Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tammy (my wife) left me on Saturday.

I do miss her and will miss her more.


She went to her parents for the 4th…wait….you thought she’d left me for good. I didn’t mean to leave you with that impression. :) (that is a marketing ploy...people love "dirty laundry")



Love and Support is Key

To achieve your fitness goals, you need the love and support of a significant other, like I have with Tammy.

You need someone who can give you a gentle push down the stairs when needed, like I have with Tammy.

You need someone who can pick you up after they’ve kicked you so hard you can’t walk, like I have with Tammy.


Typing these words reminded me that I haven’t thanked nor shown my wife enough appreciation publicly on this blog, for her love and support since my hospital stay.

I will never forget the love and concern Tammy showed for me the very first night in the hospital. I could barely hold my eyes open….but there was Tammy, right by my side. She kept asking me questions about some paperwork while the nurses were working frantically to rehydrate me (so I wouldn't slip into a coma).

I couldn’t make sense of what she was saying but I could tell she was getting irritated so she came back the next night when I was more alert. She was wanting to know the death benefit of my life insurance policy.....

Here's a picture of my hospital room, or a picture of a hospital room....

OK, I made that story up about Tammy ….but the rest are true stories.


Tammy has remained supportive throughout, almost never questioning or doubting my training regimen. She has a unique way of pushing me to do more. Like the time I told her with great pride, “I finally jogged 2 ½ miles today!” She called me a liar…so we went to the high school track field and I ran a 2nd 2 ½ miles that very day to prove it to her. Yes, Tammy really knows how to motivate me.

She used the same technique the day I passed the 5 mile distance. Once again, there she was pushing me in her own unique way….calling me a liar…so the next day we went to the track and I exceeded the five miles by running around the track 24 times which is 6 miles.

She uses a slightly different form of reverse psychology almost every week when she buys Cheetos, Gatorade, Doritos, or some other very tasty non-nutritious food or drink that she knows I can’t consume. Yes, despite doctor’s orders to empty the cupboards of simple carbohydrates, Tammy is constantly testing me. I guess she’s allowing me to show how strong I can be by seeing these in the drawer or refrigerator everyday and choosing everyday not to eat or drink them.

She last utilized reverse psychology during the shooting of my 30 day pics. I asked how the pictures looked, (I was talking about the picture quality).

She responded, “you look ok except for your gut”…..Yes, without the love and support of a close friend or spouse…it’s really tough to achieve your goals. Everyday I am thankful for having the love and support of my wife Tammy.

I had Brad (my youngest son) read and approve this for publication....so blame him.

Seriously though...Tammy's been very supportive....THANK YOU TAMMY!


Steve



Monday, June 29, 2009

Max's High Fiber Diet....no he didn't eat my weed salad.

Max went High Fiber …could be trouble?

Last night I ended up running 6 miles and when I got closer to home I became concerned. Typically Max starts barking and jumping up and down when he sees me coming. Last night there was no bark, no problem it happens some times. Usually the only time he doesn't bark...if he has done something bad....

I open the door, he’s doesn’t even jump up to greet me…now I know he's done something he thinks is bad.

In Max’s world that can be something like taking a pillow off the bed or it can be taking the trash can and spreading the contents all over the house.

I look over to my left and see Max laying on the floor. He's doing his equivalent of, “Hey dad, just laying here…nothing much going on.” Or it could be the old, “If I lay here quietly, maybe he won’t notice.” approach.

I say, "hello Max"...he doesn't budge. This isn't a good sign, he's really thinking he did something bad. I'm thinking a trash can's contents will soon be visible and I'll have to clean it up....late at night after running 6 miles...I am NOT a happy camper.

I look at Max and ask him again...softly, "Max what did you do?"....he doesn't flinch. This can't be good.

I walk into the kitchen and I see it….Max REALLY cheated on his diet! I had bought this loaf of bread yesterday and I had eaten one….(1) piece of bread….Max ate practically the entire loaf….at least it was whole wheat.

For humans, 25g of dietary fiber is plenty…max had 40g in one sitting.

From a "mess" standpoint I was relieved but I have heard of dogs being diagnosed with Diabetes so I was concerned about him eating an entire loaf of bread. It is now evening the day after and Max seems to be doing fine.

P90X

I feel like a kid who receives a cone of ice cream everyday and each day it is a different flavor. When asked what his favorite flavor is…he answers "this one".

By design, each of the P90X workouts are different and while I may not always enjoying them while I am performing the workouts, afterwards I really do like them all.

You know the old saying, no pain no gain….if you do these workouts with intensity, you will be sore. So, when you wake up sore in the morning…you know you are making progress.

Today I had Chest/Shoulders/Triceps…if you “bring” the intensity…you will get a serious workout and I did….so I should be sore tomorrow. :) Speaking of tomorrow I have Plyometrics, there is a lot of cardio work with squats, lunges and actual jumping in the workout. To vary the intensity, you can perform most of these with or without weights.


Cya,


Steve

Goal Update - End of Week 5

Goals Update : End of week 5 *8 weeks left!*

  1. BMI = Normal : done (wt 172)

  2. 32” jeans : done (I can wear 30"....)

  3. 30 Push Ups : completed 23 (up from 21 last week, getting closer...)

  4. Beat sons in Basketball : no update

  5. 7 Minute Mile – no update - I attempted my test yesterday, in the neighborhood. I had not run all week so I was going to continue on after my test and jog 6 miles. I don’t think I warmed up enough as both knees caused me some problems so I slowed to a jog and finished the 6 miles.

    I may have been too ambitious on this goal. I know how to train to run a 7 minute mile (I ran track in high school) and to train properly I would need to run ¼ and ½ sprints as well as 1 mile and 2 mile runs…I don’t like the idea of running ¼ and ½ mile sprints in July/August…..

    Another reason I don’t want to run the sprints, the goal was to accomplish a 7 minute mile after completing the P90X, it was not to run a 7 min. mile by any means necessary. So I am only going to utilize the P90X workouts and we’ll see what happens. As a personal challenge, in the fall, I may see if I can run a 7 minute mile, IF I don’t accomplish it by the end of August with P90X.

Weight Moving

I was moving some of my weights around yesterday. I picked up two 20 lb dumb bells and I realized something …this is how much weight I’ve lost since discharging from the hospital. (212 – 172 = 40 lbs).

Just to see what it was like, I walked around the house carrying the weights for 10 mins.…that’s a lot of weight to carry around and it’s a hell-u-va lot of fat to be carrying around.

Try this, determine how much over weight you are then pick up and carry that much weight around for 5 -10 minutes, if you have some stairs you can climb that would be even better. Then sit the weight down and walk around for a few minutes.

1) While you are carrying it, you’ll realize how much extra work it takes for your body to carry that weight around.

2) After you sit the weight down …you’ll get a sense for how much easier it will be on your body when you lose the weight.


Steve

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mishmash of Stuff ---sounds like a good stew...

It’s Sunday so this also marks the end of another P90X week!!!

*Five weeks down and with eight to go!

If you knew me in Jan ‘09, would you have thought that in June you’d be reading a health/fitness blog written by me? (I have to laugh at the thought of that.) I was like Mikey in the old cereal commercial…”hey, give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything”.

*** I CAN NOT FIND ANY PICS OF ME when I was obese…if you have ANY PICS please let me know. For some reason, I'm not quite sure why but I wasn’t posing for many pics when I was 230+ pounds. This reminds me,

....there was a Mexican restaurant that had great food but I stopped going there unless others insisted. They had these full length exterior windows and as I walked in from the parking lot…I could see myself in the reflection and I would be disgusted at what I saw….not so disgusted as to not stuff myself on high fat food however.

This was the same restaurant where I ordered and ate two lunches. It’s along story…I ordered them for “the table" but no one else wanted the 2nd lunch….you know, waste not want not. Wait...that’s not an excuse…I WAS A GLUTON! Said it! Experts say that realizaton is the first step to recovery. :)

FYI – I thought I would “sprinkle” some marketing insights in my posts, you know… so you receive a balanced diet of data/input….my single largest page view day was June 24th. The page’s title>>> “XXX- maX’s p90X piX”.

Not that this is a real shocker…but it beat the next highest by @ 50%. The page with the 2nd highest number of page views had a title of “Totally Nude Before and After Pics”…LOL!....hhmmmm I guess sex does sell…. And all this time, I thought it was the great literary value that was “pulling in” the readers. :)

So…I am thinking about changing the focus of the blog to “nutrition and fitness for the Porn industry”. …just kidding!! I called the porn industry association, unfortunately they weren’t interested.

---

Here is a pic I left out from the P90X Day 30 pics. I didn't want to scare people away but today I said, "what the heck". As you can see I was sucking in my stomach here and attempting to pump up what little muscles I have.

---

Completed Kenpo X yesterday, it is a cardio workout that utilizes boxing/martial arts moves so there is kicking and punching mixed into this low impact workout. The only set that I don’t do are the jumping jacks, I can do them but it puts stress on my knees. Given my history of knee issues, I substitute another activity when these come up.

That is important to remember, there will likely be exercises that you will not be able to do (not matter what your workout is) …but that is ok, you can substitute exercises that you can do.

Regardless of your workout, if you walk, if you jog, P90X....regardless...

DO YOUR BEST AND FORGET THE REST

Peace out!

Steve

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Health Preacher??

Health Preacher….hmmmph!

I was recently called a “health preacher”….I don’t think it was meant as a compliment …but I’m going to take it as one. :)


In this post…I am going to do some preaching. (no offense to preachers intended)

Nutrisystem/D

I keep seeing an ad for Nutrisystem’s meal system for those people diagnosed with Diabetes, I think they call it Nurtrisystem /D. I should tell you that I have not personally tried the meals, but from what I am told they are tasty but expensive. I looked into Nutrisystem as a possible solution to my situation at one time. Their meals are healthy and I know at least some of their meals were GI tested (Glycemic Index) and they rated very well. So other than their cost, I have nothing negative to say about their product.

Some people may need the structure that Nutrisystem provides. Who knows, if I’d tried their product a year ago, maybe I would not have had my health problems.

But I do want folks to know that there is a more cost effective way of eating right and losing weight.

A much cheaper option would be to:

1) Purchase a book on the Glycemic Index, The book I bought cost less than $8. “The New Glucose Revolution“ by Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller. Follow their dietary instructions. I know it is tough to change eating habits but you can do it. …not to get on my soapbox…but if I can do it…anyone can do it. JUST DO IT! You’ll be eating vegetables , beans, lean meats and whole wheat products. You should limit drinking sodas / soft drinks / sports drinks or at least drink artificially flavored versions.

2) Exercise! I know it’s tough but start out walking as much as you can, 15 mins if that’s all you can do. The next day walk 20 mins, the next day 30 mins. Etc etc.

When I was just starting out, I walked/ran further each day than the previous day.
In some cases, it may have only been 20 yards…heck, walk to the next mail box, do that every day….walk to the next mailbox and then the next.

I believe that it is VERY important to the mental aspect of this process. Each day, you can tell yourself you are getting stronger and fitter. Each day you are improving. Each day you are doing more to improve your health than the last.

Just do this everyday (or at least 4-5 days a week) and before long, you’ll see a real difference, especially if you are abiding by the nutritional plan above. Give this a week or two and ONCE YOU START TO SEE RESULTS, IT WILL BE MUCH EASIER TO CONTINUE!

*** I was getting ready to hit “publish” on this post and I thought of something else that is important…this blog. I had lost the vast majority of my weight before I started this blog...but I know that it helps to keep me motivated especially when it comes to the P90X program….do you think I want to quit after having gone this far…posting my pics etc. NO WAY. Or worse yet….how about posting pics that are WORSE than the pics before, showing that I was getting fatter…..THAT AIN’T HAPPENING BROTHER! LOL! I may end up not having the body I want…but I am NOT going to be heavier. If I have to fast while hiking to the top of Mt. Mitchell…I am not going to be heavier.

The point to all this being…if anyone would like to start a blog just contact me and I will help you get it set up. It really is relatively simple.


Steve Cooksey

Friday, June 26, 2009

Steve's on Drugs!?

Steve isn’t following the P90X diet/nutrition plan ….strictly.

Side Note: I enjoy writing about myself in 3rd person…it makes me feel impotent…er…I mean important, you know like those sports stars. Wait, I don’t mean that I am impotent like sports stars, I don’t take steoids. I have never thought about buying Viagra..wait, ok I did think about buying it but I didn't and I do not need it.

LOOK! Before this rumor gets started and spreads ALL over the internet, Steve is NOT on steroids, Steve is not impotent.

I know, I know what you are thinking….”But Steve, how can you lose weight and gain such large muscles…soo fast? “ “Say it ain’t so Steve”.

Ok, I’ll say it one more time, “it ain’t so”, “I, Steve Cooksey of sound mind and (super sound) body do hereby claim that I am not taking any banned substances.” LOL! I AM JUST KIDDING! I have a long way to go to have a sound body…just kidding GEESH!

On a serious note, back in ’00 I was working out on my Bowflex (before it became a coat rack) and I took an ephedrine based product…my heart started racing…it really scared me….I mean REALLY SCARED ME. I guess drinking a pot of coffee and taking the equivalent of speed isn’t good for you. :)

Really Seriously….getting back to bidness----I have not been following the P90X nutrition plan.

Look, I was hospitalized essentially for being a sedentary garbage disposal….so I studied real hard about what to eat and what not to eat plus I have this Diabetes “thang” hanging over my head…so you know…I know how to eat right.

The diet plan I have been following:

  • eat often
  • eat food groups daily (each meal if possible)
  • eat smaller amounts
  • eat real “clean” (no heavy starches, nothing fried nor breaded).

Unfortunately, this isn’t working for me. I weigh in each morning … I weighed 172 lbs….I lost another pound so far this week!!!! At this rate, in 3.36 years I will cease to exist!

Before you start in on me, NO…I HAVE NOT BEEN RUNNING, thus far this week I’ve logged -0- miles jogging, only doing the P90X workouts for exercise.

I am officially going to correct this weight loss…..

1) I am going to follow the P90X nutrition guide
2) I am going to maintain a food journal for the next several days.

FYI - This morning I had a ½ cup of All Bran cereal (yum yum), ½ cup of skim milk, a tomato and 1 1/2 grilled chicken breasts (I estimate that Max ate .5 grilled chicken breasts). For my early lunch I will eat a meal replacement shake and a scoop of whey protein. For my late lunch I will have chicken breast, beans, spinach and cool clear water.

Hey! Have a great and safe weekend.


Steve

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Save the Planet...Eat weed? (no not that kind of weed)

For the record, I KNOW how to maintain a nice looking lawn…I just choose not to. Why spend all that time and money to make it grow....just so you can spend more time and more money on cutting it….it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Earlier in my life, I played the game. I'd work hard in my yard so I could “show off” my lawn…so others would ask me “Steve, how do you do it?”. But now, that just isn’t an important enough reason. These days, I’m GOING GREEN by lowering my carbon footprint (and expenses) by not attempting to grow a beautiful weed free lawn. My wife would say it’s because I’m just too lazy…and she has a point. I am conserving my energy for the P90X workouts. :)

While I was taking some pictures of my yard, I noticed that I had more weeds than grass. This wasn't a surprise, just an observation that reminded me of an article I read some time ago about edible weeds. Then it hit me...you, me, we all can eat edible weeds from our yards!

This would reduce our carbon foot print, save money, save time and save our planet!

YES!!!

How would this reduce our carbon footprint you ask?

1) We would not use herbicides (Herb for one will appreciate this)
2) We will not need fertilizers, lime etc, weeds don't need them to grow.
3) Reduce gas & oil useage, less mowing.

There are many varieties of weeds that are edible.

  • Purslane
  • Dandelion (picture)
  • Honeysuckle
  • Shotweed
  • Many, many more.

Eating WEEDS, what a great money and planet saving idea!!!!

(the appreciation and accolades will surely come pouring in now).


I am going outside as soon as I finish this sentence to pick some w…

Oh, what’s that? Ok, a few things to keep in mind….in Red.

1) Don’t eat weeds near animal droppings.

I place this right up there with the sage advice of...

“don’t eat yellow snow”. LOL!

But seriously …what is the minimum distance from droppings…you know, to be safe??? Also, you can see droppings…but what about animal urine??

On to #2 (no pun intended)

2) Only eat the edible parts of the plant.

….some plants have edible parts but the rest of the plant can be toxic? I am starting to have large concerns about eating edible weeds at this point.

3) Don’t eat poisonous plants, some look similar to the non-toxic varieties.

Ok that’s it…..so if this isn’t difficult enough….some poisonous plants look like non-poisonous plants…whose cruel joke was this!! I bet it was Cheney…no not even Cheney has that kind of pull….I bet it was….Satan?

After reading #3, I called Al Gore and had him cancel the “Save the Planet, Eat Your Yard” campaign blitz we were planning. WHEW, that was close. That could have been as bad as the “Save the Planet, Eat Your Shorts” campaign….

Lastly, if you didn't see the Al Gore and the Man-Bear-Pig episode on SouthPark...YOU MUST SEE IT...I am serial. (not that's not a typo...watch the episode).


L8r t8r,

Steve

PS - These websites had some good info and pics if you are interested. I am interested and will eat a weed salad soon. Many weeds are related to their garden cousins and are high in vitamins and minerals. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds

http://weblogs.newsday.com/features/home/gardendetective_blog/2007/05/weeds_if_you_cant_beat_em_eat.html

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

XXX ... maX’s p90X piX

I know I'm reaching here with the title...but as we all know, the writing in this blog isn't very good and some of you won't read unless it's a "catchy" title. :)

Just a quick note, each day I typically have a topic in mind for my blog post before I begin to write it. So I open up my word processor and usually before I have written a couple of sentences…the topic has changed.

Today is no different; my topic initially was going to be about recent studies on obesity in US. Did you know that approximately 36% of Americans are now OBESE! That will lead to ever higher healthcare costs PER PERSON not just in total spending. You see, not only will poor health affect you individually, (longevity, quality of life, increased costs etc) but it will affect the nation as a whole…..I was going to talk about that but decided not to…..instead I got side tracked. :)

Max was acting more reserved than normal this morning, as you can see by the pic and he didn’t want to talk about it...at first.

FYI - I was going to use the word melancholy because ...I think that word is more accurate, but I thought I might lose some readers if I used it. It's just not a word used "around here". :)

Back to maX, as the morning wore on, he acted like something was bothering him but if I asked him he said, 'oh nothing, don't worry about it'. I finally figured it out...he was upset because I had posted my pics on the blog but did not post his. I had to do something...just look at him. SO, to smooth things over…here are the overdue P90X 30 day pics for Max.


Taking pictures of Max isn't easy. He doesn’t like to have his picture taken. Yet, he wants them posted…dogs…go figure…can’t live with them, can’t live without them....or is that women...?

WHAT WAS THAT!
I swear I didn’t see this in real time…did he lick is lips or is he eating a purple onion skin??

LOL! I've never seen a pic like this...it's kind of odd looking....isn't it? Doesn't look like a dog licking his lips or nose or whatever the heck he was licking at the time.





Max thinks this is his best “side”. He tucked in his tail due to privacy issues, not to mention possible TOS violations. (terms of service…no porn in other words…)

You can’t count ribs on Max….yet. A few more Yoga Relaxation Therapies and he should be getting close.



Have a great day!


Steve


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 30 - P90X Pics

Hello all...it doesn't seem like the P90X journey began 30 days ago...but it did.

As you view these pics, keep in mind that I had already been working out for a little over three months and had been jogging up to 10.5 miles at a time when the pics on the left were taken.

I am back to jogging now, I did not jog the first two weeks of P90X. Now that I am back jogging, I've cut my miles in half. I have noticed a huge benefit to this, the joints in my back, legs and feet are feeling much better.

In talking with some of the experienced trainers, they tell me that the first month your body is building muscle while it adjusts to the increased activity. The second and especially the third month is when the bulk of the fat loss occurs. I've noticed one thing that I was told is holding true for me. They told me that you will be able to see more fat loss early on your back. Most people do not have a high % of fat on their upper back, so when the fat begins to burn, your more lean areas will show it first. If you look at my upper back photo, it does seem to be the leanest area.

To reiterate this point, he told me that your body does not "spot burn fat", fat is lost in layers. This means, if you do stomach exercises, you will not lose stomach fat. To lose stomach fat, you will need to lower your overall body fat percentage. I had heard this from other fitness folks as well.

More to come, take care and good night.

Steve

























The Shitake Mushrooms hit the FAN!?

.....a little bit.

I was convinced Tammy wasn’t reading my blog….why? Because she would ask me questions and the answers were in the blog. She was either not reading the blog or she was not reading for comprehension.

I ASSUMEd that she was not reading the blog and I decided to make some comments about her cooking abilities and choice of cooking implements….. you know…to poke fun at her.

I POKE FUN at myself in this blog…so no harm, no foul….right? I erred somewhere in my reasoning. Within hours of posting “Tammy’s Magic Toaster”, (I can’t type the words without snickering), we passed each other in the hall. She looked at me and said, “shut up”.

Couple of things:

1) It is not totally unusual for us to communicate in this way.
2) We were both in a hurry with other things on my minds at the time.

…so I continued with what I was doing. Later that evening, Tammy says, “I read your post about Tammy’s Magic Toaster. I guess you think that’s funny?”

The first thing that came to mind was to say, “yeah, that’s why I wrote it.”…but I decided not to say that. The second thing that came to mind…”Don’t taze me bro”!

I asked her how she found out...I had made another error. Apparently I had made the post and then walked away from the computer. Tammy said, “you better be careful what you leave up on your computer”. (in a smart-alecky tone…)

I said, “I guess I do.” (in a smart-alecky tone…) LOL!

She wasn’t really mad anyway…I told her I’d remove it but she said to just leave it on there….so all is well. Whew! That could have gotten ugly!!! :)

-------

Before I drop this subject entirely…if you know me, you know I can’t let something die, I have to kick a dead horse a few times to make sure he’s dead…

To the right is an actual picture of “Tammy’s Magic Toaster”, I wanted to post this for posterity.

I can see the boys reviewing this website after we’re gone. They will be thinking about all the meals their mother had prepared for them on the toaster and all the wonderful smells it created in the kitchen. The conversation might go like this...


Brad: “Alex, do you remember that Pumpernickel Toast she made in ’03? Man that was good!?

Alex: “Yeah, but what about the Whole wheat blueberry waffles in ’08…now that was something special, she really knew how to work that toaster.”….

Brad: “but what about the time she tried to cook the soup...”

Alex interrupted: “ Don’t bring that up! I told you I never want to talk about that EVER!”

Brad: “ok,ok…all this talk of food has made me hungry. I’m going to fix me some French Toast in the toaster, want some?”

L8r h8r,

Steve “Seve” Cooksey

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tammy’s Magic Toaster (it actually cooks toast, waffles and such…., no fooling!)


“Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.” I love that quote from “Outlaw Josey Wales”. I was trying to come up with a catchy title that had something to do with my need to eat more and this quote came to mind.

Pondering the quote made me think of Rawhide…if you click on the link below, you can listen to Rawhide as you read the blog. :)

The Blues Brothers - Theme From Rawhide Shared via AddThis

I have a new problem TOO MUCH WEIGHT LOSS!! …Believe it or not, I’ve had that problem in the past. When I really want to lose weight…losing weight ain’t a problem. Now I have to find that middle ground where I maintain my weight, turning remaining fat into muscle….its a tough job but someone has to do it. :)


For supper on Father’s Day I cooked…oh yeah, I had to cook on father’s day. By that I mean…if I wanted to eat, “I had to cook on father’s day.”

You don’t want to eat Tammy’s cooking…unless it’s toaster waffles or her world famous bread toast, cooked in a real toaster.

Oooh, ahhhhh…that’s right, a “real” toaster. You have to put the bread slice into the slot just right or you could really mess it up. Hehehe. Tammy claims she reads my blog….if I don’t hear from her on this…I’ll know that she doesn’t.

Here is the picture of my Father’s Day meal. It is stuffed cabbage leaves and stuffed green peppers. All the ingredients are healthy, it’s made with maters, onions, garlic, ground turkey, rice and everything nice. :)


I have got to tell this story.

My first big weight loss occurred during the first Gulf War….NO not the very first one in world history, not when the Neanderthals attacked Cro-Magnon, I’m talking about Desert Storm, back in ’90-’91. Anyway, during that war I would come home from work and literally work out every night for hours watching the war news. I would only eat lean meats and veggies…very similar to my diet now. I lost down to 168 lbs and that was the lowest I’ve been since high school.

What helped me lose weight? A friend of mine and I made a bet to see who could lose the most weight. I did mine the right way (diet and exercise)…he lost his weight by eating one meal a day…and that one meal was not always nutritious. His skin actually turned yellow like he was developing jaundice. LOL! Heck, he probably was, I swear he would eat a cheeseburger and fries for lunch and that would be all he would eat all day.

Stevie "Wonder" Cooksey

Sunday, June 21, 2009

P90X Week 4 Update

Steve Update - 6/21/09 - Week 4 is “In the books”

Goal Update with 4 weeks down and 9 weeks to go!!!

Note: These goals were created on June 2nd after preliminary goals had been achieved.


1. Maintain BMI Reading of Normalaccomplished

weight range 173-176 as measured first thing each morning. My goal was not to “achieve it and forget it”, it was a goal to maintain it for as long as I live.

This morning I reached a new low, 173 lbs. I will have to increase my calories, I do not want to lose any more weight….


2. Do 30 Push Ups ConsecutivelyI did 21 today…I am feeling good about being able to accomplish this goal.

3. Run 7 Minute Mile – this one is going to be TOUGH! I ran an 8:42 minute mile today versus 8:53 last week. I improved 11 secs from previous week but that won’t get it done.

4. Beat my sons in basketball - no update. Please don’t tell them…but barring an injury I am NOT worried about this one.

5. 32” Jeans – I have not tried on any jeans since I made it a goal three weeks ago. On that day I put the 33” jeans on and they fit snugly. I had already lost a lot of weight, so I really thought it would take awhile to lose another pant size.

Today, I put on the 33” jeans, they were feeling loose…so I thought “what the heck, let’s try the 32” jeans. WOW! I CAN WEAR 32” JEANS!!! I thought maybe these are stretched so I tried a pair of 32” corduroys, I could wear them as well!! And better yet, there was still some room in the jeans.

Next, I tried on my son’s 30” jeans. They were tight…but I buttoned them up. I could wear 30” JEANS!!!

SO, goal accomplished!!! but for the record, I have to maintain this until my 90th day.




Happy Father’s Day to ALL!

Father’s Day is obviously a “father appreciation day”, a day when we thank or show appreciation to our dads for all that they have done for us. But like Mother’s Day, it is also a day for each of us, a day for all the children.

For children, the gift on Father’s Day is the warm feeling you get when you do the right thing, when you make that call to show you care.

If your dad has passed, spend a few minutes remembering special times. Make sure you write these down as well as tell these stories to your children. If it doesn’t mean anything to them today, it will some day.

I will never forget reading some old letters my grandfather had written to my great grandmother. It’s a long story but my grandfather was in an orphanage during the depression and the letters he wrote my great grandmother brought tears to my eyes as I read them.

If you haven’t made that call to your father….it is not too late, make it now.

----

When I called my father on Father’s Day, he was getting ready for church. He told me he was getting ready to take his pills for hypertension and cholesterol. Dad, like me a few months ago is overweight. Despite my best attempts over the last few months, he hasn’t done anything about his problem. On Father’s Day morning, I don’t “nag him” about his weight when he mentions that he’s taking pills, I just let it pass. I’ll nag him next week when I see him.



Steve

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Political Soapbox - Independence Day

Everyone should know by now, people are being killed and tortured in the pursuit of freedom in Iran. I just saw a news report, acid was being dropped from helicopters on to the demonstrating citizens. I’m afraid it is going to get worse before it gets better over there.

We Americans don’t know how fortunate we are, we take for granted the freedom of the press and the liberty to pursue happiness. I know I have taken them for granted.

Everyone needs to take a moment to reflect and to appreciate the rights and freedoms we do have. As our annual Independence Day holiday approaches, we need to be mindful and aware that these freedoms that we have grown accustomed to, won’t last forever…we all need to take steps to make sure they last for at least our lifetime. It wouldn’t take much, if we all took small steps, our collective actions would have a HUGE impact!

Common question is, "What can I do?".

1. Educate yourself, know the differences in the parties and candidates. Don't just read political propaganda, dig deeper than the Democrat or Republican "talking points".
2. Vote in the next election.
3. Communicate your opinions with others via conversation, emails etc.
4. Attend political party meetings at the precinct or county level.

Small steps CAN have a big impact if enough people take them.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Don’t Fear the Reaper

1) Quick summary:

Yesterday was the four month anniversay from my hospital discharge. My life has really changed in the last four months. I am getting closer and closer to my fitness goals. Progress has slowed these days as I am eating alot of calories due to my P90X training, I definitely do not want to lose any more weight. I weigh each morning and I am in the 174-176 lb range.

Gone are the days when the pounds were seemingly melting away. I am now in the methodical "earth moving phase". Moving a hill from my stomach/waist area to my chest, back and arms.... moving hills takes time and effort.

2) Don’t Fear the Reaper – by Blue Oyster Cult is a top 50 coolest song ever.

You can hear the song by clicking on the link below. If you have not signed up for blip.fm yet, you should IMHO. It is a really cool way to share music. It’s my new free toy.

Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear The Reaper Shared via AddThis

What the heck does this have to do with Fitness you ask????

If you want to put off the Grim Reaper for as long as possible…then you need to obtain and then maintain proper fitness. :)

3) P90X - Completed Core Synergistics today, this is only my second time on this workout…but it is my favorite thus far. It works all the muscles and gives you a heavy dose of cardio as well. I jogged 6 miles last night…I ain’t running today. Saturday I have Yoga X, Sunday is my rest day so Sunday night I should have more updates as to my goal progress.

Lastly, I will be posting my 30 day pics on Tuesday. This will give you a chance to make fun of them…you better laugh while you can, day 60 and day 90…you won’t be laughing. :)

Have a great and safe weekend. Tammy and I are going to a free concert at Duke Power tonight, the Charlotte Orchestra will be performing….it starts at 8:15…I should be asleep by 8:30. :)

This is a picture of the Nuclear Power Plant's Hot Hole. Not sure why they call it the "hot hole" ...but I've caught and eaten some nice 3 eyed carp. LOL!


Steve

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

“Don’t Taze Me Bro! ....AAARgh!” LOL!

Remember the guy who was interrupting a speaker at the University of Florida. He caused such a ruckus that the campus security was called and he was eventually tasered.

Below is the link, he says the infamous Don’t taze me bro!” at the 1:50 mark.

….don’t ask me why but I love this video. I guess it’s because the guy got what was coming to him. He wanted attention…and he got it plus some, he also got “the juice”. LOL!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bVa6jn4rpE

Ignoring good nutrition and fitness is similar to this situation, at least in my case anyway...here’s how.


1) He knew what he was doing was wrong….but he did it anyway. Just like I knew that eating toooo much animal fat, bad carbs and not exercising was wrong.

2) He ignored the warning signs of the campus security guards’ tazers being un-holstered, which was similar to me ignoring the signs of my poor health…my 3rd chin for starters.

3) When the time came for him to pay for his error, he acted surprised that something like this could happen to him. Despite my poor health habits, my first thought was “how could this happen to me?!”.

We can ALL improve our fitness by following the AHA’s MINIMUM recommendations.

**** Latest recommendations from the American Heart Association, all adults (18-65) should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five days of the week.


Now live long and prosper but above all...."DON"T TAZE ME BRO".


Side note: have you heard about Blip.fm ?

It is a cool site, you can create your own playlists. Click on the link below for mine. It’s mostly ACDC, Stones and some Skynyrd with a few others thrown in. I had forgotten about “Last Kiss” from Pearl Jam, a remake …but a good one IMHO.

http://blip.fm/stevecooksey

Monday, June 15, 2009

Six-Pack ABS-olutely

Completed my Yoga X workout today. This is my 4th Yoga X and I am seeing improvements but I still have a ways to go before I will be flexible and strong enough to complete all the exercises. I sweat in all the workouts but I sweat the most in doing the Yoga X. It’s not high impact like some of the cardio sets and it’s not pushing or pulling weights like the back, arms or chest sets…however it is an intense workout.

Abs, the day after each Ab workout…I’m very sore in my stomach area…so I’m pretty sure I have stomach muscles.…I just can’t see them yet. :)

I haven’t had CSI verify this but preliminary photo analysis does seem to suggest a possible set of ridges forming in my upper stomach area. I want to make this clear, this is not definitive evidence, we do not need a “rush to judgement” that could create public hysteria. I certainly don't want New York City schools to close based on something I've written in this blog... but it does appear that at the very least, the potential for a six pack exists. I am not saying that the forming of a six-pack is imminent…all I’m saying is, it does appear that the potential is there. As more proof comes in, you’ll hear/see it first, right here.

Woa...this just in. I just completed a jog and then did some crunches and my wife took a picture of my stomach. Since I just did a workout, my muscles may be more prominent than normal.

My wife says she sees the six-pack in the picture…I can’t see them myself…can you?



Ok, I'll confess...this is not a picture of me.


I have some other confessions to make as well...I don't have readers in Russia nor China...and a female reader from Slovenia didn't email me her pictures. But Max IS home schooled...kind of.

Later,


Steve










Sunday, June 14, 2009

Updates P90X and Stuff.



My youngest son graduated HS Saturday, it was a happy yet sad day. Saturday was the last public school graduation that I will attend for a son. I know what you are thinking…”but what about Max?”….I DID NOT FORGET ABOUT MAX!!…he’s home schooled.

Speaking of Max…he got really mad one time, I wouldn’t feed him and it was past his scheduled feeding time.…

...the next thing I knew the room started shaking and then Max started glowing a bright red…since that day, Max is fed on schedule.

P90X - Week 3 is History! It was a tough week to get through; the primary reason for this I believe is the adding of running to my routine about 10 days ago. I ended up running 17.5 miles this week.

Week 4 starts tomorrow and they call it Recovery Week – It’s not an easy week, there will be more cardio and less weight / resistance training. The purpose is to allow your muscle to re-cooperate and get ready for another (3) week block of weight training.

I TRY not to do any physical training on Sundays (my rest day)…but to be honest it’s difficult to do nothing. If I do nothing, I feel like I am falling behind… So, I did what I did last Sunday and that is perform some tests to see how my goals are coming along.

Goal Updates (with 3 weeks down and 10 to go) :

1) Goal to stay within “normal” BMI Rating. Weighed 176 lbs this morning so my BMI range is still “normal”.

2) Goal of 30 push ups – completed 16 Push Ups this morning, this was a pleasant surprise. I had done 13 last week and 7 before I started P90X.

3) Goal: Running 7 minute mile: Last week I ran a sub-9 minute mile, I didn’t use a stop watch so I didn’t know if it was an 8:01 or an 8:59 minute mile. Today I used a stop watch and this was an UN-pleasant surprise. Today I ran an 8:53 minute mile….not bad I guess for a 48 yr old man who had the body shape of a lima bean a few months ago….BUT I was hoping to be closer to 8:00. To run a 7 minute mile, I will have to shave almost 2 minutes off my mile time…that will be tough to do.

4) 32” jeans – no change

5) Beating my sons in basketball – no update. I did go to a court and shoot some today. Tammy, my wife took the pictures. As you can plainly see…”I still got it”, if somebody wants some…. Bring it! :)

I do want to point out a couple of things...notice the muscular arm and delts....uh huh. LOL! However, THE MOST important thing I want to point out....the perfect form. If you could bottle this...well, I don't even want to think about it.





Friday, June 12, 2009

Cosmopolitan Commentary

Question: What makes a blog, magazine or newspaper “cosmopolitan”?

Is it the intelligence, diversity or sophistication of it’s writers? (I hope not!)

Or is it the diversity of thought or geography of it’s readers?

To begin to answer these important questions, we will first investigate the meaning of the word, cosmopolitan.


cosmopolitan - [koz-muh-pol-i-tn] –adjective

1.

free from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudices, or attachments; at home all over the world.

2.

of or characteristic of a cosmopolite.

3.

belonging to all the world; not limited to just one part of the world.

Just a comment on each definition:

#1 – the first one should preclude any one from being a self-described “cosmopolitan”. Personally, I don’t think any person could make a statement like that about themselves, their viewpoint would obviously be tainted by their own prejudices…it’s kind of like Jeff Lebowski calling himself, “the dude”….it just isn’t done.

#2 – Now isn’t this nice….when I was in school there was no way you could get away with using “the word, or any form of the word” as part of a definition. The rules have changed…for the worse.

Here’s the definition of cosmopolite – “a person who is cosmopolitan in his or her ideas…”

*** That sure was helpful wasn’t it…NOT ***

#3 – Now we are getting somewhere…”not limited to just one part of the world.” Finally a definition that I can use.

Based on definition #3, my blog, “Steve Cooksey’s Journey” is hereby labeled “cosmopolitan”.

”How can that be?", you ask.


Doing my best Barney Fife imitation, I sniff, pull up my baggy pants and say, “ cause I got worldwide readership”, then sniff again.

Here’s my proof, below is just a sampling of some of the comments I’ve received.

Just a note: there was no intelligence level required (of the author nor the readers) to be considered cosmopolitan, only “not limited to just one part of the world”.


Comments:

Gent from Kannapolis, NC, USA said, “max still looks better than you

Lady from
Clinton, NC, USA, “wow, you are a prime example of what I try to get across to my patients. I deal with diabetics every single day. Many are clueless as to what they should do, because they are not educated about it in the hospital…”

Gent from
Krasnoyarsk, Russia , stated, “Стив, блога остается на!” which translates to “Steve, your blog is left on!” (I’m guessing this is a complement, you know Phat is good and bad is good kinda thing)

Lady from Yinchuan or China, emphatically retorted, “史蒂夫,你的博客是酷!” translates to “Steve, your blog is cool!

Lady from Ljubljana, Slovenia, said, “ Steve, mislim, da so slike tako seksi!” which translates to “Steve, I think your pictures are so sexy!”

This lady, in a reciprocating act, sent me some pictures of her. Unfortunately, only one is suitable for this blog, it is below.






There you have it! Proof that Steve has a Cosmopolitan Blog!!

I’m not “small timing it….I’m mass communicating!”

What’s that, so you don’t think that’s proof enough?

It doesn’t matter, I’ll still claim the cosmopolitan status based on definition #1, for I am without prejudice and regional bias. I know this because I love Eastern style BBQ.

Steve

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Max the Magnificent!

In doing market analysis of my page CTRs and eCPMs, I noted an incremental variance in click-thru rates on the days I have digital images of Max.

….or to put it another way, people like to see pictures of MAXIMUS!

Therefore…I bring you “Max the Magnificent”.

To the left, is Max waiting for me to fix him breakfast. Usually, a couple of days each week I clean out the refrigerator. I take out some of the food that is getting older and I add it to Max’s dogfood.

NO I DO NOT FEED MAX OLD & SPOILED FOOD!!

I do however, feed the spoiled dog, “older” food.

You know, food that has "some age" but doesn't yet have the bacterial levels high enough to make them visible to the naked eye. (ok, I'll leave this alone now).

Wait a minute….I think I have the pics mixed up.

I do have the pics mixed up, the first picture is actually Max performing another Yoga Relaxation Therapy Session, I get these confused!!!


The second picture (to the right) is Max waiting for breakfast. (I have to keep these organized better.)

If you look closely you can see the difference.

In the first pic, he is about to start panting from the strain of the Yoga Relaxation Therapy Session. Actually, he started panting immediately after the picture was taken.

In the pic to the right, you can clearly see that his eyes are laser focused on the food handler, he's attempting to discern any movements that might suggest a meal or snack may be forthcoming.



Then....BAM! He's "on location" and as you can see in the picture to the left, he means business.

If you look closely, you'll notice that drool has formed on the left side of his jaw, it can form quickly and in seemingly endless supplies.

BTW, I sent NASA an email about using Max's drool as a jet propulsion lubricant. The day after the email, these black helicopters started flying over my house...I wonder if it has anything to do with the email???


Enough about Max ALREADY!


I have actually lost another pound... "and another one bites the dust."

To the right is a picture of my scale this morning, 174 lbs! A NEW LOW has been reached. I really don't mind losing another pound, but I don't want to lose any more weight. I want to maintain and turn remaining fat into muscle.

I honestly feel that I am eating a “ton” of food…I eat 4-6 meals a day. Granted they are smaller meals BUT I do NOT feel hungry, when I feel hungry….I eat. I may have to eat more....

Caloric Expenditures – in addition to my P90X workouts 6 days a week, I’ve started adding in some jogging. I was hesitant at first but after talking with some folks online who do P90X and run, I’ve added it back in to my routine. One lady in particular was very helpful, she is and has done P90X as part of her marathon training...very impressive woman. She says that P90X gives her added strength and flexibility which assists with her running but it also reduces the odds of injuries.

On top of all of the benefits, I truly do enjoy running/jogging. I started out jogging …only recently could what I do be called “running”. I am sure there are “speed walkers” who have better mile times than I do…or did.

Miles Last 7 days:

Wednesday 5.6 miles (this was my “punishment” run, after eating pizza)
Saturday 5.6 miles
Sunday 1 mile
Monday 2 miles
Tuesday 5.6 miles

My plan is to maintain 15-20 miles per week but only run when my body feels like it. This is still a decent number of miles but down from the 30 - 40 miles I was running before the P90X workouts.

Until we meet again,

Steve

Sunday, June 7, 2009

End of Week (2), Day 14 of P90X


This is going to sound….odd….or maybe not., we’ll see. My first week on P90X was….well…exciting. Each day we “opened up” a new work out and the anticipation as to what grueling workouts awaited us was …exciting.

The reason I thought this may seem “odd” coming from me, I normally don’t get excited unless there’s $4.99 all you can eat fried chicken dinner at Bojangles….Ok, that’s not entirely true, any All-u-can-eat or All-u-can-drink specials usually would get me excited.

The first week, in a sense was like opening up a different birthday present each day for a week. There will be no new workouts until week (4), so the second week was much different (as week (3) will be), there were no hidden surprises around the corner. As Tony Horton (the instructor) says, “do your best, and forget the rest”.

Someone who is a stranger to the workouts might expect them to be easier week 2…they are not. I do believe I am somewhat stronger but that only means that I am able to do more weights or reps or both.

It truly is a tough workout and if it isn’t…you ain’t lifting enough weights or doing enough reps.


Goal Update:

30 Push Ups - Saturday I was able to do 11 push ups which is more than the 7 originally…some progress.


7 Minute Mile – I was EXCITED on Sunday (today) - I ran a sub-9 minute mile at the high school track. It was my rest day, so I only ran the one mile.

To be honest, I had gas left in the tank and possibly could have gone lower. After two weeks of P90X…I am feeling somewhat confident that a 7 minute mile is doable with 76 days to go…only time will tell..


Cheeers!


Steve

Nutrition Tools

In today’s post I will show you some of the tools / calculators I use to assist me in my fitness journey. (They are all free!)

Let's s get started… one pound = 3,500 calories, to lose 1 lb (let’s say per week), you will need to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume in a week.

Therefore, on average, you will need to burn 500 more calories per day than you consume. It is THAT SIMPLE!

Tools to assist…

1) Body Mass Index (BMI) – uses a person’s height and weight to determine overall body health.

This index is used for tracking your overall progress. The index is a guide, it does not take into account bone structure or muscle mass etc. A rating of 25 or higher = overweight.

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/

Steve’s BMI = 24.82 (whew! Cutting it close!)

2) Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) – this provides an estimated resting daily caloric burn rate. In other words, if you laid in bed all day, your BMR is the amount of calories your body would burn.

http://health.drgily.com/basal-metabolic-rate-calculator.php

Knowing this number is good info but it is incomplete. You need to add to it, the number of calories you burn while your body is "working" or "not at rest". Obviously, that depends on the activities and luckily there are calculators for this as well, we'll take a look at them later in the post.

3) There is a FREE website, http://www.everydayhealth.com that has a lot of tools to help you measure your caloric intake and expenditures.

There are many features:

a) start your own blog
b) calorie counter
c) recipe section
d) discussion forums and more.

Using the "My Calorie Counter" is a great tool. You can calculate the calories of many foods, which you can do a search for in their database. You can enter items that you eat each day to measure what you have eaten or use this as a meal planner, so you can plan your meals. Either way you can do a fair job of estimating calories, fat, fiber, carbs, sugar and protein.

Equally important, there is a section that estimates calories expended, this is a huge benefit when attempting to calculate weight gain/loss. Plug in your activity, weightlifting, jogging, etc etc and the length of time or distance and it will estimate the calories burned/expended.

I urge you to look over this site. http://www.everydayhealth.com/

Hope this helps you.


Steve

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