Fitness Profile: What Is It and What’s Mine?

Fitness Profile

Hey everyone,

The other day was thinking about my eating, exercise and lifestyle and decided I would put together something called a Fitness Profile. While the term isn’t new by any means, I wanted to share mine. Basically, a fitness profile is a profile consisting of some general information then followed by eating style, exercise regimen and goals. I also added in mental fitness regimen (how you exercise your mind) and mental fitness assessment. As I always say, this blog and fitness in general is about mental and physical fitness.

So I figured why not start with my own?

 

Name: Marc Applewhite

Age: 35

Location: New Jersey

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 297.8 (last I checked)

Injuries/Illnesses: Slightly high blood pressure from time to time but not dangerous levels

Eating style: Flexitarian (mostly-vegetarian), 16/8 intermittent fasting

Exercise routine: Running 4-5 days a week, calisthenics for strength training

Physical fitness assessment:  Considered obese, slow runner (about a 14 min. mile), weak muscles, novice in all areas. Cardiovascular endurance and fitness are priority.

Goals: To train for my 2nd marathon, be under 240 pounds by early January

Mental fitness: Positive outlook, motivated currently but lacking in discipline and consistency, sharp, quick-thinking, performs well under pressure, memory is sharp but can be cloudy sometimes

Mental fitness routine: Puzzles and brain games, chess, informative and self help books and podcasts, self-education, motivational speeches, running and fitness communities

 

That’s my fitness profile….what’s yours?

 



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Doc’s Log #21: #40DaysAVegan/SkyDiving

Doc's Log

 

Hey everybody! It’s been a minute since I’ve chimed in with a Doc’s Log just to let you know how I’m doing but this time I wanted  to do a little something different but we’ll get to that in a minute.

First, let me give you a quick update on what’s going on in the life of the Doc. Well since my last Doc’s Log which was shortly after Lent. I decided to stop weighing myself for a while. Earlier this month, training for the Reggae Marathon began. I’m follow Hal Higdon’s Novice Supreme marathon training plan which is 30 weeks long. I am approximately in Week 8 of the plan and I must say, it’s going pretty well. I’m glad I chose a plan that’s so long because it allows for a gradual increase. Now that it’s getting hot this also somewhat replicates the conditions I’ll be under in Jamaica.

Other than, things have been pretty normal, also pretty stagnant so in true Marc fashion I had to decide to shake things up. I decided to take on a new challenge.

In the style of Lent, yesterday I started a new challenge called #40DaysAVegan. What that is is for the next 40 days, excluding Sundays, I will be living a vegan lifestyle. While difficult, it’s not as hard as the Daniel Fast was because at least now I can have breads and sweeteners. So PBJ will definitely be a staple of this lifestyle. I do look forward to what will come of it though, spiritually and physically. I’m also committing to 40 Days of exercise, but unlike the vegan challenge, this will be 40 days straight so that challenge will end about 6 days earlier than the vegan challenge but who knows, I may make it a 46 day exercise challenge. We’ll see, one day at a time. There are 3-4 meals where I won’t be following it though, pre-planned occasions (July 4th, is one in particular).

I want this summer to be a crucial time where I make the most of it and get major results from it. 

In addition to being prepared for the marathon in December, I added another goal to my to list. I was trying to stay away from weight goals for the summer but I decided I want to be down to 240 pounds by the new year. Why? Because I’m planning to attend CES (Consumer Electronics Show) next year in Vegas and there’s a skydiving school there called, appropriately, Skydive Las Vegas. I actually came across them last night because I was googling skydiving weight limits. A lot of schools I’ve looked into had a max of 220, no more than 230 but this school maxed out at 240. 240?! Yes, I can do that. Considering I’ve been wanting to attend CES which is in Vegas, why not kill 2 birds in one trip which gives me until approximately January 9th or 10th to get to my goal.

Can I get there in 27 weeks? I believe I can and I’ll hold onto that belief and hopefully a little more to be sure.

But, weight goals aside, fitness is still the main motivation. I have a race to train for. If I do what I’m supposed to do, the weight will come off. Fitness doesn’t like fat.

So with these new goals and new challenges, I’m excited for what the summer brings. I’ll go back to weighing in weekly but I’ll probably only discuss it once a month when I take measurements. In the meantime, you can find all that on the weigh-ins page.

In addition to my cardio, I’m doing all these challenges together as my strength training. You may recognize them from a past entry. It’s because I never finished them the last time (yeah I know, I’m great at starting things but terrible at finishing). See the below:

30DayAbChallenge 30dayburpeechallenge 30DayPlankChallenge 5000squats1000Pushups

 

Talk to you soon, everyone, wish me luck! 

And how about you? Training for anything? Summer goals? Let me know via the comments…



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The 2 Things You Absolutely Must Have In Your (Fitness) Life

 

Hey you, come closer, I want to talk to you. You want to get fit? You want to lose weight? You want to gain weight? 

You’ve been researching running plans? That’s great! Ready to start changing the way you eat? Excellent! That is all great and you’ll definitely need a great eating and exercise regimen to accomplish your fitness goals but there are two other things you MUST have that trumps even those.

What are those you might say? I’ll tell you, DISCIPLINE AND CONSISTENCY.

Yes, my friend, you need discipline and consistency if you plan to reach your goals. Before we get into the whys let’s define these two words (or let Webster define them).

Disciplinebehavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders.

Consistentshowing steady conformity to character, profession, belief, or custom.

We’ll talk about these one at a time. Let’s proceed…

 

Read the rest of my guest post at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…



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The Summer Get-Right Series Part 2: Diet

Good afternoon everyone! I hope everyone’s doing well this weekend and your June is off to a stellar start. Last week was the first of the two week Summer Get-Right series, highlighting ways to use the warmer months to your advantage in your weight loss and fitness journal. We talked about exercise and today we’ll cover the areas of diet and nutrition.
We all know how the summer months. Less time spent cooking, more time spent eating out. Barbecues, parties, stress festivals, they all add up but those can still be enjoyed while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You just need to make some tweaks here and there. Gather around the fire, boys and girls, I’m going to give you some tips.
1. When drinking alcohol, cut out or reduce the frozen drinks. Your average pina colada can be as much as 500 calories and let’s face it, who stops at one drink right? 3 or 4 of those and you’ve had your full day’s calories in alcohol alone. Stick to light beer, wine or basic mixed drinks (gin and tonic, vodka and OJ). These have far less calories per drink and may even give you some nutrients (OJ in a screwdriver, wine) but don’t get carried away. Alcohol is still alcohol. Keep it down to no more than 2 or 3 drinks.


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Doc’s Log #19: Lent Takeaways

Doc's Log

 

Hey family, I hope everyone is doing well with their weight loss journeys. We are almost done the first 3rd of the year, can you believe it?! I can! I won’t keep the log too long this week except to say that my official post-lent weight loss total is 293.6 lbs for a grand total of 21.8 lbs. lost!!

I am very pleased about that but that’s only the beginning. I still have another 83.6 pounds to go but for now, we dance!!

Outside of that good news, I just want to drop a few takeaways that came from Lent.

1. I finally realize why people fast for spiritual reasons. I’ve fasted in the past before whether by limiting myself to certain foods over days or going without food for 24 hours once in a while but this was the first time I achieved spiritual clarity from it. I felt the Holy Spirit inside me and heard the Lord speak to me. I took the time to get into His word and pray regularly (which I already do but even moreso) and I benefited because of it. He told me where to go next as far as my career, my outlook on life, my faith increased, my worries lessened and I felt like for the first time in a while I had direction. God may not speak in the booming voice we all anticipate but he does speak. When you feel a sudden feeling in your heart or a thought pops into your head seemingly from nowhere. That’s God, friends.

2. Being on the Daniel Fast taught me how to be a better flexitarian. Being a flexitarian is a slippery slope because when you allow yourself meat in moderation, especially if you enjoy it like I do, it’s easy for moderation to become all the time. The Daniel Fast showed me that it is possible. It’s in me to keep my meat intake low. For 6 weeks, I ate meat only once a week which was my mom’s Sunday dinner. And you know what? I survived. I even gave thought to going full vegetarian again but baby steps, my friends, baby steps. I don’t think I’ll ever give up meat 100% but I can see myself reducing it a once in a while thing saved for special occasions.

3. I realized just how sensitive my body is to sodium and how important eating whole foods is. The first week on the Daniel Fast, I lost 13 pounds. Obviously most of that was water but why so much in one week?  The main thing was my sodium intake was low. On an average day, I’ll take in about 2500mg a day of sodium. On the Daniel Fast, I barely passed 1000mg most days. When you eat whole foods mainly, your intake of refined sugars and sodium goes down because there are no preservatives or added ingredients. I always knew that but to “see” it in action really put it into perspective for me.

And finally…

4. Training your body to use fat for fuel is a process. One thing I’ve been focusing on as an intermittent faster is learning to use my fat as fuel for my runs. I like to get my workout in the first thing in the morning and I don’t eat my first meal most days until about 11:30 so I’ve been working to train my body rely on on fat for fuel so I can have an efficient workout during my fasting hours. It’s definitely a process especially since there are days I found myself working out later in the day after I’d eaten. I need to do it for at least 2-3 weeks in a row before I can really get used to it.

 

Those are my greatest takeaways though from a diet/exercise/mental wellness perspective anyway! Here’s to taking what I’ve learned and continuing to use it…



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Doc’s Log #12: #Lent, The Daniel Fast and Exercise Stuffs

Doc's Log #12

 

 

This is very uncommon for me, writing 2 entries in one day, but this update is long overdue. So let’s get right into it…

 

Long story short, I’m back up to 315. Eating has been crappy and workouts have been nonexistent. Lacking motivation has made progress not only nonexistent but has reversed it.

It’s pitiful, I know.

I’m as disgusted to say it as you are to read it. So with Lent starting yesterday, I decided I needed to do something drastic and I needed to make the promise directly to God and ask for his guidance.

So this year I decided on the largest Lenten changes I’ve made since I’ve been taking a part in it. What are they, you ask? Glad you asked, I’ll tell you.

With the exception of updating this blog, I decided on giving up all social media again this year. Some people asked me why do I keep giving it up every year? It’s because every year it’s still hard to do. For 45.5 weeks every year, I’m Facebooking, tweeting, G+ing, instagramming, etc. just about everyday so when Lent comes around, it’s the perfect time to take a break. The first day is always so surreal because I’m used to being bombarded with info. This morning, I felt a stillness and in some ways, loneliness. It’s like living in the big city all your life then spending that first night in the quiet of the country. The quiet is almost deafening. Imagine that but for your eyes. That’s pretty much what I experience and today was no different. As I get used to it, it begins to feel normal but the first week is always difficult.

In addition to that, I’ve also elected to add in two things to do over the course of my Lenten fast.

Yesterday, I began the Daniel Fast. As written in the description, it’s a “biblically based partial fast” which is derived from two scriptures in the book of Daniel, Chapters 1 and 10 to be exact.

Here is a brief overview:

It’s designed to be done at least 21 days but they recommend no more than 50, so my goal of 46 days is pretty close. Essentially, this is a vegan diet but with more restrictions.

Below is a list of the allowed foods:

All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon

All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.

All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.

Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot to choose from as far as food groups but it’s definitely not impossible and it’s not calorie restrictive. I think what I will miss most is bread (no PBJ!) especially since I can’t have meat but luckily I can have whole grain pasta, rice, and quinoa which I all enjoy. This will DEFINITELY be a journey.

My only exception will be my mom’s Sunday dinners. Those will remain. Outside of that, it’s all Daniel Fast, all the time…or as often as possible. There may be some moments where I don’t have that option but I’ll do my best to limit those or keep it as close to the Daniel Fast as possible.

I’ll continue to practice Intermittent fasting with this. That style of eating has become a style that I’ve gotten used to and have grown to enjoy and since that is time based, it can work with any style of eating.

I’m also committing to working out everyday during this fast. Incorporating a basic but intense (for me) calisthenic workout, I’ll be alternating between two circuits on opposite days: wakeupworkout workout

 

And alternating between these two cardio workouts on opposite days:

30MinTreadmillSprintWorkout1-480x369

Though it says treadmill, I’ll be doing it outdoors.

C25KBeginner

I’m two days in, with 44 to go so so far so good.

The ultimate goal of Lent is to bring myself closer to God. THAT is the priority. Asking the Lord for strength and turning to him when I feel myself going wrong is crucial. Lent for me has always been about simply the challenge while totally missing the most important part so, in that respect, this will be different from all my past Lents. 

So, if you pray, pray for me. This is going to be tough but, I think, necessary. When this is over, I’ll be a better man. I can feel it.

Work like it’s all on me, pray like it’s all on Him. Later, friends…

 

 



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Diet and Exercise: Don’t Be Afraid To Mix It Up

Diet and Exercise: Don't Be Afraid to Mix It Up | Dr. Marctagon™

 

“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”Bruce Lee

 

Typically, when it comes to diet exercise, we do a lot of searching to find the thing that “works” for us. We look for that routine that will get us where we want and that type of diet that will shed us some weight. Usually when we find them, we stick to them and keep doing the same things until we reach a plateau and wonder what happened.

 

Read the rest of my guest post over at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…

 

 



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Doc’s Log #10: 2 Weeks In (Biggest Loser Challenge Update)

Doc's Log #10: 2 weeks In - Biggest Loser Challen

Greetings lovelies and gents! It’s another beautiful Tuesday morning and I’m back with another update. I meant to post last week but hey at least, I didn’t wait 3 months to update you this time (i.e. I’m getting better!).

It’s been an interesting two weeks since the Biggest Loser Challenge got started. For starters, I didn’t work out the first two weeks BUT I did find a new workout I wanted to try. I recently discovered that  Shaun T (the mind behind Insanity) has come out with another workout series he calls Focus T25. So, I checked out the trailer was immediately intrigued by 2 things. First, the workouts are only a timed 25 minutes long (excluding the cooldown, so really 30 minutes). Also, it was less intense than Insanity. Now hol’on, before you get that grin of relief on your face, I didn’t say it was easy. If you’ve ever done a Shaun T Workout (Insanity,  Hip Hop Abs) then you know it will still be difficult and T25 is no different. I liken it to Insanity the way you liken Power 90 to P90X. It sacrifices all out intensity to focus on form and conditioning which is exactly what I needed. With Insanity, I found myself fighting to keep up and when I wasn’t doing that, I was sitting down panting for breath.

Now don’t get me wrong, any workout will have me panting and huffing and puffing because I’m out of shape but if you find yourself not doing more than you’re doing in a given workout, you may have bitten off more than you can chew. I won’t break down all the differences between T25 and Insanity but I found an interesting article that does it for me.

Moving right along…

My diet has been on point for the most part which has been my saving grace. I haven’t been tallying my calories with MFP but I know my portions have been what they should be and I’ve been eating the right foods. I’ve also decided to give a different style of intermittent fasting a try. I’m adopting the 20/4 IF style, which is 20 hours of fasting on nothing but water and a 4 hour window where I can eat food. I actually started last Friday. 16 hours still takes getting used to from time to time, especially if I didn’t follow it the day before. Not eating breakfast is “normal” now so i don’t fret about that but on days when I have to get up super early, I do drink coffee which technically is a violation of my fasting because with the cream and sugar, we’re talking 200 calories in a cup. Since I’m not that big on the taste of coffee, my cup ends up being about 250-300 calories from how much I add to it. Luckily, I only drink coffee 2-3 days a week. I have recently decided I’m going to give cold water a try instead and try going to bed at a decent hour, you know, like a normal person.

But back to the Biggest Loser Challenge. I’m happy to say that two weeks in, I’m down 3.8 pounds from 294.2 lbs to 290.4 lbs., making a total of 29.2 pounds for the year.

I’m pretty much back to where I had gotten before the holidays last year. With the holidays coming up, I can’t have the 30 pound weight gain I had last year, definitely not.

I look forward to starting Focus T25 tonight and I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going! Have a great week all!



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Discipline and Why It’s Better than Motivation

Discipline and Why It's Better than Motivation

Webster defines motivation as “the condition of being eager to act or work”. Motivation is awesome! It’s that wonderful feeling that makes you want to do exactly what it is you want to do. It’s what spurs you to action. It makes you want to start eating better. It makes you go for that run or get that workout in. It makes weight loss all the more easier because your mind is in it with you. There are plenty of different types of motivations to be healthy and fit: you want to lose weight, you want to lower your blood pressure, you want to run run a race, you want to be fit, or simply you just want to improve your health. When you’re motivated, life is awesome.

 

However, there are those moments where motivation is lacking. Despite how much you way want to, you can’t bring yourself to act the way you know you should. You know you shouldn’t eat that whole cake, but you do it. You know you should get that run in today but you can’t bring yourself to do it. When you’re not motivated, life sucks.

 

There is a remedy though. Discipline.

 

Continue reading my post over at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…



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Want to Be a Vegetarian but Love Meat Too Much? Be a Flexitarian

About 2 years ago, during the summer of 2011, I decided I was going to become a vegetarian. Over the course of those 3 months, I slowly phased out meat adding one extra day without meat every 2 weeks until eventually I was meatless everyday. I must admit, it felt awesome. I felt lighter on my feet. I didn’t get that sleepy feeling (known to some as “the itis”) when I ate too much and I had a lot of energy. Now I don’t really blame the bad feelings solely on the fact that I consumed meat with regularity but more on the level of fattening (or fatteningly prepared, see: deep fried) meats I consumed with regularity. This and a desire to pursue a more plant based lifestyle is what led me to decide to become a vegetarian.

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned.With meat totally eliminated from my diet, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Though I kept fish in my diet, I missed the taste and texture of flesh. I missed the “meaty” foods that I enjoyed. I hated missing out on so many of the foods I enjoyed in my past. There was a void that I had a hard time filling. I later found out this taste that I missed is called umami. A savory taste, which along with sweet, sour bitter and salty make up the five basic tastes. Even though I had so many other things to choose from, there were moments that my hunger for that umami needed to be fulfilled and only meat could fill it. So once or twice a week, I found myself indulging in meat.

 

Continue reading at my post on Yahoo! Voices…

 

 



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