Do The Workout - Your Daily Fitness Check In

Hey, first off, if this is inappropriate, by all means, lock it down and delete it.  I just thought it might be something that folks'd be into.

Alright, well, freelancing is pretty sedentary lifestyle - and even if you don't freelance 100%, if you live in the modern world you may not be getting the exercise and nutrition that you need... and to be working at your creative and productive potential, you need to be fit and have energy.  This, of course flies in the face of the Warren Ellis theory of creative productivity (ie. down the pub, with cigarettes, pints and whiskey) but I think that if any of our members here dropped dead of a heart attack or the like, it'd be a crying shame and a loss to the creative community.

That said, I'm definitely not in the shape I should be, so, like any of my other projects, this is a work in progress.  I currently clock in at 253 lbs and I obviously don't get the exercise nor proper nutrition I need.  This is an attempt to change that, and I welcome any and all participants, much like the do the work thread, to share tips, advice, encouragement and their own progress, if fitness is a challenge for others as it is for me.  Perhaps we can be the best damn looking group of comic nerds in a few months time, when we meet up at conventions.  And if you are in great shape, good for you - were you always and what sort of lifestyle (fitness wise) do you lead that got you there?  As I say, all are welcome.

Anyway, I'll start.  As I've already mentioned, I'm about 253 lbs and working on it.  This morning, I had 3 eggs scrambles (up from my regular 2, but I'm planning a salad for lunch), one slice of toast (with butter), 2 slices of bacon and a cup of coffee (cream and sugar) and half a grapefruit.  I'm not saying it's healthfood, just making an accounting.  I also biked 5.5 K (3.4 miles) which took about 30 minutes and I will repeat this afternoon (it's my wife's route to work and back).  So I got a bit of exercise.

Do you exercise?  What's your preferred method?  Any diet tips to share?  I'm trying to win the battle of the bulge - maybe you can help me! :)


  • edited March 2012
    I just moved it to Procrastination Devices, since exercise is really just a pernicious time sink that keeps one away from one's True Calling. :)

    My weight has been creeping steadily upward in recent years.  When I mentioned to my father that I'd reached 200 (up from 160 when I stopped growing vertically), he offered to pay for membership at the Y, which I've been taking advantage of off and on.  Mostly running laps, swimming laps, some low-weight/high-rep work on the weight machines, and cruising the showers.  To get the heart rate up.

    This year my employer's health insurance program jacked up their rates again, with a "discount" back down to the old rates if you enroll in an approved fitness program.  So I'm signed up for this deal that makes me carry a pedometer to track whether I walk (on average) about three miles a day.  Which, in all seriousness, is cutting into my Do The Work time, because my day job is a whole lot of sitting on my ass.  But it's worth doing, both financially and for my health.
  • I just moved it to Procrastination Devices, since exercise is really just a pernicious time sink that keeps one away from one's True Calling. :)
    So true.  I do like that your insurance provider gives a "discount" for joining a gym - however, there's still the cost of the fitness program.  And it's too bad for the increase in the first place.

    Walking a few miles a day is good stuff though.  You should try 4 tomorrow! ;)
  • I lOVE this thread!
    Currently, I am clocking in at 220+ lbs.

    This time last year I was 30 lbs. less. Since I've moved in with my fiancé I've been eating and drinking like a starved wolf. Binge eating. It's horrible. I have tried a few times to create a routine and I will contine to try and make one.

    I beleive it is very important to stay on the health track because the energy levels can help with productivity -- whether the creator works 100% at home, or if they have to wiggle work in after a day at the office.
  • edited March 2012
    The increase-but-discount is just a scheme to allow them to charge more for people who don't exercise, without admitting that's what they're doing.  And they pay (group rate) for enrolling in the pedometer program... they don't care whether you get the walking done at a gym, wandering the streets, or pacing back and forth trying to work out dialog in your head.  My only real objection to it is the annoyance and Big-Brother aspect of wearing the pedo-meter.  Also I don't get full "credit" for going to the gym, because it doesn't track swimming and doesn't register most upper-body exercises.  I can easily walk 4-5 miles over the course of a day if I try to, but there are also days when I'd be inclined not to bother getting out of the house/office to keep the average up, so I guess it's good that it keeps me motivated.

    Anyway, time for me to go see if I can keep up with anyone running around the track.
  • I'm onto my salad for lunch, although I'd rather it were pizza, lol!

    @Jimmie_Robinson I agree - so important.  And I always keep in mind that the only failure is quitting.  So long as we try, we suceed.
  • @JasonAQuest I thought the gym was a good place to meet guys.  Am I wrong? lol!
  • I ran track and cross country in Orange County back in the 70s; what some have termed the Golden Age of prep distance running, and it was enormously competitive. I was a middlin' good half miler. Over the years running remained my primarly exercise, and while I was more of a middle distance runner rather than a loooong distance guy, I stayed in pretty good shape. But my weight did creep up, from about 174 at age 19, to 195 at 35. Back troubles sidelined me for several years and by my early 40s I was up to 220-225. I started in at the gym and got back down to 215, and eventually was able to get back outside for road runs. I continued to run into my early 50s, but eventually sciatica and plantar fasciatus sent me back to the gym. Now I use the rowing machine, prone bikes and walking machines for cardio, and add some upper body weights to keep the masculine V shape from slipping into an A. Got down to 205-210 and have a tough time getting any lower, but my job on the road has me back up past 220, but its more muscle and less fat then the last time I was in this neighborhood. Still, I'm working to get back down to below 210. I don't want to have to buy a lager waist size.

    My challenge is to do a better job of containing my calorie consumption, because I'm fairly good about getting some exercise over the long haul.
  • One of the things I've learned from exercise applies to creative work. You will have good days, and bad days, and stretches where you fall off the track entirely. That doesn't mean you can't climb back on and go at it again. I've have periods of great creativity and monster workouts after fallow times, even after the age of 50 and I'm closer to 60 now.
  • Inspiration!  Well, the salad was pretty good actually.  I have a hard time not loading it up with fatty stuff (cream dressings, bacon bits) and I did so again this time, but I figure it's still got to be better for me than a slice or burger and fries, right?  Baby steps, baby steps...
  • I've met Marv several times and he is a model example of where I'd like to be.
  • I currently train six days on, one day off. Two days of weights, one heavy session of large weights/small reps and a volume circuit that is mostly muscular endurance. I box twice a week at the local club, so that's a good solid workout. I try to do a longer run and a sprint session each week but I hate running so this doesn't always happen. It is intentionally a mad schedule because I found in my mid-20's if I don't have a structure in place to follow everyday I tend to laziness very quickly and am someone who can put on weight simply by looking at food, At my worst I was 250lbs at 6ft but almost entirely fat, I'm curently 217lbs and fairly healthy.
    One of the things I've learned from exercise applies to creative work. You will have good days, and bad days, and stretches where you fall off the track entirely. That doesn't mean you can't climb back on and go at it again.
    I think this is a great point and it goes with how I try to eat and train now. Simply if you have a bad meal/lazy trainig session, you get the chance to put it right immediately with the next meal or session. In the past I'd eat an unhealthy meal and say 'Well that's my eating for the day ruined' and carry on eating unhealthily. I've since learned to quickly put away the negative thoughts and emotions that come with that action and get back on track because it's never too early to do so. Nobody can be perfect and a little variety is good, so I think beating yourself up about it is a lot worse for you than what you dd/didn't do.

  • My loosely defined goal is to be "in better shape then half the men half my age." I don't try to define just what "better shape" means or how I would make that assessment; and frankly, i this is only good once you're past 40. I mean, you're in better shape then half the 14 years olds out there? get over yourself. At 80, this is going to be a real challenge to sustain.

    But for now, am I in better t shape then the most fit 29 year olds? No way.

    Better then half? Maybe so.
  • My goal is to look good enough that I would want to sleep with me. :)
  • edited March 2012
    Did 4 ups and downs on the stairs near home. It's a great way to catch up on podcasts. I listened to Marty Pasko on Word Balloon today. Very entertaining.
    Now that the weather's nicer, I'm hoping to walk to work hopefully 2 or 3 times a week. It's about a half-hour each way.
  • Inspired by this thread, I'm going for a walk right now.
  • edited March 2012
    I'm lucky. I have inherited a great metabolism from my father. I'm 5'10" and I weigh 72kg--about 158 lbs.

    But I'm not exactly a slob, either. I was always the smallest and skinniest kid in my class and I've worked for 16 years to get up to this weight--although it's been at the cost of cardio fitness. 

    I like to mix it up a bit. I'm in the dojo twice a week. I hit the gym at least once, and I run at least once. I don't have the endurance I had when I was doing triathlons, but I feel less like a skinny nerd these days--especially amongst my old high school buddies, who've been swelling up while I've been filling out. 
  • I lift weight three days a week, and I actually have an exercise bike that I just recently bought because, frankly, I'm just not going to do the walking thing in any meaningful way.

    Sadly, I have yet to assemble the bike because my back is jacked up (and I can't actually move the thing around to get it where I need it) which has also negatively affected my lifting, forcing me to switch to just machines and just upper body for the time being. On the upside, my back seems to be mostly back to normal, so I'll be cautiously adding stuff back in.

    Going to the gym is also, quite frequently, the only time I leave the house in a given week, so in addition to my overall physical fitness, it gets me out of the house and helps me destress a bit. Doing the creative work is actually a big part of why I do exercise - I need the additional energy it provides me,

    I currently weigh somewhere between 265 and 268, depending on the day. This is, actually, what I weighed when I was a track athlete in high school. I'm down around 50 pounds from my peak weight, and I'd like to lose another fifty or so. I am a pretty good sized human even without counting my fat, so anywhere in the low 200's would probably be fine.

    I currently eat basically zero carbs (although this was not actually how I lost weight) because it helps keep my blood sugar down. I also feel a lot better this way, but I have to treat eating anything that's not animal or vegetable like an alcoholic handles alcohol - if I eat it, I will start binging. And I would kind of like to have feet as life goes on, so that's bad.
  • I agree with Marv, I have no illusions of recaputrung my youthful shape, I just want to be in shape enough for the *long* haul. I don't want to be out of breath on simple walks or stairs, and I'd like to have the energy to do my work.

    I've lost a number of VERY talented friends -- and I would've love to see more work from them. Even when the ability to draw lessens it's still possible to be creative. But poor health is poor health no matter how you cut it.
  • edited March 2012
    @DinoCaruso: If you hadn't posted the photo of "the stairs" I would've accused you of wimping out.  You are not.

    I find podcasts and walking are a great combo: the chatter takes my mind off the tediousness of putting one foot in front of the other, and makes the time spent "productive" in a sense.  In addition to "Word Balloon", Dan Savage's "Savage Love" sex/relationship advice program and the audio from Bill Maher's "Real Time" are regulars for me.
  • edited March 2012
    @ShawnRichison: Yeah the gym can be a good place to meet guys, but I'm afraid this particular YMCA doesn't live up the picture drawn by the Village People.  Lots of middle-aged businessmen (and none that seem interested in being sugar daddy to a nearly-middle-aged wannabe cartoonist).  Not that my visits have been completely... fruitless.
  • edited March 2012
    @DinoCaruso: If you hadn't posted the photo of "the stairs" I would've accused you of wimping out.  You are not.
    Heh. Yeah, it's a good workout. There are 400 steps from top to bottom (they're numbered...I didn't count). They tend to get steeper as you get to the top. I try to do the first two hundred two-at-a-time, and then one-at-a-time the rest of the way. My goal is to get to 6 ups and downs by Mid-April. It takes about an hour. Last year, I got as high as 8. We'll see what happens this year.
    I find podcasts and walking are a great combo: the chatter takes my mind off the tediousness of putting one foot in front of the other, and makes the time spent "productive" in a sense.  In addition to "Word Balloon", Dan Savage's "Savage Love" sex/relationship advice program and the audio from Bill Maher's "Real Time" are regulars for me.
    Totally agree. I find it much more motivating to do any kind of workout or long walk while listening to podcasts. Aside from the local baseball shows (go Jays!), I like Word Balloon, some of Kevin Smith's smodcasts, The Process, Comic Geek Speak (sometimes), Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, Filmspotting, etc.

    Just curious (and not to change the topic)...but does anyone else have a good comic or movie (or baseball) podcast to recommend?
  • edited March 2012
    Noncanonical is a very popular local comics podcast. Pretty mainstream, but they give some good coverage to local indies as well. Tristan Jones (TMNT, Ghostbusters, etc) is a regular guest.

    Another good local is the Nerd Culture Podcast. They talk about comics, films, and books in various combinations. 

    The Comicbooked pods have been really good lately, under the stewardship of Emmet O'Cuana. Short and focused and they get deep into the material. I think Emmet has left, but hopefully they'll continue to be as good.

    If you don't mind listening to Aussie accents you could do a lot worse. 

    To get back on topic: I don't listen to podcasts when I work out. It's metal or nothing. 
  • I tend to work out, stretch or whatever in silence. I work on plots outlines and ideas that way. I sweat like a storm so headphones or any devices on me is something I shy away from. If possible, I'll have talk radio on in the background (NPR).
  • I play basketball once a week in an adult league, and during basketball season I officiate youth basketball.

    My diet is shit and I drink way too much, but I've been cutting caffeine out of my diet because it's started to cause my heart to explode.

    I still need to get off my ass more than I do, and start watching what I eat. The plan is to start running soon, but it's been a while.



  • I gym 1-2 times per week. Half hour of strength training and then a half hour run. Been going since January after a 2 year absence. Up to 2.3 miles and I can taste 3. Goal is to run a 5K. My boss at work does Iron Mans so I've got quite a way to go. :)

    I'm at 6'0" and 203. Highest ever was 218 years ago. Lowest as an adult was 198. However, I still can't fit into size 32 like I wore most of my life. Stuck at 34.
  • This thread is relevant to my interests.

    I just weighed in under 200 lbs this week for the first time in eight years.  I used to run long distance, but shinsplints have limited me to the exercise bike.  I try to work out daily.

    Meanwhile, my dear wife has been doing Cross-Fit for the last three months.  I'm simultaneously delighted by and terrified of the prospect of being married to She-Hulk.
  • This morning:  A bowl of cold cereal and a cup of green tea.

    No exercise, yet.
  • I'm gonna need an intervention.  I'm tempted to drink a Smirnoff Cherry Ice drink.
    Basically, liquid carbs and alcohol.
    Sadly... it's only 11 AM, hahah!
  • Ah, an exercise thread...I can dig this.

    I used to exercise more, but since moving to Chicago have been sorely lacking in my workout routine. I used to run all the time, and do 1,000 sit ups a day (not exaggerating). It's been a year since I've done anything physical, but I'm planning to get back into a gym in April. My girlfriend has one right around the corner from her, and she can get me a pretty sweet discount.

    Why I think I've fallen off the wagon is motivation - and time. Work has me at the office for 50-60 hours per week, and when you get out at 7pm or later going to the gym is the last thing on your mind. The other solution here is to go to the gym in the morning...but I'm not a morning person. However, this is probably when I'll start going in April, since there's no other time to go.

    As for motivation, I used to work out with a consistent group of friends. It was a fun group activity, and after we were done we all went back to my place to watch movies and relax. We worked out 3x per week for an hour, and it was a fun social activity after work. In college I did the same - only before classes.

    Working out is important - helps oxygenate the brain and keeps you smarter, fights the onset of cognitive degeneration, and overall makes me feel better and more alert. Then there's the physical side, which is great - sure you feel taxed, but it's a good exhaustion. Plus, while you're working out listening to music, it's a good time to think through story ideas or issues you've run into with a plot point.
  • I might take up a little skateboarding, again.  Just roll around -- no fancy tricks.
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