SE 3.0 – Interim Report – #10

My personal challenge, formerly known as “Straight Edge 3.0” was interrupted by a back injury. Well, injury may be the wrong word, it’s more an issue. The cause for my back issue was found after several sessions at the physiotherapy. It’s my bloody furniture at work.

I demanded new furniture that will fit much better to my height and habits how I usually sit at a desk. Nothing happened actually and the pain in my back gets a chronic characteristic. I personally think, that this is not fun anymore, that I’ve to suffer by sitting at a fucking desk that is much too low for me and by sitting on a chair that was already outdated twenty sodding years ago. Trust me, I’m really furious about this.

A few weeks ago, it started getting serious by Thursdays or Fridays but these days I already suffer on Mondays. I’m not quite sure for how long I’m willing to take this. I never had problems with my back, because of one simple fact, I always cared about it. And by that I do not mean, that I always trained it or made special exercises. I just mean, I simply cared in daily life and especially at work, which is the major part of my day. The ignorance I currently experience is far beyond any description.

Looking back at the first weeks of SE 3.0 I made a lot of progress. My endurance increased, I lost weight and I was able to improve my strength as well. All this progress is now lost. I’m still able to run on the treadmill for quite some time and I also do not drown in the pool after swimming a couple of lanes, but it could have been much, much better than it is right now.

I’m a little bit confused about what I should do with this whole situation. I want to stick to my project, without a single glimpse of a doubt. And I’m not willing to give the whole thing up, just because my furniture is not correct. My therapist said it very clear, ‘If it hurts and your employer doesn’t change anything, then you’ve to quit your job’

That sounds rude and pretty cynical, but she’s right to a certain degree.

You might have noticed it, swimming is now included in my sports scheduled. One time a week me and a friend of mine make it to the natatorium and swim a few lanes. Well, something about 1,500m or so. Currently it’s more about endurance than technique. But we’ll change the training focus in the future.

I cut down the gym sessions to one or two per week and I plan to include one mountain bike session per week or every second week, depending on the spare time I’ve got left for this. Due to the fact that I’m “slightly handicapped” I avoid doing any sessions at the gym that only consist of strength training. I’ve to see how it all develops in the future and if everything is getting better.

SE 3.0 – Interim Report – #7

Summer strikes the land. People were complaining during the last weeks that summer isn’t coming this year, but now is the time where we get all the heat. And this very heat is currently my main problem to actually continue my sports program.

It doesn’t really make sense to be on the treadmill running for like 40 minutes and sweat like halibut. I’ve got this serious heat problem when in motion. It’s also because my blood pressure is still very high and when doing cardio activities I literally start to glow. Another side effect is, that my cooling system is working very well and I do look as though I’ve been swimming fully clothed but rather running on a treadmill or the elliptical.

I guess, it’s quite obvious that I want to avoid such things as much as I can and on the other hand, and due to my high blood pressure, I don’t want to risk a breakdown.

my favourite July

But fortune smiled on me. My plan was to start swimming after a while of being in gym. It’s now almost four month of training and it’s time to reach for something new to prevent from boredom. Swimming has always been a joy for me and I wasn’t swimming since being in school. And by that do I mean a more tournament oriented kind of swimming. Just without an actual tournament.

I’ve been swimming on a lake here and then, but I feel like I should take this a little bit more seriously and go to the natatorium one or two times a week. The new cooling effect while doing sports and being in cool water is another thing that seems quite intriguing to me.

Honestly, it costs a lot of willpower these days to actually go to the gym. My sessions are at no more than three per week and mountain biking is currently cut off the schedule. The plan get below the 100 kg by the end of August draws more and more into a further distance, but it’s way more important to get through this period of heat without giving up the whole sports thing.

No pain – no gain. And it literally is a pain at the gym with 36°C and a humidity that’s almost tropical. I’ve ordered all things necessary for the natatorium and I hope they’ll be in my mailbox by the end of this week, that I can start swimming.

For the those of you who are in love with numbers, my weight is currently at 102 – 104 kg. Depending on what I ate and my whole condition. It’s fluctuating pretty much, but as long as the scale does not deflect I’m fine.

SE 3.0 Quick Update

There are no massive updates this week on my sports program. Everything is going well. Last weekend I ran on the treadmill for one full hour, which is a milestone for me. Longest period till then has been 40 minutes. I was just in the mood to run for that long, it wasn’t planned.

I also do not focus my training on long runs like these. The main goal is still losing weight. My scale displayed a 103,2 kg  last week, which is by far the lowest weight I’ve got in more than a year. It popped up to 105,6 kg over the weekend, but I was eating sort of “very good”, if you know what I mean.

That’s my short report and quick update for this week. There won’t be any updates over the next two weeks or so, because I’m on vacation for a couple of days. I’m not quite sure if I can manage to do any sports, but we’ll see.

SE 3.0 – Interim Report – #3

Another week, another sports report. In case you’ve missed it, Spain is the old and new European Champion in football. But that’s not what this post is actually about. The last week wasn’t a very successful one. I’ve managed to do what I wanted to, but it felt kinda hard and tough.

The weather is currently very warm and I’m that kind of person that heats up very quick. One of my main problems on the treadmill is the heat I produce. I sweat like a waterfall without actually getting any cooling. I’ve to do several breaks during a run on the treadmill. Not because I’m getting tired or something, I’m getting too warm. Like I said before, the weather is also a reason.

I’ve been in a great condition on Saturday, where I managed to stay almost three hours in the gym doing my strength program followed by endurance/cardio training. I spent only thirty minutes on the treadmill. I felt great and like I could run for hours, but I ran into another overheating problem. The rest of my gym session was spent on the elliptical. Always a good way to cool down a little bit while also burning calories.

Apart from that fact that everything felt a little bit like chewing gum, I’ve to say, that I’m getting better. I’m no longer that exhausted during the week as I was weeks before. Sports finally turns into a part of my daily living and it also doesn’t bother me, that there’s such a great loss of spare time, that I could use for other things as well. It does no longer feel like a duty, it’s more a hobby that I totally enjoy. I hope that this condition will last.

My weight decreased a tiny little bit, but not that much. Which is good actually. I don’t want to see the value on the scale to drop in an enormous speed. Which is, logically, quite unhealthy. I still stick to my nutrition plan, if one can call this a nutrition plan. Exceptions are set for the weekends. But it does not end in excessive gluttony. One pizza or something similar has to be enough and it actually does the job and calms my lust for anything else pretty well.

These are the key data for the last week of my straight ede 3.0 project. Stay tuned!

SE 3.0 – Interim Report – #1

In mid May did I announce my new personal challenge or project or whatever you want to call it named Straight Edge 3.0

A few weeks have passed since then and I actually refused to post anything about this whole thing, simply because I wanted to ensure that it is actually rolling. And it does. I finally managed to get to the gym at least four times a week and follow my workout plan. It’s basically about doing fat burning activities like treadmill, spinning and elliptical.

 

Being a commuter makes this whole thing pretty damn exhausting and my spare is shrunken to an absolute minimum since doing sports during the week. But I’ve to face this challenge. I’ve put my strength and muscle training on Fridays and it costs quite an effort to actually get the workout plan done. But it’s getting better as time passes by. My stamina has improved since the beginning. The growth of muscles is currently quite low, but that’s logical regarding the fact, that strength training is currently a very small amount of my whole workout plan.

I guess, I’ll stick to cardio training as a majority of my training plan for at least another two month. It also depends on how I make progress when it comes to losing weight and developing a better stamina.

The strength training is pretty basic at the moment. It’s mostly exercises for my back, the legs and arms. I haven’t started doing sit-ups or crunches yet. This will follow up by the end of June/beginning of July.

In cardio training is my current main focus on the treadmill. Simply because it’s something that challenges me the most and on the other hand it burns the most fat. The elliptical is more a machine that I use to “cool down”. Spinning is something in between these two. In case that I’m quite satisfied with the progress I’ll add the rowing machine to my workout plan.

My nutrition has changed more to a healthier kind. I’ve also banned things like chocolate, candy and such from my menu. In addition did I cancel Coke and Pepsi as well. There’s one day per week where I eat more “taste oriented”. The menu for the rest of the week mainly consists of fruits, vegetables and food with a high amount of protein, like chicken or curd. Several meals also include very hot chili peppers to keep the fat machine burning. Actually, after cooking such things the kitchen feels like a chemical warfare and your eyes start to burn.

As you can see, Straight Edge 3.0 is going very well and I’m quite satisfied with the current results. I do not expect a massive weight decrease right now or an ultra high stamina in just three or four weeks. The main key to success in this project is patience. The previous Straight Edge challenged were more focused on quick results and I actually had no plan on how to continue for a longer period. I hope, I can keep this up for at least half a year now.

A penis out of sight

The summer draws near. A lot of my trousers do no longer fit. Wide shirts currently feel like slim shirts. I can’t see my penis while having a piss. I’m out of breath when running around from point A to point B, no matter how far they are away from each other.

Basically, these are some of the problems, that I’ve to face at the moment and once again, it’s all my sodding fault and I’ve to get rid of these problems. The solution is quite easy to tell, but hard to turn into a reality. Sports. To be honest, it’s not that hard to turn this into a reality, the odd thing about it is to make the right decision between the good and evil conscience representatives sitting on my shoulder.

I’ve followed the advise of the good representative and took a sneak peak preview by wandering back into gym. Without a doubt, something has to happen and this is sports and a frigging healthier way of life. So I entered the treadmill and ran. So I entered the cross-trainer and crossed? Whatever, I went to gym for three days, just to get an impression, if I can handle it with my tight schedule. But, for the love of God, what else can I lose during a week, where almost all time of the day gets soaked up by sodding commuting?

 

A two hour attendance at the gym does not hurt and my social life and everything that stands in relation with it is ruined to death anyway. So here I am, the lonesome rider, doing workouts. The underdog running in the treadmill. The fatty bum-bum crossing the cross trainer. The first milestone I want to reach is to simply fit in my old sports outfits. I currently have this clothes size does not really match the body size problem.

The schedule that I have in mind will dictate that I’ve to go to the gym at least four times a week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. That’s the plan until 27th of July. My current weight is about 110 kg and I plan to reach 95 kg, but not in July. This would be unhealthy and unrealistic. The end of August or the beginning of September sounds quite good and not too dramatically unhealthy. My goal in a distant future is to level off at something between 85 to 90 kg. The last value will probably be the one that may be the more realistic one. 85 kg would be some sort of too skinny for me, as a person that is 188 cm tall.

Depending on how well everything will make progress I may go for diet as well. I don’t need to ban cigarettes anymore, because after my very first straight edge period, I kept being a non-smoker and I’m so totally happy with that. I would be even more happy, when I’ll finally manage it to have sports as a common part of my daily schedule and not as something that has to happen just because for a particular reason. Fun is the keyword.

And of course one important reason would also be that I can see my penis again when I piss. That would be awesome.

Like I did in previous “projects”, I will report progress and will also post about certain events that I’ll find important or interesting. You’ll get to read the change of numbers regularly, but I’m not currently certain on what day this is going to happen. Anyhow, you’ll get something to feed your statistic charts or whatever you want to do with these numbers. But in the end, every good sports event comes with some nicely investigated statistics.

Now you know what my current plan is and what my first goals are. I’ll keep you informed and welcome to “Straight Edge 3.0”

The grey flap

Always talking about changing gets quite odd and is simply not the bottom line I actually want to drop here. I’m saying this, because I just wanted to start this very post with words like “Something has to change” or “It’s time for a change”. But that’s basically wrong, after rethinking the choice of my words. A correct term would be something like “I’ve to continue following and influencing evolution”

So, what does that basically include. First of all, it will include a change, but for certain reasons I won’t and can’t mention it here. Details will follow in a couple of month, when everything is safe and secure to talk about here. Period.

On the other hand, I will start doing sports again, no matter what. My spare time shrunk to a minimum, which is still pissing me off, because most of the time that it has finally gotten that way is because of the incompetence of others. I’m a person that don’t like to fail because of the mistakes of others. The only fail I can accept, is when it’s based on my own faults. Messing up, just because of anybody else, is completely unacceptable.

But back to the actual point – sports. I gained an overweight that became badass dead serious. It’s like 25 to 30 kg too much and it’s getting more and more the more weeks do pass by. I’m not having a detailed and completely scheduled plan at the moment, but the basic rules are set. It’s the ban of sweets again. Nutrition has to change as a whole in my life again. Even though there’s a lot of seduction going on with commercials and ads in the supermarket popping your eyes like a needle. I simply have to learn to resist again. I pretty often think back to those days where I lived straight edge. And then I remember how lucky and happy I actually was.

It wasn’t only a thing because of the endorphins that were pumped through my body and brain in this sports period. It was also a thing that all the poisons that I once ingested were gone and my whole body fell back to its basics. This sounds pretty much like the words of an odd and creepy philosophy professor, but that’s what describes it the best. More than ever do I feel like I’ve to get back to this way of life again. I’m probably go to make certain rules again, but not that strict like I did back in the days.

The other thing that I’m currently try to improve on is my creative eye. I revisited my photo collection and reviewed all the pictures I’ve done on several journeys and it’s terrible. Apart from all the technical mistakes I made, it’s a creative disaster. Seriously, out of around 7,000 pictures I took, only a handful is actually worth using and editing. It has improved during the last couple of month, because I took a lot of effort by studying workflows of other photographers, their techniques and composing pictures itself. I underestimated how much wrong camera settings can do, to actually destroy your vision of a certain picture you have in mind.

I have tons and tons of examples in my collection to prove that particular fact and I will continue working on getting better and drift as far away as I possibly can from these terrible results. I’ve recently ordered some books to give me more theoretical understanding in the field of composing and simply seeing things creatively. One of the reasons I’m doing this, I’m tired of only working with computers and networks, they bore me to death.

These are the things for now, my plans on how to influence my own personal evolution and give certain things a flap and improve. Because improvement is what makes lives worth living.

Passions regained

This is the announcement, that I’m back on track. Well, actually, it’s just an announcement that I’m finally back to a fixed, regular schedule for my gym sessions. It’s three days a week in the morning and one day in the afternoon. I’m totally happy and completely satisfied with this new schedule, it doesn’t burn me out too much, leaves enough room to rest and I don’t have the feeling to lose to much free time. Apparently, I’ve to go to bed pretty early because the alarm clock rings at 4:00am but like I said, it’s easy to handle when you have only three days per week to get up that early. I’m also making good progress when it comes to dexterity and pure muscle strength. The dexterity is good so far and much, much better as it was in times where I was a smoker, even with my massive overweight. Even though I’m at the beginning of training my strength is as good as it was the time I let the training fade away. I was also able to increase weight on some stations in the gym. Right now, I’m focussing on chest and neck. I guess it’s pretty obvious and I don’t have to mention it explicitely that I always train belly and back. Nothing’s more important than a well trained centre. Within the next couple of weeks I will also start a protein diet to get a little boost to muscle growth and lose some fat.

Pike's place

Secondly, I’m once again a little bit more into photography. During my trip to London, I haven’t even used a whole SD card for my pics. Compared to previous trips it’s an improvement, because I used like two or three cards within one or two days. A lot of crappy pictures came up these days. Just let us say I reached a border where quality took over quantity. Whatever the case, I personally see me making progress in photography and my picture are getting better. There are still some issues with incorrect focusing and a weird usage of depth of field, but this okay for the moment. I do no longer have these completely wrong exposures. It’s natural to get a couple of pics that too bright or too dark, but you don’t have to forget that some pics are snapshot style and I’m not always rethink light and stuff before a shoot the pic. This happens from time to time.

My besty gifted me on X-mas with a nice book about Lightroom and Photoshop. I’m currently working myself through the Lightroom book and it’s giving me a blast in knowledge about digital photo development. Until a short time ago, I was using Lightroom for collecting and organizing my picture only. The whole editing always happened in Photoshop and it happened a couple of times where the final product was worse than the original picture. Lightroom is fun and it’s so awe-inspiring to see how my pictures can still develop, even those that I already abandoned.

Finally, shame on me, I still owe you an article about XBMC and a couple of nice add-ons I don’t wanna miss anymore. It’s coming. Just be patient.

Straight to the basics

I’m a kind of proud for a very good reason about myself. It’s been a while ago where I announced the “Straight edge 3.0” project and it failed epicly. Actually, I never cancelled the whole thing. It was more a permanent breaking of rules set. The worst thing wasn’t the nutrition that bothered me, it was more the fact, that I wasn’t able to get my ass off to the gym and train. This has changed during the last three weeks. It started with one single session per week and finally reached the normal rhythm that it deserves. I can also proudly announce that I found the fun in sports for me again and that it does not feel like an evil force that gets me to the gym, it’s now pure lust and passion for sports. Due to the fact that I’m no longer smoking, for 10 month now, my cardio problems weren’t as big as they were when I was a smoker and started with cardio training. Nowadays it’s not a problem to do a one hour and a half of pure cardio, back in my days as a smoker I was gasping for air after nearly thirty minutes. You can be sure that there’s no reason for me to restart smoking.

Even alcohol consumption reached its lowest level since my childhood. This, besides non-smoking, has given my life a boost. No more drunk, no more any lost days because of hung-overs. I can say, without a doubt, that I feel much healthier these days, even on those days where I wasn’t that much into sports. I still do not consider to quit the “Straight edge 3.0” project, but like I said in a post before, I don’t want to be bound that tight to a set of rules as I’ve been in the two projects before, because this would cause a lack of comfort in living. Another important thing is, I still don’t waste time by watching my weight each and every day, because it simply doesn’t make sense. I prefer the overall feel of comfort and awareness of being “healthy”. This counts much more for me than stupid digits on a weighter. Finally, you notice an improved stamina more than one pound more on your hips.

Decisive day

Today’s like one of these days where everything gets decided and it’ll show me the way. If it’s going to happen today, it’ll never happen. I speak of gym, like I mentioned in a post before, the Straight edge project is complete desaster until now. I actually do not care about the sports rules except the ones that got something to do with hand-eye coordination. It is set for this very afternoon to finally make it to the gym and get back into the vicious circle of fitness. To be honest, I gained a few more pounds and my love handle has grown seriously. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, I feel the lust for sports again and I don’t think, that I’m getting as lazy as I’ve been the last couple of weeks again. It’s curious to see how much these deary, pale winter days affect your mood and how tough it is to break out of it. Like I said, today’s the day, if it’s not going to happen today, Straight edge 3.0 will be cancelled.