Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Pushups

 A really good friend of mine named Boyd has started a little something he calls "Push-Up Saturday".  The deal is to record yourself doing as many push-ups you can in one minute.  When I first started, I could only do ten.  Now I'm up to twelve or thirteen...depending on how you start counting.  Nothing that I'm really proud of but it's a start.  I'm shooting for a goal of doing fifty in one minute.

I'm probably going to have to practice quite a bit to get there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eating 9 to 5

The hardest place to maintain your plan to eat healthy is probably at work.  This is kind of a problem if a good chunk of the day is spent at work.  Unless I bring my own food, the photo above shows my only option if I happen to get hungry.  Gee-dunk machines, offering a variety of overpriced crap guaranteed to leave you still feeling hungry, a bit poorer, and maybe a little nauseous.  The candy machine offers everything from popcorn to Pop-Tarts.  At the very bottom are a few selections of gum and off-brand mints that have probably been there since the $1.25 candy bars sold for a quarter.  You can wash it all down with an ice-cold can of high fructose corn syrup infused water...or just get a bottle of plain water for a slightly higher cost.

For me it's critical to take, not only lunch, but something healthy to snack on through the day as well.  Stuff like fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, maybe nuts....anything but the calorie dense but nutritionally sparse fare I might find in a machine.  Experience has shown me that when I don't have anything brought from home and I get that urge to munch....and I always do....those machines look mighty tempting.  I can convince myself that a bag of pretzels is healthy, that a Reese's Cup has protein so it's not so bad, or just plain out say I'm hungry and screw the diet.

I avoid the temptation by carrying my own food.  It means that I have to haul a cooler to work.  It also means that I have to make time in the morning to pack all the food I want to eat during the day.   Still....probably the best way I've learned to avoid using the machines is to make sure I don't have any money in my pockets which, considering my profession, is not all that hard to do.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stuff I Try Out

 There are all kinds of breakfast bars, drinks, and various dry cereals marketed toward those of us who are trying to get and stay healthy.  Most of them taste only slightly better than the container they come in and all of them are way overpriced.  You're paying for a concept rather than the food.

But I'm cheap....and I hate shelling out hard earned money for stuff that I have to choke down while convincing myself that it's good for me.

Enter oatmeal.  Pretty simple stuff.  I look at the ingredients and there is no long list of chemicals that I can't even pronounce, much less understand what it might be doing to my body.  Oats.  That's all.  Just oats.  Good protein source.  Great fiber source.  Fills you up and stays with you for a few hours.  It takes about two minutes to prepare.  I really like it with a bit of brown sugar but, if I'm avoiding sugar, I'll toss in a small pat of butter (real butter, not margarine gunk).  If available, I'll throw in a few walnuts.   A serving costs about ten cents.  How many meals are you able to buy for a dime?

            Solid basic nutrition
            No additives, no artificial anything

CON:'s pretty boring by itself


Oatmeal goes along with my philosophy that one doesn't need to spend a great deal of money on specialty foods in order to eat healthy.  It seems to be the mindset that eating healthy costs way more than just eating junk food.  I disagree.  I feel that highly processed and packaged food, and I use the term food rather loosely, is actually more costly.  A bowl of oatmeal costs much less than some oatmeal breakfast bar.  A piece of fruit is far less than some super duper breakfast drink.

Keep it simple.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Home or Gym?

It's an age-old problem...or at least an old problem to aged me.  Where to exercise?  The logical answer is at a gym.  After all, these are places pretty much devoted to exercise.  They have a bunch of weights, machines, and people who seem to be there for the explicit purpose of exercising.

Therein lies my problem...or neurosis.  People.  I hate 'em.  Well, I hate being around them in a gym.  I know, I know; it's all in my head.  I get very anxious dressing up in exercise duds and getting on the machines, especially when I'm surrounded by fit young people pounding out twice my effort without breaking a sweat or interrupting their texting conversation.  I keep telling myself that I paid my dues at the gym, I have a right to use the place, and what if I'm horribly out of shape...that's why I'm at the gym.  Still doesn't matter.  I'm all self conscious about people who, even if they did notice my presence in the gym, could not care less about what I am doing there.

Then there is the hassle factor.  Working out at 5am is NOT what I really would like to do.  I'd rather be sleeping, having sex, drinking coffee, surfing the internet, washing dishes, just about anything but get dressed and drive to a gym.  In this effort to change my lifestyle any excuse at all to skip going out to the gym will rear it's ugly head and derail that effort with distressing ease.  Too hot, too cold, too dark, too wet, too sleepy, I woke up with a bad case of bed head.....the list goes on.

The one way out of this is to do my exercise at home.  I bought a few hand weights at Wally-World.  Nothing fancy and they are fairly cheap.  Just to keep them all together I also bought a stand for them, also fairly inexpensive.  I rounded it out with some wussy weights my wife had on hand.  This works pretty well.  There is no exercise done on a machine in the gym that you cannot do just as well, or better, at home with a pair of hand weights.  All I have to do is shove all the cat's crap aside, unfold my exercise bench, and go at need to dress or wake up enough to operate a vehicle.  No waiting for somebody else and I can take my own sweet time.  I don't have to check my appearance or body aroma and, when I'm done, I'm home and a pot of coffee is ready for me.

And with gas prices lately.....

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A Look at Myself


I've been away for awhile.  Sorry about that but thanks to all the readers that expressed concern for my well being.  I'm computer wasn't, but it recovered.  One thing that I meant to do last week was gather up all the measurements for my body; kind of a starting point that I hope to quickly and permanently leave behind. Taking a look at myself is always a frightening proposition.  I tend to squint when looking at a mirror or at least not let my eyes travel down below my neck.  I also hate scales because they never have anything nice to say to me.  The thing is though, if you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you are starting.  Below is where I'm starting.

weight:     208.8 lbs
bodyfat:    39%

neck:      16 inches
chest:      44 inches
gut:          48 inches
waist:       43 inches
hips:         42 inches
thigh:       22 inches
calf:         15inches
forearm:  11 inches
bicep:       14 inches

I'm not posting any photos but suffice to say, my body resembles a pear with toothpicks for arms and legs.  I'll see if all of this is only one year.