Saturday, July 28, 2007

Weighing In

According to what I've found on the Internet, the ideal weight for a man of my height (5'10") is 166lbs (falling in the range of 132lbs to 173lbs). Now, I'm currently sitting at 192 which, according to another chart I've found, puts me approximately in the 60th percentile or so for other men around my age (meaning, populationwise, a lot of us have a lot of work to do!).
One of my friends quoted something that was mentioned on Oprah recently: that if you take your height in inches and divide by two that is the waist size you should be shooting for. So, for me 5'10" is 70 inches - divide by two and I get 35. Okay, I feel a bit better. I wear 36 inch waist pants. Not so bad, really. I know I'm not too far off the market either. My recent BMI (body mass index) number was 28.1 - and the goal for someone my age/height is 25 or under. So, I guess this all puts me as slightly overweight.

I'm pretty good about my caloric intake. Sure, I'll spluge once in awhile - a super-sized meal here or a desert there - but I'm usually pretty good. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so I'm safe there. I do like chips though, so I really need to focus more on ones with less fat (and, of course, have them occasionally - all in moderation). No, my big problem is my sedentary lifestyle.

It wasn't always this way for me. All through high school and college I weighed 130lbs with a 32 inch waist. I walked a lot back then. From the age of seven through eighteen, I walked a mile home from school every day. During the summer, I biked and swam, and as I got into my teens walked an eighteen-hole round of golf most weekdays. I ran cross-country in the fall and tracks in the spring (the two-mile) during the early part of my high school career. In college, I know I walked the quarter-mile between the dorms and the class buildings at least four times a day (if not more). And I'd usually go out dancing a few nights a week to boot.

It all really switched gears when I started to work full-time. As a programmer, I sit eight to ten hours a day in front of a computer screen. The first few years I was still going out dancing, but that bit stopped once I met my wife and got married in 1990. By the time I hit 30, two things happened: my metabolism finally started to slow down and my wife got pregnant. Now, during those nine months, I ate a lot of fast food - in part because the smell of food cooking didn't agree with her (she had morning sickness all day for six months). That probably didn't help. When my son started on solid foods and such, I probably did what a lot of father's did - cleaned up the scraps left on his plate that he didn't eat. So, really, poor eating habits since 1995 are part of the problem.

In any case, I know I need to make some changes. Going from regular soda down to a zero calorie will help (for my one can a day that I have). Switching to whole grain bread will too. Eating more fruit and veggies and drinking water can't hurt. And I need to exercise more too. Weekends aren't too much a problem fitting it in; my key is going to be fitting in twenty to thirty minutes Monday through Friday. If I can do that, I can try to reverse a bit the upward trend from the last twelve or so years. I'd definitely be much happier being closer to 175 than being spitting distance from 200.

Oh, and just to note something amusing: there was a story Thursday about a study from Harvard Medical School and the University of California-San Diego regarding obesity being a sort of socially-contagious 'disease'. related news story

Does that mean I can blame my friends and family for the shape I'm in? Nah. Gotta take the responsibility myself. Can't blame a guy for trying though.

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