Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Clean 2: Clean Harder

Spring Harder? Uh... Spring Cleaner?


Last week I wrote about how I'm rearranging my life in order to become productive and more satisfied with myself. Look! You can find it here! (I know it's no new concept, but I just love using words and phrases as hyperlinks. It's the best.)

Honestly, this meme kind of annoys me.
It also annoys me that I don't have cookies.
This week, I figured I would mention the other half to this rejuvenation of my burgeoning writing career: the health side.

Unlike the Dark Side, we don't offer cookies.

My dear friend and constant nemesis, Lance, out of the kindness of his heart (and malicious intent to see me suffer), purchased for me a diet / lifestyle book entitled The Testosterone Advantage Plan: Lose Weight, Gain Muscle, Boost Energy.

The subtitle is rather telling and easily summarizes the three things I need to do health-wise.

Lose Weight: Though I apparently carry it well (and people who know me were surprised to learn it), I clock in at just over 300 pounds. That is not a healthy weight for someone my height (precisely approximately six feet - I'm not into measuring down to the micrometer as some feel they must). Losing weight isn't just about looks รข€” as I mentioned, I don't look too terribly overweight (though no one would mistake me for your average bean pole) but I definitely feel overweight. This plays into reducing both m confidence and my energy levels.

Gain Muscle: Sure, I vaguely care about increasing muscle mass from a largely future-health standpoint. I'm not interested in professional body building, but I am interested in remaining healthy and mobile late in my life. Unfortunately, I'm at the time in my life when my future health will be defined, not necessarily set in stone but put on a certain path. If I don't get in shape now, it'll be much more difficult to do so in the future. To draw a peculiar and inaccurate zombie metaphor, prevention is better than the cure.

Boost Energy: My number one excuse for failing to accomplish anything with my writing on any given day: "I'm just too tired." While it's true that lack of energy works heavily against putting forth the mental strain of making the words, it is a piss-poor reason to do absolutely nothing productive. Still, my preferred method is to take the excuse away entirely (or at least mostly) and then spend my Discipline Points on actually doing stuff. (See, I was too tired to come up with a better, more descriptive phrase than "doing stuff.") Are Discipline Points in any way related to Initiative? I keep rolling too low.

This probably doesn't need to be said, but to be clear: this is not some sponsored article where the authors or publisher are giving me incentives to say nice things about their book. (However, if you guys want to pay me, I'm currently willing to sell my soul, especially considering the fact that I'm doing the program anyway. And unemployed. Call me!)

I'm not planning on going into any great detail about the program as that would seem to infringe on their sales, but I might put in the occasional entry about how it's going for me.

The diet half is actually pretty nice, encouraging its acolytes to eat plenty while maintaining a healthy balance of carbs, fat, and protein. I don't feel hungry quite as much and I'm only four days into the diet.

I don't like working out, which is the other side, and I've only done a half-workout so far due to a sudden head rush at the gym. However, my wife and I spent around $100 to get some of the basic necessities that will allow me to do much of the workouts from home, spreading them out to avoid such problems.

All in all, a healthier me should be a happier me and hopefully that means a more productive me. (Yes, in the previous sentence, it's all 'me, me, me.') I encourage you to consider adopting a healthier lifestyle as well, because it's good for you.

Guys can consider trying out the Testosterone Advantage Plan, and ladies... I'm fairly certain there are about a bajillion different options available. Try to pick one that is reasonable.

And because I can't think of a good way to wrap this post up, I'll go with the classic signing-off.


This is Stoffel, signing off.

(It kind of works.)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I recently took a trip with my father to see my extended family in Pennsylvania. It was, largely, a relaxing time where I got to catch up with some cool relatives.

Heidi, in the meantime, stayed home due to a new job offering limited vacation possibilities - she's saving it for WorldCon in August. She remained, and despite a full-time job and online classes, scoured and cleaned the entire apartment, tearing through a laundry list of chores we needed done since first moving into the place.

My wife did not do this exclusively for the general cleanliness, however; she did it for me.

For me and my writing.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: I am pretty freaking lucky to have family who support my goals.

I'm also lucky that this support isn't just blind head-nodding. They know that writing is my best skill, and a job I happen to love. However, I haven't been too great about keeping up with that 'job' part of it. Why? Well, a variety of reasons, but one major one is that I have trouble taking myself seriously.

Today, I don't care to wallow on that struggle, but rather to explain how I am combatting it.

Step one: my own personal spring cleaning.

I got a haircut. Just now.

See? Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Sly. Or whatever. Shut up.
It may sound silly, but this makes a difference. It make a difference in how I view myself. I need to be a business professional and, because I am essentially my own boss, that means I need to look like one. Self-imposed dress code? I don't know, maybe. As a penmonkey in the Chuck Wendig tradition, that means pants are not only not required, but are in fact prohibited.

Full disclosure: I am wearing pants right now. (As far as you know.)

The other aspect of my life I'm cleaning up is my productivity. There's one way I feel quite confident in my writerlyness (no, not my penchant for inventing words on a whim to suit my needs, though that's a valid argument as well): my attention span is crap. Ooh, shiny, and all that jazz.

My wife helped me compile this nifty hanging-file box in which, at the beginning of each week, we will review my goals for each of the following seven days.

One big problem I run into is knowing I ought to be doing stuff, but not being sure exactly what that stuff is. Every day I'm going to look over my agenda, currently compiled with sticky notes, and focus on accomplishing the few things I need to do. I think this method is vaguely drawn off of David Allen's Getting Things Done; though I've never read the book, I have read about it.

Anyway, that about catches you up for this month so far. I should be able to keep producing words, so stay tuned in that Internety way for more bloggery to come.

What is it with tagging 'y' on the end of words, anyway?