Day Fifteen: Mysterious Expansion

The balance board began today’s Wii Fit session with a strangely formatted bit of advice. An ill omen?

Strange Advice - October 21st, 2009

Thanks balance board, but I live in San Francisco where it is neither warm nor cold. It is, at all times, a tepid grey purgatory, just the way I likes it. I’m sure I’ve got nothing to worry about.

Or do I?

Wii Fit Weight - October 21st, 2009

Gabba gabba wha?? I’ve gained 2.2 pounds? Where could this have come from? It’s as though my body was aware that it was about to drop out of the 170′s, and decided that it would by no means allow me to feel good about that. Curse you body! Why must you convert the air I breathe into rich creamy chocolate?

The Wii Fit Age is still 29. Real creative choice, balance board.

Wii Fit Age - October 21st, 2009

I suppose the 2 lb. bump falls within the normal daily fluctuations. Still, I was getting used to seeing more decreases than increases, and I suppose I got a bit spoiled by it. Assuming today is a blip, things still seem to be moving in a good direction overall.

Weight Loss Trend - October 21st, 2009

Today was a rest day on the EA Sports Active 30-day challenge. I walked a couple of miles and also completed the Daily Burn dumbell leg and abs workout.

I’m still using 10 lb. weights to ease myself into lifting heavy objects. I’m not looking to pack on muscle, just to keep it from withering away. The next step up in the dumbbells that I have is 25 lbs. each, which is more than I feel I can safely do for some of the exercises right now.

Oh hello, there’s a progress photo today.

Progress Photo - October 21st, 2009

You may be wondering why it is I wear this goofy getup instead of going full monty… or at least shirtless. The latter would probably be a lot more illustrative of any changes to my mortal shell.

Rest assured gentle reader, the shirtless versions of these photos exist. But they have not been posted for a simple reason – I find them difficult to look at right now. Assuming things work out according to plan and I end up getting closer to a shape that I’m happy with, I’ll definitely whip up before and afters with a full spectrum in the middle that reveals all. But for now, I’m going to keep the public photos a bit more demure.

Day Nine: Progress and Respite

George and Weezie may have been content with movin’ on up, but not me. I’m movin’ on down. 1.5 lbs. worth of down. As always, I’ll believe it after a couple of days. But now I feel a bit more confident that this is a bona fide trend and not the capricious will of the tides.

Wii Fit Weight - October 15th, 2009

The Wii Fit Age hasn’t budged. I’m okay with that. 29 was a pretty good year.

Wii Fit Age - October 15th, 2009

Today was a day of rest in EA Sports Active, and since I haven’t taken a break for the last eight days, I decided to limit my activity to some walking and some pushups. Tomorrow its back to the 30-day challenge and a shoulder and back workout on daily burn.

Dinner today was a nice chicken breast stuffed with basil and a little cheese. Some salad, asparagus, and bread. I also had a couple of beers.

Dinner - October 15th, 2009

All in all today hasn’t been the healthiest, but I don’t think it’s been a complete train wreck either. Taking a little break every once in awhile without going completely nuts is probably a good thing for gradual change and my overall sanity.

What do you think? When you’re trying to exercise regularly is it better to take a day off to rest once in awhile? Or do you think that it’s better to hit it every day to maintain momentum?

Day Five: Coke Cupcakes and Curious Calories

Hey, check it out. I’ve lost a noticeable amount of weight today. I don’t want to count any chickens, hopefully it’s an indicator that things are moving in the right direction.

Wii Fit Plus Weight - October 11th, 2009

The Wii Fit age is up a little bit, but the Mii is still looking pretty satisfied so I’ll take that as a good sign.

Wii Fit Age - October 11th, 2009

This was the second day of the EA Sports Active challenge. Again I played it at high intensity, but I didn’t find today to be quite so tiring as yesterday.

EA Sports Active - Day Two Results

I’m a little suspicious about the calorie count in this game. It feels a bit too easy to burn calories. For instance, the calorie counter continues to tick off fairly rapidly even during bicep curls and other anaerobic or minimally aerobic exercises. I feel like it would be best to treat the calorie count as a ballpark, and use it as something like a score rather than hard data. And for those purposes, it works just fine.

I followed the 30 day challenge with a few additional exercises:

Wii Fit Plus

  • Push Up and Side Plank (6 reps)
  • Single Leg Reach (6 reps)
  • Balance Bridge (6 reps)

Push Ups

  • 10 / 16/5

Modified Push Ups

  • 10/13/6/6

Dinner was an array of scrumptious turkey meatballs, broccoli, and roasted fingerling potatoes. Very tasty, and relatively healthy.

Turkey Meatball Dinner - October 11th, 2009

Today I also enjoyed some cupcakes using a recipe suggested by my sister. Basically you just take some store bought cake mix, pour in a can of diet coke, cook, and eat. It couldn’t get much simpler. The cupcakes were pretty good, and still kept me within my calorie goals for the day.

Coke Cupcakes - October 11th, 2009

Day Three: Lightweights and Ice Capades

Today’s weight difference was less dramatic than yesterday’s. Still around 176 pounds.

Wii Fit Plus Weight October 9th, 2009

I actually find these gradual shifts of fractions of a pound comforting. It seems to me that’s the way it should work. The days where I’m 2-3 pounds up or down are more disconcerting because it feels like the fluctuations are up to random chance or the whim of something I unwittingly did or ate.

The Wii Fit Plus age is still 28. Square in the prime of my pudgy Mii’s life.

October 9th, 2009 - Wii Fit Plus Age

I played 30 minutes of Wii Fit Plus, with most of that time spent in Advanced Obstacle Course. The advanced level introduces conveyer belts and ice. Since the there’s no way to come to a complete stop on the ice, you have to be more conscious of your timing so that you’ll slide to the edge of a platform at just the right time to make a jump to the next.

The conveyer belts speed you up, slow you down, or drag you to the edges of the platform. So you need to take this additional movement into account when dodging the obstacles.

I played four times, getting to the very end of the level on my last attempt but not quite completing it. The pacing and rhythm of the game really feels just like the original NES Mario Bros. games. I found myself missing jumps and cursing at the TV in just the same way (“Oh for f**k’s sake”), and getting the same sense of satisfaction at the end of a difficult sequence.

Today’s Wii Fit Plus session Included:

  • Advanced Obstacle Course (4x)
  • Super Hula Hoop (6 minutes)
  • Bird’s Eye Bullseye (2x)
  • Island Cycling
  • Palm Tree
  • Tree
  • Triangle

In addition to Wii Fit, I also introduced some light weight training. And when I say light, I mean it. Five pounds light!

5 Pound Weights

Why so light? Well, in the past when I’ve started exercise regimens I ramped up to fast too early and ended up hurting myself. Which, of course, discouraged me from exercising. So I’m going to start with these 5 lb. weights and work my way up very gradually using a workout from Daily Burn. So today wasn’t very strenuous, it was primarily to see what I could handle.

Here was today’s workout:

  • Pushups 6/7/9/7
  • Dumbell Flys Flat – 10/10/10
  • Bench Press – 10/10/10/10
  • Stiff-legged dead lift – 10/10/10/10
  • Bent Over Row – 10/10/10/10
  • One Arm Dumbell Row – 20/20/20/20
  • Shrugs – 10/10/10/10

Incidentally, when I first started this project I was kind of parochial about only the Wii to exercise. I’ve since come around to thinking that such a point of view is limiting and self defeating. The Wii is there to make exercise fun and to get me motivated to do what’s best for my body. And there will be cases, like weight training, where the Wii just doesn’t offer anything for me.

Day Two: Further Adventures with Wii Fit Plus

Today’s workout consisted of just over an hour of Wii Fit Plus. Admittedly, I spent more time checking out the new games than I did focusing on strenuous exercise. I worked up a little bit of a sweat, but in total the whole hour felt more like a warm up.

To my surprise, I was down almost 3 pounds today. I hadn’t eaten anything before playing, so I’m guessing that’s the major difference.

Surprisingly immediate results!

Surprisingly immediate results!

Similarly, my Wii Fit Age is down as well. I feel like Plus has changed the way that age is arrived at, because I completely bombed the “mental agility” test, but still ended up a spitely 27.

Please excuse the double faces

Please excuse the double faces

Here are the Wii Fit Plus games that I played:

  • Perfect 10 (3x)
  • Driving Range
  • Obstacle Course (2x)
  • Tilt City (2x)
  • Rhythm Parade
  • Big Top Juggling
  • Table Tilt Plus (3x)
  • Balance Bubble Plus
  • Basic Run Plus

And here are the exercises and Yoga routines. These were chosen from the preset routines, and also by asking the balance board to put together a 15 minute routine in the “My Routines” mode.

  • Basic Step
  • Yoga Chair
  • Rowing Squat
  • Single Leg Extension
  • Advanced Step
  • Standing Knee
  • Plank
  • Sideways Leg Lift
  • Downward Facing Dog
  • Single Leg Twist
  • Lunge
  • Standing Knee
  • Balance Bridge
  • Torso Twists

It would be nice if these routines were more focused on specific areas of the body, and if they rotated from day to day. For instance, if I did a lot of arm exercises one day, I would like the game to recognize that and offer leg or core exercises the next. I don’t think Wii Fit Plus is that intuitive.

Despite being a bit random, the flow from one exercise to the next was much improved over the original Wii Fit.

For food today I’ve had some chicken breast, snap peas, salad, a slice of bread, vanilla yogurt w/ nuts and bran, water, water, and more water, and… a Three Musketeers bar.

When I first started this project earlier this summer I would have been freaking out about the candy bar. Now I’m approaching it with a different perspective. If I try to cut out all the “treats” at once, I’ll just start thinking about them more and resenting the fact that I can’t have them. Then when if I do slip up and have one I’ll say, “To hell with the whole thing” and start overeating.

Instead of doing that, I’m going to focus on eating better overall. And if occasionally I have a nagging craving, I’ll indulge it enough to make it go away, and then let it go. I think that’s going to work out a lot better than the all-or-nothing approach I tried earlier.

Day Twelve: Recap – Injured by Wii Fit?

While playing Wii Fit today, I noticed that during some of the activities I was getting a strange tingling sensation in my right forearm. At first I just dismissed it as fleas or some creeping fungus, but then while playing Rhythm Boxing it switched for a tingle to something that felt like a line of hot liquid pressed against my forearm.

This turned out more gruesome than I intended. I only meant to illustrate where I was getting the weird sensation.

This turned out more gruesome than I intended. I only meant to illustrate where I was getting the weird sensation.

I’m not sure if there’s a better way to describe the “hot liquid” phenomenon. It wasn’t pain. It didn’t hurt at all. It just felt like intense heat moving from my wrist down toward my elbow. I found that it was quite severe if I snapped my arm while throwing a punch, but barely noticable if I kept my movements small and controlled.

I can only guess that with the flailing of my arms that’s been going on this week I may have irritated some nerve or bundle of nerves. It’s probably my own fault for my wild out-control-waggles that I’ve been doing to try and make the activities a bit more intense.

My guess is that this minor inconvenience will pass on its own, but just to be on the safe side I think that tomorrow I’ll focus on activities that don’t involve so much snapping and flailing. It’s a shame, because that’s what I do best.

Nutrition Facts:

Total Calories: 1907.5
Calories from Fat: 459
Fat: 50.2 grams
Carbohydrates: 222.55 grams
Fiber 19.95 grams
Protein: 134 grams

Exercise Level (moderate):

Walking    1.8 miles    Easy
Wii Sports – Returning Balls    ?    Easy
Wii Sports – Home Runs    ?    Easy
Wii Sports – Putting    ?    Easy
Wii Sports Fitness    6 minutes (Age 49)    Easy
Wii Sports Tennis    12 minutes (7 games – 7 wins)    Easy
Wii Fit – Push Up & Side Plank (10 reps)    100 points    Moderate
Wii Fit – Push Up & Side Plank (6 reps)    100 points    Difficult
Wii Fit – Single Leg Extension (6 reps)    65 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Single Leg Extension (6 reps)    67 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Torso Twists (6 reps)    89 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Torso Twists (6 reps)    0 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Plank (30 seconds)    42 points    Difficult
Wii Fit – Plank (30 seconds)    15 points    Difficult
Wii Fit – Lunge (15 reps)    100 points    Difficult
Wii Fit – Rhythm Boxing (3 minutes)    321 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Super Hula Hoop (3 minutes)    813 points    Moderate
Wii Fit – Snowboard Slalom (beginner)    1:16.41    Easy
Wii Fit – Snowboard Slalom (beginner)    1:15.25    Easy
Wii Fit – Snowboard Slalom (beginner)    1:07.9    Easy
Wii Fit – Chair Pose    82 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Sun Salutation    78 points    Moderate
Wii Fit – Tree Pose    69 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Warrior Pose    98 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Deep Breathing    86 points    Easy
Wii Fit Total    42 minutes    Moderate

Foods Devoured:

Chicken Super Burrito
Tortilla Chips
Diet Coke
Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte
Chicken Breast
Ciabatta Bread

Today higher repetitions for some of the Wii Fit activities were unlocked. The push ups & side plank as well as the lunges kicked my ass at the higer reps. I also tried the plank, which seems simple enough. But I was shaking the whole time and sure I wasn’t going to be able to hold it the full 30 seconds. In the end I was able to hold it, so I was just being a wuss.

During the plank I found myself putting all my weight on the part of my arm near the elbow, which was just off the edge of the balance board. This caused the board to dig into my arm, which was pretty painful. I may be doing it wrong. I think the weight was meant to be evenly distributed through my forearms. I just didn’t have the strength or control to do it like that. Maybe this pinching is partly responsible for the mystery liquid feeling later on.

Today would have been pretty great on the food front if it hadn’t been for that super burrito. I found myself feeling extremely hungry and craving something very substantial, and the burrito fit the bill. Since the place it came from doesn’t post nutrition facts, there’s no good way of getting data for the thing. So I went online and found a bunch of chicken super burritos, and just picked one that seemed in the ballpark for the nutrition info.

I’ve found that one nice thing about fast food and packaged food, at least as it relates to this project, is the clear labeling either on the product or online. With home cooked stuff you need to keep track of how much of each ingredient is used, and when you’re eating out at a place that is not a chain, you have to guesstimate.

Oh well, so much for precision. The burrito certainly felt like it could be over a thousand calories. It was heavier than some cats and twice as delicious.

May this burrito cleanse your palette and whet your whistle.

May this burrito cleanse your palette and whet your whistle.

Day Eleven: Recap – The Case of the Space Case from Outer Space

Today’s recap is brought to you by: OUTER SPACE!

If you head toward the first star to the left and straight on 'til morning, you'll run into that damn giant space baby.

If you head toward the first star to the left and straight on 'til morning, you'll run into that damn giant space baby.

I’ve been feeling weird today. Spacey. I’ve had trouble remembering things. What I’m doing, passwords, names, etc. It’s not uncommon for me to walk into a room and have no idea what I came in for. But today it’s been like that across just about everything. I’ve also had trouble concentrating. If my brain were a record album, it seems to be jumping between grooves every few minutes. How’s that for a dated reference!

Aside from being a total space case, I fell great. I still have a bit of soreness in my thighs and upper body, but I’ve got plenty of energy.

I don’t really know to what I should attribute the mental wandering. I know some people can get spacey or irritable when their blood sugar gets low. Maybe that’s what’s going on. I’m used to running on a high calorie diet of fat and sugar with no real physical activity. Now that we’re a few days in to adjusting that pattern, maybe my brain is freaking out a little.

Obviously I’m not a doctor or nutritionist. Otherwise I wouldn’t describe a neurological response as “freaking out”. But I would assume that our bodies get into a routine and build an equilibrium around that, and when the routine is disrupted things can get a little dodgy.

At the moment I’m not super concerned about this development. But if you find me on the side of the freeway wearing every article of clothing I own and muttering about balance boards, maybe you should give me a cookie.

Nutrition Facts:

Total Calories: 1156.5
Calories from Fat: 313.17
Fat: 34.85 grams
Carbohydrates: 121.03 grams
Fiber: 13.7 grams
Protein: 95.05 grams

Exercise Level (Moderate):

Walking    2.8 Miles    Easy
Walking    1.0 Miles    Easy
Wii Sports – Bowling Test    X
Wii Sports – Putting Test    X
Wii Sports – Heavy Bag Test    X
Wii Sports – Test    6 minutes (Age: 27)    Easy
Wii Sports – Baseball    15 minutes (7-9: Loss)    Easy
Wii Fit – Basic Run (Long)    68%    Moderate
Wii Fit – Super Hula Hoop    791 points    Moderate
Wii Fit – Basic Step    203 points    Moderate
Wii Fit – Basic Run (Long)    73%    Moderate
Wii Fit – Sideways Leg Lift (10)    62 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Sideways Leg Lift (10)    58 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Single Leg Twist (10)    63 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Single Leg Twist (10)    77 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Rowing Squat (15)    100 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Rowing Squat (15)    100 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Lunge (10)    100 points    Moderate
Wii Fit – Torso Twists (3)    79 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Push Ups & Side Plank (6)    100 points    Moderate
Wii Fit – Single Leg Extension (6)    28 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Single Leg Extension (6)    66 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Deep Breathing    90 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Standing Knee    81 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Palm Tree    66 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Sun Salutation    90 points    Moderate
Wii Fit – Warrior Pose    97 points    Easy
Wii Fit – Balance Bubble    1:21.55    Easy
Wii Fit – Total Time    40 minutes    Moderate
EA Sports Active – Batting    2 minutes    Easy
EA Sports Active – Back Court    2 minutes    Easy
EA Sports Active – Bump & Set    2 minutes    Easy
EA Sports Active – Passing    2 minutes    Easy

Foods Devoured:

Raw Almonds
Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte
Ciabatta Bread
Balsamic Vinegar
Chicken Breast
Ciabatta Bread
Trader Joe’s Almond Butter
Fuji Apple

I got a late start to the day today, which explains the relatively low calorie count. The quality of food today is a bit better than it has been this week. The chicken breast was fresh, not frozen. Not locally grown, but what can you do. The Ciabatta bread only had about five ingredients, all pronouncable. The sauce was from scratch. And the almond butter was made out of only almonds, and the apple was made out of just apple.

This is the first day where I’d say that the bulk of my food wasn’t something processed. While I wouldn’t call it nutritionally perfect, I’d say it’s a step in the right direction. I had my usual coffee craving, but I haven’t had the urge for chocolate. Until just now when I typed it. Damn.

Day Ten: Recap – Mamma Said Punch You Out

The Pope, a Rabbi, and an otter walk into a bar. The Pope says to the Otter, “I know a man with a wooden leg named smith.” The bartender says, “Get out of my bar.”

Punch Out

I woke up today feeling sore in my neck, shoulders, and thighs. I guess the fitness test and yesterdays, albeit light, workout are catching up to me. It just goes to show how out of shape I actually am. The soreness wasn’t bad enough to interfere with today’s workout, but it did cause me to dread it a little.

After completing the Wii Sports and Wii Fit activities I popped in Punch Out, switched it over to motion control, and activated it with the balance board.

The punching takes a little getting used to. Just punching will always throw a low punch. You need to hold up on the directional stick to punch high. Since I had just played Wii Sports boxing where you can change the angle of your punch by changing the angle of the remote and nunchuk, I was a bit disoriented at first. Glass Joe got some good hits in and almost knocked me out. Glass Joe!

Once I was acclimated to the punching though, Joe was a piece of cake. So was Von Kaiser. Where it got dicey was Disco Kid.

When you’re playing with the balance board you dodge punches by leaning left or right. The problem is, the balance board isn’t very sensitive when it comes to detecting your lean. I understand that the designers wouldn’t want players accidentally triggering a dodge, since that could be very frustrating. But you really need to shift a lot to trigger the dodge animation.

If you’ve played Punch Out you’ll know that Disco Kid is essentially a dodging tutorial. He’s the first opponent where the direction of your dodge matters. If you dodge the wrong way, his strong punch will connect. The delay between me throwing my weight to the side and the character animating was a problem. But a bigger problem was that Mac would often dodge the wrong way. I was very confused, until I realized that I was pushing off with my other foot in order to push myself in the direction I wanted to dodge. This meant that just before I leaned to the right, I’d press down with my left foot – or vice versa.

I’m not blaming the game for this. It’s just the way my body was compensating for the speed and magnitude of the shift necessary to make Little Mac respond. But it would have been very helpful if the game had a sensitivity slider that let you fine tune how much of a weight shift was necessary to dodge. It also would have made the balance board more responsive to my feelings, and after the game we could have read The Bridges of Madison County together.

I eventually beat the Disco Kid by removing the off foot from the board when it was time to dodge. For example, if I needed to dodge right, I’d pick up my left foot which put all my weight on the right. This worked, but created some unnecessary complication and dissonance between the control scheme and the animation.

On to King Hippo! I figured King Hippo would be pretty easy compared to the other three. His pattern is simple, his punches are slow and easy to dodge, and you only have to knock him down once. As I expected, the fight went really well until he got down below half-health and started doing his ear boxing punch.

I knew I needed to duck, but I couldn’t figure out how. The controller help said to hold down on the analog stick, but that definitely wasn’t working. I tried the d-pad, holding Z & B, no good.

Then I ducked. And then Little Mac ducked. And all was well.

Unlike dodging, I found the ducking to be super responsive and actually fun to use. After figuring it out I started ducking all of Hippo’s punches, and he was knocked out most soundly.

So how is Punch Out as a workout? It’s not as vigorous as Wii Sports boxing. There isn’t so much constant bobbing and weaving. The punches are timed around the opponents attack patterns, so you’re swinging less frequently. But despite that, I did find myself working up a bit of a sweat before the King Hippo match was over.

The balance board was a mixed bag. Dodging, a really central part of the game, disappointed. It was unresponsive and worse, sometimes backwards. But the ducking felt great. When playing Punch Out for a workout rather than as a game, I would recommend the balance board for the extra activity and immersion. Just expect some frustration with it and stick to opponent’s whose patterns you’ve already learned.

I first played through the game with the NES control scheme. But now I feel like it could be fun to play with the motion control, sans balance board. It is somehow more satisfying to pummel with your fists rather than by tapping buttons. As with the balance board, I feel like imprecision with the motion control could become a problem with the hardest opponents where split seconds count. But if you’ve mastered the game it would breathe a fresh challenge into it.

Nutrition Facts:

Total Calories: 1387
Calories from Fat: 399
Fat: 48.9
Carbohydrates: 182.9
Fiber: 20
Protein: 84

Exercise Level (moderate):

Wii Sports Test
Wii Sports – Boxing
Wii Fit – Basic Run (short)
Wii Fit – Sun Salutation
Wii Fit – Tree Pose
Wii Fit – Half Moon
Wii Fit – Warrior
Wii Fit – Single Leg Twist (10)
Wii Fit – Rowing Squats (15)
Wii Fit – Lunge (10)
Wii Fit – Torso Twists (3)
Wii Fit – Pushups & Side Plank (6)
Wii Fit – Hula Hoop
Wii Fit – Hula Hoop
Wii Fit – Basic Step
Wii Fit – Super Hula Hoop
Wii Fit – Soccer Heading
Wii Fit – Total Time: 30 minutes (moderate)
Punch Out with Balance Board

Foods Devoured:

Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala w/ Cumin Flavored Basmati Rice
Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte
Soy Milk
High Fiber Joe’s O’s
Chicken Breast
Emmentaler Swiss Cheese
Trader Joe’s 50/50 mix
Vanilla Yogurt with Chocolate Chunks

Overall I’m pleased with today’s food choices. I’ve taken in less calories than I was eating each day last week. A lot less. And yet, I haven’t felt hungry or deprived. My meals have been small, but scattered throughout the day. While a lot of the foods were still packaged convenience foods rather than real fresh foods, they were less offensive than some of the fast food I had been grabbing before.

The yogurt and chocolate snuck on there again. As long as they were sitting there in the cupboard and fridge, they were taunting me. They needed to be dealt with once and for all. I will avoid the urge to bring more chocolate into the house, which should curb my tendency to combine it with everything.

Day Nine: Recap – Making a Splash

Today marked a wholehearted embrace of water. I had been estranged from this noble liquid for too long. But today I experienced its intoxicating brand of hydration no fewer than 12 times!

Splish Splash

The downside of all the water is the need to pee frequently. I’m used to my body giving me a gentle nudge to go pee, but after swilling down cup after cup that nudge has become a knife to the ribs. It would be kind of embarassing to pee all over myself like a common Sim, so I’ve been obeying my body’s commands… for now.

By early afternoon my pee had become completely transparent. It is possible that all the water I drank has washed out my insides, and now I am just an enormous scraggly water balloon. While I appreciate the idea of a bladder as clean and barren as a robot spinster’s womb, I do miss theoretical possibility of writing my name in the snow with yellow flourish. I’ve never actually done that, but I’ve always had the capacity if I so chose. Now, that fundamental right has been taken from me and the world is a little smaller for it.

But enough of that. You didn’t come here for the mournful wail of a mournful whale. No, you came for hot statistical action, and you will not leave this place unsatisfied.

Nutrtion Facts:

Total Calories: 1442.5
Calories from Fat: 595
Fat: 68.25 grams
Carbohydrates: 164.5 grams
Fiber: 8 grams
Protein: 107.5 grams

Exercise Level (Moderate):

Walking 1 mile (easy)
Wii Sports Test (easy) [Fitness Age - 51(!)]
Wii Sports Tennis – 12 minutes (moderate)
Wii Fit – 30 minutes (moderate)

Foods Devoured:

Turkey Burger
Italian Bread
Vanilla Yogurt with Chocolate Chunks
Breaded Chicken Tenderloin
Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte
Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala w/ Cumin Flavored Basmati Rice
Bittersweet Chocolate
Breaded Chicken Tenderloin
Trader Joe’s 50/50 mix
Emmentaler Swiss Cheese

Today was not a dining fiasco. It consisted of a lot of convenience food from Trader Joe’s – the Turkey Burger, Breaded Chicken Tenderloin, and Chicken Tikka Masala are all designed to be microwave friendly. But the net result was a low number of calories overall and lots and lots of water. Combined with some physical activity I think today was overall pretty succesful.

Image Attribution:
Picture / License

Day Eight: Recap – Vice

I may as well confess, I’ve got a problem.

The weird mermaid space lady is using her mentalist powers on me

The weird mermaid space lady is using her mentalist powers on me!

Starbucks, I can’t quit you.

I don’t particularly love coffee, in fact I don’t really like the taste at all. As strained bean runoff goes, it’s alright I guess. But for the most part I find the first few sips okay to pleasurable, the middle tolerable, and the bottom of the cup harsh and unsavory. Time for a warm up!

The smell though – the smell is terrific. I suppose there’s some sense memory at work there. When I was growing up Dunkin’ Donuts coffee was ubiquitous. My grandmother would always get two cups, one to drink now and one to heat up later in the microwave. The microwave was like a super atomizer for the coffee fragrance, and it would hang in the air for several minutes.

On winter mornings I’d clutch the paper coffee cups to warm up my hands. I was never interested in drinking it, just holding it and smelling it.

When I was in high school Dunks started offering vanilla and hazelnut coffee. The taste was nothing like vanilla or hazelnut. It was chemical like floor cleaner. Mixed with three packets or more of sugar, it made the coffee taste like a nutty jolly rancher. With enough cream added, it could be mistaken for nutty jolly rancher ice cream. This was when my problem started.

I wasn’t wild about coffee, but I was cuckoo for candy. I also found that I responded quickly and aggressively to the effects of caffeine, and that I enjoyed them. On a stinging slushy winter morning following two or three hours of sleep, a hot cup of liquid candy that would shock my body awake was exactly what I craved.

It was also a ticket into the coffee club. Taking orders for family and friends for Dunkin’s runs, going out to grab a coffee, being able to complain that I hadn’t had my daily coffee yet, it was all part of a social experience I’d never been apart of. Since I could never get the hang of smoking, this was the next best thing.

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate different varieties of coffee, and to drink it with less and less adornment. Now I can drink good coffee black, and understand that it is good. But that doesn’t mean I like it.

Coffee isn’t a thing that I seek out because I enjoy its company. Rather it is something I need to have because its absence is keenly felt, and without it the day is slushy and stings.

Nutrition Facts:

Total Calories: 1297.5
Calories from Fat: 376
Fat: 28.2 grams
Carbohydrates: 158.95 grams
Fiber: 10.35 grams
Protein: 49.25 grams

Exercise Level (Low):

Walking 1 mile
Fitness Test 15 minutes

Foods Devoured:

Italian Bread
Balsamic Vinegar
Italian Bread
Turkey Burger
Roast Potatoes
Turkey Meatball
Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte