Friday, March 17, 2006

Health Report - March 2006

My weight this morning was 245.5 pounds.

That's actually not that bad. Two days ago it was 244, but there's always some variation. Also, I didn't ride yesterday or today. When I ride, I burn more calories than I take in, and I burn more calories than my body can provide from fat stores - about 50% from fat, 50% from glycogen. (that's an estimate - I may actually burn a bit more glycogen than I think) Each gram of glycogen is 4 calories, same as carbohydrates. (Glycogen is chained glucose - pure sugar) Each gram of glycogen also binds 3 grams of water, which is retained in the body. The body stores about 2,000 calories of glycogen, which is 500g of glycogen and 1,500g of water. That's 2kg total, or about 4.4 pounds. Depending on how much I've burned, and how much food and water is in my digestive system, my weight varies up and down on a daily basis. So what matters is the long-term trend.

As far as weight control goes, I'm not doing horrible at the moment. Last year at this time, I was recovering from back surgery. Through inactivity and poor diet, I went up to 260 pounds. In the 10 months of the year after the surgery, I lost 10 pounds, or about a pound a month. That put me at 250 pounds at the end of January. In the last 7 weeks, I've lost 5-6 pounds, or about a pound a week. If I maintain that rate, I should be down to my ideal weight of 170 pounds somewhere around June of next year. I'm hoping to accelerate the weight loss to 2 pounds per week and be at my ideal weight somewhere around Christmas or New Year's Day.

I went to my doctor's office today, so the lab could draw my blood. The last couple times I checked, both my cholesterol and my triglycerides were high. With the recent change in our living situation, I'm eating a lot better than I ever have. Coupled with the consistent exercise, I'm hoping my numbers have come way down. I've been lucky so far - liver and kidneys work fine, blood sugar is fine, I still have all my internal organs. Before a couple of years ago, I'd never even broken a bone. I've had a couple of cycling accidents over the last year, but nothing serious. Except for my weight, I'm in good health, especially for a guy entering his late 30's. It's been almost 10 years since I stopped being immortal - the warranty has run out on all my parts, and I'm trying to take a lot better care of myself.

So, last week I rode 3 of 5 days to work and back. This week, only 2 of 5 days. On Sunday, Tomas and I are going to try to ride 105 miles out to the decommissioned Trojan nuclear plant and back - should be a helluva ride. I'm planning to leave at 6am, and get back by 7pm. That's a lot of time in the saddle, and I hope I make the entire distance. (I don't have to - I can cut 20 miles off the end if necessary by taking the bus home) If I can do this distance, then I have nothing to worry about with the upcoming "Reach the Beach" in May (103 miles).

So we'll see - 100 mile ride, blood test results for cholesterol and triglycerides - we'll see how healthy I am.

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