Sunday, December 23, 2012
snack attack tonight, hweet thins (ask stewie about this) and cookies and milks. no, singular on that last one. apparently, capitalization is optional tonight, and I'm opting against. first week in michigan ends with about a three pound gain, attributable almost entirely to the fast food moving day(s) binge. which is good and bad in a way, the bad being the obvious, but the good being that beyond that initial increase, and despite a lack of any traditional exercise the whole week (still logged 180 minutes, from lifting boxes and another source mentioned in a minute), i didn't put on any more lbs. The (ooh, sneaky capital t snuck in there, and I'm amused that spell check is redlining the word snuck, as any 8 year old can tell you it's a perfectly good word) 25 gym trips in 7 weeks only resulted in about 4.5 lbs lost so i feared that not going to a gym and getting in that cardio would result in rapid scale inflation, and so far that doesn't seem to be the case. but i think i'm still getting a gym membership in the new year. trying to figure out whether to go with a cheaper option that still appears to contain most of my necessities, or pay a bit more to have a better chance of running into people playing basketball (university rec center membership). leaning towards cheaper for now, wondering if there will be decent motivation there, in terms of a decent number of people.
curious, if you go to a gym, do you notice the other people? don't mean just in terms of cute members of your preferred sex, but more in terms of whether someone booking it on the machine next to you makes you run/bike/ellipticize a little harder? or for those into strength training, do the meatheads actually motivate you to push a bit more rather than intimidate/disgust you? me, the people around me didn't necessarily matter to my workout, with an occasional exception. i recall trying to keep up with someone on the next rowing machine and quickly giving up that chase, she would have beaten me by 50 meters in a 100 meter race.
wondering this because i dropped into the cheaper option, a county rec center, around 2 pm the other day, and the crowd skewed decidedly older. may have been a function of the time of day, i don't really know. the campus option would be more crowded, and with people likely working at a more active rate. i claim that the people around didn't impact my exercise, but i wonder if that's entirely true. guess i'll find out.
anyway, mentioned the other bit of exercise i got this week above, the last hour of my claimed 180 minutes, and that came in the form of bouncing off of people at a concert. it wasn't a metal show, it was more of a punk/prog/noise show, 4 bands of differing aesthetics, but similarly enticing the crowd to bump along. i haven't really experienced, or at least participated in a mosh pit set to this sort of music, so it was familiar in a way, what with all the physics of bouncing off of people, but also with a different vibe, with some guys just meandering their way through the crowd in a way that doesn't happen in a metal pit. whatever, it was fun, first time seeing a show after i moved, first time going to that particular venue in ten years or more, and totally having flashbacks to hanging out there in undergrad, and a few concerts i saw there back in the day. definitely got my cardio in in that pit, actually got tired a lot sooner than expected. definitely planning to do the same go out and see random bands thing i used to do in madison, curious to find out what the scene's like these days in ann arbor, as the city's half the size of madison, but also one that i wasn't really plugged into back in the day. whole new bunch of bands out there to discover, hope to find a few cool ones around.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
That's how I used to describe my fandom of the Detroit Lions. I'm a fan because of an accident of birth and geography: I was born and grew up in southeastern Michigan, and as such, I like the Lions. But it's hard being a Lions fan, when they wasted the talents of the greatest running back ever, Barry Sanders, when they'd win a division one year and sink to last place the next, when they went 0-16 a few years ago. Just one indignity after another, and really, it was a bandwagon with a ton of space on it, regardless of the fact that NFL football is the single biggest force on the American sports scene. There were apocryphal stories parents nudging their kids away from being Lions fans because of the heartache involved, and some were probably even true.
Last year, it started to change a bit, as with a couple of high draft picks, a new coach, the Lions showed a bit of spark, and started winning the close games that they'd inevitably choked away in years past. Somehow, they kept wining. Somehow, they made the playoffs. That they lost in the wild card game didn't matter, things were looking up, the bandwagon suddenly had more people on it, who were willing to believe and lift it up from the gloomy muck the diehards had been wallowing in for so long.
And then, this year happened. A couple of unexpected early losses. A mini streak getting the team back to 4-4 at the halfway mark of the season, and then....THUNK! They haven't won a game since. You see it on the message boards, the rats jumping ship, calling for the head of the head coach. You hear it on sports radio, the vitriol spewing from the speakers. SAME OLD LIONS. Yeah, they fell back to their old tricks of losing games under a different heartbreaking scenario each week, upping the ante on failure every time out. But, really, people? You were so quick to latch on when they were winning, and now fuggedaboutit?
One of the curses of sports fandom, people like winners and barely tolerate losers. I didn't think that I was a fair weather fan, until the Detroit Pistons sunk towards the bottom of the NBA, and for the first time eve, I found myself not caring much about one of my teams because they'd become boring to watch. Granted, the way the NBA controls radio feeds, I didn't have a cheap way to keep up with the team while out in Wisconsin, so that played a role. Now that I'm back in Michigan, and have access to the radio and TV broadcasts, we'll see if that changes things, or whether I'll pay more attention to what is still a pathetic team.
I only intended to use the bandwagon analogy as a jumping off point, but got caught up in a rant. Ten minutes ago, I meant to point to the wagon as something we had to stay on, whether in terms of sticking to a diet plan, or an exercise regiment, where falling off means falling behind, getting further away from where we want to be. But then I used the phraseology of the title of this entry, and I started thinking of it in a different way, where WE ARE THE WAGON. If things aren't working, then, we're the ones who have failed to provide the wheels. Sometimes, when we're not taking care of ourselves, other people don't seem to care. Bit of a vicious logic there, in that if you let yourself slip, others might stop believing in you, just when you need their support the most to get back in the driver's seat of your own wagon, but there's a sad reality to it - before you get that support, you have to make the first effort, whether it's logging in to a site like this, joining a gym, whatever.
It's not a new realization, I figured this out 15 months ago, before I decided to poke my head into this place. But sometimes, you just start ranting, and an old insight hits you in a new way. I finally had to change things as far as diet and to a lesser degree exercise, and then you guys helped me push my wagon back on the road. And for that, thanks.
Friday, December 21, 2012
it's 12/21/12, or 21/12/12 if you prefer, either way, there a 21 and a 12 juxtaposed, and an excuse, not that I ever need one, to listen to my favorite band, Rush. Of course, I spun the album 2112, then went on to other albums of their, eventually landing on Snakes & Arrows. As has been the case recently, I'm starting to find connections/parallels to the journey we're trying to take here, the one leading to better health, better habits, in songs that I previously hadn't seen in that light.
The lightbulb this time went on over the track "We Hold On", as heard here on Youtube:
Copying and pasting the entire lyrics on here because Neil Peart's words really do speak to what we're trying to do here. I mean, we've all come to at least one point where we've thought about just giving up, and managed to get through, managed to stick to that calorie goal, or exercise goal we were pursuing. Whether it's a favorite food you were able to successfully withstand, or a roadblock in life that didn't derail you from the path you're pursuing, this song speaks to it, and in doing so speaks volumes. That last stanza, especially, is money..."How many times do we wonder if it's even worth it? There's got to be some other way to get me through these day....BUT WE HOLD ON"
This song hasn't been part of my arsenal in trying to stay on the high diet and exercise road, but you can bet it'll be in my head the next time I get to one of those crossroads.
Lyrics to "We Hold On" by Rush, track 13 on their Snakes & Arrows album.
How many times
do we tire of all the little battles?
--threaten to call it quits;
tempted to cut and run?
How many time
do we weather out the stormy evenings?
--long to slam the door
drive away into the setting sun?
Keep going until dawn.
How many times must another line be drawn?
We could be down and gone,
but we hold on.
How many times
do we chafe against the repitition?
--straining against a fate
measured out in coffee breaks?
How many times
do we swallow our ambitions?
--long to give up the same old way ;
find another road to take?
Keep holding on so long
'cause there's a chance
that we might not be so wrong.
We could be down and gone,
but we hold on.
How many times
do we wonder if it's even worth it?
There's got to be some other way
to get me through these days.
--but we hold on.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Oh man, did I ever get sucked into a neon green trap last night. I tried to beat it off with a fanged steel weapon, but the more blows I struck, the thicker the enemy became, until I was forced, under duress, to trap it in the Cave of Ice. And even then, I wasn't safe, for as I listened to the sage wisdom of one Mr. Stephen Colbert, the siren song rang out from within the cave, drawing me back to battle with it once more. The second encounter did not go well, and by its conclusion, mere moments later, I found myself forced to ingest the vile potion...wait, what am I saying? I found myself eagerly sucking down the delicious pistachio pudding, and feeling virtuous for leaving half of it behind for another conquest tomorrow.
This entry's title was suggested by the Queen album, "The Game", which I was listening to earlier, and has as its second song a track called "Dragon Attack" ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnJqZkY67JI ). The disc starts off with the erstwhile title track, "Play the Game," which also seems applicable to the journey we're on, what with the CONSTANT VIGILENCE! (sorry, Mad Eye Moody moment) we sometimes feel like we need in order to keep the scale moving in the right direction. There's far too many people on Spark People that we've interacted with for a few months, and then seem to have disappeared off the face of the website, leaving us to sing the third track on the album, "Another One Bites the Dust," albeit hopefully without the bullets ripping to the sound of the beat. And since it'd just get weird if I continued on to the 4th song ("Need Your Loving Tonight"), I'll just leave off the analogies there.
I'd leave off entirely, except it must be noted that I've spent an exceedingly lazy day, much of it spent within arm's reach of resistance bands, and have failed to do anything with them, or any other form of anything remotely resembling exercise. Starting to think that the home exercise program envisioned previously in this space might just be a pipe dream, and that joining of a gym might be necessary. Then again, it's been only two days of sloth, so that declaration might be a tad premature, especially in light of the continued unpacking going on. Maybe if I keep yapping, I'll just talk myself into something.
But first, to sleep, perchance to dream of a crazy little thing called love (track 5 on The Game, dontcha know?)
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Drove 60 miles to see The Hobbit with friends, and as I returned towards the home base, I took a bit of a detour to see what remained and what had changed since last I lived in the area.
Among the things I noticed were a bunch of fast food-ish joints that I might want to check out. I noticed, again, that at the back end of my neighborhood, there's a 24 hour restaurant, which could possibly be bad news, even though I've never felt particularly compelled to visit on all the occasions I've been back to visit since that place opened. I drove by Dom Bakery, which has its drive through open 24 hours, and was a place I'd visit occasionally back in the day. Within walking distance are 4 pizza places and 8 Asian (mostly Chinese) food places. There's a Planet Fitness location within walking distance (not that I'm seeing very good things about that place on line), hiding behind a subway, one of those Chinese places, a Big Boy restaurant, and another food joint of unknown provenance.
Doesn't necessarily mean that I'll be visiting all these places, just that as I drove the hour back in a slightly hungry mood, I was hyperaware of the food stuffs that were out there, in a way that I haven't been in a while. Perhaps that was because, back in Madison, I was driving routes I knew well, with restaurants that were visually familiar, and therefore not as stimulating? Don't know if that theory holds water given the fact that I moved within Madison 4 months previous, to an area that I rarely drove through before living there. But it's a working theory that I haven't been able to shoot down entirely in the hour and change since the brain cooked it up.
I borrowed this entry's title from the Dream Theater song, "The Mirror." It's a track about addiction, probably alcohol, as the band's former drummer later penned a number of songs constituting a 12 step cycle, recounting his own recovery. Some of the lyrics could easily be applied to how a lot of us are about food, as seen in the opening verses below. I mean, just think about all those things floating around, especially at this holiday season...
Why won't you leave me alone ?
Lurking every corner-
Everywhere I go
Don't turn your back on me now
When I need you the most
Constant pressure tests my will
My will or my won't
My self control escapes from me still
The song on youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU8q8Be2H38
Lyrics on songmeanings dot net www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/7659
Get An Email Alert Each Time AHTRAP Posts