fitnessing

Link loves: fitnessing

Over the years, I’ve read hundreds of articles about all aspects of fitness, but very few have ended up helping me figure out my particular dietary and exercise routines. Below are some resources that kept me informed and engaged. As with all recommendations, your mileage may vary.

tricepdips

mfpMyFitnessPal: I don’t recommend counting calories for the rest of your life. It can be obsessive and destructive for certain people. What I loved MFP for was the supportive community and the tracking tools. While I don’t count calories anymore, starting out on MFP helped me learn what a serving size was and what calories can look like. I was shocked at the calories I was consuming without realising it. MFP plus NerdFitness helped me lose 25+ pounds a few summers ago. I can now guide myself without painstaking, meticulous tracking.

nerd-fitnessNerdFitness: Great place to start if you’re interested in body weight training. There are loads of useful articles and diagrams about proper technique. On his YouTube page, there’s also a few good videos on routines you might want to try out.

scoobyScooby’s Workshop: Good articles about the fundamentals. What I found most useful about Scooby are the calculators for figuring out calorie needs and fitness planning. Of course, they are guides and not laws.

 

troutmanSTroutman: I met this dude on MyFitnessPal. Through his forum posts and tutorials, I learned a lot about protein intake  needs, developing a personalised routine, and creating a sane diet plan. He also helped debunk a lot of fitness bullshit that was rampant throughout MFP. There’s nothing especially revolutionary about his approach, but I like that he approaches fitness from an evidence-based position. I’ve never actually signed up for personal training (I don’t live near him), but I would if I could.

xxfitness

xxfitness: Especially important for the lady-identified people. A lot of the fitness communities are very broish. XXfitness is a broad community of people fitnessing the healthy way, backed by science and support.

HIT training

After months of being harassed by @CriticalMAS, I’ve finally decided to get serious about HIT training. Prior to our conversations, I’d only heard about HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which I’ve been practicing for years, with regular lapses. I loved NerdFitnessbodyweight routines (review to come) and found the perfect Tabata timer. HIIT works for improving your heart health and makes a great aerobic workout. While I did lose ~25 pounds, I didn’t feel like I gained a lot of strength. Part of my fitnessing goals is bettering my balance and gaining strength. I also need some new motivation for getting fit. I will continue to get in my aerobic exercise for mental health, but I also want to try some new things that will make me a bit more enthusiastic about not being a lazy bum.

Here’s where to begin with the HIT routine. Although you can do this at the gym with proper equipment, I am currently moving and don’t have access to a gym or gym equipment. I also have a full schedule and am extremely lazy. This program doesn’t require any equipment. My main challenge will be consistency. If I can do this a couple of times a week, I’ll be able to update any results that arise.

Keeping morale high while fitnessing

If you’ve ever tried to change your habits, no matter how far along you are, or how many times you’ve tried and failed, morale is your biggest challenge. Our bodies are fantastically elastic and will respond to any changes we make. It’s our minds that will always give up before our bodies (given that you’ve no major health problems). If you lose sight of how much progress you made and feel bad about it, remember that each small change has an impact. If you think that 5 or 10 pounds isn’t much, try and walk around with a sack of flour or a free weight for a day. That’s what your legs used to carry; that’s what your knee used to bear. When you throw down the extra weight at the end of your experiment, remember that’s how much lighter you are now.

 

average newborn: 8 lbs

average newborn: 8 lbs

dead weight

I quit!

My job, that is.

As silly as it may sound, I picked up a labor-intensive job to boost my fitness progress. It made a lot of sense at the time. Ahem. Knowing that I didn’t want to get a gym membership because I really couldn’t be bothered, plus I’d feel guilty about wasting money, what better way to get fit than to get someone else to PAY you to do it? Brilliant, right?

At first, it worked beautifully. I was breaking a sweat a few nights a week and being on my feet for 8+ hours a day. My eating got regulated (I only ate during breaks) and my mood was better. In retrospect, these endorphins primarily resulted from not sitting on my ass at an office job all day. These results were short lived, though.

Image

The [exercise + eating right = WIN] equation was supposed to work. It failed me miserably, because there was another variable looming in the midst. Motherfucking SLEEP. Damn, right. Sleep regulates your mood, your appetite, and more importantly, your hormones. Becoming nocturnal and sleeping every 36 hours severely fucked up my hormones and hunger signals. Think you can keep a vampire schedule? There’s nothing sexy about sun-starved skin and dead eyes.

That’s the story of how I added 32+ hours of physical activity to my schedule, maintained my diet, and gained 5 fucking pounds. It’s not muscle weight, don’t worry. I’ve gained a dress size in the past 3 months.

Regular sleep is the best thing you can do for your sanity, and your waist line.

how to sweat like a mothafuckin CHAMP

I’m recovering well from my injury and am looking forward to more physical exercise. Well, at least exert more energy than it took to eat Cheetos in bed. Today’s the first day I get to get my sweat on and I’m super excited. Except for the sweat part. I am very particular about smell and am especially wary of B.O. Was anyone else terrified of accidentally being the smelly kid in class that they became neurotic about their body odor and stole fragrance from their mother? No? Okay. But my obsession with smelling clean means that I’ve spent years finding the cheapest way to smell so fresh and so clean, even if you’re secretly a dirty mofo.

Step 1. Shower pre workout. If I have to explain this step, we have bigger problems.

Step 2. Dry that shit with a high performance towel. A quick drying towel means that it will harbor fewer germs if you’re too lazy to wash it often. Which you should. Germs love dank, damp places and if you find yourself harboring a lil stank even though you think you’re fucking Patrick Bateman about your hygiene routine, CHECK YO DAMN TOWELS and LAUNDER THAT SHIT.

Step 3. Love your underarms. Tough love. Give those pits the nuclear treatment. Ignore everything you think you know about aluminium causing cancer, because they don’t. They do give you nice, clean pits. The perspiration is not what causes stank, it’s when the sweat gets hot and heavy with the natural bacteria in your pit that gives you that Eau de B.O. Preventing yourself from sweating will solve that problem.

this shit is my holy grail

Pro tip: apply some in the evening after your shower. When you wake up in the AM, get another thin layer on those pits. BAM. Sweat-free nirvana.

Step 4. Moisture-wicking undergarments. If odors love damp places, there is nothing damper than whatever’s collecting in your clothes when you’re working hard. I know you betches love running in booty shorts (more power to ya), but loose shorts give you a lil more airflow.

Step 5. Post-workout: wash yo self. IMMEDIATELY. I see you guys and gals walking into Starbucks with your yoga mats and pit-stained tees. You better grab that coffee and go because the longer you sit there snapchatting your workout face, that fugue of funk is getting fetid. At best, your clothes will get permanently stained. At worst, you gonna get a rash.

Step 6. Perfume. JUST KIDDING. You can’t use cologne instead of a cleanse. Really. Not fooling anyone here. But if you have to, you can’t go wrong with Tom Ford. That musk mixing with the oud… #damn.

#bossbitch

being injured is hard work.

Watching: my favorite episode of Bob’s Burgers where Bob is just a little gay. I think we all have a little soft spot for sloppy bears. Hell, I think I slowly descending into one.

Reading: A Fine and Private Place. Paranormal is not usually my jam, but I’m reading this at the behest of my book group. Apparently it’s supposed to be fun. Ghosts having existential crises and widows who love sloppy bears, WHAT COULD GO WRONG.

Eating: I’m not even going to pretend that I’m eating well to make up for my lack of physical exercise. I’m eating for two, remember? I love noodles but was unable to get my usual fresh udon. Opted for second best and made my own version of this fried noodles (aka chow mein). Not as pretty, and with a LOT more oyster sauce and Thai chilis.

 

via Rasa Malaysia

via Rasa Malaysia

 

Exercising: Arm day, every day. I love this woman. I… definitely spent more time pretending to follow along than actually doing the movements. #whatevskis.

bootleg intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a pretty big trend amongst the anti-breakfast fascists.

Conventional dieting wisdom (we all know how well that usually works out) tells us that the most important meal of the day is breakfast: skip it at your own risk. If you forgo the first meal of the day, it can potentially lead to overeating around lunch time because you’re a goddamn glutton without any sense of self control.

There’s also a lot of buzz around how eating breakfast “jumpstarts” your metabolism. What are we, 5? Your metabolism is on all the time. Otherwise, you would be dead.

Practice IF if you want to. Or don’t. What I like is that when I shorten my eating window, I trick my brain into thinking I am eating a lot more. Instead of 3-4 meals of ~500cals each, I get to have 2 meals of ~1000cals. BAM. SATED.

homer knows what's up

homer knows what’s up

increasing NEAT: the work commute

I learned to ride a bike in 2013. I didn’t realise that it would involve so many instances of face-planting on cement, but I eventually got the hang of it. I even got around to commuting to/from work via bike.

my baby

Cycling was a huge upgrade for me. Not only for fitnessing, but also because it relieved me of riding the worst bus line in Seattle: the notorious 358.

courtesy of reddit

minor exaggeration

Check out the Yelp reviews if you don’t believe me.

I got some fresh air, renewed my faith in humanity, and gained thighs of steel. What more could a person want? Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Before the first snow of 2013, I had an epic fight with a big hill and the pavement won. Big time. Had I not had the quick reflexes to tilt my head during the fall, I’d be first in line for reconstructive face surgery right now.

Still, I look forward to getting back to cycling when spring comes and I’m less likely to kill myself on two wheels. In the meanwhile, since I’ve lost this easy bump to my daily activity levels, I have to find a suitable replacement.