Sunday, April 12, 2015

Turning 30

I'm gonna be 30?
On Thursday I enter a new decade. A decade that a lot of people think means "you're old". I have to be honest, I'm excited. Life has gotten better every year since 1985. I'm not sure if that's actually true or I just choose to think it, but I have enjoyed life more and more. Here's why.

When you're young it is a fun time full of adventure, but you're not settled. Sure, college was a great time, but I had no idea what I wanted with my life career or love wise. At 30 I know exactly what I want for one of those two. Hey, 50 percent isn't bad. I'm 100 percent confident in myself and what I want. Yes, I haven't accomplished everything, but have a direction. I like getting older because you know more about yourself.

You know what you're good at and what you're bad at. What you want and what you don't want. What you can change and what you can't change. If you like your Dunkin coffee with almond milk or just a little cream. It's fun getting older and more mature. It's scary too though. I see all these people my age getting married and having kids and sometimes I wonder if I've had "too much fun" and not been serious enough in my 20's. But then I think about my life overall. Do you want to wonder "what if" or do you want to experience everything first.

That's the main question.  All I know is I love life. I love my friends, I love my job(most of the time), I love and appreciate everything. Sometimes I think we just think about getting older in the negative, but its a positive thing, We grow as people and we understand ourselves better. Here's to the next decade being even better than my 20's. Keep living the dream.

For the next 30

-Become a certified career coach and open up my own practice
-Be an awesome dad and raise awesome kids and find a woman that loves me for the idiot I am
-Get over my fear of sharks
-Invent a cure for really bad sunburns
-Be the Director of Recruitment for a major hospital system
-Figure out a way to have 2pac and Phil Collins perform together at the Potomac River

Sunday, March 1, 2015

How My Health Coach changed my life

August 6th, 2014. The day my life changed forever. Seems dramatic, but it's true. This was the day I committed to changing my eating and exercise habits in hopes of living a healthier life. My whole life I have had no real concept of what good and bad food was. I just ate it and never thought about what I was putting into my body.  I thought, "well I play basketball everyday so I can eat that pizza and it will all even out." That is how I gained 30 pounds after college and more importantly felt unhealthy. But then my health coach and also my dear friend(she will go unnamed) took me under her wing and pushed me to become a healthier and better Karl.

She showed me the importance of meal prep. Now, I prepare all my meals on Sunday's so I don't have to make that decision about whether to get a 700 calorie sandwich down the street or bring my lunch. It's already prepped. She introduced me to the power of veggies. In that first month I ate more veggies than in my previous 29 years on this earth and realized I actually kind of liked them.

I started eating oatmeal in the morning instead of bagels, I stopped eating pasta and kept cereal out of the apartment.  Exercise wise, instead of just basketball and tennis I started doing more strength training and working on my legs and abs.  I started tracking my calorie intake daily on Fitness Pal and joining apps like Weilos to check in.

While their have been bumps along the way and I am still a work in progress(especially my weekend habits) my health coach has helped me develop healthy habits I am hoping will last a lifetime. She's done this by first and foremost holding me accountable. Oh, you want that slice of pizza, Karl, be prepared to do 50 burpees to work it off." Ya, she's tough but she cares and she wants to see me succeed. I'm not sure what I did to deserve her help, but I appreciate her as much as anyone in the world.

I really believe for people like me that struggle with eating it is impossible to do alone.  You need someone, whether it be hiring someone or having a friend help out that holds you accountable, that gives you that support, that checks in with you.  I could not have been where I am today without the help of "Coach L".  She has changed my life and I am forever grateful for her.

5 Keys to health success

1. Accountability: Plug everything you eat into MyFitness Pal or a related app. Check in with someone about what your eating and how much you are eating.  Make sure you hold yourself accountable for that bagel if you eat it.

2. Prep your meals: I have all my meals packed in tupperware as we speak and am ready for the week.  Like everything else in life preparation is the key to success

3. Don't get down on yourself for failing: I've failed a lot in this process. I could have had the whole 30 pounds off, but fell of the wagon for a month or two during football season and the holiday's. I could have said screw it, but now I am back and more determined than ever to get that last 15 down

4. Have a goal: Determine where you want to be eventually then set short term goals to hold yourself accountable

5. Get a coach. IF you are like me and love cheetos and pizza it will be impossible to do without help. Reach out to someone. Join fitness groups on Facebook.  Don't be afraid to reach out for support.

If I can do it you can do it.  Let's get after it.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Top 10 Love Songs of all time

Rewriting this blog after a couple years. Most of the songs are the same. Valentines Day should be everyday. Let's embrace Love. It's  a great thing. Enjoy.

1. Stand By Me-Ben E. King: Who knows if I'll ever settle down or better yet find a girl crazy enough to marry me, but if I do have a wedding this will my "first dance" song or whatever they call it. I've liked this song since I was a kid and it has gotten even better with age.

"If the sky that we look upon should tumble and fall and the moon is the only light you'll see, no I won't be afraid, no I won't shed a tear, just as long, as you Stand By Me." Is that the greatest line in the history of music. Ya, probably. The background music is amazing as well. A great love song embodies what it means to truly be in love and this is a perfect example.

2. This Magic Moment: The Drifters: This was actually my first love song experience. Heard it when I was like 10 for the first time and to this day it's one of my favorites. I think oldies are the best love songs. Things were more innocent back then." Sweeter than wine, softer than the summer night, everything I want I have whenever I hold you tight. " This Magic Moment, when your lips are close to mine, will love forever, forever till the end of time." The music in this is just incredible. I've had one magic moment before but at the end of the day it didn't work out. It'd be awesome to find someone to have a lot of "Magic Moments" with.

3. Unchained Melody. The Righteous Brothers: I know I should've been born in 1950. I listen to this on the Metro and smile.  The chorus on this song is so powerful it makes me tear up. If you don't like this song what is wrong with you? I hope everyone has seen Ghost. If not, see this and not just cause Demi Moore is smokin hot.

4. Mandolin Rain-Bruce Hornsby: What a powerful song. You know it's funny, there isn't one meaning for this song. but I feel like it means different things to everyone. In fact, I don't even know what Mandolin Rain is. What I do know is every time the chorus comes on I get chills. "Listen to the Mandolin Rain!"

5. We've Got Tonight-Bob Seger: I love Bob Seger. Most know him for "Old Time Rock N' Roll" or the Chevy commercial song, but this is his best and most powerful ballad. " We've Got Tonight" talks about having one final night with the person you love. It doesn't matter about tomorrow. It is about enjoying that moment with that special person.  I tear up a bit every time the chorus comes on because I've thought back and had moments like that in my life. " We've Got Tonight, who needs tomorrow?"

6.  Wind Beneath My Wings: Bette Midler: Right now this may be my favorite song period. If the chorus doesn't make you shed a tear you have no soul. This was my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary song. Besides my own parents there is no stronger love I've ever seen. I want to love someone like that someday. Every spouse should be the other person's hero. " Did you ever know that you're my hero, and everything I would like to be, I can fly higher than an eagle, you are the wind beneath my wings". Wow, think about that line for a second and tell me this isn't one of the greatest songs of all time. When she sings the last part I get chills. Incredible.

7/8. End of Innocence/ Heart of the Matter- Don Henley

I'm trying not to put more than one song for each artist on this, but both of these songs are too good to leave off. Don Henley is just incredible. Next to Phil Collins he's probably my favorite singer of all time as he was also lead singer of my favorite rock band of all time, the Eagles. Yes, I love rating things and I'm not going to apologize for it.  End of Innocence is something we can all relate to. It's not necessarily about romance with another person,  it's about the romance of life. It's about getting older and reflecting on the days of your youth. If I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life this would probably be it. When is the End of the Innocence though? I guess it depends on the person, but life will never be the same as when you were a kid.

Heart of the Matter is actually a really sad song in theory. It's about dealing with divorce or a breakup. It is about being able to forgive and be happy for those that you're no longer with.   "But I think it's about forgiveness forgiveness,  even if, even if you don't love me anymore."

It takes a big person to forgive people that broke your heart but part of love is heartbreak and this is what this song is about. Unless you married the first person you loved or at least liked a lot we've all felt this. I can honestly say I cherish all the times I spent with all my ex's even though it didn't necessarily work out. There is no point in being bitter or not wanting someone who once made you smile to be happy. 

9. Can't Fight This Feeling-REO Speedwagon: This will always hold a special place in my heart because it's my first girlfriend and I's song. I was an idiot back then in terms of relationships but I did still love sentimental jams. " It's time to bring this ship into the shore and throw away the oars forever." Amazing line. This is another song that's so easy to relate to anyone who has liked someone but isn't sure how to act on it. It's about loving someone so much they are the only one for you. It's about stopping fighting the feeling and acting. It's awesome.

10. When a Man Loves a Woman: Are you still reading? probably not. In the Twitter age a paragraph is too long.This is another song I'll play at my wedding if that ever happens. This is a pretty obvious message. When you love someone you'll do anything for them. Never felt this but my parents have this type of love I feel like and maybe someday it'll happen for me. If not, at least I have this awesome jam to listen to.

11. Yup, needed to have an 11. Phil Collins would hold about 5 of the 10-20. He's my second favorite music artist behind 2pac, and basically all of his songs relate to certain aspects of my life and all humans lives. My top 2 are probably Find a Way To My Heart and   True Colors but there are just so many. 

That's my list. Whether you agree or disagree the important thing is to always open up your heart and listen to sentimental jams. Happy Valentines day all!