Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fast - Day Two

So far, so good. Weight is 162 and the caffeine withdrawal headache is easing. It was coming in waves last night kind of ebbing and flowing but it's just a slight discomfort now.

For dinner last night Jane roasted up a whole bunch of veggies; cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, red peppers, asparagus, mushrooms and some soy beans. Mmmm, mmmmm.

This morning I've had a grapefruit, a banana, and half a honeydew. The melon wasn't quite ripe so I may use the other half for juice. It was weird to not have hot, creamy, delicious coffee first thing. I don't miss it. Much :)

In Response

Just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for the comments on my 52 Projects last week. I wasn't quite sure how it would be received, especially since I seem to be the only male playing along so far. I'm not as artsy as my wife, or as crafty as many of those who have been posting on 52 Projects, so I think many of my projects will be in a slightly different vein.

To answer a couple of questions; I used Paint Shop Pro 7 to edit the images and I think I used the "Statue" effect combined with some other effects. I played around with so many styles that I'm not sure how the final project was made.

This does tie in slightly with my quest for Iron Man. On one level, I would have never thought of posing like that had I not redefined my body over the last few years. At one point I was about 30 lbs heavier and didn't even like to take my shirt off. I think I still have a way to go before I get to the point where I could use less post processing, but I am proud of how I look.

On another level, I have a small idea the hard work and sacrifice that elite athletes go through in order to accomplish their goals. A very small idea. What I do is nothing compared to what they do. The Greeks held the first Olympic games so I decided to use a classic Greek athletic figure to honor the men and women who work so hard.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Juice me!

Today marks Day One of a nine day fasting cycle upon which I am embarking. This is something I’ve done off and on in the past but have not done in years. I’ve been working out and training for one race or another for quite some time and have not been willing to reduce calories in this manner. But here I am, with an Achilles injury and several weeks of no running so it seems like a good time. I will still do some exercising for the first few days but will not push things hard at all. I’ve been thinking about this fast and wanting to do it for a couple of years and now I have the opportunity. This is not a weight loss thing so much, though I will undoubtedly lose a few pounds. This is about cleansing my system both physically and spiritually. It will be a time for more prayer and reflection; a time for turning away from the physical and turning more towards the spiritual.

Here’s how it works: three days of nothing but fruits and vegetables, juices, and water; three days of just juices and water; three days of a lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water concoction. Those last three can be rough. I have it planned out so the final two days fall on a weekend. That Monday I will break the fast with some grapes and maybe some fruit juice. Need to make sure I get that final bit of cleansing, if you know what I mean. Then I will ease back in to “regular” food. Maybe some chicken broth or Chicken and Stars soup for lunch (gotta watch the sodium), plenty of veggies to snack on during the day, and perhaps a small piece of fish with some brown rice for dinner. My intention is to really focus on nutrition after the fast, avoiding high carb/high calories food. I have a major sweet tooth so that’s the biggest challenge.

I decided that I am going to incorporate my fast into 52 Projects this week because we just got a juicer! Talk about timing and serendipity. Jane’s mom picked it up at a consignment shop for less than $5! I have never used a juicer before, and have never used fresh juices during this fast. Now I will! Jane and I went to Produce Junction and stocked up on all sorts of goodies.

I started already with some orange juice using the citrus feature.

This afternoon I went to town with some vegetable juice. I used several carrots, an apple, two tomatoes, and two small beets. It was very good, but a little too carroty. I’ll have to tweak the ingredients as I move along.

This morning I had a cantaloupe a banana and fresh orange juice. Later I had a banana before going to the gym for a swim. When I got home I made the veggie cocktail and had a little nap. Later I had a grapefruit and another banana. I’m kinda hungry now so I think I’m going to make a banana orange smoothie. We do to need to get some more things like strawberries and celery so we’ll take a shopping trip in just a bit. I feel pretty good except for a slight headache which I attribute to caffeine withdrawal. I weaned myself down over the last week in preparation so I didn’t go cold turkey. I had been having 3 to5 cups a day and got down to one cup on Friday. Giving up coffee can be the hardest part.

I plan to write here every day this week to track what I’m eating and how I am feeling.

Weight this morning was 163


(I was a bit apprehensive about my creation hence the lack of smile in this self portrait)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Strive, To Compete, To Achieve

As long as I can remember I've been inspired by the Olympic Games. The courage the athletes embody is palpable. These men and women are shining examples of the power of hard work, of commitment, of dreams, of decision. This week for 52 Projects I've recreated a classic Greek statue in a modern digital format to honor the spirit of athletic competition.

Gold, Silver, Bronze

This project combines a few things I've not done before; digital photo art, classic statue recreation, and putting nude images of myself on the web. Kinda going out on a limb but I think it's all in good taste.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Family Affair

I tell ya, being a parent will have you climbing the walls sometime. So why fight it?

This week I arranged for a family rock climbing excursion. Max and I have been climbing with my son for a while but this time we added a few climbers. Jane signed up for the beginner class, and I signed my daughter up as a gift for her birthday. Her husband signed up too, Kendall came along (she's too young for the adult class), and we had a family day of climbing. It was a great blended family event. I got to watch everyone interact, supporting and encouraging each other, belaying (and trusting) each other, and just having fun together. Rock climbing was not a first for me, but having everyone doing it together certainly was. We didn't take a whole lot of pictures because we were too busy climbing and having fun, but here are a few:

The "kids" and me:

Four out of five:

My beautiful bride:

Me climbing:

Me tying up loose ends:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fitty duece

Can I tell you how awesome my wife is? I love her mind! She came up with the 52 Projects idea and it's got me really psyched.

I've had this thing that I've wanted to do for some time but it required some external conditions to align; time, and elements. Well, we got both with this weekend's snowstorm as it presented me with a wonderful opportunity to do something I've thought about for quite some time; go snowboarding at the Belmont Plateau. For those who don't know, The Plat, as locals call it, it an open piece of land at the top of a hill in Fairmount Park, overlooking Philadelphia from the west. It's a fairly well know spot (both Will Smith and G Love have sung about it) with softball fields, football fields, cross country race courses (High School and College teams compete there), and lots of picnic space. And when it snows, there are a whole bunch of folks out there sledding.

I drive past the Plat twice a day on my work commute and have seen it through all the seasons and many of the ways it's enjoyed. I've seen the kids sledding out there when it snows and have always wanted to take my snowboard over there. So today I did. Jane, Max, and I bundled up and headed out by 9:00. The snow was deep and fluffy. Not the best for riding but there were a couple of packed down areas that made for decent trails. Max had a cheap plastic board that didn't work so well so we went back to the house after a bit to get my other board and he and I returned to spend several hours there. It was crowded by the time we got back and the hill was getting pretty packed down. I don't have any pictures from later in the day but wish I did so you can see the difference in the snow. It was easier to ride the more packed it got, but all the people out there sledding and such made it busy. Plus, some folks just don't know not to walk right back up the middle of the trail. On a side note, I was really proud of Max. He did great out there riding for the first time.

Here's the view from the snowbound parking area

One of the early runs

Max and me

Just me

And........ some video!!! Woo hoo!!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ouch, and damn! (take two)

I haven't run for over a week in order to rest my ankle. I did about 5 miles today and the damn thing is sore again. What the fuck?!?! I cannot be injured now.