About the time this photo was taken (2010) Aaron and I made a bet where the winner would be buying the other a very nice bottle of whiskey. The bet was either Aaron healthfully gained 10 pounds or I healthfully lost 25 pounds. The weight race was on, so we thought.
Since we made the bet, I made some strong drives towards losing the weight but none of them healthful or sustainable. And despite any supplement-infused weight workouts Aaron did, he could never seem to crack the mid-160s. So for nearly three years there we stayed; him lean as a bat, me mean and fat. It became a running joke, something that would never happen, like Brian Griffin’s book or an NSYNC reunion… it just didn’t happen.
The past three months have changed everything however. I held a 60-day social diet, I completely changed my daily routine, I have started running, and riding a hell of a lot more. Now, three years after the bet was made, we have a winner. I have shed 25 pounds (just over half of y personal goal) and now it is time for Aaron to pay up.
So this list is for Aaron. What I would consider to be very cool whiskeys to have. Aaron, it’s your pick. Thanks for a great competition!
ANY WOODFORD RESERVE MASTERS COLLECTION.
At John & Chelsea’s wedding last year Aaron and I scored a bottle of Woodford Master’s collection and loved it. Since then we’ve been on a desperate hunt for another bottle.
JIM BEAM 1795
I first saw this at Duty Free in Frankfurt, I didn’t have the cash at the time. Have regretted not buying it ever since.
I have always known that running is amazing if you want fat loss, lean muscles, and high endurance. I have also known that running is a painful, knee-swelling, back-aching sport that is only suited for people who are better than me. So, in frustration, I did my research looking for a running program that met all of these qualifications:
- NOT TIME CONSUMING: I needed a workout that I could do in under 30 minutes.
- NOT PAINFUL: I did not want shin splints, knee aches, or lower back pain.
- CAN DO IT ANYWHERE: I travel. This can’t be a treadmill-only kind of workout.
- GETS GREAT RESULTS: I want everything. Fat loss, endurance, lean muscles, and a healthy hormonal response.
Luckily, I found the program. This is what I have done over the past 8 weeks.
STEP 1: LEARN TO RUN
I’ve learned that if I am suffering from pain when I run, I’m probably not running correctly. Like standing or sitting, no one has ever taught me how to run properly. This video instruction from Lee Saxby was the best description for me to develop a proper running technique.
The essentials I took away from it were:
- Land on the mid-foot
- Keep your shoulders back, chest out, head looking forward, and no bobbing in your neck.
- Combine 50% muscle action and 50% elasticity. Imagine you’re bouncing or skipping down the road.
STEP 2: SPRINT 8
I did not invent this workout. With a short Google search you’ll find that there are dozens of articles and tests proving the results of the Sprint 8 workout, especially for men or women 35 and over. In one 8-week study of Sprint 8, average fat loss was 23.8 pounds, muscle gain was 14.2 pounds, which equated to a total weight loss of 9.6 pounds. However, this 9.6 pound loss is a complete reshaping of the body.
Here is how it works.
- 2 minutes warm up. I chose brisk walking as my warm-up.
- 30 seconds of sprinting. Don’t hold back here, sprint as hard as you possibly can.
- 90 seconds on active recovery. Again, I chose brisk walking.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 eight times.
- 2 minutes of cool down. I walked at a normal pace.
This workout is only 20 minutes long but done right, it is a solid 20 minutes of ass kicking. Below are the stats from a Sprint 8 run workout I did in Brazil. I simply found a slight hill near my hotel, and repeated the effort on the same climb. When the climb is not too steep, 30 seconds sprinting uphill achieves the same distance and 90 seconds active recovery downhill.
Caveat: you look pretty ridiculous to other people when you’re sprinting up the same street for 20 minutes.
From the stats you’ll notice that I am a slow runner; it doesn’t matter. I am pushing my pace as hard as I can. Everyone’s pace is different and I’ve had to learn to be comfortable with mine.
STEP 3: GO ROGUE
Sprint 8 is highly effective but after 8 weeks, it gets boring. Next step was to go for longer runs. First I did 2 miles with my dogs. Then 5. Then 10. I mapped all my runs using the app Strava Run. I gradually increased my distance and intensity but never let go of the running fundamentals I learned from Lee Saxby. If my form started to go belly up, the run was over. Form first, then intensity and duration- it is the only way to ensure I stay injury free.
Below are the stats and a photo from my first 10-mile run (ever). And on this run I ran a 2-mile segment that averaged 12% grade.
Email gets out of hand if you don’t set some rules. I often think of how Tony Stark (Iron Man) communicates. He is quick, to the point, and everyone knows what the next action is. Below are my formerly unwritten rules about email. Enjoy.
Before you write something, ask yourself if you can solve the problem without them. Then try that first.
Read it, take action, delete or save.
The more emails you send, the more emails you will receive.
Do you really need to send an email to the person sitting next to you? How about a more human approach? Like, taking.
Stick to standard capitalization and punctuation. You graduated the third grade right?
Never correct someone else’s spelling or punctuation.
Men over 16 should never use a :) or a :P or a ;) or any other emoticon. Grow up.
If you can’t express your emotion in writing, you should quit writing.
Get straight to the point, politely and with respect.
Give your readers a call to action. What is it you want them to answer or to act on?
Bullet points are a sign of efficient email.
What is the bare minimum of stuff I want to have when I’m in my seat? I’ve filtered it down to 12 items.
1: PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack 8400.
This wonderful battery will charge my phone four times. This ensures that I’ve got plenty of movies, podcasts, and books to scroll through on the flight. And when I land I’ll have a full battery to get me through the day. Want one? Google it.
2: Drink Vouchers.
One of the perks of premium status. Drinks on a flight are priced to hurt. $9 for one ounce of Jack? No thanks. Like anyone, when I drink, I like to drink free. A small trick I do is order two bottles of whiskey and give them one voucher. It’s worked 5/6 times so far.
3. Sleep Mask Eye Covers.
When I want to go to sleep having some eye covers is nice. I got these on a flight from Europe last year. They’re small, light, and fold up. Sure, there are dozens of high-end sleep masks that have all sorts of features, but these little guys work just fine for me.
4. Bose MEI2I Headphones. I prefer ear buds because I can sleep with them on. These are the most comfortable ear buds I’ve found and the sound is great, even with all the white noise of the plane. No, they’re not noise cancelling, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice for comfort.
The security line and the wonderful service from our friends at TSA are one of the biggest reasons people hate to fly. I now consider myself master at getting through airport security, these are some of my tactics.
Skip past everyone in your own private lane of awesome. Each time I fly out of SFO or DEN I feel like I’m royalty. The attendant at the Clear lane is always friendly and I love how they walk me over to security, prep my bins, and wish me a wonderful day.
2. TSA PRE-CHECK
If you can get into TSA’s Pre-Check you get to leave your laptop in the bag, keep your shoes on, and no worries about taking off your jacket either. It’s a mystery how to opt-in and get chosen, but when it has happened for me- it’s awesome.
3. PREMIER BOARDING
If you have status with any airline, step up to the premier boarding lane (even if you’re not flying with them that day). Most of the time, they don’t care who your status is with.
Asher (left) and his sister Lily. Waiting for their morning meal.
While there are not many studies on the benefits of feeding vegetables to your dog, there are a lot of great articles from animal nutritionists that support feeding your canine a does a veggies. Anecdotally, I have noticed that my twins have better energy, solid sleep, better breath, shinier coats, and more consistent movements when I supplement veggies with their meals.
But, and it’s a big “but”, how do get a dog to eat vegetables? My dogs are meat-on-the-bone craving carnivores and they’re not about to chew on a carrot no matter how many times I tell them that provitamins and beta carotines will help improve their vision.
So after several types of food and failed tests, this is how I get it done.
Each morning I make myself a fruit and veggie juice. My primary ingredients are carrots, apples, kale, and ginger, all of which are great for dogs. The juice always creates a large amount of pulp which I collect.