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When Average Starts To Creep In

Say No to Average - Be Aweseome - Edited

I have been wanting to write this blog post for quite some time but life has been a little rough for the month of June 2014.

From finishing up a large work project, working through tooth pain and then ending up having a root canal it’s been a long painful month of June.  The root canal was perfectly painless. A big shout out to Dr. Charles Clarke in South County for being a cool cat and letting me watch Iron Man, listen to Above and Beyond in my ears while loud drilling sounds echoed through my ear canal. The pain before the root canal was not cool.

I feel peaceful tonight. One of the large projects I have been working on finally wrapped up. I have closure! It was a project I have been working on since March 2014. I have logged over 184 hours on this project in addition to my daily duties in the life of an IT Solution Architect.

With all the above being said, I felt average start to creep in during these past months. When I mean average I mean “not awesome.”  One of things I read recently from Jon Acuff was the comparison between average and awesome.  Anyone can be average and go through the daily groundhog day to day routine, but to be awesome you have to go through the pain and suffering to hit a homerun at the end of the day.

“You don’t need to go back in time to be awesome; you just have to start right now. Regretting that you didn’t start earlier is a great distraction from moving on your dream today, and the reality is that today is earlier than tomorrow.”

― Jon Acuff, Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters

Through the past several months I wanted to just be average. Life has been hard lately. Why can’t I just be an average person doing average things?  Well I believe that God put me on this earth not to be average. I truly believe that God put me on this earth to be awesome. To serve people. To give. To love. To provide mercy. To provide grace in difficult circumstances.

Being average sometimes is going through the motions everyday at your job and being that person that says well I’m here to just collect a paycheck. Being awesome is working for your paycheck and going beyond what you would normally do during your 8-5 job.

Average has a tendency to creep in within various aspects of our life. Our jobs being one of them but they also could be our personal life and family.

So at the end day when you feel average creep in on you take a moment and pause and say NO to average. Be awesome instead.

#nowplaying – Deadmau5 – while (1<2)

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What’s In Our Trader Joe’s Shopping Cart?

Robison's Trader Joe's Shopping Cart

So you probably have noticed that I have been posting photos every week from Trader Joe’s of things we have purchased. As consumers, especially when we are trying to lose weight or make good decisions with our food choices we have no idea where to start or what to buy. Meat – check. Vegetable – check. But what about everything else that is in the store.

Rule of thumb: Outside perimeter of the store = healthy (in most cases).

I have had several people ask me to list the items that appear in our Trader Joe’s shopping cart on a weekly basis so here it is:

  • Trader Joe’s Dry Roasted and Salted Pistachios
  • Organic Cashew, Almond & Cranberry Trek Mix
    http://bit.ly/1p3XBPZ
  • Trader Joe’s Medium Sized Cooked Frozen Shrimp
  • Trader Joe’s Crumbled Feta with Mediterranean Herbs
  • Trader Joe’s Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Strips (Heat it up. Great dinner item when you are in a hurry!)
  • Trader Joe’s Haricots Verts (French Green Beans) (yum! – load them up with butter and salt!)
  • Trader Joe’s Smoked Apple Chardonnay Sausage
  • Trader Joe’s Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage
  • Chunky Spicy Guacamole Auténtico (Yum! – Use the roasted plantain chips with this stuff!)
    http://bit.ly/RNxAJv
  • Head of Cauliflower (Sky’s the limit. Great rice or mashed potato substitute)
  • Green onions (6 oz)
  • Trader Joe’s Cage Free Eggs – Hormone & Steroid Free
  • Trader Joe’s Butter Lettuce (Super Awesome Lettuce. I’ll eat an entire bag!)
    http://bit.ly/1jX7YFl
  • Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Bisque (Love this stuff. Great if you are not that hungry on a Sunday evening)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips
    http://bit.ly/TjJxIa
  • Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Red Peppers
    http://bit.ly/1jKovXW
  • Trader Joe’s Ridge Cut Sweet Potato Chips
  • Trader Joe’s Cashews – Organic Dry Roasted salted (no soy, no peanut oil. Look for the ones that are just cashews and salt)
  • Trader Joe’s Roasted Plantain Chips (These things are legendary!)
  • Trader Joe’s Fresh Shallots
  • Trader Joe’s Valencia Oranges – Organic

Total items: 34
Total bill: $115.18

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It’s time to retool

wrenchgraphic

May 1, 2014 brings a re-tooling in my life. New hustle. New goals. New ideas. New dreams.

Retool: Adapt or alter (someone or something) to make them more useful or suitable.

The month of April 2014 brought a lot of “lessons learned” in my life. The month of April 2014 was one of the toughest months I can remember walking out in my life.

I’m encouraged that at 38 years of age I’m truly still in the editing part of my life.

Your 30s are a period of Editing. This is the decade of sorting out interests, where you discover what you really care about and who you really are.~Jon Acuff

May 1, 2014 brings a fresh new set of days.

May 1, 2014 brings a fresh new set of memories.

May 1, 2014 brings new life.

I have been part of Jon Acuff’s #30DaysofHustle since January 1, 2014 and can’t thank Jon enough with all the pouring out of wisdom he has been giving thousands of people.  May 1, 2014 starts new challenges for hustling in my life.

For me my hustles this month are:

  • Take my weight loss journey to the next level.
    • I have been maintaining. Time to start losing again! I want to lose 5-10 lbs this month.
  • Continuing Education
    • Complete one IT Training Course in some type of discipline whether it be a Microsoft Server training or project management.
  • Blog more
    • Blog more on FatManOnaDiet.com
  • Love Outrageously
    • Everyone needs a hug! Give more of them. Reach out to more people who need an encouraging word, help, or simply just a hug (or a fist pump).

So, there is lots to do. Rise up and be part of the Awesome Revolution!

Thanks for listening. Love – Big J.

#nowplaying – Ray LaMontagne – Supernova

 

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Never Look Back

Never Look Back

It’s been a while since I have written on my blog. I’ve been kind of busy. Work, church stuff and daily life. It’s sometimes feels like Groundhog Day.

Recently, I had to make a tough decision in my life that was made simply on a matter of principle.

When something doesn’t line up with your principles, then never look back. Move on. Move forward. Continue to be awesome!

Since last Thursday, I have been off the social media grid. I have to say it has really been refreshing.  What’s weird, though, in order for you to know how somebody is doing these days all you have to do is simply go onto their Facebook or Instagram feed and you can know everything you want to know in less than a couple of hours.

So what did I learn by unplugging for over a week? I’m definitely an extrovert and I miss the interaction of people on a daily basis.

The very short time I have been disconnected I have had time to clear my head. I’m excited for things ahead for my wife Rachel and me.  We have some internal projects we are working on and hoping to launch some things online this summer.

Rachel and I are passionate about healthy eating and living. It’s important to us to stand with people and support them in making changes with regards to their health. We want to be a resource for people.

It’s time to start being awesome – 2014 is not over yet. There are plenty more days in the year to say “good morning” with a smile, buy someone a cup of coffee, open the door for someone, say an encouraging word, or give someone a hug.

I’m currently reading a book by Bob Goff called Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World.  So far it has been changing the way I think about things. It’s showing me to live life outrageously.

Thanks for listening. Love – Big J

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This Year In Music 2013

Graphic Credit: http://www.drownedinsound.com/

Even though I have dedicated my blog to living life well in 2013 it has been an outstanding year in music and I wanted to share some of my love for music and the artists that have inspired and moved me (literally) in 2013.

I have been contemplating for over the past several weeks, so the winner of my number one favorite album of 2013 goes to Disclosure’s album “Settle”. Putting it simply, I am blown away by the talent of the two very young individuals that make up this band. Not only was this album well put together but the vinyl pressing and packaging was excellent. I have also seen live shows via YouTube and they bring it.  My favorite song on the album is “Latch.”

Runner up would be Pretty Lights “A Color Map of the Sun”.  Another amazing album that took some time to put together. Watch the documentary on how they put the album together here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpcs0Caq9A0&feature=youtu.be

My Top 10 Albums of 2013:

  1. Disclosure – “Settle”

  2. Pretty Lights – “A Color Map of the Sun”

  3. Paul McCartney – “New”

  4. Washed Out – “Paracosm”

  5. Kaskade – “Atmosphere”

  6. Young Galaxy – “Ultramarine”

  7. Nine Inch Nails – “Hesitation Marks”

  8. Daft Punk – “Random Access Memories”

  9. Tegan and Sara – “Heartthrob”

  10. The Digital Age – “Evening:Morning”

I took some time and put a rad Spotify playlist together (62 songs) that showcases some of my favorite tracks from 2013. Enjoy! If you like an album, buy it on vinyl!

For me 2013 was a turning point in music. Both for vinyl record sales but also in creativity and artists digging down deep to put out epic product.

My favorite Vinyl record pressing in 2013 would have to be Paul McCartney’s “New” album. I pre-ordered it in October 2013, the pressing was delayed for 2 months and I finally received before Christmas. The packaging was beautiful and came with a very nice photo booklet and interview of Paul McCartney when he was making this record.

So that’s it. We say goodbye to 2013 and look forward to what 2014 will bring.

Thanks for reading -

Jason Robison @bigjstl

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A Trainer. An Update. A New Year

@bigjstl deadlifting

I just recently finished a four-week stint with a personal trainer. It was quite an enlightening experience. I have been working out regularly since I was 17. I always thought I knew about everything there was to know about working out. The problem: I was bored and needed a kick in the butt.

So, 4 weeks ago I signed up for a $99.00 jumpstart program through Dynamic Fitness Management (DFM) at Club Fitness in Arnold, MO. My trainer was Mark Feinstein. My initial session was to check my weight and measurements and then my body fat. During the initial week, my body fat was 28.6 percent.

Having a personal trainer was very fabulous. Having someone coach you along and then help you stretch after each session was very motivating.

I learned the proper way to do dead lifts. Dead lifts will kick your but and help you build strength.

Now the disappointing factor. After four weeks, I had to stop. The amount of money that is required (at least by Dynamic Fitness) is nowhere near what I would call economical or feasible for someone who is on a budget. All I can say is at a minimum my buy-in was between $500-$1300 for 1-3 months of sessions. After finding out how much this cost I was quite depressed and wish, there were alternatives that Dynamic Fitness could offer me. Unfortunately, after speaking with their Arnold, MO site manager the price was the price.

The good news: I found out that DFM offers a Synergy Class (free!!) that Mark teaches during the week and the weekend. I’m hoping that these classes can help solidify my basic foundation that Mark has provided to me already.

Additional good news: Within these four weeks, my body-fat percentage went from 28.6 to 26.6 percent.

Bottom line: Definitely do the $99 jumpstart program. It gives you a new start on working out. I can’t tell you how much more motivated I am now.

My compliments go out to Mark Feinstein. I highly recommend him. If you are looking for a personal trainer, then you can reach out to him at the Arnold, MO Club Fitness. Not only was he personable but was professional and has a sincere heart to help people. He was also very knowledgeable of the exercises we performed and went above and beyond my expectations each week. Thank you Mark!

Health Update: There is always the skeptics out there that say that you should have whole grains and eat less fat. That is completely false in my book. With the obesity rate over 30 perfect in the United States things have to start changing. My recent blood tests are proof that you can eat all the fatty foods you want. I eat no grains and consume less than 150 carbs per day. Did I mention no grains? No bread, no cereal. No Red Lobster cheddar biscuits! :)

My previous and recent cholesterol and triglycerides reading:

March 6, 2010: 175 / 129

December 20, 2013: 123 / 43

2014 is upon us! Happy New Year. Let’s all agree 2014 is going to be an epic year of change. What change do you want to make in 2014? If you are going to make a change in 2014 with your weight make small baby steps. View my long journey on my blog and let it be an encouragement moving forward.

My health and fitness goals for 2014:

  • Lose another 20lb and/or get to 199lbs. My current weight is around 221-225lbs as of this writing.

  • Reduce my body fat by another 10%.

  • Cook my own meals. Experiment with new recipes.

  • Help more people lose weight.

  • Serve more in the community.

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I just did ten push ups

Hugh Jackman Push Ups

So I had this crazy notion to get down on the floor and start doing push ups. For the longest time when you are 100 pounds overweight you tend to have a hard time pushing up!

So tonight I just decided to do ten push ups. I probably could have done five more. I can’t express how excited I am. I can do a push up now. This is huge for me. This is also a new challenge for me. When I was one of those, you know, muscle heads in the late 90’s I would get up in the morning and just starting doing push ups.

So guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning when I wake up now? Yes, push ups!

Oh. I’m down a total of 94 pounds now since 7/2010.

Love – @bigjstl

 

Aside

Oct.90.Vegetarian.Detox

Can you believe it? It’s October 1, 2013. Fall is here. Hay rides, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes and cooler weather.

Today marks another significant achievement in my weightloss journey. I’m down -90.6lbs. My goal now is to be down -100lbs by 12/31/2013.

September 2013 marked another amazing experience for me. On September 3, 2013 I ventured into doing a 21-day detox from meat (red meat, chicken, turkey and fish). I’m happy to say that out of 30 days there was only two days that I had meat (fish and some turkey).  The experience was not that difficult. I really don’t feel any different but it has allowed me to change some of my eating habits for the good.

Note: I dislike people labels. After this experience with eating no meat I truly respect people who make that choice in life to be a vegan or vegetarian. For me I consider myself a Vegetarian before 6pm.  I do see myself moving away from bulky red meat and sticking to fish and other lean meats.

Three more months left in 2013! Challenge yourself to do something awesome for the rest of the year. Volunteer. Help someone in need. Journal your food for a whole month. Be awesome!

Love – BIG J

 

Aside

Yearly Goal Accomplished – What’s Next?

Hi Everybody. I’m so excited this morning. I’m finally in the 220’s! This morning’s weigh-in was 229.2. My total weight loss for the month of August 2013 was 4.4lbs. Total weight loss since 2010: 85lbs.

UPDATE: So I was able to get online at SSM and I looked at the weight trend section. My heaviest recorded weight was 12/28/2009 – 314lbs.

I’m glad I started Fatmanonadiet.com. It has been a great journal experience for me and I have learned and continue to learn so much regarding what works for my body chemistry in losing weight.

I owe a lot of my progress to the principles given by Mark Sisson over at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/ and the priciples of the Primal Blueprint.

For the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with interval (or intermittent) fasting. A good article on this can be found over at Nerd Fitnes (super awesome website by the way) here: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/02/08/intermittent-fasting/.

For me lately as my major body weight loss has slowed down I have had to find out things that work specifically for my body. The cool thing about all of our bodies – they are completely different. The way we sleep, eat and love. For me not eating breakfast in the morning and making sure I have a good solid lunch and light dinner has definitely kick started my weight loss again just over the past couple of weeks. From 8/10/2013 to 8/31/2013 I lost 2.6lbs by adding intermittent fasting into my routine.

Words of encouragement: Keep going. I can’t tell you how important it is to remove grains from your diet. I struggled so much since 2008 up till this year because grains were still in my diet and the excess carbs I had in my body had nowhere to go. Read my previous blog posting from 4-4-2013 Say NO to Bread: http://www.fatmanonadiet.com/2013/04/04/say-no-to-b-r-e-a-d/

Another great resource (and I’m all about digging in and learning more and then learning more again) is: The Beginner’s Guide to Paleo Diet over at Nerd Fitness: http://www.nerdfitness.com/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet1/

Now onto fitness. That is a whole other code to break. I have been training lately like I’m running for a 10K when in reality I should be doing much less. Why? Well for my body I have found the more fitness I do the more I’m going to eat. So over the past couple of weeks I have been doing simple 30min or less walking routines and doing a full body workout once a week for 25 minutes.

I use the Gain Fitness app for the iPhone. This is a very fabulous app. Here is my basic workout: http://gainf.it/r/172qn

Here is my review on this app: http://www.fatmanonadiet.com/2013/05/02/boom-down-76lbs-new-iphone-app-recommendation-and-status-update/

The goal for my workouts is to exert maximum force on my muscles until they have reached exhaustion and then let my muscles rest for 7 days. I’ll report back in a month and let you all know my findings.

I’m excited to say that I have hit two major weight loss goals for myself.

1. Lose 30lbs in 2013. I have lost over 40.8lbs in 2013. Boom!
2. 1st major goal weight milestone – 230lbs – Completed 8-31-2013 – 229.2. Boom.

Thanks again everyone for your support and encouragement through Twitter and Facebook. I hope my suggestions and testimonies continue to inspire and help you live life well.

Love – BIG J

This photo was taken with my new Warby Park glasses.

Aside

Yes – Paleo Wraps Are Here

Paleo Wraps are here. Since starting a Paleo (primal or whatever you want to call it) lifestyle I have (and a lot of other people “doing” Paleo) wanted a way to throw a bunch of yumminess into a wrap like the good old corn tortilla days or flour tortilla days if you really wanted to hurt yourself.

Well I introduce to you the legendary Paleo Wrap. Do they work and hold up to the test. Yes!

Paleo Wraps

 

I got my Paleo Wraps from Julian Bakery: http://www.julianbakery.com/paleo-product/paleo-wraps/

So how’s the taste? You can definitely taste the coconut flavor. I love the texture of the wraps and they do really hold up to holding meat wrapped up in them.

Here is a cool video – Paleo Beef & Califlower Stuffed Paleo Wrap Recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzNTqWFvJwY

Another cool thing about these wraps is the shelf life with them. You don’t have to keep them refrigerated either. There are only two (2) ingredients!  My expiration date on the ones I bought was 3/2014. So they are totally Zombie Apocalypse survival food.

Order some and let me know what you think. Oh, they are of course gluten free

also.

From Julian Bakery’s web site:

Paleo Wraps are a great way to replace those carb filled flour or corn tortillas you may have been eating. Paleo Wraps are Raw, Vegan, Starch Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Yeast Free, Soy Free, GMO Free, Salt Free (No Added Salt) Low Carb and best of all delicious. Paleo Wraps contain two simple ingredients:  *Coconut Meat, and *Coconut Water (*Derived From Organic Coconuts). Nutritional Information Provided By An Independent Lab For Accuracy (Click Here) * **Shelf Stable For 9 Months (Naturally Preserved Through Dehydration)** **GI= One / Stay In Ketosis* (Made In A Dedicated Gluten Free Facility)

Cheers – Big J