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This Year In Music 2013

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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:

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


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.


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




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



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 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 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:

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:

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:

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:

Here is my review on this app:

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.


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:

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:

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


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


Boom! Down 76lbs! New iPhone App Recommendation and Status Update

This posting is more a journal or rambling from the past couple of weeks. Now playing: Mad Season “Above” record store day re-issue.

It’s 6:13am Sunday morning 4-21-2013. When I got up this morning I felt awesome! Over the last week and 1/2 my body weight has stayed pretty much the same. I got on the scale this morning and BOOM – down .6 lbs and I’m officially in the 230’s. 239.6 to be exact. This is such a huge accomplishment for me. I have waited a long time (July 2010) to hit this moment. I have to say that this moment could have come quicker if I wasn’t so stubborn about food.

At the beginning of April I started a auto-immune detox of two specific things just to see if it would make a difference on my skin ailment Psoriasis. I have had some flare ups but I can say my skin is better but not significantly. The two things I gave of for the last three weeks were artificial sweeteners and dairy (yes Cheese!). I think I might do this every other month until I completely over dairy completely.

Cheese will be back. In moderation though. Sweeteners I’m still jaded about.

So…I’m picking up from my rambling above tonight 5/2/2013. Today I’m down to 238lbs. 76lbs down total. 32lbs down since 1/2/2013. My first “HUGE” goal is coming. Bring it 230!

New product alert (big blinking exclamation point here). I have been looking for a cool app that is easy to use and motivating for strength training or cross-fit, etc. I have finally found one. A semi-free product for iOS called Gain Fitness. You can access your data on their website or in the iOS app. The cool thing is the coaching process the app provides. I can just see this app getting better and better. To download the app for your iPhone go here:

Well that’s it. Thanks for reading. LLAP – Jason @bigjstl



Say No to B-R-E-A-D!

So I met this guy earlier this week and we started talking about weight loss. He asked how I was losing so much weight. I said it’s pretty simple. First, stop eating bread. Here is where it gets interesting. Here is a guy that is overweight and is diabetic and started changing the subject. Aren’t you the one that asked the question?

Now let me tell you something. I love bread! I just don’t eat it anymore. I mean come on, the Red Lobster Cheddar biscuits, the rolls from Texas Roadhouse. Yum!

For some people bread is perfectly fine. If you are running a marathon you probably won’t have a problem with bread. If your body chemistry is like mine bread just goes straight to your belly! There is no way I could get a 6-pack eating bread.


5 Reasons Why Bread is Bad:


  1. Increases blood sugar levels.
  2. Addictive
  3. Mucus Forming
  4. Difficult to Digest
  5. Nutritionally Deficient

So here is your challenge for April 2013. Don’t eat bread for the rest of the month and start now. I’m pretty sure it won’t hurt.

Thanks for reading.



Update Update Update! 3-31-2013

It’s been awhile since my last blog update because I wanted to have a bunch of stuff to talk about. I can’t believe it April. It’s spring time but we got 12 inches of snow a last weekend!

2012 was a year for me where I felt like I was plateaued but I know now because I still had issues with portion control and was still eating a lot of carbs.

I’m happy to say that I’m down 25 pounds since after the 1st/2013. My total down since 7/2010 is 68 pounds.

After 3 months now the biggest epiphany I have had is eat when I’m hungry. Don’t just eat to eat. There is some days where I just don’t have breakfast. I even felt guilty about it so I asked my primary care physician the same question. My doctor says, yes! it’s ok to not eat once in awhile.

The Jawbone UP band has been great. I have been using it for over a month now. The thing I love most about the UP is it tells you everything that is going on. For example this Saturday UP pop up a message said that I had xxxx steps last Saturday and challenges me to do more. That is the key – it challenges you. Bottom line: you get what you put into it.

Now the big challenge: 21 day autoimmune detox for the month of April 2013. A lot of you may or may not know that I have been dealing with Psoriasis since I was 17/18 yrs old. The only way I have been completely clear is by doing immunosuppressive drugs like Enbrel and Humira which made me susceptible to colds and other germs pretty easily. I have been off these type of drugs for 3+ years now and have just been dealing with it. Lately with the changing the whole way I eat I have noticed a decrease in my overall inflammation (redness etc.)

So…with that being said I have decided to take it up yet another level (for at least 21 days) and strip away anything that would cause an autoimmune response. The biggest thing for the next 21 days will be dairy. I love cheese. Love Love Cheese! I’m also going to do away with artificial sweeteners and creamer in my coffee (God help me!)

So wish me luck. Thanks for the encouragement and sticking with me through this journey.




Sleep, Steps, Food – The Jawbone UP

I recently purchased a Jawbone UP. With much speculation I wanted an activity tracker that had some style and was easy to wear. Jawbone had a hard time with their UP generation one version and had to scrap it completely. The generation 2 UP was completely re-built from the ground up. Their design video on YouTube is pretty cool!

The UP basically has a brain, battery and motion center inside the band that tracks your activity and sleep through a 24 hour period. Jawbone recommends that you connect your UP to your smartphone twice a day to upload activity. The UP plugs into my iPhone 5′s headphone jack. For me this is really not a big deal. For others the question came up why didn’t Jawbone use a bluetooth connection instead of a headphone jack. I don’t know how big a bluetooth component would be but I bet that might be one reason. The UP has a lot of technology crammed into this small profile band that you wear.

As I continue my weight loss journey the UP has been a great companion. I now have a personal coach that logs my activity and sleep. Food entries are entered manually. The food diary is one of things in my opinion that lacks in the UP iOS application. This is something that I hope Jawbone expands or either integrates their iOS application with

Overall the application has been great in motivating me to move more. I’m now walking at work at 10am, after lunch and 3pm every day in addition to my standard cardio sessions at the gym.

Thanks Jawbone for a sexy piece of tech!