Saturday, August 1, 2009

End of step one

After 2 months it was time to step on the scale and see the results of my simple diet. For those just tuning in, I devised a diet based on cutting calories and tried to lose 15 pounds in two months (starting at 225). I also added extremely moderate exercise that included walking about two miles a day and a morning exercise routine that can be charitably described as a warm up.

What was the result? A slightly better than expected 208. That is 17 pounds in 2 months with no radical change in behaviour. Anyone that has been on a diet or two knows the progress went. The first ten pounds came off quick. The next five took about the same amount of time. Then nothing for a week and then the last two in the final week.

The lesson is that simple calorie counting can be a great way to start a diet and can be effective if you have just a few pounds to lose. I was surprised how quickly my body adapted to the change. The added exercise was not much but it did stimulate my metabolism. I actually felt like exercising more. By the last couple weeks, I started feeling hungry all the time. This tells me I'm going to need to change my eating habits if I'm going to continue losing weight.

What is next? I still want to lose 13 pounds more and my fat percentage is much higher than I like. I'm going to need to increase exercise and calorie intake. I'm still working on how I'm going to do that. I set Halloween as my new goal. Once I see 195, I'll start working on that fat percentage.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

C&O Canal worth the investment - and interest

Tim Rowland tried to generate interest in the C&O Canal in his column this week.

It is good to see people trying to promote interest in the canal and the mostly forgotten life style that it created. I'm not sure if the expanded bicycle trail will help make people aware of the history of the canal but they will get more people on the towpath. One thing that would definitely help is better marked access points to the trail. There are many parts of the trail that are hard to reach on a day ride.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Progress after 8 weeks

After only seven weeks, I stepped on the scale and saw 210 pounds. As usual, the first ten pounds came off quickly and easily. The next five were a bit slower but didn't require much effort. And just as usual, I've stalled out and have not lost anything since.

I'd like to lose 15 more pounds and do it by the end of October. This is going to be difficult if I can't increase my activity level. So far I have cut most of the easy calories by cutting out sugary drinks and snacks in between meals. I'm happy with the light exercise I've been doing. I should be able to increase this over the next few months. At the rate I'm going, it will still be the end of the year before I'm at the level I was years ago.

Staying ambulatory through the end of the year may be a problem. My right foot has another bone growth starting. Unlike all of the earlier ones, this one is forming on the bottom of the foot. I have no idea what it is going to take to deal with it. Right now it is a race to get in the best shape I can before I have to take a break and deal with the foot.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Washington County, Md. Atlas

Large scale atlas with street level detail, showing ZIP Codes, block numbers, schools, hospitals, points of interest, shopping centers, airports, parks and more.

I know what you are thinking, "Get a GPS already." While a GPS is a great tool for getting specific direction, I hate trying to look over a map on the screen. Sometimes I just want to leaf through a paper map and see my entire route or find my own alternative.

The ADC maps are first rate and serve the function of looking for alternative routes well. While it doesn't show all of the river access points, it is pretty good with the gravel roads I keep finding myself driving.


Fishing the upper Potomac River

Ken Penrod gives away his favorite fishing spots on the upper Potomac

Think of this book as The C&O Canal Companion from the river's perspective. Ken Penrod knows about more than just fishing. If you plan on spending time on the Upper Potomac River, you need this book. If you plan on fishing the river, commit it to memory.