walk 29

monday, 5:35am. 34°, cloudy.

let's see if i can make these strands connect in your head the way i make them connect in my head.

i have trouble controlling my weight and keeping my body fat in check. i've done a pretty good job stabilizing my weight within a 10-pound range over the past 18 months, but that 10-pound range is slightly higher than i'd like it.

actually, to be more accurate, the amount of fat i carry around is too high (if i added 10 pounds but i was solid muscle, what would i care about my weight?). when i get near 160 pounds, i know how to take quick action to get back to 153 or so pounds. i can do it in a couple of weeks and i can maintain it until i decide i'd rather be sitting on the couch eating like crap.

the problem isn't that i don't know what i'm doing. it's impulse control.

sure, twinkies and beer have contributed to expanding waistlines in the u.s. and, to a lesser extent, around the world, but the biggest problem is lifestyle.

you may have heard of the paleo (or paleolithic) diet. it's a low-carb diet that essentially says only eat what our ancestors had access to – meats, fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts. our bodies haven't changed very much since we domesticated grains, and with the exception of not knowing which mushrooms and berries were poisonous, most of the food-related illnesses we've encountered (diabetes and the like) have sprung up since we started growing food in our back yards instead of chasing it down. while some of the criticism of paleo is a saturated fat argument, the biggest one is a get off the couch and change your lifestyle argument.

we have an abundance of food available to us, so it's really easy to over-eat and not move enough. and that's some of the stuff i have the biggest problem with. [if you've ever watched me consume food, you know i don't mess around, particularly if there's meat involved.]

yesterday, while i was cleaning out the fridge of week-old leftovers (a sunday ritual; trash day is monday in my 'hood), i had rufus in a sit-stay while he watched. [i never give him week-old food, but he holds out hope every time.] and then i dropped a piece of chicken. and rufus really wanted it.

the problem was, i had him in a stay. so if he went after it, he'd be breaking my command (a no-no). i quickly stepped on his leash so he couldn't get anywhere, and then he went after the chicken. three times. finally, he realized he wasn't getting it and just looked at me. typically, i'd have let him have it, but i'd specifically told him to stay where he was, so the chicken, well, it wasn't consumed.

today, as we walked down the street, someone let a cat out as we went by. i know rufus saw it, because i saw it, and i'm always a couple of steps behind at that hour. and he didn't go after it. i even stopped to give him the opportunity, instigator that i am.

he knew i was in charge and he's supposed to follow me.

and so i'm starting to work with a trainer this week on the moving part of it, and if a dog can work on his impulse control and not chase after a cat, i can certainly work on mine and keep it to 2200 calories or so a day. [i was supposed to start with my trainer this morning, but she wound up in the hospital getting a spinal tap last night; i know she's doing her first figure show next week, and her diet's been giving her headaches the past couple of weeks.]

i'm looking to get my body fat to about 15%. that's not unreasonable for a guy; it's going to put me at about 140 pounds if i maintain my current muscle mass, and you probably won't be able to see my abs yet at that point. so i know it's doable, and i know it's doable with softball-and-beer if i keep my workouts up and i pay attention to my impulse control.

what is your dog helping you change?


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