So This Is The New Year

I’m gonna gloss over the part where I attempt to explain or apologize for my lack of blogging and get right to it. You know.. before I don’t feel like writing any more.

Two-thousand and twelve is upon us. I am thirty-two years old. I’m relatively happy with the way things are going in Carlintown, but there are things here and there that could stand a polish. I’ve decided to be one of those people who hits the new year running with all sorts of “goals” and “resolutions” and “bullshit”. I thought I’d talk about a few of them here.

First up: Fatness Fitness

Some background: In February of 2010, I found out I was fat. While perusing some photos friends had taken at my “beer and cheese” party the week before, I came across one of a pudgy dude wearing a familiar looking shirt. The next two things that happened were: a terrible realization, and a phone call to a friend’s trainer and nutritionist.

I arranged to start seeing them regularly as soon as SXSW was done with. Over the next 8 months, I lost almost 22 pounds, dropped by body fat from 18.5% to under 12%, and learned a lot about eating and working out.

Before & During

I’m pretty trim now, but I haven’t made any real improvement lately. So, for January at least, I’m trying a new approach, which I call “Too Much Structure”. Most of this structure has to do with diet. For the next 4+ weeks, I’ll be doing something called carb cycling. Basically, I’ll follow a three-day pattern of high-carb, low-carb, and no-carb days. My exercise schedule will follow suit, with vigorous resistance workouts on high-carb days, HIIT on low-carb days, and no workouts on no-carb days. If I get around to it, I’ll detail my diet and workout plans in another post.

My goal is to follow this schedule with no unplanned exceptions for all of January.

Learn French. Again. For the first time.

I took French in high school. At least, I think I did. I don’t remember the class any more than I remember how to properly introduce myself to a Parisian. I always excelled in school with little or no effort, but I couldn’t wrap my head around learning another language. Looking back, I have to assume this was largely due to a combination of a dry curriculum, an unlikeable teacher, and a fair amount of self-consciousness about trying to pronounce foreign words in front of my classmates. Now I’m learning at home with Rosetta Stone and it’s fast, easy, and as close to immersion as you’re likely to get without actually being immersed.

My goal is to take 4 French lessons a week.

Learn to play the banjo

Banjo

I got a banjo for Christmas. It’s an idea that has popped in and out of my head for years. It happened to pop in while Claire and I were visiting her family and I was in conversation with her mom’s friend, who happens to own a fancy, boutique stringed instrument store in Palo Alto. His eyes lit up and he told me all about this one Banjo they carry. It’s affordable – way more affordable than it should be for the parts and build quality – and he’d be happy to get it to me for cost. I love a bargain, so I was convinced. Claire loves having the perfect Christmas gift idea delivered to her on a silver platter, so she struck first. It’s a beautiful banjo.

I’m taking banjo lessons online and practicing chord forms and rudiments on my own.

My goal is to play for 30 minutes, 4 times a week.

My progress so far

I’m happy to report that I haven’t fucked up yet. It’s only been three days, but I’m still pretty happy about it. I do have a trip to Florida planned for MLK weekend, which means a three-day break from all of the above. We’ll see if I can slip right back into being Superjason when I get home. I think I can.

Happy new year.

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