Diet

In the past four posts, my focus has been on motivation. In this post, I am going to talk about another important topic: diet. Personally, I dislike the word diet, as it is often perceived with a negative connotation. Everyone has a diet. To explain further, the word diet is defined as the kinds of food a person, animal, or community habitually eats. Essentially, you can eat fast food every day, and this is considered your diet. Today, I want you to change the word that you use. I want you to replace the word “diet” with the word “nutrition”.

Nutrition is defined as the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for your health and growth. Additionally, nutrition is a key component of your fitness goals. Unfortunately, most people focus on what diet they are on (ex. Atkins, South Beach, etc.). These diets work, and they have worked for many individuals. However, nutrition is much more important than the type of diet you are on. When you focus on nutrition, you also concentrate on the quality of food you consume.

If you are looking to become healthy and fit, the quality of food you eat is very important. There are a variety of places to obtain food, but it is becoming more difficult to find places that focus on quality. Since summer is in mid-swing, I try to get fruits and vegetables from local farmers’ markets. In particular, Ithaca’s Farmer’s Market is amazing! I am not affiliated with this farmer’s market and I do not earn anything from mentioning them. However, I am impressed with what, and how much, they have to offer. Should you find yourself with some downtime, I recommend looking for a local farmer’s market in which you can purchase locally grown, high quality, organic fruits and vegetables. For your overall health, focus on nutrition to get the best results.

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Demand the Best of Yourself

First thing in the morning, I wake up and look in the mirror. As I gaze at the person staring back at me, I take account of my ambitions, blessings, and obstacles. It is during this process that I tell myself the following:

You are better than you perceive.
You have capabilities that are immeasurable, so challenge yourself to be great.
You will achieve your goals, and you will be successful in your pursuits.

There are more, but I’m going to save you from going through my morning routine in this post. There is no one that will value you as much as you should. You must find a way to reach your full potential. Life is short, and time is ticking. Are you swinging for the fences? I know that I am. So…what if I fail? What if I come up short? Here is my response to the naysayers:

If I attack this day with everything I have, I will eventually get to where I want to be. I will reach my goals. If I should fail today, it will only make me stronger tomorrow.

Everyone has the ability to pursue the most challenging tasks, and you can and will be successful. One of the reasons we fail is that we don’t demand the very best from ourselves. We EXPECT to fail, so that is the effort we put forth. Other times, we become complacent, and we forget our objective. In other cases, we fail to change poor habits or put a plan in motion. At any rate, we must demand the very best from ourselves at all times. No excuses!

For twenty years, I settled for being overweight. I believed that this was the person I was destined to be. Then, I realized that I had failed, because I never really tried to be the best version of myself. During this time of complacency, I failed to acknowledge my inner strength. As time went on, I got tired of standing on the side waiting for my chance to be the best version of myself. As I stated previously, we all have a clock, and we really don’t know how much time is left on it. Initially, it’s a scary thought. Yet, if you embrace it, you start “playing the game” as if it were the fourth quarter. You start attacking life as if there is nothing to lose.

Now, most people will say not to think so foolishly…But, I challenge them by saying life has no guarantees. Life, in itself, is a gamble. Therefore, if you start life with a 50/50 shot at achieving your dreams, what are you waiting for? Find a worthy goal, develop a plan and put it in motion, and attack it with everything you have. Going forward, I’m not waiting to see what happens. I’m demanding the very best of myself and the people around me. I’m reaching for my dreams and attacking my goals!

*I’m working on several different projects, and I want your input. What is your weakness (nutrition, motivation, exercise routines, time management, etc)? My follow up question is what motivates you? Please leave comments below.

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Setbacks, Obstacles, and Other Issues

Since losing weight, I receive compliments from everyone. It feels good knowing that that my hard work is paying off. There were times that it was difficult getting to the gym, but I made it work. To give you an example, I will tell you a personal story. Last year, my brother was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, he had to undergo an emergency surgery to remove the tumor restricting his spinal cord. Immediately after the surgery, he was put through intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

I went to visit him 4-5 nights a week after working 8-9 hours a day. At least 3-4 nights, I made time to go to the gym after leaving the hospital. Yes, I was exhausted, and it didn’t feel like I could give 100%. Yet, I still went, and I maintained healthy eating habits as well. You see, life will throw you obstacles. You can use it as an excuse or a source of motivation and empowerment.

If you are serious about losing weight and eating better, do not let obstacles and setbacks derail your efforts. In the last Rocky movie, Stallone’s character tells his son that life isn’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. Are you moving forward, or are you allowing something to hold you back?

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Instant Gratification

Hello everyone,

My last post introduced me and my story. In this post, I will talk a little more about myself and my experience. This past weekend, my in-laws came in to visit my wife and I and to attend the Grecian Festival in Vestal, NY. During this visit, I had a great conversation with my father-in-law, and one of the topics included instant gratification. Instant gratification is somewhat of a curse in our society. Our society wants what it wants, and it needs to be completed now. Very few actually appreciate the journey.

My journey began when I first saw a doctor in 2009. He made a comment that I would be a great candidate for weight loss surgery. At the time, I was insulted and embarrassed, but in hindsight, I came face to face with my challenge. Should I opt for surgery, or should I pay my dues by working it off? Personally, I opted for the more memorable path. By working it off, I could appreciate the time spent in the gym, on the asphalt, and behind a prowler.

You see, true wealth in life is not the money we accumulate or the possessions we own. It’s the memories we make along the journey. I don’t know what your fitness journey resembles, but I want to help you make it as enjoyable and memorable as I can. While I cannot promise you a magic weight loss pill or overnight success, I can promise that you will grow as a person and have fun doing it. I went from 399 lbs. to 228 lbs. on this path, and I’m still losing weight and building muscle. If you want to start your journey, follow my blog, leave me a comment, or you can e-mail me directly at ktmperformance@yahoo.com.

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My Journey

My journey began in 2009. I was getting married in 2010, and I wanted to look good in the tux (and damn good at that). Well, I always wanted to lose weight, so I thought what better time than now. My first step was to consult with a doctor. Thinking it would be a quick check-up, I made the appointment. When I went in for the appointment, I was asked to get onto the scale. The moment of truth: how far did I let myself go. The results were worse than I thought. I ballooned out to 399 lbs.! To the best of my memory, I never weighed more than 330 lbs., and that was during my high school football days. The embarrassment I felt from letting myself go was a difficult one to bear, but I needed to face reality. I needed to make a change, so we joined the local gym. I stopped drinking soda, and I stopped eating unhealthy foods. Well, the weight started flying off. I dropped twenty pounds within the first month. As time went on, I lost focus of my goal, and I became content with losing the amount I did. Unfortunately, I gave up before I really began.

After a year and a half of delaying the inevitable, I came to a very difficult conclusion. Do I give in to this way of life, or do I fight for what I want? Being that I am competitive at heart, I decided to take the difficult path. I was going to lose weight, eat healthy, and pursue my dream. As you can imagine, the difficult path is one in which you will experience setbacks and letdowns, but it is also filled with success and rewards. For those that are unsure about the difficult path, the success and rewards that come with it are completely worth the time and energy. There were weeks when the number on the scale dropped as if the weight was melting off. There were weeks in which the number didn’t change at all. The important thing is that you do not give up. Do not hang your head because you experience a setback. You push forward and get better.

For me, that is how I stayed motivated. I knew I was doing the right thing. I am pursuing success relentlessly, and I will not quit. As stated earlier, I started this process when I weighed 399 lbs. Initially when I first wrote this post, I weighed in at 265 lbs. Today, I weigh around 228 lbs. The process has been long, but I have enjoyed every minute of it. Focus on your goal, and pursue it relentlessly. The workouts may be difficult, but the health problems associated with being overweight and sedentary are far worse. You can make the changes necessary to pursue your dreams. You can accept the challenge. I know I did. The only question is will you.

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