Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Because where else are you going to hear a metal band talking about the eyes of praying mantises and weaving that into theology couched in a ton of medical/anatomical terminology?
The band is Tourniquet, a christian metal outfit that plays good thrash, the link is to the title track of the Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance album, my fave of their.
I was actually digging through my CDs looking for their Psycho Surgery album, since that title is more apt for the mood of the day. That mood ain't a good one, just dwelling on all the things I dislike about myself, and in my life, including the apparent lack of wherewithal to make the changes necessary. Hmmm, maybe I should be listening to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," instead?
Need to find a just effing do it mode. Get a psychic cleanse, maybe (not in any new age sense, just metaphorically speaking).
The weird thing is...this ungood state of mind may actually be helping the weight loss/exercise thing. Stress and its effects aside, it's an area I feel relatively in control of, and you can bet your butt I'm holding on to that.
Ok, scribbling it out has slightly altered the mood for the better. Might have to try this trick in the future, hope you'll forgive me.
First bit of resetting my life: the hair.
A few days ago (Friday?):
The beard kinda hid the extra chin. Although I could make it look a lot skinnier by jutting the chin out just a tad, I'm choosing to post this one, as it fits the mood. And will be a nice reference for the future.
And now, to continue listening to albums with ludicrou...I mean, awesome titles, Dimmu Borgir's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia. (Link to the song Puritania)
Monday, January 14, 2013
So, speaking in terms of actuality, nothing has changed since last Friday, around 7 PM. But when you enter the realm of realityÖ
I wrote a blog Friday with a couple of songs linked, both of which suggest that perception is reality. The next day, I mentioned how the mirrored glass in the gym reflected my fat-assed self. Thereís something awfully, awfully meta going on here, in the fact that just after those events, Iíve been feeling fat all weekend, whereas until stepping on that treadmill Friday, I was fine with where I was on this journey. A self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will.
I mean, last week, I took before pics for the current BLC round, and noted the protruding belly, andÖthat was it. Iím not sharing those pics publicly, but that wasnít out of any sort of morbid embarrassment, or anything of the sort, itís just because I havenít been sharing any half naked pics of myself on here, no matter how much you beg (ok, ok, no one is begging for any such thing). But I took those pics, and didn't really think anything of it at the time. And now, I'm looking at them again, and wondering, why not? Did I not see the protruding belly? Or was it that I didn't see it as Protruding (the capital P makes all the difference, don'tcha know?)
So, now Iím left to wonder if itís a case of talking myself into it. Whether I didn't, by typing out those particular thoughts in that particular timeframe and juxtaposition, set myself up into having this reaction. I didnít even make that connection until I typed out the entry title, intending to reference only the post-treadmill blog.
All that said, the ďsuddenly feeling fatĒ feeling isnít a new phenomenon. Itís just that it usually occurs after a gain of 5-7 lbs, throughout which I stroll around feeling fine, until one day I wake up, look in the mirror and utter an expletive. This time, I've been in an essential plateau for a while. I haven't gained any lasting weight, certainly not the kind of previous trigger event Honestly, this particular strain of fatitude hasnít really struck within the past 16 months, since Iíve been on this site. So, I'm a little surprised to see it rearing its ugly headÖand more than a little amused that itís doing so at the outset of my foray into the BLC challenge, something that seems rather well-suited to take on that very feeling. And, just to extend the web of interconnected among my recent scribblings, I happened to mention the BLC challenge in Sunday's entry.
Do you believe in coincidences?
Sunday, January 13, 2013
It's the name of a band, a progressive supermetal band (their tongue in cheek self hype job) consisting of a few guys I've known for many years, and a couple of guys that I met tonight for the first time. They've been playing together nearly 5 years, but I, living 450 miles away, hadn't made it to any of their shows. Until Saturday night. Glad to finally be able to see them live, and glad to see my old friends and make new ones, too, that's always nice.
Link is to the song "Here, it's over" from their first album, "Recurring Themes". www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc4PqCWdUQA
I'm someone who loves going to see live music, pretty much of any variety. Though I don't claim to be one of those people who "listen to pretty much everything", if there's a cheap live show going on, and I've nothing better to do, I'm liable to go check out music far outside what I prefer to listen to. Maybe it's envy, either at the courage to get up on stage and perform, or at the ability to play an instrument, or for being able to write original material, I don't know.
When I was out in Wisconsin, I ended up being friends with a fair number of people who were in bands, and I'll probably throw together a blog post at some point with a sampler platter of songs by friends of mine. Not to name drop, since the odds are heavily against you having heard of niche/regional bands, but just to share the talents of my talented friends. And you never know, you might even find you like something among them.
The time nearing 4 AM, tonight won't be that night, though...sorry!
Instead, I'll just shift gears entirely, and mention that I'm in the corral of the Midnight Mustangs for the BLC 21. Excited to see what a structured challenge with built in support will mean for the attempt to break through this plateau I've wandered on for a while now. Also, oddly apprehensive about it, though the folks on the team are quite welcoming. Either way, an over 40 percent jump in the number of spark friends overnight. Almost feel like I should have prepared something profound for anyone looking in on my blatherings for the first time. But hey, it's more authentic this way, no? That's what I'll tell myself, anyway, as I drop off to sleep.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Friday nightís trip to the gym included a stop on the treadmill. Now, this doesnít sound all that out of the ordinary, except me and the treadmill, we donít get along. Me and running donít get along, but thereís something about the treadmill, any activity on it, and my ankles and shins whine about it. So Iím not sure why I wandered over to the treadmill area after I hopped off the elliptical.
I suppose it might have been as a way of avoiding the stepper, which is a piece of equipment that was used in the PT clinic I went to after tearing up my knee back in 2000, and which Iíve never used since. Iíve thought about it on the occasions Iíve been to this gym, and likely would have given it a shot Ė after all, itís right in front of the TVs permanently tuned to EPSN (I havenít actually tested that theory yet) Ė but for the fact that Wednesday, I had a massive flashback to those rehab days, upon seeing a piece of equipment that, to the best of my recollection, I havenít seen since that clinic. It was one of those machines for hip flexion/extension, where the bar extends over the standing platform, and you either push up with your quad, or you hitch a leg up over it, and use the hammies to pull the bar down. The flashback wasnít disturbing, nor did using the machine hurt or really bring back bad memories, but it was enough to maybe put off the stepper until next week. Maybe.
So, in lieu of stepping out, I treadedÖummmÖmill. A week or more ago, I had a thought that I might try jogging this year, maybe learn how to run a bit, so I set the treadmill speed at 4 miles per hour, a not very fast 15 minute mile pace, not much more than a walking pace. I mean, after all, there are kids who finish entire 5K races in that time. Sure, theyíre freaks of nature, but if they could do three and change in 15 minutes, then surely I can do a mile in that time. Now, I wasnít really thinking that I would indeed do this 15 minute mile, partly due to the treadmill issues detailed here, as well as fact that I severely doubt I can run a mile straight at this point. I used to play soccer as a kid, through high school, and to this day, unless Iím chasing something, I hate running. It can be a ball, or a Frisbee, but I need something to go after in order to make running worth it. I hear running types talk about a runnerís high, and Iím convinced they must be smoking something. But I plugged in 4 mph, and off I went nowhere.
For two minutes, I kept running, and I didnít feel my ankle say a thing, and I wondered if I could make it to 5. Unfortunately, I hadnít accounted for technology conspiring against me. Exactly 2 minutes in, the treadmill demanded that I give them a heart rate, because unbeknownst to me, Iíd signed up for a program of constant heart rate on that machine. And, having just completed a spell on the elliptical, the two minutes of jogging already had my heart rate higher than their arbitrarily chosen 119 BPM. So the treadmill slowed down to allow my heart rate to relax to that standard. Since my heart was going up in the 130s, it slowed down another 3couple times, until it was convinced that I was within its preferred range. 3.4 MPH. Too slow for running. Very comfortable walking speed.
So I played its game, walking for the rest of the 20 minutes Iíd chosen. But it wasnít through mocking me, no sir. All the machines at this gym have a default 5 minute cool down period, with the elliptical, for example, choosing a low but constant resistance for that time. The treadmill scoffed at constancy, choosing instead to decrement its speed by 0.5 mph for each minute of the cool down. So, from 3.4 down to 2.9, down to 2.4 and so on. The last minute of that trek was spent at 0.9 MPH, or as the treadmill so condescendingly informed me, on a 66.5 minutes per mile pace.
Sure, I could have jumped off at any time, but I wasnít about to let that sucker get the best of me. I was going to ride that ride the full 20 minutes plus the cool down, and by golly, thatís what I did.
So, yeah, the first running Ďadventureí netted me about 2 minutes of running. When I got off the machine, I was a bit disconcerted to find myself wobbly, as if Iíd just returned to land after being on a boat for a while. Itís been long enough that Iíve avoided treadmills that I canít recall if thatís how I usually react.
On another note, the transparent yet mirrored glass of the cardio room didnít much help matters, as it revealed a rather unwieldy guy lumping along on the treadmill. Despite the modest loss to date, my belly and my butt remain, well, sizable. I saw a fitness site describe my shape as ďskinny fatĒ, where you wouldnít say I was obese if you looked just at my arms (no problem circling my fingers around my wrist for example), but take a peek at the trunk, and youíll see where the weight sits. Iíve always had the issue of having Medium arms, and an XL belly (XXL at the start of this trip). According to the reflection in the window, where me and my big butt were just trundling along, that hasnít changed a bit. But hey, thereís another bit of motivation. Time to throw it on the pile, and see if it burns.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Turns out the quote is attributed to Liza Minelli. I know it from the Marillion song, ďRichĒ, which also posits, in the very next line, ďWe donít see things as they are, we see them as we are.Ē
And then thereís the line from ďTotemĒ by Rush, which declares, ďI believe that what Iím feeling changes how the world appearsĒ.
I believe both statements. How you or I feel about any given situation will usually color our judgment and action in relation to it. There are exceptions, of course, people who can truly act without regard to their personal feelings (lawyers defending criminals they know to be guilty comes to mind first). But most of the time, we act and react based on how we feel.
On a macro level, it certainly played a role in my checking out this site, finally feeling like the weight train had gone too far down the wrong track. On a smaller level, though, there are a lot of individual decisions, driven by how weíre feeling on any given day, that might help or hinder our getting to where we want to go. Things like going to the gym, or grabbing extra cookies, all affected by the mood of the moment, subject to the tone of the day, buffeted by longer terms winds.
Havenít got the solutions; if I did, I wouldnít have the problems, right? Just thinking out loud, brought about by one of my answers on the quizzes I posted yesterday, where I couldnít decide which of my many self-perceived flaws I hated worst. Just made me think, not for the first time, about the impact that negative self-image might be having on a day to day basis. Writing that particular thought down in a publicly consumable manner for the first time, so thatís different.
And, as ever when I express these doubts on here, I feel compelled to state that Iím not doing this for any pity or sympathy, just to have it out there for myself to look back upon. Eventually, Iíll feel free to vent without such a disclaimer.
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