Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Habit forming


You can form healthy habits! (end of blog) OK  here’s what you can do to form healthy habits and nothing is that hard to do.

My old days use to go something like this I would wake up at the very last minute and grab a cup of coffee and race to work feeling stressed and over tired. The coffee would give me enough jolt to make it to work where I would grab some candy out of the machine .  At lunch I would head over to a fast food chain and get a large cheese burger and milkshake and onion rings by 2pm I would be ready for a nap. I would get home and take a nap drag myself out of bed for a large dinner of whatever we had and ate several servings. I would make a giant bowl of popcorn cooked in vegetable oil and   laced with butter and salt. I might have two beers with that to wash it down. I would take my pills for GURD (acid reflex causing me to cough up blood) only to toss and turn all night with burning acid and sleep apnea, only to wake up and repeat. I started to change , first I got a dose of reality I was over 45 overweight and running out of time. I took a sleep study and found that I quit breathing several times a night. My blood work results said I was border line diabetic and I was given a script for my blood pressure. I was on the road to a very painful death.

I wasted a lot of time doing the wrong thing looking for a quick fix, OK this always going to be WRONG!!! This is about your life time not 30 days of no bread and pasta and that’s all.

You need to change forever. Start slow and make trade offs all day long something good for something bad.



1. Mental health : You have to wrap your mind around the fact that this is a life change.

2. Cardio: You have to move… a lot more then you think.

3. Strength :  Start with your own body weight, then move on to the gym.

My day now starts with me up before my alarm goes off and I start off my morning with a smoothie  of Almond vanilla milk and a banana and some blueberries. Lunch I now enjoy a protein shake followed by a mile walk around my work campus. Dinner is salad with meat and maybe a sweet potato. If I want a snack I will have almonds or banana chips. I often have a glass or two of red wine at night. If its good weather I go for a long slow walk and if  its winter I head to the gym.


To this day I add something new each month and try and get rid of something bad. Slow steady movement to the correct path. I make little rules for me to follow and little goals to reach.

I point all this out because I was so out of touch I could not walk two blocks with out wanting to quit. I changed my mindset, quit blaming the world and decided it was up to me.

I still stumble, have bad days but I never stay down. I do not lie to myself. I am thrilled with my results but now my next goal is just as far away from me as was losing all that fat over  the last few years.

You can change, I see it in people everyday at the gym or out on the trails.

Start today, make a list of whatever it is you want to do and start heading the right direction.


Peace and Love all

Friday, November 7, 2014

Delayed Muscle Soreness (the dreaded second day pain)


So I joined a gym after saying I would never join a gym. OK never say never, gotta remember that. The cold weather is starting and I thought it was time to find some other ways to keep moving so the short story is I joined a gym. The longer story is I am very much a fish out of water and I wanted to share with you my experience when I returned to a gym well really the first time since high school.

This local gym has a great deal $10.00 a month and I have 24 hour access (for those nights when I feel like jogging at 3AM this will really pay for its self). They even offer a free session with a trainer who is very young and crazy fit. Now I’m feeling pretty fit my self in the fact that I walk five miles a day and I toss around a 35lb Kettle bell a few times a week. Well this was an error on my part I am not fit, I was confused with James Bond who I was watching at the time just before I pulled into the gym in my Aston Martin DB5 sleek gray (in the States they pronounce it Ford Focus). My trainer lets call him Dr. No insisted on putting me through the paces jumping jacks, push ups, squats, planks and every now and then Dr. No would ask if I needed a drink of water or felt like throwing up. Well at no point did I throw up, very close but I held it in. Long last the 12 minutes of torture were over and the good Dr. said I had very poor form but was surprised that I had good endurance.  Yeah for endurance and I intend to work on my form. I left the gym and was enjoying the cool air ,drove home just five minutes to my house and found that my legs had turned to rubber in that short time. I sorta danced like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz into my house and made it to my chair. The memory of the second day pain returned. Delayed Muscle Soreness DOMS!!

No one is actually sure what causes DOMS but trust me its real. I use to workout on Sunday mornings with a martial arts expert and every Tuesday I would suffer. Now all these years later I new the dreaded second day would arrive.

On the morning of the second day I felt such amazing pain from my hips to my knees, my arms, back were just fine (thank you kettle bell) but my thighs were burning from years of never bending my knees or ever doing a squat correctly. In my job I have to go up and down stairs a lot and each step was a fresh new hell. So what do you do about DOMS.

1. Pain killers  ( your choice)

2. Ice then heat back and forth

3. Soak in a hot tub

4. Take two days break

5. Suck it up cowboy and get back on the horse!

I did all of these except I don’t have a horse, I did soak in a hot tub, and took some pain killers, but the thing that helped me the most was I stretched my legs every morning and through out the day I forced myself up and down the stairs. The next day or so was a little bit better and tonight I returned to the gym and hit the treadmill, rowing machine and worked out on several weight machines. I remember my dad saying every August when he coached me in soccer time to get your soccer muscles ready again. That first week was always hard but it got better very quickly.

Some guys dig the pain is a sick way because they know they are breaking new ground and they are up for the challenge. Well I don’t care for the pain but I know I can tough through it and so can you. The results you want will come in time, its not easy but its also not impossible.

This time of year I leave for work in the dark and come and its dark. My near by trail is closed when the sun goes down , so for me a gym is the perfect response to this time of year.

I have set some goals for myself for the next 12 weeks and I continue to up date my progress here on these pages in the week to come.

Its now day three and you know what ? my legs are little sore still but not so stiff I’m going have bath and soak a bit yet but I’m glad I was back at the gym tonight. I can’t let Dr. NO think I have quit.. that just would not be right.

Peace and Love all


Thursday, October 23, 2014

21 days of paleo


Hello All,

First off 99% of this information I gathered from reading Mark Sisson’s Primal blue print, I can not recommend this book enough. It simply changed my life for the better. The one percent that I have to offer is my personal experience trying the paleo lifestyle.

Just to recap about three years ago I started paleo and after losing over a hundred pounds of fat I slacked a bit and a good 25lbs came back. This year 2014 I decided to get more focused on not just the food but working out. The results for me were I quickly lost the 25lbs and replaced it with lean muscle. OK so what is the big secret to losing fat and gaining lean muscle?? EAT REAL FOOD AND MOVE MORE! That’s it ,but here is my take on the 21 day challenge from Mr. Sisson.


Give up all  of the following : Bread, Pasta,Milk, Sugar, Vegetable oil, all grains so no Corn .

Still with me??  Ok then what can I eat?

Eggs, Meat, Chicken,Fish, vegetables, fruits, smoothies, Red wine,coffee,Almond milk, almond butter,coconut butter and coconut milk Nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans

Work out;

everyday no exceptions 10,000 steps that’s less then five miles and you can break it up through out your day. Grab a fitbit or whatever gadget you choose and keep track of your steps.

Push ups, squats,planks and pull ups (still working on these) Use your own body weight for a workout.

I love to workout with Kettlebells but yard work is just as good.

In the primal blueprint Sisson lists his 10 basic rules and  my version is this.

1. Have fun

2.Sleep eight hours

3.Get some time in the Sun and the fresh air

4.Eat real food (nothing processed out of a box)

5. go for long slow walks

6.Use your brain and challenge everything including this

7.Lift heavy things now and then

8. Sprint full out for one minute like your life depended on it (it does)

9. Ignore the scale

10.Be kind ( I believe we all have the power to be good or evil ,why would you want to be the person that causes pain?)

So what I did which now seems a lifetime ago was started with going for a walk and then making my own meals instead of fast food. I  found after 2 or 3 weeks my cravings for sugar went down. My strength is better today then a week ago. I really believe in this lifestyle and I never look at it as I have to do without.

I use to love fast food, now the idea of it turns my stomach. I use to be so lazy I would pace in front of the microwave, now I enjoy going to the farmer markets and preparing my meals. I believe in myself now after a life time of self loathing. I have gained control by changing my thoughts which then change my actions. I can not control outside forces but I can control how I will react to them.

This is the very time of the year I first started, Halloween through News Years I was able to lose about 40lbs of fat and when the New year arrived I was on the home stretch.

This is a life style change my midlife crazy if you like, I live this way 24-7 as best as I can. It can be tough when I have four other people to feed who do not like what I eat and when money is tight I have to eat a frozen pizza here or there but I then adjust my workout.

There is a solution to every problem if you want to find it. I have very strong beliefs based on my own personal experiences. I study a lot of self help philosophy and the common core is taking responsibility for your own actions.


I chose to be fat and lazy, now I choose to be healthy and strong. A lot of folks helped me along the way and continue to, so I need to pay back and if I can help you please let me know. If you live in the St. Louis area I hope to see you on the trails hiking or biking about. If you want to contact me send me and email and I will try and help you out.

This is the big event, the curtain is up and this is your stage.

Peace and Love all

and here are some before and after pictures of me I hope inspire you to change and always to remind myself never to go back. 2009-07-11 Dylan's Graduation Party 004Mark's B-Day Weekend @ Lost Valley 08-27-04 - 08-29-04 (17)2009-07-24 Lost Valley Weekend 002

Here’s some more recent pictures of me.10460842_10203816128316939_513074821069364664_o10497148_10203248769413321_3674156372830363527_o

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The October Challenge


Hello All,


I love a fresh start and since it’s the first of October I thought I would start a new challenge for myself. I have gone on a lot about my weight loss but the one thing I have yet to achieve is break 200lbs. I do most things correct and I wrote awhile back about getting off the scale and not worrying about numbers but I gotta admit breaking 200lbs stands out to me. So I decided to drag out my scale and see where I am at.

214lbs!  Now because of my weight training and diet my clothes are down and I feel very good but for the next 30 days I am going to allow myself to fixate on shedding 15lbs or so. I will not being doing anything stupid to rush it along but I will be paying close attention to my intake as well as my workouts. I am documenting everything with all my measurements and I will take some photos as well. At the end of this month I will share my results  and what I discover along the way.

I have a few new things that I will ad to my workouts and if they pay off I will share them as well.

So that’s all for now and check back in 31 days and find out how I did.


Peace and Love all!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall for this!


I so love the Fall of the year, cool nights ( we burn logs on our back deck at night and watch TV or just talk) Halloween is just around the corner and the air is so fresh. It is also the time a lot of us turn to comfort food and leftover candy then its  Thanksgiving  and before long the whole Summer of working out is washed away. I have been guilty of this myself last year. Its easy to reverse your hard work and its cold so you hide for awhile behind your sweaters and coats but your not helping yourself at all. So I set up my Fall workout plan.


I walk at lunch now because soon after I get home from work its getting dark, I also get in as many extra steps through out my day  so by the end of the night I have at least 10,000 steps or close to five miles of walking.  I drop and do push ups through out my day as well just to add a little to my day. Every other day I work out with my 35lb Kettlebell and for me I need that day of rest in between.

That’s it, that’s my easy plan and it should go without saying I follow the Paleo diet close to 90% of the time. I enjoy a glass of red wine here and there and maybe once in awhile I will indulge in a treat like ice-cream or a big cookie but I find a little is enough. I don’t make it taboo I know if I want something I can and that has helped me say no more then yes.

So just a reminder to you as well as myself, the cold weather and short days are coming so figure out your plan not lose any ground you have gained in becoming a better version of you!


Peace and Love !

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Failure does not work


First we start off with the spark of an idea, we then plan and at long last we take action and the journey begins filled with all sorts of adventures and pitfalls. I’m not writing about a new adventure film or novel, the action here is all of a personal journey to make that small spark of an idea become a flame that you can share or take pride in.

So many people are within a stones throw of reaching their goal when they are set upon with what they consider to be failure. Failure is not a permanent state unless you allow for this. Failure only happens when you stop working and surrender to this brief moment and make it your status forever. My constant rebel yell is “change your thoughts and change your life”!! I once saw a cartoon in Mad magazine of a man digging for treasure. He had dug pits everywhere and found nothing, the cartoon revealed in all of the pits he was only a scoop away from finding his treasure. This is how failure works, we listen to the voices of doubt in our own mind, we allow energy vampires to suck the joy out of our work towards a goal and we become tired and fed up and quit. This is the difference between the man who finds the treasure and the man who does not. What is your goal? How do you reach it and how long will it take?? Do your work, investigate everything you can on this spark and build your fuel for your fire. Some people will try and stop you and tell you “you can’t do that!!” what they are really saying is they can’t do that and can not stand the thought of you doing it.

I make new goals all the time and for the past decade have been some of the best times of my life. Inspiration can be found in so many places, read about the efforts of the people who reach their goals and you find all of them had endless struggles to fight up hill against all sorts of odds when the fates seem to be against them. The trick is to keep on working towards your goal. Failure to me is the lack of work.

I’m working on a new CD  of original music and my goal is to make a CD that impresses me! I tried this a few years ago trying to impress other people and I regard that as a failure on my part. My aim was not on the right target,I should have made it for my taste. Lesson learned, so I am starting again. I have several tracks finished and each one I listen to again and again and If I am not moved by the music it goes in the bin. The result of my efforts this time will be a success because I have made a CD that brings me joy, if it sells and other people enjoy it how wonderful for my ego and my bank account .  Whenever I think back on my past failures each of them carry the same handle –I quit working on them!

Do the work, never give up on what you believe in and enjoy your days!

Peace and Love all!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Good bye Scale!


In my journey into better health I have to remind myself to watch out for anything that does not serve me along my way. Recently I added a fitbit to track my daily steps and I found this to be a very useful tool. I can see just how active or lazy I was in a given day. Do I really need to have a gadget on my wrist to inform me if I was lazy or not?, no but I do enjoy the reminder and I find I feel better when I have walked at least my 10,000 steps. Some days I don’t do as well so I might move more the next but most days I have no problem with 10,000 steps. In short its fun and useful to me, I would not be lost without it but I have it and I will take the little atta boy it delivers on a good day.

Now comes a subject touchy to many of us and I have decided today its time to step off the scale. The common bathroom scale has some valid points as a reference guide but it does not tell the whole picture. It will tell you how much you weigh at this given point in your day. I have weighed myself several times in one day (absurd when I think about it out loud) and I have seen almost 10lbs of difference in a day. Down 3lbs and I feel great,gain back a 1lb and my mood is shot for the rest of the day. I am a very sensitive person and so I have come to terms with the scale just does not serve me. I have seen so many examples where the numbers just don’t add up to what is really going on. I have added kettle bell work outs to my life and as I add muscle I am trimming down more and weight seems to be the same. Less fat more muscle, clothes are loose,I feel stronger so why should I bother anymore with this wee machine??!!


I have problem areas of too much fat around my stomach (love handles) but I do take a tape measure and check that once a week. Now this is a tool to pay attention to, measure your widest area around your belly once a week, men should be under 40 inches and women under 35 inches for better health. I know at one point my belly was something like 58 inches and now thanks to paleo eating and primal workouts my gut is around 42 inches. I have away to go but I am no longer going to judge my health by the number on the scale.  I feel the same way about age, If we did not have calendars what age would you call yourself? I feel very young at 50, I remember thinking that thirty was a very old age at one time, then I turned 30 and it was just another day. I look forward to improving my health  and my mental well being, so every now and then I stop and look about and see what works for me and what does not. Make a check list perhaps of your daily habits an see if they are good for you.

I’m spring cleaning my life, I no longer want to have burdens that pardon the pun weigh me down. So for me its time for the scale to go, I was going to make a big deal of when I dropped below 200lbs but I am choosing to live in the present and celebrate each day that I am doing my best. 

Wishing everybody the best in your search for what is healthy and I hope my little insights help someone out, I know I stand by the thought of challenge everything you are told and find out for yourself.


Peace and love all!