a new beginning...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

History Lesson

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana

As I approach the "Big 40" (less than 48 hours away) I can't help but think how well (sadly though) this quote describes my actions over the past few years...actually almost the past 15 years.

Sure - back in 1990-91 I went from 230 lbs. to 180 lbs. Sure - I made some radical changes in my life but for the past decade I feel like I've been treading water. Not sinking, but not really swimming either. I know some of you can relate as I read about it all the time in your posts.

I've seen success. I've also let it slip away. I've been "so close" to my goals, only to let life get in the way and watch them fade in the rear view mirror. So I have to ask myself the question - "Gene, what are you going to do differently in your life that will give you different results?"

I've read all the positive books, listened to Tony Robbins over and over, gone to seminars, got involved in social networking and where has it gotten me. Seems to me right where I've started.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that we already have all the information we need - too much if you ask me. That's why as a society we jump on the next "big thing" when it comes along. It offers us a renewed sense of hope when in the past we may have failed, perhaps even miserably at times.

I'm going to be 40 years old on Friday. If I live to be 80, that means my life is 1/2 over. That's pretty scary. I've accomplished so many things in my life - some that I'm damn proud of. On the flip side I've done things I'm ashamed of and embarrassed by - shame on me.

I've told myself that the 40's are going to be my best decade yet. I guess that's up to me and only me. There will be no public challenges - no "calling out" coalition members as it's not my style. Instead I feel my strength must come from within.

I must find a way to saddle it and use it on a consistent basis.

Minute by minute.


PS - My wife threw me a surprise 40th B'Day party last week. Totally caught me off guard. It was awesome! Pop has fully transitioned into a nursing home & I'm OK with it - so is he. Dad is moving into a 55+ Community next Monday so I'm renovating the house for my family to move into, hopefully before Christmas.

Despite my ramblings - life is good!

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 22nd and a title change

Happy Autumn everyone. As we turn the page on a new season and say goodbye to summer, I thought this was a good time to make a few changes.

Changed template on blog. Nothing radical - I just like the color scheme.

Also changed the title to "The Journey" and dropped the 40. It's not like in another 25 day this all ends (shit I hope not) and then "poof", rather I think I should place my emphasis on how this a Journey of transformation. A Journet with no end - and that is not a bad thing at all! In order to have the healthy body I desire and the lifestyle I want, I must act accordingly for the rest of my life; not just for 12 months at a time.

Today is the last day to officially begin the 12 week TT3 transformation contest. I hit the gym hard @ 5:30 am and had an awesome workout. Tonight I will take my "before" pictures and I have promised myself I would take them every Monday until the contest is over - regardless of the outcome of the NY Jets football games.

I hope my fellow FATties are doing well. Time for the Fall harvest.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Where oh where does the time go?

July 17th - last post - wow.

Been a rough Summer. Rather than bore you with the details I'll be brief.

Diet & exercise post LBI vacation back in July have been bad...really bad. Inconsistent on both fronts. Guilty as charged.

Went to VA Beach in August and had a wonderful vacation. Came home to an ever aging, ever ailing Grandfather (Pop) who turned 97 last month. Sadly I am in the process of transitioning him into a nursing home / assisted living facility. He needs 24/7 care and while there is no lack in desire on my part - I simply cannot provide what he needs with all the responsibilities I currently have.

I am a mess over this and I know it has contributed to my stress eating and lack of gym time.

While I previously blogged about the TT Transformation contest #2, I got off to a great start but never finished. See above for my "excuse". Mad, angry, annoyed, frustrated with myself. Nothing new - been here before.

Need to move on.

I am going to enter the TT Transformation contest #3 (details here if anyone is so inclined to join me) .

I will start.
I will persist.
I will overcome life's challenges.
I will persevere.
I will finish.

Hope all is well in Blog-land. Honesty, I haven't read too many posts lately. I often think that staying away is the answer when I know damn well it is not.

Catching up on Billy's posts is always an inspiration.

And a big thanks to Rip for checking in and keeping me honest.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hey...the brain likes to go on vacation too!

Webster's definition of "disaster" is as follows: a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction. A disaster may be caused by carelessness, negligence, bad judgment, or the like.

Now I'm not sure my vacation falls under that category - a bit too extreme . However, sadly I took far more liberties than I wish I had. That's where the "carelessness, negligence, bad judgment, or the like" would apply.

1st off my family & I had a blast. We got 5 out of 7 good days of weather so we're all nice and tan. We spent time with friends and family, enjoyed bike rides, mini-golf, kiddie amusement parks and the like. My older daughter sees me as the hero of those crane games where you pluck the prize after directing it left and right. My younger daughter has not quite figured out if she likes sand yet. Pick me up, put me down ad infinitum. But you know what...it was worth every minute.

I did go shirtless at the beach and while I was not truly "comfortable" in my own skin I did feel better than in years past. I'd been working out hard prior to the trip so I felt a bit better about myself.

On the down side (and yes, there is a downside to most everything) I strayed too far from my healthy eating. Had a couple of ice cream sundaes. Drank too much beer and the BBQ fare was a bit on the unhealthy side. Sorry but fat free turkey dogs and veggie burgers on the grill just ain't for me. Flank steak, chicken drumsticks (skinless), Sabrets & beef hamburgers are.

So there it is, I confess. I'm human. Mortal. Cut me and I bleed. Take me away from my "scheduled life" & I struggle.

I'm learning. I'm growing. It truly is a lifelong process of acheiving balance.

I'm back at the gym (Turbulence Training 2K3) and on day 3 of clean eating.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Beach bound

Getting ready for vacation, whether my body is ready or not.

I'm taking the family down to the Jersey Shore for a week. So while I may not be blogging while I'm away, rest assured it's not because I threw in the towel. I still have the Oceans 11 Challenge & the TT Challenge on my radar.

I've made some progress as of late but I am nowhere near where I want to be nor where I am capable of being. I was concerned about what to do with my workout routine while away so I took some advice from the Craig Ballantyne & Turbulence Training forums. I plan to do Body Weight Workouts on M-W-F (my 'normal' gym days) and I also plan to do a lot of HIIT (running on the beach). It's something I've always wanted to do so I'm really looking forward to it.

I also plan to relax a bit, have a few drinks and do a lot of healthy grilling.

Happy Independence Day everyone! This time let's declare our Independence from Body Fat, shall we?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fitgerald's 5K

It's been a great weekend so far. Excellent meal choices. I got 6 Omaha steaks for Father's Day and we grilled some of them last night, along with vegetable kabobs and some quinoa. Yummy, satisfying and HEALTHY. It's amazing how you can still satisfy the need to eat "hearty" yet keep it clean.

Later today I'm off with some family and friends to run in the Fitgerald's 5K in Glen Ridge, NJ. Last 5k I ran was back in April (the Lincoln Tunnel 5k) and my goal is to beat my previous time of 30:44. One potential concern is that there are terrible thunderstorms in the area today (it's slamming as I type this) so I hope it's not cancelled.

Tomorrow begins week 4 of TT Intermediate. I'll weigh in and take new pix tomorrow along with posting my time (I hope) from the race.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Small Victories

So I tried on yet another pair of "new" (old) pants this morning (36') and they fit quite nicely.
I'm grinning from ear to ear since it's been over a year that I've worn khakis to work. It matters not to me if anyone else notices...I DO!

Weigh in this AM was 190.4 lbs.. BF% 23% (Tanita).

My goal for 8/11 is 180 lbs., and under 20% BF.

Have an awesome Wednesday!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Guess what I'm wearing???

OK, now that I have your attention I must 1st humble myself. For the longest time I have only worn 2 pair of pants to work - 1 black (size 38) & 1 brown/tan (size 36 with the elastic waistband). Back & forth alternating days since I REFUSE to buy a larger size.

The last 2 days have been different - I actually tried on a normal pair of 36" slacks and they fit! These have been sitting in my closet for well over a year and are practically brand new. Man it made me feel good. Plus it proves the point that training and proper nutrition have positive results.

But wait...I've been here before, maybe some of you have too?

Make a bit of progress, see some positive results and then let up on the gas. Slack off a bit. Have a beer - maybe 2 or 3. Order out and "reward" yourself a bit too much a bit too soon. Sound familiar? Sure does to me as it is me - or should I say it was me.

This GeneTheK is different. Let me prove it to you on August 11th when Billy's contest ends.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Turbulence Training

So I have officially entered the TT2 Transformation Challenge. Sort of ironic since that is where I 1st learned of Billy's transformation. I had purchased TT some time ago but never really got the hang of it. I think it was the Super Sets and "unconventional" exercises that had me a bit confused, but since I read NROL I gained a better understanding of the concept and now I'm sold on it. I've got 84 days to make some measurable changes. Structure is what I need. A clear starting point and ending point.

Hell, Summer hasn't even started yet (at least not on the calendar anyway).

Friday, May 16, 2008

Today it's working

Despite the fact that I got a good nights sleep, I still wrestled with my brain @ 5:10 AM in order to get out of bed. Actually I was already out of bed after the alarm went off (had to pee) rather, I had to fight not to crawl back into bed.

Then I got to thinking...

a. you are already awake and out of bed
b. your workout clothes and gym bag are already out and ready to go (nightly prep work before bed)
c. don't be like - "I'll just wait until Monday to get started" - WRONG!
d. if I had bought into letter c. above, I'd probably have set myself up for a bad weekend of eating and drinking - you know, the "last time" before I really get started on Monday

Instead I got dressed, went to the gym and had a great workout. Then I came home, made a smoothie, showered and greeted the day with a whole different attitude. I'm certain the weekend will be better as well.

Gene - 1
Brain - 0

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What a mess

"Is there anybody alive out there?" -- Bruce Springsteen (at most every concert I've ever seen him at).

Sometimes I wonder....

In this case I'm referring only to me.

Based on posts from the Coalition I see that you all are alive and well. Good for you.

The greatest piece of Real Estate I own, the 6 inches between my ears, has once again betrayed me. Bad brain...bad, BAD brain. Just a few short weeks ago I ran the Lincoln Tunnel 5k. I didn't beat my time from last year, but I completed it without stopping (despite that fact that I wasn't really running a lot in prep for the race - I had a mild foot injury & I didn't want to aggravate it prior to the race), so all was good.

Then all hell broke loose and I don't know what happened.

Poor diet, poor nutrition & a poor mental attitude. I had to travel for work - totally last minute. Stress at home with 2 small kids (I love them to pieces but it's a lot of work) and my aging father & grandfather seem to pull me in opposite directions as well. I've gained weight and have been inconsistent at the gym. I'm angry because once again Memorial Day is right around the corner and I'm in the exact same place I was last year. Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

I'm not gonna bitch about it because I can't do anything about what I've already done. What I need to do is get my head out of my ass, stop feeling sorry for myself and DO SOMETHING!

If I'm lamenting about another Memorial Day - just how bad will I feel in 5 months when I turn 40? Wasn't that the whole point I was trying to make? What am I going to do - change my blog to "The Journey to 41" and say better luck next year? What a tool.

I found this list recently & it inspired me to get back on the blog and post.

1. Be consistent.

2. Focus on improving every day.

3. Follow a professionally designed program & advice. Success leaves clues.

4. Fuel your body with the right foods.

5. Accept that things won't change overnight, but that with time & persistence, YOU WILL SUCCEED.

6. Train with purpose.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Call Me Irresponsible

Well, if I were Micheal Buble perhaps you could but in this case it's simply for letting an entire month go by without a single keystroke. Shame on me.

March was a difficult month on the family front. Pop came home from Harborage (Rehab facility) which is where he was for 2 weeks after his hospital stay. I was fortunate enough to find a woman caregiver who spends mornings with him but I still find myself over there 4-5 nights a week cleaning, administering meds, just spending time. I am lucky he lives so close so I guess it could be worse. I told him that when I was young he took care of me so now it's my turn to take care of him. He's a big Met fan (as am I) so I hope with baseball season upon us it turns his thoughts to better things. Maybe he'll see them win the World Series one more time?

Weight has been consistent around 193. I've kicked it up a notch with the NROL Fat Loss II routine. "Wow". I haven't lifted like this in well over a year and it feels fantastic. I have also given up booze for 30 days. Too many Friday nights with the bro-in-law getting (as we like to say) "shimmed up". Beer helped make me fat and unfortunately beer keeps me fat. So I'm off the sauce until the end of April and I know it will have a positive impact on me.

Remember that eating 7 apples in one day is not the same as eating 1 a day for 7 days.

Think about it.

Stay focused - stay strong fellow FATties. April Fools are upon us.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life is full of challenges

Yikes. I can't believe I let a full month slip away without even one blog entry. I'm not going to make excuses. Since I won't except them from others, why should I waste the coalition's precious few seconds of reading time on lame ass excuses & whiny bullshit?

Currently "life's plate" contains helpings of...

Sick children. Baby has an ear infection and the older one has Strep. Joy. So my wife, who envisioned a week of mall lunches & playdates for the kids with her teacher girlfriends (Winter break here in the NJ public school system), has been captive to the house. You can only watch so much Noggin.

Ailing & aging family. My 96 year old Grandfather (the last surviving grandparent I have), who has raised me like his son & who I love like a father (mind you this has caused much conflict over the years with his son/my dad, but that's another story in itself) has been in the hospital for over a week. He's still currently there. As his caregiver and his P.O.A., I am going to be faced with some difficult decisions in the coming days/weeks. He can still take care of himself, but he can no longer be alone. Ideally I'd like to bring him home and get a home health aid, but it's too soon to tell if this is going to be possible. He's still sharp as a tack & I cannot bring myself to put him in a nursing home. Still praying over this one...a lot.

"Clean Eating & Exercise". I weighed myself this morning and was 194.6. Not as bad as I thought. Considering my inconsistencies of late. I bailed on the MH Belly Off Club. I felt as if I wasn't getting a decent workout on M&W. I needed to hold some iron in my hands and these workout were just not providing that. The Friday Body Weight work outs were much more intense. I have been doing the MH transformation workouts and I find those to be effective. Eating has been hit or miss. Not spot on perfect as I know I have done in the past, but not over the "top pork rinds and cola" bad either. A few beers here and there and some desserts that I simply shoud not have eaten, but my wife helps keep me in check, she is the best.

I just finished reading N.R.O.L. (thank you Marcol, I first read about it on one of your posts) & will begin a new routine on Monday. It's a great book.

Thoughts and prayers are welcomed. I'll make a stronger effort to check in more often. While I have not made many comments lately, I have enjoyed reading all of the coalition's posts.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


"You can have big plans, but it is the small choices that have the greatest power. They draw us towards the future we want to create."

- Robert Cooper

I've been reading a lot lately. Currently I am reading "Build Your Mind, Your Body Will Follow" by Vincent D. Cocilovo. This is not your typical "fitness" book, however the title says it all.

Oh the mind is a beautiful thing, yet it can still be the "poison pill" we all strive to avoid. The difference? Focus.

Last week during my cleanse (during which I lost 8 lbs. by the way) I had to make a choice on where to direct my focus. Was I going to focus on my hunger and how much I missed simply "chewing food"? Or was I better off focusing on the goal of cleaning out my system and spring boarding back into clean eating? At times it was hard, but I chose to focus on the latter and it really made things easier for me.

There has to be a "bigger picture" for each of us. It will be different for everyone (as it should be). Keep in mind that the bigger picture (long term goal) is compromised of "snapshots" (short term goals) that we build upon along the way. So metaphorically speaking we should take snapshots along the way, making sure that they are helping us create our desired bigger picture.

BTW - Week one of the Men's Health Belly Off 2008 (MHBO) is going great. I'll post some stats soon. I am taking "snapshots" each week , but I'm going to save posting them for a while hoping for a more dramatic effect.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oh Pooh!

On Tuesday I began what has become an annual January ritual for me; the colon cleanse. Be warned before you click on this link there are some images not suitable for the squeamish.


I am on day 4 of a 5 day liquid only fast. My "meals" consist of a packet of the "toxin absorber" mixed with apple juice (5x a day), plus some vegetable broth for lunch and chicken broth for dinner. That's it. No chewing required.

In the past, Day 3 was always the hardest, but this time Day 1 seemed to be tougher. I think it was because up until I began the cleanse, I had been overeating and over drinking so my body was like "What the F?"

I'm not going to lie. I'm hungry. But at this stage (less than 48 hours to go until I break my fast) it's just as much a mental as well as physical challenge.

And yes...there has been some interesting "stuff" coming out of me.

Why do I do it? 2 fold I guess. One is as I age I do believe that getting all the crud out of your system is a good thing. To use the analogy of a car engine, I've got years and years of motor oil all clogged up in me. Even though there is no history of colon cancer in my family, it can't hurt to be proactive. Secondly, this experience has given me a far greater appreciation for food and what I will choose to put in my body.

"So why aren't you skinny if this is your 3rd cleanse?" you ask. Great question that I don't have an answer to. Maybe I wasn't ready to make "life changes". Maybe I gave into temptation too quickly and easily. Maybe I wasn't about to turn 40. Maybe I just didn't have a plan going forward.

Well now I do.

Sunday I break my fast & I'm gonna eat like a pig. NOT...just checking to see if you are paying attention as you read. I'll be having some egg whites and oatmeal. Probably the finest in quite some time. Monday I will be begin the Men's Health Belly Off 2008 challenge. I have a friend who will be doing it with me. Although I will be modifying the meal plan, I love the workouts and am a big fan of Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training whose principals compose the workout.

In addition I have the growing coalition (growing in a good way) as a support group. I plan to be more active (at least weekly) in both postings and comments.

One of my fitness inspirations, Jon Benson, has a program called M-Power, where the M's stand for Mind, Meals, Muscle & Motion...in that order. Get your thinking straight and the rest seems to fall into place.

There is a saying that success leaves clues. We'll, there are tons of them on these blogs.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Start Strong Monday

Hey everyone -

I've got a few minutes & I wanted to share this with you. Sean Phillips (Bill's brother) has a great website called Start Strong Monday. Each week he streams a 3-5 minute audio file which I find to be packed full of good insight.

This current series is a 5 parter having to do with New Years resolutions and what he calls "obligation based motivation". Man, it's like he opened up my brain and looked right in.

I hope you all start your week off on the positive. Enjoy this.

Motivation Part 1: http://www.startstrongmonday.com/vol042
Motivation Secrets Part 2: http://www.StartStrongMonday.com

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Make your decision

I have still been lurking, it's just that I have been totally swamped at work. My company just launched a new website and as the head of IT at my job, it's my responsibility to make it work. I've been putting in long hours and worked right through the New Years Holiday. Not that it mattered too much since with 2 small children, we weren't going out to paint the town. My wife has been great and very understanding of the demands placed upon me these last few weeks. Thanks baby, I love you!

Now...I have so many great things I plan to blog about this year, I just need a bit of time to get over this professional hump.

So, the question is...have you made your decision?

  • Is this the year to make it "happen" for you?

  • Will 2007 be different than 2008?

  • In what way?

  • Have you written your goals?

  • Do you read them daily?

Once you make the decision, I mean really make the choice and eliminate any other option...the rest is easy. I'm not kidding.

Happy New Year - Happy New Life