Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Personal 8-Week Challenge - Carb Cycling & Advocare

Michael Watkins, owner of Fitness Together where I train with a personal trainer, was talking about how recently he's been consistently inconsistent. He's had his own personal things going on in his life, as we all do, but it was something I could totally relate to. I've been consistently inconsistent for over a year now. This last year I've struggled with the transition of working with different trainers, and then when he closed the downtown studio adjusting to a new trainer as well as going back to all 5:15 am sessions. Please don't think I'm blaming anything on anyone else, because everyone at FT was there for me when I needed them, it just was an adjustment I didn't do well with.

This past month or so I've done a lot of self reflecting, as well as figuring out what I need to do to get back on track. One thing I realized is I've gotten away from a lot of those good habits, as well as not really following a meal plan. So, in looking at what I should do to start getting results again, as I have gained some of my weight back, I asked myself "What was I doing when I got my best results?" and "What was I doing when I was feeling my best?" And to answer those two questions, I was getting my best results when I was doing carb cycling and I always felt my best when I was taking the Advocare supplements. So what I decided to do, and I started this week, is to combine the two things and see what kind of results I get in 8-weeks.

I had a few people asking exactly what I'm doing and so I decided to post it here so others will know, but also for accountability. I'll make sure to give weekly updates on my progress. I'll be weighing in weekly each Saturday. And then my trainer will do my measurements every two weeks. To make sure I'm staying on track, I'm doing a strict nutrition and workout journal and then sending it daily to my trainer. If this is something you are interested in doing, I suggest you get an accountability buddy that you will report to, and if you don't they hold you accountable by asking for your journal or how your weigh-in went. If you don't know of anyone you truly feel will help you and hold you accountible, I can be your buddy, just ask.

So, what exactly am I doing? Well, Carb Cycling is basically cycling out low and high carb days. By Carb Cycling you can set your metabolism to "high" on high carb days and keep it from slowing down too much on low carb days. (This explanation is from Michael Watkins who provided me the Carb Cycling plan) There are two templates, the Basic and then the Turbo. Then there is a what they call a Slingshot week that you do every 4th week of the cycle. I'll now list the templates, what each meal will consist of, what I'm doing over the next 8-weeks including the Advocare, and a snippet of an example of what and how I'm journaling. 

Monday - Low
Tuesday - High
Wednesday - Low
Thursday - High
Friday - Low
Saturday - High (weigh-in)
Sunday - Low (reward meal*)
*PLEASE NOTE: It's a reward meal, not the entire day

Monday - Low
Tuesday - Low
Wednesday - High
Thursday - Low
Friday - Low
Saturday - High (weigh-in)
Sunday - Low (reward meal*)
*PLEASE NOTE: It's a reward meal, not the entire day

(This one do once every 4th week)
Every day is a high carb day
Still weigh-in Saturday
Still allow your reward meal* on Sunday
*PLEASE NOTE: It's a reward meal, not the entire day

But, what does a Low Carb vs. a High Carb day look like? Well, it's actually pretty simple. On high carb days you're mainly eating protein, healthy carbs, and veggies for your meals. And on low carb days you're getting a healthy carb for breakfast, but after that you're getting your protein, healthy fats, and veggies.

Breakfast - protein, healthy carb, veggies
Snack #1 - protein, healthy carb
Lunch - protein, healthy carb, veggies
Snack #2 - protein, healthy carb
Dinner - protein, healthy carb*, veggies
*Carbs at dinner on high carb days are okay, but I personally choose not to eat carbs at night

Breakfast - protein, healthy carb, veggies
Snack #1 - protein, healthy fat
Lunch - protein, healthy fat, veggies
Snack #2 - protein, healthy fat
Dinner - protein, healthy fat, veggies

Here's an example of how my journal looks in tracking my meals and workouts

Now, that's the Carb Cycling, and as in regards to the Advocare supplements as you can see from my journal I drink an Advocare Spark with the Advocare fiber to get extra fiber that I need, Omegaplex with breakfast and lunch, Catalyst before my morning workout and dinner, and then of course before bed the Nighttime Recovery. You can get great results just by following the Carb Cycling plan, but if you are interested in the Advocare products for the additional supplements click on the link below. Michael Watkins, who I've trusted my own personal health and fitness for the last seven years, is a distributor and this is his link to the products. You can check the products out and feel free contact him with questions, or you can shoot me a message and I can get any information for you.

So, now you're probably asking, "What template should I use?". Well, you need to always make sure you're following something that supplements your activity level as well as what your goals are. Starting with the Basic plan is the typical recommendation, and then when you plateau can change to the Turbo plan. Again doing the Slingshot week once every 4th week. Last time I did Carb Cycling, which I did for almost 3 years, I did the Basic plan for several months and then went to Turbo for a couple months, then back to Basic. But, as I mentioned I'm actually doing something a little different and will see what kind of results I get over the next 8-weeks. So here's what I'm doing.


I will be posting weekly weigh-in updates and then updates every two weeks on my measurements. I think I've covered it all from how to follow the Carb Cycling plan to what exactly I plan on doing. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a message.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Don't Let Anyone Discourage You

I know I haven't been posting like I should here on the blog, but want to catch everyone up on my most recent accomplishment. If you're on my personal Facebook page, or follow me on Instagram, then you know I've been focused on working on a new goal.

I started my Taekwondo journey just a few months ago back in November at Jenks Martial Arts Academy (JMAA). As you all know I'm always looking for ways to grow and challenge myself. I've done races, including a couple half marathons, I've done boxing and participated in an open sparring event, and so I figured why not Taekwondo. It's something that would challenge me physically, as well as mentally, and with the various ranks of belts I've always got something to works towards.

When I first started telling people about signing up for this class, as usual I had a lot of support from my trainers at Fitness Together, friends, and family; but as usual I had that handful of people who had something negative to say. The three comments that really stood out were....

  • "You're crazy. You already workout too much." 
  • "Aren't you too old to start something like that?"
  • "What made you decide to take that class? It's going to be hard."

This past weekend in Newton, Kansas our school competed in the Kansas State Martial Arts Championships. When our chief instructor, and owner of JMAA, Mr. Dunham started talking about this tournament I didn't think much about it. But, then thought it might be a good idea to go watch so when I am ready to compete I'll know what to expect. So, I asked Mr. Dunham if I could go and watch and he said, "Absolutely!" And then he gives me that sly grin and says, "Or, you could go and compete." Hmm...not sure about that, I've only been doing this for a few months. But, as usual, I meditated on it and thought this is the reason I started this journey. This is what I need to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. So I decided to go and compete. I wasn't expecting to place in anything, but just knowing the experience alone would help me grow and learn. I ended up competing in three events and I ended up placing in all three in my divisions.

The first competition I did was for my pattern/form technique. I placed third in this event and I believe that helped me be more confident in the other two events. The second event I participated in was The Ultimate Striker where I placed first. And the final event was one point sparring where I also placed first!

This experience was so amazing and I had so much fun! Afterwards on the drive home I thought about, not only what all I've accomplished in the last seven years since starting my health and fitness journey, but all that I wouldn't have accomplished had I allowed those negative people and comments to discourage me from going after the goals I want to attain.

To address those three comments about my Taekwondo journey....

  • I'm not crazy, nor do I workout too much. I'm just determined to be better than I was yesterday.
  • No I'm not too old. I'm not too old to accomplish any goal I set my mind to as long as I don't allow myself to get inside my own head with the negative thoughts.
  • I decided to take this class because I needed something to get me out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. And if I'm not setting goals that will be hard then I'm not challenging myself, nor will I be able to grow and improve physically, emotionally, or mentally.
And, to those people who always have something negative or sarcastic to say when I mention something new I want to work towards, all that does is fuel me to work harder towards accomplishing my goals. Just because it's something you won't do, doesn't mean it's something I can't do. So, always make sure you are setting personal goals that will better you and your life and don't ever let anyone discourage you.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Continue To Challenge Yourself

Okay, first off....I had NO IDEA it had been so long since I've been on here. Where has the time gone! Work has been crazy, I've been trying to adjust to some changes in my workouts at FT, and just really haven't felt like writing and posting. I've had plenty to write, but just wasn't motivated to post anything. I truly thought it had only been a little over a month but apparently it's been like three months! But, what I'm excited to write about is something new in my fitness journey!

I’m always looking for new things to challenge myself for two reasons. One, I tend to get bored and once that happens I tend to get discouraged and start becoming less motivated. And two, the main reason, is because I need to continuously strive to grow, improve, and better myself. Here these last several months I’ve been struggling to stay consistently motivated and a lot of it is I’m bored with my workouts and the environment. It’s not that the workouts aren’t good, and I still love my FT family dearly, but I no longer feel challenged and feel like my growth has stalled. So, I decided to incorporate a new training method in hopes to be challenged and to help get me closer to my goals.

Today I went to my first Taekwondo class at Jenks Martial Arts Academy. That's me after the class. I was nervous, but I also know that’s a good sign that I’m getting outside my comfort zone. I know this journey will not only challenge me physically, but mentally as well because it will take a lot of both. I’m excited to see where this takes me on my fitness journey. I look forward to seeing what results I will get and meeting my goals.