New Site, New Look, New Content!

It's that time again. 

I'm breaking free from the Blogger platform and reinventing myself. I talk about it more over on my new site and if you decide to follow me over there I promise a more active and engaging schedule. I'll keep this blog and it's posts as a reminder of how far I've come but my posting here will stop. Thanks for the views and the comments and here's to a successful new adventure.


What's the Deal with Bulking/Cutting?

Weight Loss/Gain, and the Jawbone UP24

I periodically go through stints of massive information intake when I want to confirm the facts around some new adventure I am about to undertake. This time around the fat loss/muscle gain adventure is nothing new but the approach to it is. 

Shawn Carter @mousebrat New York City blogger | Jawbone UP24
Since I purchased my UP24 band from Jawbone (courtesy of your local Apple store), I've been utilizing its food tracking feature in combination with the step/calorie burner and sleep tracking features. And I'm surprisingly impressed with how much protein and good fats I'm consuming on a regular basis. My sugar intake is about on par and will probably start dropping in the next few months. There's a wealth of great information to be gleaned from using the UP24 and I'm happy with its addition to my daily routine. 

But this is not an advert for Jawbone. Well, not intentionally. It's a small part to getting myself back into a healthier habit-soon-to-be-way-of-living like I was back in Denver when I was actively going to the gym. The new job has insane perks when it comes to gyms and, with my salary and perks as they are, I can now afford to get back into a gym routine. I joined Crunch and plan on starting next week once I've sorted out the locker situation and gotten my meal plans in line with the optimal nutrition plan for what my undefined goals are right now.

I want to shed the extra fat since I know that will be the biggest motivation to stick with this right out of the gate. For something that takes up so much of my time and forces me to adjust both what I eat and how I schedule my day, it has to have some immediate results for me feel like I'm not wasting my time. I've mentally committed to sticking with whatever plan I settle on for at least 14 weeks as I know I should see some serious improvements by then. But when it comes to eating, I feel like I'm floating somewhere between where I should be and where everyone thinks I should be. And a lot of that is because the information on losing fat and gaining muscle is so biased.

Bulking is the "old school" term for gaining weight quickly and it is generally assumed that this is a "eating everything in sight" approach to meals. I can immediately see several things wrong with this and took to the inter webs to get some insight on what a healthier approach might be. No surprise, everyone has their own opinion. It's like the paleo/gluten-free debate all over again. It's a battlefield out there. When it comes to cutting, or weight loss in the form of fat while still keeping muscle mass, it's less of a fight and more of a grey, nebulous whatever works for you kind of thing. I can work with that.

So I guess my best approach, like the paleo and gluten eating, is just to figure out what works through trial and error. I'm still going to read what I can and form some solid steps going forward but I'm going to leave some flexibility in there for potential changes that need to happen based on how my body reacts.

If you've been doing this for a while and can lend an experienced opinion (backed up with clear goal achievements), I'd love to hear from you. Comment, tweet, or leave a comment on Google+ and leave some input. I'll be updating more often once I start seeing some changes.

'Til next time.


A Sunday Morning in January

Everyone can take a morning to themselves. 

Shawn Carter @mousebrat NYC blogger and social media junkieCue the music... and we're off. I cannot write without something rich playing in the background. I've been known to listen to one song on repeat when I'm drawing or painting to capture the exact mood I dropped into when I heard the song. It's very easy to burn yourself out on a song that way too,  I might add. This morning I couldn't come up with anything to really get me writing. I tried Mree's newest "Winterwell" and just found myself relaxing into zero motivation. Then I tried the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack at the recommendation of Erin over at Chatting the Sky and, while I love her description of how she sees the music, it was just not hitting the right mood for me. So I went with my most recent discovery of "Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die" by Panic at the Disco. If you haven't listened to it yet, Spotify has it streaming. Go.

So. It's Sunday morning. In 2014. We've crossed the threshold of another new year all over again. I know most people have already moved on to other topics at this point and "new year, new you" stuff is so five minutes ago. I promise this isn't that. I felt the need to get some of the thoughts I've had around this exciting last month out so I could have them down on (digital) paper. It serves the major function of this blog as a record of my thoughts and musings through out the last nine years.

Yeah, nine years. I can't believe it's been that long.

I can honestly say that 2013 ended on an unbelievably fantastic note and that carried right over into 2014. This is one of the first transitions I can remember being this good in a long time. Sure, life has been all over the place just like it is for everyone else on this planet, and I've had good starts to the years past, but none that were quite this remarkable.

Shawn Carter @mousebrat NYC blogger and crazy nutLast year marked the start of what I'm calling "Chapter 3: New York City" in the larger storybook of my life. I pushed myself over that cliff I'd been putting on the back burner for so many years and landed on my feet. I'm not going into it now since I've already beaten it to death elsewhere on the blog. What's important here are the many new things that have grown out of it whether it was the little adventures had all over this city or the larger mile markers in life that I've gotten a handle on. I've seen places that inspire me endlessly to be a more complex and expressive human being and I've now started a new job that does all that plus advance me along my career path. I've met people who fill out the whole crayon box of colors that I never would have interacted with outside of this city. I've watched less attractive parts of myself disappear and be replaced by new growth in my own character. I've seen my time spent on meditating and getting ahold of those fractured pieces of my mind increase every day, contributing to a better, saner me for once. The positives go on and on.

And that was how I ended 2013. Surrounded by close friends, in spirit and in person, with love and excitement and a healthy lack of fucks to give. At midnight on New Years Eve I made a conscious point to step forward into the new year on the right foot, giving tribute to the superstitious side of me that loves that kind of thing and reinforcing, psychologically, the direction and attitude I wanted to carry through the next year.

Shawn Carter @mousebrat NYC | World Trade Center construction | SunsetsI have no interest this year in resolutions. They are very valuable to some. I want to take a different approach and focus on goals. I want this year to not be about resolving to achieve those goals but rather to enjoy the process of chasing those goals. I've spent the majority of this month setting goals at work and in my personal life and as the timing is right I will start each individual journey and focus completely on watching myself change and adapt and revel in the process.

So, I've gotten that part out of the way. Do you think shorter blog posts should be a goal for this year? Lol

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