Monday, August 29, 2005

Exercise is good. Diet a bit dodgy

Completed my second week of the 4 times/week exercise regimen this weekend by playing soccer for an hour. My ears feel about the same. Other than that, everything hurts.

The diet had a few mishaps over the weekend. Well, I guess I had them; the diet itself cannot really be blamed. Surprisingly, the soccer game was one of the more damaging parts. Though it was great exercise, it left me famished. When you're that tired and hungry, it is pretty easy to blow by brown rice as unworthy of your weekend warrior heroics. Once blown, the diet is hard to recover on the weekend.

Sobering trip to the scale this morning. I'll shall be pleased to break even by Thursday.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Week threee - 3.0

Respectable week. Used all my points but not until Thursday at lunchtime, five hours before weigh-in. Finished my 3rd jog of the week at lunch today. Hmm ...

This could be a bit confusing. My weight-watchers week runs Thurs to Thurs. My running weeks runs Mon-Mon. It's kinda like the Judaic calendar changing Easter all the time. You'll just ahve to keep up I'm afraid.

Lessons learned in Week 3

1) One should not attempt to explain to one's co-workers how one's pants have political views unless one doesn't mind getting that look that the girls used to give one in high school.

2) Fat free sour cream actually tastes worse than you'd think.

3) It is possible to use your points allowance for food as well as alcohol.

4) People at weight watcher's meetings have very little appreciation for dry wit.

WWW: 201
HSW: 195.5
NPL: -10.2 (Net Pounds Lost)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Return to the Green Period (and digressions)

In my early 30's, I took an unnatural* liking to olive green pants. Without really noticing it, I acquired a collection of 3-4 pair. That may not sound like a lot, but considering my work wardrobe usually hovers around 4-5 pairs of pants, it is. I was wearing olive green every day with an occasional khaki syncopation.

I grew out of the phase. Literally. They all got too small as I continued my inexorable march to 200+. I'm too cheap and fashion-immune to buy more clothes just because they look geeky. They need to either develop big holes or get so small that I can't breathe. If they get big holes, I wear them to do yard work. I may only work in the garden twice a year, but I've got horticultural clothes for every occasion. If they get too small, it's the far right side of the closet for them. I like my clothes like my politics, the further left the better. Gardening clothes go in the middle. Like moderates, they don't do much, but they're very comfortable.

Yesterday, I went to the dry cleaners and took my entire wardrobe with me**. Absent any clothing, I had to go searching. My leftist section was high and dry, and I was forced to go moderate. I was just about to chose a pair of blue pants with a small hole ("Do I have any blue underwear?") when I decided to take a look in the Barry Goldwater section.

I managed to fit into the largest of the olive drabs. I wouldn't say they were exactly comfortable, but I could breathe. Mostly.

This is progress.

* That's unnatural like unusually fond of, but not like "that shepherd has an unnatural relationship with his sheep."

** Well almost. I am wearing something now as after my last performance review I had to promise not to come to work naked anymore.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Where's the love, Saucy?

I have been reading the Saucy Librarian ever since she admitted that she used to dress provocatively in high school chess team matches in order to win against helpless geeks. Clearly a class act. Imagine my surprise when my attempts to log in have been greeted by a password request.

Such a cruel, cold world.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Mondays and I have points!!!

This has to be my greatest accomplishment of the calendar year. It is Monday morning and I have 14 points left. Last night, we were having hamburgers for dinner and I actually got to put mine on two pieces of bread and have a dollup of mayo (Duke's Mayo that is). Only 3 points and I had 'em to burn, baby.

I took a tenative step on the scale this morn, and it looks like I'm hovering around 2lbs weight loss since last Thurs. Not too shabby, but always hard to correct for water weight, weighing at different times of the day and 9 degrees declination between the magnetic North pole and the geographic one. Good news though.

Puffed Rice
I have been trying to eat breakfast every morning before I head out so as not to get too hungry by lunch. This means cereal since I am too lazy to put together a real breakfast. I had been eating "Puffins" (the cereal, not the bird) but found they were not a "core food". By a mistake of reading the points listing, I though granola was a core food, so I bought a bunch of that. Had to finish it up even though it was costing me points. I finally found Puffed Rice was a cereal and a core food. Today I had my first bowl.

What a taste treat!

Imagine styrofoam that absorbs milk, and you're not too far off the mark. I put some blueberries in to give it some flavor, but the puffed rice absorbed that too. Nothing would seem able to overcome the lovely flavor of desicated wiffle ball. Oh well, at least it must be good for me, right? I don't think so. It is the Diet Rite of cereals. I has no fiber, no fat, almost no carbohydrates, certainly no protein. In short, it is no thing. I was going to throw it out, but I will keep it around to give to my girls when they misbehave.

"That's the second house you burned down this week! You're grounded 'till you're 30 and you're gettin' Puffed Rice tomorrow."

"No Dad, not the Puffed Rice!!!!"

Friday, August 19, 2005

Week Two -0.8

Ok. Not so great, but not entirely unexpected. GDW3P continues to fall I think due to exercise. I actually look and feel a bit thinner which is nice.

I completed my fourth run yesterday at lunch , so I have one week down for meeting the exercise goals.

Lessons Learned in Week 2
1) The food industry has had many amazing successes at making a diet version of a product. Diet Tonic water is not among them.

2) It is possible to watch a movie in a movie theater without eating popcorn.

3) According to weight watchers, 75 minutes of running is equivalent to one Arrogant Bastard Ale. (Harsh!)

4) Blowing your diet on day 2 of the week makes it really easy to blow your diet for the rest of the week.

5) My jogging pace is slightly faster than the octogenarians who walk at the Vita course.

6) Core foods are checked on the left (not right) side of food listings in the Weight Watchers point book. Thus pizza is not a core food.

WWW: 204
HSW: 198.5

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Waddling around the block

In effort to have a little moderation and at the suggestion of my grade/high school best bud, Joel, I have added exercise back into Da Plan. Joel was an exercise whack job in grade school. When I was playing touch football, he was making 7 mile runs across town. Every year when we did the presidential fitness test, he was noted not only for usually finishing first but also not infrequently vomitting from oxygen debt. He has mellowed with age a bit, but he keeps getting in better shape. His current thing is Ironman triathalons. You can check out his blog here.

Anyway, I give you all that background to drive home his advice to me. I quote from his email earlier this week.

"Your running schedule was over the top"

This is the equivalent of General Patton saying, "That's too far for my men to march. Someone else will have to fight the Germans."

I had expected "ambitious" or "too high risk for injury", but I have never heard Joel describe any program as too much. Granted it was a program for me, not him. Still. Perhaps he really has mellowed.

Schedule 4 days of activity as the plan (30 minutes is sufficient, 60 optimal). If you only make 3 that's okay. However, you must get 10 sessions of activity in a 3 week period ... Don't plan both weekend days as activity days. It's three weekdays, and one weekend day. There are no "make-up" days.

He also suggests working out at lunchtime as this is a time period that is pretty easy to control.

So that's what I'm a tryin' to do. 4 exercise days a week of at least 30 minutes. Only one weekend day counts. As always, my actual running rate is modest, 150-160 beats/minute. (That's a recovery rate, Joel. I have an unusually high max pulse rate). After a few weeks, I might try a little faster, but not yet.

So far so good. As noted earlier , I did a one hour run Sunday, and have done a lunctime run on Mon and Wed of this week. One more run before Saturday, and I can claim victory for week one!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fat AND Short guy

Took the official measurement over the weekend --> 5'10.25". It's 174 as a goal weight for me. Oh well.

The weekend was not exactly a dieting success, though not a complete failure. Friday was a friend's 50th birthday party. It was a catered, no choice meal with 487 small courses. Rather than pass on everything and basically be a party pooper, I just went along with it. I think I used up all my points and then some. I did manage to pass on the birthday cake. Saturday and Sun were back to the diet. I was going to go with the strategy that I just was out of points, but well ... I didn't. I did manage to stay pretty reasonable. In an effort to do some penance, I went for an hour long run last night. (Needed to get out the noodgies too).

Net result is that my weight is about what it was last Thurs. All things considered, I'll take it. I'll try to be good until Thurs and maybe I can lose 2-3 pounds. All in all, a successful failure.

Seem to be having trouble getting to sleep over the past week. Nothing too major. I usually sleep about 8 hours a night and 10-12 on one weekend night. Past few nights I just haven't been tired and haven't been able to get to sleep before midnight or later. Possible causes:

1) Less food makes caffeine effect more intense
2) Dieting is interfering with sleeping somehow
3) Too goddam hot to sleeep in August
4) Perhaps just finally rested and needing less sleep
5) Solar flares & Elvis
6) One of those things that just happens from time to time.
7) My prior chesseburger lifestyle was gastronomically exhasting and required more sleep

I'll see what develops in the next few days.

Arrogant Bastard Ale
The debate over the caloric content of Arrogant Bastard ale has been resolved. It is 380 calories for a 24 Oz bottle making it 8 points. Another piece of useful information to be stored away for future use.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Week One -6.4 lbs

Went to my second meeting this week -- I lost 6.4 pounds! Very good. I even got a little bookmark and a round of applause from the assembled ladies at the meeting. For those pratcising logic at home, this does not mean that the men did not clap; it means I was the only man.

I am well pleased with the program. The diet regimen has wiggle room but keeps you to task. I think the GDW3P factor however is not as dramatic as with the running program. This deceased significantly with running in week one even if weight loss didn't. GW3P is down a fair amount but not as much.

How tall am I?
I have been looking at the BMI charts, and I honestly don't know how tall I am. I always say 5'10" and a half because that's how tall my Dad was when I was a kid. I need to find out because it makes a difference on the chart as to what my "normal" weight is. And make no mistake -- I want to settle for the highest normal weight I can. 5'10 = 174 lbs. 5'11 = 178.

Discoveries in week one:

1) White rice is not nearly as healthy a food as I had thought.
2) A pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby is 28 points and could be eaten once per week while staying on the program. (This information filled away for later use).
3) There is at least one fairly decent light beer in the world -- Dab.
4) It is hard to keep track of points after your third glass of white wine.
5) At 211, I was officially obese if I am 5'10". At 204.8, I am obese only if I shrink to 5'9".
6) "Puffins" cereal is not a core food. Costs 1 point.

HSW: 199
WWW: 204.8

Monday, August 08, 2005

Monday and I'm out of points

The basic idea behind my program is you have a budget of "points" to use for bad food. Weight watchers gives you a little cardboard points slide rule. Through a complex mathematical process, I have derived the points formula for your benefit.

Points = Round ( [(calories - (grams of fiber * 10))/50] + grams of fat/12)

You get 35 points per week, approx 1750 calories. I ran through 22 on Friday. We had friends over and wine adds 'em up fast. Between a dinner at in-laws on Sat and a couple of lite beers last night, I'm all out. It doesn't mean I have to stop eating. I can eat as much as I need to feel satified, but it has to be good stuff. Yikes, it's nothing but whole grains, veggies, fruit, and lean meat until Thursday night.

I find that I'm liking the veggies. Who knew?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Weight Watchers

OK. OK. I admit it. This isn't going well. Actually, I think I could stick with "This isn't going". I finally sucked it up and headed over to Weight Watchers last night. There is absolutely no way on God's green earth that I would ever join Weight Watchers because it is for fat suburban housewives.

Except ...

my friend Cubefarmer did it and lost a pile of pounds and has kept them off for about half a year. I have another friend who had battling weight her whole adult life. She lost it and has kept it off for about 5 years now.

So, I joined.

$10/week to weigh me and tell me info about food that I really already know. (Ok, I might have learned a new trick or two last night.) Also, at least one of the scales I got on last night is not working correctly.

Home Scale Weight: 205.5
Weight Watchers Weigh-in Weight: 211.2

Just to make sure, I am going to weigh-in next time buck naked. Frankly, they could use a little shaking up at Weight Watchers IMHO. Whichever scale I chose to believe, the news is not good.

HSW: 205.5
WWW: 211.2