Health and fitness

I’ve been sort of sick of being a bit on the heavy side for quite a
while now — I went from being tall and scrawny at the end of high
school (6’2″, 32″ waist, dunno how much I weighed) to being a bit too
solid by the end of university (38″ waist, ~220 lbs). Somewhere in
between sounds about right to me, so that’s what I’m aiming for —
getting back down to a 34″ waist or so, but doing so with lifestyle
adjustment rather than “dieting”.

That said, adjustment #1 was to stop eating so much sweets and stop
eating out of boredom. I’m accomplishing that with the No S Diet, which provides simple
rules: no snacks, no sweets, no seconds, except
on days that start with s and special occasions. I was
always bad for keeping snack food around the house and munching on it
at the computer, and this approach takes care of that nicely, but I
still get to treat myself occasionally.

It’s only been one and a half weeks and I’m noticing a shift in my
approach to food already — while I’ve always appreciated good food,
I’m appreciating boring food way less. The level of self-disappointment
is a lot higher than the value of the snack for pretty much everything
I used to munch on, so willpower is winning out.

I’ve been keeping a 1L bottle of water at my desk lately too, to keep
my water intake up. Getting through a litre a day is easy.

I’ve been dragging myself to the gym at work too. For now I’ve been
getting in two 30-minute cardio sessions on machines aiming at
maintaining 75% of my maximum heart rate. As of the last session I
pushed that up to 45 minutes, and I plan on getting three sessions
per week this week and from now on. Much later I’ll start adding in
resistance training — before, I found that resistance training made
me want to avoid the gym, so I’m getting the psychological side of
things taken care of first.

Anyhow, the end result of all of this is that lately I feel
great without feeling like I’m doing anything particularly
weird, which I think is what will make this all sustainable. To
keep track of what I’m doing, I created Reductionism,
which is going to be my detailed food and exercise journal; you’re
welcome to watch or check back occasionally if you’re interested,
but I imagine it’ll be pretty boring if you’re not me.

(Also, please avoid using comments here to advocate a particular diet
regimen; I don’t want that discussion here.)

9 responses to “Health and fitness”

  1. I still havent decided if that guy is serious or not, but it does make a lot of sense. When I was 14 or 15, I used to go through an entire bag of Doritos in one sitting. I wasn’t huge, but I was about 155 at 5’8″ or so. After my Sophomore year of high school, I went to Europe for two-and-a-half weeks, followed by two weeks at the beach house my parents co-owned with my friend’s parents. So for over a month, I spent all my time being physically active (lots of walking at the least) and not having time to sit around munching junk food. I lost 25 pounds in that time frame. I still haven’t ever passed 155 again, despite gaining two inches in height, and I think my metabolism changed for the better. I can kill off a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in one sitting if I feel like it (I can’t think of a worse example of a nutrition label), and I never gain much weight.

  2. Seconds that. I’d been thinking about something similar as well but lacked the willpower.

    Maybe putting a name on it will make it easier to follow.

    I’m going to try to start this over Lent.