Change for the Better

April 7th, 2010 by Potato

As I alluded to in an earlier post, I’ve been making a very mild effort to not let my Hutt-esque physique degrade any further over the last few years. I’ve been exercising a little to stay in decent shape, and not letting my dietary cravings become monstrous (Friday’s cookie samurai episode excepted).

But with spring arriving (and my thesis deadlines looming!) I think it’s time to take the next step and start working harder to not just stay in shape but to get in better shape (especially since it’s so easy for the opposite to happen during thesis season, which is of course how I got here in the first place). I spoke with Netbug about it a bit tonight, and for those who don’t know him, he’s done an amazing job over the years with the whole workout/diet thing.

He reminded me that losing weight and getting in better shape is going to require a healthier diet, and that’s probably going to be harder for me than exercising every day. You see, I like to eat. A lot. I live to eat — what’s the point of life without chocolate and cherry blasters? So I can say categorically I’m not going to go on the kind of crazy diets he’s been impressively sticking to for years. That does mean that I’m not going to experience the kind of fantastic results that he’s seen, and I think I’m ok with that.

What I need to do is make small-ish (medium-ish?) changes to my routine and stick to them. He suggested something called a “Power 90” workout, which as far as I can tell you have to pay to see, so maybe I’ll look into getting that from him later on, but for today I went back to an old standard: the Hacker’s Diet (losing weight and hair through stress and poor nutrition). I’ve made a spreadsheet with 7 basic exercises partly taken from the old 5BX routine, but the cardio is now cycling (since spring is here and I like biking along the Thames), and I added a back stretching exercise from the Wii Fit routine since I want to improve my back health. So I have a plan and a means to track my progress (with a spreadsheet! Which may one day give birth to a litter of adorable graphs!)

Now I just have to find ways to stick to it. And that’s the hardest part, isn’t it? Actually sticking to the plan, whether it’s to diet, work out, stay on budget, or rebalance in a downturn.

So, any tips for stickingtoititude? I find that friends/peer pressure/commitments can help — I’m in two curling leagues in the winter, and you can be damned sure that I’m exercising at least twice a week from late October through to March! However, the summer is always harder for me because of my longstanding rivalry with the Sun*, and of course everyone’s differing vacation/conference schedules (plus, there’s no curling).

* – it burns me, I send up a space probe with a fusion inhibitor… You know how these things are.

One Response to “Change for the Better”

  1. Netbug Says:

    I’m here for whatever advice you need when you’re ready. And you’re right, changing the diet is a hell of a lot harder than moving the weights. I still get stupid sugar cravings at like 10pm and the only way I really am able to control them is to not actually give myself access to junk food.

    And I’ll warn you, if you go cold-turkey (like I did), the first few weeks will REALLY suck. Your body will go “wtf?! Where are the simple carbs? I don’t want to have to actually work to get my energy from this healthy crap.” and you will probably be very lethargic for at least a few weeks.

    But it gets better. :)