Sep 112011

For the coming 6 months I promise to:
– Not drink any alcohol
– Not drink any other drinks then water, milk, cola light and occasionally lemonade
– Not eat any ice-cream
– Not eat any candy
– Not eat any cookies
– Not eat any chips
– Not eat any cake
– Not eat any pastries
– Not eat any chocolate
– Not eat any appetizers
– Not eat any deserts
– Work out as often as possible

Most of you will either say I’m crazy, since 6 months is a long time while others will say I’ve mentioned to lose weight before, so why fool yourself again? However I’ve worked towards this for the last 2 months and I’ve done it before. I’ve talked about my previous “big diet” a couple of times before so I’ll keep it short. In 2007 I’ve followed my self-made diet for 41 weeks, lost 41 kilo’s and went from being overweight to almost light weight.

Back then when I started I was 133kg and after I was done at 92kg, I promised myself to never go above 100kg again. Since May/June I’m above that 100kg and I’m now at 103/104kg. If you really want something you should do it immediately is something most people say but I think timing is essential as well. Coming Wednesday is my birthday, coming Sunday is my last cycle tour of the year and 6 months after that I will have to cycle 150km during the Amstel Gold Race. I’ll enjoy myself at my b-day, drink one last beer after the tour on Sunday and then the fun will be over.

I need to do this for a couple of reasons. The most important reason is that I can’t be arsed to buy any new cloths and I don’t fit most any longer already. I want to feel fit again, especially considering I’m turning 29 now. I’m not worried about turning 29 but I do know that every human being is bound to get more injures in his thirties. If I don’t put a stop to gaining a kg a month now, it will be a lot worse again in 2/3 years time. Probably the best motivation is that when I lose some weight it will be much easier to scratch off a couple of items on my cycling bucket list.

I think the most important part to losing weight is to create a plan upfront, make it clear what you are trying to achieve and keep track of it on a daily/weekly bases. Based on my personality I can’t just take it easy with things like alcohol and food. It’s just like somebody who tries to stop smoking, once that person takes his first cigarette again telling people it’s just 1, you already know that person failed again. You don’t however have to punish yourself by having no joy at all any longer. I’m also not a person who can suddenly only take shakes and eating fruits and salads while I’m normally not. I believe any diet which is almost opposite to your lifestyle is bound to fail as soon as you quit. I try to keep as close to my normal habits as possible, cutting out some unnecessary “fat” products.

The reason for cutting on alcohol is simple. Alcohol makes you fat, alcohol also makes you not want to go to the gym next day. It makes you want to eat bad stuff before you go to bed and even worse food when you wake up. Juices contain vitamins but also plenty of calories. If you like you can drink some but better take a vitamin pill. Water all the way will reduce 300/400 calories a day into to 0 and that’s an easy win. I do drink some Cola light (0 calories) and Lemonade (just for the taste), but it will be mainly water. Except milk during diner, I just can’t life without it 😉

Morning (Breakfast)
Two slices of bread. Roast beef, roasted chicken, fricandeau, salmon or just whatever you prefer as long as it’s low in calories. Best to eat something at during breakfast and then 2,5/3 hours later again. Take some yoghurt or fruit for example.

Afternoon (Lunch)
Basically the same thing as during breakfast. You could eat an extra slice in case you don’t take those “in-betweens”. Having one of those in-betweens again 2,5/3 hours later is the best way to make sure you don’t buy a candy-bar on your way home.

Evening (Diner)
No appetizers, no deserts but I do eat a normal diner. With normal I mean, I eat just about everything I would normally eat. I’ll try to eat a little less, maybe replace the fattest products with the light variants but if we eat pancakes, I eat pancakes, if we want to go out for diner I just do. Just the main course, nothing else, no excuses. If I would have to eat all kind of things I rather not eat there is no way I will last for 6 months. I need to look forward to eat at least 1 meal a day, else there is no way I will be able to pass on all those tasty things out there.

It’s okay to make some exceptions but you should plan them beforehand. It shouldn’t be an impulse decision at the spot, since that’s the beginning of the end. I’ve planned 3 exceptions up front:
1) The last weekend of October, boys weekend where I probably drink just alcohol and nothing else.
2) Christmas, not that I really care about Christmas but there is always more food around then on an average day.
3) New year’s eve, champagne and hopefully champagne only!

These are probably the only exceptions I’m going to make but in case on of my buddies get married I’ll just have to enjoy myself at his bachelors as well of course 😉

I’ll work out as often as possible, I don’t have to tell anybody why. As long as I take less calories then I burn my body will do the rest. I’ll keep track of it in an excel sheet on a day to day basis, the more you are aware of what you are doing, the better it is. The hardest part will probably be the first couple of weeks when I go out for a drink with my buddies. Normally people don’t even ask what I’m drinking but as soon as people around me are used to it as well, it will be a lot easier.

My goal is to get below 93kg again, anything extra is just a bonus. It’s just 10/11kg and 6 months is a pretty long time so it should be pretty simple. The fact that it looks pretty easy upfront is probably the biggest threat. On the 14th of April my 6 months are up, that day I will be cycling the 150km Amstel Gold Race and hopefully feel like I’m flying. That first beer after will probably be devastating, I can’t wait!

 Posted by at 7:35 pm

Fun, Fun, Fun

 Poker  Comments Off on Fun, Fun, Fun
Sep 052011

Today I’ve finally put a lot of effort in my blog again. To proper maintain your blog you need to spent a couple of hours a week and I’ve just had to much fun lately 😉

I’ve changed my frontpage from showing full posts to excerpts, I’m not sure if I like it but it seems to be the standard for most blogs. I’ve also updated the (blog)link section, removing dead links or blogs that didn’t get updated lately. Also I’ve made a selection of featured blogs and moved all others to the “More Blogs” page. I like these changes but I could change the look & feel as much as I want, I do have to provide content as well!

The blog title already gives it away, I’ve had a lot of fun lately. I can’t remember the last “bad” day, besides the day my grandpa died. I’m always pretty happy and positive and feel blessed with my life. In August I visited Stockholm with my girlfriend, it was my first time there and I really liked the city. The sun was out all weekend and everybody was enjoying the good life outside in the parks and shopping area’s. It’s a bit expensive even compared to places like Amsterdam but I always feel I have a lot in common with the Scandinavian lifestyle and people. I didn’t get the pictures my girlfriend made yet, so just to give you an impression of Stockholm I ripped a picture from Google.

A typical thing about Stockholm was the fact that despite the high prices for alcohol (due to taxes), really everybody was drinking either beer or wine. It was probably due to the good weather so everybody just tried to enjoy the good life, but I really expected people drinking less alcohol due to the high prices. Our hotel was almost in the center and everything was in walking distance. We didn’t take a cab, metro or bus once and just enjoyed walking around. The thing you notice immediately when you are walking around in Stockholm is that all men have the same kinda hairstyle. I tried to blend in but failed pretty hard:

At least I tried!

I had some great festivals again this year, not the festivals I normally visit which are Loveland and Mysteryland but this year I went to ROCKIT, Welcome to the Future and Lief. Especially ROCKIT was great, mainly due to the always rocking Ben Sims! For next year I’ll just go wherever he goes since I just love his sets which is packed with a lot of classics. The last weekend of August I had another trip booked to Valkenburg to cycle in the hilly area around there. The weather didn’t look very promising but it was almost dry the whole day. Unfortunately the roads were pretty wet and wet roads mean flat tires. It was a 125km ride which I did together with a buddy of mine. He just got back from a 2 week holiday and we both hardly trained, not the best mix but we did really look forward to it. I only had 1 flat tire but after 4 flat tires of my buddy after 105km we gave up. We did 7 hours on the bike (or changing tires) and we didn’t had any spare tires left so we got some people to pick us up. Still 105km was a pretty heavy ride and I felt pretty good about my overall fitness. We rode some new hills with pretty steep parts and barely made it to the top but for next year we want to push ourselves even a little further. We already signed up for the 150km Amstel Gold Race next year which basically either goes up or down:

The goal is to stay on the bike for the full 150km and since this route includes the Keutenberg this could be a pretty tough mission. The Keutenberg is the hardest/steepest hill in the Netherlands, it got 200 meters of 16%+ gradient and in total 500 meters of 9%+ gradient. The steepest part is 22%, for sure that’s something I won’t be able to handle if I had to ride it today. To finish this ride is a goal on itself but to achieve this goal I have to drop some weight again. Because of all the fun fun, fun I had the last couple of months, I’m now at 103kg. The “I never get above 100kg ever again” quote I told everybody a couple of years ago didn’t hold. I’m still pretty happy with the fact it took 3 years but I’m now above the 100kg mark since May and expect to be below the 100kg mark again in November. Starting the 19th of September I will stop drinking any alcohol for a period of 6 months, which means I can have a beer again after I’ve finished the 150km Amstel Gold Race. There are 2 planned exceptions which are a weekend away in October with my buddies and New Year’s Eve. If somebody throws a big party (Marriage or winning a couple of million) I might make another exception but I doubt this will happen the coming 6 months. I’m happy when I’m back at 95kg or less, I’ve stayed at 92/93kg for a very long time so I hope to get back there. To get there I will also have to work out a lot more then I’m currently doing and have to cut down with eating. The coming 6 months will be less fun, fun, fun for sure but I’ve done it before and I will do it again. The goal is not only the cycle, it’s about feeling good and being healthy. I have a lot more cycling plans for next year as well, so to make these plans happen this is just something I have to do. I’m actually looking forward to the 6 month period, hopefully I get into the zone and it will be over before I know it.

No alcohol should mean a little less partying which means more time to do other things. Working out is one of those things but poker is certainly one of those things as well. Last months I did pretty good at the tables but the amount of hands I’ve played is just pathetic compared to last year’s volume. The is partly because of the fact there are less tables to play on, but mainly because of the amount of hours I’ve put in.

This is my graph since I’m back from Las Vegas (end of June). My winrate is pretty decent, but 35.000 hands is nothing. Last year I had many days in which I played 10.000 hands or even 15/16.000 in just one day. Yesterday I did put in a session of 6.700 hands so it looks like I can get back to grind some decent volume again. Recent changes on PokerStars increased the amount of hands/hr by reducing the time between hands and increasing the speed of all-in situations which is great. Yesterday I was playing 20 tables and it felt like playing 24 in the past. I do however think that I shouldn’t get any higher then 16 tables since I’ve changed my style of play. I’m now playing 3/4% more hands which is a big increase from 15/16%. To play more hands I need to be more creative which takes more focus as well. Playing 16 tables now probably comes pretty close to playing 24 tables last year so I should just stick with that. Since June I’m up against most regulars, there isn’t any regular who really beats me by a lot so I’m really happy with my current play. Even one of my buddies who sat at the same tables yesterday said that I didn’t play as standard as I used to do and he had a lot more trouble to put me on a range of hands. I probably couldn’t have made this step without Black Friday and also playing live at the WSOP really helped and it feels like I made another (big) step in poker, even after playing it already for so many years.

I’ll continue with playing my cashgames but I also played my first WCOOP tournament yesterday. I got loads of premiums dealt but I either got no action or lost with them and I finally busted with AK vs A6. A pretty disappointing start but for me the No-Limit tournaments are more of a gamble. I really look forward to the LHE tournaments and will also play the Main Event! $5.200 for one tournament is a little crazy if No Limit isn’t even your best game but I treat this tournament as a freeroll since I earned the ticket by getting Supernova Elite last year. My schedule will probably look like this:

– #3 Sunday 4th of September 20:00 $215 NL Hold’em
– #15 Thursday 8th of September 20:00 $215 Razz
– #19 Saturday 10th of September 16:00 $109 NL Hold’em
– #20 Saturday 10th of September 20:00 $215 FL Hold’em
– #21 Sunday 11th of September 16:00 $215 NL Hold’em
– #22 Sunday 11th of September 20:00 $530 NL Hold’em
– #26 Tuesday 13th of September 17:00 $320 Mixed Hold’em [6-Max]
– #37 Friday 16th of September 23:00 $109 8-Game
– #56 Friday 23th of September 20:00 $1,050 FL Hold’em [6-Max]
– #60 Sunday 25th of September 16:00 $215 NL Hold’em
– #62 Sunday 25th of September 20:00 $5,200 NL Hold’em Main Event

Still a pretty long lists but these tournaments are just to good to skip. The value is huge and to chance to get a big score is higher then normal. Also the cashgames during series like the SCOOP and WCOOP are better then normal so every poker player should try to get as much EV out of these series as possible.

Wish me luck & good luck to you all!

 Posted by at 4:12 pm