Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Good News/Bad News

The good news is that I weighed myself for the first time this morning since embarking on Project Svelte and I'm not as heavy as I feared I might be. I'm at 196 and change. The bad news is that compared to the last time I weighed 196 my body fat percentage is probably significantly higher. After all, back then I was coming of three years of construction work. Now I'm almost a year into a desk job, and the heaviest thing I lift these days is a pint of beer. Well, that's not totally true . . . sometimes I order the thirty-two-ouncer, which is twice as heavy. Come to think of it, I did that a couple times last night (so much for giving up beer altogether, I guess), so I was probably a little dehydrated this morning, too. And that's always a good way to cheat the scale. So perhaps the good news isn't really all that good. But you know what? Screw it. I'm going to enjoy not being as tubby as I thought I was whether it's fully legitimate or not. The luck I'm having with with women these days, I could use a little positivity.

Only 21 pounds to go!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Playing the Percentages

It's day five of the diet and already there have been some nice ups and downs; good days and bad days; victories and defeats. I'm using this website called FitDay to monitor what I eat, and it's pretty interesting (read: unpleasant) to see my caloric intake pie-graphed out on the bad days. Yesterday, for example, I gave in to temptation and had a few beers at band practice. I didn't go crazy, but even those few beers, when added to my running total of carbs and fat and protein and alcohol (the site gives alcohol its own classification because it's so detrimental to physical health in general and weight loss in particular) really screwed things up. At the end of the day my caloric intake broke down thusly: food carbs - 55%, alcohol - 19%, protein - 15%, and fat - 11%. On one hand, it's nice to see I conosumed more protein calories than fat calories, but not so great to see that I consumed more alcohol calories than protien. I can't imagine what the proportion would be like after a weekend bender. Yikes.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Horoscope

Capricorn (December 22 - Janurary 19)
Attempts at self-medicating with alcohol will once again fail to treat your rampant alcoholism.

Damn. And I thought I was on to something.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

These Days

I recently picked up a copy of Fountains of Wayne's two-disk collection of non-album bonus tracks and unreleased songs. It's not great--the song-writing and recording quality vary pretty wildly--but it's good. I expected Maureen, the air-time-worthy single, to be the best of the bunch. And perhaps it is by most standards. Great hook, clever lyrics, and it's the one loaded on my iPod for running. But right now the song stuck in my head is the remake of an old Jackson Browne song called These Days. Damn, it's good. Maybe it's just that this particular song happens to resonate with me right now . . . or should I say, these days.

It's been ages since I've heard the Jackson Browne version, so I can't be one of those music snobs that gets all bunched up about how much better the original was and how nearly sacriligious it was for this power pop band to cover it. I can simply say that this is a great song and it's worth listening to if you get the chance.

Well Ive been out walking
I dont do that much talking these days
These days--
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
For you
And all the times I had the chance to

And I had a lover
Its so hard to risk another these days
These days--
Now if I seem to be afraid
To live the life I have made in song
Well its just that Ive been losing so long

Ill keep on moving
Things are bound to be improving these days
These days--
These days I sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten, my friend
Dont confront me with my failures
I have not forgotten them

Damn, that's good.

Don't confront me with my failures
I have not forgotten them

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Putting the Edit in Diet

Day one of the diet didn't go so great. Not bad, but not great. I got really hungry late in the day and had to revise my diet plan just a bit to keep from lapsing into a coma. Also,I figured I might as well get rid of the remaining beer in my fridge so that it doesn't tempt me in the future. That makes sense, right? And what better way to get rid of beer than to drink it?! The way I look at it, it's better to start slow and build up steam than to start fast and get all burned out. So by allowing myself a couple extra beers now to clean out my fridge, I'm really laying the groundwork for long-term success.

Man, I've got this diet thing nailed!

P.S. I just came up for a name for my diet: Project Svelte. Svelte is a funny word. Giving my diet a name with a funny word in it will help keep my motivated and make me feel less embarrassed about the fact that I'm actually on a freakin' diet. I hope.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Critical Mass

Okay, I've said this before, but this time I mean it: I need to lose some weight and I'm going to lose some weight. And I'm going to start right now. I don't care how sedentary my life has become now that I'm working a desk job rather than doing landscape construction. No more excuses. I'm already looking forward to biking and running this summer and I want to be ready by spring rather than blow out my knees and ankles because they can't bear my weight. So here's my goal: Lose a minimum of 20 pounds. I haven't weighed myself for a while, but last time I did I was right around 200 lbs. That's too much even if I were doing the landscape construction. So I figure if I incorporate a lot of exercise, 175 to 180 would be a reasonable weight for me. That's where I was about a year and a half ago, and it felt pretty damn good.

As far as a date goes, I'm going to make this happen by the beginning of April. That's plenty of time to lose the weight in healthy fashion so I can keep it off.

The worst part of this won't be giving up food (although I'll sorely miss my Chicago-style hot dogs from the Bulldog), it'll be giving up beer. If I thought I could lose weight without giving up beer, I'd do it. But I've tried that too many times to count. It just doesn't happen. So I'm giving up the beer now so I can enjoy one or two come summer time.

This is really going to suck. But for fun I'll post updates here. You, my massive readership (right!) will keep me accountable just by reading. Oh yeah, it's that simple. I can already feel the pounds melting away.

Or maybe that's just the early onset of the sweat of anxiety and withdrawl.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cart Before the Horse

So, the new band played it's first show the other night. It went pretty well except for one thing: I was sick as a freakin' dog. This was not how I'd imagined the evening. Rock stars don't get sick before the show! The play the show and then party like, well, rock stars afterward, leaving a trail of destruction, chaos, and women's undergarments in their path. They don't hurl at in the studio bathroom before even packing up their gear! Damn!

The night before the show I came down with some sort of viral thing. It was like a microscopic Martha Stewart on meth: cleaning house with a vengeance. It was unpleasant to say the least. Other nifty symptoms included a severe headache and moderate fever. I was feeling my worst about the time the show rolled around, but I was determined to play. And I did, and the guys covered for me whenever possible, and I think we put on a good show. I even managed to enjoy myself, but there were a few times up there on stage when I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. I was sweating like a freak and wasn't 100% on top of my game. But like I said, we played and the many super-cool people who came out to support us (you know who you are, and I cannot thank you enough--do not underestimate how huge it was to have you there) made us feel like real live rock stars. But when it was over and the gear was packed back up in the truck, I was drained and painfully sober.

Maybe this is what rock and roll is like when you're old. Ron Wood isn't loaded, he's just got a sinus infection. Wow.