Tag Archives: will power

Do Over

Last year was not good for the plan. In the early part of the year I broke my toe which derailed some of the challenges. Once I recovered, I lost my motivation from the lack of activity and my slow bounce back from the injury.

Those are a bunch of excuses and I’m tired of hearing them myself. So I’m calling last year a loss and calling for a do over. So in 2012, I’m starting the activity year over again. Every challenge will be repeated as if they never existed. Look forward to new posts and hopefully no repeats from last year.

The Will is Iron but the Body is Bone

Actually it was my toe
Actually it was my toe

Oh my where to begin. Let’s start with the foot. I broke my toe back in May and that totally threw this year off. I couldn’t do any of the physical activities I’ve become used to. I’ve lost 3 months of activity.

I got the go ahead to start again at the beginning of July and its been a rough climb back ever since.  This will be a true test of will power, the come back! Stay tuned.

Better late than never

The flexibility assessment when as I thought; I still can’t touch my toes.  Improving ones flexibility can’t be done in one month alone.  It takes a few to get the muscle fibers limber enough to see a large improvement.

Now on to this months activity, Pull Ups. Apparently I’m terrible. I can only manage 1 pull up. Thankfully I’m better than Pyle.


To train for this I will be utilizing the 20 Pull-up Challenge workout. I’m not sure how well it will work but we will definitely see.

Gym Power

This one is coming in at the wire for the week.

Just a note, I’ve been spending a lot more time in the gym lately mainly due to terrible weather we’ve been having and partly because of the wealth of exercises that can be done there.

I would love to be one of those people that can workout at home and be productive but that just isn’t me. I need the others around me working to that similar goal to motivate me to keep going. I may not speak to them directly but it does help to have that community spirit of motivation.  It must come from the runners spirit in me.

Flex Appeal

For the first time ever, I need to make a change. This month will stay flexibility, but how I measure will be slightly different. This is because there are 2 different ways to do the sit and reach. Both methods use the traditional box but the difference comes in the measurements.

The first and more traditional starts at 9 inches at your feet and the platform that extends towards you counts down to 0.

The second starts at 0 at your feet and the platform that extends towards you counts to 9 in negative numbers and in positive numbers as it extends away from you.

As much as I would love to build one of these things myself, I will just personalize the test to myself.  Like many people, I can’t touch my toes while standing or sitting.  This is essentially the test just without the device.

Assessment Day

No that’s not an error here on the left.  There really is no video.  There’s supposed to be one but unfortunately, my Flip camera decided to malfunction while I was recording my assessment and nothing was recorded.

No problem though because the assessment went on without a hitch (physically that is). I achieved 57 crunches which if you remember is 2 more than I got at the beginning of the month.  While that doesn’t seem like much of an improvement you have to remember the highest on the guide was 60 per minute. My goal was 62 but I’m glad I didn’t go below my baseline.

While I can’t see a physical improvement, more on that later, I can say that it was easier this time around than at the beginning of the month.

On the road again, actually it’s a Street

Just signed up for the Broad Street Run here in Philly. Registration just opened on Saturday and already it’s half full!

I know it’s early to talk about speed but this will be the event to test my speed.  I’ve participated many times before and never really went for speed but this time I will be.  My goal is to come in under 1:30.  The shortest time I’ve had is 1:48:48 so I have a ways to go but I also have the time to do it.  Here’s wishing me luck in a few months!

I’m Posting every week in 2011!

I’ve decided that if I’m going to encourage people I need to post more. Rather than just thinking about it, I’m starting writing more about my experience.  I will be posting on this blog at several times a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

To help, I’ve gotten a new Android G2 phone (thanks T-Mobile) and installed the WordPress App to help me post more while on the go.

This will also be a good test of will power to accomplish this but the encouragement I offer to others is worth it.

January Assessment

I’m a little late with this but I’ve completed my assessment for the month on Sunday and I did pretty damn good.

I knocked out 55 in 53 seconds before I bowed out. Looks like I’m pretty close to the goal.  I didn’t think it was physically possible to do 60 crunches in 60 seconds but I guess I was wrong.

Now that there’s not too much room for improvement but I’m going to shoot for 62.  No need to aim any lower.

Year In Review

It’s been a long food restricting year. Many lessons have been learned and many respects have been gained. Most recently, I’ve learned that eating out at many places as a vegetarian is very difficult. Evan more so if you are a vegan.

Many times throughout the year, I’ve experienced more peer-pressures than I can remember as a teen; the pressure to drink, the pressure to eat meat and the pressure of just doing something different than others. Many people go through them sometimes everyday but I’m figuring that I’ve it gotten so bad because I actually made a change in my life that people didn’t expect. Things such as going to lunch or dinner suddenly becomes a chore due to dietary restrictions.

Aside from the complaining (there was a lot of it from many people, myself included), I learned to have a better appreciation for food.  Many time, I’ll put it into my mouth without really thinking what’s in it or how it’s made.

I’ll be making a few changes in my diet next year because of what I’ve learned.  I’ve had the chance to taste some things I wouldn’t normally had I not been forced to such as spinach enchiladas and falafel stew.

Next years plans have already been disclosed and I’m very excited to get started.  Typically I train just to run but this will be a full body experience unlike anything I’ve ever done before.

One last note, now that I am no longer a vegetarian, my very first meal was chicken kabobs at 12:01 am!

Let’s Get Physical

No, no my will hasn’t given out at the end of the year.  I’ve been busy working on next years plan and I’m sure you didn’t want to hear me complain about not eating meat again for another month.

Next year I switch things up a bit and focusing on improving the body with physical influences.  I will attempt to improve my fitness level in the most common areas measured. Each month will begin and end with an assessment of where I am to see if there has been any improvement.  Also at the beginning and end of the year, I will be doing a full assessment to see how I have changed throughout the year.

New this year will be videos, pictures and maybe audio at various times.  No one really wants to watch me eat but since this is now a physically challenge, the results can been seen. I will now let you in a little further to see just how my will is tested.

If you’d like to join me this year be my guess.  Encourage others to join you, to encourage you or to try it for themselves.  See you in January for the assessment.

The Disney Experience

I’m back from Disney.  If there’s one thing they know how to do right other than entertain kids it’s food.  I can’t recall a character that is a chef but someone there knows their way around a kitchen.

Being away from home at a conference I had no choice but to eat what they gave me. Disney knows the things to feed you to keep you happy. I know, I know, I probably should’ve exercised more restraint but I was away and you don’t get the Disney treatment very often.

Now that I’m back I need to stock my shelves again and get back to the grind of eating from home. Next week I plan on cracking open a few cookbooks and trying out some recipes that I’ve been meaning to try.

My nieces will be stopping by this weekend so they will be in for a culinary treat they don’t usually get when visiting. I don’t know what it will be but I’ll be cooking up something special.

Certified Organic Post

Wow, 22 days and no post!  I think I might have to post a whole series of lost episodes when this is over.

Well let me catch you up on things. Yes, organic is expensive. Thankfully, I can eat meat again but it is costly. I’ve done a few searches online and found that I can save some money on products from the manufacturers with coupons from their sites. Nice!  That should help my pockets not go slim so quickly.
Basically there’s different distinctions for organic there’s USDA Organic and “uncertified” organic.  The USDA seal has some tough rules behind it.
Since it’s tough to find organic items, I’ve decided that as long as the label indicates the item is organic (or partially organic) then it counts. This is usually the case for frozen items.  Not every ingredient is organic so they list what is and isn’t organic.
Finally I was able to eat some of the same things from my Vegan days so some food choices were easy. So far things have been pretty easy.  The food choices are more than I though and I’ve found organic chocolate which is a blessing.  More updates to follow. I just have them queued up and need to be written down.  Stay tuned.

Thoughts on Veganism

Let’s face facts, animals are tasty (in case you’ve never tried one) and they smell good when cooked (a fact you can’t deny even if you haven’t had one)! It’s a historically proven fact.

But veganism isn’t about taste, it’s about impact. Or rather lessening impact. They believe that abuse our relationship with animals through exploitation, consumption and experimentation.  During this month, I didn’t take on the full philosophy of a vegan but I did eat like one.  I learned three things by doing so; First is that it’s very hard to live this way. Second, it takes a lot of planning.  And third, a lot of vegans are very judgmental. A good example of this is in the documentary Super Size Me.  Morgan’s girlfriend Alex’s feelings echo a lot of vegans thoughts. It was something subtle that was missed because of the subject of the movie:



That much aside, I can’t say this would be something I’d do full time. Much for the reasons Morgan stated in the second video.

Most importantly from this, I learned that I should better plan my meals.  Vegans can’t go out and just pick something to eat like most of us.  They need to do a little prior to putting food into their mouths or plan what, when and where they are going to it.  It feels very lonely and isolating to be this way.  But I guess if you are around other like minded people it becomes more comforting.

What I Miss

Just a list of the foods I miss this month…

Vegan BBQ

Ever been to a vegan BBQ?  Chances are probably not.  I’m not sure there are enough in an area outside of California that know each other to have one.  I’m not even sure if the items used to have a BBQ are vegan approved.

So what do you do at a BBQ if your vegan?  Mostly, you’ll be watching everyone else who isn’t eat.  Even the less restrictive vegetarians will be chowing down with delight as you watch.  And chances are that you will wear out your welcome as you perform your usual ingredient probe of the food.

At least that’s what I did.  It was a quick lesson in how not to be invited back.  Good thing they were my family though of else I’d be in trouble.

There are vegan friendly foods that can be prepared on a grill (even if they shouldn’t be).  Boca Burgers, soy dogs and tofu all fit the bill.  It may take some trial and error to get them cooked just right.  They may be made to taste like the real thing but they sure don’t cook like it.

All in all it was a success.  A green salad isn’t a staple in my family’s BBQ menu but it doesn’t hurt to switch it up every now and then.  How else do you get to try new foods?

Today in food news

Food seems to be in the news these days more than I remember, food born illnesses aside.  It seems that all the things I have have are popular these days.

Apparently, a woman had her job threatened for eating Doritos at her desk.  Her employer has a policy against eating at ones desk for fear that it would damage the computers.  I haven’t heard that fear since the early 90’s. I think that’s a bit extreme but at the moment, I think I would risk my job for the taste of a Doritos.

Saturday September 18th was National Cheeseburger Day and you’re not the only person that didn’t know.  I celebrated by dropping mine in the grill.  Better luck next yeah I guess.

And finally Chef Tim Love give 5 Reasons Why Not to be a Vegetarian. Of course I agree 100%.

The Vegan Caterer

IMAG0104 You may or may not know that I am also a caterer who specializes in outdoor BBQ.  All food is prepared on a 5 foot charcoal grill. For the record, they were wooden briquettes but you can’t eat then so it doesn’t count.

The other day I had my first job as a Vegan and on the menu were baby back ribs, Italian sausage, salmon, pasta salad and Caesar salad.  All things I can’t eat.  I brought my own food to be prepared for such an occasion.

So what was it like cooking all this delicious food and not being able to eat it?  It’s pretty easy actually.  I’ve cooked for so many years that cooking the food doesn’t trigger a hunger response.  After cooking and serving is a different story however.  That’s when we typically eat and everything smelled good.

To make it through, I eat some celery I brought with me.  For dinner I had brought one of my Boca Burgers that I wanted to try cooked on the grill.  Unfortunately, it fell through the grates into the coals (pictured above) and I was left with lettuce, tomato and vegan cheese on a bun.  It was the saddest catering experience I’ve ever had.

I did run into another fellow vegan at the party who also couldn’t have any of the food we brought.  I understood her plight but she also had access tot the other food at the party so I wasn’t too worried for her.  It happens quite often that a vegetarian will show up to a party but not vegans.

More and more I’m starting to see that you can’t be a vegan without planning for your next meal.

Surviving a weekend with friends

To a great weekend! Nothing like a nice relaxing weekend away with friends at the shore. That is unless you just decided to become a vegan for the month.

After the initial shock, questions and pressure to give in we got a food plan together.  The ladies of the house were willing to read labels for me and pick out the proper foods.  I was impressed.  Thanks ladies.  We were able to eat most of our meals in the house and no one suffered.  They ate what they wanted and I, well ate what I could.

I do have to say that during this trip I had the absolute worse thing I’ve ever had.  Vegan or not.  It was called a Chik’N meatless patty.  I’ve had my share of chicken patties in my day and this was horrid.  Even drowned in some hot sauce, they still maintained their terrible flavor.  I’ll never eat them again.

My next surprise/challenge came on Sunday.  It was opening day for football so we went to Hooters to see as many games as we could.  Sticking to my rigid vegan values, I passed on everything on the menu except for a salad with no cheese.  After some confusion about being out of salad, (I can’t see this as a popular item at Hooters) I settle back and enjoyed a few beers.

The trip back home wasn’t too glorious either.  After passing about 25 or so Hardies we decided to stop in. Again, salad with no cheese.  Thankfully I had some cashews and animal crackers to hold me over.

It was a fun trip and a lot of lessons learned by everyone.  Had I known this trip would happen I probably wouldn’t have schedule this challenge for this month but I did want it to be difficult.