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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Life is about choices

This past week my family took a wonderful road trip.  We drove over 1800 miles through three states in 6 days.  We went to Phoenix to visit with my trainer Bill Sienerth and also to cheer on and see  IFBB Pro Sara Kovach win the Phoenix Europa.  We had such an amazing experience. We got to see and experience things that I never thought possible. Things that I would have never dreamed of before I decided to Choosefitness. 

Dinner with Bill, Sara Nancy and the kids after Sara Europa win in Phoenix

   Sometimes I am amazed on how making one little decision in life can have such a huge impact on not just myself but others around me.  Over two years ago I made the decision to Choosefitness.  I literally felt like I had one foot in the grave.  It is like so many other vices or addictions out there. I lived in complete and total denial.  I figured if I avoided taking pictures or going out much i would not have to face the fact that i had let myself become morbidly obese. I use the term morbidly obese instead of overweight due to the fact that I weighed in at 390 lbs.  I am almost positive I weighed more since i started walking and cutting out junk food two weeks prior to my doctors appointment,  I had several health issues sleep apnea being the worst.  During one of my sleep studies I stopped breathing for almost 45 seconds. The nurse came into wake me up and switch me to a different machine.  I avoided looking at myself in the mirror because frankly I did not like what I saw looking back at me. Life is about choices.  It is about living with the choices we make good or bad.  I had chosen to let my health spiral out of control.  I chose to sit and eat a whole large pizza in one sitting.  I chose to drink a 12 pack of Pepsi in a day.  All these bad choices led me to hit finally hit my rock bottom.  I am husband and a father of two wonderful children and I had no energy to play with them.  I would get winded trying to walk across the yard to get a ball or to chase them.  It took an amazing friend to literally scare the hell out of me.  I will never forget what he said to me that night.  He told me when you die from a heart attack I will tell your kids you where a great guy.  To this day those words still get me a little choked up.  The very next day I chose to start trying to make a difference in my life.  It started with by making different choices in what I ate and drank.  It started by choosing to go walking.  I never forget the first day having to have my wife come pick me up because I was literally exhausted. I thought i had walked for ever turned out to be less than an 1/2 mile.  Every day I made the choice to walk further and further everyday.  Even if it was just a few steps more than the day before.
Day 1 March 10,2012  390 lbs

    In July I made my next huge choice.  I chose to attend the San Jose Fit Expo.  I felt so out of place walking around all these fit people. I had lost weight but was still about 350 lbs.  I felt like people Would look right past me.  I felt so uncomfortable and was ready to leave.  On my way out I stopped off at the Gnc booth.   A guy turned around and started talking to me. He asked me if i worked out.  My first response was great here we go another muscle head going to lecture me.  I told him I started working out and losing weight.  He asked me if i had a trainer and i told him no.  That's when Bill Sienerth handed me his card and said he wanted to train me. I was thinking no way this guy really wants train me.  As I turned to walk away he told me something i will never forget.   he told me I WILL HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR LIFE.  I was thinking that a bold statement.  We kept in contact Via twitter and Facebook until November when again I made another choice.  I decided to finally sign with Bill.  It has to be the best decision I have made when it comes to my health.  He did what he said he was going to do.  He helped me change my life mentally and physically. ON the first month I was down almost thirty lbs.  He put together a healthy life plan that was taylor made for my weight loss.  I had a goal of losing a 100lbs in a year.  With Bills help i crushed that goal by 25 lbs.  Since I decided to Choosefitness I have been able to live life in a whole new perspective.  
Crossing the finish line at my first 5k race.

Jumping over the fire at the Warrior Dash
I am doing things I thought never possible before.  I have ran my first 5k in March.  I just completed a major goal of a Warrior Dash.  The Warrior Dash was a goal Bill and I had set two years before.  I am competing in the Men's Health Urbanarathon in San Francisco in less than three weeks.   During our vacation we hiked down Bright Angel trail for a few miles with my kids.  These are all things that are all made possible by deciding to Choosefitness to change my life for the better.  None of these things would have been possible with out making a choice. 

Bill And I holding up my old size 56 waist pants

I have been asked if i regret not starting sooner.  My answer is no.  I believe I started when i was ready to choose the right time. Although my decision might have been out of desperation and fear.  I honestly believe i was not ready before even though i had tried and failed in the past.  I am not saying I have been perfect over the past two or so years.  I struggle like everyone else does. I sometimes get caught up on how far others are coming along and not seeing changed fast enough in myself.  I will have a pity party and falter for few days.  This again is a choice that I make.  I then make the choice to pick my self up and continue on.  I need to remember I'm not competing with others but with myself.  Each day making the choice to be better than I was the day before.  I focus on how far I have come and not on far I have to go.  I Choosefitness to change my life so I can experience and enjoy life in a whole new way.  If you want more info on how or where to start your journey click on the Choosefitness link to contact my trainer Bill Sienerth or feel free to contact me as well.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Who is ready to Run The City?

Who is ready to Run The City? Thanks to Fitfluential and Mens Health Urbanathalon I will be taking on the street of San Francisco on November 23, 2014.  Some of you may have never heard of this awesome race.  It is an obstacle course race that has two separate distances to choose from.  You can choose the classic which is a 10 mile course with 15 different obstacles or the all new sprint, which is a 3 mile course with 8 obstacles.  Here is a brief description take on their web page.


In 2014, Men’s Health is returning with our 9th annual URBANATHLON series, celebrating the Men’s Health work hard, play hard mentality. The URBANATHLON challenges competitors—or more accurately, flat-out dares them—to set new personal standards for what it means to be fit.
Whether you are taking on the classic distance or the all NEW sprint distance course, the URBANATHLON is the ultimate test of endurance, strength, mobility and pure toughness. Post race, the excitement continues at the Men’s Health URBANATHLON Festival, with DJ sets, food and drink, and tons of stuff from our sponsors to demo, sample, and take home.
There are three different locations with races coming up.  You can choose from three different locations New York (October 18) Chicago(October 25) and San Francisco (November 23).  I will be running the new sprint distance in San Francisco.  This will be my second OCR race in less than a month and only my third official race ever.  I have been on a personal fitness journey for the past two years.  When I started in March of 2012 I was 386 lbs. Over two years later and 165 lbs lighter I am looking forward to testing myself in the streets of San Francisco on Nov 23.  

Men's Health Urbanathalon has been generous enough to allow me to share a discount code : FIT  to get 20% off your registration.  I hope to see you all out in San Francisco on Nov 23 

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Reebok All Terrain Supers are Super

Disclaimer: I was given these shoes free of charge.  All opinions are my own.

For the longest time i have always bought shoes and worried about not getting them dirty.  It didn't matter if if was for pleasure or for play,Until now.  I received a gift card Via Kelly Olexa a while back for Reebok. I was able to go in a design and customize my own shoe.  It is actually a pretty awesome and simple feature they have one the Reebok website.  You pick out the style of shoe you would like to design,  You can choose to make it completely your own or start with a base that you can tweak to your liking. They make the process fun and easy to use.

 I chose the All Terrain Super because I wanted a rugged shoe that I could get dirty and not worry about them falling apart like other shoes  have tried in the past. We live out in the country so there a lot of fields, canals, orchards and mud to run through.  I have worn these shoes for every workout in and out of the gym for the past month or so.  They have hit the treadmill weight room and beach.  U couldn't wait to get these bad boys wet and dirty.  My family recently spent a weekend in Pismo Beach.  I packed my running bag and couldn't wait to hit the beach with my running partner who happens to be my five year old daughter Karley.  We hit Grover Beach and two sets of stairs before we took off across the beach. We started out along the sand until we hit waters edge.  I was surprised at well they held up getting wet in water. We continued along the beach running in and out of the ocean water.  Going from being splashed with water to being completely submerged.  I was expecting them to loosen up or become uncomfortable when they got wet.  To my pleasant surprise this never happened.  One of the awesome features this All Terrain Super has is the water ports in the front of the shoe to allow the water to drain when the shoe is wet or gets muddy.  The only thing I did not like was that the sand seemed to settle in the front of the shoe and not get washed out with the water. The sand would build up under the front of my foot so I had to stop and rinse it out about half way through my run. Had an amazing time testing these shoes out on the beach.  One of the best things about the All Terrain Super is the easy clean up.  I took out the sock liner and just rinsed them off in the sink.  I set them out to dry Over night and by the next day they had dried out.  One of the thing i had experienced in the past is once my other shoes had dried up they began to fall apart.  They have held up and are just as good today as they where the first day I put them on my feet.

 I was able to test out another feature this past Saturday while I visited Yosemite National Park with my family was the underfoot rock guard.  I took the opportunity to climb up Bridal Veil falls. The Granite rock is slippery and jagged.  I didn't feel any of the sharper edges of the rocks through these shoes thanks to the underfoot rock guard.  I was a little worried about not having a hiking shoe on since we walked and hiked a bit.  I didn't feel any discomfort during the day at all. 

All in all I am very satisfied and impressed with Reeboks All Terrain Super. I would highly recommend this shoe to any one especially if you are into obstacle course running.  Next testing ground for them will be a Warrior Dash event in mid October.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back to where it all started

 I had the privilege of taking my children with me to The San Jose Fit Expo.  The Fit Expo will be an even that I will always try to attend whether its in norther or southern California.  For many of you who may not know the fit expo is an event that changed my life.  It opened me up to so many different avenues of fitness.  They have something for everyone.   It doesn't matter if your into bodybuilding, cross fit, zumba or even mixed martial arts.  It doesn't even matter where your at in your fitness journey.  the first time I attended was to meet UFC hall of fame legend Tito Ortiz.  I was tipping the scales at about  350 lbs and felt so out of place around all these fit people.  As I was on my way out the door I saw the GNC booth.  I walked over to see what they where handing out.  Little did i know that split second decision would change my life for ever.  This is where I met my trainer Bill Sienerth. Ill never forget what he told me that day.  He said when I was ready he would change my life.  Almost three years later he has helped me do just that.  I went from being an over weight dad who couldn't play with his kids with out getting winded to a dad preparing to train for  half marathon.  the journey has not been perfect but I continue to plug away at it.

Having Karley (5) and Nathan (4) attend this years expo was such an awesome and emotional experience for me.  to expose them to all the different kinds of fitness from Cross fit to Parkour to Bodybuilding.  It was fun to see Karley watching a demonstration and her mimicking what the lady was doing while she was waiting in line to meet Kali Muscle.  I usually have a game plan when i go to the Fit Expo.  I will pick my top vendors i want to visit and hit them first.  Of course that went out the window with the kids in tow.  We hit the booth first.  As we stood in line I actually got a little emotional.  I was thinking back to three years before and feeling out of place and tired from walking around at 350 lbs to being in line weighing 230 lbs that day and sharing this day with my children. We got to meet the athletes we took a group picture with Jerome Ferguson.and Karley got to take a picture with Jessie Hilgenberg.  As my plan of attack went out the window we walked around to the booths that the most noise or lights.  One of the must meet athletes was 4x Mr.Olympia Jay Cutler.  My son has meet Jay before but Karley just had to meet him. My kids have seen him in pictures with my trainer Bill so they just had to meet muscle man Bills friend.  The kine moved fairly quick and Karley finally got her wish to meet Jay Cutler.    She was so excited that he gave her an autographed picture. It was so awesome seeing the way these athletes interacted with not just my kids but all the kids that they met that day.  We moved onto the Allmax booth to meet the Mark "Flex" Anthony.  He is the first ever Men's Physique Mr.Olympia.  I had meet him a few times before with Bill.  He took the time to talk with the kids a bit and autographed a picture and took a photo with the kids.  We then stepped across the way to The Evogen Nutrition booth,  It amazes me how much our kids remember at such a young age,  My son had met the Hany earlier in the year.  Although he didn't remember his name he remembered he had meet him.  He ran up and said hello.  The kids then got to meet Evogen Athlete Ifbb Pro Steve Kucklo.  WE made the rounds to more boths and got to meet other athletes like Ufc Hall of famer Tito Ortiz, Kali Muscle.  One of our last stops was to 1 day you may booth.  The kids got to meet Rich Piana.  It was funny seeing the kids next to him.  I think his bicep was bigger than both kids put together.  I let the kids pick one thing they got to buy from the expo.  Nathan picked some sort of snack food he like and Karley actually picked a poster signed by Rich Pianna. I took the kids to watch a cooking demonstration by fellow Fitfluential Ambassador Magan Pettit.  She was showing how to make protien pancakes and smoothies.  My kids absolutley loved both so mush we had to make them at home.

I saved the best booth for our last stop.  We hit the Gnc booth on the way out just as I had three years ago.  Although my trainer Bill was in Florida I still wanted the kids to Meet some of the other Gnc Athletes.The kids know the big red letters is where there friend muscle man billy works.  Nathan thought for sure I was joking when i told him Bill was not going to be here this time. The kids got to meet Ifbb Bikini Pro Narmin Assria and Ifbb Men's Physique pro Trent Calavan.  We talked for a bit and they took an awesome picture with the kids. 

It is great to see how all these athletes interact with there fans.  It is especially great to see how they interact with the little ones.  Even though the expo was a few weeks ago my kids talk about it like it was yesterday.If you have never attended The Fit Expo in San Jose or In Los Angeles i highly recommend it. Maybe one day ill be able to stand on stage at and share how this event not only changed my life but my families as well.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Don't let your past dictate your future!!

I finally hit the golf course for the first time since I started my journey over two years ago.  I love golfing because its challenging and relaxing at the same time.  I had always struggled with going even though it was something I enjoyed.   My friends would invite me to go but I would make up excuses on why I couldn't go.  The main  reason being I had become to big to enjoy it. None of were turning pro anytime soon so we would always hit the local course.  They charge 18 dollars for a round.  It is a great price only draw back for me was you have to walk the course.  It took all I had to get through it the last time I went.  My back would hurt from from the bending overall the time.  my form was horrible because I basically had to try and figure out a way to swing with this massive belly hanging from my midsection.  I never knew what it was like to have a normal swing.  I literally had to stand far away from the ball because my stomach would get in the way of hitting the ball.

One of my coworkers invited me to go golfing this weekend,  I figured why not the family was out of town and I didn't have any other plans.  I went out to the pump house and literally had to dig my clubs out.  It took me while to get my bag and clubs dusted off.  I was hoping to get in some practice swings at the driving range but there  was  Jr tournament going on so we had to start right away the lady said.  I teed up the first ball and let it rip at least so I thought.  I topped the ball and it bounced down the hill.  I noticed right away that my stance was off and I had to stand closer to the ball.  We walked to the bottom of the hill where my ball had rolled to.  Grabbed my next club and took my swing.  I connected and hit with in 25 yards of the green. I started to regain that enjoyment for the game once again.  We walked the whole course and had a blast.  I found out from my friend I only got par on three holes that day.  It didn't matter that I played a horrible round.  What did matter was that I finally took that little step put of my comfort zone.  I tried something again that I once found excuses to run away from.

It was like trying experiencing it all over for the first time.  I had to relearn how to swing and follow through.  As I played  the course it made me realize how far I have come.  It may seem small to other people but re-experiencing things I had done in the past is a constant reminder that I am not the same person I use to be.  I have been struggling the past few weeks with realizing that I am a totally different person than I was before.  I let one persons comment sit in my mind and bug me.   I know they didn't mean it in a rude or obnoxious way but I still let it get to me.  I was getting down on myself because  I was allowing myself to get caught up in others peoples progress.  Even though I work my butt off I don't see results as fast as other people do.  I Feel it and see it in my clothes and see it in my arms.  Sometimes I let the old mindset kick in and still see the fat guy looking back at me in the mirror.  I know that I am not the same person I once was but we are still human and have down days.   I just let my day last a few days.   I didn't go crazy and binge just felt crappy.  I felt good in the gym but was down once I  was done. I finally snapped out of my funk after talking about it.  Sometimes I forget to use the tools and people god has placed in my life.  We tend to forget how easy it is to apply the tools we have learned and have been given.  It's funny that a simple game of golf put thinks back in perspective for me.I need to continue to focus on the positive things that are going on now. Don't be scared to try things that you failed at or found difficult to do in the past.  Embrace the challenge of conquering the things you could not do before.  Once you have completed those things no matter how small or big they are find new things to try. It's like learning to live all over again the only difference being that I am a better version of my what I was before. We need to remember to not let our past dictate our future.

What kind of things have you been able to now that you could or could not do before?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My First Reebok Experience!!!!

 I was fortunate enough to win a gift card from Reebok via Kelly Olexa (Ceo,founder) FitFluential.  I was a little hesitant to step outside my shoe comfort zone of Nike. I figured why not give it a whirl especially since it was free gift card. I have always worn Nike for as long as I can remember.  A lot of that reason was just due to the fact that they carried the wide sizes.  Who knew my feet would also shrink with my weight loss.

It took me a while before I finally settled on a pair that I liked. I had seen a commercial during the summer with one of my favorite fighters Quinton "Rampage" Jackson promoting the Atv19 shoe.  I thought to myself those look funky.  In November I saw an article and again a fighter I am a huge fan of Johnny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks had on some Atv19. So when I won this gift card I already knew what kind of shoes I wanted to get.  I was amazed at how hard it was to find a store in my area that not only carried Reebok but also carried the Atv19.  I finally found some at Dicks Sporting Goods store in a town about 30 miles north.  It was my first time in there store and was impressed with not on the store but there customer service.   I told the sales attendant what I wanted and what size.  He brought them out and told me to take them for a spin.  They had an area marked like a track to try them out.  I tried them on and ran up and down the aisle a few times. I was a little worried about the way the lugs would feel.  I had tried on another brand shoe that had something similar and I could feel the lugs and it made them uncomfortable.  I was happy with the fit.  The didn't slip during acceleration.  I knew that it would be a different once i got them and used them for a bit.  I was confident enough with trying them on that when I got home I jumped on and went to design your own.  I loved the way that Reebok lets you customize your shoe exactly they way that you want it.  It was actually a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be.  There where so many different options to choose from.  Reebok doesn't leave anything out when it comes to designing your shoe.  They even let you choose the type of laces you want for your custom order. I had NKN put on the back of my custom shoe.  It the initials For my wife daughter and son(Nancy  Karley  Nathan). I finally made my choices and hit order.

I was very impressed with Reebok's customer service.  I received a phone call because I put my Po box as well as my physical address on my shipping info. They got my correct shipping info and sent it out priority.  I received my shoes a few days later.  I opened them up and realized that the toe cap color was not the color that I had chosen.  It was supposed to be Trust blue like the other part of the shoe.  Instead it showed up and was violet.  I assumed they had made a mistake so i called customer service.  I explained to them that I thought they had made a mistake.  They double checked my order and the mistake was mine.  I must have hit the wrong color when I was finalizing my customer order.  The customer service rep explained that it happens pretty often. She offered to take my information and pass it on to a supervisor for review.  She explained that they would contact me within three days to let me know if there was anything they could do for me.  The next day my phone rang and it was Reebok's customer service.  They informed me that they where going to give me another gift card so I could order a new pair of shoes.  I was blown away that would offer to replace my order even though it was my fault.  I offered to send the shoes back that I had received and she said to keep them and gave me a code for a new pair of custom Reebok shoes.

The thing I love the most about the Atv19 shoe is that they are comfortable on all kinds of terrain.  The lugs are deigned to get through mud, loose dirt and other different types of terrain.  When I run at home we do not have public sidewalks or parks to run at.  I transition from the road to the canals with gravel and loose dirt to almond orchards.  No matter where I am at they hold up and my comfort is never Compromised.  They never loose traction on the loose dirt on the canals and the lugs give a great cushion when running on the road.  I am totally pleased with my first experience with Reebok. There customer service was top notch and the Atv19 are awesome.  I cant wait to order my next pair of Reebok.  

Do you have different kinds of shoes you use for different runs or workouts?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Teach your children well


As a parent we always want the best for our children.  We as parents set an example for our children.  They are like little recorders watching our every move and listening to everything we say. They learn at an early age habits that set them up for life time of success or failure.  We as parents pay attention to what they watch on television or listen to on the radio.  We make sure that there friends are not a bad influence on them.  We make sure they know the dangers or drugs and alcohol.  I know for me I worried about all these things when my wife was pregnant with our first child.  I made a checklist in my mind. Make sure they respect there elders.  Make sure we teach them right from wrong.  I wanted to make surei showed them by being an example. I was going to start cleaning up my language.  I even went as far as to quit drinking.  I wanted to make sure that my children didn't fall into the same traps and vices i did as an teenager and adult.  The one thing i never thought about was what they eat.
We need to educate our children about food the same way we educate them about any other addictive vice they may come in contact with.
You see I was around 320 lbs or more when my daughter was born. I ate what i wanted when i wanted to.  It would not be uncommon for me to kill a large pizza and a 2 liter of Pepsi in one sitting.  I would have soda for breakfast with donuts or some sort of fast food.  I had no idea about nutrition or eating healthy.  As far as i knew it was normal to eat what ever i wanted.  As a child growing up we never had limitations on what we could or couldn't eat.  We ate until we were didn't want to eat anymore. See just like any other habit such as alcoholism or drug abuse  I was falling into a cycle.  I was learning my eating habits from my parents.  I don't blame them for being overweight or obese.  I struggled with more demons than just eating pizza lol.  I found comfort in food at an early age.  If I got hurt or didn't feel well mom would make me something or buy get ma treat.  If we were good we were rewarded with candy or an ice cream. Are these bad things to be rewarded with not at all.  the one thing I was never taught was nutrition or portion control.  As my children grew older I noticed they ate what I ate.  So if was having chips they would be eating chips as well.  As i became more educated about nutrition through my lifestyle change i know that it is up to us as parents we also need to teach our kids about portion control and nutritional value in the foods we eat. I am not saying that candy or an occasional trip to Mcdonalds is out of the question but we have to teach them it has to be in moderation.

 I live in Merced County and according to a study done by Ucla Center For Health Policy found that 34.3% of  Merced County residents are obese.  An article in the Merced Sun star stated that it was estimated that 43% of the children are overweight or obese. Things are different now than when i was a kid.  WE could go out at sunrise ride bikes play out front as long as we are home by dark.  In today's society we can't just let our kids run around outside like we use to.  Instead they are inside playing video games or watching TV.  We as parents need to encourage our children to be active.  We have to lead by example.  Get them involved at an early age with sports or other activities that keep them busy.  My daughter is and my son is 4.  They both are in Tball this spring.  My wife and i are already looking into soccer in the fall.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Race!!!!

The alarm went off early like any other day, but today was not like any other day.  Today was a day i had been anticipating for a while.  It was the day I signed up to run my first 5k. This does not seem like a long distance to much but to me it was more than the distance. It was what the run symbolized.  It was the culmination of two years of hard work and determination.  I felt a sense of nervousness i had not felt sine my wrestling days.  It was that competitive edge that i had lost so long ago.  I packed my stuff up and headed off to the run.  I got there and sat in my car and listened to my google play to get pumped for the next 30 min or  so.  I got out and mingled with the crowd a little.  I saw on old friend from high school and one of my best friends wife and sister.   I started to feel my stomach turn a little more.  I stepped  away from the crowd and gathered my thoughts as i stretched.  My mind went back to my wrestling days.  I uses to listen to the hardest rock or metal music i could find at that time.  I switched to google play to Hatebreed radio.  I stopped long enough to listen to the national anthem an watch the marathon and half marathon runners take off.  It was almost go time.  I felt my heart rate accelerate from the adrenaline rush.  There use to be no better rush than waiting for a big match and getting called out to take the mat.  I heard the announcer call out and tell everyone to get ready to start.  He directed the speedsters to come up front and the slower people to stay in the back.  I had  no idea what to expect since this was my first run.  So i opted to stay towards  the back.  As i stood there waiting for them to finish the countdown all i could think about was my wrestling days stepping on the line waiting for the whistle to blow for .  My coach would always have us visualize the match before it started.  We would always have our first three to four moves planned out ahead of time.  It was so crazy because i hadn't even moved yet and my heart was pounding.  Then the time had come.  The horn sounded and we where off.  

My first instinct was to take off like a bat out of hell lol.  Only problem was i couldn't.  There where so many people that from the time the race started to the actual time that i crossed the start line was almost two minutes.  It seemed like the longest walk ever.  As i got closer and closer to the start line the first stage of my emotional roller coaster began.  I started to think about how a little over two years ago I had to have my wife come pick me up from a 1/2 mile walk.  I thought back to the day i stood on that scale and saw 386 lbs flash back at me.  I thought about how i wasn't able to play with my kids without getting winded.  All these emotions hit me at one time.  I hadn't even crossed the start line yet lol.  Once i stepped over that line i began to run at a pace that was comfortable for me. As we headed down M st i felt like everything was going so fast.  I tried to focus on my breathing and not get to far ahead of myself.  I  was trying to just take in everything as it was happening in front of me.  I heard my Nike App say 1 mile 11:09.  I thought holy crap that 1st mile went by fast.  Old habits die hard first thing that popped in my head was wrestling.  Round one was over time for round two.  We headed out of downtown and into the residential area.  I was amazed on how many people were in front of there homes cheering us on as we passed by them.  Some homes even had water for us if we wanted it.  As we wound past Enselen Park they had a music group playing .  I don't know what they were playing because I had my ear buds in blasting my play list i had set up.  

I heard my app say 2 miles.  My time had gotten better by almost a minute.  Did that mile in 10:13.  This past mile was in the tree lined neighborhoods and the cold was making my legs stiffen up.  As we came around past the Great Valley Museum all i could think was round three lets finish strong.  So i picked up the pace a little bit and as we turned the corner the sun was finally on us.  I started to sweat more than i was before and decided to take off my wind breaker. I only regret this because it slowed me down some.  We came around and ended up on Ninth St.  They had a band playing under the bridge as we came through.  I didn't realize that the finish line was so close or i would not have messed with my jacket lol.  I also never realized that there where mile markers on the side of the road to let us know how much further we had.  I heard my app say 3 miles.  As i turned off ninth onto N st i could see the finish line.  I kicked it into what i would call high Gear (probably most peoples trot lol) I sprinted to the finish line.  The feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming.  My mind was filled with so many emotions.  My eyes began to swell up a little.  I walked past the water station grabbed a water bottle and went off to the side by myself to collect my thoughts.  I had accomplished my first official 5k Race.  I looked at my phone cause i forgot to turn off my app.  It said 34 minutes.  I was happy with that time.  I waited around for my friend Lupe and her sister at the finish line.  We made our way through grabbing our goodie bags and checking our finish times.  I was surprised that i finished two minutes faster than i had thought.  

I am super proud of not only my time but of finishing in the top 12 out of 32 in my age group.  The run was almost like a a summary of my life so far.  The first mile was the past. The 2nd mile being my present and the third mile being my future.  I was amazed on how much the running community is like the wrestling community that i have loved for so long.  There were many different runner from many different levels.  You had your distance runners your speedsters and your walkers.  All with one common goal to cross that finish line.  Not only did i find that competitive fire again but i also found a new love for running.  I cant wait to sign up for the next one.  I challenge anyone who hasn't done a run to give it try.  You just might surprise yourself and fall in love with it.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Chocolate Tea Experience

Ok so who doesn't love chocolate?  Chocolate and I have had a long lasting love affair for some time now. I have also always had a love for tea as well.  So to say I was excited when I found out I could have both in one cup is an understatement! Have you heard of Tisano Tea? Well if not, you have NO idea what you’re missing out on!

Tisano Mint Cacao Tea 04oz
This tea brings me back to my childhood, on cold mornings my mom would brew mint tea for us before school.  This tea gives you the “burst” of natural energy to tell your mind “Good Morning World”.  It combines the Organic Egyptian Peppermint and the refreshing organic cacao which creates a rich yet refreshing chocolate experience that lingers on your lips and brings me back to those cold mornings when I was growing up.

This was really my first experience making “loose leaf tea” I’ve always used the tea in a “filter bag” so this was a new experience for myself.  I would mix 1 tsp of the Tisano Mint Cacao Tea in my “Tea Infuser” with 8 ounces of boiling water, I’d let it steep for 3 to 4 minutes (as it suggests on the can),  As it steeps in the water you can really smell the mint, it literally “wakes UP your senses”.  When you’re drinking this tea you can actually taste the mint and chocolate, they blend well together for that minty chocolaty goodness that we all crave.

Tisano Chai Cacao Tea 04oz Tin
In India tea has its roots in Ayurveda, a holistic approach to medicine focusing on food and lifestyle.  From there, India’s most popular beverage – Masala Chai, “Spiced Tea” was born.  Tisano takes this 5,000 year old tradition into the 21st Century.
Once again the Tisano teas have taken me back to my childhood.  The Chai Cacao Tea reminded me of the Mexican hot chocolate my mom would makes us after dinner.  As I was steeping and drinking this tea the aromas of cinnamon, cloves, and the chocolate filled my senses and reminded me of those evenings of my childhood. 

My recommendation would be that the Tisano Mint Cacao Tea would be a morning wake me up tea, something you drink in the morning to start your day in place of the usual coffee.  The Tisano Chai Cacao Tea is more of a mid-afternoon/evening, after dinner type of tea to soothe your senses before bed.

Both blends that I’ve had the opportunity to try were great but I would have to say the Tisano Mint Cacao Tea would have to be my favorite of the two. 

So you too can experience these greats teas too, Tisano allowed me to share the 15% discount with my readers and followers, use this code Tisanolicious15% when ordering your own wonderful tea from their website at  

Also, use the following link for a chance to WIN a 4oz tin and two 12g samples of Tisano tea.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My two year anniversary

Its hard to believe two years has passed since I started my journey. On march 10,2012  I decided to take back control of my life. I had went to my doctor after my best friend told me he was worried about me weight. I never realized how much my weight had gotten out of control. I avoided taking picture except from the neck up. I avoided scales and would rarely look in the mirror.  I figured if i didn't see the number on the scale or me in the mirror that i could avoid how unhappy i was with my weight.  It wasn't until my best friend told me that i was going to die young and leave my kids with no father that i really opened my eyes to what i had created. I was suffering from depression lack of self esteem.   I drank and ate thinking it would make me feel better.  But it never seemed to work.  The food or alcohol would only numb the pain i felt inside for a short period of time.  I went to the doctor the final time and when i saw 390 lbs flash i knew i had to do something.  The next day i told my wife Nancy i was going to walk a mile. She had a look of surprise and said OK.  i made it maybe a half mile down the road and had to call her to pick me up. every day i would walk a little further than the day before even it was just a step. I took me almost 28 min to walk that first mile.  I continued walking everyday building up to 3 miles day after a few short months.  The weight was coming off and i joined in shape city in turlock after seeing a friend of from high school worked there. i started weight training and continued walking. i still had no clue on what i was doing. I logged my food on the app my fitness pal.  It was hard for me to go to the gym.  I was intimidated and felt embarrassed because i saw all these ripped guys walking around throwing up a bunch of weight. I finally went as far as i could and had to ask for help.

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I had met Bill Sienerth at the San Jose Fit expo in July 2012.  Hew was the only person who actually talked to me and that actually listened to what i had to say.I will never forget when he told me he could train me.I was thinking yeah right. The one thing that stuck in my mind was when he said i will change your life.  We stayed in contact over the next few months via twitter and facebook. It took me a few months but i finally took that step of faith and signed up with Bill. he told me to get ready cause he was going to help me change my life.  I was a little over 310 when i started the program.   he designed a program for me and my goals.  The first month i lost over 25 lbs.  the weight continued to come off.  At my one year Weigh in i lost 125 lbs in the first year.  But it wasn't just the weight loss that was victory.  It was the start of a whole new lifestyle.  I knew that in order for the weight to stay off it couldn't be a diet it had to be a lifestyle change.  The second year was about not just losing weight but also growing mentally.  I have had the opportunity to do things i never would have been able to do if i hadn't gone for that walk that day.  I had the opportunity to be on stage with Bill at the la fit expo. I had the opportunity to be a brand ambassador for Gnc. I think the greatest thing i have gotten is a better quality of life not just for myself but for my children,. The past year has had its up and downs.  Its Victories and its failures.  I take the failures as lessons to learn from.  I still struggle like everyone else does.  I have my good days and my bad days.  the key is not allowing those bad days turn into weeks or months.  I struggled in December after getting denied for skin removal surgery.  I sometimes  would look in the mirror and still the fat guy looking back at me. I don't see the physical results as much as i would like but i know that i am not the same person i was yesterday and wont be the same person tomorrow.  I continue to press forward and try to focus on the now.  I take the tools I've learned and try to apply them on a daily basis.  Sometimes it takes more than one try to get it correct but the key is to never give up.

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So today marked my two year anniversary of my journey.   i hit some am cardio and them the scale.   i weighed in at 230 lbs.  I am proud of what i have been able to do over the past two years. I know that there is no end to the process just new beginnings and will continue to learn new things everyday.  Here is to a great 2014 filled with new adventures and new opportunities.  I was so excited to find out today that i was accepted as as FitFluential Ambassador. It was  like a birthday present for my two year birthday lol.

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I would like to thank my wife Nancy for supporting me over the past two years with my journey.  I would not have been able to do it with out you and your support.  Here is to a great 2014 filled with new adventures and new opportunities.