Category Archives: Archives

OSS Phase 2 — 13 Days Left

Phase 1 is complete. Had the interview yesterday; everything fit just fine. The interview went okay. I’m now 2 for 2 with interviewers I can’t get a read on. Med school interviews in general frustrate the hell out of me. I go and see all kinds of awesome things, and the only thing I want is to get started. I’m sick of waiting around, trying to keep up with the bills. I want to start med school and getting learning the things that interest me.

And then, after seeing what I have to wait for, I have an interview that leaves me doubting if I’ll get in or not. Yes, I am aware that I have less of a medical background then most people. I would love to be working as an EMT or Anesthesia Tech (okay, maybe not that one–too much chemistry probably) but I can’t afford the classes and I certainly can’t afford to push back med school. Yes, I know all about the challenges of med school; and yes, I still want to do it.

Alright. Sorry for the venting. Phase 2 is all about still fitting into the suit for the next interview in two weeks. Or fitting into it better. On the suit front, things have not been going well lately. I still fit just fine, but I’ve been sick or having an allergy flare-up (not really sure). Either way, been feeling fairly shitty and certainly haven’t felt up to working out. Especially the boxing gym. An diminished ability to inhale, combined with a cough, up against a 30 minute, non-stop, high-intensity workout sounds like a recipe for death. So yeah. Hopefully things improve soon.

Also have been eating out too much, especially with traveling for my interview. But I’ve got this week all planned out now for cooking. So things should be better on that front. Which is good, need to kickstart some weight loss for Baldaufs vs. Genetics. So that’s the update. Sorry again for the venting.

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OSS — 1 Day Left

First interview is tomorrow. Had the whole suit on yesterday and it fit! Without any discomfort too! (Other than the neck, which was just a little tight, but who needs to breath anyways?). Pants are slightly tight still, creating a muffin-top effect (the girlfriend’s term). Yay for love handles. Guess that’s the next goal.

Anyways, this week didn’t actually go very well for any of my plans. The weather was beautiful, but my allergies really killed it for me. So I didn’t get much working out in, unfortunately. Didn’t do terrible on cutting down the carbs. Ate out once. Not a great week but I did limit myself pretty well all week. And things apparently worked.

So Phase 1 is complete and it’s a success. After tomorrow, it’s on to Phase 2. Fitting into the suit even better for the next interview in two weeks.

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The Vegetarian Adventures, Part 7

It has been much too long since a Vegetarian Adventure post. Almost a month. I haven’t given up on things, but I did get thrown off for a little while.

First, I was planning on making some kind of veggie medley with pasta in an attempt to use up a variety of things. But then most of the veggies went bad, so that didn’t work out. So that pushed things back a bit. At least one time, I didn’t feel up to making a vegetarian meal after work and ate something easier or meatier. (Not to imply that vegetarian meals aren’t easy). The veggie medley got pushed from one week onto the next week, and that’s when the veggies went bad. Oops. So that covers the first two weeks I missed.

Then, last week we cheated a little bit. Whole Foods had a pre-made three-course vegetarian dinner for two as it’s special for the day. The meal was Mediterranean or Greek. It started with a variety of appetizers including hummus and 2 other things. Then it was a mixed salad followed by spanakopita.

I hated this meal. The hummus was good with the naan. The salad was average. And the spanakopita was inedible (to me). It was essential a big mush of spinach in every bite with a little bit of phyllo dough to trick me into eating each bite. I don’t dislike spinach, but I don’t want a huge mouthful of mush in every bite. Greatly disliked. I ate half of it begrudgingly (because it cost almost as much as eating out) and then gave up on it. The only plus side is I didn’t eat anything else the rest of the night. Eating spinach mush–the way to kill my appetite apparently.

This week, I made a very tasty frittata. Whole Foods redeemed itself with the recipe. I didn’t think frittata counted, as it is made with eggs, which I associate with chickens. But, the girlfriend informed me that the egg is considered an animal byproduct and therefore counts for vegetarian but not vegan. (I feel like vegetarians are cheating a little bit here, but I’ll gladly join in).

After checking this out, turns out that eggs are not fertilized and will therefore never be a chicken. Which makes it comparable to milk, according to what I read. Plus it’s also utilizing the eggs instead of having them go to waste.

Ruling…vegetarian!! This is good news for me. Opens up a lot of possibilities I didn’t think were available. Hello cheesy omelette with hash browns! Things just got a lot easier.

Anyways, the frittata was super easy to make. Threw zucchini and red onions in a pan with olive oil, added the eggs after a little bit. Topped it with goat cheese, parsley and some red pepper flakes. Broiled it briefly, and then yum!

I remembered to take a picture halfway through eating it....I was hungry, okay....I'm sorry.

Anyways, delicious and nutritious. Tastes just like chicken! (Sorry, Fern Gully reference. Couldn’t be avoided). Simple, filling. Just the kind of meals I need. Could be a lot more of these in the future.

I will also try to keep the Vegetarian Adventures more frequently updated, more in line with weekly posts. Sorry for the hiatus, should be able to keep up better. Especially with all the egg options now!

 

 

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OSS — 7 Days Left

One week until the first interview. Tried on the suit again today. Not a whole lot of progress but the pants fit fairly comfortably after having them on for a little bit. A good week here and I should be good to go.

I blame the lack of progress on the crazy weekend. Went out on Saturday before the Badger game for my brother’s birthday, and then went out on Sunday on the way to the Packer game. I should probably work on eating less or making healthier choices when I eat out. But I don’t want to.

The game plan for this week is to workout everyday, which it looks like the weather will finally help me with, and to go low-carb for the week. Played tennis against my brother today (and lost again, for the 4th straight time, despite outplaying him yet again). Tennis always surprises me. I don’t feel that tired, or at least consistently worn down, while playing but I usually leave with pretty tired legs. Which really surprises me since my legs usually feel fine after long bike rides. Anyways, back to the boxing gym tomorrow. Bike ride and/or boxing gym Wednesday. Tennis on Thursday. Friday and Saturday are still up in the air.

As far as the low-carb goes, trying to jump-start a little extra weight loss. (I could also use it for a good showing on the first weigh-in of Baldaufs vs Genetics). I’m not going full-blown, no-carbs, but I am cutting them completely out of dinner when I usually eat most of my carbs. So lots of meat and veggies this week. And this way I don’t have to give up fried egg sandwiches after working out.

Coming down to the stretch here and things look alright. Though I’m already craving carbs and it’s been like 6 hours. Should be interesting.

OSS — 13 Days Left

If you’ve been following closely, the last OSS was 33 days left. Now we’re at 13. No, I haven’t lost the ability to count. I’ve had another interview scheduled. For two weeks earlier than the other one. I found all of this out yesterday and very MODERATELY freaked OUT. This mostly consisted of me spacing out and muttering, “oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.”


(Yes, this is the perfect time to panic)

Now last time we were on this subject, the pants fit! So freaking out would seem like an overreaction. But things weren’t great after last Monday. Two problems popped up. I was under the weather for a few days, keeping me from really working out. And speaking of weather, it sucked for awhile. Cold and rain, not exactly great biking weather. Especially coming off a cold.

With the cold, I didn’t want to cook very much. So, we ended up ordering out too much. It’s not like things fell apart. This last week was just kind of a step backwards. Which turned out to be rather poorly timed, considering my surprisingly soon interview. (Note: I had the choice for what day. I could have chosen even sooner or chosen after my other interview. But with all things med school, the earlier the better. So I decided to give myself one extra week from the earliest possibility, then started panicking. [Note to the note: panicking is a strange word. Are there any other words that add a -k when you add an -ing to the end? Hmm.]).

Luckily, all is not lost. First, Baldaufs vs Genetics started Monday. If you missed it, you can click on the category on the right (over thurr ===>) or click here. So that’s good. (Also, there’s an update coming to my starting weight. The scale I bought is crap, so I’m fixing that. But I’m roughly 5 pounds higher than recorded. Lot of parentheses today. I apologize for the tangents.) Additionally, I’ve temporarily solved my bad weather workout problem. Thank you Groupon.

See Groupon has had a few gym membership deals lately. So I can afford the short-term memberships without having to lock-in for longer than I want and I can keep moving around so I don’t get bored. First up, 9rounds gym in Madison for a month. Two months at Princeton Club are next, so that’ll carry me into the new year. And 9rounds might just be the perfect thing to get me all set by my interview.

9rounds is a kinda/sorta boxing gym. You do nine 3-minute rounds (hence the name) of different workouts, non-stop. It’s pretty intense. I thought the 30 seconds in between would be for changing stations/catching my breath. Not so much. Mini-workouts instead. The first day on Monday killed me. My second trip went a little better in terms of feeling like death halfway through. It’s the jump start I needed after last week.

Me during round 9

Also refocusing on cooking a little bit. Bought a vegetarian meal from Whole Foods for last night. It was terrible. I’ll cover it in The Vegetarian Adventure. Mostly chili for the rest of the week. I’ve done pretty good of limiting myself lately.

Anyways, I’m going to try on the suit on Monday again. Depending on where I’m at then, I’ll go into red alert or I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. We shall see. Next few days are going to be tough. Need to get to 9rounds one more time, but I work two straight doubles, followed by UW-Nebraska (go Badgers!) and a 2nd close for the week. Tough to stay motivated to workout/cook when I’m tired, so I’ll have to fight through it. Things just got real.

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OSS — 33 Days Left

Hello again. I got sick of trying to figure out which day it was in Operation Suit Squeeze and which days this post covered, so I’m switching it to a countdown up above. In case you missed it last post, the first interview is Oct. 24th, so the clock is ticking.

First, the good news! I decided it was about time to try the pants on again. Get a real measure of my progress. And I got them on! Note, I did not say that they fit. But I did manage to get them buttoned and zipped without putting in a serious arm workout trying to get the sides to meet. It’s still a squeeze, though, and there isn’t really room for the shirts to tuck in yet. So there’s still work to be done.

But this proves that I have been making progress! When I started, they weren’t anywhere close to fitting.

Other than that, not much is new. I’m still mainly biking for a workout. Did 17 miles on Monday in just over an hour. No big deal (brushes shoulder off casually). Though the quick time was mostly due to a fear of not being back in time to pick up the girlfriend, which I made it back just in time for. Still, the urgency was nice and really pushed me on the bike.

I was surprised again at how well my legs held up. I used to look at triathlons where they bike like 100 miles (I’m too lazy to look up an actual distance right now) and think that it was crazy, but I’m starting to feel like it’s not impossible. I was shooting for 20 miles, but I think I could do quite a bit more. Especially if I actually start using the gears on my bike. (Longer tangent coming. Skip a paragraph or two if you don’t like sidetracking).

I have an old road bike. Allegedly, its former owner used it for races and the guy at the bike shop was curious about it, commenting on its nice parts. (My only response was: where? It’s pretty much frame, tires, etc. Basic bike. Clearly my bike knowledge is immense). So, despite its image, it is a nicer bike. But I have no clue how the gears work.

Now, I do understand the basic concept of gears and how they work on a bike. But these are the  kind of gears that are attached to the frame. Also, they lack numbers. Originally, I didn’t mess with them because I was getting used to the different position and balance required for a road bike, and I was NOT about to let go of the bars if I didn’t have to. Now, I’m used to the bike and I feel surprisingly natural on it. But I still haven’t used the gears and I’ve been a little afraid to experiment. First, I’m still saving up for a helmet so it seems like an unnecessary wipeout risk. Second, I have this suspicion that the chain could use some work (or replacement) and I really don’t want to mess it up and have to pay to fix that either.

Anyways, once I get the gears down, I feel like I could put some serious distance in on the bike. Until it snows. Which could be any day now, knowing Wisconsin.

In addition to the bike, I feel like my appetite has decreased significantly. I don’t eat breakfast very often anymore and it’s not really even a conscious choice. Just kind of happens. Some days it will be 12 or 1 and I’ll realize I haven’t eaten and marvel at my lack of hunger.

I don’t have any problem with this whatsoever. I’ve never bought into the need to eat breakfast. If you’re not hungry, then don’t eat. If you crash a couple hours later, might want to consider eating breakfast. Pretty straight forward.

I also think the decline in appetite is from eating less in general. Which is good. A move to smaller portion sizes was something I definitely needed, and it’s a lot easier to eat less when your stomach isn’t trying to get you to eat everything in sight.

So 33 days left. Another half inch off the waist and I’ll be set. Feeling pretty confident these days. Plus I’ve got another trick up my sleeve, but you’ll have to wait until next Monday to hear about that. (Woo self-promotion! But I’m pretty excited about it.)

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OSS Days 8-17 — Catch-up

I’m back. Sorry for the long hiatus. I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats.

So we’re going to do a quick catch-up with this post. Last time I talked to you guys, Operation Suit Squeeze was not doing well. Here’s what has happened since then:

  • My first interview was scheduled for October 24th. So there is an official target date now, and I’m down to 38 days to get into my suit. It’s a little bit sooner than I expected (not a problem since getting in somewhere is my main concern), but it’s nice to have the added urgency.
  • I seem to be making progress. Even with the hiccups of the first week, I seem to be slimming a little bit. At least enough that it’s been qualitatively noticeable. So that’s encouraging.
  • A big part of my progress is due to getting on my bike. Going into this, I thought my biggest problem was a need to work out more. I’ve managed to go for two bike rides each of the last 2 weeks (and once in the first week). I’m up around 13 miles per trip, shooting for a longer ride tomorrow.
  • My bike also blew out it’s back tire 10 miles into my last ride, nearly sidelining the best thing I have going for me. Luckily, I was able to get it fixed quickly. Plus it forced me to run (while dragging my bike) for the last 2.5 miles. I was surprised how well my legs held up. Might consider a triathlon in the spring if I can find somewhere to do swimming training.
  • On a related note, when did air start costing money at a gas station? It took my four stops to find one with free air, as I didn’t have my wallet with me, just so I could confirm that my tire was shredded.
  • Sweets ban. Miserable failure. At this point, I’m just trying to control my sweets cravings. Realistically, I need to not have sweets in the house. Like ice cream. Or candy bars. Or cinnamon toast crunch (but organic!). Unfortunately, that probably won’t happen. I won’t name any names (the girlfriend), but I’m just going to have to suck it up and keep it under control.
  • Being Wisconsin, it’s gotten cold already. That’s not good. I don’t do well with working out outside when it’s cold. I looked into gym memberships to see if I could afford any of them, but none of them really worked. So I need to come up with a plan for this winter. Of course, it’ll probably be in the 90’s in two weeks or something. But I should plan ahead for this.

The Vegetarian Adventure, Part 6

I got a delivery from my grandparents this week. They live on a little 40 acre farm and keep up their own garden. Every now and then, they ‘ll send down a bunch of produce with my parents for me. Not being much of a veggie person, I didn’t always know how to incorporate most of the stuff into my meals. (Except for the homemade maple syrup, which is delicious!) This time around, I got 4 kohlrabi, some squash, zucchini, cucumbers, a lot of small (grape?) tomatoes, and 2 jars of homemade applesauce (yes!).

Seeing as how we had failed to use kohlrabi about 3 weeks ago, I decided to try to incorporate it into this weeks vegetarian adventure. I found a recipe through google for kohlrabi and squash empanadas. Plus, it utilized the rest of my ginger before it went bad–always a plus.

Making it was fairly  easy. Just chopped everything up and cooked it in the pan. I bought filio dough, which I thought would be an equivalent for the pie crust. Not quite what I expected. Less dough-like, so I couldn’t really fold them up and crimp the edges. I ended up just rolling them up, and folding the edges in, essentially making them hot pockets.

Looks good. Tastes kind of bland.

They turned out okay but they didn’t have much flavor. I’ll take the blame for that one, probably could have added more seasoning. Plus I forgot to buy scallions, so that might have helped too. Using pie crust might have helped too, but I don’t really know if it would have made a difference. We had cantaloupe (also from the grandparents) and watermelon on the side as well.

The vegetarian adventure has been surprisingly easy. I haven’t even noticed the lack of meat once a week. Might eventually bump it up to twice a week.

OSS Days 5-7 — Frustration (or Why Being a Grown-up Sucks)

Days 5-7 did not go well. I woke up to a dreary Friday morning feeling sore in my legs and back, so I decided to take the day off. Didn’t seem like a big deal at the time; I had off all day on Saturday. So we ran some errands instead. I went to work and things started going downhill from there. Work didn’t go great, putting me in a bad mood, culminating in me eating some fries. By the time I got home, the only thing I wanted was to eat everything unhealthy in the world. Cheese curds, chicken wings, cake, pizza. To name a few.

Once I got home, it was straight to cooking dinner. It was a billion degrees in the kitchen and the vegetarian meal didn’t go well (as chronicled in “The Vegetarian Adventures”). So that didn’t help.

Saturday, I woke up tired after another bad night’s sleep. I had every intention of going to the farmer’s market, then working out. And of course, it’s pouring rain. Terrible weather, the entire day. Seeing as how I do not have any gym memberships and live in a very small apartment, working out has become very weather dependent for me. So we went to Whole Foods.

By this point, I was frustrated because I couldn’t work out again, making it the third straight day (with Sunday looking dim with work in the middle of the day and a very late night of work Saturday, and Monday and Tuesday also not looking promising). I was frustrated because I have no money to buy a gym membership, even though I’ve been working a ton. I was frustrated because I just wanted to eat a bunch of unhealthy food. I was frustrated because I had a ton of stuff I wanted to do and no money or time for most of them.

Sometime Saturday afternoon, I reached a point that I’m all too used to. I become so frustrated with everything that I rebel against it. With school, this usually meant saying screw studying and playing video games for a day straight. It’s like a stress relief tornado. Too much of a pressure difference, so I punch through with a destructive (or in this scenario, completely unproductive) day.

But I didn’t have enough time for this mass stress relief. I could see myself reaching this point, and I knew I would lash out by bingeing on unhealthy food and being super lazy for a few days. Usually these ‘stress relief tornadoes’ help me mentally calm down and check back in, but they never address the underlying problem. We did order out for dinner, but I managed to control myself. Instead of bingeing, we ordered pizza from a restaurant that focuses on all-natural and organic ingredients (and stripped down pizzas by my standards) with very little meat. And it was pretty good. But I was still pretty frustrated.

Sunday–as I had predicted–I did not work out again. It’s really difficult to get going when you work until 3:30 AM and have to be back by 2:30 PM the next day. Sleep tends to take precedence or, at least, a general state of sloth. (Lack of sleep never helps me be in a good mood either–you can ask anyone in my family or the girlfriend). Work sucked again. Got done too late to really do much other than make dinner and relax a little bit before bed (back to work at 8, yippee!).

The last couple weeks have been very eye-opening into how difficult it can be for adults to make healthy choices. And that I am referring to myself as an adult/dealing with post-college issues makes me a little sick. But I understand the appeal of eating out or grabbing something unhealthy after a long day at work. When you work all day long (day after day) and then come home and just want to kick back and catch up on stuff, dinner is the last thing I want to make (I am the primary/only cook).

Working out takes a back seat too. I usually work by 9 (half of the time). I could work out before that (and I used to in high school). But it just doesn’t seem to work out that way enough. I’m more of the old-guy-with-his-coffee-and-newspaper kind of guys. I like to take my time in the morning, eat my breakfast, and read too many articles online (thanks cracked.com and grantland.com). After work, I have to make dinner or I’m tired (or usually both) and then I don’t get around to working out. There are a few days where I have time (namely, I don’t work until 4), and sometimes I take advantage of them. But other times, I want to use that free time to either take care of all the shit I need to do or just completely shut down and relax for a day.

Needless to say, dark times for Operation Suit Squeeze. Physically, I seem to be doing okay. Definitely keeping the same shape, maybe even a slight trimming but it’s hard to tell. But mentally, things could be better. Stay tuned.

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OSS Days 3-4 — Biking and Badger Games

Wednesday went well. Really well. Plans of running on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday didn’t pan out with the girlfriend as she had to work, but we’re still working on a set routine. So I had to change things around a bit. I tried running with Olive, but I waited too long to go and she was a little to mellowed out for a run. So we switched it to a short walk and then I went for a bike ride.

I have always like riding my bike (especially know that I have my shitty road bike back) but I just haven’t ever gotten around to going for long rides for a workout. I made a rough plan of my ride and set off. And it was great. Much more enjoyable than running. I ended up doing a little over 7 miles, which turns out to be a little bit short for me. Still finding my limitations as I get back into working out. Next time I’ll probably shoot for 10 miles. It was a great route for a run, though, once I work up to that distance.

After the bike ride, I worked all evening. I successfully avoided all rogue fries (patting myself on the back) but I did give in at the end of my shift and at a few handfuls of popcorn. Post-work, dinner was half a steak and watermelon. One thing I’ve been trying to do is cut my meat portions in half for every meal. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. The sweets ban also survived through the first 3 days.

Thursday was a little bit off. I worked a very long/busy shift in the morning and afternoon as we got ready for the first Badger football game. It started off as a nightmare in terms of work, but things went quite well afterwards. However, the boss brought in donuts. This presented a dilemma. I would feel bad not eating one, as my boss went through the trouble of bringing them in. Additionally, when I worked for the football team the last five years, we would always have donuts on gameday, and I didn’t want to mess with a working system. Foolish justification? Absolutely. But I did limit myself to only one donut (and I was very hungry and needed a de-stressor), which was a minor achievement in itself. Avoided the rogue fries again and managed to avoid to popcorn, but that was partially due to how busy we were.

After work, I met up with a friend for a few drinks before the game and lucked into a couple of free tickets. That messed with the dinner plans, so the girlfriend and I grabbed a bite to eat at the stadium. One brat and half a pretzel (which was cold and a definite mistake) for dinner wasn’t too bad. After the game, we went out and I had a few more drinks. So overall on the day, I didn’t eat all that healthy (and drinking certainly isn’t going to help my cause) but I did manage to limit the amount that I ate. And I showed restraint in the face of sweets.

However, the sweets ban did only make it a meager 3 days. Which may or may not actually be an achievement. I have a terrible sweet tooth. This is representative of me and sweets. Also, I love Hyperbole and a Half. (Seriously, click on it. It’s amazing. DO IT.)

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