I consider myself a health conscience guy who plays tennis three times a week, watches what he eats, and goes on frequent hikes and bike rides. That said, I’ve definitely been overweight before, and I came close again on my recent trip to Europe.
The reasons to stay relatively fit are as follows:
* I don’t want to die before my time. Although we don’t know when we will die, we can at least try and reduce our chances of an early death by eating right and exercising regularly.
* I don’t want to burden my family with unnecessary health complications. Being a burden to loved ones is a terrible, terrible thing. I would hate to see my wife, kids, or relatives have to constantly check in on me because I’ve received brain damage from a stroke, or can no longer go to the bathroom on my own due to some manly cancer.
* I don’t want to financially burden my fellow Americans who will have to subsidize my medical costs thanks to universal health care. As honorable citizens, we should try to give back more to our country more than we receive. This is the best way to ensure the health of our nation’s future.
* I don’t want to let my US Tennis Association teammates down when it’s time to battle other teams. We all train very hard in the off season so that come game time, we’re ready to compete. Being physically fit is standard, but can also be a huge edge as we battle less in shape competitors. Once we are fit, we can then concentrate on our skills and mental fitness which are crucial to winning matches.
* I’m frugal and don’t want to spend too much on new clothes. During the first year of college and the first year of work I had to buy new shirts and pants because I gained about 15 pounds. I’m not big into clothing in the first place, but when you’ve got to buy three new suits of different color, things add up! Dress shirts and jeans are easily $50-$200 each and higher. Imagine being able to fit in your jeans from 10-15 years ago, how much money you can save!
* I don’t want to ignore the plight of others. I grew up in several third world countries and I’ve witnessed immense poverty. When I know there are millions of people starving around the world, there’s no way I can overeat and not remember. America is a country of abundance and it’s easy to consume more than normal. We just have to remind ourselves how lucky we are, as we’re not even being asked to help others, only ourselves.
* I want to feel good. When I was heavier, I didn’t have as much energy and I didn’t feel as good about myself. I’d look at new pictures and come away shocked because they were so different from how I used to look. When you feel good, you look good. And when you look good, you have more confidence to succeed.
Despite all these reasons, I still find it very tough to stay in ideal weight of 152-163 pounds for someone 5 feet 10 inches tall. 152 pounds sounds ridiculously light, but hey, that’s what the doctors and researchers say is ideal weight for a medium bodied person my height, so who am I to make excuses?
The problem is, when I see a batch of lemon meringue mini pastries, I cannot help but eat six of them at a time! When there is all you can eat BBQ ribs, the same thing happens. Tell me I’m not the only one!
PROOF THAT LIGHT EXERCISE DOES NOT KEEP YOU FIT
My friends and I walked on average four hours a day for 10 out of the 17 days we were in Europe. Our ship would dock by 8am, and we’d go from around 8:30am all the way to 5pm exploring every single city. That’s 8.5 hours off the boat at each port, with half the time walking.
Given it takes 16-20 minutes on average to walk a mile, we walked 12-15 miles a day for 10 days. We walked another three miles a day for the other seven days the rest of the time. If we add up everything, we averaged about 8-9 miles of walking a day for 17 days!
During long lines at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, or during down time at the gardens of Catherine’s Palace in St. Petersburg, we’d try and get at least 30 pushups and 50 sit-ups in as well. The reason being we knew that a dinner buffet or scrumptious meal high in butter and joy awaited us once we returned to the ship!
Furthermore, we’d all hit the swimming pool and gym at least twice a week to try and get at least a 30 minute sweat in.
THE TYPICAL MEAL ITINERARY ON BOARD
* Breakfast: Omellette, bacon, sausage, a couple mini pastries, Norweigan fish, and OJ.
* Lunch: Local meal on land if at port, or another buffet meal on board while at sea. We’d generally eat a salad, piece of flank steak, shrimp cocktail and some juice.
* Dinner: Rib-eye, filet mignon, prime rib, rack of lamb, beef wellington, lobster, sushi, sashimi, chef salads, creme brulee, hot fudge sundae, apple cobbler, cheese platters and much, much more.
* Evening snack and beverages: The restaurants would open up at 10pm again until midnight where you could eat the same food that they served during lunch. Every other night there would be some type of dessert extravaganza, and of course, if you are like me, you enjoy the cocktail at a ship bar or while you’re playing poker until 2am!
Despite the availability of food, I did my best to eat until slightly full and not pig out until I felt sick. I went for quality food items instead of quantity. But, when you are eating such treats every single day, it is hard not to put on some weight.
WEIGHT GAIN GALORE
Now that you know my daily exercise routine and meal itinerary, guess how much weight I gained in just seventeen days? Remember, I walked 8-9 miles on average, put in the occasional work out, and tried to eat in moderation.
I went from 160 pounds to 170 pounds in two and a half weeks! To compare apples to apples, 10 pounds is a whopping 6% increase in body weight in such a short time.
I knew I was gaining weight because my jeans felt tighter each day that passed by, but I didn’t realize how much I gained until I got back to San Francisco. I was shocked after spending the first 3-4 months of the year trying to lose 8-10 pounds, I had gained it all back in just a matter of weeks.
THE WORKOUT ACTION PLAN
The ideal body weight of 152-163 for someone 5′ 10″ pisses me off. As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I have many reasons why I want to stay in shape, and I’m assuming that many of you guys have similar reasoning.
As a result, I’ve decided to join WeightTraining.com owned by Yakezie Member Joel to exercise more, track my progress, and have some fun competing with other people online who want to get in shape and stay in shape! WeightTraining.com offers free workout logging, an exercise database with 2,000+ exercises and various fitness challenges.
My exercise routine will be as follows:
* Three sets of 20 push-ups for a total of 60 a day
* Three sets of 50 sit-ups for a total of 150 a day
* Five hours of tennis a week
* One hour of biking a week
* One hour of hiking a week
The goal is to burn about 500 calories a day beyond normal activity.
As for food, I plan to go back to my normal eating habits of fruit and barley green in the morning, a regular lunch under 700 calories, and dinner under 1,000 calories for a total of 2,200 calories or less. If I can consume a net 1,700 calories a day, I’m pretty sure that within a couple months I’ll be able to get back down to 160 lbs and hopefully down to 155 lbs, the weight I was back in high school.
You can find me on WeightTraining.com with the account FinSamurai. WeightTraining.com motivates users to workout by rewarding points for logged workouts. This workout summary will give you a better idea on how exercises are accounted for within a workout. We plan to do a weekly challenge based on how much we exercise and tally up our points. It’s a fun way to keep accountable and lose weight and stay in shape together.
Join the fitness battle here! Battle starts October 1st at midnight! I want to kick your ass and my own!
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Updated for 2017 and beyond.