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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Oklahoma.... Where the Quail Chukar and Pheasant...

Go winging 'cross the plains!

On a preserve hunt with Aaron and Decker....

Great hunt!

For more info, check out Spencer Kern with

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A visit with my son Aaron...

Means a 45 minute CrossFit type of workout with 10 stations 45 seconds each 3 rotations. 

No problem....

Followed by 18 holes of Frisbee golf accompanied by Aaron's Brittany Spaniel, Decker. 

Concluding with Decker swimming after ducks. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Texas Renaissance Festival....

Been a few years...

Still a nice way to spend an autumn day. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Power to the Body...

Comes in the form of these kinds of Powerhouse meals...

Grilled turkey pattie on a bed of arugula and tomatoes surrounded by peppers, squash and cottage cheese. 

Or this plethora of protein smothered with good carbs....

Jennie O Cajun Turkey, boiled eggs, cottage cheese, red bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, arugula with shaved Parmesan cheese. 

You're in a war everyday...

A war of mental, physical and emotional stress. 

You owe it to your body, mind and soul to be armed with the best ingredients prepared and presented in a healthy and appetite appealing way. 

You owe it to yourself to...

Treat your body right. 

Random Musings about the Election, Politics and Anything Else on My Mind

Whoopee... the election is over.... Finally.... Thank God!

It's always amazing to me how eat up people get about politics and who becomes President.

Here's my opinion on this whole matter.... and let me stress.... it is just my opinion:
  1. Barack Obama seems like an intelligent, hard working guy with good family standards who is a helluva lot more competent at being President than a lot of people we've had in the Presidency before.  Think Dubbaya.
  2. With that said, it really doesn't matter who is President or what he tries to do or not do during his Presidency..... because the President ain't in control of squat.
  3. There's a few very rich and powerful people out there that decide the agenda, direction and fate of this nation and its people and most of the world for that matter..... and you will never know who they are.
  4. They manipulate and financially engineer the politics, programs and profits of this country and the world financial systems to steal from the lower and middle class and give to themselves.
  5. If you want me to cite specific data and cases, here goes:
401k's were created in the early 80's for what purpose?

As a way to encourage the savings of the lower and middle class?


To give those in control a source to steal money from.


A whole industry of mutual funds and "buy and hold" mentality was created to brainwash people into putting their hard earned money in one spot and leaving it there while the financially agile and adept money gods plundered the till.


Through frequent and repetitious financial crises that wreak havoc on the financial stability of the securities markets where the 401k assets reside.

I mean come on.... who is gonna "hold" while they watch their life savings go down 20, 30, 50, 80%?

The answer is very few.... so the little guy panics out at the bottom of the crisis (bear market) and the financially adept vultures swoop in and scoop up your life savings and depart the scene.....

Then the market goes up 30 - 50% and the little guy is convinced by his broker (part of the who industry controlled by the money gods) to "get back in".... which he does right at the top and then he rides the market back down through another engineered financial crisis and sells at the bottom and rinse and repeat.

Every financial crisis is either engineered, manipulated by or nurtured by these guys so they know it's coming and how to profit from it and how you will react to it.  It's their business and they are good at it.

I mean just look at the frequency of the list of financial crisis from Wikipedia:

1987 – Black Monday (1987) – the largest one-day percentage decline in stock market history

1989–91 – United States Savings & Loan crisis

1990 – Japanese asset price bubble collapsed

early 1990s – Scandinavian banking crisis: Swedish banking crisis, Finnish banking crisis of 1990s

1992–93 – Black Wednesday – speculative attacks on currencies in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism

1994–95 – 1994 economic crisis in Mexico – speculative attack and default on Mexican debt

1997–98 – 1997 Asian Financial Crisis – devaluations and banking crises across Asia

1998 Russian financial crisis

2000–2001 – Turkish Crises

2000 – late 2000s recession

2001 – Argentine Crises

2001 – Bursting of dot-com bubble – speculations concerning internet companies crashed

2008-2009 - Icelandic financial crisis

2007–12 – Financial crisis of 2007–2012, including the 2010 European sovereign debt crisis

Am I saying that the money gods run around the world sabotaging the world economies at will?

Maybe.... Maybe not ... but they damned sure know how to create some financial instrument or derivative that leverages the situation to their advantage and makes it a whole lot worse than it would have been if the crisis was just left to its own devices.

So the next time you get all worked up about who is President and what he's doing or not doing, take a deep breath and relax, cause he ain't in control.

Leave that to the 20 guys in New York.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

To Be Healthy.... You gotta Eat Healthy!

Which means you have to prepare healthy food!

And if you don't know how to cook... 

You probably need to learn. 

Part of the reason people can't stick to a healthy diet is because they try to eat those dreadful "TV dinner"
Health meals. Yuck.... Under seasoned and too small a portion. 

Forget that. 

Try my way....

Lots of fresh veggies, some meat and everything cooked with little oil and well seasoned with just salt and pepper. 

It's really not that hard....

Peel a butternut squash with a Potato peeler, dice it up with a sharp knife, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill in a medium hot cast iron skillet. 

This is "hard" squash so you need to keep turning it with a spoon or spatula until it's nicely browned on all sides and then cover with a lid for a few minutes. 

When you can stick a fork in it easily, it's done. 

Then sauté some bell peppers and "soft" yellow squash and some jalapeño sausage, heat up some sliced precooked turkey and....


A healthy meal.... Heavy on the tasty veggies with some fat and lean protein to build that body...

And it tastes great!

Don't believe me?

Ask anybody I've cooked a meal for....

They'll tell you...

This is the Real Deal Will!!!

Listen to Your Body..... Then Use Your Mind

Balance, Stress and Injuries....

These are Elements you have to deal with in everyday life and in your efforts toward a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise.

What is the right balance?

How do you stress for success?

How do you avoid injuries (physical, mental or emotional) and how do you deal with them when you get them?

Let me relate a few thoughts on these items.

As I've documented in this blog, my exercise routine over the past few months has been built around a base of Group Exercise Classes, the most prominent of which is a High Rep, High Intensity Weight Workout called Body Pump.

After a few weeks of this class, I felt a need to "stretch" my workouts to more dynamic movement type classes.  I had lost a significant amount of weight and judged that my compromised joints (knees, back and shoulders) could handle the dynamic movement - Less weight to move around... Less stress on the joints.

The dynamic movement group exercise classes quickly took me to a new level of fitness.... higher cardio output, more definition, less bodyfat.

As I reveled in the results, I also felt the effects of both the weight training and the dynamic movement classes (i.e. stiffness and soreness in muscles and joints). 

I realized quickly that I needed to include a few classes of more flexibility and stretching to my exercise regimen so I began doing a Yoga class and a Body Flow class (mix of Tai Kwan Do, Pilates and Yoga).

And for the most part, everything was going along fine.

Over the past couple of weeks, I realized I wasn't getting any stronger in my Body Pump classes.  I had been doing the same weights for over a month and it wasn't getting any easier.  So to build strength, I started including intermittent (twice per week) "Heavy Weight" workouts where I did max weight, max effort weight training on basic exercises like Wide Grip Chinups, Dips, Deadlifts, Squats and Leg Curls.

And it worked.... I could see the size and definition in my chest, back and legs change almost overnight and I jumped to the next weight increment in many of my Body Pump tracks.

But.... But.... But.... to make room, time and energy for these "Heavy Weight" workouts, I had to cut out something....

So I cut out the Yoga and Body Flow classes.... the ones that focused on stretching and flexibility.

And guess what?

In the past few days, I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder and my left hamstring.

Was it because I was doing the new and heavier weight exercises and overdid it?

Was it because I wasn't doing the stretching and flexibility exercises like before?

Who knows?  Probably Yes and Yes.

The point is that for every change you make in life, there is a consequence...

Sometimes it's positive or short term positive and sometimes the consequence of change is a negative event....

Like an injury..... to your shoulder, leg, your pocketbook or an important relationship.

Life (and sometimes your own body) sets boundaries.... We sometimes test those boundaries.... And then deal with the consequences.

We learn from our mistakes hopefully.  We grow.  We tuck that little learning under our belt or in the back of our mind and say...

"Ok.... the next time I'm in a similar situation I'm not gonna do that..... I'm gonna remember this little setback and not do a repeat."

So what do you do with bad consequences to change?

Well - the first thing you do is....

 Don't Make it Any Worse!

The second thing you do is Assess the Damage.

The third thing is Work out a Plan for Rehab, Recovery or Correction.

Then Execute the Plan or at least Go Back to What Worked Before.

So what am I doing?

First, I'm figuring out what I can do and can't do based on how my shoulder and hamstring feels.

Then I'm going back to what was working.

The First Law of Nature is..... Do No Harm!

Think I'll try....

Body Flow this evening, followed by Zumba and TRX Suspension Training.

Sounds like a good balance to me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

When More is Less.... And Less is More...

Had 2 people come up to me in the gym on Saturday and ask me what the heck
I was doing to look like I do. 

One lady was amazed at me knocking out multiple sets of wide grip chins and heavy Deadlifts. She said "Geez - You look so buff".  I blushed a little and just said thanks and told her those were old school exercises and I was an old school kinda guy. 

Another guy just randomly came up to me and said "Man - you gotta tell me what you're doing". 

I told him the same thing I told others....

Body Pump 4 times a week....

Several dynamic agility type Aerobic classes including Boot Camp...

Zumba and TRX on Tuesday and Thursday evenings....

And lots of meat and vegetables....

And consistency in both...

As you can tell from all the pics of the food, I eat a lot...

Perhaps more than I used to....

In volume but not in calories....

And I weigh 30 lbs less than I used to....

But I look BIGGER....

Because I'm down from 26% body fat to less than 10% body fat. 

Combine low body fat with a lot of intense exercise and you get definition that makes you look bigger while being smaller. 

And that gets noticed. 

The last of the pork chops, grilled eggplant, yellow bell peppers and lots of other vegetable characters.  

My wife presented a tasty meal of diced jalapeño sausage, poached eggs and mandolin thin sliced onions, bell peppers and baby Bella mushrooms. 

You have to set your expectations high and then maintain your discipline. 

Breakfast this morning...

Turkey - veggie mix Pattie with grilled eggplant and red bell peppers. 

Followed by a pumped up post workout meal....

Been doing heavy Deadlifts and Squats over the last 2 weeks on my "off days". 

It paid off as I went up 10 lbs on my squat track in Body Pump this morning. 

Doing more....

With less. 

Get it?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's just You and...

The man (or woman) in the mirror...

If you don't like what you see....

Do something to change it...


As my daughter would say...

I got this. 

Where you been Wills?

Started the week off by fixing a meal for my daughter, Amy. 

Pork Chop, Scrambled Eggs, Arugula, Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese, Poblano Peppers and Squash....

I think she liked it. 

Staying consistent throughout the week on pork chops and vegetables. 

Mixed in a little diced jalapeno sausage....With my standard fruit and nut "dessert". 

It's really up to you.

The information is out there on how to regain and maintain your health.   

It's Your Decision whether or not you do it.

Of course, there might be a little pain along the way. 

But Jimmy Dean and the Veggies can help!

Another breakfast before a morning workout....

This morning's light breakfast before a Make up workout of Abs, Calves, Chest and Back....

There will always be Pain..... Pain of being sedentary or Pain of activity....

But if you just keep stoking the body with good food and getting some decent sleep, hopefully you'll find a way to manage the pain and still get to where you want to be. 

It's not that hard. 

You can do this.

So You Wanna Give Up - Huh?

Whatever the situation is.... Whatever it's about....

Mental, Physical, Emotional....

You're Tired, You're Hurting, You've Had Enough....

And You're about to give up....

Not so Fast, Jack.... or Jill....

Take a step back.... and let's consider the situation thoughtfully.

The First thing to consider is if you're about to give up on something.... anything.... it implies you've been working on it and committed to it for some time.... and you've put some effort into it.

That means you have an investment in it.  Are you willing to lose the time and effort you've already put into the object of that time and effort?

The Second thing to consider is.... Are you getting a return on your investment?  Is the effort and time and energy you put into it worth what you're getting out of it?  What will you lose if you don't continue the effort?

The Third thing to consider is.... What is the next best alternative to what you're currently doing?  How much effort will you have to put into the new direction and what is the expected return for your investment of time?

Let me take a real life example I'm going through right now.

As has been documented in this blog, I have been working on a progressive return to better personal health and fitness throughout 2012.

That journey has required time, effort and sacrifice.

The Time to shop for and prepare healthy meals and to work out.

The Effort of grinding through daily workouts at a very high intensity level.

The Sacrifice of not eating more indulgent foods and enjoying more tranquil mornings and evenings.

In fact, I've begun to think about the workouts and the level of pain and discomfort I go through in each workout and consider.....

Not going.

I mean - let's face it.  If you're in your 40's, 50's or older and you're trying to cut fat and build lean muscle mass, you have to do more than just skip around in a few aerobics classes and swing a few weights around and indulge in social chit chat at the gym.

At least I do....

Every workout I do is a gut wrenching, sweat pooling, journey into a battle zone of "Will he make it or Will he not?".

Does it have to be that way?

No.... but that's the only way I know how to do it and get the results I want.

100% or nothing.

So what's my payout besides being in continous pain and discomfort.

Well.... I look and feel better now, at 50, than at any time in my life barring my late teens and early 20's.

I am healthy.

I can sleep at night.

I am rested and relaxed.

Is it worth the journey that got me here and the sacrifices I had to make?

Is it worth the struggle I go through in each workout?  To try to increase weights and reps and intensity?  To do more than I did the last time? 

Is it worth it to skip the chocolate cake and have a bowl of fresh fruit and nuts instead?

In a word....


Do I wanna give up sometimes?


So why don't I give up?

Because there's no better alternative.  

I mean Come on.... I've had the alternative.... 30 lbs overweight, High Blood Pressure, Knee Pain to the point I couldn't walk, Back Pain to the point I couldn't stand up straight.

Every healthy meal I eat.... Every drop of sweat that hits the floor.... Every quart of oxygen I gulp in a sprint.... Every set that leaves me bent over hands on knees gasping for air and wanting for relief is an....

Investment in my future.... the payoff is infinite.... I'm making an insurance premium payment every time I work out and eat right.

There's nothing else I can do that will get me these results.... these returns.

Sometimes.... it's not about giving up on the current course.

Sometimes.... it's about recognizing what is important to you....

And sticking to the current course.

It's up to you....

To take care of your most important asset.....