Hey Miz -- I'm alive! The new job is great, but keeping me quite busy. Thanks for checking up on me, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
The biggest difference in my training now and my work outs of a year ago stem from one simple shift in thinking. I stopped thinking about exercising as a way to lose fat and build muscle and get "healthier," and started thinking of training in terms of improving my performance.
It's a paradigm shift that came about largely due to my exposure to Crossfit and Mark Rippetoe. They're smart folks with great ideas, and I owe my renewed enthusiasm for training to them.
The really cool thing about this is that by focusing on improving the amount of weight I can lift or how fast I can run, I'm actually doing a better job of increasing muscle mass and improving my physical appearance than I was when those things were my goals. There's also a bit of an ego boost from the knowledge that I'm stronger and faster than I've ever been, and improving constantly.
Also, as mentioned earlier, I've rediscovered my passion for lifting. I get excited every time I go to the gym, because I'm always trying to do something I haven't done before. Pushing myself like that is a great feeling. It's an adrenaline rush. It can be scary, too, trying something you're not sure you're going to be able to do. But the feeling of accomplishment when you do that thing you weren't sure you could do is amazing