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The Life of Oggy

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Happy New Year 2018

As we ponder and prepare for the year in front of us, it’s always good to take a moment to look back on the previous year for any lessons that we may be able to glean from the experiences we’ve had.

I think the lesson that stands out the most to me is to take care of the people who have taken care of you.

You have played a major role in my life, and have helped me to grow into the person that I am. For that, I will be forever grateful, and hope that I can return that kindness in some way either now or in the future.

 

So here’s to another new year! I hope you achieve everything that you set your mind to this year. 

I leave you with this little quote from Benjamin Franklin

Be at War with your Vices, at Peace with your Neighbours, and let every New-Year find you a better Man.

Happy new year everyone!

Stay safe!

 

The Woes of Weight – Let’s talk about it!

It seems that this is another “the grass is always greener” topic.

I know that during the holiday season, most people are resolving lose weight at the beginning of the new year, but I’m having the opposite problem, and one of my goals is to get my weight up.

I have been hovering between 130-132 lbs for the last month and can’t seem to push it up any farther than that. I realize that I’m not in a danger zone for my height, but I just feel like I’m too small. To give you a general idea, I’m 20 lbs lighter than I was when I graduated from University, and only 5 lbs heavier than when I graduated high school.

The thing is, I don’t just want to add junk food to my diet. I feel like it would be really easy to just drink 2-3 beers everyday or eat a lot of junk food, but that would defeat the purpose of why I’m doing this (to stay healthy).

Here’s the deal, I’m sticking with a low carb diet, because standard and high carb diets just kill my energy levels. I walk between 7-10 km a day, plus I do some calisthenics and strength training every morning (nothing too strenuous as I’m just getting started with the strength training).

My diet consists of mainly high protein and high fat foods with lots of vegetables. I avoid sugar, bread, and rice generally. This diet has been really good for keeping my energy level up.

I’ve been able to sustain about 2500 calories per day for the most part. About 1000 for breakfast, 500 for lunch, and another 1000 for dinner with a couple snacks that make up any deficits.

My question is, does anyone have any ideas on what healthy low carb options there are that I can add to my diet to supplement my calorie intake?

I’d take this to a health blog, but I’d rather see what the people I know are doing or have done.

Pondering 2017

I can’t believe that it’s already nearing the end of 2017.

It’s been such a crazy year. So much has happened, and I haven’t even begun to take the time to consider how I’m going to let the events from this year affect my life.

I’ve read more this year than I think I have any single year previously. I have probably read more than 20 books this year. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering that I’ve very rarely completed one book a month previously, I’ve not only increased the amount of time I’m dedicating to reading, but also an increase in speed. I hope the comprehension is also improving as well. 

I love the Kindle. Don’t get me wrong. I adore books. There’s something to be said about flipping through the pages of an old book. Smelling that dank book smell as you turn pages that may not have been touched in more than a decade. Feeling the texture of the paper between your fingers as you hold the pages open and cherish each printed letter. There are few things in life better than that, but living in Japan, getting access to the books that I want to read is not always as simple as I’d like for it to be, at least not always at a reasonable price. Plus there are so many free classics available for the Kindle, it makes it so much easier to read the things that I should have been read long ago.

Since my last post, I’ve been able to read a couple that I’ve wanted to for a while. The big one was The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I can’t really say that I liked it. I appreciated it for the piece of history that it captured, but was one of the most depressing things I’ve ever read. I felt emotionally numb at about half way through. By the end of the book, I just felt dead… and then that ending… I can’t really think of much good to say about it. It was well written though. 

A good short read was the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson. It was very to the point and basically just listed out all of his accomplishments (which there were many).

I’ve also made it a good deal of the way through the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, which, while being a pretty dense read, is giving me a lot of insight into areas of my own life. For example, he had an amazing system for improving his own writing style. I believe that it is something that I’m going to emulate, as writing is beginning to play a more prominent role in my life. Let me know if it’s something that interests you as I can point you to a few resources that explain his system pretty well.

Anyway, aside from the reading, I’ve pretty much just been trying to turn every aspect of my life around. I’m exercising daily, eating at least two and a half full meals a day. I’m trying to eat between 2,500-3,000 calories a day so that I can put on some weight. I started tracking everything about a month ago when I realized that I had made it down to 128.5 pounds. Yeah, that’s roughly the same size I was in high school. I was not, at any time, attempting to lose weight, but with all the stuff going on, I just didn’t eat as much as was necessary to maintain a healthy level, and everyone knows how stress affects people differently. In the last month, I’ve put on 5 pounds, and I’m not going to stop until I’ve hit at least 140. It’s an arbitrary number, but it would put me safely in the middle of the healthy weight levels for my height.

If you have an Android phone and you’re curious about the tools I’m using to keep forward progress, here’s a list:

  • Google Fit – Brings everything together to summarize all my activities. Good for a basic overview of fitness.
  • Lose It! – Calorie Counter – While it’s targeted at people trying to lose weight, it’s still a decent way to track calories and meals in general. It includes a pretty good database of foods that you can use by just scanning the barcode. It’s not perfect, but it does a good job.
  • Water Drink Reminder – This is for tracking my liquids. I noticed that in the summer, I was getting a little dehydrated, so I decided to use this as a brief reminder to drink more water. Now I’m averaging around 3 liters of liquids a day.
  • Pebble – Despite being out of business, my Pebble is still going strong. I use it as a step and sleep counter. It’s not perfect, but it’s consistent. 
  • 30 Day Fitness Challenge – Workout at Home – If you’re not used to exercising, then I recommend something to ease you into it. I have a personal trainer who designed a very thorough workout plan for me, but it was a little intense to get started, so I’ve been using this for just about a month. It’s designed around exercises that you can do at home with no equipment (although I would recommend a yoga mat to keep you off that cold floor in the morning).
  • Calm – Meditate, Sleep, Relax – I think this has been the single most helpful app I’ve downloaded. I’ve been meditating for about three months now, between 5-20 minutes everyday. I do it right after waking up, and it really helps to get my mind in a clear state. It lightens the load before packing the daily tasks on.

But it doesn’t matter how good the tools you have are if you don’t use them. I’ve really been disciplining myself lately and holding myself accountable. I plan out my goals for the day in the morning or the night before and prioritize them. I make sure that I get most of the things knocked off my list everyday. I keep track of that with a pretty amazing to do list app called Todoist: To-do lists for task management & errands and also use Coach.me – Instant Coaching for some of the reminders.

(By the way, sorry to my iOS friends, you’re just gonna have to search the app store yourself because I’m not in the Apple ecosystem at all)

I would go more into depth on some of the things that I’m tracking and how I’m doing it, but this post has already begun to reach short story length, so I think I’ll leave it at that, and continue on in a separate post, or if you’re really interested, I can make a special page for this kind of stuff.

Anyway, until next time.

Toodles!

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

It’s that time of year again, and I just wanted to drop a line to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

It’s always at the holidays that I try to take some time for self reflection and to really consider what I’m thankful for (by the way, if you want to make it a habit to reaffirm what you’re thankful for, check out the Five Minute Journal), and to reconnect with the people who mean the most to me.

So, I want to thank you all for being there for me when I’ve needed you before. Thank you for the lessons, your criticism, your support, the late nights talking about things that ultimately have no importance. Thank you for the entertainment, the smiles, and all the fun we’ve had together. You are my family, and you will always mean the world to me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Draft Ready

Good morning/evening, depending on where you are.

I’m writing so soon because I’m asking for feedback.

If you have a few hours to read through my book and are willing to provide some feedback, and have some kind of digital reader, then let me know what reader you have (so I know what format to send), and I’ll send you a copy of my digital file.

Either post your reader in a comment below, or shoot me a message on my contact page.

I’ll send you a download link within 24 hours with the link to your appropriate version.

Right now, epub and mobi are available. That should work for most readers.

Let me know!

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