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Tuesday, January 03, 2006  

I Ain't Your Brother

Well, it's been almost two months since I was diagnosed as "not quite obese," and decided to lose weight. And here's what I've done about it.

Decided to lose weight.

I'm pretty sure I know what happened. To cause the weight gain, I mean. Last year at about this time, I was at my (then) new job downtown. Every day, I parked a fifteen-minute walk away from work. Before I knew it, I was getting thinner, almost involuntarily. I quit watching what I ate, because I was obviously walking it off faster than I was putting it on. And then I got tired of being away from home an extra half-hour every day, so I started parking closer. A block away from the office, to be exact. This wouldn't have been a problem, except that I didn't start watching what I ate again. Once I shut off that will power, it's hard to turn it back on again. At least until New Year's, when everyone becomes filled with the resolve and the drive to do some serious leaf-turning. That's where I am now. Well, I'm proud to say that in my first work day of 2006, I didn't dip once into that huge basket of candy that's always spilling over its edges about three feet from my desk.

Yeah, that basket may also have been a factor.

It's harder than I expected, replacing that daily exercise I used to get. I don't want to start parking further away again, and taking the stairs isn't really an option. Even if I didn't work on the 24th floor, the fact that the stairwell exits are always locked makes it kind of a non-starter. Gym membership? No thanks; too much money for something I'll never use. And chasing and scooping up a one-year-old around the house doesn't get you feeling the burn like you might think, especially after you unplug the ankle-level night light that he's always grabbing for. I don't know how some people accomplish as much writing as they do and still manage to exercise. And you know who you are, you healthy, prolific fuckers.

I wish I could say that without a bunch of commercial-free HBO shows to recap this year, I'll find the time. But I know better. Even discounting my rotten habits in general, after 24's over for the year there's another project I'm going to be working on that's going to keep me in front of my keyboard for a while as well. So I just have to develop an exercise regimen that will integrate with my writing. A few brainstorming ideas:

- Set the laptop up on the control panel of the treadmill and write while walking. Advantages: will also develop upper body strength by constantly lifting up the laptop to see how much further I have to walk. Disadvantages: I'm a perspirer, and would probably have to invest in one of those keyboard-condoms you see at the oil-change place. Also, I am incredibly uncoordinated, and will probably end up flat on my face several times per sentence, of which every fourth word will be "76ytghbn58urfjv93oeksc,2-eolsx.z1-sl."

- Set up a wearable computing system so I can write while walking around the lake or something. Advantages: fresh air. Disadvantages: Expensive, probably unworkable, and likely to get me beaten up, robbed, and then beaten up again. Also, after losing the weight, it wouldn't fit me any more.

- Invent a giant computer keyboard like the piano keyboard in Big. Instantly, every recap will turn into the kinetic equivalent of a multi-hour round of Dance Dance Revolution. And you see how skinny those guys are. Advantages: Could get rich off the patent. Disadvantages: My study's not that big, I have no aptitude for inventing things that require anything more technical than Legos, and my lack of coordination means that every third word will be "76ytghbn58urfjv93oeksc,2-eolsx.z1-sl."

- Modify a pedometer so it can record steps made in Morse code, and then dictate my writing while walking around the neighborhood. Advantages: lightweight, and could download my writing when I get home. Disadvantages: see most of the above. Also, I would have to learn Morse code. And I would look like the Minister of Silly Walks, only to get home and probably have nothing to show for it except 76ytghbn58urfjv93oeksc2DASHeolsxSTOPz1DASHslSTOP."

Okay, screw it. Obviously I'm just going to have to cut down on the constant intake of junk food and soda.

At my physical, the doctor advised me to lose about twenty pounds this year. The thing is, I don't believe in scales. I mean, I believe in them in the sense that I accept their existence, but I don't think that knowing I'm up or down a pound or two in a given week or month is going to help me. It works for lots of people, and that's great; I just don't think I'm one of them. It's like when you're driving down a long, straight road. You focus on the pavement twenty feet in front of you, you're going to be making these little corrections all the time. I suspect my only hope is to look at this as a long-term goal, keeping my eye on the horizon -- that ridge at the end of this year, the one I'll reach when I'm twenty pounds lighter. It's either that, or I'll end up in a ditch and someone will have to haul me out with a winch. And maybe my car, as well.

Today's best search phrase: "Losing hair because of shabu shabu." Well, that might be a helpful idea or two right there. I could a) move to New York and slim down by walking to the Shabu Shabu restaurant every day, or b) shave my head. My last haircut was on Labor Day weekend, so that's probably good for a couple of pounds right there.

posted by M. Giant 9:35 PM 4 comments


How daRRRe you call me a 76ytghbn58urfjv93oeksc,2-eolsx.z1-sl. Don't you know this iis the gRRRavest iinsult foRRR us, the people of Kaboumbistan? You don't heaRRR me calling you a diRRRty gneiqso5x:i!RRRepopopo, do you? And iif you want to iinsult us, at least have the cuRRRtesy to do so coRRRectly: '76ytghbn58urfjv93oeksc2DASHeolsxSTOPz1DASHslSTOP' iis spelled wiith a 'vjf97' iin the middle iin the present tense, you ignoRRRant AmeRRRican!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 4, 2006 at 4:17 AM  

Dude, you only need to weigh yourself three times in the next year. Get a reading now, write down the number, and put it in a safe place. Then weigh yourself in six months and see whether you've lost 10 pounds. If you have, keep doing whatever you're doing at that time, and presumably by 12 months you'll have lost about 20 pounds.

If you're still on the chunky side of the curve after the first six months, then in the second six-month stretch it's more shake, less bake. More slavey, less gravy. Ramp up the Tae Bo, scale back the Ho Ho's. More elliptical, less... food.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at January 5, 2006 at 11:16 AM  

You know, unless you have gained like 100 pounds in the last 6 months, I think you might be *adding to your weight*, so to speak. I saw you in NY this last summer and you looked great - not overweight at all. Are you sure your doctor is a REAL doctor?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 6, 2006 at 8:32 AM  

You also have to take into consideration that it's winter right now and you're not getting as much exercise, or maybe that's just me.

I hear ya though. Blaming my metabolism for slowing with age, or my scale for being wrong isn't going to help me lose 10 pounds. I like Feb's approach above.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 6, 2006 at 11:33 AM  

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