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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Monday June 21, 2004
02:19 PM

Bike update

[ #19410 ]

I've been cycling now for over 6 months. I had a very long break over the winter due to a long running cold, but I'm now back into it full swing. I've clocked well over 300 miles on the bike (not that much, but it's quite impressive to me).

I'm *still* exhausted every day by the time I get home. I'm sure I must be fitter but I don't feel it at the end of my journey. Of course I live on a big hill so this is partly to be expected.

I haven't lost any weight from this. This is a bit of a surprise to me - I really thought the weight would drop off (I'm still around 200 pounds). Of course losing weight is a simple equation - calories in > calories out. Or as a co-worker of mine puts it: mouth-hole is bigger than the asshole.

I'm quite tempted to do more cycling (such as a cycle across the US - hah!), and can recommend it - I still make it to work faster than I would in the car (though our offices are moving so that will change real soon now) and I feel like I'm doing my bit for the environment, which gives me a feeling of peace.

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  • You've probably long since heard of the Hacker's Diet [], which basically expounds on the simple calorie formula you described. However, I think it's invaluable, so if you haven't, I'm sure you'd enjoy checking it out. (Or for anyone reading who hasn't.) The author basically asserts that trying to exercise your way to lower weight is futile, though he certainly doesn't discount the value of exercise. He just believes in a primarily calorie-count-oriented plan of action with exercise as an optional side fea

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • Keep in mind that if you're biking often (especially up and down hills) there's a good chance you're building leg muscle. That means you could be losing fat without losing weight.

    A body fat measurement is in order I think. Then, another one every 3 months or so.

    • I got ahold of a scale that purports to measure body fat percentage electrically. Its reliability is horrendous, however. It varies extremely based on the moistness of the bottom of my feet, in addition to other factors I can't fathom. I figure it's better than nothing, though, and I track and trend my body fat percentage daily with the same calculations I use for body weight (from the Hacker's Diet). I figure eventually it would be nice to get a real measurement done, with caliper or even better, with

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • I've got one.

        I was also a metrologist [] for 13 years... take that for what it is worth. Throw in a few bucks and you can buy a cup of coffee somewhere...

        Anyway, you are right about the variation. But, from a measurement standpoint, that is to be expected. (Consider, the thing shoots an electric current from one leg to another. The current has to pass thru (and along... there are multiple paths) one leg, the core of your body, and down the other leg. Anything that changes the current flow will change the rea
        • You should make sure your feet and the unit are dry.

          Actually the instructions for this unit say your feet should be somewhat moist. That's kind of annoying, as "somewhat" moist is nowhere near precise. I usually don't worry much about it, but I usually weigh right after my morning shower, so my feet are in some varying stage between dry and sopping.

          You're right, you can't get too hung up on the numbers. I keep the info, but if I ever got really serious about it, I'd have to find a more accurate met

          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • I'll know I'm losing weight when I can see my feet again :-)
  • I started biking again after a 5 year layoff (2nd kid born), back in mid-April. My current commute is about 4 miles 'in' and 8.3 miles 'out'. In the morning I have to drive the kids to school and I have the bike on the roof rack, until I drop the car off at my wife's job. Hence why 'in' != 'out'. Starting Wednesday, school is out so I'll be biking 8 miles both ways.

    I've lost about 8 lbs. So I'm down to (coincidentally) about 200 lbs. But I also play basketball MWF during lunch.

    My main suggestion i
  • I get up at 4:45am and do a half-hour bike ride. We own the world's best random number generator disguised as a set of portable scales. I too have found that my weight doesn't seem to change a whole lot based on just exercise.

    I've been trying to moderate my intake. My approach is three-fold: don't put too much on your plate, don't feel bad about leaving food on your plate, and only snack on things that make you poop. I've eaten more fruit in the last few weeks, I think, than I did last year. I lost a

    • I get up at 4:45am

      Holy crap batman! That's just crazy talk.
      • I enjoy the extra work time, and it makes getting up early worth it. I've had to totally stop my late nights, though, so I watch no TV now. I try to get to bed around 9pm at night, which means basically "as soon as the kids go to sleep". That's real hard to get used to, not to mention when I change timezones for travel and can't bikeride but am expected to party late. Uh, I mean, network. :-)

        In the words of Bart Simpson, "there's a 4:30 in the morning now?"

        To be honest, I don't ride that far. I try

  • Damn. I've started biking like mad for weeks now and I religiously weigh myself first thing every morning (well, not first thing, but no need to get graphic.) I've not lost an ounce, either. I wondered if I was doing something wrong, but I see now that I will, in fact, have to watch my diet more. Bummer.