LGN 11: And other themes for 2010

Click here to see all of my LGN (I want to Look Good Naked) posts.

Oh!  Did I mention that the company I work for was bought the other week?  Apparently I’m now an employee of one of the biggest defense contractors in existence.  Every time I try to join a small company for all of the small company perks it gets bought by a big corporation.

Huh.  Interesting.

I have suddenly become a fan of hummus.  It’s going to be my all-purpose spread and dip.  Kalamata olives aren’t bad either.  A little salty but good.

Even guys with two left feet
Come out okay if the girl is sweet
If by chance their cheeks should meet while dancing
Proving that the best things happen while you dance

 

Debt free in 2010

I am completely debt free as of January 22, 2010.  Credit card debt free.  For the first time in 20 years since I got that first credit card in college and bought an acoustic electric bass.  It was a wild ride.  I know it’s best to not cancel a card but I’m really tempted.   Did I tell you about the credit card company screwiness?

Back in December they sent me two letters, one for each card.  And that was a mistake, by the way.  I applied for a second credit card to transfer the balance of much of it from one to the other.  Turns out it was with the same company/bank and guess what.  You can’t transfer to a card from the same company, apparently.  At least that was the deal at the time.

Anyway, got two letters saying that they were lowering my limits because of past late payments and not  using the cards enough.  One of them they slashed by 90%.  This was about three weeks before Christmas, by the way, which I thought would be counterproductive for them.  Oh.  And they raised the interest rates … again.  One of the cards has a 30% APR now.

Keep in mind that when they lower the limit of your card that may result in your balance being over the new, lower limit.

So I scheduled payments through my bank account for ASAP.  Notice from the bank that they transferred the money.  There’s a two or three day delay.  I don’t know if this was coincidence or not but I suddenly had service and charge fees between the time the money was transferred and the time when it would be officially accepted by the credit card company.

Dicks.

I once had a card that I paid off entirely.  I happened to look online and there was a $60 fee.  What the deuce, right?  So I called the company and they said it was an annual fee.  A fee for what?  Just an annual fee.  I told them I wanted to cancel the card.  The service representative said, how about we drop the fee.  What do you mean, drop the fee?  We’ll eliminate it.  Huh.  Okaaaay.  Do that then.  And they did.

Hopefully the new laws will provide a little protection because these banks are financially raping us.  They’re picking fees and charges from our fiduciary corpses every way they know how.  Sucking the marrow from our, uh — I need another word for money.  Anyone?  Well, you get the point.

My grandfather used to say with regards to material things, “If you can’t afford to pay for it with cash you don’t need it.”

Sound words.

LGN 11

Holy crap I’m getting stronger.  You remember my push up thing, right?  The results are real so I’m still at it.  Here’s how it go.  Three sets of push ups as part of my workout is more effective than using three or four different machines.  Not to mention the time involved.  I was brushing my teeth the other day and was like, “What’s with my arms?  I’ve got to slim down.”  Then I poked at my triceps and was surprised that it was all grade A muscle.

The first day I tried to do three sets of 10.  I couldn’t.  I did 10, 7, 8.  A total of 25.  Since then I’ve gotten a little smarter.  I rest about 2 minutes between sets BUT I rest by walking on the treadmill for those two minutes.

Now I’m up to three sets of 13 push ups + whatever I’ve got left.  I always go to the point of failure.  Last Saturday it was 3 * 12 + 3.  On Tuesday it was 3 * 13 + 1.

From 25 to 40.  That’s pretty good.  And climbing.

I read that after four days your muscles begin to weaken, regardless of how (un)fit you are, so that’s my schedule now.  At least every four days.  Preferably more.

Are you trying?

If you’re trying to lose weight — no.  Let me start again.  If you want to lose weight but dread trying I want to share something with you.  If you’ve given up on trying because of the stress and shame, hang with me for a minute.

I’m sure you’ve tried all kinds of diets and what not.  Exercise routines.  Some even worked as long as you were able to pour energy, time and commitment into them.  Too much to realistically maintain for months and years.

I’m not a health guru although I wouldn’t mind being more of a health nut.  I’m not skinny or ripped.  Doing my best now to get somewhere in that physique spectrum.  I’m not going to say anything that will magically turn things around for you.  But I’m going to say something anyway.

Shame

There is no shame in having to start over.  No shame in falling off the wagon.  The only shame that should be involved is — well, it’s not even in letting yourself go.  It happens so easily and you don’t realize it until, literally, years later after it’s too late to tweak a few habits and get back on track.  The only shame is realizing it and giving up.  Just accepting it.  Most obesity, in my own personal slightly controversial and possibly ignorant opinion, is an outward sign of inner imbalance.  It’s not healthy.

It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, but it means you’ve got some stuff to deal with and straighten out.

Yeh, I know that it’s possible for someone to be overweight and healthier than someone who is thin.  You can be thin and have clogged arteries, for example.  And as I’ve said before, I think it’s great for people to be comfortable in their own skin.  To love themselves for who they are.

But if you had gangrene or MRSA you’d rush to the doctor or wherever you had to go to deal with it STAT.  You wouldn’t beat yourself up over it.  You wouldn’t think you were a bad person even if maybe you probably didn’t wash your hands as often as  you should have.  You wouldn’t feel ashamed or inferior because you had an infection.  But you’d do what it takes to save yourself.

That’s what I’m saying.  For the most part I think we know what we should be avoiding.  And we know what we should be doing.

By the way, as an aside, I would be perfectly fine if I never had to see another picture of Jillian Michaels in my life.  For goodness sake.  Why is her picture everywhere on the web.  Go away!

Food

When I think of eating better/right — there’s a big spectrum.  But I think the first step, at least for me, was/is to track your calories.  I recommend tracking them loosely.  I use an app on the iPhone.  I have to look things up a lot but I like seeing the charts and graphs so it’s worth it.  If we realized how many calories we were really eating we’d do a lot better.  It is absolutely insane how many calories are in a given meal.  How the hell can one hamburger sandwich have 900 calories in it!  And that’s not including french fries and/or soft drink.

It would take about an hour of moderately intense exercise to burn 900 calories.  And that’s one meal of the day.  Basically, if you eat out you’re screwed.

I’m telling you.  All of these restaurants don’t give a crap about your health.  There are many ways to cook healthy, delicious and addictive food.  I’m trying to learn more of them.  But restaurants are selling fat/salt/sugar bombs.  And we eat it up.  So we’re fat and killing ourselves with food.

Fast food places, many restaurants, most industrial food producers are AT BEST indifferent about whether you live or die.  Anyone who is indifferent about your safety, health and survival is your enemy.  At least, they aren’t your friend.

We need to act and think accordingly.  They’re dealers of sugar, oil and salt.  And I mean “dealers” as in drug dealers.

Ignorance is NO excuse.  It’s your life and your health.   Your family’s health.  No one’s responsibility but yours.  No one’s fault but yours.  No one can live your life for you.  No one is stuffing unhealthy food into your gullet but you.

I think we’re starting to turn things around.  It makes me happy to hear people talking about making good food choices.  Overweight middle aged black women growing into health-consciousness.  It’s inspiring.  It’s catching.

I’m hopeful that health might go viral.

Exercise

…shouldn’t be such a chore.  You know what I think?  I think that our problem is that we’re not living.  We’re doing this rat race thing and it amounts to survival with just enough time for escapism.  I mean, when’s the last time you went for a walk or bike ride with a friend?  Just walked around the city, for instance.  Or you know.  Throw a ball or frisbee around.  Anything.

We don’t move!  I sit at a desk for 8 hours a day and then often come home and make music or write or putz around at a desk for three or four more.  It’s ridiculous.  I work out to try to counteract that and I’ll take walks during the day.  But it’s so easy to do nothing and then sleep.  I’m tempted to get one of those under the desk cycle gadgets.

I mean, I’m just waiting for it to get warm and dry so I can go mountain biking.  And part of the reason I’m doing my damndest to keep in shape is so that when I hit the trails I won’t, someday, kill myself because of jumping into very strenuous exercise.

I wish we were all in a local village or town or neighborhood.  We’d have one big workout group three days a week.  We’d be an exercising community.

Whatever the case, get into it, y’all.  Get fit with me.  We need each other.

Let’s do this!

That’s all for now.  I’ve got some writing (therapy) to do.

Peace and love,

-g

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