Ingredients (available at Trader Joes unless noted otherwise):
Not wanting to move twice (esp. with regard to heavy, bulky objects), I decided to go the Aerobed route in the new place and leave my regular bed in storage. All was well and good: pulled the mattress out of storage, inflated it, set up linens and prepared for a restful night's sleep. Imagine my disappointment when the bed tried to swallow me whole at 1:00 in the morning due to a pinhole-sized hole in the bottom. Sound sleep was systematically interrupted every two hours following with a need to reinflate the bed.
Whether the recent bout of working out or the preceding period of not working out is responsible, I can't say, but I can tell you that my neck is too fat to fit into any of my old dress shirts. I had to undo the top button at lunch yesterday so my food could slip past the collar. It's also helping to curb my recently acquired habit of cracking my neck since I can barely move my head without cutting off the blood supply to my brain.
It's official: The adventure is over. Tonight marks the eve of my return to the real world. The last 14 months have been nothing short of incredible -- so many amazing adventures and experiences it's hard to believe it was only that long.
I feel like I'm returning an improved person. This last year has provided me with a lot of insight and perspective and I can truly say I've grown during that time. Backpacking across Europe taught me the value of minimizing and distilling down what is really needed to be happy. Living away from Southern California reiterated the value of friends and family and how it's easy to take the time spent with those who are close and are readily accessible, for granted. Not being able to play with the ice hockey team or see the guys for the weekly poker game helped me to appreciate all of the social activities that filled my time and the camaraderie created within. And, finally, not being able to find a decent carne asada burrito in what some argue to be the world's greatest city, somehow leads me to believe that I belong in the World's Finest City.
So, I'm back. Del Mar is where I'm calling home until my place opens up again in July and then I'll be moving back in there. The new job starts tomorrow so I'm dealing with the seemingly foreign concept of a routine -- something that I never thought I'd say I'm looking forward to. While the fast, erratic pace of the last year was exciting, stability sounds very welcoming, at the moment.
Would I do it all again? Without a moment's hesitation. I think 2020's looking good for the next go-round...
I've had a few people ask me about working out and fitness lately (summer must be just around the corner), so I thought I'd share the workout plan I've been using for the past couple of months as it's been extremely effective and requires very little time investment. The regimen is based around a little known study that was conducted at Colorado State University during the 70's. Tim Ferris, author of Four Hour Work Week, distilled the experiment down and provided a simple, easy to apply routine.
The first, and best, part of this workout is that it only requires two 30 minute visits to the gym each week. Each visit is comprised of a full body workout, as it is important to incorporate as many of the large muscle groups as possible (especially the legs) in order to illicit a maximum hormonal response, which helps to build muscle and burn fat. To further boost the number of muscles used, only compound exercises are performed. Another key to this plan is to use a very low cadence when lifting – 5 seconds in each direction. This will help to increase the amount of negative resistance placed on the muscles which is where a lot of the growth response comes from. It should be noted that if you are already working out and start doing this plan, you will probably need to drop the amount of weight you're used to lifting; don't worry, the strength gains will come very quickly. For mass gains, wait about 3 minutes between exercises; for toning and fat loss, rest about 30 seconds between exercises. Finally, only do one set of each exercise, to failure (should shoot for ~10 reps).
Here is a typical workout (after warming up for 5-10 minutes):
To further speed fat loss, a couple light-medium cardio sessions a week could be added. Eating is always plays a role in fat loss/muscle gain. I had very good results following the guidelines in the Abs Diet; a slow carb would probably be effective, as well.
In the 2-3 months I've been doing the plan I've seen substantial gains (and my eating has been far from perfect). I've lost at least 3-4% body fat and added well over an inch to my chest and legs (a lot of my dress shirts are too tight across the chest, now). To successfully monitor progress, I would recommend keeping a journal of each workout (amount of weight, reps, etc).
Copyright 2007, Travis Emmel