Monday, February 9, 2009

Health Kick: Part IV - Progress Report #1

Today marks the closing of four weeks on the current health kick and merits the first progress report. I purposefully waited three weeks before starting to talk about this plan to make sure that I was going to stick to it. But with the results after the first couple weeks, it seemed pretty evident that things were working and I was going to continue with a high degree of seriousness.

I decided to take a few different measurements to monitor my progress during the attempt at getting into shape. The area that I carry almost all of my excess weight is in the dreaded "love-handle" region. So, I physically measured the area just below my ribcage (at the narrowest point), the "love-handle" section (at the widest point) and the waist line (at its narrowest point). I guessed that the waist-line and the just below the ribcage measurements would stay relatively static (it didn't feel like there was much, if any, room to give in those areas) during the process and figured that I'd need to lose about three inches in circumference from the love-handle area to give the appearance of being "fit" - i.e. it doesn't appear that I'm wearing an inner tube just above my waist at all times.

It is possible that the weightlifting will cause me to gain some weight (if I somehow manage to put muscle on faster than the fat comes off), so I wanted to make the goal of size loss as the truest determinant of fitness. In case my weight loss stalls, I would at least be able to quantify some kind of change - if anything is happening.

So, here we are - the end of four weeks and progress can be on the scale and by the measuring tape! The official tally - down 11 pounds and over one inch in the love-handle region. Boo yeah! So, through less than one of the six month duration I expected to take, I have already reached one third of the goal! However, there was one unexpected result - I ended up losing almost an inch in the other two measurements as well - so I may have more size to lose than I originally expected. I may have to amend my goals as I get closer to them.

Even more important than weight loss, though, is that I feel better. I feel stronger, faster and more energetic. I'm moving better in racquetball, getting to shots I wouldn't normally have a month ago and I am (generally) not winded after a long rally. Furthermore, I am not hungry all the time and I haven't been tempted to completely toss the lifestyle change to go back to doing whatever I want. Things are going well. More updates to follow.

Initial weight - 232 pounds
Current weight - 221 pounds

Coming up... A house cleaning of old posts that never got completed. Expect a random combination of outdated material to appear throughout the week.


Steven said...

Sounds like a great start!

kilax said...

That's great! Once you get started eating healthier and exercising, you feel so much better... you gotta keep doing it! I missed feeling that good during the holidays. Heh ;)