Skinny math

I spent some time with my parents and brother recently which was really fun. Being away from my labs and studios and stuff changes the balance of my day to day activity. This moves me more into planning, design and away from the hands-on aspect. So needless to say, I got a lot of design work done and of course there is a huge queue of stuff in my fab-queue at the moment.

Another process that came forward was better eating habbits and fitness. Because my parents have a mini aerobic gym in their basement I started enjoying and doing that. Also there was less bad stuff available to eat at my parents place (they did not have nachos and fish and chips on the menu).

A mere 60lb.

This is all a good thing since I have gained a few pounds recently. As you can see in this picture (right) I started off pretty light. Actually, I have been very fit for most of my life. When I was 10 years old or so, my fitness teacher (Commeau [sp]) managed to get me into very good shape and that stayed with me mostly.

I’ve been heavy twice in my life.

The first was when I was married. My ex did the bulk of the cooking. Welcome to the world of burger and lasagna. Oh, and pass the salt. Also, she was in love with drugs so that’s a generally unhealthy situation (I’ve never done any illegal drugs or abused any prescription drugs). When I was married I coped with burger-potato overload in a few ways. I eventually hired a cook to do the shopping and prepare all the meals (meet Enviro-woman). That helped but in the long term it was hard to keep someone on staff doing this stuff as I was also juggling all the cleaners and stuff.

I managed to fix my diet up and loose all my extra weight. I was busy during this time period and when I returned to some of my hobby environments after loosing weight, good friends of mine actually failed to recognize me. It was a radical change and I was glad to be on track.

Thankfully the drug situation became very horrible, the house stunk and there was a lot of oogabooga going on behind my back if you know what I mean. So I fell out of love with her and checked out. This was an awesome time for me as I started dating quickly and changed up my hobbies too.

Here are a few shots of me in what I consider nearly ideal shape for my age:


This stuff is pretty recent.

The second time I was fat is now. The cause is bad food choices. This is linked with a newer lifestyle that is more flexible and agile. New activities that I love and have pushed out some of my regular exercise-like stuff (like Salsa or Ballroom). Convenience of restaurants, business events, socials, parties and lots of other ways of eating the wrong thing.

Here are a few pictures that represent where I’m at now:

To be frank life is going very well and I don’t want to disrupt since I have everything. But I think the time for fitness and healthier (and less convenient) eating needs to be added into the mix. I’m supposing it will come back as higher productivity and perhaps will even feed my creative process.

So I’m really happy about having a quieter time over the holiday season this year. No parties since I don’t know anybody in Sasktatoon except family. It gave me a good head-start. Now that I’m back into the grove with meetings, business social, lab time, operational (procurement, errands) it seems I’m craving to do workouts. So I started running the stairs. The cool thing about this activity is that you can do it anywhere and it’s easy for me to get it done just before my first shower of the day. So the workout doesn’t add a shower and the lugging of extra clothes and towels associated with a workout.

I’ve been watching what I eat and that has caused my weight to start to slide down.

So here are my fat metrics:

December 21st, 2011 weigh in: 229lb
December 24 resting pulse: 59bpm
January 2nd weigh in: 222lb
January 10th weigh in (today): 220lb
January 10th resting pulse: 52bpm

I’m just in from a stair climb of 22 floors. I checked my heart rate and it was floating around 120bpm. I’m no expert but that’s probably okay for me at this age.

Okay, so lets see. I weigh 220lb and I went 22 stories which is about 220 feet (I’m a living textbook with these numbers). So that’s

220 feet * 220lb = 48,400 foot pounds of work

As some of you may know that’s a measure of work (as is calories). So lets convert. Google “how many caliries in a foot pound“. Of course the Google Calculator answers “1 foot pound = 0.324048267 calories”. So now we know how many calories of work get done in that sort of workout.

48,400 foot pounds * 0.324048267 calories/foot pound = 15 683.9361 calories or 15.6 kilo calories

When people talk about food and calories they actually mean kilo calories. So in a nutshell my workout involved doing 16 calories of work. I think it took me about 10m. So an hour of this activity is about 96 calories. A hundred calories per hour. A pound of fat is 3500 calories by the way.

I think somethings missing here. In the past I’ve done the calculation and was coming up with about 8h of exercise per pound of fat. So that’s more like 3500/8 calories per hour. That’s assuming 440 calories per hour. I suppose one problem here is that I didn’t really time my stair climb or it isn’t a high enough intensity activity.

It’s pretty clear that the answer to weight loss isn’t exercise it’s diet. It’s obviously less time to cut a hundred calories out of diet that it is to put out an hour. So the exercise is good for fitness and well being but not weight loss.

Okay, that’s enough fat math.

I just made a nice meal (nuts there goes 30m!!!). Wait, that’s not so bad. I probably saved 500 or a 1000 calories over eating out. So that’s like a 5h workout.

I thoroughly enjoyed it though. Lean chicken breast, a kiwi, red pepper, mushrooms and a small pomegranate.

The bit of extra time for the workout and eating meant that I didn’t do my parts run this afternoon. I’ll do it Friday morning by the looks of my schedule. I’ll barely make it to my business function for the evening which is a meetup of about 60 people to discuss software development methodology and how it can be used for things other than software. That’s something I did with the Squirrel model airplane project by the way. That should take the whole evening and there will be beer and food I’m sure. Hmmm…. we’ll see how things go… 🙂

One thought on “Skinny math

  1. I sympathize – in my late teens I had a weight problem (actually, because of overfeeding and sedentary time in RN service) which carried over to later years as a student. The solution was simply to tackle the problem at its root and get used to feeling hungry all the time – i.e the best exercise is pushing your chair away from the table; chew slowly and people will get fed up with you and take away the plate !. Nowadays, to play around with so-called light stuff such as sucralyl, coke zero and the like is self-defeating because it actually increases the sugar-appetite. My kids have the same problem – one or two have taken my advice and control it, the others, not yet !

    I don’t know if you’ve ever had to give up smoking – most people who succeed will admit that all the gimmicks are meaningless – success is all in the mind – don’t throw away the cigarettes but keep them there as a reminder for otherwise you’ll simply borrow them and likewise, don’t empty the ‘fridge cuz then you’ll simply go out to the fastfood outlet !

    I guess there’s nothing wrong with your math (well, arithmetic). However I do find exercise just for the sake of exercise is a drag. So for example, I (worked at Carleton U.) would avoid lunch and skate downtown in winter, canoe up a couple of miles in summer. Weekends (lived at cottage)would ski a couple of miles winter, swim the same route in summer. Always walked to work except for cycling when pressed for time. And those were all times when I could organize the rest of the day so they weren’t altogether wasted. So I think another secret is to find activities which you enjoy and which force activity. Billiards is out, windsurfing is good, downhill skiing is so-so and cycling is not great (it’s too efficient). TV of course is a dreadful mistake – fortunately, we have no cable access and any broadcast rarity I can schedule a tape – apropos of TV tape, my wife is a news addicts so she tapes the evening news and I simply have a 3/4 walk on a treadmill next morning with the TV playing the news tape and/or anything else taped…..well, so it’s not new news but I really don’t care.

    Don’t know if this is any help.

    Mike P or va3tjp (forgive me, but that email you have(why ?)is one of many expendable such which I keep to control spam and data-mining)

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