Showing All Posts In Corpulence:
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
by Blob

I may just have to become a "fitness celebrity" and go get me some infomercials and make a bajillion dollars telling people to ride their bikes and eat less.

I don't have a scale at home, so other than the rather subjective evidence I can see in the mirror and on my belt, I haven't had any way to track my progress. Well, we were at my parents' house for an Independence Day celebration on the 3rd and they have a scale. I love my mom's scale, 'cause it says 262. It's been at least seven years since I was in the 260s. That puts me a little less than halfway to my goal.

My mom is very image-conscious. She's always gone to great pains to maintain her weight and she'll never leave the house without her hair and make-up on. Despite that, though, she never really harped on me about my weight. She'd encourage me to work on it, but she never judged me poorly because I wasn't as careful with my own appearance. True to form, though, she arranged a cookout menu so as not to sabotage my efforts: grilled chicken (sans barbecue sauce for me) and corn-on-the-cob, and other fresh fruits and veggies. I'd come prepared with some veggie burgers of my own: Morningstar's Fajita Burgers, just in case, and didn't need 'em. So, thanks Mom. I even snuck another sliver of rhubarb pie without feeling like I'd blown my diet.

On the fourth, we were supposed to have Renee's family at our place, but her sister cancelled, so we just cooked for us and her mom. I had the first red meat I've had in a while: bison burgers. Actually, just one each, plus salad (with low-fat dressing), baked potato (with skin and salsa on top), and fresh fruit. The burgers were the best I've ever made; I mixed in some diced onion, worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper, and oregano before I made the patties. I'd also grilled up a couple of veggie burgers, thinking that the one wouldn't be enough, but I was way wrong. Not only did I not need it, but I was actually repulsed by the idea of eating more. Contrast with the good ol' days when I'd scarf three burgers without breaking stride. Oh, by the way, fresh pineapple, watermelon, and banana, as bizarre a combination as it sounds, makes an excellent fruit salad and also a tasty smoothie.

On the biking front, I've kept a steady pace of 5 days per week, 6.2 miles on three of the week days and 9 each Saturday and Sunday. Weather, work, and a back injury have conspired to keep me from doing 7 days a week, but that's probably good. My legs need some time to repair the damage I'm doing to them. With the holiday, I did another 9 miles yesterday (no walking this week, and lots of agressive hill-climbing), but my legs, particularly on the back, between the butt and the knee (don't know the muscle(s)), are aching for it.

So, obviously, I'm doing the right things, partially by design and partially by accident. If I can keep up this pace (but things I've read suggest that I can't), I'll be at my target weight by my birthday. How much would that rock? A whole lot, I'd say.

Monday, June 20, 2005
by Blob

Well, after all that patting myself on the back last week, I fell off the wagon a bit. I rode Wednesday morning (and did well as I recall), but on Thursday morning it was raining too heavily and on Friday I was recovering from the Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers show the previous evening, which got me to bed at 3am. (But was well worth it! What a show! It deserves a post of its own.) The diet persisted, though, and I got back into the swing on Saturday. 9 miles with Kris in under an hour and I kicked those hills to the curb; I was able to get up on the pedals and power my way up in the middle gears. On Sunday, I did the 9 miles in under an hour again, but my legs were griping and so there was less powering up the hills and more getting off the damned bike and walking for a minute. This was followed by a vigorous mowing of the lawn.

I think I may have gone over my calorie goal on both days, but I don't have accurate numbers. I'd guess ~1800 Saturday and ~2500 Sunday. If that NutritionData website's energy calculator is remotely correct, though, that still leaves me with a healthy calorie deficit. We went to my dad's place to celebrate Fathers' Day and there was lasagna, of which I resisted a second piece despite the first being small, but there was also rhubarb pie. My dad makes the best rhubarb pie on the planet; he grows the rhubarb in the back yard. I had a sliver and forewent the accompanying ice cream. On Sunday night, I was up late trying (and failing) to get some overdue work done and as such I overslept this morning, meaning no ride.

However, I realized today that my belt is buckled one hole smaller than previously, and there's room to spare. And, perhaps more importantly, I can see my belt in the mirror. Can you lose an inch in a week? That's pretty fucking cool, and some welcome encouragement when I needed it. I'm going to get back up on that wagon tomorrow.

Perhaps soon I can rename this category to Fitness?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
by Blob

On Saturday, June 4, Kris and I went on the first of what will hopefully be a summer full of bicycle rides. We left from my house and rode on the public roads to the Metroparks entrance (about 1.9 miles, mostly uphill). We didn't quite make it up the troublesome hill on Aurora Road, and had to walk up the last half or so. We took the bike/jog path about another 1.2 miles through the park up to Harper Road, which is at the end of another hill that we had to walk half of. At that point we decided to turn back, making it 6.2 miles in a little less than an hour. To say that it was unimpressive is no small understatement, but neither of us is in very good shape and it was my first ride in a year.

Coincidentally, my sister, who is an R.N. and concerned about my weight, gifted me a weight loss book by Dr. Phil McGraw the next day. I'm not a big fan of Dr. Phil, but I suppose that's more to do with the fact that he can make a living teaching people common fucking sense than anything to do with the man, himself. At any rate, the book is full of common fucking sense, most (but not all) of which I knew. So, there you go. Since I'd been trying to eat better since about March, these things have just given me the impetus to take it up another notch.

The following Saturday, we rode 10.3 miles (round trip) along the same route, making it past SOM Center Road and down a ginormous hill beyond. It took us about two hours with periods of resting and walking. We walked back up that puppy. On Sunday, I rode to SOM Center along that route alone, which is just short of 9 miles round trip. I made it without stopping in right around an hour, which made me feel pretty good.

Yesterday and today, I got up early and rode the 6.2 mile trip before getting ready for work. My legs are (understandably, I hope) quite sore from this sudden burst of activity, and on Monday I needed to walk three hills, but I made the trip in 30 minutes. This morning, it took 35 minutes, but I only needed to walk the last third of the hill approaching Harper Road. Also, last night, I did some crunches and pushups for about 10 minutes. According to this nifty website, I used about 4400 calories yesterday. I only ate about 1500, and didn't feel overly hungry. This seems like it should be a good thing.

I've had all kinds of energy. In fact, I want to go out for lunch and do some serious walking, but the absence of a shower at the office makes that a smelly proposition. I'm fidgeting much more than usual. I'm more alert than I have been. I'm looking forward to the next bike ride. That's a new experience for me. I've always felt exercise was drudgery.

This is now officially my second longest stint on an exercise regimen. When I joined Bally's a few years ago, I made it for two weeks before I started to peter out. Usually, though, when I get so fed up with my weight that I'm going to do something about it, I only stay fed up for a day or two. So, this is exciting, and encouraging. I fully intend to ride tomorrow morning, and the rest of the week for that matter. I'm thinking of riding to my parents' place on Sunday. That's about ten miles, but it goes down into and then back up out of the Cuyahoga River valley and that's a little scary, particularly on Rockside Road.

I wouldn't have thought it possible, but after only four days, there's a visible difference in my legs. If I tighten the muscles therein, I've actually got some definition my calves and a bit in my quadraceps. That's pretty fucking cool, I think.

For now, at least, I'm running on momentum. I'm sure that at some point in the not too distant future it'll get difficult and I'll have to see whether I pass that test or not, but I'm more encouraged than I've ever been about my weight loss efforts. So, dear reader, wish me well. I'll let you know in a few weeks whether it's made any difference.

Thursday, May 12, 2005
by Blob

I knew this would happen.

See, I haven't posted in a month because I didn't want to get ahead of myself. I still need to do my vacation write-up and my new car post. Plus, I recently got Forza Motorsport for the XBox and it has consumed my soul. I should post about that.

But I guess I'll never get around to it, so here's the summary:

We went to Las Vegas for our fourteenth anniversary. We stayed with Di, Sara, Matt and Julie. They were wonderful hosts, but busy, so we didn't get to spend as much time with them as we'd have liked. I played in a Texas Hold'em tournament; lasted only two hands. We ate well, including the nigh-traditional anniversary dinner at the Voodoo Lounge Cafe atop the Rio which was followed with a viewing of Penn & Teller's show, which rocked, after which I got to share a few words with Mr. Gillette and grab a picture. We met up wtih my cousin, Janet, who was in town for a conference and had dinner in Paris. We rented a Sebring convertible and drove around the desert, including Red Rock, Valley of Fire, and Lake Meade. We took the dam tour at the Hoover Dam. We drove to Los Angeles on our last day to pay short visits to Kieu and Sheryl. On the way, the Sebring broke down. Fortunately, we were near a Hertz location and were back on our way (albeit in a Buick Century, yuck!) in about half an hour. And then we flew back. Flying blows, by the way, particularly if you're of exceptional size. I know everyone bitches about sitting next to the fleshy flier, but trust me, it's much worse to be him.

We bought a new(ish) car! After much trial and tribulation, we settled on a car we hadn't even considered. It's a 2002 BMW 325i sedan, black, sandalwood (tan) leatherette (fancy vinyl) interior, manual transmission. It had just over 40,000 miles when we picked it up. I'm paying $100/month less than I did on my Kia. Assuming it holds up for a few years, that's a pretty sweet deal. We'll see how it goes. If I can keep it in good shape, I should break even on the loan in 2.5 - 3 years, so I can trade up to the Z4!

Forza Motorsport owns my soul. I really didn't want to like this game too much. I'm quite the opposite of a Microsoft fanboy, and I'm a long-time Gran Turismo fan. Trouble is, this game rocks. It's not easy, by any stretch of the imagination. It's much more sim than arcade. You have to be very careful with the brakes and gas. The XBox live support is what does it. That and the car customization. So much fun.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
by Blob

I'm told that it's good to eat breakfast. That this starts your body burning fuel for the day and can actually help you to store less of what you eat around your middle. So, I've got some Grape Nuts and I've had a bowl on each of the previous two mornings at about 7:25. By 11:00, I've been starving. Well, not literally starving. Obviously. But I've been feeling very, very hungry. My stomach's in knots and begging for more. Perhaps I'm actually metabolizing for a change. Who knows? It's weird that I could go all day if I didn't eat breakfast and not feel a twinge until dinner time, though.

Ah well. At least I had a Nutrigrain bar handy. I feel great!