1st Navy Jack

So as a Naval Officer and a SNFO I am authorized to wear a flight suit and with it several patches. I have a name tag, a class patch from API, a command patch, and a flag. The flag is on my left shoulder and currently I am allowed to wear either the American Flag, or the First Navy Jack. I have chosen to wear the First Navy Jack.

Photo Feb 14, 1 02 44 PM

 

That’s fine and all, but my wife challenged me today and asked me what it meant. Well this is what I knew- the flag was used in the Revolutionary War and you better not tread on me. Not exactly what one should know when choosing how to represent himself and his country. I knew it had a great history and when it came into being, but I didn’t know the significance of the saying or snake. So I looked it up and here is what it means, and why I wear the First Navy Jack.

In the Revolutionary War the Navy ships flew the flag which is an adopted version of the Gadsden Flag. The stripes represent the 13 original colonies and the motto is a representation of the traits of the Timber Rattlesnake- which symbolizes the United States and found its habitat in the 13 colonies.

The Timber Rattlesnake was chosen because it is a quiet and peaceful snake that to the untrained eye is harmless. The snake never attacks unprovoked, however never backs down after struck. The snake will fight to its death and will inflict large amounts of venom into its prey with speed and precision. The small bites can barely been seen and yet the venom released is always deadly. Conscious of this the Timber Rattlesnake does not begin her attack until generously giving notice. The snake has no eyelids and therefore is the perfect symbol for vigilance.

I wear the First Navy Jack because I, like the Timber, am from one of the original colonies, now states in the union. I am proud to fight for my country and to serve the United States. I will never back down from a fight and will strike with precision and speed. The First Navy Jack represents all I believe in as a member of the Armed Forces and I will always be vigilant.

 

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Semper Gumby

Well I was thrown another curve-ball. No big deal this time, just slightly annoying. Today’s workout was supposed to be a CrossFit WOD followed by leg day. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out.

I arrived to work at 6:30 this morning. By 7:30 I was over at my new command and checking in. First page of my check-in brief had a schedule on it. I was supposed to be there until at least 3:30. And surprise- I have a PRT first thing in the morning. So the best gym on base closes at 3:00 and I also can’t be sore so that I can perform for my physical test in the morning. Again, this isn’t a big deal but after a week and a half back in the gym and really started to hit my groove, I didn’t like have my plans changed on me. SO, this means tomorrow is a PRT and then I will move on to CrossFit and Shoulders.

Completely new topic, I need to establish a weigh in day. I have a habit of weighing in too often and then taking long periods of no weigh ins. Well I think it is time to set and stick to a day. So here it is- Friday. Every Friday I will do a weekly check in and weigh myself. I am eating for bulk and would like to weigh 185 before I focus on lower my body fat. In order to this I am eating enough to gain about 0.6 pounds a week and so I have roughly 12 weeks to go until I reach my goal. The reason I need to weigh in weekly is to make sure I am not over or under eating and can adjust my calories as necessary.

weighin

Why Fridays? It is my experience that, like most people, I break my routine on Fridays and Saturdays and so I am more than likely heaviest Saturday and Sunday mornings. In order to avoid weighing myself at a time when the scale will be skewed, I will weigh in before my cheat day hits. This gives me a few days to eat right and be at the gym before my body levels off. Then over the rest of the week I will perform at this homeostasis and be as close as possible to my average daily weight come Friday. The closer I can be to this average daily weight when I weigh in, the better I can track my progress and make adjustments to everything I do.

I like to take pictures and see where I am and how my look has changed, so I will take a picture every few weeks. My “starting” weight will be after weigh in tomorrow, and my “starting” picture will be this Sunday. Pictures are easiest on a weekend just because there is more free time.

I will let you know how things go tomorrow and will share my start weight with you as well. Just a short plug- if you are interested in trying AdvoCare please contact me. I will hep you figure what to try and even pass on a little discount.

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Too Thin to Win?

Earlier this week Rachel became the latest Biggest Loser winner on NBC. But should the show have promoted her weight loss? The short answer- at least from my point of view is – NO! When contestants return to the show the staff weighs each one of them. This lets them know where everyone is at and how to arrange the weigh-in for more excitement. The contestants and hosts do not know the weight or the order, but directors know everything. As soon as Rachel showed up she should have been sent to a doctor to ensure her health and the producers should have gotten involved and figured out a way to help her and save the integrity of the show.

Here is a before and after picture of Rachel from the Finale:

Rachel before and after. Click picture for source

Rachel before and after. Click picture for source

Rachel started at 260 pounds and weighed in at the finale at 105. That is a 155 pound, or 59.6% of body weight, loss. This also represents a BMI of 18. This is in the category of underweight. 18.5 is considered normal, so Rachel is close, but even being on the low end of BMI can be a health risk. For comparison the runner up lost only 54.8%. Not a single other contestant dropped below BMI of 21. To beat the runner up, Rachel could have weighed in at 125.

Without doing all of the math, one can see that Rachel is too thin. Here is a better picture:

Click for source

Click for source

Rachel’s lower body resembles a normal and healthy weight. But above the waist we start to see the scary features. Looking at the shoulders we can see that she has broad shoulders compared to the rest of her body. This supports and should be holding more muscle. Down the arm, we can see her bicep muscle, but not because it has been trained and worked, but because there is no body fat in the area. On the forearms you can actually see the bony processes on both ends of her ulna and radius.

The drastic amount of weight lost and the look of her body lend me to believe she worked on cardio non-stop after leaving the show and neglected strength training. By laying off the cardio and doing strength training on those days, she could balance the two types of exercise, gain about 10 pounds, become a healthy weight and maintain her current size.

What I assume happened, and the key words are that “I am ASSUMING”, is that Rachel has some things going on in life that led her to eating and gaining weight. When she went on the show she found her inner athlete again, but by not actually dealing with her issues, she became addicted to the diet and exercise and lost control in the wrong direction. I blame this on the show and the people around her. Until she works with the right people, and I love Bob, Jillian and Dolvett, she will not find a healthy weight and lifestyle for herself.

Some people have said that she will put on a little weight after the show, and that her competive side is why she dropped so low. I do not agree and think that yes she will gain some weight without the competition, but the last time she lost a reason to compete she gained weight and ultimately went on the Biggest Loser. She has not learned how to appropriately exercise and eat, and will put back on more than she should. I don’t mean she will weigh 260, but instead of 125 she will reach 145. I think, and I just have this feeling, that Rachel is going to be just find and the right help will come her way.

Quickly I want to touch on the fact that people are raising a fuss over the fact that no one is talking about the people on the show that are still over weight. Here is why I have left them alone. They lost weight! And while they are still overweight, they are on the right track. In the real world weight loss takes time. These contestants have better their lives and have a high chance of maintaining their path and reaching their goals. They will also find their lifestyle will be more fun and easier to handle.

I love to watch the biggest loser, but I have always prefaced that with “I know the flaws of the show but…”. I still like the show but I hope this season wakes them up to helping these people and not worrying 100% on the contest.

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Playing Catch-Up

The flight schedule has been a little crazy recently and while I was able to find time to workout, I neglected the blog a little. I want to go ahead and catch up with everyone and let you know where I am.

This week marked the final stage of the Shortcut to Shred. Weeks 4 through 6 lower your calorie intake from 2600 calories a day to 2200 a day. This well ensure a good reduction of body fat, and help create that lean and cut look.

Today is also the 45 of my 365 day challenge. In the situp pushup challenge we are on day 26. The number for today is 90. Take your time and don’t rush. If you need a little break, take one, the most important thing is don’t sacrifice your form.

Now that we are up to date with all of that, I am looking ahead to my next phase of training. Earlier this year I followed the big man on campus and ate a low calorie diet. In those 12 weeks I saw my strength sky-rocket and my weight drop. I lowered my body fat almost 7%. This time around I plan on eating a clean bulk diet, and following the routine. I expect to gain 3 to 5 pounds over the 12 week period, maintain a body fat of slightly less than 10% and see another boost of strength. This time around will be much different than before because I will have excess calories for use.

Over the next few days I will post articles on clean bulking as well as calorie intake for appropriate weight gain and muscle development. Stay tuned!

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Weekend Catch Up

This past weekend I was home alone! The wife and kid went to Jacksonville Florida and celebrated Grandma Clark’s birthday. I wish I could have gone, however I had to take the End Of Course and FAA exams. Once that was complete, it was a guys weekend!

Saturday evening I went to the Ice Flyers hockey game. The Pensacola Ice Flyers lost to the Louisiana Ice Gators 4 to 0. It was a really good time, and I got to see a couple of fights. I think Em would have a good time, and I want to go back for our next date.

Pensacola-Ice-Flyers-5

After the game I went to McGuire’s Irish Pub and Steakhouse. If you haven’t been, be careful with the restrooms. And that’s all I can say. I had a Pensacola Bay Brewery Oktoberfest brew and the best hamburger I have ever had. I highly recommend you give the restaurant a try.

On our way in, my friend and I passed a couple of guys outside who had had a little too much to drink. AN hour and a half later when we walked out, they were still there. It turns out that the designated driver had been drinking and was unable to really even walk. We had a quick conversation and found out the young guys were airmen from base. We instructed them to call a cab and head back or to a hotel if they had a room for the night. After a few minutes we headed to the car and got ready to leave. I didn’t have a good feeling about the situation and as we were pulling out of the parking lot the two guys were speaking to another guy, who was obviously drunk.

At this point I had already identified myself to the Airmen and instructed them to call a cab. Since that was happening I backed the car up and parked again. We got out and headed to the group. Without hesitation we separated the new guy from the two original guys and found out he was not with them at all. While we got him to leave I also told the the guys to call a cab now, while I was watching, or let me call the cab and send them to base. This got their attention and they called for a cab. Once the cab arrived I spoke with the driver and we got the boys back to base safely.

Sunday I slept in until about 10 and then got up and went for 3.51 mile run. It was the best I had felt in long while and I completed the run in 29 minutes. I think it had something to do with the classical music I was listened too. Kept me calm and in control, and the rhythm allowed me to control my breathing. If you have never run to classical music, I suggest trying it.

After running I took care of a few surprises for my wife, studied for my first flight tomorrow, and the took care of some chores. I finished by watching a movie with the sound turned up and the lights off. It was a great end to the weekend and I am glad I was able to have some time to myself to reset after a tough two weeks.

 

Today is day 36 of the 365 day challenge.
Is is Day 17 of the 30 day push-up challenge. Today is 75 push-ups and sit-ups.

Keep up the good work. Tomorrow I have a low calorie, protein packed snack to share with you.
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Why a Cheat Meal

Sticking with the food theme from yesterday, I want to talk about having a cheat meal once a week.

Cheat meals are based on one important fact, and that is the amount of leptin hormone your body will produce.

You ask what Leptin is and why it matters? Well, Leptin is the hormone that helps regulate the amount of body fat humans carry. The higher the body fat, the higher Leptin levels, the lower the body fat, the lower Leptin levels. During prolonged periods of dieting, Leptin levels decrease. In the first week studies show it could drop to half the original level. As Leptin drops, so does the level of liver glycogen. This lowers the level of other hormones such as Testosterone, Estrogen, T3, and Growth Hormone. This also raises Cortisol levels (stress hormone- makes you fat). A low leptin level will also stop fat burning and do the complete opposite- store the fat!

The body will fight to get fat! By eating a large carbohydrate “cheat meal” this process is reversed and leptin levels rise because of the rise in carbohydrates and insulin caused from the large feeding. This sets Leptin levels back up high and lets the body keep dieting on lower calories. This makes it more effective for burning fat than when it had lower Leptin Levels. It will also be highly beneficial to take this meal in after a vigorous workout. This will help muscle growth and inter muscular glycogen retention, and leave less room to store fat. Blood sugar is low after a workout and so the body has less room to store fat.

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I recommend 1 cheat meal a week. Make sure it is a single meal, and not the whole day.

Today is 33 of the 365, and for the 30 days of situps and pushups, it is Day 13. The number is 70. Have fun and stay strong!

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Wow

There was really no other title for this. I got online and looked over a few motivational pictures and quotes and things of that sort. What stuck out to me were the two pictures that follow. I instantly got up on a soapbox and began ranting and raving in my head. America is the fattest country in the world and we are killing ourselves and harming our children. Not only do we eat crap food and avoid the gym, but we take shortcuts everywhere possible and rather than teach our kids to play soccer we hand them a FIFA video game and a kid’s meal. “Hey son, have some dinner and be as good as Pele”. Schools are even taking away gym classes, sports teams, and the elementary school a block from my house- HAS NO PLAYGROUND! Yep just a bunch a grass surrounded by a fence in front of the carpool line. It looks like it was meant to hold water when the storms hit Florida, but it is where the kids go for recess.

As you can see I got all worked up, changed my whole article for the day, and then had to let it out for all to share. I am not even sure there is logical progression in the thoughts. So before I get going again, please think about what you eat, get some exercise, and take your kids outside to move and run. Your children will thank you, and you will thank you. Exercise and good food make for an incredible and long life. 1 hour a day is worth it. It is only 4% of your day, and you will find you have the energy to do more with the rest of your day as well.

Without further ado, the pictures that got this whole thing started:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is day 12 of the pushup and situp challenge. It is a rest day, but go do some active recovery.
It is also the 31st day of my 365 days of exercising. 1/12 of the way there! It is back and bi’s today.

Tomorrow I will take a look at why fish is better than other meats.

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