White Devils

I detailed my eight month treadmill desk experiment here and also my water drinking, and noted that neither of them caused any net weight loss. I’m sure I must have swapped some muscle for fat in those eight months, but as the water drinking was accompanied with a reduction in my soda drinking habits, I was expecting some sort of net weight loss. But no dice.

Of course, I started doing the Reams program in solidarity with The Boy and, much to my dismay, it worked. So, now I’m eating a largely vegetable diet, with meat two, three (okay, sometimes four) times a week. And there are things I am not eating.

No white flour. No white sugar. No white potatoes. Also, no corn syrup, and really, I’m not supposed to be eating corn (unless it’s white corn on the cob). I do have popcorn and soda at the movies.

Well, I guess it’s not mystery where my extra pounds were coming from. I’ve lost 20 pounds in two months. Without any exercise at all. I’m not supposed to exercise too much yet though I am finally back on that a little bit.

My interpretation of the various food prohibitions fall into two categories: Some foods are bad because they are actually harmful while others are bad because they take up the space you’d normally have for nutritious food. Shellfish, pork, protein bars are examples of food in the actually harmful category–something about the high protein content. (Again, this is my casual impression. I’m not claiming to understand this.)

Sure has made weight loss simple, though. If you call this living….

All Clear

OK, so tests came back and everything’s fine.


Everyone’s happy with the results. No need for further tests. And my dietary numbers look good, too. Well, not good, but better.

I’m still not allowed to exercise. Exercise may have contributed to the situation, actually. (Though my money’s still on the antibiotics.)

In any event, I’m good to go. I live…again.

UPDATE: And pardon my manners. Thank you all for being so supportive here. Means a lot, even though I wasn’t all that communicative about it.

On Eating Less and Exercising More

Last year I decided to lose ten pounds. I’m not sure how I did it, specifically. I just…decided, and in the space of a couple of months lost the weight. This is something I’ve done in the past, as well. Yes, I probably just exercised a little more and ate a little less, but I didn’t follow a plan or anything.

I mention this only because, since last summer, I’ve been exercising a lot more. And for the past couple of months, my diet has been rather dramatically changed. I’m drinking a lot more water and eating a lot more vegetables.

And I haven’t lost a pound.

This is sort of amusing. The point, of course, wasn’t to lose weight but to improve my health in other ways, so I’m not complaining. I just think it’s funny. To some degree, the weight gain may be from water and muscle growth–some of my clothes seem to be fitting differently–but still, I must be eating to compensate for both the increase and activity and replacement of my #1 vice–carbonated sugary beverages–with water.

On a lark, I may actually try losing weight again, to see if I can drop another ten.

Bodies are interesting things.

Treadmill Desk, Week 11

Saturday: 40 minutes

My legs were tired, like workout tired, so I decided to cut it short today.

Sunday: 70 minutes

What a craptastic day. I’m not Joe the Plumber nor even Les the HVAC guy, and floundering around in the attic made me glad of that fact. Did something to my ankle, boding ill for this week’s walking.

But Alan the Woodworker has cobbled me up some arm sleeves for the treadmill! I’ll have to put up a before and after to show how it looks. (I’m Blake the computer guy for Alan, so, you know….)

Monday: 0 minutes

My ankle was still tweaked this morning. Alan came over and the wooden sleeves didn’t fit. Just one of those days, I guess.

Tuesday: 390 minutes.

My ankle’s still a little bit tweaked but treadmill walking doesn’t seem to bother it. (I sort of thought I’d end up doing less time, but before I knew it, six-and-a-half hours were gone.)

Wednesday: 340 minutes.

I’ve got my new sleeves, so the desk is much more stable. Yeah!

Thursday: 400 minutes

Off to a slow start this week but ending strong. Interestingly, the piled-up-books-on-top-of-styrofoam-with-a-board-on-top was pretty stable; the new sleeves are rock solid. I’m recklessly balancing martini glasses on the edge, just for giggles.

Friday: 305 minutes

Total: 1505 minutes. 25 hours. Not bad for a week when I hurt my ankle.

Treadmill Desk, Day 26

230 minutes so far today. (UPDATE: 270 minutes by the end of the day.) I’m posting at 7PM so I might get some more time in before the night is up. But since Althouse posted on the treadmill desk, I thought I’d summarize my experience to date. (For those of you just joining in, this is day 26 since I “got serious”. I actually did over three weeks of a trial, and then reset the counter when my new treadmill arrived. So I’ve been doing this for 2 months now.)

I’ve been detailing my trek on my blog under keyword [sic] “treadmill desk”. But rather than make you go through that, I’ll spell out my strategy:

1. Buy a cheap treadmill–I mean, really cheap (
2. Fiddle with the height of the board by stacking books underneath. (Some people carve wood rests or what have you, but I have no talent in that area, plus I kind of like the “change on a whim” feel. What seems good today may not tomorrow.)

3. Give it a try for several weeks. Try to run through all your daily tasks, including the ones tht require the greatest concentration and steadiest hands. If you can only do 90% of your work while walking, make sure you have a way to do that other 10% without disrupting things too much.

4. While you’re doing this, note the issues you’re having so that when the time comes for a better treadmill, you’ll know exactly what you want.

In my case, my cheap ($50) treadmill overheated, which forced my hand to buying a new one sooner than I would’ve liked. I had a hard time running it for more than an hour. It was also really loud and really hot. I finally went with a new Sole machine that gets put into hotels, with a two year warranty. Very quiet, doesn’t seem to radiate heat.

My big mistakes were: pushing myself to hit the eight hour mark as soon as possible, which resulted in a lot of stiffness that wouldn’t have occurred had I built up more slowly; also, I didn’t wear shoes at all at first, though I’m not sure if that would have been such a big deal had I not forced myself to the eight hour mark.

The benefits have been that a stiffness in my ankles and feet that had been building for years has almost completely gone away in the past two months. I don’t find myself imbued with lots of energy that others seem to have–at least not yet–but one doesn’t fall asleep at a treadmill desk, either.

I haven’t been tracking my weight, particularly, so I can’t speak to that. It has improved my appetite, however.

Weekend Update

I did treadmill over the weekend, but I’m hampered by the stopping of the treadmill.

The new one comes tomorrow, allegedly.

Meanwhile, it’s pretty much all Olympics all the time. Everyone’s staying up late and looks like they’ve been beaten with a stick all day, but there are only a few more days to go.

Kelly@LoadedQuestions and I once postulated forming a luge team. (Lying down: how hard can it be?) She likes to point out that there’s no luging at the summer Olympics, but I say that’s the best way to medal.

I’ll post a review of Mirrors later (The Boy sez “it’s great!”) and try to finish my combat system post, too.


I wrote that last post on my new treadmill desk. Have you heard of it?

OK, mine doesn’t look anywhere near that slick. Mine is a plank of wood on top of a used Proform 770 I picked up on Craig’s list for $50. Also, I had to pick up an arm mount for a monitor.

The idea is to replace the time you spend sitting on your ass with time you instead spend walking at a slow pace. Regardless of weight, I tend to think the body needs to be active to function well.

I’ve got some ergonomic issues to work out, still: The desktop (i.e., my plank of wood) is too low, so that’s a ticket to RSI. It might need to be angled away from me, which sounds weird but actually means my hands will be in a normal resting position instead of bent back at the wrist.

So, does it affect my work (negatively)? Can’t tell yet. It’s not completely unworkable. I’ll have to try tackling some particularly challenging problem to see how it goes.