The Secret to My Success


Jan 2, 2015

On January 2, 2015, I was out of shape and carried a few extra pounds after knee surgery and the recovery period. On Jan 2, I began working out, cut down on booze, and stuck to our healthier dieting habits. Today, on March 20, I’m more fit, lean, muscular, and I feel great. I’m ready to get married and go on our cruise! And yes, I’ll stick to it afterwards as well! Here are my habits laid out as as steps you can take to achieve some better fitness and health in your life.

Tracking Your Efforts

  • Start tracking – regularly – everything you eat on
    • Set it up with your height, weight, to lose 1 lb per week, and to work out 4x a week. (But you plan on 5x).
    • Rename the meals to Breakfast, Morning Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack, Dinner, Gym/Snacks/Drinks. That last category is where you log protein shakes, alcohol, and snacks above your earlier 5 meals.
  • Track your workouts.
  • GetaNikeFuelband (my preference)oraFitbit. (Set the Nike goal somewhere between 2850 or 3000 Fuel.)
    • Use what your friends have so you get some encouragement.
    • Do it with your spouse/partner for more success. Fit couples have more fun 😉
  • Download and load my Beat Pride Workout Mixes for your android/iPhone and energize your workouts with great music!

Work out

Eating Habits

  • The hardest part!
  • Check and switch your eating habits! Try for five 250-300 calorie meals a day if possible, with the balance for a protein shake. (so I’m allotted 1740 a day w/o exercise; divide by six to get your real meal number.) Track it all in MyFitnessPal.
  • Watch what you eat; do not eliminate carbs, but reduce them. Eat food with more protein. (e.g. 5 egg whites = 100 calories, whereas 1 whole egg = 70. And yes, you need some healthy fats in your diet too. Balance is key!
  • Eliminate processed food. Shop around the grocery store, and not in the middle/the aisles when possible. All the good stuff is on the outer walls. The aisles are filled with crap. Mostly.
  • Processed sugar – you’ll want to cut down on that too. No soda!
  • Cut alcohol out to 2 drinks on 2 nights of the week only
  • Cut restaurant eating to a couple of nights a month, and make healthy choices there.
  • Have a moderate cheat day on the weekend. MODERATE!
  • Stop the fancy coffees. Seriously, they’re killing you. Black coffee w/ a dairy free coffee such as made by So Delicious, not Coffeemate.

Work out!

Exercise Routines

  • If you belong to a gym, use it. If you like fitness classes, do them. Or:
  • Make yourself a home-gym. You’ll need:
    • a TV, Chromecast, Roku, or Apple TV, and DVD player for it (if you use DVD workout videos)
    • Dumbbells with sets of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30. usually this is $.99 per pound, so this is an investment into your health. (I prefer fixed weight dumbbells to adjustable.)
      • Learn the basics:
    • YouTube – subscribe to FIGHTMASTER YOGA and YOGA WITH TIM. Do this at least 2x a week
  • WEIGHT ROUTINE – 3x a week
    • Slow, low, and good form is the secret to my success. Sure, I can curl 30 lbs, but my muscles will fatigue quickly. This defeats the entire purpose. Instead:
      • Take two 15 lbs dumbbells. Use correct form. Elbows at the front of your torso. Hold one dumbbell out in your right hand, elbow bent at 90º. Slowly curl the other arm 10-15 times. Switch. Repeat. Feel that?
    • Triceps, lay on your back, do the same thing. Hold one w/ an elbow bent at 90º, extend the other arm slowly. Keep your elbows tucked in (use proper form!). Switch, repeat. Don’t drop the weights on your face.
    • Chest – on your back, on the floor. Arms straight out, focus on the pec, bring them straight up, slowly lower them.
    • Use the same for every muscle group, and always, always use proper form. It’s better to crank out 10 proper push ups than 20 sloppy ones.
    • Within a few days, you’ll get the hang of this. Don’t skip your legs!
    • Abs – 3x a week. You can find great stuff on YouTube. If you’re stuck at what to do, stick with the P90X Ab Ripper X – you can find a bunch of people who do this on YouTube. I also love the Runtastic Six Pack Abs app.
    • Want to vary it up? Try this: My Upper Body Blaster.
    • at least 2x a week: running for 30 minutes, cycling for an hour, or elliptical for 30-45 minutes, 60 if you are energized).
  • T25 or Insanity
    • If finances allow, invest in BeachBody’s T25 or Insanity. Use it a few days a week in place of cardio. This is great in the winter when you can’t get outside to run or cycle.
  • REST DAY:Can’sstressenoughthe importance of rest.
    • Alternate Cardio and Weight days. Include Yoga. Something like this in the beginning:
      • Monday – Weights
      • Tuesday – Cardio
      • Wednesday – Weights
      • Thursday – Cardio & Yoga
      • Friday – Weights
      • Saturday – Yoga or Cardio
      • Sunday – Rest or Stretch
    • On Sunday, rest. No work out today, except stretching if you want.

Take a Picture

Get a friend to take your shirtless picture, or take a selfie. Do this at 1 month intervals so you can see your progress. You might not notice much between month 1 and month 2, but you will between month one and month 3.

Now go work out!

So this is what works for me! Hope you enjoy success.