Day 2 - Gut Check, More Salad, & No Beer

Today I got to finally "Get After It"...

Woke up this morning to a beautiful and quickly warming day.  It actually felt good to meet the day with a clear head as I joined the family in doing chores in the crisp and refreshing air.  Dropped the kids at school and headed to the gym.  I decided it would be best to work out on an empty stomach, and I'm glad I did.

The trainer at the gym today was a younger mother of two who had her kids in tow.  I figured this was going to be an easy workout just based on my assumption of what I thought of the trainer... I was wrong.  The warmup was a never ending cycle of punches, kicks, squats, and shadow boxing.  By eight minutes into this, I was wondering if this was the warmup or the workout.  We took a quick break to put on gloves and grab weights.  I kinda giggled inside as we all grabbed 5 pound dumbbells.  I was thinking, "this can't be that hard if we're only using 5 pound weights!".  

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We paired up with a partner and took turns alternating between heavy bag work and dumbbell work for 10 - one minute rounds.  The heavy bag work consisted of punches, kicks and knees.  Two of the rounds we speed punched the bag four times then hit the floor in a sprawl then jumped back to our feet - that was a butt kicker!.  The dumbbell workout consisted of doing punches with the dumbbells which really worked the shoulders.

By this time, the sweat was really flowing and I was feeling pretty good.  We then all took our cute dumbbells and joined in a seated circle.  I was quickly going to learn the torture that could be dealt by our trainer.  This was the ab workout...  For ten long one minute rounds, we repeated exercises of boxing situps, Russian twists, planks, and side planks.  It hurt!

I returned home to a warm day of chores to do.  Working on the fence, repairing the tractor, and moving some hay.  Needless to say, the sweat continued to flow.

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The diet today was another beautiful garden salad with goat cheese for lunch.  Afternoon snack of homemade pickled eggs.  Dinner was sweet potato and green beans.  Drink of the day was lots and lots of water to replace my sweat.  I did treat myself to a couple glasses of homemade Kombucha which was very refreshing.

Thanks for reading.  See you tomorrow.

Day 1 - Measuring Tape, Burpees, and Salad

First off, thanks to all of you who wished me well on this adventure.  It means a lot.

This morning I woke with somewhat of a fuzzy head from the night before's binge of bad food and beer.  Even though I wasn't 100%, I was still ready to tackle the day and Get After It!  

Today was the assessment day of my gym's 6 week bootcamp.  I know, I know... another fitness bootcamp.  How hard could it be?  This gym is "The Pit North".  The Pit MMA gyms have trained some pretty legit fighters such as Chuck Liddell, Tim Kennedy, etc, etc.  They pride themselves on hard workouts that result in sweat, spit, puke, and blood.  We shall see if I can hang...

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We started out with some pretty decent warmup exercises:  jumping jacks, punches, kicks, and stretches.  I was pulled aside by the staff for my physical assessment while the rest of the group continued on in what they call "CrossPit".  From what I could see, Crosspit look to be a combination of body weight exercises with MMA drills mixed in.  I look forward to doing that tomorrow.

The physical assessment was pretty straight forward and consisted of taking my weight, measurements, and performing 4 exercises.  The exercise portion consisted of doing max reps of certain exercises within a minute.  The exercises were pushups, sit ups, deep squats, and burpees.  The assessment told me what I already knew... I was out of shape!  There was pretty awesome thing that came from this assessment - seeing my wife kick butt!  Melissa decided to do the bootcamp with me and she amazed me with her energy.  I had never seen her like that.

After the assessment, Melissa and I decided to continue the calorie burn by taking a short hike around Atascadero Lake.  The day was off to a beautiful start.

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As for the food, lunch was a wonderful fresh garden salad with grass fed beef toped with goat cheese!  Dinner was an omelette made with fresh eggs, bacon, and veggies.  Yum!  No beer and lots of water.

All and all, Day one was a success and in the books.  With a little discipline and hard work, I think I can do this

Fat, Sick and Feeling like Crap

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It was 6 years ago that I decided to make a drastic life change.  For most people that means quitting a habit or committing to a workout routine.  For me it was a little more heavy...  I moved my family from the postcard neighborhood we were happily living in to a rundown house on property in Central California.  The reason... Get back to the healthy way of living that I dreamed of.

I come from a farming family.  There was 6 generations of farmers before me.  Although I moved away from the family farm at age 5, I felt the pull of my calling throughout my life.  My high school years were filled with Future Farmers of America and time spent on my friends ranches.  Even know my parents had hope I would choose different interests, I had decided that I wanted to make my life in farming and ranching.  

Well, life happened and plans changed.  While attending college as an Ag Business major, I started to work as a seasonal firefighter.  I quickly learned that it would be easier for me to make a living as a firefighter than as a farmer.  Life continued with marriage and children, and that life was good.  But I still had a calling back to the farm.  In 2012, our family decided to chase that calling and start our own ranch, from the ground up.  This journey was quite the adventure filled with multiple ups and downs, but within a year, we were raising our own food.  

This new chapter in our life came with so many benefits, but the biggest was the healthy food we were growing.  I never realized how the quality of food effected ones health.  It quickly became evident that the freshness of our produce and purity of our pasture raised meats was making us a healthier family.  Life was good.  I had lost weight, and gained energy.  My family seemed to be experiencing the same results as well.  Needless to say, life was going well until the train derailed about 6 months ago....

I'll save you the lengthy story, but in November of 2017, I fell off the "Homegrown Diet".   It started with a 7 day trip to Mexico, quickly followed by the largest wildfire in California history (21 days), followed by a 14 day illness, and followed by a devastating mudslide (10 days).  Basically, I went from eating top quality foods, everyday for 5 years straight, to less than 2 months of eating crappy foods, and the results were drastic.  I quickly gained weight and my energy level dropped.  The weird thing was, I kinda craved the crappy food.  Even though I realized my health was in decline, I kept eating like crap!  Even crazier, I went in for a routine physical and the results were scary.  My blood pressure was up, cholesterol was up, and testosterone was done!  I had to get back on track...

Starting tomorrow, I will be making a huge change for the good.  I have committed to a 6 week lifestyle of only eating/drinking what comes from our property.  Yep, no processed foods, beer, breads, etc.  Exercise will consist of a daily workout at "The Pit MMA" and ranch chores.  Let's see if 6 weeks will break the chains of my crappy lifestyle.  

Wish me luck!

-Matt