Wednesday, 23 July 2014

And We're Back

It's been a while, but I'm back from Vancouver. Can I take a moment to just say how much I like that city? It's great. It's just so much more alive than anywhere in my home province. Way much more to eat, to see.

And it's almost always cloudy, overcast, or raining. As a person who hates the sun and burns fast, this is a great blessing.

It's nice not having to walk around wiping your face every other second.

But seriously, that's pretty much what Erin and I did. We'd wake up, go out and find an interesting place to have lunch, go run around the city, eat some more, return back to her place, and then pass out.

One time we went and bought a box of donuts and ate that for dinner while watching TV. This is how you know you're an adult. When you can get away with eating atrocious things for dinner and not being reprimanded.


There were a few interesting things that we tried out while in Vancouver though, asides from our rampant gluttony. On the internet, there are games known as "Escape Room" games. Basically, you are trapped in a room and you need to use tools and hints within the room to break out.

Someone made real-life versions of such scenarios and they are a lot of fun. We grabbed one of Erin's friends to do one with us and we failed miserably. As in, we couldn't get beyond the second room.

If anyone else wants to try, I suggest running down to Exit if you're down there. Let me know how well you did with Lost Ship.

Erin also tried the Laboratory scenario with her family and failed.

But now that I'm back home, I have a whole slew of stories to share with you guys. Such as my health issues and how I hurt myself, my plans for the fall, and the creepy stalker from work.

Oh, and despite all my eating in Vancouver, I somehow managed to lose 5 pounds. Yay. Go me.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

On Vacation

Man, I've been bad for keeping a steady posting schedule lately and I apologize for that. Things were hectic before, during, and after the wedding. We've been having tons of dinners and outings with our new cousin and getting to know the new side of the family.

Actually, I've lost about 5 pounds simply because my eating schedule has been thrown completely out of whack. It's a bit of cognitive dissonance really because I look and I feel bigger but my scale says something completely different.

Yay.

Oh, and I'm on vacation as well if you couldn't tell by the title.

And will continue to be for another week or so. I'm back visiting my friend Erin again in Vancouver. I guess I didn't pester her enough last year so she decided to invite me back for a second round. More shopping, more eating, and more relaxing.

Though not relaxing enough to allow us to do many online activities as opposed to passing out in our respective beds.

I don't look as adorable as that.

Though this time around she had a few unexpected projects from a client pop up so I'll be left to my own devices. I'm hoping to pop by a gym and get a proper workout done. Pushups, sit-ups, and lots of walking aren't the same as doing bench presses and squats. I'd rather not lose another 5 pounds while I'm here.

An unexpected benefit of having Erin be busy is that I'm meeting some of her coworkers. If things go well I may have a job offer or two lined up for me in the future. And if not, it doesn't hurt to make a few connections while I'm in the area.

I'll see you guys when I get back.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Wedding

I remember waking up uncomfortable and groggy on that Saturday morning. My cousin Ray was staying with me so naturally I gave him my bed to sleep in. Gracious host and what not. This left me sleeping in a sleeping bag on top of an old and hard futon that was a bit too short. The sleeping bag also smelt a bit funny but whatever, it was only going to be for a few nights.

We were uncertain what to wear. There was an initial ceremony, followed by a break, followed by some more ceremonies, and then dinner. Was it necessary to dress formally so early? Could we go more casual and then return home to change? We called one of my Uncles and he said we could go semi-casual.

So imagine our surprise when we arrive and everyone is dressed up in suits.

People say I looked furious as I searched for the Uncle.

Luckily I managed to snag a tie from said uncle. My brother and Ray managed to steal bits and pieces of clothing from other people when pictures weren't being taken so in the end it was around ok. Still, I would have preferred to be in my full suit for all these wedding photos. As I'd later learn that evening, it's kind of hard to take photos in the dark.

The reception was nice. Adam is the first of my generation to finally get married so this is kind of important. Family members all over the place crying including groom. It was kind of funny and sweet at the same time because when was the last time you saw a groom start crying as he says his vows?

Luckily, the best man had tissues ready.

I chuckled, I think we all did.

After a series of photos by the wedding photographer we had time for a quick lunch and a drive home to change. It was a pain getting there and back due to the pride parade happening nearby. Traffic was congested and things took longer than we would have liked.

Also unfortunate was the lack of drinks or refreshments while we were waiting. Well, unless you wanted to fork over several dollars for a drink. So, being the intrepid people we were, another Uncle (I have a big family) and I set off to the nearest convenience store to grab bottled water everyone.

We realized it would be kind of embarrassing, sneaking drinks into the fancy hotel that the wedding was held at. We resolved this by "sneakily" covering the case of bottled water with our suit jackets.

And then it started to rain on our way back.

I normally like rain. But not when I'm dressed all fancy.

We made it back mostly dry surprisingly. I think the dinner and the open bar were my favorite part of the whole wedding. I like fancy food, and wine, and alcohol. I wish they had more hard liquor but I made due with what I had. Asides from the best man knocking over a glass vase filled with water I think dinner went very well.

Another thing that this wedding indirectly did for me was somewhat give me hope for my own future romantic endeavors. When I was a kid I remember Adam dating someone and they were together for years before mysteriously breaking up. Then he was single for (I think) the same amount of time before meeting his to-be-wife. They married a year after they first met up, they just clicked.

I mean, he's over 30 and I just turned 24. My longest relationship was half as long as his and I haven't been single for as long either.  He's probably been turned down more than I have too and he's much more charismatic than I am.

Maybe I should be more dapper, drink more fancy alcohol. Maybe this line of thought was the alcohol talking.

But it really puts things in perspective. And it gives me hope. I'm still young, right? Well, that hasn't stopped my Grandmother from constantly nudging me and asking where my "girlfriend" is.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Happy Belated Birthday

Most people don't usually remember my birthday. A large part of it has to do with me being purposely elusive. I don't announce it, when people ask I weasel my way out of the question, and back when I had Facebook I would disable my wall so no one could comment.

But this year my birthday was additionally overshadowed by my cousin's wedding. Plus I'm getting older now so now one really makes a big deal about it anymore.

It's ok, my computer loves me.

But I got to see my cousins again and despite it being a decade since we've see one another we were laughing and joking like it was nothing. Also unexpected was that everyone noticed that I had put on muscle. Albeit they only noticed after we had hugged but hey, partial victory. Maybe the next time they see me it'll be more obvious.

I got a few gifts, and a few surprising birthday texts from other friends. Really didn't expect them to remember but I'll take what I can get. Also not sure why I got a birthday email from my bank too. That was a bit odd.

Uh, thanks?

Anyways, next post I'll talk about the wedding. For now, I'm going to find something to treat myself with. I guess that's what happens when you're an "adult", you have to buy your own gifts.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Wedding Preperations

With less than a week to go before my cousin's wedding there has been a lot of scrambling around to get things ready. And by ready I mean appear semi-presentable. Not only is this a wedding that I'm attending, but the people attending include relatives that I haven't seen in years.

And one of them just happens to be staying in my room for the duration of the wedding.

And then I realized the state that my room was in.

Yeah. My room is kind of a disaster. It never really recovers from finals and I still have papers and books lying around despite finishing a month ago. I'm kind of lazy and I made half-hearted efforts to clean the mess of notes up.

But it's not just schoolwork that's cluttering up my room, all the supplements I've been taking have also made everything excessively dusty. I took the time to clean out the fans from my computer and I smelt chocolate protein powder.

The rest of my family claims that my room smells of nothing but chocolate too. But I'd rather them not know how many buckets and jars I have so I'll keep it stashed here. The smell is a small inconvenience.

A bit of vacuuming will fix this up.

And then there's the issue of my suit. I bought a new one last year because the other one I owned I've worn since Junior High. At the time of purchase, the suit jacket was a bit baggy and the suit pants did not fit. After numerous alterations we finally got it tight enough so that I could wear it with a belt.

I tried them on last week and they don't fit anymore. Yep, the stupid thing is too tight now. I really shouldn't be surprised though, I mean, I have half a dozen pairs of jeans I can't fit into either. This is what happens when you do squats and deadlifts.

In other news, my suit jacket fits me better. I just wish my upper body growth was as noticeable. Unless you're a bodybuilder, few people are going to stare at a man's legs and go "Nice quads". No, people look and say "Nice arms/abs/pecs".

Hello there.

So the suit pants need to be tapered, let out, hopefully the tailor can get it done on time. Lastly, I needed a haircut because my head looks like an uncut lawn. It's a pain in the ass to style and I have the worst bedhead.

And as luck would have it my hair dresser has left the country on an emergency. He returns on the day after the wedding. Perfect. My options now are to try and do something with this ridiculous mop of hair OR try a hair dresser my friend recommended.

Except the last two he recommended weren't great. I mean, they did his hair nicely but for me? Ehhhh...

Maybe I should learn to cut my own hair.

So I'm still scrambling. Honestly all of us are but it's exciting at the same time. It's a wedding, I get to see people, eat good food, dress up all fancy. It should be a fun time.

And if it isn't, well, good blogging material.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Haitus Recap: Health

My health has always been a problem for me, whether it's been my lungs or my poor sleeping habits, I've never been the pinnacle of well-being. And I guess you could consider my bodytype to be unhealthy too.

I mean, when you're used to surviving off 1 meal every 24 hours, how can you expect to look?

Like so.

But things have been getting better and I'd like to attribute it to heading to the gym. For example, I've started eating breakfast again! Yes, after over half a decade of skipping this meal I've been trying to add it back to my routine.

Because is it ever hard to get enough calories in a day with just 2 meals.

Why do I skip breakfast? Easy. Because I'd rather sleep in for another half an hour than get up to eat a bowl of cereal. Though, I guess I could just grab a banana on the go and eat that but again, the laziness of older me was too much to even do that.

Vector cereal is really good though, also lots of protein.

I've also been taking this new mass gainer. For a while I was barely able to breach 160 pounds but after a few weeks on it, I easily pushed myself to 165. The biggest problem? Despite being the best tasting mass gainer I've ever been on, it still tastes kind of gross.

I mean, how can you manage to make "chocolate" taste eggy and sour? How do you manage to turn "cookies and cream" into... Well, there are cookie bits that taste like chocolate but the cream... I don't like whatever "cream" flavour this is.

Who knows what the vanilla is like. I am so sick of vanilla, never again.

My stomach cringes at the thought.

The added benefit of this mass gainer though is that when I miss one or miss a meal is that I get hungry. I haven't felt "hungry" in ages so maybe this is my body finally adapting to wanting to eat more? That's a good thing right?

My sleep schedule hasn't really improved though. I'm still tired most of the time though whether it's from poor sleep during the night or the workouts is hard to say. Fortunately I have an appointment in July where I'm going to begin the process of booking another sleep study.

Except this time I'm going to be sleeping in a lab with a ton of things hooked up to me while getting monitored.

Yay for people watching me sleep.

My lungs haven't been bothering me too much despite the increased loads I've been lifting at the gym. In fact, the only times my lung ever seem to bother me is excessive cardio. I had one temporary trainer who pushed me and I was just winded, light-headed, and actually nauseous.

No more cardio. Cardio isn't going to get me big, lifting heavy weights will.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Haitus Recap: Project Jason

Project Jason is my attempt at getting more muscle. Too long have I been a sack of organs barely held in by a thin membrane of skin. I've slowly noticed changes like my arms getting slightly bigger, clothes not fitting properly, and I say to myself, yeah, I think it's working.

And then I take a look at myself from a picture from before I started working out and THEN the differences become truly noticeable.

Those gains...

I guess it's because I see myself everyday so the changes aren't all that apparent. Hence the importance of progress pictures. I know I didn't take a picture back in August when I first started because of how embarrassed I was. But the closest thing I have is a picture from November and that was when I gained about 20 pounds.

And since November I've gained about another 15 pounds. It scares me to think of how thin I used to be. In fact, browsing various online fitness boards has lead to a startling realization. After all my hard work, I am only now considered "skinny".

Let that sink in for a moment. Almost 10 months of going to the gym has finally allowed me to be promoted to skinny.

So what was I considered before? Well, they have a lovely term for men who have noodle limbs and visible ribs: "Auschwitz mode".

Other acceptable terms include "hungry skeleton".

No matter, I'm still going to keep pushing to reach what they call "Ottermode" or the body type most associated with swimmers. For the first time ever, I'm at a healthy BMI at 165 pounds. My goal is to be around 200 pounds of muscle.

But this goal also puts me in an awkward position. Ideally, you want to be able to bench/overhead press your own body weight and squat/deadlift DOUBLE your bodyweight. Over the last few weeks I've finally been able to squat/deadlift 1 plate (45 pounds each side) and I can bench/overhead press maybe half of that.

I'm proud of myself, but I have a long way to go.

What's also funny is that I've developed somewhat noticeable pecs. And I can't stop touching them. Seriously, I'll be standing around and I'll poke them to make sure they're still there. What can I say? They're nice.

I imagine that it's similar for women when they first start developing breasts.

Ok, they're not that impressive yet, but maybe one day.

I'm still with my original trainer Eli, and things are going well. My other trainer (simply named Trainer D) finally had me lifting weight and not nitpicking over form before he disappeared. Yep. High turnover rate for trainers at that other gym.

So they slapped me with another trainer who we'll call Trainer E. He's nice, I like him but he doesn't have the technical knowledge or training that Eli or Trainer D had. I only have 2 dozen sessions left and after that, I'm just going to workout with Eli non-stop for the rest of the summer.