I Met Wonder Woman

  WW graphic

Some pretty amazing things happen when I crawl.  I've written about my Amazing Fat Loss and Strength Gain Adventure HERE.    I see some pretty neat stuff and get asked some interesting questions.

  1.  “Karen!  You look so silleeee.”  This was my French neighbor.  “Do you have any idea how silleee you look?”  Nope, but I know how strong and awesome I feel.
  2. “Aren’t you worried about dog poop?”  Nope.  I drank radioactive iodine to kill thyroid cancer.  Nothing scares me anymore.
  3. “Aren’t you worried about getting cut?”  Um, no, cuz I’m watching where I’m going and we don’t have random pieces of killer glass hidden in the grass.  But believe me when I tell you, when the squirrels start going after the acorns, watch out.  Those broken shells are a menace.  Ask me how I know.

By far the most awesome encounter to date happened just the other day, right in my own front yard.

I met Wonder Woman.

There I was, crawling along The Path to Awesome, trying to remain incognito, cuz you know, crawling is so normal, who's gonna actually make eye contact with me much less talk to me?

Answer?  Wonder Woman, silleee.

"Whatcha doin'?"

"I'm crawlin' like a baby."

"Why?"  Wonder Woman asks the most inquisitive questions.

"Cuz it's super fun and I really like it.  And it's fun to pretend I'm something different."

"Oh!  Yeah!  Wanna see what I can do?"  Wonder Woman proceeds to do a somersault, dress flying, undies out there for all the world to see.  This, of course, is how I know she's really Wonder Woman.  Not many people can somersault like that.

"Wow!  That's fantastic!  I can do this."  I show her my best bird dogs.  Wonder Woman likes this so much, she shows me a back half somersault.  Twice.

Not to be outdone by this tiny super hero, I show her my leopard crawls.  Clearly impressed, Wonder Woman shows me the contents of her Hello Kitty purse:  plastic play food, including a hot dog and bun.  She tells me she loves piggies in a blanket, but loves her mom more.  Wonder Woman is my kinda girl.

I was itching to get back to my crawling, so I politely excused myself.  "My name is Miss Karen.  I'm happy I got to talk to you today."

"I'm Wonder Woman.  See, I got this dress.  Everyone calls me Daria, but I'm really Wonder Woman."  I hear ya, sister.  "Everyone calls me Karen, but I'm really the Supreme Sparkle Ninja Czarina."  Wonder Woman nods.  She smiles.  Wonder Woman gets me.  It's awesome.

Yup, pretty amazing things happen when I crawl.

Get in the best shape of your life!

So guess who is now Precision Nutrition certified?  That's right - Michael! Precision Nutrition is the best of the best when it comes to outstanding nutrition coaching.  In case you haven't heard of PN, and to give you an idea of what nutrition coaching with us is like, check this out.

Below is a  sneak peek at something our friends at Precision Nutrition have been working on for some time now, something new and exceptionally cool . . .

It's a 5-day video course: Precision Nutrition for Fat Loss. And the best part? It's TOTALLY FREE.

This course is better than 90% of the seminars we've ever attended on the subjects of exercise and nutrition.

To check out the free course, just click one of the two links below.

---> Free Video Course on Fat Loss for Men ---> www.precisionnutrition.com/cmd.php?pageid=1524360&u=m

---> Free Video Course on Fat Loss for Women ---> www.precisionnutrition.com/cmd.php?pageid=1524360&u=w

The definitive fat loss resource -------------------------------

I have today, this is the definitive resource for fat loss, a place where you can learn everything you need to know to start losing fat immediately.

I see a LOT of nonsense being published about fat loss these days, both on the web and in the mainstream media.

And and this course sets the record straight about what it REALLY takes.

You see, Precision Nutrition is in a position to do that because they've conducted the world's largest fat loss research project.

That's right, for the last 5 years, they've kept enormous amounts of data on thousands of clients, tracking nearly every measurable statistic available, from body composition to psychometric markers.

And from that data, they've drawn some clear conclusions: to lose fat rapidly -- but also PERMANENTLY -- clients need to adopt a very specific approach to fat loss.

Well, in this free fat loss course, they share that approach with you.  And most importantly, they show you exactly how to do it, right away.

What's covered in the course --------------------------

* The 5 things you need to know about nutrition -- the same things PN has taught their clients to help them collectively lose over 300,000 pounds of fat.

* Exactly what foods to eat to lose fat -- at every meal

* How to make delicious meals with a few simple ingredients

* The best types of exercise for fat loss -- don't waste your time on anything else

* Exactly how much time you need to exercise -- no guesswork here, they share the real data with you

* Supplements for fat loss: the two different approaches you can take

* Which four supplements PN uses with their clients when fat loss is the goal

* The one crucial reason why people fail at fat loss, and the two simple things you can do to make sure you succeed

Last word -----------

This course helps you drown out the noise and the theories and share what we know REALLY WORKS.

As you'll see in the course, not only CAN fat loss be much simpler than the experts think -- it HAS to be much simpler. Otherwise, it doesn't work.

To get the most out of the course, I encourage you to come in with an open mind and consider that what they teach in the lessons might just be true.

Because, well, it is.

This is how the 2% who succeed at fat loss actually do it. This is how to lose fat without overhauling your life.

To read more about the free 5-day video fat loss course, and to take it, click the links below:

---> Free Video Course on Fat Loss for Men ---> www.precisionnutrition.com/cmd.php?pageid=1524360&u=m

---> Free Video Course on Fat Loss for Women ---> www.precisionnutrition.com/cmd.php?pageid=1524360&u=w

Here's hoping it'll help you get in the best shape of your life!  And of course, you can always contact us for personalized nutrition coaching.  

Michael's Birthday Reflections 2013

Happy Birthday! Today is my birthday.  So this marks the fourth installment of chronicling what I’ve accomplished over the past year or so and how I feel about myself.  To get to the point, as I told my coach the other day, I am definitely stronger now than at any other time in my life—stronger not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too.

So, what have I been doing with my “free time” over the last year?  Here are a few examples that are important to me:

This year I became an ISSA Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, a Specialist in Exercise Therapy and an Elite Trainer.  Additionally, I am now a Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach.  I am the kind of person that continues to learn about things that I am passionate about.  That is why I am pursuing studies related to fitness, nutrition and wellness.  Not only does that help me personally, but I want to help other people feel as good about themselves as I do.

In my post of May 22, 2012, I pondered a goal of being able to press a 32 kg kettlebell with each arm.  As I noted here previously, I pressed it on my stronger side at the awesome Summit of Strength just before last year’s birthday.  Well, a few weeks ago I achieved that goal when I pressed it with my strong (left) side.

Currently, I am training for the SFGII kettlebell instructor certification.  It is an advanced certification which requires above average personal strength.  I will have to demonstrate my expertise and recertify my SFGI skills before I can begin the arduous, three-day SFGII certification process.  This will be the most demanding physical challenge for me to date.  I am putting a lot of physical and mental effort into training for this — it is an important personal “test” for me.


In order to celebrate my birthday, and show myself how awesome I feel, this is what I did for my training today.  As I’ve said here before, I really enjoy crawling.  Today I graduated to the nefarious yet sublime Spider-man crawling:

Spider-man crawling forward 420 yards ~25 minutes

Leopard crawling backward 135 yards

Total 555 yards — 10 yards for every year

Happy Birthday to Me!

Feeling Great at 54

Today is my 54th birthday, and I want to reflect on how I feel and look compared to a few years ago; specifically before I began the process of undoing some unhealthy habits. So I will give a brief history of that process from roughly the beginning of 2010 until today. I won’t go into excruciating detail, but I will note the highlights, at least from my perspective.

Snapshot of me in January 2010: All my suits were hanging unused in my closet because I couldn’t fit in the trousers; I wasn’t wearing the custom vests my wife made because I was too big in the waist; over the past couple of years I bought several pairs of dress slacks with expandable waist bands to wear to my day job in an office. Oh, and a couple of larger belts, too.

I was essentially sedentary, weighing in at 200+ pounds and about 30% body fat. These numbers are guesstimates, as I stopped weighing myself when I saw 199 on the scale for the first time in my life. To be completely honest, being sedentary wasn’t the only reason I was where I was physically; let me just say that 1) alcohol does contain a lot of empty calories and 2) you cannot exercise off or wish away a drink or two.

Snapshot of me in December, 2010: I’m skipping over how I finally felt enough shame and humiliation over how I allowed myself to get into the sad state I was in. I will say that a great part of it was realizing (thanks to my patient and understanding wife) that I was dealing with some serious family-related emotional issues (milestone one). Once I came to terms with that, I fixed myself emotionally and I was ready to fix myself physically.

I started eating better in May. I first picked up a kettlebell on June 21, 2010—an 18 kg (milestone two).

I ran a 5K in September, October, and November and a 10K in December. My times improved such that I ran the 10K with a 7:40 mile pace. An aside—when I first started to run regularly again (in August) my knees and shins hurt. I assumed it was because I hadn’t run regularly for several years. I was informed of barefoot/minimalist shoe running (by my wife) and lo and behold, no more knee or shin pain (milestone three).

By December I was feeling pretty good about myself. I shed a couple inches off my waist, about 40 pounds and was at roughly 20% body fat. My self esteem was higher than it had been in a while and my outlook on many things was much more positive (correlated to my self esteem?). Since I enjoyed training with kettlebells so much, I decided to become certified as an RKC kettlebell Instructor. (My wife and I decided to do this together; however, I’m relating this from my personal perspective.)

Snapshot of me in June, 2012: I certified as an HKC kettlebell Instructor in January, 2011. I certified as an RKC kettlebell Instructor in May, 2011 (milestone four).

Snapshot of me today, a personal revelation and summary: I have made eating well and staying fit a lifestyle and a habit. To prove my point, I want to relate this story. On June 12 of this year I had surgery to repair an inguinal hernia (men have a 1 in 4 chance of getting one, that’s just how it is). I was told not to lift anything over 10 pounds for four weeks as my recovery (that actually included our two middle-aged portly cats). I was a good boy and did what the doctor ordered.

Of course, I was back in the gym the day after my four weeks were up. I recorded my stats prior to and after the four-week period:

Before: 165.2 lbs, 10.3% body fat, 140.8 lbs muscle mass

After:     163 lbs, 7.5% body fat, 143.4 lbs muscle mass

I know this isn’t scientific, but since I had the ‘before’ data I frankly was curious to see how much my body fat and possibly weight increased. I assumed it would since I was essentially sedentary for four full weeks. I was surprised, but apparently I am doing something right as to nutrition and diet. Basically, I eat a “paleo” diet and practice intermittent fasting. Although I knew this, I have proved (to me, at least) that nutrition clearly is the most important factor in body composition.

Speaking of body composition, you can see the difference in my before (September, 2008; 200+ lbs, 30% body fat) and now (164 lbs, 8% body fat; that is a 32 kg (71 lb) kettlebell that just last week I was able to press overhead) pictures. It’s the kilt that makes me look thinner, I think.

From then until now, I have been constantly challenging myself physically and mentally and have experienced continual improvement. To all of you that have graciously taken the time to read this, I would like to say this, based on my experience:

You can get healthy and fit no matter where you are now and no matter hold old you are, and

Getting fit and healthy is a choice; staying fit and healthy is a mindset and a habit.

The Summit of Awesomeness

Last weekend we attended the “Summit of Strength” in Edmond, Oklahoma. This was the third of an annual a workshop featuring four of the best Master RKC instructors in the world. We were privileged and honored to attend what we are now calling the “Summit of Awesomeness.” We knew from attending last year to expect the best. You’ve heard the expression that "so-and-so person has forgotten more than I know"—that is certainly true of all four of the Master Instructors that were there. Last year was awesome. This year was even awesomer!

So what made this workshop so amazing? We rediscovered bodyweight prowess through a series of exercises, drills and progressions. We learned how to properly perform the bent press—a beautiful expression of strength, mobility and flexibility. We learned how to breathe properly and control our breathing—something that we all take for granted, but is extremely important for building not only endurance but strength, too (yes, you read that correctly). For Karen, the weekend was another step in trusting her body again post-cancer.

Most importantly, we had a lot of fun. The entire weekend, we were encouraged to play and explore. So often we get far too wrapped up in reps and sets and getting through workouts instead of just enjoying the beauty and joy of moving well. We did handstands (something Karen hasn’t done since before cancer), crawled around the gym, climbed ropes (Michael did while Karen stood in awe), played with pull-ups and hanging leg raises, watched as others bent nails, (some for the first time) and of course played with heavy kettlebells. Michael had so much fun, he set a PR by pressing a 32 kg (71 lb) kettlebell. We made many new friends and reconnected with friends we hadn’t seen in a while. It was an amazing and awesome experience.

But the best part of the weekend is not only did we learn how to improve our own training and awesomeness, we came home with an abundance of ideas to help all our awesome clients get even more awesome!