Archive for 2012

To Be Thankful: What Changed?

Where to start with my thanks!  It’s been a beautiful and busy year that started out in old Jancel fashion developing flashy web applications, contributing to open source projects and from every which direction looking a lot like 2011, 2010 and so forth.  There were a string of events in late January that would change my life and this I have so much to be thankful for.

Me Since

Me Since – Full

Me Since

Before Weight Loss – At Bar

Before Weight Loss – Salt Lake Flats

Before Weight Loss

There was an interview/prospect I met with in a fancy hotel in which the recruiter told me to show up “Business Casual”.  I did, and felt so far out of place. Everyone else was in fancy suits, gorgeous dresses, and generally looking great (both from outerwear to healthy).  I massively out of space, and this pun is intentional.  I was by far the biggest guy at the meeting, and just felt out of my league, a league that is in my plans.  You see, I was aware that this was a venture capital firm talking to the same prospects I was; and this is one dream I haven’t yet gone after, but it is in my plans.  I’m thankful to this incident as it really made me realize how I was headed into a different direction than where I wanted to be.  Doing everything technical, becoming a technician master, everything I’ve been working on; it’s not where I want to be headed.

A dentist visit a day or two later had me sitting in a chair stressing. My blood pressure was about 150/95, which made me even more nervous.  It was time to go to the doctor and get my blood pressure medicine, because I was obviously having trouble controlling it now.  This not only frustrated me, but it made me right out mad. I don’t like taking daily medicines, yuck!  I’m thankful that my dental office checks blood pressure and that my eyes were opening.

My wife and I discussed the impending doctor visit for my blood pressure and she agreed to make an appointment for me. I’m thankful that she agreed to giving me a chance to get to the gym before forcing me to visit the doctor. You see, she agreed to let me prove that medicine wasn’t what I needed; I just had to get to the gym 6 days a week from here on out.  If I did this, and monitored my blood pressure, we could wait a little longer for this doctor’s visit.

Above and beyond this, there are several things I have to be thankful for, it’s a long list.  I’m thankful that when we talked about this as a family, we realized that life is precious and our goals wouldn’t be achieved easily.  We also understood that there wasn’t a magic pill.  We were going to wage war against our sedentary lifestyle, and it wasn’t going to happen overnight.  After this discussion, almost overnight, everything changed.

  • I’m thankful that 2.2mph is a setting on our treadmill. I was disgusted at the fact that I couldn’t walk fast, but even more so at the fact that I couldn’t walk a mile without feeling exhausted.
  • I’m thankful that I have an elliptical.  45 minutes on a treadmill would have been impossible starting out, and this is so depressing it could have stopped some people that want to change right in their tracks.
  • I’m thankful to have the support of my wife and children who understood the need for me to take this 45 minute excursion every day and clearing the obstacles from my family life that allowed me to heal myself.
  • I’m thankful that my brain kept telling me that this stuff doesn’t get any easier, and my body kept asking for more.
  • I’m thankful that the results of all the work have been readily visible both externally and internally.
  • I’m thankful for all the new friends that are always eager to embark on an exercise session with me.
  • I’m thankful that my body keeps picking up the phone, every time I come calling (i.e. putting on my shoes to go for a run).
  • I’m thankful to all the helpful people I have run into along the way.  Both current, past and future friends.
  • I’m thankful to Amy, who heard me working out in a phone conversation one day and then planted a seed about running.
  • I’m thankful that there is Fleet Feet St Louis and other areas around the entire country that helps new people finde a niche in running every day.  And they make it easy to get into by providing the right equipment and advice.
  • I’m thankful for all the thoughts and prayers that have come in along my journey this year, thanks for everything you guys!
  • I’m thankful that my journey won’t end. This isn’t a war anymore, it’s a way.  It isn’t about obesity, it’s not about unhealthy, it’s not about life. It’s about active lifestyle, it’s about eating right to fit the lifestyle, and it’s about living. This is the only way to live.
  • I’m thankful to my daughter Arielle, for being the lovely please all.  You’re an absolutely amazing young woman.
  • I’m thankful to my son Garrett, for being such an amazing young man.  You inspire me to get to running as fast and as far as you do.  You make me proud to be a daddy!
  • I’m thankful to my daughter Caroline, for being that smile that makes my day brighter every day.  Your charm and beauty is absolutely breath taking.
  • Most of all, I’m thankful to my wife.  Without her support and praise, there’s no way I would be where I am today.  As hard as I have made it for her this year, she has answered the call everyday.  I’m also very thankful that you are an amazing mother. I’ve known this for 18 years, and still think you’re even more amazing than you know.

So what’s changed this year? Everything.  I hope to continue this life.  Please enjoy my slide show.  It shows some before and after pictures.

Time to Shape Up

I’ve been running and cycling all winter. I feel the best I’ve ever felt. Now it’s time to move to phase 2. Phase 2 is a return to Tae Kwon Do, which I have been out of for 6 weeks recouping an injured groin. It also continues the running @about 20 miles and cycling @ 30 miles a week. Then I will be adding something I have been missing all year. A new cross training program I developed based on research of run weight lifting that I feel will benefit my overall person. Here’s the minor details:

  1. Warmup (.6 – 1.25 mile jog)
  2. Stretch thoroughly
  3. Sit ups (1 set of 10-50 of the following: Upper and Lower Abs, Right and Left obliques)
  4. Pushups (1 set of 10, working up to sets of 50 one day)
  5. Pullups (Work up to full weight pull ups, 10, then increase to desire)
  6. Back Rows (Weight machine)
  7. Squats (1 set of 10)
  8. Lunges (1 set of 10)
  9. Run .25 mile hill, walk or jog back
  10. Repeat steps 3-9, 3 times
  11. Warm down (.6 – 1.25 mile jog)
  12. Stretch thoroughly

We will start with this workout 2 times a week, but steps 3, 4 and 5 we will do every day, leaving 1 day where we do nothing active for a rest day.  Stick this workout for 3-4 weeks and do some basic benchmarks and adjust as necessary.  The goals are to decrease my overall 5k time (or 3.1 mile time) to below 30 minutes initially, but I personally would love to see it down around 25 when training starts next season.

Upcoming tests: Reindeer Run 5k December 15th & TBA 10K in January

Jancel Breakfast

I’ve turned some heads and a few have asked what I eat.  I started counting calories a couple of months ago and have since fine tuned and tweaked my meals to make sure I get as much protein as I can stomach.  It’s not all about the protein though, it’s more about balance of carbs, fats, and proteins with a well-balanced calorie tracking system.

Breakfast (Choose 1 of the three following recipes)

  1. Protein Shake (670 Calories)- My favorite for very active days.
  2. Poached Eggs (310 Calories)- My favorite in summer when I have fresh salsa
  3. Egg White Wrap (257 Calories)- Just great!  This one takes a little more time to make.

Protein Shake Recipe

This recipe I picked up from a friend that talked me into running.  It is a perfect 30/40/30 mix of the primary focus’ of my diet.  It’s wonderful, and you can tweak it massively to get different calories and tastes.

  1. 1/2 serving of milk (2% for the above calories) (4 ounces)
  2. 1/2 serving of cottage cheese (2 ounces)
  3. 1 serving of your favorite peanut butter (subtract 150 calories for PB2) (2 tablespoons)
  4. 1 serving of Flax (1 tablespoon)
  5. 1 serving steel-cut oats (pre-cooked from night before via oats instructions) (1 cup cooked)
  • Combine ingredients in a blender until desired consistency

The bottom of the dish will be more oats, so I drink the beginning and chew when necessary.  Removing the oats makes a more palatable “drink”. Removing cottage cheese in substitution for a full serving of milk works well too, the shake gets a little sweeter this way.

Poached Eggs Recipe

  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 1/2 Thomas Whole Wheat English Muffin
  3. 1 Tablespoon Mayo or 1/2 serving of Butter
  4. 1-2 teaspoons of Franks Redhot Sauce
  • Poach eggs 5-7 minutes to desired done-ness
  • Toast muffin to your desired level
  • Spread butter or mayonnaise on toasted muffin
  • Cut eggs, and smother over muffin
  • Top with Franks Redhot to your taste or a healthy organic all natural salsa

This is the one breakfast I ate for the first 6 months of my dieting.  YUM.

Egg White Wrap Recipe

  1. 2-3 servings egg whites
  2. Grilled onions, garlic and spinach (use any green hear healthy veggie here)
  3. 1 wheat wrap
  4. 1/2 ounce Feta cheese
  • Microwave wrap to moisten
  • Add eggs to non-stick skillet
  • Add vegetables to eggs and cook until egg whites are completely cooked
  • Fold on each side and remove from skillet and place on wrap
  • Sprinkle Feta cheese
  • Fold the wrap

At this point, I love to actually toast the wrap or throw it on a pannini grill to toast the exterior.

As always, consult with your physician before starting a custom diet and exercise program to decide whether it will be beneficial to your health concerns and needs.  This is what works best for me. With some preparation at the beginning of the week, all of these breakfasts can be cooked in about 10 minutes. Protein shake above being the quickest.

Next Up Lunch and Dinner Recipes


Running Schedule

Racing season is in full swing. I plan on running the MO’ Cowbell 5k on October 7th and the Gumbo Flats 10K on October 27th. I’m also doing a 1 mile fun run/walk in November and searching for 1 or 2 more 5k’s in November.

Jingle Bell Run, Turkey Trot, and Santa Run are all 5k’s that I plan on thinking about further going into the run season.

It’s an exciting time. I logged 44.4 miles in September and there is a good improvement on my mile time as my duration went down considerably.

Cheers. If you’re running any of these races, feel free to look me up, contact me or whatever.

© 2012 - Jeff Ancel
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