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.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Final Weigh In: 225.

Today was the final weigh in of the weight loss contest where I work. In this second round, my final weigh in was 225, or 19 pounds down since the end of January. My weigh in at the start of the first round of the contest last September was 284, so I've lost 59 pounds since getting serious about changing my diet and exercise habits. This is the before and after of what that looks like:

I'm not done! Not reaching 224 nags at me. I'd rather say I've lost 60 pounds than 59. I'm definitely going to continue moving forward with the goal target of being below 220 by the time of my next convention, ConCarolina's in early June. But, I fear these next five pounds are going to take more effort than the first 50. In the last week, I walked over 30 miles and biked another 13, and came in well below my calorie goals on all but one day, and still only lost 3 pounds for the week. My body is very efficient at moving me across long distances. When Cheryl and I first went biking on the American Tobacco Trail three years ago, we were wiped out after biking 7 miles. One one trip, five miles left me so tired I had to walk my bike up the final hill, and we're not talking a real hill here, just a very mild grade of a few degrees. This time, we did the first seven miles on Saturday barely breaking a sweat. Even after 13 miles, we weren't completely spent. I think we could have easily managed another couple of miles if we'd had time.

Back in September, I wore pants with a 42 inch waistband. Now, my best fit is a 36" waist, and I'd probably be buying a 35" waist if they sold men's pants in odd sizes. I tried on a 34" waist yesterday and was able to get it on, but it wasn't comfortable. I'm highly doubtful I can get below a 34" waist, since I think that's what I wore in college when I was skinny as a rail.

In the coming days, I plan to do a few posts about my weight loss strategies. I have a very geeky approach; basically, I treat my body like a characer in an RPG game and constantly work to improve my stats. I used to spend five hours sitting at a computer hunting through virtual dungeons in hopes of getting my character to go up a level. Now, I spend five hours a week exercising to get my weight stat to tick down another notch. And, like an RPG, the further you go, the tougher it gets.


Gray Rinehart said...

Well done, James! And the RPG approach is quite unique, I'd say. Is a self-help weight-loss e-book by Sir James of Hillsborough in the offing?

Best to you and Cheryl,

Suzanne Warr said...

Yes, well done! You look like you dropped a few years along with those pounds. :)

You're right that they next ones will be harder, and it does get harder the closer you get to your end goal, but it also becomes less essential that you get there quickly. What you'll be building now is a lifestyle of fitness in which you enjoy the body you've given yourself.


Mr. Cavin said...

Excellent job! Ditto the above. Plus keep in mind that as you subtract fatty weight, you are adding dense muscle weight (in some of the longest muscles of your body, natch). Muscle weight is heavier than fatty weight, so the fact is that, once you get down very close to target, you begin to fluctuate more. Since, as a society, we seem to measure fitness using this one number, the fluctuation can be a bummer for people who see their weight--and sometimes even their inches--tick back up. But at this point, if you continue to work, a weight gain does not necessarily equate a fat gain. Keep that in mind.

I like your RPG analogy. When I was doing the same thing you are, a couple years ago (and when I start doing it again very soon, alas), I did it in very much the same way. A lot of stats, a lot of tasks, a lot of incremental physical advancements of both measurement and performance. Only the analogy didn't occur to me because I haven't played roll playing games since I was in school.

James Maxey said...

Gray, I have to admit the title "Weight Loss for Geeks" has a certain appeal to me. Maybe after I keep it off for a year I'll feel I have more authority to write it, since plenty of people can lose weight, but the trick comes in maintaining it. But, I think I'll manage. Because, Suzanne, you're right, it's a new lifestyle. Cheryl and I have completely changed our eating habits. No sodas, no fast food, and probably five times as many vegetables as we used to eat. But, we don't feel like we've given up anything, because there are so, so many vegetables in the world that we're constantly eating things we've never eaten before. Our diets are more interesting and varied than ever. And, by listening to audio books, I've turned my long walks into my reading time. I've "read" more novels in the first four months of this year than I did all of last year. If I can keep that connection between literature and walking, I'm golden.

James Maxey said...

Cavin, I do think that I've added quite a bit of muscle mass in my legs. One of my goals for summer is to start doing some work on my upper body. Back when I worked at Brassfield, I used to go to a gym regularly and got fairly muscular, but it was hidden under fat because I ate at Pizza Hut for lunch every other day. While I was actually competing, I was focused on walking/jogging/biking since that burned the most calories. Oh, by the way, I lost the second round to a coworker named Sarah. Still, for the first and second round combined, I was easily in the lead by losing over 20% of my starting weight.

CathyB said...

Let me add my congrats, James. You and Cheryl are now set to enjoy future decades full of active adventures. Much better than sitting around complaining about maladies blamed on aging that are often more accurately blamed on lifestyle choices.

Eric James Stone said...

Well done, James!