Monday, November 11, 2013

and Im back. Mostly.

I've fallen far off the wagon and its time to get back to basics. So, here I am. Once again baring my soul for the world to see and making my self accountable for my fitness, or , lack thereof.

Join me?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sweaty Panda is not cute.

womp, womp.

Herro!
Sorry I've been away and not posting but September has turned out to be one hell of a month. I have stories and I will get to them, its just that right now the following is priority and stuff.

I'm writing this post in response to a question that I've gotten a couple of times in recent weeks from people in class (bootcamp). That question is: How do you sweat so much? My simple answer is that I'm fat. I say that mostly because its easier to say when I'm out of breath. The other answer, I suppose, is more complex? I use a question mark because I don't really know that it is.

I go into class dry and leave looking like I just swam in my clothes. Which is funny because I know I don't smell like that. Smelling like pool water would be an upgrade. I'm pretty sure I smell like a swamp. My bootcamp BO aside I cant remember a time when I wasn't drenched at the end of a class. I suppose this could be contributed to many things one of which, at least until I'm not, is that I'm fat. Carrying around all this extra weight makes me have to work harder. I also would like to think that I have a pretty decent work ethic. I have my own personal motto when it comes working out. "Go till your gassed" and for me that means that I go as hard as I can for as long as I can until I cant. Then I break. Now, I know that some people think that's what they do and it may very well be fact, but I can tell you this: If you're not drenched in sweat by the time your done with a workout like bootcamp at the WorX, there is an EXCELLENT possibility that you aren't giving 100%.

Fact.



Now let me back up for a sec and say that there could be many reasons for this. The reasons that I want to elaborate on is that for a lot of people they don't know what 100% feels like. They've never had to push that hard so they really dont know what the limits are. The tricky thing about limits especially when it comes to your body, is that they are mostly set by your own expectations of what you THINK you can do. The body is an amazing instrument. And can be pushed FAR beyond expectations. The greatest ability of the body is that it can adapt so that what was once difficult is now very doable. This way you can ALWAYS be better. Imagine that.

Here's something I do when I think I don't have anything left to give. Just when I think I'm about out of gas I don't stop. I bargain with myself. I ask my body to do more reps. For example if we are in the middle of doing push-ups and I start to gas at 40 reps before I decide to stop I tell myself to push out 4 more then if by then I haven't worked till failure (meaning on the last rep I fail because my muscles are fatigued) I push out an extra one until it I do. Its kinda funny because if you happened to be in my class and look over at me and I'm face down in the mat its likely because I cant get up;)

Another thing I do is really, really hokey but works for me. When I feel like I'm starting to wear down I just take a couple of breaths and say "beast mode" and I try and haul ass in whatever exercise that I'm doing. This usually results in a good 10-15 second burst followed by the very loud sound of me gasping for air, but trust me it will make ALL the difference in the world when it comes to achieving the results that you want.
The only thing standing  in the way of being a better you, is you. It's your body. You're the boss of it, so kick it in the ass and tell it what to do.

Now lets go kick some ass.



 AROOO!!!

-Nox

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Costa Rica'nt-

Man I got so much to tell yall.

Let me start with this post being about Costa Rica and the "Not" fun that I had.

Me and my besty, Matt try to get together at least once a year and travel, doing stuff along the way that may or may not get us handed lengthy terms in foreign adult day care or prison for those not in the know. And this trip started out like any other trip with us on the airplane having a couple of drinks and flirting with any woman\stewardess with in 5 rows of us. Unlike the rest of the trips neither of us were drinking, for different reasons but a dry plane ride nonetheless.



We touch down later in about 3.5 hours and get off the plane and make our way to the exit. As we get to the  doors leading out we get jumped by every taxi, limo, van and I think there may have been scooter service, to take us to our final destination. Literally these cats were bidding on us to take us to our location but Matt and I were talking about the possibility of renting a car but shrugged it off once we talked about it some more. I mean, who wants to drive in a 3rd world country? Certainly not me. I want to be able to blame someone else if i get into an accident... Now, that was originally the plan, don't rent just catch a cab. But after hearing these redonkulas numbers these cabbies were throwing out we decided that it would be well worth the risk knowing that we would be going different places and and having to take a cab back and forth, especially at the prices they were hollering, just wouldn't be financially responsible of us and besides, it would cut into our drinking money ;) So we negotiate the cost and head to the off site office to pick up the car and drive to the condo (which was SUPER PIMP).











 Now as we are driving I'm swiftly reminded as to why I don't normally drive out of country For about 60 miles we were on 1 lane roads that switched to 2 lanes when going up mountains so that you could pass slower vehicles like tractors and mopeds. There are a shit ton of mountains. The only real flat places that we saw on the trip were by the beach and even then they weren't that flat. And many different live stock trucks and a few chickens crossing the road to boot. I'm glad the brakes were good.

We make it to the condo and unpack our stuff and head out to look around and get some lunch. By the time we head back Matt says hes not feeling well. Now I'm not saying Matt is a hypochondriac but lets just say that I've seen this before. Now in his defense he was just getting over a lung infection that he was taking antibiotics for so I thought maybe that had something to do with it. So we go back to the condo, I to the couch and he to his room and we plan on meeting up later that night after he takes a nap and watch some TV. 530 am comes and I slept through the night so the was night one wasted. He comes out of his room and wakes me up (I passed out on the couch) and says "Dog, something ain't right, Ive been up all night  crapping and puking and I got real bad stomach pains and my back is killing me." I ask him if he wants to go to the hospital and he says yes. So I get up and head down stairs to the car and put the GPS on and use my Spanglish understanding to get us down the street to the ambulance depot where they tell me where an actual clinic is. Which BTW is only like 400 meters down the street.

I walk in and we sit there for a minute and then a guy comes out and sees Matt. Matt proceeds to tell him whats wrong and then the guy looks at me and ask me in Spanish "What did he say" I was like great, I speak crappy Spanish and this guy speaks no English. Also I never found out if he was a nurse or a doctor. In any case we make our way to him understanding what Matts symptoms are and he tells us to wait out side. Then while outside another door opens up and its the treatment room. They let In and give him a couple of shots and and prescribe like for different meds and send him on his way. So I take him back home hes still complaining that hes in pain and I told him to give it a couple of hours before the meds kick in. While that's happening I'm going go for a run, pay the clinic, and to cook myself some breakfast.

I'm a half a pack deep into frying up some bacon when matt comes out of his room and says" Dog, I don't think this stuff is working I need to go a  big hospital." Damn, all I wanted to do was fry up this bacon. So I tell him to wait just a little bit longer to see if the meds kick in and if they don't then will go. Which was EXACTLY the amount of time I needed to fry the rest of this bacon. Purely coincidence I assure you ;) Like clock work as soon as I put the first piece of salty goodness to my lips he comes out of the room and says lets go. Crap. Hes one of my oldest friends so I oblige but for anyone else I would have made them wait until after I ate. Dammit.

I head down stairs for the third time since 530 am and go to the front desk to find out our options for hospitals. The tell us a couple of different ones with all of something in common, they were far as fuck (scuse my french) So I write 2 down to go back  and explain to Matt to give him options. One was a Marriott that had its own clinic which was close but according to the front desk was very expensive. The next was CIMA which was an Americanized hospital but over 60 miles away BACK in San Jose where the airport was. Matt picks CIMA. Double damn!!





So I drive him back to freaking San Jose through the mountains past all the live stock truck, tractors and chickens crossing the road. All the while hes moaning and groaning and flip flopping between the back and the front seats.

We pull up to the hospital and I tell him to go ahead on in and I'll come find him. I go and park the car and walk in and notice that this place was a far cry from the town clinic which I think doubled as the town vet/dentist. Cima was very clean and very modern and indistinguishable from what you would find here in the states. I knew that if he was really sick that he would be in good hands... mostly. So the doctor sees him and ask him whats wrong and he tells him, then tells the nurse to get him in a bed and start IV's and pain meds. Notice anything there? Right, I didn't have to translate this time. Good thing for Matt because being lost in translation is something you wouldn't want at this point in time. So the doc pokes and prods him some more and tells him the they are going to draw blood to do some test and then send him to get a sonogram and an x-ray done. A sonogram? He aint pregnant but what do I know...

 Before all that though the meds start to kick in and Matt starts talking real reckless saying stuff like "Bro I feel great now I think we can go I wanna get out of here and hit a bar" "Um fool, didnt we just spend all morning trying take you to multiple places so you could be seen??" "Yeah I know." "Great so you're going to stay your ass here and make sure you aint going to die or some dumb shit like that." "Ok" "Damn right its ok. You stopped me from enjoying my bacon with all your belly aching."

Sooo, a couple more pokes and prods and inappropriate comments about the gel for the sonogram and the robe he put on, they tell us that he has most but not all of the criteria for appendicitis. Triple Damn!!! Well, there goes the trip. But at least hes in a good place to be seen. Now during all that I set up Groupme chat on his phone so that we could keep his girlfriend and mom in the loop as well. We had not phone access but all the internet we needed as the hospital had free WiFi. We then wait for about a half an hour for the surgeon to come out and tell us whether or not they will operate. He does and they will operate but before they do matts mom insist that the surgery is done by way of LAP which means 3 smaller incisions and way less surgery and recovery time. I talk to the doctor and that what the way the do it anyways. Its Saturday now and the doc says that he will be ready to leave the hospital by Sunday morning. Sweet, 2 whole days to salvage the vacay.








The take him up to surgery and I go and wait in his room. About 45 minutes pass and the surgeon calls and tells me that Matts out and the surgery went smoothly and that he will be in the post op recovery room for the next couple of hours and that I should go hang out at he multiplaza (big-ass mall) down the street and by the time I get back he should be in the room. He also says that Matt has to stay until at least monday or the insurance wont pay....DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!! I have to figure out how Im going to break this to Matt. I may as well go to the mall and think about it. So that's what I do. Let me tell you that mall was gianormas. Bigger than Tysons and from what I can tell Costa Rica is a land of beautiful people. Every where I looked there were women that were just smoking hot. It was disturbing at how many there were. Let me get back on track.



So I go back and Matt is sitting in his bed looking right as rain and I almost dont have the heart to tell him that he is now being held as a medical hostage until the insurance says he can leave. But I do and he has a minor freak out. Then the doc comes back in and tells the WHOLE truth. Which is they dont want to let him out until the insurance says that they will pay and that they cant get a hold of anyone before Monday because the insurance is closed on the weekends. And there is a possibilty that we may miss our flight because even if they talk to them on monday it may take up to 48 hours for his insurance to say that they will cover it. DAMN x 5!!! At this point Matt is now scheming with me on how to get him out of the hospital. His mom warns us that we ill never make it. Since shes a nurse I have to believe her. I spend the next hour talking him out of that too.



Saturday night comes and goes. I stay in the hospital in the room over night to keep him company. I take off the next day in the evening to head back to the hotel and get a fresh change of clothes and to see if I can take in a little night life. Besides the treacherous, rain soaked night time drive back to the condo I quickly find out that Jaco is not a happening place on Sunday I get up the next day cook the rest of the breakfast foods that were in the fridge and head out to yoga (as mentioned in the post before this) in the morning before I go pick Matt back up.





The rest of the trip (all 20 hours of it) go off with out a hitch. We go out for a little bit on Monday night but end up calling it a night at about 10 pm because the only thing worse than a Sunday night in Jaco is a Monday night in Jaco.




With all that being said the trip wasnt a total bust. I found out the following:


  1.  I speak WAY more spanish than I give my self credit for.
  2. Bacon grease will pop and burn the shit out of you if you cook it at too high a temperature
  3. Said bacon grease will also pop out of the pan and land in a 2-3 foot radius and make a tile floor extremely slippery.
  4. Cold bacon grease sucks to clean up.
  5. They drive on the right side of the road in Costa Rica.
  6. They drive WAY slower than in the U.S.
  7. I have road rage when it comes to livestock trucks
  8. Gas is more expensive down there.
  9. So are groceries. 
  10. If you are down there and get sick, skip the clinic and go straight to the hospital. 
  11. There is American fast food everywhere.
  12. Coconuts are cheap. And tasty.


I mean what it came down to was, while not the most ideal conditions, hanging out with my boy that I dont get to see but a couple of times a year. And he survived. Im sure I learned more but Im tired of typing. If you have questions leave them in the comment box below.

AROO!!!

-Nox

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm Gumby damn it!

HiLo!

Well, Costa Rica was a bust. However while I was there I did manage to get a couple of runs in and an awesome yoga class. I ate resonably well too. Mostly because most of my time was spent in the hospital look after my friend. Ill tell you that that story in the next post. Today we talk about yoga.

So as of recently I like to do yoga like once a week. I find that it gives my muscles a needed break while still providing a light workout of sorts. And the stretching of it all is pretty amazing and relaxing. I don't know if I subscribe to "Aligning chakras" or anything of that nature but with that being said I can see how one would be able to find some tranquility during the class. Hell, I just about fall asleep at the end of every class.

So while on vacation I set up a 4 mile route near the beach and went for a run. Running in humidity was horrible and stupid as hell and it was the slowest run Ive done in a long time. So because of those factors I chose yoga for my second workout. I looked online for a place and found this:


Aurora Yoga, Jaco Beach

Yoga on the cheap and the studio was really clean and really nice. They must wax the hell out of the floor.
When I got it there was another private session ( I think) that was finishing before the 9:30 am class that I was taking. Once that was done I was greeted by Catalina. A very tall,(she looked like she could have played volleyball or basketball or something) VERY easy on the eyes Yoga instructor. Who as it turns out was on her MF'n "A" game with her yoga. We went through about a SOLID 90 minutes of Vinyasa Flow  and got my serious Gumby on.  For the younger folks heres Gumby:



She asked me if I had taken a yoga before, I think because like every yoga/zumba teacher before her that sees me walk into their studio, she was skeptical as to how serious I might have been. I told he 1 or 2 times in a not so serious tone thinking that she would get that I was kidding. I dont think she did. I also told her to not worry about me and go as tough as she wanted to. Wow, "stretch" doesn't begin to describe what I was put through. We did some stuff that I never even seen let alone done before. We did the normal chataranga to cobra to down dog but some of the other stuff I would have never known that I could do. There was moves where I was my shoulders with my legs straight up in the air and one where I put my foot in my elbow and was cradling it... Like this:

hip opener.JPG
Yeah it felt as crazy as it looks.
  There was stuff that we did that wasnt on this poster and this poster is completely cray.
This guys has no bones. Anywhere.
So yeah, needless to say I was just a tad stiff the day after but I still felt great. I think what she did was take me through a normal work out for herself. I mean since I told her to go hard and not worry about me and I think thats what she did. But she came to my aid when I was struggling and offered blocks and a modified pose here and there. Overall I felt fantastic and accomplished. She also noted that I was very flexible to which I replied while slapping my chest with my right hand all gorilla style "Kung Fu!" (that didnt actually happen) I did mention that I had a martial arts back ground under a grunted breath or two. And I the end there was the normal cool down with the music but she did something different. I was in my zone about to fall asleep then she tapped a bell 3 times and I'm not sure what happened or if the bell was made from magical unicorn horn but I swear that I could feel the vibration from it. CRAY.

After the class was over I looked at my phone and saw that 90 minutes had passed. Crap. I was suppose to be on the way to pick my friend up by now. So, I asked for info on the place and took a few quick pics for you guys, sprayed my mat down, thanked her and headed out. Damn you Matt and your appendicitis.
Catalina and I after class. I feel like an oompa loompa next to her.



So if you're ever in Jaco, Costa Rica and need a yoga class or even just want a great workout go to Aurora yoga. You'll get what you need. As for Costa Rica, I need a damn do-over. You'll find out why in my next post. 

Pura Vida y AROO!!!

-Nox

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Like, Whoa! Fit test and some other stuff.

YO yo YO

So this will be my last entry in this blog for the next week or so, or until I come back from Costa Rica on the 18th. Hell, who knows I may write some while I'm on the beach or petting a monkey or what ever there is to do on a tropical island country. You know what I most siked for? Fresh coconut juice that doesn't cost $4.99 an ounce. I plan on living on it while I'm down there. I also plan on running a bunch while I'm down there too. And partying some...who am I kidding? Partying A LOT. Just minus the Alcohol. This should be interesting.

Fit test came and went again, last Thursday and my final results were good. I lost a ton of inches and about 17 pounds total. I crushed the actual numbers on the fit test as well. I think I could have done better but I was kinda taking it easy by having preset numbers to demolish and then resting until the start of the next test. Overall I'm very happy about the results. So happy in fact that I will be doing the second journey that starts on 9/17th. If you have been wanting to get better shape for what ever reason I highly recommend that you try out The Journey. You WILL hit your fitness goals. I debated a long time on whether or not I wanted to post these because Im still not where I want to be but I figured you guys have been with me on this so far so you kinda deserve to check out what I've done. Sooo,  looky :

This pic was hard to look at.

Some one might be bringing sexy back. I have sexy on layaway for now though...

I was really embarrassed in this pic.

Rice farmers tan.


Like I said I'm very happy with the results. Now, with that being said, I could have done better. I have no excuses as to why I didn't. It was mostly due to poor planning with nutrition. Its a work in progress. When I was in the studio working out, there was no denying my work ethic. Go till you're gassed is my motto. I always tell myself that if I don't stop at least a couple of times during the work out because I need to breathe, then, I'm just not working hard enough. Also I only competed with myself (and maybe Sanjeet on occasion) to do better than last week or yesterday or even the last set. Doesn't matter by how much. It just mattered that I did better and gave 100%. This how I plan to attack PT 2 of "The Journey"

So if anyone has any suggestions for Costa Rica or are in the area and want to know more about the WorX and "The Journey", leave a comment below or hit me up personally. Until the next entry...

AROO!!!
-Nox

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The end of "The Journey"

Hey, hi, howareya?!

For those of you that know why I started keeping a blog, the reason for keeping it is now coming to a close. However, yes there is a "however" I will be keeping the blog going forward to document the rest of my own personal journey along the way. I figure that now that I have some readers, and they like hearing about the completely cray cray stuff I go through to get healthy, that I should keep going. Plus I like looking back at the post and seeing how I've progressed as a writer/person/panda. So here's to more recorded shenanigans. As soon as I get enough time to sit down and reorganize the site and a kitchen to cook in you can look forward to seeing some homemade cooking videos. Ever see a panda cook? Yeah, me neither. This should be interesting.

For those the started reading in the middle the reason I started this is because I was part of a bootcamp work out crew called "The Journey" Its was pretty much 60 days of finding out new ways of making my fat cry. I don't remember the last time I sweated so much, like, in life. EVERY TIME I go to class I leave looking like I showered with my clothes on. "Why?" you ask. Because this year I wanted to go into my birthday being more fit then I've ever been. I wanted a complete life change. That change includes all this unsexy fat that Ive accumulated over the years. I new that once I got rid of that, the rest of my life would come together like I needed it to. I guess what It comes down to is having the discipline to do follow through on boot camp. I knew once I started this that it would show in the other parts of my life. I was right and now Im starting to reap the rewards. Soon Ill be ready to TAKE OVER THE WORLD, MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!.....* sorry, went to a weird place for a second....


So going forward I'm going to shorten the name of the blog to just "The Stripper in me". You guys know enough to know how I much I dig pandas and I think people get confused when they see the long name.

Hey wanna see a funny pic?  Here ya go:

I don't want to look like this again. I will look better than this, with my shirt off. Dammit!
Wanna see another funny picture? Of course you do.

This is what I sometimes feel like I might look like in the club. Does this stop me? HELL NAW! The music moves me baby!

I have funny yoga (it wasnt funny to me) story but I'm going to save that for next time. So until then....

AROO!!! AROO!! AROO!!!!!

-Nox


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cauliflower rice revisted

Hey hey hey

The following was totally stolen from the amazing nom nom paleo site and is a WAY better version of how to prepare the rice that I made last month. Check her site out after you read this recipe.

ARIICE!!!
-Nox


ASIAN CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE



Traditional Chinese fried rice is basically a dish made from leftovers you have rotting in your fridge, which makes dinner prep a breeze. Dice or chop everything small and uniform and your actual cooking time will only be 10-15 minutes. To make my cauliflower fried rice more “Asian,” I added bacon, scrambled eggs, minced ginger, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, fish sauce, and coconut aminos. Okay, the bacon part isn’t Chinese but it’s intrinsicfor the dish. Feel free to change up this recipe by substituting whatever you have lying around. Try adding some leftover meat to make a complete, one-bowl meal.

Here’s what I assembled to serve 4-6 people:
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, separated in florets
  • 3 slices of uncured bacon, cut into small dice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, grated with a microplane
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped mint
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut aminos
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Splash of coconut vinegar (optional)
  • Splash of Red Boat Fish Sauce (not optional)
Here’s how I made it:
First, I pulsed the cauliflower in a food processor until the pieces were the size of rice and chopped the rest of the ingredients. 


I tossed the diced bacon into a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and fried until the bits were crispy.

While the bacon was cooking, I whisked the two eggs in a small bowl with some salt and pepper to taste.  When the bacon was done, I removed the crunchy swine to a separate plate.

I poured the whisked eggs into the hot bacon grease and fried a thin egg omelet. I took the egg out of the pan, sliced it thinly, and set it aside.
I always keep a large knob of ginger on hand in my freezer. It keeps really well. When I need to use it, I take it out of the freezer, peel off the skin with my vegetable peeler, and microplane it. It’s almost like making ginger-flavored shaved ice.

The microplane is the best tool for grating ginger — no stringiness and the ginger blends in really well into your dish. (The microplane is one of my all-time favorite kitchen tools. If you don’t have one, stop reading this post andget one immediately.)
I cranked up the heat for my cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and added the chopped onions (along with a dash of salt and pepper). Once the onion softened, I tossed in the sliced mushrooms (along with yet another sprinkle of S&P) and stir-fried everything until the mushrooms were browned. 

After adding the ginger and stirring it around for 30 seconds, I threw in the cauliflower and even more salt and pepper.

I put a lid on the skillet and lowered the heat to low and cooked it covered for about 5 minutes. When the cauliflower was tender (but not too mushy), I added the coconut aminos, the herbs, and the sliced egg omelet. You can also add a little coconut vinegar to add a tiny bit of tang to the dish. And splash on some fish sauce for good measure!
Before serving, I tossed on the reserved crispy bacon bits. Voila!

This dish was velly tasty. (That’s terrible of me to type. I really shouldn’t make fun of my mom’s accent like that. AND you can only laugh at that line if you’re Asian…)