Monday, June 25, 2007

Fit Club Week 2 Results

Starting Weight: 174

Week 1 Weight: 173

Target: two pounds (171)

Week 2 weight: 171

I hit the target. A combo of some intense early week workouts and trying to run a 500 calorie deficit each day seems to have paid off. With my summer vacation coming up (and the very real chance I'll backslide that week), I am going to have to be agressive going into it.

So, this week's target: two pounds (169).

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fit Club Week 1 Results

Starting Weight: 174

The goal this week: 2 pounds

Weight this week: 173. A disappointing result. As of mid-week, I was down to 171 pounds and was feeling confident. Arrogant. I kept up the work out regime, but starting eating more. That was a mistake.

There is a lot of research out now that indicates that the vast majority of weight loss, when you engage in a workout and diet regime, comes from what you eat. At my age and weight, my Basal Metabolic Rate is 1775 calories. In other words, if I just lay on the ground all day long doing nothing, my body would burn 1775 just keeping the body alive and functioning. On top of that, we engage in physical activity -- including the act of eating itself -- which burns calories. Let's assume I burn 500 calories through normal activity (walking to the metro, climbing stairs, etc.). If I consumed 2275 calories of food and drink, I'd maintain my weight.

To lose a pound a week, you need to burn 3500 more calories than you take in. That is 500 extra calories burned a day. If you run for 30 minutes each day, you may lose 300 calories. But, if you just sat there, you'd lose 100 calories. So the net gain from the 30 minute jog is only 200 calories. Good, but not determinative. Weight lifting burns much less than cardio, and the metabolism gains from increased muscle is negligible. And, some studies show that your metabolism boost from working out only lasts for up to 40 minutes after a workout. Then you go back to your normal level. Unless you are doing extreme workouts, you won't be losing enough in a workout to lead to significant weight loss (i.e., 1-2 pounds a week).

Thus, the best thing to do is to cut your caloric intake. It is much easier to cut 500 calories a day out of your diet while being healthy. Combine that with a regular workout regime and voila -- weight loss. But, working out and eating the same will get you nowhere.

Which is what I did towards the end of last week. My caloric intake, notwithstanding the workout, was probably in the 2500 and above territory. Not good if you want to shed 1-2 pounds.

But, the good news is that I am still leaner. I am up a notch on the belt. Also, the reason to exercise is to be fit mor than to lose weight. And I am feeling fitter.

Goal for this week: It was going to be 1 pound. Due to the set back this week, the goal this week is 2 pounds (171 pounds).

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fit Club

I like Celebrity Fit Club. It is the one reality show with some redeeming value. Hopefully, it inspires people to get in shape.

I am not in terrible shape, but I used to be much fitter. So, starting last Monday, I started my own two month fit club. Of one: me.

Vital stats at the weigh in:

-- Height: 5' 9.5" inches (rounded up appropriately to 5' 10" when asked)

-- Weight: 174 pounds

So, what are my goals, both short and long term?

Goal for my Monday morning weigh in: two pounds.

Target weight: 164, with some more muscle definition.

Target fall project: to run, the whole way, a 10K (6.6 miles). Right now, I could probably do 4 miles with some struggle.

The results of the first week tomorrow.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Greatest

Can't embed this one, but it is incredible: Freddy's Dead

Check these cats getting down to Superfly on a 1971 episode of Soul Train:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Things I Don't Like, Part 3

11. I don't like that the people at my local Cosi know me. I prefer to be an anonymous consumer.

12. I don't like the fact that the same people prefer to talk about Cosi-related gossip, thus delay me getting my beverage for probably two unnecessary minutes every morning.

13. I don't like the level of poverty in this country.

14. I don't like that many people are unwilling to admit that the poor bear some, albeit signifcantly smaller, responsibility for that fact.

15. I don't like the smell of magic markers.

16. I don't like the finale of the Sopranos. It was too meta and self-indulgent.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Blogging The Republican Debate

7:03 -- Tommy Thompson makes a joke about he's the Thompson who is the politician, not the actor. Tommy's got jokes. For a moment, he went from being a joke to making a joke.

7:04 -- Now Huckabee is doing shtick. He says he's from Hope. Like Clinton. "Give us another chance." Ha, ha, heh. I don't get it.

7:06 -- Romney seems to be hinting that if we knew there were no WMDs, then maybe we should not have fought the war. That could be huge.

7:07 -- Guiliani says we shold have attacked nonetheless. Gooniani.

7:08 -- McCain didn't read the NIE? Et tu, McCain? Et tu?

7:13 -- Thompson is unlistenableto.

7:14 -- Hunter claims he read the NIE. I can't imagine him reading US Weekly much less the NIE.

7:15 -- Paul says get out now. "It was a mistake to go, it was a mistake to stay." Gets applause.

7:16 -- Huckabee says Al Queda is a mean, mean dog. Seriously. Give him a break he was a more typical Governor from Arkansas.

7:17 -- Brownback says it was right to talk to Iran recently on Iraq security. After reading Obama's piece in Foreign Affairs that has just come out, he'd agree.

7:19 -- Hunter would nuke Iran if Iran was about to get a nuclear weapon and was unwilling to give them up.

7:20 -- Rudy says conventional weapons enough to deter Iran. Attacks the Democrats pointlessly. He seems small. Literally and figuratively.

7:22 -- Romney gives off some moderate vibes. He says we cannot be arrogant, but we must show resolve. He's definitely tacking more to the center.

7:23 -- Tancredo believes if the immigration compromise passes, it will be "disasterous."He believes immigrants will destroy the republic. I am glad he is pushing this clear message of hope.

7:26 -- Romney has a more focused attack on the immigration reform bill. He has a problem with illegal immigrants getting put into the system and a chance to stay.

7:29 -- MCain filibusters on immigration. He was way too abstract.

7:30 -- Romney apparently hired Dodd's make-up artist. He's a tangerine.

7:32 -- Brownback basically just said toss all the undocumented immigrants out. Subtlely.

7:34 -- Tommy boldly and creatively suggests that we must secure the border.

7:35 -- Oh yeah, Paul is still around. He says illegal immigrants are being made scapegoats for larger economic issues.

7:37 -- Romney just got caught rolling his eyes on camera.

7:39 -- I am getting bored by the conservative chest-thumping. I am going to work out and come back in about 40 mins or so.

8:40 -- Back after doing some weights and a two mile run. Main thing that stood out -- Why are these men lurching out of their seats and at the questioners in the audience? One woman looked troubled when Rudy came at her. Otherwise, this has been an incredibly mundane debate.

8:43 -- McCain just made a compelling, compassionate speech in support of immigrants. Seriously, it was impressive.

8:45 -- Giuliani's positions seem to be based on cheapshotting Democrats. He isn't the nominee yet, so his attack only approach seems vacuous.

8:46 -- Brownback: Bush's biggest mistake was not to cure cancer? Or arrest the Hamburglar, I'd say. He and OBL are still at large. Robble, robble.

8:48 -- Paul is nicely establishing himself as the Repubs principal isolationist.

8:48 -- Gilmore said "Hillary" wants to eliminate Bush's tax cuts. What is he talking about? Has she said that. Who is he talking about? Hillary Duff? Who cares what she has to say.

8:50 -- This pastry chef just asked what it means to be an American? Less meringue, more apple pie. That is kind of what Tancredo is saying. Ok no, he's not. I'm just proud of the pun I came up with like "that."

8:52 -- Rudy has just lept out of his seat again. Someone protect the chef whose sole mistake was to ask a question.

8:53 -- McCain just basically called Tancredo crazy. He wins the "Duh"/"Yes award for the evening.

8:54 -- This weird-looking grandma type is identified as a state legislator and she asks a question. Isn't there like 800 people in the NH legislature? And 700 residents? Seriously, can I just go up their and declare myself a state representative?

8:56 -- Hunter just called out McCain, Romney and Rudy for being too liberal. Says they are part of the Kennedy wing of the Republican party. Their responses don't even matter. That was the slam/line of the night.

8:58 -- Why do they keep talking about socialized medicine? Who aside from Kucinich on the Democratic side is pushing that? The Obama and Edwards plans rely on the continued used of private insurance companies. That is an awfully huge straw man.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Blogging The Democratic Debate

7:04 -- Kucinich may be a long shot to win, but he sure is making all Elf-Americans proud.

7:06 -- Edwards: Is America ready for an pretty president?

7:07 -- Clinton pulls a page out of Bush's playbook and invokes 9/11 in answering a question about domestic security.

7:09 -- The stooge from the local TV station asks Biden why he disagrees with Clinton and Obama's "vote against funding the troops." A loaded question. They didn't vote to defund the troops. They voted to defund the war. It has nothing to do with "hurting the troops."

7:12 -- Where is Gravel? We need to spice things up.

7:14-7:16 -- An Edwards-Obama-Clinton smackdown. Edwards insinuates Obama and Clinton voted at the last minute after checking the political wins. Obama calls Edwards out for being a Johnny-come-lately on the war; he says he was right about it all along. Clinton says its easy for those on the outside attacking those trying to legislate.

7:22 -- Biden calls all the far left canidates out about the silliness of their view the current Congress can end the war with Bush in the White House.

7:26 -- Obama is doing much better this time. Calls out Clinton for not ready the NIE before the war vote, noting Bob Graham did and that is why he was against the war.

7:27 -- Gravel says those who voted for the war are guilty of a moral failure. "More Americans died in Iraq than on 9/11 because of their poor moral judgment." More Gravel.

7:32 -- Biden is "speaking truth to power" on immigration. He's got this salty, practical shtick going today, and I like it.

7:35 -- Obama eloquently tells Wolf Blitzer that his question about whether English should be our "official" language is bullshit. The crowd applauds.

7:40 -- Obama and Edwards have a very impressive exchange about their health care plans. Dems have some good candidates.

7:43 -- Richardson is waxing incoherent about his health care plan. Somehow, a fat, jowly guy talking about his healthcare plan is not terribly compelling.

7:44 -- Blitzer is clearly ignoring Gravel. Which is great because when he is called on, he'll go volcanic.

7:50 -- Biden is doing his best Howard Beale impersonation. I dig it.

7:51 -- Richardson: "A president has to show leadership." Profound. Why is he talking but Gravel is getting no air time?

7:53 -- Clinton has a maniacal laugh. She's laughing at the bit Gravel is doing about Clinton.

7:57 -- A question about how Bill Clinton would be used in a ______ administration. They all agree he should be the ambassador for cumbaya.

8:07 -- The analysis from the CNN crew is predictably facile. During the Super Bowl, Animal Planet has something they call the "Puppy Bowl," where a bunch of puppies play. They should do a "Puppy Debate," where puppies give THEIR views on how to stop global climate change. I am in the "yip" camp on that issue.

8:10 -- Who is this dingbat from the local station funneling audience questions?

8:14 -- Just popped open a beer. Drinking game time. A drink every time someone mentions the need to support the troops. I only have a six pack, so I may run out of booze before this debate is over.

8:16 --Thanks Barack. Two "support the troops" statements in one answer.

8:18 -- Richardson is answering a question about whether veterans should have to go to VA hospital. He keeps telling the questioner what he would do for "her husband." It is her son who is serving in Iraq.

8:22 -- Hilary went the tart route tonight when it came to her makeup. And, I like it. Seriously, she's kind of turning me on during this response about what she would do vis-a-vis Iran.

8:29 -- Kucinich: I don't believe in assasination politics. So, he's fine with Osama Bin getting off scott free? Keebler Elves are more pacifist than Quakers, I tell you.

8:32 -- A question about Darfur. Excellent question. Biden says Sudanese government have forfeited their sovereignty by virtue of what they did. He is ready to push military force.People are asked if they agree? All hell breaks loose. People are talking over each other

8:35 -- Richardson: We need a foreign policy that cares about Africans. Finally, an applause moment for Jowly.

8:36 -- I give Dodd the nickname "Chins." He's wearing about 43 pounds of makeup. He looks like a geisha. If there are orange-faced geishas.

8:47 -- A question from a straight guy who owns a hair salon?

8:49 -- Wolf Blitzer trots out the "Deomcrats want to raise you taxes" canard in a follow up question. Democrats do not want to raise everyone's taxes. They only want to let tax cuts for people making over $200,000 to expire. That would mean a return to a 39% marginal rate (from 35%) for people in the top 3% of earners. It is a targeted, specific rollback. Why not correctly identify what these Dems are proposing. Oh yeah, that is right, Wolf cares more about getting a Democratic reponse to a Republican talking point. Because that is sooooo important.

8:53 -- Clinton does a good job addressing the point immediately above.

8:54 -- Gravel has gone nuts. He is talking about the Hamburglar raiding the Socail Secutity budget. Right? Or is he saying the Hamburglar is stealing burgers? What is he yelling about?

8:57 -- The problem I have with Edwards is that, sometimes, she is really vague.

8:57 -- Richardson is telling a teacher who asked a question he'd make sure she got paid more. Richardson may not be a top tier candidate here. But, he'd be a top tier candidate for panderer-in-chief.

Things I Don't Like, Part 2

6. I don't like people who walk slow.

7. I don't like the smell of bacon.

8. I don't like being in an elevator with someone who has some bacon-based food in a bag.

9. I don't like a lot of make-up on a woman.

10. I don't like the fact that I caught watched 10 minutes of Footballer's Wives and didn't change the channel. And I wantched 10 minutes more; I didn't like that either.