A September to Remember

It’s been two months since my last blog post and I wanted to give an update:

  • I’ve significantly decreased my alcohol intake. I’ve felt better because of it, too. The older I get, the less enjoyment I get from drinking heavily, and the worse the hangovers are. One or two drinks on occasion has often sufficed, and I’ve tried to choose alternatives to beer when I can. For the most part, beer isn’t a good choice for those trying to lose weight.
  • The experiment with Soylent failed. Kind of. As soon as I tried it, I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat it on it’s own. It lacks any flavor which is bad if you’re someone who enjoys tasting, but that can also help because it can be added to things like smoothies and protein shakes. I’ve spent the last week just starting to use the Soylent in my protein smoothies (2 scoops protein, 1 scoop Soylent) and found it to be an adequate meal replacement. That seems to be the way I’ll go for the next little while, especially since I have so much of both protein powder and Soylent.
  • My sleep hasn’t been terrific lately but overall I am getting up earlier, in time to make my bootcamp classes in the mornings. I’ve gone quite regularly over the past two months, actually, which I’m glad I’ve been able to do.
  • As for exercise, I’ve been going to bootcamp most days of the week, either 4 or 5, and I’ve spent the past two weeks trying extra hard to reintroduce running a few times in my week. I would like to be able to get back up to the paces I was running a year ago, but that will require some weight loss first. For now, I’m focusing on consistently running every other day between 20-45 minutes at varying speeds. I run on a treadmill indoors but did get outside for my first run in a while, and it was harder than I expected! 8km took me almost 39 minutes, which is longer than it took me to do 10km in April 2015! It’s numbers like that that make me want to keep working to improve. I have to add that I did 45 minutes of running on the treadmill, which amounts to the longest run I’ve done in ages (6 miles/almost 10k) and I felt absolutely fine at the end of it, so I’m making progress with my legs and lungs.

So, with all that said, you’d think I was able to lose some weight, but unfortunately, I haven’t lost a pound. I think I’m seeing some changes in my body but it’s still too early to see anything noticeable. My waistline may have shrunk a little, my legs might be a little slimmer, my chest may have a tiny bit more definition to it, and my arms and shoulders have definitely grown bigger. I know I’m stronger and I have more endurance, so I’m going to take all that as a positive and keep moving forward.

Weight loss is still very important for a few reasons, number one being overall health. The older we get the harder it is to lose weight, so there’s no better time than the present to take the pounds off (and hopefully keep them off.) I know I never slept better in my life than the stretch of years when I was 15-20lbs lighter. Another reason is, as mentioned, running. It comes down to math: 210lbs (current weight) is heavier than 190lbs (weight on this date 1 year ago, exactly and yes I track my weight over the years), that’s 20lbs of extra weight I’m trying to move quickly and over a long period of time. Simple math tells me it’s going to require more energy and more effort to move my body over the distance of, say, 10km at 210lbs than it did at 190lbs.

As if this blog wasn’t enough, I’m writing a fairly regular journal to also keep myself somewhat accountable. The effort is there, I just need to stay on track.

I’m hoping to lose a few pounds this month. I have a lot of confidence that no matter what, by the end of the month I’ll be in better shape, but I’d like to be 205lbs by month’s end just so I can see some progress in that department. I just want to keep this momentum up, moving forward, trying to be better every day.

Changes for 2nd Half of 2015 and Happy Canada Day

First off, for the one person who I know is reading, Happy Canada Day Parker Mason! I hope New Zealand is treating you well, my friend.

It’s just after midnight on July 1, 2015. I’ve spent the better part of the last 365 days not making a good effort on things like my diet and my health, while spending time focusing on things that, in hindsight, have been time consuming and got me off track. One major thing that happened was buying a home, packing, moving, unpacking, and settling in, which I knew would be disruptive. I’ve also spent too much time dating. [in fact, here’s one thing I’ll say about dating that I learned from Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance: for many, many people it can be exhausting, and I think I have reached that point. Too many choices, so many people, nobody is perfect!]

Over the next 6 months, I’m going to try some new things, and putting them out in the world on my blog will hold me accountable, sort of how my 30 Day Clean Eating journey worked except I don’t feel the need to post updates. So, the following are changes I’ll make as of July 1, 2015:

For the month of July, I’m going to try to stop drinking. I fully admit that I will probably have a drink or two or more in July, but I will be very careful to only have one in situations that call for it.

For the month of July, I’m going to try Soylent, which is a meal replacement that I have purchased enough of to probably last me the month. I will not be giving up food, but the idea is to have a single meal of food a day, along with Soylent, and I’ll try not to snack. I don’t expect to enjoy this but I’m going to try. My eating habits have been pretty bad the past year!

I intend to get to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. I am usually in bed after midnight (oops) and awake somewhere between 7:30am and 9am, and lately it’s been closer to 9am which is a problem for someone who wants to attend 9:30am bootcamp classes downtown.

Ideally, I’ll exercise every day, in some way shape or form. It will be bootcamp, or weights, or running. I think the one thing I’d like most is to get back into running shape, which I lost after having a great running season last spring and figuring I would just be fast forever without making much effort (I was wrong!)

None of these things are impossible. They’re routine things a person can do, and I like routines. While I’m not going to spout off excuses, I’ve had a tough time lately settling into a good routine. July is a perfect month to start fresh for a number of reasons, so hopefully I’ll be checking back toward the end of it with a good routine to speak of.

Happy Canada Day!

Overwhelmed by content 

My queues have gotten out of hand

Remember in the mid 2000s when we were able to save content for later, thanks to apps like Instapaper for reading written content later, Netflix having a queue for your movies and TV shows, TV shows slowing down in popularity on DVD and starting to be available on demand or available online?

I was having a discussion around the dinner table with family last night about content and the many ways we can get it today. Someone mentioned Popcorn Time, the app for streaming torrents. I brought up the various sports leagues (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, etc) going over the top offering their games through the Internet, on an increasing number of consoles outside of a web browser (I own a Roku 3 myself.) Another member of the family mentioned Netflix, and then the various ways around its regional restrictions. I chimed in that there’s also shomi, which has it’s own growing content library and to appealing price point for many Rogers customers (free). In a separate discussion I mentioned I have a lot of books I don’t know what to do with, many of which I haven’t read. 

I concluded that I’ve maxed out. My lists, queues, folders, saved items, bookmarks, etc have all become unmanageable, ironic considering these things were ultimately created so we could manage our content. I can’t watch enough stuff, or read quickly enough, to get to queue zero – which I liken to inbox zero for your content. There’s never been more content and there’s never been less time, so I’m going to have to tap out and consider starting again, without keeping a list. I’ll watch what’s available when I have time, and if I can’t read something then and there it’s not worth saving. 

I’ve been a servant to my queues for too long, but no more!


I went over 30 years without coffee, so why did I start now?

I recently started drinking coffee fairly regularly. For the past year or so, I’ve limited myself to the occasional Starbucks or Tim Horton’s mocha beverage. More recently, when my parents and sister both stayed with me for separate visits, I took out the coffee maker I was given ages ago by my parents and figured out how to use it. Since then, I haven’t put it away. I use it most days that I have time to drink a large cup of coffee or two, and buy different things I see in stores to try in my coffee. It’s almost a hobby, and every cup is something of an experiment.

I’m somewhat torn on coffee, though. It tastes pretty good, or at least most times it does. However, the way I used to feel after a mocha is nothing like how I feel after a cup of drip coffee. A mocha has pretty much stopped having an effect, and I’m not sure it ever did. Drip coffee will have me feeling energized but I’ll also have a bit of a headache at some point, possibly because I’m a new coffee drinker and I don’t drink it every single day, which can cause me to be a little dehydrated, so says a dietitian writing in the National Post.

I’ve been drinking coffee fairly regularly because I’ve had an increasing number of days where I have a lot going on and need to be energized. However, I’ve also had a few days where I can relax around the house, and few things are more leisurely than sipping a warm beverage at home.

Do you drink coffee? Do you have a reason for drinking it?

What’s this blog for in 2015?

Do people still blog in the old, traditional sense? It’s been a long time and I probably ought to just give it up, but I can’t. I’m still attached to this blog and domain so I figure I’ll keep renewing the minor costs associated with it and put out a post or two every few years.

Some personal updates: I turned 32 last week! I bought my first home over the winter, a condo in downtown Toronto! My anniversary at Rogers is in the fall and I’m approaching 5 years! Things are looking up!

Now, to go knock on some wood so I don’t get hit by a bus…

Any folks out there still out there reading? I’ll commit to writing a little more if there are. Post a topic suggestion if you are (except for another clean eating food diary, that’s a hard no.)

Clean Eating Day 30

I’m excited to be writing this post – so excited, it’s going up mid-day. Writing this means 30 days is up, and I can stop thinking about what I eat.

Or does it?

I’ve always been fairly aware of what I’m ingesting, but I’ve really had to dial in this past month. I think it’s a good thing to question what we eat – where it comes from, what it’s made of, what effect will eating this have on me, etc. – but I’m also of the mind that eating shouldn’t be rocket science, nor should it cause us stress. Where’s the middle ground? It’s probably always something I’ll be searching for.

I’ll have more tomorrow (results, if there are any) but for today I’ll just wrap up my meals.

Breakfast: 2 scoops cocai…I mean, protein powder, mixed in water.

Snack: another 2 scoops of protein powder after my workout at Fit Factory Fitness

Lunch: 3 eggs, 2 pieces of toast (ran out of ground meat and avocados, need to get groceries!)
Snack: a big big salad, mixed greens and dressing and breadcrumbs and chicken, after a 6k run


Dinner: since this is the end, I’m going out to the Drake 150. I have no idea what I’ll eat. I can’t even find the menu online. Suffice to say, it will be good.

Water: 12+ glasses, since the day isn’t over yet

Mood: I’m all over the place today for a million reasons, but I’m looking forward to dinner and calling it quits on counting/keeping track of food things!

Clean Eating Day 29

Nearing the end…tomorrow is the last day! And I’m running 21km in less than a week, yikes!

Breakfast: 2 scoops protein, shaken in water

Snack: 2 apples and a few spoonfuls cottage cheese

Lunch: 3 eggs, 2 pieces of toast covered in an avocado, and ground beef

Snack: about 20-25 organic Neal Brothers chips and organic hummus

Dinner: huge salad of mixed greens with chicken, dressing, bread crumbs

Water: 12 glasses

Mood: relaxed and ready for a day off of busy things, and the last day of clean eating!