Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fitness Road.

So, it's been about a week and a half since I fully got back from my vacation of road trips and island hopping, and it's time to evaluate where I sit on with my fitness goals that I established. The long and short of it is that I want to lose about 50 lbs from a weight of about 260.

I usually weigh myself when I get to the gym, so my weight varies based on what I have been doing that day, and how much I have had to eat so far, but I am on a good trajectory. The lowest I have weighed in at was about 253, but I guess I have lost about 5 lbs since I have gotten back into my routine. I think this is a decent pace. I'm confident that my change in diet is mostly responsible for this, but my workouts are really fulfilling and reinforce the progress I am making.

My appetite has gone down significantly, and my stomach doesn't seem to hold as much. I am not appetized by fast food, or anything that I really ate on a regular basis before (Ramen, Mac n Cheese, frozen ravioli) and I am starting to eat a lot better. I will definitely be cooking more when I start my new job, and have an income to support it. It starts to make sense, but it really does take a lot of attention to eat healthy, and most often money to support it as well.

Not to mention, I think I will be eating a lot of leftover meals once I am working. The lunch dining options have something to be desired. I need to do a better job at eating smaller meals more frequently.

I'm sure that I am losing fat, and building muscle with my current routine, so I'll take that. I'm starting to struggle with one of the weight lifting routines that I am doing, the shoudler press. I have had to drop about 20 lbs off my routine, so that I am doing them right and not hurting my back in the process. I think there will be more to come, but we will get there. By the time all my punches run out at the rec center, I can join a club in Loveland and get a trainer to help me improve what I am doing.

I need to take more time and go slower to make sure I get a lot out of my workouts. I rushed my workouts this week, one day due to a batchelor party and another because of dinner with a lady ;)

I'm happy with where I am, except for burpees, they can go die in a fire.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Valentines Day Means to Me.

So the dust has settled, and I pondered about Valentine's day and who is the intended audience.

I suppose all the single folk love to point fingers and say things like:

1) It is a Hallmark holliday only intended to sell more chocolate and cards.

Being in a relationship for more years than not over the last 10 years, I can say that #1 is definitely true, but then again, it's true almost any holiday of the year. Most holidays are the best avenues for getting rid of surplus sweets into society, so if you are going to rag on V-day, then I hope you do this for every other holiday as well. We can devour lots of chocolate once every few months and not feel bad because everyone else is doing the same thing. Hey I can have a healthy distrust of capitalism can't I?

2) It unfairly favors those who have a squeeze in their life and gives them another free pass to revel in their company.

Again, probably not. Most couples see Valentine's day as an obligation, not a time to celebrate the other person in their lives. Sure it is a great reason to go out and have dinner, buy some pretty and fragrant flowers, or buy some sexy new underwear for that special someone. I would argue that designating one day out of the year to lavish attention on one of the most important people in your life is pretty funky. Why not make them feel loved all the time, as I am sure they want that for you!

3) St. Valentine was a sadistic mofo who wanted to make sure single people felt singled out one day of the year.


Thinking on this point, I came up with a different conclusion. St. Valentine (whoever he was, or how long ago he was) wasn't trying to celebrate people in relationships or give single people heartburn. I guess the purpose of the holiday is to just spread awareness and let people know that love is real, and love is a part of the human experience in one way or another. At least in my opinion it is through extreme emotions, like pain or joy, that we grow and learn about the world around us. Maybe the reminder that love is one of the essential ingredients for life is all that was intended by this annual event?

Personally, this holiday came and went with little fanfare. I reflected on the love that has been in my life, whether that has been romantic, or something more warm like love for family and friends. If anything, Vday inspired me to think about what I want from love in the present and also in the future. The reminder was much needed. I think I started to lose faith in other people, and the reminder of how essential love is brought me back to believing in others a little more. Love that I want from and for myself, and some that may come from a relationship someday.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Dating Rules

Just when you think you are done with girls, you get sucked right back in…

There is a really cute girl, let’s call her Wilma, that I have been crushing on for about a month. She is beautiful; she has a great smile, and has a sense of humor and a personality that I am especially attracted to. She also lives somewhat close to where I will be working when I start my new job. I have decided against my better judgment that I will take her on a date and see how it goes.

This dating thing will probably be more of the exception rather than the rule. I’m not anticipating myself going on a lot of dates over the next year.

The problem is that I told myself I was done with girls and dating until I get myself where I want to be. After watching a crappy romantic comedy in the middle of the night, I decided that I don’t want to change who I am to make someone else happy. There will never be a right time or a right me to start wanting to see other people, and some of the best self improvement I have ever done was while I was dating/seeing other people.

I need to meet myself halfway though. Getting in shape is the most important thing I want to do for myself, and I think that is the paramount thing that needs to happen for myself. I have lived for too long as moderately in shape, but I have never respected my body. That needs to change big time.

The year after I broke up with She Who Must Not Be Named, I went on a dating frenzy, trying desperately to replace what I had lost. I had some success, but I was grasping at straws for the most part. If one does something aimlessly and without goals, they are usually destined for failure. So, some ground rules need to be in place if I am going to do the dating thing right this time.

1) No Online Dating.

There is a temptation there that the girl of my dreams is somewhere out there on the internet. After giving it a solid try, I can safely say that my odds of finding someone worthwhile out there are pretty slim.

Not many people have their shit together and are legitimately looking for someone to start seeing. Half the people were probably like me, not much direction and doing it a little compulsively. The other half are bitches, plain and simple. I’m sure this goes for the other side of the coin. From what I hear, probably more than half of internet dudes are douchebags.

If I date people I meet from reality, less of the mystery is spoiled by all the stalking that goes with online shopping which is what I want to get away from. The internet feels more like a store than a place where real human beings exist on the other end of the tubes. Meeting people through friends or mutual interests is a much better springboard to go from, instead of “I looked through all your pictures first and then read all 23 paragraphs of your profile, and sent you a message that you probably didn’t read completely.”

I’ll check my OKCupid profile from time to time, but that is mostly just people porn. It’s fun to see what other crazy females are out there, but they require way too much energy to actually meet.

2) Work Out or Die.

If I am going to allow myself to date, I must first be disciplined enough to take care of my health. If I can’t follow this rule, I have no business including someone else in my self neglect.

I might be too hard on myself, but I’m big on self improvement, and in my mind this one has been put off for far too long. If I haven’t been to the gym 3 times within one week, no weekend girl times.

3) Don’t Plan the Second Date While In the Middle of The First Date.

I’ve fallen in this bear trap so many times, and it has resulted in a lot of crappy second dates, and it’s mostly been because I was thinking with my dick instead of actually having a good time. Yea, even I want to segue a date into the bedroom; guys are like that. If you are ever out and the guy pulls this trick, it’s probably because he likes what’s under your clothes.

Nobody wants to be rude on a date, especially girls. If a guy starts talking about places to go next time, a girl can’t help but play along and agree to go even if she doesn’t want to see the dude again. It also puts the other person on the spot and in an awkward position.

Take a day in between when the date ended and when you get in touch again to go out. If she is still interested, she will say yes. If not, she will rudely ignore your phone calls/emails, and you will know that she doesn’t want another free meal.

4) The T-Shirt Litmus Test

My wardrobe is composed of a lot of T-Shirts, and most of them have something nerdy and funny on them. Very seldom a girl will actually take time to look at my t-shirt, or remark about it, or complement it. I’m not saying that I am a fashion genius, but I think the shirts that I wear are awesome and at least cute and funny, but as an extension reflect my personality of being cute and funny.

Ladies, you know I love you, but the fact remains that a lot of you are really wrapped up in yourselves and you don’t tend to notice much about the guy that you are going on a date with, let alone anything outside a five foot radius.

This isn’t a dealbreaker but if a girl that I go on a date with actually says something about what I am wearing and thinks it’s clever or it makes her laugh, I might break rule #3. This is the exception.

5) Go on interesting dates.

I’ve planned some pretty lame dates in the past but I have definitely improved this skill as time has gone on. A good date is something that both people find fun and interesting, and the primary purpose is to HAVE A GOOD TIME and maybe investigate this other person a little bit as well.

The tried and true dinner and a movie kinda doesn’t fit today’s modern scene anymore. It feels way more like an interview than an actual evening where two people enjoy each others company. One person asks a question and the other responds, and then the second person gets a turn to ask a question. It’s become extremely inorganic, and bordering on lame. The movie dinner date has its merits, but I would reserve it for people that are going steady, and those already committed to each other.

Speed dating seems much worse where you are taking pretty much all the fun out of the already painful dinner date and just shooting each other full of holes with questions. Get to know this other person first and figure out what they like before asking them out. Generic dates = no second dates.

Rules complete. Now to abide.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

10 Things that can happen on a roadtrip

Inspired by the Ten Things I Have Learned blog (www.tenthingsivelearned.com) I thought of 10 things that have happened over the last month or so:

1) I have driven about 8000 miles with about 600 to go. This includes two oil changes, about $1000 worth of gasoline, and about 112 hours of driving time.

2) I have visited 4-5 cities that I would consider moving to: San Diego, Sacramento, Portland, Montreal, New York City. Maybe Omaha, this place seems like a pretty awesome scene.

3) I interviewed for 2 jobs on the road, much less than I was anticipating, but I'm okay with that considering the typical speed of most HR departments. The interviews that I did manage to get had pretty fast turnarounds all things considering.

4) A lot of my WoW friends let me crash and sleep at their houses, eat their food, take up their time, having them show me around their cities, and let me buy them dinner or beers. In fact the only people that I saw on my trip who I didn't meet through the game were my cousin in Minneapolis, my aunt, and my mom.

5) It's really interesting seeing various parts of the country. The landscapes, the accents, the chain restaurant of choice. I still have no idea what Bob Evans serves, I ate a donut on both coasts from good donuts places, and had a lot of good local food. I ate at a Chipotle where there were all white people working behind the counter and I felt a little dirty.

6) I have a love hate relationship with the french language. I had really low blood sugar while I was in Montreal and fucking could not stand that everything was in French and that I had a hard time moving the lever into the french position in my brain's language center. I eventually had a chai and a wrap, and felt a lot better. That city is bi-lingual, but my comprehension is just slow enough where someone would say something to me in french and my brain would not understand it until after they began speaking to me in English. A little quirky, but I could see living there and having french training wheels.

7) I think I have a new hobby thanks to my NYC WoW friends. I guess I have a good eye for photography, so I need to invest a little time in Lightroom, and a little money in a good camera. I think this will be really useful in whatever place I end up, not only helping me explore the city but I could really get some beatuful photos out of it. If I get really good, I want to make prints and give them to local coffee shops and galleries for pretty things to hang on their walls.

8) Having out of town guests is the best excuse to call in sick or take a day off from work. The people that let me stay showed me around their cities and states, sometimes doing stuff that they had been meaning to do for a long time, but just never got around to doing. One of my buddies had lived in NYC forever and had never been to the Empire State Building. Mischief Managed.

9) The Minneapolis Art Museum was gorgeous, and I am really sad that I only got to spend an hour there before it closed. I want to go back and spend a whole day there soaking everything in.

10) I miss Colorado, but I am excited to travel somewhere new when I decide what job I want and where I want to live. It doesn't really even matter where!

So yea, 10 things. I like these posts. Kudos 10things dude.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I thought of an idea before falling asleep last night that I am surprised I still remembered in the morning. You know how it is, you have the most brilliant ideas either in the shower, in bed, or while you are hanging from your toes on a slave boat somewhere. Yea, that.

So, I made one of my goals for myself getting back in shape. I want to stay healthy and not have like a million problems wrong with me when I am in my 40s or whatever. That would be nice. I can already feel myself getting old when it come to what I eat, and how my stomach responds to food. I love spicy things, but if I overdo it my body rebels in not so nice ways.

I also want to look good. I've always had a fat stomach, and that is something that really needs to change and make me feel like I have made progress towards being a better person. Vanity has never been my thing; I am incredibly humble, and I think that my body has been fostering that attitude. I want to be more confident.

My grand epiphany is that I am not allowing myself to date or pickup women until I bring my weight down. I want to be about 205 before I will start looking to date again, and a goal weight of 185. This will allow me to have some muscle tone and lose my belly fat. I think by taking women and relationships off the table will allow me to focus exclusively on myself and being a little vain. I need a little narcissism.

Getting in shape and getting more good looking will put me in a much better position to be more selective about dating. I met a lot of girls this summer, but nothing really went anywhere because I just wasn't being very picky about who I dated. I went out a lot and really wasn't very interested in whom I was seeing.

I'm going to take this time as well to get better at understanding and interacting with women. I'm one of the stereotypical dudes who has always put women on a pedestal, seeing that they can do no wrong. Recent history has contradicted this, and now I don't hold women in general in such high regard; not a women hater though. I can have really great conversations and have a lot of fun with women when I'm not attracted to them very much, or that element of nervousness is gone. If I am not actively trying to impress girls that I see as potential dates, then I can get to know them a lot better than if I was.

I'm also going to look into some books about gender studies and relations. I can't put my finger on it, but the equal rights movement has taken a lot of wind out of the sails of men in terms of gender equality, and it seems the pendulum has swung a little too far. Men don't provide the same value as they used to in terms of being the bread winner and the provider of the family. Our culture has shifted away from more romantic and selfless values of family, love, and happiness and replace them with more self and tangible ideas like money, success, and sex. I'm not saying that any of that is bad, as a balance must be struck.

Men who at one time could attain value to women through being the breadwinner and champion of the household, now don't have as much worth to society when women being able to do the same work as men. Men are the gender that is wired to procreate, and the mechanism in the past has been through being the dominant gender; with the genders being more equal I don't see people having children. I'm worried that the US will start to go through negative population growth in the next 10-20 years due to US citizens not having children, and the only growth is experienced through immigration.

This has already gone on way too long, but I also think more and more people are single because there are exponentially more avenues of expression than there have ever been before, and it's exponentially more difficult for two people to have some common ground and interests on top of being attracted to each other. Or I could just be a hater, and think that only really attractive people are getting together and having babies while the rest of the population isn't very good looking, but has false high expectations of a mate driven by popular culture.

Ultimately I'm a romantic, though I feel that I have to change who I am to find someone else.