Monday, November 06, 2006

Limited recent progress in project "Get in Shape"

I'm now well into my attempt to get into some sort of reasonable physical shape. We just finished the 3rd week of my second soccer season, which means I'm not about 13 weeks into my attempt.

Unfortunately, I don't feel like a lot of progress has been made recently. While I'm still much better off than I was after my first game, at the game last night I was tired early, didn't run the field much because of it, and was pretty well exhausted by the end of the game. I am fighting off a bit of a cold, but it's very minor and I can't believe it would make that much of a difference.

Most disheartening is that this game at the end of a reasonable week of sticking with the treadmill routine. I hit the treadmill 3 times in addition to my game, and have been keeping up pretty well with my push-ups. Usually if I get at least 3 treadmill jogs in, then I do much better on Sunday, but that seems to have petered out some.

Tied to this is the fact that, despite all of this exercise, I've been putting on a decent amount of weight since I started. My theory is that I'm adding muscle mass but not getting rid of any fat, but getting rid of fat was most of the reason for starting this anyway.

So, all that adds up to a need to alter the diet. Ack. All last week I cut back the calories and ate better, but all I had to show for it was fatigue while playing soccer. Nice.

Adding even more chaos into my attempt to diet is a show that Amy and I watched on Discovery Health called "On a Diet" (I think). Basically, this show explains that the real problem isn't weight, but it's weight that you carry around your belly button, which of course is right where most of my extra weight is. It goes on to explain the dangers of some processed foods including High Fructose Corn Syrup and Hydrogenated Oils.

Some of this we already knew, but in short here's the scoop: high fructose corn syrup is a whole lot cheaper than real sugar, and so all these packaged foods use it. But, it's also has a much higher calorie count for the same amount of sweetness. So the result is that you get the same taste as sugar with twice the calories. Thanks a lot for that.

The hydrogenated oils are a worse than that. Basically they were an attempt to create a healthier oil that didn't work out, and the resulting product raises bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol, and worst of all, actually tricks the body into thinking it's hungry after you eat it because of some indigestible parts of it.

So this makes for a fine combination, doesn't it: eat the oil, screw up your cholesterol, get hungrier, and stuff down extra calories for the same amount of food. No wonder the old midsection is swelling up.

The most annoying part of the whole thing for me is the presence of high fructose corn syrup in just about everything. First of all, its annoying because sugar tastes a lot better than this HFCS stuff anyway, and it's better for you. This was obvious in our visit to Texas, where we stumbled upon Dublin Dr. Pepper, a Dr. Pepper bottling plant that refused to make the switch to HFCS whenever that was mandated by the company. As a result, they are the only plant in the world that makes Dr. Pepper with real sugar. And SURPRISE, it's tastes better -- noticeably better. Not that drinking Dr. Pepper with real sugar is your key to losing weight, but you see my point.

Secondly, HFCS is in everything, and if you don't believe me, start reading your food labels. In going through the cabinets, the biggest disappointment was Rice Krispies. Yes, Rice Krispies. Why in the world would you put HFCS in something that you can't taste any sugar in anyway? For God's sake, the first thing I do with a bowl of Rice Krispies is put a spoon of regular sugar on it anyway, so the HFCS is totally worthless.

And another thing - the peanut butter we had contained both hydrogenated oil and HFCS. What? I don't like peanut better but the last time I checked, peanuts were full of their own oil, and the process of making peanut butter consisted of shelling peanuts and beating them to a pulp. Who the heck thinks you should add oil to a product from which you get oil? Hey I've got an idea, lets dip this butter in corn oil before we package it up...

Anyway, I'm hardly the one to launch a crusade of eating healthy, and I'm all about making food taste good. But, when you are adding crap into food which (1) makes it taste worse and (2) is worse for you then let me be the first to say "that's stupid."

At least I'm guaranteed to lose some weight now, because when we got rid of all the food with this extra crap in it, we were left with nothing to eat. Yee ha.


Amy said...

I'm hungry!

"The" Bucia said...

Uncle Len swore by a low carb diet. He always lost weight and was always happy. Main Ingrediant: Scotch and Water. No wonder he was always happy.