18 Million Calories

How many times has a human said, to themselves or God, if I only get through this I will change? Now I am not talking about anything specific (smoking, overeating, working out, spending more time with the kids, taking safety precautions or whatever), but the point is that we hit our uncle point and promise to give up whatever bad trait got us to where we are. So now let’s consider what would happen were we able to make a deal of this sort.

[cue the unfocussed wavy screen and crazy harp music…]

So here I am, I weigh 161 pounds, what a pleasant surprise after going to bed last night at 215. I look into the mirror and can hardly believe it. I made the deal, and I get the reward. Now I have to just keep it healthy and I will not gain any weight. How easy. Curious about how fit I am I jump on the treadmill and run a mile in 6:15. Wow that was amazing. Thing is I did not burn as many calories as yesterday when I ran a 9:40 mile while weighing 215. I have to work just as hard during a workout to burn the calories I just go farther or faster doing it. The effort is the same. What a bummer I thought it was going to be easy to be thin.

Now I go to eat a meal. I remember that my needs will be much smaller based upon my new size. So I load up the right amounts and it just doesn’t look right to me. How can I do this? I have a second helping and promise to workout. Later in the day I hop on the treadmill and burn off the 250 extra calories I ate at breakfast. Then it hits me, this what I had been missing all along.

[ok wavy image and music going back to reality…]

I can eat whatever I want as long as I burn off the calories to keep in equilibrium. There is nothing different than what I was struggling to do the day before other than I had a negative balance, a credit card if you will, of all the foods that I ate and left for later to burn them off. That is all there is to it. I can get off kilter any time all I want, I just have to pay it back or pay the consequences. It is a lifetime thing, it is much easier if you don’t get in the hole real big.

So how big is my credit card bill? Let’s assume my average rate of burning calories during my adult life was 2500 a day. Let’s assume that is 20 years. This means I burned 18 ¼ million calories not including leap years (18260000 if you want to include them). Now since a pound of fat is about 4000 calories, this means I ate an extra 240,000 calories (about 60 pounds) over those 20 years. So I ate 18 ½ million calories and burned off 18 ¼ million.

What is the difference between me and the fit person that has gone around all healthy and looking normal all those years while I drag my flab around with me? It is 343 calories a day from food and/or a slightly more active lifestyle. Now as I ate more I burned more with my bigger body, so the average daily deficit was negative 33 calories. I ate an extra 33 calories a day for 20 years! That is easy to fix if you get behind a week, (run on a treadmill for 15 minutes), or even a month (run hard for an hour). But what does it take to fix this if you wait 20 years? Well, I have to run on a treadmill for 300 hours and eat no more than 1500 calories a day while doing that.

Will someone please tell my why I waited so !#(#$#%@ long to figure this out?

None-the-less, 300 hours still sounds like a goal that can be reached. When all hyped up about it typing on a computer it doesn’t even really sound all that hard, but I remember when I tried to run at 7 mph for 2 minutes during my intervals last Saturday. I was able to do it a couple times, but then I couldn’t finsh the thrid one. So that hour is like 30 of those lovely moments, which means I have to do that 300 x 30 or 9000 times. OK, now it seems harder.

Again the problem is the hole I have dug myself into. Not that it is really not very much if you take it a day at a time. If I look forward to the day I do weigh 160, I can imagine eating about 2000 calories a day and working out to burn off 400 of those which would otherwise be excess. If I just started doing that now I would start with a daily deficit of about 400 calories a day, but it would drop to near nothing and I would never quite reach my goal. As I got closer the deficit would just shrink and the solution gets to the point of being rediculous if you say it is going to take 40 years to accomplish, because by then I will burn a different number of calories from being older. Had I taken care of things along the way that would work great, but, I now have to get a much larger deficit so that it can work in a reasonable time of say not more than a year.

An average daily deficit of 660 calories would have me drop 60 pounds in a year. This is of course keeping in mind that I will end up burning 343 calories fewer per day as I reach that size as opposed to where I am now. So I need to reduce what I eat and work out more if I want to average 660 and also start at 660. Since I plan to try my hand at 1300 average daily deficit I should find out how hard it will be. The 1300 a day would have me reach my goal in 6 months. I seriously doubt I could get too much bigger a deficit that this, but two weeks will tell. I plan to track my calories each day and my workouts and will post the table of results after the two weeks.



4 Responses to “18 Million Calories”

  1. Alexia Says:

    I need to burn over a half million calories — above and beyond what I take in — to lose my weight. Ugh, I want to crawl back under the covers. But maybe that will make me think twice before I eat something high in calories next time!

  2. brianthinagain Says:

    I wrote a blog entry a while back called taking sugar to the moon (Jun 26). It had to do with my weight training at the time and how it would be neat-o-keen to calculate exactly how high one was lifting a 10 pound bag of sugar and in a few years time it would be possible to get it all the way to the moon. (negecting the gravity reduction —ten pounds of sugar on the moon is not even 2 pounds— as we moved up it would probably be quicker than that should we decide to whip out some calculus and figure it out –I better stop the geek in me is surfacing)

    The whole idea was born from my Dad riding his exercise bike, on advice from his doctor, a little bit most nights. He was never riding very long, or too terribly hard. But he showed me a log of his riding and then had a map of the US that showed him riding around. He would take the distances and add them up and highlight the roads that he had ridden enough to go that far.

    He was on his second tour of the US. That is the power of taking it a little bit at a time. Now I don’t know the exact numbers, but he must have gone 12,000 miles to get where he was. Now anyone that was told they had to bike halfway around the world might feel a bit overwhelmed, but the fact that he did it after age 65, means that anyone can with perserverance.

    You and I have both made the “decision” to reach our goal, it is only a matter of time before we cross the finish line as thin sexy people… Two years from now is better than never, we just can’t go back and take the other fork in the road.

  3. Alexia Says:

    You are so right! Time is going to pass anyway, may as well make it worth it! (Neat about your dad — I just posted about motivation and how just exercising for an hour isn’t motivating, but tracking the distance on a map is more so — my plan is to do the Appalachian trail (on paper for now) next!)

  4. brianthinagain Says:

    Mizfit had a great link a while back so you won’t have to use paper if you don’t want to.


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