HalFitness

I hit 8 and 1/2 miles in my half-marathon training today. I'm kinda at odds with myself over it. On one hand, there is part of my brain saying, "Woohoo! 8.5 miles! You never thought you could do this in your life! Go you!". And then there's the other part of my brain, "You just spent almost 2 hours straight running. Just. Running. Why would anyone want to run for 2 hours? This is a tremendous time sink! One hour is plenty! This is so impractical!".

Needed to say, once this half-marathon is over I don't plan on being a long-distance runner.
I have the same brain grumble with track/pavement running. I tend to do all my running in trails and parks (or did, back when I went outside in the before-times), so there's pretty nature to look at. Plus, the added challenge of uneven terrain is fun. Audiobooks and podcasts are also great for this, it occupies my brain and helps justify the time spent.
 
The trouble with running for me is that I'm just too dang pragmatic. I already know I could easily go 20, 30, even 50 miles or more (over flat terrain) at a brisk walking pace that I know I could maintain for the duration. Sure, it might take me 14hrs to do it, but I already know it's achievable. And the moment anyone suggests, "Well, what if you want to do it in less than 14hrs?" that's when I answer, "That's what bicycles are for."

--Patrick
 
I've been doing some yoga/hiit training with YouTube videos 2-3 times a week for about a month now, drinking less, pigging out less. Down from a peak of 90kgs to 86kgs today (198 to 189 pounds). On course for getting back to 80-81 (176 pounds ) where I want to be for my wedding.
First time under 180 pounds now, so I'm pretty much where I want to be - while it'd be fun to see a few more pounds go off, I'm not allowed to lose too muich anymore since I'm now past the final fitting of my suit...It had to be taken in a little bit, but not too much. My finacée's dress ,though, had to be taken in over 3 inches, and they've now told her she's not allowed to lose any more weight before the wedding or they can't make the dress fit anymore :-D
 
Oh darn.

EDIT: "Darning" is the process of patching a hole in a knit fabric by weaving the patch into the existing threads, not altering a garment's fit. :p

--Patrick
 
Yesterday, I was trying to find a specific bird, the crested caracara, that has become much more elusive in this area over the last 10-20 years. A couple were being reported a reasonable distance from here. Looking at Google Maps, I had basically two options to get there, a 30-mile route, and a 40-mile route. I compromised and rode the 40-mile route to get there and the 30-mile route to return. (Maybe I'm the only one who thinks a 70-mile day is a compromise, but there you go.) With a couple of small side trips, it ended up being a 72-mile / 115-km day.
 
Yesterday, I was trying to find a specific bird, the crested caracara, that has become much more elusive in this area over the last 10-20 years. A couple were being reported a reasonable distance from here. Looking at Google Maps, I had basically two options to get there, a 30-mile route, and a 40-mile route. I compromised and rode the 40-mile route to get there and the 30-mile route to return. (Maybe I'm the only one who thinks a 70-mile day is a compromise, but there you go.) With a couple of small side trips, it ended up being a 72-mile / 115-km day.
Well, don't leave us hanging. Did you find the caracara?
 
First time under 180 pounds now, so I'm pretty much where I want to be - while it'd be fun to see a few more pounds go off, I'm not allowed to lose too muich anymore since I'm now past the final fitting of my suit...It had to be taken in a little bit, but not too much. My finacée's dress ,though, had to be taken in over 3 inches, and they've now told her she's not allowed to lose any more weight before the wedding or they can't make the dress fit anymore :-D
My wife's now gained back about 8kgs since the wedding (honeymoon'll do that for ya), so she's going back on a diet.
I lost a bit after the wedding, then gained it back during the honeymoon, but since then I've been pretty much in free fall. I've loosened up on my diet, I'm drinking wine and eating M&Ms and salted nuts again, and doing sports twice a week, usually, but I'm still losing weight. No idea why or how - I'm now at 78.2 kgs (172 pounds), under my target weight. technically my BMI is still just "average", but that just goes to show how stupid BMI is as a measure. I'm probably in better shape than I've been in my life, and definitely better than where I was when I weighed 73kgs (around 160 lbs) - I was depressed and stressed out back then and just losing weight due to that.

My daily weight since May 1st. The long upward slope sept/okt was the honeymoon, where I didn't weigh myself for 3 weeks.

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Dave

Staff member
VERY long post about my last doctor visit.

You have all probably heard by now about the trials I've been going through with my blood sugar. When I went into the doctor's office on October 20, 2020 my Hgb A1c S (hemoglobin average blood sugar) was at 6.7. Pre-diabetic is 6.0 - 6.4 and 6.5 and up is considered full on diabetes. My weight at the time was 210 pounds (95.25 kg). I immediately went on my intermittent fasting diet and when I got my results back on Wednesday for my Dec. 23 visit, my number was down to 5.9 and my weight was at 193 pounds (87.5 kg). So I'm not even considered pre-diabetic any longer. But I have to stay on top of things or they could get out of control again.

But that's not why I'm making this post. A couple of other numbers jumped out at me when I started looking at my lab results.

I've had 5 labs drawn in this office. The first was 10/04/2017. Then it was 03/29/2019, 10/22/2019, 10/20/2020, & finally 12/23/2020. At one of my last appointments they told me I needed to "cut back on my drinking". We laughed because I don't drink. I distinctly remember the doctor looking at me funny but thought not much about it. Until today.

There are three things that jump out at me. For the record, this may be nothing and it may be something to look at. I'm calling my doctor tomorrow to ask. They are: ALT, AST, & Bilirubin.

ALT is a test used to determine enzymes in the blood. Basically, how well is the liver doing its thing. AST does the same thing, testing different enzymes. Together they are often referred to as a ratio of your overall liver health.

The next test that I looked at is the Bilirubin test. For those that don't know, bilirubin is the waste that you get when your liver is working right and sends it to your poop. If your liver isn't doing its thing, the bilirubin gets put into the blood stream.

Okay, so here's where my history makes a difference.

Test10/04/2017 Result03/29/2019 Result10/22/2019 Result10/20/2020 Result12/23/2020 Result
ALT (7-52 Normal)2840584857
AST (15-41 Normal)2628373839
Bilirubin (0.3 - 1.0 Normal)1.21.51.41.91.7

My AST/ALT ratios have been: 0.92, 0.7, 0.63, 0.79, & 0.68. All are within acceptable ranges, as you want to stay below 1.0. In fact, my worst test was the first one, but both numbers were WELL inside acceptable so it didn't matter. What is concerning to me is the progression. There's no track for the bilirubin, but there's definite growth of my ALT/AST numbers.

I know. I KNOW! I'm not a doctor. And my doctor's office didn't bother saying anything to me at all. But I'm a stats guy - a numbers guy. And they don't lie. Something is up with my liver. At the risk of being "that guy" I've been doing some studying and ran it past a nurse friend of mine who was very surprised that (a) my doctor's office didn't at least look INTO this considering the numbers and (b) that I reached the same conclusion that she did. Made me feel pretty good that I wasn't just doing the "does this look infected?" thing. (In fact, I'm not the one who said anything to her as I think doing that is crass - her husband brought her in on the conversation.)

So what did I come up with? Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Can be brought on by sedentary lifestyle, weight issues, and exacerbated by diabetes or pre-diabetes. It's controllable by diet and exercise, but is also the leading cause of liver transplantation in the US. I would be at a higher risk of all sorts of things, including cardiovascular issues and liver cirrhosis.

In short, I gotta get off my ass & start exercising again along with this diet.
 
Thank you, @Dave . That's very useful.
And you're right about the numbers-don't-lie thing. You're not the only one who's had to wave numbers in front of professionals.

--Patrick
 
My wife has NAFLD, or just "your liver's fat, lose weight and get in shape" as told by a doctor.
Losing 10 kgs really changed that around a bit - and after gaining most of those back she's now also having more back- and stomach-problems again - both of which are probably just radiating pain/discomfort from the liver.
Still, your numbers aren't horrible by any stretch of the definition...But they are cause for concern/keeping an eye on.

Good luck!
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I'm back down to the belt notch I was using before lockdown started!

... probably just in time for our next lockdown.
Well, went in to the doctor for my annual post-surgery checkup... and it didn't go well. I might be able to use that same belt notch, but I've put a LOT of weight back on in the last year. So, I'm back on the horse... weighing myself daily, tracking every calorie I take in, no more snacking, no more BS. Hopefully it comes back off as quickly as it went back on, but I know that's usually not how this works. :(

Additionally, I need to add a calcium supplement to my regimen, in addition to the multivitamins and D3 supplements I'm already on.
 
Well, went in to the doctor for my annual post-surgery checkup... and it didn't go well. I might be able to use that same belt notch, but I've put a LOT of weight back on in the last year. So, I'm back on the horse... weighing myself daily, tracking every calorie I take in, no more snacking, no more BS. Hopefully it comes back off as quickly as it went back on, but I know that's usually not how this works. :(

Additionally, I need to add a calcium supplement to my regimen, in addition to the multivitamins and D3 supplements I'm already on.
That's what happens when you spend 3 hours shoving string cheese and alcohol in your face. :p
 

GasBandit

Staff member
That's what happens when you spend 3 hours shoving string cheese and alcohol in your face. :p
Actually, I blame the protein bars and trail mix, more. A handful of trail mix every 15 minutes (and it's easy to graze when you're home so much and buy 5 pound bags of trail mix from Sam's) and you'll be at 5000 calories in no time.

I mean, really, String Cheese is 80 calories a pop, and I rarely have more than 3 on any given game night :p

After all, it's not like I was forgoing that stuff when I was on the way down last time.
 
Actually, I blame the protein bars and trail mix, more. A handful of trail mix every 15 minutes (and it's easy to graze when you're home so much and buy 5 pound bags of trail mix from Sam's) and you'll be at 5000 calories in no time.

I mean, really, String Cheese is 80 calories a pop, and I rarely have more than 3 on any given game night :p

After all, it's not like I was forgoing that stuff when I was on the way down last time.
Ok now how many calories is tito's and spite?
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Ok now how many calories is tito's and spite?
Like I said, the same amount there was when I was drinking it and losing weight last time :p

(Approximately 300 per solo cup, and I usually have 2 or 3 on those occasions)

I guess I could switch to Diet Spite.

That reminds me, probably a lot of the gain was also because I started drinking (real) Dr Pepper again early last year, and just kept ramping up as I needed/got addicted to the caffeine again. I cut that back out of my died a couple months ago, and can tell it's already having an effect.

I mean, I guess the good news is, I've lost several pounds already since last week, though I wonder how much of that is from dehydration and will come back... but I am indeed moving in the right direction again.
 
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I've now stuck around 167-170 pounds for four weeks. Seems as low as I'll go. Honestly though, that's lower than my original goal, so that's okay.
However, since I am keeping up the twice a week exercise and smaller breakfast and lunch, eating and drinking whatever in the evening, I'm staying more or less where I am now.
Now that I am here, I actually wouldn't mind gaining some weight... If it's in the form of muscle. Can't really seem to build up much of anything though. Any suggestions? I don't want to radically alter my routines, but maybe change the type of exercise or stuff?
 
I've now stuck around 167-170 pounds for four weeks. Seems as low as I'll go. Honestly though, that's lower than my original goal, so that's okay.
However, since I am keeping up the twice a week exercise and smaller breakfast and lunch, eating and drinking whatever in the evening, I'm staying more or less where I am now.
Now that I am here, I actually wouldn't mind gaining some weight... If it's in the form of muscle. Can't really seem to build up much of anything though. Any suggestions? I don't want to radically alter my routines, but maybe change the type of exercise or stuff?
More protein?
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I've now stuck around 167-170 pounds for four weeks. Seems as low as I'll go. Honestly though, that's lower than my original goal, so that's okay.
However, since I am keeping up the twice a week exercise and smaller breakfast and lunch, eating and drinking whatever in the evening, I'm staying more or less where I am now.
Now that I am here, I actually wouldn't mind gaining some weight... If it's in the form of muscle. Can't really seem to build up much of anything though. Any suggestions? I don't want to radically alter my routines, but maybe change the type of exercise or stuff?
As Dei said, try to get at least 80g of protein a day. Also, emphasize resistance (weight) training rather than cardio.
 
Any suggestions?
Activity/exercise will stress/damage your muscles, stimulating them to build/rebuild.
Protein and such gives them the materials they need to do so.
Tear them down faster than they can rebuild, and you get injuries, or suffer rhabdomyolysis ("rhabdo").
Taking in more protein & food than your body actually uses won't tack on additional muscle, it'll just end up either stored or eliminated.
Finding that balance is the hard part, but it's a moving target, so even if you find it, you're going to be tweaking it regularly.

--Patrick
 
If you want to build muscle, definitely weight train. Whatever you do, I recommend doing complementary push/pull exercises (so if you do push-ups, also do some form of rows. If you do pull-ups, also do shoulder presses or something similar).

Probably better to follow some sort of program like Starting Strength or something, but I figure anything you're likely to keep doing is a good place to start.

Do you still have a gym membership? If not there are lots of body weight alternatives you can do if you don't want to invest in weights.

Re: protein, what I've seen recommended is (.8g protein)/(lb of lean body mass) to build muscle. A lot of people recommend more, but personally even .8 seemed like a bit much for me (but then again my diet was/is pretty terrible). I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just add/subtract protein until it seems like you're in a good place between feeling strong and gaining fat.

Another way to look at food intake is to count your macros (protein, fat, and carbs). For example, a pretty common one is having your total daily calories as being 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat. That might not be something you're interested in doing, but thought I'd throw it out there.
 
Another somewhat overlooked part is that building muscle is great, but stressing your muscles will also put strain on your bones, which will also need to get stronger. So some portion of any weight gain you experience is going to be your skeleton getting denser in order to better support your increased activity level. Also I think the breakdown/rebuild speed of bone is slower than that of muscle, so be careful when you hit the point where you feel like it's time to add a few more pounds to your workout, lest you accidentally fracture something under the increased strain.

--Patrick
 
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