Monday, November 26, 2012

How It Goes

Well, Thanksgiving has come an gone. I gave thanks, enjoyed a brief 2 hours with the family before heading home to sleep before work at 4am, and now thankful it is over with. It seemed really weird without my father. It was obvious my mother was making a strained effort to seem cheerful. I'm sure she was enjoying it some with the grand kids present, but was still missing my father.

I'm sure this Thanksgiving was hard on my brother in law too. He lost his brother in a small engine plane crash last month. I was glad to finally get to offer my condolences in person since Macy's wouldn't allow me to take the time off for the funeral. I felt really bad about not being able to attend. His brother had been a pilot for years and owned several small planes. The investigation revealed that the fuel tank had a small leak that caused the crash. Witnesses backed up that claim saying they heard the plane sputter and stall before the crash. His family is devastated. And they were already dealing with his father's failing health. His father is going through the same as mine did with lung cancer and emphysema.

The traffic in the store was a little off, sluggish even. Underwhelming to be exact, but not surprising given how early some of the sales started in our store. Only a hand full of coworkers met or exceeded their sales goals for the day, mostly the ones that were scheduled mid morning or later. Us early birds, didn't get close. Overall the store did ok, but still missed it's sales goal. I think that was a first for a Black Friday. Saturday and Sunday wasn't much better sales or traffic wise.

I've been going to the gym regularly since Nov. 5. I'm seeing a little bit of change in some areas, but still a ways to go. I have went from 166 pounds to 170 pounds. I'm hoping that gain is in muscle and not fat. My eating habits haven't changed much, except for eating a little more lean protein to help build muscle. It's my understanding that the body can gain muscle at about the same rate as it can lose fat, given proper diet and nutrition, which is usually 1 to 2 pounds a week. I certainly hope that is correct. Some body parts aren't as jiggly as they once were, but still aren't as solid and tight as I want.  While my stomach is far from flat, my ab workouts have been drawing in my gut a little. Still need to lose a little fat left in that area. My arms and pecs are grower tighter, but haven't haven't seen real growth yet. My butt muscles are sore from all the exercises I'm putting them through, but far from being as firm as melons yet. That will come in time for all the areas I'm targeting. So far, so good......

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

This will be the first Thanksgiving without my father around. Ten months have passed and it still doesn't seem real. I'm thankful that he suffered little before his passing. I'm thankful that he was interested in my life and who I was as person. I'm thankful that he cared enough to teach me meaningful skills to carry with me through my life. I thankful he was there whenever and for whatever I needed. I'm thankful that my parents managed to stay together for 55 years. I thankful for so many conversations about the important things in life and the trivial. I'm thankful of all the wanna be fathers out there I could have wound up with, that I was adopted by him and my mother. I'm thankful that my parents gave so much of themselves in raising me and my sister, to make us who we are today. I'm thankful for having such loving parents to call my own.

I'm thankful for the job at Macy's when I so desperately needed one after two years of searching. I'm thankful even for the low pay and screwy schedules as they have help be become less wasteful with my time and money. I thankful that through Macy's I'm made 3 incredible friendships; Tommy, Theresa and Jessica.

I'm thankful for the horrible periods in my life I've endured and rose above. I'm thankful for friendships that have extended from my childhood  into adulthood. I thankful for my health and the drive to improve my body, my mind and my spirit. I'm thankful that I've even got to have sex a few times this year.

I'm thankful for having transportation. I'm thankful for having a roof over my head. I'm thankful for my dog, Izzy, who loves me unconditionally. I'm thankful I kept my smaller clothes. I'm thankful for a cheap gym to join. I'm thankful for family I rarely get to see, but are there when you really need them.

I'm just thankful period. I may not have it all, but I have what I need when I need it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Routines & Habits

Granted it has only been a little over a week since I joined the gym, but starting to feel the effects, more so than see them at this point. My muscles in my arms, chest and legs are feeling tighter, and that's a good thing. Noticeably, visible results will take a little longer. I'm making going to the gym a daily habit. On days I'm scheduled to work, I do the weights with about 15 minutes of cardio to warm up the muscles and get the blood flowing. On my days off of work, I only do cardio for about 45 minutes. I vary the times I go according to my work schedule, so far, it has turned out to be mostly before work in the mornings. I like that best because it gets me going for the whole day. I do a complete circuit on the machines that work the muscle groups I'm focusing on. I rarely encounter anyone using a machine I need. The few times I have, I skip to the next and then come back when they are finished. I do three sets, with reps varying from 5 to 15, depending on the exercise and the weight used. Surprisingly, I've retained more strength than I thought I had. The first set is the heaviest weights. Second set is 10 pounds lighter and the third set is either lighter or back up to the original weight of the first set, depending on the exercise. Some of the machines are exercises I can do at home, but since the gyms is configured differently, it makes the exercise a little more difficult than I'm use to as it works the muscle group in a different fashion. I usually have to use a little lower weight than I'm use to because of it, but that's ok. I make sure I drink water while doing my circuit. I have a light breakfast before going, unusually a couple pieces of toast or yogurt, then eat a little more when I return home. My goal is to only build slightly more muscle with the emphasis on tone and definition. Hence the lower weights for the other sets. The first week I sweated like a whore in church, now not as much, though still a healthy amount. I'm curious as to what visible results I'll see after a month...

Sports Oops!

Yeah, I got a pole to throw....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Tease

I'll hold that for ya!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Body is a Wonderland

Yeah, hoping to turn it into a theme park actually.....hehe.

I joined a local Planet Fitness gym Sunday. While I have a home gym, I've maxed out the weights on some exercises and others I  want to do just can't be done at home without the proper equipment. For $10 a month, I get the opportunity, some social interaction, and free advice, plus it is nice to be around other like minded people too for inspiration. So far I have learned that the max on my equipment at home isn't always the same at the gym. Who knew right? It's all good, though at first, it kinda freaked me out. I thought I had lost a lot of muscle mass. Turns out it is just the range of motion of the machines that works the muscles a little differently than mine, hence, not as strong in that way.

Of course my goals remain the same. To tone up over all (no jiggly parts!) I want to build my chest a little more and have better defined pecs. I want bigger biceps. I'd like to grow them to about 16" or 18" (hoping). I want to flatten my stomach, maybe even get my abs back. And of course, tighten, tone my butt so it is bubble like once again. All on my little wish list is doable. It's only a question of time and dedication. I chose this gym, not only for it's cheap price, but it is open 24/7! It meshes well with the weird scheduling at Macy's, especially here at the holidays. I'll keep y'all posted. Wish me well!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Another Year

Today would have been my parents 56th anniversary.

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