Thursday, May 31, 2007

handicapped parking permits

Maybe I'm wrong. I have been known to live in a dream world. But I thought a handicapped parking permit entitled the user to ONE thing, and one thing only: to park in legally designated handicapped spots (painted with a handicapped icon and with a sign).
Lately I have noticed that people with handicapped permits park in any way they please, anywhere they want. Since when is that blue placard (or special plate) a license to parking gluttony? I've seen handicapped cars double-parked, parked across three or four regular spaces, in fire zones, in pedestrian walkways.
I don't have a handicapped permit. I helped my grandmother get one, and actually I could probably get one--I do get out of breath if I walk a long way. But I don't NEED one, and I'm not greedy. Sometimes when it's icy I wish for one, but then I hope those who have them really need them, and they are even less able to walk on ice than I am.
However, someone I work with has one. We only have ONE space in our lot, and there's five cars with handicapped placards. This person gets in early enough almost every day to snag the spot. He is capable of walking up the two flights of stairs to the office (no elevators). He plays golf several times a week. How was he able to get it? He had NECK surgery a year ago. I'm not sure how having a bad neck entitles him to be handicapped. Yes, his dad is old and he often drives his dad around, but if he has the placard based on his dad (who isn't at work with him!) then he shouldn't use it when his dad isn't in the car.
It's a bunch of BS if you ask me. I wish the police would start giving these illegally parked jerks tickets, but when my coworker called the police to complain about someone parking in the spot here without a placard, they told him they don't enforce that law. Nice.

Yesterday's workout info: 70 minutes in the pool for 741 calories burned.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

workout details

Yesterday I worked out for just over 80 minutes in the pool, burning 842 calories.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

sad news & computer news

My cat has cancer. I'm not going to talk about it much, just giving a heads up. I've chosen not to treat it aggressively, as he is 14. We are keeping him comfy (right now he's so comfy and happy you'd never know he's only got a few months left in him) and loved.
I have a laptop now with internet access so I can use wifi and write/be online if I'm upstairs with the cat so I don't envision any lessening of posts. Our old home network (wired) crashed so we replaced it with a wireless one, then I found a sweet little refurbished IBM Thinkpad at a computer show and scooped it up for a tenth of what it cost new--and it included a full install of Microsoft Office XP! We popped in another RAM chip and a wireless network card and I was ready to go. Now I can bring it with me on vacation next year too.

new goal

I have a new goal.
I've made vacation arrangements with a friend. We're going to one of those places on the 1,000 places to see before you die list. It's a foreign country, we don't speak the language, we've never been before and both of us are in poor physical condition. (She's old, I'm fat.) Going there requires not only travel by planes and cars, but also on foot (but not donkeys or scooters--I draw the line at both). I can get from here to the parking lot on foot right now, but I'll be tired.
That's going to change.
I weighed myself last Friday and I wasn't at all happy with the number. Yes, I work out 3-4x a week and my clothes keep getting bigger, but the number on the scale just doesn't change. It's very discouraging.
So my goal is to drop 50 lbs in six months and to increase my fitness level until I can walk 1-2 miles without stopping to sit. There is a trail near my house that's just over a mile long I can test myself at.
I am going to up my pool workouts to five per week (from 3-4). I am adding more cardio to my existing workout, making it longer. To lose 2 lbs a week, I need to burn 850 calories a day extra, average. At my current weight, according to the calculators at this handy site, I burn 212 calories every 20 minutes in the water. That's 80 minutes per day in the water, or just over an hour. Very doable. If I walk, I burn a lot less calories (I go slow and have to stop a lot); only 132 per 20 minutes so I'd have to walk for 2.25 hours on my off times (or go faster). I walked the 2+ miles of the nearby trail in just about an hour on Sunday, which is 159 calories for 20 minutes, so I'd only need to walk for an hour and three quarters. Right now I just don't think I can go much faster on land. I'll have to do extra in the pool to make up those calories. I can use my bowflex on my off days, for the same calorie burn as walking 2 mph. But I NEED to walk, because walking is what I'll be doing on my vacation. Pool fitness doesn't seem to equal land fitness.
Oh, and eating less will help, of course, but I'm so awful at counting calories. I'm just eating less food. I'm cutting everything in half again. (I started to eat whole meals gradually as my Phentermine wore off.) But I'm only counting exercise calories; that's a lot easier. Any calories cut by eating less will be bonus.

Here's my new tracker:
weight loss weblog

Recent workouts:
  • Friday, Pool, 1 hour
  • Saturday, cleaning out basement, 3 hours
  • Sunday, Walking, 1 hour

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

fat does not have to equal disgusting...

...but all too often, it does. Here is a perfect example:
I was in a restaurant the other day with my husband. It was one of those with a long booth along the wall, with tables for 4 and 2 people along it, with chairs on the other side. We were at a table for four. Next to us was another table for 4, with 3 people sitting at it. My husband kept giving me the eye sign to look to my left but I couldn't understand what he wanted me to look at.
I was sitting in the booth part. At the next table there was a guy sitting at the booth part. He made me look petite.
He was wearing those really annoying falling-down pants. You know the ones of which I speak? When the guy's underwear is showing halfway down his ass cheeks? Do any women find that attractive? And how the hell do the pants stay up? I was at a concert once and the lead singer of the opening act wore his pants like that. The band sucked. (They are a popular band, but I can't think of the name offhand.) Instead of yelling "get off the stage" I was yelling "pull up your fucking pants!"
So you can see that this dubious fashion trend annoys me. But this wasn't just a fat guy wearing ill-fitting trousers.
Usually, the style is that the guy in question wears some kind of patterned boxers so you have something to look at while his pants slide off his hips.
This guy, I guess, didn't understand that part of the fashion. He just wore his pants really low. Almost to his thighs. His bare thighs.
Yeah, no underwear that I could see.
And I could see plenty.
I didn' t want to see ANY of it.
This guy's BARE ASS CHEEKS were on the booth, that's how low his pants were. His NAKED ASS CRACK was touching the place where other people sit to eat their food.
Luckily, my food came out wrong, not once, but twice, so I ended up not eating. Not that I could have eaten knowing this guy's butt cheeks were just a foot away, probably oozing. (He looked unclean as well.) By the time the second wrong batch came out, the ass-cheek guy was gone and so was my appetite.
When the lady came to clean the table off I told her to clean the seat too.
Just because you are overweight, you don't have to be a disgusting pig. You can wash your hair and pull up your pants and for gods' sake, WEAR UNDERWEAR.
(sound of Rosie gagging)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

making fat discrimination against the law

Massachuetts is thinking of making discrimination against people for their height and/or weight illegal.
I'm all for that....except that why does it have to be a law? Why do people have to be assholes?
The article really doesn't say much:
Lawmakers are considering they review a bill that would make Massachusetts just the second state to bar discrimination based on height or weight.
What's the first? Anyone know?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

560 lb/40 stone young man dies after 6 months in armchair

This poor guy had Prader-Willi syndrome, that's when you never feel full and just eat and eat. Most of them are mildly retarded too, although he doesn't seem to be that bad.
Chris Leppard, who suffered from Prader-Willi Syndrome - which meant he never felt full - suffered a heart attack just two weeks after being admitted to hospital....He was admitted to hospital two weeks ago by doctors who feared he had just weeks to live after he ballooned to just over 40 stone and had spent the last six months living in an armchair. But despite the last ditch bid to save him, the wannabe chef suffered heart failure...At the height of Chris's illness he would consume nearly £10,000-a-year worth of food. (which is about $20k) ....Chris was diagnosed with Prader Willi syndrome just after turning 13. The condition, which means the brain fails to register when your stomach is full, then saw his weight creep up by a stone each year until his 18th birthday. By 23 he was tipping the scales at 25 stone (350 lbs) and made headlines when he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2005....he was so determined not to be sent back he dropped nine stones (224 lbs) after taking up a strict diet and going to the gym. But after a fall in October last year he developed Cellulitus, an infection in the fat under the skin, and he found it too painful to walk.Within months his weight had crept up to a deadly 40 stone (560 lbs) and he was left stranded in an armchair, moving only to make the short but painful walk to the toilet.
It's unclear if he gained all the weight sitting in the chair or if he was confined to the chair after gaining weight. Truly the article is very badly written. Still, it's a sad case when someone dies simply of being fat.
Then again, who was feeding him while he was confined to a chair, feeding him enough to gain 200 lbs in about 7 months? That's a lotta food, folks. That's over seven pounds a week (or half a stone).

lose 66 lbs a year using your computer

I'd rather do a stationary bike than a treadmill, but I can see that this would work...if you can keep it up.
I don't see many businesses investing in them, though.
A "walk and work" desk designed to let people work on a computer while walking on a treadmill may help obese people lose as much as 66 pounds in a year....the researchers compared the amount of energy burned by 15 obese people while they used the "walk and work" desk and when they sat at a conventional desk.
The average amount of energy burned while sitting at a desk was 72 kilocalories per hour, compared to 191 kilocalories an hour while using the "walk and work" desk. They walked the equivalent of one mile in an hour.
Amazing conclusion--that people burn more calories while walking than sitting. Wow.
I wonder how many calories I burn bouncing on my exercise ball rather than sitting in a static chair? I hate chairs now. I am forced to sit in one at work, but I don't like it anymore. Although the setup of my desk precludes me from using a ball--I have to sit all sideways because it's not a computer desk and there's no where for a keyboard and monitor.

in just 10 minutes a day...

keeps death least for a little while, according to this article:
Just 10 minutes of exercise a day can help even the most inactive overweight women...
Tests on overweight and obese women, many of whom had high blood pressure, showed that even small amounts of exercise improved their fitness and toned them up enough to lower their overall risk of early death.
The study is the first to reinforce using hard medical data what other studies have suggested -- that exercise does not have to be an all-or-nothing venture.
Thank god for that. Otherwise for those of us who are quite large, it would be "nothing", wouldn't it?
"Any type of moderate intensity physical activity should provide comparable benefits to those seen in our study. And that's good news. This can include work around the house and yard, swimming, playing in the park with your grandchildren, or other activities that are of a similar intensity to brisk walking."
After six months, the women had not lost any weight on average and their blood pressure, as a group, had not changed.But all the women who had exercised were fitter, as measured by oxygen intake as they exercised. And their waists were smaller.
That's good news, right? Less likely to die and a smaller waist. I'll walk to that. (Or swim.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

the bathroom police

There are bathroom police in the office building where I work. I've never seen them, but they have covered the bathroom with notes. "T-bear loves hand washing" with a picture of a smiling bear (t-bear, presumably) and "please be considerate to other Bathroom Users [sic] and make sure toilet is flushed twice" (I keep wanting to become the environmental police and explain that flushing twice when it's not needed wastes water.)
Today when my boss came to work, he found a note stuck the door, addressing me as "The [name of company where I work, misspelled] Madam" (which really cracked me up) telling me they were going to report me to the "health department" because of the "condition" I left the bathroom in.
I didn't even USE the bathroom yesterday! On Friday, I put in my contact lens in front of the mirror and filled a water jug for our plants and coffee machine.
I am fairly certain I know WHO the police are. They are a bunch of tight-faced telemarketers, and the irony is that there's a huge sign on the door to their suite saying "no soliciting"!
So I have to wonder, did they paper every door in the hallway or just single me out?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

fat as a bear

My husband was telling me something that happened to a friend of his. This guy heard a noise in his yard, looked out, and there was a bear in his yard. So like any red-blooded American male (no doubt with a few beers inside him), hubby's friend goes charging outside and tries to frighten away the bear.
The bear turned the tables and frightened the guy back into the house.
I found this story interesting, as it involved a bear that was alive and not killing anything or being killed. I asked the next logical questions: What kind of bear? How big of a bear?
Around here, in Connecticut, when someone says "bear" it's usually a black bear. Still a bear, and still scary, but not a BIG bear. Not a grizzly or a brown bear. According to this web site (where I also got the photo), male black bears generally range in weight from 130 to 600 lbs. and females from 100 to 400. I don't know if the bear menacing my hubby's friend was male or female.
So what is my husband's response?
It was a really big bear. As big as you.
My mouth fell open. I almost cried. I felt just awful. My husband just said I was fat as a bear. Now if it was a 130 lb little baby bear, that would be a compliment. But I think he meant more in the 600 lb monster papa bear range.
Now since this, he has been backpedaling. Saying "it was a human-sized bear, that's what I meant." Of course, he made it worse when he said, "I didn't say the bear was fat." He should just quit before I smack him upside the head.
I told my mom about it (not sure why, as in the past she's been a major naysayer about my weight) and she was actually sympathetic and agreed that my husband really should have phrased it better.
Okay, I know I'm fat. Otherwise I wouldn't have a blog about it, right? But for my very own husband to compare me to a bear... Not a good day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

work out and diet advice that isn't dumb

Usually these diet/exercise posts linked to the front page of Yahoo's portal go in my "duh" file if I bother to even read them. So it wasn't with any sense of hoping to learn something that I clicked today's link.
I was pleasantly surprised.
The writer says:
If you are working out every day – cut it out – it’s too much. And if you are not enjoying your exercise class, or running, or meeting your trainer – forget it! That training is draining. And if in your heart you do not believe that “this new diet” will work for you – don’t do it.
Wow. No lists about celery stalks and numbers of steps per day? I might actually listen.
Her first piece of advice?
No new diets, no new restrictions, just stop it all.
My eyes are a-goggle.
Then she gets a little new-agey, but that's okay, many of my friends are like this. It doesn't scare me:
Repeat a positive mantra to yourself every day to recondition your thinking – and your behavior will change because of it. While thinking the following thoughts, envision yourself healthy, happily eating the foods and in the shape you want to be: “I enjoy whole healthy foods, I prefer them, I choose them, I lose weight easily and my health is better because of them."
I've had similar mantras (affirmations, my friends call them). I am healthy, wealthy and wise. I am sleek and strong, lean and long. (I like the rhyme and the alliteration.)
Then she finishes the blog with a workout plan that's doable--you can go and read it yourself.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

follow-up to made up news

On April 16, I wrote about a woman claiming she'd been crushed by a "300 lb man" who escaped, obviously via a scale since everyone was able to so precisely gauge his weight.
Now she is suing this unknown assailant and has expanded the story. From a man coming out of no where, now she claims to have seen him in advance: Massey said that on April 9 she was in the second row of the right field upper deck near a "visibly intoxicated" man who was "acting in a rowdy, boisterous and dangerous manner for a long period of time."
Um. But she didn't call a security guard or try to keep away from him.
Along with Sterling Mets L.P., the owner of the team, Massey sued Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. and the Service Employees International Union Local 177.
Nice. I believe there are CYA (cover your ass) disclaimers on the back of most tickets to avoid this kind of frivolous lawsuit.
Oh, that's right, the woman he fell on was a LAWYER.

Friday, May 04, 2007

stupid diet tricks

Why do I even bother to read these articles?
Tip #1: Begin lunch and dinner with a veggie-rich salad or broth-based soup.
I'm sorry, how can a soup not have broth? Isn't that the definition of soup?
Tip #2: Ten minutes before each meal, eat some healthy fat (around 70 calories or fewer): a handful of nuts, a few slices of avocado, or a spoonful of peanut butter, for example. That helps activate ghrelin, a hormone that lets you know you're full.
I don't believe I can eat peanut butter until I'm full--I'd want to puke long before I got to that state. So how is one spoonful going to make me feel full?
Tip #3: The secret to losing weight comes down to keeping your metabolism alive and active...How do you do that? By eating every 3 hours, give or take 10 to 20 minutes.
What about while you're sleeping?
Tip #4: If you're going to drink anything with calories (i.e., fruit juice, soda, sweetened coffee and tea, or alcohol), you need to consciously adjust your diet to accommodate those extra calories.
Everyone knows this. Just like everyone knows that if you eat less and exercise, you'll lose weight, but somehow it doesn't work like that in real life.
Tip #5: Skip those munchies made with white flour and sugar... They signal the body to produce more insulin and set the stage for turning calories to fat, fat, and more fat.
What about just skipping ALL munchies? In the part I cut out, it listed cookies and pretzels as foods to avoid. DUH. And the language of this sentence offends me. Am I five, that you have to scare me by saying it three times?
Tip #6: Studies show that most of us base how much we eat on what others around us eat.... So steer clear of the big eaters in your social circle, at least when food is around.
I've already blogged on this. Archives are your friend.
Tip #7: Start leaving just a little bit on your plate or, if you can, cut the amount you eat in half.
I already do this. That's another duh.
Tip #8: Eat the most food earlier in the day.
Which contradicts tip #3.
Tip #9:To keep the weight off forever, the goal is to take 11,000 to 12,000 steps (around 90 minutes) a day.
Pedometers hate me. And how many steps is swimming?
Tip #10: You have to picture yourself thin if you want to become thin.
Tip #11: Crowd out calorie-dense foods by ratcheting up on fruits and veggies.
I've heard of this before. But if you eat your veggies drenched in butter and cream sauce and sour cream, it defeats the purpose.
Tip #12: Brush your teeth often. Most foods don't mix well with the taste of toothpaste.
I paraphrased that one, but it is true. Listerine, too, is pretty gross to mix with food, unless you want to vomit.