Monday, April 3, 2017

List 13 Update and Retro April

We are over 4 weeks into the 13 week challenge, so it's time for an update. So far things are making good progress but have quite a bit to get done in order to reach my goals.

I've made some progress on the novel. List 13 has about 10,000 words so far and I'm finishing up chapter 5. I've been studying for the PTCE and can cross it off the list but need to study more. Made it through the class sponsored by work. I read the book from class but haven't finished a fiction book yet. However, for sure I can cross off the new intro for my youtube channel.

Weight wise, I started the month at 135-136. Ended the month at 131-132, though today's weight was 133.4 as body weight tends to fluctuate. Plus hormones are involved right now. Still, making progress and that's what we're hoping to see.


Measurements

I didn't take my measurements until the 18th of March, so this is more of a two week update on those than anything else but since I'm doing the month log for SizeSlim, I'll measure every two weeks just to get more than one point for that forum posting. I'm not pulling the measuring tape very tight and I do measure two areas on the stomach since I have a dip in my stomach.

2-18-17

hips - 38
waist (smallest) - 36
waist (upper) - 38
chest (over bust) - 35
chest (under bust) - 33
thigh - 22
bicep - 12
wrist - 6
neck - 13
weight - 135.4

3-3-17

hips - 38
waist (smallest) - 36
waist (upper) - 37.5
chest (over bust) - 34.5
chest (under bust) - 32.5
thigh - 21.5
bicep - 11
neck - 13
wrist - 6
weight - 133.4

I was provided a bottle of a weight loss supplement from SizeSlim to log over on bodybuilding.com. The disclaimer is I don't normally take a diet supplement nor do I think anyone needs that in order to lose weight. Supplements are extra and one can reach their goals without taking a pill. Still, I'm going to give this a try to see about the claims of appetite suppressing, mood enhancement and focus.

New Product: SizeSlim



Company site: https://sizeslim.com
My supplement log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=173803371

I also got to taste test some protein cookies. Triple chocolate by Muscletech. They are pretty good. Not quite a replacement for Lenny and Larry cookies for me as the Muscletech ones are whey based and the other brand are vegan. Still, a nice treat that includes a little protein too and very chocolately tasting.
Muscletech link: http://www.muscletech.com


Retro April

One thing I forgot to mention in my youtube video was that for the month of April I'm doing a sort of throwback, retro, childhood type of month. Let's call it Retro April, just to give it some type of "creative" name.

TV shows to watch: Rugrats, Doug, Care Bears and many more. I also am going to watch some Anime shows that aren't from my childhood but still, enjoyable. Going to check out some new ones too. Also going to watch Disney movies like Mulan. I want to go see the new Power Ranger movie too as I used to play that when I was in elementary school. I rarely get to go out so will be nice if I can find a reasonable priced theater to see the movie in, even if I go alone.

Full day of eating is a possibility in the works too for the nostalgia month.. Maybe include a lunchable. Definitely need to find some gushers or fruit roll ups, something along those lines, or all of them. mmm fruit snacks!


Summary: Work in progress on List 13 and plenty to come. Diet log started and more taste tests to come. Check out the videos over on my youtube channel for more.
Fiction and Fitness Youtube Channel


What are your favorite shows from your childhood?
What was your favorite food/snack?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

List 13 Challenge

I am getting ready for a 13 week self challenge and have decided within that amount of time I want to accomplish at least 13 things. I am also a fan of lists so having the 13 things and setting goals sounded like a good idea. Plus, I have a novel that is called list 13 that I would like to get a first draft one this year, thus picking the number 13 along with a few other reasons.

My goals vary with a couple relating to work, some being super easy tasks and others are more challenging and might need some revision over the time period. And I don't have all 13 figured out just yet.

The thirteen week challenge is also a good number of weeks for the particular time of year. I say this because starting from March 1st means the end date is May 31. Start of a month as the beginning and an end of a month as the finish line. And can consider it as a pre-summer challenge due to the timing as well.


First on the list is the 13 week cut. I took a break from the lower calorie eating since I'd been trying to lose weight for a couple of years and had stalled. It was good to take a break and maintain for a while. Now, I'm ready to eat in a deficit again to try and get to that "healthy" weight range for my height. I'm 132-136 depending on the day, so the goal of 124 is reasonable. I will admit that I still will be happy even if it's 127 but for now, the ideal is to get under 125 as that's the top for my very short height. During that, for weight lifting, I am going to do another peak cycle. The loss of everything on my computer when it decided to play the phoenix means I don't have the excel with the previous program. I have to try something new and I'm looking forward to that. If things go well even with eating in a deficit, I should hit some new personal bests on bench, squat and deadlift.

For work, I am studying to get certified and that requires passing an exam. There is a program through work that involves going to classes but that is once a week and there are only 5. The bulk of the studying is at home. Not sure how long I have after the classes end to take the test but I'm guessing it will be some time in the next 13 weeks. Very important goal.

Here is the list of goals I have so far, aka my "list 13" with some that may be amended or changed depending on how the weeks go.

1. 13 week cut (end goal weight 124)
2. 10 week weight training peak cycle
3. Study for PTCE
4. Read 1-2 books
5. Write first draft for List 13
6. Get hair cut much shorter
7. Create new intro for youtube channel
8. Find location to run outside safely
9. Make 3 items pinned on pinterest
10. Sew one item


What goals are you working on? Do you have a list?

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Food Challenge Plan

While I'm still new to youtube and the main focus of my channel is similar to this blog (fiction and fitness) at times I want to also focus on food. I have fun with eating different foods and enjoy a good splurge every now and then.

First, I will admit that I don't really consider any meals or days to be "cheats". Or foods for that matter. However, might end up using the term at times since it might not be my method but I know other people do use them and search for them, so the goal is in part to get traffic and be able to communicate with people who read the blogs or watch the videos.

While it seems a bit un-fitness or fiction related, I do have an idea in order to combine everything together and still keep the channel/blog/platform focused. Take it as my spin on the food challenge, if you will.


The Plan:

Every food challenge I will also do something writing related to post here on the blog.

Option one is to write a story using elements of the particular challenge. That means I will write a flash fiction piece or scene that include something from what I was eating. For example, the 3x3 king size Reese's challenge is for getting 9 followers. The writing plan is a flash fiction story that uses PB, sticks, fastbreak and something from the king size cups with the pieces on the inside and not as the actual food in the story. I'm thinking of a character whose name/ranking is PB9 but haven't quite decided yet.

Option two is for some of the number based challenges, more like the 10k calorie challenge, where the goal would be to write that many words in the same day or a separate day. I would probably put the item in my portfolio on writing.com and post a link in the blog post for those that are interested, though have to decide on the access limitations since the whole "free online equates to published" aspect.

That is the plan and hoping it helps get me more active in posting on here too.  Plus want to have fun videos for youtube though will also have some on writing topics as well. Hopefully I can even get over 20 followers on the channel some day. To see the videos, don't forget to check out and subscribe: my youtube channel.

Upcoming challenges and their stories are:
3x3 king size Reese's
Dozen Dunkin Donuts
Burger King Dollar Menu


Then a break for my 13 week cut, which hopefully will go well and I can do some fun food challenges over summer. Plus, more writing. In fact, I should do that. And study, I definitely need to study.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Exercise for Cancer Patients by Virgil Anderson

Welcome to the blog and this post is a special one. We have a guest blog by Virgil Anderson who has some insight on how exercise can be helpful for people who are battling various forms of cancer. Thank you to Virgil for offering this article to my blog and I hope everyone can learn from the information offered.



Should Cancer Patients Be Exercising?

Being sick means you need rest, right? Yes, rest is important, but researchers are finding more evidence all the time that everyone, including people fighting a difficult cancer like mesothelioma, can benefit from physical activity. A cancer patient may not be training to run a marathon, but guided workouts with limitations in mind can provide a whole range of benefits.

Exercise Boosts Energy and Beats Fatigue
One very important reason to include exercise as a component of overall wellness is to battle fatigue. Cancer patients are vulnerable to severe fatigue that makes it challenging even to get out of bed in the morning. While exercise may be the last thing on a patient’s mind, getting in some physical activity can help reduce this fatigue and provide a surge of energy. In fact, in some studies, cancer patients exercising regularly experienced up to 50 percent less fatigue than patients not exercising.
Cancer Patients who Exercise Have Longer Life Expectancies
As with healthy people who work out regularly and are physically fit, cancer patients can benefit from exercise by increasing their lifespans. One study found that breast cancer patients who worked out for at least two and a half hours per week were at a 67 percent lower risk of dying than similar patients who did not exercise. Other studies have found similar results and found that exercise also helps reduce the risk of a recurrence of cancer after remission.

Physical Activity Boost Mood
Cancer patients are understandably susceptible to depression, anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions, which can become overwhelming and difficult to live with. Exercise has long been known to have a positive effect on mood, reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, and helping people to feel more relaxed. Cancer patients can use exercise to help mitigate these negative feelings and as a healthful way to cope with them.
Exercise Helps Maintain Fitness and Weight
Regular physical activity keeps bodies strong and helps people maintain good cardiovascular fitness, while also helping people stick with a healthy weight. For cancer patients all of these are especially important. Being sick with cancer can cause fitness and muscles to deteriorate. Some patients may even gain weight. Regular exercise can help reduce the loss of fitness or build more strength, which in turn helps patients recover better. Maintaining a healthy weight has health benefits, but also helps cancer patients feel better about their bodies.
Exercise is not something to be taken lightly for someone living with cancer. If you have cancer, talk to your doctor before trying an exercise routine. You need to know what your limitations are. Once you do get started with fitness, consider working with a trainer who can help you meet your goals, safely.

Getting in physical activity is now recommended for most cancer patients as a way to improve overall health, to increase mobility, to boost mood, to fight fatigue, and to generally feel better about living with this illness. Fitness is important for everyone, but thanks to research we now know just how crucial it is for those of us living with cancer.
- Virgil Anderson

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Push Press

That is right, we're talking upper body and an overhead lift known as the push press. When it comes to some of the basic lifts, the press is often a difficult one to increase on and the form is definitely important. Even when I was doing the 5x5 of Stronglifts, which uses the strict/military press, both males and females would often question how to get stronger on that lift in particular because many stall on the press. With the push press, using the legs is an added bonus allowing for a little more weight to get lifted.

The Lift
A weight training exercise for the anterior head of the deltoid (shoulder). The push press is similar to the military press; however, the movement is started by a 'push' from the legs. This begins the momentum of the movement, the weight is then slowly lowered back to the shoulders.

Equipment: (options vary)
Barbell
Dumbell
Barrel (maybe, lol)
Essentially you need something that can be held and put overhead. On occasion at work I have to almost push press totes full of products to stack as I'm short and most get stacked taller than me.

To see and learn how to do the lift, check out the links posted below. While some might refer to this lift as a "cheat" there are plenty who can list the reasons for the lift beyond just trying to get up a little more weight.

Some links:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/push-press
https://www.t-nation.com/training/the-push-press
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFY7CGKjGNM
http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/leg-exercises/videos/barbell-push-press


For fun, I took part in a push press challenge over on the forums at Bodybuilding.com. It was fun and I even placed 2nd out of the females in the 132 weight class. And this time it wasn't 2nd out of 2 like the bench press challenge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPac1_IQdKI

That is all for this lift. While it's not quite as fun as say, the deadlift, it's still one I enjoy even if it's one I can lift the least amount overall. One day I'll get 100 lb overhead, one day.

What do you think of the push press?
How much can you lift overhead?
 

Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

Another year and another novel. Or well, similar world of a previous attempt but still different novel. I am revisiting the world from the epic year of 2012. Then I managed to get 160,000 words in the month on a novel that ended up just under 180,000 for the first draft. The novel will be split into two when I finally get to the rewrite as it's too long without much worldbuilding or description. In order to develop some of the plot for the series and the world, I've decided this year to do a novel following a different character.

The series that I've written thus far focuses on Aeon. He is a young mage student who struggles in his studies because of a past attack that affected his memory. There are many things he doesn't remember or know, including his own full identity.

Yes, it's a little done before with the secret prince/princess but that's where the story went. And what brings in the new novel is that he has someone who protects him. That person went through intensive training and has to be fully dedicated to the point of putting his own life on the line if necessary.

That character is Xan and now he's getting his own novel.

While most of the time I don't care for when a novel comes out afterwards that actually goes before book 1 in the series but mine aren't published. So, we are going to find out what it takes to become Aeon's protector.


Hoping to get at least 100,000 words with the first 50k done within the first week. I will update on here for sure, along with a few other topics. End of the year, 2016 blog posting come back. Woot. Plus, it's almost midnight and I can't wait to write.


Are you writing for NaNoWriMo?
What is your novel about?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Motivation and Priorities Q&A from WDC part 1

I posted an item on writing.com in order to get questions for a Q&A Youtube video with a focus in particular on writing. I'm also posting here in the blog to put those answers down in longhand form along with my video rambles. Granted, the questions were a while ago but hoping to play catch up and hey, this means I need to post more often. This first post deals more with motivation and connecting fitness with writing.




Question posted by jiminicritic: Keeping physically fit is obviously important, but at what point does it interfere with one's writing? How do you stop from overdoing it?

Answer: This will depend on the individual, like many other things in life. Honestly, it can interfere with writing in that one can't always do everything at the same time. When it comes to getting things done, some will get priority over others. At times, writing had more of a priority. I will admit that the year of focusing on weight loss and starting to lift did meant that I wrote much less. For NaNoWriMo 2015, I only got about 30,000 words. I finished the first draft recently, which is a plus considering sometimes it takes me years to finally get the draft done even if I hit the magic 50k number during NaNo. Plus, the novel was YA contemporary so the first draft wasn't going to get to any crazy numbers, unlike the fantasy one I have.

As for what point is it an interference? That I can't pinpoint. One of the good parts of being unpublished is it's not like I'm missing deadlines or anything. And to be honest, I feel in some ways the thing that interferes both my writing and fitness goals both is the thing I have to do: work. Having to make money to pay bills unfortunately takes priority over writing and lifting because those can't quite help with rent or student loans at this point in time.

Overdoing it can be a challenge for some people in any given venue. For me it's often a one thing gets big focus and others lay awaiting for a little then the tides shift. It's the same with novels. NaNoWriMo gives me a chance to focus on one single novel (or two) for a month and that is a big main focus in November, so a couple of other things go to the side. It can feel like overdoing it when doing things like writing over 100,000 in a month but then things shift again. Fitness was a big focus and I still have my cycles where it's more of a forefront and other times where it's on the side.

Though have to be careful not to go overdo it to the point of injury. Have to be cautious when doing things like training for powerlifting. I've done it mostly when trying to lose weight, which means a calorie deficit and that can sap some of the energy as food does equal energy.

Question posted by Octobersun: How do you motivate yourself to train regularly?

Answer: The main method of staying motivated to train on a regular basis was that I found something I enjoyed. If I tried to force myself to do something I'm not as fond of, like say I decided to do spinning as I didn't enjoy that when I tried it, then I'd struggle to keep going. Even with running where it's a challenge and not what I thought I'd like, it gives me the chance to create music playlists and was a good time for thinking of novels and other things. Weightlifting, I had enjoyed in the past. My first time was with bench press and a few machines back in high school when I competed in track where I was doing throwing, which involved lifting as part of the training. While I hadn't done deadlifts, it was interesting to try the other lifts and I quickly found I liked the challenge. And it gave me something to focus on besides the scale while trying to lose weight. Plus, I also have goals which helps with the focus. Getting ready for a meet or a long distance run, that helps push me to keep going even on the days when I might want to just stay home.

Question by Ruwth: How has your weightlifting experience impacted your writing?


Answer: I don't think that weightlifting has impacted my writing much except maybe it distracted me from writing. Now, when I'm not at work, a few hours a week are spent in the gym instead of at the computer. Health wise, it's probably for the better though. However, it does help at time with ideas and doing physical activities can help when writing more action type elements in a story. Granted I can't do magic or anything but I know how some things feel and can expand from there when I'm writing what a character is going through in certain scenes. I also have a romance story that is between a long distance runner and a body builder, which is inspired a little by the anti-cardio weightlifters and the runners who don't do weight training. So, it has both helped and hindered my writing a little but for the most part is a separate entity in my life.



Youtube link: https://youtu.be/zHONFtGbDP4


Fun

I write like
Arthur Conan Doyle

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I write like
Mark Twain

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!