Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Demographics and horses

Posted by Trixter on July 8, 2008


The MindCandy crew released the Volume 1 featurette Demographics: Behind the Scene to the public with a Creative Commons license this weekend. Enjoy, and spread the word.

I was in charge of processing, encoding, and uploading the video, and not coincidentally there is a lot of footage of me in the featurette, which I had to look at while processing. That footage was shot in 2002; almost exactly six years later I found myself staring at 31-yr-old me and wondering what god I must have pissed off to get so much neck fat since then. Also in the footage, at the end, is an outtake where Jeremy had me walk on a treadmill for no reason whatsoever. (I bought a nice Precor M9.25i with Internet Bubble Stock money back in 1998.)

Seeing it in the footage, I was reminded that it has a Fitness Test mode to be used with a heart monitor (I have one) and I realized that in the decade I’ve owned it I’ve never once tried the fitness test! So I dragged it out in front of the TV and took the test. I also decided to weigh myself and take a body fat percentage just so I can say that I’ve measured my baseline this year. Let’s see where 37-yr-old Trixter is at:

  • Fitness Score: 24 (Low Fitness — Medium Fitness starts at 35!)
  • Weight: 238 lbs
  • Body Fat: 28%

According to the fitness test and the above measurements, I died a few months ago. So I’m going to run on the thing every day, breaking a sweat, and will take the fitness test every week to see if I’m improving. Must… get… back up on the horse!

Or collapse and die. If the weblog entries stop, call for help!

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6 Responses to “Demographics and horses”

  1. lisp_hacker said

    Hi Trixter,

    I’ve never commented, but I’ve read your stuff since oldskool.org launched. Good stuff.

    Anyways, here’s some advice about weight management:

    Just promise yourself to spend some time exercising every day (even if it is only 5 minutes). Don’t focus on your weight or bodyfat percentage, concentrate on consistently doing your workout. No matter what (traveling? Hotels have gyms., etc.) Habits are what lead change, so focus on developing the right ones.

    After you’ve done this consistently for a month or so, add on light weight training. Adding muscle will boost your resting metabolic rate, allowing you to burn calories for ‘free’.

    One more thing: the body only reacts to stress. So, after a while, you may get better at cardio, but unless you up your speed, your workouts will burn less calories than before because your body has adapted! So as you get more fit, increase the intensity of your routine (less time between sets, run faster, do interval training, etc.)

    Okay, now for food: Minimize your carbs, eat more veggies (and eat em before the main course!). Eat lean protein and eggs. Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day. Kill the soft drinks and junk food – limit it to 1 day a week. Even the zero cal stuff is dangerous because research has shown that people that drink diet soda gain more weight than those who don’t because they think that the calorie savings allow them to binge on other treats.

    Don’t bother with any of the weight loss pills, or any other crap.

    When you are feeling a weak moment coming on, visualize what you will look like and how you will feel after a month of following the above guidelines.

    A person’s most feared enemy is usually the self, and weight loss is a common battleground for many hackers.

    I speak from experience, as I have lost about 20 pounds of fat, and added back a lot of muscle over the past 6 months. My issues with lower back pain are gone, and I have a ton more energy than I used to. Not bad for an hour a day. There is no reason you can’t do the same.

    Good luck, and don’t feel bad if you fail on some days. Just don’t give up.

  2. Trixter said

    I appreciate all the advice, thank you!!

    I can’t give an hour a day, though — wife and kids and job take up too much. But I am definitely going to hit 30 minutes a day.

    I am a sucker for computer-based training — while I clearly have fallen off the wagon in recent years (must get back on wagon!) I love having a computer monitor my progress and suggest changes (my treadmill has a heart monitor, I own Yourself!Fitness, I have Jim Fixx’s The Running Program, etc.) I know that there is no substitute for a real personal trainer, but I do get a kick out of computer trainers.

  3. lisp_hacker said

    I hear you – I have a wife, kids and job as well, but my work hours are flexible. A half hour a day is great, and changing the eating habits are a really time-effective way to lose weight and feel better.

    Take care.

  4. You might not be able to make time for “conventional” exercise. However, you spend an inordinate amount of time at the computer. Perhaps there is some synergy to be found between the computer and the fitness device. Check out this blog post for some ideas:

    Geek Diet and Exercise Programs
    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000970.html

  5. Torley said

    OH MY GOSH, YOU were involved in this! I enjoyed this very documentary some months ago. I <3 your sharings of classic computer and cyber-history memories!

  6. Trixter said

    :-) Thanks for the kind words!

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