Solving Problems for Fun

I love math problems, science problems too. I often enjoy thinking about how to solve a problem and then start on it to get far enough along to be convinced that I can indeed solve it. Once the point of certainty is reached I sometimes decide not to bother, as I have already done the hard part, figuring out how to solve the problem.

As an example, I will not bother with a puzzle. I know I can solve it. I know I could practice and do it more quickly but indeed who cares how fast one can put together a puzzle. It is like being forced to solve a math problem with a computer using the brute force method. Where is the fun? There is no fancy elegant algorithm, some glint of inspiration or fleeting genius. Just program it up to try every single possibility and wait for the results.

There is another problem that I have solved: How to lose weight. I didn’t really solve it I was told the solution and I am convinced it will work. Simply eat fewer calories than required to sustain weight and workout some to speed up the metabolism.

Now there is another part to the problem. The real problem is not only:

“How do I lose weight?”


“How do I keep motivated after I realize I can do it as long as I keep going?” or put another way it is the first question with emphasis on the I.

That is the real problem. My tendency to not bother finishing, to not keep the fire going, to not stay motivated is what I need to work on. I am still motivated at this point, but I see a trend in my numbers that is worrying.

The only workouts I do consistently are the swimming of which two are classes and the third my kids are signed up for swimming lessons at the same time so I don’t miss it. Then the one running session that I do in a group class I make it as long as work doesn’t impose on me. I am missing a biking session and two running sessions a week to keep up an excellent pace on burning extra calories.

I think my wife and I have to plan the nights we do our workouts together rather than just do it while we watch TV if we feel like it. The bike is tough cause the weather is going to be going bad soon anyway. I will have to try and go to a class for that I think.  

I weigh 205.2 after 4 weeks, down 8.4 pounds. I am starting to see a trend of eating more and working out fewer times. Some of the slack is being made up slightly from slightly longer workouts accomplishing a higher pace at the same time. For example Saturday I swam 1 mile in 48 minutes, then continued on to 2000 yards in about 53 minutes total. It was taking me 45 minutes to go 1200 yards not long ago. Even though the trend seems bad I still have a deficit that totaled 5095 calories for the week. So that might just mean that I started out too fast and it is catching up with me. I think I need to make sure it doesn’t go any lower. I also know that I am not eating quite as well as I should. That whole pyramid thing with a base of fruits and vegetables, well, has a weak base. On the brighter side the base is still there, it is just not all there.

The easiest way to do this is to make sure I get more workouts (that is stop skipping the planned ones) and, just like my mama always told me, to eat my vegetables. I eat two cups of broccoli with dinner and it stops the late evening cupboard foraging for some reason. I just need to work on suppressing that gag reflex about the time I am 1 ½ cups into the broccoli. Anyone got a tasty way to prepare broccoli?



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