Life Collisions: Blessing in Disguise?

Life often finds a way to collide with our plans and achievements or so it certainly seems. Just the other week, someone thought it would be a good idea to to plow their car into ours when we were stopped at a red light, literally a collision. I still have all my bones and limbs as far as I know, but due to the pain and adjustments mainly in my back, neck, and legs, my doctor advised me to stay away from heavy training and maybe just stick with cardio if I really felt the need to train. He explained that my body is now working out by itself to fix the damage from the accident. Doctor’s orders…. Doctor knows best…. Who am I to argue?

The trouble is I always find it difficult to stay away from training, especially this time as I was just getting back to my full fitness and strength peaks after returning from a three week holiday (during which I did train, but not as often or intense). But truly, this is what I train for. I train for times when I can’t always do what I would like to do i.e. train. The challenge set forth then was to see if I could actually stay away from it.

The first week, I stuck to interval days of cardio (specifically biking which is what the doctor recommended) and days off. The second week became a little more difficult, so, rebelliously, I started a little light training on some of the days. By light training, I mean using light weight but more repetitions and calisthenics, so it was more like cardio. With this method, I still wouldn’t push for the last few reps which usually count the most, so as not to aggravate the injuries, another challenge. The best part of all this though was that I managed to work on my form. I got back to the light weight basics and just really working on form. This week, I feel ready to heighten the load again and try get closer to my usual training method and previous fitness levels, but now with better form.

Every so often, I try do a form check by spending a few days training lighter, but its been a while. Due to this car accident, I was forced into one. Maybe a blessing in disguise? Who knows….

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Health and Fitness – Doughnut Crazy

It’s the first day of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah during which it is customary to celebrate by eating fried foods primarily doughnuts and latkes. A latke can be baked or regarded as healthy as it is a real food, meal or side dish even when fried and actually not really very healthy. But doughnuts…. I think everyone will agree just aren’t healthy. It’s a piece of dough, deep fried, glazed with sugar or icing, and often filled with jam or custard. Any “healthy” version of a doughnut, most probably marketed as gluten free and fat free with no added sugar, really won’t taste like a doughnut and if it does, it is probably just as unhealthy as a regular doughnut. So most trainers, nutritionists, health coaches, and die hard fitness enthusiasts will tell you to just stay away. Don’t even consider eating the doughnut.

I’m going to be controversial and tell you – go ahead, have a doughnut or two, but make it a conscious decision. To clarify, I’m not saying you must have a doughnut and I’m definitely not saying you should go crazy and stuff your face with doughnuts. If you don’t feel the urge for it, simply don’t eat it. I’m saying if you want a doughnut feel free to have one, but be comfortable with your decision.

You see, during my health and fitness journey and experience – and I see it with others living healthy and fit as well – I realized that we build coping and defensive mechanisms to avoid complications and making the wrong decisions. For example, we are afraid that one doughnut will turn into ten doughnuts or simply open the floodgates to binge eating. Often, breaking healthy eating habits for one small piece of pie will turn into a pint of ice cream, cake, chocolate or whatever else is enjoyable and unhealthy. So we make the extremely tough decision to stay away from it altogether and to not even enjoy one of anything. Continue reading

Sleepless…..

For about a week now, I haven’t been able to sleep properly. Lying awake for endless hours thinking, mind racing, without a final thought or summary. I’ve been working hard, sticking to my health and fitness, completing my workout routine, and for the most part sticking to my healthy eating habits day after day. My thoughts kept on coming back to VHLF, and this blog. Why haven’t I been posting? What was stopping me? Have I been doing enough to hold me back from posting? How would I get back into it?

If I am to chose one important application from my health and fitness journey, it would be that I am in control of my actions or I should strive to be. At the gym, it is up to me to push myself to the limit. I must maintain control over my mind and actions to get the results I want, to leave the gym feeling like I did everything I could in my power to gain from the workout I just completed. When I have the urge to eat something that I shouldn’t, it is up to me to stop myself. The challenge is only accomplished and overcome if I can say NO for myself. Therefore, I struggled to understand what it was that was stopping me from continuing with VHLF. This question amplifies even further in other aspects of life, simply, what is holding me back? Am I even being held back? Have I lost control?

Now, I’m getting a little carried away just going on a rant of questions, and believe me I don’t have all the answers either. It has been a good couple of months though. New responsibilities and challenges have been handed to me, good responsibilities and challenges, but definitely time consuming. These time consuming responsibilities coupled with a constant bad internet connection during my free time seems to have put me in a mode of I’ll start again tomorrow. But is it really good enough? Am I not just excusing my way out of it? Why would I even want to allow myself to be in this mode?
The only response I can come up with is just ****ing do it! Excuse my french, but I can’t stress it enough.

Forgive me for being selfish and keeping my journey to myself over the last… little while, but most importantly I ask forgiveness of myself for not fully exercising my control. My health and fitness journey continues. I have reached new milestones and constantly strive to reach my goals. But I must remember to focus as much on and enjoy the journey.

Excuse the rant please. VHLF blog and I have had a little setback. I’m okay with it. It has simply challenged me to push myself harder and come back even stronger!! I’m back and I’m stronger!! I will definitely strive to be at the very least.

What? I Had a Perfectly Good Reason!!!

It’s very easy to come up with a reason not to go to the gym, stick to a diet or stick to a health and fitness routine. Consider this the next time you you think have a justifiable reason though: is it really a good reason or is it just a good excuse?

I had a terrible, draining day. I have no energy to workout. I think I’ll pass out after ten minutes on the treadmill. It’s just one slice of pizza…..etc…etc…etc.. The list goes on and on. It really is a never ending list. I can list so many of these that I have personally used in the past and still consider before deciding whether or not to stick to my health and fitness blueprint at any given time including decisions concerning going to the gym or eating something unhealthy.  Sometimes, I even challenge myself to come up with a better more justifiable reason than the last one.

Some of the questions I ask myself when faced with these decisions are: Is my reason really justifiable or is it just an excuse? Am I just trying to make myself feel better? Is it worth it? Will the gym really be that bad? Will I honestly not be able to complete my workout? Should I at least try? How will it affect my short-term and long-term health and fitness goals? Yes, it may feel right and justified to me now in the moment, but how will I feel about it later or tomorrow?

I may be a bit crazy and over the top with my decisions such as deciding to go to the gym to complete an intense routine with a migraine or maybe not. Maybe many others make the same decision under such circumstances. Maybe intense exercising with a migraine isn’t the best idea or is a line I should be careful when crossing. All I know is that when I made my decision, I asked myself theses questions and found that in all honestly, whatever the circumstance was, I could at least try and that every time I overcame the excuses it made the next time easier.

My Story

Aside

Hi and welcome to Vhlf,

As it is the first Vhlf post and my first post on here (well my first blog post in general…but shh, don’t tell anyone), I would like to introduce myself and the reason I started this blog. Please bear with me as I refine my blogging abilities…

I’m pretty much an average guy born and raised in London, England. Except, I have a life changing experience that I would like to share. When I was between the ages of 14 and 15, I was overweight weighing in at around 17, 18 stones which in U.S. terms is close to 250 pounds. Let me give you a hint… it wasn’t muscle. After a visit to the hospital and determining with a blood test that it wasn’t allergies or medical reasons that were causing the weight to pile on, I woke up one day and decided to change my life and embark on the difficult journey of losing weight. To be honest, I’m still not completely sure what it was that finally pushed me to change my life. I had friends and I didn’t feel I lacked too much confidence. I didn’t really have a problem with the way I looked. I didn’t really care for the health problems that I was being told tend to be associated with, develop and exist alongside obesity. Either way, I decided to do it…to change my life and live a life with health and fitness. I had no idea how much the changes I made to my life would eventually change me and my life for the better.

After two and a half years, naturally – without any diet supplements, I lost an overall total of 100 pounds.

Here I am now a good few years older, wiser and smarter. Now, I weigh 160 pounds (some of it muscle). Health and fitness became part of my life. I don’t even look at  a bar of chocolate (still the love of my life) the same way I used to. The confidence that I didn’t realize I was lacking, let me just say I had absolutely no idea how much my confidence would grow. The gym continues to be my place of solitude. I actually enjoy the exercising… weird, I know. I continue to strive for health and fitness success. I set new goals and work to achieve them. I’m a different person now all thanks to the decision I made and the continued desire to succeed.

Follow Vhlf for more of my story, how I achieved my goals, tips and other exciting stuff to do with health, life and fitness.

Mosh

P.S. I am not, and I repeat NOT, a fitness professional, personal trainer, nutritionist, life coach or any trainer/coach pertaining to health, life, or fitness. As I said I’m just your average guy with a story.