Always Believe #warriornation

For those of you who follow this page it should come to no surprise of you how much I have admired professional wrestling and the people that do it for a living. These men (and women) were my real-life superheroes growing up. I could read about Superman, Batman, and the X-Men then turn on my TV and see the Ultimate Warrior do battle with a voodoo man named Papa Shango or cheer on Jake “The Snake” Roberts as he gained revenge on Earthquake for squashing his snake, Damian. Then as I grew older I realized that these real-life superheroes were mere mortal and had dedicated their lives to perfect their physical form and then there are those that ended up becoming even more than that: an icon, a legend, and an immortal.

Now when I say an immortal, I don’t mean a literal immortal. I mean a person that has done so much in their lives in front of millions of eyes that their memory will always exist and live on. That the chances are very, very slim that there would never be a moment where there would not be somebody in the world that has never heard of the person.

One of those people passed away this past Tuesday.

Formerly known as Jim Hellwig, he later legally changed his name to the character he created and embodied… Warrior. Not Jim Warrior, or Warrior Hellwig… just simply…

WARRIOR

Growing up I enjoyed watching him… was he my absolute favorite? No.. that honor went to his former tag-team partner Sting (which I’ve wrote about before) but he was awe-inspiring. I challenge any fan of pro wrestling in the 80’s to not hear his theme music play and not get nostalgic or just want to start banging their head or take off running!

I’m not going to be able to talk on and on about Warrior.. because like I said he wasn’t somebody that as a kid I idolized, but I loved watching him. The thing that has the most shook up about this all is that the man has quite literally given his own eulogy.

On this past Saturday, he was inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame and gave a wonderful speech, which the part that touched the most was out of all of the championships and memories.. he feels his greatest accomplishment is his two daughters.. that puts things in to perspective. On Monday Night RAW, he came out and delivered a thank you to the fans… or I should say that the Ultimate Warrior gave a thank you to the fans and the speech turned out to be his own eulogy. Whether he knew this or not, we may never know, but the words he spoke touched a lot of people:

Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breath their final breath. and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them bleed deeper in something larger than life, than his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized.

I encourage anyone that has interest ( and a WWE Network subscription) to watch the Hall of Fame ceremony from this year and the speech he gave on Raw. I’m sure you will get the same eery, yet touching feeling that most of us have felt since.

There were other sides to Warrior, and I will not talk about this here because he was a controversial figure in the world… I will simply leave you with one of his “Weapons of Warrior Wisdom”…

#RIPWarrior

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2014: Paradigm Shift

I’ve been staring at a blank screen for a few minutes now…

It’s been so long since I’ve wrote in here, but I feel like I need to.

I’m going to keep it short and sweet.. and very to the point. Last year “I Stopped.”

Yes, the guy who shouted “I Ain’t EVAH Gonna Stop!” stopped… he gave up. I’m not using this as an excuse but in a 17 month time frame, I have dealt with an illness and 6 deaths all while being married for a year and being promoted at work. Call me human, but those 6 deaths took their toll on me mentally… and the mental turned in to physical.

Time Line:

  • 3 months before my Wedding, Wife’s grandmother on her Mom’s side dies. I’m a pallbearer in the funeral and help lay her to rest with Michelle’s family.
  • I get married in August 2012! Day full of family, friends, and good times! Definitely everything I wanted it to be plus more!
  • On our honeymoon, I begin to feel sick… I try to return to work only to be met by colleagues and employees telling me that I looked bad and that I needed to go see a doctor. I’m then out of commission for over a week and I’m afraid. I’m hearing words like “west nile virus”, “hepatitis”, and “leukemia”… I’ve never been majorly sick in all of my life, even called “Mr. Immune System” by the wife from time to time and now I’m definitely on the shelf, in pain, and unable to do anything. I’m scared that it could be the worst. (Editor’s note: turns out it was a bad case of mono… sigh of relief)
  • 3 months after our wedding, Wife’s grandmother on her Dad’s side dies suddenly after a short illness. This marks the final grandparent that the wife had/has.
  • December 11, 2012: my Uncle Bo dies. This hits me hard… I kept my strength up for the wife and her family but now it’s starting to take it’s toll. My work schedule doesn’t allow me anytime to take off. I “mourn on the go” which affects me worse than I ever thought it would. I’m a pallbearer once again, laying my dear Uncle to rest with my family and friends.
  • July 8, 2013: my Mamaw Marie dies. My Dad loses his mother the day before his birthday. Per her wishes, there was no funeral. She was laid to rest within a few hours of her being pronounced dead. This marks my final grandparent death that I would have to endure as now the wife and I have no living grandparents.
  • September 2013: My Aunt Debra dies… my poor Uncle Nick is devastated as this was a long-term illness she fought. He mourns in private and puts on a strong face for the family because he always wanted others to be happy…. this takes an effect on his own health. A few weeks later I’m given an “opportunity” to get promoted by transferring to a new store, working nights instead of days, with the promise that after a few weeks of observation I would be told if I got the promotion.
  • November 2013: After a few weeks, the person that would make the decision on my promotion no longer works for the company. Nothing was in writing. I’m starting to feel cheated.. disgruntled.. but my handwork was noticed and I receive the promotion. It’s not backdated for the two months that I did the job, but it is backdated a few weeks. I still feel cheated, but thankful that I know moving forward that my work life was changing with added responsibility and a great resume building promotion. The longer than normal hours begin taking a toll on my body and sleep cycle. Instead of working out after work like I used to, I would try to wake up early and go workout before work, but all I wanted to do was sleep. Late night snacking due to the stress of the new job doesn’t help.
  • December 16, 2013: Uncle Nick dies. For the third time in less than 2 years I am asked to lay another family to rest as a Pallbearer. My mom takes this one as hard as she did Uncle Bo… two brothers one year and 5 days apart from each other and both loved Christmas… yet taken away from us right during the holidays. Work wasn’t getting any easier and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my mind or body to want to wake up in the morning to workout.
  • Mentally I can’t take it anymore… I gave up on trying to work out. I gave up on trying to eat right. I gave up on trying to improve. I was going to be ashamed that I never hit my target weight goal or physique goal… the few family members that told me I inspired them would have to do it on their own because I was embarrassed… I stopped.

There was too much death going in my life and not enough living… so I try to force myself in to a better mood by honoring my Uncle Bo and dressing up as Santa a few times in December: once for my Uncle Nick in the hospital, again for the rest of the veterans at the VA,a and twice at work for the kids… it helped some, but no matter what I did to try and make myself happy, I couldn’t shake off the funk.

But I need to… so I made an investment.. an investment in to myself and shifted the way I thought about this.

I’m not going to try to get fit for others. I’m going to try to get fit for me. I’m going to try to get fit to make me happy, because I need to feel good about myself! I’ve been through too much in the last 17 months to feel as down about myself as I do!

I invested in to research again… nutrition, supplements, training, motivation, etc.

I invested financially, and took most of the Christmas money from family and bought approx 3 months worth of supplements. I bought a book to read that talked about breaking down the mental barriers of fitness.

I invested my pride and put up a photo without my shirt on on my body space profile to hold myself accountable. I registered for the 12 week transformation contest they are holding, and I am taking my training 3 months at a time and will try to adapt as I progress.

I fear this investment. I fear what will happen if I don’t see progress, or if I fall off the wagon again. I fear that I won’t have enough time to do everything that I need to do as a worker, person, and husband… but I’m going to try. I’m going to try to turn this fear in to energy. I need to knock the rust off and get back at it.

I need to get moving again so that I can relearn how to never stop.

By isaaklown

Be Your OWN Hero

This is going to sound so weird, especially since I don’t write in here as often as I used to…

Part of the problem that I have found in today’s society is that they are waiting for the hero to come save them instead of being the hero themselves.

Yes this is coming from a person that writes a motivational blog occasionally.

There have been times when I have wrote in here in the hopes that this would build to one of those big “movements” and if God wants it that way then that’s what it will become… but I just want to take a moment to clarify that I am not looking to be YOUR hero that is going to save you from whatever villain you are facing… I just want to inspire you to defeat your own villain.

Capes come in a lot of different colors, shapes, and sizes… remember that you have to put on YOUR cape to defeat YOUR villain.

With that being said, I will continue to write in here when creativity sparks or if a message hits me that I want to share, but I feel that some of the posts may be few and far between as I begin yet another stage of my own transformation. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear from you and what you are facing, I simply hope that you take the same initiative that I took in the beginning and begin your own path.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

By isaaklown

Know Your Body

So I’m titling this one “know your body” because honestly I don’t think I’ve ever known my body, but I’m starting to.

As I have made very clear, my end goal for weight loss was always to be at 225 lbs. I was at my heaviest at 325 so I wanted that nice even, amazing, 100 lbs lost. I have fought for over 2 years to obtain this, but I’ve never hit it. In fact, I’ve been stuck in the 240-260 area. I’ve actually been stuck in that area for about half a year now.

The thought had been in my head for a few weeks now, but it finally hit me this past week: what if I’m not meant to be 225? As I’ve said in the start, my family comes from “big” genes and I have been fighting to get around that stigma. I’ve mentioned before to friends and colleagues (not sure if I ever did on this blog) that I’ve been called “big man” or different versions of that for years and how much it’s bothered me. A friend mentioned one time that I should just take that “big man” name and shove it in everybody’s faces… considering my love of professional wrestling and superheroes being “big” isn’t a bad thing as long as I feel it’s the right kind of “big”.

When I started the weight loss journey, I started with small, but big, goals. When I was at 325, I wanted to get below 300 lbs. Once I was at 300 lbs, I wanted to get below 275 and once I got to 275 I wanted to get below 250… then I could hit that final stretch of 225. Well after 2+ years of weight training, cardio, and a little over 6 months of yoga I think my body is trying to tell me something. No matter how hard I’ve pushed, sweated, and strained… the closest I’ve come to that 225 goal was when I was sick (last August I was down to 230 lbs and this past winter a bad stomach bug got me down to 235 lbs).

One of the main points of DDPYoga that is stressed from the beginning is to “know your body.” Simply put if it feels like it hurts… IT HURTS! STOP IT! This can go to so many different areas though… at it’s basic premise to “know your body” is to know that your body will tell you things. If you eat clean for a while then go on a fast food binge, your body will tell you! I know from experience! Now on a more advanced level, you need to know what type of body you have. Traditionally speaking there are three body types:

 

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For a long time I’ve thought I was an endomorph. I fit most of the characteristics. After looking at this a while later I think I was focusing on the “gains fat easily” and “gains muscle easily” part.. then if you look at the workout type it says to “Always do cardio training and weight training” and of course the “watch calorie intake” part.. the only thing that really didn’t fit was the “short & stocky” characteristic. I was “tall & stocky”.

Now that I’ve eliminated a large portion of my body fat (the last time me and the wife did a full body fat check with the calipers I was down to 11-12% body fat) I am seeing a lot of excess skin. When I stretch out all the way, my ribs stick out a little. When I exhale all of my air out and tense my abdominals, I can see my “six pack” but the excess skin made me feel mentally that I was still “fat” and had more fat to lose. I’m starting to realize that this is not the case. I’m also realizing that I’m not an endomorph, that I have changed from an endomorph to a mesomorph… or that I was a mesomorph the entire time. I have a decent amount of lean muscle built up, my body fat is down, and I have noticed that based on my “real” end goals that my body was responding to the weight training better. When I would go out for my hour and a half cardio sessions or get on a treadmill for more than 45 minutes… my body would tense up and want to stop.

There it is again… I could tell that my body wanted to stop.. but I didn’t… which would explain why for these past few weeks I would start off hot and heavy and make good progress (on Monday I would do 2 hour-long cardio sessions, 1 hour of weight lifting AND 45 minutes of yoga)… then by Wednesday or Thursday I would not be able to push as hard as I could. My body was trying to tell me something.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this.. about the frustration I was having and how I could hit that goal… no matter the cost.

I was able to hear this with all of it’s sirens. “No matter the cost” is not a spot I want to be in, so I quickly started thinking of ways to get out of this mentality. I’ve always felt that a “no matter the cost”  is a dangerous place to be in and I wanted out of it as soon as possible.

After speaking to my wife about this (because every decision I make I realize affects both of us) she agreed with me and said she wished I would have came to this decision months ago. So here was the decision:

I’m happy being 250 lbs.

With that being said, I am not happy having a large amount of skin hanging off of my gut and chest. So there will be a slight change to the workout pattern. Instead of a 40% weight training, 40% cardio, and 20% yoga breakdown, it will more resemble a 45% weight training, 30% cardio, and 25% yoga breakdown. I’m choosing this breakdown because if I could build some more lean muscle that will give some of this excess skin “something to do” so to speak… also putting on more muscle will help me be a good type of “big man”. putting less of a focus on cardio and a bigger emphasis on yoga will help me reduce the stress on my knees (which have been hurting) and help increase my flexibility which would help prevent injury better.

Truth be told, I always had in the back of my mind that when I would have hit the 225 mark, that I would have started putting on muscle until I got back to the 250 mark. So why spend extra time losing the weight, then putting it back on the “right way” when I can just start the goal of any wrestler/bodybuilder (and I’m paraphrasing from a trailer for the “generation iron” movie): “lose fat, while building muscle”… it’s something that my body has been doing for a while now, so why not focus on that?

You never know, through changing this focus I may get down to 225 lbs, but I’m not going to focus on it. I’m going to start doing more “mirror measurements” and less “number measurements”. Numbers are just a number.. numbers do not change what the mirror shows.

So there it is, I think I’m finally starting to “know my body” so now it’s time to change my motivations and goals. losing 75 lbs is an amazing feet… reducing my body fat from close to 30% down to almost 10% is a tremendous feet… transforming myself in to something that when I look at photos of myself 10 or 15 years ago I will not be able to recognize myself? THAT is my new fitness goal… and I AIN’T EVAH GONNA STOP!

 

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By isaaklown

Sorry for waiting so long between updates on here!

I just wanted to stop in and give a quick update on here.

First off, I have not forgot about this blog! I simply took a step away from a few things that I was doing extra in my quest to “defeat the villain” so that I could focus on things one at a time. The added focus has helped me. I still have a way to go, but I am on my way.

I logged in today and see that I still have views coming in every day and not just from America. So hello to all of my England readers! Australia too! And to all the others that I can not even remember off the top of my head! There’s so many!

As always, if I have time to make an update, it’s usually on the facebook page (www.facebook.com/iaintevahgonnastop).

Also, to everyone, if you are also out there defeating your villain, make sure to talk about it on twitter and facebook! With so much negativity in the world, we need to put as much positivity out there that we can! Make sure to use the #iaintevahgonnastop hash tag when you do so that this movement can keep moving!

Until next time!

By isaaklown

Motivation Monday – Priority Steps

It’s been awhile since I wrote in here. Probably because I felt I didn’t have time to write in it in order to complete the Beast Mode program (1 hour weight training 5 days a week, cardio 6 days a week, yoga 3 days a week)… and I was growing incredibly tired (only taking in 2000-2500 calories a day and working 10+ hours a day).

I was getting burnt out.

I was getting tired.

Scale wasn’t changing.

Body wasn’t changing. Continue reading

Motivation Monday – Quick Note

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar

A little late for a Motivation Monday post, but why dos motivation have to be limited to Monday? Every day you should have something that motivates you. Sometimes it can be something as simple as giving a little “flex” in the mirror in the morning, or looking at a picture of family, or looking at a motivational board…

Take a moment and think of something that motivates you. If you can’t think of anything within 30 seconds then do some meditation and prayer on it tonight. I promise you that once you have that one thing or multiple things that motivate you, you will have that extra umph in your step to stand up and promptly put your foot against the keister of whatever villain you are facing.

Week 3 of Beast Mode Results

Here we are on a new Sunday and I am ready for my cheat meal (chinese today!).

This week I was able to get in more of the workouts, but I unfortunately missed Saturday this week. Last week I did make it all up on Monday but that caused me to not get in some other stuff I needed to get done Monday, so starting this week I’m going to incorporate the workouts on Saturday in to the other days.

For example, on Mondays I normally just do shoulders & abs, but lately I’ve been tacking on the “red hot core” DDP Yoga workout on to my yoga sessions which does work my abs.. so I don’t want to overkill the abs. From now on, I’ll do Shoulders and Traps on Monday, and Fridays won’t be Chest & abs day, it’ll be Chest and Back day (I’m sure I’ll be incredibly sore after that day!)

On the nutrition side, over the last week I have made some slight adjustments to my intake and I’ve noticed that in the past I’ve had most of my calories after I’ve been off work (last meal of the day has exceeded 1000 calories on more than one occasion), but this past week I kept the last meal more in line with other meals and overall that’s kept me under 2200 calories and I made some good progress.

So here are the numbers:

  This Week Lost/Gained
Weight 249.4 -3.8
BMI 33.1 -0.5
W/H Ratio 0.99 0
Body Fat 16.5% -.47%
Chest 45 0
Arms 14.5 0
Hips 44.5 -0.5
Waist 44 -0.5
Thighs 25.5 0
Calves 16.5 0.5
Forearms 12 0
Shoulders 49.5 0
Neck 16.5 0

So goal this week is not to miss ANY workouts. Work has been very tough mentally once again, but I am going to push myself to make this happen.

Until next time…