Looking at It from a Different [Tri]angle

Before I launch into a discourse of what could be construed as health advice, I'd like to be clear one more time: I am not a health or fitness professional. I have no medical training. Professionally, I am an adult educator of information technology. When I explain anything, it is how I experienced it or what worked for me...that's all.

With that out of the way, I would like to talk about a few of the observations I have made regarding my weight loss (and gain, and loss again...), particularly my challenges in finding what worked for me.

Let me get one thing out of the way from the start: I've been battling my weight since I was an early adult, and I can assure you of one thing, having quested high and low: there is no instant solution. Three things make a difference: diet and physical activity (or the lack thereof), and both of these lean heavily on psychology...those three form the triumvirate of "being [physically] healthy".
Diet There is something to be said …


“Maybe this isn't home, nor ever was - maybe home is where I have to go tonight. Home is the place where when you go there, you have to finally face the thing in the dark.” - Stephen King, It Hello and welcome back! I've been taking another (rather obvious) hiatus from the blogosphere, spending the time being mindful and making some observations about myself, using those to make some decisions about where I want my life to be in the future. I've returned with the plan of making regular posts from here on out. I'd like to start by sharing some of those observations with you.
Weighing In and Resolve Firstly, regarding my weight loss. I've noticed an interesting pattern: I began a sincere effort to combat my weight several years ago when I tipped the scales at 410 pounds. I began the Paleo diet, engaged in fairly rigorous exercise, and lost 120 pounds in 10 months. Several tragedies and crises occurred in my life, and I gave up the diet and exercise, gained a lot of w…

For Emilie, Wherever I May Find Her (Selling Fragrances)

I'm going to take a small departure from my wellness posts and point out a new small business that Emilie has started. Scintellescents ("sin-tell-essence") Body & Boutique offers brand-name fragrances for bargain prices. On the surface, this seems simple enough, but I want to provide some insight.

Emilie has not just slapped a name on some "get rich quick scheme"...far from it. She has deeply reflected on what she is passionate about, conducted thorough market analysis, developed a solid business plan, and proceeded with growing her business sensibly, all the while keeping to her ethical outlook. Now that the business has become established and sales are coming in, she has decided to donate funds from the company to charitable organizations to give back to the community!

The first of these is Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia, a non-profit organization working towards a Nova Scotia where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. To date they have built …

Battle of the Five Bellies

The last of my three part "this is my workout" series, with apologies to Peter Jackson for satirizing the titles of his Hobbit trilogy, it's just come to my attention that each of the last two comprised sets of exactly nine exercises..."Nine Exercises for Mortal Men Doomed to Die [of Exhaustion]"? I go too far. Please check out An Unexpected Stability and The Desolation of Strength if you'd like to read the lead up to this post.

Tiring as it can be, I really enjoy a good brisk walk or hike, in nature, on the sidewalk, or on a treadmill in a gym. There is something about the steady rhythmic beat of footfalls that has always appealed to me. In contrast, mostly because of my weight, I find "jogging" tedious and painful. I'll revisit that again when my weight is down to a more portable figure.

After my core and strength workouts, I love hitting the treadmill for a solid cardio workout for two reasons: one, I get to walk, and two, I get to see the …

The Desolation of Strength

In the second of three posts outlining my workout routine, I'm going to finish with last of the non-cardio exercises. If you haven't read An Unexpected Stability yet, I'd encourage you to start there.

These exercises, while including some core-strengthening movements, act for me primarily as an upper-body strength routine.

1. Upper Body Crunches

This is it: the classic crunch. I lay flat on my back on a workout mat with my knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then, I use my stomach muscles to pull me up as far as they can, and return to start. Sometimes I put my hands behind my neck for support or sometimes crossing them on my chest. The important caution here is not to pull on your neck or back of your strains the muscles. Let your abdomen do the work.

I keep increasing these by increments of ten. I'm up to 100 now.

2. Leg Lifts

Lowering my legs from the crunch, I put my arms to the side or leave them behind my head. I lift both legs together up to a vertica…

An Unexpected Stability

Finally, and in response to several requests I've received through social media, I'm sharing my workout routine.

I've promised this blog post for a while. Taking a cue from Peter Jackson, I've decided to split it into three separate posts. This one will focus on my "Swiss Ball" (stability ball) routine, and the next (The Desolation of Strength) will be my strength routine, and the third (Battle of the Five Bellies) will involve my cardio routine on the treadmill (as I've already spoken about walking).

This will be a bit longish, and feature lots of pictures (kind of like a certain movie series...rhymes Getting off track...I'll cut this short).

THE BIG DISCLAIMER: I am not a health, nutritional, or fitness professional. These exercises have been given to me by professionals, whose demonstration, instruction, and advice I have followed. I would encourage you to have an experienced pro go over a routine that works for you. This is sim…

Pain in the Butt

I have a smoking problem.

This might come as a surprise to some of my friends reading this, while others have known for a while. I've smoked on and off (sometimes for months or years) since I was 14 years old. In my twenties, some people identified me in photos as "the guy with a cigarette or cigar hanging out of his mouth". I've even dabbled in the pipe several times.

Here's the thing: I've never been a heavy smoker...a pack of 25 cigarettes would last me two or three days...I have never been a pack-a-day smoker.

As to the addiction itself, I don't have a propensity for addictive behaviour. I have (and can) drink alcohol steadily for days and days, and then not touch a drop for months. I've never been addicted to recreational drugs. I've already spoken at length about emotional eating...I suppose that misplaced reward system would fall into the category of an addiction. Nothing else comes to, reading, gaming...temporary obsessions …