Friday, April 06, 2007

a modest goal?

For most people, 250 pounds (113.4kg) is heavy. For me, it's a weight loss goal, as I now stand at a staggering 280 pounds.

I think that losing thirty pounds by early June is possible, even likely, but it's going to take more willpower than I normally summon up in this area of my life.

While I've been walking up Namsan again for the past two or so weeks, the time has come to ratchet up the intensity. This will mean graduating from the wussified route I currently take up the mountain to the one-staircase route, soon to be followed by the two- and three-staircase route, the latter of which is the hardest route I've ever tried.

Getting down to 250 pounds will mean still being fat, but this will nonetheless be an improvement.

I plan to document the following eight weeks, beginning with a weigh-in on Monday the 9th and a weekly weigh-in every Monday thereafter. I'll also be blogging other indicators, such as resting heart rate (seated) and the fit of my clothes (no, I won't assault your senses with gratuitous ass shots).

This weekend, along with getting my Seiko re-repaired (bastards did a poor job and the watch stopped again), I have to buy a bathroom scale-- something I probably should have bought years ago. Photos of the weigh-ins will be taken, though we might have to subtract a pound for the heavy camera I now own.

I'll have to lose approximately 4 pounds per week. That's extreme, but doable. As the great and wise George Clooney said with regard to weight loss, the key is: "Don't eat." By this I'm pretty sure he means, "Don't overeat."

My students' absences and the Gandhi Diet will probably help the process along. We'll see. The next two months are going to be interesting.



  1. Good luck, dude! Cut back on the food blogging, get the heart rate up, and maybe chase some of those students of yours around a desk a time or two to burn some calories.

    We'll all (all six of us, anyway) be watching!

  2. Hey Kevin,

    I'm curious as to the details of this "Gandhi Diet" you're on.

    It's funny that you mentioned willpower, because when I think about how to lose weight, the first two words that spring to mind are willpower and know-how. And in that order. Because it doesn't matter how much you know if you're not going to put it into practice.

    As for weighing yourself, try to do it at the same time of day, for consistency's sake. I believe that water retention is lower in the morning.

    Since you are preparing yourself for an extreme plan of attack, I recommend this multi-pronged strategy to help sear the fat off your body.


    - Do cardio and weight training, as combined they burn fat better than cardio alone. Push-ups and Hindu squats are two resistance exercises that require no equipment.
    - The best time to do cardio is first thing in the morning (whatever that is for a nocturnal creature like you). Doing cardio first thing after you get up burns fat like no tomorrow. What you do is wake up, drink a couple big glasses of water, and go straight into your cardio--and then get home and eat your first meal of the day.


    I would have recommended a phased approach, but you said you wanted to go extreme.

    Here are some tactics I have used with success. I don't know if they will work for you, but they did for me.

    - Eliminate most carbohydrates from your diet, especially the fast digesting carbs. No grains (no rice, no bread, no noodles), no fruit juices, no sugars. Low-glycemic fruits are OK (e.g. berries). Avoid starchy/sugary veggies like carrots, tomatoes, Korean turnips, and potatoes. They're healthy but they don't help you lose weight. Emphasize green vegetables (green salads).

    - Drink lots of green tea and oolong tea to help with fat burning; spicy peppers are also thermogenic.

    - Eat small but frequent meals. This boosts your metabolism. For example, instead of eating 3 meals at 600 calories each, eat 6 meals at 300 calories each.

    - Keep protein high and fats low to moderate. Many people go low fat but moderate fat worked for me as long as I cut out the carbs.

    Sample Meal Plan (my own)

    Meal #1
    - Three scrambled eggs fried in a nonstick pan, topped with salsa; side dish of tofu

    Meal #2
    - Whey protein shake and some walnuts

    Meal #3
    - Chicken/steak, kimchi, and green salad with olive oil dressing

    Meal #4
    - Whey protein shake and some strawberries

    Meal #5
    - Stir fried beef with garlic, green peppers, and onions

    Meal #6
    - Bowlful of lowfat cottage cheese
    - Meat/fish and salad

    (Can you get cottage cheese in Korea yet? I know you can get whey protein.)

    There is plenty of good free info on how to burn off the fat on

    Good luck!


  3. Oh nOOOOooNONONOONONNoonnononoo!

    Decrease velocity! Decrease velocity!

    You're comin' in too hot! Hot! Comin' in too hot!

  4. Corsair,

    Thanks. I've stopped foodblogging since my previous promise to do so, and am going to try to behave myself with food from here on in.


    The Gandhi Diet is one I've mentioned on the blog a couple times, in which my food intake is linked to student attendance. If the number of students in any given class falls below a certain threshold, then I don't eat that day. I think of it as penance.

    Thanks, by the way, for all the useful tips. I'm mulling over waking up at 5am (gag) and hitting Namsan then. I can be back by 6:45, showered, and ready to lumber off to class well before 7:40 rolls around.

    David (aka, Little Brother trying to be anonymous),

    Too hot! Hot! HOT!!


  5. You and I are in about the same boat. I weighed in at 117.2 kg tonight. My goal is 105 by July for a trip home. Then I'm planning a trip to Vietnam at Chuseok, so I will keep going... perhaps even into the sub 100 area. My wife's goal for me is 95. That would be nice... but... it has been a long time since I was down to that weight.

  6. One other thing is that you should watch out for exhaustion. You know, I lost that much weight in around that much time, during my second year in Korea when I took a swimming class. Some of it was being too busy to eat big dinners, and some of it was the psychotic, masochistic daily practice schedule I (mostly) adhered to.

    But then I spent 3 or 4 months totally exhausted. I kept swimming, mind you, but I was physically tired a lot. It's livable, but it might hit. (I suspect also that some toxins that had accumulated in my body fat were quickly released, creating another drain on my system.)

    But like you, I'm thinking weight loss would be a good thing right now. I'm going to try work my way down to 95 kilos from where I am now, which I'd guess is 105 or so.



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