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These feet are made for walking!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

So I think I'm neglecting one of the tried and true methods of staying very healthy, slim, and fit.....walking.....lots of walking.

I actually love to walk, and in the past have racked up considerable miles walking all across this planet. When I lived in Manhattan, I used to walk from Greenwich Village... my apartment on the Upper West Side a couple of days a week.

When I lived in Frankfurt, GE, instead of driving or taking the train, I'd take hour long walks through forested trails out where I lived by the airport to downtown to go hang out.

When I went to school in Boston, I'd walk 9-10 miles down the Minuteman Bikeway, a Rails-to-Trails project, taking me by Redcoat re-enactors on Lexington Green.... wierdos at the Alewife subway station at the end of the trail

There's something about city-life that makes it real conducive to walking. I certainly enjoy it and remember that it has always done me good.

These days, however, my workouts are shorter albeit more intense....I feel cheated if I don't get my heart rate up over 85-90% of max. (my max is 186.....I have found out through exhaustingly hard runs)

But this weekend, I tried a little experiment....I walked to the gym, worked out, and walked back! I did this twice....and my heart rate was a comfortable 110-120....smack in the 60-65% range

I did a leisurely 2 mile walk in about 30 minutes (I did sweat like a is still very hot & muggy here in the Florida panhandle), then hit the elliptical for 20 minutes of some fairly high HIIT, did me plank intervals....then walked the leisurely 2 miles back home.

It was a blast!

I've also seen (through all the data that my nifty Bodymedia Fit Core Armband tells me), that at work I sit around.....way to much. Yeah, I go in and out of my office, down the halls to the finance guys or my technical guys, but those distances aren't measured in miles.

So I'm going to see what I can do to up these numbers and add just a little more walking around to my daily know, the "other" kind of exercise.....the kind that doesn't strain, the kind that keeps us active, and the kind that has a cumulative effect by just keeping us moving.

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LABRATIAM 9/16/2012 3:41PM

    emoticon Nicely done.

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CLAIREINPARIS 9/12/2012 4:53PM

    YAY for walking!!! I don't live in the city and unfortunately need my car during the week. Good for you for walking to the gym! Great idea!
And I would love to read your ideas on how to move more during your work hours... I sit on my chair most of the day! :(

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SALONKITTY 9/11/2012 4:46AM

    I've also been consciously trying to do more walking. I try to walk 45-60 mins per day in addition to whatever my workout is that day. I walk to and from the gym, like you do. I also walk to grocery shop now!

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SHERYL_B 9/7/2012 8:46PM

    I love walking too!

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HEALTHIERKEN 9/7/2012 12:13AM

    Yep. I *really* like walking. And it's *really* good for the glutes : )

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/6/2012 7:41PM

    I used to live in Philadelphia and I walked or biked EVERYWHERE! Now I live in Los Angeles and I miss all the walking I used to do. It's really hard to find the time to get the 10,000 + steps per day when you don't do much outside of your workouts. Way to get it done!

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BERGBA7 9/5/2012 2:46PM

    Walk the walk! Yes... I love to walk too - good Idea to add it back to your life.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 9/5/2012 1:02PM

    Cheers to walking more! I'm all about walking and meditating lately.

And thanks for the encouraging note on my DH's page!!

.*) ✫ .*)
(. . .`.✫
.*) ✫ .*)✫ Spread the Spark
(. . (..`.✫

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    Wow, did this ever hit home and at just the right time. Having been absent from the gym now for several months and having not walked in what seems like ages, I have been trying to get myself 'jump-started', mentally and physically, so to speak, back into the groove of exercise. And the only thing that I could think of that would be easy and ever so helpful was WALKING. It is the one exercise (although I don't think of it in that term) that I truly LOVE. So, today I start walking again. Yep ... gonna do it .... Gonna love it .... and gonna go forward from there. Thanks!
Oh, and BRAVO to you for seeing what needed added into your own routine and implementing it into your schedule.
Great job!

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BILL60 9/5/2012 8:15AM

    I've tried and tried, but walking is not for me. Guess it's just too slow. I'll stick to the cycling. But you hang in there and log those walking miles.

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SAFARIBABE 9/5/2012 6:05AM

    Welcome to the Wonderful World of Walking. Not owning a car and refusing to pay the outrageous cab fares and even mass transit fares, this is my primary means of getting from Point A to Point B. Supermarket, movies, shopping, work....all a la pied! It's great! And you can get your heart rate up a bit higher by putting a little more pep in your step. And you do see so many interesting things along the way that you'd never notice if you whizzed my in a car!

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    Last year I tracked my miles to see how far along the Appalachian Trail I would have walked (not far enough as it turned out). That remains a goal for one of these years, if I can convince an employer to keep my job open for the 5-6 months I'd be gone walking.

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BBECKER1955 9/5/2012 5:14AM

    I love sneaking in a walk at lunch time when time allows. It's relaxes my body and helps clear my mind.

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I love nature's fury

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Well one of the great things about living on the beach on the beach!

SWMBO, #2 son, and I get to see some pretty amazing things every day right in our own back yard. Someday's it's a great sunset;

Someday's it's a barge loaded up on it's way west;

Someday's it's Fred the heron who likes hanging out between us and the neighbors;

Most days SWMBO and I think pelicans are the coolest things that fly;

But there's a dark side to paradise.....the dreaded Hurricane!

Now we have lived in many parts of this great planet. I've experienced 8.0 earthquakes (Chile), an F5 tornado (Oklahoma City), multiple blizzards ('78 and the '93 Storm of the Century), and even came too damn close to being fried in the middle of winter in a storm called "Thundersnow"

Through it all, we try to enjoy ourselves. SWMBO and I enjoy going out in the middle of a storm and yelling at the top of our lungs (no one can hear us above the roar of the wind and the waves....we call it our "wilding time"), or we drive a few miles away from the tornado and watch the funnel cloud swoop and sweep. One time we rented a cabin out on Cape Cod when a Nor'easter was coming, just so we could watch the storm blow in over the water.

But there's nothing like having your own house so close to the danger zone to make you rethink the whole damn thing!

Our current house (I am told) is built to withstand a Cat 2 hurricane. But along with that great view comes the downside....we're only good for about 11 feet of storm surge.....after that, start putting your furniture on cinder blocks!

Isaac was predicted to deliver 9 feet....a little too close for my comfort.

Luckily, the whole community rallied. I had a meeting with all the folks in our company and we released everyone home Tues & Wed to prep their houses & families for Isaac's promise to deliver 10-12 inches of rain and 6 to 9 feet of surge.

SWMBO is our family emergency manager. She always has us stocked up on batteries, flashlights, water, propane tanks.....even bicycle helmets for us to wear in case the roof caves in.....God love her! We packed up all her plants and yard furniture, placed some sandbags along the doors and garage, and boarded the windows.

Then we waited it out. I telecommuted both days and kept a wary eye on the rising tide

In the end, we had wind gusts up to 50 kts, lots of whitecaps, some rain, and very little surge. #2 son got 2 days off of school, SWMBO & I got in our wilding time, and the cat stayed hidden under the bed the entire time.

The worse part about the whole storm.....the damn gym closed down for both days in a row!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/8/2012 4:11PM

    What magnificent pictures!

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SHERYL_B 9/2/2012 12:38PM

    Glad you weathered the storm well!

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GARDENQE2 8/31/2012 11:42AM

    Wonderful pictures! Especially the lightning...Spectacular!
onally, here in New Mexico, we get colored lightning...yellow, purple, orange, blue.
One night the whole sky was lit up bright a traffic light...for over a second!
Storms over the ocean are fascinating!
Keep up the good work.

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MILLIE5522 8/31/2012 11:33AM

    emoticon I've never experienced anything like this ever. So it was exciting to read about your life. Thank you for sharing!

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/31/2012 11:13AM

    Beautiful pictures! The 'wilding time' made me laugh... I would have done like the cat I am sure!!!

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BILL60 8/31/2012 8:26AM

    Life just doesn't get much better.

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BERGBA7 8/31/2012 3:52AM

    Great pictures! My boyfriend and I were down in Siesta Key in July and I said to him that this is a place I would consider moving to... if they weren't the hurricanes. Glad to read that you did not suffer any serious damage! So, I guess you did quite a few pull-ups and chin-ups since you stayed home for 2 days without gym and had to pass your bar to go to the kitchen! HA! That's THE place to put a bar!

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KICK-SS 8/31/2012 1:36AM

    Loved all the pictures, but the one of the lightning in the sky fascinated me. i've never seen a round pattern in/on lightning before! Around here it's just vertical or horizontal, no "fancy stuff" like you had.


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PAMATX 8/30/2012 11:07PM

    Love the photos! Pelicans are my favorite! And I totally dig storms. Glad you got to enjoy it and stay high and dry.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHEEKY1000 8/30/2012 9:30PM

    Hey, if the worst that happened was the gym being are one lucky fella. lol Glad you didn't get the brunt of the hurricane.

I love the "wilding time." That's fantastic. My bff and I used to go out during monsoons back when they were tremendous and fierce (in the 90's) and just run and shout--and squeal when the thunder cracked so loudly it vibrated throughout our bodies.

Has the gym reopened? emoticon

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SAFARIBABE 8/30/2012 9:20PM

    The cat's got the right attitude! LOL If the gym's closed...time to look for Plan B. Point your bike into the wind and pedal against it. Bicep curl with the propane tanks -- but not in the lightning. Pushups with SWMBO on your back. There now you're all set of the next time the gym closes. LOL Glad you're all safe and sound! Hopefully this is the only close call you have this season!!

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Low carbs and high performance

Friday, August 24, 2012

I love shattering myths!

I've been keeping my carbs low for about 3 months now (below 50 gms/day). One of the concerns I heard over and over from people I would talk to this about was that I needed carbs for energy, that if I didn't get enough carbs that I could pass out during exercise, and all sorts of other wives tales (some even from my own wife!)

Well I'm quite happy to report that those fears are BULL-Loney!

Today I set some pretty amazing personal bests in the weight room. I squatted and deadlifted 40 lbs over my body weight and got in 3 sets of 3 quite nicely done exercise I am determined to conquer this year!

On top of that, I started back up with my HIIT sessions this week. I've gotten in 3 over the last 8 days. I'm trying to figure out the right frequency for this....a couple of months ago I went a little overboard (doing it a 4-5 times/week) and burned out. But I did nine 60 second intervals (60 sec hard / 60 sec break) getting my heart rate above 90% of max each time.....and felt great!

Like anything else, constancy is key. August has been a good month....plenty of gym opportunities even on the road. September is going to be dicey, so I've got to spend some time planning a bunch of road trips without losing these gains.

In any case, for what it's worth, I can vouchsafe that our bodies can respond perfectly well to the demands of high performance while adhering to a low carb lifestyle.....and so far it's also helping to shrink some excess inches from around the waist a hell of a lot better than anything else I've tried these last few years!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EGALITAIRE 9/5/2012 1:50PM

    What exercise are you doing for your HIIT. I am doing Tabata protocols (20 sec full on, 10 sec rest, 8 intervals) on my bike - gets HR up to about 90%max. I have been doing them for a couple of months now, but not as consistent as I would like.

I found I have needed two days recovery between sessions. I am doing a lot of ST and also find I can't lift as much on a Tabata day or even the next day.

We will just have to keep tweaking.

I travel some as well and find getting cardio workouts in while traveling. I love my bike - need to find a way to fly with it when on biz.



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TEDDYBABE 8/25/2012 8:42PM


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LISAINMS 8/25/2012 8:29PM

    Fantastic that this works for you and you are getting the results, too! When you say it works for high intensity... an 18 min HIIT session isn't what I think of as high intensity. You barely tap your glycogen stores for that so low carb is fine. I had disasterous results trying to maintain my triathlon training on low carb. 140 seems to be my low threshold. One thing I have learned is that different bodies burn a different fuel mix. Lucky you that you can take advantage of low carb!

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SHERYL_B 8/25/2012 2:43PM

    Glad it's working!

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FANGFACEKITTY 8/25/2012 11:04AM

    So are you oing to embark on a new career with Myth Busters? You will be well suited for the role!

I've toyed around with the idea of going lower carb, and found I actually have more energy on the days I manage it than on the days I eat normally. My difficulty is all the foods I like are carb bombs and I'm not really all the keen on a life without pastas.

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BERGBA7 8/25/2012 5:15AM

    Your progress and great blogs on low-carb motivate me even more to start my journey on Sunday! Thanks for sharing and good luck for your September planing and...
emoticon emoticon

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SALONKITTY 8/25/2012 5:12AM

    Woohoo, you're doing great with your workouts! Good for you!

I feel great too, am gaining strength and endurance, and I typically eat less than 50g carb/day too. I'm not having any trouble with completing workouts or day-to-day tasks. Honestly, I feel so much BETTER and more energetic eating this way than I did when I ate low fat/higher carb. I think eating fat has a lot to do with it.

For me, it didn't require any sort of "work". I just cut those carbs out and found that my body responded in a very positive way. I think I had two days where I was headachey during the first week, but that was IT. I exercised from the first week on, no problem.

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BOB240 8/25/2012 2:08AM

    Again I've been low carbing for seven/eight months. Never felt short of energy.

I do wonder if it is person dependent but without a big study...

The only other thing is that there are now aisles and aisles at the supermarket where I never tread.

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ALLYTHEATHLETE 8/24/2012 10:58PM

    WOW! Kudos to you!


I was on a low-glycemic plan for about 5 months and then my body rebelled and I started having MAJOR food tantrums! But, while I was on the plan, I was able to lower my body fat by 13%, so I definitely got results that way! I'm much more relaxed with my eating plan now and try to adhere to an 80/20 philosophy. Now that I'm so close to goal, I feel like I can relax a bit. Everyone's journey is different and I'm still learning what works for me!

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SAFARIBABE 8/24/2012 10:27PM

    Well done Road Warrior! I did sone HIIT tonight on my beloved bike! What a difference cleats make to the power I generate on the bike!! Well done on th epull-ups!! Sounds like you're well on your way to reaching your goal!

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MPLANE37 8/24/2012 10:25PM

    If I go below 100g, I feel terrible, and can't exercise. I guess it depends on the person. Or may be it is possible to get used to 50g of carbs a day, but it requires some work. Since human body is built to adapt... That wouldn't surprise me. But for now, I am happy with 150-200g of carbs a day.

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TBARBOUR0322 8/24/2012 9:46PM


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Bodpod, a she-guru, and heresy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

So as many of my long-term spark buds know, I am a geek when it comes to data collecting and number crunching. If it were up to me, I would goob out with constant monitoring and uploading of all sorts of things; blood pressure, heart rate, lipids, VO2 max, glucose, insulin levels......all the news that's fit to print and track in the cloud.

Since the nanobot industry hasn't kept pace with my expectations, I have to make due with less frequent measurements and cruder tools.

Enter the Bodpod!

(for the mechanics of it, see my last Bodpod blog at

Today I ducked out at lunchtime and got another reading.

23% bodyfat, down from 27% in Feb....on top of that, I weigh 180 lbs today and was 186 then.

Once you crunch all the numbers it turns out I've lost about 10 lbs of fat, while adding about 4 lbs of muscle.....not bad for a guy with a day job

Still slower than I would like, but steady, relentless progress (I am truly without relent!)

I sat down with the nutritionist for a few minutes afterwards.....luckily this wasn't the same one I had to do a group session with last time.

I told her about my recent detour on to the low carb highway. Surprisingly, she was fairly knowledgeable and asked me a few pointed questions;

"Are you doing Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, or something else?"

"None of the above, I'm just keeping my carbs below 50 gms"

"Have you taken any blood glucose measurements?"


"Well you may want to see how your glucose and ketone levels are doing. How about blood lipids?

"No, but I'm scheduling my annual physical for Oct or Nov"

"OK, are you taking any multi-vitamins?"

"Yes!" I beamed

"How much calcium is in it?"

"I have no idea," I said looking down at my shoes

"Well you may want to supplement it, unless you're eating a lot of cheese. So where do you want to get to body fat and weight-wise?"

I felt like I had finally found my guru of the mountain, one who knew exactly the right questions to ask to spark my inner enlightenment, steering me on to the path of a lean-living Nirvana.

"I don't know," I confessed. "For a long time, I thought that getting below 180 would be nice. I'm pretty happy where I'm at. Sure I'd like to drive the bodyfat below 20%, maybe get the weight down to 175 or 170, but I could just as easily be pretty happy right where I'm at. I workout 4-6 days a week and feel like I finally have my eating under control"

I felt like the weight of the world had just been lifted off my shoulders. Here I was confessing to a total stranger that yes, I could indeed be happy right where I'm at today

"Well," she said, "You know these are just numbers, right?"

"Just numbers?" I thought....was this she-guru in fact just a demon-spawn trickster, lulling me into a mind-numbing comfort, before sending me into the torture-pit?

"The numbers are guidelines," she continued. "You're 52 and while you're making great progress and heading in the right direction, your progress is going to be slower than a 20-something. There is no final goal to shoot for. Look at this chart"

She shoved a poster in front of me that had pictures of all sorts of dudes (there was an equivalent one for women) of varying bodyfat percentages & weights. It was pretty cool.

"Bodyfat is just a measure, but there are many more factors at play. This guy at 22% bodyfat looks better than this guy at 15% doesn't he?"

I would have preferred staring at the chart with the women on it, but sure as hell, I had to admit that the scrawny, 15% bodyfat ectomorph with no chest and thin arms looked worse than the dude that was bigger & more buff....with 7% more bodyfat.

"Well OK, that's good info," I said. "I'm not sure I'm ready to stop pushing. I like working out and I want to see where this low carb road takes me"

"Sure, no problem. The numbers are good indicators, and in the end, you want the trend line to be steadily downward like it has been for you. Why don't you come back in December and we'll see where you're at for a tune-up?"

My God, such people really exist! I forgave her heretical defamation against the data Gods....she must pray at another temple, and took her up on the offer. Came back to the office and told my secretary to lock me in for another Bodpod session just before Christmas!

That's all for tonight Spark friends....have a great night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 8/26/2012 6:27AM

    Woohoo! I am so glad you found a nutritionnist who can challenge you and give you more useful advice and information. That's great!

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SALONKITTY 8/25/2012 5:19AM

    Great read! I think it's great that you wound up getting a nutritionist who was relatively OK about low carb eating. If only SP had a low carb nutritionist....sigh.

So great that you were able to shed fat and add muscle at the same time! That is REALLY difficult to do, you know?

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CHEEKY1000 8/24/2012 11:47PM

    Ironically...I hate numbers. My brain shuts down when confronted with them--normally. The exception is all the data I can gather on this journey. Seems much more concrete than "my jeans are loose." (maybe they stretched out or something....) Ah well.

Glad you found another empathetic pea for your pod! (Sheesh, I do love my awful puns.) LOL

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ALLYTHEATHLETE 8/24/2012 11:04PM

    I'm all about numbers, too! I realized about 6 months ago that I was getting too muscular to go by BMI anymore, so I'm relying on other health metrics. I'd like to get my waist below 30" and my waist to hip ratio below 0.80 (and some POPPING quads would be nice). I figure whatever my weight is at that point will be maintenance. BMI be damned!

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FANGFACEKITTY 8/24/2012 5:18PM

    You know, at the end of the day, she's right and numbers are just numbers, right?
You can slice them & dice them to make them say anything you want.

In a previously life I probably would have been burned at the stake for heresy.

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STARL_73 8/22/2012 5:24PM

    Great blog! I'd really like to see that chart (women's version). It really does bear thinking.

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BEATLETOT 8/22/2012 10:17AM

    Great job, man! I'm glad your nutritionist wasn't a one-trick pony! Looking forward to seeing your December results!

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GREENGENES 8/21/2012 11:54PM

    Keep crunching those numbers!

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SAFARIBABE 8/21/2012 10:19PM

    Congrats on the results but seriously big brother...I think you missed your calling in life! Given your "obsession" with numbers you should have been an accountant. All numbers all the time! LOL So, you've found your bod-pod godess....does SWMBO know??? LOL Keep doing what you're doing. You'll know when you've hit the right place. I don't see you getting to the scrawny guy body. At the end of the day, you prefer your ribs on a plate not protruding from your chest!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/21/2012 1:17PM

    Whatever you're doing - you are working it right!! Maybe whenever you retire you can become a fitness consultant for older (not old!) people trying to change their bodies! I say "when you retire" since I know you're already insanely busy!

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BILL60 8/21/2012 7:47AM

    Keep the spirit up and the fat down.

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BBECKER1955 8/21/2012 6:59AM

    I got it! She prays at the Temple of Incremental Change ;-) Be careful, she might be a disciple of Deming! emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 8/20/2012 10:57PM

    "I felt like the weight of the world had just been lifted off my shoulders. Here I was confessing to a total stranger that yes, I could indeed be happy right where I'm at today "

What a desirable place to be! You *can* do more, but you don't *have* to do more. Your new nutritionist sounds like a true professional.

Great blog, great situation to be in!

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WOUBBIE 8/20/2012 10:46PM

    "she must pray at another temple" LOL!

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LISAINMS 8/20/2012 10:07PM

    I like her perspective! So many of those nutritionists are non-gurus that have charts and graphs that they want to apply to each person. You are doing great... keep going!

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BERGBA7 8/20/2012 9:29PM

    23% body fat! Great Job...
emoticon emoticon
Keep pushing if you feel like it. I agree with the lady that health and well being is probably more important than some absolute number - sometimes we need to push slightly too far, though, to know what is the actual midway to get back too...

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What if we didn't store food as fat?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

So how would our lives change if our bodies didn't store fat?

I'm going to pull the thread on that one in just a little bit, but it begs the question, "how and why do our bodies store fat?"

Well I'm certainly not a biologist, a nutritionist, a biochemist, or anything else that requires knowledge of organic chemistry (although I was an astronomer in a previous life), but I'm a good enough of a problem solver to know how to ask the right questions, frame the problem, gather the facts and make a fairly well informed decision.

For years (decades actually) my weltanschauung was much like everyone elses; fat loss & gain were reducible to a simple math problem; calories in must be less than calories out in order to lose weight.

Pretty freaking simple right? Burn more calories than you eat and the weight should just melt off. Keep accurate count of your caloric intake, burn more than you take in, watch the scale slide inexorably downward.

Then WTF is going on with my weight & body composition not responding to this simple math problem? Why have I run thousands of miles and stayed at about the same weight (truth be told, I did add muscle and lose fat), why do (did) I have the same love handles that should have melted away after my third marathon? Inquiring minds want to know.

So for the last 3 months I have read as much as I can about nutrition, carbs, fats, proteins, biochemical pathways, yadda-yadda-yadda. I dove in pretty deep into how & why our bodies store fat.

I'm not sure it's a simple math problem....I think there's chemistry involved, and that takes it beyond high school math and into college labwork. I'm not going into the whole mechanism here, but suffice to say, that it's not so much that our bodies measure the calories in against the calories burnt, storing the difference as fat or reaching into our fat stores to burn it's a little more complicated and involves a whole slew of chemical processes that call upon hormones (insulin, glucagon, etc.) and adaptations of our bodies to what we burn for fuel (glucose, ketones). Bottom line, the best books I've seen about the subject are;

"Why We Get Fat" - Gary Taubes
"The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" - Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek
"The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" - Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek
"Wheat Belly" - William Davis
"Fathead: The Movie" - Tom Naughton

There are more, but these are my favorites so far.

So what if the issue isn't, "Why is it so hard to lose weight", but "How do I get my body to stop storing fat".....well that takes you down a whole different least it has for me, and so I've embarked on my own little experiment to see how my body responds to a low carbohydrate lifestyle, one that really reduces my body's propensity to store fat.

And my body has responded very well!

So let's say I eat the right balance of foods that stalls the mechanism where my body has to store food as fat, what happens (or more accurately, what has happened to me).

Well, if I don't store food as fat, then the food I eat goes in to making more muscle & bone.....and my body flushes out the excess nutrients

If I don't store food as fat, then, when I burn off some fat due to doesn't go back and replace what I just burnt off.....and I get a little less "jiggly" over time.

If I don't store food as fat, I can eat more than I think I can in the calories in/calories out model.....and not go around hungry all the time with cravings for food that I feel deprived of, because I'm eating plenty.

If I don't store food as fat, my weight just doesn't seem to increase.....even when I eat way more than I have in the last 2 years.

So is this a clinical trial with all sorts of variables held in check with accurate measurements of everything going on with me.....of course not. I'm barely 3 months in to a lifestyle change that may take a year or more to get me where I want to be (and I'm still not exactly sure where that should be, but that's another blog), but here's what I can safely say has been the pay off so far;

- I feel like I have conquered food cravings.....I eat as much of the things I like as I want (just no carbs) and I do not feel hunger anxieties much at all. This is probably the most incredible part of it, I don't feel compelled to eat a dozen cookies at a pop, or spoonfuls of peanut butter, plates and plates of spaghetti, breads, potatoes, you name it. Yet I just came back from a 7-day cruise where I ate like Fred Flintstone all day, every day.....and I dropped 1.5 lbs!

- I don't "see" it myself, but everyone around me is telling me I look leaner and that I look great....friends, families, co-workers, even strangers in stores or at the gym.

- I do "feel" leaner.....belly bulge & love handles appear to be shrinking, muscles are popping out around shoulders, legs, & arms.

- My weight is very comfortably going down, albeit at a slow rate, but I'm OK with that. I'm working out a lot, lifting weights & doing cardio....I'm at 179 lbs, and truth be told, I'm not sure where I want to level out at.....175, 170, I don't really know. I feel pretty darn good and like what I see in the mirror.

- My BP has gone down to textbook normal numbers.....a very interesting side-effect, especially since I have a family history of high BP, diabetes, heart disease and all sorts of other metabolic syndromes.

So this is where my current research has taken me, all I can do is to to vouch for what I see working so far, but I'm very pleasantly surprised.....still a long way to go, but asking and answering questions like these have definitely made a difference where previous paradigms had stalled me out.

Have a great day Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOB240 8/19/2012 12:57PM

    My experience on a low carb approach has always been positive. I might note that given exactly the same diet over seven months and an increasing exercise regime my best numbers indicated that
1] When I was 10 ponds over normal BMI the calorie in = calorie out thing seemed to work
2] As soon as I reached ten pounds outside normal bmi - something happened. Weight loss rate was much less. It still went but despite exercising more etc something had happened to my body.
I also seemed to get a spurt in strength as judged by lifts BUT I was not eating more.


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BERGBA7 8/19/2012 11:37AM

    Thanks for sharing. I am reading New Atkins for a New You that you recommended and it is very interesting. I don't know whether I might become an adapt of low carb or not, but I am definitely experimenting with my own food consumption.
Good luck on your journey and I am looking forward to those blood tets coming up in a bit!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/19/2012 11:37:44 AM

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PROT358 8/19/2012 12:08AM

    Fascinating blog, and a great question to consider. I've always thought it's more complex than calories in, calories out. And your experience with low carbs also suggest that our bodies don't process all calories equally. (Jillian Michaels agrees and explores this and other aspects of our biochemistry in "Master Your Metabolism," which was a very informative read). Thanks for leaving the book names because I was just about to ask. Looks like my reading list just got a little longer!

And I got so excited about the rest of the blog I almost forgot ... congratulations on the losing weight and changing your body composition! You're doing great!

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SHERYL_B 8/18/2012 9:21PM

    I'm glad this is working for you, but this blog hurt my head! I don't want to think that much about balance. I have enough trouble focusing on a single goal each moth - this month it is protein, next month will be fiber. emoticon

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NWFL59 8/18/2012 8:40PM

    Glad you found something that works for you and are able to continue to succeed in the pursuit of your long term goals. emoticon

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REBECCATKD 8/18/2012 7:08PM

    I'd say the low-carb idea is worth looking into, especially if you're stalled/plateaued.

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MOBYCARP 8/18/2012 5:25PM

    It's complicated, for sure. You're not the first person I've seen who has found low carb does the trick for them; but I haven't needed low carb for myself. I think there's something missing from the research: Why do some methods work well for some people, while other methods work well for other people?

One size does not fit all, and it's hard to tell which size fits me without trying it on.

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BILL60 8/18/2012 3:30PM

    Great blog. Would love to hear of the results at 6/9/12 months.

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HAKAPES 8/18/2012 2:43PM

    Great blog, and very interesting!
And what is the solution for you, how do you divert your metabolism to store food as fat?
And how did you conquer cravings?

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GREENGENES 8/18/2012 2:27PM

    Nice job. Isn't human physiology fascinating?

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PEPPYPATTI 8/18/2012 1:27PM

    I have been reading up on the Carbs thing too. It really makes a difference & you end up eating more & healthier.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SALONKITTY 8/18/2012 12:48PM

    Great! It sounds like your experiment is going very well, indeed. Have you seen Dr. Peter Attia's site?

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WOUBBIE 8/18/2012 12:22PM

    "- My BP has gone down to textbook normal numbers.....a very interesting side-effect"

I still find it rather mind-boggling that when you Google "What causes high blood pressure" the answer essentially comes back as "We don't know", yet virtually anyone who substantially lowers their sugar and starch intake will see the numbers drop. Hmmmmm. Think there's a connection there?

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