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Thread: The Diet/Fitness Thread

  1. #1
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    The Diet/Fitness Thread

    People have occasionally mentioned taking up diet and exercise--most recently Neely, who has been very happy with his paleo diet--so I thought I'd start a thread for people to announce or cheerlead as applicable. Starting with *sigh* me. Here's my testimony:

    Ye Bathroome Scayle of Harrd Truthe now has me topping 240, which is too much even at my height. Thus, I'm joining the trendy New Year diet/fitness bandwagon. Rule #1 for doing this: Tell your family and friends as a deterrent to wimping out.

    My plan:

    Fitness: I decided not to renew my old Bally's Gym membership just yet, because I know at my age I probably shouldn't just jump into working out hard like I could when I was in my early 20s and trying to gain weight. Also it's winter, and it would be too easy not to feel like making the trip. I therefore decided to give workout yoga a try, because it's relatively equipment-free, it's a good way to ease into fitness, and it's something I can do at home while the kid's at school. Happily, the Consumersearch website has recommendations both for yoga videos and mats. I immediately liked their pick for a beginner's yoga video--Kimberly Fowler's No Om Zone--because she's a former triathlete who goes for the meat of exercise yoga without the spirituality or new-agey cultural baggage ("no chanting, no granola..."). So I ordered that and a couple other videos for later, plus the budget mat and yoga towel Consumersearch also recommended. The mat's especially nice because it's reported to be a high-quality form of cheap, and at 74 inches long it will accommodate me at 75 inches long.

    Diet: This part's harder, because I find the whole process of food preparation--researching recipes, shopping for specific ingredients, proper cooking from recipes as opposed to throwing stuff together that seems like it would be good together--tremendously boring. But a man's gotta do.... Consumersearch's pick for a diet book, Volumetrics, looked promising, because it's a common-sense diet that's about helping you eat smarter rather than just less ("feel full on fewer calories"). I double-checked it against U.S. News and World Report's latest diet evaluation (they hired 22 health and nutrition professionals to evaluate and grade 25 diets), and Volumetrics placed 5th out of 25. That twin recommendation is good enough for me. As a supplement, the Mayo Clinic (ranked 3rd/25) website also has a bunch of recipes and info about healthier eating. Luckily, my body fat turned out to be better than I expected, so I can make exercise the primary focus and just go for moderate dietary changes to start with.

    Last purchase was the EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale (quite a heavy name for a diet scale), which not only came highly recommended, but which also has a company VP actively checking out the Amazon reviews and responding immediately to problems. For $55, this scale checks your weight, body fat, muscle mass, and water mass. The manual does specifically say that those last three aren't precise and should be used to to gauge trends rather than just taking the numbers as gospel. I've had it for a week now and have pretty good averages to go by. My body fat reading surprised me, as that's only around 25.5%, which is at the high end of normal according to the included chart. So if I were to lose 25 fat pounds, I'd be at 220 with only about 14% body fat. That means I'm definitely carrying more muscle than I deserve to; I guess all the walking I do does some good after all. Unfortunately, I get the impression from what I've read that your body naturally metabolizes muscle mass when exercising hard, and that controlling that & just targeting fat is difficult. Still, I now have goal #1: Lose 25 pounds while improving the remaining 220, then see where the percentages are and come up with goal #2 from there.

    Official starting stats:

    Age bracket: 40-50
    Height: 6'3"
    Weight: 245.0
    Approx. body fat: 25.5%
    Approx. muscle mass: 36.8%
    Approx. water mass: 45.8%

    Official "Before" picture here:

    http://www.online-literature.com/for...=1#post1198006

    Wish me luck.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #2
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    That is a very admirable plan, Calidore. May I say that before I saw your picture I thought it was going to be a lot worse? You also don't look that old. When you were talking about not going back to the gym because of your age, I thought you must be old, but you look quite young and not even that out of shape.

    OK, I'll bite, but I can't bring myself to be that specific with my plans. Currently I am committed to healthier eating, which means more green vegetables! And right now I'm walking about two miles two to three times a week. I would like to add yoga and the kettle bell to that, but so far that hasn't happened. So I'd like to continue walking and hopefully will increase the length of time that I walk. I'd like to add yoga; right now I'm learning the salute to the sun. After that I'll add the kettle bell workout.

    As far as food, I'm leaning toward a Mediterranean diet. I got the Sonoma cookbook. So, mostly chicken, or salmon or tilapia with vegetables. I just need to learn a few more ways to cook these things. I love the fish. The salmon broils up fast, but plain salmon gets a little old. Lentils are also wonderful. I also want to add to my repertoire of recipes that use sriracha, which I just discovered and which is absolutely marvelous and delicious.

    I actually only need to lose about five pounds, but I have a sweet tooth, and I lost a few pounds initially, but nothing lately. I don't think I can quit chocolate, but I do make it dark chocolate.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  3. #3
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    That is a very admirable plan, Calidore. May I say that before I saw your picture I thought it was going to be a lot worse? You also don't look that old. When you were talking about not going back to the gym because of your age, I thought you must be old, but you look quite young and not even that out of shape.
    You're extremely kind, but I've put on 85 pounds in the last 20 years or so, and I see them every time I look in the mirror. I certainly don't mind not being skinny anymore, but I'd prefer to be a healthy, strong kind of burly rather than my current kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    OK, I'll bite, but I can't bring myself to be that specific with my plans. Currently I am committed to healthier eating, which means more green vegetables! And right now I'm walking about two miles two to three times a week. I would like to add yoga and the kettle bell to that, but so far that hasn't happened. So I'd like to continue walking and hopefully will increase the length of time that I walk. I'd like to add yoga; right now I'm learning the salute to the sun. After that I'll add the kettle bell workout.
    What's "kettle bell"?

    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    As far as food, I'm leaning toward a Mediterranean diet. I got the Sonoma cookbook. So, mostly chicken, or salmon or tilapia with vegetables. I just need to learn a few more ways to cook these things. I love the fish. The salmon broils up fast, but plain salmon gets a little old. Lentils are also wonderful. I also want to add to my repertoire of recipes that use sriracha, which I just discovered and which is absolutely marvelous and delicious.
    I do love eating Mediterranean food, just not making it. There are a lot of good Mediterranean restaurants in Chicago, happily.

    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    I actually only need to lose about five pounds, but I have a sweet tooth, and I lost a few pounds initially, but nothing lately. I don't think I can quit chocolate, but I do make it dark chocolate.
    I'm not a big chocolate eater, but occasionally if it's with something else like mint. My vice is ice cream/sorbet/frozen yogurt. Hasn't helped that some form of the good stuff is always on sale in whatever store I'm shopping in.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  4. #4
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    A kettelbell is a small weight with a handle. They can be quite heavy, but mine is not. Once you start swinging it around, though, they certainly feel heavier and heavier.

    Here's a link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettlebell
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  5. #5
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    Now that sounds painful qimi. Good luck Calidore. sounds like you're planning it well. I was told by my physio to only weigh myself at the minimum of every two weeks to keep perspective. There were a few reasons. Some of it was to do with building muscle mass from working out and some of it was to ensure that I stay focused on wellness and good health and not just on weight loss. What's your plan there?
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

  6. #6
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    lol, the one I have is only 5 pounds, Delta.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  7. #7
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    A kettelbell is a small weight with a handle. They can be quite heavy, but mine is not. Once you start swinging it around, though, they certainly feel heavier and heavier.

    Here's a link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettlebell
    Oh, those things. I've seen them but didn't know they were called kettlebells.

    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    I actually only need to lose about five pounds
    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    lol, the one I have is only 5 pounds, Delta.
    So put down the weight. Done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta40 View Post
    Now that sounds painful qimi. Good luck Calidore. sounds like you're planning it well. I was told by my physio to only weigh myself at the minimum of every two weeks to keep perspective. There were a few reasons. Some of it was to do with building muscle mass from working out and some of it was to ensure that I stay focused on wellness and good health and not just on weight loss. What's your plan there?
    Don't really have one there. Yeah, weighing yourself daily is pointless because you won't see results daily (or if you do, you're going too fast). I'll probably just weigh myself when I feel like looking.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  8. #8
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Breakfast: A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, a glass of OJ, and a double espresso

    Went for a run

    Lunch: Turkey and Swiss on Rye with a fizzy water

    Dinner: Asian salad and an iced tea

    Felt pretty good

    Read for a while (Eat The Document, by Dana Spiotta)

    Went to bed immensely pleased with myself

    Had a dream, dreamt I was one of the Keebler Elves

    Awoke at around 1am, wandered into the kitchen, ate 37 chocolate chip cookies

    Planning to get back with the program starting tomorrow
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  9. #9
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    lol, That sounds like me everyday.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  10. #10
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    May I say that before I saw your picture I thought it was going to be a lot worse? You also don't look that old. When you were talking about not going back to the gym because of your age, I thought you must be old, but you look quite young and not even that out of shape.
    My mother, on the other hand, just wrote back and said she found the picture "quite startling." Will you be my new mom?
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  11. #11
    Good stuff.

    Diet: This part's harder, because I find the whole process of food preparation--researching recipes, shopping for specific ingredients, proper cooking from recipes as opposed to throwing stuff together that seems like it would be good together--tremendously boring. But a man's gotta do....
    There's nothing wrong with just throwing stuff together, that about sums up my cooking style. I've a thing for scrambled eggs at the moment, I'm going through about 30-40 eggs a week, throw a quality sausage in there and I'm a happy man. The bottom line is that food doesn't have to be a pain to prepare. Wrap a chicken breast in foil and put it in the oven for 25 minutes is not cooking, it is opening and and closing a door! If you see what I am getting at?

    Without preaching paleo too much (it is difficult!) I would advise cutting down on carbs generally (carbs from breads, pasta, wheat etc, not fruit and veg) and filling up on good fats and proteins! What is healthy is good, natural foods, free from junk. This turns out to be vegetables, fruit, meats, eggs, nuts - oh hey, paleo/primal food!!

    Where I am with my food is adopting the sensible 80/20 - that is 80% of my food falls into meat, vegetables, fruit, eggs and 20% anything else. This means that if I do fancy a few biscuits or a sandwich (or beer of course) then it is not a problem. This works for me because it is in-line with everything I already enjoy eating, it's just normal you have to go with what suits you though, I'm sure you'll find your own happy medium.

  12. #12
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that Cary Grant never worked out or went to the gym a day in his life, and yet he remained fit until the day he died. He said his secret was he always took the stairs, never the elevator. Might be a challenge, Calidore, if you work in the Sears Tower up there.
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  13. #13
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    This makes me think about mental flexibly and its exercise. Many go on diets and fitness plans but forget that the same could be said about mental exercise and its fitness. Is there such as thing as fitness for the mind?
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    This makes me think about mental flexibly and its exercise. Many go on diets and fitness plans but forget that the same could be said about mental exercise and its fitness. Is there such as thing as fitness for the mind?
    Yes of course, the mind needs exercise too. Puzzles, books and ... that sort of thing, it's all good mental exercise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
    I read somewhere that Cary Grant never worked out or went to the gym a day in his life, and yet he remained fit until the day he died. He said his secret was he always took the stairs, never the elevator. Might be a challenge, Calidore, if you work in the Sears Tower up there.
    Absolutely, the gym is such an artificial thing. If you're smart you can build fitness around daily life.

  15. #15
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    My mother, on the other hand, just wrote back and said she found the picture "quite startling." Will you be my new mom?
    haha. Sure. Now eat your vegetables.

    One thing about the gym, it's warm. Technically I should go on a walk today, but it's cold out there and it just seems very unappealing. What to do, what to do...
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

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