Tag Archive: Exercise


Mountains in Northern Alabama

Mountains in Northern Alabama


I am officially living in Northern Alabama. My new job relocated me to a temporary place for 30 days and I have been in my permanent place for 2 weeks. I’m going to slowly get into a real routine as far as my blog goes. Working full time again limits the time that I have now. So far the area looks good. I know how to get to the key locations I need. Soon I want to find some activities to do that will allow me to exercise without doing gym stuff.
 
I’m rethinking my TV show reviews. I’m going to be getting a TV (waiting for the sales) so I’m not sure if all written reviews are needed. Maybe for some of the shows I review I can do live tweeting or something like that. I still have time before the fall shows start again to think about it.
 
I have a new idea for my cooking adventures. Each month I’m going to focus on a couple new recipes from a specific region or country. I think I’ll do a meal and a dessert. It would be a good way to try a variety of food. Plus, I could try to make the new recipes healthy as well. At the moment, I’m considering Thai for September. I’ve only been to 2 Thai restaurants but I think I had really spicy shrimp dishes which is always good to me.   Again, I have time to look around and of course I’ll document it for the blog. Any suggestions for any types of food would be greatly appreciated. I’d probably include vegetarian and vegan as types of cuisines.

It has been forever since I did a “state of the union” post. So I thought I would cover several topics.
 
 
Employment
I managed to get a real job starting later this month. For the last few months, I have been working at a tutoring center teaching math and a little science. If you have read my blog before you know I don’t like kids or teaching so it was not fun. But, it was a minor amount of income. With my new job coming up, I will be moving (next week) to Alabama. I know, the South. The good thing is that it’s a good job and related to my chemistry background. The other thing is they are paying for everything. I’m even getting temporary housing for a while so I can be in the area to find a permanent place to live.
 
 
moving
 
 
Food
Since I had not been working full-time, I had not been making new recipes. I didn’t want to waste money on food I may not like. Once I get settled in my new place, I will start that up again. I know I have some followers that are only here for the cooking adventures. In general, I have been eating healthily so my weight has been around the same. I’ll pay more attention to exercise later.
 
 
TV/Reviews
Reviews are the one thing I have not slacked on. This year I have improved on my Twitter usage. I have been getting a lot more favorites and retweets from people on or associated with the shows I review. Somehow I need to turn that into new followers. Also I am a lot smarter with the media attached to my posts. I’ve backed off YouTube since there are so many copyright issues involved with that. I’m going to start doing more memes and attaching my website to more of my pictures. It should help with my promotion. I expect to soon upgrade my phone (I still have a flip phone) so maybe I can use all these apps out there to make the blog better.
 
 
That’s it for the update. My blog anniversary is coming up soon, so more stats on the blog there.

Weekly Diatribe: Matrix Effects

If you are a non-scientist you are probably thinking of the movie(s) when you read matrix effects. However, to me, it means how one thing is affected by its surroundings. For example, drug companies make drugs to do specific functions. You can imagine all the organic chemistry involved. But they have to also worry about things like matrix effects from all the filler ingredients in the pill you are taking. That’s the best example I can think of at moment.
 
Anyway, I’m annoyed by matrix effects so much so that I almost didn’t do a Weekly Diatribe this week. So, I decided to do a general one instead.
 
Effect 1: Weather
 
It’s cold here in Kansas, although not consistently cold. I believe the high yesterday was 19 degrees F and today it was 47 degrees F. Every day there is a dramatic change in temp. It not only affects me but also the buildings I have to be in. Is it good for me to be in a room that is 68 degrees F, one 78 degrees F, and then going outside at 3 degrees F? How many layers can I wear in a day? Surprisingly, I’m not sick yet but I’m sure it is coming at some point. Don’t forget snow randomly put in there.
 
Effect 2: People
 
I’m afraid I can’t control what other say or do. I wouldn’t care as much but sometimes it effects what I can and can’t do. There was a suggestion that I and others may plan an event for Black Month (aka African-American/Black History Month). My workplace does these things so people have something nice to put on their yearly reviews. For some reason companies/institutions like to give the appearance of promoting diversity and equality. So out of our suggestion came an announcement that this will occur meaning I have to do stuff now. I’m disappointed in all that.
 
Effect 3: TV Networks
 
People at the moment don’t have much money so that get rid of unimportant things like cable television. I being one of these people have been watching TV online since June, I think. I have found a way to watch most of the things I want one way or another. Recently, networks are putting their online content on a delay or require you to sign-in with cable sign-ins. I don’t mind it too much having the delay because waiting 8 days to watch something to me is not a big deal. I really prefer Netflix to watch several episodes in a row. There is one show I am obsessed with which I don’t think I have written about yet (mental note to do so) called Revenge on ABC. I started watching on Netflix that lead to 5+ hour viewing binges. Now, I am watching online from various sources including ABC. In January, ABC put their shows on an 8 day delay. I was just watching 2 to 3 episodes at a time (commercial free) on Netflix and now I have to wait. It was a difficult transition I was not prepared for. I mostly watch the show on other sites instead of going to ABC. All this searching makes me dislike TV even more. If it was easy maybe I would watch more things on that station’s website. They would allow them to sell me on some of their other programs. If I have the choice between watching the show with or without commercials what do you think I will choose?
 
Overall, these things determine my outlook on the day and what I feel like doing. There are several news things I could have talked about and had planned to do so but the energy had been removed from me. Being cold is probably the biggest one but there is nothing I can do about that. Adding in that I have to exercise, which can make you warm and takes away energy, I’m just too tired to do the real research my normal news posts require. Hopefully next week there will be something serious for you.
 

Revenge spinoff

Weekly Diatribe: Plateauing

So I have spent over a year trying to lose weight/improve health. In general, I have achieved both of those things. Now I am in a state of plateau with the weight loss. People have been telling me that it’s good that I’m not gaining any weigh. I don’t like to look at things positively. I probably should be excited that I finished the Insanity workout program on Wednesday with measurable improvements in my biweekly (sort of) Fit Test results.

Insanity 12-11

My future plans for exercise is to repeat the Insanity workout 4 days a week (instead of 6 days) and fill the other days with yoga, stretching, and push-up type exercises. I haven’t decided the specifics but I plan on starting today or Saturday. The internet, particularly YouTube, is full of exercise videos for me to do.

For the last few months I have moved around within 4 pounds. I’m sure it’s not much of a swing for the period of months. I don’t think I lost any weight from doing Insanity but several people have tried to tell me that I’m most likely gaining muscle. I may be willing to accept that. But, I need to decide what to do moving forward in my attempt at healthiness. Part of it I believe is that exercising at times makes me hungrier so I end up with more calories on MyFitnessPal. To address the plateau in weight loss I found an article from the Mayo Clinic. I’m going to take their advice and reassess my weight loss plan.

I know this seemed like less of a diatribe. However, the fact that I can exercise 6 days a week while eating an average of 1600 calories a day and not lose 1 pound is annoying. Before I started really exercising regularly I was eat 1200-1500 calories in a day. It is hard increasing my fiber and potassium without increasing calories as well. I may need to be stricter in my eating. Did I mention I have over 390 days of logging my food? It is difficult to eat well in the Halloween to Christmas times. I know I have add more desserts and candy than I should have had. Maybe by January I can start to focus more on getting a larger variety of healthy foods

Insanity – Fit Test 4

I have about 2 weeks left in the Insanity program.  I just did my 4th Fit Test.  I improved some of my numbers which is good.  Some of the exercise counts were similar to last time but I’m not concerned.  I’ve weighed myself periodically and I don’t seem to be losing much more weight.  I may need to cut down on the calories more.  I figured the 4-6 days of exercise would allow me to have more calories a day but it seems not.  Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can focus on that.  Once I am finished with the Insanity program, I will repeat it at a slower rate and add in other forms of exercise.  I’m thinking about yoga type things or at least less intense exercise before I break all my bones doing Insanity.  Suggestions welcome.  I’ll have to start doing some research.

 

insanity 11-27

Insanity – Fit Test 3

This week I started Month 2 of the Insanity workout. I had no idea it would be that much harder than Month 1. Exercises are almost completely different. They start you out with doing the Fit Test and Max Interval Circuit DVDs on the same day. This equates to about 85 min of exercises. Not only was I not ready for Month 2 but 85 min of exercise was so much time. Of course with all the breaks I had to take, I only did about 65 min of exercise. Below is a chart of my Fit Test progress. Again, I improved and this time on every exercise. I labeled the first and most recent bars so you can really see the difference.

Fit Test 3

Theoretically, I have 4 weeks left on this. I’ll probably weigh myself with the next Fit Test to see if I’m losing any weight. Still have Halloween candy left, so I’m eating that. I’m trying to limit it to a reasonable amount. All I know is that with every exercise, I am most likely to need a break because my legs are burning. I’ve done so much better with the breathing. I may need to look into additional leg stretches or find a yoga workout just for the legs.

 

Weight Loss Program Interrupted

Another setback in my Insanity workout. About 3 weeks ago I hurt my knee while doing one of the exercises. By the end of the day it barely hurt so I took 2 days off just in case and continued by exercises. Monday, I happen to go to the doctor to get blood test results back and told her about my knee. I said it only hurts when I bend it in odd directions usually while sitting. She stretch and bent my leg in every possible direction to check it. It seems that Gemma may have sprained/injured her PCL. I was annoyed because I’m just exercising because doctors tell me I have to. She said I can’t do any high impact exercise and definitely no jumping for about 2 weeks. The next day my leg hurt worse than the day I hurt it but I did the DVD without doing the jumps anyway. Then I decided not to do any of that Wednesday – Friday. I did some exercises from Insanity that I remembered but not the actual DVD. I have 2 days left on the Recovery Week portion of the Insanity workout. So, I’m going to start up again today and still minimizing the jumps. I’ll have those 2 days plus a day off before doing the Month 2 exercises. I have no idea what that will be like so we shall see.

On a good note, I finally have blood sugar numbers good enough to get off that medication (which I had stopped taking months ago) but still on blood pressure meds (that I had to restart). Also saw the dietitian to see what foods I could eat to improve that. She seems to think my eating is still good from trying to lose weight and stress may be my problem. So I’m looking into online yoga videos to combine exercise and stress relief. As far as food it was suggested I increase fish oils and potassium (because I’m a chemist I first wrote K+ since that is the symbol but others may not know that). I looked at myfitnesspal to see what my K+ levels had been compared to what it should be. I have been at the most half of the recommended amounts. My goal now is to increase that and figure out the yoga thing.

Semi-Good Weight Loss Update

I am still doing the Insanity workout.  I am about halfway through and will be starting the “Recovery Week” today.  I’ll be doing another Fit Test next week but since it is the beginning of the month, I thought I should see how my weight has changed.  It looks like I have gained a pound since the end of September, but I did weigh myself in the middle of October and I had gained several pounds (probably due to excessive candy eating).  Therefore, I have lost those pounds that I had gained and am now close to what I was before which is good so I’m not concerned.  Of course there is no way to account for gaining muscle that may have occurred due to all this exercise.  From my measurements, I did lose some from my stomach since the end of September.  I’m not looking forward to month 2 of Insanity.

Two Weeks into Insanity

So to move myself closer to losing the extra weight, I restarted the Insanity workout program. I bought it years ago and had done some of the DVDs but not really following the program to the letter. It is just a really hard to do. I got it because I thought I could do it over time and improve. Here is a video I found in case you are not familiar with it.

Basically this is a 60 day program where you exercise 6 days a week. You are supplied with several exercise DVDs and a schedule of when to do them. The first day starts with a fitness test. Every 2 weeks, the fit test is repeated to see if you are improving. So to keep myself on track I thought I would post my progress through the fit test numbers.

Fit Test 9/28/2013 10/16/2013 Change
Switch Kicks 60 79 19
Power Jacks 39 54 15
Power Knees 70 76 6
Power Jumps 15 23 8
Globe Jumps 5 7 2
Suicide Jumps 8 12 4
Push-Up Jacks  17 20 3
Low Plank Obliques  50 46 -4

The first few days of the program I was extremely sore. The sides of my knees hurt. By the end of the first week I was a lot better. I still have problems with breathing throughout the exercises but I’m slowly getting better. I did the first 2 weeks straight until I had to go out of town for an interview which caused me to take 3 extra days off. But, I did the fit test on Wednesday and started my Week 3 then. I’ll do another weigh in at the end of the month to see if I changed in any way.

Weight Loss Report (Sept. 2013)

I thought I would do a little report on my weight loss activities.  About a year ago, I started tracking my weight, blood pressure, and various body measurements.  I didn’t realize it was a year ago until yesterday when I recorded my recent progress.  I had actually not weighed/measured myself since early July before yesterday since I had slowed down my weight loss going towards maintaining.  It’s actually good news.  I have lost a total of 32 lbs.  You can see the progress in the graph below (no one loves using Excel more than me).

  weight loss Sept. 2013

 I know that doesn’t seem like much weight to lose in a year.  I should put this in prospective since on shows like the Biggest Loser they lose 10 lbs in a week.  I’m about 5 ft tall (probably a little under) and even thought the weight number is high I wasn’t really that fat.  For the American girls that read this I can put this in sizes for you.  Last year, I was squeezing into size 12 jeans (stretch/loose fit) and now I’m loosely fitting into size 10 (probably an 8 now).  For everyone else that is only 1 size.  I’ve read that the average size is 14.  So I was ok really but being short, black (African-American if you like), and fattish is never good as shown by my doctor putting me on blood sugar and blood pressure meds.  I should mention that I also lost about 12.5 cm from my stomach area and bottom.  I use centimeters because the numbers are bigger than inches so it make it seem like more.  If you are not familiar with cm, 12 cm is about 5 inches.

 

As said earlier, I was moving towards maintaining but I decided to continue losing.  I was probably around 10 lbs lighter at the end of high school so I thought why not try to get there.   The new goal for me is 125 lbs when I was a size 8 (sometimes 6 depending on the clothing).  I’m fairly close to that already (13 lbs to go).  Now I am trying to get myself back into exercise and lowering my calorie intake again.  Making desserts and Fall starting (Candy Pumpkins!) has not helped.

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