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Allís quiet
2006-01-20, 2:12 p.m.

Day 517 Allís quiet on the Western Front

What a peaceful last 3 days. Way back on Tuesday, I got home from work a little later than usual, right around 6. Cindy had already gotten home from work, went to the Y for her workout and returned. She was poking around on the computer when I finally got home.

I peeked at what she was looking at, she didnít try to hide it or get me to not look. She was perusing the Nutrisystem site again. She just had her annual visit with her Ob/Gyn doc who again stressed the need for her to drop a significant amount of weight. Sheís suffering from Hypothyroidism, hypertension, hormone imbalance (probably due to peri- or pre-menopause) on top of being overweight.

Now, the hypothyroidism sheís being treated for. The hypertension is not new, but is apparently reaching readings causing more concern. The hormone imbalance is treatable and is probably just a result of aging. Iím kinda ignorant in that particular field, so Iím going to let that one lie. What I am sure of is that getting ones weight under control is one way to get ones blood pressure back under control. Iím proof of that. Now, it doesnít work in all cases. Plenty of people with no weight issues at all suffer from hypertension due to a host of other causes. But Iím thinking that if weight is an issue, take care of that and see what the blood pressure does in response. Of course, correction with medication is the first fix, then as the weight comes off, reduce or eliminate the medication. Worked for me.

My biggest concern is Nutrisystem itself. $75 a week for food, counseling, etc. For 1 person. Itís nice because your food is all pre-measured, pretty much heat-n-eat. Well, hers would be. Iíd be left on my own. Plus, she would get her food 1 week at a time. If weíre on the road, eating in restaurants, or dining at friends houses, that food is left unused. Over time, you could probably save up enough to skip a week of buying, but I donít know that their system allows for that. Plus itís $300 a month for just her. Weíre still left with me cooking for myself, or me and what ever company we might have, be it kids, friends, relatives, what ever. The real kicker? She tried Nutrisystem a couple of times 15 or so years ago. Didnít really work for her.

Sheís also been holding on to some info from her past flings with Weight Watchers Ė old charts, cards, point system figure outer things, that kind of schtuph. Personally, I like the idea of her joining Weight Watchers again. Thereís the weekly weigh ins & meetings that helps make her accountable to herself, we can actually eat the same food, and it costs one heckuva lot less per week. It will no doubt take time to learn the point system. Things like how much of what foods equate to how many points, how does that work into our (large)repertoire of stock recipes, how do we make new recipes fit into the system, etc. Once that learning curve settles down, I think a lot of Cindyís anxiety will disappear too.

I also tried to tactfully point out that while Iíve been successful at dropping 60 pounds in the last year, a large part of the success has been due to the fact that I have practically eliminated alcohol from my diet entirely. I do still enjoy a beer or two at large gatherings, but to just sit at home and pound down beer after beer (or liquor) Ė plain just doesnít happen. She knows this too. I think for me, the drinking got cut back the same time I quit smoking. The two vices were really intertwined, and the byproducts were a big waist, clogged arteries, no lung capacity, high blood pressure, higher cholesterol and just general poor health.

This frank little discussion was not met with outright rejection. Iím not sure it was 100% accepted, but I hope Iíve set a good example over the last year.

As the week progressed, there were signs that sheís headed for Weight Watchers. I hope so. (did I say that before? Iím just kinda picking this up after a couple of days, trying to get it finished.) Itís a much more flexible system. Once you get the hang of figuring out the point system, I think it can be made to work well for her and the rest of us as well. In our case, the dieter never eats alone, and that has to factor in to what ever choice is made. Cindy can have success with weight watchers, and we wonít have to prepare two separate menuís for each meal.

Skipped the gym Thursday. Made no difference in my bowling really Ė rather hard to notice any real difference in a one shot deal. I bowled better than my current average (193), team did really well (took 6 of 8 points), whatís to complain about? Except for all the gym points I missed out on. Now Iím behind plan for the month, and there isnít a lot of time to make it up. I can work in some lifting at home, but Iím thinking I need the cardio more to help burn off some of this baby fat Iím still lugging around. While weather here has been pretty mild, it IS upstate NY, so it isnít exactly the greatest season for running outdoors. Maybe Sunday I can sneak off for just some elliptical or treadmill time. Could even try a different aerobics class on Saturday morning, along with my normal lifting session. Somewhere, I need to find a way to make up 500 points. Thatís 100 minutes of cardio, around 40,000 lbs of lifting or some combination thereof, over and above my current schedule.

Possibly because of skipping the gym Thursday, I made resistance increases on 4 of the 6 machines I worked out on this morning. Up 20 on the leg press, and up 5 on the leg extension, leg curl and ab crunch. The ab crunch is kinda cool. You sit vertical, like in a normal chair. Thereís a padded bar at your chest thatís connected to the machines resistance generator. All you have to do is bend over, like youíre trying to put your head between your knees. The machine resists your movement, you get to push harder against the machine. Today I made it up to 120lbs of resistance. 3 sets of 12 @ 120 lbs. If that doesnít start melting the love handles, I donít know what will.

Only problem? Had bean soup for dinner last night. It is so very hard to keep that stuff bottled up when youíre squeezing the abs so hard. But I did. Ought to have buns of steel after a few workouts like that. I gotta rethink what I eat before really strenuous ab workouts. Ah well.

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 205.0 on 1/13/06
Target: 180 by 7/1/06
Next weigh in: 1/20/06

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marnís Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 1/16/06: 59.94 (in 13 sessions Ė 5.04 this morning in Ĺ hour!!)
Miles with cooldown: 65.94
Target for 2006: 1000 miles, or about 84 miles per month

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