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Monthly Archives: July 2012

My 7 Day Cleanse Experiment

My 7 Day Cleanse Experiment

The Wife always accuses me of living life in black & white. She tells me my world has no Shades of Gray. This is probably true. I believe life is hard. We all have issues, troubles, excuses…we all need to balance, to juggle, to live…your world is no different from mine…if anything, I’m much luckier and blessed than most, so who am I to complain?, to create excuses?

That is why health is important to me. To perform at a high level…keep the plates spinning, I must be healthy…if not, I get restless, moody, and my performance suffers. As I mentioned in my last post, my health had been slipping. I had all the excuses, but they weren’t doing me any good, so I decided I needed a jumpstart, something to motivate me, shock my body back into eating healthy and excerising…enter The Cleanse.

When I think of a cleanse, I think of cleaning the body of the toxins that have built up over time. Not only the ice cream, the soda, but the toxins I breathe in everyday. What better way to jump-start the body than to run a spybot…identify and destroy all that is causing me to run slow. Reboot.

AKA

AKA Poop Pills

I, of course, did what all people do before embarking on a possibly harmful endevour…I Googled it. What I found was confusing & overwhelming. I won’t pretend to be a nutritionist, but cleanses come in all shapes and sizes. I decided the Master Cleanse (made up of drinking mostly lemon water) was not for me. A gentler option seemed to be a fruit & vegetable cleanse, focusing on eating organic natural foods. In addition, my personal trainer suggested that I take a supplement, so I went to my local GNC and bought the “Total Body Rapid Cleanse”. My plan was to go two days, eating only fruits and vegetables, followed by introducing some grains & meats, slowly, later in the week.

My goal was to restart my body and gain energy.  Regain the focus on health & exercise that I enjoyed earlier in the year, when I completed my first marathon. I did not plan to lose weight, although I figured I would. Also, I planned on pooping…a lot. What follows is a short review of the week.

Monday

  • Weight: 177
  • Poops: 0
  • Exercise: Ran 3 Miles
  • One Word To Describe The Day: Hungry

I woke up early, ran 3 miles, and started my fruit and vegetable diet. My first breakfast consisted of carrots & strawberries. Throughout the day, I ate when I wanted, but only fruits & veggies. For dinner, I sautéed some squash & zucchini and munched away. My energy dipped & I fought hunger headaches all day. My ibuprofen intake must have been in the thousands of milligrams. I drank water, then more water, bought some  organic-caffeine-free  tea, drank that, then more water, followed  by 32 ounces of water.

Mmmm, Carrots

Tuesday

  • Weight 175
  • Poops: 4
  • Exercise: Ran 3 Miles
  • One Word To Describe The Day:  Headaches

As the sluggishness began to subside, the headaches came fast & furious. I drink too much coffee, which was evident by my withdrawal pains. 48 hours of straight head hammering headaches, and I’m popping Bayer like Tic-Tacs. Along with the usual fruits and veggies, I tried a peach green smoothie…pretty good, if you like spinach…in your smoothie. Our friends brought over dinner (a nice gesture since we recently celebrated the birth of Max), I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was cleansing, but Ohhhhhh did it smell good! I went to bed at 9:00pm, shortly after putting the kids to bed…I was pooped.

Wednesday

  • Weight: 173.5
  • Poops 3
  • Exercise: Pilates
  • One Word To Describe The Day: Better

Woke up feeling as good as I’ve felt in a while, but as the day went on, the headaches and sluggishness crept in. As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to introduce a new crosstrain into my work out regiment, so I decided to check out a Pilates class.

Here’s a depressing thought…that feeling in middle school, first day, standing outside, afraid to go in, afraid you won’t know anyone, afraid you’ll look the fool, afraid you’ll embarrass your self…yes that feeling, well, like bullies & cliques, it never goes away…there I am, sitting in my car, watching fit middle age women, coming in and out of the yoga studio, thinking, what am I doing?  I’m going to embarrass myself!

Somehow, I found the courage to go in…as is always the case, 95% of things we worry about doesn’t come true… although, I did embarrass myself, didn’t know anyone, and most definitely…looked the fool. I enjoyed it and will go back next week.  I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow.

Thursday

  • Weight 173.8
  • Poops 3
  • Exercise: Rest
  • One Word To Describe The Day:  Encouraged

The good feelings of yesterday’s morning lasted throughout the day. I wasn’t too sore from Pilates.  Where I had gone from only eating fruits earlier in the week, I was now eating a few almonds, a bit of protein, some beans, etc. I think the combination of the system getting cleaned out and the introduction of a more diverse diet had a pronounced effect over my mood and feeling. I was productive, positive and had great day. Also, I was very excited about running in the morning, a feeling I hadn’t felt in months.

Friday

  • Weight 173.0
  • Poops 2
  • Exercise: ran 4.5 miles
  • One Word To Describe The Day: Cocky

By far the best day of the seven. After a great morning run, my energy was up all day. Once again, was productive & positive. I maintained the organic diet, chowing down on apples, cucumbers, carrots, smoothies.  I also got introduced to a homemade lentil soup, which was delicious. As with most things in my life, things were going so well, I got confident, cocky.

Saturday – The Wheels Come Off

  • Weight 173.6.
  • Poops 3
  • Exercise: Rest
  • One Word To Describe The Day: Discombobulated

Woke up feeling so good about how my Friday went, I decided to grab a cup of coffee…Here’s a tip from your Beginnings of Things Blogger, coffee and cleanse don’t mix.

I sat on the pot…for a while…then proceeded to feel jittery, capping it off with a nice dose of irritability.

“Get your hands of my Ipad! & stop ordering Power Rangers DVDs, you’re 5, you don’t have any money!”

I found myself grabbing for Cheez-it’s & Corn Puffs @ 10:30am just to calm the nerves. It was a brutal morning, and I was veering off The Cleanse. You might think, “how does one cup of coffee make that big a difference?”

Well, I don’t know, but it did, so don’t worry about it…

Here’s where having a supportive partner is a huge help. My wife helped me regain my focus…after a reasonable lunch and a healthy dinner, I ended the day feeling like I hadn’t just wasted a whole week of cleansing.

I Starbucked myself right off the diet

Sunday

  • Weight 173.0
  • Poops 2
  • Exercise: Ran 3.1 miles
  • One Word To Describe The Day:  Cleansed?

I’m  proud of how I handled the latter part of Saturday and most of Sunday.  I maintained the organic, low-calorie diet, and my energy level came back for most of the day. It also rained…which was a big deal, since we are experiencing a Dust Bowl like drought here in the Midwest. The rain, as much as anything, lighten my mood and made for a great day.  I finished off The Cleanse with a run around the neighborhood.

My Conclusions:

Here’s the deal with The Cleanse…I can’t track my toxin level by stepping on the scale. I can only assume that I’m less toxic today than when I started, but I don’t know for sure. I did poop…a lot….but I’m not sure what that really means. I’m fairly certain that a diet consisting of only fruits and vegetables for a few days would have shocked my body, regardless of whether I was taking a detox pill.  In turn, I would have found energy & focus by changing my diet alone…did I have to The Cleanse, as well?  I guess we’ll never know.

My goal was to gain energy and get the focus back to health…to that end, this experiment was a success. I lost 4 lbs in 7 days…about what I expected.  Unforseen benefit?:  Exposure to new foods & recipes.  (lentils, anyone?).

Go ahead, give it a try, get yourself “Cleansed”, then come back here and we’ll compare notes…just stay away from the coffee:)

Gotta Run

To review, four weeks ago I accepted a challenge, then revealed intimate details of my life, followed by the purchase of a  van, culminating in the birth of a child.  All-in-all, a pretty good four weeks…only one issue…I feel awful…

I used to weigh about 210 pounds…(want to see a pic? My assistant, Anita, says it looks like a normal picture of me, only squeezed into a small box…I’d be mad if wasn’t so true). Two years ago, I stopped drinking, started running, and haven’t looked back…In April of 2012 I completed my first full marathon in Nashville, and I felt great.

It worked so well…I stopped.

Stopped running, stopped eating right and now I feel just awful. I’ve lost my energy, don’t sleep well, and I’m subject to fits of moodiness, much to the dismay of the Better Half. So, it’s time to get back on the horse. I’ve signed up for the St Louis Rock n Roll half marathon, and I’m gonna start training today. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’ll use this blog to check in from time-to-time to give you updates.

The Plan

First, you may ask, why a half marathon instead of the full…(or your might think, why either, they both sound obnoxious) Well, for me, training for the full marathon became a part-time job…nothing like waking up on a random Wednesday morning and running 10 miles before work. I already have a full-time job and a third baby…so in order to keep the wife happy, maintain some Daddy Balance, I decided to scale back to the half. Besides, the full marathon was brutal. The half is a great distance. Long enough that you must train and take care of your body to run well, but not so long that you think you might die.

The Rock n Roll is Sunday, Oct 20th, about 12 weeks away. I’ll be following the intermediate training plan here.  My goal is to finish under 1 hour 45 minutes. To accomplish this goal, I’m going to try a couple of things.

First, I’m gonna lose some weight. I realize that I’ve already lost quite a bit, but I’m one of these guys who goes out for a long run and burns a lot of calories, then comes home and eats ice cream…hey, something to reward yourself, right? The issue is that I don’t lose a lot of weight, and end up heavier than I want to be…it’s hard enough to run 13.2 miles, try carrying an extra 10lbs. To that end, I’m gonna start with a 7 day cleanse, (at the suggestion of my personal trainer, who moonlights as my Big Sis, you can follow her on twitter @jenpietrzak) then follow Bob Greene’s Best Life Diet to lose some weight.

Second, I’m gonna do some cross training. In the past, I’ve run, then I’ve run some more…after which, I’d go for a run. I do very little in the way of changing things up, so this time, I’m gonna try some yoga. I looked it up earlier, and I am, in fact, the most inflexible person in the world. Adding some flexibility should help my balance, weight and speed. All things that I need help on.

There you have it…Cleanse, run, diet, yoga, run, diet, yoga, Half Marathon…who’s with me?

Seriously, who’s in?  Do you run?  Would you like to?

Join me for the Rock n Roll on Saturday, October 20th.  They offer a 5k race if your are just starting, or marathons if you’d like.  Keep me updated on this blog or twitter https://twitter.com/gregyounger.  You can find all the info at http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/st-louis

The Birth of Maxwell James – A Diary

Let’s be clear, I’m a very lucky man.

But I always find it interesting that we never seem to remember the important things in life…oh sure, we remember the dates, maybe some particulars, but time clears the mind of many details.  So with the birth of my third boy on the horizon, I decided do a running diary of the day’s events.  I figured, if nothing else, we could look back and remember a few moments from his birth.  I also believe it’s another fact (in a long history of facts), that third borns are the best raised children in the world, and have yielded most of humankind’s most tremendous people…(figured out where I reside in the birth order yet?)

Think about it for a second, like shooting free-throw’s after practice or  golf balls at the range, what on this earth don’t we get better at with practice?  Why should parenting be any different?  We hover like helicopters over the first, over- compensate on the second, by the third, we’ve hit our Parenting Prime…they should call all of us third born’s Goldilock Kids!

So, in an honor of one of my all-time favorite writers, who happens to be an only child, The Sportsguy, I’ve decided to keep a running diary of the birth if my 3rd child, and rewind the action for you today.

Let’s begin

Weds, July 11th, 8:00 pm. My Mom has come in from Alabama to take care of my two boys.  The wife has an appointment to be at the hospital at 8. They’ll start the induction shortly after, with the idea that the baby will come sometime on Thursday, July 12th.

The One & Only John Holmes

8:49pm. At the hospital, wife hooked up to some machines, nurses asking lots of questions, I’m watching Modern Family… One thing they don’t tell you about having small kids? Your tv watching declines considerably. If it’s not a live sporting event, my tv is stuck on Power Rangers or Clifford. With that said, Modern Family is one I continue to watch, or at least try to… just so funny, especially to me, since my family is nothing, but traditional.

Also, they put us in the John Holmes room…apparently this hospital likes its porn stars. They must know something about my son’s “equipment”…

9:48pm. The cynic in me figured we wouldn’t have this baby until tomorrow morning, right when the doc wanted him to come.  I always figured these docs could telegraph a birth like the backup QB throwing into double coverage… But lo and behold, we may be getting started early. There’s lots of talk of effacing and dilating and Jill the Nurse just told me I’d better start drinking the coffee, it could be a long night…Jill’s a hoot…she just told us she doesn’t come to work and NOT celebrate birthday parties…better get ready to get tough!

9:58pm. Contractions getting stronger, might be about time to bring on the ol’ epidural. For those of you that don’t know, I’m one of those small business owners that both Republicans and Democrats like to talk about, especially when it comes to healthcare. Well, Rep or Dem, it doesn’t matter…all I know is I’m paying out-of-pocket (and out the nose) for this whole deal, so I’m thinking…are you allowed to negotiate with the epidural doctor? After my recent car buying episode, I’m yearning for another shot at using my negotiating prowess, or lack there of:) Granted, when the pain is hot and heavy, I’m pretty sure I’d lose on any negotiating.

10:46pm. Well, things have slowed down, maybe my previous cynicism was correct. Might be time to get a little shut-eye.

11:31pm. Nothing tonight, time for sleep.

Thursday, July 12th, 6:02am. Not exactly a Tempur-Pedic night sleep, but not too bad on the ol’ fold-out, or as my buddy Hyleme calls it, The Daddy Couch.

If it looks uncomfortable, it’s because it is…

Somewhat chilly laying next to the vent, but hey, I’m not the pregnant one, right? They drugged the wife up pretty good, so she was out as well. Laying here watching TV, with 6 channels, because apparently Direct TV & Viacom are having a hissy fit over fees. TV or no TV, today seems like a good day to have a child, don’t you think?

If I had to bet, I’d guess we’ll meet our new guy sometime after lunch.

Our “I-came-here-to-celebrate-birthdays” nurse, Jill, goes off in an hour. We’ll miss her…

8:56pm. Breakfast. Time to take a quick trip down to the cafeteria, which is always an overwhelming experience for me… So many options, you can only pick one…don’t screw it up!

Went with a breakfast sandwich, meanwhile, back on the baby front, the doctor came in and apparently kick started the process as contractions are beginning again hot and heavy… got to hand it to these docs, they handle these births like a bowling ball rolling towards the pins with the bumpers up…if something looks to be going in the wrong direction, bang!, a hit on the bumper and the ball gets rolling down the lane towards the pins…

10:22pm. Epidural doc has come and gone, and no, I didn’t try to negotiate with her. The house doc is gonna come in here shortly and re-position the bowling ball, err, break her water. Still looking at an afternoon birth. Meanwhile, what to do for the next 6 hours. My oldest was born on a Sunday on October…lots of football to watch… a Thursday in the middle of July? Catch up on Days of Our Life’s? Re-run of the Tour de France?  Once again, who has the toughest job today?

10:31pm. Water Broken. We’ll stop there, no need for details.

11:46pm. Time to grab some lunch. Nurse Karen seems to think things will “go quickly” now. Been spending the last hour reading up on this Sandusky/Freer investigation. Pretty sick/scary stuff, especially for a guy who’s about to have his third boy. So tragic, so ridiculous that college football has become such a big deal that people (Paterno) feel compelled to suppress their morals to save their teams/jobs. Great article by Jason Whitlock on this… Much evil in this world, much evil.

12:25pm. Must be getting close, they just wheeled in the baby’s bed.

12:50pm. 8cm, whatever that means.

2:11pm. Well, we now have 2 nurses and the room is filled with all types of machines, the wife is having contractions every minute or so, feeling pain even through the epidural. Guessing this wouldn’t be a good time to grab some Starbucks.

2:36pm. The doc has been called.

Maxwell James, 8lbs 2 oz

3:06pm. Maxwell James is born. 8lbs 2 oz, 20.25 inches. He’s got a lot of dark hair, considering I have none and the wife is blond we’ll be taking a closer look at the mailman this week;) the bowling ball has come down for a perfect strike!

3:55pm. As with the two previous, just an amazing experience.  If you’ve ever thought about having kids, I would highly recommend it.  The wife is a real rock star during these things. And this little guy is a miracle.  Make no mistake, I’m a lucky man!

So, do we have a deal?

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Everyone always says how having a new child changes your life.  My blogging buddy, Chris Bumeter (http://chrisbumeter.wordpress.com/), recently told me that he’s a new father and loves it.  When you read his blog and twitter accounts, you see the proof.

So what does having three kids feel like?  Let’s just say it makes you want to go out and do things you’d never thought in a million years you’d want to do…that’s right, it makes you want to buy a mini-van.

For the record, I’d rather try to take my contacts out with coal-fired tweezers than buy a used car.

So, just days before the birth of my 3rd child, where do I find myself? You guessed it, the Auto Dealership.

I’ve spent almost my entire adult life in sales, and yet, here I am, wrapped in the used car salesman’s web of lies, wishing I was home, staring into the mirror with those scorching tweezers.

I hate buying cars like my kids hate eating healthy, brushing teeth or listening to their mother.

I’m not entirely certain what I hate the most. It’s probably the feeling that no matter how much I research, how much “homework” I do, I always feel like the biggest sucker as I walk out the door. I’m certain my sales guy, Blake, and his manager will be high-fiving each other after selling me a car, while calling their wife’s to tell them that they had a great day and asking whether they would like them to bring home PF Chang’s tonight…

“We can afford it Honey, Daddy sold a big one tonight!”

I also hate the whole Good Cop, Bad Cop routine.

“I want to sell you this car, but my manager’s having a bad day and says he’s gonna lose big on this sale, so we’ll see what he says”…really?  Bad day?  That’s the best you could come up with?

I imagine he goes back to the manager’s office and a tape of Glengarry Glen Ross’s “Coffee’s for Closer’s” is playing on loop  http://www.hark.com/clips/rfvsbnczny-coffees-for-closers

How about all the waiting? If I kept my clients waiting like that they’d leave me in droves and I’d feel awful. And yet, there I am, sifting through October 2010 issues of Motor Trend, while sipping on day’s old coffee, looking for the damn remote to the tv in the waiting room. I guess that’s the fundamental issue with buying a car these days…the salesmen always seem to have us were it hurts. I feel like I should walk out…

But I won’t..

I just bought a mini-van….hope he enjoys the PF Chang’s tonight.

Have you bought a car recently?  Did you enjoy it?  What tips do you have for buying a car?

A Little Bit About Me

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I have two kids, Henry & Charlie, and one on the way.  As a matter of fact, I hope my wife is in labor as you read this post.  It’s gonna be another boy (unless the sonogram was a lie:), was wishing for a girl, but hey, out of my control, right?

Having kids is great.  What amazes me is the difference in  personalities.  Take this video for example, at ages 6 & 3, you’d think they’d be similar.  Born from the same parents, in the same house, eat the same food, have the same blonde hair and yet, check how different they are.

I’m guessing the third will be somewhere in the middle.  I was the youngest of 3, and tend to be in the middle myself.  Well, gotta go, I think I hear my wife contracting:)

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