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Canadian Dad Podcast - Dai Manuel

Canadian Dad Podcast – Ep. 3 – Fitness Coach, Dai Manuel

This week on the podcast, I spoke to fitness coach, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and father, Dai Manuel, from the website The Moose is Loose. Dai shares tips for parents who want to start making some changes in their lives. 

We discuss Dai’s battle with childhood obesity that led him to start taking care of his body at a young age, and I share my struggles with weight and general laziness. We also spend some time talking about the importance of setting a good example for our kids and ways to get them involved in the fun of exercising.  

Overall, Dai shares some amazing tips on how to get started and if you sign up for his mailing list, you get a very cool ebook that has 99 workouts that you can do with no extra equipment required. 

Enjoy the show!

#DadFit Week 3

Project #DadFit – Week 3: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Here is a list of all the things I did wrong this week.

1. I had chips and cake at work and then immediately listened to the Model Health Show podcast and felt extremely guilty.
2. I ate pizza, waited an hour and a half and then went for a run. Because of the pizza, I had to stop for half way due to abdominal pain. And, because I had already run 2.5K, I had to walk 2.5K home with abdominal pain.
3. Donuts, Pizza, Hot Dogs, Cinnamon Buns, Beer, Wings & Fries…

Now, looking back on all of these things, I feel terrible about what I have done to my body this week. For what it’s worth, I used to be a lot worse and actually showed restraint in a few different cases. That said, here is the list of things I did that I wasn’t doing three weeks ago.

1. Ran/Walked a total of 11.5K.
2. Started the P90X3 program from Beachbody and have completed 3 days so far. In fact, I almost bailed on tonight’s workout, yoga, but guilt took over and I powered through it. For someone who used to give up when things would get tough, this was a big step for me. Also, yoga is hard.
3. I went to the gym to do weight training three times this week.
4. I made my first ever trip to Farm Boy and stuffed my body with healthy foods all week (think of it as a counter balance to all the crap I mentioned eating above).

As disappointed as I am in myself for eating all the crappy food, I am more proud of myself for sticking to my workout plan and slowly starting to fit in some healthier food options. I was also sick towards the end of the week, which caused me to get a little down on myself, which led to the cinnamon buns…

Point is, if I can stick to this stuff, anybody can do this. Seriously, I used to occupy a bullet point under “lazy” in the dictionary. Take small steps, make your mistakes and soldier on. It has only gotten slightly easier physically but now that I have my brain telling me that it won’t let me quit, I feel more confident than ever. I’ll be keeping you all posted on how the P90X3 stuff is going and hope to have some videos to share soon.

Rock on!

Chris #DadFit Run

Project #DadFit – Week 2: Slow and Steady

Weight Last Week: 207.2 lbs
Weight This Week: 203.4 lbs

I remember when I tried to quit smoking for the first time. I decided that on top of that, I was going to start eating better and exercising at the same time. Anyone who has ever tried to do too much at once will tell you that this was a bad strategy. So when I decided to start this journey to a healthier lifestyle, I told myself I would take it one step at a time. I started with running and have since added in working out at the gym a couple times a week. I’m not going to lie, it has been tough each and every time but I always manage to come out of it feeling good about myself.

I have also slowly started to change my diet but ran into a wall this past week after a particularly tough workout. I was sitting at my work desk, staring down at the bucket of vegetables I had brought for dinner and panicked a bit at the thought of cutting out the foods I had grown to love, such as pizza, wings and ice cream. In true Chris fashion, I decided to take the long weekend off from doing anything healthy and basically pigged out the whole time. A funny thing happened this time though. Before I had the chance to feel sorry for myself for failing, yet again, my brain picked me up, dusted me off and got my butt back in to the gym. It was probably the most gratifying thing that happened yet and showed me that I may have been trying to change too much, too quickly.

There have been other close calls so far and each time I have managed to push through them and carry on. I forgot my running shoes one day, something that would have derailed me in the past, but I decided to wear my flip flops to lift weights that day instead. Sure I looked silly but I got the workout in and felt great afterward. It’s so easy to rationalize reasons to quit and up to this point in my life, I was the king of doing this. Not anymore! Just this past week, I managed to shave 3 minutes off my 5K and am now consistently running it in under 35 minutes. I have never pushed myself harder and even though it really, really, really sucks while it is happening, there is no better feeling than knowing that I succeeded in reaching a new goal.

I have started taking notes about how I feel during the workouts and beyond, with the goal of sharing a very real account of the ups and downs of trying to turn things around. One thing that is clear to me, is that this isn’t going to be easy. No pain, no gain… Right???

You can follow along with all my posts by Clicking Here or on the #DadFit tag in the menu or on Twitter.

Running Man #DadFit

Project #DadFit – Week 1: A New Beginning

Starting Weight – 207.2 lbs

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was going to make some health changes in my life but wasn’t sure if I would be able to stick to it. Some people have argued for and against the fact that it takes 21 days to form a habit, and seeing as how I have now passed that marker, I’m going to go ahead and believe it for my own motivation’s sake.

I wish I could pinpoint what has changed to keep me motivated this time around after many failed attempts, because it certainly hasn’t been easy. I have started going to the gym 2-3 times a week and even started running 5K with the same frequency and have basically wanted to quit since I began. To keep myself motivated I signed up for the Army Run 5K later this month and have found that it has worked during the times that I have wanted to lie on the couch instead of lacing up my running shoes.

For those of you who are on the fence about making some changes in your life, I can honestly tell you that this has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done. There hasn’t been one moment where it has been easy and I have been in pain more than I have felt gain to this point. The weight room is hard, the running is even harder and cutting down on the junk food is the absolute worst.

I realize that this isn’t the best endorsement for creating a better you so far but I promise you there is hope, and it is this. I have never felt so much pride and confidence in myself. When I push through the pain at the gym and put down that last weight, I realize that the pain was only temporary. When I don’t think I can run another foot but leg out an extra kilometer, I beam with pride at what I have accomplished. When people start to notice the difference in your body and attitude, you soak it in. Finally, when you can play with your children for longer than 5 minutes without getting exhausted, it makes the whole thing worthwhile.

I’m no motivational speaker and there is no guarantee that I will succeed this time around but I can honestly tell you that if you are willing to push through the initial instinct to quit, you will be rewarded in the long run. Because I am new to this and learning as I go, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any beginner questions or need encouragement to keep going!

*Note: You may have noticed the #DadFit hashtag. I don’t own it but noticed that it wasn’t being used so I’m borrowing it to chronicle my attempt at living a healthier life. If you feel like joining in and using it, please do. The more, the merrier!*

View From Run

206. The Story Of My Potentially Broken Scale

206. I looked down in disbelief at what I was seeing. 206. It sounds more like someone’s apartment number than what my weight should be. 206! This scale must be broken… After all, I have already written a number of times about how I was finally committing to creating a better, healthier life for myself, and saying it makes it so, right? Apparently it takes more than words to make something so, which means I am back to the drawing board.

I make these commitments often enough that you’d think I’d have figured out how to work around my own mind at this point, but I haven’t. It took me 5 years to finally quit smoking, and if I’m being honest I still haven’t gotten the little voice out of my head. Exercise and healthy eating is proving to be an ever bigger obstacle for me, mostly because two of my favourite things are eating and sitting/lying down. I’ve also learned that trying to change too many things all at once is definitely detrimental to my end goal, so I am taking things slow.

That said, I have started alternating running and weight training 5-6 days a week and have lasted a month and a half so far, which is good for me. I even signed up for the 5K race in the Canada Army Run to keep myself motivated and I’m finding that I am actually excited about the upcoming adventure. I think the difference this time around is that I am truly unhappy with the way I look and feel most of the time. I’m achy, tired, my clothes don’t fit and there aren’t a lot of clothing places that cater to short dudes with round bellies. If I don’t do something now, I’m scared that I never will.

Most importantly, however, I have been having trouble keeping up with my growing children and that makes me sadder than all of the above reasons combined. I don’t want to be the dad that can’t play road hockey with his son because he needs to take a break every 2 minutes, or the guy who can’t practice a dance routine with his daughter because I am carrying too much weight to keep up. I refuse to allow my children to see me as this shell of my former self and am hoping that this time around, I can stick to it. If all that wasn’t motivation enough, my 6 year old son came running with me the other day and said “Dad, I love to come running with you because I like having daddy son time”. How do I quit after hearing that?

I don’t write this story so that you will shower me with congratulations or encouragement. I do it for a couple of reasons. First, writing and talking about it is a strong motivator for me. Also, I think there are a lot of people like me out there. People who start something with a strong passion for it, only to watch it fade away without a second glance. I want to show those people that failing once or twice or five times doesn’t mean it’s over. As long as you are breathing, you have the chance to make a difference in your own lifestyle and you should seize that opportunity. You know, YOLO, and all that stuff!

I have no idea what is going to happen with my latest attempt at creating a better situation for myself but I know that I am more motivated than ever and at least that is a step in the right direction.

Fitbit Flex Review & Giveaway {Canada Only}

I recently took part in the #RFitChallenge from Rogers and it required me to try out the Fitbit Flex for a period of a couple weeks to see if it would help with my new found love for not being overweight and tired.

Right off the bat I liked the design of the Fitbit Flex because it was a small black wristband that, after wearing it for a couple hours, you forgot you even had on. My goal was to make it to 10,000 steps a day and because the tracker syncs automatically with my smartphone and computer, I would get updates through the day that helped motivate to get moving a little bit more. I especially liked the badges for attaining certain goals because I am a big fan of shiny things and awards.

My favourite feature about the Fitbit Flex was definitely the sleep tracker. With just a couple taps on the tracker, you set the Flex into sleep mode and it tracks how restless you are in your sleep. In my case, I found that I was only having a good sleep about 1 every 5 nights, which obviously isn’t good. I have since been taking steps to try to create a more peaceful bed time by cutting out TV and snacks right before bed. It even has a silent alarm to help wake you up.

I also appreciated that the Flex was water resistant, so I could wear it in the shower. It sounds trivial but if I had to take that thing off every morning, I guarantee I would leave it on the counter half the time. I also loved all of the options on my personal Fitbit web page. From food intake to weight and heart rate monitoring, they have thought of almost everything here. Combined with my weight watchers program, I am going to be unstoppable!

There were a couple things that could use some work with the Flex. I found the clasp tough to latch on and the battery died a little quicker than I would have liked (every 3-4 days). I also noticed that while on the elliptical machine, it was having a hard time tracking steps but overall I loved the Fitbit Flex and definitely recommend it for beginner and advanced fitness buffs.

FITBIT FLEX GIVEAWAY!

What? You want one of these? Okay, you got it! To enter to win a Fitbit Flex of your very own, all you have to do is leave a comment here telling me one thing you would like to change about yourself in order to live a healthier lifestyle.

Contest is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, and will close at noon on October 13th. Good Luck!

Congratulations to the winner of the Fitbit Flex, Andrea B!

Disclosure: I received the Fitbit Flex from Rogers to facilitate this review. I wouldn’t be giving one away to you guys if I thought it was no good, so it has my official stamp of approval!

My Way Overdue P90X Review! (Sort Of)

P90X

There are a million reasons for why I took so long to write about the P90X. I received the package from Beachbody back in February, just as I was crashing down from the inspiration that was the Dad 2.0 Summit. The truth is, I was afraid. I am overweight, out of shape and I was petrified to try out the system for fear of dropping dead. That probably sounds ridiculous but it’s what was going through my head.

I have always prided myself on providing the work I promised in a timely manner and this one has been hanging over my head for a couple months now, taunting me like the ghost of reviews past. I even thought about returning it a couple times but have since decided to face my fear and give it a go.

Due to prior commitments, I will be starting the program next week but promise to make amends to Beachbody by posting an update on how everything is going at a later date. I’m still scared of passing out but I feel like this is something I need to do for myself and my health.

While I gear up to get started, I’m looking for some tips and tricks from all you fitnessy people on things I should be doing to get through this unharmed. Please leave them in the comments for me and maybe others. Thanks!

Community

Encouragement

I always believed that a community is simply a term to describe the area that you lived in. In my limited time in the blogging world, I have come to respect the fact that the word, community, means so much more than just a grouping of similarly coloured houses.

I decided to make a life change today. I decided that it was time for me to stop punishing my body with junk and a lack of exercise, in order to create a healthier version of me. Let’s call it Me 2.0. There were a handful of things that pushed me towards this decision today, none of which I will be discussing here. The point is that I got suddenly motivated and had no idea where to begin. I’ve had this sudden burst of motivation in the past and it always turned out the same; I would tell myself I was going to the gym but when the time came to actually do it, I would find any excuse to bail out. Then I would eat chips.

Today was different though. I innocently tweeted my intention to hit the gym for the first time in years and something funny happened. Encouragement. From complete strangers. There were no less than 10 tweets from people I have associated with online, each pushing me towards completing a goal I have failed to achieve so many times before. It was probably the single coolest thing that has happened to me on Twitter so far, and that includes the time Wil Wheaton scolded me.

And I did it, too. I took all the messages of encouragement, got my ass to the gym and it felt great! When I finished my workout, I sat and wondered why it took me so long to finally do this. It wasn’t that hard and it was made easier by the fact that I was reading the tweets coming in as I was doing it. Community. That’s what helped me get over the first hurdle in creating a better version of myself, for myself and my family. I shared all of those messages to illustrate my point and to my surprise, I received more messages from people who just needed to hear the encouragement, even if it wasn’t intended for them.

This new online community I have found is something that has started to transform my life. That might sound like an exaggeration but those who are willing participants in it will know exactly what I am talking about. It’s one of things where you absolutely get what you put into it and I have decided that I am all in. If a simple tweet of encouragement can make someone feel the way it did for me today, imagine the effect of 10 or 20 or 100 would have. It’s something to think about the next time you see someone innocently posting about a goal, hope or dream, while secretly looking for support.

Community is important. It’s what drives us to be better to each other. It’s what motivates and inspires us to do the things we didn’t believe we could do. I’m incredibly thankful for having found such a great community of people and can’t wait to pay forward all the kindness that has been given to me thus far. Thank You all.