The Endless Wars: The Descent

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Tech Tuesday (Fat Techie Week)

I love technology, but I hate being fat. Those two statements go nearly hand in hand (except for you pretentious, skinny Mac apologists), which is unfortunate. We tech dudes have these brilliant minds, but our women become disgusted by us because we have become so fat that we are almost devolving into bloated masses that yap about how under-appreciated Linux is, or how humanity is utterly fucking itself by not being more aggressive with the space program, or how, deep in our overworked hearts, we know that Halo really isn't THAT great.

It's a tough balance, working in IT. While, generally, you are better than most people, it's hard to express that while they're staring at your hideous, jiggling, spherical form. I feel your pain, brother. You have so much to offer the world, but receive so little love. Your friends and parents 'help' by reminding you that you used to be a much better and more lovable person because you looked different than you look now, and your body shape was less embarrassing to them. Your wife suddenly develops a much greater interest in her nightly literature, and your penis, could you actually see it, now has cobwebs on it from disuse. You're not even entirely sure it's still there. Your children mock you and laugh at your immense girth.

It's time to make a change, bro. You're mad at all of them because the disdain and disappointment you see in their eyes is justified. You've failed. Every person's body is a marvel of organic technology, and you have been neglectful to your most important machine.

I feel your pain because I've failed in the exact same way. On my best days, I'm a fucking punchline to the worst fat joke you've ever heard.

Here's the good news: it's all in my control. I don't know if I just needed to get mad enough or what, but eating less has become much easier. The Bodybugg has been a tremendous help in tracking my progress, and giving me tangible goals, and a healthy dose of white-hot rage has definitely contributed, but I am the one who is making progress, I am the one who is limiting what I eat, I am the one getting on the treadmill when I need to, and I am the one who will reap the benefits of being athletic and sexy again.

What I'm really looking forward to is still being the super-smart, witty guy who's slightly technically inclined and very artistic, and then being a huge dick to people who treated me differently when I was 100 pounds overweight. I can't wait to be one of them, and then use it against them.

But, how to get there? How do we fat tech guys use our skillset to crush the skinny know-nothings under our Converse tennis shoes?

Well, here's what I've been doing.

First, you need a system. You should be good at this. Maybe use OpenOffice Calc or GoogleDocs to track your calorie intake. I've been using the aforementioned Bodybugg system, which is awesome since it attaches to my body and tracks my calorie burning while I enter my calorie intake, and also stores the values for any food I have to 'create' in the system (while it also already has a ton of existing foods).

Either way, design a system for yourself, but allow for some flexibility. Allow a system that is immediately challenging, but allows you some slack.

Let me put it this way. I initially started out by slashing my intake to 1000 calories and my activity to burning 3500. I knew that was an insane disparity, but it gave me a lot of room to ease into it. By honestly trying to limit how much I've been eating, and working toward that activity level, I've been able to hit an average of 3500 calories burnt per day, and have managed to come in it at less than 2000 per day, and the pounds have been coming off. Granted, this is for a very small sample size of two weeks, but I'm seeing more tangible results now than I've seen in any previous attempt at weight-loss. Every day, I am burning more calories than I'm consuming. Every day, I'm making progress.

The Bodybugg thing has been very helpful in getting it through my head that I can not only consume less than I burn, but that I can do so easily. I tend to shy away from things that take a lot of effort, and the initial pounds, because I'm so fat, have come off easily, which has fueled an even more fervent desire to shed even more pounds.

Additionally, I've worked hard to force myself to derive pleasure from things other than food. I think the main reason for my constant over-consumption is just that I enjoy delicious food waaay too much, and used it to self-medicate at times. By hammering at myself to stop counting on food as a pleasure source, it's decreased, and I do, honestly, enjoy it less. When I eat, I eat as fast as I can, to get it over with.

Back to the tech side, there's something about having to work with an interface several times a day that keeps me focused on attacking my fatness. My entering numbers and seeing graphs change, and moving sliders, I feel like I'm actively doing something helpful in regards to my weight.

Really, the Bodybugg has been fantastic and fun so far. What I'd do, though, if ya don't want to drop a bunch of money, is just aim for 1000 calories a day, but let yourself fail A LITTLE, if ya need. Just do that, and maintain your normal life otherwise.

The trade-off, though, has been my smoking. I was down to two smokes a day, but it's come back with a vengeance now. It's interesting to me that I never actually conquer anything. I always just shift the manifestation. Weird.

Also, to be a full geek, I love playing RPGs while I'm on the treadmill. It's perfect for turn-based RPGs like Lost Odyssey or any of the Final Fantasy games. I'm trying to get to a point where I only watch TV or play RPGs while I'm on the treadmill, but that's been hard on my knees.

Anyway, I'm six pounds lighter than I was two weeks ago, and plan on continuing the war. What about you? Are you a fat geek? What's your plan? Anyone out there actually recovered from their fatness?

Also, let me know if there's anything you want to hear about in regards to Writing Wednesday!


1 comment:

  1. Great post, very timely for me. See, just 4 years ago, I was a very lean 150lb, < 10% body fat guy. I worked out 6 days a week, off and on for 3-4 hours per day (I was a martial arts instructor, so at least 50% of each of the four classes I taught daily, I was working out with my students). Needless to say, I could eat all I wanted, when I wanted, and it never really affected me.

    Fast forward to 3 years ago. Wife got a promotion, we moved from podunkville to Chicagoland, I quit martial arts in disgust of the MMA fad (no art or discipline in that sport) and the crappy black belt factories that pervade the scene out here (and everywhere). I got a desk job, a swanky townhome, all the comforts I always wanted. And now I have the gut to prove it.

    Gained 30 pounds in the past couple of years. Last fall, my wife and I both started eating better (just smaller portions really, and cooking instead of eating out every night). Lost 15-20 pounds. But then this year happened. I don't know why, but it all just stopped and went right back to what we were doing before.

    Anyways, I'm getting back on track now. Most of your advice is solid and goes along with most of the plans I've studied. The one thing I disagree with is this though: eating fast to "get it over with." For me, this has always been part of the problem. I gulp down the food without enjoying it fully, and when I'm done, no matter what or how much I've eaten, I want more.

    If, instead, I take my time eating...take a bite...chew it up to 30 times...swallow....follow with a couple sips of bite...etc....well, it's much more enjoyable, you taste every bite because you just washed the last one away, and you feel more full when you're done, even if it was a small, correctly proportioned meal. Plus, the sips of water help fill you up by expanding the food in your gullet.

    Anyways, that's my take. Good luck on your adventure, hope you see your wang soon, and hope I can get back on the right (bomb)trak. /facepalm for own pun.