Sunday, May 27, 2012

What is a Challenge Group???

You may have seen my posts on Facebook talking about "Challenge Groups". You may have asked yourself, "What exactly is a Challenge Group?" Here is an overview of what exactly a Challenge Group is and what it entails.

A Challenge Group is a group of like minded people who are committed to getting physically fit and changing their lives for the better. A group is made up of five or six people who are doing the same workout. Ie. P90X, Insanity, Power 90, etc. This group is set in place to encourage one another, motivate each other and keep each other accountable for working the program. This is part of the Beachbody Challenge contest that is currently going on. Here is a brief video that explains what the Beachbody Challenge is all about.

 So how does one get into a Challenge group? That where I come into the picture. First, the purchase of a Challenge pack is a good start.

 The Challenge packs range in price from $160 to $305 + tax ( the price includes free shipping), depending on which  program you choose. So what all comes in a challenge pack? Here is what you get:
  • The exercise program of your choice (Nutrition plans are included with every workout program)
  • Your first 30 day supply of Shakeology Home Direct (Home direct is Beachbody's auto ship program)
  • 30 day trial membership to the Team Beachbody Club membership (As a member of the Team Beachbody club, you also get a 10% discount on all Beachbody products.)  
  •  As a side note, if you decide to sign up as a coach (like me), then the initial coaching fee of $39.99 is waived and the Business starter kit is also included. (Beachbody coaches get a 25% discount on ALL Beachbody products)

In addition to the items in the Challenge pack, you also get:
  • Personalized coaching by me that will help you succeed!
  • Invited to be part of an exclusive, private accountability group on Facebook 

So this is what a challenge group is in a nutshell.If you are interested in joining one of my Challenge Groups, you contact me at:

Independent Beachbody Coach James Mecale's Survival Fitness Page:
Beachbody Website:

I am committed to help anyone get into the best shape of their life and I want to help YOU succeed!!! Contact me to start on your path to a successful fitness journey!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How I Got Here..Another Piece of the Journey- Part 2

"The pathology report came have esophageal cancer."

That was one thing that I never thought I would hear in my lifetime. But on that day it was real...I had cancer.

My wife told me that I had this look of shock all over my face when the doctor told me what the problem was. I mean really... how does one take the news that they now have a disease that could ultimately kill you? Needless to say I was worried, but not overcome with panic. Which in itself may seem weird to people, but at that time I didn't allow myself to get caught up in unneeded emotions. Now don't get me wrong...I was worried. As a matter of fact, the first thing that came to my mind was my wife and daughter. If cancer decided to run it's course and decide to take me down with it, then how would my wife and daughter go on without me around? So after absorbing the news of I now had cancer, it was a matter of accepting it and moving forward. My wife and I cried for a little while and then regained our composure with this pattern repeating itself over the course of that first day.

 I remember one of the first questions my wife asked me was...

 "How am I going to get through this? How am I going to be strong enough?"

I basically told her...

"There are days when I will be strong and I will lift you up, but there are going to be days when I won't be strong and you are going to have to lift me up. As long as we get through this together, we'll be fine."

So next came the questions of what are we going to do about this, what are we going to do about that, etc. My answer had always been, "We'll cross that bridge when we get there...let's not worry about it now." And as much as it frustrated my wife, I explained to her that this is a stressful enough situation and we shouldn't make it more stressful by worrying about things that were out of our control for the time being.

After that first day of many questions that were met with uncertain answers, I told her her my philosophy during this whole ordeal, which we adopted and shared with our family members. The first thing we did was give the whole situation over to God and allow Him to work his miracles. Next I came up with three phrases that helped my wife and I (and hopefully my family) get through this. They were:

  • This is NOT a death sentence...
  • This is just a bump in the road that we have to get over...
  • From here on in, we fight like hell to get rid of this....

Thankfully we made this our anthem before the oncologist came to see me, because this put us in the right frame of mind  for when the oncologist came to see us.

The oncologist came in the room, introduced himself and asked us, "How do you feel about this whole thing?" I told him we were optimistic about it and that we were relying on God to help us get through it and that I was going to be okay. And as much as I know he meant well, I also knew that he was trying to be realistic about the situation and told  us in not so many words, "This cancer can kill you!"

To be continued....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How I Got Here...another piece of the journey...

It was August 1, 2011. To most it was any other day, but for me and my wife, it wasn't just another day. You see, for the previous week and a half, I was admitted to two different hospitals at that time. The reason I ended up in the hospital was because after doing my workouts for a couple of days, during the workouts, I just didn't feel right. I had just completed one round of P90X so I knew the workouts shouldn't be as difficult as they were for me for two nights in a row. I was feeling weak, really fatigued and just plain tired. I also noticed that I was extremely out of breath and my heart rate was WAY above normal. Even to the point where I could workout for about five minutes and then need to literally sit there for another ten minutes just to recover and catch my breath again. The first night this happened I thought to myself that I just needed some rest. So I went to bed early that night and woke up feeling pretty good the next morning. Later that night I had Plyo X and started my exercise when I started to feel the way I did the night before. I stopped my workout about ten minutes in because I just couldn't do it.

The next morning I woke up and told my wife that I needed to go to the doctor to find out what was going on with me. We got to the hospital and they did some blood tests, an EKG and other tests to see what was going on with me. I told the doctors that that morning, I noticed I had dark stools (Sorry about this part). So they checked me and confirmed that I was bleeding internally. Based on that finding, they admitted me to the hospital. The next day they scheduled me to have an endoscopy. The results from the endoscopy showed that I had some sort of "growth" where my esophagus meets my stomach and that growth was what was bleeding. As part of the procedure, they took a piece of the tissue and sent it for a biopsy. Because the local hospital couldn't do anything to stop the bleeding, they decided to fly me to Presbyterian  hospital in Albuquerque, NM. I arrived in Albuquerque in the evening sometime and got checked in. They scheduled a second endoscopy and Presbyterian confirmed what the local hospital found...a "growth" of some sort. This time though, they stopped the bleeding and took another tissue sample to send to pathology.

I stayed in the hospital over the weekend while we waited on the results of the biopsy. During that weekend, I really wasn't worried about the results of the biopsy, but that was a pretty long weekend just due to the fact that it was spent in a hospital room.

August 1, 2011...what started as an ordinary day, didn't quite end that way. My doctor came into the room around 2:00 PM with a somewhat concerned look on his face. Even though I didn't realize it until afterwards, I should have known it was something serious. He came in the room, closed the privacy curtain, and sat down at the foot of the bed. He then told us that they got the biopsy report back and the growth was malignant...which meant, "You have esophageal cancer."

To be continued....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My P90X Transformation...doin' it X style!

A lot of people have seen the informercials...

P90X- Round 1, Day 1
I was up late one night when I watched the informercial too. At about that time I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, so I realized I needed to do something about my health issues. After all, I had a wife and a daughter that needed me around as long as possible. So one day on a whim I went to the website and ordered it. I told my wife, "By the way, I ordered that P90X program I've been watching on TV." (I had watched the informercial more than once!) So I ordered it and waited....

P90X- Round 1, Day 1
I got home from lunch one day and it was sitting on the porch. I opened the box and opened the kit. I looked at it and I was like, "Ok...there's no turning back now." I took the fitness and nutrition guides to work and started reading...preparing for my first 90 days. At that time I weighed 250 pounds and I was in some terrible shape. So after buying the necessary equipment, I started.

Now I'm not going lie....those first couple days were HARD!!! Heck...that first month was hard. (I guess it didn't help that I was EXTREMELY out of shape too!)
But as hard as it was, I stuck with it. I trusted in the system, I did the exercises and I followed the nutrition guide. Before I knew it, 30 days were done, and then 60, and finally 90 days were done. I had reached the end of Round One.

P90X- End of Round One
Now I know, some may say, "There really isn't much of a transformation," after all, I don't look like Mr. Olympia or nowhere even close to it. And that's fine if you think that. But I will tell you...I HAD NEVER FELT THE WAY I DID WHEN THAT 90 DAYS WAS DONE!! I truly was in the best shape of my life. I was never in that kind of shape, even in high school! My clothes were starting to get bigger on me and physically, I felt tremendous. I could walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded! As much as this may seem insignificant to some, to me, it was amazing! I had started on an exercise program that was WAY out of my comfort zone and I had completed it!!
P90X- End of Round One

 I just want to say that if I could do it...then YOU or anyone can do it! Step out of your comfort zone and reach for greatness...or at least a better and more healthy you! If you think that you can't do P90X, then get with me and let's talk. If you need more info about P90X, then contact me! By the way...check out the video link below!

P90X video....


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Power of NOT giving up

I know many people who have started something in their life and even though they started with the best of intentions, they end up quitting. (This includes myself at various points in my life!) But every now and then you run across a story or an individual who doesn't give up. Watch this...

As you can see, here is an example of someone who didn't give up. For all intent and purposes, this man had nothing to lose. I'm sure he felt like his life was at an all time low. BUT...the thing that made all the difference in the world is that he reached out for help. So many times I've seen people who need help, but they are either in denial, or "too proud" to ask for help. They are content in their complacency! The man in the video kept searching and searching until he found someone who was willing to help.


Anytime anyone wants to make a positive change in their life, it takes courage....and TONS of it. All the naysayers will tell you that it's not possible to change. Friends, acquaintences, even family members will tell you that the change you are making won't happen. They will try to discourage you from making those positive changes that you desire to make. But, as you start making those changes, people will start to see you meant business by your actions. The conscious decision you made by not giving up. When all seems lost and it seems like you can't go on anymore....DON'T GIVE UP and realize the power in NOT giving up! After all, you have nothing to lose and SO much to gain!!!

Allow me to introduce myself...

HELLO EVERYONE!!! I just wanted to introduce myself and my blog.

Welcome to Survival Fitness- My Journey of Health & Fitness. In this blog I will be offering several things.

1. My story on how I arrived at making this particular blog.
2. Fitness and health related articles
3. Motivation and encouragement for all who are making their own journey or who are thinking about starting their own journey.

*DISCLAIMER* I am an Independent Beachbody Coach and I REALLY would like to help you get started on your journey. Being a coach is my way of paying it forward to others that were like me and needed a positive change in their life. To learn more about Beachbody, feel free to contact me.

That is all for the time being. I will try to post something everyday. Please subscribe and check back often!