Wednesday, March 27, 2013

(belated) Health Update: Day 54

Weight: 293.0

Pull-up negatives: 1

Suspended knee raises from pullup bar: 3 sets of 5 reps, two or three times

Cardio: 1 minute of "jumping rope" (with "ropeless" jump-rope system)

Finally—a few more stats to add. The above is just a haphazard mishmash of random crap I did after having purchased, for a mere $25 on sale, the Iron Gym Total Body Fitness Set, which includes a pullup/chinup bar (assembly required), pushup discs, arm straps for knee raises (the straps brace your upper arms so you can concentrate on raising your knees and not on hanging from the bar), and a "ropeless" jump-rope system that involves twirling weighted cords like a person furious at his Nintendo Wii nunchaku controller.

Better a haphazard start than no start at all, I say. The randomness is going to coalesce into more serious efforts in strength, stretching, and cardio. And more stats will be added to my health report, including things like waist size and resting pulse. Not sure I'm ready to invest in a blood-pressure kit quite yet, but we'll see.

And no, my weight isn't where I want it to be. The ten-pound goal still eludes me. It could be that the sheer amount of food I'm eating is the problem; I read recently that it takes 30 hours for food to pass completely through the average human's digestive tract, which means, since I eat at least once every 24 hours, that I've always got food in my stomach and poop in my intestines. A total purging may not be possible unless I starve myself for 48 hours. Even then, with my wily, tricksterish bowels, I can't guarantee I'd be totally empty.

In any case, the quest continues. Now that I've got my pullup bar set up, I'll be blasting out pullups in a few months. This is how it worked when I lived in Switzerland: my Swiss host family's basement had a set of pipes running along the ceiling, right over a particular doorway; I'd pass through that doorway on my way upstairs, which meant I was always crossing under those pipes. One day, I got the idea of trying to do pullups off them. I tested my weight, and there was absolutely no give. The pipes were strong; their width was just right for my hands. I started doing negatives (slowly letting myself down from a full-flex position), then one day, to my astonishment, I was able to do a legitimate, palms-out pullup. Just one, but one was revolutionary. Over the ensuing weeks and months, one pullup became two, two became three, and three eventually became seven, which is the most pullups I had ever done in my life. Skinny people might scoff at seven pullups, but I weighed over 200 pounds at the time. Seven was massive for me. I'd like to see those skinny folks blast out seven pullups while wearing a weight vest that makes them weigh 210 pounds. Not scoffing now, eh?

I need to recapture what was, for lack of a better term, The Switzerland Formula. When I lived in Fribourg, I was walking 40 minutes to school every day, up and down steep inclines; I was hiking everywhere—everywhere—in my free time. Exploring les alentours. Walking les pistes and die Wanderwege. Visiting die Altstadt (every European town has one). I would sometimes jog along one of those Parcours Vita running-and-exercise trails that the Swiss seem to enjoy so much. I was also eating only what my Swiss host mom fed me, and she didn't dole out huge portions of anything. She was a precise, unimaginative cook; her food was good, but lacked any verve. She even got mad, one time, when she found out I'd been sneaking chocolate powder from her cupboard to make chocolate milk at night. (Sorry, Mutti. I'm a confirmed chocoholic.)

Obviously, what I'm doing now just isn't enough. But things are starting to come together. My upcoming job hunt in Korea, for one thing: that's giving me something to hope for, something to live for, a reason to launch myself out of my current rut. Along with the renewed optimism comes the energy to organize an exercise program. Right now, it's just fits and starts, but in the coming weeks, I expect I'll become more directed. So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice.


1 comment:

John said...

On the cusp of some great things I predict. Stay the course!