Tagged health

On Color and Depression

Something positively incredible happens when you rewire your brain and turn the corner out of a serious depression. Aside from feeling better (which is fantastic on its own) you will start to see in vivid color again. I’m not sure what the neurological or biochemical reason is for this but this phenomena is very real and I’ve experienced it.

I was so depressed that my dad decided to bring me to a place called Canyon Ranch. It’s pretty much the ultimate health spa with a “life enhancement” wing where you go when you’re, um, not well. People who drink too much, are on drugs, or are depressed like I was.

Upon arriving at Canyon Ranch everything was muted brown, gray, and seemingly dead. My depression had literally robbed me of my ability to see in true color! It made me somewhat color blind.

After a week or two of regular exercise, the most healthy food, great sleep, and amazing people I started to notice something. Specifically there were two paintings in the lobby that literally stopped me in my tracks. I had to ask someone if they had just been put up because a: I hadn’t even noticed them for a whole week and b: the colors were so vibrant they appeared to be back-lit like a high resolution HD monitor.

I’m totally over this stuff now and every single day is filled with the most vivid and radiant color imaginable. I’m lucky to have had the support of my dad and most of the members of my family. I hope your support network is as good as mine was.

Fitness 2.0

Garmin 305

As many of you know I’m on a health and fitness kick. I’ve tried to get back in shape (meaning healthy not chiseled abdominals heh) several times in the past and I’ve consistently failed miserably. More often than not its because going to the gym is super boring. This time I’m making the process of getting healthy again into a personal video game. The idea is that if I’m always trying to beat my high score i’ll have more fun than just doing exercise for the sake of it.

Weapons of choice for nerding out my workouts:

  • Garmin Forerunner 305 (watch GPS / heart rate monitor etc)
  • Motionbased (upload and view all your GPS tracks/elevation/speed/heart rate etc)
  • Google Earth (look at tracks from space)
  • Traineo (graph progress set goals learn from other fitness geeks)
  • Fitness 2.0 Tracks

    I do this mainly by using my GPS when I do outdoor activities like running, cycling, and snowboarding. When I get back home from the outings I then upload my metrics into Motionbased. After that I can see speeds, elevation, heart rate etc. I can even look at my tracks on Google Earth and Google Maps. The image above is a screenshot of run I did the other day as seen on Google Earth.

    Its much more fun to doing these activities knowing that you can look at how fast you went, how far you ran, or how hard you worked. Over time I’ve been able to see my heart rate go down while my speeds and distances increase. You might think this is a fairly expensive undertaking but I consider it an investment in my health. What could be more important to you than your own health? Of course gym memberships are pricey as well. If you’re not into the geeky bits you could always just use a stop watch, a map and check your pulse but then wheres the fun in that?!

    Mathew Honan has an article in Wired along these same lines in the February 2007 issue.

    Update: Here are some more tracks/examples etc.

    Update 2: FYI – spell checking and proof reading your blog posts is always advisable when you post something late at night. Sorry about that original post.

    Update 3: I guess this is my version of fatblogging ;)