December 25th, 2005


Weight Loss

Weighed myself today. Since I purchased Mario DDR and started playing again, some two months ago, I've lost 7 pounds. At this rate, it will take 16 more months to reach my current goal of 155 pounds. I've looked it up, and that's at the high end of healthy weight for my height according to WHO. I'm primarily working out to lose weight, rather than dieting, so I'm likely to gain muscle mass along the way, so aiming for the high end is probably a good idea. I've already noticed a distinct change in the amount of muscle on my legs, especially the backs of my calves.

Oh, by the way, for those of you I haven't mentioned it to, I'm trying to lose 60 pounds (including the 7 I've already lost). I'm just tired of lugging it around everywhere. It's a lot of work to carry 60 extra pounds up a flight of stairs. I'm incapable of dieting, since (1) food is the font of all joy and restricting it is like shooting your own friends, and (2) even if I tried, truebluejay and cnorgard would be utterly unrelenting in their attempts to sabotage me. So, working out is. Besides, working out is supposed to keep the weight off longer, even if it takes longer.

Two random myths about weight loss I've heard from multiple people in the last week:

1) Exercising an area of your body causes you to burn fat deposits from that area, i.e., do sit-ups to lose a big gut.

Not true. There is no relation between what exercise you do and which fat deposits you burn. Exercising an area does increase muscle tone in that area, which can make it look like you have less fat because it isn't sagging as much, but you cannot control where in your body the burned fat comes from.

2) The more slowly you lose weight, the longer you keep it off.

This confuses correlation and causation. Exercise causes you to lose weight more slowly than dieting, but it changes your metabolism in ways that make keeping the weight off easier, while dieting changes your metabolism in ways that make keeping the weight off harder. Actually, the statement is true for dieting: if you diet less aggressively for a long time, your metabolism changes less. But it is reversed for exercise: keeping the weight off is easier the more quickly you lose it, because the change to your metabolism is greater. Of course, losing weight too quickly, regardless of the method, is dangerous and potentially fatal. 60 pounds in 16 months is about as fast as is safe for that long a period.

Anyway, I've got cheesecake and pizza waiting for me. Also the hatred of all dieters to revel in.

Random note: The word "muscle" looks wrong every time I write it.