Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hungry Hungry Hippo!

Today is the first day that I've gotten up and have jumped rope before eating anything. It's been about 30 minutes and I am STARVING!

In other news, last night the left side of my abdomen started aching about once a minute. It's not excruciating, but it is annoying, and it's been aching this morning as well. I noticed that this pain so kindly gifted me with its presence after I had some coffee from a coffee shop I rarely visit. It must be my kidneys giving me the finger for cheating on my usual coffee shop.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yo Yo Yoga!

Yesterday I called around for businesses that taught Yoga. One place was way too expensive as they wanted a gym membership fee, and I just wanted the Yoga class. The other two locations didn't pick up the phone.

Well today my friend Hannah hooked me up. She works at a new fitness center in town that has Yoga classes and gave me a free day-pass next week to try out the class. I'm really excited.

Patrick mentioned how Yoga does wonders for your core and flexibility. I consider myself more flexible than most male Americans, but I'd like to increase my flexibility. In addition, my friend Brett has been encouraging me to take Yoga for some time, and Hannah said that one of her coworkers has overcome his back pain through Yoga.

So I'm jumping on the Yoga bandwagon. I'll let you know how it goes.

Food + Software = Cool Idea

I just saw a promotion for this, and I thought it was so cool that I had to share it:

It's called MacGourmet Deluxe. It allows you to do really cool things like plan meals, look up nutrition information, generate grocery lists based on your recipe's ingredients, clip recipes from the web, print custom cookbooks, and more.

No, I'm not endorsed by them in any way, but I've always wanted a really great solution for managing recipes. I like, but this is more up my alley.

Anyways, I thought that others may find value in this software as well. I'm getting ready to check it out; I'm hoping it'll help me expand my PCP cookbook.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Traveling on the PCP: The Aftermath

In terms of sticking to the PCP, not everything has been fun and games. Here's the worst part.

I leave the reception around 11:30 PM with a friend. A two and a half hour trip awaits us. I'm in a town that I have never been in before, and my iPhone is dead so I can't look up directions. I knew that a southbound Interstate was due East. It sure was, but it took a long time to get to. On top of that, I should have taken the next Interstate as this one took us out of our way. To make a long story short, our two and a half hour trip turned into a four hour trip.

We get home at 3:30 AM exhausted. I didn't get to bed until about 4 AM. I've struggled with consistent sleep schedules for years, finally breaking a bad sleep schedule a week or two ago. Granted my sleep schedule degraded again, but this spun it ever further out of control.

I wake up in the afternoon with no energy. I didn't eat all of my food, and I didn't workout. Waking up late causes me to stay up late again, not only for this day, but for everyday since until last night. Last night I crashed about 9 PM. I was looking forward to getting up at 5 AM, but a phone call woke me up at 1:30 AM. I tried hard to go back to sleep, but I couldn't. I got back up and didn't crash again until 4 AM. I set an alarm for 7 AM, but ended up snoozing all the way into the afternoon. A bad sleep schedule is such a vicious cycle, and it still continues today. Here I am finally blogging at 12:19 AM when I should be asleep right now.

Here's the part that I really don't want to admit to as it shames me, but I'm going to. Not only have I not consumed all of my food since last Thursday, I haven't worked out either. Tonight is going to be the first day that I've worked out since then.

I've failed, and I'm behind. I'm still extremely slim, and I haven't noticed any additional fat, probably due to the fact that I haven't been consuming all of my carbs, but I haven't put on any more muscle either, obviously. I'm so discouraged right now. I've let down Patrick, Chen, my team, and all of my readers, and for that I am truly sorry.

This is not me saying that I'm quitting, though. This is me saying I'm sorry -- this is me coming clean. This is me promising to get back in the game, completing this project successfully. I've come too far to quit. I can't look back. I hate the old me. I love what Chen, Patrick, and my teammates have done for me.

This project has truly been life changing, even in the short time we've been doing it. One of my biggest flaws is in the area of commitment. I am terrible about following through on things. I could blame it on laziness, ADD, or a slew of other things, but in the end it is still an excuse. I can change -- I want to change. When I complete the PCP, it will be the first long-term commitment that I will have followed through in a very long time, and I will be proud to have followed it through to completion.

I knew that of the three team members that I would be the weakest link, but I'm going to change that. I need your help. I really need your encouragement right now. More importantly, I need your forgiveness.

The PCP is not easy. Sometimes I allow my pride to get in the way, hiding the hard truth behind some of my struggles with the PCP. It's like I want to show that I've got it under control like it's no sweat, but I don't have it under control.

Chen, Patrick, Corry, Sean, readers: please forgive me. Allow me to make this up to you, and to catch up to you, in the weeks to come.

Thanks for listening,

Traveling on the PCP: A Hectic Schedule

Packing for the PCP diet is the easy part. Fitting it into a busy schedule is the hard part -- especially since I was at the mercy of someone else.

I rode up to the wedding with my friend Jason, the groom. Since I did not drive myself, I was at his mercy. This makes sticking to the PCP rather hard. Fortunately Thursday was a breeze. Jason and I had a lot of time to relax and get work done. I stuck to the diet and did my workouts in the evening. Jason even did some jump roping! How cool is that? He was going to do about 700, but I encouraged him to do 1000 -- he did just fine. He expressed interest in doing the PCP, but said that he struggles to have the time. I'm working on him.

It turns out that Jill's father used to jump rope a lot too. It's always exciting to find others that share a common interest. Jump roping seems so petty, but it's rather exciting once you get into it. We talked shop about bicycles and he further piqued my interest in the sport of cycling.

After the rehearsal we all went out to this restaurant that was country cooking themed. Unfortunately I wasn't able to eat anything on the menu, but to be honest, I probably wouldn't have anyways. I stuck to my smoothie for dinner, which I was proud of. I realized that sticking to something isn't about aversion -- it's about confrontation. I was able to look at the temptation and turn away.

Friday: things get tough. We get up and immediately have to start getting ready. No time to eat consistently. No time to work out -- this sucked. I ate some of my breakfast and morning snack. I pretty much missed everything else.

The food at the reception helped make up for it, however. I had some of the best salmon that I have ever had, and it came with asparagus and this long grain rice to boot! Delicious! I'm not sure what sauce the salmon had on it, but the dish was not salty by any means. Another plus.

The reception was open bar. Oh the temptation! I didn't have a single drink from the bar, but I did drink some champagne and wine due to the occasion. I figured I would work it off in the next day or two. It was all around fun festivities, but I didn't eat all of my PCP food, and I didn't have a chance to workout.

To be continued...

Traveling on the PCP: Packing

Sometimes life calls us elsewhere and we find ourselves out of town for a few days. With myself, I found myself north of my home for a wedding for a few days. I wanted to stay true to the PCP diet, so I began packing my food for a couple days away.

I prepared everything: cut strawberries, chopped bananas, blended smoothies.

Doesn't that smoothie look yummy?

After that, I bagged everything, labeling them by day and meal.

Behold! The mighty cooler in which my food shall be contained! (That's for you DnD fans, and I don't even play DnD).

Ice, ice, baby! (Forgive the cheesy references. I'm having too much fun with this.)

Eggs, bananas, honey, all sorts of food, packed away in the cooler. The Tupperware containers are the smoothies. All you need is a spoon.

All packed up and ready to go. Could it get any easier? Yes: teleportation could exist.

I'm going to break this into separate posts to make it easier to follow. Up next, fitting the PCP into a hectic schedule.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Feel The Burn!

This week I've started doing floor jumps. These consist of clasping your hands behind your back, squatting low, and leaping forward like a frog. I look like a complete idiot doing them, but I love them. They burn my quads so bad, but in a good way.

Saturday was ridiculously tempting for me. I went out with friends for another bachelor party in which we played paintball. I ended up leaving with a nice gash on my wrist from being shot close distance -- painful, but fun.

Later on, we all went to this amazing pizza joint in town to eat. I ate a good amount before I went in order to stay on the diet, but I was so tempted by this establishment's amazing pizza...

I ordered a salad with fat-free dressing.

You get used to it. You get used to telling yourself that you're in this for the long-haul, that you've made a commitment. You get used to visualizing the "new you" and your hero in your head. You realize that for every bad food you eat you have to work hard to work it off, or risk falling behind. This is extremely motivating.

Sometimes it's hard for me to identify bad food, though. I've been avoiding all cheese except cottage cheese. Yesterday I had a tiny bit of goat cheese. Is goat cheese bad?
Also, is 5g of sugar, 2g of fat with .5g of that sat. fat, per 1/2 cup bad? I always go for fat-free products when available, but I'd rather not eat noodles plain unless I have to. Also, is there any butter (or substitute) that is healthy? I've been avoiding butter as well.

I'm looking for ways to cook more dishes without sacrificing healthy qualities. Comments, suggestions, and criticisms much appreciated!

Friday, June 13, 2008

V-sits, Oh How I Love You

I have such a love-hate relationship with v-sits. On one hand, they are really rough. On the other hand, I love the way they make me feel.

My workout yesterday was a lot harder than previously. I started failing during the second set of my push-ups, and I had to pause more often when doing the v-sits, but I felt really really good after my workout.

As for my "indulgence,"

Thai Yellow Curry Tofu
Doesn't that look amazing!? It is. It was scrum-diddly-umscious! I could eat this stuff every day. The problem is that it turns out it's high in salt (kudos to Patrick for the tip). My solution?

Salt free curry!

How awesome is that? I'm going to learn how to make this delectable dish. I'll let you know how it goes.

Body Changes
I have lost a lot of "tub" around the midsection between today and yesterday. I'm almost too the point to where I can curl up my belly, push it out as far as it can go, and not be able to grab any fat! I'm so excited to see these changes. I can't wait for more during "Magic Week."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Own Personal Drill Sergeant

I was really hard on myself tonight during my workout. It's not that I wanted to quit, it's that I wanted to push myself harder. When it came to the jump rope, I told myself that I couldn't pause for a drink of water until I completed X amount of jumps.

When I wanted to break, I told myself that I had to do X amount more, and I kept pushing myself to do more and more before pausing. Finally towards the end I did 100 more than was required, and when I got down to the last five, I messed up, got mad, and made myself do 60 more.

I didn't get the endorphin rush that I was going for, but I got a huge sense of satisfaction in pushing myself. Like Patrick has said, there are some days when you have to take it easy; thus it's best to really push yourself on the days when you really can.

All-in-all, I did well over 1600 jumps ropes today. I'm also really glad that I wasn't in a gym because I kept talking to myself out loud. Clearly drill sergeants work or the military wouldn't use them. Sometimes it really helps to be your own personal drill sergeant.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My workout was not as easy tonight as it was yesterday, but I actually enjoyed it more. Patrick reminded me to make working out fun. I had become so absorbed with seeing how many jumps I could do on the jump rope consecutively that I neglected to experiment.

Trying double jumps, crossing arms, and single foot jumps took a lot longer as I messed up a lot, but it was considerably more fun, and thus, worth it. I love change and it really helps to change up your exercise routine, even if it's only in little ways.

After my workouts, I've become extremely hungry lately. This has lead to consuming additional amounts of fat free cottage cheese. I don't think a little additional cottage cheese will hurt, but I don't want to get in the habit of over eating.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Muscle Man

It felt really good doing my workouts last night. I've definitely noticed new strength in my arms as push-ups are getting easier and easier. I've also noticed big changes in my physique. Scrawny David is quickly going away to be replaced by a more muscular version.

More and more of my friends are finding out about this conditioning project, adding more pressure to stick with it. I have a very bad habit of starting things but never finishing them, but with all the added pressure, plus this great opportunity and team, I am more driven than ever to complete this project successfully. Looking in the mirror and seeing the beginnings of a whole new me has given me a whole new wave of motivation.

Patrick told us this week that we can "indulge" in a food that is not on the diet. I've chosen Thai food, more specifically curry, which I will partaking in Wednesday. Looking at the ingredients: rice, curry, tofu, and carrots, it doesn't seem too bad; but I have no idea how good or bad curry is for you. Perhaps all the seasoning makes the entree unhealthy. I would love feedback on this if someone knows.

New pic coming today. I promise.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Confession

I have a confession to make: I didn't do my workouts yesterday.

Part of me feels really bad for this, but part of me thinks that it was better for me to take it easy. Wednesday I pushed myself really really hard to finish my workout. Yesterday, I started physically feeling a bit up and down. Patrick has warned us to listen to our bodies as over exerting ourselves can make us ill. I decided it would be better to skip my workout than to risk getting sick.

In retrospect, I probably should have done something, but I'm back at it today with an updated workout program thanks to Patrick.

Here goes!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Struggling But Hanging In There

I'm in the middle of my workout right now. It's hard -- really really hard. My arms are wanting to give out during push-ups, and I've only completed one set!

But I'm going to stick with it and take it easy until I finish.

On one hand I'm discouraged that I'm having such a hard time, that I feel like I've plateaued; on the other hand, I feel great for exerting myself so much.

As for the diet, I've been eating lots of fat free cottage cheese. Like Patrick, I adore the stuff, and like he said, it's high in protein.


Monday, June 2, 2008

I Hate Energy Drinks

This is an excellent video that humorously parodies modern day marketing and products: Brawndo!

Sorry to sound a bit preachy here, but I really hate energy drinks. I've never gotten into them, but my roommate drank them religiously for a while.

He would drink one while working at FedEx as a loader/unloader, but finally stopped when his joints started hurting. He removed the energy drink from his "diet," and the aching went away.
I've told him time and time again that those things are death in a can, but it took a hard lesson for him to learn that. Sometime we just have to learn the hard way.

I adore my roommate, but for some time he has complained of an inability to sleep through the night, and he is always tired. Last week I said to him, "You're not going to like what I have to say: you may consider changing your diet." He finally listened and said that I may be right.

It's easy to consider ourselves "healthy" when we're not in the ER or on meds, but healthy has become such a relative term. Prior to starting the PCP I struggled with being tired all the time. Being that my passions are creative and technical, this was detrimental to my present and my future. I knew I needed a change.

I can't stress enough how much diet and exercise has literally changed my life. I used to struggle with severe ADD, but now I feel much more centered, and I can concentrate for considerably longer periods of time.

The PCP is not for everyone -- even Patrick will tell you that; but eating healthy and exercising is. It'll change your life.