Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why We're Screwed

This is why we're screwed in America:

A milkshake containing 2,010 calories -- equivalent to eating 68 strips of bacon or 30 chocolate chip cookies -- has topped a list of the 20 worst drinks in America compiled by Men's Health magazine.

The Cold Stone PB&C milkshake, made with peanut butter, chocolate icecream and milk, contains 68 grams of saturated fat and 153 grams of sugar, according to nutritional details on the company's website.

Day 12 - Posture

One of the hardest things about doing the poses that are part of the KFB is maintaining proper posture. Being that I primarily sit at a desk all day, my posture already isn't great. During these exercises, I'm constantly struggling to hold my neck, spine, arms, etc. in alignment. It's a chore and a workout in and of itself, yet I see it as another area I can challenge myself in.

I'm definitely looking forward to going to detailed diets next week. While I haven't eaten terribly over the past week, not all of it has been KFB friendly. This week our dietary mission is to cut out processed foods. I figured this would be easy until I realized a bunch of my soup no longer qualified. Ah well, I'll just have to try to make asparagus soup again.

While I haven't experienced any drastic changes, I am feeling more alert; and I have to say, that energetic sensation you get after finishing working out is an incredible feeling.

There's quite a different dynamic to the KFB versus the PCP. With the PCP, it's about strength, powering through the workouts. With the KFB, there is a lot more mental activity involved. Landing punches, guarding yourself, focusing as you hold the yoga positions, meditation -- it's mentally intense yet exciting.

Sleep has also been vastly important in giving me the energy to get through my workouts. Thus, I better head off to bed soon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 2 - Sore

It is only day 2 and I am already sore. Like yesterday, I did my workout first thing after waking up. I am going to try to stick to this pattern as if I do not, I will have to tear myself away from whatever I am doing to work out, and that usually never goes well.

Prior to the KFB I knew that I was flabby, but I did not realize what a Tubby Lumpkins I was until I was doing the twist stretches against a wall. I had such a hard time breathing, and I started breaking a heavy sweat. I was miserable and felt sick. Of course, this was coming down from the rest of the exercises, so my heart rate was already elevated.

While I try to focus on the exercise itself, sometimes my mind wanders and I think, "Why am I doing this? Does it really matter that I be this flexible or in control of my body? Does it really matter that I lose weight and look good? Why does any of this really matter today?" My thoughts then transition to, I am sure cliché, images of feudal Japan where these men were creating and designing things like Kung Fu. I imagine myself there, making mistakes in my posture and form; the teacher explaining to me, "You must bring your shoulders back here. Lift your hips there. See how I can pull you off balance? See how little power you have here?"

In this moment, I see how these forms were creating for combat and defense; but I also get a sense of something deeper -- mastery of the body.

Slothful Me: "But why? Why do you care if you master your body in the 21st century? We are knowledge workers, not warriors!"

Real Me: "Why not? Why not have complete self control? Why not seek to better yourself? It is like wearing a seatbelt or a bike helmet: you wear them for when they are needed. You will need the full extent of your body someday. Besides, why wouldn't you want to feel better about yourself?"

Slothful Me: "Bah! I look good enough-"

Real Me: "There's good and then there's great. Go beyond the mere vanity of others and do it for yourself. Do it so that when you wake up, you know that you are a better you -- you are the real you! You have confidence, posture, self esteem, power and flexibility. The mind and body are one."

Slothful Me: "..."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 1 - It Has Begun

It feels good to part of another conditioning project. There is something powerful about being on a team with others. It is inspiring, motivating.

I just finished my first workout of the Kung Fu Body. I struggled and put on a sweat, but I feel damn good for doing so. I think I pushed myself pretty well for just having come off of a short road trip where pit-stops at unhealthy food joints were my daily food intake.

Time for a 180.

The part of the KFB that I had been looking forward to the most is the meditation. I have been meaning to do this for, well, a very long time; but I never took the time to do so. I found that a five minute meditation goes very fast. I did try meditating once back on the PCP, but I found myself incredibly frustrated with my lack of ability to control my thoughts. This time, I just let go, bringing myself back to the pitter-patter of rain outside my window. This time, meditation was relaxing and... educational.

I really enjoyed the punching and kicking we had to do as part of our agility training. I put some muscle into it and imagined some bad guy targets, but I found myself mostly concentrating on form, watching where my punches landed in correlation to where I wanted them to land. Were my hands protecting my face at all times? How did my shoulders and hips rotate? Patrick told us that these agility exercises were in order to link our bodies and minds. I think I get it.

The hardest part of the workout, by far, was my stomach flab that kept getting in the way. Even worse, it made it hard to breathe in various poses. Having stomach flab is like living in a claustrophobic you. I can't believe I ever let myself put it back on post PCP, but I know exactly why. I told myself, "Hey, you worked so hard for three months. You can lighten up a little bit." Yeah, well a little bit became a lot.

I'm not going to proclaim that I won't make any future mistakes when it comes to my health. I am not going to try to tell myself and those reading this that I am a changed man, one whom will be destined for that Kung Fu Body for life. Instead, I will simply say this:

I am a changing man. I will continue to make mistakes, learn, and refine. My hope is that I will continue to change for the better, than a year from now I will have the body I will have in three months. But let us not get caught up on future things. For now, I change.