Saturday, February 25, 2006


We all talk about exercise, but few of us heavy people every get
around to doing it. I wonder why?

One of my own answers is that I am so out of shape that I can't do
enough to get motivated. I mean I start to job and stop about 100
yards later. It doesn't take long to think that everyone is laughing,
and this little amount of exercise will never help.

I thought is we are measuring the wrong thing. It isn't how far run
or how fast you ride your bike. When you are heavy and out of shape,
the first muscle to be exercised is the heart. I don't mean
emotional; I mean physical.

Get a heart monitor. I have the kind that straps around you chest and
comes with a watch for the readout. I like it a lot. The strap isn't
that long, so if you are a little too big you might want to find the
style that is a watch only. The media says that it isn't as accurate,
and I haven't tested it at all, but I think it would be better than
wrestling with a strap that's too small. The monitor I purchased was
about 40 dollars from Best Buy.

Once you have the heart monitor, you can start to exercise based on
your heart rate. Start to measure what matters. The goal is to keep
you heart rate in a higher than normal range. The standard formula of
220 - (your age) is questionable measure of your max heart rate, but
it is a goo spot to start. There are many theories about what zone is
best for different results. I picked 60 to 80% (roughly). Being
almost 40, my works out to be about 120 to 140.

I exercise as much as it takes to keep my heart rate above 120 and
when it reaches 140 or above, I take a deserved break. My monitor
comes with an alarm, so when I hear the beep for below 120, I take off
again. Being out of shape, I actually jog or walk uphill very little
before reaching 140. This isn't a problem anymore since I am working
on my heart rate and not my distance or speed.

The theory goes something like this. Get the heart in shape and it
will become more difficult to keep your heart rate up. In short,
distance and speed will come as the heart gets in better shape. If
there comes a time when you need a higher rate to get the results you
want, then just change the numbers and work to stay in the zone.

By doing exercise this way, I can stay motivated. I can exercise for
25 or 30 minutes between 120 and 140 without extreme distress.

I will let you know how this works out in the long run.

thanks, Greg

Saturday, February 18, 2006

weight 190 and hiking by July 4th week 2008

Still working on slow weight change. It's been two and half months
(since Dec 3rd). So far I haven't lost any weight. I may have gained
a pound or two. My wife didn't like the type of scale we have, so it
was moved to the basement. I haven't stepped on it in weeks. This
might be a good thing.

I did stop drinking caffeine over the Christmas Holidays.

I have cut way back on the amount of meat I eat.

I always take the 4 flights of stairs at work.

Exercise? Not yet. I did get a heart monitor for Christmas, and I
like the idea of exercising according to my heart rate and not
distance or reps.

Stats to date:
Levis 550 36 inch waist are snug.
weight is > 230 < 235
conditioning is poor; I get winded from the 4 flights of stairs still.
No routine exercise program.

I haven't had a goal. I have always desired to do some serious hiking
in Colorado, and I haven't been brave enough to bother since I am so
out of shape. Based on the idea that losing weight will help my
hiking ability, I am going to set a goal. I estimate a 5 day guided
hiking skills course cost about 1200, so I am going to pay myself 2500
if I can get to 190 pounds.

Since I don't want to continue to loose and gain for the rest of my
life, I think a slow lo lose plan is best. Let's say 2 pounds per

235 -190 = 45 pounds = round up to 24 months. Can't hike in the
winter time very well, at least I don't want to. 2 years from now is
Feb/08 and add 4 months to get to July/08.

I will weigh 190 pounds by Feb/08 and purchase my guided hiking tour
for July/08.

Working backwards to make off some smaller steps:

2 pounds/month = 6 pounds per quarter.
<229 May 31st/06
<223 Aug 31st/06 (will have turned 39 years old)
<217 Nov 31st/06
<211 Feb 28th/07
<205 May 31st/07 (start to shop for outfitter)
<199 Aug 31st/07 (40!! years old)
<193 Nov 31st/07 (purchase trip)
<190 Feb 28th/08
Go hiking July 4th week/08