Broken… again!

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See that gray spot… yeah, that’s a hole in my left ankle. I apparently was born with an extra bone (I didn’t previously know about this) and that bone decided to break and take the house down with it! 

When said bone broke off, it took a little extra chunk out with it. Surgery is on Feb. 19th. That’s the bad news. 

The good news? I come with spare parts built in! The surgeon will be able to use the extra bone for a bone graft and patch me up (YAY!)

Bad News: 6 weeks non weight bearing.

You might be wondering how this happened? The honest truth is, I have no idea! 

It’s been hurting for the last couple of months and I finally decided to go see the doctor last week. This time around, I haven’t been biking, hiking… not even longboarding 😛

This time around I am prepared. I’ve been on that rough road before and I’ll go through it again. I have some amazing and wonderful people in my life that will make the whole ordeal much more bearable and pleasant and I’d like to thank them all in advance!

Also, this time I will be investing in an iWalkfree which should make the experience a bit more tolerable and entertaining!

Like last time, I am planning on staying on course with my diet and my workouts (upper body only) I won’t let this stop me from reaching my goal of 10% body fat this year. It’s just another challenge and I’ll deal with it.

Stay tuned for me 🙂

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RE: The Truth About Low Carb Diets!!

This post is in response to an article on Health.com titled: The Truth About Low Carb Diets… 

Honestly, I haven’t seen this much ignorance in a long time. I’ll go through the six points the article mentions one by one here.

1- Low-Carb diets make you feel sad and stressed:

The adaptation phase of a low-carb diet is hard, sometimes a little too hard. That’s the phase where your body, for all intents and purposes, goes through withdrawal from the lack of carbs. common symptoms include: low energy, foggyness and maybe a slight bit of irritability. But that’s the thing, it’s just that initial stage (which lasts about 1-2 weeks). After that, well, after that life is fantastic. You get more energy and your mood is back to normal (your normal) 

How do I know, you wonder? I have first hand experience. I’ve been on a low-carb diet for the better part of two years and it has been working out pretty well (more on that in a bit)

2- Low-Carb diets make you fatter, not thinner:

This point is so idiotic!

The article states “The stress and depression low-carb dieters feel eventually derails their best efforts to stay slim.” 

Before I respond to that, please take a moment and think about this: Which weight loss diet does not deprive you of certain foods? I’ve yet to see a diet that allows sugary drinks, pastry, ice cream… etc.

So, if removing certain food groups is depressing to you, you should probably not be looking at dieting… period!

Low-carb diets are not magic. Like any other weight loss targeted diet, some food groups are taken away. That’s the nature of the beast. I’ve heard people on low-fat/high-carb diets that can’t stop whining about how much they miss certain foods because it doesn’t fit their diet. 

Oh, did I forget to mention that I’ve successfully lost ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SIX (156) pounds on a low carb diet… and I am still going strong.

3-Low-carb diets are not sustainable!:

Hmm… One more time, I’ve been on a low-carb diet for the better part of two years. 

The problem is the general approach to diets. Most people want to go on a diet and have results in as little as a week. Most people don’t plan cheat days into their diets. 

When I started my getting fit journey, I decided to follow the example of the bodybuilding community and that comes down to one thing: DISCIPLINE! 

Discipline when you are on your diet and discipline when you are on your cheat day. The cyclic ketogenic diet comes with cheat WEEKEND built in. Yes, you read that right. Two weeks on, one whole weekend off… but with discipline. The weekend off has to be at maintenance calories. And during the two weeks on, you are at a 500 calories deficit.

I changed things up a bit for myself, though. I stay on the diet for months at a time and break off when I am travelling or on vacation. I’ve taken up to a month off my diet and when I came back I didn’t gain a pound. 

4- Low-Carb diets bloat your belly!:

Obviously, the people in the study that the article mentions didn’t get the memo: Even though, at least in the USA, fiber is listed under carbs… IT IS NOT CARBS! 

I eat copious of fibrous veggies: spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts… etc.

Besides all those veggies being very healthy for you, the fiber keeps… err… your bowls moving. 

5- Low-carb diets make you feel deprived!:

This is exactly like point two. It baffles me though. Is the author of this article confused? 

I’m sorry, if you don’t have self control, then no diets will ever work for you. This has nothing to do with the carb content of the diet. You either have control not to eat certain things and be in a caloric deficit or your eat whatever and stay at your current weight or gain a few more pounds. choice is yours!

But if you think I am full of it here is some proof for you:

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Total weight loss, so far, 156 pounds. I used to be 55% body fat and now I am at 19.5%

The results speak for themselves!

I would like to make one thing clear. This isn’t easy, but it certainly is possible. What really ticked me off about this article is how it shot down ALL low carb diets. I am not saying low-carb diets will work for everyone, but you wouldn’t know until you try. That’s what I did. I tried the conventional diets first (low fat/high carb) and it didn’t work for me. I spent three months researching the Cyclic Ketogenic diet and developed what worked for me along with my own workout plan. 

A lot of diets work, but if you are expecting someone to show up and your doorstep with a one size fits all diet that will magically work then think again. We are all different and no one will know what works for you. You have to find out what does and act on it. 

I swear by the low-carb diet, but that’s what works for me.

 

 

 

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Look Ma… No Crutches!!

Today was my 2 week mark in the cast. I went to the doctor’s and the cast came off. I was put back in the boot and then came the most awesome news… I can bare weight on my foot.

Though it was exciting to hear, the first time I tried to walk pain shot through my ankle and I walked out of the office on the crutches. 

When I got home I decided to man up and try to walk. I put the crutches in the ready position, as a safety precaution, and started walking. The pain was still there but I was able to manage. And now I have a lot more control and I can actually walk around in the boot. 

Can’t stand for too long and can’t walk too far without the pain bringing me to my knees, but the fact that I don’t have to use crutches and can walk from the kitchen to the balcony with my dinner or cup of coffee is AWESOME!

Now, I have 4 weeks in the boot and then I am home free. Woohoo! 

And in closing I’ll leave you with this thought from Gibran Khalil Gibran’s masterpiece The Prophet:

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.”

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An Update!

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” 
― Kahlil Gibran

First:

A big shout out to some amazing people in my life. Two awesome friends, a.k.a The Best Family, came by yesterday and helped me with some grocery shopping. But there is more, they cooked my food for the week AND did my laundry. Truly amazing and kind people. They did all that because I merely mentioned how much I wanted to get back on my diet, yet it was hard to cook while on crutches. 

You guys are awesome and I am forever in your debt. 

Today, I was able to go to the gym and had an awesome Chest and Biceps workout. I tweaked it a bit to suite my current state. Here is what I did:

I usually superset all my exercises to save on time. This is still a major factor now since everything takes twice as long. But I also wanted to be able to do less exercises (sadly) but have a big impact. I decided to stick with free weights, even though it proved challenging to move the weights back and forth between the racks and the bench. I did a massive superset:

Superset 1:

  • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press:
    • 30Lbs x 20 reps 
    • 20Lbs x 20 reps
    • 15Lbs x 20 reps
    • (each of the above followed by 10-15 reps of Flys without a break)
  • Seated Dumbbell Biceps Curl:
    • 30Lbs x 15 reps
    • 20Lbs x 15 reps
    • 15Lbs x 15 reps

The above was repeated for 3 sets. 

Superset 2:

  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press:
    • 30Lbs x 20 reps 
    • 20Lbs x 20 reps
    • 15Lbs x 20 reps
    • (each of the above followed by 10-15 reps of Flys without a break)
  • Preacher Biceps Dumbbell Curl:
    • 30Lbs x 15 reps
    • 20Lbs x 15 reps
    • 15Lbs x 15 reps

Also repeated for 3 sets. 

By the time I was done, my pecs and biceps were toast… in a good way 🙂

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 17th, I go back to the doctor’s to take the cast off and replace it with the surgical boot. I have mixed feelings about this. 

I kinda hate the boot since it is pretty darn heavy to hop around on crutches. But on the bright side, it means that the end of this is nigh. Woohoo.

And with that, I’ll leave you with pictures of my cast post decorations courtesy of my friends and co-workers.

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I broke my foot… and I am grateful!

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You read that right!

I am absolutely grateful that I broke my foot. Why?

  1. As per the doctor, my foot has been fractured for 2+ weeks before the actual break, somehow I managed to endure the “discomfort”. If it hadn’t broken, I would’ve probably trucked on and it would’ve gotten a lot worse and the recovery process would have been brutal!
  2. Today marks 2 full weeks without smoking a cigarette! That by itself is a huge win in my book. I’ve battled smoking for a long time. People were always surprised at the fact that I smoked and was still able to work out and bike. I ran out of cigarettes the night before the surgery and stayed away every since. I’ve stuck with my eCig and it’s been working out great. I don’t even have any sort of cravings to smoke a regular cigarette.
  3. Work wise, I am finally getting the extra time to work on a project that I’ve been itching to work on for a while. I am learning a lot and having a lot of fun with it! 
  4. Not that I didn’t know that I have a few amazing people in my life. But this situation made me appreciate them that much more. Seriously, to every single one of those who took the time out of your busy lives to ask about me, come and help me with one thing or another and just in general being so kind to me THANK YOU. 

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 
― Winston Churchill

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On day three, faith in humanity is increasing!

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“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” – Gibran Khalil Gibran

Today was my shoulders training day at the gym… That went great and all, but really the important thing was the people at the gym.

On my way to the bench, my towel slipped and was about to fall off my shoulder. While trying to pull a balancing act on my crutches and keep the towel from falling one of my crutches hit the floor. Before I can do anything 2 people ran up to me and helped me out. 

After getting to the bench, I went to grab a couple of dumbbells and a guy, probably around my age, runs up to me and helps me out and takes the dumbbells and sets up by the bench.

Then again at the end of my workout, I had 3 sets of dumbbells at my bench and I started rolling them towards the rack (I re-rack my weights no matter what!) This older gentleman run up to me and says “Working out with a broken foot is dedication, but trying to re-rack your weights afterwards is a whole other level. Let me do that for you, please!”

Made my day!

“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with joy are goodness, beauty, and truth.” – Albert Einstein 

 

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Training Day 2

Just a quick update today. 

I went to the gym for my Back and Triceps workout this morning. It was a lot harder than I expected. The triceps workouts I like to do, and too stubborn to give up, all require me to be standing up. 

It was hard, but it was so rewarding at the end of the workout when I looked back and realized I conquered yet another challenge.

I kept on thinking about this a bit: FOCUS!! And boy, did it take a lot of focusing to get through today’s workout!

I gotta say, my core was engaged to the max like never before… certainly not like any back and triceps session from before!

 

One addition, I realized my man purse solution for the water bottle was pretty extremely efficient for 2 reasons:

  1. I run out of water pretty fast and waste a lot of time hopping around the gym to refill the water.
  2. Yesterday, when I went to refill the water, there was a couple of drops of water on the floor and I almost slipped!

I came across my CamelBack last night and decided to use it at the gym even if I looked like a fool… and it reminded me of this:

“It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
For love, for your dream, 
For the adventure of being alive.” – excerpt from the poem The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

And so, I went on with my CamelBack to the gym and, though, I didn’t look around I was sure I got some interesting looks. Oh well, I got my workout in and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s Shoulders workout.

Cheers,

~m

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