You might want to look away

I’m going to add another subject. Theoretically it’s the sort of thing I’d do privately. Unfortunately “privately” isn’t doing the job – I need to self-encourage by personal shaming. I’m speaking of my physical condition.

I have seriously let myself go. Lots of excuses, no real reason. So, let’s open with some facts, followed by the plan. And I’ll try to remember to put something in the lead of any posts on this so those of you disgusted or bored can avoid wasting several moments of your lives.

Facts. I’m five foot ten inches tall. (Used to be half an inch taller but I’m shrinking as I get older.) I weigh… no scale, dunno, and besides I think weight is a bad measurement for this sort of thing. Instead I have some measures I think matter. First and ugliest, I have a waist of 49 inches. Ten years ago it was 34 inches. When I left the army in 1994 it was 30. When I left the army (remember, two hitches) in 1988 it was 30 as well. Age is no excuse.

For other measures, my neck is 17 3/4 inches. My chest is 47 – yes, my belly is bigger. 25 inch thighs and 15 inch biceps (resting) – both, again, have shrunk. I will get a picture of me, shirtless, in shorts, just for reference – but I think I’ll spare some eyeballs at this time.

I used to be in shape. Worse, I know HOW to be in shape. As it is, it took me a whole eleven minutes to “run” a mile the other day – and I couldn’t do the second mile. I managed 40 pushups without stopping, but have discovered even if I anchor my feet I’m lucky to do 20 situps. That is pitiful.

My goal is that by next summer I will have a waist of less than 36 inches and that I can pass the APFT for my age with a minimum of 70 points in each category. For reference that means I can do 34 consecutive good pushups (already do that) and 39 sit-ups each within two minutes and run two miles in 18:12. If I reach that soon enough my follow-on goal is 80 points minimum in each category for my age. After that is 100 minimum each category for my age. Just as a point of amusement 100 in each category for my age is just above 80 for the 17-21 year old male.

My age 80s: Pushup 42; Situp 48; Run 17:00
My age 100s: Pushup 59; Situp 66; Run 14:24

I have to adjust two things – diet, and exercise. I know how it works and have done it before, so let’s see if I can do it again. Goals set, let’s see what happens.

OK, now to some theory. Why don’t I care about the scale? Well, basically because the scale isn’t accurate – not really. Some salt may increase weight due to retention. Upset stomach and lose a couple of pounds just from slight dehydration. Your weight can vary at least five pounds and up to ten over the course of a day depending on your activities and meals. Add to this that fat weighs less than muscle. So if you’re kicking off a program that’s meant to ‘get in shape’ you may have periods where you actually GAIN weight – despite the fact you are succeeding in your goal.

Every morning before exercise I’ll measure my stomach. That’s where most of the fat is located. Once a week, also before exercise, I’ll also measure my chest and neck. Every so often I’ll measure other things – biceps and thighs, plus chest and neck post-workout (which should increase them). Every week or so I’ll post an update. No, I don’t plan to take a picture a week.

Let’s see how well self-embarrassment works.


3 thoughts on “You might want to look away

  1. Interesting. When I am in big weightloss mode, I track weight and measurements, and body fat %. I find it intriguing that, for me, hips and thigh measurements are my big indicators. Biceps and waist only start to move after the other two. I also measure my wrists, because if those start to shrink, I’ve gone too far!!

  2. You do NOT measure fat %. I keep telling you that the scale cannot tell your fat%, it guesses based on your height. A proper fat% takes calipers.

    Go for it Kirk..Get your big fat ass in gear.

    I started playing rugby again (B side, 7s, old boys) just to force myself to stay in shape because I was getting fat and lazy. Nothing like having 220 lb 24 year olds chasing you around to convince you that running on your off days is probably a good idea.

  3. Depends on your scale. If it has an impedence system it may be doing a fair job of measuring bodyfat %. The gold standard is immersion. Calipers and professional impedence come out about the same. (Yeah, I used to seriously study some of this.)

    Hey, Cassidy? The biceps (and for that matter thighs and chest) are essentially vanity measures. The majority of my fat buildup is mid-torso. Yes, it’s in a few other places as well, but in significantly lower ratio. So for me due to my fat placement measuring the waist is a decent check. I just have to watch for swelling due to gas, but otherwise it works fine.

    I should note the abdomen is the prime collection place for most caucasian males.

    Hips are an excellent measurement site for almost all women regardless of race. The hips and chest are the two prime collection places, and for obvious reasons chest measurement for “too much fat” is a bit tricky to determine. Hips, though, are pretty consistent. Waist and thighs are number two – which depending on your genetic background.

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