A Little Slice of Pie

The magical world of pie! So many pies and so little time. Wait? There is more than just Apple Pie?  Of course!

  • Apple
  • Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Lemon Meringue
  • French Silk
  • Triple Berry
  • Pumpkin
  • Shepherds Pie
  • Pot Pie
  • Key Lime
  • Mince Meat
  • Pecan
  • Etc

However, this is not what this post is about; in regards to our health and weight loss, pie is our enemy.  But pie can teach us something important in getting towards our weight loss goal.

A Delicious Coincidence?

To all those that are math nerds, when you hear Pie or Pi this is what you think:

3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679 (the first 100 digits of pi).

3.14 is a percentage, a fraction or piece of the whole. It is used to figure out the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. We can take this “coincidence” of pi being flipped to spell the word Pie to our advantage.  How you ask? Easily, by breaking up our regime or weight loss goal into more manageable parts.  Like a slice of Pie.

Just as the numbers of PI have no end so can our health and weight loss.  As we continue to eat right, work out, and get all around healthy, our numbers are constantly changing.  Just as PI does not have repetition in its numbers, so does our weight loss; after some time our goals hit a plateau, it is at this point that we must change up our routine to continue the journey.  Therefore, our weight loss journey is constantly changing.  After we reach our goal, now it is time to maintain, which means we change how we work out and what we eat to keep us at our goal.  Our habits and goals are always changing just like the never ending numbers of PI.

Slice of Pie

As many of you who read this blog know, I have been trying to get down to my goal weight for a number of years.  As of this past Monday, I weighed 294 lbs again, I have been fighting staying below 300 lbs for most of this year. Why?  Too much pie in my life, too much unhealthy and fattening things in my eating habits.

As Steve Kamb of Nerdfitness.com fame has written “You Can’t Outrun Your Fork.”  And that is the truth, you can work out all you want and if you still eat like crap you are never going to reach those goals.  And for too long have I given into my fork and remained where I am today, still overweight and no where closer to my physical goals.

However, something happened last week that gave me new perspective and resolve to reach my goals.  Taking the pie and cutting it up into slices.

Divide and Conquer

Have you ever seen anyone who has sat and consumed a whole pie in one sitting?  I know I haven’t.

As we cut up a pie into more manageable pieces to eat, so should we with our weight loss.  I good friend mentioned a while back about dividing up her weight loss to make it easier to get down to her goal weight. Internally I scoffed at the idea, thinking that that wasn’t an ideal idea for myself.

However, as I have begun spending more time dividing up my goals, passions, and ideas into bits to work towards one part and then take the next step towards another, I reevaluated my disdain at hacking up my weight loss.  For the longest time I have looked at the whole pie, the whole image and stuck my fork into it and taken a bite at a time and wondering why I have never achieved my goals.

It’s because I was going after the whole pie at once.

Now I have taken my weight loss and cut it up; instead of thinking that I want to get to my goal in a year and never evaluating how to do so, I have divided up the pie.  I now look at it from the math portion 3.14, or in this case 3.75, the amount of pounds I am gearing towards losing every week.

Small Bites, not Big Bites

Instead of taking the whole pie one bite at a time, I have cut out a slice and am going to devour that one bite at a time.  3.75 lbs a week is the goal.  This decision has also changed my focus, if I want to lose the 3.75 pounds this week what actions do I have to take to get there?  It has changed how I look at my food.  Is this meal hurting or helping my weight loss, do I really want those peanut m&ms after lunch, or a small cone from Chick-fil-a? The answer now is no, because those items are not beneficial to my weight loss.

3.75 lbs a week is totally doable instead of trying to do the whole thing at once and then getting discouraged because I have never gotten there.  Right now I am looking forward to this October for my brothers wedding and my overall goal is to lose 50 lbs by the wedding; by focusing on this small bite at a time I know I can surely get achieve this goal and ultimately reach my final goal of 185 lbs by my 30th birthday in February.

And to end this blog, for your viewing pleasure, a video of Pie.

Thanks for reading, go out and take a bite out of your goals today Nerds.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think, would love to talk with you. And don’t forget to check out my other blog jjconnell.wordpress.com

Pies
Pi
Slice

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Just 420 Seconds

I know that I was going to do a series following the book Minimalism: live a meaningful life. I will pick that blog series back up next when I introduce something new on here as well.  For your reading pleasure today, I give you some fresh content after a few weeks off.

420 seconds. It’s as simple as that. Often times I lament setting aside time to workout, I don’t want to take time out of my day to workout and see the man I want to be. Just like the picture above, sometimes you just have to get on the bull and go for a ride. I found a terrific app for my phone called 7 minute.  The app uses HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to increase cardiovascular function and aid weight loss.  I have used it three times this week and after the end of the 8 minutes (an extra minute is due to the short rests between each workout) I am dripping sweat and breathing hard. More so tonight than previously because I pushed myself harder.

This week I have finally gotten back into working out after taking time off for a couple months due to injury.  A few months ago, I had randomly injured my right shoulder muscles, that limited my range of motion to very minimal. At this time my plantar fasciitis also kicked back in which deterred my ability to exercise even more.

The app recommends doing the circuit at least 3 times.  I am doing the circuit once currently, as I do it more and get my body back into the groove of exercising, then I will amp it up to 2-3 circuits.  After being off for a few months, I cannot just jump into the 3 circuits and re-injure my body, I have to ease into it.  But I had to jump on the bull into working out again and quit putting it off.

Seven minutes is all it takes, I am not working out for an hour, or running a mile; I am dripping sweat from seven minutes.  It is pretty simple, start off with jumping jacks to get the heart rate going, then move into wall sit, squats, push ups, crunches, box steps, plank, lunges, push up with rotation, high knees, tricep dips, and side planks. In between each work out is a 10 second rest.

That’s it, so simple and I feel great afterwards. The hardest part, most of the time, is overcoming that mental barrier we have set up in our minds to prevent us from exercising. In this case it really is mind over matter, or mind over situation. Do I want to work out and get into the best shape of my life or would I rather continue catching up on my favorite TV shows?  Those shows will still be online when I get done; however I will never get to my goal weight if I continue to sit on my duff.

How can I not work out when it is only eight minutes of my time? Anyone can find 8 minutes to do HIIT and start getting into their summer shape. If I ever want to see my abs and no long be the round shape I have been for most of my life then I have to continue to do this and push myself more each time.  On top of this I also have to keep my eating habits in check.

Another app I have added is called ImQuit, which uses a timer that continuously counts up for how long you have resisted temptation.  I currently have four timers, two are private and the other two are fast food and sweets. At the writing of this post I have avoided fast food for 1d:2h:40m and Sweets for 2h:41m.  Let’s keep those timers going and keep up the good work.

Go out and feel the burn today nerds and would love to hear from you as to what you are doing to eat right, work out, and all around get into shape.

Bull
Burn
Round

Minimalism Part 1: Health

As I stated in my last blog, I am going to do my first post series. Recently I finished a great book by Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus called Minimalism: Living a meaningful life. Over the next few weeks I am going to take each week and implement a different chapter from the book.  This first week, I am going to talk about Health.

I will make a promise to you that over the next week I will stick to the things I am going to say here and then next friday I will write the next post and give a update to how the past week has gone.

The Beginning

In this chapter, they talk about the main ingredients of getting and being healthy, eating and exercising. Not even remotely a surprise there. What you put into your body encompasses more than your diet (pg. 38).  And this is something I have “known” for a long time, the struggle is taking this wisdom to heart and putting it to work in our lives.

This post and the weeks to follow are all part of this reboot that I am doing in my life to get my health, myself, and my life where I want it to be.  I know I have said it before, but it is worth saying it again.  It is a process, it is slow slicing success and a day by day process to see the results I desire.

Medicine, Gluten, and Packaged Food

Most of the time I do not do any kind of medicine.  I have in the past done allergy relief medicine when my allergies have gotten out of hand; nowadays I don’t do any form of medicine.  I try as much as possible to go natural, not as a nudist, but in medicine.  I will do essential oils for certain ailments, peppermint and fluids for a headache, and will do as many natural remedies as I can for any health issues.  It’s not that I don’t trust doctors, at times I do, seeing what has happened with the health of relatives and friends as they are prescribed pills upon pills.

The rage right now is gluten free eating and living.  Even in the book they discuss living a gluten free life. Both of the authors live a pescatarian lifestyle of eating, which means vegetarians who eat fish.  I don’t know about you but, I enjoy chicken, turkey, the occasional red meat too much to forgo it all.  I am not going to talk about a Paleo lifestyle since I have written about it several times.  Although, it is an option which to discover and see if it is a eating change that would work for you.

Lastly, processed and packaged food.  We all know what these are, its the middle of the grocery store, all of the bagged and packaged things.  Several bloggers that I read and follow have talked about the one way to grocery shop is to follow the outside of the store and completely avoid the interior aisles.  Now of course there are a few good things in the interior, frozen vegetables, protein bars, teas and some of your gluten free goods.  However, the healthiest options for you are on the outer aisles and circumference of the store.

Exercise Habits

Something I realized this afternoon once again, is that we don’t need to set aside hours of our day to get the workout in. Often times we think, “Oh I need to workout today.”  And we dread the thought because, at least in my mind, it means I have to set aside several hours to do it.  In reality, all I need is 30 mins.  Either broken up throughout the day, or all at one point.  I am pretty sure that any of us can find a mere half hour to get the exercise in and begin to see a slow, but steady transformation.

Most of the time, if not all of the time, our “limits” are all in our minds.  We can do this, we can make the changes necessary and become the people, the men and women, we desire to become.  It takes dedication, effort, and persistence.  We just need to get up and give in to those desires and go out there and commit to making a change.

Go out and feel the burn today nerds.  Leave a comment, question, response.  Would love to hear from you!

Less
Lift

All About the Reboot

Do any of you remember this show from the 90’s?

I loved this show as a kid, I now need to waste a day and rewatch this show.  The adventures inside of a computer as programs worked to mend and defend the city aka “mainframe”  from Megabyte and Hexadecimal, two viruses bent on infecting the world.

The concept of Reboot can become applicable to our own lives. The “mainframe” is our lives, we are Guardian Bob with an array of quirky sprites to assist us and we have viruses like Megabyte and Hexadecimal to thwart our desires and goals. That is the place I am at right now. It is time to reboot again, to start over on the journey to weight loss central.  To fend off the viruses of despair and lack of motivation, to change out my weapons to better combat my enemies.

Occasionally we all need to do a reboot of our lives, or even just certain areas of our lives. When we do though, the good news is that we get to keep all the EXP learned and just have to reapply our points as we start again on a different leg of the journey.  We retain all that we learned, what worked and what didn’t, and where we failed.  Then we can take all this information and use it to try again.

Equip Yourself

I know there are many times in RPGs that I will stop in a town or safe zone and assess my equipment.  I will take stock of what I have, equip better equipment or improve my current equipment before continuing the journey.  We can read dozens of success stories and become so inspired to go about things the way they did and then get even more discouraged when their success doesn’t translate to our success.

However, what they did may not exactly work for you or me.  We have to find the equipment, the regime, or appropriate lifestyle changes that will work for us individually.  Just like in an RPG party you can’t have all Warriors; you need the Mages, Healers, Ranged, and Tanks to create a balanced and effective party.  In the very same vein, the same strategy of weight loss, eating right etc isn’t going to work for every person.

We have to tailor the weight loss to each of us individually, find what you like to do physically and do that, and then when that is easy find ways to level it up to increase the difficulty.  Experiment with different lifestyle changes for food to find the one that works for you.

If you struggle with losing weight and you have tried different diets, then maybe a good option to try is a food allergy test. See maybe what foods are you eating that you are actually allergic to that are prohibiting you from losing weight.  I know for my own mother that is what really kicked her weight loss and health to a new gear when she found out what all she was actually allergic to and yet still consuming.  It is amazing how much better you feel as a whole when you are no longer putting things into your body that are essentially poison to you.

So today, decide if it is time to reboot, restart, or respawn your life or just a certain area of your life.  I know I have had several things happen that brought about this thought to reboot my life.  This post worked out great to begin a series of post next week.  I will talk about that more in next weeks post.

Don’t forget to comment, subscribe, and check out my other blog as well.  Go out and change up Nerds!

Reboot
Kitty
Phoenix

In a Mirror World

We all have this ideal of how we want to look, what we want our lives to be like, how we want to live etc.  I know that I definitely have this narrow field of how I want(ed) everything to look.  However, the fact of the situation is that nothing could be farther from what I desire.  My current place in life isn’t even remotely close to what I had envisioned at 29.

The first step to fixing a problem is realizing there is one.

I know there is a problem, I know that I have problems that need fixing.  Like I stated a couple weeks ago, I don’t even know where to begin.  Recently, it feels like I am stuck in the hallway of life, surrounded by doors and none of them unlocked.  I have felt like I have supported many in pushing forward and finding their unlocked doors of destiny and yet I cannot seem to find mine. My list of problems is broad but my understanding of how to begin fixing them is limited.

I am writing this from a place of honesty.  Writing this from a place of confusion in my life.  As we look at the mirror of our lives and view the reflection staring back at us, we cannot compare it to others.  Something I still do frequently.  I wish I had/was/could ________ (insert desire here).  We begin to formulate this list of things we find wrong in our lives and forget the list of blessings.  We formulate this list of things we wish we had, could do, were etc and get so blindsided by these things that we prevent ourselves from looking at the positive circumstances around us.

This is a place I have backed myself into, I have cornered myself with what I don’t have and zeroed in on those things and the good around me has become a blur.

Instead of trying to put everything back together at once, I need to take a single piece, figure out where it belongs and go from there.  Take each piece at a time and examine them before moving on to the next piece.  I need to take each area of my life, take that piece,look at it from all angles and find out how to put it back into its place.  And I need to be okay with finding pieces that no longer belong and throwing them out.  It is going to be a painful process where I am going to have to remove shards that have embedded themselves into my flesh.  However, I have to remember that it is all about slow slicing success.  No matter how painful it is going to be.

Hack it up into chunks

I may also need to take pieces and cut them up into separate chunks so that they will fit better as part of the whole.  If I want to lose over 100 pounds over the next year, I need to cut up the weight loss into smaller parts and focus on meeting the smaller goals and quit focusing on the end game.  If I want to move out, make more money, lose weight, get out of debt etc then I need to take the pieces one by one and refit them into the whole picture I have for my life. I need to quit focusing on the shattered image I see of myself and my life in the mirror and change my perspective to see the individual pieces that need fixing.

It is going to suck, it is going to hurt. I have to endure.  I need to endure.  I cannot see the completed picture, I can only see what is in front of my right now and I need to attack a section at a time and quit worrying about the whole image.  It will come together in time, I need to be patient with my future and more importantly with myself.  All things will work out for good in the end.

Let me know what parts of your life you want/need to fix.  Would love comments, thoughts, suggestions.  Thanks folks!

Mirror
Heart

Life is like…Instant Oatmeal?

Actually life isn’t at all like instant oatmeal.  Although we all wish it was, sadly this is not even remotely the case.  In actuality, life is like a slow cooking pot roast.  As much as we desire to see instant results from eating right for a week, working out for an hour etc it just isn’t going to happen.  It takes dedication and hard work to achieve the results we desire in any area of our lives.

What is change really like?

In reality, it is all about slow slicing success.  In his sermon of the same name, Pastor Levi Lusko discusses slow slicing success in regards to being a creature of habit or changing our habits. He discusses how the chinese used slicing or Lingchi to slowly cut a person to death. (Click the link to read the description of true Chinese Lingchi, rather gruesome.)  However, Pastor Lusko makes a great point, we need to use slow slicing success in our lives to make lasting and effective change.  We cannot expect to hack off large chunks and expect to see lasting change; it has to be done in slow slices, a bit at a time.

To really see change, this poster makes a great point.

day mo 77 Daily motivation (25 photos)

In our American culture of quick service, instant meals, fast food, express lanes, drive thru service etc we have come to expect the same of change in our lives.  We have become an impatient and inconsiderate society, wanting everything now and not have to wait.  With almost everything, we “Want it now!” (<- check out the video! a classic) And we don’t want to work for it.

“She was a bad egg.”

Just as Mr. Wonka states after Veruca falls down the chute. That is what becomes of us as we desire the reward without the effort.  We become bad eggs, selfish, self-seeking and impatient.  And I have to remind myself quite often that it is all about slow slicing success; if I want to see the change I have to stick it out, see it through and wait the weeks it will take to get to where I want to be. I cannot expect to “want it now.”

Slow cooking pot roast

And that is something that is so difficult, I want immediate results. I want to see the calories and inches just fall off after eating a healthy meal, or working out for an hour.  Unfortunately, life isn’t instant oatmeal.  Unfortunately, life is like a slow cooking pot roast, it has to sit and cook for ours in a broth to achieve culinary perfection.  And just like instant oatmeal, you may enjoy the quick results, but they aren’t lasting; instant oatmeal isn’t filling for a long time.  Pot roast is a filling and lasting meal, you are full for hours afterwards.

We need the same results from our eating, exercise, and weight loss habits.  Powders, supplements, and shakes are great as instant oatmeal; however you need to have real and lasting change.  That is why I am big on eating right without all the supplements, powders, shakes etc.  That is the direction I am taking in my life, finding natural and lasting options instead of using meal replacement shakes and all of the other “healthy” weight loss alternatives.  This options require you to continue their use after you reach your goal to maintain that achievement.  Why would I want to do that?  I would much rather achieve my goal through natural means and be able to easily maintain through continual eating right and exercising than continuing the use of shakes, supplements, and powders.

What point are you trying to make?

Good question. Let me sum up everything I am saying.  As much as we desire it, life is not like Instant Oatmeal.  Life is like a slow cooking pot roast.  It takes weeks of effort and dedication to reach our goals for change, weight loss, or any desire we may have.  We cannot expect everything to get better over night.  Look up success stories of people achieving their goals, none of them were overnight sensations.  For some, it took years, even decades to reach their lifelong dreams.  So I tell you this today, continue the effort and push forward.  It is all about the slow slicing success.  Take off little chunks at a time, little slices here and there and eventually you will reach that highly sought after achievement.

Let me know what slow slices you are currently making.

Oatmeal
Weeks
Pot Roast (also a recipe)

You know Nothing, Jon Snow!

Ah Ygrette, sarcastic, sassy Wildling.  And she speaks what I am feeling right now.  When it comes to knowing how to lose weight and eat right there are innumerable resources at my fingertips and yet no matter how much I read, I have no idea where to start.  Lately when it comes to thinking about how to get back on track to losing weight, what workouts to do, and what lifestyle change to make, my brain turns to fog.  I have so much information that I have consumed, watched, read etc that it is an overwhelming mass of noise that I don’t even know how to sift through it all.

It has been almost a year since I have posted a blog, last fall I was extremely busy with flying out of Colorado every week as a private contractor.  Our meals during the events were catered and it was very difficult to eat right when you had no choice in what to eat; we were working 16 hour days and when meals hit, you ate whatever they served just to get energy and food back into your system.  It was hard to try and lose, or even maintain any weight loss during those 4 months of travel even though I was putting in 30K+ steps daily.

Now that I am going to post again, I need to get my life back on track.  There are certain things that are coming up within the next 6 months to a year and I need to get down to my goal weight.  I need to buckle down and focus on weight loss, eating right, and working out.  I know that a large portion of why I continue to fail is what I eat on a regular basis. Food is so yummy and I honestly do not watch what I eat.  Okay I do, I watch it go into my mouth and then regret my decision after my meal.

I think the first step I am going to take is to go gluten and dairy free, well at least as much as I possibly can.  My house is already gluten free since my mother has a gluten allergy, among other things as well.  Because I already have inherited her allergy to eggs, it is probably safe to say that I may inherit her allergy to gluten as well.  Although the chances are small, I shouldn’t take the risk.

And I know I need to make my meals for the week instead of eating out for lunch at work every day.  I think it will also help my financial matters as well instead of paying $10-15 every day for food by eating out.  Along with going Gluten and Dairy free this leads into going Paleo. I know I have stated in the past that I was going Paleo, or wanted to go Paleo; but I failed, over and over again.  However, that is okay and there is no time like the present to get on the right path and do what I said I was going to do.  It is going to take some planning and dedication to eliminate the necessary things from my diet and stop chasing my fork and make a permanent lifestyle change. And I need to remember to give myself grace and that it is all about Slow Slicing Success to achieve anything and nothing is efficiently accomplished in giant hacks. So here we go, starting again, again, again, and again.

Let me know how your lifestyle changes, weightloss, eating habits etc are going.  Would love to know what has or hasn’t worked for you all.

Snow
Gluten