I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

4 weeks, 20 pounds

Weighed in today at 264 pounds. A bit of a surprise; I'm obviously clothed at work for these weigh ins, and my home scale had me at 266 when I was dressed for work. So, one of the scales obviously needs calibration, but for the purposes of tracking, the work scale was where I recorded the weight of 284 exactly four weeks ago, so I can say with some confidence I'm down 20 pounds.

Oddly, this has changed my waistline almost none at all. My pants pretty much fit exactly the same way they did when I started. Looking at myself in the mirror, I really can't see where the weight is coming from. I had hoped for at least a few aesthetic benefits for my efforts.

Of course, even down twenty pounds, I'm still well above my ideal weight. I'm trying to lose as much weight as I can by December because of the competition at work, but long term it would be nice to get down under 230. Some health charts I've seen say my ideal weight is 196, which I think is insane. The last time I weighed that was in my early twenties and I was still thin as a rail. I have no real interest in becoming gaunt.

When I saw my doctor last week, he said my weight loss would probably level out soon. Assuming that my current average of 5 pounds a week won't last, my new goal is to try for 2 pounds a week and by week 8 be at 256 pounds. This would be down 10% from my starting weight, which seems like a decent milestone. At that point I can recalibrate and figure out my goals for the third four-week period.

A diet note: I've been mosty avoiding pasta, and probably miss it more than any other food I've given up. So, tonight we tried making noodles from ribbons of zuchini. They rocked! I know one thing that will be in our garden next year.


CathyB said...

And I've got all kinds of growing tips to help you with those squashes. :)

Congrats again for the great progress, James.

James Maxey said...

I'm sure you do! It seems like a pretty easy vegetable to grow, though. My dad would always plant zucchini in his garden and we'd have 9 million zucchini by the middle of summer. He would never have thought of eating them raw, however, which is essentially what the zucchini noodles were. Now that I'm an adult, it's been eye-opening to discover how many perfectly good vegetables are ruined by the southern tradition of cooking anything green until it's mush.

Mr. Cavin said...

"So, one of the scales obviously needs calibration..."

Maybe. when I was consciously losing weight, I noticed that I would vary by about four pounds throughout the day (based on how long I'd been awake, how long it had been since eating, etc.). That number would have been higher back when I was heavier, by the way. It was about four pounds when I was hovering around two-tenish. I didn't have a scale that did tenths, so I couldn't narrow the discrepancy down further than an even four. Our digital scale is pretty good though. I think the common wisdom is to weigh yourself right after you wake up and then right after dinner, and then average the two (but even more data in that average would be even better better). You have to systematically use the same scale and weigh-in under the same circumstances. This average is a more accurate read of weight loss than a daily number. When I hear stories about people losing a preposterous amount of weight in a short period of time, I think they are falling for this mistake in data gathering. (Like when someone tells me they lost four pound in three days and Feel! Great!*) I could lose five pounds in two weeks (even that's pretty unrealistic for diet-only weight management in a overweight male), and then add up to four extra pounds to that number based on my own daily variation. Then, if I got on a scale that was three pounds off, I could very well walk away thinking I'd lost twelve pounds instead of five, over five pounds a week!

You have to be very vigilant about the consistence of your data gathering!

(* or perhaps they are managing their weight through anaerobic dysentery.)

James Maxey said...

My weight varies quite a bit during the course of the day. I often go to bed three or four pounds heavier than when I woke up. But, the reason I would argue one of the scales is wrong is that my time between the two weigh-ins was only a half hour. With no meals or bathroom breaks in that time, it's unlikely I burned two pounds of calories driving to work.

For the purposes of the weight loss competition, the only numbers I'm posting here are what I weigh at 7am on Thursday mornings fully clothed on my scale at work. On my home scale I'm frequently seeing numbers a few pounds lower than 264.

I think the speed of my weight loss has a lot to do with two factors. First, I had a lot of bad habits to give up! If you designed a diet just to gain weight, it would very much resemble my old routine of two liter sodas and entire pizzas for lunch. The Simpson's episode where Homer tries to gain weight in order to get on disability? His diet was my diet.

Second, I have few peers when it comes to obsessive competition in pursuit of meaningless titles. The fact I'm locked in a race with other coworkers is on my mind with each step I take on the treadmill. Victory will be mine! The health and cosmetic benifits weren't sufficient to motivate me before now. But being crowned the winner will be sweet!

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