Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lazy Bones…

Hello again devoted reader. I am sad to report that I did not actually get out and go for a walk yesterday when my wife got home. I have been working hard at getting together the money to go to Disney World instead. Excuses, right? Well, I am proud to report that at least today I have made sure that I got out and did a few laps around the lake. I guess even in devoted routines, you need to take breaks from time to time. My breaks are less about necessity and more about taking advantage of a situation.

At least I got out my Airwalks today so I was able to have some more comfort in my walk. I am still waiting to hear from one of the major shoe companies about a shoe deal. I know there is an executive from Nike, New Balance and Asics quietly tuning in for each post. It is only a matter of time before one of them cracks and gives me the support that I need to shed these extra pounds. Maybe even have some video logs. Not that I am totally willing to be a sellout. I am not willing to do anything compromising for money or products. But, if they are willing to give me some support, I am willing to take it.

It looks like I might be getting an opportunity to write about beer in an upcoming project. While I am excited to get to write about beer, it could put a major crack in my armor. I will need to do research after all. Is a six pack of beer research or indulgence? You be the judge! I can only assume that any judging you are doing so far is within the realms of your mind because I have not heard any new comments. Not to tell you guys what to do, but come on! J

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coming Soon…

Hey again… I have been going through a lot of the things that were in storage waiting to get into the new place and stuff which has gone with me from one place to another. I came across a book I started a long time ago. I never actually finished it, but it is mostly done. It is very raw as I only wrote through the material once with no editing. It is written on paper in a bound book which was intended to be used as a diary. I am going to step out on a limb and put it on my fiction blog. I figure there are not a lot of people reading the blog anyhow, so my risk should be minimal.

To give you a little insight about the book, it is about two friends in search of the perfect margarita. In fact, the title of the story is The Perfect Margarita. I intended for some of the characters to be based on me and my friends, but as normally happens when you write, the characters determined who they would be on their own. It was fun to write at first, but then I got self-conscious and doubted my abilities as a writer. I have decided to put the story here so that I might get some insight, feedback, criticism or even downright mean comments. Bring it on is what I say. I will start soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hop To It: A Look at Great Beer

There are many different kinds of beer out there. While most have a favorite kind of beer and many even have a favorite brewing company, there are many out there unaware of what goes into a great beer. While they might enjoy a great Lager at a tailgating party or an incredible Stout while relaxing at home they may not know what goes into the beer that they enjoy so much.

Taking a closer look at the beers you enjoy drinking will help you to have a deeper understanding of what you are drinking and why it tastes the way it does. An increased knowledge will help you when making beer selections for different events as well as to help you when you are making a recommendation to a friend as to what kinds they might enjoy drinking. As you start to become familiar with the different kinds of beer, you will find that there is a whole world of beer knowledge you can tap into.

The Three Main Types

The first thing that you need to know is that there are three main categories of beers. You have the Ales which tend to be heavier tasting and more on the bitter side because of their use of yeasts which work better in warm brewing techniques. Lagers are by far the more popular of the two because of their light amber colors which result from the yeasts which prefer colder brewing techniques. The third category of beers is reserved for specialty beers like Lambic which uses less of the hops and barley and more fruit to create the alcohol.

Lager Subcategories

The most recognized and most consumed of the Lager beers is the Pale Lagers. These are the lightest tasting and the highest in carbonation of any of the beers. It uses a balance of hops and barley or rice to create a light bodied beer which is agreeable to most palates. Pilsner is a more distinctive brew which has its roots from the Pilsner Urquell label. It is bitterer, but has a higher degree of character. Dark lagers are accomplished through roasting the hops and barley used to create the brew. These beers impart a nutty flavor.

A Note on Light Lagers

Mention a light beer to an American and you are sure to think low calorie. This is a result of using less hops and barley which also creates a flavor some do not prefer because it tends to have les bitter and hoppy notes. Mention the same thing to a European and they will think light in color and body. These beers still have good bitterness and a hoppy flavor which beer drinkers prefer.

Ale Subcategories

The most popular of the ales is the brown ale. Beers like Newcastle have made a name for the brewing style with a good sweet, nutty flavor and just the right amount of bitterness. Porters are less popular because of their intense barley flavor which to some tastes too bitter while others feel it is much like chocolate. Stouts tend to be sweeter in the finish than porters with more of a balance of hops and barley. While they are the darkest and the richest, they also tend to be the highest in alcohol content.
Exploring the world of beers will land you on microbrews and many other subsets of beers you will either enjoy or avoid. So, get out there and try something different today. You may just be surprised at what you find.

Rainy Days

So, here we are with my first challenge in my commitment to get out every day. It is raining out there folks… Big wet droplets threatening to make sure that I will get soaked if I am out there for more than just a few seconds. So, it is okay not to go out right? I should enjoy some fried chicken, beer and maybe some candy? Maybe I can just nibble on some raw butter or slurp down a tub of Crisco! OK, I am being silly, but I feel like I am being lazy because I have not gotten out of the house yet.

There is a perfectly good gym in my neighborhood and I have access to it. I should not be sitting here putting a post online about being lazy, but there you go. Maybe I will get out there later and make it happen… then again I do have a ton of work to do. I have some new clients I just picked up from and they deserve to get my attention. They deserve to get the work done that I promised them right? After all, what kind of a professional would I be if I did not stick to my commitments?

Excuse #infinity… I need to watch my daughter right now because everyone else is out doing something. My son is at SCAD working on a project. My wife is at her part time job, so I need to watch my daughter rather than go for a walk in the rain to the gym.

Well, here is how this is going to play out. I am going to go to the gym after my wife gets home unless the rain has cleared up by then. Then I will go ahead and do my normal walk for at least 15 minutes. I would prefer to get out there for at least 20 minutes. Are you reading this folks? I am not getting any comments, so I am not sure. I will keep you updated rehardless.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Keeping the Focus

One of the hardest things to do whether it has to do with work or with working out is to maintain focus. I have always found it difficult to do so. I will find a thousand excuses as to why I cannot be doing 'X' right at that moment. When it comes to working out, I can always tell myself that I have work that I should be doing… I need to unpack boxes… I need to dust the ceiling… the list goes on. Best of all, when I start working I will lose focus on my work so I will do something else to get my mind right. If asked whether I should maybe workout, I will say, "I can't… I am working!"

One of the ways in which I am going to keep focus on going for my daily exercise is two-fold. First of all, I will make sure to enter posts here on how I am doing. As long as I am making sure to maintain accountability on a public forum like this I am sure that I will be able to push myself into staying on track. If I can get more people to follow the blog I might even be able to get some encouragement from readers who want to see me succeed. Until then, I will allow my own words to inspire me.

The second way in which I will inspire myself is through this picture ß. It was taken when we were on vacation in Hilton Head this past summer. To me it looks like seeing one of the fattest guys in the world on the moped. I know I am not nearly that large, but that is what I see. Maybe by seeing what I have become I will be reminded of what I would like to look like. It will help to push me to make work breaks workouts as well. I have printed out a copy of the picture and it is right in front of my workspace.

So, what do you guys do to maintain focus when you are working out? For that matter, what so you use to maintain focus while working? I look forward to hearing from you. I will post another weight Friday. If all goes well I will be at Disney World nest week and I will get plenty of walking there.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sticking to it...

Baby steps might have been a more appropriate name for this blog post. I am keeping up with at least 15 minutes of walking every day. My dog is loving the ability to get out of the house more. I enjoy the fact that there is a lake in my neighborhood that I can walk around. I do not appreciate that my dog will lunge at everything she sees. Anyone want an ill behaved half chow?

While I am getting out each day and walking, I am still not wearing the right shoes. I am wearing my old clogs that I used to wear while I was a chef and now wear while I am bartending. They start out comfortable, but get kind of irritating after a while. I would love to get some good athletic shoes or just be able to unearth my Airwalks from these many boxes in my house that I need to unpack. Hey Asics, Adidas, Nike, New Balance! Anyone! Give me some good shoes to get in shape. My writing salary does not include a shoe budget right now!

I still have yet to hear from anyone out there who has gotten into shape by running or walking. I know that it is possible to get into great shape simply by getting out every day and committing yourself to walking and running. I am not at the point yet where I am ready to run, but I am hoping to get there soon. I doubt I will really start to run until I am able to put on some good running shoes. Heck, I don't want to twist my ankle or damage my feet. (Good excuses, right?)

Oh well, without any corporate support and without any real distinguishable goals, I will keep going out every day and trying to extend my walks to the half hour mark. I know I can do it, but it may mean leaving the dog at home. I am serious by the way for anyone looking to take my Chow-German Shepard mix. I just do not have the lifestyle to support her anymore even though I love her.

I will check in with you all very soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting Started?

Okay, I have not started yet. There was still a lot of stuff to move into the house and now there are boxes to be unpacked and lots of work to do. Give me more time and I will be able to dazzle you with many more reasons why I was not able to get started yet. I guess the excuses are the reason why so many people do not get started on their road to completing goals involving physical fitness. It is so easy to simply dream of the body that you want and not as easy to actually get off of your duff and make something happen.

Tomorrow I still have a lot of stuff to do including an appointment in the morning. I need to set some actual goals rather than just the goal of getting out and doing something. My goals for tonight will be to weigh myself… dreading that… as well as finding my Airwalks in all of these boxes. Let me get at least one of those goals done right now so that you will be able to see that I am actually committed to the program and committed to getting started on my path to better fitness.

My scale shows that I am currently at 258 pounds. That is the most I have ever weighed in my life and it shows. I cannot even truly fit into a size XL. I am now in the category of people who must shop at the Big and Tall section of the store. It is funny when you think about it since I was shopping in the Big and Tall section when I was younger. Of course, I was a skateboarder then and the baggy pants were part of my trademark. Now, the size 40 pants which were so huge on me then are too tight for me to wear.

Tomorrow morning my goal is to walk around the lake for at least 15 minutes just to crack this egg and get started. I will post soon to let you know how things are going. My goal is to be able to report in about a week or so that I have started to lose at least two pounds. Any advice from those out there who know more than me on the subject will be greatly appreciated.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finally in the New Place!

Hey there good reader! I am happy to report that we are finally in the new place and all is well. My daughter enjoyed playing in the new playground at the apartment and I am gearing up to go work out in the gym. Of course, I had an opportunity to write for a regular piece which would have essentially paid me to get in shape, but alas it slipped through my fingers. I really would have enjoyed writing about getting up each morning and going for a run to get in shape. I am so bummed out by it I think that I will do it anyhow.

So, now I will change the focus of this blog to writing about the difficulties of an out of shape writer trying to get in shape. I will include all of the challenges which are associated with someone who works two jobs trying to find the time and the motivation to be able to get out of the house every day so that he can get out and run every day. Here we start with day minus one and I am stuck on stupid. I do not even have running shoes so I will have to run in my old Airwalks until I can go out and get some real running shoes.

I encourage all of you who have challenges getting out the door to work out each morning to let me know about the processes that you go through and offer any advice you might have to get more people involved in physical fitness. Maybe if we all work together, we can get more people to get off of the couch and into some skinny jeans. While our goals might be different, there is no reason why we cannot all work towards a common goal of having better physical fitness in our lives.

The alarm is set for 5am so that I can get the time that I will need to get into the gym or run around the lake and get my exercise in for the morning. Okay, it will not be running. I will probably walk for about a half hour or so, but at least I will be active. Maybe I will work my way into running. After all, my knees are still hurting from all of the moving that I have had to do lately. I will let you all know how it goes. I hope to hear from everyone very soon.