Water, water everywhere

A comment from Sandra in BAS:UW:1 points out the value of water. Yes! Water is great. I think most people could benefit from drinking more water each day, especially those who are exercising.

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (is your subscription up to date?) even suggests that drinking water can actually help you lose weight! Something about water-induced thermogenesis:

In 14 healthy, normal-weight subjects (seven men and seven women), we assessed the effect of drinking 500 ml of water on energy expenditure and substrate oxidation rates by using whole-room indirect calorimetry. The effect of water drinking on adipose tissue metabolism was assessed with the microdialysis technique. Drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%. The increase occurred within 10 min and reached a maximum after 30-40 min.

Of course, that's just one paper, and research published in the same journal earlier this month seems to contradict the findings.

Now, some people go overboard with the water. You've certainly heard the "rule" that you need to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day in order to maintain good health. Well, baloney. Snopes.com, the Urban Legends Reference Pages, debunks that myth. Furthermore, a Dartmouth Medical School study published in the American Journal of Physiology gives medical debunking to the "8x8" dogma -- eight glasses of water at eight ounces each:

the notion may have started when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately "1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food," which would amount to roughly two to two-and-a-half quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces). Although in its next sentence, the Board stated "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods," that last sentence may have been missed, so that the recommendation was erroneously interpreted as how much water one should drink each day.


So, in addition to all my beverage consumption, I think the extra 500-750mL of water I'm consuming during the day is enough to keep me hummin'. My hourly (or more) bathroom trips seem to bear that out.

BAS: Un-Weighted: Week One

Monday began with a visit to the apartment gym. Our building complex has facilities including a pool, hot tub, sauna, and small gym. The workout room has two elliptical trainers, two treadmills, a recumbent bike, and some weight machines. I'd only been there twice -- once when touring the building last fall, and again when Amanda moved in. Monday, she had the day off, and sort of challenged me to begin my effort with a joint morning workout. So, we got up, suited up, and went down for a 45-minute cardio stint. After 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, my feet started to go numb. I did the remaining time on the treadmill.

So far, so good, but the arm movement of the elliptical machine got my upper back all knotted up and breath-haltingly sore. And the tip-toe movement of the same machine did something to my right calf, with a close-to-the bone charlie horse of some kind. I hobbled around for the rest of the day and tossed and turned through the night.

Tuesday morning was out because of an appointment, so I subbed the gym with a 30-minute walk home. Much to my surprise, my muscles held up, and I arrived home sweaty and content.

I really wanted to sleep in on Wednesday, but got up anyway and did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. Good thing, too, 'cuz we had a pot-luck lunch at work. I lost it. I gobbled down four chicken wings, two rolls, some chicken curry, some noodly thing with ham, tortilla chips with multi-layer dip, fudge, tasty squares, pop, cookies ... just totally overboard binging. Then we had pizza for dinner.

Thursday, back to my usual healthy lunch. But more pizza for dinner. Walked home from work and saw the set-up for the big rock show on Saturday.

Friday featured Chinese take-out from Look Ho Ho. No significant exercise that I remember.

Saturday was the huge Rolling Stones show at the Halifax Common. I walked to work in the rain, since I don't know anything about weekend bus service. Besides, many of the roads between here and there were closed for the show. So I walked. I managed not to go nuts on the newsroom pizza. Good show, overall, I must say. Decent stuff. Everybody worked really hard.

So, let's step on the scale for Sunday's weigh-in!

Start weight: 220
This week: 217
Down three pounds.

Not bad for moderate exercise and some poor eating in the back half of the week. That's just a one-week snapshot, and it's only three pounds. If it goes down again next week, or at least stays off, I'll believe it. But I'm cynical enough to doubt a three-pound loss at this point.

Big Ass Superstar: Un-Weighted: Week Zero

Game on!

After Halifax was cut from production in the new season of Life Network's "X-Weighted", I decided to launch my own web series, "Big Ass Superstar: Un-Weighted". It has now begun.

Over the next six months, I hope to chronicle the process and effects of going to war with myself in the quest for fitness. Start day has been set as September 18. Goal end date would thus be ... umm ... March 18.

At this point, I hope to have weekly or perhaps bi-weekly blog updates on what I'm up to and how it's going. I also hope to have monthly video recaps over on the BigAss YouTube channel. (Gotta get my editing chops sharpened up, and cook up a logo for the segment.) The "Before" pictures have been shot.

Intial measurements at launch:
  • Height: 5'7" (not expected to change)
  • Weight: 220 pounds
  • Body fat (on electronic scale): 40.1%
  • Chest: 44.5"
  • Biceps: 12"
  • Waist: 47"
  • Thighs: 25"
  • Neck: 17 3/8"
Goals and aims:
  • Ultimate goal at this point is 160 pounds with a body fat percentage at the high end of "healthy". I'm setting the six-month goal as a 50 pound loss, putting me at 170 pounds as of mid-March 2007. Ambitious, yes.
  • Get my neck and jawline back
  • Fit into size 36 pants. 34 would be nice. I can't imagine 32.
  • Be able to wear new, nice clothes proudly and comfortably
  • See improvements in empirical measures: blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol
  • Have more energy
  • Less unnecessary sweating
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce pain in back, neck, chest and knees
  • Develop a masculine physique
  • Improve flexibility, thus reducing groaning, grunting, huffing and puffing
  • Gain respect for my discipline and achievement
  • Get a better sense of myself as an attractive person
  • At the end, shave off my mustache/goatee. It's the mask of the fat man.
So, that's the beginning. Watch for regular updates, and don't get too grossed out by the video footage when it eventually gets posted.

Mystery solved

For years, I've been occasionally saying "If you're like me -- and I know I am ...." to the amusement of some. It's good in appropriate news stories maybe once a year.

If ever anyone thinks I'm being clever and original with that line, I promptly admit comedic plagiarism. I know I didn't make it up, but I'd never been able to place the original source. Collaboration with friends suggested it was likely uttered by Norm Macdonald or Dennis Miller.

Well, I've done some searching. The only reliable citation I've found, other than people passing it off as their own unattributed quip, goes to the character Joel on Mystery Science Theatre 3000, aka MST3K. The earliest citation I've been able to find goes back to early 1998.

So there ya go.

That time of year

Summer appears to be over. Sure, it's not snowing, but it's breezy and chilly. It's around this time of the year -- actually around the time the CNE runs in Toronto, usually -- that I get this unsettled, quasi-nostalgic, implied-panicky feeling. Something to do with the change of the season. Perhaps echoes of back-to-school time. I dunno, but I'm always reminded of a bit of the Rush song Time Stand Still (Hold Your Fire, 1987):

Summer's going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each impression a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away...
The innocence slips away
And though I'm not one to fill my blog with song lyrics, I thought I'd share another song that's been running through my head lately. Underwhelmed, by Halifax heroes Sloan.
She was underwhelmed, if that's a word
I know it's not, 'cause I looked it up
That's one of those skills that I learned in my school
I was overwhelmed, and I'm sure of that one
'cause I learned it back in grade school
When I was young
She said, "You is funny"
I said, "You are funny"
She said, "Thank you"
and I said, "Nevermind"
She rolled her eyes
Her beautiful eyes
The point is not the grammar
It's the feeling
That is certainly in my heart
But not in hers
But not in hers
But not in hers
But not in hers
But not in hers
We were talkin' about people that eat meat
I felt like an ass 'cause I was one
She said, "It's okay," but I felt like
I just ate my young
She is obviously a person with a cause
I told her that I don't smoke or drink
She told me to loosen up on her way to the L.C.
She skips her classes and gets good grades
I go to my courses rain or shine
She's passin' her classes while I attend mine
While I attend mine
While I attend mine
While I attend mine
While I attend
She wrote out a story about her life
I think it included something about me
I'm not sure of that but I'm sure of one thing
Her spelling's atrocious
She told me to read between the lines
And tell her exactly what I got out of it
I told her affection had two F's
Especially when you're dealing with me
I usually notice all the little things
One time I was proud of it, she says it's annoying
She cursed me up and down and rolled her R's, her beautiful R's
She says I'm caught up in triviality
All I really wanna know is what she thinks of me
I think my love for her makes me miss the point
I miss the point, I miss the point
I miss the point, I miss the point
I miss the point, I miss the point
I miss the point, Hey mister

Sloan plays the Halifax Commons on September 23rd. The Rolling Stones are also on the show.
Watch for updates soon on BigAssSuperstar: Un-Weighted. The weigh-in and measurements could happen as soon as tonight, with working out starting as soon as tomorrow.

Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

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