Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 18

I knew it was time to start the Advocare 24 Day Challenge when:

There was more than a dozen empty wine bottles and/or used-up whipped cream canisters in the weekly recyclable bin.

My sweatpants no longer fit.

When I recently reinstituted “Fry-Daddy Friday” at my house.

I forgot there was such a thing as “calories”.

I went back to using marshmallow crème as a condiment.

Before going for a walk, I had to Google how-to instructions.

When I changed my sheets, I found a half dozen slices of pizza.

We had been using our workout DVDs as coasters.

Buffalo Wild Wings had named a menu item after me.

At least three times a week, I had movie theater popcorn for dinner.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 17

I'm  trying to wrap my head around this issue, and that is hard to do because bone doesn't wrap to well around something, especially around something that is not tangible.

It has been seven days since I weighed and measured myself and I'm pleased to announce that I am still shrinking (16 inches over all), but that darn scale has not moved much over that time frame.  We've all heard the saying "your full of hot air" and I must be.  I look lighter... but I'm not lighter.  Does that make any kind of sense?

I looked at some other testimonials from people that have taken the 24 Day Challenge and found I'm not alone.  Most of the people that have had the same results have said they look more toned, but the scale still says they are fat.  Then I came across a testimonial from a doctor that took the challenge and had similar results.  This doctor had access to a machine called DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry).  A DEXA scanner is one of the most accurate methods of measuring body fat, it uses low-dose X-rays that reads the bone and soft tissue mass, so it is easy to calculate the fat composition of the body.  He took a reading before and after the Challenge and found that he lost 20 pounds of fat and put on 9 pounds of muscle.  So his net weight loss was only 11 pounds.

His explanation of why it worked this way is; the Catalyst he was taking (and I've been taking). This Catalyst works by providing a blend of essential branched-chain amino acids and L-glutamine to supply your body with the muscle-building components it needs. Catalyst helps to repair and protect muscle, and thereby promote lean body mass by providing the essential amino acids. Other amino acids found in Catalyst such as L-glutamine, L-arginine, taurine and betaine help fuel and maintain your muscles to assist and support endurance and strength.  Catalyst works to feed the muscles, not fat.  By sustaining your muscles during exercise or reduced caloric intake, Catalyst helps rid the fat, retain the muscle, and leave your body more toned and better defined when used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise program.

Stupid Catalyst... feeding and protecting my muscles, making me look skinnier but not making me much lighter.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 16

This getting into shape business is getting expensive.  They say losing weight saves you money because you don't get sick or injured as much, you eat less, and all the other cliché things they say.  Well getting into shape costs money.  First major cost is the throwing out all your "bad" food, Twinkies never go bad and you"can't" eat that stuff.  Second major cost is purchasing tools to help you lose this weight, i.e. joining a gym or starting a weight loss program (fortunately with Advocare there is a way to recoup that money plus some if you are willing to put the work in).  Third major cost that most don't really think about is new clothes.  My clothes are starting to get loose on me and I need a new smaller size.  One of three things needs to happen soon; I get new clothes (major cost), I get a nice belt or two (or a couple of stylish hipster suspenders), or I start wearing underwear.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 15

Every now and again, I hear a story of someone who’s dealing with a massive amount of credit card debt.  It’s always amazed me how folks can get so in-over-their-heads, just making minimum payments and getting absolutely hammered with high interest rates.

Then the light bulb went off.

After I changed the light bulb, I considered the whole credit card issue once more, and came to the realization that my whole weight issue is very much like having $25,000 on a MasterCard bill. Consider the similarities:

  • I didn’t get in such dire straits overnight.
  • I certainly can’t make it all suddenly go away.
  • It causes stress.
  • It causes heartache.
  • It affects so many other areas of my life.
  • It jeopardizes my future.
  • I want to make a change, but it’s just so hard to make any headway.

How do you get out of massive credit card debt? The first thing you do is shred those cards and start changing your behavior. Then you realize that there are mighty forces working against you (interest), and you need to make a plan to get rid of the debt as quickly and efficiently as possible. You hear radio commercials for get-out-of-debt-free companies, but you and I both know that things that sound too good to be true are often… well… too good to be true.

Anyway, we got ourselves into this mess, and we can darn sure get out of it on our own.

A little planning.

A little willpower.

A little determination.

A good bit of time.

Like that person with the big fat credit card bill, I can’t even remember all the small things, all the little charges that got me to where I am today, but I will tell you this: I can work off this debt, and I will clean up my balance sheet.

And I’ll be a richer man for doing it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day 14

Quick hitters to post or tweet:
  • “Still on the lookout for Sugar-Free Pixie Stix.”
  • “I think I’m having hunger labor pains.”
  • “Carrot cake counts as a vegetable, right?”
  • “Reminder: not every fat lady is pregnant.”
  • “I could sure go for some empty calories right about now.”
  • “Couldn’t work out this morning--too many old people in there.”
  • “I lost the cupcake fight.”
  • “Yesterday’s post felt a wee bit too seriousy.”
  • “Some people say I have too much time on my hands. Let me consider that for nine or ten hours…”
  • “Ran out of spinach, so made Green Monster with ice cream, marshmallows and green food coloring. Surprisingly, it tasted pretty good.”
  • “Still trying to figure out this ‘kilogram’ and ‘stone’ business.”
  • “Snack time. Trying to decide between handful of raw almonds or candy apple.”
  • “Well, the ‘Buy One, Get One Free” cinnamon bun offer was about to expire…”
  • “What is my ungodly fascination with taffy?”
  • “Yay! Didn’t get cheese sauce on my brocolli (went with caramel instead).
  • “They say nothing rhymes with ‘orange.’ Well, what about ‘car hinge’? Huh? Huh!?!
  • “Referring to your personal trainer as a ‘sweat monkey’ isn’t necessarily a good idea.”
  • “Rice cakes make dandy coasters.”

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 13

I decided to play some basketball today so I took the kids to the park.  I've been more energetic the last past 12 days so I wanted to see how that translates on the basketball court.  I hadn't been able to dunk a basketball in the last 8 years (and the 30 before that).  Now that I'm on this 24 Day Challenge I'm able to come within a foot of touching the rim.  Okay, maybe a foot and a half.  This stuff gives you more energy, it doesn't make you a super hero overnight as I found out.  I have a great inside game and can hit almost everything, unfortunately I was playing outside.  That is my excuse, and I think it is a reasonable excuse.  This area is known for it's high winds and I was dealing with that all day.  Every time I shot the ball there seemed to be a 2 mile an hour gust that would alter the trajectory of the ball.  Darn wind, maybe next time it will be better.  I just need to keep being active, keep a healthier life style and take my supplements to fill in for the gaps my diet doesn't fill.  Then maybe I'll be able to dunk.  That, or one of these nights I will hack off a foot of the post that holds the backboard.  Either way, I will dunk that ball.

Jim Pogue

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 12

Today we did some back to school shopping for the kids and I noticed some really skinny meth addicts hanging out in front of the mall.  I have seen people lose a ton of weight by taking meth and not doing an ounce of exercise, so I looked into it a little more.  I actually came across a post from a doctor that said "I wouldn't recommend using meth to lose weight, especially if you're on Zoloft."  Um... okay, so unless you're on Zoloft, you shouldn't use meth, but it's not out of the question.

Well I'm not on Zoloft so I need to see if meth is right for me.  I looked into why meth works so well for weight loss.  Come to find out, meth gives you an unnatural amount of energy which makes you metabolism skyrocket into deity level.  Also, everything you do is preformed 3 times as fast as normal.  Since meth produces so much energy, your body thinks it has been fed and your brain doesn't think you need to eat.

This stuff sounds like a miracle drug! Let's see what are some of the side effects.  Oh no... that's not good.  Seems like some of the weight loss is not all fat.  Some of the weight loss is teeth.  Not sure how much teeth weigh, but that has to be some weight.  Meth dries out your mouth, which destroys your gums.  It also makes you clench and grind your teeth, so much that they crack.  Also, meth seems to turn off the part of the brain that worries about hygiene.

Well it looks like I will continue to lose this weight by taking my Advocare products, eating right, and working out.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 11 (and results of phase 1)

I downloaded this app that is supposed to calculate how many steps you have taken (walking, running, and biking) but I'm not too impressed with it.  Yesterday I walked a couple of miles, but when I looked at the pedometer app it said I walked a little over 9,000 steps and ran for 6 minutes.  Ran for 6 minutes?  I hadn't run for 6 minutes since the ice cream truck driver was teasing me by not stopping for 2 blocks back in 2004.  Today I went for my walk around the site during lunch and for some unknown reason I decided to jog for fifteen minutes.  For the normal, somewhat in-shape person, it was a slow jog, but for me it was like an all-out sprint for a third of a mile.  Once I got back to the office I wanted to see how well I did according to the app.  The freakin'  thing said I ran 1 minute.  Are you kidding me!?  One minute?  I know I didn't break any land speed records but for Pete's sake I was running.  The app did say I passed out for 7 minutes which was true, but I hate this app.

The results of first part of my 24 Day Challenge:
I've lost 8 pounds and 8 inches from my body.  I'm getting more muscle definition, especially in my legs and arms.  This challenge has a snowballs chance in Haiti to show muscle definition in my belly over 24 days but I have lost over an inch there.  I'm looking forward to seeing the results over the next two weeks now that I'm done with the Cleanse Phase and I'm on to the Max Phase of this challenge.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 10

I don't understand why ladies run for exercise all alone at 4am.  While going to work this morning I noticed the car in front of me slow down and pull up next to a lady who was jogging.    She seemed to ignore this person and they drove off, but while I'm all for getting your exercise, you need to be smart about it.  Take me for instance, I take walks around old abandoned nuclear facilities because there is no traffic and with what I assume is green florescent paint, the area is well lit.  Please be careful while you are exercising and if you see a van that looks like this one;
 feel free to cut your run short and eat a carrot stick or two instead of the Big Mac.

Phase one of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge will be posted tomorrow.

Jim Pogue

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 9

Ways to deal with a plateau
• Small changes can reap big rewards; for example, running a marathon burns twice the calories of a half-marathon.

• Remember, even if the number on the scale isn’t moving, you can still celebrate NSVs. What’s a NSV, you ask? Let’s look that up. Hmmmmm…. NSV stands for The National Socialist Vanguard, a Neo-Nazi group based in Portland. Okay, better hold off on that until I get a little more info…

• Look at ways of trimming a few calories each day; did you realize that cutting one king-sized Butterfinger bar from your diet each day will save over 3,300 calories per week?

• When you go out to eat, bring your own food from home and eat that instead.
• At least once a day, do 10,000 lunges.


• The word “plateau” has the words “plate” “ate” and “u”. No, I don’t know if that’s relevant and yes, I do know that “u” isn’t a word.
• One way to “shock” your system is to eat less and exercise.

• Remember what Bruce Lee once said: “There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” But keep in mind that he also said “Shut up or taste my fists of fury!”

Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to double down on what you’re doing. Plus, you should always split 8’s and stand pat if the dealer is showing a six.

• Try increasing the duration and intensity of reading my blog.

Jim Pogue

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 8

After a four day break, I'm back on the fiber drink.  That stuff works like an illegal alien.  It's cheap to employ, works in the dirtiest places, and when the whistle blows to finish work it leaves thru the backdoor.

I'm anxious to see my results for the first phase of this Advocare 24 Day Challenge.  Days 1-10 are the cleanse phase, it is setting your body up to maximize your results during phase 2.  Even though phase 1 is a prep stage I already feel some results.  My shirts are not as tight and I have more energy to do things.  I've even seen "muscles" starting to come back into definition.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 7

All my life, I’ve always been a clean-your-plate kind of guy. No matter what was on it, no matter how much was on it, I always managed to bring a spic-and-span finality to every meal I sat down to. Maybe it’s just me… maybe it’s the American way… maybe it’s the plate’s fault somehow.Whatever the reason, that’s a habit that I knew that I just needed to shake. What I’ve tried to do these days is really take a hard look at the food I put on my plate. For example, last night I cooked a couple pieces of chicken; in the past, I’d have thought nothing of eating multiple pieces. Recently I’ve started trying to start my meal with half the portion I’d normally had dished out, with the idea that I can get more if I really want it. It shocks me how often the half-sies get the job done (and I get to clean my plate like I like).

For me, eating is as much mental as it is a mechanism for fueling my body. This 24 Day Challenge form Advocare that I'm on is not only helping me get the proper nutrients but it is also helping me understand how my body needs to be fueled at proper times and adequate portions.

I will soon be transitioning from phase one to phase two of the challenge and I will post my result after day 10.

Jim Pogue

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 6

Let's say you've found the motivation to lose that excess weight, no matter what.  Following the diet advice you've heard your entire life, you quit the high-fat foods cold turkey and lay off the video games in favor of gym time.  You're full of energy -- you're not going to let anything stop you from being the person you want to be, gosh darn it!

And then the withdrawal symptoms begin.

How bad are they? Oh, nothing much -- just like weaning yourself off a crippling drug habit.  Like a drug addict you may say stuff like; "Just let me go to the vending machine one more time, I need to have some Cheetos!"

Now obviously, comparing junk food to drugs is like comparing a row boat to a yacht when it comes to how dangerous it is, but there is similarities.  According to research on mice (whose neurochemical system is comparable to that of humans), you don't even need to be morbidly obese to experience these symptoms -- all you need is to stuff your face with high-fat foods for six weeks or so.  Then replace all that junk food with a carefully maintained, healthy diet and you get to live through all the joy and glory of a painful, mentally excruciating rehab period of drugs, but on a lower level.  The test subjects had significantly increased levels of stress hormones and abnormally high amounts of CREB, a protein linked closely to the dopamine reward system (aka the thing in your brain that gets you high).  What other things can manipulate these brain levels? Just harmless little substances like cocaine and meth.

And sure enough, the mice in the study became anxious and annoyed, avoided open spaces, and showed all the signs and symptoms of drug withdrawal just a few days after being deprived of their precious fatty foods.

Although this makes dieting infinitely harder than your average weight loss ad makes it seem, it's not totally impossible. The trick here is to avoid the yo-yo dieting, which sends you plummeting into an everlasting downward spiral of dopamined-up binge eating and withdrawal-laced, stressed-out dieting. If you want to quit heroin, you sure as heck don't give yourself an occasional "cheat" day or week to treat yourself.

So far on this 24 Challenge, I've had no withdrawals or no "cheat day" thoughts as of yet.  I've also found some more energy to do stuff and and not wanting to just sit around.  I'm off to enjoy my day and hope you all have a great weekend.

Jim Pogue

Friday, July 18, 2014

Day 5

Today is the beginning of my weekend so I decided to really work.  I wanted to go on a bike ride thru the neighborhood, and if you know the terrain of my neighborhood you would know that is no easy feat.  I live an area known for it's hills, and defying physics, it is all uphill as I found out.  First thing I had to do was get one of those team bicycle racing outfits. Not sure why, but by what I've seen over the last 10 years, you have to wear one to be allowed to ride on the road.  Unfortunately I've never seen one in ANY stores I have shopped in, so I figured I would just have to break the law and ride in normal clothes like I did when I was a kid.  I went out to the garage to find a bike that I know I have. The only reason I know I had one is because I've moved it from house to house over the years.  Of course the tires were flat, so I prayed to God for a new one.  After a few minutes of praying I remembered that that is not how He works.  So I stole a neighbor's bike and asked for forgiveness.  God is good!

After starting out on the first hill, I thought, maybe I should just park under this tree for an hour or so and then coast back down to my house.  Maybe run thru a sprinkler to make it look like I was sweating so my wife would really think I did the ride.  While thinking about that great plan, I kept hearing a small voice reminding me why I should push on.  It was my neighbor kid wanting his bike back and his dad right behind him.  Fortunately I've been taking Catalyst (helps burn fat and protect muscle) while on this 24 day challenge so I had enough strength the stay ahead of them long enough for them to give up.

Thirty minutes into the ride I thought, I should have given the bike back, and where the heck is the down hill portion of this ride?  Forty five minus into the ride I see the crest of a hill, I'm almost there, but then something weird started to happen.  Things started to get blurry and and cloudy.  I start to feel it getting easier and easier to pedal up the hill and then I hear it.  I hear a loud booming voice saying "You stole that bike and you will pay for that!"  Just at that time I felt like I was thrown down a hill at breakneck speed.  I knew I should have given that bike back, and I felt great remorse.  I soon slowed my decent and things became clearer.  My shirt was saturated with tears, sweat, and vomit form the bike ride.  I realized I was in front of my neighbor's house now so I dropped the bike and stumbled home.  About at the door, I hear the loud booming voice again saying "This is the police, you need to stop!"

I'm posting this while waiting to be booked.  I hope the judge can be bribed with some Spark.

Jim Pogue

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 4

I'm down 5.5 pounds as of this morning and I really haven’t changed my normal activities much.  Unfortunately I haven’t been able to exercise more than usual; a half hour walk around the work site is about it.  There was a breeze today which would normally help cool you down, but we are having record heat this past week so it feels like I’m standing in front of a hair drier.  After my walk I opened my Spark Energy Drink Mix that is part of the 24 Day Challenge, and that started my gang membership process.  I had a co-worker tell me how great his challenge went and that was overheard by another who has taken the challenge.  We started talking about the product and the company and what it’s doing for us so far.  There seems to be an Advocare “gang” and I’m going thru initiations.  I was told to get a tattoo the reads “Kalorie Killas”, carry a 9mm beef jerky strip, and hang out at the corner drinking a 40 of water.  At the end of our meeting we poured out one wheatgrass shot for our unhealthy homies.  So remember, if you’re looking to get hooked up with a dime bag of multi vitamins you know who to ask.  Peace out peaches!

Jim Pogue

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Day 3

We all know “that guy” or “that girl” who tells you how perfect they are about health.  They are the ones who say things like “I ate Greek yogurt before the Greeks did” or “I make my own Omega-3 fish oil by grabbing a fish, oiling it, and add some Omega-3 to it”.  They tell you they once stepped on a scale and lost 3 pounds even though they were accidentally carrying their bowling ball during the weigh in.  They tell you this but they don’t tell you how hard they really worked or they don’t understand why don't get the same results because we are different from them genetically.  This reminds me of a story that I will tell in a bit, but first I want to say that this Advocare 24 day challenge I’m on is pretty cool so far.  The challenge comes with a mentor that checks in on you to see how you are doing and give tips to maximize the results.  I’ve talked to them multiple times already and it’s keeping me motivated.
The story I’m reminded by this post is this; 
Once upon a time, there was a wise old Chinese guy who had two large pots for carrying water, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck as Chinese fellows so often do in stories such as this.
One of the pots was beautiful and perfect and always delivered a full portion of water, but the other one had a nasty crack in it. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with man delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been put on this Earth to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the man one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak all the way back to your house.”
The man spoke softly to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
The flawed pot replied, “Thank you, dear man. I don’t feel so worthless anymore.”
“Worthless?” laughed the man. “Do you know what a talking pot goes for on eBay these days? The bidding is up to $4,500 and there’s still three days left…”
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. Look for the good in each person you meet. And it’s true: talking pots will fetch a bundle on eBay.
James Pogue

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day 2

I'm the incredible shrinking man!  Okay, not really, but I am down 3.5 pounds already.  I think it is a combination of things that has contributed to this number. First thing is the fact it's as hot as Satan's arm pit here. Second, the fiber that is provided in the 24 Day Challenge is doing what it is supposed to do, and that has almost messed up one of my short term goals already.  I work with thirteen other men and share a one stall bathroom.  I had to drop some friends off and there was someone already parked in the unload zone.  The fiber is trying to pick the lock to escape captivity and I had no choice.  As soon as my co-worker was done I had to go in.  Short term goal of not dying almost didn't happen.  Fortunately the fiber hasn't required more than this one trip, so all is okay now.

My day is filled with eating small snacks and meals so I'm never hungry which is nice.  One trick my wife has come across for a fast and convenient snack is hard boiled eggs that you never boil.  Now I know you are all saying, "Whatcha talking' about Willis"?  Well you put your eggs in a muffin tin and pre-heat your oven to 325.  Bake the eggs for 25 minutes and then place them in ice water for 10 minutes.  Another trick I'm doing at work, and you can use this idea if you like, is I raised my desk up 5 feet.  It makes it so I have to jump up and down all day to get my work done, but it is really burning the calories.

Jim Pogue

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day 1

My name is Jim and I'm an addict.  I'm addicted to food and not moving much.  I wasn't always this way.  I once was a mover and a shaker, now I shake when I move.  I realized I had an issue when the teeter totter at the park was more like a mid-evil weapon than a toy.  Every time I would walk thru the office my co-workers would hear a noise. It became very embarrassing when exterminators were called out to take care of the crickets, but they could never find the bugs.

I need to change and take accountability for my lack of action.  I decided to take Advocare's 24 Day Challenge and I want to share my journey.

First thing I wanted to do was to come up with a reward system for achieving goals.  Long term and short term.  Short term goals should be attainable during this challenge and the longer term goals are a year out.

Short term goals are:

1.  This one should be relatively easy.  Make it thru the 24 days without killing me or someone else.  I don't know about you, but I get cranky if I haven't eaten 2500+ calories.  Reward is not being dead or in prison (pretty obvious)

2.  Lose 15 or more pounds.  Reward I'm setting up for myself is to take on-line classes to become a better beat boxer.

3.  Look sexy in a berka.  Should be simple enough, I have SEXY eyes (once again, these goals should be realistically attainable within 24 days).  Reward you may ask.  Risqué photo shoot for my wife in said burka.

Long term goals:

Lose 40 pounds; Get fishing supplies to enjoy time with my family while outside.
Lose 50 pounds; Donate clothes to Goodwill
Lose 60 pounds; Get "new" clothes from Goodwill
Lose 70 pounds: Sexy photo shoot for wife in Speedos ;) (lets see if you can mentally bleach that out of your mind).

Day one has been okay so far, too soon to tell how I like the challenge, but I can tell you that the meal replacement shake tastes better than other brands I have tried in the past.  Other brands I have tried have either tasted like chocolate flavored sand or strawberry designed by someone who has never tasted a strawberry before.