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Halfway (to a three-way?)

Yesterday marked the halfway point of this fitness jam, so I thought I'd take some off-schedule measurements and do an update. Since starting, I have

- dropped 3" from my waist (navel-level), and an inch from my hips/belt waist/whatever you want to call it
- shed 9.4 lbs
- not skipped any workouts, and only had to shorten two cardio sessions and push back a couple of lifting days to later in one week
- only had three off-marker eating days

For kicks, I dug up a group post I made three years ago (holy crap), when I had some solid results using what was called the velocity diet. That pretty much entailed protein shakes/bars forever, with just a salad or something once a week, and a three-day, full-body workout program rather than the more concentrated lifting I'm doing now, and no real cardio regimen. While my results on that six-week odyssey were more dramatic (12.8 lbs lost), I set myself up for some huge failure for when I had to segue back to real food, and judging by my bicep measurements (which are the same for the end there as they are for me currently), this lifting program is far more effective. And, to be honest, I think I look a bit better now than I did wrapping up then. I'll probably post comparison pics of both final results, once I'm done with this.

Six and a half more weeks. Easy enough.

Three weeks in.

- Weight's been hovering around 170 lbs for the past couple of weeks, but considering I spiked up to 176 not long after starting, I'll call that okay. Lowest so far was two days ago, at 168.8.

- Waist is down 2.5", been shaving a bit off thighs and hips while calves, forearms, and biceps are growing. Chest got slightly larger, same this week as last week, but I swear it's flattening out and my nipples are further apart than they used to be. Maybe I should be tracking that as an extra measurement.

- Haven't slipped more than 10g of carbs over my daily limit any day after the first couple. Kind of miss sweets, kind of don't; usually a couple grapes or a chunk or two of pineapple at work are enough to sate cravings.

- Need to invest in new weight plates soon; even just two to four 10-lbers would help. Mostly for my legs, since my hamstring curls are quickly catching up to the max amount of my tiny plates I can cram onto the post on my bench for that exercise, and calf raises are burning through rep increases using what I've got, as well. Would be nice to have one to hold for swiss ball curls, too.

- I think this is the easiest kettlebell swings have ever been for me, and I'm thinking of increasing the time I do them in warmups. Get-ups are starting to graduate to higher weights; I've been using a dumbbell to get form down before I go full blast with the kettle on those, should be there in another week or two.

After several months of slacking off, and almost as many telling myself, "Gotta start exercising again this week," I started a new program on Monday and finished the first week of lifting today. Somewhat custom program, fusing kettlebell basics with a beginner's lineup I found on T-nation, but it turned out that there's 90 days between the start point and my main goal date in early June, so I kind of feel like I'm in with the P90X crowd. Feels good. Is good. Some notes:

- Weight's stayed pretty much constant all week, but most of those weigh-ins have been with however much water I've downed and my recovery shake in me at the time. The weigh-ins that matter are slated for Sundays, even though I neglected to set starting measurements this past Sunday.

- The views in the mirror and the shower are already a bit better, so I guess something's going right regardless of the last point.

- Everything was sore for the first few days, but that's starting to subside pretty quickly, so it would seem things are getting used to being used more often.

- My calves rule number one. Today's calf raises barely registered anything at all, which means they're getting more weight and reps next week. Upper body is meh but better than it used to be, rest of legs doing pretty good considering I'm also doing an hour of cardio every. single. morning.

- I thought waking up at 4:30 AM for said cardio every day would be the first thing I ended up skimping on, but so far, so good. I almost look forward to it, even when my easily distracted self stays up a little later than necessary.

- Been eating better for a few weeks before starting up the program, so I already have a good feel for where I can go food-wise and still keep to my carb/protein/calorie benchmarks. I should really be logging more thoroughly, but I am pretty certain I'm actually keeping under the calorie mark most of the time, and hitting the other two dead on.

- Got a pair of ShapeUps a little while back as an adjunct, since I'm on my feet all the time at work and might as well put that time to use too, but there's only so much they're doing given I've been working on my feet at the majority of my jobs for the past decade and change. Regardless, they're super comfortable and keep me from dragging my feet no matter how beat I am otherwise, so a worthwhile investment.

- If I don't keep up on this track to be the prettiest princess at BC2011, someone needs to come to my house and punch me in the teeth. I'm serious. There's nothing stopping me at this point from being a fair amount of what I could (and, I think, should) actually be, physically, so slacking off is verboten.

- I would be lying if I said I wasn't partially inspired by my manager at the job I hate, who recently began reattending his gym to try and lose some weight, but does little more than bench presses and curls, and still pounds garbage like McDonald's, hot bar trash, and Chinese food on a daily basis. Never mind his excessive drinking habit. Outstripping him on that front as well as job performance would be glorious. Vengeful? Kinda. Inspirational? Plenty.

As for the routine, it's just four days of lifting (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri), split up to focus on different areas so I'm not murdering specific muscle regions in a self-defeating fashion, cardio every day (including off days). I'm considering taking Sunday off from the cardio as well as any lifting, but we'll see.

Diet-wise, the main goal is keeping things to 70g of carbs or lower on off days, 100g or lower on lift days, with as much protein as possible crammed in there every day. I'm supposed to be going as high as 2550 calories a day, but I'm not sure if I even break 2000 on a regular basis anymore, as mentioned earlier. Just not that hungry, or good at finding low-fat protein sources, I guess. Sodium's a bit harder bullet to dodge, especially when eating at work without preparing something to bring in, but I'm doing okay on that front. Not great, but okay.

So yeah, we'll see where this takes me. I might even start posting some weekly shots once I'm less shamefully built.

I'm probably being silly.

But, be okay.

The longest time.

Feeling funny. Can't remember the last time, and can't remember it coming on so fast. Cryptiiiiiiiiiiiic.

It's cold outside.

Haven't really used this for much besides following others in the longest time, but I couldn't think of anywhere else to emo out.

Growing up, I had quite the fill of nuclear family Christmas imagery and propaganda. Alternating visits to different sets of grandparents each year, presents, Santa, et cetera. On top of that, I thought, for the longest time, that I'd either be with or find someone to be with during or straight out of college, and be schlepping day to day at a mediocre but not too depressing job to help for our decent apartment or eh-grade mortgage.

It's Chrimbus 2010, and I'm pretty single. My father's passed away, and when it comes to my mother's side, her mother also died a few years back, and not long after that, my grandfather disowned my mom, my brother, and I. As for my mother herself, as much as it makes me feel like a terrible son, I've run out of patience for her numerous idiosyncracies, and there's a good chance I've put a dent in her holiday cheer by refusing to be guilt-tripped over a big nothing she was trying to turn into something. I worked today, a day most people would consider a holiday, for several rungs of incompetents whose antics constantly erode at my sanity, and will be the death of me if I don't find an out soon.

Tomorrow, I'm having dinner with the handful of family still remaining on my father's side, along with some of my uncle's family, most likely the ones whom I don't feel comfortable around because they're pretty much all successful in business and/or financial realms. Granted, I am kind of curious to see whether the whole crisis that dropped between the last time I saw any of them and now has knocked any of them down a few pegs. Then I'm off to the bar, because standing over a fryer and doing a handful of dishes over the course of a few hours felt like a better use of my time than coming home to a messy, lonely apartment.

It's not so much that I'm down that it is I'm... numb, I guess. The holidays used to be a fairly magical thing for me. I was all about decorating, lights, gifts, holiday specials, the music. Now, I'm staring at two boxes of lights I didn't even have/find time to open and string up anywhere. The 25th is just another day, one where I'm a bit lost in the whirl of hype, and wishing I could stop someplace for a bag of pretzels. And it's not as if I have much to look forward to next week, either; I'm stuck working again, late, on New Year's Eve, and at the job I hate, rather than the place I feel I could be an asset, since I know the kitchen's going to get hammered. No getting hammered in a different sense for me, either, since I have to be back at that hole at six the following morning.

This time of year has basically become something I dread, and I hate that. All I want for Christmas is to not want to punch someone in the head. And maybe someone else's family to spend some of it with. I hope all of you who do have a great time waiting for you in the morning relish it, though - don't let me bring you down, as I figure I'll get my wish sooner or later.

(And Dave, if you're reading this, no, I am nowhere near entertaining thoughts of suicide. I'm not sure what made you think that earlier, either.)

Some things I'd like.

Since I'm not having the easiest time determining whether these are wants or needs.

- a job where I don't want to smack more than 50% of my coworkers on a regular basis; half and half is fine.
- an employment situation that doesn't leave me sleeping for most of an entire day just to recover from the work week
- weekends
- homes for these two kittens
- to get down to 160 lbs and see where I need to go from there
- some pizza

This is a post.

Been hemming and hawing about how much detail I want to go into with this, but seeing as how no one read this when I posted regularly, and no one's expecting much now, whatever.

New (Fig) Leaf?>/b> - I'm attracted to someone, and it's pretty refreshing, because it seems to be more than just "I'd hit it," and the first remotely genuine infatuation I've had in a while. As opposed to, "There may be some slim chance of getting with her which would distract me from other deep-seated woes so I might as well take a crack at this," which never worked anyway. I am talking to her like a normal human being on a regular basis and enjoying it, and not trying to glean information on her by combing Facebook, Myspace, and whatnot using just her first name and proximity or workplace searches. Used to let rumors do my work, got around real well, only hurt liar's quirk et cetera.

It's crazy, right? If someone does find the original me and he is resuscitatible (resuscible? words?), feel free to burn the pod-me that's been floating around and clearly typed this.

Oh, and yeah, it's a girl. Don't tell my mom. I don't want to shatter the whole Schroedinger's Homo illusion she's got going.

For the Twitter crowd, "Triscuit." Now it might make more sense if you haven't followed closely. (All goes well and I might change her nickname to Double Stuf AWWWWWWWWW YISSSSSSSSS high fives and junk I am terrible.)

Haven't quite reached the point where I usually clam back up and start self-flagellating over how I will never find love because I can never love my fat, lazy self and must eschew the ways of the world until such a time when I can bench-press a mule, but that will be tackled as/if it comes. I have been eating better, so that might not even be as much an issue.

Other News - I have two kittens that need homes. I think the one's down with litter training, but the other's not quite grasping it. He does keep his business on a hard tile floor in the room where the litter box -is-, so I give him some credit.

I work too much, with too little to show for it. Finally forcing myself to take a vacation in August, which I am bookending with two sweet parties and spending the middle cleaning house and writing. I mean, I haven't even penned anything crappy for Destructoid lately, and it's not like I've played anything remotely new in the past year or two. My last Gamefly experiences were Lego Indiana Jones 2, which was a good time as always, and a second shot at Assassin's Creed (the first one), which still fucking sucks. I've decided that not even gamerscore can keep me playing something I can't get into. Call it evolution.

My friends consistently amaze me in little ways, and while I often wonder why those that bother with me still do, I am still a huge whore and lap that shit right up so don't stop ever. Thanks.

I kind of miss the con scene, but I kind of don't. Do they have cons where you can readily punch nerdy snots whom you feel to be out of line? Because seriously, some of Those People. Some of 'em. That, and I just care about anime soooo much less than I ever did. PAX and/or Dragon*Con are not a likely thing for me, as much as I want to and could probably afford it, getting out of both jobs, nevermind just one, on Labor Day weekend would require pulling, if not knocking out, teeth. YEAH COMMAS BITCH YOU LOVE THAT SHIT SUCK IT DOWN. I think the rest of this year is going to be just friends' parties (MYINTERNETNICKNAMEcons), maybe a stop in at Zenkai or whatever it is now, if that didn't happen yet, to check out the game room or something, and a definite push for the next MAGfest.

That's about it. It's late and I think it would be funny if I submitted myself for the casting call for The Tester. Just to do it.

Glad that's over.

My younger brother got married today, on what I did not know was the tenth anniversary of their first date. Ten years. He's been dating this broad for ten years. My mind's certainly a bit boggled.

I had an okay time. Tux looked good despite the clip-on tie and the fact they gave us cufflinks with shirts that had button cuffs. Uh, what? Managed not to kill the bride's brothers when they were being dickshits about the photographer (who's a longtime family friend) and his methods, and didn't slap the one brother's wife for being a huge cunt. It's a relief their kids are awesome and obviously have not been adversely affected by their parents, yet.

Mother pulled me aside at one point to ask, yet again, if I was homosexual, based on the fact that I asked a male friend's roommate, who happened to be at the bar at the same time as our rehearsal dinner, whether she'd seen said roommate stop by that night, since he'd texted me earlier asking me when the dinner was. What? Even after trying to explain that, she went on to make it clear that it was fine with her and her husband if that was my choice of lifestyle and I went on to get more annoyed as the rest of the evening progressed.

The fried chicken and hot roast beef were delightful, even if the fare did resemble something closer to a barbeque than a wedding, and completely shafted my cousin and any other vegetarians. It's not like they could have forgotten her in the planning, seeing as how she was a bridesmaid. Just a salad would've been a step in the right direction and not left her starving, especially since they didn't cut the cake until half the guests had gotten fed up with waiting and departed.

A mediocre DJ pandering to the country music tastes of the bride's family and an annoying encounter with my mother's dog out in their vehicle and I called it an early night. Remind me to elope if the issue ever comes up.

First post

I did not get nearly as hammered as I expected to last night. I guess that means I fail as an alcoholic. One resolution down already!

Got a little experimental with my pork, kraut, and black-eyes this year, but just the leftover veg I'm cooking off on the side smells delightful. We'll see how things turn out.

Can't find my bottle stopper jontsky so I guess I'll just have to drink all this champagne. WOOPS.

Happy 2010, people. I'll be that guy who reminds you we still technically haven't left the decade.

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