The new year is fast approaching. Like many of you, I have taken stock of my year and formed a few resolutions for the coming twelve months. Some of these I will not keep. Most others are private and have to do with finding a lost happiness. At the center lies a resolution I would like you to consider taking with me. Make your life healthier.
I am supposed to be what one might call a semi-professional athlete. Professionals do sport as a full-time occupation and get payed for it. I don't get payed. My parents and I spend a metric fuckton of cash on enabling me to go skiing as often as possible. I spend a lot of time juggling uni and skiving off. In order to justify this investment, I owe it to myself to be in peak physical condition. I'm not. In fact, having done more school and less skiing lately, combined with feeling a bit down, I am what can only be described as fat. So "supposed to be" is about right.
I realise I'm going to get little sympathy from my audience here. I am carrying slightly over 5kg (10lb) excess fat. Nothing! I hear you cry. To such an extent that when I mention to people that I have to watch my weight, they say: "You are joking, aren't you?"; and I have to pretend that I am. Because it is not socially acceptable for a 20 year-old heterosexual male to be concerned about his weight. Well expletive to that! I do not hate my body. I am not worried about whether my bum looks big. And I don't hold with complaints that my claiming to have a weight problem makes a mockery of people who "really are overweight".
- The 'rithmetic is simple: I have put on 5kg in the past 3 years, the latest in the last month. I am studying computer science; I can reasonably expect to spend large portions of each day of the rest of my life sitting on my backside. This could leave me 50kg overweight at the age of fifty and facing a large number of health risks including (but not limited to) cancer, heart disease and the inability to walk up a flight of steps.
- If I get fitter, I will be able to ski faster, better and longer. (Did I mention that I love skiing?)
- It is possible to maintain any weight. The natural state of people who are prone to putting on weight is eating too much. This means that stabilising my current weight would be just as easy as stabilising my ideal weight. And much more fulfilling.
- Weight control does not have to mean counting calories and mentally punishing yourself every day that you go over your goal. It does not mean that some foods are forbidden. What it does mean is that you must not eat too much.
- Having read The Hacker's Diet, it is clear that my body is very bad at informing me when I have had enough food; I am also a very poor listener. So controlling my weight will involve a change of lifestyle.
This last one is the one I am least willing to admit. A chocolate guzzling geek is what I am! I refused to change who I am for my ex-girlfriend, insisting that I was not changing for anything or anybody. I have always looked down on dieters as chimaera chasers, people who cannot accept who they are inside and seek to modify it outside. These are people who are willing to let society impose its ideals on them. I then looked at fat people and deemed that they are lazy selfish pricks who are too feeble-minded to do anything about it. They often seem happy. I decided that was good for me.
No more! Fat people of the world (including future fat people like me): You are not beautiful. There is nothing beautiful about a belly which waggles all over the place. There is nothing beautiful about having several chins. There is also something seriously unhealthy about being overweight. It is bad for you. It will kill you. Slowly. Fat people of the world: it's ok! the problem is that your body doesn't tell you when you have fed it enough. You just need to compensate this problem, just like you wear glasses when your body is unable to bring what you are seeing into focus. This what I intend to do. I hope you will join me. This paragraph may cause any reader who made it this far to downvote me to oblivion. Before you do, consider this: I'm being fucking serious here! Things that kill you slowly are not nice. Your life expectancy is around 80. It may increase to 90 or even 100 by 2050. Consider that if you are fat, you may spend the last 40 years of your life in bad health. This will be like playing russian roulette. For 10'000 consecutive days. So resenting anyone for telling you to do something about it makes no sense.
Loose the amount of weight necessary to:
- No longer have a rounded face.
- No longer have an inch-thick layer of fat between my finger and my abs when I poke my belly button.
- No longer feel rolls of flab building up when I stretch over sideways.
Stabilise this weight.
- Exercise every day.
The solution I have chosen is the result of a large amount of thinking. As to the fitness part: I have tried and failed at doing the regular exercise thing; I set my aim too high, wanting to do an hour's workout every day; after missing a couple of days, this reduces to about half an hour's exercise every week. I shall therefore go running every morning for about twenty minutes before my shower. I shall run ten minutes in one direction, turn round and come back. I shall then do my chosen rung of the Lifetime ladder from the Hacker's diet. This should have several additional benefits: more energy early in the morning; never missing breakfast before going to school; and not missing sessions through putting them off until bedtime. Oh and doing the Lifetime ladder exercises necessitates a clear floor; this means my flat may be a little tidier. Yay!
For the weight, I'm going to implement the Eat Watch as exposed in The Hacker's Diet in order to keep track of how well I'm doing. Because I don't have that much weight to lose, there is no point in doing anything drastic. I will simply cut down on sugary drinks in favour of water and flavoured water. This should save 300kcal for every litre (two pints). Assuming I replace a litre a day in this manner, that's already 9000kcal (the equivalent of one kilo – two pounds – of fat) a month. Just in case this doesn't suffice, I'll also cut down on pigging out: when I know that I am no longer hungry, I shall no longer eat. Easy! And as an additional precaution, killing the ten o'clock snack by having a proper breakfast may be a good idea.
I think you should do something similar. This is about accepting the problem, analysing it, solving it and managing it. If this way of thinking appeals to you, read The Hacker's Diet. If your gut reaction is to find "The Diet" program for you, then you already have me worried: diets don't work; lifestyle changes do. So do yourself a favour and change yours. As someone said recently you are all special to me (especially those of you who read this entire daylog) and I would much prefer to think of you as being in good health.
On a similar note, I would encourage you to also consider IWhoSawTheFace's plan. This is about getting into the habit of running. Get high on your own dope!
This daylog stands here in order to remind myself of the one resolution I would really like to keep. Send me a /msg to find out whether I did. Send me a /msg to tell me that you too are going to change your life for the better.
Update, one year on. Have lost around 2kg. Have stabilised. Still not engaging in regular exercise. Oh well...