Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I've never done them. Ever. They don't work. I work in retail pharmacy, an industry that arguably is the only one to see higher sales in January than in December. We have so many people buying vitamins, minerals, herbals, detox kits, weight loss pills, etc. to realize New Years Resolutions. The sad thing about New Years Resolutions is that the majority of them crash and burn. Weight loss is the most common of course. The first Weight Watchers meeting after January 1 is standing room only. In obesity treatment circles we say that a diet consists of the least amount of calories and most exercise that a patient can tolerate. A healthy lifestyle is the least amount of calories and most exercise a patient can enjoy. That is, there is no point making any lifestyle change unless it is something you can continue forever. Going to the gym 5 times per week at 6:00 am is not likely to be one of those unless you are a fitness buff to begin with. So this year, do yourself a favor. Don't make any New Years Resolutions. Instead, aim to make small, sustainable changes in your life every day of the year that will accumulate into a healthier you by next December.

In the meantime, if you're feeling like some self-masochistic exercise, I dare you to do this workout and not feel like you want to die at the end. (Yes, the freeze frame is purposefully provocative.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I am officially a Bodyrocker

It's amazing the things you find while randomly perusing Youtube. I was watching a hilarious video of Cookie Monster doing vocals for Rammstein's Du Hast when I saw an intriguing thumbnail on the side. I will openly admit it was not the subject matter that intrigued me. Anyone who sees this video will understand why I originally clicked on it. I'm not going to sugarcoat it people.

Now, aside from the obvious visual candy this video provides, I must say I was interested in this concept. I really do enjoy working out but I HATE weights, I don't want to go to a gym because it just won't happen, it's too damn cold outside to exercise outdoors, treadmills and ellipticals bore me, and a man can only do so many pushups and situps before he dies from boredom. So the thought of having a nearly endless smorgasboard of bodyweight exercises I can do in my own home makes me salivate. (Okay, maybe it's the scantily clad instructor causing the salivation, but I need motivation so I'll take what I can get.)

From where does the impetus for this come might you ask? Well, if you recall, I did a post exactly two months ago on getting back on track with Weight Watchers. It hasn't turned out so well. I had one good week and then it all went to hell from there. I have been baking for about the last month at least twice a week to produce this cornucopia of sweetness.

I bake every year at this time. I love it. It relaxes me and I give away a bunch of goodies to friends and family. But I INSIST on the highest quality in my finished product which means a LOT of quality control. That translates into my pants fitting quite snug. I got a little bummed out when I looked in the mirror the other night. Yes, men have body image issues too. Well, at least some men. My bigger concern though is what the image represents. Love handles are more scientifically known as central adiposity and they are a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. See below for more on that.

So I thought, I'm going to become a Bodyrocker. Not only am I going to get my ass back on track with Weight Watchers (I know how to do it, I just have to smarten up and actually do it and realize finally 20 pounds later than I'm not invincible anymore) but I'm going to get in shape. Honestly, working with people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome every day makes me really want to get in shape so I'm here to see my grandchildren grow into adults. And I also realized, after feeling to keep my weight off for more than a year, that keeping your weight off WITHOUT exercise is next to impossible. The scientific evidence supports that and I loves me some scientific evidence, but when it comes to my personal life I usually turn a blind eye to it.

I started with Bodyrocks Absolute Beginners series that you can get on Youtube. Then once I slaughtered myself doing that I am now joining in on her nightly exercises. They are different every night and usually fairly short, like 20-30 minutes. They're fun and they make you sweat like mad. Seriously. Check the one out tonight. 75 high knee jump ropes followed by 25 squats. Repeat 9 more times. Puke. This woman did all 10 sets in 18 minutes! It took me 35 minutes and now I can barely walk up the stairs. Seriously. That's half the reason I'm writing this post. I can't get out of the computer chair. And Zuzana did this with a freakin 8kg sandbag on her back for the squats. You have to respect that. And her form sickens me. I look like a gyrating ectomorphic mass most of the time. But that is why she looks like this (yes, they're fake),

and I look like this (mine're all real).

But some day I will be a certified Bodyrocker too! Wait and see!

Current weight: 185lbs
Current BMI: 28.1

Goal weight: 164 lbs
Goal BMI: 24.9

PS-For all you BMI naysayers, a MASSIVE study published in the New England Journal of Medicine recently looked at mortality in 1.5 million white adults over a period of 10 years. It found that the healthiest weight was one with a BMI of 20-24.9. Death rates in the group 20-22.4 were similar to those in the 22.5-24.9 group. They used to think lower was better but now it appears a 22.5-24.9 BMI is just as healthy, which is good news for us who struggle with weight as it is much more attainable and sustainable. Even being a bit overweight (25-29.9) increased risk of mortality by 1.13X. Those with BMIs 40-49.9 had the highest mortality rates, increasing their risk over normal weight individuals by 2.51. To give you an example of how big that is, I'd have to weigh 265 lbs on a 5'8" frame.