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July 25, 2007

First off.I'm sorry about last week

I wrote a blog entry for last week. It was pretty good too. Funny pictures, pithy story, humorous ending...it looked good. However, while reviewing it I realized that it has some personal information about me that I didn't really feel comfortable posting on the Internet. And I couldn't figure out a way to remove it without completely messing up the rest of the content. So I just trashed it.

This week I'd like to talk about a subject that often gets neglected when thinking about weight loss and overall health..sleep.

My lovely wife, Heather and I bought a brand new mattress back when we first got together. And now, over ten years later, we are starting to feel that our faithful mattress is ready to retire. Which sounds about right as a normal mattress lifespan is between 8 - 15 years.

yellowmite-758444  FACTIOD: I know that dust mites live in mattresses. They consume the skin flakes that we lose when we sleep. Now I've heard a rumor that a mattress will actually double in weight from the time it is brand new to the time it reaches its 10th year of use. This is supposedly due to the dust mites and the waist they leave behind. My first impulse was to believe this.my second was to see if it was actually true. Finally I found a site that quoted Larry Arlian, professor of biological sciences, microbiology, and immunology at Wright State University, "It's nonsense. I don't know where that originated. They're not that prolific."

When you calm down and actually think this out, it doesn't make sense that mites would fill up a mattress like that. They live off our skin flakes..so they should be found on the top part of the mattress. It is theorized that some one probably took a sample from that top portion of the mattress and used the high amount of dust mites and mite dung to extrapolate what the rest of the mattress would contain.

Another theory about this is that some one noticed that when they lifted an old mattress, it would bow in the middle like it could no longer support its own weight. While this is true of old mattresses it is actually due to the fact that the structure of mattress has been weakened by age and constant use.

Not that dust mites aren't a problem. To people that have allergies, these dust mites can cause a multitude of issues. END FACTOID

Anyway, we load up and go look at mattresses. Heather suggested an outlet in Gastonia. So we went to have a look. I've never been in a mattress outlet before. Its sort of a weird way to shop. Unlike a furniture store, all they sell is mattresses. So the whole showroom floor is wall to wall mattresses. And it is weird hoping from bed to bed checking each one of our sleeping positions. In the end we found what we wanted and got it delivered to the house.

sleep1-726419 You might be thinking, "How does this relate to weight loss?"

My smartass answer would be, "When do you think actual weight loss happens?"

The answer of course is when you sleep. You DON'T loss weight when you workout. You DON'T loss weight when you watch TV. You do it when you sleep.

This is the time when your body repairs the damage you did to your muscles while weight lifting as growth hormones levels increase. It is when we process memory, energy is restored, and we build up cortisol (the stress hormone) so we will wake up alert.

homesleep-710143 NOTE: If you don't get enough sleep, you will not have enough cortisol built up in your system to help you achieve alertness when you wake up.

And it is the ONLY time of day when you are allowed to go 8 - 9 hours without eating.

Speaking of eating, one of the other things that sleep does is it helps us to balance our appetites (by regulating other hormones). This is why when you don't get enough sleep, you have a tendency to eat more and gain weight.

Lack of Progress Report

I haven't been doing so well with this challenge. I seem to be stalled. And what is worse, I am stalled at 11 pounds up from my lowest weight.

So I'm reviewing and cleaning up my diet. Which will probably go a long way as my diet has been anything but clean.

rings-755275 My muscle mass has increased and my strength has been growing pretty rapidly. I can bench press in the same level as when I was a gymnast back in high school.

Not too shabby.

So I'll keep plugging away at it. In the meantime, you can all get off my web site!

Oh.and speaking of the website, I'm working on making changes on it again. So you might notice some of the pictures are offline. It will all get switched over to the new look soon. Thanks for your patience.

July 12, 2007

The Dangers of ManBearPig

First I want to thank everyone that commented (either online or offline) on last week's posting. It is nice to get feedback.

As some of my readers know I lost my grandpa not too long ago. Well, I didn’t actually lose him. I know roughly where he is. But you know what I mean.

He lived a long life. It makes me wonder how he would have done if he hadn’t been smoking for most of it. I had this in the back of my mind when I found the following statistics….

What happens to your body if you stop smoking RIGHT NOW?

In 20 minutes:
Your blood pressure will return to normal.

In 8 hours:
The carbon monoxide levels in your blood stream will drop by half and the oxygen levels will return to normal.

In 48 hours:
Your chance of having a heart attack will begin its long decline. All nicotine will have left your body.

In 72 hours:
Your bronchial tubes will relax and your over-all energy level will rise.

In 3 – 9 months:
Coughs, wheezing, and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10 %.

In 1 year:
Your risk of having a heart attack will have now dropped by half.

In 5 year:
Your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.

In 10 years:
Your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

In 15 years:
Your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

So if you are still smoking…please stop. It is not too late. I want all my readers to live a long and happy life…..even Will.

Now I know some of you just tune in to see what goofy pictures I include. So you can get your fix….here is a picture of ManBearPig…

You heard the beast….now get lost!

July 05, 2007

TFG's Second Law of Motion

Last week I talked about how how a fat guy in motion tends to stay in motion. This week I observed the affect that TFG has on those around him.

It all started while I was watching TV.

Now you might be thinking, "TFG! You are supposed to be talking about getting fit, not watching TV! How are you going to get your weight under control if you act like a couch potato?! Seriously! WTF?"

To those people, I say, "Please shut up and pay attention or I’ll hunt you down and sit on you."

Anyway, I was watching one of my favorite shows, 'Myth Busters'. For those of you that don't watch, it is this team of people that either prove or disprove popular myths like the famous, if you eat Pop Rocks and wash it down with soda pop, your stomach will explode.

It is a really cool show. Of course it helps that a member of the team is a sexy, she-nerd named Kari Byron.

<-----Kari's the one on the right.

On the episode that I was watching, they were showing how a car's gas mileage actually increased when following (tailgating) an 18-wheeler. It started me thinking about how the truck's drag had an unintended affect on the closely following car.

NOTE: Don't actually tailgate ANYTHING. If you do, I'm not responsible for it. I told you not to. I never said you should tailgate. If you tailgate and have an accident, then it is all on you. IDIOT

With this episode fresh in my mind, I went to the gym the next day. I walk in and take a quick look at who's on the treadmills. The most notable are the following...

Sexy Soccer Mom - She's taken pretty good care of herself, but is blessed with a naturally high metabolism. So she doesn't really have to work too hard to keep off the weight.

Make-up Chick - I honestly have no idea why she comes to the gym. She's obviously spending more time dressing and doing her make-up than she is on working out. I never see her do more than a slow walk. I have to be two or more treadmills from her or my eyes will start itching due to her overuse of cheap perfume.

Ghetto Booty - She looks good. I like to take the treadmill behind her if it is open so I can be distracted by the hypnotic swaying of her ghetto booty. It just makes time go by quicker.

Ex-Football Jock - He woke up about a month ago and noticed that his once tone body is starting to show the ravages of couch potatoness. That's what happens when you go from 'high school running back' to 'arm chair quarterback'.

There are others of course but these four are archetypes that you see in any gym and also are critical to the story.

So I pick a treadmill between Ex-FootBall Jock and Ghetto Booty. Make-up Chick and Sexy Soccer Mom are both on the other side of Ghetto Booty. All four of them are at a really slow walk...the kind of walk that you aren't going to break a sweat from.

While I get my preferences entered into the treadmill and get my MP3 player running, I catch the quick glances from the archetypes as they size me up. This is pretty standard. When you are on a treadmill or other stationary cardio machine, you are always looking around for anything to distract you from how boring these things can be. The only person that I didn't catch looking is Make-Up Chick. She's busy reading the fashion magazine that she has propped up on her treadmill's display panel.

I ease into a slow walk as I flip my MP3 player to my favorite cardio collection. I look over quickly and catch Ex-Football Jock actually counting my steps to make sure he's going faster than me. I start my music...
"Footloose...Footloose...Kick off your Sunday shoes..."

As I increase speed, I notice that Ex-Football Jock is trying to maintain a faster stride than me.

"Dirty Deeds! Done dirt cheap!"

I see Ghetto Booty switch from a slow walk to speed walk. Cool! I wish I had the treadmill behind her. What a view!

"How do we sleep when our beds are burning?"

Sexy Soccer Mom increases speed but most amazing is that even Make-up Chick has seemed to decide that she doesn't want to be out done by some big, fat guy and has actually sped up too.

"It's the final countdown..."

I look down and see that I'm 10 minutes in and my heart rate isn't as high as I like it. So I adjust my speed up again.

"I'll keep you by my side, with my superhuman might...Kryptonite"

Ghetto Booty stops looking around and is completely focused on her run. She starts to hold on to the bars.

"...bid my blood to run...before I come undone"

Ex-Football Guy is starting to huff and puff like some Big Bad Wolf. Sexy Soccer Mom has had to grab the handles a couple of times and jump off the treadmill so she can catch her breath. I slow down just a bit so I can do a 'hill'.

"...I will be your father figure...Put your tiny hand in mine..."

Make-Up Chick is actually in danger of breaking a sweat. Ex-Football Guy has slowed down a bit while I'm on my 'hill'. Ghetto Booty is holding onto the bars all white knuckled like she was riding a rollercoaster. I'm off the 'hill' and speeding up again. We are about 20 minutes in at this point.

"...Sleep with one eye open...Gripping your pillow tight..."

Ex-FootBall Guy is all red and looks like he might have a heart attack at any moment. Sexy Soccer Mom has given up and gone home. Make-Up Chick tries to turn the page on her magazine and ends up accidentally pulling it off the panel. It falls to the treadmill and she runs over it with her shoes. Ghetto Booty is using the bars to help pull her along while she runs.

"...Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom, Brando, 'The King and I', and 'The Catcher in the Rye'..."

Ghetto Booty tries to let go of the bars so she can reach up to (probably) slow down her treadmill. However, she had been relying on that extra support and without it she missteps and falls off the machine...square onto that booty. Nice padding.

"...But we've got the BIGGEST BALLS OF THEM ALL!!"

Time to slow it down and do my cool down. Ex-Football Guy is crouching behind his treadmill trying desperately to catch his breath...his treadmill is still spinning, unattended. Make-Up Chick has put her torn up magazine back on the rack and headed home...no doubt stopping at the bathroom to do some touch ups. Ghetto Booty is being looked after by the gym staff.

Now keep in mind that I didn't intend any of this to happen but I can't help but think I'm somehow responsible. However, I really don't run that fast. It just seems that I'm way more serious about my workouts than the average looky loo's that I find at my gym. As I drove home I created the following law...

"Any celestial body with a sufficient gravitational mass and that is in motion will cause acceleration in a lesser body that is proportional to the lesser body's ego."

So to all my fellow TokenFatPeople, I urge you to be careful when you start throwing your mass around. Because like the Earth drags the moon around while on its solar orbit, you also have an affect on those lesser bodies that you come into close proximity with.