Back in Redmond

I’m back in town, but I was a little surprised to see snow all over the place… that is what I just left in Winnipeg, MB… I thought I was heading back somewhere green 🙂

Well, it certainly is a lot warmer (just a bit below freezing tonight and up around 44F/7C tomorrow), but there was a lot of ice all over the road and my truck from the freezing rain that had been falling for the last few days. It turns out though, that my wife’s Jewel CD case makes an excellent scraper…

Now that I’m back, I have to admit something: I’m actively making changes in my life right after January 1st. I’ve always hated that idea, deciding to ‘get fit’ or ‘stop smoking’ or whatever on January 1st. It always seemed to me that if it was really important you would have started it whenever you realized it was a problem, not on some specific day because you decided to make it your resolution for the year…. but this year I’m doing just that. I’ve been thinking about joining a weight-management program at a local health club, but you need a certain BMI (body mass index… a # to indicate how overweight you are based on your height and weight) to get into the program. Well, I finally spent the time to track down a BMI calculator on the web, and when I entered my height (5′ 6″) and weight (192 lbs) it told me that I was obese.
It is never a good day to have a javascript program return that word as a result.

Well, that was in the middle of my holiday, so I decided that I had better make some major changes when I got back to the office (I started during the holiday as well, but since it is hard to establish new routines and habits when you are visiting with one relative after another and spending most of the day sitting on the couch chatting, I was really targetting the end of my holidays as the starting point). Now here I am, January 7th, and I’ll be just another one of the many people who have decided that losing weight should be their 2004 goal.

I’ll try not to go all ‘Bridget Jones‘ on you and post my weight with every blog posting, but it might come up from time to time!

Comments (14)

  1. Duncan says:

    I’d imagine there’s some good hill walking around Redmond – best way to lose weight and get fit(and cheaper than a gym)

  2. Fabrice says:

    Roller-{skating|blading} to work makes for a nice exercise which acts well on the body mass.

    Ok ok… there’s this ice all over, but count that as being fun and certainly doubling the efforts. Or maybe you still prefer to drive the truck and listen to Jewel (but the sound may not be that clear now…) 😉

  3. I seriously thought about doing that (actually a graph on my blog homepage) – oddly my job isn’t that conducive to physical fitness – good sense won out in the end!

  4. Dan Auger says:

    I’m 5’6′ too. I hate to say it, but unless you are a body builder you *are* obese, but not morbidly obese.

    The easiest way to lose weight is by controlling what you eat. It is a lot easier to skip 2 cans of pop a day than it is to walk those 2 cans of pop off, which would take you an hour or more. If you want to lose weight eat 10x or 11x your weight in cals. So you are going to want to eat about 2000 cals a day. Going much lower than that might hurt your progress by throwing your body into starvation mode. Make sure you recalculate your cals as you are losing weight.

    Here are a couple quick ways to drop a lot of calories from your diet:

    – Lose the pop, juice, milk etc… The average person might be astonished if they knew how many cals a day they are drinking. Drink water. If you need caffeine, drink black coffee or tea. If you like to have a drink, drop the beer for either red wine, or straight spirits (mmmm martinis!). However, if you have alcohol in your system, your body will burn that over fat.

    – Watch the bread, chips, and other processed carbs. If you really like bread (like I do), eat rye. One of those big slices of rye bread has only 80 cals, and you can usually make a sandwich out of cutting one piece into 2 pieces.

    One of the things that will make-or-break your ability to diet is how hungry you feel. The good news is that it is relatively easy to keep hunger at bay. Eat more fat and protein and fewer carbs. Foods that have fat and protein in them will help curb your hunger. A bagel has more cals than a chicken breast. Which one makes you feel fuller longer? Remember, fats do not make you fat. It’s mostly about cals in versus what you burn. If you try to cut your calories by severely limiting your fat intake, you will most likely be hungry all the time. You don’t need to go Atkins either. Something like the "Zone" diet or an iso-caloric diet are easier to follow. Also, when you start cutting carbs, you are actually going to be eating a lot more food volume-wise. Check out how much food I had to eat to make 1700 cals: on a day like that I am eating something every few hours and am never hungry.

    Track everything you eat or drink at It is a pain to get going on, but once you get all your foods in there, you’ll find that you can track your daily intake in only a couple minutes a day.

    Anyway, good luck! You are not going to regret this!

  5. Phil Scott says:

    That damn javascript told me I was overweight. Considering I went to college to run track and cross country, that just isn’t acceptable.

    Of course, they always say that BMI doesn’t take into account muscle mass, but this is mostly Frozen Pizza and Beer mass.

    My goal won’t be to loose weight, my goal is to be the guy that the BMI doesn’t apply to.

  6. Marco says:

    I come from Italy and in my town there is a little proverb: "The paunch is the curve of welfare". Another proverd says: "…the pauch of computer scientist…".

    I toke degree in computer science, now I work like visual .NET developer and I used the BMI calculator and it told me that I’m below normal (18.1)!

    I’m very worried…I eat a lot…you must only do some walk or gym and all it will become OK!!!

    Sorry for my english…all the best for you…

    bye bye


  7. Duncan Mackenzie writes that he has made a New Year’s reaolution to lose weight. His impetus was his BMI. Congratulations to Duncan for making this decision. He won’t regret it. Four years ago, my wife and I joined the local…

  8. Nic Wise says:

    In my experience, BMI is a load of bollicks – it DOES give you an indication, but there are easier ways to get an indication – take your shirt off and stand infront of a mirror!

    The only thing that _really_ counts (AFAIK) is your lean mass (everything but fat) and your body fat percentage. Both of these can be _easily_ measured at a gym / health club. For men, I think 14-20% is about "normal" (I’m about 28% at the moment, hence why I’m doing BodyForLife again –

    Gotta agree with Dan tho – what you put in counts WAY WAY WAY more than what you put out (well, assuming you are putting something out). Ditch the coke (soda!), juice, chips etc, cut your carb intake down (but not out) after around 4pm, drink lots (like 2-3L / day) of water, and most important – cut the portion size down! If I recall, american meals are HUGE, compared to everywhere else….

  9. KC Lemson says:

    Congratulations, Duncan! I know how you feel… a few years ago I was ~170 (but I’m only 5 feet tall) and after reading the hacker’s diet (, I finally got motivated and made it down to 130. I kept the weight off… but then I had a baby, and I’m still recovering from that =) I came away from that weight loss experience with a few things:

    #1: It’s never going to happen unless you really want it to happen.

    #2: One of the best ways to help yourself lose is to not eat when you’re not hungry (or drink a glass of water and wait 5 minutes), and make sure you can tell the difference between hunger and boredom. This was the hardest thing for me to do.

    #3: Sometimes it helped me to visualize myself after I’d eaten the forbidden food. There’s always that feeling of remorse right when you finish the last bite of cheesecake… by closing my eyes and pretending I’d already finished it and was unhappy, it helped me decide not to eat it in the first place. Of course, not *every* time…

  10. P Duffy says:

    I was in your same shoes and started by exercising. Slowly at first and over the past 8 years I have come to the point where I enjoy running. (Running is something I thought would never happen). I then had a ‘bad cholesterol’ report from the Doc. I decided that I needed to cut some fat out of the diet. So I did just that. I removed almost all fat from my breakfast and lunch. Then I eat a normal dinner. This alone accounted for 20lbs and with the exercise I have lost a total of 50lbs. This happened slowly over the eight years but the cool thing is that I made permanent changes in my life style and I think that the changes are the key to ultimate success. I also setup a XL spread sheet to kind of help me along. In the spread sheet I have calculations for typical activities and how many calories each activity will burn. I then enter the minutes I spent doing each activity and then enter the amount of calories I have eaten during the day. Now I can see where I am calorie wise for the day. Now when I get a little big 😉 I can track what I am doing and loose the extra weight I added. Currently I am about eight pounds heavier than I was last summer so I am currently watching what I am doing with the spread sheet and I have already ( in one week) had some success.

  11. Louis Parks says:

    Whatever BMI says, I think this is a better test…how does your wife feel about what she sees when you take your shirt off. If it’s not tone enough for her, then you should probably do something about it.