The Weight

I've had enough.  I can't take it anymore.  I'm too fat!  Looking at myself in the mirror or in the reflection of a window, I don't really notice it.  But in photos, man, that's another story.  They say about TV/movie actors that the camera adds 10 pounds.  When I see myself in a photo, I'm reminded of Friends when Chandler, upon seeing a video of a humongous Monica from several years before, asks her how many cameras were actually on her.

I've never been what you would call skinny, more like slightly stout, portly, or husky.  I'm not that tall, and I've always had thick legs and a generous rear end.  I partially attribute this to the fact that I played hockey from the time I was 7 through graduate school.  One of the most embarrassing experiences of my life was a visit to the doctor's office when I was about 9 years old.  I had to get some kind of shot (penicillin maybe?) and for some reason the nurse stuck the needle in my butt.  Now I thought once you passed the age of 3, shots were supposed to be given in the arm of your choice - left arm for righties or right arm for southpaws.  I complained but had no say in the matter.  Maybe the nurse was old fashioned, or maybe she just liked to look at the asses of 9-year old kids.  Anyway, as she gave me the shot she said, "You have a nice meaty rear."  What?!  Upon hearing this I'm sure that my backside turned a shade of red not unlike a fresh tomato.  I was mortified.

It's not that I have been gaining weight lately - I've probably been within 5 pounds of my current weight for the last 8 years.  And I'm not huge, although according to that BMI number I'm perilously close to obesity.  If you're unfamiliar with the Body Mass Index (BMI), it measures a person's "body fatness" based on one's height and weight.  When I first saw my number and corresponding description (Bowling Ball), I did a double take and assumed that I must have incorrectly entered my details using metric values.  But alas, I had not, and I truly am at the tipping point, only a pint or two of Ben & Jerry's from moving from the overweight to the obese category.

So what am I going to do about this overabundance of me?  Well for one thing I'm going to eat less.  I just eat too damn much.  However, eating less may be easier said than done.  It was one thing when I was still working at my old office job all day.  For the last several years I normally brought my lunch to work after previously eating out almost every day during the first half of my career.  Those homemade lunches were typically pretty healthy, and outside of the occasional splurge on a 1-pound burrito from Chipotle for lunch, snacks were usually limited to the 10-15 trips per day past the community candy bowl while on my way to the printer, a meeting, the men's room, etc.  Now that I'm staying home it's a whole new ballgame.  I hate throwing food away and often finish the kids' uneaten remainders from breakfast or lunch.  And over the course of the day I'm usually only, on average, 10 feet from the kitchen.  So it's too easy to grab a Triscuit or sneak an M & M or 2 (or 15).

Now you might say that the wife and I should just not buy snack food.  That would be a great option if not for the existence of the boy and the girl (mostly the boy), who subsist mainly on cheese, crackers, fruit snacks, nuts and cookies.  But I have decided that I will simply no longer be tempted by these tasty treats, even the bags of Doritos that call to me while I'm in a totally different aisle in the grocery store.

In addition to the eating better thing, I'm going to dust off the elliptical machine and stationary bike and use them on more than a monthly basis.  It's been tough to get into a workout habit, which I blame on the environment in which the equipment resides - the basement.  I was hoping that we'd have a better setup in our new house than the old one, but we still have an unfinished basement.  And instead of staring at the furnace when working out, we now get to stare at the furnace and the water heater (the water heater was hidden from view at the old place by the furnace).  I also thought I'd have all this time to work out now that I'm staying home, either when the girl is napping or watching a show on TV or whatever.  Ha!  Anyway, enough with the excuses.  It's time to get to work.

This may seem like a bold move - making a promise to the entire world (or at least the 3 followers of this blog) that I'm going to lose weight by eating better and working out more.  However, in my first blog post I similarly committed to regularly contributing to this blog, and I am now leading Peter in Sterling, Virginia 3 posts to 1 after not even two weeks!  So my motivation will be to let neither myself nor any of you down.  If you happen to see me several months from now and I look thinner, please let me know.  If I look the same, or heaven forbid obese, please forget you ever read this blog entry.


I've contemplated how this blog's content with respect to the trinity of Legos, diapers and beers may be affected by my new healthy lifestyle.  I expect that playing with Legos burns calories (no matter how few), so that's cool.  The stink of dirty diapers is an excellent appetite suppressant, so we're good there.  It's the beer, I'm afraid, that might take a hit.  I guess I'll just have to focus mainly on the pale yellow stuff for now while throwing in an occasional Guinness or Boddingtons when I want to splurge.  This shouldn't be too difficult.  My roommates and I survived college drinking Busch Light Draft, although I can't remember the last time I had one.  I haven't tried many of the relatively newer low carb, Atkins-friendly, (very) pale yellow beers like Michelob Ultra, but I did come up with several options overall:
  • Amstel Light - 5.0 grams carbs/95 calories per 12 oz.
  • August Schell Light Beer - 4.0 grams carbs/95 calories
  • Bud Light - 6.6 grams carbs/110 calories
  • Bud Select - 3.1 grams carbs/99 calories
  • Busch Light - 6.7 grams carbs/110 calories
  • Coors Light - 5.0 grams carbs/102 calories
  • Corona Light - 5.0 grams carbs/105 calories
  • Labatt Sterling - 2.5 grams carbs/88 calories
  • Michelob Ultra - 2.6 grams carbs/95 calories
  • MGD "64"- 2.4 grams carbs/64 calories
  • Miller Lite - 3.2 grams carbs/96 calories
  • Natural Light - 3.2 grams carbs/95 calories
  • Rock Green Light - 2.6 grams carbs/92 calories
My initial inclination is to go with the Labatt Sterling or Rock Green Light, since I enjoy the regular Labatt and Rolling Rock beers.  A slightly higher carb/calorie option is the August Schell Light, which I might try since it's a local brew (also the producer of Grain Belt).  And if I really want to go on a bender one night, that MGD "64" looks mighty tempting at only 64 calories per bottle!

Feel free to comment on your own light beer preferences and let me know if I am missing a good one.

Kippis! (Cheers in Finnish)


pete from novi said...

bud select now has a 55 calorie entry in the "can we really call this beer?" beer category. i think you should try it (if for no other reason than i'm afraid to) and report back. i mean, can it really be much worse than drinking a coors light?

Eric said...

I'll definitely try a few different ones Pete. Thanks for the tip and for following the blog.

Anonymous said...

Well, Eric I must say I am proud of you! I am in the same boat. However, I must admit that I don't like beer. So that part I don't have to worry about. What I have to worry about is the lack of exercise and the pastries... I love a good pastry.. Chocolate Croissant from Panera Bread are my downfall.

Yep, I did my BMI and it came up pretty much the same as yours overweight on the edge of obese. So last March I started to eat healthier and follow a higher protein diet than I normally ate. I have lost 15 pounds and have been able to start to feel better and keep off. So I say KUDOS to you Eric! Good Luck it does work :0)


Eric said...

Thanks Stephanie. You're contributing to my inspiration!

Ted said...

Your approach is all wrong. You have to figure out how to make time to exercise. Giving up beer would be a disaster. Score yourself a TV in the basement and find a show like "24" or anything that is relatively action packed. Watch an episode every night for 4 nights/week and just run on the treadmill during it. It will be a big enough distraction where you won't notice you are exercising. Figure out your own pace, etc.

Giving up beer is a disaster. There is no upside to it. Give up caffine, chocolate, dessert (not chips and not beer). Just add the exercise to get your body to process all the fun enjoyable things in life a little faster.

As you know, I'm a bit of a runner, but I do it only because it allows me to drink whatever/whenever...totally worthwhile.


Eric said...

Yeah, I definitely plan to work out more Ted. And I'm not going to give up beer totally or only drink the light stuff forever. However, I think I need to be pretty tough on myself to reach my goal. Once I'm there I hope to ease up a bit and have a nice balance.

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