Eat More. Be More.

Archive for the Motivation Category

Staying Motivated is Hard. Duh.

Staying Motivated is Hard. Duh.

I’m less than eleven months into this journey to a healthier lifestyle. In that time, I’ve had some success and made some decent changes. I’ve also learned a lot.

Flickr image by Arya Ziai

Flickr image by Arya Ziai

Recently, questions have started coming my way about why and how I’ve done it. One recurring question is, “How do you stay motivated?” After numerous attempts to lose weight over the last fifteen years, I understand that this is often the hardest part.

While it seems simple on the surface, it’s actually a complicated question. I didn’t realize this until I tried writing a response. As I began this article, it rapidly grew out of control. It’s been about three weeks since I started this because of that. Rather than create one book-length article, I decided to break it up into several (or more) posts. Read more

Is Your Head Sabotaging Your Workout?

Is Your Head Sabotaging Your Workout?

During the last two weeks, I’ve been able to set a few PRs after plateauing for a couple of months. A few weeks ago, I showed up not really ready to workout. And I caught myself. Mentally, I was already giving myself an excuse for a sub-par workout.

Aftermath of giving it all you got. World War Fit in Allen, TX

Aftermath of giving it all you got. World War Fit in Allen, TX

For some reason, that irritated me. I made a conscious decision to give the workout all I had. It might be a long way from my personal best, but it would be the best I could do on that day. Instead of going through the motions and thinking about the stress of the day, I put it all into the bar. And I set a PR on my strict press. Read more

How Fitness Relates To Productivity

How Fitness Relates To Productivity

30 Days of Crossfit with a FitBit Flex: My Review

30 Days of Crossfit with a FitBit Flex: My Review

I’d been thinking about buying an activity tracker and had it narrowed down to a couple with the Fitbit Flex leading the charge. My wife mentioned wanting one so I stopped by WalMart one random Tuesday night on the way home and bought one for each of us.

Fitbit measures a handful of things, all based off of your movement. I have my primary goal set track my steps while my wife selected calories. It still monitors everything, but when you hit your goal it vibrates to let you know.

Crossfit and the Fitbit

I wanted a Fitbit so that I could see how far I walk every day and how many calories I am burning. Of course, the natural extension of that is to see how many calories I burn during my workouts. Read more

Why It’s Important to Know Your Body Fat Percentage

Why It's Important to Know Your Body Fat Percentage

When I started my exercise program I was at 277 lbs and figured I might be able to drop 70 lbs. Once I was down 30 lbs, I realized I may have underestimated. Of course, it was a complete guess in the first place. I mean, when you’ve ALWAYS been fat, how do you know what you should weigh? Those BMI guides are about as useful as a door knob on a wall.


Body Composition

The best way to get an idea of how much you should weigh is to get a body fat composition test done. This will tell you how much of your body weight is fat, and how much is lean mass (muscle, bone, connective tissue).

There are 4 methods. The first uses calipers. If someone is experienced and knows what they’re doing, they can probably get within a few percentage points. Everything depends on where and how they pinch the skin with the calipers. Even the best test is less accurate than the other methods.

The next method uses air pressure. The test I had done years ago involved sitting in a little space pod and then having it pressurized. It did give me a breakdown of muscle vs. fat, and was probably better than the calipers, but still not the best. If this is an option in your area and easier to access than the methods below, go for it. Read more

Feature Friday: Interview with Joe Hancuff

Feature Friday: Interview with Joe Hancuff

While most of this site so far has been a chronicle of my journey, I’m not the only one out there getting results. Early on I decided that I’d like to showcase other athletes and regular people making changes to their lifestyle as well. About 7 weeks into my workout program, my coach sent me a picture from Facebook of a guy that looked just like me 10 months earlier. We had a similar build, shaved head, and goatee.


His name was Joe Hancuff and he had made one crazy transformation in that short time. His transformation picture on Facebook went viral and within a few days, the folks from Crossfit headquarters had contacted him for an interview.

He later earned an invite to try out for the new National Pro Fitness League. He has gone on to get his Crossfit Level 1 certification, was a judge for the 2014 Regionals, and is in the progress of opening his own place. Over the last 5 months, we’ve exchanged comments on social media, Facebook messages, and emails.

When I decided to profile others, Joe was the first guy that came to mind. He graciously agreed to an interview.

Welcome to Feature Friday

NSB: How about a quick personal bio?

Joe: I’m an IT guy turned CrossFit trainer based out of Columbia, Maryland focusing on getting my gym, Serenity Strength and Movement, open and running to help others do as I have done and reclaim their humanity. I’m 34 years old, married father of 3. Through CrossFit and fitness, I have found my true calling in life.

NSB: And how long has it been since you started your transformation?

Joe: As of the day of this writing, 1 year, 3 months, 23 days and counting.


NSB: You were featured on the front page of the Crossfit Games website. How did that happen?

Joe: I had looked at myself the mirror every day since I had started CrossFit and yes, I saw change. But the actual CONTRAST of that change hadn’t been made apparent to me until I’d seen some photos of myself from a local throwdown and one of my co-workers had dropped a photo of myself around 350 lbs from a conference 18 or so months past. Read more

7 Ways to Make Time for Excercise

7 Ways to Make Time for Excercise

You’re busier now than you’ve ever been. You work all day, manage the house, take care of the kids, and try to sleep a few hours every night. There just isn’t any margin (extra time) in your day for exercise. How do you get around this?

The absolute first thing to do is stop lying to yourself. You have the time. We all have the same number of hours in a day. What you probably don’t have is a list of priorities. This can even affect those of us that DO have the time because exercise can be one of those things that you know you need, but it hasn’t become a priority.


Parkinson’s Law

In 1955 Cyril Parkinson wrote a humorous piece for The Economist and part of the first sentence reads, “work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion”. This became known as Parkinson’s Law. While the article, and later book, are actually referring to inefficiencies of government, the adage is true across most activities. If you have all day to clean the house, it will take all day. But if your mother-in-law says she will be over in an hour, guess how long it will take to clean! Be mindful of your time and spend it wisely.

7 Ways To Make Time

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6 Months In: Has It Been Worth It?

6 Months In: Has It Been Worth It?

It’s hard to believe time flies like it does. In some ways it feels like I’ve been working out longer than 6 months. But when I think back, it seems like just yesterday that I couldn’t finish a lap around the building. One day at a time really adds up before you know it. This journey has been a lot of hard work, and it hasn’t exactly been smooth. But has it been worth all the effort?

About 6 weeks into my workout routine. Still round.

Taken during the Open about 6 weeks into my workout routine. Still round as a medicine ball at this point.

On January 6th I weighed 277lbs (according to the scale at my office which is where I officially weigh once per week). So even though Sunday was 6 months, yesterday was the weigh in. I figure 48 hours probably doesn’t mean much in the course of 6 months. Read more

The First Step Was Facing The Truth

The First Step Was Facing The Truth

Yesterday marked 6 months that I have been eating clean and exercising regularly. On Wednesday I’ll post some updates and progress pictures. Honestly, I still haven’t decided yet if I’m brave enough to go shirtless.

The following is something that I never intended to make public, it was more of a journal entry. I wrote this for a 30 day writing group designed to get us in the habit of writing 500 words per day. Nobody had to read what I wrote. Looking back, I think there may be people that can relate. So here goes nothing.

This was mid-burpee but it looks and felt like I was dying.

This was mid-burpee during the 2014 Crossfit Open 14.5 workout but it looks and felt like I was dying.

January 6, 2014

Yesterday was my first Elements class for Crossfit. I thought I was going to die. And that was just the first introductory course. Today, I can walk up the stairs, but it’s almost impossible to get back down after those air squats. I am so out of shape it’s ridiculous. Read more

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