Saturday, 16 July 2011 10:49 pm
narayume: (meep biking)
My bike has actually arrived! Yay! Today we went to pick it up in the pouring rain XD

As per usual I felt a bit intimidated by the bike shop with all the clothes that would never fit me and a lot of bits and bobs that I could not figure out what to use for. I didn't dare to try the bike out in front of all the members of staff who presumably spent most of their time cycling and thankfully no one insisted. I did try out the demo bike that the shop had lent me at my mum's only to find that the seat kept slipping down - presumably of my weight. I expecting someone to ask me my weight and inform me that the bike I am buying is really meant for people who don't weigh that much, but thank goodness it didn't happen.

We successfully got the bike home and I summoned the courage to give it a try. It rides beautifully - even for a biking beginner like me! Absolutely not comparable to my old bike. I really enjoyed myself and raced up and down the street! I even managed to get up the hill without feeling like I was about to die which was great. Yay for a working gear box (and figuring out which gear does what - for the record the lowest gear is for up the hill and the highest for down the hill).

When i started feeling sweaty and a bit light headed I stopped and we went inside. Poor G couldn't get his bike out of the backyard because the lock has yet again a new combination no one knows, so he spent his time running after me. I wish I was fit enough to do that. I felt like I had been riding for AT LEAST halve an hour only for G to tell me proudly that it was 17 to 18 minutes. *sigh* I guess it is quite an improvement from my original 10 minutes which grew to 13 minutes over time, but still not even close to what I am aiming at.

After coming in I felt my usual symptoms of getting really cold and my migraine hitting in, so I quickly had a smoothies following the recommendation of my counsellor. I finished off the M&S one I had bought for breakfast which had figs, banana and grain in it... And felt my blood pressure immediately normalizing again! O.O I need more of that smoothie! If grain and banana is the magical combination then that is what I shall drink. I am still wrapped up in a thick blanket and about to drink some tea and my head is still fairly sore, but this is nothing compared to my usual sugar crush followed by a depression attack. My stomach has still filled up with air, so the tea in question is peppermint, but that I can definitively live with.

Having settled down I did what I always do when starting a new venture: I looked for advice from people more experienced than myself. However, several google searches and quite a few articles later I found myself rather frustrated. There doesn't seem to be much out there for real beginners! Even a program that was specifically written with overweight couch potatoes of fitness level zero in mind seemed exceedingly unrealistic to me and I do Yoga, Zumba and weight exercises regularly! Obviously not as regularly as I should - especially not lately as I have been really ill with this crazy weather, but I wouldn't classify myself as a true coach potato and while I am overweight (with no real improvement in sight) I know a lot of people - especially online - who have much more to fight with. It almost seems as if fit people want to keep their magical fitness to themselves, teazng us non fit people with promises of higher energy levels and an improved sex drive, knowing that with the tools provided we are really unlikely to succeed.

Or may be the problem is simply that fit people don't know what it is like to be not fit. I assume if you are enthusiastic enough about a hobby to write articles in your spare time for sport blogs, then you have likely always enjoyed sport in some shape or form and your idea of overweight is getting rid of a few extra pounds for the bikini season. May be I am being harsh, but I have so far only found one strength program that actually caters for absolute beginners and provides options for people who can't do a single full press up, let alone 10 and it looks like my search for a reasonable cycle program will take about as ling, but might not be se fruitful. Chances are I'll just have to start cycling, try my best and see what happens. Sadly there are no real cycle paths in the village and I hate cycling in traffic :-/ We shall see how it goes - not as if I am likely to get far in my 18 minutes.


Saturday, 21 May 2011 08:44 pm
narayume: (The adventures of narayume and the bike)
I has ordered my new bike :D It shall be red and awesome and foldable. Also it shall be ready in about 2 to 3 weeks ^____^ Now I just need to learn how to ride the damn thing!


A few thoughts on dieting

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 11:11 am
narayume: (Dancing kitty)
I've just started reading a book entitled "The Japan Diet" which is by the same author as and inspired by "Why Japanese people don't get old or fat" which happens to contain quite a few brilliant recipes that I still enjoy cooking. It is starting well and based on a "Chapter a day" set up which is one I always enjoy. The author claims to want to slowly guide the reader throughout various changes which will make him or her awesome, healthy, fit and surrounded by delicious food. Okay, may be not fit and awesome, but you get the idea. I shall write more once I have read more. Personally I am particularly looking forward to the recipe part *nom*

The book did however start me on a general train of thought on dieting in general:
First of all, you are meant to walk 10,000 steps per day. A quick google search revealed that that's about an hour and a half, or an hour if you walk fairly fast. Then you are supposed to exercise half an hour a day to the point of getting sweaty, something that just walking is unlikely to achieve. So, there we have two hours. Finally, all of this will not help with actual muscles, more with stamina. So ideally you want another quarter of an hour of pure muscle exercises - although you are meant to only do those three times a week. Oh and you should stretch each day (something that neither walking nor muscle exercise nor stamina building exercises will help you with). I usually stretch for around 30 minutes per day (that includes yoga), but I am fairly certain if you did less yoga and focused more you could do it in less. Still, that adds up to around three hours if you also take the time to warm up and cool down properly. So, ideally you want about 3 hours per day just to keep fit. That doesn't include the time it takes to cook all those healthy meals you are meant to eat. I am fairly certain I don't have 3 hours spare, do you?

I also love how most diet books/homepages focus on usual things like "take the stairs instead of the elevator" or cut down on your meat consumption. I very, very rarely eat meat and always take the stairs. I also only take the car if absolutely necessary - an absolutely necessary I will hopefully be able to cut down on soon once I have my new bike... and I am still fairly overweight and not even close to fit.

Looking at studies out there - there is surprisingly little. The only longitudinal study on weight loss done by Harvard came back with none of their participants being able to sustain weight loss beyond 5 years - despite expert advice and their initial success. In a school district they tried switching all the school meals (2 out of 3 daily meals) for something with significantly less fat and introducing more sports into the children's schedule... and found no changes in obesity levels. Obesity is on a constant rise and no one has been able to find an actual cause. General statements like "less movement" and "more fatty food" are being mumbled, but one generation ago there was a similar amount of movement and fatty food about and yet the obesity levels were much lower. So what is it that is causing them? Every few years another professor seems to throw about a new food group that we should avoid like the plague, but none seems to have made any actual difference. At the same time however various government agencies and health professionals seem to consider it acceptable to shout at people about their weight - without offering a real solution. The justification for all this shouting is that apparently a lot of nasty illnesses can be brought on by obesity. Sadly, recent studies have shown that it is not obesity that is causing the illnesses - it is eating crap and not moving. However, eating crap and not moving is not the same as obesity. I know plenty of very thing people who live of crap and barely move... and I try to stay fit and eat very healthily and yet I am very much obese. Where is the logic?

May be if the government spend halve the money they are using to shout at people and shame them into loosing weight on actual weight loss research, we'd get somewhere.

First biking post

Friday, 22 April 2011 08:33 pm
narayume: (meep biking)
I was hoping this would be a happy and proud post, but sadly it is not. Garry and I went cycling together, after he spent most of today driving about to get his bike. I had gone out with the bike once before that, just a wobble around the neighbourhood to get a feel for it again. Well, today we wanted to have a go at the cycle path leading to Oxford. I didn't even make it out of Wheatley. We were cycling for quarter of an hour (up hill and down hill to be fair, but nothing spectacular) and I started getting really hot and huffing and puffing. It wasn't a slow, creeping exhaustion, but a full blown attack. I got off the bike to take a few minutes break and almost fainted. In the end I sat hugging my legs on the street asking Garry what the hell was wrong with me. My blood pressured crashed. I felt sick, hot and bathed in sweat. Garry was amazing about it and offered to bring the bikes back and get me with the car, but in the end I managed to walk home - just about.

I have a blood check next week. I am really hoping they'll find something. I have biked on the stationary bike for significantly longer than quarter of an hour, I used to be on the stepper three times a week for about half an hour, I still do my push ups and other muscle work... I have even walked from here to university. I should not be fainting after quarter of an hour. I feel so bad for Garry. Any sports he does with me, I turn out to be useless at. We went jogging together and he ended up going out for an additional half an hour jog after we were done. Now he has gone out cycling with me and I have to turn around after quarter of an hour. We will try again tomorrow, but at the moment I just feel like crying.
narayume: (Default)
The journey to a healthy body: I am ill. A lot. I suffer from awful migraines and have done since my very early teens. I can't digest animal protein and quite a long list of other things. If there is a virus floating about, I assure you I will get it. Oh and I have low blood pressure, low blood sugar and am currently fighting with constant tiredness and lethargy. Obviously there is also my depression, which is also a constant battle, despite the medication.

I haven't given up though. I am always searching for things I can do, on top of taking all the pills and following the advice that my amazing doctors are giving me to improve matters. Sometimes I am more successful, sometimes I am less so. Sometimes I get frustrated, sometimes I feel successful. Under this topic there will also be The adventures of Narayume and the Bike, as you can follow me along my way of hopefully learning to bike again. I am sure there will be more, as I am hoping to write about my experiences with Kon Fu, Yoga, trying to build up my muscle mass again, healthy cooking and my beloved pole.

The journey to a healthy spirit: A combination of my own perfectionism and competitiveness as well as my depression, managed to crush most that there was of my spirit. Now I am working on getting it back. I am flirting with Buddhism and my original religion: Wicca, as I feel that my spiritually has gotten completely lost. I am not too sure how much I had in the first place and how much I need in my life, but I want to have the chance to find out. There will definitively be In the realm of the senses and tastiness, which will involve recipes and experience of a culinary delight kind, as I am a foody through and though. Kon Fu and Yoga might also feature, depending on if I ever find the mind cleansing effects that people talk off. Again, I am sure there shall be more, but I am sure the other topics will come to me as I write and time will tell which are worth writing about and which are not.

The explorations of the mind: I love learning and keeping learning up is something that keeps me happy. I will be writing about my attempts to get back into Japanese (Into the Dawn of cherry flowers), my discoveries in psychology and books I particularly enjoyed, as well as random musings. I hope the result will be worth reading. On the way to the Nobel Price will fit into here, in which I shall be writing off my working with the amazing Dr. Westermann and things that made me happy in the area of artificial intelligence.

The journey to find happiness: This will contain things that make me happy. Game reviews, camping stories, hobbies and all that makes me smile. It might seem silly that I need a journey for that, but as people who have suffered from depression are likely to know - finding happiness is not as easy as it might seem when you are dragging a massive black dog around with you.

The journey of Love: I am in a long term relationship. My amazing boyfriend Garry and I have been together for 5 1/2 years and we struggle with many issues that I am sure other couples struggle with too. Particularly my depression has done a lot of damage over the years and now we are repairing. I also feel that there is not enough written about the struggles of a long term relationship, as Disney wisely turns on the lights after the wedding kiss and summarizes the rest into "And they left happily ever after".

The journey into adulthood: Yes, with 24 I should be an adult. Really, I am still struggling with staying organised, cleaning, tidying and all the other boring things that we never thought about when the magical moment of "moving out" came.

The way of the Sun and Moon: This will contain my significantly less serious journey to becoming a good Boomchicken Moonkin or Balance spec druid. Yes, I am talking of World of Warcraft. Expect numbers, achievements, screenshots and general geekery.


narayume: (Default)

November 2011

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