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I have always been grateful in my life, specially when I stopped feeling like a victim, took responsibility for my life lost 100 pounds, stopped smoking, and later was able to leave of a career i always dream about…but the experience with Luke is taking my gratitude to the next level.
At first when he was born it was a mix of feelings, because it was beautiful but at the same time was scary. I say scary because Luke went from the safe and sound Carol’s belly to the incubator, passing by a cardiac massage and intubated in order to breath.
When that happened I was in shock. In cases like that Ive notice is super easy to focus on the bad stuff. I think we as humans have that tendency, to look at the negative side and I am no different. I started to look at the all the things that Luke had a problem with and that just created more and more anxiety, worry and stress.
So after the first few hours, I thought: I can look at everything that he has a problem with or I can look at everything that it is perfect on him. I started to be grateful for every little thing he did right, I mean every little movement, everything that is good in his body, mind and soul. That just lift up my spirit big time. Now I am learning how to be grateful for everything, such as breathing, being able to do simple things in life, things that you might think is simple or even stupid. An example of that is what happened 2 days ago… Luke coughed 3 times, and I was super happy. Coughing for Luke is a big deal, and that is a way to protect his airways, which is one of the things that is preventing him to go home.
Now as I wake up Every morning, I do a list of 10 things I’m grateful for…. always look at the bright side of life. Life is one big magic and gratitude is the way to the magic.
Feel good, be grateful.
I always believed in the universe and his powers, and that everything happens for a reason. Is hard to listen and understand sometimes, but here are some coincidences that happen with me, Carol and Luke.
Well, when we got pregnant we got very excited and we wanted a home birth. We started researching, and everything looked amazing and safe, which in my view still is the best choice, however, in our case, every time we tried to close the deal something didn’t go right or didn’t feel good. At the end we realized that we did the right decision since if we were at home the outcome would have been catastrophic.
On the last few weeks of the pregnancy, I decided to do the 365 push up challenge (check video here) which for me as an endurance athlete require a little bit of extra effort, since my weakness was always strength. After all, we know now that what Luke needs more is strength, due to the muscle weakness issue he has. That is another big coincidence.
When we hit 37 weeks and a few days we went to do a non stress test. When we left the nurse by mistake said, come back on the 5th to get induced. We had never planned on inducing since we wanted everything as natural as possible as long mom and baby were healthy. We called the doctor to verify, and at that time he had no plans to induce prior to 39 weeks. On July 4th weekend we had an incident that we had to go to the hospital, everything was OK, but we had to do a non stress test every 2 days. So on the 5th we talked to the doctor and he explained to us the risk
of waiting another week (due to the high level of amniotic fluid that Carol had) so we decided to induce. It was the best decision because if we waited another week would have been a disaster. Added to that my brother was coming that week to work and the plan was to spend the day July 6th with us, and he said “I have a feeling that I will meet Luke”, and he was right.
Another big coincidence was the isolette that transported Luke on July 6th, was last used and clean on 6/21 which is my birthday.
Also, Luke already did some amazing things. In 2010 my brothers and I had a fight right before Ironman Florida where all 3 of us were racing. We didn’t speak to each other for a while. After Luke came to this world was the first time we all got together again, and was all in peace.
I do believe everything happens for a reason and I always try to listen to my intuition as much as possible, I’m super glad that I heard my intuition those times.
Well, as most of you know baby Luke was born on 7/06/16. For awhile I was debating on writing or not, but as far as I can see this little guy has made quite a difference and have made a huge impact in some of my closest friends and family around the world, so I thought why not write about it? Another reason I gonna start writing is because for some reason me, Carol and Luke inspire people, and I decided to use this as a way to inspire even more.
Gonna start at the begging. Luke’s birth was really hard. Carol never got really into to labor, and it took 28 hours. In those 28 hours Luke’s heart rate went super low 3 times. We had no idea of what was going on, as far as we knew was a normal pregnancy with a big baby and a little bit more aminiotic fluid than normal.
After the first heart rate drop is needless to say, I did not sleep anymore. My ears were on every single bit. At one point I went downstairs to catch some fresh air. It was 4 am, and I looked at the stars for 10 min.
11 07 am Luke was born, we had several nurses in the room and 3 doctors or so. When he came out it was beautiful and scary at the same time, for our surprise, he had really low tone and he was having a hard time breathing. I cut the umbilical cord quick, and the doula said go talk to him. I went there (where the medical team was acessing him) and all I said was “daddy is here”, and the only movement he did was to hold my finger. In 10 min he was intubated, and by midnight he was transfer to Joe Dimaggio Children’s hospital.
So now is where the challenges begins, one thing I learned as a triathlete is face your fears. This is what we are doing lately, every single day.
Lately everyone it’s asking me, what’s my next race? My answer is simple: In July I will be Welcoming Luke Wygand to the world, and that is my biggest ironman!
With that being said, I am talking some time off from racing and training, I am just working on staying fit, and working with what I love the most: coaching and health! I am focused on creating new plans, specially my weight lost program, which is very special to me, since I’ve also lost 100 pounds (yes, 100 pounds).
The truth being said, 18 ironmans in 12 years is very hard on the body, so I am looking forward to some rest. I will be talking a lot more about that.
I am transforming this blog a bit, I am going to start blogging a lot about staying fit as a new Dad, natural approach with kids, nutrition for Dad and kids, fit moms, and anything related to health and fitness. I will blog a lot about nutrition since is one of my biggest passion (besides coaching and triathlon). I am really looking forward to raise a kid in this world and doing the best I can to make sure he is eating real food. Also my approach to nutrition is very balanced, and based on real experiences, since I’ve tried many different things before I embraced my approach. I went vegan, raw vegan, vegetarian, ketogenic, and paleo and with 2 certifications (finishing the last one) in nutrition with different approaches and with my experience of racing and losing 100 pounds, I can finally say that my approach and nutrition philosophy are now formed, which got me to start creating my weight loss program.
Stay tuned Moms, Dads, kids, health and fitness lovers! You can follow me here, on my Instagram (both myself and company), Facebook, Youtube and subscribe to my mailing list on my website for nutrition and fitness tips!
A while ago I wrote about the wonders of burning fat, where I explained the benefits of the body burning fat as fuel. Now I wanted to go further and explain a little more about one the biggest ben…
Source: The Wonders of Burning FAT II
Hits Naples Race Report
After Ironman Cozumel I was mentally tired, I tapered 2 weeks for Cozumel, did not finish the race and didn’t do anything for a week. I decided to do the full in Naples just to kind of get my confidence back. I trained for 2 weeks, I did two 17 hours training week and tapered again.
The day started at 4am as always for me on race day. I had my usual 1/4 cup of sweet potatoes, Kerry gold butter and 3 pasture raised eggs (vital farms). The night before the usual 9oz sirloin steak, veggies half a sweet potato and a great amount of butter.
Swim: At the beginning of the race the fog was really strong, so strong that we could not see all the buoys on the swim course. The first loop, I could barely see, second loop got a lot better. I did not want to push, I swam a comfortable pace and most of the time I was even doing bilateral breathing, so I was really relaxed.
Nutrition for the swim: 45 min before Vespa, and a Vespa Jr on T1.
Swim gear: Roka maverick Elite wetsuit, Roka X1 goggles.
Bike: I left T1 in second place (I thought I was 3rd), as soon as I left I put a good pace on, it was humid and foggy, so I knew the heat would pick up later as we say in Portuguese “Neblina baixa sol que racha” that means when the fog comes out the sun comes crashing. For the first 35 miles the fog was dense, after awhile the sun started to come strong and the wind picked up quite a bit. When I arrived at the turn around (mile 50) I realized I was in first place. My goal remained the same, keep the pressure on, since I didn’t do a lot of long runs I wanted to open as much as possible on the bike. The wind was everywhere. Honestly felt like we had no break, the weather channel called to 17 to 20 mph and 85 degrees maximum temperature. On mile 80 my quads started to almost cramp up so I took an extra set of salt pills (I always keep on extra set). At the 90miles mark my toes started to hurt bad from the cycling shoes, never happened before, maybe shoes were old, have no idea but my 2 big toes are totally black now. I managed the pain and kept going.
Nutrition during the bike: 3 cliff gels, 2 drip drop, 5 nuuns, 16 S! Caps (Salt caps), 8 baking soda pills 3 Vespas, 1 sugar free red bull, 1 spoon of coconut oil and 1 Vespa Jr on T2.
Bike gear: Williams wheels 80, Sidi T2 shoes, Cervelo P3, ISM seat, Profile Design Water bottle, 3T aero bars.
Run: As I arrived from the bike I noticed it was really hot. I put my socks on, drank my red bull (another one sugar free of course), got my Vespa JR and off I went. The first 3 miles I was adjusting the pace, legs were feeling great, but it was windy and hot, so in the last water station I started to put ice in my hat, and in my shorts. All I kept thinking was, “I know I won’t hit the wall (when you are a fat burner you don’t hit the wall) just keep your core temperature low”. That ‘s what I did, I grabbed ice in every station. I kept taking the salt pills and I used the little bottle of Real Salt that my athlete Juli gave me, it’s just pink Himalayan sea salt. It’s funny cause some sports company sells this salt clamming that is special but it’s pure Himalayan sea salt which is full of other minerals. On the second, third and fourth loop I took an Advil. The 3rd and 4th lap temperature got a little lower, and the run felt a lot better. I must say, break the ribbon in first place felt really good.
Running nutrition: 2 Vespas, 3 small cups of coke, 2 small cups of sprite, real salt, 8 S!caps, 4 baking soda pills and water. Didn’t even take my Red Bull on special needs.
Running gear: Newton Distance III, compressport running socks, I raced with customized RW Training uniform from Championship system.
I love doing this race, for me just feels like an overall clean race. From the people that did the full distance I can say that it was no drafting, race was super clean (completely different from Ironman Cozumel) . I felt pretty good the entire time on the race, got my confidence back for the rest of the season, which this year will be a bit different since there is a baby coming in July.
Well, after my race “incident” I went back to do some blood exams to compare to my old ones. As you all know I am no doctor, but I understand about diet and training quite a bit, and I also know how I feel. Looking at glucose to start. I have a glucose tester at home, normally on a low-carb diet my fasting glucose is about 72 which is great. I remember when I was on a high carb diet (which was when my problems started) my glucose fasting was raising and it got 86 to 96. When I tested a few days after the race (and this was 2-3 days after I had a very low carbohydrate intake) my glucose was still at 86. It is worth saying that the high insulin levels “disabled” the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel.
The other key aspect to look at is that, when I tested for A1C (Glycated hemoglobin – is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes) in the past, I had the A1C level on the high end 5.7, and with the low-carb (reads also low sugar) diet, nowadays is down to 5.5. Dr. Jeff Volek (and expert in this diet and also co-writer of Art and Science of Low Carb Living) says people with insulin resistance (or carb sensitivity) should keep a very very low carbohydrate intake. He mentioned that “if you keep a low carb intake but still with 50% of fat (and not higher), is like traveling to Hawaii half and not enjoy Waikiki”. (Based on the blood exams we can seen some sugar spikes.)
In order to enjoy the benefits of a low carb living, people with sensitivity, like my case, have to keep fat intake about 70 to 75% of the calories. The funny thing (and great news!) is that I did another blood test 2 weeks after the race, and my glucose fasting was back to 72 and energy level a lot higher.
With all that being said, I am here to show the wonders of burning fat. Prior to all of that I was doubting how my season was going to end. For once I was keeping my fat intake only about 55%. I was feeling burned out, and it’s all related. The sugar imbalance make you feel like that. I took 4 weeks off, by that means I only trained 2 hours a week (or less). I decided to go back on training and my longest run was 10 miles prior to the half ironman. After the incident I went back to very low-carb and high fat as I explained. Around 75% of my calorie intake is FAT, which if you really write it down, this isn’t a lot of food, only more fat than the carbohydrate (see below an example of one day diet).
In one week the results are just amazing. I went out and did 16 miles run like it was a breeze, since then training ramped up big time so did my energy levels, besides, I was able to see thru my blood exam how carb sensitive I am and how my blood sugars oscillate. Burning fat as fuel is a key piece of endurance performance and well being. Of course everyone is different, and some are more sensitive to certain foods than others, but as a general rule, real food and specially natural fats are the best fuel you can use for performance in sport, and even for daily activities.