Sculpting a Better You

George Kilpatrick on the leg press machine

George Kilpatrick, host of Inspiration For the Nation on Power 620 AM in the Syracuse, NY market, faced a few health related issues a few years back.  He responded by taking control of his life, changing his lifestyle, and getting fit.

In episode 2 of our series on health and wellness, we explore practical ways to address your fitness deficiencies.  No experts and no fitness gurus.  Just to average guys who have struggled with weight chatting about the lifestyle changes they made to reach their fitness goals.  You are never too old and never too fat to get started.  Take a listen to this before inking your 2019 New Year’s resolution.

For more information on the program hosted by George, visit Inspiration For the Nation.

Music in this episode is by Nicholas Mackin – The Beginning or the End under creative commons license.

The Road to 50 – Who’s Joining Us

Turning50

 

Now that turning 50 has taken root in my thoughts, I can’t help but wonder who else is in the same boat as me.  Luckily, the advent and subsequent popularity of social media has created an unprecedented network of peers.  I can watch high school friends, childhood friends and family members age right along with me.  I can get all up in your personal business…and I do.  I can see who’s trying to keep fit, eat healthy, and evolve their personal style.  I could develop comprehensive peer-to-peer benchmark reports from Facebook data alone if I wanted to.  But you’re already in the boat with me.  It’s not terribly exciting data.  I’ve spoken with many of you and received your comments on the last post to know how you are handling the big 5-0.  So my mind has turned to more trivial matters.  Like who are my peers in Hollywood and media?  How are they holding up?  Are they aging gracefully or getting some custom maintenance?  If I were single and on the market, who could I dupe into going out with me?  How do I stack up physically with the dudes?  Let’s take a look at who will be joining us in Club 50 in 2015 and play a little Could I Date Her/Could I Take Him:

Baltimore native son Muggsy Bogues turns 50 in January
Baltimore native son Muggsy Bogues turns 50 in January

Baltimore native sun Muggsy Bogues turns 50 in January.  Muggsy and his Dunbar High teammates stole plenty of joy from us Walbrook Warriors.  I thought we had a pretty good team back then but we could never get past the Poets.  I’m not quite sure what he is doing with himself these days, but Muggsy is looking older than 50.  I expect more from a former athlete.  Could I take him?  Physically, I think I can take Muggsy if I can keep him from going low.  At 5’3″, if he gets me around the ankles, I’m done for.

Diane Lane turns 50 in January
Diane Lane turns 50 in January

Actress Diane Lane hits 50 in January.  She is still in great shape and doesn’t appear to have augmented anything.  But what do I know.  Could I date her?  I think so.  I’m charming, well traveled (in the eastern United States), and she looks like she might enjoy a glass of fine wine, something that I’m great at pretending to know a little something about.

Sarah Jessica Parker turns 50 in March
Sarah Jessica Parker turns 50 in March

The star of Sex in the City will reach the half century mark in March.  Always the style icon, SJP keeps it together.  She must eat like a bird and train like an athlete to keep that shape.  Could I date her?  Probably.  She’s married to Matthew Broderick…what more do I need to say?

Iron Man's 50th is in April
Iron Man’s 50th is in April

I wish I could turn 50 like Robert Downey Jr.  I admire his style.  Always dapper.  And some killer eye-wear!  The one-time drug abusing bad boy of Hollywood has really turned his life and career around and I respect that. And he is in fantastic shape.  Could I take him?  Doubtful.  He’s probably learned some fight techniques during his Iron Man training that my Cherry Hill, Baltimore hustle, Bruce Lee movie osmosis thing can’t keep up with.  Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t give it my best shot.

Dang Gina! turns 50 in April
Dang Gina! turns 50 in April

Comedic genius Martin Lawrence joins our club in April as well.  From stand-up comedy to television to box office Hollywood hits, Martin Lawrence has experienced great success.  I don’t think I ever admired his fashion style though.  Nothing wrong with it.  I just prefer a more classic look.  Can I take him?  Yes.  Looks like success has made ol’ Marty Mar a little soft.  Plus, when has a comedian ever scared you?  I could take him while even having consumed a couple of Vesper martinis.

The CNN anchor is 50 in May
The CNN anchor is 50 in May

CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield is beautiful, stylish, and appears to be defying age.  Qualities that you need if you are going to have longevity in television broadcasting.  Let’s be honest, no one at Syracuse University cares about what I look like sitting behind my desk or behind a radio microphone.  The pressure on women it the television broadcast industry is palpable so she has to stay on top of it.  Could I date her?  Yes.  I just need an “in”.  Broadcast media is my “in”.  After a couple glasses of wine and a lengthy discussion on digital disruption of traditional broadcast media…BAM!…she won’t know what hit her.

The Walking Dead's Carol is 50 three days after me in May
The Walking Dead’s Carol is 50 three days after me in May

Melissa McBride, one of the stars of AMC’s The Walking Dead, will turn 50 three days after I do in May.  She’s in great shape and I love how she rocks the salt and pepper pixie cut.  It is most likely for TWD show but you get an idea of what she would look like if she decided to maintain a natural look.  Much like the way actress Jamie Lee Curtis did and does.  Could I date her?  Probably not.  I’m such a huge fan of the show that I would most likely trip over my words, geek out during a meeting, and mistakenly refer to her as Carol.  Immediate turn off don’t you think?

Dwayne Wayne joins the club in July
Dwayne Wayne joins the club in July

Kadeem Hardison, AKA Dwayne Wayne, is another of our contemporaries.  He turns 50 in July.  Over the years, the kid with the flip-up sunglasses has experienced some significant shifts in weight.  He’s rocking a natural salt & pepper look like us average Joes.  His personal style says that he maintains a deep connection to his hometown, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.  I can respect that.  Can I take him?  Yup.  Dwayne Wayne is looking a little soft these days.  Plus, he’s tall at 5’11”.  If I can get down around his ankles… game over.

Viola is 50 in August
Viola is 50 in August

No one’s spark is hotter than Viola Davis right now.  As she approaches 50 this coming August, her maturity as an actress positions her nicely for diverse roles.  She can take it from the matronly servant to the energetic power broker.  And she doesn’t look 50.  But you know what they say about it not cracking.  She has a beautiful smile and keeps the body tight.  Though my wife Angela says that she has never seen her in a wig that compliments her.  Looking good at 50 though.  Could I date her?  I don’t know.  She seems too serious.  I might come across to goofy and immature.  But if I can get her to sit with me on a park bench and talk about people as they walk by…I have a shot.

I know that I a lot these folks don’t keep regular schedules like we do and have plenty of time to work with personal trainers and have personal stylists, but they inspire me to enter my 50’s fit and in style.  Fit at 50.  That’s my goal.

 

Course Correction

course correction

Hi guys.  I thought I would check in since it has been a week or so since my last post.  I have begun the process of course correction in an attempt to address the lack of work ethic and the 6 pound weight gain that resulted.

Before I could begin to right the ship, I first needed to understand where and how things went wrong this summer.  This is the time of year when I am most active and carry the fewest pounds.  Not so this year.

The first issue is that my aerobic exercise was way down.  At the recommendation of my doctor, I ceased competing in triathlons and, therefore, stopped training.  So swimming, biking, running and brick training went out the window.  At least to the degree that is required to be race ready.  I also strained a calf muscle and that had me sidelined for the better part of a month.

The second issue was that I did not adjust my caloric intake to reflect the decrease in aerobic exercise.  I continued my merry ways of eating, drinking, and snacking despite the fact that I was burning fewer calories.

I knew that, if I was going to get back on track, I needed to return to a healthy balance of resistance training, aerobic exercise, and smart dietary choices.

This past week, I returned to my normal resistance and strength training routine of working the major muscle groups in my arms, back, core, torso and legs.  No problem there.  Just a matter of focus.  I had to remind myself that we lose roughly 1% of muscle mass a year after age 40 and even more after age 50.  So if I am going to keep things tight in the middle ages, I need to be vigilant with regard to strength training.

To get back on top of my aerobic game, I ventured to my local running apparel shop to get properly fitted for running shoes. I attribute some of my running injuries to improper foot gear.  I was fitted for a shoe with proper width, some stability support and appropriate cushion.  I ran three miles without issue and felt pretty good.  I round things out with cycling, treadmill and plyometrics.

Perhaps the most important part of my course correction plan was addressing my inner demons.

Salt monster

Fans of the classic Star Trek series will remember the “Salt Vampire”.  You remember this chick?  Bones McCoy was whipped over her and ignored the fact that she was literally sucking the life out of the Enterprise crew.  Remember her?  Well that bitch lives inside of me.  Clawing at me from the inside, driving an insatiable need and desire for salt.  No manner of exorcism can expel her.  She sits inside me demanding chips, nuts, olives, crackers…anything with salt.  And it comes at anytime of day with unpredictable consistency.

This past week I attempted to limit my calories and alter my palate.  I adjusted to reasonable portions for lunch and dinner, eliminated salty snacks and added fresh fruit as a substitute.  I also added more lean and organic proteins to my diet for proper muscle building.  And I adjusted the point of consumption of wine downward from 7 days a week to 3.

While it is still early in the process, I have loss 2 of the 6 pounds that I have gained and my muscles feel tighter and stronger.  It is at least a sign to me that the ship is now headed in the right direction.

If you are willing to share, I ‘d love to know about your inner demons.  Do tell.

 

Now I’ve Gone and Done It

Bloated

That’s it.  I have managed to accomplish something that I haven’t done in quite some time.  I’ve gained 6 pounds.  And in the summer no less.  Weight gain for me usually occurs during winter months when my activity is low and my consumption is high.  So why now?  Why summer?

My last post asked, “have we forgotten how to have fun?”  Apparently, I have not.  Wine consumption is up.  Food consumption is up.  Snack consumption is up.  And all are outpacing my ability to burn calories.  What’s worse is that I feel like I am spiraling out of control.  This is not a didactic post.  I am looking for some motivation as I am genuinely vexed.  I know what I have to do but just can’t seem to do it.  This, in a sense, is a public shaming.  I should wear a pig nose and sit in the public square.

We all fall off of the wagon and stray from the path.  I am no different.  One could say that knowing and admitting is half of the battle and, with that in mind, I plan to use that knowledge to right the ship before the end of summer.  I will be assiduous in my effort to decrease inputs and increase outputs.

I will reduce wine intake by 30%, reduce caloric food intake by 200 calories and increase cardio exercise to 3 30-60 minutes sessions per week.  Weight and strength training will remain the same.

If you have had a successful rebound, I’d love to hear it.  If you see me post pictures of wine or food on social media platforms, politely ask me if I’ve had an appropriate amount of calorie burn that day.

It’s time to take control and seize the day.  Who’s with me?!