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October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Carol (my ex-wife)!

Token Fat Guy is Busted

In last weeks blog I posted some new pictures of myself compared to ones from about a year ago.  Since then I've received a couple of emails questioning how authentic those pictures were.  Mostly it came down to one important fact....I look much younger in the new pictures. 

I've heard of this sort of thing.  People will take a much older picture...we will call it PictureA, and a much more recent picture...we will call PictureB, and do a side-by-side like what I have done.  However, they are using PictureA as the 'after' and PictureB as the 'before'.  So instead of showing the truth...that they gained weight...it looks like they lost weight.

Knowing that pictures like that are out there, I can understand why people are skeptical.  And I must say that there is something I didn't admit to that is pretty plain to see....

While I really did lose the weight, it doesn't account for the fact that I have much less white in my beard.  So it is time I confess my horrible crime.

    Just 5 minutes and I look 10 years younger!

Do I sound vain to you?  You bet I'm vain.  I think anyone that is trying to lose weight and be more healthy is at least a little vain.  And while it is one of the Seven Deadly Sins....I think a little vanity is okay in moderation.

So, my secret is out....

Low Cost Weight Loss

A couple weeks ago I did a bit on No Cost Weight Loss for those of you that want to lose weight but don't have a great deal of money to throw at it.  This week, I'd like to continue but this time I'll be speaking about things that are just low in cost.  And I'll throw in a couple of 'no cost' tips for you big time cheapskates.

Tip #1  One of the newest thing I started working with is the 'balance ball'.  Also called a 'Swiss ball' or 'birth ball' or 'pilates ball' or 'sports ball' or 'Swedish ball' or 'therapy ball' or 'yoga ball'....and so on.  I've seen these things at the gym and watched a few people use them but I never really thought much about them until I saw that a couple of my coworkers had them in their offices.  And a few were actually using them instead of their office chairs.  So I waited until after normal business hours and swiped one from an office and tried it out.  I just sat on the thing and did my normal work.  And every now and then I'd bounce a bit on it...or try to lift up my feet and keep my balance.  I used it for about an hour....I didn't feel like I'd done much.  Then I stood up....OUCH.  My legs where tired like I'd been on the treadmill...my abs and back were weak.  I had to walk it out for a bit.  So I checked my trusty BodyBugg....and yes, I did indeed burn more calories than if I had been sitting still. 

So I did some research on the 'ball of many names' and found that there was a number of exercises that you could do with it and most targeted what is referred to as core stabilization.  I won't get into that much as I could do a whole blog about it.  For now let's just say its good for your back and abs.

One specific exercise that you can do with it is an ab crunch.  You lay on the ball so your knees are bent and your back is supported by the ball and parallel with the floor.  Then you crunch up your abs and pull your chest up so the top of your torso is at a 45 degree angle with the floor.  Hold for a sec and then return to the start position.  I love this crunch because it supports the lower back....which is usually a big concern for fat people.  We want to do crunches to strengthen our abs but they can put your back out if you do them wrong.  Doing them with the ball provides extra support for the back so injuries are less likely to happen.


Balance balls are pretty cheap.  You can get them for around $30 - $40...and they usually come with a DVD that shows you some of the more popular exercises you can do.  I have one at the office to use at my desk and another in my home gym.  And of course I use the ones at the gym when I'm doing circuit training.  

Tip #2  Here is a no cost tip.  In the winter, keep the house as cold as you can stand it....especially when you are working out from home.  Why?  Studies have shown that workers in colder climates have much higher metabolic rates.....up to 20% higher.  I tried it this morning.  I left the heat off overnight and worked out in the cold when I got up.  It took me a bit longer to get started...but I had a great workout and BodyBugg said I burned lots of calories.

Tip #3 Join a gym.  This may sound like a huge expense but it can be more reasonable than you'd think.  But shop around.  The price for gym membership varies greatly.  I always recommend the YMCA.  They are usually the cheapest...and they have branches all over the country.  Plus, they have special plans for low income families and for state employees. 

YMCA membership is cheaper than my cable bill....and I spend more time at the gym than I do watching TV.  But still...shop around.

The gym to stay away from is LA Weight Loss.  They will do a free consultation...but that's just the 'hook'.  After the membership fees, they push their foods and supplements on you...and that's the big expense.  Oh but don't worry...they will be GLAD to help with financing.  I've found horror stories where people ended up having to get lawyers involved to get themselves disentangled from LA Weight Loss.   

Tip #4  I read this one online a long time around and it stuck with me.  Pick up some PVC pipe that is comfortable in your hand, cut it to different lengths, fill the PVC with sand, duct tape the ends.  You have a set of cheap weights you can use like dumbbells.

Tip #5  This one is FREE.  Part of reason working out and diet is a stress is because you don't have a support system.  You don't really know if you are doing anything correctly or not.  I suggest you join an online forum so you have lots of people there to support you.  One of the best I've found is John Stone's site....


They are a little geared toward the bodybuilders but there are also MANY people that are just trying to lose weight.  There is a TON of info on their site.  Membership is free....but that also means that there are lots of ads on the site.  But it isn't too obnoxious.

Tip #6  I don't do this one but I hope to add it to my bag of tricks someday.....jump rope.  Jump ropes are incredibly cheap and you can get a brutal workout from them.  I've seen the boxers at the gym workout with the jump ropes....and it is like watching that scene from 'Rocky III' where Rocky finally gets the hang of the jump rope and the other workout methods that Apollo is trying to teach him ...and that song 'Eye of the Tiger' is playing....YEAH!! ...just thinking about it makes me want to go workout again.

   You gotta love Apollo Creed!

Tip #7  If you are doing workouts from home with some of your own equipment (mat, balance ball, whatever), then go to the library and rent some exercise DVDs.  They are cheap and they give you all sorts of exercise ideas.

Tip #8  Get some ankle weights.  Usually around $10, ankle weights help you to get more out of your exercise time. 

NOTE:  Do not use ankle weights when running or walking.  It can lead to some neurological disorders.  They are great when used for leg curls or stuff like that...just don't walk or run in them.

Tip #9  Go to yard sales/ garage sales.  Getting out and about will burn some calories...but we aren't just doing it for that.  Lots of people want to get in shape but most of them quit after they find out it is real work.  However, most of them don't quit until after they've sunk some money into it.  So after they are tired of looking at that new treadmill they've been using as a hat rack, they sell it the next time they clean out the the house.  This is the perfect time to get some sweet exercise gear and greatly reduced prices.  Spend a few minutes looking up costs online before you go hunting....know how much stuff was when it was new so you know a bargain when you see it. 

NOTE:  You can do the same thing with the classified ads.  Or even use eBay.  My Select Tech dumbbells were purchased on eBay.  I ended up with a new set (never out of the box) at almost half the price of a set if I'd bought it from the store.  I'm no dummie.....get it?  Dummie.....dumbbells....Hey!  Laugh at my jokes or exit my website! 

And take this stupid dog with you!


Blogger Adam said...

So each time when I read your stuff I realize I am so getting robbed of any credit. Tell Mr Lewis and "his" Bananas he's welcome for my tip.

Also - JSF? No credit for JSF? Robbed I say!!!

You do look pretty young. I'm always amused when men act sheepish about dying hair or whatever. In our equalized society you'd never blink twice about your wives doing it - so why not guys too? Just don't get Pat started on body shaving.... ugh.

Keep on moving. Remember when you don't think you're impacting anyone else - there's always that one guy who sees you doing well and thinks to himself "I'm a sloven fat pig and need to get my act together like Rob."

Not me... I'm just sayin.

October 30, 2007 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Oh...geez...I give one guy some credit and now everyone that ever told me anything wants his due.

Yeah, you DID tell me about JSF (www.JohnStoneFittness.com)..so I guess I'll have to mention you some where in my next blog.

Thanks for the encouragement, Adam. :) If I can help one fat person get off his lazy butt and onto the treadmill...then I've done my job.

Not saying YOU...just saying. :P

October 30, 2007 at 3:57 PM  

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