Wednesday, December 15, 2004

God Bless The Biggest Loser... That show has motivated me to get off my ass and get a really good sweat going at the gym next door. A few days ago I did almost 8 miles on the exericse bike... yesterday I rode for a half hour (prolly 4-5 miles)... and tonight I did 8 miles, at one point getting my pulse up to 183 -- 92% of my max! For most of the time I kept it around 150. Note that I had two Red Bulls in the few hours before I went, and I really think that, plus the show, energized me. Yay for thermogenic herbs! Yay for fat people on TV!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Trying Again

I have been sitting here for over an hour, my shorts on, my heart rate monitor strapped around my chest, trying to will myself to go next door and get on the damn bike. It has just been so long, and I am so tired, it's hard. I really don't want to. In my mind I hear J____ and R____ and all the assholes from my past saying, in their annoying voices, "Come on Schwartz, you're such a baby, just get up and go." And I have two simultaneous urges: 1) I want to beat the sh!t out of all the assholes of my past, and 2) I want to go work out, not because anyone else would yell at me if I didn't, but because I need to. And I want to, for myself.

I need to tire myself out during the day so that I can sleep at night. Otherwise I will just be laying in bed for hours, so desperately wanting to fall asleep, but unable to because I haven't used up enough energy during the day.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I have probably gained 10-15 pounds since I last posted. I think I am at 200. Seriously.

Today I ate a whole Pad Thai chicken meal with spring rolls, and then when I came home I had a hankering for donuts. So I called "Nothing But Donuts" in Union Station, and asked them what kind of donuts they had left and how long they'd be open. The guy said he was going to close early tonight because it was really slow, but I told him I could be there in 10 minutes and don't close until I get there!

I walked hurriedly to the basement of Union Station and bought six donuts. I returned home and ate them all.

There is absolutely no doubt why I have gained so much weight: This is just the latest in a long string of unhealthy eating. For the first two months of school, I would get the deep fried chicken fingers almost every day for lunch, and I would dip them in blue cheese dressing. Seriously. Usually I would also have a Barq's rootbeer with it. Now, come on! Of COURSE I'm going to gain weight like that! (Comparison: Last year, at Case Western [*sniff, sniff, I miss you*], I almost always had baked pita chips and hummus for lunch.) This is all compounded by the fact that I live just 4 blocks from Chinatown, and of course I have to sample all the delectible goodies the Asians dream up over there.

Finally, I am in love with Pizza Rolls, and I quite regularly consume 44 of them in a single sitting. With Mountain Dew.


The thing is, I'm happy. Yeah I'm a little chunky, but I basically gave myself a reprieve from fitness stuff this semester in order to try to focus on school and finding a job. Luckily, I found a summer job at a big Detroit law firm that will likely become a full-time job upon graduation! As for school, well... I kinda know a little bit about the Fourth Amendment. Huh.

The point is, next semester I will be able to focus on fitness. I know, I know, it's always "next week" or "next month" or "next semester." But next semester is only a little over a month away. I can do some occasional workouts in the meantime, but then I really do look forward to hitting it HARD when January rolls around.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Slowly coming along, but not without hitches

My number one hitch is a lack of time. I have realized that I will be able to exercise regularly (what with the gym right next door!), but I will likely not be able to give it almost an hour a day, complete with six meals a day.

I simply have too much going on right now. But fitness shall not fall by the wayside! Over the past two days, I have spent approximately 100 minutes on the exercise bike. I find it easy to get on the bike, keep my heart rate around 135-155 for many many minutes, and read while I'm doing it. The only problem I have found thus far is that an hour of exercise really energizes me! This is bad when I do it at night, because my evening goes like this:

9-10 -- On the bike
10-11 -- Tired, relaxed
11-2 -- WIRED

As you can see, this is a problem if i want to get to bed at a reasonable hour. The solutions are twofold:

  1. Exercise earlier, i.e. at from 6-7 p.m., and then be wired until about 11 p.m., at which point I can go to bed. This may be a good option, because I would be energetic and focused from approximately 8-11, which is prime homework time; or
  2. Exercise in the morning, i.e. from 7-8 a.m, and then be wired from 9 a.m. to noon. This might be good in that it would jumpstart my day and give me more energy during class, but it would definitely be hard to implement such a plan: I Love Sleeping In.

I am sure I will figure it out.

In summation, I am continuing to exercise, and continuing to eat in a relatively healthy manner. The Myoplex shakes are still a staple of my diet, and I try to limit unnecessary fat. I just don't think I can hit BFL as hard as I would like.

It's all about priorities, and these days exercise falls just slightly below school.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Day 2

Yesterday went off without a hitch. Other than the extreme exhaustion I faced all day, everything went as planned. I got about 230 grams of protein to go with my rousing morning weight lifting.

This morning I got up at the crack of 7:30 a.m. to go do my 20 minutes of cardio. Unfortunately, I am so out of shape, it turned out to be 10 minutes. It was a hard 10 minutes though. I plan to go back tonight and do another 20 minutes of moderate cardio, just to make sure I get my calorie deficit for the day.

OK, off to down a Myoplex and then run to class. Right after class, it's back for more eating. One thing's for sure: I won't be hungry on this plan!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

This jiggly goo is making me sick. Ugh. I reach down and feel it everywhere, on my stomach and on my face... not just under my chin anymore, but JOWLS, full-fledged jowls, hanging from the sides of my face. I resemble a fat nobleman. Disgusting.

I know from experience the order in which the weight comes off: First my face slims down a bit, but the doublechin remains. (Oh, does it remain.) Then I lose weight in my stomach. My face continues to look slimmer. Ultimately, my doublechin gets smaller, until a strong jawline is within reach.

I have never gotten to the point where I have a strong jawline, because last time I did BFL, I stopped at 13% body fat -- and I was about 178 pounds at the time. I figured the 12 weeks were up, and I had already lost 23-25 pounds, and I was more than happy with how I looked. After summer break, friends at school noticed it. Everyone was asking, "Did you lose weight??" Indeed I had. It feels nice to shout out, "25 pounds!"

But that damn chin. Grrrr.

I have a gym next door. Connected to the building. No more excuses. Wake up, roll out of bed and go!
Body for Life 2004

Tomorrow the new law school gym opens. Tomorrow is Day One of Body for Life 2004. My shelves are stocked, and my will fortified, with tons upons tons of protein powder. The goal? Lose 20 pounds, bringing me to about 8 percent body fat. Doable? With a world-class gym connected to my building? You tell me.

I'm tired of the flab. Tired of being tired. Tired of the junk food. Tired of not having confidence, of looking around at everyone else and hating them because they have what I want. My genetics are against me, but more than that, my own lack of willpower is against me. SCHWARTZ: PIZZA DOES NOT TASTE NEARLY AS GOOD AS BEING IN SHAPE FEELS. You know this. You have been there.

You will get there again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

"Soda causes diabetes! News at eleven."

Be wary of statistics. For a long while now, I have noted with amusement various statistics meant to frighten, cajole and persuade. At first glance, these statistics are frightening, but a dose of cynicism and a little bit of thinking will go a long way:
Sensationalism runs amok at "Now here's some scary news: Harvard School of Public Health research indicates women who drank at least one sugar-sweetened soda a day were 85 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who drank less!"

Well, yes, I don't doubt the veracity of the study. Upon cursory glance, it seems quite legitimate – isn't heavy sugar consumption linked to diabetes? Yes and no. People who consume a lot of sugar are generally overweight, and obesity is definitely a cause of diabetes. But simply consuming a lot of sugar will not, in itself, cause diabetes.

Then, it is very likely that "one sugar-sweetened soda a day" will not cause an 85 percent jump in the diabetes rate. One sugar-sweetened soda a day, coupled with an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, will. This Harvard study found a correlation, not a causation.

Not convinced? Look at this snippet from an AP article:

"According to [the] study, the women most prone to gaining weight had increased their consumption of sugary soft drinks from less than one a week to more than one a day. On average, those women gained nine-10 pounds in a four-year period. But women who cut their intake of soft drinks gained an average of three pounds or less."

Honestly, I am not entirely sure what this means. Did the study organizers pick the women most prone to gaining weight and ask them to increase their soda consumption more than seven-fold? In any case, it is clear that there is a very fundamental question here: What caused the increase in diabetes – the increase in sugar consumption or the increase in weight?

In a nod to fair and balanced reporting, the AP quoted a press release from the National Soft Drink Association that responded to the study. The soft drink makers called the study "unconvincing and inconclusive" because it raises questions over "factors that could create inaccuracies." The article stopped there, but a quick skim of the press release provides the needed details:

"It is unknown whether or not this study adjusted for all of the above risk factors for type 2 diabetes or for other risk factors sometimes referred to in the medical literature such as high salt intake, high blood pressure, alcohol intake and high fat intake. If this study were adjusted for all of these confounding factors, it is doubtful it would show any risk for developing type 2 diabetes from soft drink consumption," said Dr. Richard Adamson, vice president for scientific and technical affairs for NSDA.

The moral of the story? It's easy to fall victim to scary statistics. Respond with your mind rather than your fears. Always look at both sides of an issue. And don't believe everything you read.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Why I Can't Exercise, Reason 452

I got MONO. I won't lie and say I was alllll set! to hit the gym when I was struck down in all my glory by that damn insidious Kissing Disease. But I will say this: I am not allowed to do any strenuous exercise for about a month after my symptoms start to dwindle. As my symptoms will be here for at least a few more days (weeks?), it will be a while before I can hit any 9s or 10s at the gym.

The good news is that when they took my tests at the doctor, they learned that my blood pressure is 110/68 and my cholesterol is 119! Perhaps the mono lowered that just a bit, but that is still really good. This proves that I am healthy. :-) This, despite eating fast food all last week!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Did 47 minutes on the exercise bike last night. :-) It really wore me out, and I kept my heart rate up the whole time. FYI -- was reading the Da Vinci Code at the time, and I realized it's not that good. Quite amateurish writing. But who am I to talk? At least he's published stuff.

I also scheduled my fitness evaluation for Sunday morning! I will finally have some good body fat / weight stats, and I think they're going to measure my VO2 max also. As far as I know, I am around 190 lbs and 16% body fat -- not so horrible. But that's just an estimate. Anyway I would love to get down to single digits!

Last night for dinner I made grilled chicken breast on whole wheat spinach noodles, drizzled with olive oil, and lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and basil. It was delicous! Today I brought my homemade turkey sandwich and a couple Zone bars -- hopefully it will get me through the day.

Lifting weights tonight on my way home from work? Possibly!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I spent last night A) driving home, B) printing out materials for the law review write-on, and C) sleeping. I was oh-so-tired, so I couldn't get to the gym. Excuses, excuses, I know. But I've brought my ID card with me and I have shorts on under my pants so I'm going to the gym on the way home, whether I like it or not!!!

I don't like it.

PS. My lunch today had about 1600 calories and 60 grams of fat. The funny thing is, except for the relatively sh!tty fat content, I am not totally screwed: Added to my 120 calorie breakfast of part-skim string cheese, I am only up to 1720 calories for the day. If I have a chicken breast and rice tonight, I can keep my total at around 2100 calories for the day...

Now, my BMR is approximately 2500 calories, meaning that's how much energy my body needs just to be alive per day. Soooooo..... even if I don't exercise, I could STILL lose about 1/4 pound today (assuming 3500 calories is a pound).

This means that if I do exercise today, I could lose up to HALF a pound! Wow.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Primal Eloquence is operational, albeit in a very preliminary test-page form. Eventually it will contain this blog, a nifty weight/body fat area graph, statistics, pictures -- the whole shebang. Even songs. Yes, songs!

Okay, maybe not songs.

Frith and I have decided that even though we never want to leave, we are in actuality seeing too much of each other. So we have called a two-day embargo on all things couple-related. We aren't even to CALL each other, or send text messages! How does this relate to fitness, you ask? Simple: Though we intend to jog, Frith and I usually end up laying around doing nothing, really. Yesterday morning we were totally unproductive for literally seven hours. Mind you, we COULD have gone jogging had she brought her sneakers -- and technically we *did* get exercise ;-) -- but she didn't bring her sneakers. I wasn't about to just ignore her and go jogging myself. So... yeah.

The good news is that last week, even with the time sieve, I lost about two pounds! And Frith is down also. Our goal is to be one of those Powercouples (TM) who jog through the neighborhood together and make everybody else jealous. Yes!

So now, with some free time to try to get things back in order, I can actually make healthy meals for the day, AND possibly get to the gym in the morning. Possible? Doable? Perhaps? Maybe?

Maybe. Maybe!

We will see. Until then, I have to try to eat healthy at Subway for lunch today, and then after work I have to drag my tired-ass body to the gym, explain to them that I lost my membership ID card, pay $10 for a new ID card, and get on the damn bike. I'll bring the Da Vinci Code so I have something interesting (and easy) to read whilst pumping tbe pedals. Then tonight, I *have* to make my meals for tomorrow. Have to!!!

Tomorrow morning? Exercise. AND wean myself off the daily Bruegger's/Starbucks addiction.

To me-time! :-)

Friday, May 28, 2004

Back on the wagon, as we say. Frith and I went jogging the other day, and it was a lot of fun, and we pushed each other and I ran *really* hard. Finally, three days after the jog, the soreness is gone! Time to do it again. :-)

I am working on a new Bodyforlife-style program, which I am currently attempting to implement. I kind of started it this week, though I did make some missteps. Still, forge ahead! Today I bought -- it's from a choral piece, and it refers to music's effect on the soul, but I think it works just as well as a description of a fit body. I'll wax more about that when the site is up, probably next week.

And now... okay, Frith asked me to get dinner at the greek restaurant. I know I could eat healthy there but I will probably end up sampling the pastitsio. Hehe... as long as I keep getting regular exercise though, this should be able to fit into my plan. Will keep you posted.

Friday, April 09, 2004

At this point, it is about the energy.

I am tired. I wake up tired, I am tired through most of the day. This makes it hard to concentrate in class. When I get home, I am even more tired, so I don't get through all my homework. I usually get around 8 hours of sleep, and yet still, I awake fatigued.

Quite clearly, I must do something about this.

I know what I have to do. I have to run. Since my last post a month ago, I hit the gym maybe 3-4 times, and did a few sets of bench presses in my room at home. But it's not enough. I am well aware that, when I get run down like this, I can recharge my batteries by jogging for 20-30 minutes. Just once or twice will od it. I have to do it. I must do it. Yet I have been slacking, putting it off, thinking about it, talking about it, waiting for it...

Do It Now.

I will update later.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

By all measures, I am not "fat" -- I may be a little pudgy, but who isn't? And yet, the fact that I'm just a "little pudgy" makes it even worse, in a way. If I were just a big fattie, then I could very well accept my status as Fatty-in-Chief. It would be my new persona. I would make it my own. On the other hand, I could be just as happy (probably happier) as a skinny guy. But right now I'm somewhere in between... a skinny guy who got a little carried away with the ice cream. A fat guy who lost most of his flab, leaving a distinct layer of goo hanging around in its wake. Jiggly goo. Jiggly ucky goo that weighs me down and makes me feel kind of like a failure.

I have to lose it. At this point it's not about the energy -- I'm relatively energetic, although I'll admit the inevitable energy boost from working out regularly would be nice. At this point, however, it is simply about getting rid of the excess baggage I've been carrying around since... well, for most of my life. As far as I can remember, I have had a double chin. From the time I was 11 or so, I had a bit of a gut. It's not that bad, but it's there, and while its size fluctuates over time and almost disappeared once, it has still always been with me. Even when I was at the height of fitness on my Body for Life program, I still had a gut!! And then, after the 12 weeks were over, what did I do? Did I keep going until I reached my ideal weight of 170? Did I strive to lose that last little bit of flab on my tummy? That tiny double-chin whose demise was within my grasp? NO!!! I STOPPED WORKING OUT! I celebrated my 12 week success with a full week of utter piggitude, promising myself that I would begin another 12 week program straight away... and I tried. I really did try. But my heart just wasn't in it. Why? Because I had already lost the bulk of my flab. I had gone from 200+ to 178 in a matter of weeks. I had more energy than ever before. I wasn't hungry to complete the task -- to become not just healthier than I had been, but as healthy and trim as I could be.

In other words, I start off great but I have no follow through. This problem has followed me throughout my life, from school to work to keeping in shape.

It's time to stop half-assing it.