Ben Strothmann here (better known as Honey LaBronx, "The Vegan Drag Queen")
And no, I don't work out in drag... but what a sight that would be, huh?
Anyway, at the urging of my friend Michael Harren (MikeyPod) I have started an online training journal.
All my life I've hit the gym hard, and then after about 9 weeks I either get bored, I get sick, I get busy, etc... SOMETHING always gets in my way and I fall off the bandwagon.
Well on or around March 1st, 2012, I went to the gym and have been going (more or less) consistently 3x/week since then.
With a few exceptions... In July I went to Fire Island and was without a gym for almost a week. In stead I went running on the beach and swam laps each day in the ocean. (WOW!! Who needs a gym when you've got the ocean!?!?!)
In August I went to Iceland for two weeks and the very FIRST thing I did was join a gym. I went maybe two or three times a week, but lost a lot of steam when I got back.
In the month of October, I went to the gym a total of three times.
This month I've started going back a bit more. In the past, I would have been discouraged by this derailment of what seemed like a perfect program. But I know not to get discouraged. Every day is another opportunity to get up, dust myself, and go back for more.
I'll admit, I never enjoy the feeling of heading to the gym, knowing a big long workout is ahead of me. But I always know that -- as long as I'm there -- I may as well just attack it and give it my all, because I know I'll feel great when I leave.
And I always feel great about a good work out!
At this point, I feel really strong and I'm definitely getting stronger all the time.
My diet though is just poor. Piss poor! I've got a great big belly I wish I could get rid of, and as much as I long to get rid of it, I seem to have an even stronger desire for pizza and cookies and sugary energy drinks and all the vegan junk food I've come to love in my three years of being vegan.
Here are some things that have definitely worked for me in the past:
The book "Body-For-Life" (long before I ever went vegan, this book really gave me the motivation and guidance I needed)
Fasting (I've done the Master Cleanse a few times a year and it always makes me feel really good)
Trying to incorporate SOMETHING raw and green and colorful into my diet each day.
I feel like at this point, I could either break through this barrier and really start building the body I've always wanted -- or I could JUST as easily fall on my face again as I always do. At only 33 years of age, I actually found myself thinking almost a year ago "Well.... I guess I'm just settling into having the body I'm gonna have as an old man." WHAT???? AT 33?!?!?!?
I was passionate about dance when I moved to New York 12 years ago and showed a lot of promise as a student of tap dance. It's one of those things I wish I'd allow myself to pursue but I just don't.
Currently I aim to hit the gym three days a week. Each day I do (in this order) lifting (3-day-split), then abs, then cardio.
I know I should reserve cardio for off-days. I KNOW, ALREADY!!!!! But if I try to make myself work out 6 days a week I feel like I just won't do it.
In stead of spending more time on a treadmill, I would MUCH rather see myself doing the following cardio activities once a week:
- A tap dancing class (or other forms of dance)
- A spinning class (or a vigorous bike ride around the city)
- A yoga class (I especially love Bikram Yoga!)
- Running in the park
- A stretching class (I hate -- HATE stretching... but I am terribly inflexible and WISH I were a bendy, limber guy!)
In closing, there are a few reasons (vain, or otherwise) that most drive me to want to get in shape.
1) I want to BE a LIVING EXAMPLE of veganism! The next time someone says vegans don't get enough protein or that we can't be strong and healthy, I don't want to get into some long explanation -- I just wanna pull up my shirt or flex a muscle and say "BAM! THAT'S what a vegan looks like!"
2) When I see some hot muscle guy in the city, I immediately feel inferior and unattractive. I know, there are deeper issues there and I need to learn to love myself no matter what I look like on the outside.... yeah, yeah, yeah.... But seriously, if I can get rid of this gut I'm always carrying around and push through my own laziness, weakness, and poor-habits that are holding me back from being my personal best, I could feel so confident in my own appearance
3) I just want to be STRONG again so I can pursue the things I love like dancing and..... yeah, pretty much dancing. When I moved to New York over 12 years ago, my dream was to tap dance on Broadway. The last time I tried to tap dance, I was so winded 30 seconds into a simple routine, I've almost given up on this dream entirely. But I know it could be mine!
There.... that's my first training journal entry. These are my reasons for wanting to get in shape. This is what I'm trying, this is what has worked, and this is what's holding me back.
I am VERY OPEN to encouragement and feedback.
I record my details each time I go to the gym to work out, so maybe I'll start posting those here.
BIG FAT VEGAN RADIO (on iTunes!)
Honey LaBronx ("The Vegan Drag Queen")