ted | chicago,HAMLOG | Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I hit my first goal last weekend. I’m down 10% and less than what I weighed at the start of 2007. Progress continues to be made and at this rate I’m on track for hitting my goal weight on or before my birthday.


The raw numbers for you are irrelevant, suffice to say after a relatively short period of feeling hungry all the time – maybe a month at most – I’m not having any problem losing weight simply by paying attention to what I eat. Fitday helps admirably in this regard, and I am sticking to approximately 2200 kcal/day. I’m fitting easily into pants that just 3 months ago were far too tight to comfortably wear, if indeed I was able to get them fastened.

Much like quitting smoking, I’m finding that losing weight is incredibly simple and easy. I just don’t want to do the latter 7 or 8 times like I’ve done the former.

Oh, hi

ted | beer,bike,chicago,computer,driving,food,HAMLOG,house,junk,travel | Monday, December 8th, 2008

Yeah, it’s been a while. So what’s new?

  • Turns out the bike/car wreck was my fault, according to the eyewitnesses. Whoops. Needless to say, it has been handed over to my insurance company for them to deal with. I’m 99% physically healed but my ego is still bruised… as big of a stickler as I am for Same Road Same Rules Same Rights, I caused a wreck. Damn. I am making everything right on the car repair side and turning my mangled Raleigh Grand Prix into a parts bike for a road frame Charlie gave me years ago.
  • My Senator got elected to be the next POTUS which delights me greatly.
  • It’s cold here. And snowy. Just in time, too – I like seasonal weather.
  • We had Fakesgiving III/Bullshit Thanksgiving 2008 at the home of Pete & Miz Royal. Fried a turkey in the chilly 15°F weather, had a couple Manhattans courtesy of Mr. Scott Action (Anton LaVey Jr.) and a great time was had by all.
  • I’m keeping track of what I eat again. And losing weight again. I need to do this, badly. I’ve got two data points from this year. One where I signed up for fitday last year and one where I got weighed for a weight-loss contest at work in August. I’m back down near my August weight but have about 20 pounds to go until I’ve erased 2008’s ravages from my body.
  • Out of homebrew. For now. Apple juice should start getting really, really cheap soon which means it’s about time to make another keg of hard cider.
  • Work’s keeping me busy. One of my projects entails modifying some of our equipment, including getting the die set out of one of our presses, and nobody there has had it out before – fun, challenging and downright scary at times. You go elbows-deep in an 80 ton press and tell me it ain’t scary.
  • My buddy Markh is comin’ up this weekend with his special lady in tow, which excites me. I haven’t seen Mark much since I moved 700+ miles away. Funny, that.

In short, first I:

But now:

And soon I shall again be:

New jorb update, 2008 July

ted | bike,chicago,driving,HAMLOG | Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Basically the new place absolutely rocks. We got hell of labs and equipment and new computers and good software and I’m learning a whole lot of new stuff. Interesting stuff. Challenging stuff. I leave home at the same time as I did with the old place but I get home 1.5 hours earlier – read that again – I have an extra 1.5 hours AT HOME that I otherwise spent in the car or rotting away in my cube. Fuel economy for this first tank is down from 44ish MPG to about 40 MPG, but I only need to fill up about every 25 days instead of every 7 – 10.

But that ain’t really why I want to talk about.

I rode my bicycle to work today. Left home about half an hour early and had plenty of time to cool off a bit, change and be at my desk at my allotted start time. I felt great – awake, energetic and not really hungry at all. It was only after my big mess o’ black beans & brown rice for lunch that I got The Hunger. Fended that off until it was quittin’ time at Tara, whereupon I changed back and rode home. Took about 45 minutes to get to work and 40 on the way home. It’s nice to be able to ride to work again – or hell, for the first time ever. I used to only ride home from GE, 12 miles through Atlanta rush hour traffic. Now I’m going to be riding the full 18 miles to/from work a couple times a week, weather permitting.

This is more than just saving diesel. This is about getting back into shape by integrating exercise into my work day. This is about arriving at work fully awake and energetic. Getting the new job was just step one in my five year plan. Riding to work at minimum several times a week during that time of year when it won’t kill me is back to my roots and back to how I want to spend my time.

And like my homeboy President Carter from Plains GA said,

Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense — I tell you it is an act of patriotism.

What the hell are you stuffing in your face now?

ted | HAMLOG | Friday, September 8th, 2006

Per Martin’s request on the Fortressblog, I must admit I have not kept up with my HAMLOG as well as I should have. Indeed, I stopped keeping track of my weight and weighing myself every day like I was doing. And I slowly gained back 20 of the 30 pounds I lost.

Down ten pounds ain’t too bad, but up twenty sucks a fat one (get it? fat one?). So I did something about it. I bought a folding bicycle – a Dahon Boardwalk 1 from Brands Cycle. Thanks for the birthday dough, Mom & Dad. My brother sent me a friggin sweet Wald rear rack for Borf, which now looks absolutely splendid with its flat black steel frame and galvanized steel baskets on the front and back.

Anyway, I got this folding bike and figured the best way to put it to use is to ride eastward to the Dan Ryan Expressway and carpool from there to work with my buddy Kevin. I’ve done it for the past five work days and I’m loving it. Yes I have to get up 20 minutes earlier. Yes I get home a bit later. Yes I no longer have the flexibility of running errands at lunch or on the way home.

What have I gained? Let’s look at the numbers.

Mileage saved on my car:      310 miles
Total distance biked:         40 miles
Fuel saved:                   7.2 gallons
Total money saved for me:     ~$9 (after splitting fuel cost w/Kevin)
Total money saved for Kevin:  ~$14 (in fuel)

I’m going to repeat this again:

I’m asking you for your good and for your nation’s security to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel. Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense — I tell you it is an act of patriotism.

Jimmy Carter, 15 July 1979

Please read that before you put that stupid flag ribbon magnet on your car. Please don’t be surprised when I take that stupid flag ribbon magnet and put it right over the fuel filler door on your car.

Yep. I’m that guy you’re laughing at, the fat guy on a folding bike. Yes I look like a circus bear while I’m riding it. Yes it will take me a long long time to come close to recoup its cost in fuel savings. Yes soon it will be bitterly cold and I’m still going to try to ride my bike.

I feel far far better since I started. It took over 20 minutes to ride the 3.75 miles from home to the Dan Ryan last Friday. I did it this morning in under 18 minutes. I haven’t smoked since Tuesday night. I’m sleeping better at night and waking up easier in the morning. I’m not getting sleepy during the day at work. It’s truly incredible what a little exercise each day will do for you, especially if you make it part of your normal routine instead of having to make a special trip to the gym to work out, making the workout part of getting to yr job.

Finally, big shoutout to my cousin Christie and my buddy Mañuel for reaffirming my position as a defensive driver, not to mention the State of Illinois who condones my actions as part of their defensive driving curriculum.

spring ought six hamlog update

ted | HAMLOG | Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Yeah, I know, I was gonna keep this shit up to date. Shut up.

The short version is this – after xmas & nye, it had been a couple weeks since i had been to the gym. And i was eating a lot more. And drinking a lot more. I basically gained back 10 pounds of the 15 i had lost. Whoops.

Then i went to India for 2 weeks on the company dime and went all-vegetarian while I was there. I lost 5 pounds before I got back on the plane to Chicago, not for lack of eating. I ate all the delicious Indian food I wanted, albeit no buffets. Last year when I was there, I gained 10 pounds.

Encouraged by this success, I kept it up. We started monitoring portion control, set out a weekly menu, measuring out all ingredients, brown bagging my lunch every day. It’s been 2 months since I got back from India and a couple weeks paying close attention to what we eat.

I’ve lost 25 pounds (from my original start weight) and have yet to go back to the gym. I can only hope it will accelerate as soon as I get back on a bicycle or start lifting some heavy stuff again.

sometimes the small victories are the best

ted | HAMLOG | Friday, December 9th, 2005

had to tighten my belt a notch today.

one month hamlog update

ted | HAMLOG | Thursday, December 1st, 2005

The short version is this: i’m in much better shape, i’m down ten pounds and i have more energy.

SUCCESS! (so far)

ted | HAMLOG | Monday, November 14th, 2005

So far so good. Started my membership at the little gym near work, been hittin it about every other day for lifting heavy things, stretching and a bit of cardiovascular what-have-you. What boggles my mind about it is that several other people from work have memberships there, and while it does present some interesting possibilities to see the company president’s junk, it mostly annoys me. Especially how they all drive to the gym. The mile between their parking lot at work and their parking lot at the gym. One mile. Drive. To the gym. Where they then spend twenty minutes on the treadmastairelliptrainertic. Twenty minutes what could have been spent walking TO THE GYM instead of IN A CAR. Granted, there aren’t sidewalks everywhere in the rural/suburban armpit where i work, but it ain’t like semis are blowing by at ninety. While this ain’t socal, i have yet to experience weather that wasn’t walkable in when dressed properly, including the morning i walked half a mile to the morse red line stop when it was -17 and stood on the elevated un-windowed-in platform for 10 minutes and got hit by blowing frozen chunks of lake michigan. Quit your whining.

When i go to the gym, i spend five minutes to pull my singlespeed out of the trunk of my car, reattach the front wheel, fix the front brake, put on my helmet (i always wear a helmet) and ride my happy ass to the gym. It takes me approximately 2 minutes longer than the folks what drive and when i get there, i’m ready to lift.

But like i said, so far so good. i’m down about seven pounds, and while that is only about 1/9 of the weight i need to lose, i’m already feeling stronger and more fit. i also don’t feel like i’m starving myself at all, only paying more attention to myself – discriminating between “i would like to eat some food” and “FEED ME” takes some getting used to, but it’s paying off. The desire to eat without a biological basis of being hungry got me where i am today.


ted | HAMLOG | Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

My buddy Andy put it thusly:

20:42  * jm_ stardate 12938234: lol i m fat

true story. i’m fat. two hundred and sixty five pounds is my current mass. i wasn’t always fat. i was pretty fit all though high school, put on about twenty or thirty pounds my first two years of college, then started riding my bike more, working out and whoa – i was in pretty damn good shape. at my peak of fitness, i was probably two hundred fifteen pounds, riding my bicycle 50 – 75 miles a week and working out 3 – 5 times a week. i could bench press my body weight, could hoof out fifty pushups and went shirtless all the time in the blistering georgia heat. i ate everything i ever wanted (Matt, remember the time i ate eighteen Krispy Kremes in a row?), drank beer all day long and smoked at least every day.

Fast forward a few years. since then, my house got broken into and my bicycle stolen, so i couldn’t ride it around anymore. it was near the end of college, so i had no fucking money to buy a new one. i finally graduated and moved to chicago, so i didn’t have free access to a gym. the whole time, i was still eating like i was riding forty miles every weekend (and home from work during the week) and yet doing just about zero physical activity. this is me now. Hello, my name is Ted and i am fat.

i’m smarter than the average bear – the whole weight loss phenomena is pretty transparent, if you ask me. i have a giant brain and can reduce any complex system into a simple “yes” or “no” answer. calories ingested minus calories burned equals x. if x is positive, you gain weight. if x is negative, you lose weight. i reckon it’s just motivation and lack of accountability. so here, in front of random strangers, i am saying this:

i am overweight. i am going to lose sixty five pounds in the next year. i am going to do so by carefully monitoring what i eat, monitoring my body mass and exercising.

i like exercise. i’m a big tall guy with a big frame, even as guys go. i like physical activity. i like the way i feel after doing twenty five pushups or biking fifty miles in an afternoon. i like being able to pick up heavy things. i enjoy feeling like i did some work. i want to be that strong scary motherfucker again.

none of this will be done stupid, though. i will not eat bar-shaped food alternatives. i ain’t gonna take creatine or phen-fen or what-have-you. this will be done simply by eating good, nutritious food and getting exercise in the proper proportions. eating lettuce and trying to run a marathon ain’t my style. to make this stick, it’s gotta be a lifestyle change, one that i can maintain. i’m not trying to turn into some oiled-up thinly veiled chickenhawk. i have been in much better shape before and i liked that shape. it suited me well, and i want it back.

i will definately continue to drink beer, just as i continue to brew it. i’ll probably quit smoking as much and make it back into a social/when drinking treat.

i am an engineer and am approaching this like any other problem. what i have is a broken feedback loop – i eat too much and exercise too little – and i first need to push this system into a normal state. first goal is five pounds. stay tuned.

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