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Archive for April, 2010

This week is going to be a make me or break me week. I have a presentation on Wed, a final on Thurs, and a couple more sections due on my dissertation asap. I have stepped up my workouts and am pretty much broke, so I’m not eating healthy. I start up my practicum again on Thursday, but it is out at Zorn, which is in Louisville…not within walking distance. Whatmore? My car died. Well, it won’t start, but I’m not sure about the 100 things that could be the problem, so in my mind, since I can’t afford anything and it can’t get me anywhere, it may as well be dead to me.

I got over the hump in my dissertation and I’m winding my way through another section. After this one I w,ill have two that deal specifically with the measures I am using, so they will be simple but tedious to write. I will have 2/3 of what I’m working on done by the end of the week, but my goal is to finish it all.

I ordered resistance bands, which came in the mail today. They are not the bands I ordered; they are a bait and switch. I thought I was paying $30 for a set of $60 bands (you know, nothing is full price on Amazon), but the bands I got are $45 bands. Granted, I still paid only 66% for them, but if I wanted the bands I got I would have ordered them in the first place. They work fine, but I’m (hopefully) sending them back. Yet another thing on my plate.

New House and Chuck tonight, which is exciting, but I’ll have to wait until everything is done this week to watch them. I’m an instant gratification kind of guy when it comes to my shows. I don’t know how I’ve gone almost 90 days without watching the Netflix of Dexter sitting by the tv.

This is my last week of graduate school classes…presumably ever. I have practicum supervision and dissertation (and later internship) left to complete, but they don’t count as classes. At any rate, I don’t have to buy any more text books, which is very nice.

As for P90, I am kicking my butt. I’ve been adding reps and challenging myself and I find myself exhausted, almost to the point of not being able to stand, when I complete the workouts–especially cardio and abs. I worked it out. I’ve done about 2500 crunches since I began P90. I am able to complete the cardio workout without stopping for breaks, but I can’t do all of the exercises for the full duration. The run lunges and crosshops are what get me every time. I will do them as intensely as the video, but I can only do one full rep and later a half a rep (total of 30 + 15 sec, 45 sec) of each. I continue to move and I will either run in place or do the alternative move (respectively) to keep up with the video, but it is all I can do not to sit down and rest. I’m proud of myself for that at least, even if my calves feel like 100 lb stones on fire when I’m finished.

I am taking things one day at a time and allowing for mental health time throughout the day, which has included napping, watching 30 min of tv, playing on the internet, and eating a snack. I will make it to May!

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I start phase two of P90 this week. That means I’m halfway through. Cardio hasn’t really changed, there’s just more of it. I’m expected to do 200 crunches now instead of 100, which I will continue to work my way up to (I’m at 150 now). Strength training, however, is kind of a whole new monster. I’m doing pretty much the exact same workout, but adding a few new exercises. Everything is 8-20 reps now instead of 8-15 and I’ve been pretty consistently managing 15 reps. No, where strength training becomes a monster for me is pushups. We’ve added incline pushups where you put your legs in a chair. Additionally, I was surprised with “max pushups” and “max squats” at the end of the workout where I was expected to basically do as many as I could. Squats weren’t that difficult and I stopped at 30 because I was just plain exhausted from the workout. I surprised myself by doing 25 pushups at the end. Those last 5 really sucked. For me, 25 is an accomplishment. My goal right now is to maintain that number and perhaps next week I’ll see about adding more. I figure I will begin to do them to failure in May, mostly because 25 is pretty much my failure number now.

I am moving at a constant pace on my dissertation. I am nearly finished with the lengthiest section and from there things will progress much more quickly. I’m so tired of reading research articles to support my discussion. I think I have about 12 pages of references and I’m constantly questioning my APA style regarding references.

Following my current section (a description of the coming out process and the various factors that affect this overall experience) I will discuss Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory as a means for conceptualization of both the coming out experience and gay male development. The final section of my first chapter will discuss the three measures I will be using to assess the process (Rorschach, Brief Symptom Inventory, and the Coming Out Questionnaire) and my hypotheses on what I believe each of these measures will predict. Then I have Chapter 2, which discusses my methods. While not specifically written, this section is formulaic and I know what goes where, so it will go more smoothly than the sections before it. Plenty of writing to keep me busy this week, that’s for sure.

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Progress

I maxed out all my reps tonight except for pushups. That’s 15 on everything, 5 of each lunge, and 12 of each squat progression. Two words: Jello Arms. Who would think 3 more reps would make that much of a difference. The important thing for me is that I survived and didn’t fudge/cheat. Everything was difficult, but I finished. I think I’m going to do this once a week (1 of 3 strength training sessions) and see how I manage. I’m all about baby steps but I’m not afraid to challenge myself. I intend to up my pushups by 1 per week from here on out as well. I’ll get there, but I’ll do it my way.

I’m making progress on my dissertation. The rewritten proposal will be finished by the end of the month. That is a lot of work. I am finishing up the section about the effects of the coming out process and will work on the Bronfenbrenner section over the weekend. After that I tackle the Rorschach and the Methods section. It sounds like a lot,  but I have a plan for it and I’m staying on track most of the way.

Maggie bought Changes and I’m using it as a motivational goal. I won’t get to read it until she is finished with it, which won’t take any time as soon as she sits down to devour…I mean, read it. I am still working my way through White Like Me and will be finished sometime tomorrow. A six page paper later and 95% of  my responsibilities for the semester (excluding dissertation) will be completed. Time to shower and read a couple more chapters before bed.

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We’re havin’ some fun

I laugh every time I hear Tony Horton say this in the videos.

I am gearing up for the second phase of P90. This week is my last week in the first phase so to prepare for next week I have started upping my reps a bit and generally began “trying harder.” I’ve gone from doing 8 reps on most of the exercises when I began to 12-15 reps on all of them now with the distinct exception of push ups, which continue to kick my ass. I can do about 10 before my shoulders feel like they’re going to give out, and the 7-7-7s (7 wide, 7 close, and 7 standard push ups in a row) just about kill me. I feel like I am doing them incorrectly, but every time I check myself against the video for form I find that I’m doing it right. I could go back to the push ups on my knees, but honestly things are just going to get harder from here. I figure if I can maintain my 10 push ups and slowly improve them to 15, I’ll consider that a success. We all have our weak areas. Apparently this one is one of mine.

Crunches and ab exercises are another matter. I have a love-hate relationship with the “ab ripper” videos that consist of 10 exercises X 10 reps (100 crunches in ~5 min). During the exercise I hate the world. It is hard and my belly keeps getting in the way. After the exercises I feel extremely accomplished…that is, after I spend the next couple of minutes recovering and turning over to stretch. I’ve been increasing my reps here too over the past two weeks adding 1-2 extra each time. Starting out is 10 x 10; right now I’m up to 10 x 15 (150 crunches). Next week the bar is raised to 10 x 20. Ouch.

While life has been generally stressful and my exercise routine has occasionally been interrupted, I have yet to miss an exercise. I have completed all of the routines in P90 up to this point, though for about a week and a half I played catch up a bit and did strength training and cardio (and abs) on the same day. I am officially back on track as of today having done cardio yesterday on my off day. Despite the stress, my workouts have kept me grounded. They keep me to a routine and hold me accountable. Finding time for them in the day can be a challenge, but they are a part of my schedule. If only I could be as consistent with my sleep schedule.

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I have lost seven pounds. And no, I don’t need any help finding them. I will just consider them gone and stop looking.

I passed my first 30 days of P90. It was a rocky start, but I’ve been pretty consistent and the scale tells me I’m doing just fine. As busy as I have been it has been hard to find time for the workouts and/or be motivated to do them after a full day of stuff. I will occasionally do them in the morning, but I’m not a morning person and would rather sleep in. I climbed 3 flights of stairs the other day and realized that I wasn’t winded like I usually am. Ok, maybe a little, but it was definitely an improvement.

I made omelettes tonight. Ham and cheese with some green veggies. I have only really watched people make omelettes before. I have on occasion participated in the making of omelettes, but this was my first solo omelette endeavor. It wasn’t half bad. Given the frequency with which we have most of the ingredients for these, I see more omelettes in my future. I’m looking forward to experimenting with them a bit as well. I’m open to suggestions!

Finally, I am sad about Butler (now onto the subject of basketball). I had hoped they would beat Duke and it looked good. I didn’t mind them going as far as they did after winning over Murray State. I figured, if they’re good enough to beat Murray, they better go all the way. They nearly did. Sadly, Duke ruined yet another March Madness experience for me. I don’t care for Duke, being a UK fan and still bitter about game ending long shots. For a brief moment I’d hoped the last shot had gone in if only to serve as poetic justice for Duke. Oh well. Better luck next year.

On to baseball. I need  some teams to cheer for. I’ve watched the sports seasons roll this year and participated in some degree in each thusfar. And so, I need a couple of teams to cheer for in each league. I may not watch the games, but I’ve enjoyed the spirit of sports this year and having a team to cheer for. Some of my teams have surprised me and some came very close to triumph. As for baseball, I’m not truly invested in any team. The Cubbies perhaps, but definitely definitely not the Yanks.

My horse this year for the Derby is going to be Dublin. I really want to see Make Music For Me go far as well. That’s my underdog. Sadly, Liz isn’t throwing her usual Millionaire party this year–she’s actually going to the Derby. Loser. I’ll go one year. This one prolly won’t be it though.

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Chicken Fried Porridge

I’ve only truly been successful with Chicken Fried Rice on one occasion. Since that magical meal I’ve found new ways to make it, well, interesting. Past mishaps include still-frozen veggies, uncooked rice, excessive amounts of soy/teriyaki sauce, burned veggies, burned chicken, and my personal favorite, spilling half of it on the floor. Thankfully, I’ve never undercooked the chicken.

Today I used brown rice, but I may have used too much water, as it is the consistency of porridge.  I also added okra. Did you know that okra is supposed to be slimy? I didn’t. Yes, I called Maggie to make sure I hadn’t created something horrid that I would need to run from. The end result is a thick consistency gumbo with a garden full of veggies and 1.5 lbs of chicken. It smells great and tastes decent. I can live off of this for a week, but I may need to get a 6 pack to wash it down with.

I wouldn’t classify it as a food fail, but I may change my tune in the next few days after I’ve eaten it more than once. I’m thankful Easter is this Sunday so I have some real food ahead of me 🙂

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This has not been my best week in health. I have been hit or miss with P90 due to an injured knee. I’m not sure of the cause, other than I slept on it wrong. It came on all of a sudden one morning. Anyway, I’ve been a bit reluctant to work out on it because I’m not sure how injured I am, am new to working out and don’t know what I should/shouldn’t do in this situation, and I don’t have health insurance should something bad happen. I plan on resuming P90 tonight with both of my workouts (to catch up a bit) by taking it easy and seeing how things go. I will still push myself, but I may rely on a few of the alternative exercises to help manage things.

I have been just as unproductive about my eating. I haven’t spent much time with my “Help!” book because I don’t have the general ingredients for most meals and I don’t have the money to spend on ingredients for “special meals” in the book. For now I’m relying on some of my gold standards of pasta, tuna salad, and sammiches. Pretty boring, but that’s that. I’m making an effort to increase my veggies and decrease my fat intake (I’ve missed both goals pretty consistently this week) and I’ve been very successful with my water intake. It amounts to being broke, ill motivated, and my usual stress eating. I bought some healthier food this week, including yogurt, low sodium soup, and chicken fried rice fixin’s, and I hope to create some sustainable foods for this week.

In other news, Maggie is under the weather. I would like to be in NC to take care of her, but sadly, things don’t work out that way. Send her gifts, positive thoughts, prayers, etc (whatever works for you, though she’s a big fan of gifts). I hope she feels better very soon.

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