Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Week, Another Post

So it's been a week since my last post and I have successfully continued my running plan. I don't know what it is this time that's making it work. Before, it always seemed so hard to wake up in the morning and get on the treadmill. Now, I'm naturally waking up at about 5:00 and staying in bed until my alarm goes off at 6:00. It's like my body wants to run. I have more energy now, I'm feeling better about myself and I need much less sleep than I did before. Also, I'm feeling more inclined to make other healthy choices now that I'm putting forth the effort to keep running. Not all of my choices are healthy, but I'm slowly getting there. I've been taking vitamins and eating healthy snacks. I'm still not drinking soda at all, and I know that's making a difference. I am noticing a little bit of a loss of tone in my chest and arms since I stopped doing my pushups, but I'm not going to worry as much about that. I'm going to finish this week and next week with running Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then the following week I'll add in lifting as well.

That's about all, really. We're still playing games, seeing friends, doing trivia, etc. Keeping ourselves busy, for sure. I'm still working on my projects, so that's a fun thing. Still working on getting into a house, too. That's been a long and frustrating journey, but I have a feeling we're near the end. You will all be kept informed, of course.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

100th post!

Hey, look at that! 100 posts and we're all still feelin' sassy. At least I feel sassy. Could just be me.

Anyway, the newest news is that I've been running again. I ran 1.5 miles at 6.0 MPH (1.5 miles)) on Monday and did 20 minutes at 5.0 MPH today (with cooldown, about 1.75 miles). This is more running than I've done in a week for probably a year or more. The new mid-foot running is making an enormous difference. I still haven't had any shin pain at all. I'm absolutely certain now that the pain was caused by striking with my heel with my leg fully extended. The joints are locked and the stress has nowhere to go but into the bones. With the mid-foot running, the joints are bent and the impact is cushioned. My heels don't hurt and I haven't had even a twinge of shin pain. Woo-hoo!

I think I burned 300 calories today on the treadmill. I also looked at a can of Sprite yesterday and found out that it contains 140 calories per 12 oz. That's 11.6 calories per ounce. A large soda from a fast food chain (without ice, of course) is 32 oz. That's 373 calories. Which means that one drink, something I'd easily finish with lunch, requires more than 20 minutes of running to burn off. What the crap? That doesn't include the soda I'd drink for dinner or while we were just hanging out watching TV or playing games or whatever. At our Saturday games, I'd often drink 5-6 cans of Dr. Pepper. So I don't think it's unreasonable for me to suggest that I may have been consuming an average of 500-1,000 calories per day just in soda. Some days it was probably closer to 1,500. I'm a big guy and I probably need closer to 3,000 calories per day than the standard 2,000 but still. I eat a lot of food as well. Drinking 1,500 calories on top of whatever I ate is just no recipe for maintaining or losing body fat. I also watched a really interesting video where I learned that fructose is the devil. The guy doesn't say that, but he gets about as close as he can. Here's the link: Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Between learning all that about fructose and also realizing that I should probably reduce my daily caloric intake, dropping soda became obvious. Just doing that should lead to weight loss over time, I'm thinking. Running as well will accelerate it and also help get my cardiovascular system into better shape. I have been mostly sedentary for far too long. I'm having a hard time making it to jiu-jitsu in the evenings with all the other stuff we have going on. I'm trying to make it at least once a week now, down from making it three times a week a few months ago. The holidays made it tough, and getting out of the habit means I'm not trying to keep going, I'm trying to start going and that's always way harder.

So anyway, I'm making a few small changes for better health. I'm not doing everything I should be doing, but I'm taking steps. As I get used to these steps, I'll continue making more changes. The next step, I think, is to cut out candy. That doesn't mean all sweets, just actual candy. I've done it before and it's hard, but I can do it. Once I have that done, then I can move to no sweets at all if I want to. Really, the ideal would be eating lots of whole grains, lean protein and plenty of fresh produce. We'll see how long it takes to get there, but I know I'd be happier that way. I feel better when I exercise. I feel more energetic and more productive. After a run, I'm generally more energized than when I started. When I eat fatty, sugary, gross foods, it tastes good while it's in my mouth, but that's as long as the enjoyment lasts. Then I have to look at myself in the mirror, feel gross the rest of the day, and whatever else goes with it. Not cool. So here's the experiment. I'll be doing this for a good long while and keep you all informed about how I'm doing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Not much new going on right now, just a few minor updates.

My projects are proceeding according to plan. I'm just doing test runs for both of them to make sure my techniques are solid, and then I'll be doing real, finished versions afterward. I'm just about done with both, so I'm pretty excited.

Also, my wife and I have decided not to drink soda anymore. We've been going for a few weeks without any issues. This doesn't mean no more of anything but water, but I'm trying to stay pretty close to that. I've been having cocoa once a week or something in the morning, but other than that have been drinking only water. The thing that I've noticed is that we are saving a lot of money. Two value meals at a fast food place used to cost $12 or more. Now we're spending like $8. Why? Because we aren't compelled to get value meals, we're also not both getting fries. That works because we'd rarely finish all of them, so it was just a big waste of money. We were also spending probably $10-$15 per month on soda in the house, too.So that's money saved as well. The big thing is the calories. I was drinking a lot of soda. I wouldn't be surprised if it were 1000+ calories per day. Jenna was drinking a lot less, obviously. Still, that's a bunch of calories every day that we didn't need are now not consuming anymore. We're both just drinking water with meals now, and not suffering at all for it. We even still have soda in the house and just aren't drinking it. I'm very proud of us.

That's about it, really. Just keeping everyone up to date.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year

Hey, look at this. A whole new year and I'm writing a blog entry. The first one of the year and certainly not the last. Many things are happening, and most of them are good.

First off, two of my friends have gotten engaged. Becky and Doyle, two people who are as perfect for each other as any other couple I know, are engaged to be married and I'm totally jazzed for them. Very exciting stuff.

Second, I've started reading a series of nautical adventure novels by Dewey Lambdin. They are awesome. My friend Neil suggested them and lent me the first one and I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to get to the rest of them. I wouldn't have thought I'd be into that sort of thing, but I'm finding it all very entertaining and fascinating. I'll be reading many more of these books, I can tell. I've got 17 more books in this series and then another dozen or more each in the Master and Commander series and the Horatio Hornblower series, but I'm actually excited to read all of them. It is also making me want to make myself an appropriate costume, and maybe learn how to navigate with a sextant. Yes, I'm a geek.

I've been playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 a lot. By a lot I mean a LOT. Very much. More then just an average amount. Potentially more than the daily recommended dosage. It's incredibly fun, I am doing fairly well at it and all my friends play too. It's a recipe for a lot of wasted hours in from of the XBOX, for sure.

I'm working on a few smaller projects, mostly based around mold-making. Check the craft blog for details.