Tag Archive for exercise

Five Flights

The building I work in has 4 floors. Each floor, however, has tall ceilings, drop ceilings, raised floors, and lots of ducts and such. I mention this because the result is that when you decide to take the stairs instead of the elevator, it means that you can literally see in the stairwell that each floor is actually two floors of height, and each flight of stairs is one floor worth of height, so to walk from 1 to 4 is actually six flights of stairs.

I’m out of shape, and every day when I climb the stairs, in an attempt to get exercise, I make it five flights of stairs before I get winded. I stand there, on the landing between the 3rd and 4th floors, staring up at the door to the 4th floor, and I have to wait to catch my breath.

It’s weird. I feel fine as I start climbing. I get in the rhythm and start clomping upward one step at a time. And I get to the top of that fifth flight, and suddenly, I’m beat.

I look forward to the day that I can tackle all six flights without stopping. But this is only a 6 month contract, with only 5 months left. I’ve got a deadline…

The Magic Spreadsheet and Other Plans

I noticed the other day that in 2015 I had only written one blog entry. Normally I would have an excuse that I had been writing elsewhere, but I haven’t. Most of my writing projects have puttered out.

First and foremost, I stopped doing reviews for Shakefire. The main reason I stopped was because of the garbage I was being given to review. I don’t blame the guy running the site, he has things that need to be reviewed, and since I have a regular day job I can’t go see movie screenings in the middle of the day, so instead I get mailed a pile of DVDs and CDs. While the music was of varying quality, and I even discovered a new band or two, the movies were almost all terrible. The lowest budget of horror films. It is depressing to always review garbage. So I quit.

Next, for “reasons”, the Man vs Wife series of game reviews I was doing petered out.

I also tried writing some fitness blog type stuff. But I’m not very fit (yet) and what I wrote was trash.

There are various projects I have by noodling with, but I’ve been down on fiction writing ever since I pushed myself to “win” NaNoWriMo a couple years ago. Winning involved me just puking out the most insipid drivel I’ve ever written and soured me on the novel and on writing.

All that leads me to my new effort to get back into writing. This new writing will include blogs and other things, but all of it will result in a daily word total that I will put up on The Magic Spreadsheet.

What is The Magic Spreadsheet? Well, it’s this. That’s a link to a Facebook group where you can find the link to the latest spreadsheet. Basically, it is a tool to try to encourage writing every day. To join, you just open the spreadsheet (it is a Google Doc) and find a free line on the appropriate page (the first sheet includes instructions on how to find the right page) and put your name on it. Then you write, and you come back and put your totals in. You earn points, both for how much you writer and for how long your unbroken chain of daily writing is. When you have enough points you can level up, which allows you to get more points for writing more. At the lowest level you need only to write 250 words a day. That’s just a couple paragraphs. I mean, this blog post is over 700 words. As of this writing, I am on my 3rd day. Hopefully I can stick with this.

In addition to the Magic Spreadsheet, I’m also trying to put together a schedule for some other projects I have, things I need to do on a regular or semi-regular basis, most of which involve writing, but some of which involve drawing, and some involve speaking, and some involve music, and some involve exercise.

Oh, exercise. I’m back on the 5BX bandwagon. If you are reading this and it intrigues you and you are a woman, there is XBX for you. I have finished the first chart and moved to the second. The full push-ups of the second chart are proving to be more difficult, so my progress has slowed.

With exercise goes “diet”, and by that I don’t mean “doing some fad binge thing to try to lose weight fast and then gain it all back when I quit”. What I mean is making small changes to my diet to include better foods. More vegetables, less junk. More water, less soda.

And both the exercise and diet are being spurred on by the fact that I’m going on a cruise the first week of July, and I would like to be in much better shape by then.

All of this comes on the heels of recently reading Surprisingly…Unstuck. I’ve read a few self help / motivation books before, but this one has to be one of the cleanest presentations of simple information that is bound to work for everyone. Most of it is exceedingly simple, but also the sort of things you might not think about on your own until someone points them out. In fact, it’s so simple that the book gets a bit repetitive at the end. Still very worth reading.

So, that’s it for now. I’m going to try to be back here more often, if for no other reason that to keep a log of things I’m doing for myself and to point the five people who might be reading my blog to other projects of mine as I work on them.

Three Week Rolling Average

graphOnce again I am back on the weight loss kick. This time we’ve joined a local co-op for a weekly fruit & vegetable basket so that we will have better foods to eat in the house. So far, this is working. We aren’t crazy, we aren’t trying to go vegan or anything, but we have eaten a few meals with little to no meat.

We are also giving juicing a shot. I’m not sure we are ready to go full on with a juice fast or anything, but it is interesting to make up a couple of glasses of vegetable/fruit juice and have it leave me feeling full for hours. If you know me, then you know I almost never feel full – I’m always hungry, except after juice. Weird.

Anyway, being that we are doing the eat better thing, and we also joined a gym, I’ve also started weighing myself. One of the things I hate most about weighing myself is the wild fluctuations you’ll see. According to the Hacker’s Diet, which I don’t recommend as an actual diet guideline but do recommend for learning some facts about how weight and weight-loss works, a lot of your weight change has to do with water, we are 80% water after all, and the odd thing is that people often increase their water intake when dieting. Take this example, you work out one day – running, lifting, etc – but drink a couple of gallons of water; then one day you sit on your ass playing video games and drink a glass of water. Chances are, the workout day may cause you to gain weight and the lazy day will cause you to lose weight. Crazy, right? That’s why you should never let a single day weight-in get you down.

To that end, I created a spreadsheet in Google Docs that will maintain a Three Week Rolling Average. Right out of the gate, let me say that this is only a “three week” thing if you put in a weight every day. If you skip days but don’t skip rows, it’s a 21 latest values average. But, if you don’t skip days on the sheet, and every day you don’t actually weigh yourself you just copy the weight from the previous day, you’ll get a nice running average. Bonus: the second sheet is a graph. Oh, and also, those numbers aren’t real, just an example.

The great thing about the rolling average is that it helps mentally negate a spike in weight. Once you get yourself in the mental space that the number on the scale doesn’t matter and what does matter is the current average once you’ve entered that number from the scale into the spreadsheet, it reduces the anxiety of stepping on the scale. Over time, the average helps smooth out the curve and you can get a picture of the real trend your weight is taking. As humans, we tend to remember bad things more acutely than we do good things, and so we’ll weigh ourselves every day but only remember the days we were disappointed in the number, leading us to feeling like the weight-loss isn’t working. With the average, however, you can see the spikes and valleys and where your real weight actually rests, and that one bad day isn’t the end of the world.

So, copy the document to your own Drive and start tracking. Let me know if you run into any problems with it.

A Week of Tweets on 2010-09-26

  • It’s the Derek and David show! Better than any “Reality” TV! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you are missing out! #
  • If you could go on vacation for the next month with an… — The first place I would go is Disney World. I haven’t… http://4ms.me/aKBdcL #
  • I enjoy formspring.me, but only as an exercise in creative writing. #
  • Why didn’t someone tell me that all 85 episodes of Robotech were available on Netflix Instant? Weekend = gone! #
  • Not sure about the film but I dig the song in the trailer: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1813626064?bctid=614634428001 #
  • This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays. ~Arthur Dent #
  • I dislike the phrase “years young” as alternative to “years old” for age. Going to spearhead the “year survivor” movement. #
  • @Krystalle @tipadaknife What do you use to see who unfollows you? in reply to Krystalle #
  • The wife and I have been texting all morning. Yes, we are in the same house. Stairs are hard. #

Fitness Gaming

One of the hardest things for me about getting fit is just keeping at it.  Over the last year I forced myself into the habit of exercising every day, my push-ups and sit-ups plan has worked fairly well, but I know I need to incorporate more exercises in order to work the whole body and not leave things out.  Back when I bought a Wii, I was excited about Wii Sports and the coming Wii Fit.  Wii Fit turned out to be a disappointment because you couldn’t build a real workout, you had to do everything one exercise at a time and the constant stopping and starting was annoying.  That single feature is why I’ve pre-ordered and am eagerly awaiting Wii Fit Plus.

But as much as I like it, I do have to admit the Balance Board is kinda retarded.  I suppose that is why I saw Your Shape with its camera and was immediately intrigued.

I am tempted, but really want to see some honest reviews of the product before I buy in.  An exercise game without a board or hand held controllers would be awesome if it works.

Thirty-Four

Happy Birthday to me!

It has been a year since my wonderful self-examination post called “Thirty-Three“, where I said I needed to do the following:

  • Stop being a lazy shit and get my work ethic back.
  • Stop being a lazy shit and exercise to get my waistline back.
  • Stop being a lazy shit and find a new job that engages and excites me.
  • Stop being a lazy shit and finish some of these projects around the house.

So how did I do?

Well, I can say that somewhat I have gotten my work ethic back.  I’ve been working smarter and harder and not letting the corporate jackassery get me down.  I still need to do more, but my problems now are related to item three and that I have no passion for my current job.

I have occasionally exercised, but more importantly I completely kicked caffiene and sodas.  I drink only water and Crystal Light now.  I’m also sort of eating better.  I have lost weight, but not enough.

If you have been reading my blog, you know that item three is now a self-fulfilling prophesy.  I will get a new job because the contract is over and I have to get a new job.  So, there is that.  And I am trying very hard to make sure I only pursue jobs that I will enjoy.

And lastly… well… there are still projects around the house that need doing.  But I’m not going anywhere (especially in this housing market), so I have time.

Looking ahead to Thirty-Four, I want to get an awesome job, one I love going to.  And I want to write more, so I’ll be making more of a concerted effort to do the NaNoWriMo this year.  And that’s really all I want out of the year to come.  It doesn’t seem so much to ask…

Choice and Opportunity.

There is an exercise in logic. Its a maze, and in the maze are you and a minortaur. You can move one square at a time, the minotaur moves two at a time. The goal is to reach the exit before he gets you. The trick to this is that the minotaur always takes the most direct path to you, even if that path is to face a wall and not move. So the key is to use the maze to force the minotaur to require more than twice the number of moves to get to you than it is for you to get to the exit. In most presentations of this exercise, around level 3, it is actually impossible to win if you move on the first round. Every moment you take causes the minotaur to round a corner and gives him the ability to get you before you get the door. So the trick is to pass your first round and make the minotaur move first, and when he moves he gets stuck in a dead end that gives you free reign of the maze. You win by choosing to sit still. You win by doing nothing.

In some people’s lives there may come a time where they believe that they have run out of choices, that there are no more opportunities. Some people, when presented this option don’t know what to do, like people who continually lose the maze and the minotaur exercise. They simply cannot comprehend that the best course of action is to let go and do nothing. The world will move around them, and things will change, and likely the answer they are looking for will present itself, or at least new doors will open. But they can’t do this, so they keep moving, and they keep losing.

Faced with the situation that all of ones actions result in losing but unwilling to not act, some people make the only choice they feel they have left. They choose to finally, absolutely and brutally remove all choice and opportunity from their lives by ending their lives.

Sometimes, it may seem like there is no end to misery in sight, that life is bleak and black and horrible, that everything you do only makes the pain worse. If this happens, remember that sometimes there is nothing you can do to win, but sometimes by doing nothing you win.

Its good. Its bad. Its life.

Live it.

for Carl, the friend I’ll never know

One For the Record Books.

3 days. 4 if you count my day off. That’s how long I lasted at Toys “R” Us.

I’m 27 years old, and when I break down crying because I can barely move being nearly crippled by pain, I think its time to move on. And so I did.

5 years at desk jobs and I can’t be on my feet working for 8 hour stretches any more. Am I getting soft? Getting old?

I don’t think so, but one thing is for sure.. once my feet are back into functional working order again its really time to start doing that exercise I always promise myself I’m going to start doing.

And this time, I mean it.