Mario Villalobos

Before and After

Before and afters can be very enlightening. Years ago I took selfies of myself when I was somewhere over 220 lbs. I now weigh somewhere in the low 170s, and I look completely different. I began my last week of Insanity Max: 30 today with Max Out Cardio and Ab Attack: 10, leaving me with five more days of exercise. This will be my fourth Insanity program I will have finished, and I owe my life to these workouts. It’s one thing to lose weight and live healthfully; it’s another thing entirely to be the best athlete I can be, and I am. I feel like I can run faster, jump higher, and lift more than I’ve ever could at any other point in my life. This victory will be short lived, though. I’ll take Sunday off, and one week from today, I’m embarking on another Insanity journey with 60 days of Insanity the Asylum Volume 1 and 2. Once I finish that? I’m considering getting P90X, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

I have this app on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac called Paprika. It’s a recipe manager that manages my recipes, obviously; but it also helps me create my own grocery lists and my own weekly meal plans. What’s even more awesome, though, is the fact that I can choose which recipes I want to make and then add all the ingredients into the grocery list. I haven’t taken advantage of that yet, but I plan to real soon. I’ve been busy adding all the Paleoish-friendly recipes from all the Insanity recipe books that came with those programs. There are some recipes in there that look delicious and are fairly easy to make. In fact, on Saturday I made some pancakes from one of those cookbooks. I modified it to replace the oatmeal with blueberries and the oil with butter. They were good, but I need more practice. This is a tool I’ve had for a long time now (maybe a year?), but I’ve never really taken advantage of. I’m changing that. Once I have a nice, long list of healthy recipes, I’m going to plan out my week methodically with meals and snacks, create shopping lists, and about twice a month, go to Safeway and buy what I need. I hope this helps me eat better and with more variety, but also help me keep my grocery bills lower than they have been. Sometimes I stop by the grocery store after work and buy a bit more than I should, and if I do that even a few times a week, that’s an extra amount of money I could’ve saved. It’s tough but manageable.

I began to clean up Pinboard a bit with fewer and better tags and a lot fewer bookmarks. I went in and destroyed bookmarks that are no longer relevant or don’t adhere to how I want to use Pinboard. I’m hoping to treat it as a modified version of a Commonplace book, which is what I was trying to create with those hundreds and hundreds of text files saved in nvAlt. The number of notes in my Notes folder just weighed heavily on my mind, and I never did anything with them or used nvAlt to its full potential. I actually went into nvAlt and exported all the Pinboard-friendly text files into another folder that I will process later. That left my nvAlt database with maybe 55-60% fewer notes, and I plan to whittle that down even more. I plan to add many notes into Day One, since many of them seem like they’ll fit in there just fine. There might be some I can add to Vesper, but I’m not so sure. The fact that I can actually see my note notes more clearly gives me a certain joy I can’t explain. Seeing it from what it was to what it is now to what it could be in the future makes me super excited.

I’m focusing my habits and routines to use the right tools for the right job, and I’m really enjoying the process. I feel like I can produce more and yet be more organized since every app I use is designed for a certain aspect of my workflow and they do a fantastic job at it. Trying to force a single program to handle more than it should have didn’t work, and it’s obvious why. The right tool for the right job. It’s so simple yet so important. Focus and hone in on the essentials and that just frees me up to produce my best work and not worry about my tools because my tools are doing the job for me. That’s exactly how it should be, and it’s liberating.