Monday, July 25, 2005

putting the lean in boolean since may 2005



True story: an acquaintance of mine in graduate school had a sister who was an upscale prostitute. Somebody once asked at a party how the sister's business was going. "Not so well," my acquaintance replied. "She likes the money, but she's sort of lost the will to sell it."

Meanwhile, with my diet, I like that I'm losing weight, but I'm losing the will to stay within my weekly Weight Watchers points. More distressingly, I've been losing the will to explicitly track my points. My stance has been that, so long as I kept tracking, this diet would keep working. Now, it's turned into something more like a Boolean statement: so long as I keep tracking OR keep running ~> 25 miles a week, this diet will keep working. And I'm less certain of the ultimate validity of that statement, because, of course, exercise only goes so far toward weight loss.

So, anyway, yes, my losing streak continues another week: through 9 weeks, I'm down 24 pounds. But I suspect my comeuppance cometh soon.

17 comments:

dorotha said...

we've all been waiting for your comeuppance. do you promise it will come soon? we don't care what form those pounds take... but, if i had my druthers, i'd really like to see at least 7 pounds added to each earlobe.

jeremy said...

When I do get my comeuppance, I'll do a post titled "Scalenfreude" that contains your gleeful reaction.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Exercise can definitely only take you so far; I went on WW because I'd only managed to drop about 10 pounds over a semester of regular exercise (weight-lifting and the exercise bike for cardio), and I lost most of that early on and then plateaued.* Of course, I think you also had to expect to start losing a bit less after the really rapid loss you'd been having (and just as well, or WW would probably start emailing your doctor for you). Where are you in your weight bin? I imagine that one loses weight a bit more quickly in the period immediately following the reduction of one's points, assuming one is following them reasonably closely. This makes it nice that I started near the top of my weight bin, I think.

I did my weigh-in this morning, too, and I lost 3.5 pounds this past week! I've got my five pound star on my chart now. :D


*Is that spelled right? There are too many vowels for my taste.

Ann Althouse said...

I suspect exercise is nowhere near as effective in weight loss as people would have you believe. Look how your decreased rate of loss coincides with overexercising. Maybe it causes the body to cry out for food. I'd tone down the exercise mania if I were you. Seriously. Eating less is much more effective! And easier. And less timeconsuming. And less likely to give you a heart attack...

Anonymous said...

And much harder to maintain. And easier said than done. And less effective over the long haul.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Actually, that reminds me of the friend of mine who warned me very seriously to make sure to "eat my activity points" lest my body get confused and slow down the metabolism. So far it hasn't been an issue for me, but I've also been working out regularly since the end of January, too. (And of course, I don't have any real basis for comparison. Maybe I'd have lost TWICE as much weight this week if I'd eat eaten all my activity points.)

Tonya said...

I'm no weight loss expert and have only dieted once in my life (back when I was 25 years old and skinny yet nonetheless panicked about a measly 8 pound weight gain) but I have read a fair amount about nutrition, diet and exercise. And because I read a lot about these topics, I never wasted my time with fad dieting because I read over and over what should be common knowledge to everyone -- people lose weight on fad diets and then gain it all back and more. It's my understanding that the most effective way to lose weight (and keep it off) is to both exercise regularly and moderately reduce one's caloric intake. It is very hard to do both of these things at the same time and most people focus their energies on one or the other. Jeremy is doing both and has been very successful at losing weight. He looks great and I'll bet that he feels healthier too. Also, regular exercise produces many additional health benefits beyond simply weight loss. Even if one is primarily concerned with their physical appearance rather than their overall health (and certainly I fall in this category), exercise is essential. Dieting may produce weight loss but, unlike exercise, it won't do anything to improve muscle tone.

A+ said...

Word to the third on everything Tonya said.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with Tonya's comments on the benefits of exercise. Exercise is a crucial element of long-term and healthful weight loss and it delivers a host of other benefits including increased bone mass, joint health, heart health, etc.

I workout with a heart rate monitor in order to improve the efficiency of my cardiovascular exercise. I highly recommend using a monitor because it allows you adjust your effort to meet your heart's increasing health and to avoid overdoing it and, consequently, undermining the benefits of exercise.

Anonymous said...

Have the experts told you that the early weight loss through exercise (cum diet) usually comes faster? Because it's mostly fat that's coming off. Then you continue and the loss is less dramatic because muscle bulk starts reducing — muscle comes off more slowly. All seems to be going well with you by this approach. Just keep at it, old boy.

You'll be packing to move; that's exercise, too. No comeuppance in sight.
(You probably WILL have to get a new logo for your site one of these days; no chipmunk cheeks.)

jeremy said...

Everyone: Did you see that Tonya said I look great? Ah, don't say that just because she's my wife I can't swoon.

RWS: Congratulations on your successful weigh-in!! I had never looked at the "weight bin" chart before. I'm almost exactly in the middle of mine, which runs from 175 to 200. Since my goal weight is 170, this would imply that to reach it I would have to go down in points again (to 22). I don't have much enthusiasm for that, but I suppose I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Anon 4:55: I'm actually having movers do most of my packing, but I'm sure watching them will be kind of aerobic.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Anon 4:55: I'm confused. Is reducing muscle bulk supposed to be desirable? I'm actually trying to increase muscle right now even as I'm trying to drop fat--I admit, this does make things a little confusing since muscle weighs more than fat and I don't have any idea at what rate I'm building it--but still, I wouldn't think losing muscle mass would be a goal of diet or exercise.

A+ said...

Plus, some people want to be sinewy and sleek; other people want bulk. And on top of that, you know how different our bodies can be - some people gain muscle much faster than others, and some just won't ever be muscular without immense training (or roids).

That's why the number on the scale can be misleading. Ideally, we'd all be getting body fat composition measurements every week. You can see the impracticality in that, but wouldn't it be awesome if we could do that?

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Actually, I just wish I could get my testosterone checked, Ang. I've always suspected it would be high. Despite that long-held belief, however, I also think that I am unlikely ever to "bulk up." But on the plus side, I can lift 135 pounds with my butt (adductors, fine).

Wonky McWonkerson said...

The more you exercise, the more you build muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. If you've only just started exercising as part of your weight loss plan and never did before, you'll plateau when the muscle starts displacing the weight, and you might even gain some weight. But once you convert all that unsightly flab in muscle, you will start losing weight again.

Anonymous said...

And the movers will unpack for you, too? No motion on your part in either Madison or Cambridge? What have you got? A rug, a mattress and a dresser, a few books and a door on sawhorses? ((Just put them anywhere, guys.)

jeremy said...

Hey, Wonky, we have some rules around here, and one of them is that only I get to call my flab unsightly. Ok?