Thursday, January 24, 2013

More Gym Gripes

OK, so the beginning of the year at the gym highlights everything I hate about the gym. I know at one point I was that new person, but like a good human, I tend to think I probably never annoying anyone else at the gym.

So over the past week, there have literally been days where Sallie and I suit up, head out into freezing temperatures, pull into the gym parking lot, do a drive-by, see that there are 300 people trying to use 250 machines, and drive home only to do a video. That's right, I'm paying $32 a month to do my own workout videos right now.

Anyway, there are a few other things that have reared their ugly heads since my last griping post.

  1. Put a damn lock on it: Our gym doesn't have designated lockers. You bring a lock with you every time you come, lock your stuff up, and bring that lock home later. Its a system that works. I see a lock, it means don't touch that locker.

    Well, turns out most people don't care if you get a good look at their coats and wallets because now I have to strafe through 15 lockers just to find an empty one.

    One day, these people are going to catch me in a bad mood and I'm going to go through every single unlocked locker and dump the contents out on the floor.
  2. Stop breaking everything: Right now, four of my six favorite cardio machines are busted. One of the bikes literally has the casing for the computer busted open and I can see the exposed motherboard hanging out as if trying to scream, "Save me" every time I step up to the bike.

    The gym also doesn't seem to repair anything for the first two months, my guess is because some protein shake drinking, roided out newbie keeps ripping the machines out of the ground and busting them.
  3. As a side note...: If there are only two of a certain machine in this entire gym and one of those machines is broken, do not casually climb stairs at 40 steps per minute for 28 minutes and stare blankly at the wall, while multiple people are forming a line behind you. If you want to use the stairs, pump that up. At least make me feel like its worth me waiting.

    If you're just going to workout that casually, jump on a treadmill and put the incline up. It's basically the same thing. I get on those stairs and pretend I'm a Ghostbuster climbing a skyscraper to save New York from the Marsh-mellow man. That is how you burn some calories!
  4. And the equipment hogs: I'm not talking about the people that sit on the machines doing nothing for too long. I think I've thoroughly covered them. I'm talking about people that horde the loose / free equipment into their corner of the gym like they are about to go into a bunker during a nuclear war and this will be the last workout equipment on Earth.

    Yeah, I see you over there, sitting on your Yoga mat, one leg on that fitness ball, propped up on dumb bells, while taking your body fat percentage. Spread the wealth. Not only are you hogging all the stuff, but you take up huge spreads of gorgeous gym real estate while looking like an ass.
  5. The Loud Guy: And finally, this guy is around all year, but he's especially bad around now. And really, there are two categories for this person:

    5a. The grunter: He wants you to know that he is working out harder than you. Maybe he is? He's going all aggro and lifting 30 pounds more than he should. And the grunting carries throughout the entire gym.

    5b. The talker / laugher: This is especially bad during the beginning months of the year. Those that talk on their cell phones while casually walking 1.5 mph on the treadmill. Do I need to even go into more detail?

    And the laugher I've only met twice, but it made me incredibly self-conscious. We have TVs built into a bunch of our machines, so these guys are watching Seinfeld and laughing their asses off so that every person on the machines next to them is constantly checking to make sure they don't have a weird pit stains or pooped themselves. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stan the Man

I'm sure you've all heard Stan the Man Musial died Saturday night.

I was trying to think of someone more dear to St. Louis, but I came up empty handed. Ozzie Smith maybe? Mayor Slay? We don't have a ton of ambassadors to the city that collectively we all feel to be a part of. Stan was one of those guys.

He was 92, loved to have some drinks, and kept doing projects he liked until the very end. He had a great run of things and I don't know that he could've hoped to leave a better legacy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

You're Doing it Wrong

What Sallie and I were afraid of has happened, our gym has been over-run with New Year's Resolution Noobs.

Whatever, good on them. Get into shape. I hope you keep coming.

However, as I waited for one of the bikes to open up, I noticed there were several people that should not be wasting gym space.

  • If you're sitting on a bike, watching the Family Feud for 8 minutes without actually peddling the bike, get out of my gym.
  • If you show up for a personal trainer session, and tell the person you need to leave after 10 minutes, you might as well burn your money in a fireplace. 
  • If you're walking on a treadmill at a slower pace than you walked into the place, while being able to talk on your phone, GTFO. 
  • Once I was on the bike, the girl next to me was barely peddling because she was busy playing on Facebook on her new iPhone. OUT! 
  • Girl wearing the very skimpy sports bra to show off your breast job, stop it! We're all sweaty and trying to get things done. I'm not going to ogle your stripper boobs. 
  • And, if you show up to the gym in loafers... well, you're just wanting to relax. The gym is not the place for that. 
It'll be annoying like this until at least mid-February. We either have to deal with there being 300 people trying to use 250 machines or we have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to beat the morning crowd. I think Sal and I agree, the morning is worth it.

On another note, the cleanse we wanted to do is over. 4 days of un-satisfying meals in the history books. I will say, I dropped 6 lbs in those 4 days. It's amazing how little water weight you retain when you aren't eating so much sodium. 

We found out the lady that wrote that book is sort of a well-known fraud in Britain. And looking through her book further, I don't think a 90 lb British lady knows what a 200 lb American male needs to eat. 90% of everything in the book is cold juices or salads. Not satisfying at all. 

So we're going to follow the other rules for the rest of the month. Really, we'll be doing something closer to a Paleo-diet. (Minus the red meat) So, only a little more than 3 weeks left and the results will be in. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Diet

So as I stated in my last blog, I thought I had a heart attack last week. 

Part of the evidence my mind came up with was the amount of beef, salt, fried food, and sweets I've been eating non-stop since Sallie's surgery. 

For instance, its recommended that you only have two servings of red meat a week according to Harvard and the National Heart Association. Or according to the Brits, 2.5 oz a day. I was having 2 servings of salt covered beef A DAY. 

We had to cook for a lot of people and it was cold, so there was lots of roast, beef chili, London broils, and cheeseburgers. 

Not only that, but with Matt and Rob in town, post event relaxing, and New Years, there was a lot of drinking involved.

So, Sallie and I felt gross. I gained 4 lbs and that was unacceptable after all the hard work I've done. We decided to go on a sort of cleanse diet. This book, Slim for Life, is the framework for this. 

It starts out with a juice cleanse, which Sallie and I did a few years back. It's not worth it. By the end of the two days of nothing but juices, I had barely enough energy to keep my head up. And if any of you know Sal, she gets maaaadddddd when she's hungry. 

So we skipped that this time. 

It's quickly followed by a fat flush, which is a day long. We decided to go ahead and do this. Also, miserable. It's basically cucumbers blended with water, with diced cucumbers garnished on top, and cucumber juice. We had a little bit of cabbage at one point. Basically, not going to do that again.

But we got through it and I feel better today. 

This diet is too expensive to do all 28 days it asks you to, so we are just doing the first three days and then we came up with rules we have to follow the rest of the month. The rules are as follows:

1. No dairy
2. Low sodium
3. No fried foods
4. No red meat
5. No pork (Just cause I don't like it)
6. Not heavily processed foods (If I'm buying corn, the second ingredient shouldn't be Xantham gum)
7. Make as much from scratch within reason (salad dressings, etc)
8. Only drink Friday / Saturday
9. No carbs (Oh sweet God, bring back my pasta and bread)
10. After the first week, allowed to break the rules for one meal a week.

Sallie and I took our weight, blood pressure, and measurements at the beginning of this and I'll post the results when we get them. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Heart Attack

Well, had a scare.

Starting last Wednesday, I felt weird. Like shaky. Not exactly dizzy, but just like if someone were to push me in the shoulder, I'd probably go down. My sinuses felt pressured, my eyes felt dried out, and I couldn't concentrate.

That night, as I was falling asleep, I had an intense, almost heartburn situation. I couldn't fall asleep for several hours. I thought briefly, what if I'm having a heart attack. 

I woke up the next morning, Thursday, still feeling really out of it. I sort of thought, "Well, maybe I'm getting sick, or maybe its because I haven't gotten sleep, I've had nothing but cookies, fried food, and red meat for the past three weeks, etc." 

I was taking a half day anyway on Friday, and I was feeling well enough to where I thought I could just wait until then and go to the doctor.

I signed into work, started taking calls. Things were going alright, but I felt really cold. Then I got a call from a guy that is a known jerk to everyone on the help desk. He started giving me crap, and I  my heart started pounding hard enough to where I could hear my pulse in my ear, my hands were a little numb, I was shaking, and I could think straight. 

Really, all I could think is, "My god, I'm having a heart attack and this jackass will be the only witness to my last words."

I got off the phone with him, let me boss know I had to leave immediately, and I drove (luckily we had an extra vehicle that day) to urgent care. 

After sitting in the cesspool that was the waiting room for an hour, I was brought in. They took my blood pressure, pulse, temp, and hooked me up to an EKG.

Turns out I wasn't having a heart attack. I was diagnosed with extreme stress mixed with it all coming to the surface as an anxiety attack. 

It makes sense, ever since Sallie went in for surgery in mid-December, we've had non-stop guests, events, drama, and extra financial burdens. I haven't had a good night of sleep since Sallie's surgery and I haven't had any time to sit down and get my head together. 

So, now our guests are gone, there aren't any real events on the calendar in the near future, and Sallie and I are starting a new diet to get our bodies back on track from before the holidays. I feel much better than I was last week, but it was a reminder that we cannot make everyone else happy, we really have to worry about us first and then others later.

I'm not even 30 and I've had a heart attack scare, both my knees are busted, and I'm bald. That's what gamers call a bad dice roll.