Archive for August, 2008
Just a note that b5 is seeking a WordPress dev for a 1-month, full-time contract. Here’s the deets from Joe Taiabjee (firstname.lastname@example.org):
We are looking for someone that can help us with a few projects on a one month contract. Primarily, this person will be responsible for creating front-end WordPress themes, and integration with custom WordPress Plugins.
Skills required: - PHP - MySQL
Familiarity with: - WordPress Theme Development - WordPress Plugin Development - RSS Parsing using PHP
About a year ago I started to hop on a journey to get healthier. While the primary purpose of this was to lose weight (I haven’t), I knew there’d be lots of side benefits.
Earlier today I realized that while I’m still not eating perfectly and not exercising as much as I’d like and not really losing that much weight or gaining that much muscle… I’m doing gobs better. And, given that I’m a big believer in taking your wins when you get them (instead of differing victory for later), I thought I’d reflect on some of the things I am doing well.
To put this in perspective, a year ago my diet consisted of 50% fast food, whatever breakfast I felt like eating (which was only half the time) and 50% of my dinners were at restaurants. I travelled too much, didn’t eat enough, worked way too much and often binged (eating, sleeping, movies, everything) – primarily as a means of coping.
So, a year later, how are things going and what 10 things am I doing better than I was?
- I’ve dropped my McDonald’s frequency from 4-6 times per week to 1-2 times per month (often when travelling).
- When I do eat fast food, it’s often much more healthy (lamb schwarma, wraps, etc).
- I eat at Lettuce (the area’s “uber healthy” eatery) 2-3 times per week.
- When I go to sub places, I often eat 6″ subs (though half that time I double the meat). I don’t get the combo.
- When I go to theatres, I eat full combos less often, and drink water more. This is an area for improvement.
- I drink 1.5-2L of water per day at the office.
- I walk 4-5x as much as I used to.
- I’m learning more and more that I can substitute reasonably healthy alternatives for the stuff I want to binge on (books for movies, popcorn for ice cream, etc). This is an area for improvement.
- When I travel, I watch my eating/sleeping cycles more, eat less food when I do eat, and try and stick to “cycles”.
- I’m on a proper vitamin regime.
- I work with a nutritionist to switch up my “ideal diet” every 3 months. I’m rarely perfect, and this is a huge area for improvement, but my overall diet is about 80% of where it should be.
- About once a month I manage to start on some kind of exercise routine. I still haven’t found a balance that works, and when I’m back from a trip it still takes me 2-3 weeks to get back into a groove, but I’m doing better.
- I work 60 hours most weeks now, instead of 80-90 (and get just as much done).
- I bring protein bars with me when I travel.
- I hurry less (this might seem small, but the net impact is I eat better, walk more and have less overall stress… again, getting just as much done as I used to).
- I drink (alcohol) less. I didn’t drink much before, but I drink less now. And I get drunk less. This only happened once a month before, but it’s only happened a few times in the last year. All in all, probably 50% less. Again, an area to keep improving on. In my head, twice a year is reasonable (given team activities, conferences and family outings).
- I weigh myself most mornings. This is a small thing, but it helps me realize when I’m getting too lazy. I do it as soon as I’m, erm, “empty”, before I eat, before I shower each morning, so the weight is reasonably consistent to itself.
- I order less room service from hotels when I travel. It’s still not perfect, but it saves me (and b5) money, and I tend to “snack” more… when ordering room service it’s VERY easy to binge.
- I twitter about my weight and diet more. My victories and my losses. I often get a lot of response to both, which is tremendously helpful.
- Brush my teeth more often (I didn’t do this enough). And I rinse (3 different types actually) properly. Need to start flossing.
Not that I’m perfect (far from it), but these, to me, are fairly significant lifestyle changes. Some are minor. Most aren’t “all the way there”, but they’re good.
So I’m a believer in celebrating your victories. I’m also a believer that whenever you draw a line in the sand you need to set new, clear, attainable goals (I’m sure there’s some kind of CEO acronym for that… SMART goals? simple … measurable … achievable … realistic … timely … yeah, that one).
As a result, here are 10 things I want to do better in the next year:
- Bring more meals to work. This happens like once a month now. Bringing food to work is cheaper. On the health front, given that my eating out is now 80% healthy it’s probably not tonnes better… but it will mean I binge less. It’s hard to “upsize” your lunch when you made it at home. It’s like not going shopping when you’re hungry. Prepping your meals when you aren’t hungry is always a good idea.
- Do something active once a week. This could be as simple as joining a basketball team or something, but at least do it. Because if I don’t have a commitment with someone else, I won’t do it.
- Find something social I can do on a regular basis. Getting out of my own little world to meet people with common interests will do me a world of good in terms of life balance.
- Start some kind of “bigger than me” project. Run a marathon, climb a mountain, write another book (fiction?), write an AIR application, start writing poetry again (and get it published, again), bike to Montreal… I don’t care. And I don’t mean to finish it. But just figure out what it should be and make some headway. If any of these tickles your interest, I wouldn’t mind working on a project with someone (accountability keeps me on target), but at this point it’s just a desire to invest myself creatively in something that isn’t work or family… because I’m a big believer that increasing your overall creativity levels makes you more creative everywhere.
- Get my weight to 235. Not ideal, but it’s 8 pounds down from where I am now. And while I’ve dropped 7 pounds from my high 2 weeks ago of 250 pounds, those ones are the easiest to lose. That said, my gut is that eating a bit better and being a bit more active will make this possible.
- Get my wisdom teeth pulled and all other major medical things I’ve been putting off (erm… that makes me sound Steve Jobs’y, but honest, they’re all elective and none are cosmetic, how’s that for vague?).
- Blog more, or find some way of bridging my blog/twitter chasm that doesnt’ involve reposting all of them (though I enjoyed the searchability of that).
- Play drums a bit more.
- Learn to drive a non-automatic motorcycle. I like the bike I’m getting, but not being able to ride “normal” bikes means I can’t rent them when I travel. And since they’re cheaper (and gobs more fun), that’s a real shame.
- Go on more dates with my wife.
How about you, what are some little things you do to live a little bit healthier? What are little things you can or think you can learn to do?
Just wanted to point out a recent post by Mark Jaquith (and, I’m assuming, Brian Layman) that gives specific requirements for plugins to be considered usable by b5media.
Not that we want to dictate to the world how to write plugins, but we often run into plugins that we aren’t able to run because of fairly minor things. So we wanted to create a brief guide to things we look for and require.
And while we’re only 500 blogs now (between our network and our partners that run on our platforms), by this time next year we could be a few thousand (more on that in Q4). Either way, this is specifically for commercial vendors (and, yes, we will be releasing a similar guide for Widgets as well!), but at the end of the day, if you want us and our bloggers to be able to use your plugins, these simple things make things gobs easier!
We will make these guides longer (for commercial developers), but I’m glad Mark (and Brian?) released this condensed version early. These tactics and approaches are good for all bloggers, after all, not just b5!