of most of these things, most of these celebrities do not have a 9 to 5 job, do not have to commute daily, do not have to do daily chores and then need to fit in some time to be physically active after an 8 hour job. Celebrities have this abundance of time which they gladly fill most of the time with personal trainers who may even see them twice a day for several weeks. Can we normies afford to let everything rest, abandon our responsibilities to get in shape. Bills need to be paid, chores need to be done, children need to be driven to school. Most of the time we are so exhausted that to comfort ourselves we require comfort food and surf the ‘passive tube’.

This makes me sad, because we pretty much are pigeon held into this, then we desperately try to be in a good shape after we are being guilted into them with fancy gizmos who don’t fully address this issue. There is fail already pre-programmed in most of these applications. Failure is inevitable, and the money is in the comeback.

funny money

seriously serious money

Anyways, long rant, I believe that if you want to achieve positive change it really is possible but to attain it and to sustain it one has to realize that it is not just a physical adjustment, it is also important to mentally be fit and see it, being healthy is a state of mind in my eyes. If you agree with this we are one step closer to being able to achieve this. Now, you could run to the gym for 3 or 5 times per week and do random workouts and you could try and do your own diet in combination and you would probably see initial success but soon enough you would plateau, then you would get discouraged, you would try and push yourself even harder, cut down on food, and oh my god, still no result, what then happens you get discouraged and you will also lose energy to sustain the workout and even be totally tired during the day.

The reason for this is two fold: first, you will lose some weight, mostly because you cut down on sugars and salts, which means you will lose some water weight and the initial workouts will even speed this process up. But then you hit this plateau and won’t lose more, this might set in after 3 weeks. Then reason two will set in, you will try and cut out more carbs and starve yourself  in order to lose some more weight, only to realize that this is a futile attempt and you will drain all your energy that you may have left. Shortly after you will be so frustrated and give up.

Now lets analyze what happened, initial shock (positive) will help you get closer to the goal but you will plateau. Reducing energy input (food) will drain all your stored energy in your body. People have to realize that without enough energy you can not perform, if you can not perform you will not get in shape. Also, bear in mind, muscles are more dense than fat and water, so muscles weight more than fat/water. The important thing to understand is that eating is important when working out, not just what you eat but how much you eat, ie in order to lose it you need to eat MORE.

way too much food

way too much food

Seeing that I am a student, I don’t have the luxury to go to das Gym daily or to enlist the service of a nutritionist to put me on a proper diet, which for me is a tricky word by the way, diet for me means to eat properly, consciously, not just starve myself and eat only carrots etc. So given that we established that I am poor and lack massive amounts of spare time, I had to find a way to get in shape. I used to play hockey competitively, and I was no stranger to the gym, pumping iron, spinning and running at other times.

Things have changed, no time to work out, I let myself go and wondered if I ever could get back to the shape I had before. I started to workout in 2008 again but the gym in this apartment building really is run down. Two of the stationary bikes look like they were from the Rocky era, case in point, the elliptical machine has been broken for more than a year and a half now, I don’t see if being fixed anytime soon.

Then one day I came across an infomercial by chance. But it was different because it appealed to me. Yeah I know, here we go, someone is trying to sell product x to get miracle results. But this was different, as it actually addressed my issues 100%, not just food, or the physical aspect but both. It also did not look like this was a gimmick; an easy workout. You know, like the products that usually only target the stomach and in the before picture you see this flabby body and in the after picture you see not only a person with a 6 pack but with some nice guns and legs to kill for. Apparently that’s what you can get from doing crunches alone?

Miracles do happen...on TV

Miracles do happen...on TV

No, what sat this product apart from all the other (phony) ones was that  I actually saw people on the screen doing really hard workouts, and they sweat, a lot. Intrigued by this I used another medium to learn more about this. I used the Internet (yeah I know, there is more on the web than naked women and stuffs) to research this further, I found various boards on which this product was discussed and there really were a lot of people with success stories. Spending a few hours on the net, I was convinced, not totally though, the eternal skeptic that I am, I could not believe that it could be so easy to achieve remarkable results that easy, and at home!

So i got my hands on a copy and started doing it. Let me tell you, I don’t think I have ached so much in my entire life before. It was ludicrous, but it also made me realize this, it worked. Oh I suppose it would be nice if I told what that product was:

P90X

P90X

So long and behold I followed the workouts and I saw results, but I did not follow it as much as I would have liked to. The program is somewhat of a challenge, how fit can you get in 90 days. I got to day 80 or so before I burnt out, and that was because I did not follow the included food guide. I tried to wing that part but in hindsight I realized that I just did not eat enough towards the end.

So yeah, with this daily blog I will try to plot my success and I hope it encourages and motivates me to follow it as closely as possible. I hope that this diary will force me to be stricter on myself and get a grip on my weak impulse control. I will start on Monday August 3rd and will be done on October 31st.

I have already taken my pictures of day 00 if you will, the dreaded before pictures, though I am not sure if I will host them just yet. Maybe at day 90 for a comparison but we will see. The exhibitionist streak is weak in me. All in all I hope to keep myself motivated, and hopefully to motivate others, or at least try and convince others that this a good product worth enough to give it a shot. Also, I finally want to have my six pack back again and for that I need to cut down on some body fat and build some muscles. It is not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy gimmicks, all you need is some space in your home and the will to change yourself, and keep your mind open.

Feel free to leave some comments, questions and suggestions.

WJ

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6 Responses to The 90 day challenge – zero hour

  1. p90x is seriously good stuff.. I’m going to do my own thing for the next few weeks but maybe I’ll start in September..

  2. Hussein says:

    Are you going do all the workout routine at home? If so, what equipment do you have? I tried to follow P90X but I don’t have most of the equipment(ex. pull up bar, various size dumbells).

  3. germanboy3383 says:

    @Justin: I am looking forward to seeing your results of your 100 pushups challenge.

    @Hussein:
    Yes I will be doing all my workouts at home.
    I bought the pull up bar at wallmart, you really need to buy that, there are many different variants off it.
    here are some links:

    http://www.treadmillfactory.ca/index.php?goto=browse&id_subcat=62

    http://www.amazon.com/Everlast-Multi-Function-Chinning-Bar/dp/B00091RXN2

    http://shop.ebay.ca/items/_W0QQ_nkwZpullQ20upQ20barQQ_armrsZ1QQ_dmdZ2QQ_fromZQQ_ipgZ

    for the weights, you can either use resistance bands or buy dumbbells. Bah, I suppose pictures are easier to follow than describing this, I will make another blog post and put up some pics of what my tools are and what supplements I use.

  4. Muc says:

    also don’t forget to include your diet plan! that’s what interests me most. gogo diary! let’s see how good this really is. I don’t think it beats the free weights in gym. But go proof me wrong.

  5. Hope says:

    Great group support you guys have going here! LOVE IT!!

    @HippieCoach

  6. germanboy3383 says:

    @Hope:
    Thank you for your kind words. Comments like this help me to keep up this blog, I just hope to motivate myself and maybe others by doing this!

    Hope to have you for next 80 days and more 🙂

    wj

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