There’s a saying, if you track it, you will improve it. ‘It’ can stand for just about anything: lifting weights, running 5k, doing homework, heck, even how much time you spend cleaning up around the house. If you track these things, you can look at trends, see what’s working and what’s not, and then you can make an informed decision.
Now, the opposite is also true: if you don’t track it, it won’t improve, or will improve very slowly if at all. If you have no numbers or facts, how can you know what’s working? It could be random, it could be dumb luck. I’m a big fan of luck, but I don’t want to rely on it for any of my goals. This includes nutrition. I’ve greatly improved my diet in recent months … but what does that mean? I have no numbers, no facts, no anything to base that off of.
I guess I’m lean, if you’re being charitable, or scrawny if you’re not.
Since the last week of July, I’ve been tracking what I eat, not just the names of food but the individual macros, the proteins, carbs and the like. One week, and the results have been fascinating. Continue reading →
We’ve had a heatwave ravaging my city for the last week. So far it has broken records and shows no sign of stopping. Today was especially bad, as we had high temperatures, no clouds to cover the scorching hot sun and, to top it off, very high humidity. The temperatures were in the low 30s, but with the humidex it felt like the 40s.
Even people start melting at that temperature.
Unsurprisingly, work was very slow today. I’m a martial arts instructor, and even though we have a fully air-conditioned building, the last thing anyone wanted to do after braving the heat all day was go workout and sweat some more. I don’t blame them, as I didn’t want to be there myself. The heat completely knocked me out, and I was ready to nap by 4pm.
Now, that said, I’ve promised not to complain about the heat, so let’s switch gears and talk about the one positive of a heatwave: having ice cream. Continue reading →
This post has what might what be a controversial title. The problem with quality? How is quality a problem? If anything, the problem is usually a lack of quality. So many things are overpriced and under-deliver. I can go to the dollar store and find a thousand things that will break within five minutes of use. The problem with quality? No, the problem is no quality!
Yes, yes, I agree. Obviously quality is superior to a lack of quality … but that’s exactly the problem. Imagine driving a top-of-the-line sportscar, something by Ferrari. Maybe you get it for a month, all expenses paid. Rides like an absolute dream. Afterwards, though, you have to go back to driving your used economy model. It will feel terrible, clunky, awful, everything negative you can think about.
You had a taste of superb quality, and now it’s so much harder to accept mediocrity. Continue reading →
I sometimes think there is nothing more simple and yet so complex as nutrition. At its core, we all know eating healthy is a good thing; we all know we should do it. We also have a pretty good idea of how to do it. Eat more good food, eat less bad food. Intuitively, we understand this. Potatoes are good, potato chips are bad. Vegetables are good, veggie thins are less good.
This fight isn’t even close.
We all know this, and if nutrition were that simple we’d all be in great shape with amazing, healthy, vibrant bodies. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Searching for ‘diet’ on Google gives approximately eighty-trillion different results. Some diets have names, like the paleo diet, and then there are variations and sub-variations of that diet: paleo with rice, pseudo-paleo, half-paleo, vegan-paleo, dinosaur-paleo, etc etc. There is extensive literature here, and that’s just one type of diet. The rabbit hole goes down seemingly forever. Continue reading →
Different diet plans recommend cheat days or cheat meals. If you deny yourself your favourite sweets and chocolates for too long, you might explode one day in a ravenous, glutinous frenzy. Rather than letting it build to this extreme, you have one day a week where you have less restrictions. Go nuts, have a chocolate bar, no regrets. Cheat days help restore your willpower and give you a reward for staying true the other six days of the week.
There’s an important idea here, though, that’s easy to miss. I said ‘less restrictions,’ not ‘no restrictions.’ If you eat an entire pizza by yourself, washing it down with cake and Coke, then you’ve gone overboard a wee little bit. You want to ease the temptation, not go hog wild with it. You’ve just undone all the good you’ve spent the previous work eating healthy. Come on, get your act together.
This isn’t what a cheat day is supposed to be!
Sorry, I was talking to myself there. You see, I went a little overboard. I like donuts, and I, uh, ate a whole case. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Continue reading →
Some things in life you want to savour, and others you just want to get out of the way. No one wants a trip to the dentist to last a minute longer than necessary, whereas a back rub could last forever and no one would complain. If anything, no massage lasts long enough. Hmm, I just realized I haven’t had a massage in a while…
Note to self: get a massage.
Anyway, some things are worth slowing down for. I think we all understand this, but sometimes we have trouble living in. Take food. A well-prepared meal is delicious and nutritious, and you want to savour the flavour… and yet it’s so delicious that you want to eat it as fast as possible. These two things don’t mix very well, and most people tend to either over-eat or eat too quickly, getting bloated after.
When it comes to self-improvement, we’re often cynical creatures. You know what I’m talking about. Somebody says, “I’m going to get in shape,” or, “I’m going to go on a diet and lose 15lbs,” and we internally roll our eyes. We’re not being mean, and we’ll often wish them good luck and all that, but we’re realistic. We’ll believe it when we see it. And really, can you blame us? Talk is cheap, and we hear a lot of talk. I can’t count how often I’ve heard a friend or colleague say they plan to do X, and then two weeks later they are already back to normal. Most self-improvement plans fall short, and fall short quickly at that.
That said, sometimes you see something that makes you pause. Maybe you see someone going for a 5km run when it’s raining outside, and then you think, “Wow, he’s really serious.” He had the perfect excuse, bad weather, but he went out anyway. That takes commitment. Maybe he really can do this. Our doubt begins to lessen, because this isn’t just talk, this is action.
At least he saves time by not needing a shower afterwards.
This last week, I’ve done my own version of running in the rain, and it involved eating eggs. Eating filthy, disgusting eggs. Continue reading →
There’s a reason I’ve been so gung-ho about this, and it’s because one day I really didn’t want to do my workout. I had about eight-thousand excuses, and I listened to them. I agreed: today would not be a good day for a workout. The problem was if not today, when? The rest of my week is booked solid with commitments, and if I leave it until the weekend I’ve gone a whole week without. That’s not good.
You are what you eat. We’ve all heard this a thousand times, even as we often ignore it. We all make poor diet choices, and we know full damn well that our sugary drinks and cookies aren’t good for us. That’s okay. I’m not hear to rant on or diet shame anyone. It is what it is. I want to focus on that phrase, though: you are what you eat.
… Am I now a cannibal?
If you eat junk food, you are going to feel like junk. I think we can all confirm this at one time or another in our lives. This means that if you don’t eat bad food, you won’t feel bad. That seems obvious, and it’s true, but we focus on this far too much. There’s a world of difference between ‘not feeling bad’ and ‘feeling good’. A huge difference.
I know, because for the last two weeks or so I’ve been living it, and it’s eye-opening. Continue reading →
It’s March 27th, which means it’s a bunch of famous people’s birthday. Well, at least a few famous people. I checked for famous birthdays today, and I didn’t get much. Mariah Carey, Quentin Tarantino, Manuel Neuer. Okay, that’s not bad. That’s also it. The rest of the list is populated with people I don’t know or, even stranger, ‘YouTube stars.’ That’s right, there are so few celebrities born on this day that Youtube celebrities make up a sizable percentage.
Maybe someday I will join those illustrious ranks, for today, March 27th, is my birthday! Happy birthday, me!
Somehow, I turned 31 today. I don’t know how. There must be some type of mistake. I don’t feel 31. I don’t feel 25. I don’t even feel like an adult. I mean, adults are supposed to be these serious people with serious things to do, jobs and careers and responsibilities. Adults are supposed to do adult things. I’ve never felt like an adult. Honestly, I feel and think virtually the same as I did when I was 16, but that’s a topic for a different day. Continue reading →