Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vanity Kills

221.6lbs. Sub 220 sure looks attainable now. Perhaps 218 might be in range by Saturday's weigh in. I am already noticing small physical changes. I am seeing certain parts of my abs dimple in here and there. Pro tip for guys: you will never ever see a six pack in your life if you are simply depending on exercise, cut the fat - get the abs. It's as simple as that.

My friend and I had wondered at some point how another friend of ours had achieved a six pack without any exercise. There was a factor we discounted: he was on drugs, specifically meth. That's not exactly what I would call a good health plan. Despite the fact that you get a ripped body, you also have to worry about those pesky little things like heart failure, losing your teeth and looking like a corpse eventually. I highly suspect that most of Hollywood is on some form of illegal stimulant. The surgical reconstruction of nasal passages must be a booming business in La La Land.

It makes me wonder how many people died for their own vanity, taking the easy way out. The body is a wonderous machine that gets out of whack. It's like the alignment on your car, you hit one too many speed bumps going at a high rate of speed then, suddenly, your vehicle wants to swerve left into a drainage ditch and kill you. I would do minor corrections to my health as I got older and then get lazy and have to muscle the vehicle to the side of the ride to avoid a head on with a semi.

At one point, boys and girls, I was a gym rat. 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening but I never ate right. I would lose weight slowly and feel like crap most of the time. I did build muscle mass which accounts for some of the slow weight loss. My lowest weight was 205 and I looked pretty good but would have looked much better without 15 lbs of fat on me that I liked to call "muscle". The key to it all is to lose weight, maintain your present muscle mass as much as possible and then build up if necessary. As a teenager I can tell you I didn't have much muscle mass. I had a weight set I used quite a bit but I might as well have been waving my arms around like a monkey. By the time I moved on from my teens I was already veering the car into a bridge abutment. By my late 20's I was almost in Chris Farley territory, God rest his soul.

But I have to say that my current regimen is fairly easy (without taking the easy way out) and I don't have to snort and support the economies of Peru or Colombia. The parts that aren't easy? Remembering the supplements. I have little pill cases for all of them and some of them, if not all of them, can be substituted with food. Now, it's kind of hard to find a garlic clove laying around my desk. Mental note to self: hide garlic cloves around the office. But I have added some L-Carnitine (in combo with Alpha Lipoic Acid) to the diet. Some notable effects can be found here. (Yes the article is all sciencey but I am sure you can take it. ) L-Carnitine is sort of hard to find in foods in the quantities I want, so I am supplementing.

What's difficult is remembering to bring my little pills into work with me during all the madness of getting the girls to school. There lies the rub. I think I have become more anal in week three and it frustrates me greatly when I don't have my supplements at the ready. Well, problem solved, I went and bought duplicate bottles to put in my desk. Still, being religious about 4 supplement doses a day can be tedious, well worth it but tedious nonetheless. I'll put it up with it like I put up with my week of beans being my magical fruit.

Speaking of beans, once my body started getting regulated, beans have had no effect on the Phoenix area's observance of the EPA's Clean Air Act since. I find this interesting though you may not. I also find it interesting how efficiently my body uses food now. If I feel hungry in the evening I grab a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and I feel sated. My former self would tell you that a jar makes a nice snack. Seeing that 2 tablespoons is something closing in on 300-400 calories, I would not say that is the best advice. I don't even want to calculate the caloric equivalent of a jar of the stuff.

In unrelated news, I got my hair cut finally. I took one of my girls along with me until the other one finished her school activities. She now knows what a real barbershop looks like: a magazine table bereft of Us or People or Redbook, four large chairs with heavy chrome and steel accenting them and men clipping away in white smocks with scissors the size of garden sheers and clippers. I asked for the barber to cut my hair a certain way and of course got it cut the way he thought best. I am not sure if this was due to the language barrier (Russian barbers are everywhere in Phoenix) or an act of kindness to keep me from being a dork. I love old style barbershops, there is an unwritten man code that governs them. Chit chat is for your hairdresser, short questions and grunts are for your barber. He did pay me a nice compliment with a very thick slavic accent, "Sir, you have very nice hair, very nice hair. How old are you?" I replied, "Almost 43." That's it, that was the sum total of our conversation after sitting down in the chair. All in all, it was a great experience. It was like "Take Your Daughter to Work" day except with hair.

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