Body Transformation – Entry 3 (Day 18)

Body Transformation – Entry 3 (Day 18)

Last week was Thanksgiving.

Good news? Only gain 1 lb between three Thanksgiving meals. GO ME!

Bad news. Basically, I did not workout last week. Mostly because I didn’t want to do so. My excuses include 1) we were traveling 8 hours and I didn’t want to be stiff during the drive thus not being able to contribute causing hubs to drive the entire 8 hours, 2) my body was hurting in bad ways. I was having joint issues with my hips, knees, and ankles. Also, apparently I am experiencing something called “shin splints.” That’s the name my Facebook friends are calling my aching shin that feels like it is going to break.

So what have I done since Sunday, November 20th, 2016? Sunday, I walked 3 miles. Then came up with the “forget about it” plan described above. Thursday I did have a short post Thanksgiving Day meal walk. That was a little over a mile, but my pace was horrible due to pain in my legs plus slow walking companions. Though I shouldn’t blame them. My legs hurt at the time, so I would have been slow with or without the company. The company was nice. Also, I walked a mile last night at an okay pace.

Over the course of last week, I thought about how I wanted to change up my routine. Walking the five miles a day was nice. Experiencing it and telling people “I walk five miles everyday” brought great joy in my life. The problem though was that I couldn’t do much after that. The walk had to take place in the morning or else I wouldn’t be able to move the next day. After the walk, it was painful to get up and make lunch, go to the bathroom, etc.

My biggest problem was that even though I was in pain, I would be energized to do more.  Frequently throughout the day, I would get the urge to do kickboxing or some other similar aerobic exercise, but be completely unable to do it.

From the get go I wanted to have other parts to my workout aside from the five miles. The five miles were preventing me from doing other things though. So, over the last week I convinced my self to drop the five miles down to one mile and add in a 20 minute workout. Today was my first day with this new workout.

My workout today in time (h:m:s):

Crunches 00:02:23
Leg Raises 00:05:01
Push Ups 00:01:26
Squats 00:01:13
Star Jumps 00:02:41
Arm Extensions (3 lb weight) 00:04:11
Arm Curls (3 lb weight) 00:04:09
One Mile 00:22:23

The whole workout was about 43 minutes 43 seconds. Now of course, each activity was not completed in one go. Each was performed in 15, 20, or 30 second reps depending on my capability. For example, one round was 30 seconds of crunches, 30 of leg raises (one leg at a time), 20 of push ups, 15 of squats, 30 of star jumps, 30 of arm extensions, 30 of arm curls (approximate times). Then I would start again. I did as many rounds as I needed to complete 20 minutes. Did an extra rep of crunches and leg raises because I was just short the 20 minutes.

Between the stopping and going of turning apps on and off for my workout, it took a total of about an hour. After the mile, I timed my shower and getting dressed. Took me 27 minutes 14 second to undress, shower, blow dry my hair, dress, brush teeth, and put on makeup.

Why did I did I make a point to record overall times? To see how long it would take me to do this in the mornings before work. What I have decided is that I need an hour and a half for the workout (showering is part of the workout because without it my colleagues and customers would hate me). In addition to needing about 30 minutes for breakfast.

Therefore, if I have to be at work at, say 9:00, and it only takes 30 minutes to get to work, adding 15 minute cushion for unexpected delays I would need to get up about 6:00 each morning. Totally doable because I am a morning person, for the most part.

This is supposed to be a life style change. I don’t want this weight loss to be a one time event. I want to lose it to be healthier and be able to do more. That means it has to be a part of who I am. Which means I need to make time for it, and my preferred workout time is in the mornings anyhow.

Remember, your weight is a life style. Some of it isn’t up to you, but some of it is. Take control of what you can control. Diet and exercise are in your control. Do what you can, and as always consult your physician before making diet and exercise changes.

Happy Holidays!

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Body Transformation – Entry 2 (Day 4)

Body Transformation – Entry 2 (Day 4)

Just a short little blurb update. Don’t get too excited.

Thus far, I have walked at least 5 miles everyday four days in a row, in addition to living. GO ME! Sunday through today, I have walked 21.57 miles. … My legs hurt.

Right now, as I might have stated in Entry 1, my goal is consistency. Doing five miles every day. So far so good. What does that mean exactly? I can complete the five miles at any speed I feel like. I can break the workout up into chunks if I want or need to do so. Therefore, the running I did yesterday was just icing on the cake. GO ME!

Now I didn’t run much. My apartment complex has a slight decline towards my building. Several times yesterday I ran the decline stretch. It totaled at least half a mile, though it could have been more (no more than one mile). I am going to say that I ran half a mile yesterday.

Note: Sunday I ran a few times up the incline, but that couldn’t have been more than a 1/4 mile. 

Today, I went to Forest Park and walked the steps to and from the World’s Fair Pavilion.

 

It is not as daunting as it looks. In fact, there was only one stretch I hated.

worlds-fair-pavilion-3

This stretch of stairs was the horrible stretch, but … It wasn’t even this whole segment of stairs. As you can see, the stair case is broken into three segments. That top little stretch nearly killed me.

About the sixth time or so going up these, I contemplated giving up the stairs, going home, and finishing my five miles there later today. Shortly after, I crossed the two mile mark I felt better.

There is a routine to my thoughts during the five. Between the 1.5 mile mark and 2 mile mark, I contemplate giving up walking five miles a day all together. I imagine how I would feel giving up this part of my self. It feels horrible to think that.

In just a short time frame, I have already incorporated walking five miles every day into my psyche. When imagining giving it up, I feel a great loss. I feel like a failure. That feeling gets me past the two mile mark. At that point, my thoughts are more along the lines of “oh, this is almost over. Let’s keep going.” Until mile four ….

At my four, I am ready for it to be over with. I have to stop myself from looking at my phone every 30 seconds to see how much further is left. It feels so good to cross the five mile mark.

I walk five miles every day. I have been doing it for four days now at 204 pounds. You can do this too. Pick a physical activity. Pick a duration. Pick a frequency. Most of all, tell yourself this everyday. Several times a day.

Being fit is a life style. Diet and exercise don’t work if you stop doing it. Of course you are going to gain wait if you stop being physically active. This is a permanent change in your life, so pick something you ENJOY doing.

I enjoy walking and running. “I complete five miles everyday.” What do you do?

November 11, 2016 – After the Election

Donald Trump is now the President Elect. Many people are happy. Even more, not so much. What now? 

Some people are rioting. Some people are celebrating. Some people are burying their head in the sand. People are doing all kinds of crazy things… sane things… People are doing things. 

What should you do? I don’t know. Maybe you should do what you have always done. Maybe you should do what you have always dreamed of doing. Either way, do SOMETHING. 

Protest if you want. That is your right. Write to your Senators and your House Representatives. Believe it or not, elected officials do listen to you, at least to a degree. After all, they want to be reelected. 

What am I doing? Working on my hobby business, Made by Chanel. I make wax melts, candles, and body sprays. I love scented products and instead of paying a lot of money for various products and their many scents, I make my own. 

I am also a business consultant for Sweet Hollow Creations. SHC is a bath and body company. Handmade soaps, lotions, scrubs, all kinds of things. I love their products. It’s the only soap I use. Like, I bought a year plus supply. Partially to resale. Partially to use myself. 

I also breed mice. I love my little rodent family so much. 

I am also contemplating my career. Right now I am working on becoming a tax preparer and exploring that pathway. 

I am also thinking about my role in this society and what I want to contribute. Should I begin a career in public service or simply volunteer on the weekends? What steps should I take?

I implore you this: do something. Live your life. Build your life with a purpose.

“Supply and Demand” A Privileged Arguement

One of the first things you learn in any intro economics class is the theory of Supply and Demand. What you will be told is that the supple of a product and the demand of a product will impact the price of said product. When prices are higher, suppliers are willing to supply more. When prices are lower, demanders will demand more. The final price will fall where there will be not too much back order, nor too much surplus. In layman’s terms, that is the theory.

However! This theory is VERY simplistic. This theory only takes into account the price of the product and no other factor — such as the factors that go into determining price.

The phrase “supply and demand” arises frequently in discussions about wages — ESPECIALLY the minimum wage. You may hear arguments or comments similar to these:

Burger flippers shouldn’t make as much as an ambulance driver.

Nonskilled people shouldn’t be making more than our armed forces

They should go to college.

They should get a better job.

These are just a few off the top of my head that I have heard or read. The argument that is typically used to defend the person’s stance is … you guessed it! SUPPLY AND DEMAND! I would like to propose that as a privileged argument. Not everyone can be a CEO of fortune 500 company. Besides, if it REALLY was about supply and demand, our teachers and armed forces would be paid better.

The Other Factors

Some of the factors that go into accepting a wage or salary at an organization:

  • comparable wages and salaries
  • communication expenses
    • phone
    • internet
    • etc
  • type of work
    • is it entertaining/enjoyable?
    • does it come with well being risks?
    • is is prestigious?
    • etc
  • human capital (if you have more or less skills than your co-workers)
  • fixed expenses
    • car payments
    • debt
    • etc
  • cost of living in the area and surrounding areas
    • housing
    • food
    • entertainment
    • etc

Those are obvious. You may even be able to think of a few more. Yet, there are is one factor is not included in that list and is seldom thought of from those of privilege (for which there are many levels) — the alternative.

If a job is not obtained, what will happen? Will you have housing? Will you be able to eat? Will you have transportation? Will you be able to make your fixed and necessary expenses? The answer to these questions influence people’s wage demand and tolerance toward unemployment.

A person’s access to housing AND alternative housing will influence their ability to attain a higher paying job and thus the demand for such a job. For example, what if you are offered a well paying job, but it requires a move for which they won’t pay for. Before you accept, consider these:

  • You will need first and last months rent
  • Application fees
  • housing permit fee
  • down payment for electricity
  • moving van
  • gas for move
  • groceries between then and first check
  • transportation to work and errands between then and first check
  • mini trip before hand to scout out areas and apartments
    • hotel
    • travel expenses
    • food

Could you afford a hotel for a few weeks if you couldn’t get an apartment right away? Keep in mind, not everyone has family who can give them a few hundred dollars to get them by until EVENT X. Not everyone has family they can stay with until EVENT X.

Sometimes bad events happen, but you still need a roof over your head, a hot meal in your stomach, and bills to pay. Sometimes you can’t say “no, you must pay me more” because if they disagree then you have to look again which takes time–which you might not have much time. If you are in that situation, it can make it difficult to do the more that is needed for more. If you take that bad paying job, you may not have the money to get a better education — or you may not have the time or energy. You might not even be able to assist your child or dependents in getting educated or trained. Thus, a cycle is started. You can’t so you don’t so you can’t so you don’t so you can’t so you don’t ….

Conclusion 

Any person who works what our society deems a full time job should be able to afford the necessities in life — and yes, a smart phone is a necessity in the 21st century, though it can be substituted by other technologies if needed.

An argument against raising the standard wage (minimum wage) is inflation. If the minimum wage is raised than the cost of goods and services will skyrocket … and that is the other issue we have as a society. You should not need an above average salary to afford decent housing, health care, etc. Slum lords shouldn’t be a thing.

To solve all our aliments as a society, we will need to tackle these issues from multiple points: regulation (because some people behave unethically whether it is legal or not) and from ethics education (because some people need to taught that whether an action is legal or not it is unethical).

Tell me what you think!

Deflating the Fed?

The Fed Is Swimming Dangerously In Uncharted Waters by Scott Minerd

Many people from all walks of life are terrified about what is happening at The Federal Reserve. The Fed’s balance sheet has dramatically increased over the last several years. The reason this has happened was because we have learned our lesson from the Great Depression — do nothing and things will get MUCH worse.

The author is right these are uncharted waters. Janet Yellen and the other central bank leaders have to be cautious about shrinking their respective balance sheets. The problem is that we don’t  have an example to go by. With the Great Depression we learned that an influx of capital can help stabilize the economy – even if just a little. We have not seen either a successful or unsuccessful reduction of capital. Therefore, all the concern is warranted.

With that in mind, you can’t live in fear. We might now have the direct experience to learn from, but we still have other lessons. Such as, care for the masses. Now granted our politicians don’t really do that for the most part, but … luckily not all of our officials are politicians. Keep that in mind. Some of our leaders do actually care and have morals.

Shutting Down the IRS?

Members Of Congress Push To Shut Down IRS Forever by Kelly Phillips Erb

This is one of the most ridiculous ideas Congress has ever had. This and ever other attempt to pass the blame to someone else. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s ideas are not much better. Repealing several bills, acts, etc. that benefit MANY Americans is not the answer either. How about they reinstate The Glass-Steagall Act? Or, maybe properly fund our many different departments and agencies? After all, government spending is one of the biggest (if not the largest)  money multipliers. Then again, reducing the tax code to less than 10 million words might help as well, but that is the duty of Congress.

Poisoned M&M’s

The other day I was having a discussion about the Syrian refugees. My argument was that we should welcome them into our country. My opponent’s argument was that we should not — for various reasons, most of them you have probably heard or even hold. Eventually, he said: I have a bowl of M&M’s, 10 of them are poisonous. You go first.

My response was a sarcastic: Let’s dump them all. 

Him: I didn’t say get rid of them. I said you go first.

Now, let’s discuss how ridiculous his argument is. Why is it inappropriate to use the analogy of poisoned food in comparison to the Syrian refugees, migrants, and even ISIS? Well, to begin with, it is ridiculous to compare a person to poisoned food. Why? Because what do you do with poisoned food? Do you eat it? Do you let someone else eat it? NO! Of course not, you throw it out in such a manner that no one will eat it because IT IS POISONED!

When comparing the Syrians to poisoned food, you are saying – whether you intend to or not – that they should be thrown away because a few of them are “poisoned.” BECAUSE YOU DO NOT RISK EATING POISONED FOOD.

Comparing them to a bowl of partially poisoned M&M’s is taking away their humanity. With such arguments, you get Trump saying that we should force them to registrar and wear identifying markers to distinguish them as others. Does that sound familiar?

It is wrong to treat people as others as less than human. Why? To put it simply, we as a species decided so during WWII and Hitler did the same – and worse – to the Jewish people of German.

Now, is poisoned food is a bad analogy and we want to stick with a food theme — what is a good analogy?

A quote that I have repeatedly seen on Facebook and accredited to Malala Yousafzai sums it up good: With guns you can get rid of terrorists. With education, you can get rid of terrorism.

Your ultimate goal will determine which stance you take. If you want to make yourself feel better today, you may take the gun approach — poisoned M&M’s. However, that is superficial. Increasing security to obscene levels and denying human rights to an entire nation and religion, will not make you safe. You may feel like you are doing something to increase your security, but ultimately, your efforts are probably in vain.

However, if your goal is to be safe, you will take the educational approach. It takes more time, and the affects usually do not present themselves until years down the line, but the efforts have much longer lasting effects.

What food analogy works best with the Syrian-ISIS crises? Dirty food – not poisoned. Imagine you were carrying a tray of cookies, and you stumbled a bit. A few cookies fell of your tray. Some on to the side walk, and a few into a pile of manure. What do you do with all the cookies?

With the poisoned M&M’s scenario,  we had to throw out all the M&M’s because we did not know which were poisoned and which were not. With the cookies, we do know which are safe to eat–and which are not. We know which cookies fell into the manure. Those we throw out. There is no saving them. But the ones that did not? Those can be brushed off. Those we can save. Then there are the ones still on the tray. Those are still perfectly good.

The flaw with this analogy is that we witnessed the cookies falling. We know precisely which ones to do what to with little effort. With the Syrians and potential ISIS members it is a little more difficult. We can’t make an instant judgment as to which basket they fall into. That is why the refugee placement program takes so long to complete — 18 to 24 months or longer! If we try to make a quick decision about individual people we start thinking like Trump — they are all potentially poisoned — and thus start acting like Hitler.

I do not make light of Nazi comparisons, and dislike it when others do. However, if I recall my history right. It all started with registering a group of people. Marking them as other. Will we treat the Syrians as horribly  as the Nazi’s treated the Jews? More than likely not; however, the US also rounded up people of Asian decent during that time because of the attack on Pear Harbor. All I can remember of that situation — because it was barely mentioned in my history classes — was that they were not exactly treated nicely.

What I do know is this: if we start treating the Syrians as less than humane by taking way their human rights, it will only get worse.

To paraphrase a Lorax I know: unless someone cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to change. It’s just not.