Fitness log, 7/7/10

7 07 2010

Well, it’s been a month. I’m actually pretty happy with where my weight is at, considering there was a week+ vacation (with Amy and her kids, which was awesome!) where I didn’t exercise or eat all that well.

Ragnar went really well, and I survived better than I expected, although by my third leg my knee was so sore I could barely move it. A few days, some ice, and a little Vicodin later, it was doing better. I’ve only done one run since then (a quick, easy 3 miles), and going forward, I’m not going to be running very often.

Instead, I’ve moved back to what I enjoy: regular weight training, with intervals, sprints, and similar high-intensity activities for cardio.

I’m starting to get tired of being in fat loss mode. I want to focus on building muscle, but I’m still carrying around too much fat to do so effectively. So I’m setting a goal to weigh 200 pounds by the end of August. That should put me a lot closer to where I want to be. Then I’ll assess where I want to go from there.

Weight: 217.5
BF%: 28

Jan 1st starting weight: 232.5
Starting BF%: 31

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Fitness log, 6/7/10

7 06 2010

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these. Sadly, the Game Developers Conference got me badly off track, and I’m just now getting back into the thick of it.

Rather than recapping the last several months, I’ll just cover the last week. For Memorial Day weekend, Amy and I met in Las Vegas to see Flight of the Conchords and spend several fantastic days together. Before we left, we challenged each other to lose at least 5 pounds by the next time we see each other, which will be June 16th, right before Ragnar. I wasn’t exactly sure how much I weighed at the time, but I thought I could probably do better than 5 pounds.

I got home, and the next day, which was last Tuesday, I climbed on the scale and read 228. Ouch. But I was determined to eat right and exercise daily. All week long, with very few exceptions, I’ve limited myself to eating meat, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. With Ragnar being only two weeks out, my focus is on running/endurance, so I only got one light weight training session in, but I did do quite a bit of soft tissue work/mobility drills throughout the week. On top of that, I had runs of 5, 2.5, and 6 miles. My legs were a little sore from running, so I decided to mix it up a bit yesterday and did a 15 mile bike ride. The results? Well, you can see below. I know that’s a lot of weight to lose in a week, and that’s partially attributable to water and from starting a little high. But regardless, I’m very happy that I’ve already hit my goal. I’ve now modified it and I’m going to attempt to get down to 215 by Ragnar, which is how much I weighed when I started dating Amy nearly 9 months ago.

One final note. I’ve been through this weight loss cycle numerous times over the years. A lot of the time, I’m just maintaining my weight. Sometimes, I’m not even making an effort, and the weight piles on. And occasionally, I get in a mode where the weight just slides off, and I lose dozens of pounds over the course of several months. Looking back, these times of serious losses all have one thing in common: I was obsessed. Serious, hardcore weight loss does not have to take a long time, but you have to be absolutely focused, eating right (almost) all the time, not skipping your exercise, and having a positive attitude about it.  I feel like I’m there again. The awesome thing is that I’m starting off at least 30 pounds lighter than any time this has happened in the past. Hopefully I will not have anything throw me off track again, and I’ll finally be able to dip down below 200 and stay there.

Weight: 219
BF%: 28

Jan 1st starting weight: 232.5
Starting BF%: 31





Lack of Imagination

3 05 2010

In online discussions lately, I’ve often seen people make the point that there are some services that we need the government to provide. They believe that either the market can’t or won’t provide those services, or that if it did, only the rich would be able to afford them.

These people are severely lacking in imagination.

Let’s take the example of police and fire services. These unimaginative people picture a world where your house is burning down, and you have to call the fire department and provide a credit card number, and if you don’t have the money, well, better grab your garden hose and start spraying. If you got mugged, you’d REALLY be screwed because you wouldn’t have your wallet to pay the cop to go after the mugger!

But let’s see if we can come up with some better ways that police and fire services might be provided without government involvement.

For small communities, they might be provided on a voluntary basis. Volunteer fire departments still exist all over the country.

For larger communities, this wouldn’t be practical, so instead you would have a number of private, competing agencies providing these services. They could provide them on an as-needed basis, but more likely, you’d buy police and fire protection in the same way you buy insurance now. Homeowners and renters insurance policies might bundle them as part of their packages. Or maybe if you’re part of an HOA, they could contract with these agencies on your behalf and they’d be included in the HOA fees. Certainly owners of rental properties would want to have these services available to protect their investment.

The beauty of the market is that it tends to provide innovative and creative solutions in ways that are often difficult to foresee. I think that the possibilities that I’ve briefly described provide viable alternatives to what we have now, and should at least suggest that the market can provide these essential services.

As for only the rich being able to afford them, I’d like to point out that we’re all paying for those things now – even those people who don’t directly pay income taxes still pay for these services indirectly in one way or another. But there is no reason to think that privatizing these services wouldn’t reduce the overall cost that is paid for them, and thus actually make them more affordable for everyone.

Maybe next time, I’ll go into why we don’t need the FDA, FAA, FTC, etc. Although if people use their imagination, perhaps I won’t need to.





A little help from my friends…

21 04 2010

As many of you probably know, for the past 7+ months I’ve been dating Amy, a truly amazing woman who happens to live in Logan, Utah, where I grew up. I spent quite a bit of time with her over the holidays, including taking my kids to meet her for the first time. A week after I returned to California, Amy came home to a nightmare: her basement was filled with a foot of water, and was continuing to fill. As she describes herself on her blog, after spending a few minutes trying to take care of it herself, and nearly freezing in the process, she realized she needed help and called a local company specializing in that kind of thing. They were soon on the scene, and after assuring her that her homeowners insurance would cover everything, they proceeded to move everything out of her basement, pump out the water, pull up the carpet, and remove all of the baseboards and the bottom two feet of drywall.

A few days later the insurance adjuster shows up and informs her that, due to the flood being from the bursting of an outside pipe that was not properly winterized, they weren’t going to cover the damages. At all.

Amy is a single mother of two just struggling to get by in this economy. Her ex-husband hasn’t paid her a penny of child support in more than a year. Just coming up with the money to pay the recovery company is a challenge. Paying someone to restore her basement is out of the question. And so, 4 months later, the basement is still mostly empty, with gaping holes in the bottom of all of the walls. Because the bedrooms for her two boys were in the basement, and are currently unusable, every night they sleep on Amy’s floor.

This summer, when I visit Amy in Logan, I’m going to take a crack at putting her basement back together. The drywall needs to be replaced, the carpet needs to have the pad replaced, and the walls need to be painted. I’ve done plenty of painting, but I’ve never done much with drywall or carpet.

What I’m hoping is that I have friends and family in Logan that can help out. If there are enough of them, maybe we can even get it over with quickly.

I’ll be in Logan next from May 6th to May 9th. If you’re reading this, and know something about hanging drywall or laying carpet (or even if you don’t!) and would be willing to help out, let me know by posting here or by sending me an email myopicrhino@gmail.com. If you want to help but can’t make it then, I’ll be back again regularly, so let me know anyway. Thanks in advance to anyone who volunteers, and if you don’t, well, I love you anyway!

Update!

I’ve had a great response. Thanks to those who did! I’ve had a few people say they couldn’t help out in person but they offered to donate, so I set up a Paypal fund to do that. Anything I receive will go to purchase drywall, paint, etc., to complete the project. Thanks again to everyone!

Update #2!

Looks like we’re going to do this Saturday May 8th starting about 10 am. I’ll get in touch directly with everyone who responded, but if you’d like to join us, just let me know!





Fitness log, 3/1/10

1 03 2010

As you may have gathered if you’re friends with me on Facebook, for all of last week, I had all 5 kids, their friend Emily, and (for at least part of the week) Lissa living in my 2 bedroom apartment with me. I don’t think I need to say how disruptive something like that can be to your schedule, and my eating and exercise habits definitely took a hit this week. I did still manage to get in 2 of my weight training sessions, and ran once for 4 miles, averaging 9:30 per mile, which is not bad at all considering.

I’m therefore shocked that I managed to drop 4 pounds this week, getting me back on track to where I was before last week’s spike up. I’m mostly discounting the supposed 2% drop in bodyfat. Awesome if it’s true, but the Tanita scale I’m using is wildly inconsistent; the numbers are mainly going to be useful over a long stretch of time.

On Friday, I leave for San Francisco for a GameDev.net owner’s retreat (where Amy will be joining me!), and then I’ll be at the Game Developers Conference all next week. I’m going to do my best to at least get 2-3 runs in every week (I’m running out of time until Ragnar), hopefully do at least some weight training, and make responsible choices while eating out. Wish me luck!

Weight: 223.5
BF%: 28

Jan 1st starting weight: 232.5
Starting BF%: 31





Fitness log, 2/22/10

22 02 2010

With the craziness of the move and a trip to Utah to see Amy, I managed to miss last week, but here I am back.

For the same factors, I haven’t been fully consistent with either my diet or workout for the better part of two weeks. I did manage to get in two runs a week, and I’m now able to consistently average less than 10 minute miles,  so I’m on track there again.

After returning from another awesome visit to Amy, my weight had crept back up to 228. When I got on the scale on Thursday, I was at 222.5, and then, after two full days of busting my ass moving, and eating whatever was handy, on Sunday I hit 230. Even though I know that most of that fluctuation is due to water (nothing else makes sense), it’s still pretty frustrating.

Hopefully I can get fully back on track this week.

Weight: 227.5
BF%: 30

Jan 1st starting weight: 232.5
Starting BF%: 31





Fitness log, 2/9/10

9 02 2010

I seem to be stalling a little bit, although I guess most people would consider losing a pound pretty good. I’m slightly disappointed, though, because last week I was pretty rock solid with my diet, I got all 4 weight training sessions in, and I ran 3 times, including two runs of 4 miles, one of which I did in slightly under 40 minutes. We’ll see what happens this week. I’m spending the weekend with Amy (yay!) so we’ll see how consistent I can be!

I noticed that my hits on this blog spiked yesterday, despite not having an update. I guess that means people are expecting a Monday update? I’d better strive to not be late again!

Weight: 223.5
BF%: 29

Jan 1st starting weight: 232.5
Starting BF%: 31