My name is Rob and I am a geek. I’m not just a geek. I am an uber geek. I love video games, over analyzing movies, reading books and comics, cosplaying, anime, dueling cards and am even a recovering MMORPG addict.
If it is “nerdy” or “geeky” I am naturally drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
I’m also the person most of my colleagues would consider “the crazy fitness guy”. So much so that they actually just assume I’m the “jock guy” and talk sports with me while actually thinking I’m going to know what they are talking about. (Inside information) I don’t.
While I appreciate their passion for sports I spent my afternoons and summers leveling up so I could save the princess or save some fantasy world from the greatest crisis it has ever faced. Well, until it faced whatever crisis hit in part 2. I saved many worlds in my lifetime.
Most of them just assume I’m the “jock” type until they actually try to talk to me about sports and the vacant stare and the t-shirt with a Dalek on it gives me away.
Truth is when I was a kid I spent more time in a fantasy world than I spent in the real world. My exercise was more cerebral than physical and as I became an “adult” that didn’t change very much.
Years of marathon video gaming, guzzling Mountain Dew and only eating whatever I could grab from the freezer and throw in the oven to eventually eat while playing or watching TV had left me overweight and out of shape.
But, changing that was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
I know what you are thinking at this point… “This guy is going to tell me I need to quit everything I love to do and start eating lettuce.” “I’m out!”
Don’t worry, I knew going in that giving up my geeky habits were pretty much out of the question. I love playing video games, spending hours reading and binging on television. It pretty much defined who I am.
That is the ultimate problem with being a “geek” isn’t it? In general we focus ALL of our attention on very select things and let everything else fall to the wayside.
I had a problem with finding a balance in things.
If I started a new game or show I didn’t just enjoy it here and there. I mainstreamed it. My entire free time was completely devoted to it. In the process I had other bad habits that just made matters worse.
I knew finding the balance was the “key.” Oh and also cheating my ass off wherever I could. I’ll save the cheats for last though, because they are going to make me sound crazy and honestly the cheats alone aren’t going to get you where you want to be.
1. Harness Your Geek Powers: Make a point to become more informed on health issues. Read the latest post by comicbookresources.com but throw in a few articles from a mens/womens health. As G.I. Joe always taught us “knowing is half the battle” and for a geek over half of the fun. The more we begin to understand something the more likely we are to become passionate about it. Geeks have no lack of passion and if we think we know the “right” answer we are more likely to stick to our guns even if it is just to prove our point.
2. Don’t Drink Your Calories: “Do or do not there is no try.” This is the number one tip that you are either going to do or completely ignore. Soda and other high sugar drinks are completely counterproductive to any kind of fitness goal you have. I don’t have to tell you this. You already KNOW. It is the equivalent of telling someone cigarettes are bad for you. You aren’t telling the smoker anything they don’t already know. They just made a choice to do it in spite of that fact and are now addicted because guess what cigarettes and soda are made to be addictive. Think on that one the next time you say “I gotta have my soda.” Also, the next time you are inclined to point out that smoking causes cancer while chugging down a big gulp keep in mind that diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
Also Diet Soda doesn’t necessarily mean good.
Do the research and make up your own mind. It simply comes down to do I like this enough to have it constantly undermine my overall goals and no one can make that decision but you.
3. Don’t go on a “Diet”: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Going on a “diet” implies one simple yet very important thing. This is temporary. This is something you are going to do to obtain a goal, but in the end can’t be sustained normally because you are giving up the foods you enjoy or don’t eat enough to feel full. The trick is to make a lifestyle change and figure out better alternatives to the things you enjoy. A good example is my love of pizza. I love pizza! I love how it tastes and I love you can eat it with one hand and still run a mouse with the other. I could order a pizza that I would feel guilty about eating or I could make my own healthier version using healthier alternatives to the ingredients and crust. I get my pizza and don’t feel like I’ve denied myself of what I want and as a bonus I normally can eat MORE and still come out ahead. I like food and more is always better.
Is ordering the “unhealthy” pizza easier? Definitely, but if Frodo can take the ring all the way to Mordor I can take the time to make myself a pizza. Do I sometimes still get the “unhealthy” pizza? Yup, maybe once a year I get the craving so I just do it keeping in mind that this is the exception to the norm. Normally what I find is that although good, it comes up disappointing to what I’m used to with my “healthy” pizzas and the craving is gone.
4. Make a new shopping list and know your enemies: “to crush your enemies and see them driven before you.” The first step to your new lifestyle change is with a trip to the grocery store. This plays into those “healthier alternatives” that I talked about earlier. You have three major enemies when it comes to the foods you choose if you eliminate two of them completely and limit the third as much as possible you win. Hands down you will automatically be eating healthier than you were. It is that easy. Well it sounds that easy.
Eliminate Partially Hydrogenated Oils and High Fructose Corn Syrup completely.
This is easier said than done. They are in nearly everything. At least now that their negative traits have been pointed out more manufacturers are giving a few more alternatives, but this is still going to be hard.
So what are Partially Hydrogenated Oils and why are they bad for you.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is basically cheap “super” sugar and thus leads in to the final enemy that we want to avoid. SUGAR
A lot of debate is out there as to whether high fructose corn syrup is really any worse than just regular sugar. Again going back to the cigarette reference (sorry smokers) this is like debating which is better for you menthol or regular cigarettes.
Neither is good for you. I personally choose to completely cut out HFCS because I can and thus that is just one sugar source that is totally off limits. I like to just keep it easy.
Then I limit the intake of sugar as much as possible.
5. Glycemic Index: “Sword of Omens give me sight beyond sight” One other very important aspect of what you pick to eat isn’t always clearly printed on the label and requires a bit more thought on your own.
Carbohydrates get a pretty bad rap and yes I do limit all carbohydrates in general as a personal preference for how it makes me feel, but I don’t cut them out completely. Instead when I eat “carbs” I just make sure they are low glycemic index carbs.
The Glycemic Index is a numerical index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response (i.e. their conversion to glucose within the human body). Glycemic Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar and this is why it is important:
Here is a list of foods based on the glycemic index. Try to eat more foods from the low GI response group.
So that pretty much covers the first half of this equation. The next step is exercise that I will talk about in part 2 of this blog. Exercise is just as important as nutrition and nutrition is just as important as exercise. A recent study found that men sought out exercise as a solution to health and losing weight and women chose the nutrition path, but the real answer is a combination of both.
Your overall goal is to create a new you, with a new healthy lifestyle while still incorporating all the geeky stuff you enjoy. It can be done and you may find out as I did the exercise portion can open your life up to a brand new branch to “geek out” over. It can also lead to a more diverse and socially active life. Who wouldn’t want that?
Anyways join me for part 2 soon but until then:
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