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Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

Your Story! Your Voice! Your Health!

General health & fitness topics, causes or initiatives.


Shred It... A 13 Week Challenge

I am still working on my pull-ups, but that challenge will coincide with a 13 week challenge that I started last week for Shred It.

Shred It is the name of Robert Cheeke's book and companion workout journal. Cheeke is a whole food, plant based body builder who proves that you can build muscle without overloading your body with protein. He's been vegan for over twenty years and the muscle he shows on his arms... many body builder would wrongly assume he's having a ton of protein. Nothing could be further from the truth!

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My Next Fitness Challenge: Pull-Ups!

[photo_panel photo="images/pull-ups.jpg" alt="pull-ups photo"] [/photo_panel]

Some of you might remember when I was trying to get the proper form for push-ups a few years ago. I never was able to do push-ups as a kid and I finally am able to do them. I think the strength classes I take have helped a lot, along with a lot of practice.

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Muscle Growth & Body Fat Percentage As A Vegan

As you probably remember, I decided to challenge myself to be vegan for a week. This happens to coincide with my body fat percentage getting checked this week. I wanted to prove that muscle gain is possible, even without animal products.

So I went to Southern CT State University for the seven site skin fold test. The technician weighed me and it read 3 pounds higher than last time. I wondered if this was a good or bad sign.

Body Building
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A Tummy Tuck? What Was I Thinking?

For a brief moment the other week, I thought about getting an abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a tummy tuck. I went to a consultation a few weeks ago and learned about the procedure, how much it would cost and what recovery would be like. But I've decided against it and here's why...

There are signs of improvement! Every consultation I get seems to suggest my abs are improving. The first consultation I did back in 2014, the doctor said I would need a full body lift, essentially removing skin from both my front and back around the abs. No way would I consider that... there must be a better way. I went to another consultation and the doctor told me she thought my muscles looked good and wouldn't need any repositioning. People who have tummy tucks often have to have their muscles repositioned because of how stretched they get from the extra weight. This last consultation I had a few weeks ago, the doctor told me he can see some definition starting to show (of course much of it is still hidden under the extra skin). This made me think, why rush into a tummy tuck, there's still room for improvement.

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Another Challenge Done... Another Challenge Begins...

I just completed the Greater Waterbury YMCA ab challenge, a 30 day challenge where you increase the number of crunches, leg raises and planks by increments of 5. The last day of the challenge meant I had to do 160 crunches, 64 leg raises and a 2 minute, 35 second plank! As you can imagine, it was not easy.

So was it worth it? Definitely! My abs feel a lot tighter, despite having a pouch of loose skin. I can see some muscle there, so I know my abs are strong. I never imagined being able to do this many crunches, but that's the purpose of these challenges, to accomplish goals and increase your fitness level.

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