Monday, December 26, 2011

I do special maths

I hate this scale!
According to my online Myers-Briggs assessment, my personally-described personality constellation deems me "the champion." Thus far in this blog, I have shared that my only champion qualifications of late are those regarding self deception. So, taking this veritable block of salt and hitting the ground running, I have decided to describe the process of my transformation in quantifiable absolutes. Granted, these absolutes will be subjected to my full arsenal of subjective (and therefore erroneous) analysis.

My first fixation in this endeavor is upon my own weight. The reasons for this are twofold. First, my good friend and occasional running buddy, Jen Luebke, told me once that with equal fitness, one stands to be able to run four seconds per mile FASTER with each pound lost. Maybe it was only two seconds. I'm not sure who created this wondrous equation, but I do feel like I can securely state that dropping about thirty pounds will allow me to drop about 11.6 minutes from my 42 minute 10k without much actual running. (30 lbs x 4 sec x 6 mi).

So the other reason for the new weight fixation is more figurative. In 2006, just following the Seattle Marathon, I weighed a measly 142 lbs on my in-laws' bathroom scale. This Christmas, I weighed myself on a scale in the very same spot reading 185 lbs.

Quantifying this weight in my head has become somewhat of an hobby for me. Following are a few things that weigh roughly 43 lbs, none of which I'd like to bring along on my next marathon.

Death Star Pumpkin
Child-sized "atlas stone"
This canoe
Is this a Llama?
Diving helmet
Confiscated by the Portland P.D.
European Ostrich
Dog-fighter for a dog? 

Profound, no?

So in reality, 2006 was not a great year for me physically. I did manage to attract my wickedly-awesome wife around that time, but I was otherwise sorta wimpy and sick until I gained my pre-Ironman weight in 2007. In light of this, I have decided to aim for 159 lbs as a mid-April goal. MyFitnessPal, who was introduced in my first post, is doubting that I will meet this goal. In light of this, I have been stonewalling the SOB, and am hoping that his tune changes when I come around next week.

Expect some more great calculations in my next post, as well as some serious name-dropping of more famous pro athletes.

Oh, I can't forget to give a shout-out to my mother-in law, mayor of Ryegate, MT, for giving me the sweet used bathroom scale, and to Betsy, for tricking me into eating all of those Christmas cookies.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This is not a good look for me

Certified for resale by FW&P
In my adult life, I have enjoyed defining myself as an athlete scraping the     ceiling of sub-elite status. For the past several years, this has been somewhat of a fib. Relative to satisfactory beginnings in the active realm, I have lately been described more often as having "performed well beyond my fitness level."

In 2012, I will turn 30. I have vowed to make an honest push to test my actual potential in this year, rather than to pray for a miracle every time I toe the line as I have for the majority of my 20s.

This blog will be a story of my struggle with accountability and undoubtedly frequent points of failure as well. I will attempt to speak to the every-man, including all of those who wage a silent war against their own failures of self-discipline. Rather than sharing vegan recipes, my readers (wife and mother), will find in-stead, peanut-gallery-esque ruminations upon the world working against me and the people from whom I draw inspiration.

In regard to the title of this blog, I might have named my quest after my self-selected spirit animal, the polar bear, but found hippopotamus descriptions to be more accurate. They usually follow the line of "encumbered by their substantial girth on land, the surprisingly graceful in the water, and can be quite dangerous to..."
My first white-hot jewel of planification has been to cast off the weight which holds me back. This will be an endeavor both physical and figurative in my case.  In the coming months, I will need to release my long time goal of being the first elite athlete sponsored by a fast food chain. Also missing this specific cut will be my reputation for eating fat-laden burritos and fried chicken on long rides, and a well-known affinity for buffet-style recovery meals.

Just a few weeks ago, I made a deal with my wife, Betsy, to terminate my long affair with fast food in exchange for an iphone. This was a good start.

The thing that I am best at is justification, specifically self-justification. I have grown to explain a midnight binge at Taco Bell as "helping me to recover." Since these binges frequently follow a lapse in working out, I may have taken this a bit too far. To aid in my self-accountability, I have acquired a new friend:

I'd like to introduce you, reader, to My Fitness Pal app.

This bad boy keeps track of my exercise and dietary doings with a million-food catalog which does include the Denny's Grand Slamwich, which packs in over 1,000 calories a pop. At the end of each day, My..Pal lets me know exactly how I am progressing toward my goal weight with a little shaming tool that looks like this: 

I have been at the Pal  for two weeks and it has probably done more educating than anything else. It has been my mode in life to believe that if a little of something is good, then a lot of it will have to be proportionately better. In light of this, I now have a more realistic grasp of the direct effect of my binge/purge personality.

I'm satisfied with this start. In my next post, you can look forward to some special maths and a "hippo by the numbers" feature.