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 1: Exercise

The Summer Get-Right Series Part 1: Exercise

 

Hey everyone, hope you’ve been having a great week!

We all know that even though summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. And what comes with summer? The beach, barbecues, vacations, outdoor concerts and all types of other fun! That doesn’t mean our workout should suffer though during the summer right? In fact, during the summer months it’s even easier to get that workout in. Many of you spent the fall and winter cooped up in the gym and now it’s time to get some fresh air for the next few months now that it’s getting warmer.

Welcome to Part 1 (of 2) of the Summer Get-Right Series, the Exercise portion. If you’re new to outdoor exercise or looking for ways to get your workout in outside the gym, read on, this will help.

So let’s get started…

1. Swimming. I know plenty of you will be getting in some time in at the beach or your pool or a friend’s pool or what have you. Swimming is a great workout especially in the summer because it burns calories as well as cools you off on a hot day. Not only that, it’s low impact so if you have knee or leg issues or you’d just rather not run, nothing like a good swim to get your burn on.

2. Walking. Walking is one of the simplest workouts you can get in anywhere and virtually anytime. Take a walk first thing in the AM before work, at lunch, after dinner. Park your car away from the office and walk the rest of the way to work.  Take the stairs instead of the escalator or the elevator. All these are great non intrusive ways to burn calories by walking but if you have the time, just take an hour and go for a long walk.

 

Read more on my guest post at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…



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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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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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Doc’s Log #8: The Long Overdue Update

Doc's Log (Notepad)

Good afternoon, friends and fellow (weight) losers! In the words of Rakim, “it’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you.

I can’t believe this summer has flown by so quickly and that I haven’t given a progress report all summer! I’ve missed you all. Life happens and unfortunately my poor blog suffered in the process.

As always, there is a good and bad news and developments but I’m trying not to make those post too lengthy. Consider it a “Best of…” or a highlight reel of what’s been going on with me and my weight loss quest.

Here goes…

1. My blood pressure is back to normal. I took my blood pressure being high very seriously and I adjust my diet accordingly. I lowered my sodium intake, got my water intake up to a gallon a day consistently and just ate better overall. And you know what? It helped. I didn’t expect it to go down so quickly but by July, it was 120/80. Awesome!

2. I got my weight down to 293. This is great new considered I started the year at 319. Reducing my sodium helped with this as well because so much of my weight gain seemed too come from water retention. The day after a sodium packed meal or even the day after a cheat meal, sometimes I gain as much as five pounds overnight.  While 26 pounds isn’t a whole lot over the course of 8 months, even the smallest victory is a victory for me.

3. I haven’t worked out all summer. Sad to say, I haven’t run, lifted a weight, done a push up or anything along those lines all summer. My excuse? None unfortunately. It was a combination of being unmotivated and simply lazy. I have started a new job recently though that keeps me very active. Not active as far as impact and intensity but active as in I spend a lot of time on my feet and walking. I downloaded a pedometer app for my phone and on average from the start of the day to arriving at home, including my work day, I take over 22000 steps, with at least 20000 steps being taken at work. That’s the equivalent of 10 miles a day, going by the rule of thumb that walking 2000 steps is the equivalent of walking a mile.

4. My diet has been pretty much on point though. That’s pretty much what kept me from gaining weight this summer. As soon as I got a hold of my diet, things started clicking. I was far from perfect, don’t get me wrong, and a few of my cheat meals went over board but overall, I’ve been eating pretty well. I’d say about 75% of the time I eat the way I’m supposed to. Also I’ve been waiting less. My intermittent fasting plan has me eating 4 times a day but  I usually don’t eat more than three often not eclipsing 2000 calories for the day but I’m not starving myself. I just don’t feel all that hungry all the time. My cheat meals are actually beneficial in this case because they give my metabolism a jump-start to keep it from burning too slow.

5. I decided to push the 9+1 back to next year and focus on fat burning through the remainder of the year. As September has arrived, there just aren’t enough short-range options of races for me to complete the 9+1 before the year’s end so I’ m going to push it back to next year which would prepare me for guaranteed entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon. I also still want another marathon under my belt so I’m planning the Honolulu Marathon for next December. However, I will be applying through the lottery for the 2014 NYC Marathon. If I get in, then the 9+1 will be null and void and I’ll run in 2014 instead.

Other than that I’m just concentrating on getting back into the routine of working out, flexitarian living (ate too much like  carnivore this summer), and sticking to intermittent fasting and getting into the habit of blogging more regularly than every 3 months.



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But Where Do I Start? 5 Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight

But Where Do I Start? 5 Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight
I get it.  Losing weight is tough. It’s difficult, requires so much effort, and takes way too much time. Hell, most times just getting started is the hardest part. You deprive yourself of everything that tastes good for a bunch of health food crap. You go in and try to walk off all your pounds in the first week and then a week later you’ve already given up. It sucks, I know. I know how you feel.

 

What would you say if I told you losing weight was much simpler than you may imagine? Now, by simple I don’t mean easy. Losing weight isn’t easy. Just ask the millions of people who are giving it a shot as we speak.

 

Becoming a gym rat and a health nut will come eventually but right now, you just need to get started doing SOMETHING. Never fear, I’m here to give you a few pointers. With these, even if you do nothing else but these six in the beginning, your body will benefit, trust me.

 

Here are 5 quick ways to start losing weight right now:

 

 
 



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