Saturday, November 26, 2011

Steps to Mastery

So, I was reading through Dean Dwyer's blog posts on Being Primal and his latest post gave me the desire to do my own desire checklist. At 46 lbs down, I'm still very much a beginner in my own Primal Blueprint. I'm still on Level 1. So, what do I feel that I must do to feel like I'm on level 2? What is the maximum level there is? Do I even want to quantify the max level or just one day arrive at it and say "Oh wow. I can't think of anything I could do to be healthier." Yeah, I'd rather have that oh wow moment than try to kill myself leveling up as fast as possible. Been there and done that in various MMO's.

So back to the original thought, what is what I feel I need to do to be level 2? Honestly, to be level 2, I'm setting the bar pretty low of a body composition of below 15% body fat. After years of failed dieting starting all the way back in high school, That would be a major achievement for me. And you know what, I know I'll make it.

BUT, if I'm setting the bar so low for level 1, why not set some goals for level 2? I can easily pregame the experience and potentially hit level 3 within days of level 2, if not skipping the need to worry about it all together.

Well, level 2 would be this:
  1. Progress into baseline with all of the Primal Fitness exercises Mark Sisson suggests
  2. Find and purchase the best footwear for everyday use that allows me to relearn proper balance and build some form of arch.
  3. Work in more vegetables into my diet. I think I might need some more food prep tools for this.
  4. Find a way to purchase and store my food in bulk in order to save more money.
  5. Put more than minimum effort into all my classes. I really have no excuse for grades C or below. Especially with $4k in loans a semester.
  6. Finish and publish my first Android App. Enjoy it myself, whether it sells well or not.
  7. Clean up the bass guitar I was just given and learn how to play 5 songs on it.
  8. Pay my credit cards off. (This will open up quite a bit of monthly income for other things)
  9. Learn how to do some parkour.
  10. Become a better shot. I've got a .22 conversion kit for my AR-15 now, so no excuse to not go out to the range and practice at least 100 shots a week.

I think that is more than enough for a Level 2 challenge. Although half of those are just ways to become a more successful and mentally healthy person without the diet/exercise portion, after years of letting myself be a victim of diet, I feel like I'm overdue to redesign my life to be as productive and creative as I can possibly be. I feel like a human being for the first time in my life, and it is amazing!!!

So, I'm going to try to encourage some comments. Think of your life as having experience points. Be brave and post what you feel like you would want to accomplish to get to your next level! Or just comment on what I've posted Show me some comment love! :P

Friday, November 25, 2011

Picture Update!

Because I've been talking about it a lot, but not actually posting any results, I figured now is the time! So, I'm going to have some fun with this!

First is me with my custom AR-15, second is Just me. My mother really wanted to get a picture of me with my rifle for some reason :P

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nearly a month - lots to convey

Well, I definitely disappeared. I think I missed out on some opportunities to post. Here we are Thanksgiving day and I'm finally having some weight loss results again. I'm now down 46 lbs as of this morning after about 3 weeks of yoyoing between 272 and 268. Finally broke the 268 barrier with 266 and I couldn't be happier.

As I think of all my focus on the weight, I feel like somehow I forget the entire focus of being Primal, sometimes. I'm mentally and physically healthier with more energy than I can clearly remember... I think I had this much energy right before my parents divorce at around 12 (I can't remember exactly how old I was), which happened to coincide with the start of weight gain. My memory is getting a lot better, but I've lost some of my multi-tasking ability as the lack of caffeine contributed to most of that, but also contributed heavily to my insomnia.

Muscle cramps are at an all time low, and I'm starting to suspect that vegetable oils might be causing them. Honestly, every time I eat out, no matter how meticulous I am about how I order, I always leave with minor heartburn and wake up in the early hours of the morning with a leg muscle seized up. I've learned that putting pressure on the muscle (standing and putting as much of my weight as possible on the leg) usually causes it to stop (the faster the less soreness later), but when a muscle in the top of my foot does the same thing, there is no easy way to stop it. But I'm also considering the possibility that it might be fluid intake. I drink a lot more water in 1 sitting at a restaurant than I do in my own home cooking, mostly due to the lack of saturated fat and moisture in even the tastiest looking dish at the restaurant. A single 12 oz cup of water will normally last me hours at home, with only drinking half of it during the meal, while I'll go through nearly 30 oz of water in a single meal in the restaurant.

Changing gears, my subconscious desire for a relationship is getting ridiculous. I'm feeling like a high schooler in some ways in that regard all over again, and since I haven't dated in over 3 years, I'm a bit rusty on how to even approach a female on the subject. I like being direct, but I hate being direct about asking out of personal fear of rejection (as well as having some of that 'I'm too much of a fat ass to be loved' mentality lingering), and I think I messed up big time a few weeks back with that. I honestly don't care what it's called, who pays, what happens, as long as I learn more about them during the time. And if the back of my brain goes "Hey, pay more attention to her." I'm usually interested in asking them out just to make time to have some one on one. There wasn't any real one on one time to have a long discussion that evening, because mutual friends offered to 'double date' it. It ended on a short one on one discussion that I'm still mentally sorting through, but coming to the conclusion that I ultimately screwed up on and just need to move on in that regard. Maybe try again later, because from what I keep learning she's an awesome human being, but the old me of trying to push for more and more chances is just going to destroy even what could turn into an awesome friendship. I need to move slowly in this area of my life anyway, just because of how long it's been. Moving quickly with anyone would spell disaster for long term viability and I'd like to see who is out there that I could be most happy with. Watching too much TV growing up really warped my sense of how to find love and I would really like to experience the 'getting to know you phase' before I dump myself into a relationship.

Oh yeah, it's Thanksgiving. I really don't understand most holidays. A celebration of thanks created around the idea of surviving a colonization attempt of the New World with the help of the native peoples who would eventually be pushed off native lands and forced into reservations of some of the most undesired land that could be survived on. But, most people don't think about it, or just don't know, so when family members that don't drive me nuts make requests of my presence, I go to enjoy the company of people I don't see often. I'll be visiting my half sister and her family later this evening and seeing my mom and the rest of my blood siblings tomorrow. I'm looking forward to both.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Moving Foward

I'm just going to stop apologizing for not posting in this from now on. I'll post when I post, and I only post when there is something new to talk about. :) I'm also thinking through something that happened earlier this evening and felt that since I can't sleep, I might as well post an update.

Anyway, so since the last post, I've lost another 3 lbs. I'm now sitting right at 270. I've lost those pounds in the last 4 days. I also discovered that I accidentally was putting myself into starvation mode. The cure: what would have been a normal amount of food before the diet change at regular intervals. I went from a lot of no eating because I wasn't hungry, to eating a big slice of meat, 3 eggs, and a random vegetable at every meal. I effectively doubled my caloric intake to start losing again. We'll see how long this plays out. It might be just what I needed.

Also, I'm starting to feel a craving for more vegetables. Things that I was trying to force down my throat just a month ago, I eat with delight. I'm still not eating very many, but I'm eating them again, where as I wasn't for a while. I guess that's part of the 'listen to your gut' aspect of the diet after you get acclimated. I'm also consuming greek yogurt with small amounts of honey mixed in. Some might say it isn't strictly Primal, but in the quantities consumed, combined with my still relatively low vegetable intake, I'm not seeing any negative effects from eating it. In fact, it's helping keep my stomach settled and stable.

More later.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nearing 1/3 desired loss...

As I near 40 lbs down (39 down as of this morning) I can't help but think about what I'll start doing when I hit my body fat reduction goal, and how I'll transition from the mentality of "I'm fat" to "Hey, I'm in pretty good shape." Dropping 120 lbs of fat is a big deal. Being 312 lbs made me feel like I would never do anything I wanted to do because I was to busy being exhausted dragging myself around.

1/3 of the way through my fat loss, I'm already feeling much less like I'm dragging myself around, but I still have that feeling every once in a while that I'm just not good enough to do the things I want to do. Most of my brain very much knows that I'm able to do just about anything I put my mind to at this point, but there is still that part that has been telling me for years "Just sit at home, don't do anything useful, because anything you do is just going to fail anyway." And well, yes, many of the things I attempt will ultimately fail. Everyone has to deal with this. Lack of interest, lack of preparation, and lack of knowledge will almost always guarantee a failure in something that you feel needs to be done to move further in a certain field. But I have to keep reminding myself that failure isn't the end of moving forward. There are other ways to go around the failure, and even pave it over, by changing tactics, building a better interest, and preparing better for the next attempt.

For college, it's going to be taking time to find a link in Calculus that helps me more easily learn the concepts, while finding sources of funding to make it through the next 4 years. In my fat loss, it's taking time to learn how to properly use vegetables in my cooking to optimize my energy levels and learn when and how much I can 'cheat' and not sabotage my overall goal of not just being healthy, but fit. In my personal projects, it's how to maximize the enjoyment of creating while limiting the cost and time spent turning those projects into something marketable, thus further funding more creations and giving myself more time to work on new concepts.

Working on all of those things will make me a better of person overall. Despite all this talk of the 99% lately, I can not ask government to give me any more than I already unjustly receive. I will instead ask it to get out of the way and stop reducing what my cut of the pie is worth, while finding ways to grab a larger share without threat of force, personal or governmental. I must find a way to not only support myself in daily matters, but to reduce my need for government assistance in traditional education. And unfortunately, my desired field of work (Electrical Engineering) requires a traditional education to become certified. I still ultimately save money by becoming a certified Engineer, because learning these things by myself and then having to employ someone to certify that my designs meet safety standards and guidelines is a lot more expensive in the long run. Hopefully that doesn't change before I graduate.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Androids and Weight loss

Alright, first things first. As of this morning, I am 37 lbs down. WOOHOO! 275 lbs and dropping.

Also, I think I'm being a bit too low carb recently. I'm starting to get nagging cravings for a little sugar. I usually solve that with a little fruit, but none in the apartment. Guess I need to pick some up.

Also, saturday I started work on a fairly large android program. I think I bit into a bit more than I could swallow all at once, but I'm chewing on the problem a lot faster than I expected. I'm pretty sure I can have a working prototype up and running by the weekend, and may even be able to finish the most time consuming part of the full version over the weekend.

Where did I get this drive? Switching the diet couldn't have been all it was... was it?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sickness, College, Creating some dots

Sadly, there is no weight loss to report. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between 28 and 32 pounds lost in the last couple of weeks. I start losing weight, and then I get sick.

Either it’s the cooler weather or I’m just getting used to it, but my walking isn’t doing nearly as much for energy burn either. My legs have gotten much stronger, and all I’m not getting that worn out feeling nearly at all recently. Probably time to up the distance. I’m thinking about getting a bike to ride back and forth between my apartment and class. It’s about 4 miles and mostly sidewalk, so I’m pretty sure I can do it. Heh, I haven’t rode a bike in over 4 years. Last time I did, I spent an hour feeling like I was going to die.

As for life in general, I recently realized I’ve already failed my calculus class. For those of you who don’t know, I’m an Electrical Engineering student, and the math classes seem to be set up to restrict who is considered high enough level to take advancing engineering classes. This means I may or may not be at western an extra semester. I might have been anyway just because I came back to Western in the spring, but I digress. The real big deal is that when I start doing badly in class, any class, I normally check out and spend the rest of the semester miserable and failing all the rest of my classes. This time I didn’t. I didn’t even feel sad. I dumped the class, picked up a bi-term to fill the hrs slot and now the worst thing on my transcript for the semester will be a W, which is harmless to my GPA. Done. The only reason I even mention it is that I’m honestly surprised that I felt HAPPY to be rid of the class and do something else.

Really, I’m feeling pretty hard that college is a joke. Take a class here, pay to take a test there, all to be given a piece of paper that says you are supposedly knowledgeable in that specific field or that at least you could BS your way through another 4-5 years worth of classes after High School. I’d much rather have an idea that revolutionizes an industry to hard that I drop out and go straight to developing the idea. But, I’ve got $40k in student loans now and I’d spend too much of that time keeping loan companies off my ass long enough to actually have time to develop the idea.

So I continue classes, nearly double that debt, but pay it off in just a few years rather than have it hang its ugly head over me every time I try to do something that needs more than a few hundred dollars capital to move forward. There is also the option of using the extra money from work while in college to put into an idea as well. And honestly, it might be the best idea to do that…

Thursday, October 6, 2011


So, Sunday I tried a fast. I'd tried one before, but my blood sugar always bottomed out between 6 and 8 hrs. Sunday, I went 24 hours and could have gone longer. The hunger pains disappeared around 14 hrs in, I starting feeling more energetic at 16 hrs in, and I was bouncing off the walls by the time I got off from work.

My weight when I got home? 283. My weight the next morning after having a huge supper? 282.
For a grand total of 30 lbs down since I started.

That's right, my body burned 4+ pounds in a 36 hour period because I didn't give it anything for 24. I'm still dropping, but my food choices, almond flour sausage balls for example, made a situation that is showing a stable weight. Sometimes the scale can't be trusted. :P

So, I'm going to add a once a month fast to my plan. That's about how often I plateau anyway.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The first 25... GONE!

Why 2 posts so close together? Because I've officially lost over 25 lbs! As of this morning I hit 286 for a total of 26 lbs lost. Another week or two and I will be the lightest I've been in 3 years. This is a glorious occasion to celebrate going beyond into new territory. So I had steak... yes, I know, I have steak almost every day, but I had a 24 hr fast before I had the steak. That was the most delicious steak I've ever tasted. I'm considering fasting again just to have something else taste that awesome!

Just wanted to toss that out there!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The 3 lb bounce

As of Friday night of last week, I was 288. That changed over the weekend as I celebrated 4 weeks Primal and tried to have a '4 week cheat' within the restrictions, but something sneaked in. By Monday morning I felt bloated and worn out after not being able to sleep very well. Oh, and a 3 lb gain that I've just managed to get back down as of this morning.

As for life in general, this round of college I'm being a LOT more social. I've made more new facebook 'friends' in the last 2 weeks than I have in the last 2-3 years. On the flip side, I'm having a hard time remembering all the little assignments that keep being tossed my way by my classes, despite homework binges at work. All the socializings that I'm doing are just replacing video game time, but I'm not budgeting well enough for class things. And if I have a late night with new people, forget getting to my early morning classes without caffeine. And caffeine has been at negligible amounts since I stopped drinking sodas and sweet teas.

Like last night, I fully intended to be home and asleep by 11pm, then ran into new and awesome people and got to know a few of them until 1am when I had just enough energy to drive myself home. This in turn translated into sleeping through my alarm and waking up at 8:45am with no time to make it to either of my morning classes. I don't regret it, but I do need to get better at time management if I want to keep exploring this burgeoning new social life, keep with the diet, and pass all my classes this semester. At the moment, I'm only doing well at 2.5 out of 3 and I've got a web course starting in 2 weeks. That and I need to make more time for my personal programming projects. Those may lead me to quitting the part time job I so desperately want to get rid of. If I were to pick one thing that does more damage to my time management than anything, it is how my entire weekend disappears into this job, instead of just a few hrs I normally spend waiting for the next class during the week, like I'd like it to be.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

End Week 3

Well, I seem to have missed week 2 weight update. As of last sunday, I was down 18 pounds @ 294.6.

As of tonight, I am down another 1.8 pounds to 292.8. My belt is actually having to put some work in.

Also, I'm starting to get negative reactions to vegetables. I'm getting physically sick to my stomach when I round my meals off with anything larger than a handful of vegetables. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 2 Primal

So, I'm sitting here chomping on a delicious grain free supper and decided "HEY! Let's make a blog post!"

<-- Supper
Local organic Italian Sausage with a mix of local and supermarket veggies. All cooked in butter.

As of 1 week I lost 13.4 pounds. So far, I'm still losing, but it seems to be slowing down.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Primal Blueprint

So, I came across a diet I'd never head of before last week through of all things the Lew Rockwell website. As I read the background and reasoning behind what is actually a complete lifestyle change, I grew intrigued. The premise of this "Primal Blueprint" is that people used to eat a lot differently, and that human health since the advent of agriculture has been lacking. Yes, if it weren't for agriculture we wouldn't have modern society, but we weren't and still aren't completely adapted to live on grains.

The idea is to drop all grain intake completely, and start eating a diet that has a high percentage of caloric intake from fat. What is a no no in a grain based diet becomes an essential fuel when they're eliminated and your insulin production starts dropping. All carbohydrate intake is to be in the form of vegetables and fruits. If you stay around 150-200 grams daily average you're weight is stable, if you drop below 150 you start burning fat stores. The body needs a basic amount of carbohydrates to regulate certain thyroid functions, but as long as you don't drop below 50 average, you're usually just fine.

So, I've officially started a high fat, medium protein, low carb diet as of today. Honestly, the only thing I'm going to miss until the weight I want is off is potatoes. As I start picking up more local/fresh/organic items, I may find myself spending a little more in food, but I just took an extra day at work and cut sodas, so it shouldn't be too hard to pay for it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


So, I let this go after only 2 posts, but let's see if I can pick it back up or if it will just be a random post type thing. I've spent the last month trying to decide what I should cover about myself or if the first 2 posts were good enough to give some good insight. I think it's enough, but I figure I should do 1 more about how my brain processes information

Alright, so I'm an Introvert. Technical definition - my brain dumps everything I experience into my long term memory. When I'm mentally healthy, I can remember things almost exactly the way they happened down to the exact words individuals said. Lately, I've started getting gaps in my memory, but I'm starting to see a correlation between my diet that most people wouldn't expect and how well I remember things. No, I won't go into detail until I've had a chance to test my hypothesis. I will say that I'm working out a way to remove grains and grain based food from my diet for a month, reducing my carbohydrate intake, to see how my entire body feels. I digress though.
Most people say that I overanalyze things. I'd say they were right if I honestly didn't like it. But, I love it. I absolutely enjoy tearing apart electronics, events, social profiles, things that have potential information, and putting pieces together. I think most people are horribly unaware of their surroundings.
I typically loathe small talk. I have no interest in what your dog did yesterday unless it was something that every other dog in the world isn't capable of. If your dog learns how to write and do math in the same day, I want to study it. If you matter to me, and it's actually important to you, then I'm happy to listen. Otherwise, I'd much rather talk about heavy subjects such as science, engineering, medicine, economics, politics, psychology, sociology, history... you get the point.
I usually love being alone. And I've looked back through memory and realized that I've always loved being alone. Having family around when I needed someone to use as a sound board was great and I miss it from time to time. I've analyzed too much and am too far into a different understanding of reality at this point to be able to just call them up. I end up pleading at this point. I'm running with too much information.

Well, hopefully some of this makes sense to those who actually read.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Post #2 - Religion

So, I'm basically trying to build up with these first few posts the ideology and viewpoint that I'm coming from, in order to build on the more complex concepts I touch on later. I really wanted to do a post about college today, and why I feel like I'm wasting my time, but the field I want to work in requires it to be certified. I feel that some of my assumptions might be missed by skipping over these short views into how I think, though.

So, here it is. Religion. I have none. And honestly, that's what it means to be agnostic. I will not claim atheism, because I'm not.

I'm open to all religion... well, those that don't advocate the death or theft from another to prove you're right. (Because your god totally proved s/he's with you to get away with either of those, right? *sarcasm*) I also love discussing and learning about all the religions in the world. I believe that in all of them there are worth while things to learn.

But I don't believe that there is an omnipresent, omnipotent God, Goddess, or Spaghetti Monster in the sky that created us all, whether through mere thought or noodley appendage. If something DID create us, alter our DNA, or give us a 'push' intellectually, I do not believe they are deity. Merely more advanced, curious, and/or bored.

The First Post

This is the 2am start of what I hope to be something that keeps going. A commentary, if I may, of the world around me. I'm going to start off a bit all over the place, because, well, that's where I am. I'm roadkill spread across the highway after it's been ran over a few thousand times. You can't be sure what it was before it was hit without some serious forensic work that no one in their right mind would waste the money on to figure out. (This makes me wonder if some government agency out there is wasting the money to do just that. Yes, I'm just a bit cynical about the world and government specifically.)

Tonight, I'm going to leave you with a short video of a very well done and simple explanation of liberty.