Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Oh wait, were you aware that I was going to be a dad?!!? Well, I’m going to be a dad. In like 80 days or so. So, since this is definitely happening, I figured I’d sum up, um, what’s been going on as well as some general observations. Because, let’s be honest: That’s what you do when you have kids. You talk about them a lot.

This post has been long overdue. I’m actually somewhat sorry about that. My baby related tweeting ratio is somewhere in the range of one every 4 tweets, which I think means something. I can no longer watch anything where a baby or child is in harm/danger and not get overly emotional. I spend time in the baby section without being prompted at department stores. I lust after cool looking strollers and car seats, and I get choked up at that baseball commercial with all the kids in it (which is conveniently not available anywhere online. Suck it, MLB). If I’m not in full-fledged Parent Mode yet, I think I’m getting close. (Of course, there’s really no measuring stick for Parent Mode, so whatever)

Without a doubt, the question we’ve been asked the most is “Do you know what y’all are having?” It happens to be my most and least favorite question. From Day One, I’ve been pretty adamant in saying that I don’t want to know the sex of my child until h/she is born. It seems that Meggen and I are the only people who want to hold out for one last surprise. (Well, there was a lady we met at a wedding who I think started crying when she mentioned how fun it was for them to not know, but that’s for another day) I’ve heard everything from “Well how are you going to know how to do the nursery?” to “Well how am I going to know what to get for the baby?!!” to “WHAT ABOUT NAMES?” when I answer the “what are you having question” with “We’re waiting until the baby’s born.”

*In case you were looking for my responses to those responses, we are doing a jungle theme, (insert inappropriate but probably funny Jungle Fever line) we have a registry, (for those unsure about gifts) and we have names for a boy (Peyton Emanuel) and girl (Lyla Mae). I think I just interrupted myself.*

Anyway, just because we’re creating some gender drama doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it. So, we may or may not have been on Internet this evening looking at rather idiotic a few old wives’ tales. (Is the “old” referring the fact that the women themselves were old, or that said tales have been around awhile?) We’ve also recounted events leading up to…um, today, because apparently that can tell you something also. Anyway, here’s what we have so far.

Favorite Wives’ Tale: The Ring Trick
All of the links I found for this annoyed me, but here’s how it works: You attach a wedding ring to

Just so you know, we used a real ring. It’s of a snake. You needed to know that.

a string and hang it over the mother’s belly. If the ring swings back and forth, it’s a boy. If the ring circles around, it’s a girl. For us, the ring swung back and forth. BOY

Baby heart rate
If the baby’s heart rate is above 140, it’s a girl. Below 140? Hermaphrodite Boy. Peapie (working name for the fetus until it’s born, just so we’re clear) has consistently been over 140. GIRL

My Weight Gain (Yes, really)
Well, I’m still on Weight Watchers, which is still working well for me. So, since I haven’t gained weight since we found out, that “means it’s a BOY.”

Shape of Meggen’s belly
Of course, it’s quite cute. Right now, the baby bump has a watermelon-like shape. GIRL

The Mayan Tale
Well, of course, the Mayans think that all of us (including our unborn child) are done for by the end of this year. Anyway, you add the mother’s age at conception (27) to the year of conception (11). If the number is odd, it’s a boy. As you can see with the numbers given, this leads to a GIRL

Of course, there are probably tons of tales out there. Of course, my mom had a girl first, all of my close friends had girls first, and Beyoncé said that girls run the world. So, maybe these tales are true. What do you think we’re having? I’ll attach some pictures that will likely do nothing to help you decide.

3D ultrasounds are undoubtedly creepy. But hey, IT’S A BABY’S FACE!

I think the baby is sucking his/her thumb here. I really have no effin idea.

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I know disclaimers are dumb, but so are people. This is going to be a long post. If you were looking for sports talk, you should probably skip this post (It’s okay, I’ll be back at some point with an NBA preview!). I am not a fitness expert, nor am I endorsing Weight Watchers/Nike+/any product I may happen to mention. If you want to get serious about fitness/weight loss, you should talk to your doctor or a paid professional. Make sure you have a plan in place, and that you are taking up a lifestyle change (because that’s what this is) for the right reasons.

Okay, so I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about exercise and body image at some point over the course of having a blog. But I’ve never really put those two things together. (Then again, why would I?) Of course, my idea of a “diet” was drinking a Slim Fast…as a beverage along with a cheeseburger and fries. (How was I supposed to know that it was supposed to be a meal replacement???)

If you checked the link about body image, you know the back back story: I was somewhere around 50 pounds heavier than I am now. I was able to drop the weight, but I’ve always been in a “Well I work out all the time, so I can eat whatever the hell I want!” phase. Even when the number started to climb a little, I thought, “Well, I’ll just run more and cut down on the beer and not eat fast food for a couple of weeks.” Yeah, that didn’t go so well. Sure, my biceps were still bulging, but 180 on a “5’6ish” guy isn’t the best look if said guy isn’t a…running back.

This was me nine weeks ago. RIP, beard.

I knew that I needed to become honest with what I was eating. However, I wasn’t looking to go on a diet. So, I decided to give Weight Watchers a try.* The program “seemed” easy enough: I have a daily number of points for food, and if I was to go over that daily allowance, I had a weekly number of points to use (49, if you dare to care). There are multiple ways to track your progress (from writing it down to using the website to even using the mobile app). Also, the fact that I was already physically active helped. I could gain additional points (to use for food) when I worked out.

The most important part of Weight Watchers has been that I’ve had to become accountable for what I eat. I’m a guy who loves to snack (which makes me like, um, everybody else, I hope). But two cookies or a handful of Chex Mix or chips are usually just going to make me more hungry. Instead of doing that, I opted for fruit (also, no points!). It was rewarding to see that the choices I was making were bringing positive results.

I started Weight Watchers nine weeks ago at 179.6 pounds. My most recent weigh in (this past Tuesday) had me at 163.6. That’s a pretty big drop, right? Not only do I see a noticeable difference, I feel better. I have more endurance for my workouts. I don’t hate eating fruit or vegetables. Even my small jeans are too big. Apparently, each pound of weight you lose drops four pounds of pressure off your knees. I think my old man balky sometimes sore left knee appreciates that. Now, I’m not sure if Weight Watchers is something that is going to work for everyone. But the resources that the program offers can put you in a position to succeed. You’re also around people who can relate to your experience, which is always a plus.

And now I'm jumping for joy! Good thing you don't see the part where I land on my face.

*I went to a personal trainer once, and he told me that while I may think that I can get fit on my own, chances are I won’t be able to. (In a related story, that guy was an asshole) It turns out, that he was somewhat right. I’m a highly motivated person, but it’s taken a lot more than me to get to this point. I cannot take credit for my progress without acknowledging my advantages, like:
-A job with an on-site gym and enthusiastic trainers
-An inner enjoyment of being physically active
-A girlfriend who’s willing to go to the park/neighborhood/apartment gym to work out with you
-Friends who respect (and not condemn) your food and fitness choices
-A job that offers Weight Watchers meetings at work
-Lots of motivation through fitness communities on Twitter/Facebook
Sure, I’ve put in a lot of work. But I’ve had a lot of help. While it’s possible to achieve fitness results on your own, you shouldn’t have to. I don’t think that everyone needs a drill sergeant, but I do think that the more support you have, the better.

So, where do I go from here? (To the buffet!) I think I’m like everyone else when I say that part of me worries about gaining the weight back. But I plan on sticking with Weight Watchers for the foreseeable future, mainly because it’s actually kind of fun to log my eating and physical activity. I’ve got a foundation of healthy habits that I want to keep. Knowing that I have the ability to continue those habits is rewarding on its own, but still worth the challenge.

Feel free to share your stories/experiences with weight loss/working to get more fit below! Have you found a plan that works? Are you looking for ideas/motivation/just a place to vent? Feel free to leave a comment.

The return of CAPs!!!!

Posted: November 13, 2011 in Exercise, Fitness, Lifestyle

I’ve been in a push up mood over the past few days. Last night, I turned suicidal figured I’d try to do push ups for points scored by both teams in last night’s Oregon-Stanford game. (Works like this, if Oregon scores seven, seven push ups, if they get to 10 or 14, then 10/14 push ups, and so on) Well, I actually enjoyed it. (In a related story, I think I like pain)

If you’re not familiar with CAPs, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. Today’s push up involves a squat. Goes a little like this:
1. Start in a squat position.
2. While squatting, lean forward until your hands are on the floor, keeping your squat position.
3. Push your body from the floor back into the squatted position.
4. Repeat. Do this for one minute.

If this explanation doesn’t do it for you, don’t worry! I’ve got video evidence that this push up is possible. Enjoy! Because uploading videos to WordPress is somehow outlawed, you should be able to view this on my side blog. Good luck!

This is probably the best picture I could find. Kinda cool, eh?

While my job involves taking calls for a cell phone company, I wouldn’t really call myself an expert. So, please take all of what I’m saying with a grain of salt. So, there.

So, by the time you’re reading this post, (probably) I will have become an official user of an iPhone. I’ve been using Android phones (specifically the ‘Droid”* line of phones—the OG, Droid 2, and Droid Bionic).

*Allow me to digress for just a moment. Unless you own one of these phones, (the OG Droid, Droid Eris, Droid 2/D2 Global, and Droid Incredible included) YOU DO NOT OWN A DROID. You own a phone that operates on the Android OS. That’s it. So, stop claiming #teamdroid on Twitter when you’re working with an EVO/MyTouch/Galaxy S/et al. I know that this is petty, but I’m all about telling the truth.

I’ve stuck with Android and resisted the flirtations of Blackberry of iOS and Windows Phone (sleep on the Microsoft boys if you want, but that OS is pretty solid). I’ve rooted my phone, added custom ROMs, done snapshots, stolen free Wi-Fi for my computer—I did all the cool things. Of course, I also tweeted/listened to music/blogged/listened to the first and last pitch of the MLB season also. All the fun things. So why change that? Well…

Agony, thy name is Force Close.
If you’ve had an Android phone, you’ve seen it. It could be Tweetdeck. The Calendar. Gmail. The DIALER. The Browser. Facebook. Text Messaging. If it’s something on your phone, it’s probably force closed before. Why does this happen? Sure, you have the easy reasons (maybe you need to clear the cache on your Twitter app, maybe you have too many text messages saved, maybe they need to do an Occupy Force Close also…the “reasons” are endless). But, the dialer? Really? Text messaging? The stock keyboard? That’s not supposed to happen.

Hey, why don’t you just stay on for a change?
Sure, if your battery is dead, then the phone should power down. (You’d be surprised to know that this is not that well-known of a fact) But with a full charge? When the phone is just sitting there? When you want to listen to a podcast? When you’re trying to snap a photo of someone in a Neil O’Donnell Jets jersey? Yeah, that’s not the business, folks.

The apps are better. Stop joking.
Sure, this is probably subjective. But I’ll give you a list of applications where this rings true:
-Spotify
-MLB At Bat
-Watch ESPN
-Foursquare
-Facebook
Those are popular applications. They’re all better on the iPhone. Also, notice how all the messaging applications mimic the bubble style conversation that is so popular on, that’s right…the iPhone? Yeah, that’s not a mistake.

It works!
As you read earlier, I take calls for a cell phone company. I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever gotten a call from someone with a software problem on their iPhone (or iPad, for that matter). Frozen screens? Nope. Keyboard suddenly disappearing just because you hit the space bar? None of that. That’s…kind of a big deal.

So, okay, maybe this isn’t enough to sway you. Think about this: Google and Samsung are unveiling the next version of the Android OS (and the fancy Galaxy Nexus) next week. Most people (and most of those people are Android fanboys) see this as the phone that will finally topple the iPhone. We do realize that it’s taken about four years, right? Now, don’t get me wrong—I LOVE the things that I can do on an Android phone. I can make things look pretty much however I may be feeling that day. And, if I don’t like it, I can go to something else quickly. The Android movement has been swift and relatively stunning. But none of that matters when the phone doesn’t stay powered on. Or if it freezes to the point that you have to take the battery out. You shouldn’t have to take your battery out of the phone, folks. Power it down? Sure. But still. The biggest difference for me in iOS is that the thing WORKS. I can’t say the same for Android. So, again, it’s been fun Android, but I’m leaving you for an iPhone. I’ll miss you a little bit, if that means anything.

CAPs Thursday!!

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Exercise, Fitness, Lifestyle

Let’s go ahead and get one thing out of the way: I am not a fitness expert. You probably shouldn’t do anything I suggest in these posts without consulting either a trainer or a physician. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, YOU CAN’T SUE ME!

So, last week’s push up had you using other apparatuses. That’s not fair!!!! So, I decided to give you a break this week. This push up involves using your legs a little, and holding your position for a change. I don’t really have a name for it, but I suppose I can call it The Twist.

The Twist

Do those shorts make my butt look big?

1. Start in a full plank position (not that stupid thing that sadly swept the country, this
2. Go down in a push up motion, but bring your left leg up to where your foot is in the air, knee slightly bent, and your body twists.

Apparently, it's all in the hips.

3. Hold that position for, say…five seconds, then push back up into a normal push(ed) up position.
4. Repeat with opposite leg. Do this exercise for one minute, three sets.

This push up really isn’t that difficult, but it does take a lot of discipline. I think it works your shoulders a little more than normal push ups, and there’s the extra benefit of working your love handles. Worth a try if you’re into the wacky shit like I am if you’re looking for something different.

¡CAPs!

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Exercise, Fitness, Lifestyle

Let’s go ahead and get one thing out of the way: I am not a fitness expert. You probably shouldn’t do anything I suggest in these posts without consulting either a trainer or a physician. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, YOU CAN’T SUE ME!

Unfortunately, I made a promise to keep churning out posts as if I’m getting paid or something. Okay, well maybe I didn’t make that specific promise. Anyway, one of the exercise moves that I enjoy the most is push ups. They work multiple parts of your body (triceps, back, shoulders, abs, biceps, and…your chest!). You don’t have to do them at the gym, and if you do them even kind of sometimes, you’re bound to see results. So, because I love push ups just as much as I love blogging, I’m introducing this week’s CAP (Crazy Ass Push Up)!!!

Honestly, I don’t know what to call this thing. I asked my trainer to give me a “challenging push up for my blog,” and her eyes lit up. That was probably not a good idea by yours truly. Anyway, this push up involves a BOSU ball and some sort of stepping…apparatus (You’re probably going to have to do this one at a gym). So, here are the steps, I think:
1. Start with your feet together, on the elevated…thingy, hands on the BOSU ball (see picture and

This really is harder than it looks. And yes, I know it looks hard.

laugh)
2. Do a push up.
3. While up, take your feet off of elevated thingy, one foot at a time.
4. Repeat, let’s say….4 sets of 15. Or, 3 sets, one minute each.

Yeah, that's the end result. I think.

I guarantee if you give these push ups a shot, you’ll:
1. Hurt.
2. Get some definition in your upper body.

Got any suggestions for push ups that you’d like to see here? Would you rather me STFU about push ups in general? Leave a comment or email me at tbfilesblog[at]yahoo[dot]com

Fighting the Injury Bug

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Exercise, Fitness, Lifestyle

Let’s go ahead and get one thing out of the way: I am not a fitness expert. You probably shouldn’t do anything I suggest in these posts without consulting either a trainer or a physician. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, YOU CAN’T SUE ME!

I really make it no secret that I work out a lot. A successful week for me is working out at least five times. I do a little of everything, from running to way too many push ups. In my mind, I enjoy working out so much because it’s one of the few things in life that I complete control over; I will get as much out as I put in. That’s pretty…simple.

Anyway, one drawback of being active is the possibility of getting hurt. I’m sure that all injuries are preventable, I’m just awkward and clumsy. And, well, I think I have mastered the skill of getting hurt:
-Four years ago, I fell off the treadmill at my then apartment complex, my knee hurt for about a month.
-While recovering from my wrist surgery, (purely cosmetic) I thought that lifting weights while Jillian Michaels motivated me would be a good idea. In a related story, my left shoulder was hurting the next day, and, uh, hasn’t really stopped since.
-I started a 10k training regimen, only to end up with knee pain that’s still a problem every now and then (tendonitis, apparently).
-After 3 weeks of physical therapy, I was cleared to start running again. Only to end up with a stress reaction in my left foot.

Now, I’m sure that I didn’t help my shoulder and knee by continuing to work out for another few months before going to the orthopedist. I was given a physical therapy plan, but I may or may not have missed every session but one a few sessions.

I suppose that this is my problem: If I feel well enough to give it a go, it doesn’t really matter what’s hurting. I was running on the treadmill today, and even though my knee was hurting, I kept on going. Hey, I can still run, so why not? I have a suffocating fear of not being able to work out freely, so I keep going because I can. (Somebody’s going to have some issues should he actually get hurt. Just maybe.) I’ve been trying to be better about it (I “was” following doctor’s orders of not running for a week up until my most recent date with the treadmill). But it’s hard to find a balance between staying safe and getting the most out of my workout. Of course, this could just be me (further proof that I’m just an odd muthaf****).

Anyone have any thoughts on this? What do you do in order to stay uninjured? If you feel something hurting while working out, do you stop? Do you keep going? Are you wishing that I would stop whining and suck it up?