Revamp. New Years begins on October 1st.

It’s been a wild couple of months. I just got back from a west coast music tour, and to be honest: I Move & Shake was more like “I Move from time to time & Shake.” No excuses, full disclosure. See, towards the end of summer, I was doing a lot of yoga and Tai Cheng, but once I hit the road for my friends wedding and the tour, things became a bit more sporadic. Some days I walked a lot. One day I even hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion Utah. (And I can’t even begin to tell you how invaluable Shakeology is while traveling, hiking, and camping. There was nothing quite like throwing a packet into my water bottle in the Narrows at Zion to sustain me for several more hours. Even on the days of Burgers, Fries, and Smores, I knew I was getting the daily nutrition my body needed. And let me tell you this: After playing a show at Room 5 in Hollywood followed by the most unhealthily-delicious meal of chili-cheese hot dogs at Pinks, I was more than ready for my Shakeology the next morning.)

 

So I spent a lot of time sitting around, sitting on stages, and sitting in a van. But I actually felt good about it, for two reasons: 1) After many months of pushing myself physically, I wanted to give my body a chance to rest and recalibrate. 2) I knew that I was already amping up, revamping, and ramping up for the biggest challenge of all: P90X, New-Years-Resolution-Style no B.S.

What that means is instead of waiting until January, we start in October and finish in January. That way we start off 2013 in the best shape of our lives. And who is we:

We is my two brothers and I. The Gerzon Brothers. We’re calling this challenge G90X and we’re inviting a few of our closest friends to join us before opening to our broader community of friends.

I’m nervous, but more than that I’m extremely excited to make this commitment with my brothers and friends and watch as the transformations occur.

I Move & Shake. Again.

My 3-week cleanse was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Not only did it take an immense amount of willpower, but the cleanse was so extreme I was often at a loss for what to eat when I was away from my kitchen. While I am glad that I have this experience under my belt, it is too extreme for me to recommend. Next time, I will most definitely do the ultimate reset which offers many more benefits with a much more balanced approached. I am actually very excited to do this later in the year.

Now, I’m just really happy to move and shake again. This morning, I had my first shakeology in over three weeks. And there’s no going back this time. This was after my Tai Cheng workout. While I am loving learning Tai Chi through Tai Cheng, I am also really excited to push my limits to new levels of capacity. For the next couple of days, I will continue to move and shake with Tai Cheng, Chocolate Shakeology, and yoga classes several times a week. Come later in August, I will jump into p90x and ride the wave for 90 days. I’m already getting pumped…

I Cheng and Cleanse

It took me a while to figure out just exactly what I would decide to commit to starting July 9.

In January, I began my weekly commitment to go to a yoga class at least once a week for 2012.

In February, Shakeology became my favorite daily food, and Tony Horton was kind enough to begin showing up in my living room 6 days a week. From February 20 – May 20 I had a meaningful experience and transformation with Power 90 and Shakeology. Power 90 brought me back into physical shape again after many years of being lazy and lethargic. Shakeology improved my digestion, energy levels, and began to pique my interest once again into diet and nutrition.

Since May 20, I’ve been going to yoga classes, doing more Power 90 while at home and on the road, and my workouts with Shaun T, Mark Cheng, and the Super-workout in Las Vegas were out-of-this-world awesome.

I participated in a movement based rights of passage workshop between June 29th and July 4 which involved many hours of dancing every day (and amazingly, one scoop of Shakeology providing sustained energy from 9am-1pm before lunch time!).

Since then, I have had time to set some goals for summer and early fall. Here’s what I have decided to commit to:

Tai Cheng: 6 Days / Week. 90 days. (Even while traveling).
Yoga class: 2-4 Days / Week. 90 days. (Possibly not while traveling).
Power 90, Sculpt 3-4: 2-4 Days / Week (for the next 3 weeks)
3 Week Cleanse: While I plan to do the Ultimate Reset soon, this commitment is entirely diet based: No Gluten, Dairy, Sugar, Alcohol, Meat, Corn, etc (the list goes on). It is actually very similar to what Tony Horton recommends in chapter 14 of his book, “Bring It!” but a little more intense. This will be the most difficult protocol I have ever engaged in (Especially after my bacon jalapeño cheese fries, cheesy chicken enchiladas, and two handfuls of chocolate chip cookies all eaten on Sunday!)

To that, I have committed. Come late July I will reassess how I am feeling, and potentially make further commitments (including starting my own challenge group, which I’m very excited about). I also know that I want to do p90x or p90x2 at some point in 2012, but I’m most excited about Les Mills Combat coming out this fall!

 

https://www.teambeachbody.com/signup/-/signup/free?referringRepId=136383

http://www.shakeology.com/web/shakeology/the-blog/

 

 

 

I take a break.

Even after my last post, I pressed my luck and suffered the consequences. It’s funny to me, the notion of taking a break. And how easy it is for the mind to weasel its way out of healthy habits and into unhealthy ones.

After completing Power 90 with very successful results in mid-may, I decided to take a break before starting my next program. Whenever we take a break from something positive we sense there are mixed reasons. In my case: solid rationale and laziness.

Solid rationale: I just completed an intense 90 day program and my body could use a little bit of rest and differentiation. I am going to attend more yoga classes.

Laziness: I’m tired of putting in effort an just want to be lazy for a while.

What did I learn from taking a month off?

  • There is never a good reason to take a long break from something positive. Modify, adapt, change, but never stop!
  • Moving and Shaking first thing in morning dramtically improves my mood, my energy, and my outlook on life. There is no reason to take a break from Moving and Shaking first thing in the morning, other than laziness.
  • While traveling (Plane, train, and automobile) make morning “move sessions” a bit more challenging, that is NO REASON to skip them. Wake. Press play on Laptop (or iPad) and start moving.
  • While traveling makes making shakes a bit more challenging, there is NO REASON to skip them. Bring a portable blender, or if you don’t have one, put a scoop of Shakeology into a plastic waterbottle and shake it up. (That’s what I did on this past trip, and I can’t even begin to tell you what a lifesaver it is! And, it’s still delicious. Not AS delicious as when it’s blended with almond, rice, or soy-milk. But even shaken with water it still goes down smooth and satisfying.
  • It doesn’t matter if I take more yoga classes, or join a softball league, or go for an evening 3 mile run. NONE OF THESE are legitimate reasons to skip my first-thing-in-the-morning fitness video. Beginning my day with stretching and strengthening is the best way to awaken my body, mind, and spirit. When waking from sleep, what better way to enliven ourselves than through a routine of physical movement? This is not a rhetorical question. This is an opportunity to join.

Now, I’m ready to revamp and pick my next workout. Power 90 gave me the solid foundation I needed. I did it again today actually to get myself in gear. And I’ll do it again tomorrow! Starting soon, I will pick my next fitness series and surge forward. I’ll keep you all posted!

 

Day 91. I don’t Move or Shake.

Perhaps because I was done with Day 90 I figured I should take a day off, but a “day off” is a strange concept. Why would I take a day off of something that feels good and makes my day so much better?

But I did it. And I had one of my least productive, least fulfilling days in weeks. I drifted aimlessly from one thing to the next without the energy and enthusiasm that my daily Move and Shake give me. It was a good lesson though: Don’t take a break from a healthy ritual for no reason.

Day 87 – Our Shared Humanity

A homeless guy patted my arm after lunch. He wanted $5 for a philosophy book. He played a song for me on the piano, and he didn’t play piano. But he had beautiful rhythm and a childlike sense of passion and present moment engagement, even though the music coming from the piano was horrible. I knew nothing other than that he was a stone carver, that he used to be in the military, and that he just lost his mom. He asked if he could have a dollar to help him by a burger, and I gave it to him. He shook my hand and then pressed down firmly on both of our hands with his other hand. I gave him a dollar, but as I walked away I wished I’d given him a dollar and a hug.

I went to Chase bank the other day to withdraw some cash. The woman behind the counter handed me a pen to sign the deposit slip, and it felt so fluid as I scribbled my signature. “This is an amazing pen,” I mentioned enthusiastically. “Keep it,” she said, “I have a whole box of them.”

I’ve been stepping back recently and marveling at our shared humanity. Whether it’s the homeless man, the bank employee, or the CEO of a company we are all just these mortal beings walking around during our allotted timespan on earth. As the homeless man gripped my hand with his strong stone-carving hand I felt a profound sense of respect for him, for his journey, for his path. And I felt grateful for my momentary compassion, the uniqueness of our interaction, and for not plowing down the sidewalk as I often do to avoid eye contact in order to get where I need to go.

Four hours earlier I awake in a fog after a night of little sleep. I was out making music and connecting with a new friend late into the night last night. But I pull myself out of bed and into the living room where I engage in the Sculpt portion of my Power 90 fitness program. 40 minutes later I feel invigorated and enlivened and excited to begin the rest of my day; a palpable vitality and enthusiasm is generated by fluidly and systematically moving my body each morning.

My body has transformed from the inside out, though most of the transformation is on the inside. The muscular density and strength within my body has dramatically increased over the last 3 months. When I walk, I feel grounded. And when I get down to the floor to do dozens of pushups I do so with confidence, endurance, and stamina, a far cry from my feeble attempts to do a handful of pushups back in February.

Upon completion, I put a full glass of almond milk into my magic bullet blender, two thirds of a scoop of Chocolate Shakeology, and a handful of organic frozen Cherries. This is a ritual I do now twice a day, once after my morning fitness program and once later in the day as a late-afternoon snack/dessert or a post-dinner dessert.

My health, my nutritional-intake, my digestion, and my energy have vastly improved since I began drinking Shakeology and working out with Beachbody fitness programs daily. It is for this reason — despite my cynical anti-corporate nature — that I am proud to represent the company that birthed these products into existence. Do they have a financial motive? Yes. And, they are also working to end the trend of obesity, help average Americans get fit and healthy in an affordable way, and provide a nutritional shake that is unrivaled in the the industry. From the blog of CEO Carl Deikeler himself:

“I BELIEVE so deeply in what we do, how we do it, and what we represent as a tribe, that I don’t have the bandwidth to look around. Anyone who asks me how we compare to a competitor can see instantly in my eyes that I have absolutely no doubt that we offer the best fitness solutions, the most nutrient dense nutrition, the most positive and robust peer support to get real, lasting results. . . Nobody in the world is doing what we do. And nobody in the world is doing it with the same fierce commitment to real healthy, life-enhancing results. There’s a lot of stuff on TV which competes with us. There are other networks promising weight loss solutions. There has been and always will be competition. Our job is just to constantly improve, and make as great an experience as possible for anyone and everyone who recognizes the originality and unparalleled quality of what we are doing.”

 

Personally, I’m not a homeless man, and I’m not a CEO. I don’t live on the street, and I don’t own a multi-million dollar mansion on the coast of Malibu. I live in a small room, in a shared living space, where I sometimes accidentally kick the dining room table in the middle of a home fitness routine.

But much like the bank employee who generously gave me one of her pens, I want to make everyone whose lives I come across a little bit better. If I can introduce you to lifestyle, a concept, a motivational idea, a fitness program, or a shake that changes your life for the better, I experience the joy of making a positive connection and contribution. It’s not always dollars and cents. Both the bank employee and I know that the top dogs are making the big bucks, but we go about our day giving our best toward kind interactions and a generous heart, somehow knowing that the simple joy of connecting with others, helping others, and sharing the warmth of being with others are ultimately the pathways toward true fulfillment.

 

 

Day 61

It’s so simple. The macro creates the design for the micro, but the micro manifests as the macro.

The future creates the design for the present, but the present moment actions manifest themselves into the future.

Distant-future results are made by habitual, daily, repeated rituals of action. Progress is so slow to the mind that efforted action seems futile. Why do this pushup? I will be no stronger in an hour. I will look no different in an hour. I will effort without quick fixes or quick results. What a waste of time. I could have been watching Hulu.

But the micro manifests as the macro. Each of the last 60 days I have — through Power 90 – exerted, challenged, and stretched myself to new levels of capacity, exercising when I didn’t “feel like it,” pushing through the barriers of bullsh*t and excuses.

And yes, change is gradual and subtle. But now, after 60 days I can begin to witness how the accumulation of gradual and subtle can be powerfully transformative. My physical body is restructuring in the way it looks, the way it feels, and the way it performs.

  • I feel better when I’m working out.
  • I feel better after working out — mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.
  • My body is more muscularly dense, and more toned.
  • My physical capacities have dramatically increased, especially in my chest and back which were my weakest areas to begin with.

There are still areas of weakness, and I do believe that fitness and health are both lifelong journeys without a final destination. With each new level I come to, there is always a new opportunity for growth, transformation, and development. A fraction of my progress is visible to the the eye of a camera. The majority of my progress relates to how I move, how I carry myself, how I feel with each and every movement. 60 days is only my beginning. 90 will be the next check-in point and while that will be the end of my journey with Power 90, p90x, Tai Cheng, & Insanity are waiting for me just around the corner.

Week 7 Begins.

No matter if yesterday was a stressful day, or if life events lead to a night of tossing and turning, I Move and Shake never fails to get the day off to a great start.

This morning, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Most of my friends were on spring break this past week, so I found myself partying a little bit more, drinking a little more alcohol (I usually drink none), and eating unhealthily. But my daily exercise and morning shake helped keep me much more in balance.

I just finished the sculpt portion of my Power 90 workout, and am now drinking one of my new favorite recipes: 1 Cup Almond Milk, a handful of organic frozen cherries, and one scoop of chocolate Shakeology.

I am amazed by the stark contrast between who I am now, and who I was an hour ago. People try so many drugs, thrills, adventures just to feel more ALIVE. Or just to feel more period!

I’m not saying that a morning Move and Shake is the same as riding a roller coaster, sky diving, or drugs … but it’s the healthiest and most cost effective way to naturally get juiced up and pumped up in the morning.

As I approach the half-way mark of my first 90 days of this new life-experiment, I find myself in dramatically improved physical, emotional, and mental shape. I am now readying myself for increased levels of commitment and improvement in one important area: Diet.

Beachbody Fitness Programs (or exercise of your choice) and Shakeology are great ways to start the day, but the rest of the day also matters. I heard one fitness expert recently say that diet is 50% of losing weight or getting toned. Another said diet was 70%.

What are you eating and drinking all day long when you’re not having Shakeology, the healthiest meal of the day? This is the question I’m beginning to ask myself, and others.

Do I have a pizza for lunch, or a Salad? Do I have a Lentil Soup for dinner, or a burger? Do I have cheese and crackers as a snack, or some carrot juice?

There is an excellent resource called Michi’s Ladder that is a good starting place for thinking about what you will and what you won’t put into your body.

Another great resource that I’m just beginning to explore is Tony Horton’s “Bring it!”

 

 

Day 22: “On My Own With You”

We try so hard to do things “on our own”, thinking that that’s what independence means. But if asking for someone else’s support can help us become better human beings, then sometimes it’s alright to leave our island and join another. While coaching ourselves may work in certain areas of our lives, and while in other areas we are even able to coach another, sometimes we ourselves need to be coached.

Tony provides fitness coaching for me each and every morning when I do my Power 90 in-home fitness program. I’ve never been wealthy enough to afford a weekly personal trainer, let alone a daily personal trainer. If I could, I would. But for less than a dollar a day as part of the incredible deal I got on my challenge pack, I have Tony guiding me every day, every morning, every step of the way. (Except Sundays, when I go to Yoga!)

Likewise, I provide coaching when I help them design a fitness and nutrition plan in alignment with the I Move and Shake movement.

However, as a self-employed artist and writer, I have no boss telling me what to do and no coach motivating me to do my work. At times, it’s easy for me to mess around, and I easily get distracted.

As I’ve said, Power 90 and Shakeology are my base, my foundation, and they’re both going exceptionally well. My health, nutrition-intake, and fitness are going great and moving in a positive direction. Now it’s time that I take that energy and momentum to my professional life, to my career, to my self-employed work, to my life is a musician, and to my success in other areas of life.

So today I enlisted a friend of mine who is excellent at structure and organization to be my daily productivity coach. I humbled myself down and said: “Hey, can you help me out with this?”

While the ideas being utilized happened to be primarily mine, self-coaching just wasn’t enough. Despite my best intentions, I was wasting time … rebelling against productivity with procrastination. I needed an Accountability Partner. My friend as my coach is helping to support me to stay accountable to the actions I want and need to take. Accountability to others can be a profound motivational force.

Rather than “doing what I feel like” during my work hours, I now have a structured schedule, set up like college classes. If I “miss class,” I am accountable to my coach friend. If you’re curious to know more about the details of how he and I have structured this accountability, please join me, and then send me an e-mail. Once you have joined me, we can also discuss a plan for your health and fitness as well.

  • From 9:00-10:30, I take care of e-mails and correspondence.
  • From 10:30-12:00, I work on writing my novel and my non-fiction book.
  • From 2:00-3:30 I write, record, and rehearse my songs.
  • And from 3:30-5:00 I do web-work, graphic-design work, and/or blog writing. I have 2 more hours of work that are not time-specific.

And still, BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE:

Every Day I Wake, I Move and Shake. First thing after waking up, I do my Beachbody fitness program: Power 90. Then I drink Shakeology. Moving my body first thing and drinking THE nutrition shake on the planet gives me energy and a healthy start to the work day ahead of me.

Today marks the beginning of Week 4. Some say it takes 3 weeks to make a habit. Some say it takes 3 months.

I say it takes 3 weeks to form a new habit, and 3 months to solidify it.

My body, mind, and spirit haven’t felt this good in years. And I have never felt this good consistently ever before in my adult life. Bold statements for such a simple movement as I Move and Shake. But to think something must be difficult in order for it to yield profound results is a misconception. Sometimes it’s the simple choices in life that create dramatic change.

Even Shakeology touts itself as “Nutrition Simplified.” I like to think of my I Move and Shake movement as health and fitness simplified. It may only be a simple foundation before a more complicated day, but you will be surprised to see how much better the rest of your day goes when you start your day off right.

Author and speaker Wayne Dyer begins his day with a simple prayer of gratitude. “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.”

So the first prayer upon waking is a prayer of words.

I Move

The second prayer is a prayer of the body: moving it in celebration of its faculties through walking, stretching, yoga, running, or an in-home fitness program such as Power 90.

I Shake

The third prayer is one of nourishment: Consciously choosing to put nutritious and naturally energizing food into the body. For 14 years, I would shake off-and-on with other shakes. While I kind-of liked some, and tolerated others, it wasn’t until I discovered Shakeology that I new I would begin to shake daily and consistently from then on.