Sunday, August 30, 2009

Buddy's a Dumpster Diver & Water Dam!?

Doesn’t he look like such a sweet, polite and well mannered buddy? ….I can’t use the word d-o-g…he doesn’t like it. He’s not too fond of c-a-n-i-n-e either…so we use another, equally accurate word…b-u-d-d-y.

Well, in this picture he does look sweet and innocent. The reason he’s looking that way because he thinks he’s done something wrong and he’s hoping I’ll forget all about it if he sits there well behaved. YES I KNOW that’s what he’s thinking...I used to think the same thing as a child....

Let me back up briefly, we have a garden. In the garden we throw out our organic kitchen waste. The night before, someone had thrown some leftover rolls in the garden so when I took Max out for our group workouts, (Max does the Yoga Relaxation Routine, I do P90X)…he smelled the rolls and proceeded to go and pick them up, take them to a comfortable spot in the shade and eat them. This is something I have scolded him about many times…but he can’t help himself.

I had just finished my set of push ups when I turned around and saw him sitting just like he is in the picture EXCEPT he had this hoagie sized bun hanging from his mouth. I busted out laughing and by the time I returned with a camera…he looked like he does in the picture….I didn’t get back in time.

Max’s does dive into the garden looking for leftover food but he’s NO dumpster diver...which reminds me of another “buddy” I caught Dumpster Diving at work. Would you jump into this dumpster full of movie theater trash, on a 95 degree day…looking for someone’s keys??? And that person was not related to you???? I didn’t think so. :)

Next P90X Round Starts Monday 8/31/09

New Goals

My Overall goal is to increase strength, lose body fat and gain 5 pounds.

To achieve this goal I will do another round of P90X, concentrating on using more weight with less reps.

1) Current Weight Wt 166,
weight goal range 165-170

Summary: The reason I set a “weight goal range”?…I am in unknown, uncharted waters. I probably have 5-10 lbs of body fat I’d like to lose but I want to increase my strength as well….so I am guessing here on what that translates to in weight gain/loss.

FYI – my junior year in high school, I played basketball and I weighed 155-160 lbs….I was lean and mean….but I am not going back that low….

2) Push Ups – Did 41 last week…..let’s make the
push up goal… 54. That seems like a lot to me…but it’s only an additional push up gain per week. Again…I am in uncharted waters.

3) 7 Minute Mile – …same goal....,
run a sub-7 min mile. WATER DAM! Tammy, the boys and I used to listen to a song by Matchbox 20. It had the word damn in the lyrics…so I came up with this thing. Each time “damn” came up, we had to add the word “water” to damn so it would not be cursing….you know….like “water dam” ….whatever! :)

But…back to the goal. WHY IN THE HECK DID I PICK A GOAL LIKE THAT!!!!


I think I told you why….in 10th grade we had to run a 7 minute mile to play basketball…and that was one of the few goals I could actually think of when it came time to “declare your goals” for P90X.

Also, I was jogging at the high school earlier this spring. This guy comes out running laps almost twice as fast as I was….and he appeared to be 5 – 10 years younger. I asked him after he was done what his pace was….he said 6:45…. So I know it can be done.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Same Old Song and Dance friend!

PLEASE remain calm….Steve is continuing his blog…I will continue to post. I’ve just been busy the last week and finding time to provide you with solid, quality content is not as easy as it appears….I know I am fudging a little but work with me here! :)

This lady in China…bless her heart she so looks forward to my post…she’s afraid I’m going to stop….

I've included a video link to Aerosmith's song "Same Old Song And Dance"....why? Because I want to do so. ...oh ...and the title ties in with want I want to talk about today.


2) My old habits of daily consuming empty, high carb foods has been broken.

3) My new habit of eating properly has coincided with my new workout habits...

Together they have created a trend of increasing strength and reducing body

STOP! the same old song and dance......Create new, positive habits today and improve your health and fitness....TODAY!

Just a couple of days ago…I was bragging in a post that I have “managed my weight loss” … blah, blah, blah. I was actually going to talk about weight maintenance in this blog post….and then I weighed this morning…..lost another pound.


…”adding muscle creates a fat burning furnace” talk.

Honestly…I have eaten BIG this week, stuffing myself on both Monday and Tuesday. I have eaten “clean” except for Monday night…I stuffed on pizza. As you probably know, I am diabetic type 2 and I am not taking insulin or meds…so you may be wondering what the heck am I doing eating pizza or more specifically the high carb crust????

1) I have been eating very clean for the last 6 months, which means low carbs.

2) I have been eating SUPER clean the last 90 days, which means very low carbs.

3) My P90X workout was over so I wanted to reward myself.

4) I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to mitigate the full affects of carbs entering the system.

a. Consume Fiber before the meal (or during). This will help slow the assimilation of the carbs in to your system.

b. Add protein to the meal, I added a can of tuna to my pizza. Why? Same as (a.) but it also “dilutes” the carb load (glycemic load) of the meal.

*** The most important thing….the next day I was back on my “clean” eating habits….except that as previously noted, I have been eating more this week.

This is a pic of my Friday is talapia and collard greens....hmmmm good! I cooked the talapia/greens in a pan with water, Texas Pete and Tony Chechere's spices. I also had a handful of pecans and an apple.

Today is Friday and I have worked out all but one day….but I only worked out 20-30 minutes each day (versus an hour plus). I also jogged/sprinted three days this week… but that’s less than 30 minutes a day. I have been utilizing the Fartlek method of jogging /sprinting, jogging/sprinting. I run at an estimated 80% heart rate level for 30 secs and then jog for 60 secs.

SO to summarize this section….I have been eating more, working out but not as much and yet I still lost a pound from last week.

That’s all for today!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

P90X – Final Round Up

This is my first post since Friday, …been busy at home.

Sunday : Technically Sunday was a rest day and was the last day of my 13th week of my first round of P90X. I did rest but I also did some back exercises and threw in some ab exercises as well. Nothing too heavy but I was active.

P90X Round #1 was officially over. **** YAY!****

Monday : (yesterday) started my rest week. I’m told that everyone should rest for a week or two before starting another round of P90X. So, I do plan on doing just that…resting but working out some too.

On Monday, I did about 70 decline push ups, 60 chair dips and some sprints.

The sprints including warm up and cool down lasted less than 30 minutes and the additional exercises I performed throughout the day…so although it may sound like a lot of work….it really wasn’t.

I have to tell you….just completing P90X is a huge accomplishment for me. I know when I write this, it will not sound that meaningful…but to know where I was in Feb. ’09 and see where I am today….I certainly would not have believed it. And…I don’t think anyone who knew me would have guessed that this was possible either.

Tuesday : I did rest today…did not sleep well and was dragging all day…but I did finish this post!

P90X – Day 90 Pics

Goal Updates

1) Wearing 32” jeans…Done! (I can wear 30’s!!!)

2) BMI = Normal, Current Weight = 168 lbs…..Done!

I have done a good job of maintaining my weight in the upper 160’s. I have not lost any additional weight since August 10th., when I weighed 166 lbs.

3) 30 Push Ups….DONE! I actually completed 41 on Sunday!!!

Just a note, that is an increase of only 1 push up from the previous week, prior to this week, I had seen increases of 2-3 push ups each week.

4) “Beating sons in basketball”…Done!

5) Sub 7 Minute Mile - I did not reach this goal… but that will be goal #1 in my next round of P90X.

NEXT ROUND OF P90X – I am taking a week off and starting another round 8/31/09.

Take care,


Friday, August 21, 2009

Chin Ups on a WWI Statue---WHY?

"Firsts" that you just never forget...

- Your First Love – I can’t remember her name but she was HAWT! LOL! (just kidding!)

- Your First Car – I sold my ’72 Camaro for $800 on a trade in for a Toyota Tercel.….and yes I will never, EVER forgive myself!

- Birth of Your First Child, yes I was there…although I did play in the golf league later that night…

- First Wild Mushroom Trip - ok, I’ve never tried wild mushrooms but Tony Soprano made we want to try it after watching that episode of the Sopranos….

- Your First P90X ROUND!!!! Another Tony.....Tony Horton and Perry Kyle talked me into this one. I am glad they did. I watched the infomercials for a long time and wondered what it would be like, could I do it? Did I have the drive and determination to complete it?

The answer....YES I DO!

As I type this on Friday, I only have the YOGA X workout left to do on Saturday. So it "ain’t" over …but it is almost over. I kind of feel like I do when I go to the beach on vacation…the last night you DREAD the next day because you know it’s over and you have to go home.

P90X Comment: It has not been easy…but once your body gets used to the increase in activity…it really did become “routine”….almost. :)

*** The picture to the right is a picture of Brad and one of his High School buddies..... no wait...I'm sorry...that's me. Wow, how did I make that mistake..... :)

This is the famous "penny" statue. I'd never heard of it either...I thought I was the only one who had not heard of it. I was doing some "fancy" photography, taking a picture of our reflection...impressive if I do say so myself. :)

*** Steve's Round 1 P90X Update

Final pictures, measurements and goal update will be Sunday night or Monday morning, depending on my schedule for the weekend.


Major props go out to Alicia and Christopher Haas – they have lost 27 and 18 lbs respectively.


They are on their way to "getting fit"!!!!! If you know them…encourage them to keep it up!

My Son (Brad) and I went to Charlotte the other day….

Here are some pictures. I’ll be honest with you….I am not one to go to downtown areas of cities unless I have a specific reason to do so...and I did this day.

While we were there we walked around the downtown area. Even on a hot August day it was still enjoyable.

The picture on the left is a WWI memorial and the picture on the right is of Martin Luther King.

Brad decided on a whim to jump up and hold onto the soldier's rifle. Luckily it didn't bend or break. There were security cameras everywhere, I think this was on the Federal Reserve grounds....

Why would someone try to do a "chin up" on a brass WWI statue?????

Oh Well...until we meet again,


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 88!!!!! Two days left!

Today I completed a Kenpo X, P90X workout. That leaves me with only Core Synergistic’s workout tomorrow and a Yoga X on Saturday….in case you do not recall this is my last and final WEEK!


My 3 month commitment is nearing it’s end. Completing P90X is not the end…only the beginning. I haven’t decided my next move for sure but I will likely take a week or two off and begin another round of P90X.

In this next round, I am going to concentrate on performing less reps (with more weight) to increase my strength.


I continue to eat a fairly high volume of food...but as usual, I eat very "clean".

I eat very little carbohydrates unless they come from vegetables or fruits....NO PROCESS FOODS, no flour, no bread, no "cereals" etc.

It isn't always easy to stay on target. The other day I made spaghetti for the family unit with lean ground turkey. I ended up eating the spaghetti sauce over veggies instead of the pasta. I had intended to make the "squash" noodles but I forgot until it was too late.

My Daily Grub

Breakfast: Eggs, Greens, Pecans and Tomatoes

Early Lunch: Beachbody Meal Replacement Shake & Whey Protein

Late Lunch: Beachbody Meal Replacement Shake & Whey Protein

Early Dinner: Lean Chicken Breast, Greens, Onion and Pecans

Late Dinner: Grilled Whole Talapia, Broccoli and Cauliflower.

Now...the Talapia may not look very appetizing...but it is/was delicious! I wipe them down with Texas Pete and a melted butter. Next I shake on Tony Chechere's Cajun spice and place them on the grill. I put the butter and the spices in and on the fish.

The one at the top of the it looking at you? :)

Personal Responsibilities….tied up.

I haven't posted to my blog in several days...just didn't have time. BUT rest assured that I completed all of my P90X workouts and this week actually ran some sprints as well on Monday and Wednesday.

I HAVE NOT BEEN RUNNING TABATA SPRINTS - I did run those for a couple of weeks but they were just too tough for this old man. :) The sprints that I have been running? 30 sec sprints, 60 sec rest.

Talk to you soon!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

P90X Day 84 / 90 - Misc ...talks

With less than a week to go, I look in the mirror and surprisingly…I see myself....wait that wasn't what I was going to I get older my mind wanders more. :)

Where was I...oh yeah, I look in the mirror and I am somewhat satisfied with my progress but I still have a lot of work to do to improve my fitness. It is surprising because if you’d asked me in Feb ’09 what my fitness level would be in Aug ‘09…I would not have guessed I’d be where I am today, that is FOR SURE!

What would I like to Improve? First, I’d like to decrease my body fat percentage and second, I like to increase my muscularity.

Where am I satisfied: Knowing from whence I came. (I love saying that!)

Seriously though, to have been an obese sedentary garbage disposal to a somewhat fit person in 6 months…I am ELATED!!!!

I know what you’re thinking, (I am clairvoyant), Steve why do you call yourself an obese sedentary garbage disposal? Isn’t that redundant? After all….garbage disposals by their very nature are sedentary…they are mounted to the cabinets and plus you have all the plumbing.

That would be a good point and if we were on opposite ends of a debate ...I'd be in a difficult spot. But we're not; it’s my blog and I like writing the term “obese, sedentary garbage disposal” …so I will continue. :)

Goal Updates – Down Hill Track – Both ways????

I’ll do a full update in tomorrow’s post, I’ve got to run a test mile. But just to give you a mini-update, all my goals are good except one, the sub 7 minute mile. I did do 40 push ups yesterday… woohoo!

In order to run a 7 minute mile…I’ve come to the conclusion that I will need to run the mile….DOWN HILL…so I’m trying to find a track or tract that is one mile and is all down hill. Six months ago, I could have probably rolled down a steep one mile long hill in under 7 minutes….today….don’t think so.

So...I'm thinking about going to Mt. Mitchell for the final test next weekend....there...I think I've got a chance. :) What??? No one said "where" I had to run a mile and no one stated the "grade" of the track? LOL!

Just a thought….but I could try to find my dad’s path to his elementary school….you know the one he had to walk uphill to school!!! I could run down it…no that won’t work…it was uphill…both ways. LOL! Oh yeah, AND it snowed on that road every school day....

That is all for today….eat clean and take a HIKE!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

P90X Day 83 & Week 12 Are History!!!

Only 1 “Recovery Week” Remains….

DO NOT PANIC ----the blog will continue! I had one lady who became sooo consumed with despair when she thought the blog would be ending....well just look at her....bless her heart. :)

My "Fitness Quest" will, of course, not end with P90X. I will likely take a week or two off and then begin another session, but as I said, the BLOG WILL CONTINUE!

The weeks have been going by quicker and quicker now that I am near the end. I am guessing it’s because my body is adjusting to the physical activity. Don’t get me wrong…it is still difficult; as you become stronger you should perform more reps or add more weights to your workouts…and I do.

One of the big selling points with P90X is that the workouts change and work different parts of the body daily. Beachbody calls this “muscle confusion”. The main purpose of “muscle confusion” is to prevent the “plateau effect” which can occur if you perform the same or similar exercises over a period of time.

To lose weight or to “get fit”… you need to do two things, it truly is simple…

“Push Play Every Day” and “Bring It!”

…it’s simple, but it’s not easy.

When I say “Push Play” I am talking about playing the P90X workout DVDs but your workout could be ANY exercise or physical activity that stimulates the muscles, your lungs and heart. How much you need to stimulate your lungs and heart depends on your current fitness condition.

Eats – My Meal Plan Yesterday - Still Eating MUCH but it’s all “clean”.

Breakfast – 2.5 eggs, small tomato and 1/3 can of collard greens

Early Lunch – meal replacement shake & whey protein

Late Lunch – meal replacement shake & whey protein

Dinner – Salmon Patties & Salad – I have a very healthy recipe.

Snack – Tomato, Apple and Pecan Nuts

Here is my breakfast of 2.5 eggs, greens and a tomato…..hmmmm good! :)

TTFN! (ta ta for now.)


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who Came to Visit???…the countdown begins!

Today is Day 81 with P90X, only 9 days left ...the countdown begins.

My excitement level could not be higher, this 90 day quest for improved fitness is nearing an
end. I don't think there is any doubt that I am in the best total shape, in my life.

I am:
  • playing basketball with guys half my age.
  • doing more push ups than I thought was possible.
  • running sprints for the first time in decades

....and that's just for starters. :)

This is NOT about bigger muscles or any of that "phoney baloney" stuff, it's about fitness.

There are MANY who are stronger, faster, etc than I am but you know what...I don't care. To me, it's not where you are it's where you came from. Six months ago, I was a fat, sedentary garbage I am not. That is what matters the most...that I improve my fitness everyday through diet and / or exercise.

Who came to Visit?

It’s bad enough that my family and friends stop by the house daily wanting me to “pull up my shirt” for a preview but now local media is calling and parking outside in front of the house.

Look, it's not that I don't mind showing people my progress because I want to do whatever I can to motivate others...but it is getting a little old. Not only does it require more and more of my time but does seem to be degrading. I guess it's true....we all have our burdens to bear or is it bare.

As I am trying to finish this post for the last time, I hear some voices and then the door bell rings….AGAIN! I am getting irritated with these people who just drive up and expect to talk with you.

I pull back the blinds to get a sneak peak outside and YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE WHO IS AT MY FRONT DOOR!!’s Bill O’Reilly and Courtney Friel from FOX! WOW!

I run to the bathroom to check my appearance when I hear Tammy calling me. I yell back at her, "I KNOW, I KNOW I'll get the door!".

Wait a minute, there’s a train coming…and I hear
Tammy’s voice calling my name again and yet,
at the same time she’s pushing me onto the railroad tracks!!! What the….

“steve, steve, Steve, STEVE!”, Tammy yells ever louder.

“what do you want, Bill O’Reilly’s here to see me.” I reply as I comb my blond, shoulder length hair with my fingers.

“Steve…you are dreaming again…get up and fix breakfast…I HAVE to go to work”, she says very sweetly…

“Well what about Courtney? Is she here?” I ask, as I come out of a deep sleep.

“NO!, no one is here but me and the boys, NOW GET UP!” She replies with the softness of a blacksmith’s anvil crashing onto my head…and dreams.

“yes dear, whatever you say dear” and another day begins. :)

Breakfast of Champions!

I’ve been eating a lot of eggs and collards for breakfast lately so I decided to give myself a break from those items.

Today, I had a hand full of pecans and then ate some canned Bumble Bee Mackerel…I have learned to LOVE that stuff. It’s tasty, it’s inexpensive and it is packed with good fats and much protein.

Along with that I made some slaw with Virgin Olive Oil (no mayo) and I warmed up some leftover green beans. These are home grown and canned green beans from my dad. I added a piece of bacon and cooked these last night….hmmm good!

P90X WOD (Workout Of the Day) = YOGA X, sprints later if I feel like it.

Have a great day,


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back in the Doghouse?

Spending time with Dad and Kathy in Mt. Airy was great this weekend, going up to the mountains usually triggers a reflective period for me, where I remember times spent with the family. This was especially true after this recent visit due to the writing of this blog.

In the past I have written about Tammy’s “magic toaster” which was a means to tease Tammy about her cooking “prowess” and to hopefully entertain the reader. Here are the two blog posts associated with that subject, it would be best to read these in order, Tammy's Magic Toaster and Shitake Mushrooms Hit the Fan?

Going up to the NC/VA mountains and to places like Maybry Mill reminds me of my relatives who lived up “in them there hills”. Going to the mountains also reawakens my love for “Mountain Music”, as well as Country Music. We were able to see and hear some musicians while we were at Maybry Mill.

While I was reminiscing, I was reminded of a frying pan that I inherited from my grandmother Virginia when she passed away. This was NO ordinary frying pan …it is a real, heavy-duty, cast iron frying pan. She used to fry eggs, bacon, sausage, country ham….and real, made-from-scratch, mouth watering cornbread…. (Sigh) I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss her delicious carb rich meals. I would also be doing my grandmother a disservice if I did not mention her home made, made-from-scratch biscuits….the best I’ve EVER eaten. PERIOD!

The cast iron skillet does not get as much use as it once did but I still use it from time to time. This morning I cooked breakfast with it. For Tammy I fried bacon and eggs with Toast. For me I had fried bacon and eggs but also added some collard greens and a tomato.... a fine meal indeed (no toast, juice or jam).

Tammy really doesn’t use the cast iron heavy duty frying pan for cooking. I’ve asked her if she wanted to use it…

….but Tammy said “no, I’ve tried it a few times but the toaster cooks toast , waffles and such a lot quicker and easier than the frying pan.” (snort, snicker LOL!)

…occasionally she will pick it up and threaten me with it though….

Since I’m sure these comments will land me back into the “doghouse”….enjoy one of my favorite songs from Hank Williams Sr., “I’m a Long Gone Daddy”. My favorite line from the song, “I’ve been in the doghouse for so dog gone long, when I get a kiss I think something’s wrong”. :)

P90X Status

Completed Back and Biceps Today – this is my last week of heavy pushing and pulling…and this week is half over…. The end is now in sight.

In the beginning I was PSYCHED and excited about getting into the P90X workouts. Then after the first couple of weeks the “newness” wore off more and more. Then I started seeing results…the increase in strength and in stamina…that certainly helped raise the energy levels for the workouts.

There are days where I just don’t feel like doing the workouts but I grit my teeth (not literally ) and perform the workouts. I don’t just “perform the workouts”, I push play everyday and “bring it”. That means I bring the intensity or as Tony says…”I do my best and forget the rest”.

So far (knock on wood) I have not missed a workout and the only “blemish” was one day that, due to my lower back pain, I did not feel comfortable completing all of the exercises.



Monday, August 10, 2009

Mountain Trip II (The Tempting of Steve)

I just had to do a follow up post on my trip to Mt. Airy, NC. The post yesterday was basically an itinerary, it did not fully tell the story. Here's the link to my previous post,

Tammy (my wife) has been supportive of my efforts to lose weight, get fit and to fight diabetes…Here's a link to the post I discuss this,

…but she still buys “sugar drinks” and “empty carb snacks” for herself and her “babies”. I was joking around that she was "testing me", she really isn't. She's just buying what she and the boys want to eat and drink. It doesn't bother me as far as my meal plan is concerned, I do wish they would learn to eat more healthy foods...they are slowly moving in the right direction.

But ....If you think I am tested at home, it was nothing compared to the way I was tested this weekend in Mt. Airy, NC.


First test, Dad cooked some healthy items like grilled pork tenderloin, fresh tomato and green beans, but then he also cooked fried potatoes, fried apples and homemade strawberry short cake with whipped cream of course....

I only ate the grilled pork, tomato and green beans so all was well.

Next we headed to Virginia and along the way he turned a Candy Store into a tourist stop at Meadows of Dan, VA.

I do the family's grocery shopping so every week I walk through grocery stores at least once a week. Weekly, I walk past beer (I STILL LOVE BEER!), candy bars, Twinkies, potato chips etc etc nothing phases me.

Well…when you walk into this store…

...the smell of chocolate overwhelms you. To be as accurate as possible, calling it the “smell of chocolate” does not do the sensation justice. I think they were pumping chocolate dust into the air!! Much like JR’s Humidor Room is for Cigars, Nancy’s Candy Co. is for chocolate. ….in a word, it's AWESOME!

They have everything imaginable pecan nut rolls, fudge, chocolate covered peanuts, pretzels etc etc. They even sold dishes and bowls made of chocolate. I did not buy nor eat free samples of anything in the store. ...yes, they offer free samples...

When everyone got back into the car, Brad didn't want all of his SUGAR FREE Pecan Cluster, so I did eat about half of his leftover cluster.

As if that were not enough, dad stopped in Cana, VA at one of those tourist trap "general store" type places, it had many items for sale ...some that I wanted but not at their prices. I walked outside and there was dad, he had purchased an ice cream cone and ate it in front of me….

Bottom line: the only thing I had to eat that wasn’t primal or “clean” …I ate half of my son’s sugar free pecan cluster.

I wonder…if I’d been a reforming alcoholic…do you think Dad would have taken me to every beer joint and liquor store in Mt. Airy???? LOL!

P90X Update - For the record…today was day 78…12 days left and counting.


I haven't mentioned this in a while, so I wanted to restate this.

At minimum you should exercise 30-45 minutes a day, four times a week.

…at minimum….

The quote below was copied from the AHA website, it took me 10 minutes to find this. The quote was actually 4 pages deep….I got so aggravated. You would think this would be on the front page in bold letters, you know…because they want people to get fit!

“Don't overdo it. Do low to moderate level activities, especially at first. You can slowly increase the duration and intensity of your activities as you become more fit. Over time, work up to exercising on most days of the week for 30-60 minutes.”

Take care all and "peace out",


Trip to Mt. Airy, NC & Goal Update (End of Wk 11)

The family unit had a nice relaxing trip to Mt. Airy yesterday to visit my dad, Larry and his wife, Kathy.

When we arrived Dad was cooking pork tenderloin on the grill...the pork as well as the entire meal was "most Xcellent".

We also had homegrown green beans, tomatoes, fried apples and fried potato wedges. The desert was homemade strawberries and homemade short cake.

For the record, I did NOT have the apples, potatoes or dessert...but they looked delicious. :) This picture shows my dad grilling some "pig". Dad grills better than anyone I know....always spiced just right.

After the "eats" we took an hour trip to Maybry Mill in Virginia. If you have never been, it is definitely worth the drive especially if you are headed to Mt. Airy, NC area.

The mill gives a snapshot of mountain life in the early 1900's. Mr. Maybry, the creator, used a
creek to power the mill which he used for a wood lathe and to grind grains.

There are several "stations" where folks were demonstrating cloth making, milling, blacksmithing etc but my favorite treat was a stage where local musicians play "mountain music".

You can learn more by viewing this link, there is also restaurant and souvenir shop on site.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill, VBR

Here is a picture of me, my wife and my son. Just in case you can't tell who is who...I am the one in the middle. I wanted to tell you in case you know...because I've lost so much weight, you couldn't ...ok, I'll shut up now. :)

In this picture is my son, my dad and his wife, Kathy. Dad is the one on the right, hamming it
up, you know, in case you couldn't tell who was who....

Goal Updates

1) Wearing 32” jeans…Done!

2) BMI = Normal, Weight = 166 lbs…..Done!

Yes...I reached new low....

3) 30 Push Ups….DONE!

Completed 38 Push Ups, up from 35 last week.

4) “Beating sons in basketball”…Done!

5) Sub 7 Minute Mile - No Update....I returned home too late last night. To be honest...if I thought I was getting closer...I'd probably run a test at 3:00 am if I thought I could "brag" about it. :)


Saturday, August 8, 2009

P90X - Week 11 is….History!

Two Weeks To Go!

Can you believe it!!! For those of you who knew me as the obese, sedentary garbage disposal....raise your hand if you thought back in February that in August I would be two weeks away from completing a challenging fitness program. I did not see any hands....raise them one. Oh yee of little faith. :)

Updates? I am going to Mt. Airy, NC tomorrow so it may be Monday before I’ll be able to do a full goal update. I did do 38 push ups today…a new all time high. For the record, I’ve been able to do 2-3 additional push ups each week. That is the only expected change but we'll see about the mile run.

Shout Out to Someone Who is “Getting it Done”.

Alisha Haas told me last week that she has started exercising and eating “clean”. When we spoke she was down 19 lbs but today she updated me that she was down 21 lbs!!

In a related matter, Perry Kyle stated that he found the 21 lbs that Alisha lost. :) JUST KIDDING! Love ya Perry!

Some Administrative Stuff

1) Feel free to email me with any questions or comments you may have. You can also use the comment button at the end of each email.

2) There is a “subscribe” box on the upper right hand side of the webpage, if you subscribe, you’ll receive an email version each time I post.

Healthy Low Carb - Recipe…it’s Awesome!

It is a crab cake recipe but I didn’t have crab meat so I tried the Bumble Bee canned Mackerel…it really is good. The mackerel is only $1.82 per 15 oz can…so it is economical too. I did add a clove of minced garlic and some black pepper, other than that I went by the recipe.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Balancing Act

When I first started on this quest, (oh no, when Steve talks like this …it’s soapbox time…), I was obese, recently
diagnosed with Diabetes, had high blood pressure and high cholesterol…. other than that my health was great! LOL!

Other than those minor details...I was a “picture of health”. I know this to be the case because I looked up “health” in the dictionary…IT
HAD MY PICTURE IN THERE beside the word “health”!!!! Can you believe it!?

I was more than a little surprised by this; I read the caption below the picture, it said, “we do not know what “health” looks like….but we do know what it doesn’t look like, so here is Steve Cooksey's picture!”

….now that was a slap in the face, let me tell you!

…getting back to why I am writing this post….when I first started I had a single, simple yet difficult task….LOSE WEIGHT and the faster the better!

Why? Everything I read said that if you lose weight it will help with insulin resistance, blood pressure and cholesterol. So I lost weight, from 212 to 185 lbs fairly quickly. At that point, I noticed that despite the fact that I was lifting weights I wasn’t getting noticeably stronger. I knew that the more muscle I could add would help in two ways, add strength and burn fat.

Problem is, I don’t want to be 150 lb “fit” guy….no one wants their wife to out weight them…oooops, did I say that out loud!! :) Just kidding, Tammy doesn’t quite way 150 lbs…yet.

So I have been performing a balancing act, walking a tight rope for really the entire stretch of my P90X workout. If my goal was to only add muscle, I’d eat more and not worry so much about my weight.

If my goal was to lose weight, I’d stick to the nutrition plan and go through the motion and I’d easily be 5-10 lbs lighter right now. But…I want it all…a lean yet stronger body. Thus far I can say that I have been somewhat successful, I’ve lost some weight but continue to add strength every week.


BTW, after this P90X workout, it ends in 2 ½ weeks, I am taking a couple of weeks off and starting another session on 9/07/09.

If you or someone you know would be interested in working out a day or two a week with me, please let me know.

Have a great weekend and be safe…remember, I can’t afford to lose any readers due to unnatural or natural causes… :)


Back in the Saddle Again….I’m Back

Wednesday morning my leg and back injuries were feeling pretty good but I continued stretching periodically during the day. Last night I felt real good….so much so I ran some sprints…not "all out" 100% SPRINTS, I definitely did NOT run Tabata Sprints. I took it relatively easy but it sure did feel good running hard again.

I was not sure how this “plan of action” would play out. After I cooled down last night from my sprints, I still felt good. This morning, woke up and felt fantastic! No lower back nor leg pains. Performed my Yoga X routine which as you can guess…has a lot of stretching etc and I felt like a million bucks afterward.

Steve is once again stoked and “back in the saddle again”, enjoy this song from Aerosmith.

I had forgotten how great this song used to be a song I'd play over and over and over....

I was going to add a picture of a rough and tough cowboy riding his horse….but when I googled the term and saw this…I had to post it....

Daily Activities

As I get closer to the end, I am really trying to watch what I eat. Not necessarily to make sure that I do not eat too much…but more so to make sure I eat enough. Therefore I am attempting to track my meal plan more closely and will try to report them daily.


Snack – pecans and blueberries

Breakfast - 3 eggs, collard greens

Early Lunch - meal replacement shake & whey protein

Late Lunch - meal replacement shake & whey protein

Dinner - 4 oz fish, chicken breast and stir fry veggies

Snack - Pecans and blueberries

Workout of the Day: Yoga X

Heart Rate Monitor my new toy.

I purchased a new toy the other day, a heart rate monitor. I bought it to compare workouts and to see how they stacked up with each other as far as the cardio was concerned. I also wore the unit while I ran sprints last night. As I become more and more comfortable with the use of the device I’ll give more details.

Heart rate is used to determine several things including estimated calories burned during a given period of time.

** This blogging software does not handle formatted text very well. It handles Excel data even worse. I am having to "force the format", not my preferred method. Hopefully you can make sense of the info. Basically I am reporting my maximum heart rate for each routine, dividing it by 172 to arrive at the Heart Rate percentage.

------------------------Max HR------HR



Arms and Shoulders------123--------75%


1) The sprints were not “all out” 100% effort, if I had to guess I would say 90%. I was pretty close as the estimate equaled 88%.

2) Plyometrics is a P90X workout with a lot of cardio including squats and lunges.

3) Arm and Shoulders is mainly a “pulling” workout, with curls and flys the predominant activity.

4) My Maximum Heart Rate is estimated by subtracting my age from 220 which equals 172, this is a common formula for the estimate but there are other formulae.

5) Final Note: Plyometrics and Shoulder & Arms readings were taken, on days that I was still experiencing some health issues. It will be interesting to see how the data changes now that I am 100%.

Questions, comments or suggestions….let me know.