Food For Thought…

My buddy Paul Jesse posted the following on facebook a couple days ago. 

“Something to keep in mind if you haven’t voted yet, and every day really.

You don’t matter.

Your thoughts and opinions don’t matter. What you want doesn’t matter. You’re given this life and it’s over incredibly quickly. In the grand picture we are less than a speck of dust. We will all be forgotten much more quickly than we are willing to imagine.

The best case scenario is getting the chance to have a positive impact on those we encounter and make someone else’s life a little better while we are here. Do something to leave this place better than when we got here for those that come after us.

If everyone approached their vote, and daily life, with this realization imagine how much of a difference we could make.

You don’t matter, but your actions do.”

Paul Jesse

Just think about this a let is sink in…

With politics aside, the idea of getting over ourselves and doing something to help others is something everyone needs a subtle reminder of every now and again. Here is yours. ūüôā

Week 1 Recap – Cycling, Diet, Intermittent Fasting

I finished up my first week of my Active Offseason training program. W00t w00t. I am really liking Zwift and my Wahoo Kickr Snap smart trainer thus far. 

I have had some trouble with the companion app connecting to Zwift but I think its because I have crappy internet, not because of their app. One of the biggest things I like about it is that the environment is very controlled and I can control what zones I am training. For example, Last night was an endurance ride, riding outside it would have been very hard to keep in that endurance zone. Riding on the trainer w/ Zwift I was in the endurance zone for 95% of the workout, over 2 hrs!

So here is the breakdown of the training this week. 

  • Sunday: 1:50 in the endurance zone.
  • Monday: Mixed zones, 1:45. Drills and intervals.
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: 1-hr free workout.
  • Thursday: 2:20 in the endurance zone.
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: 2:51 in endurance zone with some quick bursts.

Intermittent Fasting

In addition, to a great week of training, I also completed a week of intermittent fasting, and it really wasn’t very difficult. The fasting period fit into my schedule very naturally. Here are some of the key things I did: 

  • I finished dinner most nights by 6:30-6:45pm and did not eat again until 11:15-11:30am the next day.
  • Drank black cold-brew coffee in the mornings
  • Drank a lot of water. like 64+ oz each day. (I felt more thirsty in general)
  • When I did eat, I ate healthy, balanced meals. 
  • I ate until I was full, which was about 600-800 calories per meal. 

I will post back later with some of the things I have experienced with intermittent fasting. 

Wrapping Up a Solid Week

This week was a pretty good week! It was my second week with my new team at work. They seem like great people and the work is very challenging. 

On the fitness front several thing happened this week.

  • I committed to a friend this week to do a century ride from Portland, OR to the coast in May 2019. It is a little ways off but I have a lot of fitness to build up.¬†
  • I worked out every day for the last 7 days for a minimum of 50 minutes.¬†
  • I started a training plan on Strava. It is a 12-week Active Offseason plan that is meant to maintain fitness over the winter. Perfect for the PNW weather.¬†

I am really liking my indoor cycling setup thus far. I put Strava on the TV. and a mindless comedy on the computer. The time FLIES!

On the diet front, I ate fairly well this week. I brought my lunch to work 4 of the 5 days this week. The food I brought from home was well balanced. Kale, broccoli, chicken, snap peas, etc. 

The number on the scale isn’t moving much but I know if I stick with it, it will. My goal is more centered around creating better habits. I need to stay focused on making good food and fitness choices.¬†

On that note, I had no alcohol all week. Shocking, I know! Since the only time I have to work out is after the kids goto bed, I have replace my evening cocktail(s) with my workout and by the time I finish my workout, I don’t feel like having any.

Looking forward to tomorrow and what the day brings!

Mid-week Update

This week I have been sick. It started Sunday night and I have kicked it for the most part as of tonight (Thursday). Just a little cough remaining.

I plan to do at least one check in per week to talk about what is working, what isn’t and why.

What’s Working:¬†
First, I have had no trouble waking up at 5:00am thus far. My kids for the most part stayed in bed and I did get un-interrupted time to do my meditations, cook breakfast, and get ready for work in a stress-free, peaceful environment. 

In addition, I have not partaken in any mid-week beers or whiskey. I know, CRAZY!

I haven’t gotten real worked up about anything thus far this week. I believe it is because of everything mentioned above.¬†

What’s Not Quite Working:
I have been eating more than I should be. My new desk at work is very close to a conference room that is always catered. I know this will be a struggle moving forward. There is ALWAYS free leftover catering. 

So far I think I am off to a pretty good start. Tomorrow my smart trainer arrives so I can cycle throughout the winter. Very excited about that!

Sick on Day 1, Doh!

Today was the first day of the new schedule I outlined in my previous post. I went to bed last night with a runny nose and sore throat. When I woke up this morning I felt about the same but as the day went on I went downhill. I ended up leaving work an hour early and I lay here now in bed, feeling like crap. 

But, Its all good! Tomorrow is a new day… and I may feel better.¬†

From the standpoint of sticking to the schedule, it worked pretty well. I did enjoy a mellow morning as a result of having plenty of time to do meditation, make breakfast, and help get the kids ready. It was a very low stress morning, which doesn’t happen often these days.¬†

Today I ate pretty good: 

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1/4 cup broccoli
  • Snack 1: 2 eggs, small amount of potatoes
  • Lunch: Chicken, snap peas, broccoli, vinaigrette¬†
  • Snack: None (wasn’t feeling well)
  • Dinner: Spaghetti with home made meat sauce.

It was probably around 1700 calories. Which is fine. I didn’t do my workout tonight on account of I feel so crappy.¬†

Tomorrow is another day. I start with a new team at Nike tomorrow as my current team has been dissolved. I am looking forward to starting fresh with a new group of people on a new code base. Lots to learn!

The Schedule

In my previous post I mention how being on a route was key to my getting into a rhythm and being successful. So here is my schedule. It is a result of what has worked in the past. 

5:00 am: Wake up/Get up
5:15 am: Coffee (in my belly)
5:20 am: Headspace (meditation)
5:45 am: Cook and eat breakfast.
6:45 am: Let the wife get ready. (Im on kid duty, pack my lunch)
8:15 am: Leave for work.
9:00 am: Snack (Protein drink)
12:00 pm: Lunch
3:00 pm: Snack
6:00 pm: Dinner
7:30 pm: Workout (weights/run/cycle)
9:00 pm: Bed

This is mainly for Monday thru Friday but will stick to something very similar on the weekends. In addition, this may not work, so I plan to try it out this week and massage it accordingly. 

So here we go. Day 1 is today!

The Weight Loss Yo-yo That is My Life

For the better part of my adult life I have been a bit overweight. Not morbidly obese or anything like that but every time I goto the doctor they tell me I should weight about 180 pounds. I typically fluctuate between 215 and 220 pounds.

Health issues last year lead me to get motivated and I lost 35 or so pounds working with Chris DeVecchio. One of many things I learned working with him was that I do better on a schedule. Getting into a daily routine is key. This was confirmed several months after working with Chris when I incorporated Versatile Fitness into my daily routine.

So based on the yo-yo I have experience thus far in life here are some facts about my behavior. 

  • Much more successful if exercise and diet are etched into a routine.
  • Enjoy working out with other people more than by myself.
  • Make poor dietary choices if meals are not prepared in advance.
  • Emotional events can derail me VERY easily. (anxiety, stress, anger, etc.)
  • I have seen a positive impact in managing emotional events with daily meditation.¬†
  • I am subject to constant interruption with often times leads to a loss of motivation.¬†
  • Alcohol has always been a struggle, especially in social situations.

The next few posts are going to be about pushing the reset button, getting into a routine, and getting started on hopefully the last yo-yo swing. 

The purpose of this blog is in part to document the physical, mental and emotional processes in hopes that I learn more about myself. All with the goal of changing my lifestyle to one that is all-around healthier. 

Reflection on a Great Medium Article About Software Engineering

Those of you who know me, know that I am a passionate software engineer who loves all the things web related. One of the things I enjoy is reading Medium articles on software engineering. There are any number of articles that get delivered to my inbox each day that I get sucked into. 

One that recently caught my eye was this gem.

The article is about how this person got a full-stack engineering job with no tech degree or work experience. In addition to that, it was this persons second career. 

It goes into depth on the process of making this happen. I wont bore you with a recap in the event its not your thing… But I will share some insights I pulled from the article that apply to more than just software engineering.¬†

  • You don’t need a college degree. You can learn what you need to know to get you foot in the door at a decent company for the price of attending a code school. (Get them 529 accounts setup for your kids)
  • It only works if you have a passion to learn about code. Like many other things in life, if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you are far more likely to half-ass it. Don’t half ass it. Hole-ass it. Hard.
  • Being a fast learner is probably the best skill you can have. Fine tune that skill.¬†
  • Managers are getting better at sniffing out bullshitters. They want you to prove you can do what you say you can do. So whether that is in software engineer or not, backup your claims with proof. In my case it is code.¬†

Day 1 – Memorial Weekend Ride

Today, I got out for 90 minutes and explored West Linn and Stafford County. Both areas are beautiful. I saw beautiful farm house mansions and gorgeous river-front homes. Pipe dreams…¬†

Tualatin River

We have been in Oregon now for a couple months. We are starting to get settled in and used to the new pace of life. 

My focus is shifting now from getting my feet planted and life setup to focusing on health, both physical and mental. Physically, my blood pressure, cholesterol and liver hate me. Mentally, I take medication for anxiety and panic attacks that I do not like taking. 

I do believe that with more balanced approach to life the medication are not needed. An overall focus on health should negate the need. (Yes, I know I am not a doctor.)

That being said, this weekend I rode 16.7 miles at a brisk relative pace, fast enough to get the heart rate up but slow enough to be able to enjoy some of the beauty around me. (Here is the link to the ride.) 

The latter part of the day we went with our great friends to Oswego Hills Winery and enjoyed some of the local wine and QT with friends. 

In terms of diet, I ate a great breakfast. Kale, broccoli, bacon and egg/egg white scramble for breakfast. For lunch a salad that had chicken, spinach, kale, red onion, and bruschetta sauce as the dressing. For dinner we had cauliflower pizza crust pizza with chicken, bacon, kale, onion, and a buffalo drizzle.

It was a great day!

Welcome!

I used to blog a lot back in my early twenties. It was a time in my life when work was easy, and life had very few commitments. No kids, no family, nothing but work and free time. 

I spent the better part of my twenties deeply submerged in the southern California endurance sports culture. I have done over 50 endurance events including triathlons, half-marathons & century rides. But as I got older priorities changed and endurance sports took a back seat to career and family. 

My family and I recently left southern California to pursue a new adventure up in Oregon. One of the unforeseen changes resulting from the life changes was that I got a little of the endurance sports bug back. 

We moved to the PNW in the best time of year. Warm temps and no rain. I have been taking advantage the past two months by riding my bike to work when I could. Doing this has definitely made the bug bigger. I am enjoying riding my bike around the Portland suburbs and exploring on my commute. 

So this blog is about my return to endurance sports and a healthier lifestyle. My hope for you is that you read this blog and get inspired in some way. I plan to post workouts, experiences, food ideas, and much more.