Once again, I’m attempting to lose weight. It seems like I’m always trying to do that, but I suppose that will be the case until I finally get down to the weight I would like to be.
I bought a new scale. The old one, it seems, may have been broken. I weigh myself fairly often and noticed that I appeared stuck at 210 or there about. A little up, a little down, but not much. On a whim, I decided that I wanted a digital scale instead of the old non-digital one we had, plus it was only $12. Anyway, first time I step on – 217. My other scale had been lying to me. Oddly enough, the previous couple weeks I’d been doing the light eating again, so I suspect that I was at 220 or so. I’m down to 216 and trending downwards.
Trending… that’s another key this time around. I’ve got a Google Doc spreadsheet I’m using to track my weight. I’m weighing myself 3 times a day – morning, after work, before bed – and recording the lowest weight for the day (because it makes me feel better), but that weight is less important than the moving average. The average will give me a better picture of where my weight really is by smoothing out the fluctuations that occur from retaining water, the occasional big (heavy) meal, and more. Also, by adding “Science!” to my daily routine it feels more like a real project and not just “eat less, exercise more”.
Speaking of exercise, I have a 10k to run in under a month, so, you know, I should probably get to training a bit. The past year has been fairly shitty for me in regards to exercise and diet so I expect to do worse than I have in the previous two years. I did, however, download a Couch-to-5k program for the old Zune that I plan on beginning, maybe this weekend. Also, you know, Rule #1 of the Zombie Apocalypse: Cardio.
Another common element of my “I’m going to start a diet” plan is cutting out sodas, which I’m doing again. Consistently, I’m drinking less sodas now that I used to – there was a time where I was drinking a 6-pack of can sodas a day plus whatever I got out at meals. Now I drink mainly on the weekends and sometimes after hosting a party at our house I’ll have some left over hanging around, and I have little to no willpower, and I refuse to let things go to waste. Oddly enough, as I was thinking about cutting out sodas again, I ran across this wonderful little infographic.
It really makes me not want to eat fast food anymore. Or at the very least, order the smalls and from the value menus. It would help my ego if they stopped calling them “junior” or “kid’s” sizes, but I think I’m just going to have to get over it. I may also start ordering food from the kid’s menu at other restaurants or trying to split a meal with the wife or something. Portions are really out of control.
Also, the CDC has some really awesome stuff about diet. Which makes sense, now that over-eating and obesity are being considered diseases. You can start with the source of that infographic here.
Anyway… enough about me being fat. I return you to your regularly scheduled Friday.
I am no longer doing 100 push-ups a day. The reason I began doing them is because I recognized that the first step to getting fit is actually starting. Honestly, getting started is usually the hardest part of almost any project. For me, anyway. I’m not an amatuercrastinator, I’m a procrastinator. So to get started on the road to fitness I needed an easy way to get into the habit. Push-ups are simple in that practically anyone can do them, even if you have to start on your knees instead of your toes and it takes you all day to do the whole hundred. Eventually I did get myself down to being able to do the hundred, on my toes, in under ten minutes. But the real achievement was that I was doing this (nearly) every day.
The second phase of my journey was portion control. One of the main issues many people face in getting thinner is that they overeat. And I’m not talking about sitting down with a bucket of chicken or a tub of ice cream and polishing it off. I’m talking about eating a little too much at every meal that adds up over time. Before starting this road to fitness for real, I wrote about cutting my morning cereal down to one cup. I started doing this again, and limiting my lunches, and watching out for sizes of dinners, and cutting out extra snacks. I also switched to drinking mainly water except for special occasions and sometimes for meals. And I also trained myself to order smaller when we eat out, or order with the expectation that half the meal is going home in a box for another time. Eating at restaurants is really bad for you when it comes to portion control because they often won’t let you control the portions, you just get the plate of food they serve and it is left to you to stop eating. Of course, having a spot of unemployment and being broke really helps here since eating out is one of the first things to go. Fast food is also a pain here since many places have eliminated their old “small” size and made “medium” the new small, “large” the new medium, and the bucket of soda with a barrel of fries the new large. If you are in the habit of ordering the large or medium combos, you might need to reevaluate and switch to the small, or even start ordering off the kid’s menu.
Following these two phases I was able to reach one of my big goals: 200lbs. Phase three is now in full effect. What is phase three? Realistic expectations.
Look, I didn’t get up to 250lbs overnight, or even in a couple months, not even a year. It took a long time for the weight to creep up on me. With that in mind, I don’t expect to lose it all in a short period of time either. I’ve seen tons of propaganda for diets and exercise plans that claim I can shed thirty, fifty, even a hundred pounds in a matter of weeks or months, but the largest problem with losing weight fast is that you usually lack the discipline to keep the weight off. The “crash” in most crash diets isn’t the sudden loss of weight but the crash of depression when months later you find you’ve gained most or all of it back. With that in mind, my current goal is to lose just one pound a week. That seems very small, and it is, purposefully so. Each pound that goes away I am determined to keep gone.
I’ve stopped doing my push-ups and sit-ups routine. It served its purpose of getting me in the habit of exercising and now it is time to move on. I was a big fan of the idea of the Wii Fit, but the implementation was lacking. Since I already owned the balance board, buying Wii Fit Plus for under $20 was a no-brainer. Having used it for a month now, I can say that this sequel successfully fixed all the issues I had with the original. The main fix being that I can build a workout, not have to stop between exercises to choose another and also not have to see the scores and rankings which I really don’t care about. The best part being you can simply select an amount of time, select a type of workout (yoga, strength, or a mix of both) and hit start. I now do a random selection of yoga three days a week, and a random selection of strength exercises two days a week, each workout for thirty minutes. Of course, I continue to examine what I eat, making small changes as I see places to improve without throwing out all the foods I love just to see an improvement in my waste line.
If I can maintain my goal of one pound a week that is fifty-two pounds in a year. 148lbs is my new goal for October 2010. I’m looking forward to it…
One of the hardest things for me about getting fit is just keeping at it. Over the last year I forced myself into the habit of exercising every day, my push-ups and sit-ups plan has worked fairly well, but I know I need to incorporate more exercises in order to work the whole body and not leave things out. Back when I bought a Wii, I was excited about Wii Sports and the coming Wii Fit. Wii Fit turned out to be a disappointment because you couldn’t build a real workout, you had to do everything one exercise at a time and the constant stopping and starting was annoying. That single feature is why I’ve pre-ordered and am eagerly awaiting Wii Fit Plus.
But as much as I like it, I do have to admit the Balance Board is kinda retarded. I suppose that is why I saw Your Shape with its camera and was immediately intrigued.
I am tempted, but really want to see some honest reviews of the product before I buy in. An exercise game without a board or hand held controllers would be awesome if it works.