26 February 2009

Operation: Eat

Gotten so bored with the template that I've changed it again. You may have trouble viewing the quick links at the top in IE. Well, here's my tech support: Use Firefox/Chrome/Safari.

Anyway, besides being busy with BodyJam 48, I now have another long-term project that most people can only dream about: EAT! The mission, that I've chosen to accept, is simple: gain 10 pounds (4.5 kg) over the next 3 months. This comes up to about gaining 1 pound a week.

I've created a new tag (operationeat) to chronicle my journey. It's all accessible from the header now.

I guess the main question is why the sudden change in attitude from my previous rant?

Well, I found a nice tool online (WebMD Food & Fitness Planner). It's a free tool that allows me to search for foods I've eaten and lists out the calories and nutritional information of those items. So I journaled my eating for a few days and was surprised to find that I'm undereating. Technically speaking, I'm taking in fewer calories than I burn everyday, thus accounting for my thin appearance!

So the mission now is to reverse that trend. I have to make a conscious effort to eat, eat, eat. In fact, I'm feeling a hunger pang right now. Off to lunch!

In my next post I will flesh out my plan of action, beginning March.

25 February 2009

BodyJam 48 First Impressions

I've been listening to the music and watching BJ48's video whenever I can and I'm gonna blog my first impressions of this release. I haven't fully learned the class, and I don't know how the member's response is gonna be, so this is a totally personal review.

I like the warmup music. The "Closer" remix is a little trance-style and it really pulls the participant's mind into the class to come. The isolations track is super fun with heaps of attitude, and it really doesn't feel like an isolation track at all!

Unfortunately I think it took a nosedive from there. The Reggaeton track fell flat for me. I can understand that certain members love simple tracks where there are only a few moves, but I couldn't even enjoy the music very much. Musically, the first minute of the track sounds like the last minute of the track. There is no build up to a satisfying climax, and it's 5 minutes long!

Thankfully the Krazy Salsa track rescued the class. I can foresee myself skipping Reggaeton and coming straight to this track in the future. The absolutely KRAZY music and simple moves ensure an easy pick-me-up track for any class. Plus I love the option of pairing members up for the salsa.

Ahhh... Jive, jive, jive. When I heard Jive was coming back to Jam I had such lofty dreams. Now, not to say it sucked but maybe it's because I had expected too much. Still, there's plenty of space for drama queens to shine and enough cardio to please those who couldn't care about the theatrics.

The class is brought to its peak with the totally inventive UF'Oh' House block. In terms of complexity I would rate it around release 45. The add-on process is a little convulated but regulars will not have much trouble. The music is pretty good, something unique within the confines of House, but nothing too memorable for me. Nothing can top Toca's Miracle from 46 as the final track, IMHO.

The groove down is another cheesy track that is short and simple. I'm very glad each release has brought so many diverse musical styles that would never have worked as a cardio track, thus keeping BodyJam right on top of its game.

On a related note, I noticed that this release has an overwhelming majority of tracks with male singers. As I know, each release needs to be balanced - equal number of female and male artists (this applies to all Les Mills programs). What tilted BJ48 to the male side? Was it because the entire Jive routine was classified as 'feminine' even though they are mainly sung by men? Hmm, interesting to ponder.

On an unrelated note, I am inspired by new presenter Phil Harrison from the UK. I'm making him a role model presenter for those of us who are tall and lean. I do hope to see him in future Jam releases!

20 February 2009

Great Men...

I was watching a recent Christmas episode of Happy Tree Friends when at the end it showed a nice little quote to ponder on:

A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others!

19 February 2009

They Say...

At a gathering last night, some of the things they said...

"You should go do pushups"
"You need to eat more. Keep eating!"
"Go work on your shoulders, back, and chest"
"So-and-so said you'll look really good if you just bulk up a bit more"

All the while I just smiled, nodded, and kept quiet. Did they bother to ask what I WANTED? Did they ask if I was HAPPY right where I am now? I wished they asked that before launching into their Fitness Tip of the Night.

Now, I know that they mean well and their intentions are good, but I can't help but wonder - are they merely projecting their own insecurities onto me? All around, I see people obsessed with their weight (too fat/too thin), their love life (he loves me/he loves me not), their face (my acne is killing me), and their habits (i like smoking, so what). Has anyone bothered to ask me what's my obsession before giving (mis)guidance for my life?

When I was very young I was skinny. Then I got fat in school. In old photos I looked like I had an unhealthy tendency to store huge wads of cotton wool in my mouth. And now, somehow, I'm thin again. Frankly I've never felt better in my life. I may be thin, and I may not be well-muscled, but fuck I am damn satisfied.

My internal stats are good and I know I'm not suffering from elevated health risks as a result of obesity. I know I'm not anorexic (I don't eat something and feel disgusted with myself). I know I DON'T look in the mirror and keep telling myself to get thinner. This is just how my body is responding and I'm fine with it.

However (and this is the part where I turn my back on what I just wrote), I am a group fitness instructor. Think about it: someone who espouses fitness on the stage for gym members to emulate.

Fitness + Vanity = Not a good combination.

So, I'll give this weight gaining thing a try. I'm not looking forward to stuffing myself silly... and then forcing another mouthful just to be sure. Not looking forward to all the dead animal protein I'll be taking in. Not looking forward to all the stress that eating meat will put on my body (sorry, my liver!). Not looking forward to calculating calories and then drowning myself in milk/whey protein at night because I didn't eat enough that day.

Mamma mia, here we go again! Serves me right for choosing to join a vanity fair. Children, be warned.

06 February 2009

BodyJam 48 Tracklist

BodyJam 48 Track list:

1. Ne-Yo - Closer (Stonebridge Club Remix)
2. Dizzee Rascal feat. Calvin Harris & Chrome - Dance Wiv Me

3. Daddy Yankee - Pa-Kumpa!!

Krazy Salsa:
4. Pitbull feat. Lil Jon - Krazy

Jive 2009:
5. PCD - In Person
6. Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl
7. The Blues Brothers - Minnie The Moocher
8. Gary Wilmot - Dancin' Fool

9. Nobody (Ne-Yo)

The UF 'Oh!' Block:
10. Deadmau5 feat. MC Flipside - Hi Friend
11. Freemasons feat. Katherine Ellis - When You Touch Me (Bart B More Mix)
12. Jean Elan - Where's Your Head At (Klass Remix)

Groove Down:
13. Robert Palmer & UB40 - I'll Be Your Baby Tonight