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January 31, 2007

Chunky McChunkerson Gets His Fat Ass Off the Couch

I'm clocking in at over 170 pounds these days, which is a bad thing for someone of my size and frame and age; really, at this point I'm just a couple of doughnuts away from the "spiritually defeated middle-aged white man" look, and as you might expect that's really something I'd like to avoid if at all possible. So starting tomorrow I will begin an orgy of dieting and exercise to get myself down to what I feel is my ideal weight, which is between 155 and 160 pounds, and also to get myself out of the general state of torpid larditude into which I've gotten myself in the last few months, in which even the though of exercise makes me want to lie down until it goes away.

The first step: Dance Dance Revolution! And lots of it. I was actually doing quite a bit of this earlier and found it to be excellent aerobic exercise and good for getting the heart rate up, and I've already got it in my house, so that's the easiest thing. Others I know are planning to use their new Nintendo Wiis for aerobics and weight loss purposes, and that's sort of a compelling excuse to get one, but I don't know how well I'm going to be able to make the argument to Krissy that we need to drop $250 on yet another video game system. So I'll stick with DDR for now.

My first goal is to get my weight down; the second goal is to actually get fit. We'll see how I do with both over the next few months.

Posted by john at January 31, 2007 08:35 AM

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Steve Buchheit | January 31, 2007 09:21 AM

Yeah, I should drop some pounds as well...

Did you say doughnuts? Ah, now I gotta make a run. Hey, running, that's aerobic, ain't it?

Anonymous | January 31, 2007 09:27 AM

So I'll stick with DDR for now.
My first goal is to get my weight down; the second goal is to actually get fit.

Fortunately one of your goals does not appear to be "Don't freak out the UPS guy."

John Scalzi | January 31, 2007 09:29 AM

The UPS guy is a grown-up. He can handle himself.

RitaInHood | January 31, 2007 09:43 AM

It's annoying, but when ever something is tracked and measured, it gets better. Everyone who fills out useless metrics forms at work will disagree, but the problem is measuring the right stuff.

For weightloss, you know it's a combination of input and output. You can make yerself a spreadsheet and track in calories what you're eating:
and what you're burning:
and do the math to figure if you've had a net gain or net loss per day. This really makes you realize how your food choices are affecting your weight (more fruit! less processed stuff!) and how much activity you really ought to do daily.

Unfortunately, scaring the UPS guy isn't on the list.

Tim Akers | January 31, 2007 09:43 AM

DDR as exercise routine. I...never thought of that.

John Scalzi | January 31, 2007 09:50 AM

DDR did, Tim. It comes with a "Workout Mode."

Kate | January 31, 2007 09:56 AM

I'm totally doing the same thing!!!(it's on my blog about a week ago) I'm addicted to DDR. DDR Max has better songs though. You might not be able to drop 250 on a WII, but get some variety with the game.

Maybe we can have a contest!

Dan Bailey | January 31, 2007 09:56 AM

Rock on, brother.

I've recently gotten way fed up with the being overweight and so on. I went out and got one of those nifty scales that's accurate within .2 pounds and does body fat...and when I climbed onto it for the first time Monday, I nearly had a heart attack.

See, I used to be a bicycle racer, and before that I was a paratrooper. I'm not supposed to be 204 pounds and over 20% body fat.

Funny how Diet Coke tastes so much better when you're weighing yourself daily.

I've kept my gym membership despite being unemployed, and today, I have a date with the treadmill for a 6-miler.

Rock on with the DDR, though -- I'd try it if it weren't for my total lack of rhythm.

Kate | January 31, 2007 09:57 AM

(and maybe next time I post, I don't have to sound like a complete valley girl)

Like.. really!

Tolladay | January 31, 2007 09:57 AM

I used to go to the local gym (met my wife there in fact), which had two floors. The bottom floor had girls in tight clothing doing step aerobics. The top floor had a bunch of guys staring at each other, at the mirrors, at the few girls, and lifting weights.

Guess which floor I went to? All I can say is, my momma didn't raise no fool.

Now I'm 44, 20 lbs over-weight, and growing a middle-aged belly. And while it is fun, skateboarding to the subway is NOT enough exercise.

Time to pull out the exercise bike.

Heather Braum | January 31, 2007 10:01 AM

Well John... your loverly sister here has you beat at 186!!!!! I am taking aerobics & yoga at Shasta College & my instructor has NO MERCY!!! My weight goal is 145..so I am looking to lose 41 LBS.
I have some tips for you 1) drink LOTS of water 2)eat a healthy breakfast(before 9am) & 3) stay away from thoses dreaded COKE's & carbs!!
Good Luck Brother!!!

ebear | January 31, 2007 10:02 AM

exercise good. Also good for the normalizing of serotonin levels!

When I finish my writing this AM, I'm hiking down to the grocery store to buy milk and eggs. It's a 3.4 mile round trip.

I think "Backpack in anything you plan to eat" is a pretty solid exercise routine.... (I also do weights and kickboxing and treadmill and ski machine and rowing and so forth. I may be fat, but I can run a mile. You take what you can get.)

Pablo Defendini | January 31, 2007 10:03 AM

Funny, I've been putting off buying a Wii, precisely because I couldn't justify it. After reading Tobias' blog entry yesterday, and after staring at my gut for a while, I was suddenly on the edge... I think you've just pushed me over. Wiiiiiiiii!

I like to think of it this way- at least it's cheaper than getting a treadmill.

ebear | January 31, 2007 10:04 AM

*what, reading The Whatever isn't writing-related work?

Nathan | January 31, 2007 10:08 AM

DDR, huh?

Will you be posting video? You can frighten waaaayyy more UPS guys on teh internets.

Bookninja | January 31, 2007 10:08 AM

Just do all the boring stuff you know you should. Don't drink your calories, eat things high in fiber like fresh fruit (filling). Don't eat anything with "partially hydrogenated" or "High fructose" in the ingredients list. Don't snack after dinner. And no more friggin' ice cream or alcohol. Portion size, portion size, portion size.

Gina Black | January 31, 2007 10:11 AM

I *love* DDRing. My kids got me into it and it's loads of fun and a good break from writing, too. It should do very well to get you fit.

As far as dieting...keep anything that isn't food out of your mouth: chemicals, preservatives, dyes, additives, etc. Add to that anything fried and you should lose weight. Not kidding.

Dan | January 31, 2007 10:17 AM

Hey! I know a doctor who could write you a note stressing the importance of a Wii-based workout.

Gen | January 31, 2007 10:18 AM

I love DDR! So glad you are on the bandwagon, Scalzi. Have you tried the free Stepmania that you play with your PC? You can use your regular dance pads and hook them up through an EMS USB-2 (don't get other brands as they don't work, as I have found through expensive trail and error). The awesome thing about Stepmania is it is free and you can download songs that other fans have made and if you are very determined you can make song levels yourself from music or videos. DDRUK and DDRfreak are good sites to read about it. I think you can play online too. You can download most of the stuff on the PS2 and Xbox games.

I'd say of the Xbox games that DDR Max 2 is my favorite.

Tatiana | January 31, 2007 10:27 AM

As long as you don't DDR naked ... oh, wait, that would be Chang.

Todd Stull | January 31, 2007 10:34 AM

Since we are on the topic of weight loss, I learned some interesting stuff yesterday on Yahoo news. Apparently a recent study showed that it really does not matter how much of your body is muscle in burning off calories. I had always thought the more muscle you had, the easier it was to burn calories. Actually, what it said in the story was that people in better shape have to work harder to burn calories because their resting heart rate is lower than the average person. Their body has become so efficient that it takes more work to burn a calorie!

So, John, in fact you have been doing you and your family a favor. Those doughnuts and afternoon naps with the dog were actually training your body to burn more calories faster. Little did you know that sloth was so rewarding!

If you need more advice, I'll be here, at my keyboard, eating powdered donuts and impersonating a man sized amoeba.

kero aka kevin | January 31, 2007 10:34 AM

DDR and putting my road bike on a wind trainer has netted 11 pounds dropped this month. If you want to get serious about this (and get another gadget) I'd suggest getting a heart rate monitor. That way you can tell people you excercised 17 hours last month and burned 12k calories. It's fun!

I found my cardio improved faster than my foot work did and if I wasn't paying attention I wouldn't be keeping my heart rate up. Workout mode is good so is endless mode, anything that keeps the breaks between 1:30ish songs to a minimum. I also found this site which is kind of interesting http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-200-calories-look-like.htm which should be self explanitory.

Bill Schafer | January 31, 2007 10:59 AM

As John'll tell you, after seeing ex-heroin junkie Axl Rose in astonishing shape at the GNR show he and I attended I got on the exercise bandwagon, up at five ayem five days a week doing an hour of cardio and then pushups and situps.

I'm down to about 178 from a high weight of 215.

Working out sucks, but the benefits don't.


mythago | January 31, 2007 11:01 AM

John I strongly suggest you look into purchasing a Cobalt Flux dance pad (or a similar hard pad)--they don't slide on the carpet, they don't wear out like the soft pads and they look really cool. I do not get any money for recommending them.

mythago | January 31, 2007 11:05 AM

although, uh, Krissy may freak that you are spending money on a video game item. But really, it's a FITNESS item!

Tim Walker | January 31, 2007 11:47 AM

Icewater, icewater, icewater - it's like a free way to give away calories from your desk.

Christian | January 31, 2007 11:51 AM

I often encourage folks to try a martial art (if you like that sort of thing).

I have been teaching a Kendo class here in Charlottesville at a local health club for several years, and I'm always amazed at how well it helps my students lose weight and get into shape. It's a great way to exercise for 90 minutes without having it ~feel~ like exercise.

You mileage may vary of course.

Derryl Murphy | January 31, 2007 11:52 AM

The Wii will work other parts of your body. Believe me, a good bout of boxing or tennis will wear you down something fierce. Plus, it's fun. Hell, even my wife plays Wii games, and she hates video games.

That said, we still have a PS2, and now that I know DDR has a workout mode, I'm getting me one of those.


Chang who gots flavor | January 31, 2007 11:57 AM

I feel somehow responsible for some of those 170+ libra pondas on account of the batch o' maplecrack I sent you. So I'll be sending something else soon to get rid of them, make you more flexible, calmer and - as if it's even possible - more attractive to Krissy.

No, it's not a case of Coke Zero. Be patient.

Another Dave | January 31, 2007 12:08 PM

I second RitaInHood's comments about tracking your weight. The Hacker's Diet has worked well for me. There's an excel sheet you can enter your daily weight in and it'll do all the calculations to give you your average daily calorie deficit/surplus for the week. And it'll make pretty graphs for you (if that's your sort of thing).

I can also vouch for Wii sports as an excellent exercise device.

Mary | January 31, 2007 12:15 PM

Right, right, I'll look up DDR for our PS2. And I've tried boxing on the Wii and it's rather fun.

I'm on Weight Watchers right now because I like counting things, but if my inner accountant starts crying like a girl, I'll switch to the No S Diet instead -- it's free, it's simple, it's sensible. Also slower, I think, but slower isn't necessarily bad for most of us chunky but not medically imperilled people.

Adam Ziegler | January 31, 2007 12:15 PM

Dance games are great for cardio workout. I tend to get bored easily, and it's the easiest thing for me to stick with.

For people who don't own a console, there's a PC-based game called In The Groove, which is very similar. (Google it.) Of coruse, you have to buy a dance pad with a USB connector, or maybe a converter. You can buy pads that will connect to both. I still may buy a console just to have more variety of tunes to dance to.

Unexpectedly, our two year old has taken a fancy to dancing on the pad. She don't quite understand about hitting the arrows yet, but she gets on there and shuffles and hops and knows how to switch songs. Seems to be good for her physical development.

Another non-boring cardio workout that works for me is punching the heavy bag! Hang it in your basement, get some wrist wraps, twelve ounce gloves and a round timer and go all-out for 7 two-minute rounds with a one-minute break between.

Feels good to release frustrations on the bag, but it's also an amazingly taxing cardio workout. You'll be gasping for breath between rounds. I have a new respect for boxers after hitting the bag. (Be sure to get a lesson or at least read up on proper technique so you don't injure your wrists.)

Adam Ziegler | January 31, 2007 12:18 PM

"She don't quite understand"

I know talk good Engrish, really...

andrew | January 31, 2007 12:24 PM

Good on you for making the decision (at a time other than new year's).

Despite the multi-billion dollar diet industry, losing weight is not rocket science. I unfortunately learned it the hard way. About 3 or 4 years ago I topped the scales at about 260; I am 5'7". My dad was a type II diabetic and I knew I was playing with fire. About 2 years ago I was diagnosed type II diabetes myself.

That gave me all the belated incentive I needed to lose weight. Simple diet and exercise worked.

Some hints.

On the diet side make nothing a forbidden food; forbidden food makes it a guilty pleasure. Eating a variety of stuff in moderation works.

The USDA is right about the fruits and vegetables. Having 5 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables is good. Just adding an interesting salad to your dinner gets about 3 servings of vegetables out of the way. That a couple of apples for a snack and and early morning fruit smoothie gets you that five to 10 no problem.

If you have a craving for something sweet, try a bowl of raisin bran; MMM good.

As for exercise do what you like.

However, don't poo-poo walking. I walk 40 minutes per day six days per week. I don't need special clothes to do it; I Just need comfortable shoes. I can do it anywhere, anytime and in just about any weather. If the weather really stinks (for me that means a cold late winter rainstorm) I head to a local mall and do my walking there.

That one rest day is critical; your body needs the time to recover. I rest on Thursday's or Wednesdays.

Go slow. Don't work on losing more than one pound per week. At first that seems really depressing. However, after six months you have lost 26 pounds and you don't feel deprived at all.

If you want more unsolicited advice just ask.


Carl V. | January 31, 2007 12:25 PM

Now there is the perfect name for your book tour, John Scalzi's Dance Dance Revolution! Booty shakin' across the nation'!

Robin | January 31, 2007 01:08 PM

DDR on workout mode has been our cardio of choice for a number of months now -- though we slacked off horribly when the memory card crapped out and we lost all our settings. Now, we've gotten back to the point where we're ready to create our own course (on light mode -- we can't go near standard just yet), and... ideally, watch the pounds (slowly) drop.

One thing: Never forget to stretch beforehand. Those repetitive jumps can be calf killers.

Dan | January 31, 2007 01:44 PM

What the...? I swear, the following is 100% true:

I was sitting down to write something snarky about Scalzi's need for weight loss, and my favorite comfy chair from Ikea broke as I sat in it.

I guess this means I shouldn't throw stones while sitting in Swedish furniture, huh?

I'll admit it, John. Your powers are wickedly subtle, man.

Annalee Flower Horne | January 31, 2007 02:25 PM

Maybe it's just because I spent from 2-6pm walking and/or dancing today (you so don't want to know), but the post title caused a laughing fit. In the school library. People were looking at me funny, man. The Whatever's becoming a hazard.

Good luck with the DDR. I seem to remember something about a way to get it to accept songs off your ipod, but it's possible that I'm just accidentally making that up.

Mark DF | January 31, 2007 02:27 PM

Just to help out on the aerobic end of things, I sent a note to a furries newsgroup that you want them to chase you whenever they spot you.

When's your next signing, btw?

Sara | January 31, 2007 02:42 PM

As a loser of 100lbs (and more recently, gainer of 25 -- ugh!) I feel especially qualified to comment here. I lost my weight by doing weight watchers and falling in love with my road bike. I read a lot of books about weight loss and nutrition and whatnot to keep myself motivated. I recommend _Mindless_Eating_ by Brian Wansink. There's nothing mindblowing in there, but it's a lot of good common sense and some handy strategy to help you develop healthy eating habits. There are lots of well written anecdotes from food psychology research projects. It's interesting stuff and an easy and entertaining read (not as entertaining as Sci-Fi, but it kept my interest).

DDR sounds like fun... especially with a kid around to play, too.

Jim Wright (who's still jetlagged and grumpy) | January 31, 2007 02:58 PM

A couple of years ago, I was at the Navy Mustang Academy (affectionately known as "Knife & Fork School") in Pensacola. 4 days a week we'd do the standard military drill, pushups, situps, running, etc, but on Fridays they'd have us do Tybo (sp?) Kickboxing. The first time I saw it, I thought it was the silliest thing I'd ever seen. I was in pretty damn good shape and it looked like an easy deal. But hour into the workout I felt like my peripherals were made out of lead and I was dripping with sweat. The next two days, the weekend thank God, I was so damned sore I could barely lift a beer. I became a fan, and kept up the work outs until I destroyed my left side in the Gulf. It's a lot of fun and if you ever get tired of DDR, John, you might give it a try.

Adam Rakunas | January 31, 2007 03:26 PM

So, a year ago, a buddy and I promised each other we'd do Ironman New Zealand in 2007. And then 2006 zipped right by and we realized it wasn't gonna happen. But we're now in a pact for 2008, and I put in the first down payment by going back to the gym last month.

It's going to be a long road, and I'm sure I'm going to ask myself what the hell I was thinking, but I forgot how good it feels to get in shape again. Yesterday, I had to punch a new hole in my belt to keep my pants up. Progress, baby, progress.

Steve Buchheit | January 31, 2007 03:27 PM

Exercises always look silly from the outside. I used to do Tai Chi. It looks relaxing. Yeah, until you get to the third part of the program and do it properly. Dragon Reaches for the Stars my arse. I should do that again, I was losing weight, and it really does help you feel good (Iron Gate No Rust).

As a side note, I was with a Chinese friend and say a Tai Kwon Do Dojo doing Tai Chi. As she said, "why they do old-people exercise so fast?" (because it's easier faster)

CJ | January 31, 2007 04:08 PM

Dog walking is a nice easy exercise to start. You get a happier dog and a nice stress release. And your dog won't want you to stop, so you don't backslide as easily.

Perhaps You should put Ghlaughghee on a leash and take him for a drag down the street. You may get a few odd looks, but he needs to work off all that bacon anyway.

Carol Elaine | January 31, 2007 04:10 PM

Good luck with the DDR, John. It looks like fun, but I just don't have the space for a pad.

However, I am going to register for Avon's Walk for Breast Cancer. 39+ miles over the course of two days. And since it's in September I have enough time to train properly and will join a volunteer training group over the next week or so. I figure it's an excellent way to get back into an exercise routine and to raise money for an excellent cause, especially since my mother is a breast cancer survivor.

Unlike my last bout with such training (APLA Half Marathon in 2004), I will train in the proper shoes so that I don't reinjure my ankles. I was unable to run the marathon because both ankles turned into watermelons after my ten mile training run - yeesh!

I should get back into Tai Chi - I loved it back in the day.

Chris | January 31, 2007 04:14 PM

DDR is definitely more of a workout than Wiis are these days, but that may have to do with how abusively difficult it can be.

sam young | January 31, 2007 05:05 PM


i'm probably not the first to say this, but Cut Down The Carbs. seriously. if you want to burn fat, up the protein, cut the carbs.

carbs = wheat, rice, all sugars (even fruits), potatoes, pasta, and yes, donuts

Cassie | January 31, 2007 05:33 PM

John, show Krissy the cost of joining the local gym for six months. She'll buy the WII for you.

(Just be careful. You don't want to have to buy a new tv.)

Janice in GA | January 31, 2007 05:38 PM

I want to do DDR SO. Bad. But I'm so uncoordinated...

Amanda J | January 31, 2007 07:19 PM

Scalzi, congrats! And I applaud you for making the decision on your own, unprompted by offspring. My 7-year-old son and I were in the grocery store last August. He weighed himself, then I hopped on the scale... and hopped RIGHT off. But not before the little brainiac could see the reults and yell, "Mommy, you weigh two hundred!!!!

Gee, thanks son. Now you, me, and all of Publix knows.

That said, it was the 200 that finally woke me up to the fact that no, indeed, the dryer was not shrinking all my clothes. I ramped up my attitude, got serious about weight loss in September, and I've so far lost 28 lbs. It's slow going for me, but I figure the more slowly it comes off (as long as it keeps coming off) the longer it will stay off.

Best wishes to you!

CaseyL | January 31, 2007 10:59 PM

I've found that huge salads with lots of "stuff" - nuts, dried fruit, tofu - eaten as the main meal of the day, filled me up, made me happy (because of the variety of textures and tastes), and made the poundage drop off fast. Ditto veggie-based stir fry. If you can't stand tofu, eat a lot of seafood. Shrimp work really well in salads and stir-fries.

Also, and you're really not going to like this, cut down dramatically on your caffeine intake. What caffeine gives you (by quieting hunger pangs) it takes away by whipsawing your metabolism, so you get tired, sleepy, and hungry when you shouldn't.

I used to drink mass quantities of coffee, starting first thing in the morning. Then I wondered why I'd feel as if someone had pulled my plug by 3:00 pm. When I stopped drinking coffee, I stopped getting that feeling.

crazysoph | February 1, 2007 03:52 AM

Looking forward to your progress reports - I'll find them supportive in my own battle of the bulge.

Which I really shouldn't call that, but I'm a formerly thin-as-a-rail person, to whom middle age has now arrived. *sad sigh* Not much to whine about in absolute terms - my BMI is only just tickling 25, but it had skated over this past Christmas; I've had some good results without huge dislocations of my food habits.

But - for adding to your data points -

activity is great, especially when you can embrace it with joy and enthusiasm (current faves: long thoughtful walks, wild bike rides, and aikido - not all started at the same point in my life), the main thing is keeping at it consistently and balancing it so you don't burn out/drop out;

caffeine is not your friend, although cutting it out completely in one go is also not good - but as I've been paying attention to other issues, the actual need for caffeine also seems to have dropped for me (one cup of coffee at breakfast, who'da'thunk?) in a gentle, non-traumatic way.

portion control is very effective - I'd taken to heart the whole "no foods forbidden" psychology, and it's nice to be able to enjoy my food. I'm trying to pay attention to quality, as in "will I enjoy this?" and quantity, as in stopping before I've reached the stage of feeling full. A number of items dropped out quite naturally, because I found them wanting in the enjoyment:calorie count ratio. (I rarely drink cola anymore. French fries are an occasional treat, and I try to suggest I share a portion rather than eat a whole one on my own. In fact, sharing's a good strategy - I get the taste, but don't have to finish a whole one.)

A side issue has been educating the spouse - "food = love" is a kinda hard habit to break, so lately our conversations have been full of gentle reminders that I only need 1/2 the portion he's trying to dish out for me, honest, and I'd rather have a mandarin than an ice cream, and no, I really don't want a night-cap, thank you very much. He's learning, too, while I'm trying to practice dodging those meant-to-be-nice treats.

But getting walks together has made up for the sense of taking away his fun in giving me food...

Crazy(and chatty, please excuse)Soph

Ray who is homesick. | February 1, 2007 07:00 AM

Fencing. Thats the anwser. It's a hardcore workout and fun as hell. My wife owns a Yoga studio and between 3 days a week fencing and the occasional drop in for a Yoga class, I felt GREAT!

Miko | February 1, 2007 08:08 AM

The importance of avoiding any sugar-laden drink cannot be overemphasized.

Also, it might help if you think of white bread as poison. Recent studies indicate that cutting out calories makes you thinner, just cutting out the fat does nothing, and just cutting out all the carbs makes you eat less calories. So, try to avoid anything sweet, it'll just make you hungry.

There's also such a thing as Glycaemic Index, which gets very complicated, but basically try to stick to less processed and bleached things with lots of fiber. Brown rice and pasta instead of white rice and white bread, fructose instead of sucrose, etc.

kero aka kevin | February 1, 2007 12:49 PM

Janice in GA:

The lowest setting on DDR Super Nova is very easy and will improve your coordination, maybe not to the point that you can DDR as well as you knit, but well enough to get an enjoyable workout. Also, on my site you will find a link to my sisters knitting blog which may interest you.

A.R.Yngve | February 1, 2007 02:59 PM

I already have the dance-mat for my PlayStation, but I haven't been able to buy a Wii yet -- the number of consoles distributed to Scandinavia has been appallingly low.

Try BISHI BASHI SPECIAL or DEVIL DICE with the DanceMat...

Tania | February 2, 2007 04:40 PM

Ammo in your crusade for a Wii as a "fitness and training aide"

Conan O'Brien defeats Serena Williams at Wii Tennis

Cat Brother | February 4, 2007 09:44 AM

Hello and good luck on your quest, John. I work as a personal trainer but also have a very ecclectic background in Asian martial arts, boxing, soccer, and unusual exercise of all kinds.
With your permission, a few suggestions -
1. I presume the post above about having more muscle making it harder to burn fat was a joke, but just in case you were seriously considering it...wrong, wrong, wrong. Muscle is active and needs calories around the clock, fat is inert. The more muscle, the more fat you burn sitting on your ass.

2. To ring in the new year, I just lost 17 pounds, on a very low-carb diet. There are essential proteins, and essential fats, but no essential carbs. If it's green or you can kill it with a stick, eat all you want. Processed carbs are the enemy. The more you eat, the worse your body gets at burning fat as fuel.

3. 170???! With a wife who looks like Krissy? To quote Blade from the first, best of the series, "MothafuckerareyououttayourdamnMIND?"
Get a little angry. This will prevent backsliding.

4. I love heavy bags, and have several different models. I strongly advise against punching them with the knuckles, a la boxing, unless you know how to wrap your hands and have good gloves; it's very easy to sprain a wrist.
Kicking and kneeing is safer,and will burn many more calories. You will need to hang it either in the garage or from a tree or something - they tend to shake the floor above.

5. Books - Body For Life still holds up, and your local used book store probably has several copies for almost nothing.

6. Go to your local Play It Again Sports, you can buy a weight set that'll never wear out for about $100, and it'll take you a lot farther than the Wiii, buh-leeeve me. While you're there, buy a soccer ball for $10.
Not to get all preachy on your ass, but, video-simulation of sports? What the -?
I remember when this idea was a sight gag in an Aliens comic from the 80's - they showed two high-powered executives playing squash for several panels, then it turned out they were both maneuvering little hologram figures, the idea being, ho ho, those decadent execs of the future, so lazy they do simulation squash! And now...
15 minutes a day, you and Athena kick the ball back and forth, her making you run for it. If you have a solid wall on your property, even better - use it as a backboard.

7. Only weigh yourself ONCE a week, same day, same time, right after getting up. Otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy.

Keep us all posted!

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