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bear by san

March 2017



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if i had a box just for wishes and dreams that would never come true--

!!!following discussion of athletic considerations and/or calorie control may be triggery for people with food/weight issues. also, stuff about climbing and writing

NB: If I somehow gave anybody the idea I was looking for diet advice, thanks, but I'm not. I've had this meat for 37 years now and I pretty much know how it runs.

Raven. Raven.

(verb, not noun.) I'm starving this morning, and I have not yet gotten off my butt to shower and dress and eat something--and get to work, which is the next issue on the agenda, but discipline is currently failing me.

The reason I raven is because I'm still trying to drop some weight for climbing, and in practical terms that means a lot of going to bed hungry. Le sigh.

Minor intake cuts do me no good; I can be burning over 3K a day (right now, with the running and climbing, I'm burning between 2500 and 3200 calories a day) and unless I take my intake down under 1800, any weight loss is strictly on the order of a pound a month or so. No matter WHAT the silly metric thinks about a 500 calorie a day deficit being a pound a week.

However, comma, while I am not down nearly as much as Fitday thinks I should be, I am down about twelve pounds since I got serious about the diet. With concommittant improvement on the wall. The trick is to keep enough protein coming in not to lose muscle mass.

Strength-weight ration matters in climbing, like it matters in cycling, and one of the really funny things about it is that if you pack on muscle like I do... well, since last October, I gained twenty-five pounds (I went from 223 to 248) while losing an entire jeans size. So I have gotten hugely stronger, but I've also gotten heavier. I have this fabulous Ukrainian metabolism that's optimized for famine, baby. It turns food into resources. Fat! Muscle! Yeah, we can use that come winter.

...yeah. No, really. I suspect I am currently carrying more muscle than I ever have in my life, even when I was weightlifting and doing kickboxing. I pack on muscle like a guy, and I have the frame of an ox.

Anyway, I honestly don't think I can put on a lot more muscle without doing not-so-nice things to my ligaments. So my current goal for climbing better is to take off as much of the weight that only serves as insulation and ballast as possible, which will also have the added benefit of making me more flexible. And I've gotten it down to around 236, with great privation. But man, I'm hungry. And as soon as I develop some motivation, I'm going to get up and do something about that.

Motivation. Discipline.

Sometimes, it seems as if everything in my life is about discipline. And sometimes it feels like I fall down on the job. Climbing, running, writing. It all takes discipline. (The thing about climbing is that the first wall or two sucks. Your body really doesn't want to do that shit. And then you get into the groove and the endorphins kick in and it's fun. But that first wall? OMG.)

The guitar practice and math study I have been so very bad about keeping up with lately. The unfortunate necessity of cleaning up this place so I don't have to live in a plague pit.

You know, the usual stuff.


Especially in the damned writing. There are things in this life that I want to be doing right now, and working on Chill Sanction Chill is not one of them. But you have to get up out of your chair and do the daily labor if you want to eat the next day. You have to get behind the mule in the morning, to quote the immortal Tom Waits, and plow.

So of course I'm sitting here blogging because I am avoiding starting my day because I would rather be hungry and uncoffeeed than work on this book. I'm back in the middle, you see, and the middle is always boring. But in a minute, here, I'm going to stand up and go shower and get dressed and OMG eat something and then I'm going to write until it's time to go to archery.

This is me plowing.

Dude. Watch me plow.


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I think they're fucking stupid, and a great way to give yourself kidney damage and rob your body of the nutrient it uses to, hello, MOVE.

Sorry, but you asked.
[pointless but amusing anecdote]
When I belonged to a gym in the late 90s, I was dragged into pointless small talk with the woman on the cycle next to me. She was complaining that she had been cycling for an hour a day but hadn't lost anything. I suggested that she perhaps had lost fat and gained muscle.

Her: "Yes, but that's musclefat." (She said it as if it was one word)

Me: "Muscle...fat?"

Her: "Yes, you lose fat but then you gain musclefat, and that's what I'm trying to lose now."

And good luck with the discipline. It's something I'm struggling with right now, myself.

...good lord, woman. It's not about being skinny. It's about being fit.

...and don't get me started on what a useless piece of equipment the exerbike is. *g*
Sometimes, it seems as if everything in my life is about discipline. And sometimes it feels like I fall down on the job.

If I did not already know you are a Yankee, I would have guessed it this morning.

It's SO TRUE. A Yankee with immigrant grandparents, even. Doooom.
I am emphatically watching you plow. Yay!

We are babysitting a dog. A little dog that wakes up at 5:30 AM every day. And has to go out RIGHT THEN. It's really hard to go back to sleep.

I'm hungry too. HUNGRY. But am at office, plowing. Erm, reading ell jay. I'm preparing to plow.
No matter WHAT the silly metric thinks about a 500 calorie a day deficit being a pound a week.

I seriously want to have a kinetic communicative experience with people who insist that "If you do x, y will happen! It's pure thermodynamics!" when it comes to weight loss. When I tried Weight Watchers a few years ago, I had a really hard time eating enough to make the minimum "points" a day. I'm morbidly obese, so everybody assumes that I eat huge amounts of everything--but I more often forget to eat. But by eating more food, at more regular intervals, on WW, I lost weight fairly steadily.

So of course I'm sitting here blogging because I am avoiding starting my day because I would rather be hungry and uncoffeeed than work on this book.

Whoa. That's serious.

FWIW, I'm really really really looking forward to reading Chill! I just finished the four Promethean books, so I'm really jonesing for a new fix. I have put in a request for the new book, of course, but I'm a greedy reader.
Well, it is simple thermodynamics. The problem is, of course, that some of us have more finely-honed thermodynamic response units than others. *g*

My problem (which is also a boon, when I am where I want to be) is a really grimly determined setpoint. Whatever my weight is, my body wants to keep it there.

This only breaks down when I undergo a major illness or a serious depression, at which point my metabolism drops to like, zero, and my body hoards every fucking calorie in a fit of OMG WE'RE GONNA DIE!

And then getting it off again is like, the work of years. :-P

Vegas nearly killed me: I was up around 280 and could not breathe. So I'm about halfway home from that particular depression-fest.
yup, "built to survive a famine" genes...
hey, at least its muscle! i know that doesnt help you in the climbing, but it does help you health wise...

now, as to the diet thing. i tell you from sad personal experience that you are more likely to lose weight skipping dinner than breakfast.
*g* And my personal experience is the exact opposite. I can comfortably fast until afternoon, eat one large and one small meal, and have plenty of energy and not be tempted to overeat or even to snack. But if I eat anything before noon, it's pure extra calories-- it doesn't usually make me a whit less hungry, or give me any more energy than coasting on last night's dinner.

Snake metabolism *g*. I have been perfectly happy eating once a day, though I have to be on my optimum sleep schedule to manage it.
Waits forgot "you gotta smell a lot of mule farts if you want to play the blues."
A lot of bodybuilders/weightlifters will have a drink with casein in it at night before bed. The basic idea being that it gives your metabolism something to work on overnight without being all carby - and the casein is something that takes the body a lot longer to break down. Because their metabolisms are so high, it helps stave the hunger for the evening fast and also gives them the protein they like to hammer down. That said, I find the chocolate way more preferable to the vanilla. Also, I've only ever gone with Optimum Nutrition since that was the most highly recc'd.

I've been incredibly (okay, completely) lax since school began, but I was doing the high protein for building mass and found that protein shakes are a great thing in training, particularly if mixed with milk - although the whey mixes do very well in water. You can really learn a lot visiting body building forums. While proportions are abnormal for the average person, the concept of diet itself (balanced, lean, frequency of eating, etc) is not.
I used to do some weightlifting. I'm actually trying *not* to build any more mass, currently, but thank you.

You haven't seen me around brownies.

Bwahahaha. If we traded in our metabolisms, do you think we could get a unicycle?
It sucks that you're feeling down, but I just wanted to say that I love when you talk about this kind of stuff even when you're just venting. It's--and yes I know I sound like a huge dork right now--kind of inspirational, you know?

I'm college freshmen who's trying to survive first semester, write, be social (what? I'm introverted...), jog regularly, go to boxing club, and go rock climbing. And half of the reason I convinced myself that I could do all that was because I thought "Hey, Bear does all kinds of things AND manages to crank out novels and short stories that I adore every freakin' year."

Basically, this is a kind of rambling thank you. My life's busier than it's ever been before, but it's also fuller and brighter and just all around better. And part of that's because of you. So, you know, thanks.
I wonder: Was discipline something you had to work to develop, or something you came by growing up or naturally? I ask because I admire the hell out of both your prolific (and good!) writing and all of the climbing and running, and have aims to be much more prolific and at least a bit more active myself. I have to work and work at being more disciplined (which sounds so silly--I work at being able to work more, and I think that's a glitchy way of thinking), and sometimes I wonder if I ought to just accept that some people are just wired more like that than I am, or if it's something everyone has to work towards.

I know it might be a personal question, and completely understand if you don't want to answer.
Oh, it's totally something I arrived at in my thirties. And I still lapse badly, and often.
I pack on muscle like a guy, and I have the frame of an ox.

Strong, like bool! ...smart, like tractor!
When ox die, harness WIFE!
No diet advice here, just ponderings...

Do you think some of the difficulty in losing is age-related? I know that now that I'm 39, I have a horrible time losing weight (still trying to lose about 5-7 pounds).
Oh god, my Slovak metabolism and I hear you. :-) I've been working my ass off for three years, and have finally managed to lose three jeans sizes. But it's been a pound a month or so, even when I'm working out 6 days a week.

You should've seen it when I was still on Depo! Talk about impossible to lose weight...
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