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September 30th, 2009

exercise ruminations

I feel so good today after my attempt at running! It's a 1 mile route around a small park near my house. And I run/walked it. Usually I just walk it, but I'm doing the Gabriel Method. Basically it's that guy I mentioned earlier, about how you're fat, because your body wants to be fat. Basically, in a more scientific way, it tries to increase your metabolism. Most obese people have leptin imbalance and insulin resistance. I like how his program appeals to my woo-woo beliefs, and also to my scientific beliefs.

Anyways, one point he made about exercise is that.. if you count the calories you lose in an exercise.. like my 1 mile run/walk was probably 100 calories burned (less if you're smaller than me), and a red lobster biscuit is 150 calories. It's pretty discouraging. But he says that we shouldn't think of exercise as a calorie burner, but more to teach your body to be an athlete again, to remember that there may be predators out there who may EAT you, so you better be able to run away from them or hunt. It's teaching your body that being thin and fit is needed to feel safe.

So I felt terrible running. My feet hurts, and I remembered why I dislike running. But after I was done... I got my trusty serotonin high and felt real good about myself. And as I'm wont to do, I thought: I can do the Austin Distance Challenge! The Distance Challenge is a series of races starting in Sept with a 10K usually, and the distances increase until the Austin Marathon in February. Loyal readers may remember that I did that in 2007 and finished second to last. I wanted to be last, but an old man with walking sticks beat me to that. The announcer would be like. "Hey, it's  <myname>!" and be all happy. (The announcer and everyone else can't close the course when there's still people doing it, I always finish before the official closing time, I think. But they probably would like to close early.).

Anyways, Andy can sigh in relief about having to drive me to races at 7 am on Sundays, because the first race of the distance challenge was last weekend. Boo. So I can't do that. But I could still sign up for the Austin Marathon again..... hmmm. Anyone else planning to do that?

In another note, Monday I went to ballet class and got a million of corrections that were helpful but also embarassing to be picked on so much. And then yesterday night we played "Origins" a really frustrating but strangely addictive game where I think we had fun and lots of frustration. After the game, Andy said he heard me yelling from his room, "You stole my elders! Stop stealing my elders!!"

And speaking of exercise:

Just read this article on Psychology Today:
"For highly active individuals, overweight is not a problem, however much they eat. In experiments where volunteers upped their food intake by 50%, there was no increase in body weight among physically active individuals ("non exercise" activity). Of course the inactive individuals put on plenty of weight."

The study is here:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/283/5399/212

Interestingly, the people who lost the weight did it partly by fidgeting more.


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