This Blogger's Dilemma  

One of the drawbacks to being a writer and office monkey is that it becomes fairly easy to assign a lower value to one's personal health without even realizing it. The slow boil of lunch meetings, community donuts, and having your ass firmly planted in a chair all day will eventually reduce you to a big flabby stew if things are allowed to fall out of your control.

I'm speaking from experience on this one.

Right now I weigh in at around 245 lbs. At 6'7" tall that's not too bad, but would only be awesome were my body fat hovering somewhere closer to 10%. Now don't misunderstand these general concerns as a desire to be some vein-popping fitness nut. While I'm sure that very few of us would mind being shredded in all the right places, I have my doubts that the majority obsess over it, myself included. In fact, my relationship with health and fitness has always been a road full of ups and downs. I'll push hard, get in shape, eat right, and then all of a sudden it's as if I took some magic pill that jettisons me from the healthy train. I'm sure it's no coincidence that said magic pill looks an awful lot like an Oreo.

I believe that each time I've taken this ride has not only given me greater insight into my own shortcomings, but also the ability to foresee when the next of these cycles will be crossing the horizon. This is rather silly if you think about it, as in a perfect world I'd be able to settle into a happy middle ground of unforced diet and exercise, with the occasional deep-fried triple heart attack burger thrown in there for good measure. That doesn't seem like too much to ask of myself.

The reason I bring any of this up is because over the past week I've felt the initial twinges of that oh-so-familiar burgeoning desire to feel healthier, and I'm thinking that maybe I should try to have a more structured approach this time around. You know, a system that might just set me up for long term success. Lifestyle design and what have you. My previous attempts at implementing any kind of system were handled very loosely, as in I only followed a handful of the tenets from various plans. Perhaps stricter adherence is in order.

This train of thought leads us to an obvious question: what plan? Should I design my own that's rooted in common sense, or seek out a designer plan that requires little to no sense at all? It's not like there isn't an insane amount of options available. Anyone who has spent even a small amount of time online is likely familiar with the more pathetic examples out there, if for no other reason because these poor marketing attempts have been highlighted by such places as FAIL Blog:

Another one I feel like I've been seeing a lot lately is for the Gabriel Method. I'm not sure if the guy in the ad is Gabriel or not, and while I applaud his radical transformation, I can't help but wonder if I'm the only one who thinks he's kind of creepy looking:

He's undoubtedly cut, it's just that he looks so... pointy in places, and doesn't appear to be comfortable in his own skin. But what the hell do I know? Dude has a six pack and is flush with fancy internet advertising money.

It's safe to say that the above three options have been removed from the table. For now I'll keep looking for something that better fits my style (have yet to discover a bacon-based diet), and would love to hear what you guys have to say on the subject. Take note, however, that the first one of you that tries to be witty by quoting Michael Pollan at me is going to get a lifetime subscription to Gabriel's newsletter.

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19 Reasons to Live

  • Nicole  
    June 5, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    How about convincing yourself you can eat air? My sister tried that. The wind was terrible...

  • shine  
    June 5, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    I smell another 30-day challenge.

    Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred? Just please no more chick flicks. In fact, go kick a squirrel right now.

    Also, is it possible that this whole sitting at your desk in "I feel fat" mode has something to do with your newly acquired vagina and female hormones?

  • The Grunt  
    June 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    Take a trip down to Columbia, Guatemala, etc. Get a bug from the drinking water and crap your blues away!

  • kathcom  
    June 5, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    I don't know what to say. I just ordered Domino's online and posted it to my Facebook profile just because I could. Life is so absurd; why can't there be an absurdity diet?

  • Christian  
    June 5, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    More screwing!

  • John Smith  
    June 5, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Stattistically diets and exercise don't work, but thankfully drugs do.

  • Becky  
    June 5, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    I've decided that I have to get my act together this year or I'll never get to the ideal point to maintain and be healthy. I've just joined a gym that's near my office/home and I go first thing in the morning at 6 a.m., go back home to get ready and then go to work (the back and forth is only a mile each way). It's easier for me to come in to work at 9 a.m. than it is to guarantee that i can leave between 5 - 5:30; otherwise, it gets too late and I talk myself out of it.

    I was told that the best thing is to vary what you do or else your body will plateau. I was just doing an elliptical at home and walking around Greenlake (twice) for 3-4x a week for three months and didn't lose a single pound. I'm already feeling better in just a week and a half using different equipment.

    This is a really long-winded comment, I know. But for food, Im' first working on portion control and snacking on better shit. If I deny myself pizza, I'll binge. But if I eat only 1-2 slices, instead of 3, I'm making progress.

  • The Polka Dotted Owl  
    June 5, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    how about weight watchers or jenny or even nutrisystem? you are totally over looking your options as beautiful and young woman!!! you need to know your worth:)

    was that good for you like it was for me?

  • Avitable  
    June 6, 2009 at 5:37 AM

    For 30 days, drink 5-6 low-carb, high-protein shakes, lots of water, and if you get hungry for food, have a small boiled chicken breast or piece of fish.

    You'll drop 20-30 pounds.

    Alternative: Cut off a leg.

  • Tall Brunette  
    June 8, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    Im at the same place. I've got a like 80 days to get my ass in shape before I go to the UK and try to find a phenomenal lay....
    I joined a gym right by my work and am starting to work out at lunch and after work.
    We'll see how this goes.

    Hmm... guest blog idea maybe?

  • Tall Brunette  
    June 8, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    Im at the same place. I've got a like 80 days to get my ass in shape before I go to the UK and try to find a phenomenal lay....
    I joined a gym right by my work and am starting to work out at lunch and after work.
    We'll see how this goes.

    Hmm... guest blog idea maybe?

  • FilmFemme  
    June 8, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    (1) I think it's kind of cute that you're worried about being fat.

    (2) @shine - I have the 30 Day Shred and it's kind of awesome and I have a pretty raging girl boner for Jillian Michaels even though her name is Jillian with a J, which I hate

    (3) I've changed my food/exercise lifestlye for the better in the last 12 months and if I had one piece of advice it would just be to be reasonable. I tried getting up at 6 to exercise, but that's retarded because I fucking hate getting up at 6 so it lasted about 2 seconds. Now I workout right after work and it's way better. Even though it's really no fun for a while, having a food journal really works, too. Once you get a good sense of how many calories are in different things and what that means, it's really hard to forget, and the internet (there are *many* sites for this) makes it really easy to do. Finally, there's no way I could give up vodka or whiskey or beer or Del Taco. I just have to consume them reasonably if I want to keep having a hot ass, which we all know, I do. Also, skipping dinner not only save calories, it saves money on drinks, too. These are my pearls of nutritional wisdom.

    If that doesn't work for you, I don't know, coke habit?

  • Shannon  
    June 9, 2009 at 6:30 AM

    Do you eat a lot of sugar? I heard sugar was the hardest thing to burn. Exercising is great, but it won't get you too far if you don't eat a good diet. You'll still have that top layer of goo that covers up your muscles if you don't burn it off. I also read that doing cardio before you work out is better for weight loss, and doing cardio after you work out is better for toning up. So, I try and do 15 min before and 15 minutes after so I get the best of both worlds :)

  • Anonymous  
    June 9, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    I don't follow any particular plan. I've just cut down on my carbohydrate intake, try and eat lots of fruit and veg, and walk everywhere, and it works for me. It's also a lot cheaper - I don't buy much meat because I'm a student and now I've gone so long without meat I almost never want to eat it, and even then, in far smaller quantities than I used to. So, yeah, walk more, eat more fruit and vegetables, and stick with all these rules until you get to the point where you honestly odn't want to eat anything else *but* the healthy stuff for the majority of the time. That's not to say I don't still have chocolate once in a while, or a burger, it's just that I don't want so much in one sitting. And I've lost a lot of weight in not much time. Partly because of work stress, but partly, genuinely, because I've been putting in the effort.

  • Chris  
    June 9, 2009 at 7:39 PM

    It's definitely easier to lower your standards. If your wife can lower hers as well, no one gets hurt.

  • Lena  
    June 9, 2009 at 10:05 PM

    Have you called Jenny yet?

  • Kelly  
    June 10, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    As someone who knows all about having to loose some flab here and there and EVERYWHERE... I can only recommend Weight Watchers to people. Not the Weight Watchers where you go to meetings and listen to fat people complain about cake. I do it online, track my food and exercise. SO technically if I had some self control, I wouldn't really need that. It's basically calorie control and exercise. But I am a pig for the most part and need to be accountable to something... So it's Weight Watchers, my online trainer/coach/nag.

    I'm down 26 pounds since last August. That is not stellar, but I'm getting there!

    Anyway dude. I feel your pain...

    Oh and it's way easier for guys to loose weight, since they have more muscle, not to mention can't get pregnant - so f-u! :)

  • Jesslyn  
    June 10, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    Unfortunately my husband doesn’t have the same crazy metabolism as I do, so before our wedding we went on the South Beach Diet, and he lost 15lbs pretty easily, but it got a bit boring after awhile.

    It’s easier to watch what you eat if your spouse/family is also on board with you. Also, packing your lunches for work instead of eating out during the week gives you more control over what/how much you eat. Many times when we go out to dinner we also share an entre- portions in the US are insanely huge in my opinion. Oh- and don't rush, it takes a bit for your body to realize it's full. =)

    Good luck!

  • Ryan  
    June 12, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Increase the resistance on your keyboard.

    Post twice as much.

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