Saturday, July 25, 2015

Visiting Family

Today I got to spend some time with my family. I haven't seen them since before Comic Con so I was excited to hang out with them today.

When I got there I was greeted with so much love and affection. Both kids came up to me yelling Uncle Kenny and giving me a big hug. But my fun time with the kids had to wait as I was going to go out to lunch with my Dad first. I also like to have some one on one time with him and lunch seems to be our thing. Afterwards I always drive him around so he can run some errands.

Once back at my brother's my dad disappeared back into his room and it's now playtime with kiddos. Mike and Lora were off to Lora's high school reunion so Lora's sister Wendy came over to watch the kids. They were out back play catch when I went out to join them. We threw around the football for a bit, my nephew Kenobi has a better spiral then me and he's only six.

After catch we wrestled around on the trampoline, this is where I started to feel my age. I was exhausted and my back was starting to hurt but it didn't stop me from jumping and throwing the kids around. I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow when I wake up for gym but I didn't care.. the kids were loving it.

We went in and watched some "Into The Woods", Kenobi really likes that movie and asked that I bring my screener so he could watch it. While he watched the movie Molly brought me over to her My Little Pony and started to explain everything to me and how she loves brushing her hair... it was pretty adorable.

We wound up back outside on the trampoline and they asked for me to join them but my back wasn't feeling so hot and I was about to leave (I spent about five hours with them) so I declined. I told them I was getting ready to leave and they both bounced over to me to give me a hug goodbye. Molly asked if I could come back tomorrow and I said.. maybe next week. She seemed okay with that.

I said goodbye to dad and headed home. It was a great family visit.

Me - Before and After

I always have been and will always be short and stocky, I will never be skinny and I've come to accept that. Because I'm stocky I've been able to hide my weight pretty well. I mean when I told people I was over 200lbs they couldn't believe it. But at my heaviest 219 it was becoming harder and harder to hide. I truly didn't think I was that big. Besides other medical issues.. I was considered morbidly obese. Which I always found ridiculous but that's what they classified me as. Now going into my sixth month at NerdStrong Gym and nine month overall workout I am down 30 lbs, one shirt size smaller (XL to a L) and three pant sizes smaller (38 down to a 35).

I posted a picture of my face shot before and after face shot a few weeks back and was shocked at how different I looked. When I was larger I didn't realize how big I had gotten because it was a slow process over many years. But when you put a picture next to a picture it's just crazy to see the difference.

So today I was on the hunt of a body picture that really showed how heavy I was and I have to say that was a tough challenge. Most full body pictures are of me standing up and because my chest is larger then average (again I'm stocky) my shirt comes out over my stomach so you really can't see the belly. I searched through hundreds of photos until I found one from when I got a mani/pedi with my mom last year. In the picture I wasn't my full 219 lbs, but probably close 210 lbs or so but I was sitting and it definitely showed off my larger belly. Again when you put a picture next to a picture it's amazing to see the difference nine months of hard work and eating healthier can do. I'm still far from my goal of 165 lbs, currently 189 lbs but I'm well on my way. I'm was hoping to lose the last 24 lbs before by my one year anniversary of getting fit on Oct. 21st 2015. But that doesn't seem likely since I haven't gone down a single pound in the last two months but I know that I'm losing fat but gaining muscle in it's place. So instead my new goal is to be my ideal weight of 165 on my 1 year anniversary at NerdStrong Gym which is February 5th 2016. That seems like a more reachable goal, 24 lbs in 7 months which means I have to lose just over 3 lbs a month... wish me luck!!

Overall I'm very happy with my progress and I want to thank you all for your continued love and support.

NerdStrong Gym - 450 Reps, 500 Meter Run & 9 Minutes of Planking

After taking off Friday and resting a bit I was ready for whatever coach Andrew threw at us today.. so I thought!! Today's worked looked horrendous, but once it was broken down and modified it was still horrible but not as bad when I first saw it. This workout had a huge reward. Coach Andrew doesn't like hugs but he offered to hug anyone who finished this workout. I was determined to make it happen.

Of course we started with a really good warm up before moving straight into the workout. We had a time cap of 30 minutes and were to get as far as we could within that time. So if you look at the workout the black was the more advanced, the green numbers on the right were a step down and then the items in the parenthesis were even a further step down.  Coach Andrew strongly suggested that we go back and forth between the items, depending on our ability.

So I started my workout with a 250 meter run with a 20lbs sandbag around my shoulders. Next I grabbed a 35lbs Kettlebell and started to do the 100x Goblet Squats. I got to 50 and realized that I was killing myself so I went down to a lower pound kettlebell and did 10 more before calling it quits. I did the :90 second plank and then I tried to do a Kettlebell Sit Up and failed so I opted to do a regular sit up and did the full x90 of them. Did another :90 second plank before moving on to the 80x Explosive Push Ups (for this we had to have one hand on a kettlebell and then push ourselves off and over with one hand and land with the other hand on the kettlebell. I manged to do 30 this way before dropping the kettlebell all together and doing another 10 before calling it quits. Another :90 second plank and then 70x Kettlebell Reverse Lunges. Right now I'm pretty cooked so I did a first 10 with the kettlebell but dropped the weight and did the remaining 25 without wait for a total of 35.

These planks were getting harder and harder and I was taking more breaks then I would have liked but I tried to stay up for as long as I could for the next :90 second plank. At this time I resolved that I would do the lesser reps with the weights just so I could get through as much of the workout as possible. So next was the 60x Face Peelers, which meant I did 30 of them. At this time there was only 90 seconds left of the workout so I did a :60 second plank and then moved on to the Mace Thrusts and managed to do :30 seconds worth before time ran out.

And with that I failed at completing the workout so that meant no hug from Coach Andrew for me :( needless to say I was disappointed but I did a pretty good job and got to where I was hoping to get (though I had to modify more then I liked), so I was happy with the results. This was a tough workout but a good one. Thank Coach Andrew.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Creativity Crisis!!

I need a creative kick in the butt. I feel like the past few years I have had some good idea and have taken them just to the edge of production but for whatever reason I don't follow through and they fall along the waist side. I'm sure there are many reasons why this is happening.. no time or laziness, but I think a big one is lack of funds and even bigger lack of confidence in my ideas. What's worse is I've had some great ideas or concepts and didn't act upon them soon enough and then see them months/years later being done by someone else.

Creatively I feel very stagnant at the moment and I don't know how to break the cycle. Maybe I need a creative partner, someone to bounce ideas off of or work on projects together. I have found that I tend to complete things more often when I have a bit a pressure from an outside source. Maybe that's my next step... I don't know.

I do currently have my own production company, Geekyfanboy Productions, which produces podcasts. But out of those six podcasts that I have created only one is still currently active (MASH 4077 Podcast). Several are devoted to webseries that are no longer in production (Knights of the Guild for The Guild & My Gimpy Life podcast for My Gimpy Life), one just kind of fizzled out as I didn't like the way it was turning out and wanted to try and retool it but just haven't found the time (Confessions of a Fanboy), one has been on hiatus for a few month as finding time to record has been very difficult (Alien Nation: The Newcomers Podcast) and the final one has been in the works for five years but hasn't gotten past the developmental stage for various reasons (The Geek Roundtable).

I think it's time to take a step back and look at what's going on creatively in my life. Assess what I'm currently doing and figure out what my next step is... I'm tired of feeling as though I'm just sidestepping through life... time to move forward.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Geek Pride, Agent Carter, Booking NerdStrong & Hunger Games Trailer

Super excited as I got my "In This House We Do Geek" sign in the mail a few days ago and put into a temporary frame. I loved this sign the moment I saw it and knew that I had to have it. And I have to say seeing it in person it's even better then the picture. I love all the different sayings and how the artist uses the "specific" font used for each movie. It's a great addition to my apartment. I haven't hung it up yet as I'm not sure exactly where I want to put it. But for now it's sitting my dining table looking awesome. If you want to pick up your own sign head over to the Artists Etsy page HERE.

So this past week I have been watching episodes of Agent Carter during my lunch break. It just reminds me how much I love this series. I can only watch one episode per lunch and it's so hard to not continue with another episode. If you have not seen this series and are a fan of the Marvel universe you are truly missing out on something special. I'm really looking forward to season two in the new year.

There is a new trailer for Hunger Games MockingJay part 2. Now I was not a fan of the last third of that book but I have to say this looks pretty awesome and I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

Spent a half hour booking my NerdStrong Gym classes for the month of August. I booked 27 out of the 31 days, thought that may change. I'm currently going six days a week with Monday's off, but the past three weeks I have also taken off Friday (open gym) and I think it's working better for me. But for now I'm booked 27 days next month.

After work I headed to Robert and Cait's place to hang out for a bit. We haven't done a TV night in months so I thought it would be fun to get together. Robert and I still had a few of the Babylon 5 TV movies to watch but I wasn't really feeling B5 today so I suggested that we watch the first two episodes of Agent Carter, neither Robert nor Cait had seen it yet. So we ordered some stuff crust pizza and buffalo wings (which I haven't had in a few months) and enjoyed some kickass Carter.... it was a good way to end the day.

NerdStrong Gym - Bench Pressing

Strength day today at NerdStrong Gym. We started with a good arm warm up before moving on to our barbell workout.

Today it was Bench Press. I actually like bench press' because I can lift a fair amount. Once I learned the proper form the rest was easy. We had to do seven sets of 4 reps each. We started at 60% of our max, then 70%, 80%, 85% and then back down to 65%, 75% and finally 85% again. We also added 5 to 10 additional pounds to that number.

My max bench press is 180 lbs so I did my percentage from there. It was a good workout. It's tough to do 4 reps at 85% but nice to go back down again where it feels like you are doing nothing at 65%. The last 85% reps is the hardest because you just finished doing 24 bench press' at various rates and now you have your final four at one the heaviest weights. I am looking forward to upping my max for bench press. I'm hoping to get to 200lbs in the near future.

The last 20 minutes of class was dedicated to a mini workout which was 5 rounds of 10x Barbell Push Press and then 70 meter Farm Carry with a Kettlebell. After first this didn't feel much like workout but after your third round and during the Farm Carry you're arms start to feel like lead and all you want to do is drop the kettlebells. By the end you are happy it's over.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blog Post 4000 - Stephen Fry, Please Like Me & Hayley Atwell

This is my 4000th blog post.. I can't believe I've blogged 4000 times since I officially started back in 2006. Honestly I blog for me, it's kind of like a diary of my life but I also do it for my family and friends so they can keep up with my daily geeky life. Thanks to all who take the time to read all my ramblings and especially those comment, I love getting comments. Here's to another 4000 blog posts :)

I came across this video today.. it's about five months old and it's Stephen Fry talking about "God". Now Stephen Fry is an Atheist which I do not consider myself. I have always called myself Agnostic but that doesn't mean I don't agree with his statement in this video. I think he's honest and to the point and I like that about his response. And as an extra bonus the interviewer looks dumbfounded by his answer.. which is pretty awesome.

And just so everyone is aware, I don't wish to offend anyone who is religious, if it's the right thing for you then that's great and I'm happy for you.

Please Like Me released a Season three teaser trailer but I have to say half of the footage is from season two. But it's still exciting to see some new stuff and to know we are getting another season of this quirky Australian comedy. New season starts Oct 16th but I don't know if that's in the US, Australia or the world.. regardless I'll be able to find it starting then... woot!!!

And the last thing I wanted to share with you guys is that Hayley Atwell is going to be at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention on Sunday August 23rd.

I use to go to this local con every month but I haven't been in years but with Ms. Atwell being there I think it's time to make my triumphant return. I'm super excited as I really wanted to meet her at SDCC but couldn't so now I get a second opportunity and I won't miss it this time.

If you guys don't know who she is, she plays Agent Carter in all the Marvel Movies (Captain America, Captain America Winter Solider, Avengers Age of Ultron and Ant-Man... and of course Agents of SHIELD and her own series Agent Carter. There is just something about this women (character) that I adore.

NerdStrong Gym - Running, Running & More Running Pt 2

Today was a repeat of last Wednesday CON day with a twist. We first started with a good warm up as we usual do.

For the actual workout it was broken down into two segments. The first was a 2 minute run and 1 minute rest for 4 rounds. Unlike last week when it was only a 1 minute run but we did it for 5 rounds, so it's less rounds but more "reps". This is always tough because you want to impress but not kill yourself especially since you know you are going to have to sprint for the next section of the workout. I did pretty good at pacing myself and landed in the same location everytime the two minutes was up.

For the sprinting that was different from last week as well. Last week we sprinted for a minute and then rested for 4 minutes and we did this 5 times. This time around we sprinted from the Hydrant to Sign (roughly 140 meters) and then rested 3 minutes and did this also 5 times. Here is were I shined. I used to run track and sprinting was my thing so I did the first sprint in 17 seconds, next I did it in 15 seconds and the three after that I manged to do 16 seconds each. It's nice to know that the sprinter is still in me and if I had proper shoes I probably could have shaved off a second here or there. But I was happy with my results and yes it took a toll on me to do that but I didn't kill myself and recovered quickly.

Don't know if we are going to be running next Wednesday, guess will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Muppets First Look & The Good Dinosaur Trailer

Hey guys.. there are several trailers that I want to share with you today.. first one is the presentation that was shown at San Diego Comic Con during the Muppet's panel. This is what the Henson company showed to ABC to get them to agree to a new TV series. It's pretty awesome and I'm really looking forward to seeing this new series this fall.

The second is a trailer from the new Disney/Pixar movie called The Good Dinosaur. Even though they don't show a whole lot in this trailer it actually moved it, stirred up the emotions like most Pixar movie do. You know it's going to be another winner.

NerdStrong Gym - Push/Pull Ladder

Today's DEX workout was crazy difficult. It started with a pretty intense warm up. We started with 2 rounds of 7x Scap Pulls and 7x Scap Push Ups. Then a Door Stretch and J Hook Calf Stretch before doing 2 rounds of 10x Bridges and 10x Slow Froggers. I was already tired and we hadn't even started the actual workout yet.

The workout was broken down into two parts, the first part was push ups and pull ups. It was called a Push/Pull Ladder. We started with 10 push ups and 1 pull up, then 9 push ups and 2 pull ups.. as our push ups went down our pull ups went up until we did 1 push up and 10 pull ups. It was a tough workout especially for the arms. Most of use can't do pull ups so we did ring rows instead. Since I can do at least one pull up coach Andrew asked me to do one before moving on to ring rows each time. Towards the end Brenden and I were doing ring rows on a box.. so we were almost vertical while pulling ourselves up. As I said it was a tough workout.

Part two was 4 rounds of :45 second of work, :30 seconds of rest. We did Jump Rope, Kettlebell Swings and Burpees. So we started with :45 seconds of Jump Ropes, then rest for :30 seconds, then :45 second of Kettlebell Swings and then rest for :30 seconds and finally :45 seconds of Burpees before resting for :30 seconds and then doing it all over again three more times. :45 seconds doesn't sound like much but after the push ups and pull ups it's a struggle to continue to keep moving. And the :30 seconds of rest feels like it's only few seconds.

And to top it off it was my buddy Derek's birthday so that of course meant Birthday Battle Ropes. I never let anyone do them alone so I joined in and did them as well. As did a few others..  I know I'll be feeling this workout days to come.. my arms are going to be a mess.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Doctor Who Teaser & Mr. Tumnus Cosplay

BBC released a teaser trailer for their upcoming season Doctor Who. Lot's of bits and pieces, it looks a bit darker but that's how this doctor has been portrayed. Still not a fan of this doctor but I'm loving Clara with this doctor. Looks like the Master is going to be back again (not a surprise) as well as some old school villains. I'm excited to see more Doctor Who but not like I was back with Tennant.

I came across this awesome looking but I'm sure they will hurt wearing Faun leggings and hooves. My first thought was... Oh I can cosplay as Mr Tumnus, who I adore from the Narnia series.

I think I could pull off a really good cosplay of him but then remembered that he is shirtless and I don't know if I'm comfortable enough with my body to pull something like that off. Still who knows what the future holds I like the idea and I might try and do an alternate version with a vest or something. I mean he does wear a red scarf so I might be about to wrap that around my body. I'd also want to get full length leggins as these cut off at the knees. I know my friend Jes has made these kinds of legging in the past so I might see if I can get her to make me a pair.. but needless to say I won't be buying these leggings or hooves anytime soon as funds are extremely low.

You can check them out at this ETSY store HERE.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

NerdStrong Baby Shower

In the after noon I went to Marla and Andrews baby shower. Marla and Andrew are the co-owners and founders of NerdStrong Gym and they are having their first baby.. it's a boy. I was happy to see that it was going to be at coach Kimi's house which is only a few blocks from my place so I was able to walk.

I had intended on bringing some buffalo chicken wings, orange chicken, chips and some onion dip. The chicken was the easy kind.. just pour out of a bag. All you had to do was heat them up and then pour the sauces on them... so I thought. About half hour before the party I figured I'd nuke the chicken to warm it up before heading over to Kimi's. But first I wanted to try one as I had never had this brand before and they can be hit and miss. Well I bit into the buffalo chicken and realized that it was raw still. I assumed these were already pre-cooked and all you had to do was heat them up and serve. Nope.. you had to cook them first then put on the sauce but instead I poured the sauce onto raw chicken and it had soaked into the breading and became all mushy. So yeah.. those were out.. I couldn't bring those so I just brought the chips and dip.

I got to the party and a few people were there. Soon the place was packed. This was a co-ed baby shower and didn't have any of your usual baby shower games. They did have was paint your own onesies station set up. Of course coach David set the bar really high by doing this amazing Cyclops onesies. I myself started to make a Minion but then decided to do a Hufflepuff rode which quickly turned into a black tuxedo with a dashing red bow tie (upper right corner of the picture above). I wasn't happy with my end results but luckily there were quite a few good ones that they can actually use. It was a cool and fun idea.

There were lots of tasty food like watermelon soup (courtesy of Marla) but I think the most creative came from coach Christy with her Baby Groot cupcakes. They not only looked amazing but they also tasted great.

Overall it was a nice party, not super crazy, kind of quiet and lots of geek talk.. just what you would expect from the creators of NerdStrong. Thanks for the invite guys.

NerdStrong Gym - Konami Code

To honor the death of the President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, we did a Konami Code workout, Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A today at NerdStrong Gym.

For a warm up we did a "partner ladder" consisting of Push Ups, Sit Ups and Squats. I partnered up with new daddy John. The way this worked was I did one push up and then John did one push up, then I'd do 2 push ups and he'd do two and so on. Luckily because of time we only had to go up the ladder 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  and then we moved on to the next exercise and did it all over again and again. It was a really good warm up. In the end we did 15x Push Ups, 15x Sit Ups and 15x Squats.

Now for the actual workout... this was also a partnered workout so John and I continued our teamup. We had a choice between easy, normal or hard workouts. We opted for the normal workout which had 1x (Up) Barbell Thruster, 1x (Up) Barbell Thruster, (Down) 5x Push Ups, (Down) 5x Push Ups, (Left, Right) 2x Barbell Hop, (Left, Right) 2x Barbell Hop, (B) 2x Burpee and (A) 8x Partner Leg Lever.

This was an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible). Each partner had to go through the entire routine before the next person started. John and I went at it and encouraged each other every step of the way. We were hoping to get at least four rounds done each but we surprised ourselves and actually got six done..  so in total we did 12 Barbell Thrusters, 60 Push Ups, 24 Barbell Hops, 12 Burpees and 48 Partner Leg Levers each. Between this and the warm up it was a really good out. Thanks coach Andrew