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Art of the Week

Double Feature!

Not because I’ve been good and put some pencil to paper, but because I’ve been lazy and haven’t put any pencil to paper.  The nice thing is, I have been drawing pictures long enough, that I have a pretty large backlog of stuff that has never seen the public light of day, so I should be able to fill in the Art Of The Week category for years without ever actually having to draw anything new.  I do hope to get some fresh art done soon…possibly even starting my own web comic (spoilers!).  I won’t start posting those until I get a really good backlog built up, as to not make people wait for it as much.  Here is some older, but decent stuff to enjoy, cheers!

 

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My First Miss

Since I began my journey with Weight Watchers and really exercising and trying to get back into shape, I had fanatically worked to make 10,000 steps a day, no matter what it took.  If that meant that I was on the elliptical at 11:30 at night, then that was what I had to do to get there.  It is how my mind works.  Once I set focus on something, dammit, I’m going to do it no matter what (there are plenty of places where this is a horrible character trait).  What tends to happen though, is eventually something prevents me from hitting whatever goal I set, and I collapse under the pressure I put on myself of mentally thinking, “Fuck it, I missed, I am completely done with the whole thing”.  I’m not entirely sure where I get this type of thinking from, but I often let perfect get in the way of better.

I knew it was going to happen eventually.  That thing that prevents me from hitting the goal I set for myself.  I have been trying to prepare my mind for it, so that when it happens, it doesn’t crush all of the work I had put in up to that point.  I knew it would be a struggle, and yesterday, it finally happened.

I’m not even sure what I did or when it happened.  Saturday, I did something fairly silly and arrogant.  I thought because I put in two to four miles a day on the elliptical, there is no reason that wouldn’t translate to me going over to the local high school track and doing the same thing.  Running around that track quickly reminded me of why I love the low impact elliptical almost immediately.  However, stubborn brain set in, and I continued to run, I think with horrible form and poor posture, until I had completed about two miles.  At that point, my lower legs on the inside and outside hurt so bad, that I began walking a lap, running a lap, etc., until I had hit about three miles.  At that point I returned home to rest and see if the pain would subside.  For two days, my lower legs hurt like hell.  I thought I had actually injured something, but, I kept at it, stretching multiple times during the day and still getting low impact cardio and walking in.  

Now, here comes the pain.  Monday night, still sore, but feeling better, I went to my son’s football game, and everything seemed okay.  I noticed though, that when I got home, my groin was feeling a bit tight with some minor pain.  I never did feel anything that you would normally feel when you pull a muscle, and do not know exactly when I hurt it.  I may have been overcompensating from my lower legs hurting and inadvertently put extra stress on it.  The next morning though, I’m pretty sure my groin wasn’t attached anymore.  Ripped it right off.  Oww. Pain.  Pain bad enough, I called off work and sat with ice on my jewels all day long.  Hurt to walk, hurt to move, hurt to laugh, hurt to fart, hurt to do anything at all.  So, I didn’t push it, and I missed my steps.  Like I said, I knew it would happen eventually, now I have to deal with the consequences and find a way to not mentally blow this whole thing up.  Don’t let perfect get in the way of better.

That is what today’s challenge is for me.  The good news is, I’m back at work (really busy as you can tell), and the groin doesn’t feel nearly as bad today.  However, I’m still struggling with how I want to proceed back into exercising.  It was only one day off, but I’m scared if I go full throttle back into the elliptical, I’m going to spend the next day on the couch icing again.  But, I also feel that if I don’t immediately jump back in quickly, I’ll mentally lose the fight and stop being consistent or possibly not exercising at all.  Grr!

This may seem overblown and not a big deal to most, but here is where I lose the fight every time.  This is okay, another beer won’t hurt anything, I’m already over calories so that cake won’t hurt, I haven’t exercised in a day what will another one off be, to me.  That always turns into getting completely away from plan, because it is the easy way out for me to just push it off to the side, ignore it, and just feel extremely depressed that I’m not doing it, or couldn’t do it perfectly (so why bother).  I do not want to do that, so I have done what I can to prepare myself for this mentally ahead of time.  Hopefully, being mentally ready for this day ahead of time will make a big difference.

Whew!  That is a wall of text, but one I feel better reading back through.  I think I’ll be okay this time.  I seem to have a pretty good drive to at least, get some form of exercise in that uses less groin area.  Hopefully, I’ll have some good news about where this went in the future.  Cheers!

 

 

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If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Questions and Answers

1.  What is a typical weekday like for you?  Pretty much the same, every day, up to a point.  I get to work at the latest 5:30 a.m.  I’m very fortunate that I work for a company that is really flexible with schedules, but I am pretty consistent throughout the week.  That puts me home at 2-2:30ish, where I’ve learned to immediately jump on the elliptical machine.  If I don’t do it then, it weighs on me all night that I have to do it, and I start to dread the thought.  Plus, at this time, I’m feeling pretty sleepy and like I need a nap, so it is a good time to wake my butt up by exercising.  Usually, I then just take some chill time and hang out until dinner.  After dinner, it is either busy with the budget, home improvement, games, etc. until it is time to go to either the kids football or soccer practices that last until later in the evening.  Often, when we get back from those events, the wife and I will take a walk around the neighborhood to make sure we both make it to 10,000 steps for the day.  Finally, it’s hang out in the bed messing around on my phone or tablet until I fall asleep, to repeat again the next day!

2.  Name one song that never fails to make you happy and one song that you always listen to when you’re sad.  I am so emotional with my music and such a fan of music, it is really tough to try and pick one of each.  For a happy song, “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon never fails to put a smile on my face…especially if you have seen the video with him and Chevy Chase.  For a song I listen to every time I am sad, “Numb” by Linkin Park tends to always make that playlist.

3.  Did you watch the VMA’s last night?  No, but it is something that I normally would watch.

4.  Share at least two talents that you possess. Uhhhhhhhh, wow looking at yourself for what you might be good at is tough.  I can draw a bit, but don’t really know that it is good enough that you would call it “talent”.  I suppose I can also pick things up quickly?  Not sure of what type of talent this is, I’m more of a jack of all trades, but you only have to show me something once, and it is stuck in my head and I do not need to be shown again.

5.  Share one thing that you wish you had the confidence to do.  Make decisions.  I blame it on being care free and just super easy going, but more frequently, I just do not want to upset anybody.  So, I wishy washy about, unable to have the confidence to just make the decision and deal with the possible consequences.

6. Tell us about one insecurity that people might be surprised that you have.  I don’t know if anyone would be surprised, but I have horrible self esteem.  I pretty much hate the way I look, act, and feel.  I feel extremely fortunate for my family and their support and love for me (I way out punted my coverage with my wife!).

7.  If you could be the CEO of any company, which one would you choose to lead?  CEO probably entails I lot more work than I realize, and less playing with the stuff your company produces, but if I could be the CEO and get to play around all the time, I’d have to go with LEGO.  Man, getting paid to play with Lego all day, a dream come true!

8. List at least three hobbies that make you happy.  Drawing pictures, watching sports (although my wife would argue that as much as I yell at the television that I couldn’t be enjoying it), and playing video games.  I think all of these are sort of get away from it all type hobbies, where I focus on whichever one I am doing and most of my worry fades away.  It gives me a bit of a chance, in my own mind, to live in the moment.

9.  Is there someone in your life that you wish you could say “I love you” to?  Not that I haven’t said “I love you” to recently, or couldn’t right now.  

10.  Share one cool thing that happened over the weekend.  We took the kids to a local waterfall, where we got to enjoy an afternoon playing in the water and wading down the stream a good long distance.  We then went over to a nearby park and had a small picnic, where the kids got to go play on a huge playground after they finished eating.  There is nothing in the world I enjoy doing more than spending time with my family.

 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday, friends!

…since I have updated how the diet and exercise is going.  I am still keeping on track with Weight Watchers and enjoying the meetings and community support I receive from fellow people suffering through some of the same issues I do with diet and exercise.  It is essentially the same types of things I see on many of the blogs I follow and the dieting community as a whole.  There is however, something refreshing about seeing the faces of people in the same room as me, fighting the same struggles.  The only thing I am really missing with the meetings, are really any male peers.  The group is about 95% women, and so some of the discussion topics I do not always fit in well with.  I am also a shy person, so after about six weeks, I am just now getting my voice and being comfortable speaking in front of and to them.  Overall, I still am impressed with the program, and for the most part, sticking with it well (**cough** I have had some bad points days now and again).

As far as what has always been my real challenge with losing weight, the exercise, that has also gone very well for me since joining Weight Watchers.  I have made sure that I have had over 10,000 steps a day, every day.  Exercise has always been the key to my losing weight, and I have finally found enough routine consistency in exercising, that I don’t quite feel right if I do not exercise at some point during the day.  At first, it was strictly elliptical cardio work.  Then, I mixed in quite a bit of walking and other types of cardio exercises to sweat off some weight.  Recently, I’ve added the 100 pushups and 200 situps apps to my iPhone and have begun using those as well.  Mixing it up has started to become important for me, because staring at the video screen the whole time I’m on the elliptical every day was starting to wear on me.  

Not only I am mixing up the workouts a bit more (still typically elliptical everyday) but also mixing up what I am doing while I do the workout.  Before, it was strictly whatever cool show/movie that I wanted to watch on Netflix.  Now, I mix in some Netflix with occasionally playing a touch game on my tablet while listening to a podcast, or just listening to some up tempo workout music.  It always helps me go at the exercise harder and longer if my mind is occupied elsewhere.  I love the exercises where I get done and think to myself, “Oh wow, that was the fastest hour ever!”  That doesn’t happen often, but ideally I like for exercising to be that easy for me.

So, without further ado, the amazingly long table of diet and exercise updates that brings me current from the last time I gave these updates.

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Down 16 pounds!  I’ve gotten three -5 lb stickers from Weight Watchers and my 5% goal sticker!  It may seem silly, but I really look forward to those little charms and rewards that help remind me how good it feels to make progress towards my goal.  I still have a long way to go, but I’m off to an exciting and good start.

Art of the Week

Now on Fridays!

Being born at the end of the 70s and a child of the 80s, I grew up during the video game boom.  I was into video games all throughout my childhood and watched as video games morphed from an arcade only, money eater, to a full blown in home entertainment system.  I tended to be on the cutting edge of the game systems and always was able to convince my parents that I would absolutely die if I didn’t have the newest and best console that had released.

I remember the first time I saw a Nintendo Entertainment System at the store.  A new Walmart had been built in my small town and they had set up a large display with the ability to actually play the Nintendo.  I remember just staring in awe at the television as I realized that I could possibly have (what seemed like the best graphics ever) one of these at my home, where I could play all day every day.  That first display set up allowed you to play six or so games like Kid Icarus, Metroid, Excitebike, Legend of Zelda, and the one that really stood out to me as one of the most fun for gameplay, Super Mario Brothers.  I had played this game before, on a sit down arcade unit at the local Pizza Hut, and was astonished they had fit that whole game onto a cartridge to be played anywhere.  I could not get enough of Mario and in some ways, even to this day, I still can not.  I still love to fire up an old Nintendo or equivalent and play me some Mario.

With all that Mario love, and the love to draw pictures, it stands to reason that on occasion I’d like to draw a picture of Mario.  So, without any further babbling, enjoy!


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Hiatus

So…I’ve been away from blogging for almost a month now (sorry, to my few, loyal subscribers) and I really just wanted to see how much I was getting out of blogging. The whole reason I started a blog, and kept up with it, was just for my own benefit and motivation.  I was not sure that if I stopped, that I would even miss it.

The funny thing is, I’m not sure with the time off, I even answered that question.  I did miss it, but I also have had so much less time to be able to do it, that I was not bothered by the fact that I wasn’t updating.  As with diet, exercising, and life in general, I am a creature of routine and habit, and if I am not in the habit of doing something on a regular basis (oh…say blogging), then I just sort of give up on it until it tickles my fancy to give it another go around.  I do think that I have missed it enough, and the perspective I gained about myself and thoughts as I have read what I was typing, that I think it is a good thing for me to continue, and to give it another go.

So, there will be forthcoming updates, oh yes, UPDATES!  I have many things I have watched, listened to, read, lost, found, and more that I am excited to write about.  Hopefully, with new found vigor and excitement for things to write about, this blog will be updated more regularly like it used to be.  See you around with more of my ramblings and incoherent thoughts!

Late Art of the Week

So, umm, yeah….I’m running a bit behind on everything this week.  It has been a very busy and chaotic week at both work and home, so I haven’t taken the time to blog some of my normally consistent things like my art of the week.  This one is from my daughters current favorite television show, which is currently sweeping the nation  (I’m looking at you Bronies!).  So, without further ado, here it is.


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Talk about a hard topic to think of answers to!  Maybe that should tell me something about myself, if it is that hard to come up with ten things that make me happy.  I know there are easily that many, but organizing them in my head will be interesting. These will be in no particular order of magnitude for how happy they make me, just spewing out as I think of them. 🙂

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1.  The easy one – my family.  Anything and everything I do revolves around them.  I’ve never laughed so hard, cried so hard, felt more pride in anything than I have with my family.  Every second spent with them is a blessing, and even the crummiest days are happy ones when they are around.  When they tell me they love me, nothing seems bad in the world.

2.  Sitting on the front porch swing during a summer thunderstorm.  I’m not sure I get much more relaxed and content than listening to the sound of rain pounding on the pavement.  The feeling of a cool breeze blowing through and bringing little droplets of rain to lightly splash me while I rock back and forth on the swing.  It is an oddly serene and emotional time, like almost wanting to cry, but actually just being completely happy.

3.  A pat on the back for accomplishing something.  Let’s face it, I’m a dude who needs his ego stroked a bit.  I work my ass off at my job, and am quite content to leave work everyday with just the feeling that I did all I could that day, and am satisfied with the effort.  But oh, does it make me happy when someone recognizes the amount of work and effort put forth and gives me a good pat on the back.  This works well for me everywhere – sometimes going way overboard.  I enjoy a thanks for changing a light bulb at home, which makes me happy.

4.  Wandering around with out a particular destination in mind.  I love to be in a different city, state, or country, and just wander around until I find something that sparks my interest.  It is sort of the way we take our vacations as a family.  We more or less pick a city and say we are going to spend three or four days there, and don’t really make any plans that are set in stone.  This gives us the chance to visit the city, and just wander around and enjoy the sights and everything it has to offer.

5.  Crisp, cool, Fall Sunday mornings.  Similar to a rainy summer day, a Fall morning when I wake up and it is only around 50ish degrees outside and the leaves are all colors of orange and brown, just makes me giddy inside.  That cool air, the morning dew, the slightly wet leaves carpeting the ground, just makes me content.  I wake up to that, and I know I have football coming on television later in the day, and everything feels like a fresh day, where anything can be accomplished (even though I’ll spend the whole day on my butt watching football :)).

6.  Giving a gift to someone.  It isn’t because I’m some sort of Saint who loves to give, give, give, I also enjoy receiving gifts, but not nearly as much as I love giving them out. I tend to be a much happier person when I can make other people happy.  When my wife or kids really want something, and I am able to provide it for them, that is a wonderful feeling.  When I can’t provide it for them, for money or whatever reasons, I think I feel about as low as I possibly can.  I love spoiling people!

7.  Happy endings in books, comics,  and movies that make me cry.  It is actually a sad thing, because you do not want the story to end.  You fall in love with the story, the characters, and the world that has been built.  I love becoming so engrossed that I feel everything each of the characters is feeling and having that moment of elation and joy when either they have it, or it is just a happy time.  I can actually be proud of characters in that type of medium, and I love that.

8.  Eating dinner out.  This is a really hard one right now, with trying to diet, exercise, and clean up some of my bad habits.  One of my favorite things in the world to do, is having dinner out with the family.  I love going to sit down at a restaurant and have a couple of cold beers with a big three course meal.  We get to sit around the table and chat about the day and life, all while enjoying awesome food and having someone else do the work for us.  It is relaxing for me, and it makes me happy.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t make the scale very happy, so this is something that there will be a whole lot less of going on for a while.

9.  Drawing a picture.  You can see some of that art floating around my blog here.  It doesn’t have to be very good, I’m my own worst critic.  I’m not a professional, never necessarily been considered an artist or anything of the sort.  However, what happens in my mind when I’m drawing is amazing.  The Zen like quietness and focus I can have while drawing is unparalleled almost anywhere else in my life.  As much focus and effort as it seems to take, it feels like no effort at all.  My brain shuts itself off, and I just put pencil to paper.  It is an enormous stress reliever, and I’m always happy doing it.

10.  Ugh, this is hard, and I bet when I’m done, later in the day I’ll think of about fifty more things that make me happy.  Music.  Music can bring out all different types of emotions in me.  It can change my entire day.  I can go from happy to sad and sad to happy all in a single song.  I let music affect me greatly.  I can cry in an instant to a beautiful, sad, piano song, or I can belt it out like I actually think I can sing to a song that brings that out in me.  I feel a bit like I live my life to a movie soundtrack or playlist, and all the happy moments have the proper happy song playing in the background. 

Overall, I’m pretty sure I would do much better at a things I dislike, or things that make me unhappy.  But as always, I enjoyed this week’s FMM!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Take time to get to know someone new this week, leave a few comments and come back and link up in the comments. Happy Monday, friends!

One Week In!

It has been a good long while since I’ve provided an update with how my diet and exercise has gone.  For that period of time without updates, it was because there were really no updates.  I was very sporadic in my exercise and eating routines and gained a few pounds.  That is a hard thing to swallow and write about when the theory and premise behind your blog is self improvement, dieting, and exercising.  All that being said, it felt like a great time for a change, and mainly, a kick in the ass to get the diet started.  As I said in my recent post, about joining Weight Watchers, I felt like I needed more accountability and structure in my diet.  My wife and I made the jump back into it, together, full speed ahead.

Yesterday was our second meeting, and the first weigh-in since the first meeting and getting my start weight.  It was a good first week.  I exercised every single day, made sure I got at least 10,000 steps each day, and stayed under points almost every single day.  I had a few minor slip ups and went just a bit over, but had plenty of weekly points remaining, and I did not eat any of my activity points.  It showed in the scale on the weekly weigh-in, where I was down 4.4 pounds!  That always tends to happen at the start of the diet for me, so I won’t overreact, but I am really happy that I got to get on the scale and have a good loss.

So far, so good.  Weight Watchers has started off great, and I have hardly had any moments of feeling hungry, and to this point, has given me the accountability that I was hoping for.  I really enjoy the leader of our meetings.  She seems very enthusiastic, funny, and approachable.  This makes for a much more comfortable environment for the meetings or asking her questions about the program.

To also add a nice visual representation of my diet, or at least help make a game out of it, I broke out the old weight loss jars and marbles that I swore I was going to use multiple times, but never did fully utilize them.  I bought these awhile back, at the same time my wife also bought a set of them.  It becomes a fun game to add a marble from the goal jar to the lost jar each week after weigh in.  Unfortunately, I bought jars that were really too big, so I’ve decided to use double the marbles and count each half pound.  Hopefully, this is also a boost in motivation to lose weight.

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So, here is what the week looked like, wish me luck!

Weight - Week 1

Art of the Week

Finally!  Some new art!  I made it a goal over the last week or so to take enough time out of the day to put the pencil to paper and draw something.  It is a great stress release for me, and I really should do it more frequently.  Since I have had this unexplainable addiction to the Transformers Legends iOS game lately, I felt the need to draw an old school Generation One Transformer.  Enjoy!


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