Fact of life: there will always be douches at the gym. It is always these douches that will ruin the gym experience and I think some people don’t want to go to the gym because of these douches and their judgmental douche attitude. Knowing this, you now can take steps to make sure you aren’t one of these douches. Or you can read along and feel/share my pain.
I will split these up into the order of when you will see these douche behaviours at the gym. These are the ones I have personally experienced and if you yourself have been a victim of gym douchiness please comment below.
1. Girls with Makeup
This isn’t a douchy behaviour that will hinder me at the gym but it’s still a vain douche thing to do. I’m going to put it out there: if you are working out with make up on, just stop.
Until very recently I was doing a full time summer job and this meant I had to get to the gym by 6:00 am, my gym happens to be an all women’s gym. This isn’t by any large bit of planning, it’s just the closest gym to my house. Anyway, when I get there, there are only about 4 women working out – so pretty empty for a two-storey gym. I then go to the locker room and there I see three girls all applying their makeup and straightening their hair! This isn’t after they have finished but just as they are about to work out. I know this because they are always on the treadmills next to me.
So my question is WHY?! Excluding you there are five other women sweating it out and about 2 staff members. Why is it so important to impress these seven people? Is it a comfort thing? Because I know that you probably had to get up extra early to do all of that and that isn’t exactly comfortable. Also we sweat at the gym and because we are running – it is impossible for that not to happen – so why would you want to worry about runny mascara? That also doesn’t sound comfortable to me.
There is also the question of straightening your hair. WHY are you straightening your hair that goes up into a pony tail and that will get messy as you work out anyway? I hope you do realise you will probably want to straighten your hair afterwards?
Actually if you are a girl that wears make up at the gym and/or straightens hair at the gym, can you tell me why? I promise I won’t attack you, it is just so baffling to me!
2. People who judge/make things a competition
I’ve been going to the gym long enough that I put myself through decent levels of difficultness. In other words you can say that I’m in the healthy/average category of fitness. I’m pretty proud of that considering how rubbish I was two years back.
I like to push myself and feel a sense of achievement when I get to a higher level/can go for a longer time. So as you can see this is about personal achievement. I thought that is the way to go about the gym, but apparently not!
So, so, so many people have to look at your screen as you are working out! It is ridiculous. There are middle aged women smirking slightly because they cycle faster than me, or can run faster than me. It’s also annoying when they are doing the smirking thing, and running faster than you but are also running on flat road. Lady, if you stopped looking at my freaking screen and looked at the gradient of my treadmill you will see that I’m running uphill.
If I do happen to go faster than Miss Screen Peeker beside me, she amps up her speed. This is quite hilarious as they tend to overdo this and two minutes later have to go back to walking pace while I keep my pace.
3. Stealing Showers
This has only happened to me once, but it was enough of a douche move that deserves to be on the list.
So I had just finished my work out and I went to the locker to grab my things for the shower. I put my things, neatly folded on shower stall bench and hung up my towel. This also happen to be the last shower stall available. I then realised I forgot my water bottle. I quickly got out of the locker room and grabbed it. As I returned I see my clothes on the bench outside the stalls but no towel, I turned to where the shower was and I saw that it was still unoccupied and my towel was still hanging over the shower door. .
So logically I took my clothes and moved to the shower area. As soon as I got to the door, this chick, from out of freaking nowhere cuts me off and says “Sorry, but this is my stall.” She then proceeds to close the door in my face. What a cow.
She didn’t explicitly say it, but I can put two and two together, and so I say she is probably the same chick who put all my clothes out of the stall. At least they were still neatly folded (note sarcasm).
4. People taking up more room at mirrors then necessary.
In the gym locker room I’m at there is a mirror the length of the wall and then there is a counter underneath as long as the mirror is. There is ample space but for whatever reason, some people still take up a third of that space.
So imagine that there is woman just putting her make up on after she has hit the gym. She has the contents of her makeup bag strewn left and right of her and also has her face towel and water bottle a mile away from her, leaving plenty of space between the items. She has her giant gym bag on the counter, which is just… there. She doesn’t need it right now or even 15 minutes later. She needs it after she has gotten herself prepped to leave the gym – it could have been perfectly fine on the floor. This woman is also standing in front of one of the three hairdryers. Two of the hairdryers are currently in use. She has finished using the one she is in front of, but can’t even shuffle two steps so someone else can use it. Now try to factor personal space between the woman’s items and your own and there goes a third of the space.
Usually you will meet one of these people in the peak hours, sometimes even two. It’s just a really douche thing to do! There is no other explanation except for being selfish and inconsiderate of others.
Take note of these four things and avoid it like the plague, unless you aspire to be a douche. Also be prepared for this sort of behaviour – it’s a douchy world out there ladies and gents.
If you have experienced any of these kinds of behaviour or have other things to add to this list, please just comment, I am always fascinated by the level and amount of gym douche bags in the world.
Exam period is a dangerous time for a geek. It’s often sacrificing time from your beloved T.V. show/book/role play/anime to attain that pass (or for ambitious few, that distinction). Preparation often includes studying and/or cramming and getting ourselves mentally in ‘The Zone’. What a lot of you probably don’t do is actually pay special attention to what you eat! And I think that is crazy.
We all know that food can have an effect on mood and sometimes behaviour. For example, chocolate gives us endorphins, which of course makes us happy. Too much chocolate probably will result in a sugar high and there would be a subsequent crash, which makes us feel lousy.
Since we all know this, why aren’t we using food to our advantage when it counts the most? So here is a list of what to eat. After all, every little bit helps when it comes to surviving the exams!
Blueberries are pretty much the bomb-diggity of the fruit world. But what is of importance to us here is that it contains anthocyanin. Anthocyanin softens the arteries and prevent them from getting constricted due to stress. Vasoconstriction caused by stress induces high blood pressure which can result in cardiovascular disease (so you see, here at GayGeek we are really saving lives ). Blueberries also improve mood by giving the brain energy (alertness and focus). One cup of blueberries contains 14.4 grams of vitamin C!
Vitamin C keeps you from getting those stress sickness (flus and colds that come around exam season). It has also been found to help you concentrate. So get those oranges, mandarins and tangerines out.
Fish also helps you concentrate. It also create new brain cells, because of all the Omega-3 in it.
This is quite obvious. Helps with alertness, focus and concentration.
Eggs help concentration by providing necessary nutrients and protein while still being low in saturated fat and calories. One egg contains all of the nine essential amino acids and 6 grams of protein.
Yogurt is good source of protein, all the while keeping tryptophan low. Tryptophan, found in many protein rich foods, and is the amino acid that makes us sleepy. None of us want to feel sleepy in the middle of an exam!
I only have one don’t because I see that this is the one thing people keep on having when exam time comes around and that is ENERGY DRINKS.
Energy drinks are high in sugar content and are very likely to cause a high and excess energy. You don’t want to be itching to move when you have to sit still for two hours. Even if you don’t feel like bouncing off the walls, you will have a crash that could very well be in the middle of your exam. Do you really want to risk it?
That is really my one exam no-no.
So that is all for me and exam food. Good luck, young padawan and may the forces of the exam gods be with you!
So today I thought I’d write a post about my newest keeping-my-hands-busy-while-I-watch-TV obsession, which I’m also incidentally hoping will eventually make me seem incredibly badass and/or magic:
Contact Juggling! Just like Jareth from Labyrinth! yaaay!
Or rather, just like the world-class contact juggler they had squashed up against David Bowie’s back pretending to be Bowie’s hands:
Jareth’s enormous cape suddenly makes a whole lot more sense, because, let’s face it, we all knew he had nothing to be compensating for.
Michael Moschen, renowned worldwide for his juggling, hid behind Bowie in every scene in which the crystals appear, and managed to do everything you see onscreen both blind and while wearing gloves. To see more of this, there’s a whole behind-the-scenes clip about it here.
But back to the actual topic of the post: Contact Juggling is the art of manipulating a ball so that it appears to be floating magically around your arms. It’s called “contact juggling” because, as opposed to normal toss-and-catch juggling, the ball is in almost constant contact with your skin. Contact juggling actually relatively easy to get the basics of…though getting it to the point where you can do this takes a little more work:
THE BUYING OR FINDING OF THE WHATSITS FOR THE THING THAT WE ARE LEARNING:
FIRST WHAT NOT TO BUY:
Ok, so the funniest thing about that video with the Japanese busker wasn’t the moment when the cute pouch spat up the ball, or the bit where the lady from the audience tried to take the ball off him. No, it was the tiny little flag at the beginning, put on by the video’s uploader: “THESE ARE NOT FUSHIGI BALLS”
Well….no. They’re probably not. Because this guy is a professional, and “Fushigi Balls” are the most hilarious con I have seen all month. And I’ve been watching White Collar.
Fushigi balls are marketed as AMAZING MAGIC BALLS THAT FLOAT AND ARE AMAZING AND STUFF. They’re…not. Well, they CAN be, but only if you practice. A lot. (Seriously, watch the ad. It’s pretty funny.)
Basically, Fushigi Balls are a repackaged, less well made version of your standard acrylic contact juggling ball. The steel ball within the clear acrylic coating makes it structurally weaker than a regular acrylic, and more likely to crack, and they have been known to shatter, which a pure acrylic will almost never do. The centres are also often, well, off-centre, which breaks the crucial illusion that the ball isn’t spinning. If you already have one, though, don’t worry, because whether or not it makes a good performance ball, it’ll make a great (though relatively expensive) practice ball.
THE STUFF YOU ACTUALLY WANT:
Where to go:
There are a few sites that will sell you various juggling equipment for decent prices. Far and away everyone I’ve talked to’s favourite is Home of Poi. They have a huge range, relatively cheap prices, and speedy delivery, so yay all around. Also, they have a fantastic loyalty system: after you make your first purchase, you get a unique discount code, (that you can share with your friends, who will then get codes of their own after their first purchase). The more stuff you buy using that discount code, the higher the discount associated with the code goes!
Types of balls:
The link I just gave you all to Home of Poi actually goes to the juggling balls section of the site, which incudes balls for contact juggling. Not all the balls on the page are good for contact juggling. To help you out, I almost made a huge list talking about each type of ball in detail, but then I realised that this guy does it much better:
I started with an orange. It was fun!
THE LEARNING OF THE THING THAT WE ARE DOING:
When it comes to tutorials, the only thing I really have to say is “TO THE YOUTUBES!”. The move you’ll probably want to start with is called the “wave” or “butterfly”. It’s the basic roll from the back of your hand to your palm, and is pretty essential to most contact moves. I personally started with this video by AmazingKennyT, but there are lots out there. Just search Contact Juggling Tutorial and you’ll come up with a heap of great videos….including this PARODY. (Stress on the parody. It’s wonderful.)
The other relatively simple set of tricks (which also look amazing) are called “Isolations” (which I exploited mercilessly for the sake of the title of this post). The idea is to keep the ball completely stationary in the air, while you move your hands around it, so that it looks like it’s floating. Again, I started with one of AmazingKennyT‘s vids, but as I said, YouTube’s bounty in the treasure that is tutorials floweth unchecked, so knock yourselves out.
The thing I really love about contact juggling, is that since the most important thing is really learning to balance the ball in different places, you can practice while doing pretty much anything else (TV, reading, procrastinating, whatever!). And since magically detaching my thumb at parties just doesn’t receive the awe it used to, contact juggling may possibly be my final shot at Hogwarts.
Peace Out, and Make Magic!
I want you all to do something for me. Time yourself and list five things you hate about yourself. It can be anything, physical, habits or things you aren’t good at. Write down the time and the five things. Now do the same thing again but with five things you like about yourself.
For the most part, most people find that it takes longer to do the second task than the first and that is just stupid. If you are not one of these people then good on you.
To give you some background as to why I asked this of you, it is because one of my closest friends came to visit me all the way from a different state. We lived together for four days and it really opened my eyes. Whenever we would go out, she needed to put make up on. When we went dancing, she thought that she needed to wear tights because she thought her legs looked fat. This girl is a size 6 (or 4 if you are in America).
I thought she was being extremely ridiculous, she gets asked out randomly and a lot of her guy friends had crushes on her. I do understand that everyone gets insecure but I thought she was being silly about a lot of the things she was saying. Being one of her closest friends I knew the key things she was not happy with (unruly hair and needs more boobs), but I never thought that they were ‘real’ problems.
Then I realised I did it too. I complained that I had too many pimples (there were five, but they were big ones!), that my hair flicked to one side and that I needed to lose weight. She would give me the same look I gave her. It was then that a light bulb switched on.
People don’t actually perceive you, the way you do yourself.
A lot of people know this, but not a lot of people understand it. This has a lot to do with the fact that when we see ourselves, we think that the friend/mother/whoever sees us like we see us and we think that they are giving placating statements. This, of course, does nothing to dissuade us from believing in the faults that we see, because we think others can see them/it’s actually there.
When you think about it, it’s very twisted. In a world where there is no such thing as perfection it is hard to separate true flaws from imagined flaws. So what you should take from this is that some flaws that you see in yourself are nonexistent and some flaws aren’t. But learn to trust your friends because if they are true friends then they will tell you the truth.
The image is Eddie‘s, give her some love!
Everyone knows that ‘fat’ and ‘calories’ are bad and we should lose them. Yet surprisingly, not a lot of people know what they are, or why they are different to one another! So here is a quick FYI on fat and calories. Knowledge is power as they say, and that means you can actually do stuff!
What Is Fat?
The fat on your body is the emergency stock in case food is unavailable. The average thin individual, if eating nothing but multivitamins and drinking only water, can survive a whole month just on fat! Each fat cell contains a drop of oil and if the body is in need of energy it can burn the oil. It has been proven that the more fat we have the longer we keep eating.
Fat cells increase in size and number as we get heavier! Once fat cells become as big as they can be, they multiply. The problem then is that these new fat cells are created to stay and to get as much fat as they can. Once we have those fat cells it is very difficult of get rid of them.
Why Does Our Body Store Fat?
Typically we eat food every couple of hours, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, for the most of our history, food was scarce. Doctor Eric Radisson, an obesity genealogist, says that in the days of cavemen and cavewomen we eat what we could catch, and sometimes it wasn’t enough. This is when our storage systems, fat, became extremely helpful.
As we all (should) know, human history has gone through periods of abundance and scarcity in foods. When global famine happened, around two thirds of the world ‘disappeared’ (or at least of the world as they knew it back then). At times of famine only the fattest survived.
Now imagine this storage system when it comes in contact with people who eat McDonald’s or drink slushies every other day. In other words our body hasn’t adapted to over eating or the phenomena of obesity, so it stores it in case the next famine happens in our lifetimes.
The reason why some people are always thin and can never get fat, is because of their genes, but these types of people are harder to find than obese or overweight people, mainly due to human evolution.
What Are Calories?
Calories are essentially the energy content of different foods. The rough estimate is carbohydrate: 4 calories, protein: 4 calories, fat: 9 calories.
A lot of people think that they need to burn off all or most the calories they eat or they will gain weight. This is far from the truth. Your body needs calories to function; it keeps your heart beating, your brain thinking, your lungs taking in breath and to keep your body warm. The process in which this energy is burned off is called the basal metabolic rate. This is regulated by our metabolism (not surprisingly). The metabolic rate is actually pretty steady, meaning that if it takes only 1000 calories a day, just to keep your body functioning today, then it would do so for everyday of this year, the next ten years etc. However, this isn’t the case for kids or teenagers as they are still developing. Needless to say everyone’s metabolic rate is different.
So why do we get fat if we have too many calories?
Simple. When you have excess calories, the body doesn’t know what to do with all the extra energy, except to store it, so it turns into fat.
Okay people, I hope you have actually learned something from this, because it is important to know the differences and to know what each thing actually does! And I hope you know by now that low fat, doesn’t necessarily mean low in calories, because they are two separate things!
The world of today demands of us that we keep healthy, especially now that we know what the side effects are of not being in a healthy weight range. Of course there is an emphasis on being thin as a bean pole for girls and being ridiculously buff for guys, but here’s the big secret – nobody actually cares as long as you are somewhere in the healthy range (or at least look it ). I can proudly say that I am within the healthy range, but not thin, and I still get dates with cute guys and look fabulous in clothes. If this is true for me, then it should be fact for all of you.
I’m no personal trainer, that’s for sure, so what makes me so qualified? I’m right down in the trenches with you all and I actually have lost weight. I have been on the trail to lose weight since I was 16 years old and I can honestly tell you that nothing worked until the last two years. I can tell you right now that busting these myths is the first step to getting rid those kilos. Although you aren’t physically doing anything, it does get you in the right frame of mind and you can stop wasting your time believing this so that you can actually do the right work that helps you lose weight.
1. I have to stop eating junk food UNTIL I reach my goal weight.
Let’s be realistic here, it is pretty much impossible for anyone to stay away from junk food for a long stretch of time, especially us geeks. Geeking out, I find, is often accompanied with chocolate and other glorious foods. It is about moderation but at the same time moderation isn’t eating junk food every night instead of every afternoon and night. It simply means just think about it, by a certain age we know how much is too much.
2. I have/don’t have to feel hungry.
It actually depends upon how much overweight you really are! Now obviously I’m not talking about starving yourself here, because I would not condone that in any way.
Obese/Closer to being Obese
Let’s just say those who are typically obese would tend to eat a whole lot more than those who are closer to being in the healthy range. In that particular case there needs to be portion control to stop you from over eating, this should actually be done by a doctor or a dietician/personal trainer. It is very important to call in the professionals because amateur portion control can lead to you starving yourself and that, at any stage of health, is a very bad thing. Although you may not be eating equal amounts to the ‘skinny people’ it let’s your body adjust and as you lose the weight the tighter the portion sizes will get. Any adjustments to how much food you take in will let you lose weight (unless you are actually eating more)! Portion control does lead to people feeling hungry, but keep in mind this is actually you not over eating, as compared to starving yourself. The line between portion control and weight loss can be tricky so once again, qualified people should help with this!
Overweight/Close to Being in a Healthy Range
NO! It is as simple as that. In this stage of the game it isn’t how much you consume, but what you consume and how much can be burned out through the exercise that you do (or don’t do). The bottom line here is if you feel hungry, then eat but be aware of what you eat and if you happen to eat something that isn’t so good for you, then you better exercise it off!
3. The BMI.
There are a lot of flaws within the BMI, for example it does not take into account muscle mass and your skeletal structure (believe it or not, some people genuinely have denser bones). A lot of body builders are actually considered obese on the BMI! My suggestion is that the next time you go to your doctor/gym ask if they can do a measuring; they have machines that measure your body fat-to-muscle ratio. They can also tell you what the cut off rates are for your height for each category and, if you are serious about losing weight, then the appropriate amount of weight to lose in a given amount of time. Let’s just say that according to the BMI I still need to lose 1.3 points before I’m considered healthy, but according to a doctor I am still in the healthy range, given my muscle mass-to-body fat, lung capacity and the amount I exercise, yadda yadda yadda. I’m healthy, so the BMI can suck it.
4. If I skip a meal everyday I’m not starving myself.
When I started dieting, I truly believed this and this is so wrong. You actually are starving yourself because you are not getting in the necessary nutrients especially when you are still developing. I was lucky in that I didn’t continue down this path because I had a weak will and a father that constantly shoved food in my mouth. This line of thinking clearly comes from the ‘get thin quick’ model and that in itself is a method to heart ache. Look under rule 5 and 6 for further explanations.
5. Going on a diet will help me lose the kilos and keep it off.
When I say dieting I mean those who do ‘low carb’ diets and all those other special diets. Let me just say this now, when you go on those diets and you lose weight, you need to never eat those foods again or you are bound by those limits to truly keep it off. This is also why rule 1 would never work. Do you know why? Because your body thinks ‘oh hey, I haven’t seen you in a while, I’m going to store you here because I’m not sure if I will see you again,’ and it keeps thinking that because you have trained your body to believe that this is a scarce source. More often than not you are limiting something that your body needs to function at its best. It doesn’t actually matter, because at the end of the day you need to ask yourself, ‘Can I live with this for the rest of my life to keep off the kilos?’ The thing is once people come off those diets it is very easy to gain a lot of weight and fast.
When we look at celebrities who have achieved this or that diet, let me just say that it isn’t representative of their lifestyle at all! Yes they may actually go on ‘low carb’ diets but they will more often than not have paid dieticians to tell them how to reintroduce those foods to their system. Besides we never see if these celebrities follow it the degree they say they do nor do we see their cut off dates.
6. Taking diet pills will help me lose the kilos and keep it off.
Diet pills will make you lose weight, sure, but once you go off those pills you gain weight quicker and I have heard stories where people ended up 10 kilos heavier then what they were before. This happens because you haven’t changed anything about your habits at all! You are still eating the same amounts/things and you still aren’t getting the exercise. Since you can’t be on diet pills forever, weight gain is going to happen. The only exception is if a doctor recommends it and keeps close tabs on your diet, otherwise ‘recreational users’ are in for a nasty surprise.
In the end it really is all down to your habits and letting your body get used to things. This is why I have a huge problem with ‘being thin quick’. If you find yourself rapidly becoming thin chances are your body didn’t become accustomed to it so when you do fall back into the habit of eating what you want your body quickly gains the weight again. I cannot emphasise this enough: slow weight loss is good! It means your body is adjusting and the next time you over eat your body will realise and recognise that it is just excess and metabolises quicker/processes it into waste.
7. It’s in my genes.
Having a predisposition to obesity or being overweight is possible, but it is 100% preventable and ‘curable’. People need to stop using this as a crutch. The reason why obese parents have obese children is more likely the result of environmental factors rather than genetic, after all if you don’t know how to feed yourself properly, how are you going to feed somebody else? Once again, I’m not saying it is impossible to be predisposed to it, but do not use this as an excuse! Once you realise the problem take ownership of it, the faster you do this, the more time you have to lose the weight. Taking ownership of your problems also leads to one becoming more determined, after all if you can help it, you want to be healthy right?
8. Being obese is MY problem, why should anyone else care?
Early on in life you will not have the full impact of obesity, but once you get older you will find more and more problems and guess who will have to hold your hand while you go into the hospital? Your friends and family. Guess who will have to pay for hospital care? Your family. It is not only a financial burden but also an emotional one. So even though obesity may only impact you physically, when (and I do mean when) you start having medical problems, everyone who you care about and everyone who cares about you will be dragged into this. I’m not saying this to be mean, but I’m saying this to be honest and in hopes that someone out there will get their life together.
Both my parents are obese and it was only my mum that tried to lose weight. She would harangue my father for eating sweets all the time and I used to have this thinking (it is his life why shouldn’t he live it the way he wants?) until my mum told me this and I can’t say that I can find any faults in her argument.
Once again, I’m not discriminating against people with obesity, I’m saying that it does not only affect you and to take that into consideration.
9. Being underweight is better than being overweight.
This idea is mostly generated by media and celebrities, but let me just say that although society may ‘accept’ these types of people more, it is just as bad. Being under weight can lead to being anaemic, osteoporosis, being harder to conceive children, diabetes, immune system deficiencies and, in extreme cases, can result in shortness of breath and heart failure. It isn’t surprising that being underweight shares some of the same problems as being overweight. However, instead of the body having to cope with too much too fast it doesn’t have anything to help it cope and it thus has to break down things internally to get them. In other words, sure it isn’t construed to be as serious as being overweight, but medically it is just as bad and it needs to be advertised as such.
So with this in mind go forth and become healthier citizens! Stay tuned for more Geek Surival Guide: Fitness Edition