Lose Weight with Video Games

According to my bathroom scale, I have a BMI of 25 – which is borderline overweight/normal. It sends a small electrical signal through my body when I stand barefoot atop the sensors and does all the math for me (after I’ve programmed my height and age). Not a perfect measurement, but I’d say it’s pretty accurate. I don’t feel normal yet – and won’t feel that way until I’ve gone the distance.

In less than a month, I’ve gone from ~175lbs down to 160. This brings me to the halfway point of my initial weight loss goal (145, if you do the math). I can’t say that this lifestyle adjustment has been simple, but I will say that it’s been far easier than previously anticipated. I’m using my geek skills to get me through, including a sweat-inducing workout on my Gazelle both last night and this morning. How is that geeky?

I pulled a 90-minute exercise session (without blinking) last night while I was playing Feeding Frenzy on the Xbox 360 – racking up a few achievements. I pulled an hour on it this morning, getting even more Feeding Frenzy achievements. I tell ya, the only way to work out is with a video game controller in your hand. I’ve tried it with television shows, but plain ol’ TV just doesn’t enable me to work up a sweat like a good PSP game or Xbox 360 diversion does. It’s not just forcing my mind to do something else, it’s keeping my controller steady, applying dexterity to the buttons, keeping my balance on the glider, etc.
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Making a Weight Loss eBook

Making a Weight Loss eBook

What the heck is this Windows fanatic doing – writing about losing weight? That makes no sense, as everybody in Gnomeland is in peak condition (and he’s the only one who could stand to lose a few pounds). Assuming the preceding statement is false, I’m going to move forward with sharing my weight loss experiences with everyone – as enough inspiration has already been spread through our little discussion list. In total, I’d guess that some of us have already lost a combined weight of 20lbs in the past week or so. I wish I could’ve lost twenty in the past week on my own, but that would have been entirely unhealthy to do. Regardless, I think there’s strength in numbers – which is causing me to formulate an idea that could benefit the lot of us.

Wanna share your weight loss / maintenance / health secrets with the rest of us? Tips and tricks could be geeky or not! I’ll get the ball rolling with a few bulletpoints, and I’m hoping that you can do the same. If you can, send those tips in to me ASAP – preferably in a semi-organized list format. Tell us who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Let’s inspire each other to keep going forward! Be sure to include your name and URL if you’d like to have credit for the submission. When I’ve collected notes from about 50 of you, I’ll issue volume one of Lockergnome’s Guide to Losing Weight. At the end of the day, we’ll have a small compendium of tips that might just help another Gnomie find his or her way to a happier body. Here are a few of my favorite geeky weight loss tips:
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The King of Counting Calories

As I outlined the other day in my Captain 173 article, I’ve become complacent in my eating habits once again – swelling to the size of one and a half gnomes (or a Wicket & a Pixie if you’re measuring in dogweight). I’ve got 30+ pounds of fat growing on my body, and it’s time (again) to reverse the trend. I’ve done the “lifestyle change” thing twice in my life, so I’m hoping that this third time will be the charm – as I learn something new every time I set out to slim down.

If you’ve been with me from the beginning, you’ll know that I used to be a voracious low-carber (losing enough to put me at 125lbs). Years later, I sponged back to a chunky size and did the portion-watching / calorie-measuring / exercising route (losing enough to put me at a very comfortable and healthy 142lbs). I’m older still, and likely at my heaviest ever – 173lbs, trying to get back down to ~145lbs by the time Gnomedex 6.0 rolls around. I don’t want to diet, and I don’t want to maintain – I want this to be a permanent change. I have to beat that into my head, lest I face this problem again in another few years. I got lazy. I got complacent.

A few minutes ago, I got an IM from a friend who said: “Good luck with the weight. I followed a lot of your advice back in summer of last year and dropped *30* pounds. So, if you can follow your own adviece, you’ll be set.” How true. If only I had continued to listen to my advice, I wouldn’t be in a Fatty McFatFat situation today. I’m 5’5″ and 173lbs – I’m overweight for my body type.

Everybody has “weight loss” advice – although I’ve already charted my course of action, which is (indeed) the healthiest and smartest. No magic pills, no wonder shakes – just plain ol’ food balance and exercise. I still have my Gazelle, I still have an Ab Lounge, I still don’t eat sugary foods or beverages, I still don’t eat hydrogenated products – I’m good to go. Slow and steady wins the race, they say – but I’m going to need help.
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Convergence. Just what is convergence? It’s a converging of… something. Technology? People? Media? Communications? Services? Products? Yes. I helped address the question on a panel this evening, arranged by the Washington Software Association. “Is Now the Time to Capitalize on Convergence?” As the only self-described geek in that group, I said yes. There are some caveats to this emerging trend, however. The biggest no-no is one word we all love to hate: proprietary. I hate feeling like I’m locked into something – anything. I don’t like my mobile phone service provider, I don’t like my cable company, I don’t like devices that don’t want to play along with other devices. Formats that don’t want to play along with existing players. Business plans that wind up ruining my life instead of freeing it – the exact reason why we have to take matters into our own hands. In many ways, we already are.

I spend a lot of money on entertainment – more than I probalby should. We have access to darn near everything on television these days, we have a Netflix account, a Napster account, etc. I’m not freeloading off of anybody, by any stretch. So, when I download this week’s HDTV copy of ‘My Name is Earl’ through a seeded torrent, I didn’t feel guilty at all. Even when I record programs on my Media Center, I fast forward through commercials if I’m sitting right there… so what’s the difference if someone else fast forwards ’em for me? I saw the network bug, I knew what I was watching, and I would have been just as happy with it were I to see it live or on any other form of media. In fact, I took that AVI, transcoded it to MP4, transfered it to my PSP, and watched it while I worked out on my Gazelle. That’s convergence, baby – and no company brought that to me. I had to go out and get it MYSELF.

They should be THRILLED I even wanted to watch the show in the first place!
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