Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm less of a man than I used to be

Those of you who know me in my "real" identity also know that I've put on a lot of weight over the years. Some of it was stress, some due to the fact that I like food (after all, I haven't found anything better to eat), and a lot was just that when life gets busy, it's harder to find time to get to the gym.

I figured I either needed to get my self back in shape or start renting advertising space on my butt. And while there's plenty of space, there doesn't seem to be much demand.

I chose option A. Starting in the fall of 2010, I found myself waking up at regularly at 3 or 4 in the morning. Since I was teaching a 9:00 MWF class, that left over 5 hours before I had to be "at work".

The Unknown Wife works out at the gym from 6-7 with a neighbor. So, I figured I'd work out from 5-6 (the local YMCA opens at 5, so this means I wake about 4:30 or so). Once my medical issues from the summer cleared up, I started putting in about a half hour on the stationary bike each morning (and occasionally, some light weights). I figured I'd start with just exercising and not worry about diet at first - try too many things, and I'd just burn out.

Then, after the start of the year, I got an app for my smartphone called MyFitnessPal. It allows me to enter and track what I eat (calories) and my exercise throughout the day. So now, I get regular feedback (i.e. "if I eat this, I only have 500 calories left for dinner, but if I eat that, I get 800 calories"). As a result, I've been pretty much able to stick to a "net" 1500 calorie per day diet (i.e. I can consume 1500 calories PLUS any additional calories I burn off through exercising).

Net result so far -- I've lost about 7 pounds (and well over an inch around my waist). since the start of the year. Now I only have another 11 pounds to go. If I pull it off, it will mean a 10% body weight loss in about 4 months' time, and I'll be lighter than I've been in over 12 years.

In fact, If I only lose another 5 pounds (which I should by the end of March), I'll be lighter on April 1 than I usually am in August after almost 3 months of cycling. This means that if I can keep the spinning and weight loss up until all this global warming leaves us and I get my wheels back on the road, this should be a good year for cycling - less weight means faster pace/longer rides..

I've also had chronic intermittent back problems (another thing I got from my father). So, I've been going to a yoga class called "yoga for stiff guys" run by the father of the Unknown Daughter's best friend. Now, for the first time in probably 12 years, I can stand with my legs straight and put my palms flat on the floor.

So all in all, things are good. Now if I can only get these papers under review...

update: The only downside of this schedule is that I'm generally beat and in bed by 9:30 (not really a downside, since all I miss are garbage t.v. shows). The other night, I decided to read a bit before bed (I went up around 9). A half hour later the Unknown Wife came in to see me sound asleep with a book over my face. Luckily, she didn't have the presence of mind to snap a photo.