Fitness and Health

I want to get back into my regular shape. I realize I’m going to have to reverse out some recent lifestyle changes starting with this very scary concept.

My diet. This makes sense since it’s the main thing that is different. I think I need to plan each week or day better so I don’t fall into traps anymore.

I’m going to make sure I take my time with things and get ample quality sleep without disruption.

Also I don’t have a structured work day anymore so that’s made workouts a little less likely. So that’s something to look at. I want to be a little practical about working out too so will get my bicycle ready for the spring. Also look at active lifestyle including salsa dancing. I will get back to weights and other workouts to fill in what I don’t do through my recreational and practical activities.

This shouldn’t be too hard as this is a fairly rapid onset wrong choices. I have made some false starts at making changes recently. What I’m going to do differently this time is publish my progress. Then my friends can be aware of my intentions and support me. I’m also going to prune my social network where necessary to make sure I don’t have any negative peer pressure.

Here are some fairly recent pictures so those that know me more recently can see exactly how fast this has happened.

I used to work out regularly, cook and eat properly, keep notes and get expert opinion on diet and fitness to keep myself on track.

So I’m going to start reporting my progress here:

InventorArtist-1000February 4, 2014 around 2am: 217lb

In great health, feeling good and having a great time. Life is very full with exciting and enriching projects. So this will hopefully be fun to see how I can make this embellish all my projects and activities. I believe by adding this new project (health) it will help my other projects rather than take away.

Today I decided to try some indoor gardening as part of moving towards cooking and fresh foods. I think it will be fun and will encourage me to get this right.

One thing that motivated me to start this log was an experience last night. I was at the pub with a couple that I used to know from Salsa dancing. The lady in the couple was explaining to other people what good shape I used to be in and what an avid dancer I was. I shared a couple of pictures including one of myself in a bathing suit. It make me realize how accessible it is to get back to where I was. I considered posting the bathing suit one here but it might be a little cheesy so I held off. Besides, I had a stupid mustache (what was I thinking).

Feb 4 Morning: I was up around 7am and had fruit an boiled 3 eggs to get me through the day. I volunteered at a seniors residence to make valentines cards at 9am. I was just on time so I didn’t eat the eggs till noon. The plan was to have one at 9 and the rest at noon. I also had a couple of oranges. I went to the pub and had wings plain. I could have drank less. What I’ll do is not drink for the rest of the week.

Feb 5: 214.5lb

Feb 6: 214.4lb

Feb 14: 214.2lb. Okay, so that’s about three pounds so far. Not even statistically significant. Not that great so clearly I need to make more change. I’m still eating out a bit so will make sure I make lunches and stuff more.

I’m feeling physically pretty good so the coming week will be a good week to start working out.

I got these cool strips (right). You can use them to detect if your body is using it’s fat stores. It will be interesting.

Feb 15: This is my birthday. I went to a party where I made some cool interactive snowflakes. Birthdays are not the best time to loose weight with food, beer and stuff. I didn’t tell anybody it was my birthday except a couple of people last minute so there wasn’t too much pressure. At least I did about 30m of dancing at Atomic that night.

Feb 23: 214lb. I’ve had a bit of a bad week for eating out. But beer seems to have fallen off the map so that seemed to negate mistakes since weight hasn’t increased. Since this initiative one friend has been particularly supportive by convincing me to reduce alcohol a lot. So the upcoming week will be interesting. I was betting I’d drop 3lb. We’ll see!

Feb 26: 212.8lb. At least we’re not gaining. 🙂 I’ll do another weigh in this Friday.

I went to work out this morning but my weights were not there. They are lent out and have not come back yet. I’ll look into that.


At this weight, my BMI was well into the obesity range. So clearly it’s not a useful measure.

Feb 28 7am: 212.6lb. Well there it is. I’m not sure dropping drinking makes much difference. Well I had a beer with the boyz on Wednesday. So it’s “approximately” dropping drinking.

When I was a little younger the books said I should be about 165lb. I suspect 175-180lb is probably a good goal since I will be working out. That’s probably a healthier weight based on what I know I look like at different weights.

In the picture at the right I’m about 170lb. Don’t worry I’m not going to grow a mustache. I didn’t realize I looked like a goof with a mustache and there was nobody to tell me so.

So I’m only about 42lb off. At the rate of 5lb/month that’s 8 months off. If I settle around 175lb and I pick up the pace I suppose we’re talking 4-6 months. It will be fun to see how this goes.

When I was fit, I noticed that working out and diet were tightly coupled. When I ate properly I automatically worked out an enjoy it. When I made mistakes in diet my energy was lower and I didn’t enjoy working out. It became like a chore. Lately I’m starting to feel like working out so this is a good sign. While I’m procuring my weights I may go back into salsa dancing. The only problem with salsa is it is a fair amount of commitment but I suppose I don’t have to worry about too many lesson and stuff, just do it for fun. Let’s see if I can procure a couple of partners for this. I’ll probably drop into some lessons from Oscar de Leon and Cristobal Miller.

11AM: I think I have a salsa partner. So will be doing that pretty soon.

March 3: 212lb. Well that’s only 5lb in a month (tomorrow). If I hold this pattern I will arrive at my goal in about 8m. I’m assuming I will get to the goal sooner as I start Salsa this week and other exercise will come forward too.

On the beer front, this passing week I made two mistakes. I had beer with the boyz on Wednesday and Saturday Beer and Pizza with Sanjay. I think each of those mistakes is worth about 1/4 or 1/3lb.

March 4: 212lb. I declined an event this evening that has beer and free food. I also chose to have a meeting this Thursday at the lab instead of a pub. Wednesday is open house day at the lab. I’ll bring food to prevent eating out. That should help. I’d like to try for another 10lb down for April 4 (my second month). So that means by April 4, I need to be down to 202lb. In the event I start working out I may not worry about this as I will gain muscle so weigh in wont be a good measure anymore (although I’ll still do it).

Hey wait a minute. If I declined my business event tonight, then I can go to Salsa lessons. I have a partner that came forward Salsa but we’re not starting yet… So I’l go on my own.

I’m in from Salsa. On the good, I bought a few lessons worth so there’s a few light workouts. On the bad, my ongoing ankle problem flared up. I was sort of okay during the lessons. It was a bit distracting and stuff but it seemed I could keep going. I sat down a bit after. Then presto! Extreme pain. When I got up I could not walk. I’m in excruciating pain. Okay, I need to figure this out.

March 5: 211.2lb. I hopped after sleep my ankle would be better. Nope. Can’t walk at all. I know this isn’t going to stop me. I’m very annoy.

6:30pm: Ankle is considerably better. I can limp around like an old man now. Next time I do Salsa I will keep it to an hour.

March 6: 210.6lb. I didn’t feel like going to the lab open house last night with my sore ankle. Not a real excuse but I was busy with projects. On the bright side, I didn’t have a beer and snacks with the boyz from the open house last night so there’s a savings of 1000 calories at least.

Ankle still shot but getting better. I’ve been up since 7am making gliders, preparing for a glider blitz (deciding what to bring) an next I will be making Dinky Motors.

I think the next week or so will be highly productive with weight loss since the glider blitz will be a fairly active time. There will be temptation to eat in restaurants but the plan is to bring lunches so I can just eat sissy salads an stuff an still enjoy the socials. So there’ll be a few boiled eggs in my near future. 🙂

March 10: I may have slipped a bit. I’ll know when I get to my scale. My sprained ankle has kept me at the lower end of activity level (although I increased a bit by adding Salsa and with the walkalong glider blitz). But the higher workload has tempted me to eat out and I had beer Sunday evening at the Firefly meeting and today for lunch. Workload will go to normal as of Saturday.

I will make a lunch for tomorrow and press on!

March 11: I managed to make lunch and stuff for today and my ankle is doing pretty good. If all goes well I’ll get some running around with kids in today.

March 17: 209.6lb. This morning I woke up and did

  • sit-ups on ball,
  • back extensions on ball,
  • push-ups,
  • adductors and
  • abductors.

I guess I’ve crossed some sort of threshold in my schedule management and food intake that brought that forward. If this sticks it might slow my weight loss slightly as it will add mass to my muscles. This is good.

In fact, my philosophy is to address the whole thing through diet and exercise will follow. I’ve been fit most of my life and have always enjoyed working out. But I noticed that if I made mistakes in diet then I skipped working out. So if the diet isn’t right, working out is a chore and isn’t fun.

There’s some math to support the diet as the root here. A pound of fat is about 3500 calories. Most people have a caloric requirement of about 2000 or so calories per day. I had some professionals tell me that my requirement was around 2200 calories per day about 15 years ago. I suppose that drops a bit so I’ll assume it’s around 2000 for the moment.

The workload of loosing extra fat through diet an interesting thing. There’s no work involved. All you need to do is have your intake lower than your requirement. So lets say I hypothetically keep my intake around 1600 calories. That’s 400 short of 2000.  That’s 9 days for a pound. The cool thing here is this takes no effort in fact you save time and money. Avoiding restaurants and pubs and stuff saves a huge load of time and money. The stuff you should be eating is actually very inexpensive.

On the other hand if you look at the weight loss from an exercise view, the math gets uninteresting. Walking it takes about 8h to burn the pound so clearly there’s no time for that. Everything that’s really fast for weigh loss is a bit injury prone (jogging for instance is out of reach with my ankle). I guess cycling is going to be the answer here since there’s no impact (not even load bearing on legs). But anyway, you need 4h to burn the pound unless you’re doing the kind that needs a shower (which means it’s no good for transportation).

I was talking to a lady the other day who said that she’s doing spinning to loose weight. The problem with this crowd is they think the spinning is making a big difference so they think they can eat extra. Every time you eat a bit of food it can take hours exercise it off.  So eating extra food is just a big ridiculous make-work project. Why not avoid the recreational eating and stick to what the body needs? I mean really, the same crowd will tell you how “busy” they are so if there mouth is true they don’t have time anyway.

So clearly if the diet is in order, that is your best position. If it’s consistent, then working out will come forward as all this salt, sugar and fat is hard on energy levels.

Anyway, I feel like this is a bit of a milestone as I’m naturally exercising.

May 18: Okay, I haven’t weighed in lately. I will do that tomorrow morning (I do it when I wake up)… On the positive my herb garden is doing well and as of today I now have fresh basil on hand. I’m cooking a bit more often but still make mistakes like I had nachos at the pub last night.

March 20: 210.3lb.

July 19: 210lb. Bicycle comes out today. Here’s a picture from ages ago.

August 09: 208.6lb. I started a compost project today as part of my healthy eating (appreciation for fresh food).

IMG_0895-1000August 11: 207.8lb. I’m feeling more motivated than usual. I started to harvest my hot chili peppers. Wow freshness counts.

August 12: 207.4lb. Noon weigh in 207.2lb.


2015-08-01 19.31.15-1000

Steve Aplin testing out my electric bike.

August 2nd, 2015: 207lb. Okay so this hasn’t gone very well. I got my mountain bike ready but it doesn’t have the range I need so it didn’t stick. Also I’ve had a hard time making time for exercise.

I think I finally found a good solution. I have an electric bike. What it does is it increases the value proposition of biking places. I can use it for longer hauls and still show up in good shape or whatever meeting or social. I wind up peddling and getting exercise but I don’t get sweaty since I can stop pedalling towards the end of the run and I cool down in the breeze. Plus this doesn’t occupy a timeslot since there’s utility in commuting.

This is working out very well. I’m peddling around. It has also shifted my lifestyle slightly giving me access to more destinations en-route.

to “Fitness and Health

  • I’ve noticed my weight gaining too. I think part of it is I’m getting older and I don’t need as much to eat but it is the main part of excitement for the day. I’ve been trying to get out and kite a paraglider and cross country ski but it doesn’t hold a candle up to a good repast! Here’s what I chould be able to call progress but I’m still gaining weight:

  • Keep up the good work, Darcy–you can do it! 🙂

  • Just saw this thread for the first time. I could definitely loose some weight too. I’ve been substantially more active in the last week which is good. I’ll get my bike out once everything has melted. I’ve found with a good cycling regimen the pounds just fall off me.

    Keep up the good work Darcy! I’ll be checking in to see how you’re doing.

    • Thanks for the positive note Max!

      Glad to hear you’re working on heath too. Looks like lots in common. 🙂

      I had a bad week but still at it. 🙂