#InsomniacPod

I follow several people who do shows within a podcast network. They are very tight knit in their little community of podcasts, and constantly shoutout and promote one another in their daily podcast listening. They’ve taken to branding these listening sessions with hashtags including their name and “pod.” For example, #InsomniaPod, followed by what they’re listening to. What a great way to promote a podcast, aside from just retweeting a link to a new episode. You’re actually letting people know when you’re taking the time to work that podcast and episode into your busy day.

Do you do anything special to promote your podcast listening pleasures? I know a couple of podcasts use to even recommend burning some of your favorite episodes onto a cd, or flash drive, and just leaving a stack at your favorite comic shop, hobby shop, etc. Or pass them out to friends or coworkers. Interesting ideas!

I also have the Podcasts Worth a Listen page above that is occasionally updated to show my current interests. Feel free to head over to that page and comment with your own podcast suggestions! Maybe someone else will pick up a new show, thanks to your recommendations.

In All Honesty (It’s A Long Post)

I have to admit, when discussing all this stuff about being healthy, attempting to be healthy, and actually trying to be healthy, it had become a hit or miss deal. Sure, it sounds good in writing. Anyone can write a good speech, but when it comes to walking the walk, well … Getting hyped up about something is one thing, but I suppose many of us (because I know I definitely fall in this category) don’t take into account the backsliding, the trips, the stumbles, and just the unwelcome realities of everyday life.

For several years I have been on a mental journey, if I can claim any thing, of self improvement. I’ve detailed here on the blog my thoughts and experiences with coming to terms on personal growth, mentally and emotionally. At one point, I thought I’d be better reverting back to the person I use to be in my 20’s. At one point, I thought I had to change everyone around me because I was fine. At many points … I just didn’t get it. We are who we are. That may sound stupid, but it’s true. You grow, evolve, are shaped by the life you live and the things we experience. You can’t – and honestly, shouldn’t want to – go back to a person you were 20 years ago. It isn’t your job to change those around you. What is your responsibility is to be true to yourself, to make sure you are alert, aware, and being true to yourself.

So up until about the middle of January, this year, I’d written a good talk, but failed repeatedly to walk the straight walk. I’m not sure what snapped in middle January, but something did. I decided to try tackling one thing at a time. First thing I did was decide to drop my Coke habit. Coca Cola, to be specific. The first week failed miserably. I couldn’t do it, or so I told myself. But that just pissed me off more than anything. So I just said, that’s it. No more. I quit cold turkey. Had a refrigerator full of 20 ounce Cokes because my wife had just been to the grocery store. But I said I was going to quit, cold turkey, with all those drinks just sitting there, tempting me every second we were in the same house together.

In an attempt to be transparent, and tackle another item on my list of “things to do,” I started posting a weekly short video blog on Youtube. I just recently started blogging it here a week or so ago. The first week of ditching the colas was … weird? It was mostly a battle of will because I wanted nothing more than to walk to the ‘fridge and grab a bottle. About the third day, I did. I drank about 10 ounces of the 20 oz. bottle. The second week, I didn’t care much about getting a bottle and chugging it back, but man, the headaches started. I am surprised I didn’t overdose on extra strength Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Between home and work, I felt miserable because of the headaches, neck aches, just muscles aching all over.

For those that haven’t looked it up, there is a wicked list of side effects, should you ever quit caffeine long enough and get to the withdrawal stage. Headaches, nausea, muscle aches, etc. Just like detoxing off any drug, I guess, but the next stage I went through was probably the worst for everyone around me. That would be the irritable stage. Everything and everyone around me just needed to shut up and leave me alone. It was horrible, but I didn’t care at the time. The headaches were still coming, but by gosh, I wanted to just choke the living crap out of anyone that even stood beside me. Thankfully, this stage only seemed to last about a week.

As a side note, during the 2nd week, I decided to move another pawn into the game. I started walking. Don’t really remember my thinking this through, I just decided that I needed to do this, and I prayed daily for the strength to do it, work it into my hectic schedule and keep steady at it without missing a beat. My goal was to form a habit that I’d grow to just expect to do each day, like waking up, breathing, working … So I began walking. Some days a mile, some days 2 miles. Again, to keep myself honest, I track each walking session with Map My Walk and post my results on Facebook. So if I don’t walk, there isn’t a status update. For transparency, due to weather, I haven’t walked at all this past week. I plan on heading out to get 2 miles in today, though.

Mid-way through the 4th week, on a Wednesday, I woke up that morning and … I felt great! My muscles and joints didn’t hurt. My head didn’t hurt. I wasn’t grumpy. The world seemed brighter! I’m serious! Four weeks into kicking caffeine, I felt I’d come through the worst part. Three weeks into a regular walking routine, and I felt awesome. I hadn’t weighed in or anything, but I felt better all over. So I decided I was going to work in a weekly weigh-in.

The Friday of my 4th week, I stepped on the scale for the first time in some time. I weighed in at 359 lbs. Not sure if I’d lost any the last 4 weeks, but it’s possible that I’d weighed a bit more than that before the walking and kicking Coke’s to the curb. But this was what I was faced with right at that moment, and that’s what I was going with. I put my scale up for another week, kept chugging water, kept walking, and kept praying.

My 2nd week of stepping on the scale, I was happy, but also disappointed. I had only lost 2 pounds since the previous week. I’d honestly expected more because on the 2nd week, I began cutting back on my calories. Something I always talked about and tried in all my previous attempts, but always backslid on. But I had come to far in over a month, I felt. So I kept on.

I drank water like it was going out of style. 10 16 oz. bottles a day, at a minimum. I was bound and determined to flush my system out completely. I tried to keep my calorie intake down and under 1500 a day, but I didn’t stress or beat myself up if I went to 2000, which was still less than My Fitness Pal recommended. I walked, either at home in the mornings, or at night on my lunch break. I got a mile in if nothing else 5 days a week.

This brings us to this week. Well, this passed week. I was dreading my weigh in because due to weather, I hadn’t walked a single day. Tornados, rain, hail, cold temperatures … it’s been a sucky week as far as that goes. But, I’d kept off the colas, maintained my calorie goals, except for one day, and added another layer in my plan. This last week, I decided to work in 1 or 2 days of fasting. I’ll let my body decide what I need to do, I suppose, but I’m hoping to work at least one solid day of fasting in each week, and perhaps the 2nd day, just restrict my calories drastically, just enough to keep the hunger at bay. Nothing that’ll make me sick, don’t worry, I’m just trying it out.

But back to my weigh in. Due to not getting any exercise in, except for the walking I get at work, I was scared to see what numbers would pop up on the scale. Turns out, I was pleasantly surprised! 3 more pounds had been shed. I am now, as of yesterday, down 5 pounds since I started recording my weight.

I’m happy with my results, so far. In nearly a 2 month period, I’ve been able to work in the following:

  • Kicked the caffeine habit
  • Started a walking regimen and made it a regular part of my day
  • Restricted my calorie intake and have maintained it on a daily basis
  • Trying a one day a week fast
  • Started tracking my weight each Friday
  • Using My Fitness Pal and Map My Walk to track my results regularly, and to keep myself honest and accountable to my Facebook friends, at the least.
  • Started a weekly Youtube blog where I discuss my goals, and whatever else comes up.
  • Still treat myself once in awhile with food that is actually good/fun to eat (pizza, for example)

These may not be important looking bullet points, but they’re goals that a year ago I would have wrote about, then ignored as I continued to stuff my face and make excuses. I have a very good feeling that I can stick to these. I may not shed the weight as fast as I’d like, but they say “slow and steady” is the way to go to keep it off. I hope they’re right!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to make up for the last 5 days and get my butt out and walk. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on the other side!

Back to the Instagram!

For some unknown reason, I reactivated my Instagram account and have been posting my photos there. Again. Yes. So, if you’d like to connect with me there, my feed is located over to the right —–> just under the Twitter feed.

Not sure why I’m on Instagram again, I really don’t take enough pictures to warrant a fancy account such as that, but oh well. If you’re gonna go, go big, I guess.

https://www.instagram.com/jrollins76/

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays!

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Long time, no see! I’ve been away from the blog for awhile because our lives have been a bit busy for a month or so. It all started with my wife’s grandfather becoming ill, being diagnosed with what appears to be a sudden onset of dementia, and having various infections that were causing hallucinations and erratic behavior. Then her dad had knee replacement surgery a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been getting up every day to drive him to and from physical therapy. That continues on into next week, Mon-Fri. On top of that! We’ve got two sick kids, running fevers, coughing, etc.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a vacation! Christmas Vacation, to be exact. Starting this coming Thursday, I’ll be off until the 3rd of January 2017. I can’t wait. So excited. It’s gonna be huge. Biggly. But I did want to swing in and make sure to wish all of you guys/gals/readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Awesome New Year. I’m sure I’ll check in with you again soon, but just in case …

 

Decaffeinated Review Taco

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If you get tired of hearing me drone on about everyday life, but still find a bit of humor (or even some enjoyment) out of reading my zany reviews of various media, might I recommend Decaffeinated Review Taco. This is a Tumblr page where I post nothing but my reviews of movies, books, tv shows, and video games.

I copy post the same reviews here, but if you just want the bare bones, quick and dirty reviews, feel free to head over there instead. No hard feelings, we’ll call it square. Just business.

Decaffeinated Review Taco on Tumblr