Fitness progress – Fall 2015

Fitness progress – Fall 2015

Since fitness is a big part of who I am, I’ve decided to post a bit more often about what I’m up to, and try to share tips and tricks from what I have learned over the months and years of trying very hard to get in the best shape of my life.

When I make these updates I want those of you who are trying your hardest to get into shape to realize this is a very long struggle, and that I started my routines over 3 years ago when I was approaching 240 lbs. These journeys are slow, they are painful, and they will test you to your limits.

But you can get there. You can achieve your goals. Believe in your yourself. Push as hard as you can and you can achieve anything.

Fitness-Fall-15

I am still struggling with remaining fat around my midsection / love handles (which I just found out is properly termed anterolateral flank). It seems no matter what I do and where I cut so far, that particular area wants to hang around. It is annoying, but I’m not giving up.

Things I’m happy with

  • Shoulder and chest development

Constants

  • I am still on a very low carb paleo-like diet. I do not add sugars to my food. I drink no fruit juices, or eat any high sugar fruits. If I need something sweetened, I use stevia or a combination of stevia and xylitol.
  • I still maintain a very high protein intake. My daily intake is mostly proteins and fats. I try to eat a lot of tree nuts as a snack to get mostly good fats.
  • I am still taking one weekly “diet cheat day”. This is where I’ll go out and eat whatever I want, but only once a week. I’ve found this really helps with cravings and gives you something to look forward to during weeks when eating the same types of foods is getting difficult. You’d be surprised how many of your normal daily foods become off limits when you shoot for an almost zero carb intake.

Changes

  • I’ve been hiking more on the weekends. Taking some time to get outdoors has been good for me, but also helps fill in any missing cardio.
  • I’ve been doing a lot more circuit style routines and AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workouts. The goal is to try to burn more fat while still building muscle.
  • As stated above, I’ve been concentrating on my shoulders and chest a bit more. I will continue doing this as I’m still not where I want to be there.
  • I cut back on running for a bunch of reasons. One of which is that my knees have never been very good (since birth) and I started to feel wear that I wasn’t comfortable with.

I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be during beach season this year, but I think I can continue to bulk and cut over the winter and try again next year.

Have a happy and healthy October! Send me a message if you’ve tried out some of our newest InShape trails and let me know if you enjoyed them!

The further consequences of free and cheap

The further consequences of free and cheap

I touched a little bit on this subject on the InWorldz blog in a post titled The hard thing about hosting things, but lately this has been coming up more and more, and I’m starting to get annoyed.

There are some very talented people in the OpenSim space. People with a wide range of skills from C++ development, C#, web development in PHP, node.js and other languages. The thing that all of them seem to have in common is that they have a passion for working on 3d software and simulations, but unfortunately we’ve found more and more that this passion and drive is being taken advantage of, and just like hosting prices in OpenSim, a lowest bidder mentality has emerged.

As a business owner and employee of small businesses, I learned a long time ago that when people don’t have to worry about paying their bills, they are more likely to be creative and solve problems in effective ways. They are loyal to your vision, and want to help see it through. They don’t have to seek out work elsewhere to make ends meet and they are appreciative of the sacrifices that you make for them.

Unfortunately the stories I’m hearing from people getting paid for OpenSim based work and from OpenSim grids paints a really disturbing picture of the way people are being used and led astray with promises.

The most recent I’ve heard is from an extremely talented software developer that is also serving as a systems administrator, a devops person, and someone that is constantly on call anytime something breaks. This person tells me that he calculated his effective hourly rate with this schedule and came up with a figure of $0.70/hr. $0.70/hr to be a software developer and systems administrator on call 24/7. No thanks, i’ll pass no matter what vague promises about the future you make to me.

Really? Is this the best that we can do? No wonder we have a hard time getting anything done and this space is considered a joke to many outsiders. I don’t think this particular joke is funny at all.

On a related note, I was just recently made aware of a comment that claimed an $800 bid to implement export, which requires BOTH viewer side and server side changes was “not great”. As if this bid to do custom software development on two separate platforms were easy and should pay minimum wage? What?

If you think paying $800 for software implementation is too much, maybe your business should be charging more to free up real money for the software development that it depends on. People’s time is not a charity to be exploited.

Software development charges from companies and independent contractors typically land in the $70 – $120/hr range. In my experience these are fair numbers, and when you pay a much much lower price to try to get the best deal, you end up getting what you pay for, and many times it’ll have to be completely redone later on. When you have to do something two and three times, the cheap rates end up not meaning very much.

So my final message is pretty simple. As we free up more cash to pay more people for their time, expect that the contractors you’re used to paying pennies to may end up finding their way over here. I won’t make any vague promises. I’ll ask them flat out what kind of compensation they think they need to complete a project and pay accordingly. I won’t put anyone on call 24/7 unless they’re being paid real wages. If they go over budget due to a bad estimate, we’ll work to make it right.

I actually like people. I want to see them succeed and be happy. Only when I see happy people working for us and alongside us do I know that we’ve truly succeeded.

Traces

Traces

We walk through life leaving pieces of ourselves scattered about.

Everyone we come in contact with, the people that laugh with us, the people we care for and love, those we hurt, those who are hurt indirectly by our actions, those we care for, and those we would die for.

A piece here, a little piece there, traces of us.

Some of the the pieces we leave are an echo. Self sustaining. Created as a living form all their own requiring no support from us. A smile, a hug for someone in need, a kind word when someone least expects it. These small things can blossom into happiness all on their own and stay with someone a long time. Echos of you, the small things that you’ll be remembered by that have helped others through their day. These are easy to give, require little risk, and often come with great reward. We’re all fighting a battle. We can all use some help. Make a point to leave echos everywhere you go.

The other pieces we give are more complex. They are difficult to part with because losing them leaves us vulnerable. We give these to only our most trusted friends and family. They require effort to support and once we give them, we’re left with an empty space if a time comes when we can no longer put energy into them. Losing the people we’ve given these pieces to can be devastating, as these are the most precious parts of ourselves. It hurts to lose these pieces, but giving them away is the key to wonder and happiness, love and brotherhood, family and fraternity.

Don’t be afraid. Leave a trace. Make it wonderful.