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The Veritable TechNinja

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[Jun. 16th, 2009|08:34 pm]
The Veritable TechNinja
[status |optimisticoptimistic]

So, after nigh 18 years of a sedentary lifestyle of pizza and video games, I've decided I'd like to be in shape. I'm about 175 pounds and a 34" waist now, which I suppose isn't bad. I'd like to be about the same but with a much, much lower BMI when I'm done. Right now I've got a burgeoning beer belly and about 1 1/2" love handles. I'd like to have a flat stomach and sides, a slimmer face, bigger legs, and the overall slight suggestion of muscle tone beneath taut skin. More Edward Norton in Fight Club than Brad Pitt.

To do this, I've started walking. I'm going to walk 4 miles a day, three days a week. I'm going to take in about 1300-1900 calories per day whether I exercise or not. It's actually pretty cool to get to be downtown every other day. Seeing neighborhoods, gardens, people passing by. The first day went badly overall, but was interesting. Decided I needed a goal and a reward, so I got two beers at Ashley's, which was my turnaround point. Of course, walking 4 miles burnt 400 calories, and two beers is 400 calories. On the way back, some jackass in a Miata was already over the crosswalk when I was trying to cross, and then started inching when I entered the street. Fucker actually nudged my knee. Sure, it was at .2 miles an hour and didn't even leave a bruise, but the asscactus hit me with his car. I responded by sitting down on his hood and putting my ring down pretty hard on the paint. He drove away, knowing if he said anything it would have to start with "so I hit this guy with my car, and..."

Today, I bought a pair of running shoes and a pedometer, and switched the beer for a 0-calorie drink. No booze tonight plus extra lean diet today means I took in 1100 calories and burned 400. Going to try to return the shoes, the lady said they don't come in different colors but their website says otherwise. I wore them home, so maybe I'm screwed, but meh. I can live with looking weird in black pants and silver/white/blue shoes. Thighs are a bit chapped again today, I don't even know if they make "walking shorts". They're probably just flabby, either they'll shrink or the skin will toughen up soon.

In the eating department, I'm still going to eat fast food every workday lunch. 3 tacos from Taco Bell with a bunch of hot sauce is still 490 calories. Hell, my favorite Quizno's sub is still only 700. Still going to eat nukables for dinner. Trying to keep those under 600, but that doesn't take much, most nukables are diet food anyway. On the weekends I'm going to eat whatever the hell I want, but maybe take ridiculous portions home with me instead of wolfing it all down.

So if I keep to this regimen, the internets say I'll lose 2 pounds a week without even taking exercise in to the equation That means I only have to do this for 5 months to get down to 140. With the exercise, maybe I can do it in 3. Maybe in the real world where I drink beer, slack off, and pig out, 6 months. Now I don't expect to ever actually weigh 140, that's just what I figure I weigh without any body fat or increase in muscle mass. In the end, I'd like to add 20 pounds of muscle mass, mostly in my back, tummy, and calves. So in the end, I'll be 160, but have a BMI closer to 21 than 28. The muscle building I'm partly doing now, but I plan on losing the weight and building the endurance first. Then I'll up the calories to about 2600 per day, add three eggs a day, cut the walking down to the YMCA and back, and start lifting weights and using machines. No funky protein shakes, no 20 pills a day. Just a multivitamin, some eggs, and enough daily calories to support an increase in muscle mass. I'll do this until I'm happy with myself, then recalculate what I need to do to maintain that weight with little to no exercise. Yes, I'm going to go right back to being lazy, just not eat as much. We'll see how it goes.

[User Picture]From: ilikeswords86
2009-06-17 02:08 am (UTC)
Shoot, you shoulda called me! I was down there the other day and woulda come and joined ya at Ashley's!

I started working out in January. I've been slipping a bit (down to about 3 times a week, from 5). So far, so good. I go to Fitness 19; it's only $17 a month, and I think there's one in AA. I'll hafta check though...

In any case, good luck! The hardest part is getting started, I think.
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2009-06-17 12:43 pm (UTC)
Crap! Ahh well. Text me next time you're in town! With this regimen I'm downtown every monday/tuesday/thursday.
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[User Picture]From: ilikeswords86
2009-06-17 07:53 pm (UTC)
My strategy is to build as much muscle mass as I can through weight training. Then, I believe, it becomes much easier to drop the weight, since a pound of muscle burns much more (12+ times) calories than a pound of fat. My diet still sucks, but I've put on quite a bit of muscle. I *feel* thinner. Stuff has definitely been shifting around a bit...

...but, I honestly haven't lost a single pound of actual weight! Meh, my self-image is much better; that's just fine with me! :D
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[User Picture]From: etcet
2009-06-17 08:02 pm (UTC)
/nods along

Turning the same weight of flab into muscle will make the unsightly areas shrink, and the better ones grow, though not equivalently (since fat is less dense than muscle, too).

I spent a lot of time down about 15# from my starting weight, and breaking that plateau was a huge pain in the ass.
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[User Picture]From: elysenotelsie
2009-06-17 04:45 am (UTC)
:-) I'm pulling for ya
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[User Picture]From: etcet
2009-06-17 01:10 pm (UTC)
You knew this was like chum in the water for me, dude. ;-)

First, the good news:

You're not as bad as where I was when I started (185#, just under 36"). That was four and a half years ago.

Now, the bad news & advice:

You didn't put the weight on overnight, it's not going to come off that way without a visit to the nice doctor with the abdominal shop-vac. :-)

That's not enough calories on a daily basis; your body will go into starvation mode and hang onto everything it can if you're running a net intake of 700 per day. For guys our size, you should realistically be in the 1500-2200 range (my insane asshole protein shake diet? 1400-1800 per day). Just exercising more will a) be more sustainable and b) not trigger the body's OH FUCK, MUST SURVIVE FAMINE! response.

The thing with frozen/nukable meals that hampers them is that they've got a ton of sodium, generally speaking, which makes you retain water. Obviously, drinking more water habitually will condition your body to move it along, but if less-processed options are available, go for it.

If you have the chance to include a little strength training - even a couple sets of pushups and chin-ups - by all means do so. A) muscle looks good, B) it burns more calories 24/7 than non-muscle, which doesn't suck.

Ob. Plug: Hie thee to http://www.shrinkgeek.com!
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[User Picture]From: etcet
2009-06-17 01:13 pm (UTC)
o hai, i must lrn2reed - your daily calorie thing is fine.

also, what kind of beers do you get that are 200 apiece? are they huge, robust, or both? :-)
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2009-06-17 02:49 pm (UTC)
I was hoping you'd respond, I know you're the resident expert in this matter.

Well, my math is sound, right? According to the weight loss calculator web crap, I need 2500 to sustain my weight, 2000 to lose 1lb/wk, 1500 to lose 2lb/wk. That's 8lb/mo, so 35/8 ~ 4.5, so I should be down to 140 by Halloween, when it'll be too cold to walk far anyway. That's gross, before any calorie burn from the walking. Plus, 140 would be rail thin for 1 5' 11" guy with low-moderate muscle tone and a medium frame. If I hit 150 by the middle of September I'll be happy, and can count on additional weight loss when I start working out proper. Plus, muscle tone shows through a little fat.

On the starvation response front, I know I can't do what I did yesterday every day. Monday I probably still took in 2400 net calories. Today I'll probably do more like 1800 since it's my break day. I did it more because I was pissed at myself for having a burrito, two beers, four mixed drinks at the club, and a pile of tortilla chips when I got home from the club. From what I read, zig-zagging calorie intake allows for better weight loss.

Definitely drinking more fluids. Will be taking in at least 24oz of extra fluid every day I walk. Bottle of 0 cal life water on the walk, 12oz water when I get home.

And as for your progress, you look like a 300 extra and do hours of weightlifting every day. I'm going for beer belly disruption for the moment. I'll still be a scrawny computer nerd with just a fleeting hint of 8 years of competitive Judo in my past. I can definitely see that happening, but I don't know how motivated I'll be after I reach that goal.

And beer? 12 oz of Stone Arrogant Bastard is 190 calories, and I had two pints, so it was more like 500 calories. My favorite, Gulden Draak, is 215. Hell, even the lightest beer I like, Bohemia, is 135 per 12oz. And playing poker on Fridays, I could go through a six pack from 4PM-3AM. That plus delivery food is 2000 calories in and of itself. Good thing I didn't take the exercise in to account when I figured my weight loss goal.

Edited at 2009-06-17 02:50 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: etcet
2009-06-17 06:50 pm (UTC)
Wait, you're five-eleven? Holy shit. Where did I get the idea you were about my height? You have a growth spurt since C5, or did you just slouch a lot back then? :-)

Okay, anyway. This is probably fairly self-evident, but the weight will come off faster initially than it will at the end, if only because you'll weigh less and therefore need fewer maintenance calories. IOW, you'll do the 2# week for a couple, then 1.5, then 1, and then swear a whole fucking lot to try and get the look you're after if you're after something relatively challenging.

I think 140# at 71" will make you look, err, kind of gaunt; long distance runners don't exactly call to mind images of any particular buffness (this is because they're not; I was a scrawny little fucker when I ran cross-country, too).

I appreciate the flattery, but, "No, I don't. At least, not yet." That's my goal (for guys with my target physique who share my hairstyle, see Pavel Tsatsouline & Jason Statham). My latest napkin math puts me about five or ten pounds' worth of body fat away. If you have access to calipers to get tested, BF% is probably the best barometer of general weight-centric measurements, as opposed to raw weight or BMI. (for reference, my body fat percentage is 11-12% at the moment; my goal is "have visible abs," which is generally expected to take place for most guys around 7%. 5% of 150# is 7.5#, so there's my napkin).

I'm in the gym generally around 45 minutes three or four times a week these days, though not all of that is spent doing actual work. The problem with the slightly crowded and somewhat limited facility at my office is a certain amount of social interaction unless I explicitly point out "can't talk, killing self with timed event," compounded by the need to weight for folks who are, shall we say, a bit more casual about their lifting to get the fuck out of my way. It's a shared space, and it's free, so I don't bitch too much (except when people don't put shit away), though that's also part of why there's now a real weight bench/rack in my garage.

I think I was surprised at the beer calories because there were Guinness billboards around here saying it was "only 125 calories (we didn't believe it, either)" or verbiage to that effect. I know traditional light/lite beers are in the 90-100 range.

But, yeah. Empty calories which slow down your metabolism, so you get the double whammy. Even though some dude (see link on my lj) has apparently written a book called "the beer-drinker's diet."
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2009-06-17 08:24 pm (UTC)
Heh, I still slouch a lot. Maybe 5' 10+3/4"... And I was 18 when you met me, so yeah.

I know I'm setting the bar high, but that's what I have to do in order to feel it's worth pursuing. Like I said, if I'm at 150 by the middle of September, I'll be happy. Hell, if I can wear the ever-increasing pile of 33" (and shrunken 34") waist pants again by then, I'll be happy. I'm spitting numbers out now because I'm a huge nerd with the deep desire to quantify everything.

I don't think I'll be cross country runner thin, I've already got more muscle mass than that. Those deep-cheeked, jiggly-loose-calf-muscle runner types freak me out a little.

Christ, Jason Statham? Damn. That guy is carved out of wood. If you reach that goal it would be staggering. And visible abs is my goal as well, I hope I can reach it. I don't know though, your level of exercise is _way_ higher than I could ever see myself keeping up.

Though that ties to your next point. I could easily see myself doing an hour of exercise three times a week. Not doing 20 pullups with a 90# weight between my ankles, but I could see using a rowing machine for 20, treadle machine for 20, and doing something else for 20. Much more my speed, and what I intend to do to build muscle once the weight's off. Andy above points out that muscle mass burns calories, but I think I want to keep walking for now, stick with it, and reassess in November.

A neutral party website lists it as 170 per 12oz, which is more like what I would guess for a low-alcohol stout. I'm pretty used to drinking 15-30 proof beer, Belgians and ESBs. Yup, light beers are around 100, but I'd rather lick a diseased llama scrotum.

I read that, that's fucking retarded. "Drink 12 beers a day and don't eat anything". Even with fucktons of supplements you'd end up so unhealthy from the repeated liver assaults that you'd be unable to move around to burn your normal everyday calories. I won't even get started on 24 hours without food.
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[User Picture]From: etcet
2009-06-18 03:28 pm (UTC)
Having lofty goals means that, even if you miss, you're a lot higher than you were before you started anyways. I endorse this approach. It's not like I'm resting on any laurels here, either. :-)

When you do get to doing gym time, repeat after me: WEIGHTS FIRST, THEN CARDIO. It's a hell of a lot safer and easier to slow down on a rowing machine or elliptical than it is to gas out doing a squat and, you know, DROP 200# ON YOUR FACE (or pull a muscle trying not to).
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[User Picture]From: resk
2009-06-17 05:04 pm (UTC)
I'm going to do my best to use the word "asscactus" in daily conversation.
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[User Picture]From: recovry
2009-06-26 03:45 am (UTC)
Good luck man. I've tried to make exercise outside of my job a regular part of my routine, but its difficult when you have diabetes. One minute my glucose will be fine, and the next morning before I go to do my sit-ups my blood sugar is below 80 and combining the two is not a good idea. Be thankful you're not a diabetic.

I would like to get together and hang out sometime soon if you're free one of these Monday nights. I haven't talked to you in a long fucking time and only have a vague idea what life is like for you.
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