Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Arrived


As of today, I've lived in Austin, TX for a total of four years. I moved here from Detroit, MI with very little knowledge of what the city was about, and what it could potentially offer.

Today I think mostly about my journey - more specifically - my transformation from boy to man. During these past years I have learned a tremendous amount about myself. The process of uprooting and transporting to a unknown environment can be a humbling experience. The lack of support that I had in Michigan forced me to truly rely on myself in order to sustain.

How I ended up here is a story in its self, but in hindsight, I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to pick up and leave as I did. I remember thinking to my self that "It will either work out or not," plain and simple. Fortunately, I was very naive back then and willing to take risk, but also faithful that things would work out for the best. And things have more than worked out...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chef Swag

I was a bit out of sorts today, it was of course due to the nasty weather we had in Austin today - overcast+ wind gust = gray blah. I'm talking about the kind of weather you fantasize about being on somebody's island drinking beverages with umbrellas in it, and eating food you can hardly pronounce... Well, after waking up from my day dream, I decided to cook a little something to bring color to this gray of a day...

Prepare for cooking by banging, Lil B- "I Cook". Master chef music.

Chef gon cook1

Chop. Cook. Swag. Chef. Wooo.

Chef Gon CooK2

The finished Product.

Grilled Salmon resting in a bed of rice with grilled jalapenos.
Plantain, lightly fried in peanut oil.
Charro beans and freshly sliced pineapple.

My wife Catherine, gave it a 8.5 out 10. Her only complaint was the spicy rice... Note to self- use one grilled jalapeno instead of two... Based

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A new year, a new you.


Not much for making resolutions at the start of a new year? I traded in the standard tradition of making resolutions, and adapted a business like model for change this year.

About six months ago I stumbled upon something called CIP, Continuous Improvement Process. Derived from the Kaizen Method (think Toyota production process), CIP is a business method used to continuously improve products, services and the processes used to deliver said items.

Most companies (and most people) tend to make drastic changes all at once (most people make these changes at the start of a new year), which can result in a poorly executed outcome that will most likely cost a lot of money.

The CIP philosophy is to make continual small incremental changes. Small ideas or plans are easy to implement into complex system (like your life) and can be modified as needed. Also, small plans don’t require much money in order to make these changes. The CIP method also calls for constant self -refection to identify key areas in which to reduce or eliminate unneeded practices.

So I decided to put this philosophy to the test a little over a month ago using the following steps:

1.Identify- I made a mental list of things I wanted to change. At the top of that list was my health. I noticed how my poor eating habits and lack of exercise effected all areas of my life; family, work and social.

2.Implement- After a little research. I came up plan up with a plan that would be easy to start. I weened my self off of smoking cigarettes, eating fried foods, and drinking those sugary energy drinks. Then I gradually eased into eating healthier and exercising more often.

3. Evaluate- After a few weeks of eating three healthy meals a day and cardio 2-3 times a week, I felt better,but didn't see the results I wanted. So....

4. Modify- I cut juice and soda completely out of my diet, and now I drink mostly water and tea, which wasn't hard at all cause the change was gradual. I was getting my wind back so I increased my running time an additional 10 minutes per workout. After about a week I noticed that I wasn't so sluggish in the mornings and I was more attentive at work.

5. Repeat- The purpose of this method it to continually tweak existing plans for change so that it will yield the best possible results... Why reinvent the wheel when you can make it better?

When I started I was 278 lbs. A month and 3 days later I'm down 266 lbs. Eventually I would like to get down to 245 lbs - which is possible if I continue to improve my process.