Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Update - Week 1

Every Monday (or in the case of a holiday, Tuesday) I am going to try and post about my progress toward my goal of 220 by November and how what I am doing it working out.

I succeeded in going to the gym every [week]day last week and also met my goal of not drinking at all throughout the week. I even held out when my beach volleyball team went out after our match on Tuesday and I got the burger and beer special (Turkey burger, no cheese, only some of the roll) when I gave my beer away. Went to a party Saturday night with my bottle of water and still had fun, although I really wanted to get a late night pretzel from the square. I went shopping and bought a bunch of baby spinach and several chicken breasts for meals this week and am looking forward to cooking more.

I also been weighing myself everyday when I go to the gym. I figure doing it on the same scale at right around the same time everyday should provide a decent tracking metric for how I am doing on that front. When I started last Monday, I was 273; today I weighed in at 262. At the end of each of these Monday posts I'll put a tracker with the starting week (May 17th), the last week, and the current week.

That's really all I got, I'm going to track my lifting too, but I need to get used to that first since I have never really lifted on a regular basis and probably never correctly.

May 17th - 273
Last Week - 273
This Week - 262

Just Booked - Culebra Trip

I just booked my flights for a trip to Culebra, Puerto Rico and am already excited. The trip isn't until November, but everyone wanted to get everything planned as early as possible. I'm going for a long weekend with a bunch of friends from work, including some that have been there many times before.

Culebra is a small island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico and doesn't have very much development to take away from the natural beauty of the location. The two pictures below show the islands location relative to Puerto Rico and the lack of development via satellite view.

We are staying in a couple villas by one of the numerous beaches. There is very limited access to these beaches so for the only people around are those staying at the same "resort" as you. Below you can see how the place is surrounded by trees and water with just a small access road leading to it. I really can't wait to get there and have that kind of privacy.

Oh, and the best part? This is the view when you walk out of the villas:

I'll probably post about this periodically as I research stuff to do and buy things I'm going to take.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Walking Dead

As an IT professional that doesn't really do much IT other than work on a computer, I read a lot of blogs throughout the day. One of those being a science fiction/science current event/anything sciencey or nerd related blog called io9. It was here that I was first introduced to The Walking Dead.

AMC, creator of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, was rumored to be considering TWD as a new television series. Normally this information would just be something I would digest and move on, but the thought of a ongoing series about zombies peaked my interest. After some google-based research, I found that it was definitely happening and was based of the graphic novel series from creator and author Robert Kirkman. A little synopsis from the AMC website about the show:

"AMC has greenlit The Walking Dead as a six-episode series based on the comic book written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. The Walking Dead tells the story of life following a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, traveling in search of a safe and secure home. Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Teachers, Strike Back) will portray the lead role of Rick Grimes while actor Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) will portray the character Shane, who worked with Rick in the police department before the zombie disaster. Other cast includes Laurie Holden (The Shield), who plays Andrea, one of two sisters who join the survivors of the zombie plague, Steven Yeun as Glenn, an expert scavenger and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), who plays Rick's wife Lori."

Really, until I started writing this post I had no idea how soon the show would be out because once I got a hold of that first volume, I was hooked and stopped caring about the TV version.

I've always been interested in reading the source material of TV shows and movies adapted from comics and graphic novels, but never really got around to actually going to the comic book store and picking them up. When I finally did, I picked up several I had been interested in, including the first Walking Dead volume (the others were Batman: Year One and the first volume of Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-men).

When I first opened the book, I was disappointed to find it was in black and white. I guess I'm glad I didn't figure that out at the store, because I probably would have passed on it. After getting 5 or 10 pages in, I couldn't stop reading. The opening reminded me of the beginning of 28 Days Later and kind of continued along the same route of trying to piece together what happened and finding a safe place (along with your loved ones). I'm not going to go into the story now, I'll save that for when I've read more of the series (currently on Volume 7) and have gone back to re-read the beginning. I will say that I completely forgot about the black and white aspect until I picked up another one of Kirkman's books (Invincible, more on that in a later post) and the colors kinda punched me in the face.

This is a great story so far with a lot of ups and downs that keep you interested in the characters and what happens to them. Each volume takes somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on how much you analyze the panels so two were perfect for my trip up NYC on the Megabus. I've also be giving the to my not quite 60 year old mom after I'm done and even she loves them. Of course, it should be noted that my mom is more awesome than yours and her love of zombie apocalypse graphic novels only proves that.

That's all for now, I have volumes 8-11 sitting at home and need to read them ASAP.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Trying this again and my plan

So it's been a long, long time since I've been on here, but I figured while I have it as an outlet, I may as well use it. I just checked and I haven't posted anything since the Snowpocalypse way back in January, wow.

I guess I should provide a little update:
I still have a job (which I like but need to work harder at)
I still have a dog (she's still awesome, but has been shedding her winter coat lately)
I still have a house (that needs a lot of work)

I think that about catches anyone that's interested up.

Now for where I am right now. I've started trying to work on myself since I realized I want to start looking for a serious commitment (not like right now though) and I'm not happy with myself so I don't see how I would be able to make someone else happy.

The first thing that I'm working on is my health. This is going to be super difficult since I have always been a failure at committing to things. I've never been unhealthy as far as any of the medical tests go other than my weight, but I've also haven't been able to run a mile continuously since grade school and have had so many of my joints injured from football, basketball and volleyball that I'm in some form of pain just about every day. I play volleyball 3 or 4 times a week now, football 2 times depending on the season and just signed up for softball this week. None of these activities seem to help me get in better physical shape so I've also started going to the gym (today was day 3 in a row so I haven't gotten over that hump yet).

As for eating, my plan is to diet for 8 weeks and transition into a sustainable lifestyle change (don't look for the wing night every night and cook more of my own food). I also started this 3 days ago and so far other than being a little tired (probably more to do with lack of sleep), I feel fine. I've been having 2 slimfast type shakes, a cliff bar after I work out and a reasonable dinner each day and haven't found myself feeling hungry yet. That may also have something to do with the gallon or more of water I've been consuming each day.

I'm using FitDay and iFitness (on my iPhone) to track everything. FitDay is great cause it makes pretty graphs and helps me count calories (goal is to stay under 1500 a day for those first 8 weeks than move up to 2000ish). iFitness is great cause it shows me (literally, it has videos of proper form) all the different exercises I can do and helps me plan out each day. I'm mostly doing cardio and various ab workouts, but also throwing some high rep weights in there too.

My weight on Monday, May 17 was 273; my goal is to be 220ish around November 6th since that's my sister's wedding and I'm going to Puerto Rico the week after with a bunch of friends from work.

Since I'm updating so many other things daily, I don't see why I can't fit this in too. I want to have at least 10 posts a month. Sorry, but there will be a bunch of Chloe related posts since she's an awesome dog and I'll try and write about my new time/money waster; graphic novels.

Until next time.