Sunday, 26 August 2012

LIFE: SO, YOU WANT TO EXERCISE?

The first time I went running was not great. Not at all. I got to the end of my road; I was out of breath, I had 2 stitches, and at least all of my muscles had cramp.

The first time I lifted weights, I pulled my pectorals. The physical pain I had because of my chest was pretty similar to the emotional pain that Tara Reid has because of her chest. Or Courtney Love. Her operation wasn't great either.

Looks legit to me.

But now I sort of know what I'm doing, and I run miles and feel pretty casual about it. I'm a bit like Road Runner - but less of a dick about everything.

Hullo, my name is Adam and today I'd like to talk to you about getting healthy and stuff. There'll probably come a time in your life when you look into the mirror at the disgusting monster that you have become and you'll think ':( sadface'. For me, this moment came in my mid-twenties. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't bummed out about my appearance or any of that noise, but I had gained weight. It was that little layer of comfort fat that you gain in a relationship, like a squirrel putting away nuts for the winter; but instead of nuts it's just takeaways, simple carbs, Haagen-Dazs, and shit.

Then you have a choice - you look at that disgusting, disgusting monster and say, 'Fuck it. I'm sure it'll sort itself out.' Or you can take control of the situation.

This is what I lerned on my journey towards a better me. You may learn something but probably not.


1) EXERCISE MAKES YOUR BRAIN HAPPY BY RELEASING CHEMICALS AND STUFF

Exercise makes your brain happy by releasing chemicals and stuff and that's why this section is called, 'Exercise makes your brain happy by releasing chemicals and stuff'.

Wikipedia says, "Endorphins ("endogenous morphine") are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being."

tl;dr, exercise makes your brain happy by releasing chemicals and stuff. It's on Wikipedia so it must be true. Here's a diagram I made to explain the situation:

Endorphins in action.

2) HAVE A GOAL

You have to have something in mind and tailor your exercises towards that end. I wasted a lot of time just grinding my gears and going round in circles. I was exercising a shit-ton when I lived in Toronto, but it was mostly isolation exercises which target one muscle (bicep curls = biceps), instead of compound exercises which work a whole bunch of muscles (squats = glutes, quads, calves, and lower back). Compound exercises are better than isolation ones. I didn't know. 'Turns out it was all a complete fucking waste of time anyways because I wasn't getting enough protein to build anything. I wasn't making many gains. There's a link at the bottom for calculating the protein you'll need to gain muscle mass.

So, depending on whether you want to make gains (moar muscle-mass and size), or get lean (moar leanness and definition), you'll need to plan your exercises accordingly.

This blog isn't about exercise advice, it's about lols (for example, I was on the phone to the electric company yesterday and I said to the woman who was pissing me off, 'You're so stupid, I think that talking to you is making me stupid,' and one day I want to say to someone who's homophobic, 'You're as straight as Freddy Mercury, standing on a roundabout, drinking a bottle of dicks'. Hopefully, one day my dream will come true).


So I can't advise you about what exercises you should do. I don't want to mislead you. Because I love you. I don't want you to get hurt.

Check the links at the bottom of the page for people who're far more clued up about this stuff than me.


3) LOSING WEIGHT IS SUPERDUPER EASY

Did you know you can lose about a sixth of your bodyweight by simply cutting a leg off? It doesn't even matter which one. I know, right? Amazing. But if that doesn't appeal to you, you can lose weight pretty simply other ways. I will now explain these ways using words:

  • DRINK MOAR WATER: Yes, water is boring, and water is not Pepsi Max, and water has no booze in it - but it's the easiest way to lose water-retention. Water-weight. I know what you're thinking, 'Drink more water to lose water-weight? Adam, you are a maverick. A handsome, handsome maverick,' but bear with me. Your body holds onto water because it thinks it might need it. It wants to keep you alive in case of an emergency. Your body doesn't know about all of the sweet, sweet water that you can buy from a shop or drink from a tap. If you flood your body with water, it will start to jettison all of its stored water. Then you lose your water-weight. Link at the bottom to calculate water intake.
  • CREATE A CALORIC DEFICIT: This is as the single most import thing you need to do to lose weight, and yes, it does involve eating less or exercising more. Or both, if you're serious about getting lean. There are 3'500 calories in 1 pound of fat. To burn 1 pound of fat, you have to burn 3'500 calories. That's a deficit of 500 calories a day. That's a chocolate milkshake, or a quarter pounder with cheese, or a big bag of crisps, or 2 muffins, or 2 1/2 pints of beer, or a bottle of dicks. This stuff is not rocket surgery. Link at the bottom.
  • EXERCISE: Have your cake and eat it. I've tried living like a monk and I spent about 2 weeks on a strict daily 1'450 calorie diet. It does work and you will see results quickly - but, man, it's boring. I like to think of it this way; if I'm going out to get wasted, or to eat a bunch of rich food that I shouldn't eat, then I'll burn it off the next day. Or the day after, depending on how disciplined I'm feeling. Think, 1 pint of beer = about 200 calories. You can burn that off in a 15 minute run or a 45 minute walk.

If you can get to the point where you're running and
boozing at the same time, then you win the internet.


4) YOU DON'T HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Yes, McDonnalds, Domino's, and all-you-can-eat buffets are not going to help you in your quest to be a better you. Not at all. Neither is drinking 5 pints of booze on a night out. But you can work around this. Yes, those little Chicago Town pizzas taste sweet, but they look like an Italian just had a prolapse on some damp cardboard; and if you microwave them then they taste a bit like that too. You can still eat pizzas and stuff, just make them yourself and use sensible ingredients.

There are loads of these 'healthy eating' websites. They have quick and easy recipes for all sorts of stuff, and they're not loads of ballache to do, either. Going back to pizzas - I made these cheeky little numbers for my friends, which were as simple as a wholemeal pittabread, tomato pasta sauce, low-fat mozzarella, pepperoni, and some oregano and shit. (It wasn't shit, it was probably basil or something.) They took about 5 minutes to make. They took about 5 minutes to cook. God made the same things for Jesus for his welcome home party. Jesus was omg so lol.

Jesus is always lol.

Also, you can still get drunk - just stick to spirits with a diet mixer, or a bottle of wine. A single 25ml spirit is around 50 calories. A bottle of wine (red, white, rose, or sparkling) is around 500 calories. That's why Hank in Californication is so lean but is also an alcoholic - because he sticks to the whiskey. (Probably because of all of the sex too. Sex is fantastic cardio (200 calories in 30 minutes), unless the girl just lays there like that sick dinosaur in Jurassic Park while you do stuff to her, in which case you have far bigger problems. I recommend you close this window, shut down your computer, and get your sex life back on track. In fact, it's probably her fault anyways, so you can stay here and lol and make her figure something out. What a selfish bitch.)


5) STICK WITH IT

I'm pretty sure most of the guys reading this have a set of dumbbells gathering dust somewhere in the house. I'm pretty sure most of the women reading this have one of those great big ball things that're supposed to help with sit-ups, or whatever those things do. Like a toasted cheese sandwich maker, like a lover that you're not compatible with, like a Christmas tree - these things are used non-stop for about a month and then completely forgotten about.

'You will always have a home in my heart.'
'You will always have a home in your home. Go home.'

They will not help you with your gains, or with your getting lean, by sitting in your cupboard.

Now, a lot of people say you should keep a log, or record your progress as you go. It can be encouraging. I'm far too disorganised for that - but I do see the merits of doing it. I think that the thing to do is just make a rough plan and stick to it. No slacking. No 'off days'. No 'treat days'. At least until you get where you want to be.

And if you do fall off the wagon (you will) then just make it up the next day, or later in the week.

This guy (totally not me) will sometimes inhale that filthy, dirty, filthy takeaway burger meal after a night out. But the same guy (again, nothing to do with me) will go for a run the next day. A real casual 10 minute mile x 3 will burn off about 400 calories. That's the burger. Then, to work off the chips, I like to volunteer with children and teach them how to plant trees. No, not really, I just spend time on the internet and stuff. You burned about 25 calories reading this post. This blog is helpful. You're welcome. I love you.


CONCLUSION:

Exercise can be fun. Genuinely. You will start to see results within about 3 months, if you're doing it right. I don't want to suggest exercises you should be doing, or routines, or diet plans - because, tbh, I'm still getting to grips with that myself and there's people out there far better qualified to do that than me (it's a big internet). There's a bunch of links on the bottom of this post which should help to sort your fat, lazy, sheet-of-cellulite ass out. If you want to.

You have to want to do it. For yourself. It's not worth doing it to impress someone, or strut around the beach like a prick, or because you want to look like some airbrushed piece of fiction in an underwear advert. You have to want to do this for yourself.

Yes, gaining and losing weight is a bitch. Men gain weight in their stomach, not their dick. Women gain weight in their thighs and bum, not their breasts. The human is not a perfect organism. But it can be nudged, kicking and screaming, towards some shadow or whisper of perfection. Whatever makes you happy. PROTIP: You can't target weight loss, either. You can do 100 sit-ups a day, but it wont make you lose your tummy any quicker. Weight loss occurs all over the body. Your belly, your thighs, and your bum will be the last to go. Sorry.

When I started all this, the exercise and stuff, I was made of wet paper and when I'm done I want to be carved from wood. I'm probably at a balsa stage atm. But, reader, lover, friend, I'm seeing all sorts of gains and getting so lean.

These are the things what I lerned from:

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ Totally free calorie counter. It even has an app on Android (not sure about Apple) so you can scan the bar code of whatever it is you're eating. Includes a carbs, fats, and protein calculator. Don't feel self-conscious about using it. If anyone gives you any sass about it, just tell them to suck it. Tell them Adam told you to tell them to suck it.

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-Muscle Basic gains 101.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson175.htm Basic get lean 101. Includes water intake calculator.

http://tasteytemptations.blogspot.co.uk/2007/09/low-calorie-pita-pizza.html Lean food recipe. This isn't the one I followed (I can't remember where I found it. It's a big internet) but you get the gist.

http://www.youtube.com/user/twinmuscleworkout?feature=watch Bro-science advice. These guys are fucking legit. And lulzy. They have a bunch of videos about all sorts of stuff. Example:


http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/building-lean-muscle-mass.html Moar advice on gains.

https://www.google.com/ Figure it out.


Good luck. And remember - although it's what's on the inside that counts, if you look good on the outside, people will like you more.

Good night, internet.



Saturday, 11 August 2012

SWEDEN: 2 OF 2

Sweden, what are you?

In this post I answer the tough questions. I've just come back from a week in Stockholm, or as the Swedes call it, 'Jogdaskfdbaljfalfh'. They do this a lot to words. More about that later.

My friends said before I left that it'd be mad expensive. They said a lot of things. The women are pretty and have long legs, they said. The city is beautiful, they said.

I know whether they were right or wrong - but I don't want to ruin the ending for you.

The flight was cheap as £70 worth of chips. Fucking win. It costs more to go to the edge of England on a train than it does to fly to another country on a plane. A return ticket to New Quay is about £80. Fucking fail. I went with 2 business associates of mine. 2 of the baddest dudes to ever walk the mean streets of Brighton.

From left to right - Me, Danny, Jez.

Danny 'Crack-Daddy Switchblade' Montez and Jez. (Jez doesn't have any nicknames. :( sadface). Danny's wiry and tall, with a sea of brown curly hair, and a face like a sad mole. Jez is squat and powerful, like a Henry Hover. Jez can do a shit-ton of push-ups. Jez doesn't fly well. He doesn't like the take off, he doesn't like the landing, and he doesn't like the bit in the middle. But that's okay, because you can buy booze at the Duty Free at the Airport and you can buy more booze on the plane. We stocked up on 3 litres of the good stuff before we left England. We thought that 3 litres of spirits would last us the bulk of the holiday. It didn't.

We also got loose on the train up to Gatwick.
Guess who's booze is who's? This blog has fun activities.

About 2 hours into our journey - Jez and I are as drunk as a Hen Do. Our tiny, piece of shit, plastic treehouse, economy flight seats are our nightclub. We are drunk and we are fun and we are cra-a-a-azy. We are pissing everyone off. We don't care. We are a 2 man Hen Do. The flight attendant refuses to give us any more ice for our whiskey cokes and our rum and cokes. "I have a medical condition and I need ice to cure me," I say. I think they must have a procedure about not dicking around with medical conditions. He brings us moar ice. I am lol. By the time our return flight comes around, I'm calling the flight attendants "Little bitch," and "Motherfucker". Stockholm did something dark and sinister to our language. More about that later.

I was so drunk by the time we got to the hostel, it felt like the whole journey - the train, the flight, the bus, the walk - took about 3 hours. I think door-to-door it took 7 hours.

This was the view from the bus.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.

We set up camp in the hostel. We're rooming with Some Spanish Guy and His Girlfriend Who Has a Sweet Ass, and another European couple, Steve and Judith. Steve isn't called Steve. Steve is Dutch and his name is Sietce. We can't pronounce that - so we offered to call him Shih Tzu, Schnitzel, or Steve. He likes Steve the least, so obviously, that's the name we choose for him. Obviously. 

Steve is a 6 ft Ken Doll. He's so asexual I think if I pulled his shorts down I'd be greeted with a perfectly smooth, penisless sheet of pink plastic. He also has the lulziest speech impediment I've ever heard. He occasionally drops a word to the back of his throat and stammers it out in a low hum, like a fridge compressor turning on. I've laughed right in his face like twice now - but I can't help it. He is offering the lols. The lols must we answered. (Judith is just called Judith). We like Steve and Judith very, very much. 

Steve and Judith. Guess who's who?
This blog has fun activities.

It's a beautiful city. It looks like someone started building a dolls house and didn't know where to stop. It's a gingerbread house made of stone. It's a toy built for grown ups. I've lived by the sea my whole life but this is the best I've seen it done.


Yes, the women are lovely. Their legs extend a full 12 inches longer than they should, like they start at their diaphragm or something. But facially, I'm on the fence. It's like all the features are in the right place but the maths is wrong. I haven't seen 1 OMG IT IS STUNNG! woman since I got off the plane. I am :( sadface.

You can dress up like a Viking and stuff
at the National Historical Museum.

I meet some drunk Swedish guys outside. Danny's with me. Jez's having serious dicky-tummy issues. More on that later. One of the guys is being really obnoxious, but in a harmless and fun way. I think he's going for the shock lols. Brother, let me stop you there. I'm a veteran. I've seen stuff on the internet, man. I've seen some shit, man. Forget about the internet’s original purpose – the bold new age of shared learning. Instead it's devolved into the deepest, darkest ocean of shit known to man. Even sunlight doesn't penetrate that far down. Only the most highly adapted and specialised kinds of life can survive down there. They all look like abortions.

However, he did give me the purest lol I've had since I got off the plane. He's talking about this woman he's dating. "I know I've had a good date with a woman when she starts to cry," he says. I mean, what the fuck is that? What do you even say to that? I am lol.

I am always lol.

There's a slower pace of doing things here. There's no hustle or bustle. There's no rush. Maybe it's because it's an opulent holiday city. Or maybe we're just in the right part of town. It reminds me of how much I dislike London. There's no serious businessmen in suits charging around from A to B, or people beeping one another like mechanical 'fuck yous,' or dozens of people shoehorned into streets that can't contain them. It's just nice. Very pleasant. 

So far we've done things by the numbers. 'Got fucked up the first night. 'Went out to dinner (and got fucked up) the second night. The third day we jumped on a guided tour of the city by boat. It includes a bus tour too. Hop on. Hop off. It costs £35 for a 24 hour pass.

Our boat does not look this cool. Not at all.
Outside the Royal Warship Vasa Museum.  

Also, I'm off the booze today. I woke up at 5am and then again at 7am to be sick. I haven't been sick from booze for as long as I can remember - but doing the maths, I think I've gone through at least 1 litre of whisky in 2 days. Far too many alcoho-lols. I think, 'Imagine if I hadn't woken up and I'd just choked to death on my own vomit in some hostel?' Oh dear. Oh dear, I think. I'm off the booze today.

Which brings me to the price of booze here. We are hemorrhaging money. We're hemorrhaging money like a city council trying to come up with a recycling initiative. A single spirit and mixer is £10+. A beer is around £8 for 400ml. 

This. This cost about £7.

And the heads on the beers are far, far too big. Like the mushroom cloud looming over Hiroshima. For a £7 beer I expect no head. I also expect 2 beers, but then that's just me. Also, it's another one of those cities where you can't buy precious alcoho-lols just anywhere. You have to go to the Special Shop. It's called something real plinky-plonky, and like many of the words here, I cannot pronounce it. 

But it's cool - everyone seems to speak English dead proper like.

Some Spanish Guy and His Girlfriend Who Has a Sweet Ass both tell us to keep the noise down. This is on the first night. They're gone by the second night. Replaced with another plucky young adventurer, Rapey Dom. Rapey Dom's not his real name, of course. He tells us this story about how he once pulled a 14 year old girl in a club and made out with her accidentally. Accidentally, he says. Rapey Dom. Paedo Dom. Dom the Rapist. These are the names that we call him for his sins. He volunteered this information during a game of Kings. Part of the game is an I've Never section. I can't even remember what the fuck it is that he's never done - but it was genuinely an innocent mistake. 

Accidentally, he says.

We like Rapey Dom very, very much. Rapey Dom says that he thinks English women are ugly. We can't argue with him. But Brighton has some absolute gems, we say. We spend the third night convincing him. 

Then this happens. 

Daisy. Daisy is English.

Daisy looks like a birthday party that nobody turned up to. She's all slight, slumped shoulders and nervous laughter. Daisy is a half eaten bowl of custard. Beige. All the work we put into convincing Rapey Dom the merits of English women is undone the minute she walks into the room. And, man, does she like faffing around with her bags in the morning. She's there an hour every morning. Rearranging. Checking. Organising. I want to scream at her, 'Daisy, you disgusting animal, what the fuck are you doing down there?! What are you?!' But I don't. 

Danny and I go to the museum. Danny and I go for a walk. Danny and I go for a walk through the Old Town. Where's Jez in all this? Well to understand that, you need to understand about Chorizo. 

I didn't take any photos of the Chorizo.
Here's Danny in the brush museum.

Like I said, we can't afford anything. We can't afford to eat. Like cavemen discovering fire, we learn that we can buy hotdogs from Stockholm's street vendors for £3. Most of them are skins of old animal carcasses, and eyelashes, and dirt. And then there's the Chorizo - the Spanish sausage, the life giver, the angel with Paprika deodorant. We ate a ton of them the first 3 days. We try to mispronounce it as badly as we can. The Chorizo. The Chozero. The Chozerzorio. We do this to torment the street vendors. Whoever can speak the sacred word as poorly as possible, not laugh, and still get the nutritious hotdog wins. Oh, Chorizo. Oh, angel with Paprika smile. Jez supplemented this diet with booze and medicine-ball sized bags of Wotsits. Or, Wijslgflsgf, as the Swedes call them.

Here's Jez in his cesspit, hostel, hospital bed.
It was his tomb. He rarely left.

He got very, very ill. His bottom bunk bed became his death bed. We check on him every now and again for signs of life. There aren't any. Jez isn't here right now. Jez can't get to the phone right now but please leave a message. Danny and I press on.

The city is gorgeous. It's like that dream city from Inception. I can't be bothered to check on Wikipedia, but it was probably filmed in Stockholm.

I meet some gypsy people. They read my palm and say that I've been in love 3 times. I have. They say I'll fall in love again in August. I will? I think they robbed me, but I went on a charm-offensive and I think they reverse-stole all my treasure back into my pockets. Thanks, guys. I am :) happyface. 

Rapey Dom knows these 2 women and we go to meet them. They eat Reindeer meat. I wonder what Rudolph tastes like, because he looks like shit. 

We have a new hostel-mate. He's this Russian chap. Again, really, really lovely guy - but he looks liek a serial killer. I may not wake up tomorrow because I have been killed to death.

Stolkholm has these little parks and organic areas set aside. They shine all around the city like Christmas tree lights in July. Potted plants wouldn't survive in Brighton. Or London. They'd get replanted with empty cans of Carling and cigarette butts. Or vandalised out of meanness. Also, they don't lock up their bikes in Stockholm. 2 bikes have been stolen from outside our flat, back home in Brighton. Maybe it's a 'respect for your city' thing.

Some little island in the middle of the city.
It is pretty.

There's a lot of heritage here. Lots of galleries and museums and churches. The 3 of us walk into a church in the middle of a funeral. The woman on the front desk looks up from her books and her papers over equilateral glasses and gives us a look like, 'Guys. Guys, are you fucking kidding me?' We leave.

SO EMOTIONAL!!!1ONE

The 3 of us walk around the city for 2 days straight. Popular opinion before we came here was that the city has a beautiful X, Y, and Z - but no one had any specifics. Yes, it's attractive and historic, but it's sacrificed change to maintain that. I've only seen a whisper of red hair since I've been here. The only Black and Asian people seem to be tourists. If I'd had £1 for every handsome, blonde guy or long-legged, blonde woman I'd seen since I'd been here - I wouldn't need to shop at Lidl here. There's no variety. There's no diversity. The citys best selling point is also it's weakness. It hasn't changed.

This photo. This is the beginning of the end.

"Yo. That motherfucker's beautiful," Danny says about the building above.

"Ima gonna take a photograph of that bitch," I say about the building above.

It was the beginning of the end for our language skills. Everything - everything - became 'bitch,' and 'motherfucker,' and 'nigga' - OMG this got so out of hand. We talk like we're from Compton, or from N.W.A., or part of Snoop Dogg's entourage. 

"Don't move, motherfucker. Ima gonna photograph your ass," I say. To a statue.

OMG this got so out of hand. God knows why. Maybe we've been away too long. 

It was time to go home.


CONCLUSION: 

I like Stockholm. It's a nice city but a week's too long to stay there. Jez and I were done after 4 or 5 days. It's maybe somewhere I'll return to when I'm old and grey and retired. 

We met some lovely, wonderful people. The hostel (Old Town Best Hostel. See links and shit below. This blog is informative) was great, and great value, too. It was about £25 a night. Bargain.

You will not be able to afford stuff there. We had to shop at Lidl just to get by. I haven't had to do that walk of shame since I was a student. Apparently, if you live there, then it's all relative. Even minimum wage, crap, shitpiss, pisspoor jobs like McDonald's pay about £12 an hour. The women who work there are pretty hawt too. 

At £70 a flight, do it. It's well worth the mission.

Just stock up on booze at the airport.


http://www.ryanair.com/en - Cheap flights. 'Nuff said.

http://www.besthostel.se/en/ - Where we stayed. £25 a night. Bargain.

http://www.nationalmuseum.se/ - Fucking sweet gallery. Ignore the name. It's a gallery. £12 entry.

http://www.historiska.se/home/ Historiska Museet. 'Museet' means museum. I am clever. £4 entry with a discount book from the boat tour. 

http://www.stromma.se/en/STOCKHOLM/Tours/Stockholm-Sightseeing/Boat-Tours/Hop-on-Hop-off1/ - Boat Tour. Hop on. Hop off. £35 for 24 hour ticket. PROTIP: get it in the afternoon. Blag 2 days. Win.