Experiment #3: Athletic

Posted on June 16, 2010. Filed under: Athletic, Week 1 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


Fitness and Me

Sometimes I wonder if I was a vegetable in my past life. I love just laying. I love being absolutely still, reading on the couch or surfing the Internet or watching TV. Sometimes I’ll just lay in bed because I dread moving. I’ve been blessed with a fast metabolism and a small build but don’t be fooled. I’m the laziest person I know. My favorite part of the day is either dinner time or bed time. If someone from the future came up to me and told me I would become very fat when I got older I’d say “yeah, I’m well aware of that, you seriously traveled time to tell me??”

 

I did attempt to work out for a while, and it was great, but also terrible. Running is alright and I can imagine it being fun. Working out (lifting weights, doing crunches etc) I HATE! I don’t know where to begin or where to end. It begins to make me feel incredibly helpless and angry, and then on top of that the straining makes me feel even more helpless. Also, I don’t generally like the idea of working out, I like working for a goal, and if the goal is so intangible as “Well, I’ll look really good in a few weeks!”
then it doesn’t feel like I’m achieving anything short term.

 

Sports, well, not my thing either, in fact I’d have to say the sports section in the newspaper and ESPN are the places you will never find me focusing one brain cell on. I used to play basketball for 6 years from Kindergarten to 6th grade. They called me “the glue” I was crazy good at defense. I think it was the Asian in me, but I darted left and right like nobody’s business. Still, in the whole 6 years of playing I only made 1 basket, and I rarely would watch my own games. I also used to ride horses passionately until the habit got to be too expensive.

 

I think what makes the idea of fitness so daunting is also the consistency it requires. I’m not the most consistent person in the world, in fact I abhor routine and the like. No day is ever the same as before. I couldn’t even describe my typical day because there is no typical day. The most consistent thing I do is take my daily thyroid pill in the morning, and what time in the morning is always subjective, so I couldn’t even count that.

 

So overall, I’d say fitness and especially sports are in a dark dusty corner of my brain…which makes this experiment all the more interesting!

 

What’s going to happen?

I think I’m going to tackle both fitness and regiment in this month.

  • Everything I can schedule will be scheduled.
  • I will have a wellness calendar stating when I exercised, what I did, and how I felt.
  • I’ll be recording hours of sleep, calorie intake, energy levels, and miles run.
  • Every morning (except Fridays and Saturdays) will begin at 5 AM and end at 9PM.
  • Fridays and Saturdays will be my rest days (it says in the various fitness books that I need to have some rest days in the week).
  • My diet will be very healthy and balanced. I will make sure to post what I’ve eaten, how much, and the nutrition facts.
  • I’ll start my morning with a jog, end the day at the gym, and I’ll try to use my bike to get anywhere and everywhere.
  • When I’m not being active I’ll sit down and watch some ESPN or any other sports channel or I’ll read about fitness/sports online or in a book.
  • I’ll try to do as many sports as possible and attempt to surround myself with other athletic people.

 

This will most likely be a very difficult month, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up, but Noah has accepted the new role of drill sergeant and will drag me out of bed if need be. There are many different types of athletic people: some do it for the looks, some do it to train for a specific sport, some do it for health, and others do it because they enjoy it. I want to aim for health and try to enjoy it. I want this to consume me, to be my every being.

 

I expect that I will learn a lot from this month and it will most likely be one of the hardest months, but I’m excited to see just exactly what happens.

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Day 26: Raw

Posted on June 4, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 4 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Today was a special day: a release event for a magazine which featured my drawings! It was a school magazine, and the committee accepting submissions had been extra harsh this year, so I felt privileged to get in! The release event was held at the school and there was free catered food. Unfortunately I could only enjoy the asparagus, bread, pita crackers, and hummus L

Meanwhile, Noah’s plate was piled with a burger some delicious looking asparagus dip. Some sort of ravioli, and various other goodies.

Jerk.

Little did I know I was in for a delicious treat. The New Age bookstore I frequented was having raw foodist Jennifer Cornbleet come in and promote her new book “Raw for Dessert“. During the event she made upside down berry cake within 10 minutes and it was DELICIOUS! I decided my mom would really appreciate the book as an early birthday gift and so I got it. I’m really looking forward to making some recipes as they are not only incredibly healthy but automatically gluten, wheat, and dairy free. They also aren’t artificially sweetened with sugar! But the BIG kicker is that they are SO EASY TO MAKE!! The ingredients are minimal and the process almost always simply requires a blender or food processor. None of the science behind baking but way more of the healthful benefits!

 

I’m honestly shocked this diet isn’t more popular! I’ve met a few people who did it for a while, but I never heard them mention anything special or beneficial! Not to say I’m a total convert now, but I definitely want to try to have more raw foods in my diet. They sound super healthy and most importantly EASY! I wish I went raw for this experiment, but I know I would have DIED if that happened (figuratively, of course!).

Things seem to be going downhill for me lately though… I’ve been feeling really stagnant and depressed. I don’t know how much of it has to do with this experiment or maybe the fact I’m going through finals and my brain function has been at an all time low. My motivation is rapidly declining, and I’m beginning to take more naps and want to spend time alone. I wish I knew where this stemmed from, and why it’s happening now. I’ve got a few theories:

  • A multitude of obligations are piling up on me and I feel guilty for not making the needed phone calls to get them done
  • Being someone I’m not is making me depressed and lost
  • Eating large amounts of soy which has been correlated with some ADD symptoms has deteriorated my concentration and thus made me depressed
  • My perfectionism regarding this blog and the fact I’m not meeting my personal standards is wearing on me
  • The fact that I’m graduating soon and my life is amount to change dramatically
  • The fact I’m beginning to get psoriasis from all the stress of the above and knowing a spiral of me being stressed then stressing about being stressed because of psoriasis etc. (a post on my psoriasis predicament)

 

Somehow I must press on, and continue this experiment until it’s over (which is very soon!) but I feel like more and more of a failure and it’s killing me! Also, I’m having less and less to do, and no time to set up something. It doesn’t help that finals are coming at me full swing, I wish I could have done a better job, it feels like an insult to all New Agers out there to not fully represent who they are and that’s the first thing I DON’T want to happen in this whole experiment.

 

But I will press on, and this is only, hopefully a fleeting feeling. Perhaps I just need to take a nice shower and eat some sweets and I’ll feel better tomorrow!

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Day 19: Food

Posted on May 28, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |


This morning Noah and I made Thai pizza! I was pretty hesitant about the idea of meatless, cheeseless, TOMATOLESS pizza but on the website I got it from it was highly rated and all the reviews were positive. It turned out delicious; and was pretty easy to make!

Vegan Thai Pizza Recipe


 

At 7:30 today I went to a session called “Building your own Theology”. It was in the church program and it sounded really cool. I already have my own ideas about spirituality before this experiment even and I used to kind of joke about having my own religion. The session unfortunately was the wrong one for me to go to: it was a concluding session where everyone who was at the workshops before talked about how they wanted to change things for the next cycle. They also talked about their own theologies they developed from the workshop. It seemed that their spirituality was more fluid than mine. My spirituality is much more grounded, much more focused on specific principles and ideas.

 

My spirituality is based on logic: what has been scientifically studied, what is proven to be beneficial, what just makes sense? The supernatural to me isn’t something necessarily divine but something we can’t understand yet still exists in some form. What if the 4th dimension is the spirit world, we just don’t know how else to describe it? I used to think I was turning into an “unwilling atheist” before this; spirituality and religion just weren’t my thing. I think that’s the only part about New Age I don’t like: it’s not grounded enough. I want a reason why; not necessarily a scientific reason but a logical one!

 

This session brought me back to who I am a little. Yes, I can really appreciate New Age and I really like it, but am I really one of them? I think I’ve been focused on what I can understand and not so much on personal values. I suppose that’s what makes a person fit in their personality type: they value it.

 

I do value aspects of spirituality, but I don’t know if I’m at that point where I can imagine it being a complete necessity to life. But then again, it is somewhat of a necessity, at least in the context of atheism. I’m not one to stereotype; in fact I’d heard about the poor attitude of Atheists from friends but never judged until I came in contact with them. They seemed bitter and condescending. I don’t know how much of it has to do with lack of spirituality or lack of something else but I greatly preferred the attitudes of their Christian counterparts who at least seemed to try to focus on good and better themselves internally.

After the session we went home to make some vegan Shepard’s Pie. I’m not really one for dense European food, but Noah was raised with it, and I thought he deserved a treat for being stuck with me and my parents (with none of his comfort foods) plus the recipe said it was the vegan dish you could give to your meat-eating husbands, and I had to test it out.

Vegan Shepard’s Pie recipe


 

I realized something kind of strange: I’m not at all accustomed to European food! Sure, I can have burgers, French fries, pizza etc but corned beef cabbage and shepard’s pie are too dense for me. I like foods that have a fresh feeling to them, and those kinds of foods don’t really emphasize that. It’s weird because I’ve always considered myself predominantly white but I’m much more accustomed to Asian food that typical “white people” food.

 

This dish was a success in the sense that Noah loved it but I was just looking forward to eating the veggies. I can’t say it was bad but it definitely wasn’t the kind of food I liked. I can’t imagine eating the original kind! I would die! My mom tried it and she seemed overwhelmed too. Interesting how people value their tastes. Noah values hardy, Dense, rich foods with meat, potatoes and bread. I value light, fresh, flavorful foods with vegetables, sauce, and rice. That seems to be a common thing I see between men and women. Is it cultural or biological?

 

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Day 12: Relapse

Posted on May 19, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 2 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Despite the fact I’ve been able to watch TV, go online, and eat animal products to my heart’s desire, the transition back to New Age is a rough and rocky road.
The night before I had Thai food with Noah at our favorite Thai restaurant. I was greatly looking forward to being vegan again because it would force me to eat healthy. I got a delicious stir fry with chicken and was looking forward to eating it the next day. This morning I realized I couldn’t eat the leftovers; there was CHICKEN in it, how stupid of me! I was also looking forward to the peacefulness New Age brought me.

 

It seemed my medicine bag significantly helped me deal with my negative emotions because whenever I was without it I felt volatile but whenever I wore it during the day frustrations didn’t seem to bother me. This is really interesting because I was convinced the medicine bag was doing nothing for the longest time so I have my doubts on the placebo effect. Though I was intensely hoping it would work because I really wanted it to, so maybe it’s The Secret? However it happened to work, it worked!

 

Today, I woke up at 10:30. It was so amazing to be able to genuinely rest! I know I mentioned this in my last post but I can’t help myself; it was so good! Being able to just relax and lay in bed is one of my greatest weaknesses: it’s like a drug. It reminded me of finishing girly girl and being voluntarily bedridden for spring break (instead of partying, I was on the internet!). After a while it began to depress me but not enough to stop. I had relapsed into my internet addiction, and there was no turning back. I couldn’t go on a computer without checking my favorite sites. Things seemed to escalate pretty quickly, and it was only when I decided on New Age and began the experiment when things changed.

 

Speaking of girly, the weather was nice so I got to wear my really cute dress I got in Vegas! Too bad it was only nice weather for the morning, then things got really bad pretty quick!

 

I only got about 2 days of internet time for this break, but today I realized how far I’d relapsed when I caught myself going on Cracked.com for no good reason. It was disappointing and a little frightening; I’d always considered myself in complete control of my impulses, that it wasn’t my impulses I needed to keep in check it was my laziness.
For some reason, the Internet had a pull on me I couldn’t resist. Vegas and I may not have chemistry but the internet always incites a passionate and scandalous affair. Poor Noah; sometimes he even complains about how he’s losing me to its charms.

 

Perhaps taking a break isn’t such a good idea after all. I just need to develop some sort of anti-laziness formula for these experiments. It makes things that much harder though when I’m so busy in general. I hate being busy; I hate it more than being lazy! I always see busy people and how pompous they act about their “full” lives; “sorry, we can’t hang out this weekend, or the next, I have a life you know…” and I guess it’s not that I really resent them. I more resent myself for trying to become like that, like I was wasting too much time enjoying myself instead of running around having obligations to other people. Being one of them I realize at times I have even less of a life than before I was busy; before I was busy Noah and I would just sit in his room all day doing nothing but enjoying each other’s company.

 

I think that’s a hard thing to accomplish with New Age: how do I experience the full spectrum of what it’s like to be New Age while valuing spare time? Aren’t New Age people supposed to be anti-busy? I mean, busy people are usually stressed out people who work too hard and are a bit high-strung right? So then New Age people can’t be too busy! But I need to read a mountain of books and try a year’s worth of activities in just a month. I’m not making good time on this thing.

 

Anyway, it was a gradual easing in today. Not an incredible amount of progress, but many revelations nonetheless. I made another giant dish of stir fry tonight along with some homemade sauce. I REALLY NEED to start making some different vegan recipes!! Vegan recipes intimidate me: anything with substitute meat, eggs, or dairy makes me cringe. I can’t help it; I just have this strong association with vegan food being a crappy sub-par substitute for the real thing. I kinda want to make a cookbook called “Naturally Vegan” with recipes that aren’t replacing old favorites but were originally made and just happen to not have any of the offending ingredients in them.

Completely irrelevant, but here’s a list in progress of benign foods that greatly intimidate me (not for political reasons, and most I still eat and like):

  1. Bananas (made me so constipated one time I had to go to the ER)
  2. Oranges
  3. Mexican food (I can’t eat it without looking like an idiot)
  4. Vegan pastries (usually really dry, and most likely the cook of them is anticipating your reaction while you eat them)
  5. Crappy burgers (from cafeterias, convenience stores etc. )
  6. Mangoes (I can’t eat it without looking like a dumbass, also the stringies get in my teeth at the only times when I don’t have floss nearby)
  7. Kiwis
  8. Wendy’s (the 2 times I ate there, I got sick)
  9. Pho noodle soup
  10. Flax oil
  11. Food with tofu in it instead of meat
  12. Garbanzo beans
  13. Pickles
  14. Mustard
  15. Okra

 

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