Saturday, March 14, 2009

Doin' day at a time...other slogan.

There are two things that bother me about Greco. For the most part, it is a fine program that really is working very well for me, both in terms of losing weight and becoming healthier and more physically fit and so on and so forth. Every week, I go in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to do a hardcore 45 minute workout. Each workout involves eight stations, and you do one minute at each station as you go around the room. Or maybe a minute and a half. I haven't really paid much attention. So one station will work on your legs, the next will work on your triceps, the next will be a cardio station, and so on and so forth. What's great about that is that every single day we're doing eight entirely different things. I have been going for about seven weeks, and I think only three excercises have ever been repeated in the 21 sessions.

That's great, and the people who go to each class with me are great. For those of you considering taking up this program, I have a little bit of advice. There are lots of hot, fit women attending these classes. Each station has three people (or two, or four, depending on how big the class is) working out there, and the group you are with goes around together from station to station as the class goes on. Class? That's probably not the right word. But I can't think of another one at the moment. Anyway, my advice is this. Don't get into a group with two hot women. That way, when you collapse halfway through an excercise and can't finish, you will feel even more ashamed because both of those women will power through that excercise far better than you will. Also, don't go in the group right in front of the hot-chick group either. Then they will definitely notice that you are failing. Go behind them. That way, you don't mind lying in someone else's sweat as much, and you have a tiny bit of extra motivation just in case one of them turns around and catches a glimpse of you gasping for air and giving up.

Not that any of this matters to me, of course. I am in a committed relationship and don't even notice that other women exist...just some advice for the single that convincing? But I have a different system. The station on which I like to start is the one that does the most ab-work. If I had to do that station last, I would be dead. So at least I think I can get a bit of a jump on it, and do it properly at least once. My abs are terrible. So that's my system. And, frankly, I don't care if anyone sees me collapse and give up at a station. No one was under the illusion that I was in shape before.

Which brings me to one of the problems I have with Greco. I get that many people need motivation, and will do better if people are watching and shouting encouragement. I am not one of those people. If I have stopped during an excercise, it is because I can physically no longer perform that excercise. And I need a few short seconds to catch my breath and begin again, or I will be doing it wrong and getting nothing out of it. For the most part the crew at Greco are good about this - Danielle and Sonny and Brad, the three young folks in charge of the classes, don't put a lot of pressure on me (except for Danielle, who seems to take a perverse pleasure in getting on my case, but at least she's funny). During many of the excercises I close my eyes so no one can make eye contact with me to shout encouragement. Also because when I keep them open they are swimming in sweat by the time the first round is over.

One good thing the trainers do is adjust your posture or your method as you do each excercise. It helps me make sure that I am doing it properly, which is good. But I'm a self-motivator. I work as hard as I can, and then I can't walk home, like on Wednesday when it was an almost-all-legs workout. And the other thing that bothers me - also related to motivation - the music. They pump in this music in the room, in order to give you a soundtrack to your workout. That's cool. I do that at home. But I would rather have dead silence than kick off a workout to the sounds of Britney Spears. And although most of the music is solid, if not great, the occasional bad song really throws me off. On Friday, there was Guns N Roses, a bunch of good hard-driving classic rock, and then - Go For Soda. Nothing against Kim Mitchell and his inoffensive brand of Canadian pop-rock, but seriously? Go For Soda? There goes my rhythm.

But it has been working well. Every week I get weighed in - I have lost 26 pounds in eight weeks, I have been doing this workplace challenge for seven weeks, and have lost 21 pounds in those seven weeks, and I have been doing Greco for six weeks, and I have lost 19 pounds in those six weeks. So far so good. And now, I can actually make it through most of the excercises wihtout collapsing and gasping for air. Which would make me seem cooler to the women, if I cared about that sort of thing.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Losing weight through brute force...and the don't knock it 'til you try it diet

I will update further tomorrow, when I go for my weigh-in and so forth. Until then, I was just sent this picture by some friends who thought I should update my facebook picture. Having not been on facebook for about two months now, I don't think I remember how to change that picture. Besides, I like the picture of my little dog. Same one I have on my profile here, or at least a similar one. But I DID think I could use this photo, if only as the "before" picture for this weight-loss business. Only time will tell if the Greco program and my altered eating habits and me working my ass off will have a serious and major result, but I promise that I will be thinner in my "after" picture than I was here!

As it stands, I need to lose a few more pounds at the weigh-in tomorrow. Although I have lost about five or six pounds more than anyone else in the contest, it goes by percentage of body weight. After all, I was the fattest when the contest began. And I will likely still be the fattest when it's all over, no matter how much I lose. But Mary is beating me right now, percentage-wise. And (I'm just guessing here - no data is published, to protect the feelings of people who are sensitive about their weight, like me) she started this contest approximately one-half my size. By my math, that means that I need to lose twice as much weight as she does in order to win. Right now I'm at 18 pounds, she's at 12. I need to make up a 6 pound shortfall in these last three weeks. I guess I'll find out tomorrow how far I need to go!

New Neil Young video.

It's no "Fork In The Road" video, but the latest Neil Young video, "Johnny Magic" is still pretty cool. And it's a good song too. Check it out here:

Gotta love that minimalist thing Young's doing, eh?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

iFart, youTube.

There is a downloadable application for a farting noise on the iPhone called the iFart. The makers have become multi-millionaires. And they are suing someone who has a similar downloadable application that makes a similar farting noise. That is no joke. Also no joke is this bizarre city council meeting in Medina, Ohio:

OK, it really is a joke. Except it's real. City councils just can't stay focused, can they?

Add visor, no wiser.

OK, I know that's a lame title for a post. It seemed far more clever in my head when I thought it up, and now I'm too lazy to change it. But here's something else bugging me today - this fighting in hockey crap. Now the GMs, meeting in that hotbed of hockey fandom that is Florida, are discussing stiffer penalties for fighting in the NHL. Specifically, that goon-centric type of fighting that is clearly premeditated and gratuitous. And I say fine. If you can't play a regular shift, then you are in the game only to fight. And good riddance when you pack your bags and go back to Binghamton or wherever it is you're going. The FTHL or the XQPHL or whatever goon league will have you. I'm on board.

But then, in the same breath, these GMs want to institute an extra penalty for people who wear visors and start fights. If this isn't outright hypocrisy, it's at the very least incongruous with the idea of getting rid of the goons. The goons are part of that macho, tough-guy NHL culture that so many people deride, but it's that same culture that calls the visor-wearers pansies and wimps and says that those players who choose to wear one can't be tough guys. So if you're going to say that goons should be a thing of the past, how can you then say that visor-wearing players can't be in fights? That it should be left to those who choose not to protect their broken-teeth tough-guy faces? You're either in favour of curbing fighting or you're not. Legislating goons out is fine. But legislating who, among those players who remain, are allowed to drop the gloves is over the top. It seems to me it has to be one or the other.

There probably is no free start worrying.

As if this is still in the news. This silly ban of atheist ads on OC Transpo buses. The ads read "there probably is no God. So stop worrying and enjoy your life." That's it. That's all they say. First, they get turned down by the folks at OC Transpo who don't want anything "incendiary" to appear on their buses. Which is, of course, ludicrous. Then city council, which is in itself ludicrous, gets in on the fun. Some say the ban should be overturned, on the grounds of ludicrousness. Others say the ban is appropriate, because they too are ludicrous. And now the paper is reporting that this ban will likely be overturned, because it contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Of course it does. To believe otherwise is...well...ludicrous.

Here is the policy, in a nutshell: Any religious advertising which promotes a certain ideology, which in the opinion of the city might be deemed prejudicial to other religious groups or offensive to the users of the transit system is not to be permitted. OK. So what does that mean exactly? Well, according to the city's transit committee, it means that the four complaints they received were enough to ban these signs outright. Four complaints. From people who were offended. Not by the signs themselves, because they were never seen, but by the idea of the signs. And they go ahead and make sure that the signs will never be seen by anyone, so that no one can possibly be offended.

Except for me. And several others like me. I am offended. I will be offended every time I step onto a city bus and see ads for fattening snack cakes and environmentally-unfriendly meat products and Catholocism and Judaism and just about everything else, but I don't get to see these atheist ads. Frankly, I have seen dozens, even hundreds of religious ads around town. I would consider myself to be an atheist, but I have not been offended. Before now, that is. I just think, "oh, there go those God people" and move on. Now, however, I will be very angry when I see these things. And I will write letters of complaint. Come to think of it, I also dislike Eat-More bars. And should I see them advertised anywhere, I will complain about that as well. And I've never really been a fan of those Body Break TV segments...

Hopefully, this all becomes a moot point after it is pointed out to the people who declined to take the ad money from these atheists that they are being ludicrous, and that the only people who could possibly be actually offended by this ad are religious zealots who deserve to be offended, as often as possible, by everything from Spongebob to The Golden Compass. There is a protest scheduled for this morning at City Hall, where this atheist group of "humanists" or whatever they're calling themselves is planning to convene peacefully. Which is nice, but of course pointless. This is something that will have to be overturned in a court, one which exists to protect us from the nutjobs, both of the religious and the non-religious ilk. It's just a shame it had to go this far. The fact that this has to be discussed by lawyers and judges and government at all is...well...ludicrous.