Gas station without pumps

2016 January 31

Thirteenth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:48
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This post continues the series of weight progress reports from the previous one. Even after I adjusted my target weight range, to gradually relax the upper limit and allow it to increase at 0.6 lbs a year, I’ve still fallen outside the target range several times this month.

At the end of the month,I barely made it into my target range, and I still want to lose about 3 pounds.

At the end of the month, I barely made it into my target range, and I still want to lose about 3 pounds.

My exercise for January was fairly high (averaging 4.9 miles/day bicycling), and I was pretty good about my raw-fruits-and-vegetables-for-lunch diet.  But there were several faculty recruiting and grad student recruiting dinners, at which I ate too much high-calorie food.  There are still three more faculty recruiting dinners in February, so I’ll need to watch myself.

If I could bring back the strict discipline I had last year at this time, I could lose the remaining three pounds in three weeks, but it is hard for me to stop snacking and to leave the supper table before I feel full—I did it for 5 months last year, but I’m finding it more difficult this year.

 

2015 December 31

Twelfth weight progress report (one year)

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 15:57
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This post continues the series of weight progress reports from the previous one. This report marks one year from my New Year’s resolution at the beginning of 2015.  At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to drop my weight by 10–15 pounds, by which I meant a target weight of 160–165 lbs 0r a BMI of 22.5–23 kg/m2.  During the course of the year, I re-defined my goal to a target weight of 155–160 lbs or a BMI of 21.6–22.4 kg/m2.  I reached that target range in April, and pretty much stayed there until the end of September, when I had a sudden spike in weight that took me about a month to correct.  November and December were not good for my weight, which has drifted up to hover around 161 lbs.

2015 weight record, showing successful weight loss followed by almost successful maintenance.

2015 weight record, showing successful weight loss followed by almost successful maintenance.

My weight has drifted outside my target range several times, and the holidays have been particularly bad for keeping it in bounds. I’ve adjusted my target weight to gradually relax the upper limit, to allow it to increase at 0.6 lbs a year, which would allow me to drift up t0 178 lbs over 30 years.  But I’m currently over even my relaxed limit, so I’ll have to go back to my  strict raw-fruits-and-vegetables-for-lunch diet, which I have not been keeping to very well lately.

My Body Adiposity Index now estimates my body  fat at 23.4%, while the estimate from BMI is 24.8%.  According to some calibration studies on people in Louisiana, neither estimate is particularly accurate—by that study, the correct value should be around 18±5%.

My exercise for December is way down also (only 2.48 miles/day of bicycling, down from 4.28 miles/day in November) and my total mileage for 2015 is only 1479.4 miles.  I was going to do some cycling with my son over break, but he got some mild gastrointestinal bug, and I’ve been a bit under the weather also, so we never got around to doing the bike rides we had planned. Even the short ride we attempted to UCSC to film a short video on oscilloscope usage got cancelled when he threw up halfway up the hill (the first symptom of the gastrointestinal bug, other than fatigue).

 

 

2014 December 31

2015 New Year’s resolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 13:51
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I’m not a great believer in New Year’s resolutions (they generally last no more than a week), so I gave up making them years ago. This year, though, I do want to make one—one that is related to my health and fitness.  I want to lose 10–15 pounds by June 2015.

Here’s what prompted that resolution:

    My "body mass index" has been creeping up for the past 21 months. I'm in danger of passing the BME≥25 threshold to "overweight" in about 19 months if the recent trend continues.

My “body mass index” has been creeping up for the past 21 months. I’m in danger of passing the BME≥25 threshold to “overweight” in about 19 months if the recent trend continues.

I think I felt healthiest when my BMI was about 21.6, but I’d be happy to get my BMI back in the range 22.5–23, which is where it was around 6–10 years ago. Most of the weight I’ve put on since then is around my waist, which is not a healthy place to be adding weight—I wouldn’t have minded adding muscle mass, but the gain has clearly been in flab, not muscle.

Of course, it isn’t enough just to decide to lose weight—I’m going to have to change some of my habits to achieve my goal. But which ones?

Exercise and diet are the two main contributors to weight gain or loss. So do I increase my exercise, limit my diet, or both?

I get adequate aerobic exercise (about 26.8 miles/week of bicycling—see the bike log below), and I’ve never been able to maintain an increased exercise program for more than a few weeks.  So I don’t think that exercise will be a major part of my weight-loss program. I may try doing “core” exercises again to trim my waist a bit through increased muscle tone, but that won’t affect my weight significantly.

Because I use my bicycle for transportation, my exercise is roughly constant. (Academic year 2011–12 was lower, because I was on sabbatical, so biked up the hill to campus less often.)

Because I use my bicycle for transportation, my exercise is roughly constant. (Academic year 2011–12 was lower, because I was on sabbatical, so biked up the hill to campus less often.)

Given that I’m unlikely to sustain an increased exercise regime for long enough to lose much weight, it seems like my best bet will be to try to regulate my diet. I can ask my wife to help by not offering me fattening foods, but most of the effort will have to come from me controlling portion sizes and not eating snacks from the vending machine at work. Skipping lunch or bringing low-calorie lunches from home might help, but I often skip lunch already, so I don’t know how much having better lunch discipline will help. I think that the big changes will have to come in my evening meal.

I’ll try to cut back on some of the high-calorie foods (like cheese and ice cream) and increase my intake of bulky low-calorie foods (like vegetables).  Changing habits that I developed when I was a skinny person is going to be hard, but I’m hopeful that I can reset the weight homeostasis back to what it was a decade ago, and that within six months new dietary habits will be sufficiently established to be able to maintain the weight without struggle.

2014 December 8

Arana Gulch Multi-Use Trail Project Dedication

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 09:18
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According to  City of Santa Cruz : City Newsroom : Save the Date: Arana Gulch Multi-Use Trail Project Dedication January 14, the Broadway-Brommer bike bridge will finally be completed (it has taken about 20 years).

The ribbon cutting will take place 2–4pm on Wed 14 Jan 2015 at the Frederick Street end of the bridge. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go, as it is sandwiched between the two classes I need to teach that day.

The City of Santa Cruz post linked to above gives details on the parking (car and bike parking) and planned entertainment.

 

2014 July 28

New mesh seat finished and tested

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 17:50
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In Need new mesh seat for recumbent, I mentioned that I needed a new seat for my recumbent, as the one I’ve been using since 1999 (15 years!) is completely worn out.  I repaired the seat once before (replacing part of the front strap), but the seat was not worth repairing again, as the warp has worn away in several spots across the middle of the seat (apparently abrasion with the central strap behind the seat).

I bought new hardware and straps from Country Brook Design (through Amazon, since the prices were the same and the shipping seemed cheaper than a direct order from Country Brook Design.
I got

There was $7.08 shipping and handling on the order from Country Brook Design.

I also bought a yard of 840×1680 denier leno-woven mesh fabric from ahh.biz, but when I went to check the price again, it is now a “discontinued product”—I must have bought their last yard—including shipping the total bill was $20.20.

Since I already had sewing thread, the total cost for making the new seat was $76.11, but I have a lot of materials left over (the 25 triglide slides, 16 buckles, a little bit of seat-belt webbing and reflective webbing, and most of the leno-lock mesh).  I could have bought a seat from Greg Peek at Longbikes for $149.00 plus $15 shipping and handling, so making my own was less than half the price, despite having a lot of excess parts.  Also, my new seat has fancy red straps that are reflective at night, and the new straps are polyester rather than nylon, so should perform a bit better (less stretching, more UV resistant, faster drying).

I decided to use dual-adjustable heavy-duty buckles, so that they would be less likely to break and easier to replace if they did break (no sewing of the buckles). I also ran the 1” straps all the way across the seat at the top, bottom, and middle (3 of the 7 horizontal straps), as these seem to be the high-stress parts of the design (based on the stretching in the old seat).  I ran the warp horizontally, as I thought that would result in less stretching than having the warp vertical (as on my old seat)—I’ll let you know in 15 years how that works out (if I remember).

The new seat came out a bit heavier than the old one (545g rather than 470g), probably because of the straps across and heavier plastic hardware. The extra 75g is completely irrelevant give how much my bike and panniers weighs.

I used my wife’s sewing machine (my treadle machine needs a new leather belt, or tightening of the old belt).  My wife’s machine had no trouble with the mesh or the reflective webbing, but going through the seat-belt webbing sometimes caused it to have problems, particularly where it had to go through two layers of seat-belt webbing, a layer of reflective webbing, and the mesh.  I think that the treadle machine would have had less trouble, but I didn’t want to take the time to fix the belt on the treadle machine.

The seat came out looking ok, and I took a short ride on it today to buy groceries—it is as comfortable as the old seat and much nicer looking:

In this side view, you can't see much of the mesh seat—just the straps on the sides.

In this side view, you can’t see much of the mesh seat—just the straps on the sides.

From the front, the red straps match the red paint fairly well.

From the front, the red straps match the red paint fairly well.

By using a flash on my camera, I could light up the reflective straps even in the day time.

By using a flash on my camera, I could light up the reflective straps even in the day time.

From the rear, the reflective straps should add a fair amount of visibility at night.

From the rear, the reflective straps should add a fair amount of visibility at night.

The heavy-duty dual-adjustable buckles seem to work well.  By keeping the straps fairly short, I did not need to use the triglides or keepers to hold the ends of the straps in place—they aren't long enough to be a nuisance.

The heavy-duty dual-adjustable buckles seem to work well. By keeping the straps fairly short, I did not need to use the triglides or keepers to hold the ends of the straps in place—they aren’t long enough to be a nuisance.

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