The last time I wrote in the Getting Fit category was back in October when I ran a 5k.  So here it is, almost 6 months later… what have I been up to?

Throughout the winter I (mostly) kept up with a simple workout.  100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats, 100 dips, 100 reverse sit ups.  Not all of them every just, just one per day, a 5 day program.  And occasionally I’d run for 30 minutes to an hour on the elliptical machine.  This has worked well for me.  I’ve built up a decent bit of strength in all those areas, but it was time to do something else.

Shaun T and the Insanity BunchEnter Insanity.

Now, before people go all off on commenting about how I should be careful and not hurt myself, allow me to state emphatically, I am not an idiot.  I am fully aware that I have only one body (until science advances far enough) and I have to take care of it (which, coincidently, is why I am exercising), and this is actually why I chose Insanity over other workouts (I actually watch the videos with a critical eye prior to ever attempting the exercises myself).  And throughout, while Shaun T is screaming things like “Work!”, “Faster!”, “Push it!” and all the other things instructors say to make you move, he’s also constantly saying “Know your limits.”, “You don’t have to keep up with me.”, “Take a break whenever you need to.” and this makes all the difference.  In other workouts that I’ve tried, they always made me feel like a failure when I couldn’t do their programs to their level, but here, I always feel like I’m doing my best, and my goal is to make my best better over time, and not to meet some arbitrary goal set by a guy who already has a perfect body.

Right now, my best is pretty pitiful.  Each day when I do it, I am winded and exhausted by the end of the warm up, and it is a struggle to get through the rest of the day’s program.  I attempt each exercise, do what I can, and then take a break.  However, after just the first week, I feel better.

I also know I’ve picked the right workout because doing it is hard work, but after I stop, shower and relax a little, I don’t feel like I’ve been dragged through the street behind a car.  A workout should work you out, not devastate you.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind later.  I’m only one week into the program, but right now I feel great.

If I have any quibble about the Insanity program, it’s the same one I have for almost every workout program: perfect people.  They have a group of a dozen people doing the exercises, but none of the guys have guts or love handles and none of the women have hips or chests.  But that is minor and common, so it really isn’t worth being bothered by it.

One week down, seven to go.

The Road to Fit

I am no longer doing 100 push-ups a day. The reason I began doing them is because I recognized that the first step to getting fit is actually starting. Honestly, getting started is usually the hardest part of almost any project.  For me, anyway. I’m not an amatuercrastinator, I’m a procrastinator. So to get started on the road to fitness I needed an easy way to get into the habit.  Push-ups are simple in that practically anyone can do them, even if you have to start on your knees instead of your toes and it takes you all day to do the whole hundred. Eventually I did get myself down to being able to do the hundred, on my toes, in under ten minutes.  But the real achievement was that I was doing this (nearly) every day.

The second phase of my journey was portion control. One of the main issues many people face in getting thinner is that they overeat. And I’m not talking about sitting down with a bucket of chicken or a tub of ice cream and polishing it off. I’m talking about eating a little too much at every meal that adds up over time. Before starting this road to fitness for real, I wrote about cutting my morning cereal down to one cup. I started doing this again, and limiting my lunches, and watching out for sizes of dinners, and cutting out extra snacks. I also switched to drinking mainly water except for special occasions and sometimes for meals. And I also trained myself to order smaller when we eat out, or order with the expectation that half the meal is going home in a box for another time. Eating at restaurants is really bad for you when it comes to portion control because they often won’t let you control the portions, you just get the plate of food they serve and it is left to you to stop eating. Of course, having a spot of unemployment and being broke really helps here since eating out is one of the first things to go. Fast food is also a pain here since many places have eliminated their old “small” size and made “medium” the new small, “large” the new medium, and the bucket of soda with a barrel of fries the new large. If you are in the habit of ordering the large or medium combos, you might need to reevaluate and switch to the small, or even start ordering off the kid’s menu.

Following these two phases I was able to reach one of my big goals: 200lbs. Phase three is now in full effect.  What is phase three?  Realistic expectations.

Look, I didn’t get up to 250lbs overnight, or even in a couple months, not even a year.  It took a long time for the weight to creep up on me. With that in mind, I don’t expect to lose it all in a short period of time either. I’ve seen tons of propaganda for diets and exercise plans that claim I can shed thirty, fifty, even a hundred pounds in a matter of weeks or months, but the largest problem with losing weight fast is that you usually lack the discipline to keep the weight off. The “crash” in most crash diets isn’t the sudden loss of weight but the crash of depression when months later you find you’ve gained most or all of it back.  With that in mind, my current goal is to lose just one pound a week.  That seems very small, and it is, purposefully so. Each pound that goes away I am determined to keep gone.

I’ve stopped doing my push-ups and sit-ups routine. It served its purpose of getting me in the habit of exercising and now it is time to move on. I was a big fan of the idea of the Wii Fit, but the implementation was lacking. Since I already owned the balance board, buying Wii Fit Plus for under $20 was a no-brainer. Having used it for a month now, I can say that this sequel successfully fixed all the issues I had with the original. The main fix being that I can build a workout, not have to stop between exercises to choose another and also not have to see the scores and rankings which I really don’t care about. The best part being you can simply select an amount of time, select a type of workout (yoga, strength, or a mix of both) and hit start. I now do a random selection of yoga three days a week, and a random selection of strength exercises two days a week, each workout for thirty minutes. Of course, I continue to examine what I eat, making small changes as I see places to improve without throwing out all the foods I love just to see an improvement in my waste line.

If I can maintain my goal of one pound a week that is fifty-two pounds in a year.  148lbs is my new goal for October 2010. I’m looking forward to it…

Sneaking Seventy: The Beginning

I am sure it has been done before, but I don’t care. I’ve rolled up a new character in the World of Warcraft, he is a rogue, and he shall not fight, and he shall only do quests that can be completed without killing. My goal is to explore, everywhere and everything, hence the title: Sneaking Seventy.

So far, I’ve explored Stormwind, Elwynn Forest and some of Westfall… and then I went to Dun Morogh. The ability of monsters to see me and kill me is astounding… I definately need some money and some gear. I’ll post screenshots later.

19 March 2001

Just Talking
Sometimes it just feels good to put things on paper, so to speak.
When I write here, even though I am fairly sure that no one is reading it, it still feels better once I put things here. Get them said, in a manner of speaking.
It’s almost 8 AM here in the city of Atlanta.. Nope, not up early.. up late. 🙂
Finally reached a goal last night that I have had for a long time. Over a year in fact. I made 50th level in EverQuest with my first character.
Of course, its largely meaningless now since Verant made the level cap 60 a while back.
On a good note though, I just sent out an email for a job that I would like to have. Not going to jinx it by talking too much about it. Just, if you read this page, think good thoughts for me.