1997 Fitness Diary

Note: This page contains a dump of the entire contents of my first blog, from the summer of 1997. There was no notion of “blogging” back then. Instead, I called this my online fitness diary, and I updated it by hand. I have no idea of the links still work.

Throughout my life I have had an “up and down” physical fitness level. In grade school, I was of average stature. But, entering junior high I had become a pudgy little boy. I slimmed down during high school, but gained a lotof weight in college. Toward the end of my senior year (1991) at Willamette University, I went on a vegetarian diet and began to play basketball everyday at lunch. By doing this, I was able to drop from 175 to 160 and become fit. Then I graduated.

I slowly gained weight until, when Kris and I got married in the summer of 1993, I weighed 180 pounds. I did absolutely nothing physically active. The weight increase continued until 6 May 1997. That evening, I stepped on the scales and saw the number 200 appear. That was a wake-up call.

The next day I began a “lifestyle change.” With the help of a computer program called Diet Balancer, I began to monitor my daily activity and food consumption. I also began to ride a bicycle every day at lunch. At first, I thought I would die. It was hard to even go one mile. Now I’m up to ten miles in forty minutes, which is a good level of aerobic activity. I plan to start running soon, and then to join a gym. I want to be down to 160 by Christmas and to be at 150 by my next birthday (25 Mar 1998). I currently weigh 161 as of 29 Oct 97.

I’ve tried to losed weight many times before. It rarely “sticks”; I gain it all back. This time, I decided to take a scientific approach. I went to Powell’s Books and stared at the mass of diet/fitness books. I sorted through them all, trying to avoid the fad diets and calorie counters, and eventually purchased The Realities of Nutrition (completely revised) by Ronald M. Deutsch and Judi S. Morrill, Ph.D. The book was a revelation. I’ve recently discovered The Hacker’s Diet, a sensible on-line body of information regarding weight loss.

Below, I’ve listed some other web sites that seem helpful and honest. The key to fitness is to be patient. Fads are fake. All nutrition/fitness can be boiled down to specific scientific principles. You cannot cheat them any more than you could cheat the laws of gravity. I’m also going to keep my own personal fitness journal below, updated as often as I feel like.

Recommended web sites
The Hacker’s Diet
Cyberdiet
Ask the Dietitian
HealthCalc Tools

Basal Metabolism Calculator
Fast Food Finder
Pulse Test Explanations
Rob Wood’s Sports Science Pages
Kendall Jackman’s Fitness Page

Fitness Diary
The information below is presented in chronological order and is primarily for my own record-keeping. However, I am putting it on the web in the hopes that it might prove useful to at least one other person who has struggled as I have. Also, it will probably keep me more motivated. This information is older, less current info.

J.D.’s vital statistics as of 16 Aug 97:

FRAME = medium
ACTIVITY = light
HEIGHT = 69 in.

WEIGHT = 175 lbs. (healthy = 144 to 176; ideal = 146 to 158)
WHR = 1.00 (0.90 or below considered ideal)
BMI = 25.9 (slighly overweight; 25.0 upper limit of healthy)
BP = 112/80 (healthy — taken 6 Aug 97)
THR = 96 – 176 (sources vary widely; all agree that it 133 – 153 (22-26) is acceptable)
VO2max = 48.2 (rated excellent by HealthCalc Tools)

16 Aug 97
175 pounds — Today I had no formal fitness goal. I anticipated eating fatty foods due to the monthly book group meeting, so I planned ahead and ate very little. Total calorie consumption for the day was 1847 out of 1788 planned. My only exercise was the Rockport One Mile Walking Test in order to determine my VO2max score. I walked one mile at as fast a pace as possible. I completed the mile in 13’58.81″. My recovery heart rate was 147 beats per minute. The HealthCalc Tools page rates this as borderline excellent. My bike riding must be paying off! Tomorrow is my first day adding early morning running to my exercise routine (after three months of just riding bike).

17 Aug 97
174 pounds — I woke up early this morning and headed over to the high-school track to perform another VO2max test; this time, I was attempting the Balke 1.5 mile run. The first three laps were grueling: I was quickly winded and my legs were sore. I found it difficult to stride. The last three laps were not so bad; I found a rhythm and began to feel comfortable. The last lap, especially, felt good as I opened up my stride and attempted to sprint (ha!) the final 200 meters. Unfortunately, my 1.5 mile time can’t be recorded. Somewhere between 1 mile and 1.5 miles, my stopwatch broke! My one mile time was 8’55.17″, which projects to 13’22.76″ for 1.5 miles. The VO2max score for this time is 37. A half hour after the run, my right calf is a stiffening up and is a little sore. Guess I’d better stretch more next time. Total calorie consumption for the day was 1942 out of 1875 planned.

18 Aug 97
174 pounds — I woke up early again this morning for a one mile walk/run. My legs are sore from yesterday’s 1.5 mile run. I made certain to stretch out properly before exercising today. The sprinklers are still going on the football field and track; they have been running continuously since at least Friday night. Quite a waste of water. Due to my soreness, I ran the first and third laps and walked the second and fourth. My stopwatch is still kaput, so I’m not sure what my time was, though I’d guess it was in the neighborhood of 12 minutes. My noon bike ride went very well. The 90+ degree days of the last two weeks are gone; it was overcast and a cool 75 degrees. I finished the ten mile ride in 39’52”. My total calorie consumption for the day was 2082 out of 2166 planned.

19 Aug 97
175 pounds — Because my legs were sore this morning, I opted to perform the Rockport One Mile Walk test again. At 14’06.60″, my time was down from Saturday by about eight seconds. However, my recovery heart rate was 135 beats per minute which is a 12 bpm improvement. According to Healthcalc, this gives me a VO2max score of 46.8, which is even better than on Saturday. I’m sure there’s quite a bit of statistical fluctuation with this assessment, however. During lunch I did my five mile “sprint” ride, completing it in a personal record 17’14” INCLUDING an incredible 8’00” split at the midway point. My total calorie consumption for the day was 1194 out of 2007 planned.

20 Aug 97
173 pounds — After ten days at 174+ lbs, I finally dropped one more. This morning I was able to run nearly the enire mile. My finishing time was 9’58”. My enire body feels great; the soreness from the first couple of days of running is nearly gone. My ten-mile ride during lunch turned into a 6.25 mile ride. It was raining, and I do not have any rain gear (I need to look into this). I was drenched by the midway point, so I turned around and headed back on a slighly different path. I covered the distance in 24’57”. Though I was quite hungry today (probably from such a huge calorie deficit yesterday), I exercised restraint and consumed 2167 out of 2017 planned.

21 Aug 97
174 pounds — No soreness at all this morning! Though the stopwatch blanked in the middle of my run again, I thought to bring my wristwatch and to synchronize the two before starting. I ran the entire mile, finishing in 8’53”. My afternoon ride was unusually strenuous. My whole body felt sluggish and for the first time in a long time, I felt as if the ride was a mental challenge. I completed the ten miles in 41’31”. Perhaps I am overworking myself. I didnt’ have time to eat “lots of little meals” as I have been trying to do for the past few months. This left me with a lot of calories to spend at the end of the day, so I treated myself to one of my favorites: a pepperoni Totino’s Party Pizza (760 cal and 42g fat — yikes!). Unfortunately, this wasn’t filling enough and I had to eat more to sate my appetite (which has been out of control with the recent increase in activity). In the end, I consumed 2439 out of 2191 planned calories.

22 Aug 97
174 pounds — I stayed up late last night listening to the Mariners defeat the Indians and playing with Strat-O-Matic baseball for my computer. Because of this, I woke up too tired to run. Fortunately, I felt better later in the morning. During my ten o’clock break I ran a mile. But, the results were bizarre. I finished the mile (run on country roads) in 7’34”, which is nearly a minute-and-a-half better than my best time at the high school track. This brings up many questions: am I running the same distance on the road as at the track? What is the circumference of the track? How accurate is my bike’s odometer? Do I run better later in the morning than early in the morning? Is it psychologically more interesting to run someplace besides the circuoutous track? I’m not sure. At lunch, I rode another ten miles. There was a nasty nasty wind (the worst so far this summer), but I managed to finish in 41’22”. My body feels very tired and I may take a break from exercising at least one day (if not both) this weekend. I ate lightly during the day because I knew Kris and I were attending a Salem-Keizer Volcanoes baseball game with Michael and Laura later in the evening. (Michael told me he had actually taken a peek at this fitness diary — at least one person reads it… ). I had a “Volcano Sausage” and some peanuts. Afterwards, we went for coffee and cake. But, having exercised quite a bit and having prepared in advance, I was able to limit myself to 2228 of 2189 planned calories.

23 Aug 97

174 pounds — Due to the lateness of the baseball game last night, I didn’t get up until 6:30 this morning. I didn’t have time to run, but after making a delivery to Salem I did go for a one-mile walk with Kris at a moderate pace. I also mowed the yard and will do more yard work later. But, no “official” exercise for today. Maybe not for Sunday, either.

25 Aug 97
173 pounds — Having taken the weekend off from exercise, I chose to perform the Rockport One Mile Walk test again this morning. My time of 13’44” was the fastest of the three times that I’ve tried the test. My recovery heart rate was 135 beats per minute again. According to Healthcalc, this gives me a VO2max score of 48.2, which is my best yet. Though I did no formal exercise over the weekend, Kris and I walked several miles, I did some work out at the shop, and I did a little yard work. And we saw the movie Contact over the weekend: excellent! I highly recommend it. My legs feel great today. No pain anywhere, even after the walk. The bike ride was a little tougher due to more high wind. I finished the ten mile ride in 40’19″‘, which is a fairly good time. I also had another run in with a dog. On the fifth of August I had a terrible bike crash after a dog charged me from the side of the road. I panicked and ended up tearing a huge chunk from my right knee, twisting my left ankle, and nearly breaking my right wrist (it *may* have a slight fracture, but the doctor isn’t sure–he thinks it is not bad enough to do much about, apparently). Fortunately, the bike was not damaged. Today I had another scare. A huge dog (a mastiff?) that chases me from inside his fenced yard did not chase my on my return. I found that odd and just happened to glance back over my shoulder after passing his house. There he was, free from the fence, chasing me down the road. I calmly (yet quickly) jumped off the bike, put it between me and the dog, and (in my deepest voice) shouted for him to “stay!” and to “go home!”. He stopped, paced, and sprayed the road and the shoulders. Then he wandered home. All of this in about 60 seconds. I was scared, but felt much better than last time (anything feels better than a crash). This is my third dog incident this summer. I think I’m going to buy some pepper mace and not be hesitant to use it when pursued. I consumed 2134 of 2042 planned calories.

26 Aug 97
173 pounds — No exercise at all today except, perhaps, for the fact that I worked a couple of hours out in the shop. But, I didn’t each much, either. It was a very busy day and I am extremely tired. I consumed 1579 calories out of 1700 planned.

27 Aug 97
171 pounds — Yippee! More weight lost, though some of it is surely water weight (I didn’t drink or eat much yesterday). It’s taken me exactly three months to lose the past twenty pounds. A full day of exercise planned today, starting with a one-mile run. Yesterday, Kris verified that the circumference of the high school track is 400m. This means that for a mile I need to run four laps and an additional ten meters, which is what I’ve been doing. But, my quick time running on the road on the 22nd had me confused. I am forced to conclude that my bike odometer is incorrectly measuring distance and that my road run was less than a mile. In any event, today’s run was great. I felt more comfortable than ever before. I was even able to play with my pace, sprinting 100m of every lap, lengthening and shortening my stride. My time was a fraction of a second under 8’00”. Everything feels good, too. Very nice. Perhaps the days off between runs are GOOD. The bike ride was once again hampered by wind, but I completed the ten miles in 41’21”. No dogs to ward off today. I’m not sure that the weather will permit me to keep riding the entire month until I join the gym. Also, my brother Jeff pointed something out to me today: I may be paying $25/month to join a gym in Oregon City, but in reality my cost is much higher due to the fact that I will be spending at least $1/day ($25/month?) on gas. Yikes! That doubles the cost and makes me question the decision. I consumed 1729 calories of 2156 planned.

28 Aug 97
170 pounds — It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. I’m not just referring to the thirty pounds I’ve lost in the last four months (though that is certainly a prime example), I’m also referring to the short term. I was feeling frustrated that my weight loss had seemed to stall: I was eating more than my target calories every day, I had lost the joy of exercising. But with a little bit of effort, I’ve been able to jump-start the weight loss again. Undoubtedly some of this is just water weight, but most of it should “stick”. We’ll see. In any event: 170 lbs. Cool. Also, last night while I was rummaging through some old papers I stumbled upon a diet journal from the beginning of 1994. It appears that I dropped to 165 for about two weeks before climbing back up to 175. So, I still have a few pounds to go before I am “the lightest I’ve been in five years”, which is what I’ve been claiming for the last several weeks. :( Anyhow, I awoke with a sore left ankle (still left over from bike crash) and a sore right knee (?!?) but, although it was raining lightly, I forced myself to go run. I didn’t think I’d be able to run the whole mile but I did, finishing in 8’15”. Two consecutive good days! Though the drizzle had vanished by noon, I opted to stay in and read instead. One must do that sometimes. :) Ten miles tomorrow if it’s dry (and it’s supposed to be). I ate 1711 calories out of 1789 planned.

29 Aug 97
171 pounds — Another fairly good run this morning. I was tired when I awoke, but I forced myself to run and finished in 7’58”. No soreness afterward, either.

2 Sep 97

170 pounds — Well, during the Labor Day weekend I managed to reach 169 pounds for a couple of days. This morning’s run felt pretty good despite the fact that I was tired from staying up so late. I completed the mile in 7’51”. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to ride my bike at lunch. I drove to Salem to pick up theater tickets. And because I stayed up so late going to the theater, I have no energy for exercise tomorrow (I am absolutely exhausted). I consumed 1675 of 1789 planned calories.

3 Sep 97
171 pounds — You can’t even possibly imagine how tired I am today. No exercise, but lots of evening naps. I consumed 2139 calories out of 1685 planned.

4 Sep 97
171 pounds — My muscles are a little tight this morning because I haven’t exercised in a couple of days. But, my run went well. I found a moderate pace that was very comfortable. In fact, it was easily the most comfortable run that I’ve had since I started. My pace felt good and my breathing was regular. I was able to run all out for the last lap. My time was only 8’12”, but the whole thing felt great. However, my planned ten-mile ride didn’t feel so good. It was warm and humid and a little windy when I started, but nothing unusual from the rest of the summer so far. About a mile into my ride, my thigh muscles (sorry, don’t know their names) began to “tighten”. It was difficult for me to pedal. My legs weren’t really sore — they were just tight. I made it to the 2.5 mile mark and decided that I had better turn back. So, I completed only five miles of the ten I had intended to ride. Pedaling at the ten mile pace, I finished the five miles in 20’21”. I stretched my thighs thoroughly after returning. I hope that thwarted any problems that may have been developing. I ate 1906 of 1973 planned calories today.

5 Sep 97

170 pounds — A banner fitness day today. I awoke early (about 5:15 — fifteen minutes before my alarm goes off). This allowed me a chance to thoroughly stretch my tight legs. For my run, I did the 100m jog/200m run/100m sprint cycle that I tried a couple of weeks ago. This worked well and felt good, though I was more winded than usual. I finished with a personal best 7’39” for the one-mile run. (Note: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have dim recollections of running a mile in about 6’30” while playing soccer in high school — that’s my goal for now). My bike ride went well, too. I started out intending to do a ten-miler, but I felt so good during my warm-up (and the wind was so light) that I opted for the five mile “sprint”. I could tell I was pushing myself; I was huffing and puffing througout and my thighs were straining, but all of the work paid off. I finished the five miles 30 seconds faster than ever before! And I finally beat my cousin Nick’s time. I finished the route in 16’39”. Also, I discovered through my bike “computer” that my so-called 5.00 mile course is actually only 4.75 miles. Oh well, close enough. I just need to make adjustments when figuring average speed. Overall a great day of exercise. I feel as if I’m missing some long-distance workouts, though. I may go do a ten-miler sometime this weekend. And, I think I’ll try a mile-and-a-half run tomorrow morning. I was careful with what I ate today, too, finishing having only consumed 1669 of 2000 planned calories.

8 Sep 97
171 pounds — Well, even though I had intended to run a mile-and-a-half sometime over the weekend, I never did. However, on Sunday afternoon I managed to get a mile in. I ran at four in the afternoon with the temperature about 80 degrees. I set a personal best with a 7’13” run but couldn’t finish the last half mile. I also felt ill due to lack of water; I drank an ocean in the evening. This morning was cool and clear. I ran my first couple of laps slow and decided to try for a mile-and-a-half. I made it with only minimal suffering with a time of 11’31”. I’m a little sore in my right calf after the run, but I think I should be okay. My time was about two minuts better than when I first tried 1.5 miles (on August 17th) and gives me a VO2max score of about 47 according to one chart I have (and that score fits in with other tests). Even though I drove truck for part of the day, I found time to squeeze in a good ten-mile bike ride. I finished in 40’14”. I consumed 2206 of 2211 planned calories.

9 Sep 97
171 pounds — Too tired to get up to run this morning, but I did manage to put in a mile during my 10 a.m. break. I completed it in 7’41”. I rode ten-miles at lunch. I altered my path slighlty and found a great new road. Much smoother and flatter than any of the others I travel; should make for a good, easy change of pace when I need it. Though I was very sluggish because my muscles were sore and I was very tired, I managed a burst of speed near the end of the ride, finishing in 39’31”. I ate 1678 of 2154 calories planned.

10 Sep 97

170 pounds — Some thunder and lightning this morning. Not a lot, but enough to keep me from going down to the track. Instead, I used the NordicTrack for the first time since beginning my diet/fitness change. I used it for twenty minutes before Kris got out of bed and kicked me off so that she could use it. At lunch I had a very good ride, finishing ten miles in 38’40”. I consumed 1500 of 2143 calories planned.

11 Sep 97
169 pounds — I had not planned to exercise today; I’m hiking tomorrow night and I want to be well-rested. In addition, it’s very rainy. However, my best friend from high school, Paul, offered to ride with me at lunch. We kept up a very good pace — Paul kept pushing us faster than I really intended to go — and in the end we finished with an excellent time and an excellent workout. We completed the ten miles in 37’20”, which is only 13 seconds off my personal best. I ate 1951 of 2020 planned calories.

12 Sep 97
170 pounds — Today’s the hiking day. I decided to exercise anyhow. I ran one mile this morning and the run was both good and bad. I felt great; very comfortable, no soreness. But, this was apparently due to the fact that I was not running too fast. I finished in 8’03”. Though it was cold and windy and wet, I rode ten miles at lunch, finishing in 37’49”. Pretty darn good. In the evening, Paul and I spent about 1.5 to 1.75 hours hiking about five miles on the edge of Portland. Pretty fun stuff. Then we bought some books and ate some clam chowder. Very fun.

15 Sep 97
166 pounds — I’m not sure where all of the pounds went this morning. All weekend I’ve been at 168. When I weighed myself before running this morning, I stood at 169. But, at my “official” weigh-in, which is just before I shower, the scales read 166 and would not change no matter how many times I re-weighed myself. I guess I shouldn’t complain. :) My run this morning was nice and easy and felt very good despite the light rain and light wind. I finished with a time of 8’00” but felt capable of much more. This was a good pace for a Monday morning following a weekend during which I did not exercise. It was much too wet and rainy to ride the bike today. At Monday Night Football I consumed far too much junk food. In fact, this was the first time in four-and-a-half months that I “blindly” ate without considering my actions. I’m not going to let it get me down because one bad day out of 132 is not bad, especially since I ended the day without going too far over maintenance level (2256 calories today); in the end, I consumed 2653 of 1756 planned calories.

16 Sep 97
168 pounds — I did not run this morning. While walking to the track, my right heel was in extreme pain. I returned to the house and discovered that, somehow, I have a large (and painful) blister. I’m not sure where it originated, but it is here now. I’ll take care of it and run tomorrow. Though the rain let up, the wind blew even harder at lunch, so I did not ride my bike. The weather is supposed to clear by the end of the week. I think it’s about time to join the gym! I consumed 1964 of 1662 planned calories.

17 Sep 97
168 pounds — My heel still has its blister and I still don’t know its origin. It’s been four days since I seriously exercised, however, so I just bit my lip and suffered this morning. It’s quite cool outside, and raining. Despite these trials and tribulations, I was able to run one mile in 7’47”. The entire run felt quite good, quite relaxed except for my heel. The weather was terrible for my bike ride: windy, windy, windy. Midway through, it began to rain and I was soaked. Not a comfortable feeling. All things considered, I thinkt that my ten mile time of 42’34” is pretty good. I kept in the aerobic exercise range for the entire ride, at least. I ate 1981 of 2126 planned calories.

18 Sep 97
169 pounds — Upon waking, I was utterly exhausted and didn’t know how I’d make it through the day, much less a morning run. I was still tired at lunch and neglected to stretch properly. As a result, about midway through my planned ten-mile ride my legs began to feel sore and tight. Rather than risk injury, I turned around and contented myself with a five mile ride, which I completed in 20’35”. After work, I went to Canby’s health club, Maximum Performance, to get pricing information. When comparing it with the club in Oregon City that I’d like to join, Nelson’s Nautilus, I was surprised to see that the pricing structure was very similar. Nelson’s Nautilus seems to offer more (a swimming pool is a big advantage) for an identical price. The cost of driving still bothers me, as it will about double the cost of membership at Nelson’s (whereas I could just walk to Maximum Performance). But, I’ll probably join for six or seven months, which will get me through the bad weather into spring, at which time I should be able to exercise outdoors again. When I got home from work, I napped for three hours. I was still exhausted, as I had been in the morning. Today I consumed 1781 of 1847 calories planned.

19 Sep 97
169 pounds — I didn’t get up early enough to run, so I ran at my morning break. The first half mile was very quick (about 3’30”), but it just about knocked me out with exhaustion. I ended up with at time of 7’49”. But, it was a beautiful day and I was feeling relatively active so I decided to try for a personal best on the ten mile ride. There was a moderate wind and my legs were tight, so it took 20’15” to do the first five miles, which almost caused me to give up hope. But, I kept pedaling away and managed (with great effort) to complete the ten miles in 36’58” which is nine seconds faster than my previous best. I’m considering doing a 25 mile ride on Saturday and a 25 mile ride on Sunday. We’ll see if I have the inclination and the time. I consumed 1810 of 2131 planned calories.

20 Sep 97
168 pounds — Look! A weekend entry. I had a very busy day today and did not think that I’d be able to get my planned ride completed. But, after having my car tested for DEQ emissions, changing its brake pads and a headlight, after cleaning the house, after doing groceries and running several other errands, I got a chance to ride. It sucked. The first ten miles were pretty fun. I was zipping along. However, I forgot about water. If you’re going to make a long ride on a hot day, you need water. On my ten mile rides, water isn’t a concern because by the time I need it, I’m back at the office with some cold water waiting for me in the refridgerator. The last fifteen miles of today’s ride were very difficult because of the lack of water, but I managed to complete all 25 miles in exactly one hour and forty minutes (which is exactly 15 mph, a pace that I didn’t think I could maintain for an extended period). I consumed 1803 of 2522 planned calories.

21 Sep 97
166 pounds — Having suffered from the heat and a lack of water yesterday, I planned ahead today. I consumed a good deal of water before heading out at about 7:30 a.m. I also brought a liter along with me for the ride. The heat wasn’t a problem, either. Unfortunately, the cold was just as bad. When I left the office, the temperature was 40 degrees. I was riding 15 mph into a headwind, so the windchill must have put the temperature below freezing. I was wearing a heavy shirt, so my body was warm. But, my hands and face felt like they were going to freeze to the point that they would just snap off at the slightest touch. Ouch. Eventually, I warmed up, though. The ride was tough, but much better than yesterday overall. I completed the 25 miles in one hour, forty-one minutes, and thirty-five seconds. Though I was even hungrier, I limited myself to 2591 of 2518 planned calories. That’s the good news. The bad news is I consumed 100 grams of fat. Admittedly, this is only 34% over my scheduled amount for today, but it is also the most I’ve had in a single day the entire summer.

22 Sep 97

166 pounds — Absolutely no exercise planned for today; fifty miles in two days is enough to give me a day off. I ate 2018 of 1647 planned calories.

23 Sep 97
167 pounds — I do not intend to run today, as I am still sore from my weekend bike rides. However, if I feel up to it I may ride five or ten miles at lunch. Most likely, I will go up to the gym in Oregon City after work. I signed up for six months yesterday. The drive still concerns me; it’s quite long. But, the facilities are great and I’ll have a chance to spend some time with Dave. It should be worth it. I just have to motivate myself to make the trip… *** time passes *** …and I did. The trip is about 25 minutes no matter which of three paths I take. So, I choose the scenic route which has very little traffic. Makes for a relaxing drive. I must say that I am very impressed with Nelson’s Nautilus, the gym that I’ve joined. The place is huge and has a wide variety of equipment, including a swimming pool. I spent most of tonight on a recumbant (is that with an ‘e’ or with an ‘a’?) bicycle, and a very fancy one at that. It had a little computer screen on which was displayed a computer-simulated course. Very rudimentary graphics, but fun. I was able to enter my distance and time desired (but not my body weight, a glaring oversight) and the machine calculated various numbers (speed, calories burned [which is totally inaccurate without a proper weight figure], etc.). This appeals to my stat-head nature. What’s more, if I’m tired of watching my little blocky racer figure outdistance the computer’s little blocky racer figure, I can press a button and the screen swtiches over to television! Cool. I’ll have to swing it so that at least a couple of times a week I bicycle during the X-FILES. :) After using the recumbant bicycle, I tried a high-tech treadmill. This was also a treat. I entered my weight (very good, eh?) and told the thing what speed to move and the machine calculated more numbers for me. Happy man I am. According to the machines, I rode 12.24 miles in 40 minutes and ran one mile in exactly nine minutes. I’m not sure how accurate they are, but what the hell. We’ll use the numbers they spit out for lack of anything better. I didn’t swim tonight, but I will as soon as I purchase a swimsuit. Best of all, I saved enough calories today to have a Totino’s pizza for dinner. Gotta run. I smell the fatty pepperoni burning… I consumed 1819 of 2183 planned calories.

24 Sep 97
167 pounds — Oof. I’m not sure what happened, but sometime during the past twelve hours I developed a nasty, nasty cold. Part of it might be due to the fact that one of our cats, Tintin, got in a fight with a neighbor cat last night and I stayed up late nursing him. In any event, my sinuses are flowing like a faucet and I came home from work at noon. I slept until about four so, obviously, I’m not going to get any workout done today. *sigh* Because of my illness, I only consumed 808 of 1655 planned calories and drank hardly any water today (I usually drink 2 to 3 liters, but today I didn’t drink a thing). My fully clothed weight right now, just before bed, is 165 pounds, so I should be at 164 or 163 in the morning. But it’s all illusory; it’s just water weight and I’ll spend the next several weeks trying to get that low again…

25 Sep 97
163 pounds — Just as I had predicted I’m down four pounds from yesterday, but it’s almost certainly all water weight. We’ll see how the next couple of days go.

30 Sep 97
167 pounds — Long time, no write. :) My workouts at the gym have gone very well. I’ve developed a nice little routine: one hour on the recumbant bike, fifteen minutes on the treadmill, and about ten in the pool. Tonight is the first night that I’m going to meet Dave at the gym. I’m going to have to alter my workout somewhat, I think, in order to workout with a partner. I will begin with some limited weight lifting tonight. Should be interesting. *** time passes *** Tonight I rode the stationary recumbant (two words that I may be spelling incorrectly…): 60 min., 19.10 miles, 434 calories. Dave then introduced me to free weights. We did six separate exercises, three sets of ten reps. I hurt. He had warned me that I wouldn’t be able to swim after lifting, but I didn’t believe him. Now I do. Ouch. I ate 1727 of 2171 planned calories.

1 Oct 97
165 pounds — I slept like a rock last night. That weight lifting stuff is very draining. I’m sore in a couple of places this morning, and very hungry, but overall feel quite good. I’ll do a cardio workout this afternoon while watching the Mariners play… Good workout, bad Mariners game. Oh well. On the SR (stationary recumbant): 60 min, 19.59 miles, 443 calories. I also swam 200 meters in 6’17”. I was afraid that the swimming would be tough after last night’s weight-lifting, and I *was* very sore, but the swimming actually went quite well. I consumed 1855 of 2024 planned calories.

2 Oct 97

165 pounds — I’m even more sore today than I was yesterday. One of my arms has a knot in a muscle, which I’ve been told means that I was lifting weights wrong. Dave and I lifted weights again tonight. I had to ease up on the bench press, lifting only the bar. But I was able to to comparable weights on the other exercises. On the SR: 60 min., 20.05 miles, 452 calories. I consumed 2043 of 2150 planned calories.

6 Oct 97
164 pounds — My weight dropped to 163 for most of the weekend. I’m feeling a little sick, too. Actually, I’ve felt as if I were on the verge of getting sick for the past two months. I suspect this has much to do with my calorie deficit. I’m very happy that I’m only a few pounds away from my goal. Once I reach 158 (a safe margin under 160), I’ll return to slightly less than maintenance level (maybe a 100 calorie deficit per day). This will allow me to coast down to 155, the point at which I would like to maintain my weight. And I hope that once I add another 400 calories per day to my diet, my border-line sickness will vanish. Kris thinks I’m pushing myself too hard (both exercise and diet), and she may be right. I ate 1677 of 1632 planned calories today.

7 Oct 97
161 pounds — I am sick as a dog. I’ve stayed home from work today and I’m trying to eat, but I’m just not hungry. It’s been four days since I worked out and I feel like I should get back into the gym. But, I feel like crap. Yuck. I ate 2609 of 2110 planned calories today.

8 Oct 97
161 pounds — Well, I forced myself to eat and eat yesterday. It was hard. I’m used to not eating much and I just didn’t feel hungry all day long. I feel a lot better today, so maybe there’s something to my hypothesis. Regardless, I’m doing the possible foolish thing and going back to one-pound-a-week-weight-loss mode. Good workout today. An hour on the stationary recumbant: 60 min, 19.01 mi, 432 calories. I also swam 280 meters in about ten minutes, ran 1.185 miles in ten minutes, and did some abdominal crunches. Very good. I consumed 2337 of 2180 planned calories.

9 Oct 97
162 pounds — I feel a little better today. Since I’ve been getting cramps when I run after riding, I ran *before* riding tonight. I didn’t cramp up, but I sweated even worse than usual. In the end, I had run for 15 minutes and 1.55 miles on the treadmill, rode for one hour and 19.01 miles (exactly the same as yesterday) on the stationary recumbant, and lifted weights with Dave for an hour. Not bad, eh? I ate 2321 of 2232 planned calories today.

10 Oct 97
161 pounds — I am very tired. It’s fortunate that I do not plan to exercise today and that I have finished the book for the book club; I may need to take a long nap or two. I consumed 1859 of 1610 planned calories.

11 Oct 97
163 pounds — I exercised early this morning, riding the stationary bike for 40 minutes, running for 15 minutes, and swimming 400 meters in 15 minutes. A good workout, but now I am quite sore. I had an attack of ice cream lust at the end of the day, but managed to mostly control it, finishing the day having consumed 2215 of 2102 planned calories.

12 Oct 97

161 pounds — No exercise today; I’m a little sore. I ate 1468 of 1617 planned calories.

13 Oct 97
160 pounds — Whoopee! I have reached my goal. It took me 160 days to drop form 200 lbs. to 160 lbs. Now I intend to *gradually* reduce my weight to 155 lbs. at which I intend to hold steady. My main goal now becomes to increase my physical fitness, which I have been working on quite diligently for the past few months anyhow. I’d like to get rid of my gut completely (it’s mostly gone), develop some upper body strength, and solidify my aerobic capacity. Whoopee! A good workout today. I ran two miles in 16’48”. I spent 40 minutes on the recumbant bike. And, I swam 400 meters in 13’05”. Very nice. I consumed 1684 of 2091 planned calories.

14 Oct 97
161 pounds — No exercise today. In fact, I ate like a pig for the first time in months. :) I consumed 2821 of 1610 planned calories.

15 Oct 97
163 pounds — I worked out late this evening, expecting to lift weights with Dave. He must have been detained, so I did my standard routine (or close to it). I ran 1.5 miles in 12’38”, rode 12.49 miles in 40 minutes, and swam 400 meters in 12’28”. I consumed 1818 of 2070 planned calories today.

16 Oct 97
160 pounds — Good workout tonight: I ran 1.5 miles in 12’09”, rode 12.75 miles in 40 minutes, and swam 400 meters in 11’52”. While working out, I read the latest issue of Men’s Health. A couple of things in the magazine gave me cause for concern. For example, one article indicated that a gym workout is not as effective as an outdoor workout. Not as many muscles get used; gym equipment tends to isolate specific muscles. This makes sense and worries me a little. I’ve begun to inlcine the treadmill on my runs to get a little more out of it. I hope to be able to make the transition to outdoor exercise with ease in about five months. We’ll see how it goes. After working out I was absolutely ravenous. This total does not include about 500 late calories (from cookies during SEINFELD) –> I consumed 2407 of 2115 planned calories today.

22 Oct 97
162 pounds — It’s been quite a while since I jotted something down. I’ve worked out every day but one since last Wednesday, and I’m going to take today off. My weight has stayed right at about 162/163, though I *did* drop below 160 one day. I’ve been very, very hungry lately and wonder if it isn’t just a psychological reaction to having finally reached my desired weight.

29 Oct 97
161 pounds — Hmm…Yes, indeed. It seems that my motivation for keeping this journal updated has slipped away since achieving my goal. I’ve been hovering in the 159-161 range despite an increase in calorie consumption. I’d still like to lose five more pounds as a “safety margin”, but I’m not sure whether or not I’ll do it. I may update my “vital statistics” in the next few days to see how they compare with when I began this journal.

5 Nov 97

161 pounds — I’ve hovered at 161 pounds for the past week, though I’ve had some pretty low weigh-ins after working out. I managed to reach 157-1/4 after Sunday’s exercising. The workout have been fairly good this past week. I managed to run a mile in 6:48 and two miles in 15:21 while on the treadmill with a one degree incline. I’ve been setting personal bests on the recumbant bicycle. On Sunday I swam 800 meters (a half mile) and plan to attempt a whole mile soon. Weight lifting is getting easier. My primary concerns regarding my fitness are currently: reducing my fat intake and stripping the remaining deposits from my midsection (my lower is pretty lean); beginning to do cardio work on the upper body (rowing?); developing flexibility and agility, two facets of fitness that I have neglected thus far (I am prepared to do some Yoga twice a week, and that should help); and, finally, reducing my weight by another ten pounds to its ideal level: 150 pounds. I’d like to accomplish all of this by March 25th, my next birthday.

J.D.’s vital statistics as of 26 Nov 97:

FRAME = medium
ACTIVITY = light
HEIGHT = 69 in.

WEIGHT = 166 lbs. (healthy = 144 to 176; ideal = 146 to 158)
WHR = 1.00 (0.90 or below considered ideal)
BMI = 24.5 (within recommended range; 25.0 upper limit of healthy)
BP = 112/80 (healthy — taken 6 Aug 97)
THR = 96 – 176 (sources vary widely; all agree that it 133 – 153 (22-26) is acceptable)
VO2max = 48.5 (rated excellent by HealthCalc Tools)

26 Nov 97
166 pounds — After hovering around 160 pounds for more than a month, I’ve lost focus. For the first time since May, I am eating indiscriminately and without tracking consumption. This must stop now. My exercise is better than ever. But, I must be eating 3500+ calories per day and all of them bad. Cookies, soda, etc. I’m not sure how this happened. I was tracking my food consumption until the weekend of November 7th-9th, during which time I made a trip to Seattle and did not have access to my computer. Since then I have not used Diet Balancer, my calorie tracking program (though I have paid some attention to the total consumed). This is unacceptable and, as you can see, has placed me six pounds over my desired weight. I have restarted the Diet Balancer tracking as of now. I will continue with the exercise program, too. This outbreak of bad habits is the reason I wanted to hit 150 before I ceased weight loss. That would give me a cushion in case something like this happened. My discipline has improved and will continue to do so. This is only a temporary setback. I will begin daily journal entries here once more and will continue with the weight loss until I reach my goal of 150 pounds. I want to be back at 160 by Christmas and I want to be at 150 by the end of March. So, I didn’t eat much today. After eating so much yesterday, I chose to limit myself today in order to make the days even out. I did go up to the gym and exercised a lot. I didn’t try to set any personal bests; I simply tried to maintain aerobic activity for as long as possible. I ran four miles in about 44 minutes at a two degree incline, I rode the stationary recumbant bicycle for one hour (completing 19 miles), and I swam 800 meters in about 24 minutes. Lots of calories burned… Today, I consumed 606 calories out of 2678 planned!

2 Dec 97
166 pounds — Sheesh! So much for changing directions. I’ve maintained at 166 for the past week (although there were a couple of days of lower weights). Of course, it was Thanksgiving weekend. But saying that is only an attempt to rationalize. The reality of the situation is that I’ve been eating a lot of food. On Saturday I did manage to run five miles on the treadmill in just under 45 minutes at a two degree incline. That’s pretty good. But not if I’m not having the diet to match the exercise. I’ll work on it.

16 Jan 98

163 pounds — I’ve managed to maintain my weight within the 163-167 range. Ideally, I’d be about ten pounds lighter. More importantly, I’d be eating better and exercising more. My dedication to the gym (I was going about 3-4 times per week) has tapered off during the last month due to the winter holidays, a week-long illness, general business, and the large crowds at the gym just after the New Year. My eating habits are even worse. I’ve taken up the sugar/fat addiction thing. I’m partially just waiting for spring to roll around. With my tax refund, I’ll be purchasing a bicycle. I’m very excited to get out and ride again. There’s so much rain right now, though, that it seems as if spring and summer will never get here. While I wait, I need to take full advantage of the final two months of my gym membership. I’d like to play softball this summer. I’d also like to do a “century ride” and perhaps run/walk the Portland Marathon in September. In order to meet these goals, I need to keep my body in good shape. Before I stopped going to the gym, I was running five miles on the treadmill every other day. It felt great. Right now it’s a struggle to run two miles. Looking back, I can see that I hit my peak fitness level around the first week of November. I’d like to return to that level by the end of March (which is when my gym membership expires), so that I can head into the spring/summer primed for fun.

Footnote: I’ve also posted my old 1998 fitness diary, too.