How I Lost 20 effing Pounds

IMG_0478It’s crazy actually, but I don’t think I did anything amazing. I just did a few things that I said I was going to do and the results have been more than I could’ve hoped for. I lost 20 pounds in about 45 days and weight loss was not even my goal, it was a result of me just trying to be healthier.

I may have explained this before but there have been 5 people in my life that have gotten cancer. 4 of those are relatives. 2 of those 5 are my age. The thing that doctors tell cancer patients and survivors is that they need to change their diet. So I started thinking, why wait for that to happen? I should just start now.

I stated last month that I was going to stop eating meat. There were some jokes and some looks that I got. The comments were interesting both on Facebook and on Twitter. Most were supportive, of course, but I had to convince some family members that I was not going to force my beliefs on anyone. They can have all the meat they want but I will still continue to this lifestyle.

That is the key to this. This is not a diet, this is lifestyle. I run 2-3 times a week and I changed my eating habits. There is no special pill, no green ring that works on will power, and no formula to any of this, just motivation. However, I write about this because people do asking me what am I doing that has allowed me to be this way.

Well first, I eat Fish which technically means I’m a Pescatarian so that does help because, depending on the fish, it is generally healthier. I stay way from fast foods and, of course, I drink tons of water. However, the most important thing that I have changed in my life has been the decrease of sugar intake. I believe this is the number one reason for my weight loss. The reason I added this along with giving up meat is because outside the threat of cancer is diabetes, which is way too common in my family.

My daily intake of sugar is from 5g – 20gs a day. I do strive for the lower end of the spectrum and I know there are days when I don’t consume sugar at all. I’ve gotten very used to not putting sugar in my coffee. That is something that I did every day without fail. Now, I don’t even miss it and in fact, I don’t even put milk in my coffee anymore.

Here is some example of what I do for meals each day. I don’t do these all at once or even every day but these are my options:

9e2cV5ZBreakfast: Eggs. Cheerios (1g of sugar) with milk. Banana. Black Coffee. Croissant (6g of sugar). Pancakes and French Toast are a rarity because syrup is high in sugar.

Lunch: I have salad everyday for lunch. When I don’t, it is generally a veggie burrito. If I’m slumming it, peanut butter & banana sandwich (Multi-grain Bread)

Dinner: Fish (Salmon, Sushi, etc), veggies, pasta, rice, quinoa, beans,

Snacks: Fruits, walnuts, peanuts, cheese, crackers.

These are samples of what I do. Sometimes I will have tuna fish sandwich for lunch or a slice of cheese pizza. The most important thing is that I do not have too much of the guilty pleasures like ice cream, cookies, and chocolate. Trust me, I can kill those, but I do have them in moderation.

Speaking of moderation, I have eaten meat a small number of times in the past 45 days. I would say no more than 6 times. I’ve come to realize that I cannot go over board when it comes to the consumption of meat because it actually has been making me sick and that was just one hot dog. So, for me, if I’m going to eat meat or poultry (because, after all I am Latino) then it will be on my terms.

That is also the key everything. I’m doing all lifestyle change on my terms and it feels great.

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I am near Obese! (26.4% Body Fat)

 
Yesterday was the day I decided to get my ass kicked. I will admit that I didn’t join a gym to get a personal trainer. But when a free session was offered to me, something inside me told me that I should at least try it.

What I’ve come to find out is that running can only get me so far. Sure, I can build stamina all day but if I cant lift a simple box around the office than what was the point? I started doing light arm and chest work outs with weights in addition to my ab workouts. the problem is never knowing when you are doing something wrong. Twice last week I ended up tweaking something and I knew that if I am not careful, I could be in some real pain.

So the whole personal trainer idea was not sounding so bad. I made sure to run hard last week (3 days = 7.5 miles) and get four days rest leading to this fateful day. I was not going to disillusion myself, I knew what I was in for and I expected the worse. The fact that she was a short woman who seemed nice made it worse. I wasn’t falling for a sweet face of a person that could quite possibly know how to do a helicopter kick (i.e. Street Fighter).

Without going into the gratuitous and sweaty details of the slaughter that took place to my physical being, the work out was good. I had two goals in mind, the first was not to scream like a baby when I couldn’t do it anymore and the second was not to beg her to stop. I accomplished both, but I was pushed to my physical limit. I felt the muscle soreness right away. Thank God she was not berating. I had images of Jillian Michaels (The Biggest Loser) yelling at me to get my fat ass in gear. But I survived it and only had one thing to do after getting stretched, and that was to discuss future appointments.

This is the part I hate the most. The debate on whether I should pay to have my own personal trainer. There is no question that this woman would help me get to a certain weight and body type. But the price was too much for me. It was something like $380-400 and that was payment #1.  She questioned my motivation and my immediate response was that money is my motivating factor for not continuing considering that she wanted me to make a payment right away. That wasn’t happening

She measured my body fat and I knew it wasn’t going to be good. This is an area about my health that I know the least about. A man my age should have an ideal body fat percentage of about 13% – 20%. The average percentage is 20.2% to about 25.6%. Anything above these can be considered obese. Of course mine is 26.4%. She tells me how bad this is for me and that she can teach me the proper form in exercise, which is true. I learned new ways to work out that I am still feeling. The body fat percentage is a big thing to me. I joke about how fat I am (even though I really don’t think I am) because I know my family history.

However, I think my motivation is in the right place. I pay for a membership to a gym where I go 3 times a week. Paying an additional amount of dollars when I still have bills to pay and an apartment to hunt for is not the best way to go. Even when I mentioned that I was on a budget, I got this look like I will never train with her again. Which I did say that I still could, just not right now (it’s not you, it’s me). Very simply, the budget that I share with the girlfriend will be compromised by a decision to pay for something thing without consultation. While that may have come across as me being whipped, I would challenge any man who shares expenses with their partner to make a big payment without checking and see what occurs.

Of course I won this argument, but I lost the war. I am obese by all indicators and yet I don’t feel that way. I know we live in a country that subscribes to an anorexic style of beauty but I also have to consider science. My mother’s heart attack was very much about her diabetes. My Father’s cancer may not have been avoidable but I know that taking of myself now can help me in the future. Does this mean I need a personal trainer? I am not sure. Maybe I do. But, I do have additional motivation and that is to be as healthy as I can.

P.S. My BMI is 27.7. You can calculate yours here.

Building a Better Me

Building a Better Me

My abs hurt. They need to hurt because the domed shaped gut that protects them is just too big in my opinion. That opinion still holds even though I am currently losing weight and slimming down some. Yes, I am still a slender type of person but I really need to work more on myself. I am about to reach the 4th decade of my live soon and I need to be healthy.

While building a better me is not just about physical traits, I think that it is important to look good for myself. Several years ago, I went through this process of running all the time and slimming down a pretty good weight. I looked thin and it was something that I really enjoyed. It was process that I started with a definite outcome. I am on that same path I was years ago with one major difference. The motivation has changed.

Three years ago my motivation was based on anger. I was angry at everything. The best way to get past everything was to just run. I took all that pent up anger and threw myself on a treadmill until all the anger and pain left. I would run so hard to see if my physical pain could match my emotional pain and the results showed. Anger is such a powerful emotion that makes just about anything possible. One can do incredible things alone just based on anger alone. The issue is that anger fades eventually and what you are left with is a sense of exhaustion.

Now I have a new motivation that is based on the drive to be a better man in every sense. 2013 and beyond is going to be about my health and well being. These thoughts were never really present in my younger days. In those days, I could seemingly do and eat anything. Sadly, those days are coming to an end. What happens now is that everything that I have eaten then will have an effect on me now if I do not take care of myself. I would also love to get to a point where I feel comfortable with what I wear. I have taken pride with looking professional when I am at work and beyond. Much of that is based on how I feel about myself. Another words, I just get tired of seeing the gut.

I think the change in motivation is key. While anger is a very powerful emotion it can be very temporary for me. I can never stay angry for too long thus the desire to continue is not longer there. That is why it is so very important to me to gain a sense of purpose. I’ve proven this year that I can do anything I put my mind to and fixing my physical state has moved high on the list. I mentioned in the past that is it very easy to be complacent in Syracuse but that is not the case in New York City. I almost get the feeling that I need to always keep moving or be in a constant state of motion.

My workout plan has been simple because I want to ease my way into things. I am going to the gym 3 times a week where I run for two miles on the treadmill, then I do about 75 crunches, and then I work on the arms. The goal is to be toned. I am not going for a superhero look but my main goal is abs.  One of cousins is dying for me to do this killer working out, which is much like boot camp, and I am simply not ready for that. I do feel like I need to be in a place where I can do the same workouts consistently. Once I get there, then I think I will be ready for crazy stuff.

Right now, I am just working on building a better me. I think that is something we should always strive for. We should always try to make ourselves better because life should not be about being and doing the same things all the time.

..and I Ran, I Ran so Far Away…

My legs hurt. They need to hurt because I put this off for far too long.  Monday I finally ran again and it was one of the hardest things I have done in a while. At this point, Ice skating was easier. I made running a specific goal that I had to accomplish and keep doing in 2012. I am not entirely sure how I stopped but I am pretty sure it involved an excuse.

It is amazing how much in rhythm I have to be in order to run the way I want to. I didn’t have head phones so I had to buy some. Normally, I would go home and find some or I would just skip that day because I needed the music to focus on. But, the rhythm I am talking about is far more than just the music. Just getting on the treadmill felt foreign to me as if I had never done it before. The only thing that I did remember was what my favorite treadmill was and how to program it, although I ended up doing that wrong as well.

It felt good to get that first quarter mile down, but then the pain started. It was right then that I knew how far I had fallen from my own grace. I had been in a little bit of denial with how out of shape I was and my body confirmed it for me. The rest of the run was a battle of will power and agony. I would be lying if I said I ran the entire 2.5 miles, but I never stopped moving until the time was done. It turned out that I programmed more time that usual but I was not going to stop because that.

If you ever run on a treadmill you will know that when you run for the first time in a long time that your body still feels like it is moving even after you stop. So getting off the treadmill without looking like you are still running at 5.5 speed is a challenge when your quad muscles are aching. My intention was not to limp off the machine, but I would not be surprised if that was exactly what it looked like. I walked slowly on purpose and going down a set of stairs to get to the locker room is no fun at all.

I ran but I paid the price for stopping in the first place. My legs still hurt when I played racquetball yesterday but the workout is not the same and it did not affect my mobility until I caught a cramp in my calf. This is yet another sign of me losing that stamina and physical prowess that I once had. More importantly I lost that rhythm that I had to get through my regimen. It took me awhile to even get into the games I was playing.

I almost dread running tomorrow. I will do it because I possess the motivation and the drive. I will do it because I want to get that rhythm back in everything I do in my life. More importantly, I will do it because despite the pain, I have run out of excuses.

Christmas List 2010

‘Tis the season to look at what is on sale. I still have no idea what I am going to get certain people in my life. I have already bought one gift and I know what I am getting my nephew, but that is about it. I am struggling trying to figure what to get my dad and I may have to get my mother something (I don’t know).  But, as I see all the things on sale and think about all the holiday parties I am going to this week (with all the gift giving), I think about what it is I would love to get.

I did this last year, I listed 5 things that I would love to get that I expect no one to get but me. This is sort of a goal I set for myself on things I will get in the following year. The funny thing is that 3 of my items last year I did end up getting as gifts, which I did not expect.

So, below are 5 things I will work on getting for 2011. This is my first Christmas in 8 years, in which I am officially single and it should be very interesting:

I am not trying to get a gold one…lol

The first on this list was the very first thing on my list last year: A Macbook. As you can see this is something I did not end up getting this year. There were other things that took precedence like food and mortgage. Interestingly enough, these computers are still very expensive and I really thought about getting a small one, but after talking to someone who has a Macbook, it is better if i get the more expensive one because of the memory. I am still using my old Dell laptop but I really have to get something else. However, as much as I can say that I may need this, the truth is…this is not a necessity. I will still work hard on getting it though.

Kindle or Nook???

Number two on the list is the same as last year as well but, there is a bit of a difference. I listed a Kindle from Amazon last year because I thought it was really cool. However, there is this thing called the Nook by Barnes & Noble that is just as good. I need to figure out which one is better, but since I love Barnes & Noble, I am feeling a pull toward the Nook. Of course, It does not help that I know someone who has a Nook. I am informed on a semi regular basis how awesome it truly is. It may just help me in this new Book Club venture that I am a part of.

This look so sexy!

This next item is just something that I have had before. I often joke that I lost this in the settlement to my ex wife in the divorce.  The third on my list is a Nintendo Wii. I just happen to be out and about on Black Friday when I saw the Black Wii on sale at Best Buy. I really had to walk away. I have games for Wii that are just collecting dust. The Wii was something that I bought for her years ago, so when she left, she clearly took it with her. I have no games systems newer than the PS2 and I havent really been craving to play games until I went out on Black Friday. So, now I have an urge to just play.

Last year, the fourth item on my list was dress shoes and I ended up getting two pairs. Now, I want to stick with that theme and say that I need to get a new pair of running shoes. I have worn my old pair out and I need to get back to what worked for me. I have stopped running and I need to get back into that old habit. Much of that has to do with my business. I mean, I have gone to the gym to get my workouts in, but I know that I need to get back to running. I am not sure what kind of pair I want, I just know that I need a good pair.

Last, but least. I would like to get into some good graphic novels. Since I am have stopped getting comic books on a regular basis, I can still read them in graphic novel form. “The Walking Dead” is something I want to get into. There are several graphic novels under this title and I want to get them all. “Y: The Last Man” is something I borrowed a few years ago. It was a very good series and I would like to get back into that. They are a good way to keep me into comic books without actually collecting them week to week. Even if I do not get those particular titles, I know there will be others to fall into my lap at some point.

This list was not as hard to come up as the last one was. I think I have come to the realization that I have indeed made some sacrifices that I have affected my livelihood. Material things may not make me happy…but they help.

Year One


“I’ve been travelin’ on this road too long, Just trying to find my way back home. The old me is dead and gone dead and gone” Dead & Gone – T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake

As I sit here in NYC again, I almost find it hard to believe that it has been exactly one year since I started this blog. Last year at this time, I knew that my life was about to under go a drastic change. The writing on the wall was pretty clear in terms of my marriage and I just needed an outlet. I needed something to get my mind off of all the things that were around me. So I started to write.

I wrote every day for 101 days. I spoke about anything that came to mind as if I never had a chance to have my voice be heard before. My original plan was to give a voice to Afro Latinos. I wanted to write a blog from that point of view. Perhaps give people what they have been missing.

As I spat out blog post after blog post, it became harder and harder to find a topic. Once that started happening, writing became less fun for me. I felt almost superficial in what I was saying. I looked at my blog and felt like a hypocrite. “Inside My Head” sort of became a joke to me because I wasn’t really writing about what I was feeling. I contemplated just quitting the blog all together.

Once May rolled around, I decided to just let it all out. I wanted to really face everything head on and take my readers with me on this journey. I was a little fearful that people may not read as much because I was getting personal and I was writing less. However, I noticed that my writing was getting better and in the same regard I was actually feeling a release of energy with every blog entry.

The blog began to really help me mentally. But those changes were really not going to be complete if I really did not start running. I can say that I must have thought of a great deal of blogs when I was on the treadmill. It is rare that someone has a change to change mentally and physically at the same time…and I seem to still be losing weight.

There were times in which I really felt that I was arguing with myself. Several blogs about fate and destiny have lead me to a different conclusion about my life than when I first started. The rest…well it just seemed to be about love or a variation of it. I wanted have this blog to pave the way for me to gain self redemption. I have made many mistakes in my life that I have paid dearly for and at times continue to pay for. My journey, through this blog, has and continues to help me look in the mirror.

Which bring me to what seems to be my new passion on the blog, my poetry. Please do not ask me where this came from because I do not even know. There are times when I have an idea and I need to write it down. Most times it comes out as a finished poem that I simply retype on to the blog. In the late summer, I felt a real need to find a different and more creative way to let what I was feeling out…without just saying it. The poem about Rocky was supposed to be poem that I just wrote and nothing more. But, as time passed, I just felt the need to just write more. When you are an emotional writer like I am, it is almost like a drug to get write every raw emotion down.

I have scanned my poetry. Someone indeed gave me a journal for Christmas and I am using that journal for strictly poems. I know that I have written most my poems out of stress and sadness. However, I do have some love poetry that I am not entirely sure I want to post. I will have to think about that.

So, for your viewing pleasure (and mine too), I am listing what I believe to be my top 10 blog of this past year. Maybe you will get a chance to read some if you have not done so already:

I am looking forward to Year 2 of this blog. I still think I have plenty to say and I just hope that you will all continue to walk along side me in my journey.

“I turn my head to the east, I dont see nobody by my side, I turn my head to the west still nobody in sight. So I turn my head to the north, swallow that pill that they call pride. The old me is dead and gone,the new me will be alright”

Drink Water

Last night I posted an article from Yahoo! about the effects of soda on the human body and it got me thinking. I used to drink a lot of soda. I gave up the beverage in order to live a healthier life and the results have been very positive. These days I drink more water than anything, but I just look back and think about how much soda I used to consume.

For starters, Pepsi was my drink of choice. I just loved how it tasted and how it just felt going down. I could drink several liters in a couple of days. I drank soda with just about every meal. When I went to places like McDonalds, I would order the super sized meal because it meant I would get the biggest size for my soft drink. I almost want to say that it was an addiction, but it was close.

I didn’t drink soda when I was a kid. In fact, I didn’t even drink water. There was always some fruit (Sun Dew) drink or iced tea mix that we had. It was understood that the soda that was in the fridge was my mother’s, so I never touched it. I also remember the little 25 cent drink we got at the store that we all called, “Quarter Waters”. Those were pretty good and they can quench a thirst during a long and active summer. But, even out in the street, I never drank soda. I really wasn’t allowed to drink it all that much, maybe on a special occasion or when I was hanging out with my father.

When I got to High School, soda was a little more prevalent in my life. It was just all over the place. The school vending machines sold them for very cheap. I think they were less expensive than some of the juices. Plus there was a certain feeling that I could act older drinking this stuff because it was so out there in the school. Even, when I has a job at Pathmark, soda was just easier to purchase. So, I would buy sandwich that the Deli guys would hook up for me (they would stamp a $1 on it) and I would wash it down with a nice cold Pepsi.

Before I made the switch between living with parents, I started drinking soda at home. When I did live with my mother and brother, soda was kept in the fridge and I would drink it like everyone else. As a matter of fact, when I visit him now, there is soda there but my nephew cannot drink. I find it funny how that works. Once I moved back in with my dad, soda was on the no drink list in the house.

It was not until college that I really started devouring soda. When eating in the dining halls, all the drinks were free and unlimited. Of course, I could sit here and say that I could have just drank the fruit juices, but this Syracuse University is a Pepsi campus. Needless to say I was swimming in the stuff. I didn’t drink coffee at the time so I can easily start my day with a small bottle of soda. That was just the norm for me, not realize the effects of all that sugar and added flavors can do.

As I got older, the drinking habits became worse. Soda was an everyday thing. The problem is that when I left college, I became less active, which, of course means that pounds started adding on. I am not blaming soda for everything…in fact I am not blaming soda period. Lord knows I can drink it all day. It just got the point that by the time I got married, I had to really look at my soda intake. I did not want to become diabetic.

The first thing that any soda drinker would do is switch to the diet variety. This is not as ok as it may seem. Less sugar yes, but the addiction was still there. As my life began to change in March, I decided to run. With running, certain changes has to be made to maintain levels of fitness. I had to give up soda entirely. I have come to learn that anything you put in your body is used as a source of fuel. Let’s not forget that soda is the key contributor to belly fat.

So, now most of the time I drink water. I think once I got the soda out of my system, I was able to lose the 20lbs. Plus, water feels more natural when you drink it after a long work out. I feel that I tend to over do things in terms of habits. Weather it is about drinking too much coffee or too much soda, what I need to realize that everything must be taken in moderation.

Why Do I Run?


“Running is one the best solutions to a clear mind.” – Sasha Azevedo

Someone asked me, over the weekend, why is it that I run? I pondered this and I realized that I run for so many reasons. While I run mostly for health reasons, the act of running is very much a mental thing. I regard my running to be just as important as this blog.

The most important reason I run is because of health. My mother is diabetic and my father has high blood pressure. I am not trying to go down that road. My mother used to smoke a lot and while I am not sure how many cigarettes she used to smoke per day, I will never forget how bad they smelled. It definitely deterred me from ever smoking. At the risk of calling my father an alcoholic, I will just simply say he drank a lot. My parent’s vices have not become mine, so many of there issues will not be mine however, you cannot fight genetics.

Back in January, when I started this blog, I knew I had to change my life. I knew that my marriage was just about over and I didn’t like the person I saw in the mirror. That person I saw in that mirror was not what I wanted. Even now, as I look at pictures, I think there is something unacceptable about my look. I am not saying I was fat, maybe it was the lack of confidence in myself and my life. I will say this: I was pushing 190 at one point.
My weight was not that much of an issue to me at the time. I know there are people that severely overweight and I would never compare myself to them. However, I didn’t like the way clothes fit me. I could not stand the fact that when I played basketball that I would get winded easily. Every so often I would get pains in my left knee. Not to mention that I really did not like my gut. I am fully aware that this seems that I am succumbing to societal pressures on what we should look like but, when I am not happy with the person I see in the mirror, then I need to change that.

It was very difficult thing at first. To run is such a test on mental toughness as much as physical prowess. I had to deal with aches that I had never dealt with before and I had to deal with my negative thoughts. Getting on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes is bad enough as it is, but when I started thinking about my life and how I messed things up, it can get to be very emotional. I started pushing myself harder because I wanted to make myself pay for every last mistake. I was going to make the goals I set for myself or I was simply going to die trying. Even now, when I am dealing with a situation or overthinking something, I run because I want a break from thinking about those people and those things in my life that stress me.

The weight loss really began when I changed my diet. I stopped drink soda and decreased my sugar intake. I am eating smaller portions and healthier foods. When I do eat bad, it is not in large amounts. I drink lots of water. Once this starting going the way I wanted…I had to keep running. I even made sure that I got running shoes because it was becoming a part of my life.

I have come to realize that running is the only thing that I can do that stops me from overthinking. In that 20-30 minute stretch of time it is just me and my music. I don’t have to think about anyone or anything. I have even learned how to focus. So many times over the last several months I have had so much trouble focusing on my tasks or workouts. I find that when I play racquetball, I tend to lose focus. Chances are that I am thinking way too much about my day. With running, I have been able to bear down and focus. Once I do that, my session seem so much better.

The only real problem now is that all my clothes look big on me. I recently donated a couple of bags of clothes to the salvation army. I don’t think that throwing away clothes in a good thing unless they have holes or badly torn…and even then I am so sure about it. I was so shocked about the size of pants that I used to wear. I was rocking a 38 waist. Now I am closer to 32. I am in shock of how 15-20 pounds can change the way someone looks and feels about themselves.

I do laugh because I have had women tell me not to lose too much weight because most women like men who have meat on their bones. While, I understand the concern, It is not about them. It is about me. My transformation has nothing to do with women and how they may come to view me. I am more concerned about that man in the mirror. Besides, I am not really on a diet. My goal is just to look better for myself. I always want to be able to go to the beach and be comfortable with taking off my shirt.

Now, I see man in the mirror and he is looking so much better to me. I am not saying he is happy, but he looks like he finally knows what he needs to do.

“Running helps me stay on an even keel and in an optimistic frame of mind.” – Bill Clinton

Tidbit Tuesday

The Hangover

The only thing I wanted to do for my birthday was watch The Hangover. I was in the type of mood in which I just needed to laugh. This movie delivered. I was laughing from the beginning to the end. I was hoping it would not be one of those films that all the funny parts were in the commercial.

This movie was well done. I have a feeling that when this comes out on DVD that there will be a director’s cut version. In either case, I am all over the DVD. I told my coworker today to pick the funniest movie he knows and The Hangover will be funnier, hands down. I may need to see it again because there are parts I may have missed due to all the laughter.

Injury?

So I ran another 4 miles last night and it felt great. However, my foot hurts! As I was approaching the 4 mile mark, I felt pain in right foot near the ankle. One thing I know for sure about running is that most of it is purely mental. So, I just fought through the pain. As I got off the treadmill I noticed that my foot hurt the more I walked on it. So I went home and rested it.

This morning. I thought it was good, but it is still sore. I had trouble walking on it . I am not sure what the issue is. Maybe I pushed myself too far. This afternoon walking to get food, it seem a little better. Almost feels like I slightly twisted it. I don’t know. I will see if I can run tomorrow.

Reevaluating Everything

I spend most of my time thinking. I am not sure how healthy this is but I just think about a lot of things that have went wrong in my life. Sure, there are many positive things in my life but, no one really spends time thinking about how good they have been, unless they are that vain. I feel that I need to start a quest just to be a better person. Something, I believe I can achieve.

My journey is not that hard. I know what my end outcome is. Right now, I am working hard on Graduate School admittance. My issue becomes the amount of time it will take me to finish. I am not sure how long it will be. I have this nagging feeling that I will force myself to be a monk. This way I can focus on myself and my degree.

It is funny, because I have used Myspace to put up status messages of how I truly feel. Not that I don’t do it on twitter, but I know way too many people on Facebook. Last thing I need is to ask questions about what is going on. Normally, I just say…Read the blog. But, I have said that I am officially giving up women for the time being. You do have those people asking if I am switching teams…but no. Stress and drama is something I am avoiding and I feel this is the best way to do it.

Who knows, I may change my mind somewhere down the road. But this is all based on me trying to get my career in order.

Tidbit Tuesday

Santo Domingo!

It looks like I will be going to the Dominican Republic next year! My brother/cousin is getting married and they have decided to marry on the island of Quisqueya. I am very much looking forward to this on so many levels.
The fact that my new brother, Rick is getting married really makes me happy. I have seen him go through many trails when it comes to relationships and to see him getting to this stage is great. I felt weird telling him what is going on with me since he is now in planning mode, but it is all good.
Another reason why I looking forward to this is that I have never been to the Dominican Republic. This will be the first trip I will be on by myself (relationship wise) since I went to Cancun in 1997. So, I am looking forward to it.
Family Dynamics
Before I spread confusion to those who know me, I think I need to explain where “brother/cousin” came from. Rick is my cousin. We have been close for many years. His father is my mother’s brother. I have another cousin named David, who is older. Their mother is my new step mom.
How is this possible? Long after my parents split, my father start dating my step mother. She was already split with my uncle. They have been with each other since I was in High School! Which is why I have always thought that it was about time they tied the not. So when they got married, about a week ago, my cousins became my brothers by marriage.
I will not use the term “brother/cousin” again. They are simply my brothers now. So if any one asks, I know have 3 brothers.
Running
I ran my ass off last night! I almost did 4 miles. I am quite proud of myself. I program the treadmill to go for 45 minutes and I will run for as long as I can. I will start for less than a minute on speed 3 and then when I get my fast music ready, I bolt to 6. My goal here is to see how far I can go at that speed until I need to slow down. Last night I was able to do it for more than 15 minutes, which translates to 1.5 miles straight without slowing down

What I am amazed about, is that this all possible because I got new running shoes. My dad gave me an early birthday gift. I told him I needed running shoes badly and he came through. This is my first real pair and they make all the difference in the world.

I do have a goal. My goal is to be in peak shape my May of 2010. Just in time for my trip to Santo Domingo. I would like to look good and to feel good. I think will have to adjust my diet. That will be next on my list.

Movie Season

I have been really over the top with Movies this year. I saw 4 movies last week. I feel like every year the movie season is better than the last. Let me just list the movies that I have seen since May 1st. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (twice), Star Trek (3 times), Angels & Demons, Terminator: Salvation, and The Soloist. This is crazy to me. Not to mention that Transformers is coming out on June 24.

I will say this. The best movie out of all that I have seen was The Soloist. The other movies were pretty much entertainment and they were all very good. However, The Soloist is just on a different level. Jamie Fox and Robert Downy Jr do a fantastic job of telling a story about poverty and mental health issues in this country. It made me feel grateful for what I have.

The Soloist is near the end of its theatre run, so I would see it if you get a chance.

Music

One thing I liked about The Soloist, is the music. I am very much into classical music and the big band sound. There is something epic about this type of music. The bad part about this is that I have very limited knowledge when it comes to classical music. Sure there is Mozart, and some other names I cannot pronounce, much less spell. But, I appreciate the music.

Music in general is what keeps me going. While, I have been trying to avoid overly depressing music, I have been listening to a lot of Rock and Club music. Hip Hop is always in my heart, but there is so much wack music lately that I need substance. Nas will never talk about matter of the heart. Today’s R&B is not cutting it either and I hate that Birthday Sex song (quite possibly because I will not be having any sex on my birthday…lol

Maybe it is because I am older that I would rather listen to something that reflects me a little more. So listening to music about wack shit is just not going to do it for me. I need to listen to song that make sense, or have a good enough beat so I can run to it, or quite simply make me dance

One more thing, Salsa will never die with me! So I talk a lot of shit about any other genera but Spanish music is different level. I can listen to it at anytime.