Archive for March, 2010


Last week, and now this week, have turned out to be irregular weeks for working out. Due to some unforeseen circumstances on Friday, I did not end up doing my cardio. Additionally, I did not do my strength training yesterday. The cardio I made up. I did both strength training and cardio on Monday, which was very tiring. As for yesterday, I opted out of my strength training because my shoulder was not cooperating. I did a few pushups and realized that it was not going to happen. Perhaps I overexerted myself on Monday.

So I’m down one strength training session. Since the purpose of my doing P90 is to lose weight, I’m not terribly worried about missing one day of strength training. I can add in another cardio session somewhere to make up for the calories. I’m more concerned about not hurting myself. I’m going to take my time tomorrow when I resume my strength training. That means I may go back to knee-pushups rather than standard ones for a few sessions. I also may drop my weight down a bit on a couple of exercises. I’m not body building after all.

I’m pleased with my results so far. My 30 day check in is on Monday. I’m not expecting fantastic results, and honestly I’m not expecting a lot of weight loss given my recent stress eating due to classwork and dissertation deadlines. I am feeling a bit more energetic though and I’m definitely feeling accomplished. I don’t need a scale or tape measure to tell me that.


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Buddhist For a Day

Yesterday I visited the Vietnamese Buddhist temple in town and shared lunch with a monk. I can safely say the experience was overly positive. I learned a bit about Buddhism in general and about how it was practiced at this temple in particular. I happened to show up on a day when some other college students were there as part of a class, so I participated with them a bit to learn about Buddhism from an academic perspective, but my goal was the service. I participated as much as I could (I don’t speak Vietnamese and I don’t know how the service is conducted) by sitting with my legs crossed, bowing, and chanting the mantras that I could understand (pretty much the one that was repeated: Nam Mô A Di Đà Phật).

The monk acknowledged me during the service and gave me a 100-words-or-less description of what that day’s service was about (suffering). We later discussed mindfulness and my experience with it through school. We share a common interest in psychology and he briefly explained how mantras are used in meditation (basically the same way one focuses on breathing, but add in awareness of timbre, pitch, and duration of voice to acquire harmony between voice and breathing).

I learned a bit about the bodhisattva (enlightened people who have prolonged Buddhahood to assist others in becoming enlightened) and those revered at this particular temple (Amitābha, Kuan Yin, and Ksitigarbha) and particularly enjoyed the story about Ksitigarbha, who is a bodhisattva who resides in hell and vows not to achieve Buddhahood until all hells are emptied.

I must say something about my ignorance. Upon entering the temple I walked by this enormous statue of Kuan Yin. I walked right behind it to open the door and get inside. I really didn’t even notice it was there. I realized this much later when a woman brought it to my attention outside and talked about the ritual of approaching the statue, bowing, and asking for the bodhisattva to watch over you (I think I have that right anyway), both before entering the temple and when you leave. Yup, I definitely didn’t do that on the way in, but I most certainly did so on the way out.

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This week is already shaping up to be a busy one. Here are the highlights:

  • I have a group project in Multicultural II that needs some TLC. My partner and I are researching Appalachian Americans and learning about history, culture, and implications for doing mental health work with this population. I have acquired 3-4 books on the subject and found a documentary that would be good for the presentation. I’m meeting my partner tomorrow to divide up the labor and implement a serious plan on the subject.
  • I have a book review due next week for the same class on the book “White Like Me.” So far it is a good book and I have a feeling it is one that will hold my interest to the end. I’m kind of surprised by it though. Usually when I read about White Privilege I feel really guilty for being White. This book, however, seems to take the sting out of it through it’s personal story approach and “normalization.” What I mean by that is that the author is normalizing the ickiness that comes with learning about privilege and being willing to do something about it.
  • Keeping with the Multicultural theme, I have an in-vivo experience to participate in. I’m interested in doing one based in the LGBT culture and my current plan, barring disapproval from my professor, is to go to a drag show. This is currently my only idea, so I’m hoping it is approved or something else comes along.
  • Dissertation, Dissertation, Dissertation. I’m writing on this after a hiatus from it for over a month (which puts me behind schedule). Currently working through the “personality characteristics” and “coming out process” sections and I’m formulating a plan for the section on Bronfenbrenner’s work. At some point I’ll have to post more about my dissertation so people will know what I’m talking about. Briefly: it is a look at the coming out process in gay men through the use of Rorschach inkblot variables. I’m comparing positive versus negative coming out experiences and identifying how they may present on the Rorschach. I’m hoping to learn more about the coming out process and how it affects the mental health and personality of gay men, as well as what interventions and supports can be provided for those who are experiencing the coming out process.
  • I’m planning another trip to NC. Sometime in May. I need to get my schedule figured out to determine when I can fly in. I’ve got some time but I’d like to check it off my list so I can make it a date to look forward to.
  • I’m looking for a job and for opportunities for the next year. I need to prepare for reapplying for internship and I need to strengthen my CV in the process. I have more resources in Louisville than I do in NC, but I would rather be in NC with my wife and friends. I really want to have and eat my cake! Currently I’m trolling job sites for NC and looking for opportunities in Louisville as my peers vacate their jobs. I hate everything being up in the air like this, but there is little I can do about it. I plan on defending my dissertation before I go on internship and taking the EPPP to get both of those out of the way.
  • On the fun side of things, I have another disk of Dexter Season III to watch and I will be playing D&D this weekend (in addition to my usual GURPS Saturday night game). That’s more motivation for me to get my work done during the week.

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Stepping it up

I am stepping up my workout this week. Rather than my usual 10 reps I’m doing 12 reps and instead of doing many of the “alternate” exercises I am doin the intended ones. The biggest change is push ups. I’ve been doing the ones where you bend at the knees and keeping up with the video. Today I did the regular ones and, well, it sucked. I did them to failure, but not intentionally–I just couldn’t do any more!

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I have survived 2 weeks of P90! The workouts themselves are challenging, but not impossible, and I push myself a little harder each time, especially on cardio. I feel better about myself. I can do about 80% of the cardio without stopping for a break and I feel more confident about yoga. I will be stepping up my sets this week in strength training, but keeping the weights the same (i.e., doing 12 reps instead of my usual 10). I’m not sure if I’m ready for 15lb weights yet. Once I can keep up with the video doing 15 reps with 10lbs, then I’ll consider heavier weights. Ultimately, I am still getting used to the routine of it all.

I have updated a lot of my goals on Spark People. I’m tinkering with my diet plan and I have set a weight loss goal. It is a challenging goal indeed, perhaps a bit lofty, but I’m keeping it. I am shooting for 165lbs by my next birthday. That’s about 50lbs in 1 year. I believe if I continue with my current workout schedule and tighten my diet I can achieve this goal. I can tinker more with my workouts as time goes on. I also plan on eventually adding in a bit of weekly running for extra cardio.

As far as my Spark goals are concerned, I’ve upped my water intake to 10x 8oz/day (80 oz of water daily vs. my usual 64oz), lowered my caloric/carb/fat intake and upped my protein intake (mostly to be in line with my workouts). They are all minor adjustments and they are mostly meant to help me track what I’m eating rather than punish me for eating too much/little.

In other news, I have created 10 brackets for March Madness on ESPN.com. I was bored at the airport and there is a $10/$5k prize for first and second places. Pretty confident I won’t see them, but you never know. Currently I have 2 brackets that are doing pretty well (at last count one bracket was 21 of 24 and the other 20 of 24 correct predictions). My best bracket has Murray State going all the way. THIS COULD BE THE YEAR!!! 🙂 If it is indeed the year, then the $10k prize is most likely going to be mine! GO RACERS!! I’ll update on my bracket again after the second round. There is a lot up in the air at the moment including 4 games currently being played out as I type.

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Well, I have returned to Louisville and sadly, my vacation/break is over. St. Patty’s day was fun, though it was spent at home with my roommate and a guest. We had wine, wore green, and watched Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. Guitar Hero was played as well. I was amazed at how well I played the drums after 3-4 glasses of wine.

I have a lot on my plate this week and next. I have a class project to get working on and a dissertation to continue working on. I’m hoping to have the dissertation part written by the end of the month as I am extremely behind on my schedule. I’m headed to practicum here shortly to see my one client and hoping that I can get a few intakes this week to get more clients. I’m starting to get concerned about my hours.

As for my exercise schedule, I’ve maintained it for almost two weeks now. I didn’t do my P90 strength training on Tuesday because of the gym visit with Carl. We did more there than my usual program would have me do. I’m quite thrilled actually that I’m not sore after that event. I expected to be dragging my arms on the ground yesterday and today, but I was able to do my workout today without problem and without the expected strain from Tuesday. Hooray!

I’m not sure what the rest of the day holds. I will inevitably watch the Murray State and UK games today/tonight (MSU plays in 20 min, but I have to record it because I’m meeting my client at the same time). I have a lot of reading and writing to do this weekend and I will hopefully catch up on schoolwork and dissertation a bit. My plan is to finish reading “White Like Me” and write 1-2 sections of my dissertation before Sunday. Wish me luck.

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Tuesday With Carl

I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I haven’t worked out with Carl since college and the times that we did I got my butt kicked. Whether it was lifting weights, cardio on the football field, or Taekwondo in the front yard, I always found myself pretty sore for the next few days. I’m not sure what we’re up to tomorrow, but my goal is to tag along at the gym and do my strength training there. If nothing else, he knows how to use the machines.

We’re also going to have Chinese food for lunch. It has been a while since I’ve had Chinese food and in the past I’ve had a tendency to eat as much as humanly possible. Chinese food is my Kriptonite. My goal tomorrow is to not undo my workout with my lunch. Wish me luck!

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