Day 1: Baby Steps

Posted on June 18, 2010. Filed under: Athletic, Week 1 | Tags: , , , , , , , |


The night before Day 1 I went to bed at 9pm to make sure to get a full 8 hours of sleep. I dreamt the whole night of the day to come and when the alarm sounded I was surprised to see that I hadn’t even started my experiment yet when in my dreams I had already begun Day 2.

 

I’m not the most organized or time efficient person in the world and before I started I had scheduled the morning like this:

  • 5:00 AM:
    • Brush teeth
    • Stretch
    • Run
  • 5:30 AM:
    • make breakfast
    • take shower
    • rub down (because of my psoriasis’ recent re-emergence I’ve been rubbing myself down with shea butter)

This really didn’t work as planned and it was 5:30 until I finally got to run.

 

Running SUCKED! I didn’t make it too far before I had to stop. I was heaving and there was a very sharp pain in my throat. It really was my throat that made the whole thing impossible. There must be something in the air there, or maybe it’s the temperature or the time, but whenever I run near my house I get this excruciating pain in my throat. Later on I was tasting blood in my mouth. I spit but fortunately I didn’t see any blood. I meant to run a mile out but probably only made it half way if that. I was incredibly disappointed with myself and felt like a failure. It seems to be a general pattern that the first day of my experiments feels like an incredible failure.

 

For breakfast (which started at 6:30, not 5:30) I had Scrambled Egg Whites with Spinach and Orange. It was an interesting recipe I found on a site that seemed to be focused on losing weight, something I didn’t think to consider when I printed it out. It’s hard to focus on health when so such a majority of fitness and health driven books and websites focus on weight loss. I don’t really care about losing weight; if I lost more than 10 pounds I would be underweight!

 

 

It’s kind of strange to calorie count and also be on a strict healthy diet but not have the goal to lose weight, and it makes sense that so many health-related books would be focused on weight loss. One cookbook I found that looks incredibly promising is the “Mayo Clinic Cookbook” which has recipes and nutrition facts for meals. It doesn’t seem to have a weight loss agenda, just focused on healthy, balanced eating.

 

I had the choice between staying at Noah’s house or my house for the month and I decided it would be best to be at his place which is right next to a gym and closer to everything in general. I realized last night that my house had a huge advantage: the food. I needed healthy food, and Noah’s place was stocked with all the processed stuff I should avoid (with almost no fresh veggies or herbs). I knew my house already had the staples needed to make healthy food and thus I wouldn’t have to buy as much which is pretty important seeing as I’m as of late unemployed and already dirt poor.

 

When I told my mom I would be biking to and from the house she greatly feared for my safety (the roads are really windy with low visibility) and said she’d help with grocery costs so I could stay with Noah. After the run I had to agree that my house is very unforgiving for exercise and general location (pretty much 45 minutes away from anything…when driving!). She offered to help me with groceries (THANK YOU MOM!)!

 

I spent the rest of the day at the library researching how to calorie count and stuff. I found out I should ingest 1900 calories a day, which actually seemed like too much when I factored in all the food I’d had today. If I were to follow the plan I made initially I would have taken in only 1,280 calories so I decided to stop by a smoothie shop (since I was low on my fruit intake) and get a fruit smoothie which was 230 calories, I had 385 calories left to ingest for the whole day…pretty good for my first day, I thought that would be hard to do!

This should never be my concern for the month!

 

 

I was supposed to go to the gym at 4 but I completely forgot. I remember sitting in the library and realizing I set my phone to go off silent at 3:45. I had reminded myself earlier that tomorrow and the day after were rest days, meaning I didn’t have to worry too much about when I got to bed, so I didn’t need to go shopping or prepare the food at 5 since I didn’t have to wake up so early. In my haste to judge my own absentmindedness in already forgetting to stop worrying about making dinner right away, I forgot that I still had to go to the gym at 4, which was why I set the phone on timed silent anyway… God I am so absentminded! But I need to stop getting so down on myself, I’m sure by the end of this experiment my mind will be sharp and clear from all the healthy eating and exercising.

Oh, and here’s my (hypothesized) daily schedule (excluding rest days):

5:00 AM: Wake up, brush teeth, take pills

5:15 AM: Stretch

5:30 AM: run (the times between running and making breakfast are subject to change)

6:15 AM: Make breakfast

6:45 AM: Take shower

7:00 AM: Rub Down

7:15 AM: Record Wellness Calendar

11:00 AM: prepare lunch

4:00 PM: go to gym

5:00PM: Prepare Dinner

5:30 -6:00 PM: Eat Dinner

7:00 PM: Brush teeth, wash face

8:00 PM: Get in bed (read or whatever while in bed, I should just get in bed early in case it takes me forever to fall asleep)

9:00 PM: Sleep

 

By the way, almost forgot to say what my dinner was (lunch was at a Pho noodle house because Noah needed to be picked up around lunch time and we were both too hungry to drive around and prepare a meal. But dinner was Tofu and Broccoli Stir Fry.
I know, such a cop-out, but I thought I’d start easy, healthy and tasty for my first day. I realized pretty quickly that I can’t simply follow the rules for stir fry, I’m just too used to making it my way. I ended up putting in twice as much broccoli as directed and to make up for it twice as much bok choy. It still turned out great!

Also, my grandma got sick today, I ended up staying up until 4:30 because after I got back from the hospital I couldn’t sleep so Noah and I watched two movies (we would have watched 1 but the first movie was super depressing so we put in a comedy).

Here’s my caloric breakdown for the day:

Breakfast: 168

Salad after breakfast: 56

Lunch: 404

Smoothie after lunch: 230

Dinner: 634 (well, most likely half of that)

So I had around 1492 calories today! Pretty good for the first day…though perhaps my calculations are wrong. I definitely need to do a lot more research on what exactly to do for my diet, it’s incredibly complicated! The way I structure my diet is definitely subject to change!

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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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