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Buff(ing) For BlizzCon: The final countdown!

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW Insider team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

BlizzCon is just over a month away, and in a few weeks, we'll be checking in with the folks here to see how well they managed to conquer their personal health and fitness goals for the big event. Obviously, we aren't going to be able to do the same for all of you who have been playing along at home, but we certainly hope that you've managed to keep focused and have made some changes that have had a positive impact on your life.

But what if you haven't?

The reality is that it's very easy to get excited about making positive changes, but it's another thing entirely to actually tough it out and make those changes permanent. Excitement wanes. Reality is a harsh mistress, and all of that extra energy you found to stop at the gym on the way home from work is harder to come across after the first few weeks. What was once fun can become a chore, and we all know that chores are easy to put aside if you aren't in the right mindset to do them. While you may have thought our Buffing For BlizzCon challenge was a neat idea at the beginning, it's quite possible that you have slipped a bit since we initially started the series.

That's OK. Really. In fact, it's pretty normal. It does not, however, mean that you are a failure. Far from it.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buffing for BlizzCon: No pigging out at the Great Feast

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

There are two words that can seriously take the shine off of anyone's efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle: "I can't." The minute you start saying that, you start stacking up the frustration debuff, which almost invariably leads to some kind of indulgent meltdown that can cause a huge setback or completely derail all the good work you've done. We want to feel good about the choices we are making, and most people don't feel good when they say the words, "I can't."

... Unless, you know, they are responding to a question like, "Can you stick this razor-sharp sword into your eye?" That question, fortunately, doesn't come up much in polite conversation. One that does, however: "Would you like to go out to eat?"

Ah, yes. Our old nemesis, the restaurant. I've written in the past about how it's easier to eat at a restaurant after some advance research to find the good choices on the menu -- but what if it's a spontaneous outing or the restaurant doesn't have any obviously good choices? What if you don't know where you're going before you get there, or the restaurant doesn't have its menu available online? There are a lot of factors that can make dining out a challenge when you're trying to watch your caloric intake, but that doesn't mean you have to avoid those situations altogether. There are several tricks you can stash up your sleeve to keep the "I can't" debuff at bay and enjoy your meal without taking too much damage in the process.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buffing for BlizzCon: The Convention Challenge


Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

BlizzCon is still three months away, but convention season is in full swing. The San Diego Comic-Con ended a few days ago, and in the seemingly endless days that stretch out between now and Blizzardpalooza, there are several huge conventions that may be occupying your time. I'll be leaving next week for Gen Con, and a month after that you'll be able to find Rafe and me (along with a large handful of staffers from Massively) at Dragon*Con. I often wonder if we geeks have not subconsciously scheduled some of the biggest conventions of the year over the summer months as a result of the countless dull hours in our youth because we didn't appreciate the "traditional" summer activities. Whatever the reason, though, this is the time of the year when it's truly grand to be a geek.

It is not, however, such a grand time if you are trying to make healthy dining choices.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: Raid preparation

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon.

Unless you're a super-casual player, there is a pretty good chance that you spend a lot of time both in and out of the game doing preparation work. From reading up on strategies, to farming materials for flasks and everything in between, there are countless ways that you can get yourself ready to take on the current shiny encounter in World of Warcraft.
Unfortunately for many people, what they don't spend time thinking about before raid night is what they are going to be snacking on. If you're trying to make better food choices, this can be a serious roadblock. There aren't many guilds that will allow you to take a long enough AFK to prepare a healthy meal in the middle of a raid, so many players end up opting for "easy" food choices to satisfy a sudden onslaught of the Hungry debuff. The problem with that is that most "easy" food choices aren't all that good for you. When this type of itch is scratched, it's usually through something like a bag of chips or some sort of chemically ambiguous frozen meal, neither of which are really good choices if you're trying to eat wisely.

Your likelihood of success in defeating a new boss fight is greatly increased if you prepare yourself for the encounter. Eating wisely is no different. I've got a few strategies that you can follow that just might keep you from seeing a diet Total Party Kill as a result of uncontrollable mid-raid snacking.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) For BlizzCon: Choose your quests wisely

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon.

I had serious health issues from being way too heavy not that long ago. Without going into the whole story (you can read it all here if you're so inclined), it was imperative that I lose weight and keep it off. I'm still trying to reach my overall goal, 10 years later, but I'm a lot closer now. I won't kid you – it hasn't been easy, but no epic quest with an awesome reward ever is (and, unfortunately, there isn't a development team that is going to nerf the Getting In Shape quest once the elite raiders have beaten it).

I'm about to state something that nobody in the diet and fitness industries really wants to admit, because doing so might make a potential customer take their particular approach to getting healthier less seriously. The fact of the matter is, though, that it's 100% true, and if they were to deny it, they would be lying.

All diets and exercise programs work.

Every. Single. One.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts