Tuesday, October 29, 2013

David 2.0 -- The Bulkening

Back in December of 2004 I weighed 230 lbs. I had always been a skinny kid in life, staying that way up to and straight through college. The genes were in my family, after all. But then I started working for a living, and that 9-5 lifestyle wreaked havoc on my eating habits. From 1998 to the end of 2004 I had really let myself go.

Then, inevitably, I had a health scare in early 2005 at the age of 28, and completely changed my life around. I was dead serious about it all, too, as chronicled here on the Bimillennial Man in this 5-part series. Many of you already know the story. I lost a total of 62 lbs by September of that same year, weighing in at 168! A weight I had not been since my early years in college.

Recently a family member thought it wise to attempt to school me in proper protein intake. See, I now weigh 188 lbs. But it's not what you think! That there is 20 lbs of muscle I've put on--and relatively recently! As in the past 2 years, recent. And the way I did it was by lots of carefully planned exercises, and of course by properly monitoring my nutritional intake. Key among this was keeping track of my protein intake. I changed my diet for possibly the fifth time in as many years (it's a constantly evolving/revolving engagement, eating healthy) and really made sure I was getting a lot of protein the healthy way. Protein that would fuel those workouts of mine.

You be the judge of the results I achieved (click on the pics for larger versions):

168 pounds, versus ...

... 188 pounds. Fight!

The first pic was taken back in October 2005 when I was only 29; while the one at the waterfall was nearly 8 years later at age 36 (almost 37), taken this past July. Now, even though I am 20 lbs heavier in that second pic -- do I look it? Do I look like I let myself go? No. And yet, I'm 188 lbs there. How? And could I get bigger? The short answer to the last is: no. See, I wasn't trying to bulk up. I didn't want to look like a roid head, or even a bodybuilder or bouncer. No, all I wanted was a lean, healthy look. A slim but powerful build, if you will. I valued running and other aerobic exercises more, after all, than just lifting weights like most guys are obsessed with. But yet, I couldn't deny the health benefits of having more muscle than fat on one's body. The cardiovascular benefits alone were worth it. But in my case, it also provided for a faster metabolism and more efficient sugar absorption by my cells.

And it worked! My blood results when I see the doctor don't lie! But this family member decided to tell me that taking too much protein is not good for you. I told her that I monitor my levels very closely with both a calorie tracker and nutritional index app on my phone, which I use to log every single meal I eat during the day and break down the numbers for me. I know the formula by which a man translates his body weight into the total grams of protein he should be ingesting while keeping to a regular workout routine. I know all these things, and have been taking care of my body for 8 years now.

So when people like my well-meaning family member try to give me advice on something I already know a lot about, and have been doing for years, I say: thanks, but no thanks. I got this. You do you, and I'll do me. I've been my own best advocate for as long as I can remember.

How about you? Do you have any well intentioned nosy bodies in your family? You love them, don't ya? But sometimes you just wish they'd mind their beeswax, amirite?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Top 10 TV Crushes Of My Youth

Crushes are a beautiful thing. Not full love attractions, nor down and dirty lust obsessions, crushes are as every day essential to a healthy lifestyle as yoga or eating oatmeal. As children, a crush can be the first sniff--a whiff, if you will--of what love might be when we grow up. As adults, however, crushes are often casual and entertaining; something frivolous to pass the time and keep our libidos running. You may even share them with your significant other, or with complete strangers as I did here in this blog entry a few months back. Sometimes, even, a crush might become a true love connection. That cute girl who works down at the bookstore whom you've been crushing on for months now, might just someday end up being the mother of your children if only you would work up the courage to ask her out for coffee sometime. Or, in tragic cases, a crush might turn into an unhealthy connection and land the crusher flat on the "Go To Jail" space in this monopoly game of life we're playing.

But for the most part, yes ... that which we crush on is not meant to be taken seriously. We have them, we cherish them, we learn from them, and we move on. Now, while I've certainly gone on and on here on The Bimillennial Man about who my crushes have been of late, I thought I'd take a step back and re-examine all the ones I've had leading up to today. Scratch that. Such an endeavor would take far too long to write up. On second thought, how about I just narrow it down to celeb crushes? Women most of you are probably already familiar with. Hmmm, still too broad a selection? Okay, okay -- I got it! How about we narrow the criteria down to only actresses--television actresses at that--who I've crushed on up until the very cusp of puberty? In other words, those little boy crushes that we all find so adorable and endearing? Nothing wrong with that, right? I mean, awwwww!

So, okay then. Here we go. The following are a list of my top 10 tv actresses from a favorite sitcom or show of mine ranging from the late 70s, which is when I was born, until the cutoff point of 1990, which is the year I started high school and crushes took on a whole 'nother level of urgency and angst.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dipping The Pen . . .

So, I'm leaving the subway this morning and stopping off for my typical breakfast pickup at the cafe across the street from my office, when I run into a co-worker who's been making googly eyes at me for some time. She mouthed the word "hello" as our eyes met, and then proceeded into the establishment with me following behind. Shit, I think. I need to get in and out of this place and make sure I don't get cornered into a conversation! Which I manage to do, pick up my order, and hightail it out and to my desk on the 6th floor in record time.

Later, as I go to refill my 1-liter water bottle at the office break room, I run into her again. Ugh! I always run into her there. And it's always awkward. She gives me this smile, and looks at me expectantly as if waiting for me to say something. And I never do. I'm actually rather brusque with our interactions, to be honest. Moreso than I need to be, perhaps. In other words: more standoffish than is normal even for me. Which, if you know me, is pretty damn harsh.

Here's the deal with this person: I don't know her from Jane. She works in the same office as me, sure, but we're from completely different departments and, therefore, have zero business-related interaction with one another. I also get the impression that she's not the one to usually make googly eyes at anybody, and keeps to only a small circle of her own colleagues. Just as I do. So it's actually pretty interesting that she seems to have zeroed in on me. I do absolutely NOTHING to warrant this attention, mind you. I don't flirt, I don't ogle, and I barely say more than a few words in greeting (enough to be polite).

Oh, I guess you should know one other piece of this equation that should be fairly obvious by now if you've been paying attention: I'm not interested in her. Not just because of recent personal circumstance (which is a pretty big reason all of its own, no doubt), but also because ...

I'm just not attracted to her. At all!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Fading Years ...

I went shopping at Costco yesterday to stock up on some very essential household items. While I was in the huge walk-in freezer section, I came across an elderly lady staring intently at the skim milk pallet in the corner. She was a little bitty thing, wearing dark wraparound shades and peering very closely at the milk as if studying the cartons for signs of disease or whatever. So I walked over and asked her if she wanted to know the expiration date, but she replied that she was looking for a container with no dents on it. LOL!

Anyway, she seemed to be having trouble lifting the gallon jug of low-fat, so I grabbed it for her and asked her if she had a cart. After I placed it in the bin for her, she called me a "dear" and explained that she had a bad shoulder. I told her it was my pleasure, wished her a good day, and carried on with my shopping.

These encounters always remind me of my sweet grandmother, whom I love above all other people in this world. She raised me after my mother died when I was 9, and although she was very lax in the discipline department, she taught me all I know about compassion, caring, and understanding. I am the empathetic fellow some of you know today because of this woman.

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...