Archive for March 2014

My First Cruise

My First Cruise

Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas

I went on my first cruise this past week.  I have to tell you, I’m a fan.  I wasn’t sure I would like it because of a host of various reasons, but I am definitely now spoiled.  My first cruise was AMAZING.  I know it had a lot to do with the people I was with and their attitudes.  Last year, we were told Beachbody was chartering a cruise ship.  Not just ANY cruise ship but Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas.  It’s the third largest cruise ship in it’s class.  We had the opportunity to sign up for whichever cabin we wanted.  I signed up for a balcony room and then we were allowed the chance to have the cruise paid for totally or partially based on our performance with Beachbody throughout the year.  It was an amazing year and new coaches that were signed up and each success club point contributed to the money awarded to us by Beachbody to pay for the cruise and we also had the opportunity to have onboard credit for the ship added to our accounts.  Just totally amazing.

I really had no idea what to expect.  I had heard others talking about their First Cruise and other cruises they had been on.  When we pulled up to the dock and saw the ship in the distance, I couldn’t believe the size of this ship.  Liberty of the Seas has 15 decks (the upper one is a small chapel), which is basically 15 stories off of the water and is nearly 4 football fields long (1100+ feet).  She is also a bit over the width of a football field wide at 184 feet wide.  Needless to say, I was incredibly impressed.  We had 3,200 Beachbody Coaches on board with nearly 1,200 crew members taking care of us.  Can you say SPOILED???

My First Cruise – Food

When we boarded the ship, we were starving and they were bringing our bags up to our room.  We really had nothing to do at the time other than go eat.  We went up to the Windjammer Restaurant.  It’s a buffet on the ship with nearly every kind of food from Mexican, Chinese, Salads, Soups, Steaks, Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Pizza, etc.  It was so good.  The main dining room was open and we ate breakfast there every morning.  We also ate dinner there every night except for one night when we went to the specialty restaurant Chops where there is a $30 cover per person.  Amazing food there also.  Onboard was also Johnny Rockets where a $6 cover per person gets you burgers, onion rings, etc.  Several stores had pastries, cupcakes, pizza, etc. that were either “complimentary” for the cruise or a small price.  We didn’t get the drink package but for a price, you can get all you can drink soft drinks, wine, and/or liquor/cocktail drinks.  We just got a few glasses of wine here and there and saved our money on that.  Bottom line, is, the food was incredible.

My First Cruise – Entertainment

Jay and Melanie in Cozumel

Jay and Melanie in Cozumel

The ship has a casino on board “taking donations” as the Cruise Director said several times.  We also saw shows like In the Air, One Vocal Band, Ice Skating, Saturday Night Fever and other things like Bingo, Copy Cat Games, Karaoke, Love and Marriage, etc.  There was always something going on.  There were also several pools and hot tubs on board.  The fitness center was top notch and would rival any gym here in our town with free weights and machines along with elliptical machines, bikes and treadmills.  One thing is for sure, you won’t get bored on a cruise like we went on for sure.  Even the kids had special areas and times where they were taken care of by the crew members so adults could have some Mommy and Daddy time.  Oh, did I mention the Flow Rider (boogie board and surfing area), mini-golf, basketball/volleyball courts, ping pong tables, arcades, specialty stores, etc. etc. etc.?  There was too much to do and we had to pick and choose.  They also have a spa for massages and facials, pedicures, manicures, etc. and fitness classes as well.  I can’t remember everything.  It was CRAZY fun.

My First Cruise – Shore Excursions

I’m sure every cruise is different but our first shore excursions were a double reef snorkeling adventure in Cozumel Mexico and just laying out on the beach in Grand Cayman at Tiki Beach at Seven Mile Beach.  There was so much to choose from so, we just picked what we wanted to do and had a ball.  The tickets were delivered to our stateroom with directions on when and where to meet and it all went extremely smoothly.  I loved our shore excursions.

My First Cruise – It won’t be my Last

I’m now officially a Cruiser.  Beachbody gave us the opportunity to go on this cruise and have most if not all of it paid for by Beachbody for those who did the work.  Being on the ship without all our friends would never be the same, but I can see us doing a cruise again in the near future.  We will, of course, take our shakeology with us and eat as healthy as we can, but it was amazing to just be out there with my wife and a lot of our friends.  Just an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about a vacation in the near future, for sure!!

Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating – No, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about me.  Sometimes people don’t eat when they are sad or happy.  I do remember a time when I was very depressed with some rough stuff going on in my life and I was so stressed I literally couldn’t keep anything down.  But that is rare for me.  Most of the time, I feel like eating.  A lot!  I eat when I’m happy.  I eat when I’m sad.  I eat when stressed.  I eat for reward.  I’m a social eater and a private eater.  I love buffets.  I also love all kinds of food.  I grew up eating 3 meals a day that were home cooked and mostly fried.  When you are working in the yard or garden or in the summers in the fields, you can “get away” with eating like that.  But in our society today when we are less active with more sedentary (desk) jobs and all of our modern conveniences, it’s much more difficult to burn off all of the calories we were used to eating.  I love Burgers and Fries, Chinese, Japanese, German, Mexican, Sushi, etc. etc.  The only food I know of that I don’t like is pickled beets.  I have favorites but will eat most anything.  Bottom line though is, eating makes me happy.  There is just something special about sharing a GREAT meal with friends.

Emotional Eating – How Did I Get Here?

Maybe it’s genetics.  Maybe is societal.  Maybe it’s my parents.  Most likely it’s a combination of all three or possibly other factors I don’t even understand.  I have no control over my genetics so, there is no need to even discuss it here.  I just have to understand genetics may play a role in emotional eating but I have to master it.

Society causes us to want to eat.  We eat at parties when we have friends over.  We eat at lunches with clients.  We go out to eat with friends after church.  When we think “good times with friends”, most of the time, food comes immediately to mind.  What are we going to serve at the Baby Shower.  Our guests at the wedding have to be fed.  We even make sure we have food for families that have a death in the family.  When someone is sick or hurting, the first thing that comes to mind most of the time for us is “I wonder if we should take them a meal”.  My Mom would build bake biscuits to take to people.  Family gatherings always centered around food.  Even today, we have family reunions where people bring food.  We look forward to the food probably more than seeing our relatives.  Everyone brings their favorite dish.  At Easter, we go to our cousin’s house and everyone does that.  We even say things like…I hope so and so brings her potato salad or banana pudding or chocolate cake or whatever.  Most people with large families, especially in the South, can totally relate to what I’m talking about here.

My parents were born during the depression in the 30’s.  They rarely had enough to eat or had to work like crazy to get it.  Food is much more abundant now and even though we weren’t rich when I was younger, we had enough money to buy enough food to eat.  We also worked hard in the garden to grow food.  My Mom was a GREAT cook.  There was always food to eat.  If I wanted something special, even as an adult when I was visiting, all I had to do was mention it and Mom would get going preparing it for me.  She wanted to please us with food because it was the one thing she could do to “make us happy” because, as I said, we were lower middle class at BEST.  My Dad was disabled and my Mom was a school nurse and we lived in a small town (less than 500 people).  My graduating class had less than 70.  You can do the math on that one.  So, food was one of the things we really had to look forward to as a family.  We always ate at the table together so it was a centerpiece of our lives.  Happy times meant food.  And yes, I do like to reward myself with food and no, I’m not a dog.

Want to know more about Emotional Eating?  This is a great test for you from Psychology Today.  Pretty interesting stuff.  Just click:  EMOTIONAL EATING

Emotional Eating – How to Break the Habit

Dreaming about Food

Dreaming about Food

I’m still learning.  I wish I had all the answers.  I am still an emotional eater and I always will be.  I can’t imagine going to something like a Super Bowl Party and not having food.  It’s ALWAYS going to be around.  The question is, is it worth it?  The answer is, yes.  There will always be times when we can splurge.  Some people call it cheat days.  I call it living.  We aren’t robots.  But, if we eat clean 90% of the time or better, it’s “OK” to enjoy good foods with good friends.  Tony Horton even said he is a chocoholic.  He does enjoy chocolate now and then and if the portions are VERY small, you possibly even enjoy a bit every day, but not a snickers bar.

For emotional eating, it all comes down to eating for fuel and not fun.  Portion control is key and learning to control cravings is crucial.  Portion control is something Beachbody never really pushed because it isn’t easy to teach.  21 Day Fix solved that with containers to put food in.  Cravings can also be controlled to a large degree with Shakeology.

It all comes down to a mind set.  Are you going to let your emotional eating habits dictate your waistline, or are you going to master it and get more out of life by eating for fuel and not fun.  I’m still on the journey myself.  Come join me and let’s do it together!!

Why Is Working Out So Hard?

Why Is Working Out So Hard?

Laziness

Laziness

Because, simply put, laziness in comparison is so easy. It is easy and requires absolutely no motivation to lay on the couch like a slug and do nothing.  Trust me, there are days when that is all I want to do.  After getting up and doing things all day, there is nothing I want to do LESS than work out when I get home.  When I get home, the children are around, there is something else to do or something really cool on TV.  There is always something I need to do, so, it’s tough to do after I’ve been going and had other things on my mind all day.  And to get up and workout in the morning, I have to set my alarm clock and wake up before any one else does to get it done.  Who wants to get up at 5:30 AM to get up and workout?  That’s no fun at all.  It’s simply a lot easier to just lay in the bed and be lethargic than to get up and sweat and put yourself in pain.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  No one “enjoys” being in pain.  No one likes taking the hard road.  BUT, that is the road and what needs to happen in order to get results.  At The Citadel, we talk about one of Robert Frost’s poems “The Road Less Traveled” where he says in the last paragraph:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So, why is it, that we know what to do but we don’t do it?  The answer is, it’s much easier to follow the crowd and do what they’re doing.  That way, we are just like everyone else and don’t get ridiculed and we don’t put ourselves through pain.  We also don’t have to deal with the fear of failure or success.  We’re just, average but we feel ok about it.

Why Is Working Out So Hard? – The Solution?

Exercise Motivation

Exercise Motivation

It doesn’t have to be hard.  Working out can be fun.  But, there has to be the right motivation.  For me, having graduated from a Military College and seeing family and friends have problems with heart disease and cancer and being on medications for high cholesterol, blood pressure and just living sedentary lives, I knew that was not how I wanted to end up spending my life.  So, I decided to make a change, but how to make that change?  I didn’t really know what to do.  I knew from going to The Citadel that running would be good, but where is the motivation in that for a lazy person?  Without motivation, the chances that we will continue to be lazy are VERY high.  For me, as I said, my motivation was not getting ripped or looking good, but being healthy.  To get healthy, two things are required.  Everyone knows what those things are:  Eating Right and Exercise.  Most people know what to eat and that fast foods, fried foods, processed foods, etc. are not good for you.  Most people also know that working out and exercising is good for the body.  But, how do you take that head knowledge and turn it into heart knowledge?

In days gone by, our ancestors didn’t really have to worry about those things.  They were constantly working in the fields to grow the food they would eat.  They worked while getting food so, they were exercising while growing good food.  In fact, we see that when we go to Africa.  Working out and eating right is something they do for survival, not to just look good or stay off of medications.  So, you have to find your own motivation.

Why Is Working Out So Hard? – It Doesn’t Have To Be

For me, I knew a gym membership would have been wasted.  I was going to work about 7 or 7:30 AM so to get up early, get to the gym, get in cardio and weights and then shower and get to work just wasn’t going to happen.  To get off of work at 5:30 or 6 PM and then go to the gym and spend time away from my family when I knew they were home was just too much to ask.  Plus, I just wasn’t a gym person.

For me, the perfect answer was the Beachbody programs.  I can get up, workout at home, take a shower in my own shower, not have to worry about the gym fees and I can get up and get a quick workout in before everyone got up and get it done.  My program of choice when I started was P90X.  We now have so many other options like 21 Day Fix, Les Mills Body Combat, T25, P90X3, etc. and coupled with Shakeology, it’s a win win for everyone.  Workout at home with no equipment or minimal equipment, don’t worry about the gym and get a great meal in your body every day with shakeology.  We even have programs like 21 Day Fix that have portion control built into them so you not only eat right, you don’t eat too much.

Contact me and let me help you figure out the best Challenge Pack for you and we can also put you in an accountability group on Facebook so you can workout with buddies in the online gym.  I’m here to help you.  USE ME!!

Olympic Withdrawal

Olympic Withdrawal

Olympic Withdrawal

Olympic Withdrawal

If you’re like me, you remember the days of the Soviet Union and how we boycotted the Olympics held there and how they boycotted the Olympics held here.  You also hear every year of Olympians withdrawing from the competition for social reasons or because they want to concentrate on another event.  That’s what Shawn White did.  He wanted to concentrate on the half pipe so he dropped out of Slopestyle.  Maybe it was to concentrate on half pipe or maybe it was because he didn’t want to get injured or maybe it was because he wasn’t the clear favorite going in.  But, Brandon Davis had to sit home and watch because he pulled out the day before the competition, not in time for Davis to get to Sochi.  So, it’s just another story of these Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.  In the end Shawn White didn’t even medal in half pipe so, it was kind of vindication in a way and didn’t hurt my feelings that he didn’t make the podium, even if he is “American”.  But I’m not here to talk about Olympic Boycots or individuals withdrawing.  I’m talking about MY withdrawal.

Olympic Withdrawal – I’m sad

I sure am glad baseball season is here.  For nearly every night for 2 weeks, our family was sitting watching the prime time Olympic coverage.  If we couldn’t watch it live, we taped it and watched it the next day.  We went skiing with Melanie’s family during the second weekend and even in our Mountain Lodge, we would sit and talk and watch the Olympics.  There is something very special about the Olympics.  I am not exactly sure what it is.  In the old days, they were all amateur athletes.  Then, as Countries started allowing professionals to play, it took some of the mystique out of it for some of us.  For instance, do you remember the “Miracle on Ice” in 1980?  It was basically a bunch of College guys beating a bunch of professional hockey players and we didn’t stand a chance.  But we won.  Or in the Summer Olympics in 1996 when Kerri Strug twisted her ankle on the vault but had to go do it again and stick the landing to win the team gold…and she did?  It’s moments like those that capture our imagination and make our hearts skip a beat.  So, now that baseball season is here, we’re at the park 4 or 5 days a week and I have something to occupy my time so I don’t miss it so badly.

Olympic Withdrawal – The Great Athletes

I have never pretended to be an Olympic caliber athlete.  I have done a lot of the sports they show on TV though.  I’ve tried to ski moguls (bumps), I’ve tried to jump little jumps and actually pulled off double daffies and mule kicks when I was younger.  I “attempted” a 360 once.  ONCE.  I’ve skied slalom.  I’ve attempted to ice skate.  I’ve sledded down a hill.  The thing I love about the Olympics though, whether it’s Winter or Summer, is these Athletes have put so much time into perfecting their sport that something that is incredibly hard for me turns into something beautiful and graceful or fast and furious for them.  To watch the Olympics is truly to watch Athletes at the very top of their games perform at the very highest level.  The competition is fierce, but the comradery the athletes show toward one another is heart warming.  There are also the stories they show throughout the competition about how the athletes had to overcome injury, heartache, family loss, and other tragedies in order to get to the Olympics, along with the countless hours and hours of practice they put in.  I would guess the amount of hours practicing to competing varies with different sports, but there is no doubt that hundreds and thousands of hours are put into practicing for 3 to 5 minute competitions.  It is amazing to me to think that the hockey players can skate backwards as fast as they can skate forward, while holding a stick and knocking a puck around or to watch the grace and power of the figure skaters or to watch the skiers busting it down a hill at 90 mph with their skis bouncing around like paper on their feet making micro-adjustments just to stay on the course.  It’s just amazing to me.

Olympic Withdrawal – But the Olympics will be back SOON!!

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio and they are just a mere 887 days to go from today.  You can see the countdown and see the official site here.  The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea and you can see the site here.

So, like Frosty the Snowman, they will be back again some day.  But to me, the saddest words of the Olympics were when the IOC Head got up to the podium and said….”I declare the 22nd Olympic Winter Games closed. In accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in PyeongChang to celebrate with us the 23rd Olympic Winter Games.”

So, tomorrow, I am going to get up and do something!!  You will likely never be an Olympic Caliber Athlete, but you can be the best you can be.  Just get up and get moving and don’t let life pass you by.  You can do it!!  Contact me and let me help you lose weight and get in shape and be the best you that you can be.