A Line in the Sand

As I write this, I have eaten my last bite of take-out food; my last crunchy nacho, my last corn chip, my last store-bought chocolatey confection. As Picard said: “The Line must be drawn here! This far, no further!” So today begins a shift in my eating and exercise habits.
Those of you that have read my blogs over the years are aware that I have had an on-again/off-again relationship with fitness. That’s fine. But going forward it is time to turn that relationship back on, and then break the switch. Letting my health slide is no longer acceptable; too many things I want to do, too many people that I plan to keep gaming with, and one in particular I wish to grow old with.  So enough talk of past failures in will…
…and on to the future. So what can a geek do to recede that advancing waistline? Here are a few things I’m trying:
  1. Tracking my food and exercise. The best way I’ve found to make sure I stay on track is to keep track of what I am eating, and how often I exercise. The key is to track both honestly. If you miss a workout or eat that Snickers bar you thought no one knew about (I saw what you did!), log that. That gap in your log or the extra calories at your end-of-day tally may be just what you need to push you. Plus, sometimes we have bad eating habits we don’t even think about, and they only become obvious when we see the pattern on the page. Currently I am using the website myfitnesspal.com (thanks to my friend Devin, @Doctor_Teeth on Twitter) to track both my meals and my workouts. After some initial questions it is a very easy site to use, doing all the math for you; all you have to do is enter the info. I highly recommend.
  2. A combination of Weight and Interval Training. I have used weight training to great effect before, so I am planning to stay with it. Since I have a set of free weights here at home, it is sort of a no-brainer. Not only do I remove the excuse “I don’t have time to go to the gym” because my gym is right here, weight training also gives me a tangible way to increase my workout progress. After all, it doesn’t get much simpler than, “Last week I lifted x. This week I am lifting x+5lbs”. Interval training is essentially compressed cardio: after a warm-up period you do your cardio as hard as you can for a set but short period of time, usually 1-2 minutes. Then you drop to about half-effort for another period, or interval (get it, interval training? Eh? Eh?) equal to or shorter than the full effort interval. Repeat for about 15-20 minutes, then warm down. It is perfect for me, because if I’m not playing a game or sport of some kind, I can not stand extended cardio work. So it allows me to focus on maximum effort in a short period of time.
  3. Dropping the junk food. As a gamer this is probably the hardest step. After all, what is a game table without delicious, crunchy nachos, Hawkin’s Cheezies, or those delicious two-bite brownies that you can scarf down in one bite…sorry, had to wipe some drool off the keyboard. But it is probably the most necessary step; junk food, and the processed food industry in general, are bad on many levels (and I’ll have a blog post just about junk food at a later date). So to keep the crunch I like when I game, I am switching over to snap peas and carrots. For the sweet, a handful or two of raisins or an piece of fruit. I have been switched over to diet sodas for a while, so no calories there. But there are good reasons to get off even the diet stuff, so I’ll work on that as well. Story short, it is all about exchanging the bad habits for good ones. If it were done when ’tis done, ’twere best it were done quickly. (Thanks, Shakespeare!)
There you are, three general strategies for my fitness future. Future blog posts will talk about the tactics inside the strategies, and I’ll let you know how I am progressing. In the meantime, maybe this is the time to give your own geek health an overhaul. Why not come on the journey with me?  If you sign-up on myfitnesspal.com, go ahead and friend me.
Here are some low-calorie and fat-free links that taste delicious:
–  Want a quick, ten-minute primer to show people on D&D and role-playing?  Show them Enter the Dragon, and let the learning begin!
– If you are a huge fan of Wendy and Richard Pini’s ElfQuest, here is the archive of everything.  Enjoy, and remember to walk away from your computer once in a while.
-Gamers have dice, often many dice.  Why not store those dice in an awesome dice bag?  Dragon Chow has you covered.  And they are Canadian, so there’s that. 🙂
– If you love anime/manga and you plan to be in Calgary this weekend, you need to spend some time at Otafest.  Strap on that tentacle and go find yourself a school girl!
– I recently discovered another wonderfully geeky blog, Hyde and Geek. Geek blogs, unite!

Until next time my geeklings!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “A Line in the Sand

  1. Tracking what I ate and how much I expercised, granted at another site, helped me become 1/3 of the woman I was over the course of the past 16 months. Along the way I've learned some very important things:

    1) Everything in moderation, including moderation
    2) There's no such thing as “bad foods” but there's definitely such a thing as eating far too much of anything and everything
    3) I really had no clue what a proper portion size looked like – but weighing and measuring all my food made a huge difference in helping me begin to recognize what portions should look like
    4) Eating too little for your body's needs is just as bad for you in the long term as eating too much

    You probably know all this but that's been my journey so far…

  2. Pingback: Back on the Fitness Train! | Renaissance Dork

Comments are closed.