Thursday, February 07, 2013
Got the radio on, "Heat of the Moment" by Asia comes on, and that first line triggers a bit of thinking on the "how I got here" (weight wise) topic.
Little flashbacks to being a bit pudgy around the middle in high school, a soccer coach commenting on it while helping me off the pitch after an injury. Recalling back to college, and the all too infrequent trips to the gym. Remembering seeing a stat somewhere along the line that 25% of Americans eat out at least once a day, and scoffing at it at the time, and years later, remembering that info, and realizing that I totally fit the profile. Wonder what that percentage is up to now? Didn't help having a job that provided a cheap cafeteria with good (both taste and quality, if not always healthful), and using it for lunch daily, and then going out for dinner. Having an ex-girlfriend who could cook, and enjoying her efforts. All too infrequent gym trips through the first 60% of my 30s.
Yeah, that all added up. Sure, summers, I'd be playing ultimate frisbee and softball, and every now and again, I'd play a semi-regular game of basketball. But it didn't keep pace with what I was putting in me foodwise. It wasn't until I found this place that I really started paying attention to the details, rather than shoveling down whatever was in front of me. Granted, it hasn't entirely stopped me from shoveling down whatever's in front of me, but at least I'm paying attention to the details while wielding that shovel.
That said...I'm still not entirely sure to what degree the site itself is responsible. I mean, the information that's available here is also available elsewhere, whether it's the nutritional stuff or the exercise info. I just needed an excuse to do the right things, and I jumped in on spark at a point when I was ready to do so. The "FREE" nature of spark people certainly helped, as I suspect any effort at weight watchers would have been defeated by annoyance at having to pay for something that I wasn't entirely committed to. The fact that I could dabble around the edges, that certainly helped, too, letting me feel it out before deciding, yeah, this is useful.
Whatever the reason, however much of my success over the past 502 days is due to spark people as a website, I'm glad it exists. And if you're reading this, I'm glad you exist, too. Couldn't have done it without you.
Asia's version of the title song: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYZq_
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
One of those days where i keep intending to get up and do something, but something never happened, and instead, I've been sitting around doing nothing especially much. Worse thing is, having decided that I was eventually going to do something, I never thought to turn any music on, because I wouldn't hear the end of whatever album I decided to spin. So not only am I doing nothing, I'm doing it in a deafening silence. Well, if you don't count the clackety clack of the letter keys or the machine hum of my computer.
A bit sore today, as my early morning trek to play ultimate on Tuesday left me with a tweaked hammy. Actually, I'm not entirely sure what it was that twinged, as the annoyance is limited to the back and the inside of my upper thigh, and I haven't completely been able to parse out whether it's the semimembranous or the bicep femoris that's located in that area of the thigh. Probably didn't help matters all that much by wandering back to the gym later Tuesday for pickleball, though, honestly, I didn't hurt it any worse. Definitely felt it, as I half-assed my way though about an hour, avoiding stretching for any shots that might cause pain.
Afterwards, I stuck around a few minutes watching the volleyball game get going. Asked one of the participant while they were warming up about the intensity and skill level of the two games. One court had 6'2" people slamming down spikes, while the other looked more my speed. She mentioned that the Tuesday session wasn't great for beginners, which I more or less introduced myself as, but watching the more casual court, I feel like I would fit in just fine. This "intermediate" game didn't look particularly skilled, and I say that as someone who can only recall playing sand volleyball 2 or 3 times in the past 5 years, and no indoor volleyball since 2005. Overconfidence? Perhaps. Guess I'll find out whenever I do end up joining in on that form of fun.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Day 500 2/5/13
Guess I decided to do this thing after all, and it was kind of fun, looking through blogs, almost at random, that Iíd written over the past 500 days since I joined Spark People, and plucking random thoughts out. Taken as a whole, it does give a decent glimpse into the trip so far.
Today started out at the gym for a bit of ultimate, running around with a bunch of high schoolers and feeling old, and itíll continue with another visit to the gym, playing pickleball against a generally older bunch, feeling young. And isnít that how it goes sometimes?
And for the record, the morning scale said 178.0 lbs.
Day 301 7/22/12
Not a huge walk, just a quick 10 minute jaunt, headed into the park a bit, listened to the frogs and other night time creatures sing their songs.
Day 72 12/6/11
Öthe scale in the men's locker room at the gym I belong toÖthat sucker has yet to admit I weigh less than 200 lbs
Day 156 2/28/12
Basketball last Thursday was a good time, until I jammed the same thumb I've been having issues with, not once but twice. The latter incident ended the night prematurely - when I got home, I grabbed a handful of wheat thins to eat, and realized that I wasn't quite able to grasp a cracker between the thumb and pinkie on that hand, as the thumb just didn't want to bend far enough to do that simple trick.
Day 442 12/10/12
Went to a concert last night and decided to get in on the crowd action rather than watching from the wings or balcony...now, the bands playing included Hatebreed, In Flames and Lamb of God, so the point of getting into the crowd was, in addition to having fun, to get what I call the heavy metal workout.
Day 365 9/24/12
Me, I'm down between 20-25 lbs. The initial goal was a 25 lb decrease, and I've woken up a couple of times at that mark, but I haven't managed to make it stick for three days yet, which is my marker for something that's real and not artifact. But I'm close.
Day 481 1/18/13
BLC21 dictates doing something I havenít managed before this weekend, so Iíll try to drink 8 glasses of water for the next four days. Wish my bladder luck. It also dictates 20 minutes of cardio a day (easy enough), interacting with other member of my team (easy enough) and tracking every bit of food that passes betwixt my lipst. Thatíll be a challenge. Maybe I should have just killed two birds with one stone trying to do that for the first phase, instead.
Day 217 4/29/12
The shopping today included picking up a cheap pedometer. Haven't figured out yet how to reset the darn thing, nor how to turn it off. I suppose I could rtfm (or pamphlet, as it were), but where's the fun in that? :)
Day 333 8/23/12
Took the summer off, essentially, and didn't eat myself into blimplivion, suppose that's a good thing. Then again, having time available to prep meals, and not feeling like eating out for being tired and not wanting to throw together something, that may well have been a good thing on the weight front
Day 42 11/6/11
Between March 2010 and October 2011, I, frankly, wasted the gym membership fees I was paying every month, maybe averaging a trip per month, certainly less than two. Some of that was the summer sessions of ultimate frisbee and softball. Some of that was just laziness. Actually, who am I kidding, most of that was laziness.
Day 95 12/29/11
So yeah, been feeling a bit down lately, despite just coming off a nice ten days vacation, getting to see a couple of fantastic concerts (why the exercise tracker doesn't have "mosh pit" as a cardio exercise, I don't understand, I get some of my best exercise mixing it up with the little kiddies at metal shows.
Day 129 2/1/12
And at two smileys for two paragraphs, I think you can tell that I'm in a bit of a good mood. Music does that to me, good music, especially, and my getting down and dirty...well, silly, anyway, after all, no one is watching...will definitely put a smile on my face.
Day 224 5/6/12
c) Early returns on Madison Craft Beer week: Not good for the scale. But I didn't expect it to be. Hopefully, the sum total of the week's transgression don't undo too much of the progress. Aware of it, and for the moment, not caring. Know what I need to do to reverse the damage thereafter, so just enjoying it for the tastes and the friends.
d) Hate when I lose the remote, and end up watching silly infomercials as a result. I don't need a Shark liftaway vacuum system! Though, I have to wonder whether the brazil butt lift system would work for guys. Yes, I've been randomly ignoring the TV for at least 40 minutes. I'd have turned it off by now if I knew which crack in the couch the remote had slipped into.
Day 400 10/29/12
But what's the point, eh? Let sleeping dogs be bygones, I should. But sometimes, in the best (worst?) Halloween tradition, the undead emotions rise and grab you as you go about, no matter how many lifetimes ago they seem to be from.
Day 272 6/23/12
Of course, by the time I got to Walgreen's, I remembered that a place called Ian's, one of those campus pizza joints that feature all sorts of different pizza slices, was a block away, and that I was hungry, having gone with an Asian pear and three slices of bacon for dinner (got busy and forgot to eat before heading out, not as part of any bacon-based diet). So I went and undid any walking good by pizza deliciousness. I went with the philly cheese steak pizza (topped with onions, green peppers, steak), eschewing the pesto portobello that I usually favor, and the buffalo chicken pizza that looked tempting too. This time around, they didn't have any mac and cheese pizza out, but the steak and fries slice also required a moment's consideration.
Day 460 12/28/12
In a similar vein, I'm not someone who sets any particular new year resolutions. I just figure, a) I'd just be setting myself up to fail, and b) I feel like there's nothing particularly special about the New year that demands resolutions must be set then, and at no other time of the year. A St Patrick's Day resolution made under the influence of green beer can be just as valid a motivator as one made under the last vestiges of yuletide cheer.
Day 119 1/22/12
I decided to go ahead and do it. It being venturing out in 35 degree temps, and playing ultimate frisbee outdoors. For two hours. On a lake. Lake Monona, to be exact, one of Madison's beautiful bodies of water, now frozen over, and, I guess, just another city park!
Day 337 8/27/12
The scale at home (Madison) said 180.0 before I left. It's not real, I'm not declaring any goal met or anything of the sort, but it's close. The scale at the parent's house when I got home (Michigan) said 188, after a 8.5 hour, traffic scarred journey. There was a stop at White Castle involved. There were approximate 40 ounces of pop imbibed, and some Cheetos crunched. I rather doubt I packed on a pound an hour during the day yesterday, even if sitting more or less stationary behind a wheel. But still, not having any other scale to contradict what I see...
Monday, February 04, 2013
Blog title courtesy of the fact that peeking at how many days I've run my water streak up to revealed that I've been on Spark 499 days. Now, if I had more wherewithal, I'd be going over my blog posts and picking and choosing snippets, and ordering them in a chronological mishmash, a la the flick (500) days of summer, which you really need to see if you haven't. But since I'm having an attack of the lazies, I'll just be satisfied with coming up with (or at the least, stealing) the idea, and let it go at that.
Another movie flitted across my consciousness the other day, the flick Pleasantville, where Spider Man watches color infiltrate a black and white world. The ever fertile (or if you'd rather, febrile) brain morphed that into Plateauville, a colorless world that I've more or less been inhabitating for the past two or three months. I guess there's been some movement on the scale here and there, but as expounded upon in previous blogs, the same territory gets hacked through, the weeds of weight growing thick in the mere weeks since last I waded through the same terrain.
One thing I'm cognizant of is the fact that I seem to have lost the easy weight, and the same diet and exercise tricks might not work to eliminate the next 20 pounds. It's an annoying thought because I really have been going to the gym regularly enough since about November, and the diet hasn't been that bad (with occasional exceptions, like the Super Bowl pizza feast last night), engendering that little voice inside my head that worries about gaining weight back, in a form more permanent than a mere salt baby. And yes, I'm totally stealing that term, despite the impossibility of ever getting pregnant as a male or our species.
Just recording the existence of the voice for posterity. Maybe I'll look back in another 500 days and cry about its persistence. Or maybe I'll laugh at it, while being serenaded by the fully colorful denizens the next town past Plateauville.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Well, of course, it isnít Saturday, and obviously, itís not summer out there, but when youíve got a Mark Twain book in your hands (or on the computer, as it were), things do seem a bit brighter and fresher, donít they? Spending this lazy Sunday in the company of one Mr. Tom Sawyer, before heading out to my brotherís house for the Super Bowl. Actually, who am I kidding, itís my nephewís house, and the little princeling just lets his parents stay there out of the goodness of his little 20 month old heart.
As a football fan, Iím not a person who can honestly say he ever watches a game for the commercials, but this year, with these two teams, neither of which I really like, Iíll make that claim. And if a good game happens to occur in between the entertainment, so be it.
Back a few days ago, I flipped on my television and saw an entirely different sort of football, what we west of the Atlantic call soccer. Actually, now that I think about it, Iím not sure what South Americans call it. Maybe west of the Atlantic and north of the Caribbean is more accurate. Anyway, I sat down and watched the Mexican national team play Denmark to a draw, and my mind went back a decade and then two decades, recalling the last times I played soccer with any degree of organization. The earlier stint was when I was still in high school, back in those halcyon days of youth, when I played soccer and tennis for the school. I wasnít particularly good, the whole lack of speed thing that plagues me to this day evident early on. Had a flashback to one particular incident, where Iím convinced that had I remained in a game, rather than being substituted for with a faster player, we would have won the game. You see, the opposing player, had he been facing me, probably would have tried to run past me, and take a better shot. But instead, knowing he was up against a comparable speed, he just took a longer range shot. The random chance taken hit its mark, as our goalie was caught napping. Had I been in there, he may have faced that better shot, but he would have been more ready for it, too, and the flash judgment of my youth hasnít changed in the 20 years hence Ė he would have stopped that shot, and we would have won the game.
The latter soccer playing experience occurred the last summer I spent in the Ann Arbor area before heading out to Madison, when I played in a local league featuring 7 v 7 competition. That was a fun experience, soccer on a slightly smaller scale that full field 11 v 11 action, games that were more interactive for being on the smaller field. I had a decent team, with decent people, and actually played decently scoring a few goals, assisting on a bunch more through the summer.
Other than one intramural season, I haven't played any organized soccer since. A few pick up games here and there have been the extent of my playing over the past, what, 7 or 8 years? Remembering that summer of 2003, and now wondering if that league still exists, if that 7 v 7 action is still available to partake in. And wondering if I'd rather do that than the ultimate frisbee I've played every summer since 2004? I suppose spring has to arrive first, let alone summer, so I have a bit of time before making any such decisions.
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