Friday, November 30, 2012

(relatively) Easy Diet explained (1) : Fears (4)

Not cool.
Well, it was an issue for me. I always wanted to be the coolest guy in the world. I tried very hard, believe me. I did a lot of things I should not have to be 'Cool'. I guess we all have. On a diet, you cannot drink to much. I mean, more than a glass or two. And not every day. And that's not cool, in a society, where the social aspect goes through drinking, mostly.


And you cannot eat everything too much. You may have to say 'No' when people ask you gently to server you again ... What ? You do not like What I have cooked for you ?

Yup. Not cool. And they are all jealous of you, Right ? Because you are doing it ! feeling better, looking thinner, in better shape that them. Then they will put you aside. You are not like them anymore.

Wrong. I was projecting on others what I would have felt before the diet, looking at someone in better shape than me. Envious. Not them. Me. Typical. Usually you fear from others your own fears that you project. Whats really going on ? They do not care, do they ? It is a free country. Don't want to get drunk ? Just don't. I realized that If i stop worrying about others opinion, there was really no issues.

Diet Crawl ?

Just be honest. Tell them, write a blog. Who knows. You may help someone to a step in the same direction. Now you will have a "diet" buddy. No more a "crawling bar" buddy.

Being honest with myself and with others, I found was the key to go over this fear of being rejected.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

(relatively) Easy Diet explained (1) : Fears (3)

- Starving.

In fact, I almost never felt hungry. Really hungry. Feeling hungry is a good thing, it is a signal to tell you to eat. Then I eat.

Part of the diet was to reeducate me on the quantity of food I really needed. A good plate is a small plate. Really. Think about a fancy restaurant size's plate. Tiny. But usually just enough. I wanted to reach a balance were you do not feel heavy or sleepy after eating. Light digestion.

Here are my trick to never be hungry:

- Try to eat slow. Give some time for your body to feel fed.
- Eat small portions. ( In case you fail on the first point - which is my case, usually). At least, you know that should be enough.
- If hungry, eat a small snack. Avoid large sport bars (except if you are actually DO sport). Usually, those are are around 300-400 calories, which is considerable. I am targeting snack around 100 calories : One banana, one small choco-bar, one half avocado. one handful of almonds. You get the idea.
- Drink a lot. (no sport drink, try Coconut water instead). Lot of water.
- Eat more fruits and vegetable than fat & sugary food. They tend to fill the stomach more for less calories.

And frankly, if I have to go over my daily threshold for any reason, I do not panic and indulge myself.
This is for life. No Hurry.

Using those techniques, I usually can do with 3 snacks a day and 3 meals. Super roughly, that runs around 3x150 and 3x400 calories, roughly 1700 calories. Plenty of space for extra stuff and a glass of wine.

Good looking plate.

I guess you realize that 400 calories for a lunch/diner is not a lot. It is not. It is not a lot. It is just enough ;)

The key point :  More (Volume) For less (Calories).

More for less.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

(relatively) Easy Diet explained (1) : Fears (2)

- Fear of change.

Well, I cannot help there except you have to want it. Really. This is a long term commitment. A commitment for life. Seems obvious, but if you do not change the way you are eating, you cannot change your nutrition habits and you cannot change your weight or your well-being.

The only working diet is the one you can sustain for the rest of your life.

Change is good. Life is all about change:

For me, after a couple of rough years, the move to Hawaii was a good occasion to radically change things. Nutrition seemed to be a good first contender. The hip and back pain are really just an excuse to justify a radical new approach.
How did I go over my fear of change? As I always do, Jump and think afterward. How did I Jump ? By telling the world through this blog. Accountability. Now, I am stuck to thrive ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

(relatively) Easy Diet explained (1) : Fears (1)

For now on, I will go over what I consider a successful diet in my case.(roughly 20 pounds in less than 3 months, and not fighting it .. too much). Not sure if that applies to anyone else, but I do not see why not.
I will keep those posts simple and to the point, for a change. Shorter.

Personally, I had some fears starting a diet.

- First, It was my first diet ever. Never been there. Fear of change. What would happen ?
- Second, I was afraid to be in pain. Starving pain mostly.
- Third, I was afraid of telling people. Being on a diet is sooooo NOT cool.
- Fourth, that I will not be able to eat the food I like, fat cheese and sugary cookies.


Well, I think it is ok to be afraid ;). It makes you feel alive !

ps: Told you it was getting shorter ;)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to the fundamentals

If you look back a month or so, in the category 'Fitness', I put nutrition.
Why ? First, for any back pain, the less you have to move, the better for the spine. Makes sense. Being lighter cannot really hurt.

 Except if you are training for Sumo.

Second, I have been surfing and kitesurfing two to three times a week for the last four years, and I never lost weight. In fact, I was gaining weight. To the point where I was closing the gap to the psychological 80Kg. I think I had to know whay. To understand. The more I was training, the more I was gaining weight ?

Then, this item 'Nutrition' is all about 'Know your enemy'.

The demonic forces

I will certainly come back on this subject in details, but in a nutshell: You cannot win with those facts

Cookie: 200 Calories
Brownie: 325
Ice Cream : 360 
Big Mac : 550

Running: One hour at 5mph : 530 Calories.

You cannot win. When I realized how hard it is to run one hour, even slowly, and how easy it is to indulge myself a sugary treat, It kind-of make sense, If I do not control my nutrition, I cannot win. Not if you are not doing an insane amount of exercise everyday.

And even if you are training a lot, weight management is still an issue...

And if I do not learn to eat right, I will be craving for food and be sad. Because, eventually, you realize there is What you eat and How much do you eat.

Then, yes, Nutrition, definitively item #1 on the fitness list. Sorry to tell you this:
Training will not help you to lose weight. Not until you know what is in your plate.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Sorry, I have been busy cheating.

When you are on a diet, there is a magic weapon you can use in (almost) any occasion: Thanksgiving, Birthdays, you name it.

Called 'Cheatmeals". Officially, there is a rationale behind it: To avoid your metabolism to slow down because of the lower source of calories, you trick your body to let him believe all is good, by eating (and drinking) way more than usual. The other advantage is to take a psychological break and 'do not count' or 'eat whatever you have been dreaming off'.

Well, no miracles. Not sure if my metabolism is super fast now, but for sure, if you eat a lot, you do not loose weight.

Cheat meals zone : Do you see Thanksgiving ?

..Me too.

but you got to eat this:

and this (few day after)

Was it worth it ? I am still debating it ;)
Was it good ? Certainly yes.

Thanks to John and Harmony to invite us for a traditional Thanksgiving, and thanks to my wife to have her birthday the same week.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Will I be ready ?

Pro coming to my home spot. I do have an obvious advantage.. But ... Will I be ready in time ?

Wave kitesurfers decide world title at Hookipa

The best wave kitesurfers in the world will be crowned in the last stage of the Kite Surf Pro World Tour 2012, to be ridden in Hookipa, Hawaii, from the 29th November to the 8th December.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A day like every other days

What is easy when you leave on a island where the weather is always the same and the number of distractions is limited to the size of the waves and the strength of the wind, or maybe the cloud coverage is to organize your day in a way you can actually rely into.

I guess the biggest disturbance on my week is the week end , or holidays like tomorrow, because the timing is a little different. Just trying to focus on family life during this extra time left do the trick. Not that complicated.

OK, here is my typical day:

6:30: Start to work


8AM or  9AM: 15 min break for Somatic warmup, "The cat strecht". Not sure of the usefulness, but until i decide to switch to Yoga and Sun salutation, that does the trick of waking up the body.

Yeah, this one is easy ;)

10AM: Snack.

11AM: 15 min break, Deeper stretches. I go over all the stretches I am supposed to do according to my PT. Mostly targeting hips and psoas, glutes.

On the weekend, it is done outside ...

12PM: Lunch. As you will see later, my lunch is pretty fast, between 5min or 10min top.

1PM or 2PM: 30min workout. repetitions of strengthening exercises. Glutes, situp, planks, Obliques you name it.

... or at the beach

3PM: Snack.

3:30PM or 4PM: End of the day of work

4PM to 6:30PM. Fun begin. Longer workout, running, swimming (30-45min) or 60min of Kite-surfing, surfing, paddle board  anything that burns around 400 cal, is relatively fun. Trying to alternate the activities depending on time available and conditions.Serious Stretching afterward (15min).

... After surfing. No, this not a nap.

5:30PM: If I am at home, going to the playground with my daughter and adding another 30min of strengthening and stretching.

8:30PM: Blog.

11PM: Light extinction.

The key points of my planning are :
 - Breaking the "sitting position at the desk" every hours or so.
 - Keep a schedule to do the things I do not like to do (strengthening, stretching)
 - Do not practice only what I like (surfing, kiting, etc..)

Sticking to this schedule really helps to stick to the plan, which is simple : Do whatever I can to get better and allows me to later do MORE of the fun stuff. Hopefully.

Finally, ready for the fun stuff.

Seems hardcore ? It takes what it takes.

"We are capable of far more than we believe ourselves to be. As we learn more and more about the ways in which brain functions control, maintain, repair, and protect our bodies, we come more and more to respect this marvelous capacity we have. We are far less dependent and helpless than we believe ourselves to be; which is to say, we are far more responsible and self-governing than we know." 
Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health by Thomas Hanna

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


As you should know by now, I am a man of numbers. Binary for work. Repetition for work-out. Calories for diet.

0 and 1. Simple.

To help me in the next phase, improving my overall mid section and helping to relieve my hip flexors, I spent the last couple of days to push it a little and grab some numbers about my core training. As a reference, for later.

In fact, I did it partially in  early September. Numbers do not LIE.

Early September:

Sit-up: 20
Push-up: 20
Pull-up: 5
Plank: 90s
Side plank: 60s
Could not run more than 30 min, Kite or surf more than 45min without limping.

I do not do my sit-ups very high.

2 Months and half after, Here are my numbers:

Sit-up: 80
Push-up: 35
Pull-up: 15
Plank: 180s
Side plank: 120s

Not bad, right ?
After my PT evaluation, I am still really weak on my obliques and my glutes.

Obliques (on a ball) : 30
Obliques (Flat): 10 (small ones)
Glutes (Kick back 5s hold): 25
Bridge (20s hold): 5

Obliques: Double crunch

As this is where I need to work I will focus on those the next couple of months.
What about the other training ?
Well, it is going better:

45min of Kite, 60min of Surf, 30min of slow running (5km), 30 min of swimming (1km and half) are usually alright, with a "discomfort" on the right hip. The good news is I begin to feel it in the left hip as well, meaning my body is re-balancing itself a little.
This is the first time I am glad to feel a new pain ;)

Good to smiles again ;)

Still a long way to go for me to the Big Island Ultraman.

The Ultraman World Championship is a three-day, 320 mile (515-km) annual endurance race held on the Big Island of Hawaii

 I would have to train like him..

David Googins, The human machine.

His schedule:
3:45am -- 15-20 mile run followed by biking to work (25 miles)
8am --  begin work day
Lunch --  brief 4-5 mile run if time allows
6pm --  bike home from work (25 miles) - weight training (with his wife)
Midnight --  bedtime

Well, nice transition for the post of tomorrow where I will give you MY Schedule:

The Vdoubie machine.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gear sacrifice - Part 2

Lanes does not forgive. One time I drop my good old 5'8'' and the god of strapless punish me. The board vaporized. Disappeared. Eaten by a shark or a turtle. One blink. Did not even see it popping up again of the white water. it was not even that big, 4-6 feet max. Ouch. That spot does not forgive.

See the reef ? You will see very close if you want to launch here. Very close.

You will have to walk on it being pulled by your kite in wind going from 8 to 30 knots, holding your board in one hand. Booties recommended. Skills recommended.

Anyway, it seems that going back to strap was a bad idea.
Listen to the signs. This one was a pretty big one. Did not lost a board since at least 2 or 3 years. Decided to go back with straps, second session, Zip.  I am back on my brand new strapless 5'11''.

Beautiful. How long  can I keep it ?

Yeah. That's me when I have a big tan and let me hair grow. 
I have the same board though.

Now, the question: Leash or no leash ? Would you prefer to lose another board (500$) or get scalped by a fin in the surf (priceless) ?
Answer next session.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Addict to write in this blog ? Certainly. Some people write in notebooks all day long (not calling anyone's name here ;). Catharsis ? Analysis ?

Maybe, but no, today, it is about being addict to my new lifestyle.

Not this addiction. Not yet.

Today was Sunday.
First, I overslept. Woke up at 8:30 instead of 6:30 (roughly).
Got a Pancake for a change. Only one. Felt hungry almost 30 min after breakfast.
Got a late Lunch as we were shilling at the beach. (Too hard). Got some nice family time there, but one hour late lunch really screwed my metabolism it seems.
Went shopping all afternoon. Barely no exercise, except a 10 min swimm at the beach. It was rest day.

Rest day is killing me.

Felt without energy, half sleepy all afternoon. Overate globally all day, to reach more calories than usual without doing any sport. Nonsense.

We managed to eat diner as usual, in the good days (7:30) -  I know compared to french habits, it is time for the "aperitif". Lots of american are eating around 6 or 6:30 here.
Now I feel better. My body revives.

I am an addict. 
To exercise at least one hour a day. 
To get up early. 
To eat on time. 
To eat healthy.
I am screwed.

Did not eat this anymore as long as I can remember. 
I have a short term memory though.

It made think of this:

STOKING THE METABOLIC MACHINE To avoid lethargy, fatigue, and a loss of mental focus between meals, it’s important to continue to feed yourself light snacks to keep your metabolism churning at its peak. Develop a habit of light grazing— eating small snacks throughout the day.

Roll, Rich (2012-05-22). Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age

The Metabolic Machine. Mine got it s own rhythm. And I cannot change it. Even for a Sunday, a rest day.
I am so screwed. For the rest of my life, I will have to get up early and kite or surf everyday.
I will have no more a normal life.
I am an addict ;)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gear Sacrifice

Part of dealing with an Injury is learning
  - To rest
  - Relearn the way you are practicing

Well, learning to rest is impossible for me. Specially when it s blowing 25+ and you have 8+ feet waves coming in.

Kanaha. "Upper" wave spot. Today. Fun.

Well, I learned to rest when there is no wind (Almost never happen here), no waves (with a long board or a paddleboard, you are talking less 2 footers. Which means almost never as well) and the swimming pool is closed (happens not that often as well ;).
I auto-analysed my posture and I think part of the issue is a bad stance on top of weak abs/glutes. Then while I am working out my mid section every day or so ...

Glues work at the beach

.. I give my back a rest with a Dakine short Harness and a Dynabar for the surf (super cool, I love it !)

Balls crushing gear

And eventually put back my straps after 2 years of strapless ...

Time to be handy manny.

On my old 5.8''...

Frenchy Weapon of choice

Why ? I need to focus on my stance. And it is way easier to do when I am not swimming after my board. (Plus Strapless in Maui is kind of silly anyway. Too windy, choppy and big....)

Anyway, I gave it a test today, and after 50 minutes of kiting, I barely feel my hip. We will see tomorrow and  tonight. Then, maybe for the first time, I am doing something right. Question is: For how long ?

I suppose Alec Dektor does not have Hip Pain and a weak mid-section.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lets free our mind

Let close the subject of consciousness, and with it, the first of the three pillars of my new self ;). Don't remember ? Right, me neither. Looking back ... Yes, right, Awareness, Fitness, Faithfulness.
Well, subject of today makes a beautiful bridge between Awareness and Fitness.
I think everybody knows that meditation is very important for awareness, and body and mind awakening.

This I cannot do. Yet.

Well, almost everybody knows that meditation is not for everybody. If you are like me, it may sounds boring, and painful. I need to admit that I never committed to it, really. Annoying, because I do not feel like meditating, will my inner balance collapse and all my structural revival attempt fails ? Well, guess what, as there is a magic hormone - endorphin- that helps you get high without smoking pot, there is a magic state of mind while you begin to run long distances (in fact not that long, 20-30 minutes does the trick usually).

"Active meditation, as it’s appropriately called, has many of the same mental benefits offered by traditional meditation. Most people find active meditation easier to get into due to the increased blood flow in the brain."
B.Brazier Thrive Fitness

Active Meditation while running

Here is the explanation of the process:

"As my fitness developed over the weeks and months, I no longer had to concentrate on the act of running. At a moderate pace, it had become effortless. This is the point at which everything changed for me. Because I didn’t have to engage in conscious thought to be able to run, my mind would wander. Ideas I could never have imagined as belonging to me would flow every time I ran, almost as though my head was a radio receiving signals from outside. A whole other part of my brain had been accessed"
B.Brazier Thrive Fitness

Myself, I do think that the hypnotic trance of running or swimming long distance is very effective to release the mind. Awareness is all about freeing my right brain. Which is kind of important for a computer geek like me who are stimulating his left brain all day long while sitting.

Let s get high all together !

Thursday, November 15, 2012


"You know, people say to me “you need to really motivate me to eat well and go to the gym.” And you know what? I’m not going to motivate you. I’ll let you know what works for me and it’s up to you. If you really dislike it that much, then don’t do it."

"You can stand in the light. And you can set a positive example. But you simply cannot make someone change."

"The obesity “epidemic” has been wildly exaggerated by the CDC. People the government classifies as “overweight” have longer lifespans than people classified as “normal weight.” Having low cholesterol is unhealthy. Lowfat diets can lead to depression and type II diabetes. Saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease — but sugars, starches and processed vegetable oils do"

I am not preaching. At least , I am trying not to.
I would love to, but I do not have time for it, I prefer surfing.
Here is my quote, then:

"Gone surfing".
Me, myself ... and my daughter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Is the number of the day.

Lately I became addicts to numbers - Calories - Body Mass Index - Repetitions - Intervals - Heart Rate - Weight etc...
Even if I did not reach yet the point in this blog where I start talking about nutrition (slowly, but surely, it is coming...), as some could have guessed, related to my injury and my desire to improve my overall stamina, I had to start a diet - if not a new way of life.
My original goal was 155 lbs, from an original 175 lbs.
Take this off an already super fit guy (on the verge of overweight - with an outstanding 20% fat - according to american standards - which are to be low, looking at people around me - and this while i was going surfing and kiting 3 or 4 times of week. Unbelievable.).

Anyway, I wont bother you with a picture of me naked, I was already awesome before, but look at this beauty:

Isn't it true that some numbers are prettier than some pictures ?

Frankly, at this point, my diet is becoming a lifestyle, then I do not know really why I would stop here. 
Next step, 150. Was it difficult to reach this in 3 months ? No, Not really. Far less than the constant stretching and strengthening I am doing for my hip injury. My secrets ? Wait and see.
Is it worth it ?

You missed my drop into in this 18 footer at Hookipa last week-end

Well, if it allows me to surf just one minute more everyday, put that in the 120 years I still have to live, hell yeah, it is worth it. I will do it again everyday. Hum, right, I am doing it every day.

As I said before,
 This is all about the paddle out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Correct posture - Part 345

It looks like I like to repeat myself, like history.
If you do a posture do it well.

By the way, this website explain some in high details. Very cool.

Ok, Now the little daily story. The bridge is a good tool to build Glutes and stretch Psoas. Well, I tried it before and did not like it.
Why ? It is supposed to:

"Lengthens the spine – especially in the lower back. Can help ease lower back ache.  Helps to open the front of the shoulders. Tones the abdominal muscles. Very relaxing and can relieve stress."

Not for me. I always squeeze my low back spine, kind of compress my disks and feel pain after, in the low back, where it was supposed to be "helping".

Beautiful Bridge.

Again, there is a secret. In fact, two.

"To get even more space in the lower spine visualize the tailbone being pulled away as your pelvis rises up. Keep this image of the tailbone being pulled away as the hips come down as well."

you have to push away your pelvis, which is very different that arching your back. Believe me, there is a hell of a difference.

Second one, is to put a medicine ball between your knee, which forces to contract the inside muscle of the leg, and relax the external ones.

Like this, but the ball activate the inner leg muscles

I like paddle boarding too, but there is more waves at my local spot.

Next time i am on water, I am trying this.

Lesson 345: If you do it, do it well.