Weight Loss Simple Theory Calls for Focus and Perseverance

I have tried to reach my ideal body weight for my build and height for the past few years, actually since just before college started almost a decade ago. I have slowly gained weight, but have been pretty steady with slight fluctuations. Much of this is due to being eating on an American diet, where one eats until not hungry. Of course people can decide for themselves what is a good weight to be at and I am not saying that anyone else needs to change. However this post is for anyone who does want to lose (or gain) those 10-30 pounds. I’m not saying they’ll have an easy time reaching it either. Leaving all notions of normality, social acceptance, and any other bias including hollywood, I will continue with a discussion of my attempt at reaching my goal.

It’s all just calories
There is a basic fact of life that we burn so many calories, kilo-calories (kcals or Calories) to be precise, in a day. Also, every 3500 kcals in deficit or excess is a pound lost or gained, respectively. This allows me to calculate my Calories my body burns by just living. I used The Daily Plate online tool to calculate that at my current body weight of 215, and being lightly active throughout the day, my body burns about 2650 Calories a day. So without getting to technical, I need to get around 1700 net calories to lose 2 pounds each week, this accounts for burned Calories from exercise as well).

Now focus and perseverance comes into play, once the “diet” starts. 1700 Calories worth of food is not very much, especially if eating unhealthy food. So focus is needed in order to not eat too much during the day, and perseverance is needed to not give up if you do have one day where you consume too many Calories.

Here are some tips I have come up with to help me remember, and maybe help someone else out there!

My 5 Tips (for weight loss)

  1. QualityH2O – Drink water, and lots of it, well don’t go overboard. Your body can get confused between hunger and thirst, so you might as well make it much easier for you to know when you’re actually hungry. Weigh yourself at the same time with as close to the same circumstances as possible. Water weight definitely affects how much you weight, so the best time to weigh would be in the morning as it’s probably the most consistent in terms of amount of water in your system.
  2. OverUnder – Over estimate the amount you eat, and underestimate your exercise. I find that by putting 2 servings down instead of 1.75 or even 1.5 I am better off when I eat the small handful of peanuts or a couple chips that I don’t count or forget about. Same goes with exercise, forget the bike ride to the gym, or the walking or stair climbing done while out shopping. This tip is to help you lose slightly faster.
  3. LessButMore – Instead of doing 45+ minutes of exercise 3 times a week, try doing 30 minutes or less daily. I find that I can burn about 400 kcals in about 30 min, depending on your weight and type of exercise your numbers will differ. That 400 cals will help me to burn almost an extra pound a week, or allow me that weekend dessert.
  4. KeepFocus – Have reminders of your goal weight, motivational quotes, photos, or any other thing that will help you stay focused. It might even help to put something on the refrigerator. It also helps to have a partner, for motivation, and to help keep you accountable. You might notice differences in the first few weeks, but it will take at least a month before any significant measurements will change.
  5. Clog – Keep a daily calorie blog. Use whatever works for you, I prefer online tools. I really enjoy using The Daily Plate (TDP) as it has a rich database of foods and exercises. It allows you to track calories, body measurements, weight, and more. YOU MUST keep track of your progress so you know when you are succeeding, faultering. It will also serve as a device to keep you motivated to stay at your new weight, as you know how much work you did to get there.

I hope this helps; I’m only 5 days into my journey, and already I’m feeling better and more confident that the weight will come off and stay off. I’m already at 212 pounds. Remember that there is water-based fluctuations of +- 2.5 pounds (on average), and also muscle weighs more than fat, so don’t be alarmed if you gain a few pounds first (due to exercise) before you start losing it.

The last thing I’ll leave is that this is a good way to slowly lose those pounds as you can only lose a couple pounds a week without changing too many habits. Just eat less, or exercise a little more. You will have days where you go way over your alloted calories, but just hang in there and rest assured if you stick to this guide and use these tips you should have a better chance at succeeding in the long run, it is all about the long-term.

2008 new years resolutions and goals

I have been thinking about this upcoming year of 2008 and what I would like to accomplish. Similar to a list of resolutions, I have some goals I thought I’d share to make it more real and give me a sense of accountability I’d otherwise not have. Unfortunately most of my goals are really 1st half of 2008 since I can’t comprehend next fall yet. And I’m sure these lists will only continue to grow.

2008 Overall Goals (ie: Resolutions):

  • Determine my career focus
  • Ski 30+ days Jan-May
  • Reduce Balance on Credit Cards to zero by June (Loan payments kick in then!)
  • Lose weight to achieve goal weight of 185 lbs (~30lbs to go – Christmas did not help)
  • Attend a Video Games Live concert.
  • Continue keeping Inbox @ zero.
  • Get rid of anything I don’t need (give to goodwill or auction off on ebay)
  • Vox once a week or 50 times (these include only substantive posts with real content)
  • Finally for once and for all determine and organize my online identities (merge and split where necessary)
  • Enjoy each and every day!

2008 Development Goals:

  • 1st Iteration of my development operating system. Create a VMWare image to share.
  • Finish OmniStatus for the sake of finishing it, then create a version in flash and silverlight for testing.
  • Develop or further development of 5 open source project of my own
  • Get involved with an open source project like Drupal or CakePHP, etc.
  • Develop a web service based business

I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing with these goals through limited Vox posts, twittering, and info on my actual websites.

What are you all going to do for this upcoming year of 2008?

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!

Never Be Caught Without Toilet Paper

I had an epiphany today to share how I go about making sure there is always toilet paper in the bathroom, and the science behind it! First off let me tell you that this is what many consider a “Life Hack” which also means that it’s just common sense, but many people still don’t abide by the rules of common sense. All you have to do is make sure you use the rule of 3: keep 3 sets of 3 different amounts and follow these guidelines:

  • Keep 2 rolls near the toilet, 1 in the dispenser and 1 right next to the toilet somewhere not directly on the floor (you don’t want it to get wet – keep in a plastic bag if necessary).
  • Keep a small set of rolls (e.g: a 6-roll bag) under the sink, or somewhere in the bathroom out of sight if possible.
  • Keep a larger set of rolls (e.g: 6×6-roll bags) in a storage closet or under the stairs.
  • Any time any of the stores runs out you replace it from the next large store.

Geek Explanation:
This is similar to how DNS works, your local system has a hosts file or local dns cache. This file allows your computer to know the IP address of a domain name that you have recently looked up. If it can’t find the data in this local cache, your computer asks your ISP for the information. If the ISP doesn’t have the info you need then your computer will ask the internet (ie: the root domain servers) and get the information if it exists. Your computer then copies this information into it’s local store for later use. Of course each level of cache can “time out”, like running out of TP rolls, in which case it must go to the next large store of domain name entries.

Layman Explanation:
Similar to having a spare tire in your car. If you get a flat somewhere you definitely don’t want to resort to calling a tow truck (or yelling to your roomate to get you another roll of TP). This is why the spare tire was invented, or rather why it exists in the first place. After you use the spare you immediately go and get a replacement tire. Then your spare becomes the backup again.

It just makes sense doesn’t it? Always replace your backup, not the original!

I also realized that this works with so many products, you should start using this philosophy everywhere! I use it mostly for products I can buy in bulk. I go to Sam’s Club once in a while and purchase paper items, and other handy things to well have on hand (pardon the semi-pun). Or shampoo and soap, when you run out you should have a new bottle ready to replace the one that ran out. Then go to the store immediately, or within the week to replace the backup or spare bottle.

~Have a great day!

Life has its Ups, and its Downs!

So the vacation home started all swell, an easy plane ride after seeing The Bourne Ultimatum, and a quick trip to our lake home. Met up with the rest of my family and spent the next day having fun enjoying the jetski, swimming, hottub, and playing with my little nephew. A few days later my mom, sister, and I headed out on our trip to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN) after packing the minivan full of who knows what. It was to be a trip of fun and shopping.

Shopped Til We Dropped

The first day we shopped for most of it rising early at 9:00 to get started, and I read Harry Potter #3 when I could instead of shopping, or took care of the little nephew carting him around in the stroller and trying to keep him entertained. One of the interesting stores we went to at the end of the spree, IKEA, it is a crazy huge store laid out with Swedish efficiency guiding you along a single one-way path through the displays of the items laid out as they’d be in your home, then to the next level where there were all the smaller items you might buy (I bought a coupld CD boxes that seemed light but strong.) and finally to the last level where you get the heavy items like desks or whatever and they give you different carts for each of these levels.

Mega Mall Entertainment

After this great adventure, we went to none other than America’s largest mall (or used to be, not sure) we like to call the Mega Mall, but its scientific name is The Mall of America. It’s a huge 4 story mall with an indoor amusement park inside the center. We basically just ate there for supper, and took the little guy on some rides. He had a blast, smiles across the board and giggles to each successive trip around the schools bus that takes you around like a ferris wheel but much faster.

The Lucky Night

After we ended the excitement of the mall my brother and I went to the Cantabury race track. It was dollar night so we entered, and each got a hotdog and soda for just over $5, what a great deal. My mom had given us some money, and more than we needed, so we gladly used it to bet on each of the races. We watched 5 races and my brother had success on all but the first race betting on the winning horse and banking a winnings of around 40 bucks! I wasn’t doing so hot, I missed on the first two races, and then won a small amount on a high odds horse getting 2nd, missed again on the fourth race, but the last and final race for our night there I bet an exacta box on horses 1 and 6, which meant that I need both of those horses to come in 1st and 2nd, in either order, and sure enough after a photo-finish replay by the judges, horse 1a (there were two horses “1” and “1a” for the price of one) came in second to horse 6. I banked a solid $33 on that bet of $4, not bad eh!

The Water Park of America

The next day brought with it a little bit of extra sleep, then a trip down to some lake in MN which had a bike and running path around it. My brother and I set off to run the loop, about 2 miles, while my mom and sister took the nephew to get some food. After we finished our little workout we ventured over to the Waterpark of America where we got to have a blast …

The unluckiest night of my life (really) !

After having so much fun shopping, going on rides, winning money, and splashing down waterslides I was treated with something nobody would ever dream to ask for. I’m talking of course about full projectile vomiting and diareha for 5 to 6 hours during the night while trying to get some sleep. If that were not enough the hotel we were staying in decided to loose power twice, both at times of terrible inconvenience.

Finally we drove back up to the lakes where I could relax, get some good rest, and get some of my strength back ;P