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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

213 lbs.: Back to Gutchecking

by Ken Newquist / July 29, 2008

After long months of intermittent exercise brought on by family craziness, business trips, bouts of novel writing and a dozen other excuses, I'm finally getting back to a consistent exercise regime. I had been getting to the gym and pool intermittently over the spring and summer, but for the most part, I've been slacking.

And it shows.

After reaching a personal best (at least in the modern era, which I'll define as beginning at age 30) of 196 lbs., my weight's crept back up to 213 lbs. Actually, it was 214 lbs. last week, but it inched back down again after a solid week of exercise and a few less Mountain Dews.

I'm endeavoring to get back to the Land of 195 by the start of autumn (we can set Sept. 21 as a firm deadline). As before, I'll be blogging about my efforts, but unlike last time I'll also have some inspiration in the form of the GutCheckCast.

My routine is fairly straightforward. I'm going to be going to the gym 3 days a week to do ellipticals, cycling and the treadmill. I'll also be swimming at least two days a week, preferably three. I'm also striving to reduce my soda consumption back down to one can a day from the two to three I'd creeped back up to over the last few months.

All in all, I'm still in fairly good shape. I walk to work most days, and combined with my irregular exercise I'm still a long way from the 224 (or was it 226?) I started at so I view this more as a bump than a road block (albeit a fairly big bump).

So ... to start the blogging off, last week I met my goal of 3 days at the gym and 3 days at the pool. This week, I started off with 30 minutes on the elliptical machine on Monday. I plan on doing daily updates about my progress, as I find those are a better motivator than the weekly posts, but I'll only be doing the "gut check" on Mondays.

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Good for you, sir! I look forward to hearing about what you're doing and how it's working for you.

Cursed Mt. Dew... how I love it...

Yes, Mountain Dew is my downfall. 180 tasty, sweet calories in every can!

Ultimately, it's not hard to do the math here. If I drink two or three cans of Mountain Dew a day, that's 360 to 540 extra calories a day. 30 minutes at the gym burns about 300-400 calories, so if I go to the gym every day and I keep drinking Dew, I'm about breaking even. Or losing slightly. If I don't go to the gym ... the math is not in my favor.

If I cut the Dew and go to the gym though, now I've swung my calories the other way, losing potentially 660 to 940 calories any day I don't drink soda.

But it is hard to resist the fluorescent yellow goodness... especially on game night.

I found the "eat less, do more" diet works pretty well. I actually hit 200lbs back in March and decided enough. I cut my portion size in half, started walking or swimming and doing some strength exercises for the gut and back. Five months later, I'm at my target weight of 175. Stick with it and don't deny yourself the very occasional goodie, and you'll do fine.

You're absolutely right -- better diet, more exercise, it does wonders. :) The challenge will be keeping it up once we get into the winter months, but I've got some ideas on how to deal with that.

Thanks for the post and the encouragement!