Exercise: no excuses!

Dumb Bells
Dumb bells, or their politically-correct name: free weights.

Way back at the beginning of this month (2 January) I said that I wanted to make a decided effort to get fit. I now have written on the white board on my study wall the words:

Exercise: no excuses!

as a way to remind me that I really can afford the 30 – 60 mins that I need to set aside each day to exercise. This evening I did about 20 mins of weights, until Mum phoned and then I had to go out to the Co-op for milk.

Hmm… not quite how I planned it, but it was a start and it felt good. Tomorrow, according to my Men’s Health exercise planner I have 40 minutes of aerobic exercise to enjoy; for me that means cycling.

Here’s what by my previous excuses I have done to myself:

Weight 280 lbs (20 stones)
Waist (at naval) 47″
Lean mass 206
Fat mass 74
Body fat 26.3%

I had to take the first couple of measurements to work out the last three figures. From those I could calculate my recommended daily calorie intake, and therefore calculate how I should distribute that intake amongst the 5-6 smaller meals I need to eat each day to help me both lose weight and build muscle.

To be honest I was really surprised by those figures, particularly the waist size, and quite ashamed too that I’ve let myself get this way. And I’m sharing them here in the public domain partly as a way to be accountable — so please do keep asking or nagging me about my exercising.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been wearing my shorts mostly. Partly because I love wearing shorts, partly because I don’t really feel the cold much, but to be honest, also because they are the only trousers that fit me properly at the moment other than — thankfully — my cycling longs.

I really need to get into shape. I know that I can do it. I will do it.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

6 thoughts on “Exercise: no excuses!”

  1. go for it!

    ended up at your blog a couple of months ago from David McCarthys and have had your feed in my reader for a fair while – just thought it would time for this lurker to make themselves known!

  2. Hey Gareth, glad to head your making an effort with the exercise.
    May I recommend hiding the remote if you watch much tv, means you gotta get up to change channels etc, which adds up as exercise. If you email me your current address, I’ll post you an A3? poster i’ve got of
    “The FHM Bionic Morning Stretch Routine” A must for waking up!!
    and on the reverse it has the something like, “the surprisingly simple seven minutes abs routine” (I have two copies of this poster)

    Also, can I point out, thought I’m sure you know. Exercising won’t make you lose weight, you’ll lose the fat, but usually weight back on as Muscle as muscle is denser than fat. So i’d aim to lose inches rather than your weight which will certainly vary. Good luck with it
    James

  3. Yes, good luck. Doesn’t walking to the shop for milk count as exercise too though?! You could buy two pints and do a sort of weights-as-you-walk routine…

  4. Ooh! I should say that I’m fat on my blog more often, I get loads of attention! 😉

    Thanks for the encouragement and top tips. A few years back I bought a book from Men’s Health called The Testosterone Advantage Plan: A 9-week food and fitness breakthrough, by Lou Schuler, and I followed it fairly closely and lost loads of flab and built a lot of muscle. From that point on I was the strongest that I’d ever been.

    The book argues that for men a low-fat/high-carbs diet is awful> Instead, men need to eat the right balance of, and right kind of, fat, and protein, and carbohydrates, and they need to lift weights in order to build muscle. More muscle means higher metabolism which means burning fat quicker and easier. Like I said I tried it in 2003 and the fat ‘dropped off me’ in no time.

    There’s a lot more to it, but in 2003 when I tried it before it worked wonders … which makes me wonder why I ever gave it up!

    Nice to ‘meet you’ Nealb — and nice WordPress theme, I’ll have to add you to FeedDemon now.

    Thanks for the tips, James. However, our set-top box doesn’t work without the remote control. Besides Jane has the remote mostly!

    And thanks Christina, walking to the Co-op does count as exercise. Good point, well made.

  5. hello 🙂 i am another lurker who is a regular reader of ur blog- i linked thru rich’s blog, and read about u in ‘join me’! i was very excited to know someone who knew you! so i thought i should say hello, and that i have also been inspired to get fighting fit! today i decided to run the woman’s 10 k in may, so now i have something to aim for! so keep going, in the knowledge u are not alone on your quest for ultimate fitness!

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