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Posts Tagged ‘Spark People’

I am well on my way to collecting data for my dissertation. I have acquired IRB approval at Spalding and I’m awaiting approval at 4 other universities. Funny, the one in North Carolina is much more on their game than the local ones in Louisville. I have printed all of the documents I need and will be stuffing packets this week. I also need to purchase a couple of things, including a locking document box (which are harder to find than you might think) and an external hard drive (multipurpose since I need to back up my compy anyway). Other than that, I need to track down participants and get to it.

Friday is Match Day. I will know then where I will be for internship (or if I need to freak out a whole bunch). I’ll be glad to have an answer either way. I’m tired of waiting. I’m growing impatient for my future. I’d like to be able to say with some certainty where I will be in a year.

I have started to consider my health again. This time last year (give or take a month) I began exploring P90 and doing Sparkpeople. I’ve left the latter in the dust, but I have strong intentions to restart the former. I am 225 lbs–the heaviest I’ve ever been. Internship interviewing and all of the stress from these past few months have led to more stress eating and a tendency to want to sit and veg at the end of the day. I turn 29 in 10 days and I’d like to be healthier on for my 30th birthday than I will be on my 29th. Part of that means eating healthier and part of that means exercising regularly. I plan to jump start this process sometime in the next couple of weeks by kicking my own ass with P90X. I also intend to begin paying more attention to what I consume. Portion size is a problem as is eating when I’m not really hungry. I plan to reduce the number of times I eat fast food and how frequently I eat greasy/fried foods in general. I hardly ever drink soda anymore and I have been increasing my water intake, so I do have something to show for myself. I’d like to get back down to between 165 lbs and 175 lbs. Online BMI calculators are telling me 160-176 for a medium frame and 129-169 (BMI 19-25) for my ideal body weight. Honestly, once I’m down past 200 I’ll be happy.

Let’s see, what else? I get to visit Maggie in a couple weeks for a couple weeks. My spring break and hers bunch up against each other, so it’ll make for a nice mid semester vacation. It won’t be all play though. I will be gathering data for my dissertation at her school while I’m there. I should be visiting her from around the 7th to the 19th of March. Really looking forward to it, I must say.

That’s all for now.

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Vacation

My vacation was quite relaxing. I spent a week in North Carolina visiting my wife and Carl & Courtney. While most of the week was low key and included hanging out, watching movies, and playing Wii with my brothers-in-law, I also got to see Maggie perform and went adventuring. Really, though, it is the adventuring I wanna write about.

On Thursday the four of us went on a zipline tour using a groupon. It was a lot of fun zooming across a shallow valley and down a hill on a zipline, lemmie tell you. I was sad that they wanted to charge $30 for the 2,000 foot zipline from the top of the hill to the bottom. I’d have paid $20, but $30 was a bit steep (no pun intended) in my opinion.

Following the zipline, the girls hung out in Boone, NC, pampered themselves and met a bunch of people at a local bar. They had a lot of fun so I hear. Carl and I, on the other hand, went for a hike. A 7 mile round trip hike up Grandfather Mountain that was advertised to take about 3.5 hours buy took us about 5.5 hours. It was a very strenuous hike up about a mile or 1.5 miles up the mountain that included inclines mostly between 30 and 45 degrees, though at one point we were climbing almost straight up for about 0.5 a mile. The view at the top was worth it. Prolly one of the best scenic views I’ve seen in my life. Too bad my phone/camera was dead at the time. I’m hoping Carl will post the camera pics on Facebook.

Anyway, after I dropped our remaining water bottle down the hill from the summit (leaving us without water for the trip down) we began our race down the mountain against the sunset. I was surprised at how quickly we did it, though the last mile was pretty much in the dark. Our knees and ankles were aching pretty badly (and still are today) but we were highly motivated to get back having not only encountered bear poo on the trail, but hearing it growl at us from somewhere off the trail… The girls asked us what took so long and told us they thought we “got et by a bear.” Ha ha ha. Funny story about that….

I did a little math the next day and figured out that the hiking trip burned about 4,000 calories. According to P90, I burned just over a pound of fat on that hike. Yikes.

So, overall a great vacation. I feel quite a bit refreshed. Now back to my usual week with a busy schedule ahead of me.

EDIT: Added a few pics:

Before the Zipline

Woohoo!

Little Waterfall

I like this pic

The 7 mile hike, grueling as it was, was totally worth it

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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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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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Goals

As I may have mentioned, I have a new-ish outlook on my life. Having not (yet) matched for internship and currently participating in Clearinghouse, I am reevaluating my training and looking at areas of growth. With that, I am also setting some health goals for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I’m tired of being winded by 2 flights of stairs.

Spark People lets me track all kinds of things. I use it primarily to track my calories and food intake and document my exercise. I’m calling P90 “aerobics” and “calisthenics” as I haven’t been able to find out specifically how many calories the workout burns. In addition to food and exercise, Spark People lets me track my sleep and set other goals such as “pack a lunch daily,” “drink 8 glasses of water daily,” and one I made “eat 5x daily,” which is part of the workout (i.e., 3 meals and 2 small snacks). I don’t have a lot of accountability built into my system so I’m relying on keeping streaks going of how long I can meet my goals. It is funny how much this program, and simply changing the way/what I eat, is like the process I use in practicum to treat substance abuse and prevent relapse.

I also like that P90 comes with a spreadsheet that I can use to keep track of lots of things from my measurements (which I’m updating on my health page on the tab above) to the number of push-ups, bicep curls, etc. I do during my strength training. I can even monitor my heart-rate, but I haven’t explored that yet because I don’t have a heart-rate monitor.

Back to internship for a moment. I am currently weighing my options for the next year. If I can find an APA accredited site through Clearninghouse then it is a moot point. Otherwise, I’m looking into filling in some of my training gaps. I want to get experience doing neuropsychological assessments, working on an inpatient unit, and maybe doing some research. The plan is to gain employment in the field somewhere to facilitate this and potentially set up another practicum experience in that spirit. The job offer I have in Louisiana looks promising (work with developmentally disabled adults from a multidisciplinary perspective doing primarily case management and psychological assessment), pays well ($38k-45k), and is very flexible and understanding of my training, but I’m not sure if it will fit my training needs. There is an outside chance of doing a small number of neuropsych exams there, but those are primarily reserved for interns (yes, that’s a kick in the teeth). I will get inpatient and multidisciplinary treatment planning experience there, that’s for sure, but I’m not 100% excited about the population I would be working with.

Overall, I have a lot of things in my life that are moving in a positive direction. I feel like the pressure of life has been eased a bit and I can concentrate on making progress and improving myself. Good times.

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I’m starting to do a number of things for my health. I’ve been using Spark People on and off for a year, but I’m kind of a slacker. I like the simplicity and convenience of it, but I still find tracking things a hassle sometimes. Perhaps that’s the procrastinator in me.

Yesterday I began the Power 90 series of workouts. Several people recommended P90X, but I quickly found out that crawling before walking is essential here. I have zero experience with working out and found out yesterday that I have a long way to go even at the very beginning of the P90 series (P90, then P90M, then P90X, then P90X+). The push-ups were what killed me and my range of motion is apparently a lot more limited than I thought. I start on cardio and abs when I get home. I’m strangely looking forward to it despite how broken I feel after yesterday’s workout.

I am also starting to cook more. I bought groceries this week with the intent of cooking rather than simply eating. Years ago my wife bought me a couple of cookbooks entitled Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen and Help! My Apartment Has a Dining Room. I will be working my way through several recipes and will report back on my progress. I intend to work my way through both books a la Julie Powell, though I don’t plan on being as thorough or determined as she was about such a project.

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