Sunday, November 16, 2008

Alcohol consumption update

Forty five days had passed when I reassessed my drinking habits and it's been one hell of a ride. I know, talking about it in my blog is easy but actually doing it in reality is another story. It really ain't easy, in fact, the night after I wrote that blog about minimizing drinking alcoholic beverage, I had 3 bottles before sleeping. Talk about not living what you are preaching. In 45 days, I had a drink in half of those days, meaning a drink every other day. That's a lot of drinking considering I am working out, having my master's degree, and a 6-day-a-week work. No wonder I missed days just being in my room lying down and watching television. Having a log of my drinking days, number of bottles and reasons I was drank is very helpful and I found out a lot of things.

First, although I was drinking half of the time, the amount of beer I was consuming was significantly going less than I was usually consuming before this resolution. Maybe it was a conscious effort on my part to lessen it and the fact that my LOG is in my subconscious the whole time I was drinking really help. I am already satisfied nowadays with 3 to 4 bottles 500ml of Red Horse Beer when I would be equally satiated with 5 to 6 a month ago, that's a drop of almost 50 percent if you do the math. Second, as I studied the reasons why I had been drinking, I found out these are the common causes: a spat with my beau, a lonely night and nothing to do in my room especially on days i leave work early, day-offs, and just plain stupidity. Reasons which can easily be solved. A little argument, is just that, a little argument, everyone experiences that and it fades as both persons mature. As for the boredom during day-offs and nothing to do, I called up the cable guy for a subscription, ESPN, Solar Sports and Basketball TV will surely glue me in front my TV, didn't I mention I'm a sports guy? And if the cable is not enough, I enrolled in a local gym for my workouts, wow this is really getting serious. And as for the stupidity part, I don't know what to do with that, you gotta slip once in a while, you know.

So I think another month should pass by before I post another before and after picture, a copy of my month-long diet and workout log, and as promised my alcohol consumption log. In the meantime, lets watch the LAKERS roll!!! God Bless

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beer, can I ever say goodbye to you?

So Here I am at my office, very excited to start weight lifting again tomorrow. I will be working rather late tonight, get a very good sleep, I am hoping I can sleep up to eight hours, and then kick off the day with a prayer of thanksgiving. I am just upbeat now that I want to go home and start working out. I feel like a child in a playground. Well, actually, this blog is not about my exercises, I am just so hooked to it that I can get back to working out in a snap like I haven't been away. This is about my love, my addiction, my craving, my thirst for a liquid called BEER...

My day began with nothing unusual happening. A couple of texts, favorite hot coffee, and an Eagles concert playing in my entertainment center. Nothing out of the extraordinary, dull life huh? Then around noon, a very close confidant talked to me about my beer binges. Appalling as this my sound, but it has taken over my life. Since April, I've really been drinking a lot. I don't want to accept the fact but deep inside I know she's right, whichever way you look at it. Basically, I don't benefit from it aside from a temporary respite from earthly problems. Beer costs money, slows down your metabolism, stops your body from burning fat, makes you dance like a fool, makes you urinate whenever you feel like it, and makes the whole world your bedroom. Is it really worth it? Don't you think it's kinda over-hyped? Yes beer in small doses actually is beneficial to the body. But I'm not the type who drinks in small doses. My confidant made me think and she really hit home when she mentioned my struggle with smoking. I am almost two years clean of cigarette and I intend to make that a lifetime. Hell, if I can quit smoking, I can surely try stop drinking. But I don't want to stop, I want to minimize drinking; to drink only in special occasions and drink sensibly. So here I am, making a vow to stop acting like a dog, and live off the alcohol.

I know this will not be easy. It is never simple to cease a connection with something or with someone. I know, I've been through a failed marriage remember? Though to compare your marriage with alcohol is quite a far analogy, the logic is there, it's about termination and conclusion of a relationship. So here I am, thinking and asking myself, can I do it? Can I? I answered: Why not?! I was able to stand up after my marriage, I was able to throw the damn cigarettes, and I was able to shed 60 lbs of fat from my body, I CAN stop alcohol from ruining my life! I will...

To jump start my journey to clean living, I made a table in excel showing my daily alcohol consumption. Everyday, I will mark the day, either CLEAR or INTOXICATED; I will also record what kind of alcoholic beverage it is, the amount, and the Reason why was I able not to drink or why was I intoxicated. The latter will play a big role in my monitoring since it will give me idea on which places and people to avoid or which activities usually leads to drinking. The first couple of weeks will be very hard and surely I might go into a lot of eating sessions to forget about it, but I think its worth it. I will be updating you guys on my progress on my war with the bottle. Help me GOD!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Getting back on the Horse!

It's been 6 months since my last post so pardon me if I come off a bit rusty and out of tune. I just fell off the horse, metaphorically, of course. I haven't had the time to do my workouts lately and unfortunately I've been drinking almost everyday and eating very unhealthy. I just endured the toughest 2 months of my life and most probably the most daunting ordeal a man can experience. Dealing with a failed marriage is just disheartening and takes a lot out of a determined bodybuilder, and I am not even one, so that makes it even harder. Well don't expect me to go into details regarding my marriage circus, this is actually a health blog not a counseling blog hehehe. I am slowly gaining my confidence and passion for exercising and living healthy. In fact, I will be back to lifting damn irons starting next week! Getting back to riding the horse again...

I still have the nagging pain on my right shoulder after every basketball game or if I exert too much effort on it. I know I should have visited the doctor a long time ago but hey the good side of having a failed marriage is you can always use it as an excuse of not doing the right thing. I'm planning to visit my doctor next month so he can take a look at my shoulder while I will be doing leg exercises for the most part of me getting back to the groove. I find it very easy to lose the extra baggage when you make your legs stronger through lunges, squats and running. It seems like when you build the muscle in your lower body, the fat in your upper extremities melt easily and your metabolism will shoot off the roof.

Next issue for me is making myself love eating healthy food again. I still love eating green stuff, don't get me wrong, but not as much as I used to and unfortunately, I am back to eating bad fatty and oily food, frequently. Couple that with lots of beer and soda, I am lucky I did not gain a lot. A couple of days eating healthy food will jump start my new life, and it starts today with green tomatoes and green leafy lettuce. I am surprised it tasted really good!

If you cared to read my blog right from the beginning, I cannot over emphasize the importance of mind over matter. It all starts from your head, if you just will your mind to think positively, it will do its job to instruct the rest of your body. After my bad marriage, I cannot even imagine myself touching a set of weights, but here I am getting back on it.

As for my marriage? Here's my great shoutout on my friendster: "There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won't anymore, and who always will. So don't worry about people from your past. There's a reason why they didn't make it to your future..."

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cleaning my Act!

Hey! I'm back and so is my tummy! LOL! (for those not so internet savvy, LOL means Laughing Out Loud, oh why not just type hehehe? would have conveyed same message, right? whatever!) I am done with my bulking phase and I must say I gained a bit of muscle and a lot of fat around the waist. I've been eating a lot and sad to say been drinking a lot too! But for whatever reason the scales says I only gain around 5 lbs, so that puts me around 155ish. I would love to continue gaining some muscle but the gut on my waist is just too disgusting to look at and I really want to see my abs so I decided to alter my plans.

I will be doing cardio seriously and cut my calorie intake for two weeks in hopes of getting rid of the fat. I will be taking BCAAs to hold on the minuscule muscle I gained so far. From then I will be bulking again but this time do it with clean diet and no alcohol consumption. My sister sent the supplements I ordered and so far they're quite good and looks promising. I have some whey protein,egg and milk protein, casein, nitric oxide, creatine and bcaas. The money spent will serve as a motivation to really put my time on my workouts hahaha (why not LOL?, told you its the same). I have already started doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) everyday. It is a program where you do an exercise at full strength, say sprinting for 30 seconds which will get your heart rate racing then jog in place for another 30 seconds enough to catch your breath, then go at full speed again. You can vary the intensity and intervals according to your needs and capacity, be creative. For the last 5 days, I've been sprinting up and down a 40-step stairs, five times, then immediately proceed to doing jumping ropes for a minute then jog in place and do it again 5 times. It is not for the weak and lame! The real battle, I guess would be on the diet end of the story.
For the last couple of months I've been eating a lot of meat and white rice, consuming a lot of protein drinks as I bulk up (see picture, Left picture was taken last Jan and the one on the Right just this Friday. Did I gain some after 8 weeks? LOL, there's the lol again!) I am pretty confident I will not have problems cutting on my rice intake, there's always tomatoes and green leafy veggies as substitute, the real problem, as always, would be the ice cold Red Horse. I heard some health buffs, they turn into some hermit while cutting. Cutting not just calories but ties and relationships as well. The calorie deficit makes one very irritable, and out of sync. So sad! It couldn't be that bad. Well, I just have to live with that, the headaches and such but we all need friends and relationships to help us through. To hell with hermits! I'll have my tuna belly and tomatoes now. God bless!

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Truth About FAT

Fats are by far the most efficient energy storage form. They have various functions in the body including providing energy for cells, controlling what goes in and out of cells, determining the integrity of nervous tissue and helping to form hormones.

Fat is an important and necessary part of a healthy diet (even a weight loss diet). One of the most important functions of fat is its role in aiding the absorption of fat-soluble Vitamins A, E, D, and K. Without fat, your body can't use these vitamins to unlock their health benefits. Though protein foods will make you feel full for the longest, fat follows closely behind. A meal with a bit of fat and protein can help you feel full and take your mind off food, ultimately giving you greater control over the amount of calories you eat.

There are many different types of fats and they can be conveniently divided into four main categories: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fatty acids.

Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Nuts including peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios, avocado, canola and olive oil are high in MUFAs. MUFAs have also been found to help in weight loss, particularly body fat.

Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Seafood like salmon and fish oil, as well as corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oils are high in polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 fatty acids belong to this group.

Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Some plant foods are also high in saturated fats such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.

Trans fats are the result of industrial hydrogenation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Basically manufacturers partially hydrogenate to get fats that are easier to cook with and spoil less than naturally occurring oils. As a result of hydrogenation, trans fatty acids are formed. Trans fatty acids are found in many commercially packaged foods, commercially fried food such as French Fries from some fast food chains, other packaged snacks such as microwaved popcorn as well as in vegetable shortening and hard stick margarine.

Remember these:

  • avoid using cooking oils that are high in saturated fats and/or trans fats such as coconut oil, palm oil or vegetable shortening. Instead, use oils that are low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as canola oil, olive oil and flax seed oil.
  • minimize using commercially packaged foods which are high in trans fats. Always read labels to look for trans-fat free alternatives.
  • as saturated fats are found in animals products, use lower-fat version dairy such as 1% or skim milk instead of whole milk. Trim visible fats and skins from meat products.

10 Tips To Reduce Fat In Your Diet

  1. Steam, boil, broil, or microwave vegetables, or stir-fry them in a small amount of vegetable oil.
  2. Season vegetables with herbs and spices rather than sauces, butter, or margarine.
  3. Try lemon juice or fat-free dressing on salad, or use a yogurt based dressing instead of mayonnaise or sour cream dressing.
  4. To reduce saturated fat, use vegetable oil or tub margarine instead of butter or stick margarine when possible.
  5. Replace whole milk with skim or low-fat milk in puddings, soups, and baked products. Substitute plain nonfat yogurt, blender-whipped cottage cheese, low-fat sour cream, or buttermilk in recipes that call for sour cream
  6. Choose lean cuts of meat, and trim any visible fat from meat before and after cooking. Remove skin from poultry before or after cooking. Monitor portion sizes. (Lean meats end in "loin".)
  7. Roast, bake, or broil meat, poultry, or fish, so that fat drains away as the food cooks.
  8. Use a nonstick pan for cooking so added fat will be unnecessary, use a vegetable spray for frying.
  9. Chill broths from meat or poultry until the fat becomes solid. Spoon off the fat before using the broth.
  10. Eat a low-fat vegetarian main dish at least once a week.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Welcome 2008!

Happy New Year!!! 2007 was a great year for me, I was able to shed 60 lbs of fat and say goodbye to that poisonous cigarette. With that achievement, year 2008 poses a more serious challenge in the sense that I have to make strides to somehow outdo or just even be at par with my accomplishments for the past year. This year of the Rat started quite good for me as I am back with my workouts using loads same as that of which I used to workout with prior to my hand injury last October, and I am slowly but surely pumping heavier loads as I try to bulk up.

I think I did fairly good in the last two weeks of December 2007. As expected, the last fortnight of the year came with food, booze and sleepless nights. It's a nightmare for someone treading on the threshold of loosing that poundage forever and gaining it back, and more. Countless studies show that 80 percent of people losing that excess baggage gain it back and then some, starting on the yuletide holidays. I am one of those who gain it back during these times for the last couple of years. Luckily, this season is completely a different story. In fact, I only drank 5 times for the last 14 days, and although my diet was really at its worst, eating everything in sight that doesn't move (lechon and humba THE BEST!), I lived a couple of days in my gym for a complete workout. I am not sure where I got my determination to stick to my exercises but I guess it was just showing people that the power of mind can be a very great ally.

Moving on to 2008, I am very excited to start the year with a bang! In fact, the 2nd day of the year saw me punishing my chest and triceps rather than be at a bar, a sign that I am more focused with my workouts this year. Having lost 60 lbs of fat made me look like a high school boy physically, skinny. So I decided to bulk up for the first three months. I will be going heavy on my workouts and eating a lot to gain some muscles and look like a grown up man with some strength underneath the shirt.

Ten days into my workouts for this year, I've gain a measly 2lbs of muscle or I would say more like fat! I'm not bulking clean so I can fully enjoy the bigger meals this three months. I am having a great time so far, eating more of the delicious food that we have grown to love while keeping the fat at a minimum. Example of my day goes like this: First meal is 8 in the morning, usually consists of 4 slices of wheat bread, 5 egg whites cooked in the oven so no oil is needed, 1 tablespoon of corned beef and a glass of milk plus a capsule of multivitamin and vitamin C; workout from 9am-1030am; 2nd meal is 1 and 1/4 scoop of whey protein immediately after workout and a medium-size banana; 3rd meal is 1 chicken breast cooked using a convection oven, so again no oil is needed and a cup or two of white rice usually around 12 noon; 4th meal at 4PM is either a quarter roasted chicken and rice or a big slice of roasted tuna and rice or a quarter pounder roasted burger; 5th meal would be just a cup of steamed peanuts or a tuna sandwich and half a glass of milk. 20 glasses of water is a fair estimate for my whole-day intake. With this kind of diet I expect to get relatively bigger in 3 months time and my tummy to show some fat too! But it's a sacrifice I am willing to make. I'll be shedding the fat starting on April, during my cutting phase.

In the meantime, I'm gonna have my 5th meal.

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