Ron's Blog

Paintball, working out, and random hobbies

I finally “completed” a full run of P90x.  I guess third time’s the charm?

The problem is that when I added up all the skipped workouts I only did about 20% of the program, so my results are pretty poor compared to the transformations you’ll see online.

In this post I’m going to list a few of the challenges that I ran into during P90X and how I plan on addressing them.


Perfect is the enemy of the good.  –Voltaire

The major challenge I had was getting the motivation up to go downstairs and do the exercises.  If I was able to force myself downstairs I would normally have a good workout.  To make it worse, if I didn’t wake up at 6am and immediately head downstairs then I wouldn’t have the time to do a complete workout and make it to work on time; and there’s a completionist part of me that held me back from starting if I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete the workout.  I know it doesn’t make sense.

A secondary challenge is the diet.  If I work out in the morning I have the willpower to stick to the diet.  But, as I mentioned above, I did only 20% of the workouts so I have questionable willpower 80% of the time.  It’s actually not so bad as that, I’ve worked out how to get good food in me with a minimum of splurging, though I’m going to switch things up.




My company has, at least once before, had a weight-loss competition.  Everyone ponies up some amount of money and, after a month, the person who has lost the most weight takes the pool.  I volunteered to run it this year and I’ve made some changes.  I’ve added two additional categories.  Previously your performance was based on % body weight lost.  I’ve added a “Number of Pounds Lost” category and a “Body Reshaping” category. And buying into the pool is optional.

I’ve also asked for volunteers to run workout groups for the office.  Having other people to workout with always helps motivate you;  part enthusiasm  part accountability.  Even if members can’t workout together, at least they can work out individually and check-in with each other.

I’ve volunteered to run the P90X group.

The P90X group and the Body Reshaping category are my reason for running the challenge.   I don’t care about the money, all I want is someone I know personally to do P90X with me and hold me accountable.  If there’s enough interest I’ll even see about doing it together at the office gym.  I don’t know about the pullup bars, though.  But I have one person who’s pledged to do it with me so far.

Finally, I will allow what time I get to work to slip if need be.  I have the luxury of flexible hours;  I should take advantage of it.



I’m considering trying Shakeology as my post-workout meal.  I’ll have to do more research to see how it works in that regard.  It’s a bit expensive, but I’m willing to lay down my money if it works.

Here’s how I see my meals:

  1. Breakfast: Shakeology (if I go that route) or post-workout Whey protein shake (what I’ve been doing so far)
  2. Morning snack: Protein Bar
  3. Lunch: Salad from Safeway salad bar w/ grilled chicken & cottage cheese
  4. Snack: Fruit if I’ve brought it or some of my desk snacks (beef jerky, nuts) if I haven’t
  5. Dinner: Made at home or, if purchased, something vaguely healthful

What works about this plan for me is:

  • limited preparation necessary – only dinner requires any sort of forethought
  • meal options- I have options to tailor lunch and dinner to how I’m feeling that day
  • calorie flexibility – On days where I had a light lunch and didn’t need many snacks, I’ve had 1600+ calories available for dinner.  That lets me “splurge” psychologically but still be within my calorie goals

I’ve made it through phase 1.  I was supposed to begin phase 2 yesterday, but I seem to have picked up a cold.  I’m going to give myself another few days of rest then jump into it again on Tuesday.

While my weightloss and muscle growth isn’t as extreme as the first time I finished phase 1, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in flexibility and general well-being.  The lack of progress in the fat/muscle category is my fault, I took it pretty easy in phase 1 both in terms of diet and physical exertion.

I’m looking forward to phase 2.


Oh man am I sore.  Mainly the triceps, but also my thighs, shoulders and abs.  I checked my Day 02 from the first time I started p90X and I mentioned the triceps pain.  Unlike last time, though, I slept fine.  Also my abs hurt more this time, probably because I did the Ab-Ripper X on day 01 instead of waiting for 03.

What did seem to be new was the extreme lack of mobility I had in my arms today.  I had expected a little bit of that, but this time I spilled coffee down my neck and shirt, and I also got some lunch on me.  I almost never get food on me, so this was a notable occurrence.

I actually went to a masseuse during lunch.  That seemed to help; I felt more like a functioning human being afterwards, though I’m still groaning every time I get out of the chair.

I had to cut plyo short after about 2/3rds of the way through.  I was falling over from exhaustion.   I know I’m capable of pushing myself to injury, I did it the first time, so I took the easy route out this morning.  Based on how I feel right now, I think I did the right thing.

I’m hoping that a good night’s sleep heals me up well enough to do shoulders and arms tomorrow.  I’ll take it easy if needs be.  I don’t want to get injured again and have to quit.


So I’ve got more to make up than the last time I tried P90X.  Comparing this Day 01 to my first attempt the numbers are definitely lower.  Especially the pullups.  Prior to beginning P90X I had been doing pullups at work as part of a group.  Looks like I lost what progress had been made (two years ago, admittedly).

Still felt nauseous afterwards, occasional blurry vision during, etc.  Par for the course for the first day.

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He’s the whole thing. It lives in one bay of the garage. I try very hard to keep it organized. The bins on the left still have plenty of capacity. It’s about 50/50 painting stuff and “other” stuff, mainly car-care and gun-care.

The main section of my painting station. The shelving went in two weeks ago (before then all my paints were in the lazy-susan) and the wrist-rest just got put in today.

On the floor are my fan and space-heater to make things more tolerable in the summer and winter.

The table contains the wrist and elbow rest I built to help my posture. When I was doing detail work I would rest my wrists against the table for more control and hunch over almost completely. It was killing my back, so I hacked together the plans last night and built the shiny black elbow/wrist rest today. With my elbows on the horizontal black ledge, the edges of my wrists lightly lean against the lintel giving me control without destroying my back. I haven’t done any lengthy painting on it yet since I’ve been waiting for the polyurethane I put on it to cure.

It also holds my palettes down low where I can refill without looking through my magnifying visor.

I’ve got two lamps clamped to the edge, each w/ 100W-equivalent “full spectrum” CFL bulbs.

On the right hand side of the table is my Paasche air compressor and Badger Renegade airbrush.

Against the wall are my brushes, small tools, and rinse water.

On the left side of the table is my iPad with reference pictures and articles and a small vice for when I need an extra hand (pinning, usually)

On the first shelf I’ve got my paints on a stand I hacked together. Unless they came in a dropper bottle, I transferred each into 2oz dropper bottles I bought off eBay, painted the top with the corresponding color then slapped a label on. They’re mainly P3 with a set of Citadel metallics thrown in along with a few examples of Vallejo game color. They’re grouped by hue families and sorted by ascending brightness and saturation.

On the top shelf I’ve got stuff I don’t use that often, or stuff that doesn’t need to be in immediate reach. On the right side are my pigments. In the lazy susan I’ve got non-acrylic paints: oils & thinners, masking fluid and a lone bottle of Tamiya smoke.

On the left is adhesives, masking tape and a few random bits.

Showing on the side is my main storage shelving with bins.

Closeup of the wrist-rest I made so I can get precision and not ruin my back in the process. Hacked together with cheap 2×4 and 2×2 pieces of wood. The half-can of spray Chaos black I used to paint it cost more than the wood (I wasn’t going to use it for models any more)

My coworkers and I were discussing drinks today.  Somehow the topic of a Dirty Greek Martini came about.  My coworker mentioned that he makes his with vodka, olives and some feta cheese thrown in.  He raved about it.

There are only two problems with his recipe: Vodka does nothing for me and I’m not a fan of chunks in my drinks.


Exhibit A. Not shown: Life-long trauma

My preliminary recipe is this:

0.5 oz Kalamata Olive Brine

0.5 oz Dry Vermouth

3 Kalamata Olives stuffed with Feta cheese

3 oz Gin of choice

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Hit the Elliptical for 500cal.

Back on the wagon.  Fell off for a while, but I’m back on.

I like to think of the first try as the P45G program.  You do 45 days of the program like normal, then don’t do anything for a month and feel Guilty about it.  I can’t say I recommend it.

First time doing this workout routine.  Some of these Lose Weight exercises are HARD.

Case in point, the floor tricep raises.  It took me a while to even figure out what I was doing.

Didn’t have enough time to get in a full workout.

Back into it.  Between work, holidays and injury, it’s been a rough two weeks.  After the warmup I spent a few minutes stretching my neck.  I could still feel tightness where I injured myself on the 24th.  It was nothing to stop my workout.

Good news is that my slacking has given my body plenty of time to recover.  I did more reps with greater intensity than ever before and I still had energy afterwards.  I even did the bonus round.  That’s not to say I was dogging it, as my heart-rate graph shows.

Tip: I discovered a flaw in my form that was causing lower-back strain.  During any of the jumping Lose Weight exercise, I would do a half-assed soft landing.  I would protect my knees, but I would lock my hips.  If I took a break, it would be here, standing.  I found that by dropping into the next rep and resting at the bottom was much better for my back, in addition to giving me a better thigh workout.