Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What a lovely day to mow the lawn!


In the span of a day, Vermont went from experiencing the 5th snowiest winter on record to the 3rd.  This most recent storm was severe enough that the state was pretty much shut down.  Our office barely had enough people make it in to warrant turning on the heat & lights (most worked from home), classes were canceled at the gym, and shortly after that announcement came a follow-up that the gym was closing at 3PM (I guess they had the same feeling about heat & lights I did).

My Monday workout ended up being a bit of a hodge-podge -- some running, some kettlebell work (get-ups, snatches, swings, rows, deadlifts, weighted crunches and mason twists), bosu squats (flat-side up, squat down, then push down with one foot, tilting the bosu until it hits the floor, then come back to center and do the same with the other leg, come back to center and stand upright -- that's one rep), and some deep squats with a kettlebell using a balance ball against the wall for stability/support.  I also started playing around a bit with doing get-ups with a barbell -- it uses some different control muscles than the kettlebell and gives me a few more weight options between the 16, 24, and 32 kg weights.

The workout served its purpose which was to make body parts sore.  My quads complained for the rest of the day and my abs made their presence known with each shovelful of the ~20" deep snow that evening.  I spent about 90 minutes after work snowblowing our steep, wide driveway and shoveling the areas I couldn't get with the snowblower.  MyFitnessPal has exercise categories for shoveling snow, but nothing for muscling a walk-behind snowblower up & down a steep, wide driveway.  The closest activity I could find was lawn-mowing.  There is something very, VERY wrong about entering in 80 minutes of Lawn Mowing after having been out in the cold, blowing snow.


Monday also started my "Bonus 500" diet week.  My starting point is in the ballpark of 161 pounds (I wrote it down, but don't have the number handy).  The "lawn mowing" activity is almost certainly going to throw some amount of guesswork into the equation, but there's no way either the diet tracking or exercise logging is 100% accurate.  The idea is to be close enough that the margin of error zeros out over the course of a week (i.e. somedays will be high, some will be low).  

I manually upped the MyFitnessPal daily goal by 500, so if you're looking for a big, red -500  in the daily calorie goal, you won't see it.  Ideally, I'll be in the ballpark of 0 calories remaining each day this week and, if everything goes to plan, I'll be up a pound next Monday.

My point for doing this is to try to better understand how the human body works (or at least my body).  I do have some people who ask me for diet advice and I always try to give the "big picture" view that even though little cheats add up throughout the day, over-eating by a few hundred calories a day for a week isn't what lead to a 5lb weight gain in seven days.  I won't presume to understand nutrition and the human metabolic cycle well enough to have all the answers, but there is way more to weight management than simple calorie counting and I'm hopeful that I've got enough of a baseline established with my own diet that I can experiment a little bit and learn something new.

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