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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Some Progress… I Guess

Alright.  Everyone reaches this point while getting in shape.

I’m seeing some progress.

I’m about to embark on my first tropical vacation in what feels like ages.  Being wintertime, I had to try on a ton of summer clothes to make sure I could still fit in them.  And, believe me, when I got back from Colorado back in mid-January, there would have been some serious doubts as to whether they would have fit.  Back in January, I was squeezing into all of my pants – a size 34. Shit, I was probably pushing the need for size 36 pants… but there was no fucking way I was going to allow myself to get bigger pants.  Thankfully, last night, I was fitting comfortably in them all… even requiring a belt for some.

I’m seeing some toning in my chest… I think.  I’ve previously joked with Drea about having moobs.  They were only A cups.  But, still.  I’m seeing more of a progression to actual pecs.  Again, I think.  It could be my imagination working overtime because my muscles feel tighter in general.  So, I’m seeing some progress, and I was even feeling pretty good about it…  and then, I stepped on the scale.

(sing it like Rage Against the Machine) "KNOW YOUR ENEMY!!"

The scale is the enemy.

I’ve been watching what I eat.  (mostly.)  I’ve been working out regularly.  But, the scale is not moving as fast as I would like.

I’ve stalled a bit the last couple of weeks.  Admittedly, there have been some counter-productive events: Superbowl, and Valentines Day, a weekend away with the guys… and now an all inclusive vacation to Mexico.  Holy shit am I going to have to work extra hard the next two months in order to hit my weight goals!

So, my attitude towards my progress thus far is… meh.  But, I’m firmly fixated on my goals.  And, I’m going to continue striving to hit them.

Scale be damned!

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Fitness

 

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“I forgot the vegetables!”

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Weird Lion Statues outside the gym I visited. There were a series of four different lions... something to do with the neighboring Jewish Center

This past weekend, I went down to my friend’s house in New Jersey. Originally, we had planned on a boys ski weekend to Killington, VT. But, since there has been a serious dearth of snow in New England, and because we were being cheap decided to save the money, we instead got together at Brian’s house.

Upon arrival on Friday night, Brian & I got down to the business of drinking catching up. We don’t see each other nearly enough with him living four hours away. And, we are guys. So, we don’t talk on the phone all that much. He and his lovely wife shared the exciting news that they are expecting and had just passed the all-too-critical first trimester. (As if I needed another reason to raise my glass!) After she retired for the evening, Brian and I continued to solve the world’s problems as we are want to do fueled by Fat Tire Ale and late at night.

On Saturday, I made the most of my Gold’s Gym Travel Pass & hit the gym in the morning. Afterwards, I sat around like a sloth and watched Brian handle his meat. (That’s how we do it.) He had picked up asparagus, a giant phallic butternut squash, three or four different types of sausage, baby back ribs, chicken wings, pork belly, and short rib meat, and was applying various dry rubs.  It was probably going to be too much food for four guys (and one knocked-up chick) to consume all of it.  But, you can bet we were going to try.

I had brought down a couple of growlers from Trinity Brewhouse in Providence. One was their IPA (it’s kind of their signature beer), and the other was the Redrum Imperial Red Ale. On their website, the Redrum is described as:

Redrum Imperial Red Ale
This ale is brewed with English 2 row pale, caramalt, crystal malt, chocolate malt, wheat malt and germented with a California yeast strain. It is then bittered with Columbus, Nugget, and Chinook hops and then dry hopped with Cascade, Chinook, Centennials and Nugget hops. Unfiltered.
85 I.B.U.s – Columbus, Nugget, Chinook, Cascade, Centennials and Nugget Hops – 9% Alc.

While Brian was prepping the BBQ, we started in on that growler. As you can imagine, it was delicious! By the time, Ryan & Chris arrived, we were enjoying our final sips of the Redrum. The growler was kicked. But, the pace of drinking was picked up from that point forward and I was happily left to the IPA by myself.

Not too long later, Brian began serving the first of three “flights of meat.” Everything was perfectly smoked and absolutely delicious. I was certainly enjoying the variety that was available. It was too much… but, while you are drinking and eating slowly over the course of several hours, nothing went to waste. It was sometime during the third flight that Brian suddenly exclaimed: “Oh shit! I forgot the vegetables!”

So, it certainly wasn’t the healthiest of evenings. But, it was wonderfully healthy for our friendships.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Beer, Food, People

 

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Battle Ropes

Yesterday, the trainer at my gym introduced me to battle ropes.  Holy freaking workout!

For those that don’t know what battle ropes are, here’s a great video I found on them:

I love the fact that it is a core workout, in addition to the (obvious) arms workout.  I was only doing three sets of 20 seconds with 20 seconds rest in between.  And, then I repeated that later in the workout.  By the third set (both times), my waves were getting smaller and smaller.  TOUGH exercise.  And, I loved it.

I am definitely going to be mixing this into my strength training.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Fitness

 

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Flogging Molly – HoB Boston

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They are such a damned good live band!

(Obviously a horrible iPhone pic – uploaded from the road)

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Music

 

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Nerds Like Fitness Too

Over the weekend, amid conversation that revolved around what each of us were doing to get into shape, Drea pointed me to an online article written about a former co-worker of hers.  The article summarizes her transformation from a soft, out of shape young woman, to a “Master of Deadlifts.”

Star Wars Rebellion Inspired Nerd Fitness Logo

I found the article as interesting as the site’s name:  Nerd Fitness.  Aesthetically, the site has a fun comic book inspired design to it that immediately sets it apart from other fitness sites.  (Apparently, the site was recently re-designed by a member of the Nerd Fitness Community.)  Additionally, the guy that graced the header was sporting a Sox cap… so that gave him instant cred in my book.  After finishing the article, I jumped to the “About” page to learn what the deal was & who the hell Steve Kamb (the guy in the Sox lid) is.  It was immediately clear to me that I was going to be spending some time on this site, as the about page had Superman, Transformers, and assorted video game references.  Hell, the tag line is “Leveling Up Your Life.”  Like I said, not your typical fitness site.

So, over the rest of the weekend, and some of Monday evening, I spent my fair share of time combing through the site.  (According to my lady, spending time online doesn’t count as “reading,” hence the usage of the word “combing.”)  There were tons of great articles on the site.  Obviously, the majority focus on fitness (big surprise, right?), but there were also sections discussing travel & generally living large.  (I will definitely hit that topic in a future post.)  But, given the recent fitness goals I placed on myself, I thoroughly enjoyed reading a perspective in a voice that I could totally relate to.  I enjoyed brushing up on proper squat technique, something that, despite how much I ran in the past, I have never really felt comfortable with.  I’ve been inspired to mix in some of the circuits that Steve has recommended.  I’ve been reminded to focus on form while doing the exercises.

Now, I certainly don’t agree with everything he has to say.  But, I’ve never agreed with everything any one person or group has ever said.  There are always more ways than one to skin a cat.  (I like that phrase because of my general dislike of cats…)  So, just because the dude doesn’t advocate tons of cardio, doesn’t mean I am going to abandon it.  To his credit, he doesn’t say don’t do cardio.  He advocates that there are more time efficient methods to lose weight and trim up.  I can certainly see some validity to what he is saying.  But, in the end, I like running and biking.  And, since I like it, I’m going to do it as part of my fitness strategy… and because I’d like to run competitively again.  He advocates a “clean” diet.  Although, I may integrate some of the concepts into my regular diet, I love cheese and carbs too damned much to abandon them.  In the end, it’s finding what works for me.

"These aren't the abs you are looking for..." But, if you can figure out how to do 50 pullups, you might get them!

I definitely want to “look better.”  There is no secret that vanity is part of the reason for working out (putting aside all of the other benefits for a moment).  And, I love this quote from Mark Twight (trainer responsible for getting the actors in shape for the movie 300):

“Appearance is a consequence of fitness.”

I’m going to remember that quote through this transformation I am trying to undergo.  I am going to focus on fitness goals, rather than appearance goals.  I believe my current goal to lose 30 pounds by April 30th fits under that umbrella.  Losing that weight will be a consequence of my dietary changes and how much more fit I am from the time I started the process. But, going forward, the more specific goals will be things like, how much weight I can bench press, how many pullups I can do, how fast I can run x distance, etc.

I’ve definitely subscribed to the RSS feed.  I’ve checked out the forums a bit.  (God, how I have always hated vBulletin boards.  They look so damned clunky – especially in relation to the great site design for the main site.)  I haven’t signed up for them and not sure that I will.  But, apparently, they have some games, and fitness challenges that the community members run.  They run some 6 week challenges, also.  I’m already involved in a 12 week challenge. But it certainly wouldn’t hurt to set short term goals that will help me achieve the 12 week goals.

So, in case you haven’t caught the drift of what I am trying to say here, I’ll spell it out in black and white.  Nerd Fitness is a cool freaking site.  Check it out.  (I’d link it again.  But, I’ve already linked to it like 5 times above.  Come on.  Don’t be lazy.)

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Fitness

 

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My Local Blood Center Conspires Against A Healthy Diet

As I’ve posted previously, I try to give blood on a regular basis, and this past Friday was my latest appointment.  I actually do the Double Red Cell Donation.  Essentially, this procedure gives the Blood Center two donations for the price of one, while it also gives me some saline and plasma back into my system.  As a result, I already feel better than I would have had I just gave a whole blood donation.  However, they still want you to hang out in the lounge and have a snack or two to replenish your body.

In the lounge, they have the typical array of waters and fruit juices.  Relatively  healthy, obviously.  But, when it comes to snack product, the only relatively healthy choice is a bag of pretzels.  Everywhere else you look are cookies.  They have an oven baking Otis Spunkmeyer cookies.  Which, if you are unlucky enough to be donating while the oven is operating, only serves to make you crave cookies all the more.  There are bags of oreos, and other cream-filled cookies. Where are the oranges, bananas, or apples?

Now, I’m not dieting.  However, I am watching what I eat.  I am doing a good deed, which will hopefully benefit somebody’s health.  And, yet to do it, I have to be tempted to sacrifice a bit of my own health with my favorite cookie of all time.  The oreo.  How do I not indulge?

Damn you, RI Blood Center.  Thanks for ruining my caloric intake for the day!

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Food, Random

 

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Crunchies

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I can’t decide whether these are disgusting or delicious.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Food

 

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