Author: Pedro Zabala
- Earlier this year, I on the verge of hitting 300 lbs and decided it was time to start losing weight and change my life. I planned out a roadmap of what my goal was and what I needed to get there. Now, 4 months later I have reached the halfway point to my goal, and now weight 245 lbs!
So the big question always is: "Whats the secret?"
The answer is actually quite simple, setting up a fail proof plan by numbers! Here is what I mean by that, and the formula for anyone to follow if they want to achieve similar results
1. Willingness to lose weight: Might seem obvious but this is the most important part. In order to achieve your goal, you need to really want to do it and know that it won't always be easy but if you stick with it you will achieve the desired results.
2. Know your BMR: Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) simply put is the average number of calories your body burns every day without any exercise. There are a few different formulas and sites you can use to help you determine your BMR, the on I used is this one. Most people would say that this is also about how many calories you should be eating per day
It is important to note that this does change from person to person but it is good to know an ESTIMATE which will help with the next part of the process.
3. Understand your weight loss options: Lets start by noting that a healthy weight loss rate is 1 or 2 pounds per week! Now, for our formula we will consider that 1 pound is about 3500 calories. This means that (depending on your plan) you will want to create a 3500 ~ 7000 calorie deficit per week in order to lose weight.
This is where your BMR comes into play! Let's say your current BMR is 2000 calories, and your plan is to lose 1 pound per week. Here you now have 3 options on how to do it:
Option 1 (No exercise): Do a diet that consists of eating 1500 calories per day. This means every day you will create a 500 calorie deficit which will grant you that 1 pound less per week. This is my least preferred option since it has the highest chance of failure if you don't consume enough calories per day you will often feel hungry and are more likely to give up.
Option 2 (Light diet + heavy exercise): This option is basically doing a diet equal to your BMR and creating the calorie deficit purely out of exercise. You could eat 2000 calories per day, and burn 500 via exercise to achieve the goal of 1 pound per week. This is option is preferred over option 1 but also has a down side, doing this can make you feel tired every day if you are not used to this much exercise, specially if you are trying to do more than 1 pound per week.
Option 3 (Balance): This is my favorite option because it is almost fail proof. Do a diet that you feel comfortable with, and base your exercise on the rest. You can test multiple diets around until you find one you like (this could be as simple as counting the calories you normally eat) and leave the rest for exercise. If you find you are doing a diet of about 1800 calories per day, then you know that there is only 300 calories missing that need to be burned via exercise!
4. Setting your goal: Now this piece is pretty simple but it is also very important to know. Losing weight is not something that will happen from one day to the next, so it is important to set realistic goals. Grab a calendar and count the weeks: If your goal is to lose 10 pounds by losing 1 pound per week, that means in most cases you are looking at about 2 and a half months. Write down your current weight and date on the calendar and then on the same day of the following week, write down where you should be. This will help you see if you are reaching your goals. Simple!
One thing that is important to note about this, especially if you are planning on doing a long term commitment like I did, is that you may have some good weeks and some bad weeks but over time this can serve as a guideline of your overall progress. If one week you end up gaining 1 pound but the following week you go down 3 then you know in the overall road map you are still doing good progress! Also note that in the beginning, the first week or two you might lose a lot more weight than planned. This is normal! just think of it as getting a head start on your scheduled plan
5. Break your diet: Okay, this is not what you expected right? Why should step 5 in our plan be to break the diet? The answer is simple: For this to work, you need to feel comfortable and not restrained. Going out with some friends for dinner, drinks or a BBQ is fine to do once a week or every other week. This will not make you lose all the progress, it is simply a small bump in your overall plan! Constantly denying your cravings is the easiest way to lose motivation and giving up on any diet.
6. Tracking your weight: Be consistent of when you track your weight every week. Make sure that every week, when you want to check your progress on the scale you are doing it around the same time and same conditions. For example, I like to weight myself on wednesday evenings right before I go to bed. This is important because our body weight very often changes multiple times during the day and even from day to day. More common on people with a lot more extra weight, it is common to wake up at a certain weight, then be 2 pounds heavier that same day at night and 3 pounds lighter the following morning. This is why checking your weight every day is not a good idea, it will easily frustrate you to see the numbers change every day constantly going up and down.
7. Eat often: Best way to survive a diet is to eat often in small portions. I think this is one of the keys I've found work best to achieve success. If you plan on eating small meals and snacks, you could for example chose to eat every 3 hours x 5 times per day. You won't ever fill completely full after you eat, but you will be able to stop the hunger and know that in 3 hours you get to eat again! You could have breakfast at 8am, snack at 11, lunch at 2, snack at 5 and dinner at 8! or if you are not much of a morning person, breakfast at 9, lunch at noon, snack at 3, dinner at 6 and another snack at 9. The times are not really important but you get the point. It is important however to try and have breakfast shortly after waking up and your final meal of the day at least an hour or 2 before going to bed.
8. Find help: Sure most of us can plan on doing all of this on our own without a problem, but having help is always good. Whether it is getting a personal trainer to help you exercise, getting a friend to join you for jogs or having your mom cook healthier meals for you. Any bit of help is always good to not feel like you are on this alone! In my case, one of the things I used to help me was the Nutrisystem diet. They offer great options of small meals that only take about 2 minutes to prepare and are perfectly portioned for weight loss and the best part is you can chose to have brownies and cookies every day as part of your diet if you have a sweet tooth like me!
I hope this helps you reach your goals like it has been helping me!
Disclaimer: I am not a specialist for weight loss nor am I paid to say any of this, I'm simply explaining the formula that worked for me and helped me understand and achieve my goals
Author: Pedro Zabala
- Whether you have heard of professional gaming leagues or not, electronic sports (eSports) leagues have been around for a very long time and have gone mostly undetected by most. Since all the way back in 1972, video games have been played competitive! That's since before I was born which is pretty crazy to think about when considering that most people are completely unaware.
Now lets take a step back and look at what is competitive gaming? Because there are a few definitions out there. One of the earliest versions of competitive gaming is when individuals play a game such as Pac-man, Donkey Kong and Galaga and try to reach the best possible score on them. Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe are prime examples of this and if you have no idea who they are I would recommend watching the documentary film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters which is honestly a great one.
As companies began making more complex video games, the competitive scene has changed as well. Many companies such as Nintendo and Microsoft begin hosting small bracket type tournaments as well as worldwide competitions with DOOM being one of the first to make first person shooters a competitive eSport genre.
But where are we today? eSports leagues have continued to grow and separate into different categories:
First-Person Shooters (FPS):
I'm sure you have seen these games around and probably heard the names Counter-Strike, Halo , Quake or Call of Duty. These games are simple to understand, you participate as an individual or as a team and try to eliminate the competition using a number of different guns or other weapons. They require a great deal of awareness of your surrounding, timing and precision.
Real-Time Strategy (RTS):
As the name says, these are strategy games where individuals face off against each other in order to complete an objective. These games are often represented as some sort of war or battle which include managing time, resources, map control and being able to out scale or and out play your opponent. A good way to see it is, image a Chess game where you not only control 1 piece per turn, but rather control all your pieces constantly as the playing board changes. Examples of this genre include StarCraft and Warcraft III.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA):
These are a spin off of real time strategy game, but differ in the sense that these are generally team focused games often of 5 players facing against other teams. Popular examples of this genre include League of Legends, DotA, and Smite. This genre of eSport is in my opinion the one that resembles normal sports the most, in fact as of July of 2013 the US Government Recognized League of Legends LCS as a Sport. Like typical sports, these teams often have members from different countries, they have different leagues in multiple regions of the world and once a year the best teams face off on a world championship stage for a grand prize cash reward. In case you are curious exactly how much? $1,000,000 for first place.
Here is a short video from NFL player Chris Kluwe talking about eSports:
I think this video pretty much shows where eSports is today. I'd like to mention as well that the 3 previously mentioned leagues are not the only ones there are a few others including fighting games and sports games that are worthy of mention.
While most people see gamers as 'kids sitting in front of a tv/computer playing' you gotta consider that there are also 'kids in a part just playing with a ball'. But both of those, if they are good enough can be sitting in front of thousands of people competing a huge trophy and a large sum of money.
Author: Pedro Zabala
- Understanding your own personality as well as the personality of the people around you is often a very interesting experience. I recently took a personality test, which consisted on a TON of questions where you either agree or disagree with statements. The final result... I fall under the category of INTP.
What does this mean? Well let’s look at the different parts:
Introvert (I) vs. Extrovert (E)
Introverted people are often reserved analytical people. They spend much more time processing thoughts inside of their own head before they decide to communicate them out to others. They prefer activities that can be done alone or not have to heavily rely on others such as watching a movie, reading a book, going out for a run, playing video games or even just relaxing at home. People often think introverted people don't enjoy social events and discussions because they rarely participate but the truth is this is not always the case, introverts tend to enjoy listening to all aspects of the conversation and creating an complete opinion before contributing which is why they find social situations to often be draining and exhausting.
Extroverts on the other hand are often very outspoken and expressive people. They often “think out loud” and are eager to speak their minds because they feel more comfortable around other people than alone. They prefer to do group activities, going out to parties and social gatherings where they are often found in the middle of a crowd telling a story. People often think that extroverted people never think before they speak, but this isn’t necessarily true, they often begin formulating an idea the immediately begin expressing it so they can perfect their idea as they are gauging feedback from the people surrounding them. They like bouncing ideas off people even when they are not completely defined and always feel energized from social interactions.
Intuitive (N) vs. Sensing (S)
Intuitive people are often identified for using their imagination and always looking at the big picture. They often focus on cause and effect as well as well as overall direction of actions. They like the idea of learning from their own mistakes because in the grand scheme of things they know that with that experience they can easily overcome similar challenges in the future. They absorb ideas very easily and process them to come up with alternative solutions to problems and predict future issues.
Sensing people are very observant and detail oriented. They focus on one task at a time and look to isolate and perfect it before looking at anything else. They rely on their senses to make decisions. Designers, accountants and analyst often fall into this group as they enjoy working on their projects until they are near perfect.
Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
Thinkers are often people with a tough personality. They follow their mind and like looking at the facts. During conflict they often prefer to be approached head on so they can discuss and resolve the issue. They are very rational people who focus on objectives and while they do listen to opinions, their priority is often finding the logical and most effective solution.
Feelers on the other hand are more sensitive. They not only look at what the situation might be, but who is affected by it. They follow their hearts during most situations and often try to avoid conflict. They focus on harmony both at home and at the work place and enjoy cooperating with others and helping others with their issues. “Do what feels right and keeps people happy” is usually how they approach any situation.
Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
Judgers are usually very decisive and prefer having clear rules, guidelines and structures. They are eager to commit to plans and reach for closure. They enjoy following a project from planning all the way to completion and like having defined deadlines that they can follow. Most judgers lean towards a manager type of position and like to keep things organized and on track.
Perceivers on the other hand are often more relaxed about their work. They often seek freedom and flexibility with decisions and are very open to different options and opinions. Similarly to how extroverts process their thoughts, perceivers enjoy cyclical lines of work where they can start with an idea, work through it and find ways in which it can be improved as it goes on. They have a hard time setting deadlines or future milestones for projects because they feel like things can always be made better than how they currently are.
The great thing about this is that there is no right or wrong answer. There is only what you are and what you enjoy and that’s it. It doesn’t mean you are exclusive to just one of the other; it just highlights your preferences.
So I’m curious, what is your result?
Author: Pedro Zabala
- This console war thing is stupid and people keep crying over details that don't even make sense.
Lets start with Consoles:
- Great advertising technique from Sony by misleading comparison. The Console is coming out at $399 camera not included. Lets say the camera is $50. This means the price difference between it and the Xbox One ($499) is only $50 since xbox brings everything included.
- Both consoles have 500GB HDD, however Xbox allows usb memory expansion. Pop in a 1TB external if you want. Sony hasn't said if they allow that too.
- Size of the consoles: Xbox One, slightly smaller than PS3 slim. PS4 slightly smaller, looks like a black Wii playing italics. Good news, both are square boxes and they can be stacked on top of each other if you want. No more half rounded crap.
- Controllers: Always personal preference from gamer to gamer. Personally Xbox has the best controller, I'm glad it didn't change much, but this is 100% opinion based.
Now lets talk games:
- PS4 show stoppers were Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if Square Enix releases FF XV for Xbox One later like they did with a few of the latest FF games.
- Destiny gameplay looked amazing right? Good. Its runs on 360, Xbox One and Ps3 too.
- Xbox has too many exclusives. I feel this is both good and bad, good for targeting specific markets, bad because of the same reason. Forza 5 looks amazing as did every other game they showed.
- Witcher 3 specially looked really amazing, and lets not forget that Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare! Both of these titles will be on both consoles too.
- I feel as far as games went, Microsoft definitely had the upper hand AND 2 free games per month from now till November? I can get behind that. Hopefully they can pre-refund me the "$100" difference from the PS4.
Finally lets talk about the stupid crying points:
- "Wahhh my xbox has to connect online once a day wahhh"
- I call BS on this. Microsoft is not coming into your home and forcing your hand. Now if your playing a game every day and almost all the games shown have changing worlds, then what this happens by magic? Of course not. You need to be online for this. Besides, almost everyone I know at least goes online for netflix anyways.
- "Wahhh my PS4 doesn't play PS3 games because Sony is not releasing an emulator at launch wahh"
- Suck it up. PS2 and 360 were the only consoles that were backwards compatible at launch. Nintendo has never done it (outside of handheld devices) and they are still alive and kicking Mario around.
- "Wahh my Xbox One needs to have kinect connected all the time wahh"
- Don't like it? put it under the table or in a drawer. It also needs to be plugged into a wall but you don't see me complaining. Connected doesn't mean you have to use it.
- "Wahhh I gotta pay for used games for Xbox"
- Okay. Where do I find free used games? I gots to know! Gamestop and other retail game stores are actually the ones paying the extra fee for used games, not users. Only people who should complain about this is Gamefly AND even then this is totally up to the developer, not microsoft. They are simply allowing people to charge more for their games, this is a good thing so a lot of these companies don't go out of business.
- "Wahh Xbox now helps my laziness with voice commands and tv"
- Don't talk to your electronics. They now listen so you don't feel like a crazy person. Now what really grinds my gears The freaking biased magazines. When Sony did their PS4 reveal everyone complained that they shot their own foot before even starting the race. Then when microsoft did the xbox reveal, everyone started complaining about every stupid little point. I mean seriously, at this time and age, I'm allowing my microwave to not connect to my internet 24/7 because I don't care what time it think it is but other than that everything and everyone is connected. Ask your government if they aren't already watching your every move or tracking your phones gps.
I don't need to see Forbes magazine or Kotaku every morning bad mouthing Microsoft or Sony for bringing up great new consoles that almost match your average gaming PC.
Honestly, not everyone is going to agree with everything Microsoft/Sony says/does. At the end of the day, both consoles will sell a lot and everyone will enjoy amazing new games and move on with their lives.
So quit your crying and start saving up for the console you personally want or for both if that is what you want.
Author: Pedro Zabala
- Unlike the last few posts, this one covers a couple of days of work since it was the same process done multiple times. The fiberglass resin step. NOTE: Must use protective gear for this step
Materials: Fiberglass resin, fiberglass resin hardener, gloves, respirator/face mask, brush, mixing cup and mixing stick, acetone.
The first layer of resin I used about 6 oz of resin and 19 drops of hardener. This was a bit too much hardener since it started hardening on the cup before I was able to use all of it. This took about 6 or 8 hours for it fully dry. It is also important to note that this layer should be very thin since resin has a chance to warp the paper.
The second layer of resin I used about 4 oz of resin and 14 drops of hardener. This was a perfect amount, a few spots didn't get fully covered but it worked for most of them. Since I needed to differentiate the first layer from the second layer, I added a few drops of green and black paint on the resin.
After the second layer fully dried, I cut off the visor from the helmet using an x-acto knife to prepare for the next step which involves adding fiberglass cloth on the inside of the helmets.
Tip of the day 6:
Acetone is your best friend!
For the fiberglass step, it is important to use proper protective gear. Respirator to not inhale fumes, gloves to not get resin on your skin. Of course this step needs to be done outside and fairly quick.
The down side is that things can get messy and with that and holding/moving the helmet around there is a high chance of getting resin on your arms, how do you get rid of it? ACETONE! Soap does almost nothing to get rid of resin but nail polish remover gets rid of it in seconds.
Author: Pedro Zabala
- As I mentioned on my last post, I finished helmet 2 and I considered going back to finishing helmet 1 but instead I threw helmet 1 away and started working on number 3 which I decided would be Emile's helmet from Reach!
Unlike the previous one, this one has a lot less details so it took me only about a day and a half of work and I gotta say I'm extremely excited about it. I left the visor and rest of helm as a 2 piece project simply because I figured this will make the next step of adding fiberglass resin on the inside a lot easier
Downside of it.. it is also huge and way too big for a normal human head, but that's okay if nothing else... they will both be awesome for decoration!
Tip of the day 5:
Less detail is better
At first i thought using models with most details would be better but after going through the process i realize that most of that detail will go away during resin and sanding process, and will need to be re-added later on by hand. Pepakuras with more detail just make the first step take even more time.
Author: Pedro Zabala
- Today I am happy to announce that I have finally completed helmet 2!
In order to cut, fold and tape all of this helm together took roughly 25~35 hours of work. Really long time but I would just watch movies or do other things while I worked on it
I'll admit at points I was having a really hard time putting some pieces together so I just kinda taped it and hoped it worked.
I'll try to finish out the smaller helm between today and tomorrow as well, so this weekend I can begin doing the fiberglass resin portion of the project.
I'll also start working on helm #2 which will be Emile's helmet. I'll make a video tutorial for that one as well as the fiberglass portion of the project, so although this helm is complete.. the project is just starting!
Tip of the day 4:
Making your helm unique!
Many times I was faced with the issue that some pieces were too small to be easily added so I would just sort of ignore them and patch up the holes from the inside. While this is partially cheating, it was also good because it would add extra support on the inside of the helm.
I don't recommend doing this unless absolutely necessary but hey, any small"imperfection" is actually a small step to making your helm your own and not just another exact replica.
Of course, once painted it will continue to changes but hey, every bit counts!
Author: Pedro Zabala
- Helmet 2 is finally starting to take shape! Its starting to get harder now to add pieces when I have to tape on the inside because I keep having to reach under and then find the exact location where to put the tape.Here are some images:As you can see from the comparison with the 22" monitor on the back, the helm is actually quite huge. I'm sure it would fit a real spartan but it will most likely look too big for me, but that has now become irrelevant! I can't wait to reach the final product because as it is already it is looking quite sick!Tip of day 3:Keep it balanced and turn it upBy this stage of building it, it is next to impossible to ass all the pieces while looking at the helm from a straight forward point of view. Turning the helm upside down on your lap helps see the inside and place the pieces in their proper place.When this is not needed, you would want to use something big on the inside to hold it in place and balanced, in my case I'm using a box of alcohol
Author: Pedro Zabala
- I'm now a couple of days into the making of these helms and I gotta admit - it is a bit tiresome all the cutting and folding but overall its not difficult.
Today I'll post pictures first
The biggest challenge I've found while working on helmet 2 which wasn't there on the first one is the fact that more details = smaller pieces, and for some of them numbers overlap so its a bit hard to match them.
Size however is now becoming quite defined the difference between the two - Helmet 1 (the small one) fits me like a baseball cap, I imagine once its done it wont fit me anymore but it will be nice decoration. Helmet 2 on the other hand is noticeably bigger which is a good thing! I intend to put padding inside to hold it in place
Tip of day 2: (for anyone who wants to try this for the first time too)
On the first helmet I had decided to try and put together all the big pieces first and hope that this would make me finish faster, however on helmet 2 i found out its better to start with the small pieces on the back of the helmet. Its easier to turn and flip small pieces to match the number than once you have to do it holding the whole helm. adding big pieces later rather than early has been a huge help
Author: Pedro Zabala
- So this weekend I decided to begin working on a couple of master chief mark VI helmets.
I will do this by using pepakura models, paper and tape. Once I'm closer to finishing this I might consider building a few tutorials to cover things that I experienced as a person who is doing anything like this for the first time!
Already found my first issue in this task: Not sure what the scale should be so the size of them is definitely going to be a complete gamble it will either be too small or to big.
To address this I’m simply making each of the helms on a different scales so it will be interesting to see the results of this.
Here is the first image of the progress by the end of the first day
I'll call this helmet 1, and its the smaller of the 2 I'll be making. It is definitely not a difficult task, but it does require a lot of time and a lot of patience.
Tip of day 1:
Know your origami folds!
There are 2 types of fold you will be using
Valley Fold: If you are looking at the paper, you want to fold away from you so when you look at it from the side it is folded down. The line will looking like __ __ __ __ __
Mountain Fold: If you are looking at the paper, you want to fold towards from you so when you look at it from the side it is folded up. The line will looking like ___ _ ___ _ ___