Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: June 2010 Page 1 of 2

Packing In The Packing

Two weeks into this whole forced “no weigh” thing and I sort of feel like… this is how it should be.  I had initially thought that I would commit to weighing every day once I got to my goal weight, but that was assuming I got to my goal weight, and it wasn’t the last 10 lbs driving me insane.  We’ll see how I feel in two weeks when I get on the scale again.  If it’s 161 I think I may tear my hair out but I have high hopes.

Honestly, don’t have all that much to say this week, I’ve been all wakeup, work, workout, dinner, and then like an hour of internet/relax and then bed.  Some weeks, I am boring.  And that’s ok.  I even decided I was too lame to hit the midnight showing of Avatar tomorrow, but the idea of 3am bed Wednesday, then up for 10am at work Thursday, workout, home at like 8:30, then packing and up for 5am to drive?  No thanks.  Especially because the work part of it is going to be a damn tough day trying to finish up everything scheduley-like a day early.

Last Week’s Numbers:

Monday: 1895 calories in, 40 mins eliptical (500 calories out) = 1395 calories
Tuesday: 1683 calories in, 12 mile bike ride, 4 mile run (950 calories) = 733 calories
Wednesday: 1571 calories in, 45 mins weights (200 calories) = 1371 calories
Thursday: 1888 calories in, 45 mins biking (500 calories) = 1333 calories
Friday: 1443 calories in, rest day = 1443 calories
Saturday: 2008 calories in, 4.65 miles of intervals (.25 mile sprint, .25 recovery, rinse and repeat)(500 calories) = 1508 calories
Sunday: 1522 calories in, rest day = 1522

Avg cals in per day: 1712

Avg cals out per day: 378

Avg net per day: 1333

Avg deficit per day: 478, or just under 1 lb loss per week.  Dailyburn seems to agree and has me around 3.7 lbs loss per month.  It’s week 3 of not weighing and honestly?  Still pretty much loving it though I am sure curious.  I would guess I was around 159 this morning?

This week’s plan:

Monday: 10k run (750 calories)
Tuesday: cybil and weights (700 calories)
Wednesday: 10 mile bike, 5 mile run (700 calories)
Thursday: 12 mile bike and weights (600 calories)
Saturday: 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run (900 calories)

I will be traveling all day Friday so while I’m sure I’ll be bouncing off the walls after 11+ hours in the car, I doubt I’ll have time to do anything.  Saturday, we’re attending a wedding in the afternoon…but am SO excited to make use of the hotel pool and workout facilities to do a full sprint tri in the morning before.  Am I insane or what?  Sunday we have plans to rock an amusement park so I’m figuring a few miles of walking, and then Monday 11+ hours in the car again. Before that, I’m just trying to pack in all the work and workouts and uh…packing I need to do before I leave.

Most lame post ever?  Definitely in contention.  It happens.  Brain is already on vacation.  Question of the week – what do you have planned for the 4th?  Fireworks?  Veggie burgers on the grill?  Water balloon fights?  Inquiring minds want to know…

Sleepy Sleep Bot

Halfassed 5 things Friday back because my brain is friiiiiied, yo.

1.  One of the things that comes along with my promotion is I get to hire my own associate.  I am getting a kick out of this, probably more than I should.  We don’t have any internal candidates yet, and the external ones – frankly – are kind of intimidating.  Two have game project management experience since I was a freshman in college, and one has industry experience back to when I was 6.  I mean, I was a precocious child and had my multiplication tables down and was reading chapter books and all, while this person was managing projects.  They didn’t go that far back, but it’s entirely possible they were pushing pixels when I was learning how to poo poo potty.  And these people are applying to be my assistant.  I love it, but I wonder how I’d feel working for someone younger than me.

2.  Last night Zliten and I stayed up talking work until 2am with a little booze.  It felt good.  We used to do it all the time, and now we get to again!  You think working for the same place would mean less to talk about, but it’s not the case at all!  I’m sure it’s all honeymoon phase for both of us, but it feels really good to not have to vent vent vent but actually rave rave rave and bounce ideas off each other.

3.  Tonight has been a week of needing a lot of sleep.  I have dubbed myself sleepy sleep bot.  I didn’t do any morning workouts until Thursday (50 mins of biking) and I slept about 9 hours a night except last night.  My body just needed lots of rest.  The dudette abides.  Tomorrow is a very active day though – doing a 10k in the morning (outside hopefully) and some weights, and then it’s company picnic time!  Totally looking forward to an awesome day…

4.  I might be having trouble taking off weight, but Zliten decided to hop on the scale after about a month of trying to be good, and he is down 4 lbs!  Go Zliten.  We’re both at about the “I wanna lose 10 lbs” stages right now so it’s nice to see at least one of us succeeding!  Two more weeks and I get to check out my progress… not weighing for a month is hard but I think it’s been good for me.

5.  I honestly can’t think of anything else to report.  So I will make this #5 ask the audience random question happy fun time.  Would you ever work with your significant other?  Ever had to work with a weird situation?  Any awesome accomplishments this week fitness, work, life, or otherwise?  Ever feel just super tired for no reason?

Have a wonderful weekend peoples!  More substance next week, I promise.  Sorta.  If I can. 🙂

Rage, Chocolate, and Piles of Cow

It’s weird – ya know – most weeks I am dreading the Monday routine of “gingerly-putting-my toe-on-the-scale” and hoping and praying for a nice number thing.  This week, I kind of miss it.  I mean, it was not going to be good news at all.  A bachelorette party.  Dad’s day Italian food.  Celebrating my promotion unexpectedly on Friday.  These things a good weigh in does not make.  On top of it, yesterday begin that most wonderful time of the month when I want to curl up into a little ball and simultaneously curse mother nature for the inherent womanly design flaws and thank the stars for the fact for once again proving to me that I can go one more month doing nothing more motherly and responsible than trying not to kill our houseplants and hoping our iguana doesn’t get into anything too poisonous on the floor with her adventures.  So even if magic was worked somehow with the weekend crazy, that would have sent me into a fit of rage, chocolate, and piles of cow.

However, I am pretty proud of Saturday.  Between a 25 mile bike ride, a 3.1 mile run, and approximately 2 hours of constant dancing that night (if not more), estimates me at 2150 calories burnt.  In my generous estimation of consumables – I think I was at 2500, tops.  Daily burn wanted me to consume about 3500-3700 calories that day to be in the weight loss range.  Oops.  Makes sense why I was in no mood to swim the next day and have been kind of exhausted since.  Above was the beginning of the night – here’s the end…

Wheeee!  I should be freaking out that I haven’t swam much, but honestly?  Eh.  I can do the sprint bike and run distance in my sleep.  I did twice the bike distance and the full 5k on Saturday hung over and tired.  I’ve done 1.5 times the swim distance in the pool without being worse for wear.  I think the sprint distance shouldn’t be an issue.

Also, we plan to switch gyms sometime next month.  So I’ll be able to swim every day if I please.  I can do some swim training cram sessions.  Considering I’m about 2 months from the sprint tri and 3 from the olympic… I think I should be ok.  Also, is it weird that I’m a little sad to leave my old gym?  I mean, it’s bare bones and smells like sweat and grossness sometimes, and I’m sort of a minority there because I’m white, and machines are out of order sometimes, but it’s MY ghetto gym.  I know it’s because I always do this with places (apartments, jobs, anything that I can call MY place to live, work, be, etc), but you think it would be onward and upward.  Sigh.  Oh well.

This week is looking pretty mellow to last week’s crazy.  At least socially.  Work is ALWAYS crazy.  It’s good, because I am kind of exhausted from 3 days of celebration.  I was dragging ass through yesterday and though my workout went well, I sort of wanted to curl up and die for most of the day.  Today, I’m about at 80% and hoping one more good night of sleep will fix me up proper.   Our ONLY plans this weekend is our work picnic celebrating 10 million registered (yeah – I’m pretty proud of us too), and I think I’m ok with that.  Think I might pull back the crazy workouts too and make this sort of a recovery week.  I need to do at least a 10k sometime since it was a little harder than it should have been, but dial back the bike miles a bit.

Anyhoo, here is last week by the numbers:

Monday: 1604 in – 466 out (DDR and weights) = 1138

Tuesday: 1851 in – 680 out (10k run) = 1171

Wednesday: 1499 in – 546 out (20 mins bike, 20 mins arc trainer) = 953

Thursday: 1496 in – 767 out (1 hour weights, 40 min bike) = 729 (oops)

Friday: 1784 in – 0 out = 1784

Saturday: 2500 in – 2135 out (25mi bike, 5k run, 2 hours dancing) = 350 (super oops)

Sunday: 1525 in – 0 out = 1525

Avg calories in per day: 1751

Avg calories out per day: 656

Avg net calories per day: 1094

Avg deficit per day: 718, or about 1.5 lbs.  We’ll see.  Dailyburn doesn’t even think so because of the crazy deficits some days and overages others.  Good thing I’m not weighing!

So this week, my devious plan:

Monday: cybil for 40 mins (500 cals), ate 1895 calories

Tuesday: bike 12 miles, run 4 miles (800 calories), eat about 1800 calories.

Wednesday: morning bike ride (300), eat about 1500 calories

Thursday: weights (200), eat about 1500 calories

Friday: 10k run (700 calories), eat about 1800 calories

Saturday: 12 mile bike ride and weights (600 calories), eat about 2000.

Sunday: off and eat 1500 or active adventure somewhere and eat more.

That’s about it for this week.  Wishing the weather would have cooperated for more lovely afternoon bike rides and bike commutes but high 90’s with a heat index of every day above 100?  Think I’ll save the heatstroke for others. 😛  How’s your weather this week?  What do you have planned?

…and just for making it to the end, I will reward you (or punish you) with this gem.  Oh oh oh oh!

Black Holes and Celebrations

A tale today, if you don’t mind…

Five years ago, I spent 100 hour weeks trying to be in charge of a video game the wrong way.  I was thrown into a situation (will my full permission and enthusiastic coaxing) where I made up for sheer inexperience with a ridiculous amount of time invested to learn.  Late nights, frustrating mistakes I had no one else to clean up but myself – it’s as if someone game me the violin I had always wanted, but with a frayed bow, no rosin, and no sheet music and said… “ok, now play a concerto”.  I flailed at it and did the best I could, and I certainly learned a lot, but I was no virtuoso.

I left that position, taking all the knowledge gained from those 3am lessons and weeks of undoing things that only took a few hours to screw up, and was ready to apply it to my new position.  Well, I was in for a surprise – while the draw of a significant raise, about 50% of the cost of living while still being in a cool city, and finally shipping a title (and getting my name on the credits) would have pulled me away no matter what, I was disappointed with taking a step down in responsibility.  Even though my title was the same, I added my touch wherever I could – but the amazing thing about having a full team means you don’t have to do everything.  And I found out that what was left were not my favorite things about the game industry.

Meanwhile – Zliten was on a journey of his own.  He was pretty burnt out from his time in the industry.  In fact, he was the one pushing us to relocate and do something different, however, I got the job first so we made the 1200 mile trek from San Diego to Austin and moved into the smallest shoebox we could across the street from my office just in case – so I could support us on one income for a good long while if needed be. After spending a few philosophical nights talking about it, he decided to put out a few halfhearted applications.

Less than a week later – he had a job making way more than me.

We called it ridiculous money.  In that tiny little apartment, with our living expenses – we were able to tuck away more than half of what we made.  Effortlessly.  We immediately started searching for a house, which we found the next month.  That year I also bought a car – a prius with all the bells and whistles, and though I could have almost bought it outright – I put down only about 1/3 just because you never know, and made plans to pay it off over the next year – but took a 6 year loan anyway.  We hosted bbqs and parties almost every weekend, and when we didn’t we were out at the bar or the movies or shopping or doing stuff to remodel the house.  I’d get huffy sometimes that we spent too much money and declare us broke and cut down spending for a month, but I had no idea what was to come…

That August, Zliten was laid off.  I was in the throes of massive overtime and in utter despair at my job.  Things were kinda miserable.  I admit – I was jealous.  I wanted to be the one laid off.  With my heart and soul.  I didn’t really, but I was stressed, tired, pouty, and irrational.  I hadn’t had more than 2 weeks off since I was 22 and just out of college (still haven’t), and I finally, for the first time in my life, understood what Peter from Office Space meant by, if he had a million dollars, he would do nothing.  “I would relax… I would sit on my ass all day… I would do nothing.”  Now, I know I didn’t really want that, but I felt defeated.  I felt burnt.  I felt like I just wanted to both sink into myself and fade away and stand on top of any soapbox that would have me and scream as loud as I could.

I started running.  No matter what else was out of control in my life, there was something about setting a goal and pushing myself physically until I felt broken and battered and torn down.  Sort of like how I felt at work and life but *I* was in the drivers seat here.  I could turn my mind off or mull things over.  I could space out or watch myself in the mirror – and get prouder and prouder by the day that I was looking more and more like a runner.  Sometime I imagined myself doing races, sometimes I imagined myself at my goal weight, sometimes I imagined things going better at work.  That became my happy time.

I also started this blog.  I missed the creative outlet and had no idea what I wanted to do with it, but dangit, I was going to start writing again.  I had no idea if anyone would ever read it, but I just needed, as I said before, my own little soapbox.  I felt like I had a fairly unique weight loss story (just like everyone else, heh) and was definitely not like all the other weight loss bloggers I had read.  I mean, for goodness sakes – I still smoked every day, drank a lot, ate takeout most of the time, and worked in freaking video games.  If *I* could do it, anyone could and felt like if nothing else, I could share my perspective on that.

That year, Zliten’s attempt at a startup never got off the ground.  The job market was so vile here that there were at least 50 designers for each position, and he was at that weird stage of 5-6 years of experience, so he was overqualified for most positions and there was too much competition for the ones he wanted.  I spent that year still unhappy with work, though I did get a bone thrown my way and got to spend 6 months doing voice over casting, recording, and other sound work, which made me complacent for a while, and I went from jealous to sympathetic to Zliten’s plight.  I wanted a month or two off.  He was going on a year.  He ended up taking a contract job out of desperation and thought the game might be cool and land him something full time.  I ended up changing teams at work and at first thought it was an opportunity, and then thought better of it once I got there.

Nothing was working out.  I spent some time thinking about leaving the industry and pursuing education – although it’s frustrating when you’re looking into taking a huge pay cut from your position even after 4+ years of schooling for pretty much anything you consider doing.  I was feeling very lost.  The money aspect – we were making do but not tucking much away, and definitely had to budget.   We would stay home more often to save money and do without some of the things we wanted.  I am a spoiled brat in this regard, and I know others that had to make more sacrifices – but we were the only one of our friends in that position.  No one else really understood when we bowed out of things due to money.

Then – things got…better.   I got a mini-opportunity to prove myself at work.  Then another larger one.  I rocked them.  I rocked them without working the 100 hour weeks and being a kiss ass and doing things in a way that felt unnatural to me just to get the job.  I poured my heart and soul into work again and it felt GREAT!  Other things changed and Zliten started looking into getting into my company.

So I am proud to announce, after this 3 year journey…after leaving my first real job and opportunity to move halfway across the country pursuing a dream and a better life, that as of today, I am now officially a full fledged Producer – in charge of a very successful game team.  I am also extremely proud to announce – as of this Monday – Zliten is also working as a designer on the ground floor of a creative and fledgling project, and after almost two years of being un- or underemployed, finally getting to use his potential again.  And the return to stupid money doesn’t hurt (we have some catching up to do for the last two years of being *broke as shit*).

And, oh yeah – I lost 110 lbs and ran two half marathons and a billion other races.  But that’s not the focus here.  After both of us almost lost faith in our industry, in our careers, in our capacity, in our abilities – we had thought about giving up.  However, we both found the way back just when we needed to.  And now, we celebrate.  Have a great weekend all, and that thing you very very very very very very much want but feel like it’s out of reach?  Maybe just keep slogging along and it will be closer than you think.

**Apologies for the lack of silly pictures.  I can have a serious Wall of Text everyone once in a while, yes?

Deep Thought on Shallow Subjects

My brain has been all over the place.  I hope this is not the only post I can eek out this week but no promises.

In honor of Mizfit, I’m putting away my scale for a month.  I weighed today at 161.4, and I plan to start again today continue tracking all month, trying to do the healthy thing, but not weighing.  I think the scale is fucking me up psychologically, and I’m going to see what happens without it.  It’s not helping me anymore, really, so I might as well give up the ritual for a while.  My guess on what happens in a month: I get on the scale and weigh about the same thing.  Hopefully a little less.  Doubtfully more.  So just about exactly what is happening now except without the annoying ritual of weighing each morning.

I know this feeling – I’m slightly unhappy with how I look.  I was looking at old pictures and thinking “dang, I wish I looked like that again”.  From last year.  Like 5 lbs lighter.  I think it’s all in my head, but still.  However, I’m not at the point where I feel ready to do anything drastic about it.  Like January 2007 when I started actually dropping weight.  I need to accept that I’m not there right now, and not smack myself in the face with a number I’m just a little unhappy with constantly.

What I’m not unhappy with are my athletic accomplishments.  This weekend, I just rode the full olympic tri bike distance – 25 miles.  Then, on a whim, I hopped off and found an open treadmill and decided to run.  My legs were a little jello-rific at first but I shook that off in the first quarter of a mile and started feeling…STRONG.  I quit at a mile since I had my old heel hurty shoes on, and I took it supah slow (11 min mi pace) but I felt like I could have kept going, easy.  At the very least, a lazy 10 min/mi 5k.

I’ve also been able to pick up my biking pace in the last 2 weeks.  Stronger quads are stronger.  I’m pretty happy that I was able to do 3/4 of the olympic tri swimming distance in the pool without much rest (I only stopped when my mom wanted to talk to me and it wasn’t for very long each time) and think I improved my stroke with her pointers (she never swims, just waterwalks, but apparently remembered a thing or 2 about technique).  Once I start doing distance running again (just up to and a little beyond 10k, no double digits planned), I’ll feel super duper and start beating my chest and roaring.

Somehow with all this, I’ve also been able to start sneaking in weights and some stretching (not yoga, but let’s just celebrate the baby steps).  And I haven’t been working out 1 million hours per week either.  It’s all coming together nicely.  Adding back running and doing some more pool training once I have one available to me is going to screw that all up, but for now, I will rejoice.

I’ve come to a realization – so there is this saying in games (well, business as a whole but since all my professional experience is in video games it’s what I know) that there is fast, cheap, and good, and you can only reasonably have two of the three even if you’re running on all cylinders.  If you try to go for a fast and cheap product, it’s going to likely be shite unless you have all the stars align and concoct the right mixture of magical pixie dust.  If you want it fast and good, you are going to have to throw boatloads of money at it.  So on, and so forth.

I think there is a similar dichotomy with fitness, but with endurance, speed, strength, and flexibility being the operative words.  Two years ago, when I had just started running, but did 3 days a week of week of weights and stretched religiously, I was strong and flexible, but had less endurance (I almost said no endurance, but being able to DDR for 45 mins straight should count for something) and no speed.  Even further down that road, when I was a gymnast, I was super strong (sitting straddle press to handstand anyone?) and suuuuuper flexible (all 3 splits were at least 10+ degrees past 180), and I had deeeecent speed but crap for endurance.  Running a mile would have been out of the question.

Now, I’ve swung the other way.  Back when I completed my first half marathon, I was STRONG (I kept up weights x2 a week and didn’t let the reps or weight back off until the week of the race) and had some mad endurance, but I was slow as a snail and not very bendy at all.  Now, I got this whole fast thing going on even at long distances (endurance), but I’ve definitely had to scale back my weights consumption and flexibility to get there.  I don’t find I’ve lost too much, but I’m definitely not where I was at.

For some reason, I keep feeling a lot prouder of my endurance and speed accomplishments than being able to lift heavier or bend further.  And I enjoy pursuing them much more – they are BIG! GOALS! that take a LOT! OF! TRAINING! and I seem to dig that lately.  For a while I thought that it was compensating for a lack of accomplish things in other areas of my life – but now that those are back… still motivated as ever.  So that’s nice to discover.

But I’m rambling.  Let’s get with the numbers, shall we?

Anyhoo, last week’s workouts:
Monday: DDR and weights
Tuesday: 12 mile ride and 5k run (first run in my new shoes, first run in a while that felt AWESOME)
Wednesday: camp gladiator (which was way butt kicking and I loved every minute)
Thursday: 11 mile morning ride at the gym (wanted to bike commute but there was a chance of rain)
Friday: relaaaaax
Saturday: 25 mile ride, 1 mile run (4 hours of shopping)
Sunday: more relaxing

This week’s plan, I has it:
Monday: DDR and weights (450 cals burned), eat around 1600 cal
Tuesday: 10k run (750 cals burned), eat around 1800 cal
Wednesday: bike commute + weights (450 cals burned), eat around 1600
Thursday: bike commute or morning ride (300 cals burned), eat around 1500
Friday: rest, eat around 1500
Saturday: 25 mile bike, 5k run (1300 calories burned), consume around 2500 (perfect day for a bachelorette party)
Sunday: swim (400 calories), eat around 1600

Looks to me to be FULLY reasonable and doable.  I might bank a few more calories for Friday (as we want to do dinner and a movie) but we’ll see.

I’ve thrown down my plan.  What’s yours this week?

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