Oct 042012

Mike isn’t the only ShrinkGeek who has done the opposite of shrinking around here. Admittedly, his was both more dramatic and less intentional than mine, but there have been heretofore unexplored numbers showing up on my bathroom scale. In a vacuum, gravitational attraction between my body and the planet is merely a point of data that doesn’t say a whole hell of a lot. The child’s riddle about “which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of nails?” applies to the meat of which we’re made, of course; a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, but takes up a lot more space and is generally less aesthetically delicious. (Note: I can’t tell how good my marbling is, but I don’t think I’m bacon-grade flesh yet.)

Those of you who follow me elsewhere on social media will already have been treated to a variation of this rant yesterday, but, since we’re blowing the dust off stuff around here, it’s still apropos.

We had health screenings at the office yesterday, and I was about a glass of water from falling into the “Obese” category (>30.0) based on my BMI.

So, yeah – jump the cut to see the body of a quote-unquote “obese” guy.

Continue reading »

Aug 052010
Note: This is not The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Look at infinity. Now back to me. I'm on a spaceship.

We tend to maintain a fairly chipper tone around here, with the occasional good-natured admonishment to engage in healthier behavior. We think it’s good to have fun when you’re doing healthy stuff, because it’s a heck of a lot easier to do something because you enjoy it first, and enjoy the benefits of it second. Mike loves doing stuff in his kitchen, which is why he’s got the fun recipes and his hand-made healthy lunches, which frequently make the office smell really freaking good. I get my fun from picking up and throwing around heavy things for its own sake, and seeing the numbers go up or down on my spreadsheets of doom.

However, this is not a particularly perky post, perhaps peppered and pockmarked perilously by pernicious pedagoguery.  (I may be cranky, but I can still enjoy consonance and alliteration.)

So what is it that has my manties in a bunch?

Continue reading »

May 262010
Gimme some sugar, baby.

All sugar is not created equal. (Image courtesy of Uwe Hermann on Flickr)

We have alluded to the nutritional atrocity that is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS),  in the past, but now there’s a fair bit of clinical ammunition to back particular assertion that up.

And by “fair bit,” we mean “a couple of headshots using a railgun with Quad Damage.”

The BFG10K in question was some research done at Princeton University, which studied weight gain in rats. Using two different control groups – one eating plain rat chow, and one getting rat chow and a sugar-water concoction approximating a soft drink – rats that were washing their kibble down with a HFCS-sweetened beverage gained much more weight, as well as exhibited a greater number of markers for serious health issues in humans. These markers include elevated levels of triglycerides, more visceral fat, and the beginnings of what is called “metabolic syndrome” (in a nutshell, this is the body becoming less-sensitive to insulin; in other words, pre-diabetic). How much more weight? Nearly fifty percent more than the rats getting the same number of extra calories from drinking sugar water.

Continue reading »

Apr 232010

Buttons is going to PAHMP JOO AHP.

One of the most common excuses people give for not lifting a challenging amount of weight during their workout is, “I don’t want to get huge muscles and look weird.” While it’s fine to worry about that sort of eventuality, it’s also kind of like worrying about putting together a heroic raid roster right after you hit level 20 – there is quite a bit of time and effort between where you are, and where you’d need to even worry about it. The “I’ll get too muscular” meme is, in short, a myth. As a matter of fact, working out with heavier loads has been shown to help people lose weight, and get that “trim and toned” look that so many folks are after. Getting past the, err, resistance to resistance training is a Jedi mind trick well worth performing on yourself.

Note: Lifting rocks or single-seater spacecraft with your mind won’t make you grow muscles, either. Depending on how much the wizened green dude on your back weighs, that might help a little bit. But it’s still a good idea to reach for something other than the candy-colored weights.

Continue reading »

Apr 052010

You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.

– Henry Ford

I will note with some wry bemusement that I had originally  started writing this before Mike put together his Good Cop/Bad Cop piece.  This is not going to be one of those sweetness and light, rah-rah-go-team columns. Instead, we are subjected to the unrelenting gaze of a boss fight that’s nothing more than a DPS check. There is no subtlety, it is merely Yoda giving you the hairy eyeball. We may not be Jedi Masters around here, but we’re also more than two feet tall, and don’t have Zombie Jim Henson’s hand up our butts.

In a nutshell, making excuses doesn’t burn any calories. Well, that’s not strictly true – it just doesn’t burn a heck of a lot more calories than you would just hanging around, not doing anything. For a 30 year old, 125 lb woman, standing around and talking burns approximately 45 calories per hour; a 35 year old, 200 pound guy would burn 66. If our imaginary friends were mopping instead of moping, she’d burn about 210 calories, and he would work off 350 during that same sixty minutes… and they’d have clean floors, too.

Continue reading »