Monday, June 17, 2013

Zombie Apoc Prep is Off to Slow Start

Saying I was going to jump head first into my Zombie Apocolypse Prep routine the week before this year's E3 Expo was probably a stupid idea, as I spent most of my days in front of the computer watching streams. *le sigh* That said, I at least was good and not parked in front of my computer with a bag of potato chips and a two liter of Coke.

my starting weigh in should have been June 8th, but I just ended up eating way too much food too late at night for that to be an accurate starting point, not to mention the whole E3 thing would leave me pretty sedentary. BTW, for those interested, the scale rewarded my idiotic behavior with a lovely 157 lbs. Derp. However my weight this past Saturday, June 15th was 153 lbs, which would be a more accurate starting weight. Unfortunately my body tape is MIA, so measurements may have to wait. *le sigh*

I ordered an armband for my phone, so I can start taking advantage of my Zombies, Run app. (Still bitter about the dropped Windows Phone support though.) I had found a stationary bike for free in one of the local base sales groups, however it was a bit big and just impractical to keep in our living room. I scoured Amazon a bit and found a folding stationary bike that would better suits my needs and space. It also isn't nearly as expensive as I expected it to be, so I'll probably look into picking that up in a week or so. (Basically so it would be delivered after ACE, and not during.) I'll be able to kill two birds with one stone, as I'll be able to get a workout in, and start to tackle my show backlog. I figured trying to stay active during a full 40 minute show or two 20 minute shows would be a feasible goal. With Amazon Instant Video on my 360, I can easily use the Kinect to merely yell at the TV to change episodes if need be, thus cutting down on needing to stop and fiddle with a controller.

Another advantage of the local base sales groups is I managed to snag some bags of ViSalus shake mix for less than retail, so I have added two shakes a day to my daily routine to give myself a bit of a kick start. All things considered, they actually taste rather good. My only complaints are there's still that minor powered health shake consistency going on, but certainly not as bad as some others I have tried. The other complaint is I find myself having to use a hand blender to actually mix it, otherwise the mix will just clump together, and that's just not appetizing at all. It's also pretty versatile, and you're not limited to just the mix. You're encouraged to mix in things like cocoa powder or fruit. I just added a banana and a little bit of Ovaltine to the one I just made, and it was really good. I also don't find myself absolutely starving two hours later like when I used to drink SlimFast if I was running late and didn't have time for an actual meal.

tl;dr: Zombie Apoc Prep is off to a bit of a slow start, but it's a start

ETA: so apparently in the time since I originally had this written out, the stationary bike I was planning on getting is no longer available. *le sigh*

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Zombie Apocolypse Prep - [Dawn]

This isn't an overly geeky sort of post, but something a bit more personal, and even more so it's something to hold myself accountable. I also figure it's something that more than a few people can relate to, even if it's not something they actively admit to.

I, like many people, am not happy with my weight. (As I said, if you were looking for an attempted witty and/or funny entry about games and geekery, this isn't really going to be one.) I was a chunky kid late elementary school through middle school, and then the summer before my starting my freshman year of high school I started down the road to a decade long battle anorexia, or rather EDNOS as I was never underweight enough to be considered an anorexic by definition.

When I became pregnant a few years ago, I decided I just couldn't live like that anymore. For one I wasn't so selfish that I would risk the health of my unborn geekling by starving myself. Secondly my anorexic tendencies left me exhausted and feeling like crap all of the time. This was just something I couldn't afford to deal with on top of taking care of an infant. As a result, I ballooned up to about 200 lbs by the time I had given birth to our daughter in January 2010, most of the weigh being packed on in the second half of my pregnancy. After my pregnancy, I opted against stepping on a scale for a long while, and also opted against playing the starvation game.

September 2010 rolled around. We had been at our new base for a few months, I was fat and unhappy, and at a bit of a loss. A neighbor of mine came over with some birthday cake left over from her husband's birthday, and told me she had overheard me talking to a mutual friend about how I had wanted to lose weight and so on. She decided she wanted to start going to Weight Watchers that Saturday, and asked if I wanted to join her as she felt silly going by herself. I was a bit apprehensive, because when I imagined a WW meeting, all I could think of was Kathy Bates and her character in Fried Green Tomatoes. However, asking me while presenting me with leftover chocolate cake was underhanded, but it was effective. I agreed.

That Saturday we went to our first WW meeting. I hadn't been on a scale in months, but figured I was probably in the 160s, 170s at most. You can imagine my surprise when I hopped up on the scale and it told me I was 185 lbs. (I'm only 5'3", so 185 was NOT a flattering weight for me.) It was definitely a real eye-opener, but I was determined to make it work. This left me wanting to lose about 60 lbs to reach my goal. I stuck with the program for a little over a year, but I eventually stopped using eTools and hadn't been going to meetings. It was better for me to cancel my membership, rather than continue to spend $40 for a program I wasn't actively using like I should have been. By the time I had canceled my WW membership though, I had gotten down to 145 lbs, and lost another five pounds after that. All this loss was all with no/minimal exercise. While 140 didn't put me at goal, it did put me at a healthy weight, and one I was definitely happier with than 185. Fast forward about a year and a half, and I'm now back up to about 155 lbs. Which 15 lbs in 19 months isn't a huge gain, it is definitely more of a setback than I would have liked to experience.

tl;dr weight loss roller coasters suck

Now onto the reason for this particular entry. I have decided I want to jump back on the wagon, so to speak. The problem is I loathe exercising and running. Oh yes, I'm one of those geeks. Though where my 360 controller would win out over running laps around my neighborhood almost every time, I'm not so bad that cool ranch Doritos trump granola, and soda doesn't trump green tea. So at least I have that going for me, right?

Some people are quite comfortable in their own skin, regardless of their body shape, and that's absolutely amazing. I'm very sincere when I say that I'm truly jealous of those people. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those individuals. That said, I'm not doing this for anyone else but myself. I want to be comfortable enough with myself and my body to be able to cosplay a character other than Moira Brown and wear something a bit more flattering than a Vault jumpsuit. I want to wear all the awesome shirts I've gotten from TeeFury, Ript Apparel, and the like without feeling like it was a mistake to get the fitted shirts instead of the unisex sizes. Though one of the best reasons I can think of to get in better shape;

I don't want to be zombie food, ergo the title choice. Frankly I don't think anyone wants to be zombie food, but I'd at least like to stand a decent chance. Going to the gym really isn't all that feasible for me, and DVD workouts just aren't my cup of tea since they offer no actual feedback. It doesn't seem like there's much out there fitness wise that caters to gamers and geeks, although that's not totally true. Here are some of the things/titles I currently have at my disposal in my house;

  • Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix series (Xbox) - I only own the original Xbox installments of the series. DDR is great cardio, as jumping around on a plastic dance pad for 30 minutes is still a better workout than spending those 30 minutes sitting on the couch. You may look like a total idiot doing it, but you look like an idiot in the comfort of your own living room. You don't have to be super coordinated, or even super good at the game to enjoy it and get the benefit of a workout.
  • My Weight Loss Coach w/pedometer (DS) - I recently picked this up from Hastings for a whole $0.99, and it was a new copy to boot. Though because I just picked it up last week, I haven't actually put it in my DS yet to poke around with it. The main drawback of this one is that the original DS/DS Lite is required to use the pedometer, as it plugs into the GBA slot. Luckily I still have my original DS that I can use specifically for this purpose. If nothing else, I got a pedometer for $0.99.
  •  EA Sports Active 2 (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - I used this title before. It's not perfect, but it's not the worst thing ever either. The heart-rate monitor is a nice addition, when it actually works as intended, but the same can be said about the Kinect itself so... Yeah... In my opinion the biggest downside of EA Sports Active 2 was it isn't fun at all. It is strictly a workout program devoid of mini-games and other things like that. However as far as a fitness title goes, it does its job. (NOTE: Apparently EA took the online services for EA Sports Active 2 for all systems offline in April 2012. I don't know how this will impact the playability of the software. -
  • Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - This one I bought because EA Sports Active 2 lacks yoga, however I wasn't too impressed with what little yoga I did try in Your Shape. I also wanted something that would provide more amusement than watching paint dry in the middle of an Alaskan winter. I haven't dabbled in Your Shape nearly as much as I have with EA Sports Active though. The lower calorie burned count can be a bit depressing after using EA Sports Active 2 due to the absence of the heart monitor, but the mini games make it a bit more fun and it feels less like a chore.
  • UFC Personal Trainer (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - I actually don't have any personal experience with this one. I had snagged it because my husband had shown interest, and it was part of a B2G1 deal on Amazon, so I got it for free anyway. However it is still at my disposal, so best to include it anyway.
  • Dance Central (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - While not a fitness title, like DDR it's great cardio, but unlike DDR it's more than just jumping around. Since you're actually dancing, or at least attempting to do so, you're working more than just your legs. Unfortunately I never picked up any of the later installments in the series, but I may have to look into remedying that.
  • Kinect Adventures (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - Again, not technically a fitness, but it does the trick, especially if you're trying to reach platinum on all of the activities. Anyone who has a Kinect, unless they bought it secondhand, should have have this game. If not, it can be found for relatively cheap.
  • Zombies, Run (Windows Phone, also available for Android and iOS) - I know some of you may be thinking "buwha-?" but let me explain. Zombies, Run makes running a lot less of a chore, even for someone who absolutely loathes running. I loathe running more than I loathe the yearly announcement of yet another Madden title. However Zombies, Run is a really unique and clever app. Personally I'm more than a little bitter than they dropped support for the Windows Phone, especially since they did so quietly and didn't bother to make a real announcement about it, but I'm getting away from the point. Zombies, Run puts in the shoes of Runner 5, quite literally. It's a running app scrambled with a radio drama, however you're actually part of the scenario that's playing out.
I'll elaborate a bit more in-depth about Zombies, Run and the other tools as my disposal in later entries.

When I was using EA Sports Active 2 before, I would typically do a workout and then pop in either Dance Central or Kinect Adventures and play those until I was just too tired to play anymore. I'll probably try to get into that habit again some nights, I just may need to expand my non-fitness Kinect selection a bit, as the only other two titles I didn't mention were Rise of Nightmares and Once Upon A Monster.

more tl;dr blah blah blah, fitness games and stuff

I only plan on making entries about my "zombie apocalypse prep" progress once a week, maybe twice if I feel there's just something that can't wait until the weekly update. Don't want to turn this into a fitness blog or anything like that, I just know some other geeks can relate to this sort of thing. Finding time, motivation, those sorts of problems. I can also probably guarantee they won't be nearly as long as this one.

I'm going to dive head first into this on Monday, June 10th. This gives me a chance to work out my schedule, get things set up, find my measuring tape, and also gives me a chance to break in my new shoes. I'm currently getting my My Weight Loss Coach profile set up, so I'll probably start keeping track on that this week to start getting into the habit of it. I do plan on taking before and after pictures, as well as measurements, however these items may not be posted right away. Depending on how active this blog gets with other stuff, I may give this project its own separate blog entirely.

If anyone else wants to jump on the wagon with me, THE MORE THE MERRIER! I'd love to hear about other experiences with this as well.