Manifolds

May 5, 2010

Qajaasaarneq

Filed under: health,kayaking,sports,technology — origamifreak @ 1:35 pm

I’ve been paddling a lot lately, both flat and white water.

But yesterday I got to try something new – qajaasaarneq – Inuit rope gymnastics designed to keep kayak hunters in shape during the off season. These exercises are supposed to be the closest thing to rolling a kayak there is, without involving a boat and water, LOL.

These days there are competitions for who can do the most moves in half an hour (each side, forward & backward). There are 26 moves in all.

Let me tell you, these exercises are challenging. I managed the Akulaammillugu move forwards with my right leg above the rope, and could do it until I was dizzy. It’s the easiest move and the only one I mastered.

I almost managed Akulaammillugu backwards with the same leg in front. My pulled hamstring complained when I tried Akulaammillugu forward with the left leg in front.

I *almost* managed Pallussineq but just couldn’t quite get all the way back over.

All of us tried Qajaasaarneq and a few of the more experienced kayakers managed it, both forward and backward.

It was a really good workout. So good that I’m thinking of getting rid of the Bowflex in the basement, moving the Olympic cage to where the Bowflex is, and hanging some ropes where the Olympic cage is now. That could be a fun thing to have in the basement to work on during the winter…

We also tried some of the high rope exercises. One guy even managed to get up and over it! None of us managed the one-hand hold (Kisitsineq).

The requirements for setup are pretty minimal. It would be fun to see this end up as a new esoteric exercise regime for the masses, LOL.

April 11, 2010

A kayaking goal accomplished! One more step toward badass status. LOL

Filed under: kayaking,sports,technology,transportation,travel — origamifreak @ 4:58 pm

Back in September I took a whitewater kayaking class so I could learn how to roll for my lake boating.

It was all well and good while we practiced in the pool, and even on the one day outing.

But everything changed when we did the overnight trip to the Middle Moose river in the Adirondacks.

We went down that section twice; once on Saturday when the river was running at 3.5, and once on Sunday when it was running at 4ft.

Saturday was a blast, although frustrating. I was in a giant RPM Max boat that was so big I couldn’t maneuver it at all, but so buoyant that it basically floated me upright through everything no matter what I did.

Sunday was a mess. I traded down to a Jackson 4Fun play boat with much less volume (its original paddler got so beat up on Saturday he decided not to go at all on Sunday), the river was higher, and I swam at every rapid, as most of us did. One student even lost her paddle. The instructors decided halfway through to cut the trip short and we walked up the hill to the road.

That day I was cold, tired, and yet still wanted to keep going. And that day it became personal. Between me and the river. I vowed that I’d lose the rest of the weight, get my rolls solid, build up my core and upper body strength and return in time for spring to do that same section at the same water level, with finesse.

I decided I’d become the baddest 40-something ass on the river who used to weigh over 300 lbs. And if that pool of competition was too small, I’d open it up to ANY paddler on the river who used to weigh over 300 lbs. LOL

Today, 7 months later, the first time out in my new boat on moving water, I did it. No swimming, no rolling, AND we added a rapid at the end that was much bigger than anything I’d done in September. According to the gauge the water level was somewhere between 3.93 and 3.9ft, which is close enough to 4 ft, in my book.

In one way I feel really good about this; I set out to show the Middle Moose who was boss, and I’ve done that. On the other hand, as so often with achievements, it was a bit anti-climactic.

I kept waiting for those big scary waves and holes I’d remembered. And we got to the point where the class finished in September and one of the guys said, “gee, that was tame” and I found myself thinking, “but it hasn’t begun, yet. what happened?” And now that I’ve actually done it, on my first day out of the 2010 season, holy heck what am I supposed to AIM for between now and September?! LOL

According to one of my companions the last rapid we added was supposedly a low class IV. One of the guys did come out of his boat (it’s hard to roll that boat – it’s a weird Italian play boat). Another who’d gone down before me said he’d come through the rapid all which-way. Somehow I got lucky on that one and missed most of the big holes and punched through the ones I didn’t miss.

Part of the credit I think is due to my boat. It’s a Pyranha M3 233 creek boat, designed for big water – and I bought it because I figured it would be forgiving of my mistakes more than a river runner or a play boat. And I was right, I think. Today demonstrated that.

Unlike the RPM Max, it actually fits me, so there is lots of ability to edge and maneuver it. It spins on a dime. I can see that I’m going to find this boat very comfortable for a long time, unless I start getting into playboating.

Amusingly, on the way back to the cars we ran into the guy I’d bought the boat from. He now paddles a Pyranha burn, which is the next generation after the M3 and he loves it.

February 23, 2010

Wow, I’m really dense!

Filed under: health,sports,technology — origamifreak @ 8:00 am
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Yeah, we already KNOW I can be dense in the mental arena, LOL.

But what I’m talking about is my mass/volume ratio.

Because tonight I was swimming my laps after water aerobics and wondered why, sometimes in the shallow end, when I was slow on my flip turn, why I would sometimes find myself sitting on my butt on the bottom of the pool after exhaling.

So once I finished I did a little experiment. I laid on the surface and let out my air. Woosh. I landed on the bottom. I held my breath down there for a little bit to see if I’d come back up. Nope. So I stood up.

And then I told the lifeguard I was going to try this in the deep end, just to find out if I really was sinking. And I went down there over by the ladder and did the same thing. And I sank like a stone. It was so fast I actually got a little scared and started swimming back up before I hit the bottom (12 ft). My ears were even feeling the pressure.

Dang. Now I think I understand why some people are afraid of water, especially deep water. It would be kind of scary to find myself at the bottom down there and what if I didn’t have the energy to pull myself back up to the top and wanted to breathe? Yikes.

Last time I was that deep (about 18 months ago) I swam down to retrieve a piece of the underwater vacuum for the lifeguard. I was so buoyant that they had to put down a pole so I could pull myself down the last few feet using my arms, because I just couldn’t swim against my own tendency to bob back up.

This time I think if I went down there again, I’d ask for a pole so I could pull myself UP, if necessary! Heck, if I could hold my breath long enough, I could probably walk around down there.

Bizarre. This whole physical metamorphosis is just bizarre. In some ways it’s almost as surreal as waking up one morning shaped as a cockroach. LOL

January 26, 2010

Am I done?! Really?! Yikes. :-o

My initial goal has been 150 lbs or 25% body fat, whichever came first.

My Tanita scale has been indicating anywhere from 22% to 26% body fat for the past week or so.

I suspected I was close, but wouldn’t know until I had it measured by a more accurate method.

While in CA on January 15 through a DXA scan I found out my body fat is actually 19%.
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Are you freaking KIDDING me?! That’s actually in the “athletic” category.  Specifically Nordic skiers, bicyclists, and swimmers.  Gee, what a coincidence, LOL

However, last year at this time I still weighed around 300 lbs, so it’s a lot to mentally adjust to.

Apparently what’s going on is that my BONES are uber-dense.  As in over 3 standard deviations denser than normal.  The T-score is 3.5, the Z-score is 3.2, if you’re into that sort of thing.  This doesn’t mean I have *big* bones – I’m still small-framed by all the measures I’ve tried.  It just means that my tiny little bones are the osteo equivalent of titanium, or something.  Which actually bodes well for the future, because they lose density, I’ll eventually end up at “normal” while everyone is fracturing their hips at 80…

So my dense little bones are tricking my scale into thinking I’ve got more fat than I do.  Because the scale is using average values for my age and gender, etc. to estimate body fat.

This body fat percent means, technically, that by at least one measure I am done. I have been processing this information for the past couple of days – I actually cried a little in the car on the way back on Thursday, because I was just so overwhelmed. I wasn’t expecting this. I wasn’t really ready for it.

I have been lightening up on the calorie restriction but continuing with the heavy exercising, with predictable results. This morning I’m up to 158. So I’ll be pushing back down on the restriction a little more.

In the meantime, realizing that I’m probably going to be close to this size for a while, and having my two sisters handy, I indulged in SHOPPING. Me. Who has historically H.A.T.E.D. shopping. With a Passion.

In the interests of public service, here is a rundown of the thrift and consignment stores my sisters and I investigated:

1) American Cancer Society Discovery Store, Rancho Bernardo
16787 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego – (858) 385-0479

Small store, Salvation Army-type prices & selection. Found the sparkly $18 blue velour dress on sale in the above pic for half off.

2) Girlfriend’s Consignment Boutique, Poway
12222 Poway Road, Poway, CA – (858) 679-1222

Upscale. Lovely selection. Found a really nice workout top and leather pants ($26).

3) Plato’s Closet, Escondido
1220 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA – (760) 233-0002

Geared toward 20 year olds. Found some really nice workout gear there. Lots of colors and styles and the ability to be picky.

4) Deborah’s Next to New, Escondido
1624 E Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA – (760) 743-8980

Large selection. Similar items scattered throughout the store. Quality ranges from Salvation Army to upscale. Found an awesome lined suede long skirt there for $29.

I had to get a box to ship all this stuff home…

January 10, 2010

New BMI = 24.43

TWO milestones this morning:

  1. I’ve officially lost 180 lbs
  2. I’ve lost another 5% net, so when I get home I get to choose another BUFF to add to my collection.  This was the last official 5% net interval left before goal, although realistically I will probably hit another one in the process of undershooting while stabilizing.

Next milestone in 1.6 lbs when my BMI drops below 24.  I’m in the home stretch.  Goal weight is 4.8 lbs away.  Physics Diet says I’m 8.81 lbs away from goal, and I’m going to consider myself truly “at goal” when my AVERAGE weight is 150.  Have I mentioned that I brought my bathroom scale with me in my suitcase to help me stay on track?  It seems to be working!

A couple of my friends have taken to hanging around me at this conference just to watch the reactions of our other mutual friends, which is fun for all of us.

I’ve developed a fun response when colleagues express awe at this. I say, “if you’re impressed with my weight loss, you should take a closer look at my work!” LOL

Unable to exercise Saturday because when I was finally done with everything and in my gear I found out that all the places around closed at 8pm.  GRR.  Had a little meltdown because I REALLY wanted to exercise, and missed the elliptical in my basement, something awful.  (Unfortunately that does not fit in my suitcase. )

So I adjusted my calories some.   I am LOVING having a calorie tracker on my iPod Touch.  Combined with my little pocket scale, I can eat out and STILL stay on track.

I still managed to go to lunch (very accommodating waitress at Gordon Biersch) and have 45 ml of port wine later, and stayed WITHIN MY CALORIES!

Lunch strategy:

Explained to the waitress up front that I have lost 180 lbs and needed help constructing a salad with just tuna and veggies and she ended up bringing shredded carrots, diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, diced asparagus, baby greens and sliced seared ahi tuna in separate bowls with balsamic vinegar on the side so I could weigh it all and stick it in my tracker. Final damage? 206 calories. And it was AMAZINGLY GOOD, and I was enjoying lunch with my friends.

After dinner party in the room strategy:

I’d budgeted calories for the 45 ml of port wine I brought, measured it, savored it, and for the rest of the night drank the herbal teas I’d brought with me, using the room’s little coffee maker to supply the hot water. I always had a treat to sip in my hand, could indulge in as many as I wanted, and had a great time laughing and sharing stories with my friends.

January 7, 2010

Countdown to goal weight… 6.8 lbs left to go!

Now that I’m at a “healthy” BMI, I have one more basic goal to reach before working on stabilization and reevaluating my needs.

Goal weight is 150 or 25% body fat, whichever comes first.  At the moment it looks like they’re going to happen pretty much simultaneously.

I’ll go by the average at PhysicsDiet.com for the “real” value, but at the moment I’m working toward getting the scale to say it, first.  I will have to go below 150 a bit in order to stabilize there.

Over the past week my % body fat has ranged between 29.9 and 27.4 – I have a DXA scan scheduled on Jan 14 and that should tell me where I really am, at that point, and how the BIA scale numbers compare.

I’ve been working with the calorie tracker on my iPod and I think I’ve got the diet cycles / energy targets pretty well worked out. Part of what has made the transition complicated is that this tracker, unlike the one on Spark People, automatically takes into account my reported exercise.  I gained weight through much of last week as a result of eating more.  So I’ve had to adjust it down a bit.  It turns out that even with my exercise schedule if I eat more than 1100 calories per day on average, I will gain weight.

The way I’m using the tracker is that when I gain weight I go on the very restrictive  “-10 lbs per month” daily calorie target I’ve set up until it comes off, again.  Once I get back to where I started I ease onto the “-9 lbs per month” target and see what happens.   As I get closer to goal I’ll ease onto less restricted calorie targets and by trial and error figure out what target range will work for me for maintenance.

Because my metabolism is so slow I bet my eventual maintenance calorie target will say I should be losing weight.  It doesn’t matter what the tracker software predicts, though,  just what the actual SCALE and BODY FAT ESTIMATES say.

P.S.  My next milestone will be in 1.2 lbs when I’ll have removed 180.

December 23, 2009

New BMI = 24.97

Filed under: health,sports,technology — origamifreak @ 8:57 am
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Do you see that?!  Do you see the number up there????

Did you NOTICE?!  It’s UNDER 25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m at a “healthy” BMI!  Woo-hoo!

And Amazon says they can get me my SwiMP3 player TOMORROW.  In time for Christmas!!!  In time to USE it on Saturday!!!

Happy little “normal” BMI dance…

P.S.  The other milestone I hit this morning is that my weight is now under 160.  Yay.  But not as exciting as my SHINY NEW BMI!

P.P.S.  I was so excited about getting my BMI under 25 that I forgot to mention the next milestone coming up:  in 3.8 lbs I will have removed 180 total…

December 21, 2009

New BMI = 25.06

Filed under: health,technology — origamifreak @ 9:08 am
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OK, as of this morning I’ve lost 175 lbs.

In one half of a pound (0.5 lbs) I will be at a “healthy” BMI under 25…

And in one tenth of a pound (0.1 lbs) my weight will go under 160.

In the past week I’ve seen that SwiMP3 player on Amazon go from $135 to $119 to $115 and last night it’s back up to $135.  😐

Grr.  Oh well.  The BMI is more important.  If I can get rid of just half a pound more, it’ll be a Very Merry Christmas, indeed!

December 20, 2009

Countdown to a “healthy” BMI: 1.7 to go!

Not another milestone…  YET.  Next one in 0.6 lbs when I’ll have removed 175 lbs total.

But as of this morning, 1.7 lbs left to remove until my BMI is under 25, in the “healthy” range.

I did get a new gadget to help me stay on track, though.

Every time I go away from my routine, my computer, and my scale, I seem to gain weight.  Last weekend I went to see Kathie in Alexandria, VA and came back 3 lbs heavier.  It set back my progress for a week.

So, knowing I have another trip coming up in January, I decided to do something about this.  Clearly just keeping a log on paper isn’t sufficient for keeping myself on track.  I need something that will give me a running total of how much I’ve eaten and how much I have left to eat for the day, and it needs to be small, and work offline.  I also need to plan on packing my bathroom scale into my carry-on.  LOL

Enter the iPod Touch with Lean Me Pro installed.  Yesterday I started logging my food on it instead of Spark People.  I found out that if the food needs to be entered you need to either do it ahead of time or make the time to do it right then, because I did not do that and went over my usual calories by 500.

Today I’ve been doing better at it, and the running records are up to date.  562 cal left to eat.  🙂

I’ve also put True Weight on there, which calculates a weighted moving average, Hacker’s Diet style.  I’ll probably still continue logging my weight over at physicsdiet, just ‘cuz it’s fun to see my ID at the top of the leader board.  hehe.

And I’ve already used it for other things – calculating the tip & split for dinner last night, caching a sermon from our minister who wasn’t scheduled to come (he comes 1-2 Sundays a month and is the full-time Episcopal chaplain at Cornell) so I could read it in church today.

It’s turning out to be a Very Useful Gadget, and cost about $200 total.  I was quite impressed with how FAST it came.  I ordered it on Wednesday afternoon with custom engraving on it “From Fatass to Badass.  Never ever, EVER give up!” and it arrived by noon on Friday.  From Shanghai, according to the Fed Ex manifest.

December 11, 2009

Countdown to a “healthy” BMI: 2.3 to go!

Filed under: health,sports,technology — origamifreak @ 7:59 am
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Not another milestone…  YET.  Next one in 1.2 lbs when I’ll have removed 175 lbs total.

But as of this morning, 2.3 lbs left to remove until my BMI is under 25, in the “healthy” range.

I have a fun reward planned – an underwater MP3 player that conducts sound through my cheekbones.  (I’m going to have to put in a lot of pool time to train for those 1.2 miles I’ll be swimming in July…)

Now, if I can just manage to drop these pounds soon, I might even be able to get it for CHRISTMAS!!!

At the very least I’m hoping for a shiny new BMI for Christmas…  LOL

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