Originally published back in October 2014.
Day 4 — I began doing “the method” every day. I didn’t do “rest days” there was too much pain to even remotely “sit still”
This was a time to work!!
I knew I had one hell of a high mountain to climb in order to get myself in better shape than what I was before I had my daughter.
Only this time around, I was dead-set on being FIT, not skinny. Big difference between the two, I knew I wanted to be solid and strong, not feeling weak and fragile, apologies for the bluntness, but it comes with the territory.
Before my daughter, I was THIN, not physically strong nor empowered mentally. Me today (2014) could very well kick 2008 Me’s ass….EASILY.
That being my first long-term fitness goal.
Naturally that’s where I started!
I knew “fit” didn’t really have a super specified weight number attached to it so this was my first step in my own fitness progress and method development and breaking the facade of perfectionism.
I just thought…. “get as close as you can”
But first….Simplify the overall process.
I hated counting.
It would confuse me horribly and made me too easily aggravated and discouraged! Same feelings when I would do those popular DVD sets, lose track and would get easily discouraged and give up!
Being diagnosed: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Body dysmorphic disorder, clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and just recently the term “bipolar disorder” came into conversations with my doctor…my brain was colorful indeed.
Counting was one of my absolute hates. It was a horrible OCD trigger for me. I would start counting how many curls I would do with this arm, then having to count again for the other…., lose count or doubt myself on what number I was on while trying to process the pain
I didn’t end up with a beneficial workout, I’d end up being royally pissed off, and I felt that if I lost count, that I would have to start all over again.
Therefore, I just found the way to keep the presence of numbers and counting down to an absolute minimal!! By kicking all the mainstream-fitness counting (sets, reps) to the curb was a big step in simplifying the overall fitness process and honestly, a very easy strategy to implement that made me crazy-happy.
To this day, I still don’t use counting in my method in a conventional sense. The opposite of mainstream.
By eliminating the conventional “counting”, it allowed my brain the freedom to stop focusing on numbers and start focusing more INTENSELY on my body’s movements and the best of the music.
Not needing to count was a tremendous help for me in particular, yet, it was a big contradicting strategy to the mainstream gym fanatics. They were guided by counting sets, I was being guided by counting SONGS!
The skepticism really began to take off after I took out the counting aspect of my method, which made for fun times on Twitter!
As I was physically “testing” my fitness method theory, I began researching the core principles as well. I was experiencing many different changes that I wasn’t expecting.
Again, I didn’t know the “why” or “how” at this point; all I knew was that I was noticing these changes on 3 levels: physically, mentally and affective-ly within the first WEEK!
This was my first “clue” that this could potentially be a poly-beneficial fitness method (full pun intended!)…..with the universal medium, being music itself.
I knew music was a universal interest between everyone on earth, regardless of the genre or style. Everyone had their favorite type of music, as did I.
I just didn’t realize how horribly underutilized it actually was within the fitness world, both neurologically and affectingly.
Conventional methods would just use it to pass time during sets and reps; maybe motivate them a little, or choreograph difficult and complex “dance-like” routines to it (*cough* So many!!!) Whereas, I was using these songs as a complete fitness “dictator” for my entire method.
Music would dictate multiple aspects of my workouts from the moves that were chosen, to speed and the overall difficulty level of a particular melodic exercise. Music was that vital medium that pulled all of those factors together in perfect harmony!
Looking deeper than the surface, I was determined to know the “hidden benefits” of utilizing music in the unique way that I was in terms of emotionally-charging my workout sessions.
This part of my research sent me into a crash course of basic neurology and musicology that eventually lead me to a neuropsychologist from Dartmouth and a music-providing website operated by a group based in Paris, France that would utilize the same music/mood principle as I was within my method.
Both were intrigued that I had designed a form of physical fitness focusing on these underutilized powers that music had to offer. No one can deny how a song has the power to change someones mood. That science was proven long before this method even existed, again, I was just implementing the same knowledge, but in a different way.
So at this point I had the simplistic moves, the universal connector and motivator of music, and being a martial artist from a military (Marines) family, I had the “work hard”, “push yourself” mentality and mindset that came with it.
There were my 3 core principles of The S.E.L.F Method’s foundation
MOVES + MUSIC + MENTALITY = THE METHOD!
I knew my results came from the combination of all 3 core principles, not just one or two of them, but ALL 3!
I naturally started looking into the moves first….
I instinctively knew “the moves” I was using had to do with basic physics!
So having infinite knowledge at my fingertips, I googled “physics” and I researched various branches of that science. I then, stumbled upon the basics of “potential and KINETIC energy”
This began “clicking” with me to what was so profoundly effective about these concentrated calisthenic styled movements within my method. I wanted to learn as much about physics as I possibly could, with my focus being on potential and kinetic energy….this is a snippet via wikipedia.com that lead me deeper into learning about this branch of physics…
In physics, potential energy is the energy stored in an object due to its position in a force field or in a system due to its configuration.  Common types include the gravitational potential energy of an object that depends on its vertical position and mass, the elastic potential energy of an extended spring, and the electric potential energy of a charge in an electric field. The SI unit for energy is the joule (symbol J).
Even though I had never had any formal education in physics, this information was beginning to make a lot of sense to me. I knew I was simply applying this information from an “internal” perspective…..the internal mechanics of the human body. This was my first MAJOR clue in realizing that my method was, in fact, science-based and not a delusional affect of my intense mental state of the domestic fight that sparked it.
When I read the words, “vertical position”, that made me smile. My “base move” was performed from a vertical body position since one of my excuses on my list (mentioned in my last blog post) was that I hated to get up and down off the floor.
When you’re overweight, that takes a massive amount of energy to do, silly to hear, but very true. That’s how I knew my “bouncing” exercise had some scientific clout to it, and to continue to always keep the body’s position…..vertical!
Finally, crossing off yet another excuse from that initial list of hates. This was a great piece of evidence to find!
I then interpreted the term “elastic potential energy” to how I would “hold” my upper body and arm positions while I would do this vertical “core crunching beat bouncing” drill in a a static-balance position (stationary)
The “elastic” term, to me, was my actual muscle fibers and tendons. Same info, slightly different perspective, I began to see that small condensed movements did in fact equal BIG DIFFERENCES in terms of doing more (burning more fat) by doing less (no complexities) Indeed, a fitness paradox was beginning to emerge, and the skepticism was continuing to grow! These doubts only fueled my determination to continue my work.
They were ultimately telling me with their doubts that my method was very “different” than what they had seen or used in the past. Mentally, it gave me a positive reinforcement from a negative source. This was where I began using the tag line “No Pain In Vain” (slight change from the conventional No pain, no gain attitude, which according to the CDC, isn’t true)
My family members were my biggest skeptics. They loved using excuses more than I did, and they hated that I was determined to create a fitness method that would destroy those excuses one by one, and i succeeded at that goal with each passing day!
Throughout the doubts, skeptics and negative influences I was getting; I continued on with my research into my moves and potential energy. One step lead me to another. Potential energy lead me to “kinetic energy”, where I found another website (physicsclassroom.com) that provided me with much more of the information, and explained it simply enough to where I could easily follow and understand it….love it!
Here is a small sample of what I found. The words in brackets is how I was literally comparing the information directly with what I was physically doing with my body during my workouts. This information would later lead myself and a friend to coin a name for the physical technique of my method as “POLYKINETICS“,
Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. An object [my body] that has motion – whether it is vertical or horizontal motion [I chose vertical] – has kinetic energy. There are many forms of kinetic energy – vibrational (the energy due to vibrational motion), rotational (the energy due to rotational motion), and translational (the energy due to motion from one location to another)..”
“The energy that an object has depends upon two variables:the mass (m) of the object [mass to me being fat/muscle/etc] and the speed (v) of the object [keyword: SPEED!]. The following equation is used to represent the kinetic energy (KE) of an object.KE = 0.5 • m • v2
where m = mass of object, v = speed of object.
A huge light bulb went off in my brain. I knew on the absolute basic level, this was the type of “motion” I was utilizing.
This information also told me that there was nothing special about the actual moves themselves. They were just basic, well-known calisthenics that anyone with even the slightest athletic background of any kind, could simplistically follow (squats/leg lifts/simple arm movements)
It was in fact, HOW I was doing these movements; combining the aspects of speed and the 3 levels of INTENSITY, was where the real magic was being made.
Now I knew, simplistic positioning (keeping the positioning always vertical), intensity and speed change-ups would be the only aspects of the moves that would change, allowing the moves that were utilized to …..remain the same.
No needing to get caught up in complex routines (cough *insanity*) or weight training sessions like P90X. Those to me, were far from simplistic in nature, and at my starting point, complexity wasn’t a logical option. I knew simplistic was MY KEY!
My research was the only part of my method that was becoming complex; yet the moves, continued to remain….physically simplistic!
I began seeing noticeable changes within just 12 consecutive days!
By the time I had gathered my basic science knowledge….3 weeks had past since beginning the testing of “will this actually work” theory, and I felt at that time.
I was ready to take my first progress picture even though it had ONLY been 3 weeks into my journey! Little did I realize what I was about to see!! I knew my body felt a bit different.
I had more mobility and energy, that didn’t shock me as badly as the progress picture SHOCKED me! Included below is also my 60-day progress picture!
Results don’t lie, and after I saw my body from an “outside perspective”, the perspective being a photo….I knew I had the definite proof that my method not only worked, but worked on profound levels that I had no idea were even possible, and according to my skeptics, they didn’t know were possible either!
Keep in mind: this is ONLY a 16lbs difference.
Small moves = big results!
Small changes = big differences!
My skeptics quickly turned into believers…….No extreme dieting, No counting, No complexities, No more valid excuses to use.
I had successfully proven my theory and created an ultimate method and weapon, and not to mention, completely rebuilt my entire fitness foundation and life in less than 60 days!
Simplicity = moves
Harmony = music
Opportunity = mentality