Biology woes and the physical fitness rollercoaster

Just a general update of stuff.

I’m doing ok in my Math and Humanities classes, so nothing to stress there.  Biology, however, I’m struggling with.  I have my first exam coming up next week and I’m nowhere near prepared for it.  I don’t understand anything that’s been going on in this class since day one.  I’ve tried typing notes, hand writing notes, studying the book, nothing rings a bell with me.  I was supposed to meet up with the professor during office hours but I always have somewhere else I need to be, family commitments, etc.  I found out they’re doing study groups on Fridays, which happened to be scheduled exactly at the same time as this week’s doctor’s appointment.

I don’t know how I’m going to pass this class.

The weight training class is going well, and I’m looking forward to continuing on with it on the weekends and after the class ends.  I’m making the switch from machines to free weights, and hoping to have a set of weights here at home to work with, so I don’t have to go to the gym three times a week to get my fitness groove on.  Well, if I can budget it…

That’s all for now.

Weighting Game


Another day, another few pounds on the weight machines.  I’ve found myself making progress – and I love progress.  If I don’t see progress in something I’m doing, I’ll get annoyed and frustrated with it and stop doing it.  So far, this weight training thing has been a good show!  My numbers are going up, and my weight is coming down.  I’ve lost 4 pounds since starting the program three weeks ago, which is good, and it puts me at my lowest in six years!  Huzzah!

However… there’s always something else popping up.  Yet again, my problems with food rears it’s ugly head.

I still don’t really eat breakfast or lunch.  Considering that I work out around 9:30am, this is a big no-no.  I have no fuel for the workout, and nothing after the workout either.  Re-examining my food intake, I also get very little protein in my day, usually just a piece of meat with dinner, which is nowhere NEAR enough.  And I’m low carb, because I’ve cut out gluten from my diet.  Sigh.

Looks like it’s back to the drawing board.

I’m hoping to do some grocery shopping sometime this week, and I’ll be picking up more meat, beans, veggies and tons of fruit.  I’ll also need eggs and cheese, and more yogurt.  Oh, and protein powder, to have before or after my workouts.  So much to consider!

I’m really hoping to make this fitness bit a real live thing in my life, so I need to do this right.  Here’s hoping I can reach my goals.

Nerd Fitness, Fitocracy, and Working Out

I’m home from school and boy are my arms tired!

Working out has been a painful, exhausting, exhilarating experience so far.  I’ve discovered that my legs are pretty good, but my upper body strength is terrible.  My arms have taken the brunt of the abuse this week.  My left arm is the one that’s hurting the most, since it’s probably the weakest, being on my off side.

I’m keeping track of all my progress on Fitocracy, an online fitness tracking community.  You earn points for each workout you do, and can level up based on these points.  It’s kind of fun! I’m up to level 5.

I also spend time over on the forums at Nerd Fitness.  There’s tons of information on the Nerd Fitness blog and on the forums themselves and they’re super supportive.  I was lucky enough to have some email correspondence with Staci from Nerd Fitness, and she was very encouraging about the class I’m taking.  I’m hoping to save my pennies and maybe join the Nerd Fitness Academy at some point, when I can afford it.

I think one of the downsides of being me is that I can’t bring myself to take a “before” picture.  My body dysphoria from my gender identity is so severe, I can’t bear to take a full size picture to use as a “before” shot.  Maybe soon I’ll get up the courage, but not now.

I’ll paste below my most recent workout, and see how much progress I make by the end of the semester.

  • Walking (treadmill)
    • 00:10:00 | 0.5 mi
  • Leg Press
    • 50 lb x 20 reps
    • 50 lb x 20 reps
    • 58 lb x 20 reps (PR)
  • Leg Extensions
    • 40 lb x 15 reps
    • 40 lb x 20 reps
  • Seated Leg Curl
    • 40 lb x 20 reps
    • 40 lb x 20 reps
    • 48 lb x 15 reps (PR)
  • Lat Pulldown
    • 40 lb x 15 reps
    • 40 lb x 15 reps
    • 40 lb x 15 reps
  • Machine Chest Press
    • 25 lb x 10 reps
    • 25 lb x 10 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Raise
    • 5 lb x 10 reps
    • 5 lb x 10 reps
    • 5 lb x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
    • 5 lb x 10 reps
    • 5 lb x 10 reps
    • 5 lb x 10 reps
  • Machine Bicep Curls
    • 20 lb x 20 reps
    • 20 lb x 20 reps
    • 20 lb x 15 reps
  • Machine Triceps Extension
    • 30 lb x 20 reps (PR)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps
    • 30 lb x 10 reps
  • Walking (treadmill)
    • 00:06:33 | 0.3 mi

Food Adventure: Sweet and Sour Chicken for One!

Tonight I’m by my lonesome, so it’s dinner for one.  I had one chicken breast thawed, so I dragged out a trusty recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken!  I had all the ingredients for the sauce, one chicken breast, a small bit of fresh broccoli and green beans, and – of course – rice.

I stumbled upon the recipe during one of my many Pinterest binges looking for gluten free recipes.  It appeared to be pretty easy to do, so I gave it a whirl.  The recipe I used is this one:

The only changes I needed to make was the fact that I was only working with one breast, so I cut all measurements in half.  I only made 1/2 c. rice and a small steamer pot of veggies.

The results were better than I expected:

Sweet and sour chicken with steamed veggies and rice.

A photo posted by Zuri Grimm (@spookeriffic) on

The color even came out right!  Woo!

The only downside I’ve found is that one breast, plus veggies plus rice is VERY filling, and I didn’t realize it would be.  I’m about stuffed at this point, and I still haven’t dug into the rice yet!  I call this attempt to be a raging success.

I’m considering, if I get bored enough, making peanut butter oatmeal cookies tonight, since I have all the ingredients to that too.  Not sure yet.  We shall see.

Help fund me on Patreon!

Patreon white

This is just an announcement that I’ve started a Patreon account to try and garner patrons for my artwork.  If you haven’t seen my artwork, it can be seen at ArtPunx Studio.  What you can do is visit my Patreon profile, read the faq on the site, and fund my artwork on a per-painting basis.  I don’t get paid if I don’t finish a painting.  Also, there are rewards set up, from autographed postcards to prints, and the chance to get an original painting!  Help this student fund their artistic endeavors.  Won’t you be a patron today?

The Start of Weight Training

Today was day one of weight training.  We’d come in a few times for class, but he said he didn’t want to start any actual training until after the Add/Drop period.  That means… today.  A small percentage of people jumped in and got right to it, but the n00bs – myself included – got one-on-one time with the Coach, which was great.  He wasn’t intimidating, he had a sense of humor, and was super friendly.  Always willing to help out with form.  Didn’t lose his patience.

He gave us all a sheet to follow, exercises to do, how many reps, etc.  Today I only got legwork in mostly, because I didn’t have enough time to use the other equipment (mostly because I was still learning the leg equipment).  He doesn’t have us on free weights just yet, but I’ll inquire about trying them out later in the semester.

I’m tracking my progress in a composition book, and I’ll be posting updates on the Nerd Fitness forums.

I’m home and relaxing, and I feel good.  Bit of a headache, but otherwise fine.  I’ll post more updates on this later, but for now, I’m going to have a snack and watch some tv. :D

Back to School!

Back to School, and the first week is in the bag!  This semester I’m taking:

  • Biological Foundations (Biology for non-health majors)
  • Explorations in Mathematics
  • Asian Humanities
  • Weight Training

Biology – This is, by far, my most intimidating class.  The professor seems nice and knows her stuff, she’s clear and concise and I enjoy listening to her.  The material, however, is very dense and complex, and I’m worried about absorbing all of the vocabulary and whatnot.  The lab looks complicated, and we need to keep notebooks and whatnot for the class, which are graded at the end of the term.  Eesh.

Explorations in Mathematics – Not sure about the content of this one, the professor is.. well.. different.  I’m not going to go into specifics, because it would be rude of me.  She does have a tendency to go on tangents – a definite negative.  She loves numbers though, so hopefully she’s able to be informative enough that I don’t lose track of the topics covered in class.

Asian Humanities – This is my favorite class so far.  LOTS of material is covered, both on Powerpoint and through the lecture.  I took tons of notes on the second day.  But the subject is fascinating and I’m looking forward to learning more.  Reminds me a bit of my European History class from last semester.  I hope it stands the test of time.

Weight Training – So, in order to stay full time, I needed 2 credits, and my choices were Yoga or Weight Training.  I really wasn’t interested in Yoga.  I considered Weight Training – something I’ve wanted to get into for a long time, but always procrastinated, was lazy, or just intimidated by the prospect of doing it on my own.  This way, it’s paid for, I’m graded on attendance (50% of the grade is attendance) and I’ll learn to do things the “right way” (proper form, etc.).  Maybe I’ll learn to love it?  I could only be so lucky.

I’m still trying to get used to waking up at 6:45am for my 8am classes and I get home so sleepy.  I feel guilty for yawning so much in class, I don’t want them to think they are boring!

I’ll be sending in my University application tomorrow, if plans go as they should, and then cross my fingers that they accept me into the program.  I’ve got 3 letters of recommendation going to the school, and I hope they’ll give me the edge to get in.  Cross your fingers for me, too!  I could use all the “oomph” I can get!