Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting Back At It

Well as my last post said we slacked off pretty good on vacation. Perhaps, based on some comments I got I was a little unclear as to what we were doing. We decided to make the vacation into an actual vacation and took the week off from the exercises and were less strict on the food for the week as well. We are not feeling guilty about this and we had every intention of starting back up when we returned this week. I say had because upon returning home we all, including the 2 kids, came down with a stomach virus for a few days which means we did nothing this week either (nothing like a house full of vomiting when you only have 1 bathroom). On the bright side the stomach virus more than made up for the lax nutrition last week and neither of us has put on any weight. we have yet to discus this but I think we will restart the 12 week program we were 3 weeks into previously on Monday assuming we are all feeling completely better by then.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I am a slack ass

So I have been on vacation now for a few days with valentines day thrown in for good measure and I have gone all out with the candy. I was pretty tired and sore from all the shoveling I had done for the first two days but that is gone now so I think it is time for me to get off my fat lazy ass and do a workout tomorrow. And no more candy tomorrow either.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Round 2, Day 16, Cardio X & Ab Ripper X

I like this Cardio X workout and it goes by real fast. It is over before you know it and you are sweating like hell and feeling good. I do admit it is easier than other cardio workouts like Plyo but it is a good one to do to maintain some cardio while trying to put on some muscle like we are now. Ab Ripper is just an ass kicker. It is still amazing to me how one time I do this and feel great and then the next time I can barely get through some of the exercises. I did something in the middle tonight and my stomach is tore up right now. I don't think all the snow shoveling has helped me much over the weekend and it looks like I am going to be shoveling a shitload of snow again tomorrow, it is coming down hard tight now.

I am feeling a little guilty about our upcoming vacation because we are seeing some results now, my arms are looking bigger or at least shaped differently now. I am hoping the vacation doesn't set us back but I need to remember this is not a race but a lifetime trip. I think there is a gym there we can use a couple days to make sure we don't lose any ground and then we can hit it real hard when we get back.

Make mine a double

There is an article in the NY Times, here, discussing a possible move by the government to change some rules for food labeling to make portion sizes more clear. While I agree it is a problem that a company would label an apparently single serving package with a calorie count that does not match the contents I can't agree with everything in the article. According to the article consumers "may also have trouble seeing it (serving size), where it usually appears in small type in the Nutrition Facts panel on food packages. In surveys conducted by the foundation, many more people say they look at the calorie number than at the serving size on which it is based." My problem with this is that we are not expecting people to be personally responsible for what they are eating. Am I supposed to believe that posting an honest calorie number on the package is going to have an effect on someone who can't take the time to even look at the serving size now, I doubt it. If you don't care enough to look at the serving size, or ingredients, or whatever on a package then I think it makes no difference if the labeling is correct or not because people won't read it anyway. The issue is not that the food is marked wrong the issue is that we eat too much of it and we sit on our asses and watch TV all day long. We evolved to be active creatures not sedentary, our metabolism does not work like that of a sloth. The government is afraid to recommend to people an amount of exercise that will truly help improve their health because they think it will somehow cause some to become discouraged so they dumb down the suggestions but somehow this is going to change peoples behavior. Don't get me wrong, I think there should e honesty in labeling but we also need honesty in what we can expect that to achieve, probably nothing in my view.

Round 2, Days 14 & 15

We took the day off on Sunday, aside from a lot of shoveling. Monday was Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps and we pushed really hard on this one again. We are both making some good gains in our workouts and I think looking better as well. We will have a bit of a strange schedule this week since we leave for FLA Friday for 10 days. We will not be sticking to our schedule exactly while on vacation this time but we will be bringing the DVD's and probably do Plyo or something. Not sure how it is all going to shake out but I will try to post some while we are on vacation. We also have another snowstorm coming through today with more than another foot of snow, I am pretty tired of shoveling.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Round 2, Day 13, Back & Bicep

This might be my favorite of the weight workouts, can't say favorite of all because I love me some Plyometrics, but what a bitch this was after shoveling the driveway with like 30" if heavy wet snow. We did increase our weight on most everything though and Sarah is still making gains on the pull-ups, I think she did a couple more unassisted last night. My arms are sore as hell this morning from the workout but man it feels good. Used to be I would complain about being sore after a workout now if I am not I am pissed that I did not work hard enough. My back is feeling pretty good which is surprising because shoveling usually does a number on it. I think I will post something soon about coming back from the back injury just for the hell of it.

Round 2, Day 12, Ab Ripper X

We did Ab Ripper a little early Thursday because our son, who is 4 wanted to do it too. He love doing Mason twists for some reason. It is amazing how much more of this you can do when you don't do another workout the same day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Round 2, Day 11, Legs & Back

Good workout last night. Sarah was pretty excited about an increase in the number of unassisted pull-ups she was able to do. I also saw some pretty good increases in what I was doing as well. My chest and shoulders were still pretty sore from the previous workout but that went away after the warm up. I am looking forward to doing the X Stretch routine tonight, not so much Ab Ripper X.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Whole Foods Uproar

Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey has done it again. Unless you live in a cave someplace you probably have heard of this company and John Mackey through one of the recent "controversies" he has stirred up. First was his apparent attempt to talk up his company while talking down a competitor on some message boards while posing as someone other than himself. While he was doing this he was working towards buying and eventually did buy that competitor, Wild Oats. He later authored a Wall Street Journal opinion piece which caused a stir because he put forth what some felt were some bad ideas on ways to make our health care system work better for us, you can read it here. The list goes on and on and all it takes is a quick google search on him to find a slew of controversial stories. The bottom line is Mackey is a strident Libertarian who espouses those principles loudly and that does not always make him friends. For the most part I agree with much of Mackey's views so perhaps it is no surprise that his latest move seems reasonable to me as well.

Whole foods has introduced a new employee wellness program that they call the "Team Member Healthy Discount Incentive Program." Employee wellness programs are nothing new and with all the health care talk lately they seem to have taken off. Usually these are relatively uncontroversial but in this case, based on the news stories and the comments of people in response to those stories, it seems this one has got people upset. The basic idea of this program is that each employee has the opportunity to gain additional employee discounts on Whole foods products beyond the current employee discount by demonstrating certain biomaker achievements such as blood pressure and BMI targets. There is an article here that has the details of the program but make sure to click the insert flyers and read the actual literature on the program because the article itself is very misleading as to what the program really is.

The complaints I have heard about this are all pretty much focused on the fact that these markers are not really a very good indicator of health and therefore people should not be "punished" for not meeting these targets. This opinion is uninformed based on my reading of the program documentation. The base employee discount in place prior to the program remains in effect for all employees regardless of these numbers and the program simply allows an employee to increase the discount they receive beyond that base discount if they wish to participate. This punishes no one but does reward people for some things that are broadly accepted as being indications of an overall reduction in risk of certain types of medical problems which in my opinion is a good thing. While it is true that there are some cases where a BMI can be very misleading, for example bodybuilders, this is not the norm and according to most accepted science today the markers being used in this program are good indicators of health risks especially when you take them all together as the program does. For more information on BMI and its limitations have a look at what the CDC has to say here. Similarly the CDC comments on cholesterol here and blood pressure here. Based on the research I have done it is beyond comprehension to me how anyone could argue that the markers used in this program, especially in combination with one another, do not indicate an increased risk of future health problems which is what the program is aiming to prevent, how radical.

The one complaint that seems to have some merit is one of concern for privacy. It appears the program is worked through the company and the company is collecting this medical information on its employees so there needs to be a good system of policies and procedures in place to assure employees this information will not be distributed or used inappropriately. Ultimately the company needs to make the privacy policy known to employees and enforce it vigorously but each employee must decide for themselves if it is something they would like to participate in which is why this is a voluntary program. The bottom line is if this program gets one Whole Foods employee to modify their diet somewhat or start an exercise program to bring their markers to a healthier level (read reduced risk level) how can that possibly be a bad thing? Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Round 2, Day 10, Cardio X & Ab Ripper X

This workout really flies by. It seemed like we just started and we were done. I do feel like it is a pretty good workout although a little less intense than the ones from the P90X Classic program. This is a good cardio routine to have in a maintenance phase though, or a mass building phase like we are in. As far as Ab Ripper, will this damn thing ever get any easier??? This is a great core workout and short too. I am looking to get my hands on something else for this though just to keep things fresh and new. It is kind of tiring doing the same ab workout all the time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Round 2, Days 8 & 9, Hockey and Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps

Monday night I had a hockey game so we did not do a workout but I still got some work in playing the game. Tonight we did the Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps workout again and it was good. We both increased either reps, weight, or both on most of the exercises so we are moving in the right direction. We also started doing the workouts with just the cues on and listening to music on the iPod instead of the DVD's. It is strange to not hear Tony and his bad jokes throughout the workout. We also are using a different set of workout sheets this time based on the spreadsheet available here. I modified the workout sheets some but they are pretty good. I like these better than the ones we had been using because they actually have an entry for every exercise instead of only some like the ones I downloaded from the beachbody site. This spreadsheet has a lot of additional things in it as well beyond just workout sheets and some of it is probably useful to most so check it out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Round 2, Days 6 & 7, Yoga X & Rest

My Saturday night hockey game was postponed due to the snow storm that blew through but by the time I found out we had already skipped Yoga X for the day so Saturday ended up being the rest day. We did Yoga X Sunday and we were pretty surprised at the results. Based on how poorly we did when doing the yoga moves in the Cardio X video last week we had assumed we were going to have big problems getting through Yoga X this time, not so. I think we both did at least as well as we ever have on this routine and it felt really good. We both felt very strong and unbelievably balanced. I felt like I could have stayed in tree or royal dancer forever. Today should be Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps but I may be playing hockey tonight so we may push everything back a day. I will find out later. I did weigh myself this morning too and was a whopping 151.6 pounds, holding steady and feeling strong.