September 17, 2007

Bad Teeth

During my last dental checkup, my dentist noticed an increase in bacteria and damage to my gums and teeth. He expressed obvious concern and I had admittedly not been flossing as much as I should and we're not talking about lots of decay, but the amount of damage was really strange to me.

If you ask most people who know me, they will tell you that I have reasonably good teeth. Every dentist I've ever had has asked if I had braces when I was younger because my teeth are nice and straight. My teeth are also generally very clean and white. Really, I have good teeth and I take pretty good care of them.

Good dental hygiene can help you stay strong and healthy. Bad hygiene can make you susceptible to disease and according to some shorten your lifespan.

So, anyway, I was both disappointed and surprised to get such a bad report at my dental check up and I was convinced that merely reducing my flossing back to just 3 - 5 times a week could not account for this.

Then I realized the problem: Orange Juice.

I started drinking orange juice during the day almost exclusively about 6 - 9 months ago. My company supplies us with orange juice, so my thought was, "Hey! It's free, it tastes great, and it's got vitamin C, so it's good for you."

Yes, vitamin C is good for you and orange juice also contains goodly amounts of potassium, so it can help with sore muscles. OJ even counts as a serving of fruit for the food guide pyramid that some people go on about so much.

But orange juice also contains LOTS and LOTS of sugar.

Basically, I've been feeding my mouth bacteria quite heartily for the past 9 months or so, to the detriment of my smile. Granted, this is just a hypothesis, but the idea is given more strength by considering what I stopped drinking for the sake of the OJ: tap water. Water is good for you, but tap water also contains things like fluoride, which help teeth.

So, anyway, I'm limiting myself to one glass of OJ, tops, and consuming tap water again in its place.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:31 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

July 10, 2007

Public Service Announcement

NYCDHMH: NEW YORK CITY SYPHILIS CASES DOUBLE IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2007

NEW YORK CITY July 9, 2007 After leveling off for more than two years and declining in 2006 new syphilis cases spiked in New York City during the first three months of 2007. The Health Department announced today that doctors reported 260 new cases of primary and secondary syphilis during January, February and March, compared with 128 cases during the same period last year. Interviews with patients suggest that the increase is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. As in past years, half of those newly diagnosed with syphilis also report being infected with HIV.

Mind your manners, people!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 26, 2007

And Now for Something Different

Due to certain after work events that I will attend this evening that involve vodka snowcones, I had to reschedule my trainer to let me work out during lunch today.

I don't know if I will ever do that again.

I am completely wiped out.

Usually, I work out with him, go home, eat, and go to sleep. I don't do anything that requires significant concentration or effort. But now I'm sitting in the office and I almost can't make myself focus on anything. I certainly don't WANT to focus on anything.

Oh, but fun fact: my trainer told me today that chocolate milk makes a good after workout drink because it has both protein and carbs.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 21, 2007

Too Much Poop

I don't eat very much. I don't know why. I THINK I eat a lot, but I really don't.

I'm trying to gain weight and gaining requires getting more calories, so I made a meal schedule that includes three "big" meals and two snacks. An ordinary day on this schedule might have included something like this:

Breakfast: eggwhites equivalent to two or three eggs. (I don't measure, so I really don't know.)
10am Snack: protein bar
Lunch: a turkey wrap and cottage cheese.
3pm Snack: protein bar
Dinner: chicken breast and veggies

I liked this schedule because I wasn't hungry at all throughout the day, but I also wasn't stuffed to the gills.

Well, that isn't enough food. I started losing weight. When I talked to my trainer he said I need to eat more. He said that I should probably try to get some 2500 calories a day.

Given that the USDA recommended allotment is 2,000 calories in a day and I felt like I was eating a lot, I swore to him that I HAD to be eating at least that much in a day.

Guess what. It's not.

All that food and, if I've figured it out properly, I was probably only getting somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 calories. WHILE doing cardio five days a week and weights three days a week. No surprises there that my clothes were getting baggy.

Fortunately, I don't think I've lost more than five pounds.

So, I tried to eat more yesterday. For my 10 am snack, I had a protein shake instead, which is worth about 600 calories. And for my 3pm snack I had TWO protein bars (180 calories each). Even with my three soysage patties (60 calories each) and the crazy chicken and red sauce with pasta that my roommate made last night, I think I only BARELY got over 2,000 calories in yesterday.

This is very hard for me.

Today, I repeated the protein shake and brought two turkey wraps for lunch. I haven't been able to eat the second one, though, because I feel like I'm about to essplode.

I grew up in a family of grazers. We wander around the house and we eat a little bit here and there. A few baby carrots here, a dollop of ceiling spackle there. We'd have only one large meal in the day, supper, -- IF we had an actual meal -- and that's it. My parents also weren't very big on the "clean your plate" philosophy. We ate as much as we wanted and that's it.

In general, I think we ate pretty well, granted I've always been skinny.

I find that as an adult now, I rarely eat very much in one sitting. I eat a little and rest. Eat a little and rest. Eat a little and rest. And when I'm done eating, that's it. I don't eat more.

So, now I'm trying to force myself to eat and I do not like it. How will I ever eat some 2,500 calories?!?!

And another irritating aspect of eating so much more is that I have to poop so much more. Personally, I do not like to defecate. I don't care if it is an unavoidable fact of human existence. I don't like it.

And eating so much is just putting more stuff inside my body so that it can come out the other end. It just makes this whole process even more bothersome.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

June 18, 2007

My Genes and My Workout

I think I'm going to start running a little bit again. I haven't been running in probably a year. When I do my cardio workouts in the morning, I'm usually on the eliptical, but this morning I hopped on the treadmill and cranked out a little over 5 miles on the "hills" workout without much of a problem.

Then, I went to the locker room to get dressed.

Last fall I bought this skinny black suit. I decided to wear it today because I'm going to this art show at a gallery later and was asked to "wear black" because the dress code is "downtown hip" whatever the hell that means. Anyway, I'm wearing this skinny black suit which has always been, well, skinny on me.

I have sort of big quads due to soccer in high school and then all the running I've done in the last five or six years.

Anyway, I put on my suit this morning and it was big on me. Last week, I noticed that I had to cinch my favorite belt a notch tighter, too.

Even though I'm trying to build up, I take this as a good thing since I'm trying to tone up and burn off a little fat right now.

But one thing I have to come to terms with is the fact that I am not genetically disposed toward having the sort of body that I admire in other guys.

I'm not talking about those crazy, 'roided-out, bubble bodies. I'm talking about bodies like Antonio Sabato Jr. in that Janet Jackson video or like Brad Pitt in fight club or... well, lots of guys.

Here's the thing, though: I have narrow shoulders and a long, lean frame. I seem to have more slow-twitch muscle fibers than fast twitch. Building muscles with any noticeable bulk is rather difficult for me.

I'm sure that if I worked at it really hard for a long time I could build up a nice amount of muscle and a body that is of the sort of body that I like to see on other men, but the fact is that I would have to work at it more than some other men.

Instead of aiming for some crazy standard that isn't really "natural" for my body type I'm trying to develop in my mind an image of how I want my body to be that is consistent with how my body CAN be -- without an insane amount of work. (Emphasis on insane, there, cuz I'm not opposed to doing a significant amount of work.)

Anywhoodles, an inquiry was also made about what my workout consists of.

I work out with my trainer two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we do different things. In order to keep my development pretty steady and make things exciting, my trainer and I cycle through different sorts of workouts on a 6 to 8 week cycle. (I think it's 6 to 8 weeks. He keeps track of all that stuff and I just do what he says to do.)

We do a cycle of lower weights with repetitions of 12 to 15. Each exercise usually consists of just two sets and we move pretty quickly from exercise to exercise. This cycle also includes lots of exercises that I generally categorize as "jumping." In actuality, it's a bunch of aerobic and plyometric exercises. We do a lot of things with one arm or one leg at a time, too. And there's a lot of standing on one leg, too, which I hate. I usually end these workouts by collapsing on the floor in a panting puddle of sweat. It's good.

Right now, we're in the heavy weight cycle where we do three sets of exercises with high weights and few reps -- six to twelve depending on the exercise and how well I handle the weight. My trainer likes to get the weight to where the 10th rep is my limit and I am almost about to drop it but not quite. We usually do fewer exercises during this cycle, too, because we rest for up to two minutes between sets.

During both cycles, we focus on different muscle groups. Right now, Tuesdays consist of Legs and Shoulders. Thursdays are Chest, Back, and Arms. On Saturday, when I work out by myself, I hit my entire upper body, Chest, Back, Shoulders, and Arms.

All of my workouts start with 4 to 7 minutes of cardio to warm up and some kind of ab exercise.

So, our Tuesday workout might look something like this:

1 legged leg press - 3x10 - 240lbs
Weighted Lunges - 3x20 - 60 lbs (30lb dumbells in each hand)
Shoulder PNF - 3x10 - 20lbs
Hack squat machine - 3x10 - 540lbs
Shoulder press - 3x10 - 40lbs (40 lb dumbbells in each hand)
Seated calf raises - 3x10 - 90lbs
Wall sits - 3x1.5min to 2min. Sometimes I hold a 25lb? bar out in front of me, but I've only managed to hold that up for about 40 seconds.

My shoulders do this weird thing where, when under stress, they will briefly pop out of the socket. It's mildly painful and terrifying to my trainer, so we're always doing things to try to strengthen the muscles around my shoulders and rotator cuffs.

On Thursday, we might do something like this:

Bench press - 3x10 145lbs compound set
Bent-over rows - 3x10 60 lbs

One arm Lat pulldowns - 3x10 100lbs? compound set
Push ups - 3x20

Skull crushers - 3x10 60lbs compound set
Standard curls - 3x10 25lbs

Something like that.

And then on Saturday, I try to do 8 to 10 different exercises that cover all of the major muscle groups in my upper body. I follow the same 3x10 pattern Trainer has me do. I really like compound sets, so I do a lot of those, too.

I'm terrible about keeping track of my exercises and weights. Trainer does all that and I never seem to be able to remember what we did. He also changes things every week, so we rarely do the same exercise two weeks in a row. I should really start writing them down or something so that I can keep track.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 17, 2007

My Workout Schedule

Reader Tom Rexton writes:

Anyhow, you work out six days a week? What workout philosophy are you abiding by? Because from what I've read you need about 2 day(s) of rest between workouts for each muscle to allow time for recovery and growth. In effect you don't exercise a particular muscle or muscle group more than three times a week, else you produce adverse effects, including injury and slow hypertrophy (muscle growth). So I do a split routine and workout three days a week.

Of course I'm no weight training guru, so I'm not going to stand by that as a scientific law. :P It's just what I've gathered from (lightly) reading about weight training and the theories behind muscle growth.

I would add that one needs two days between workouts to enjoy being sore. :o)

Here's my workout schedule:

Every weekday, I do 30 minutes of cardio and a few sets of abs before work. That's 5 days a week right there. On Tuesday and Thursday, I workout with my trainer after work on weights and on Saturday, I do another workout by myself on weights.

Tuesday nights are legs and shoulders.
Thursday nights are chest, back, and arms.
Saturday is all upper body because I'm trying to focus on building that up.

So, there you go.

I'm in the gym six days a week getting some kind of work out, but it isn't six days of weight training. My trainer seems to think that two days of rest are necessary, too. He says I can do arms and abs every day if I want, but he doesn't like for me to do other stuff unless I have a full day of rest before I work out with him.

Well! I need to get moving. I skipped the gym yesterday because I woke up late, so I'm going to get my Saturday workout in today.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:28 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

June 16, 2007

Steamy Sexy Times

I'm about to get out of bed and head down to my local NYSC (New York Sports Clubs) gym. I'm running kind of late because I'm tired. For the past two weeks, I've been at the gym six days a week. That's a lot to me.

Right now my shoulders are sore and I have to actually force my shoulders to relax down and back or else I will just sit here with a permanent shrug.

I guess I could go get a massage, but that's expensive. It'd be nice to sit in the steam room for a little bit.

I've never been in the steam room at NYSC before. The reason is because I usually work out at the one on 41st and 8th and it's a moderately cruisy gym. This means there are many gay men there and they have sex in the steam room.

This bothers me. I do not want to have to fend off advances. I do not want to accidentally sit or step in a puddle of semen. I don't want to sit in the dark and listen to or watch two men having sex who cannot separate the fantasy of lockerroom sex from the reality of the lockerroom.

Real Jock: Sex at the Gym: Harmless Fun or Just Plain Wrong?

Some days guys go to the gym for a full strength-training and/or cardio workout. On other days, they may only have time for "a Hollywood" (just a steam). Either routine can help them relax. But some gay men say they need more than that to de-stress, which is why they go to the gym not only for a workout, but also a working over. And this "gym sex" is causing a rift at gay gyms between those who point to the rule of "consenting adults," and those who think that sex in the sauna or steam room encroaches on the rights of other people at the gym.

Apparently, it's a problem everywhere.

I will say this: it's not a violation of my rights for other people to have sex in the steam room whether I'm there or not. It's a violation of the rights of the gym owners who have explicitly stated that sex in the lockerroom or steam room is not allowed. They've permitted these people to come into the gym on the condition that the follow the rules and they refuse to follow the rules. That's why their memberships get revoked.

If I don't like the fact that people are having sex in the steam room, I can, as I have, simply avoid the steam room. We might argue that it's rude, but it's not a violation of my rights. But the owner of the gym is the one who makes the rules and it's their rights which are being challenged by these people.

Well, I can't go to the steam room at NYSC today because the steam room at BOTH the gyms I go to have been closed by the Health Department. (I don't think it's the Health Department's business, either.)

I don't know how long they will stay closed and I don't know how long my ears will wait before getting a restraining order against my shoulders, either. All I can say is that I'm annoyed by this.

Update: They've re-opened the steam room at my gym on 41st street. Now it has good lighting and you can see what people are doing through the little window in the door. I still didn't go in.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

June 15, 2007

Awwww...

Someone brought in donuts for everyone and I had to turn it down because it's too much carbs and sugar.

But, you know what? Forgoing a little temporary pleasure right now will pay off for me down the road.

I'm gonna go flex in the mirror for a little bit or maybe go military press a toyota or something.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 02, 2007

Vacillation

I'm supposed to hit the gym this morning, but my arms and back and chest are sore from my workout on Thursday. I slept a lot last night because all this week, I stayed up past my bed time.

So, I'm very reluctant this morning.

But my trainer said that I need to get another chest, arms, and back workout in on Saturday.

If I go, it will mean that I've been to the gym five days out of the week and had a total of seven workouts. That's three workouts with weights and four of cardio. That's a lot of time at the gym.

But I suppose I won't reach my goal of having a super-mega-killer body by sitting on my butt watching cartoons, so I had better get moving.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 24, 2007

Two Compliments on My Well Fit Body

This week has been a good week for me in terms of flattering my vanity. Apart from noticing several people checking me out -- including some women who apparently don't mind my blinding homosexuality -- I received two compliments from people who had noticed the improvement.

The first one came from someone I really don't know. When I lived in Hell's Kitchen, I used to work out at the NYSC on 62nd St. My trainer and I would meet twice a week in the morning before work and do our thing. Well, there was this lady, Joanna, I think, and her trainer who were there with us at the same time. Now and then we would chat with them or work out next to them.

Well, her trainer had to go on a trip, and he asked if my trainer could cover for him.

According to my trainer, she asked about me and wondered why she never sees us any more. He explained that since I moved, I've been working out at a gym further down town. She said she missed us. She also added that she was really impressed with my trainer because she had noticed the progress I had made. He said that she said I looked "hot."

I know, right?

Well, the second one came from my hair stylist. I went to get my haircut today and my stylist is a huggy guy, so upon saying hello, he gave me a hug. When he did he stepped back a little shocked and asked if I had been working out. I told him that I had and he led me to the chair to talk about what I wanted him to do with my cut.

After I was seated, he stood behind me and put his hands on my shoulders and then his eyes got big and he was like, "WOW! You've really been working hard!"

He went on at some length about it.

Later, during our chatting while he was cutting my hair, I made some flirtatious joke and he actually dropped his comb. And still later, he spent an inordinate amount of time brushing loose hair from my shirt.

For sexual assault, it was really quite minor and, again, I appreciate the compliment.

I'm really pleased to be seeing progress myself, but other people are also noticing and that's affirming, too.

I do fully expect to have clearly defined abs at some point this summer.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Good Morning, Sunshine!

After last night's rage, I had a very good night of sleep and I woke up on time, happy, and well-rested.

I started a diet on Tuesday. Not a diet to lose weight. People always think that the word "diet" means starving yourself or something, but "diet" is actually a very broad concept. When I say I started on a diet, I mean that I've started closely monitoring my food.

My objective is to have a high protein, low carb diet because I'm trying to get in shape for my 30th birthday in September which I will be spending in Miami on a beach.

The ages between 30 and 45 are, in my opinion, the most attractive years of a man's life. Young guys can be attractive, but I find myself uninterested in them because I associate youth with being uninteresting, impulsive, and generally more noisy than I care for people to be. So, I'm entering primetime and I'm really excited about it. I'll be in the best physical shape of my entire life by September.

So, I'm on this diet. But more than high protein and low carbs, I'm restricting my sodium (salt) and processed sugars in take, which means no sodas, Starbucks or whatever. I'm trying to stick to mostly unprocessed food and snacking on fruit and nuts. I'm also cutting out alcohol.

And this is day three of that and this morning I woke up, felt great, and had lots of energy in spite of being VERY sore from my workout on Tuesday.

Speaking of workouts, I've been pretty good about going to the gym in the morning before work for cardio and my trainer and I work out twice a week after work on weights. I told him about my September goal and he said that I will have to add another workout with weights to my routine for Saturdays.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 15, 2007

Ouch

Some time around the middle of last week, I hurt something on the left side of my chest. I think maybe it's a pulled muscle that happened from all the coughing I did while sick.

It hurts to cough now, which I still have to do a few times a day. And I can't do crunches.

I'm kind of afraid to do any lifting for a couple of weeks with my chest in this condition; I surely do not want to make this worse.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 07, 2007

Ka-Boom!

I weighed myself at the gym this morning and I've gained another 5-ish pounds. I'm now 190 lbs of solid man. Well, mostly solid. Actually, kind of solid with a chewy center.

It's kind of weird because I'm slowly getting used to the idea that I live my life inside a slightly more massive body than I've generally thought.

When I got to college, I was almost my adult height and I weighed about 150 lbs. At my lightest, I weighed 145 lbs and I was 6'2" at the time. I was a skinny-mini. I imagine it was frightful. At my heaviest in college, I weighed in at a skinny 165 lbs and for a couple of years, I couldn't break the 170 mark.

So, in my mind, I weigh 165 lbs, which is considerably smaller than many males of my height. Hell, it's smaller than many adult males who are shorter than I am. So, I tend to think of myself as skinny. Scrawny, even.

It's just not true!

While I've had some success in gaining weight now, changing the image of my size in my mind is a slower process, but it's happening. I find I'm stronger than I thought. Some of my clothes are tighter than I remember. When I try on new clothes, I have to pick out larger sizes than I used to be able to get away with. It's the little things.

Assuming the weight I gain is muscle and not fat, I would like to put on another 5 to 10 lbs. Hell, Superman weighs 225 lbs and he's only 6'4".

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

December 08, 2006

Walking Hurts Me So Good

This has been a mildly disturbing public service announcement.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 06, 2006

Oh yeah!

I forgot to tell you: I lifted 500 lbs on the hack squat machine this morning! 3 sets of 10!

Woohoo!

Update: My legs are killing me this morning. I'm not sure if I'll be able to walk normally at the end of the day. Feel the burn!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Skinny

Since I moved to New York in March, I've gained about 20 lbs. This morning, my trainer told me that I cannot be described as "skinny" any longer.

I'm not sure if I count as "slim," though.

I'm 6'2" so, 190lbs has some distance to cover. My arms are not huge or anything and my face has always been somewhat angular, which gives the impression of being trim.

But I have noticed that my back, shoulders, and chest are much more broad now. My arms are a little bigger.

I still think I'd like to gain another five to ten pounds, but it's kind of neat to now think of myself as "athletic" or "average" in terms of size and build now. I mean, this is really just a change in my self-image and it's hard to change that.

When I came to college, I weighed about 155. At one point in college, during my sophomore year, I got down to 145. After that, I got up to 160 - 165, but stayed there until I was 25. I managed to slowly gain another 10 - 12 lbs with weight training, but stayed at 170 for a couple of years.

I still think of myself as being 155 lbs, but I'm now 35lbs heavier. The difference is not insignificant and the adjustment is congnitively difficult.

I can't hop up on a table like I used to be able to do. It's not because I can't jump as high, but because the table will likely collapse under me.

The dimensions of my body are different now. Some of my old clothes don't fit me properly. There are times when I'm walking and I think I will narrowly miss something only to strike it solidly either to the detriment of the object or, more often, my arm.

My center of gravity has shifted slightly upward. This might not seem like a big deal, but I am used to being pretty light on my feet and aware of my body in space. Now, though, I have to be balance a slightly different weight distribution.

I asked a couple of the girls in the office and they agreed that I'm not skinny. They do acknowledge that I've gotten bigger, but they also thought I was never really "skinny." Interesting.

So, now I have to tell myself to think of myself as big. And I'll kick your ass.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 16, 2006

Weight Gainer 1850

I have this powder that you mix with milk called Weight Gainer 1850. If you drink a full shake of it, you get 1850 calories composed primarily of protiene and carbohydrates.

I can't drink a full shake in a single sitting. Not because it tastes bad, mine is chocolate and actually tastes pretty good, but because it is like eating three meals in a single sitting and my stomach is not inclined to such feats of strength or endurance.

My family is a family of grazers. We're like cow people. We love veggies and we don't like big servings. We much prefer to just nibble on a few baby carrots here or a couple of grapes there. We do like candy, though. And that's where I learned my own eating habits.

When I'm not hungry, I don't eat. I do not clean my plate if I don't want to. I love candy and ice cream, but I also love eating vegetables and white meat.

So, I'm generally a pretty lean fellow.

Well, now I'm lifting weights and trying to put on some pounds. (I've gained 15 lbs since March.) And now I've started a weight-lifting routine that is designed to help me bulk up faster, but this also means I have to eat more. I need more calories, preferrably calories from protein.

And I just realized that in an average day, I probably only consume about 2,000 calories or less.

I'm a 6'2" 185 lb active male and I'm only getting about 2,000 calories? That's crazy! It's no wonder it's hard for me to gain weight.

But these shakes kill me. They make me feel like I'm going to explode.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 18, 2006

The Gun Show, Baby!

So, the more I thought about the pictures from last night, the more irritated I got about how much I've really slacked off on my goal of getting a more aesthetically pleasing physique.

Week 30 do over

Then, I kept thinking that I really have gotten bigger and stronger since I started working out in April and the pictures last night really weren't showing it. So, I decided to take new pictures this morning immediately after my workout.

Now, I know that right after I work out my muscles are full of blood and I have better definition. So, just take these pictures for what they are. Even so, they show much better progress.

Week 30 do over

The Gun Show, Baby!

All the same, I have to start doing cardio regularly and doing weights AT LEAST once more every week but preferably twice more.

So, who wants to be my workout buddy?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 17, 2006

Supplemental Information

So, I've been working out with my trainer now for... a long time!

Time for an update, no?

Ok. Here're pictures of me after my first workout with Craig:

Week 1

Here are pictures of me now:

Week 30

I almost didn't post the update because 1) I don't see a big improvement and 2) it's been 30 weeks. HOLY COW. 30 weeks? Really?

Now, to put things in context: Yeah, I am paying for a personal trainer, but I have not been keeping up with my training like I should. Like, I haven't kept up with it at all.

I'm SUPPOSED to run daily or at least 4 times a week. And I'm SUPPOSED to try to work in at least 1 additional weight day.

But I haven't done that at all.

And I can tell.

I have gained 15 lbs, which is why I kind of look a little chunkier. I'm 6'2" and I now weigh 185 lbs.

But, seriously, I need to buckle down.

I started this post because someone mentioned supplements today and how you have to use them in order to really make your workout give you the results you want.

I've taken creatine before and drank the weight gainer shakes. The creatine mixes aren't that bad but the weight-gainer stuff is awful.

I think if you're going to take things like that you really should be serious about working out so that it's worth the fuss. I haven't been taking them during the last 30 weeks for that reason.

My trainer is pleased with my progress, but I think he's a little irritated that I haven't really committed to it. I'm kind of irritated when I think about it because I'm basically throwing a LOT of money away. Thousands of dollars. No kidding. The more I think about it, the more irritated I am.

I don't think I'm going to pay for more workouts with Mr. Craig unless I'm able to really commit myself to working out and getting a rockin' body. I mean, I can probably maintain this look on my own.

Great. Now I'm in a bad mood about this.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 13, 2006

The Day Off -- But Not Really

I am so sore. I haven't been this sore since I started working out with my trainer. On top of that, I have a crick in my neck that has been there for three days now.

I'm sore because I had a great workout on Monday. I ran last night and I worked out again this morning.

I'm supposed to run tonight, but I'm totallly not. I MIGHT work out tomorrow morning, but that will depend on how well I sleep and how sore I am when I wake up in the morning.

On the upside, I weighed in this morning and I've gained 5 more pounds. I now weigh 186.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 01, 2006

My Fat Belly

So, my weight training is going well. I'm building some muscle, but I do need to work out a couple more times a week to see better results.

But one thing I am not pleased about is that I'm getting a bit of a belly. It's not out of control or anything yet, but I can totally see it and I am not happy about it.

Ergo, I've started back running.

Interestingly, I'm not nearly as out of shape as I thought.

Today, I ran 6 miles in 52:16. That's not super fast, but the distance alone is an accomplishment for someone who hasn't been training at all.

Of course, now I'm sitting on my couch unwilling to get up even to get more water.

I just hope this belly thing gets gone with a quickness. I'm so not loving it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 15, 2006

Because You Care

My blood pressure this morning was 120/71.

Update: I just took it again and it was 114/64.

Woohoo!

It doesn't look like I'm going to suddenly go blind after all! yay!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 14, 2006

Going to Extremes

A couple of weeks ago my cousin visited me here in NYC with a friend of hers. Both of them are nurses and I was telling them about my blood pressure problem. They both thought that it was very strange that I had such high blood pressure when the problem occurs so rarely in our family and usually only during pregnancy or old age.

So, I was showing them my blood pressure machine and how I take my blood pressure and it turns out that wasn't doing it right!

I wasn't really paying attention to how the cuff was lined up on my arm and the little air tube needs to be lined up with my brachial artery that passes through the inside of my elbow.

They also showed me how to rest my arm so that it isn't strained or anything.

Lo and behold when I took my blood pressure it was lots lower! This weekend, I took readings on Saturday and Sunday at sort of random times and both times my systolic was under 120 and my dystolic was around 70.

This morning, I took a reading after my work out (not immediately, but about 30 minutes after) and my blood pressure was 103/62!!! Crazy low! (Hopefully, I'm not going to have to worry about hypotension now!)

So, I am going to start trying to measure it again regularly and do it right this time and see what my real average blood pressure is.

All in all, this is pretty good news and I'm glad my worry was the result of a silly mistake on my part!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 05, 2006

On the Road Again

After breaking the 2 hour barrier on the half marathon in Atlanta in November, I stopped running. The reason being that I find it very difficult to eat enough to both run and gain weight.

Well, I've started gaining weight. I think I'm at about 185 lbs right now. Standing at 6'2" that's still a little lighter than what I'd like to be (I'm aiming for 190.) and I don't care what the stupid BMI chart says.

Anyway, I've been weight training and trying to eat good, clean protien and all that stuff and I've gained a little wieght.

Now I want to tone up a bit, so on Thursday I went for a run in Central Park.

I have no idea how far I ran on Thursday because I am of the mind that when starting to run it's best to just get out there and go before you start measuring things. If you try to start without a sense of your own limits, you'll try to set goals that are either too grand or too short. So, for me, I get started by just going out and doing it; I figure running a little ways is better than runnning no way at all.

So, I ran a lot and walked some. I was out there for about 45 minutes, which was about 15 minutes longer than I really wanted to spend. It wasn't a great run, but it was a run. After looking at a map of Central Park, I realized that I probably covered almost 5 miles worth of ground.

That seemed like a bit much to me since I hadn't run since November.

Tonight, I went for another run, but this time I planned a route for which the distance was known. From Columbus Circle around to the 72nd St. Transverse and back down to the Circle, it's a little more than 1.7 miles.

I did two laps in 29:45.

I am VERY impressed with myself.

Although my endurance is far short of what it was in November, that pace is faster than what my half marathon pace was. Back then, I ran 13.2 miles at about 9 minutes a mile. Today, I ran at an 8:45 mile pace.

I also managed to do it without stopping. (For some reason the two mile mark is a psychological barrier to me and I find that I always want to walk right then.)

So, I'm kind of tickled that I'm not as out of running shape as I thought. I have a long way to go before I could consider doing another half marathon, but I don't feel like I'm starting over from scratch.

Which reminds me: I need to get a new pair of running shoes.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 18, 2006

I Know They Care, But I Wish They Would Do So Quietly

One of my coworkers stopped by this morning to tell me I have a sinus infection. How he knows this is a mystery.

Another of my coworkers says that my cough has gone on for far too long and that I should ask the doctor if I have the Bubonic Plague. I've had a cough for 6 days now and it's going away. I really don't think it's time to dig out the hazmat suits just yet.

I realize that they just want me to stop sniffling and coughing, but enough is enough. I want them to go sit down and do their work.

I don't have a sinus infection. I don't have the Bubonic Plague. I don't have Bird Flu, SARS, West Nile Virus, Cancer, Tuberculosis, Viral Meningitus, or anything else.

Antibiotics will not help. Emergen-C will not help. Acupuncture will not help. Homeopathy will piss me off. And cleansing my aura by burning sage will just make everything stink.

It's just a cold and it's going away. In a few more days I will be completely fine again.

I appreciate all the concern but Team Flibby is moving on now. The next post (If I post about this again) will just be to say "See? I told you I would get better soon."

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 14, 2006

Marry Me

I am in love with the people who invented Robitussin right now. That stuff is pure genius in a bottle.

I haven't done much coughing today at all and my congestion is significantly reduced as well.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Not Dead

My congestion seems to be getting a little better, although I've woken up to a crippling headache the past two days. This morning, with the Claritin-D now out of my system, I went and bought some Robitussin.

Robitussin is now my new most favorite thing ever.

I took it about 30 minutes ago and my cough is almost completely gone. I think if I went and blew my nose like a responsible adult, my congestion would be lots better, too.

Robitussin rocks.

I also took some tylenol for my headache and the day is getting to be tolerable.

Meanwhile, one of my coworkers keeps insisting that I go to the doctor. I am 100% certain that this is just a cold. What is the doctor going to do for a cold? If they prescribe antibiotics, they'll lose me as a patient. If they tell me to take some Robitussin and get lots of rest and fluids, then I will have wasted my time.

Seriously, folks, the doctor is great and all, but you don't just throw a doctor at every sniffle. Sometimes you just have to buckle down and infect everyone in the office with what you have because misery loves company.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 13, 2006

In Which We Learn an Important Lesson about Self-Medicating

I am not a fan of medicine. I generally think that if I have the sniffles, it's better for me in the long run to just let my body fight it off. It's that whole "that which does not kill me" thing. Besides, there really isn't much one can do for the sniffles except treat the symptoms.

Anyhow, many people (not doctors) have said that based on my symptoms, I might want to consider the notion that I have allergies.

I've never had allergies, but it's never too late to learn.

So, thinking this could be the case, I decided yesterday to try Claritin-D. After an hour or so yesterday, my sore throat seemed to be better and my nose wasn't running nearly as much. I still had a cough, though, and I developed a killer headache.

Last night, I didn't sleep well and I had much coughing and congestion.

Given that, I think it's safe to conclude that Claritin-D really isn't helping me. But then I started to worry about possible adverse side-effects on my blood pressure. As you know, I'm about to drop dead of a stroke any minute anyway, so I do not need medicine that will make it worse.

So, I did a litte Google and what I found was worst than I suspected. I've highlighted items of interest.

More common side effects may include:

Coughing, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, sleepiness, sore throat

Less common or rare side effects may include:
Abnormal heartbeat, abnormal skin sensations, acne, altered taste sensation, altered tear production, back pain, breathing difficulties, chest pain, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), constipation, convulsions, depression, diarrhea, difficulty speaking, distended abdomen, earache, eye pain, facial swelling, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, flushing, frequent urination, gas, high blood pressure, inability to urinate, increased sputum production, increased sweating, indigestion, itching, leg cramps, migraine headache, mood disorders, movement abnormalities, muscle pain, muscle stiffness, nasal congestion, nervousness, nosebleed, painful menstrual periods, pneumonia, ringing in ears, sinus problems, swollen mouth, thirst, toothache, tremor, upset stomach, urinary tract infection, vaginal swelling, viral infections, vision problems, vomiting, weakness, weight loss, wheezing

And thus we learn an important lesson about just taking medicine without knowing what the problem really is.

Unfortunately, I have to wait 24 hours to get the Claritin-D out of my system before I can take real cold medicine, lest I suffer through some unfortunate drug interaction.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 16, 2006

Information on Hypertension

Here's a nifty link with lots of other links to lots of other information on the topic.

MedlinePlus: High Blood Pressure

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

White Coat High Blood Pressure

Apparently, there is a phenomenon where some people have high blood pressure when they're at the doctor's office.

I also learned from Wikipedia: "Recently, the JNC 7 (The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure) has defined blood pressure 120/80 mmHg to 139/89 mmHg as "prehypertension." Prehypertension is not a disease category; rather, it is a designation chosen to identify individuals at high risk of developing hypertension," which, even on my best day is me.

And I learned that high blood pressure can cause renal (kidney) problems. I had some kind of kidney problem when I was little and so that worries me.

And BLINDNESS. Hypertension can cause blindness. CRAZY!

I'm going to try to step up my blood pressure monitoring to twice a day or more when possible. Lately, I've only been doing it in the morning after I wake up or while I'm getting ready for work.

Ideally, I would measure at the same time every day, but my schedule is somewhat irregular, which makes that difficult. But, on the bright side, I'm going to do this for a month and then I'll make an appointment with a doctor to see what they think.

I really would not be surprised if I do have high blood pressure. But I also really don't want it. I especially do not want to take medicine every day. Alternatively, there is no medicine to fix death, so if a blood vessle burst in my brain, I would be far more inconvenienced.

This is one of the few times in my life when I have actually been very disappointed in my biology. I wouldn't say that I'm a perfect specimine of the human animal or anything. I was born short-sighted. I was born into a family afflicted with addiction, cancer, insanity, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and bad teeth. But, in all, I have been pretty fortunate and am unaccustomed to having to deal with chronic or congenital weaknesses.

I survived Scarlet Fever! I kicked its ass!

But now my heart is beating too hard. Or my blood vessles are too skinny.

I'll not dwell on this idiosyncracy as anything of metaphysical value, indeed, it's just a fact of reality. But it'll be tough.

If I go on medication, I'll have to make sure my doctors know I'm on it. I'll probably have to make sure that I check the lables of cold medicines. I'll be worried about getting into some kind of horrible accident in which I can't tell emergency medical people about my condition and I'll wonder if I should get one of those bracelets. blah blah blah...

But it's better than being dead.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 15, 2006

My Blood Pressure: Are you Tired of This Topic, Yet?

I took my blood pressure this morning while lying in bed and it was high both times. Like 160/80 high.

I'll take it again later today, but it's weird to me that my blood pressure would be high while lying down and still half-asleep.

I reeeeaaaalllly don't want to take blood pressure medication for the rest of my life.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

June 14, 2006

Flibby's Blood Pressure

I'm working from home this morning as mentioned. Well, I'm sitting here, so I figured that I would take my blood pressure just to see how it is.

125/74 at 79bpm

My monitor is really neat. It stores 99 measures and averages them for me!

Here's what I've had so far:

126/69 at 63bpm
128/74 at 63bpm
125/74 at 79bpm
Average: 126/72 at 68 bpm

The little book that came with it says:

Optimal <120/<80
Normal <130/<85
High Normal 130 - 139/85 - 89

Even at higher beats per minute while I'm sitting here working (and snacking on SALTY crackers and cheese!) my blood pressure is lower.

And in all instances it's normal.

I'm starting to think that I don't have high blood pressure afterall. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 13, 2006

Maybe I Don't Have High Blood Pressure. Maybe I Have Mood Swings

Per my agreement with my doctor, I went out and bought a blood pressure monitor.

I just took my blood pressure and it was 126/69 and my heart rate was 63 beats per minute. This is totally fine!

Of course, at the doctor's office, my bp was something like 149/80. I don't remember.

But 1) this is the first time I had seen this doctor before 2) I was sitting in my underwear 3) I was pissed off with the doctor because they were 30 minutes late opening their office this morning, so my appointment was delayed.

So, maybe it was just stress.

On the other hand, my high blood pressure has been noted on previous occasions.

We'll see.

I really don't want to have to take blood pressure medicine every day for the rest of my life. I'm not even halfway through my life!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

How I Will Die

I have long resigned myself to the fact that there is an extremely high probability that I will get cancer. If I an not diagnosed early enough I will die of it. It has happened before in my family.

So, I get regular check ups and I do what I can to avoid carcenogenic behaviors, substances, practices, etc. Really, there's only so much I can do, though.

Well, I went to the doctor this morning for my annual check up.

Apparently, my blood pressure is becoming a problem.

I'm not even 30 years old!!! BUT I HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE!

I exercise. I try to be mindful of my sodium intake. But I've always had elevated blood pressure and now it's high enough to where my doctor is talking about it.

The doctor even wants me to take medicine for it because he says I could have a stroke or a heart attack in 10 - 20 years if my blood pressure goes untreated.

I don't like the idea of taking medicine, so I asked about an alternative and he said that I should get a blood pressure monitor and chart my pressure over the course of a month and come back to him. If it looks like my average is actually normal, then we'll do nothing. It's always high, then he's going to push for medication.

*sigh*

This sucks.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 25, 2006

Slacker

On Monday, the trainer had me work out my legs, back, and biceps.

On Wednesday, the trainer had me work out my chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Tuesday, pretty much sucked. The soreness made it uncomfortable to stand and tiring to walk and, of course, I was bumbling around with my family all day.

Today, I observed the pleasant tightness and pain spreading through my upperbody as each hour passed.

Right now, I'm supposed to be headed over to ab class, but I really just don't feel like it. So, I'm being a slacker and sitting on my sofa right now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 24, 2006

The Gun Show

Well, I've been working out with the trainer consistently twice a week for several weeks now.

It's going pretty well, I think. I could stand to get into the gym and lift weights and do cardio a bit more frequently than I'm doing these days. And, of course, I could do better with my diet, but I am seeing some fair results, I think. And this week, my trainer started me on strength training. These are small sets of heavy weights that are supposed to help me with building muscles.

If the soreness I'm experiencing right now is any indication, I'm gonna be hot stuff for Summer!

I took pictures after week 1, but I haven't taken any photos since. I should do that this weekend sometime.

Anyway, just wanted to keep you posted on this.

(I can see my six pack now! It lacks good definition, but it's there!)

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 09, 2006

I Envy the Wind

I just found out that the New York City Marathon is on November 5th. The problem is that my 10 year high school reunion (Welcome back, pointers!) is on November 4th.

There is no way I can be at a reunion Saturday night in Georgia and at the starting line, rested and reasy on Sunday morning.

:o(

Maybe next year, then.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 27, 2006

Taking it Easy

I am extremely tired and sore today.

I can't straighten my left leg completely, let alone do so and flex my foot upward, without pain.

So, I decided to take it easy tonight and skip ab class.

I might eat half a quiche, too. We'll just play that part by ear.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 25, 2006

Fitness with Flibby and Personal Trainer

I need to take some before pictures tonight because yesterday I started with a personal trainer. Right now, I've only hired him to work out with me twice a week for three months, but yesterday's workout was really good. Today, I'm feeling pretty sore, which I love.

But I want to be able to mark my progress. I'll have to pull up those old pictures to compare to today, too, since I was doing weights for a while and I've been doing ab class twice a week for the past four weeks as well.

So, maybe Fitness with Flibby will become a real thing for serious now.

Also, I think I'm going to pick up running a little bit again. I am giving thought to the New York Marathon as my first marathon. It happens in November, so we'll see!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 04, 2006

Fitness with Flibby

You know, for all my talk of getting into shape and then not really getting into shape like I wanted, I really am exercising more than I did all through college. So, if you look at it from THAT perspective, I'm really kind of sort of in better shape than ever.

Except for those times when I was in better shape. Of course.

Well, I joined a new gym here in New York. Let's do a little economic comparison:

In Georgia, I paid $12.50 a month, which I will admit is low even for Georgia. For a really good gym with classes and all that, $50 in Georgia is not out of the question.

Here in New York City, I am paying something north of $85 a month.

But I live in the New York City and it's worth it.

I really do need to get into better shape. I went to a gay bar a while back and I was smartly dressed and it took like ten minutes to get the bartender's attention. And there are hot guys all over the place.

I'm not really complaining about the hot guys part, mind you. I'm complaining about not getting the service I want and deserve and I'm vainly connecting that to a reason to work out. Stick with me here.

ANNNNNNNYWAY, I joined the gym and my new gym offers classes, which I think is great because it is easier for me to work out with a buddy and classes are like working out with 30 buddies. Buddies I've never met before but buddies nonetheless.

This morning I went to spin class.

I hate that spin class is called "spin class" but "stationary bike class" doesn't come out as easily.

Spin Class is a fitness class devised by satan. I'm not complaining because I like that sort of thing, but... well, yes, I am complaining. But I'm complaining because it's really hard, which is actually a good thing.

Spin Class is two days a week in the morning. In the evening of those days, I am now going to ab class.

Ab class is another thing that the prince of darkness devised.

Right now, I'm unable to sit up or walk, which really is the best part about getting into shape.

So, here we go again!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 15, 2005

I Feel the Need for Speed

Well, I'm just a few days more than a week away from the Atlanta Half Marathon. I'm hoping to break the 2 hour mark on this one.

After that, I'm giving serious thought to backing away from running a bit to focus on weight training.

This is an item of conflict for me because I love running. For me, it's far easier and more pleasurable than lifting weights. Actually, I hate lifting weights, so sometimes I almost think I'd rather have a sharp stick in the eye than lift weights.

But all for beauty, right?

So, I think I might restrict my running to once or twice a week and doing speed training instead of distance training. My running buddy probably won't like that; she prefers the distance stuff -- even though I can't seem to convince her to do a full marathon yet.

So, I could ease up from running until about mid-February and then start distance training for the Country Music Half in April. On the downside, I was really giving serious thought to doing the full marathon in April with or without my running buddy. If I ease up on distance and wait that long to begin training, I don't see how I would be ready in time.

We'll see. I have a little more than a week to make up my mind.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 14, 2005

T.M.I.

I am so frikkin' sweaty today.

I'm not running around or anything, but I have sweaty armpits. I have never in my life been worried about wet marks in my pits, but apparently today marks a new era in my life.

So gross.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 18, 2005

Walk This Way!

The title of this post is probably more appropriate to something I'll post on Friday.

My arms are all noodley today from working out. I'm not complaining; it's awesome.

This morning at the gym, I focused on chest and triceps because my partner was doing cardio and I don't need to do any cardio. I know. I told you already.

Anyway, I'm finding that my arms are not very interested in being straight right now. And my shoulders are trying to make me look like Quasimoto.

I am so happy that tomorrow we work on legs, which is why I should have saved the title of this post for Friday.

Anyway. I'm just loving being sore. We'll see how long the romance period lasts, though.

Oh! And I managed to fix my hairs today by afixing a comb to my steering wheel and leaning down so that my hair could be arranged by the turning of the wheel. This says a lot about the back of my hair right now, but I don't have to look at that part.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 17, 2005

Fitness with Flibby

As mentioned, I've joined a gym and I'm working out again.

My goal is to gain a bit of muscle weight and tone up. In particular, I'd like to gain some weight in my chest.

I spoke today with one of my coworkers who is a gym-bunny and he scolded me again. I say "again" because we've been over this before.

I always say I want to gain weight, but I also enjoy running and refuse to cut back. This is a problem. If you want to gain weight, you need to burn fewer calories than you burn. If you run a lot, you will burn a lot of calories, which makes it more difficult to gain weight.

As a result, I'm supposed to maintain something like a 4,500 calorie diet.

This, in my opinion, is almost worse than the weights themselves and I hate lifting weights. I just don't eat very much. I have a standing rule that I only eat when I'm hungry and there are some times when I forget to eat.

You can't forget to eat and expect to consume 4,500 calories in a day. I'm trying to be sensible and eat throughout the day, but again we have the problem of me remembering to eat. 4,500 calories doesn't happen by accident, y'all.

Yeah, so anyway, I have to go grocery shopping tonight for dinner items that weigh more than a medium-sized dog.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)