Tag Archive | Exercise

Box Quest (Part 3)

chair1 chair2I was finally able to acquire that Ikea chair to do my 7 minute workout routine. It turns out it’s made out of extremely lightweight unfinished pine. It feels like balsa wood. I bought some wood beams and screws from Lowes. The seat had to be reenforced by putting a beam in the center. I also screwed in additional beams on the legs. All the joints were slobbered in wood glue as an extra precaution.  My weight is lighter, but I still don’t trust it to stand on a $25 soft wood chair.

Tomorrow or the day after, I will sand it smooth, attach the seat (with more screws and glue), and apply several coats of clear polyurethane – which should add even more sturdiness to it. I entertained the notion of putting my name on the top and painting flames on it, maybe a skull, but I just want this finished and functional.

Almost there…


Box Quest (Part 2)

It turns out that plywood is more expensive than I thought. For about forty to fifty dollars, I could own a 4×8′ mediocre piece of 3/4″ plywood. So suddenly, my quest has dead-ended. Due to my lack of funds, I’ve resorted to monetizing some of my talents. Unfortunately, judging by the amazing lack of interest from people so far, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be profitable. I would, technically, make more money begging at an intersection.

I did find the cheapest option so far, a $25 wooden chair at Ikea. It looks pretty sturdy, although I would reenforce the legs with some more strips of pine. But, again, it requires about twenty-five dollars more than I have.

That said, I’ve started the 7 minute exercise routine without a chair or a box. I’ve resorted to use the stairs for the step-ups by stepping up past the first step, hitting the second, and coming back down. I measured it, it’s about 18″, which is about the seat height of a chair. I’m using the sofa for the dips, just because I can’t dip properly on the stairs.

It is a tough workout, and I can barely get through it all. I add on another minute of push ups and sit-ups each to make it a good 10 minutes.

I’ve also had to switch to tap water from filtered water and drop some food options (like nuts) at the moment until the situation improves. It’s not my preferred way of losing weight, but I’m not at the point of starving (yet). I have lost 3 more pounds since last week.

This Weeks Motivational Track

80s Stallone is such a great name. I’ll be listening to this as I get back to doing daily exercises. Yo.

My Butt Looks Like a Shar-Pei

My butt looks like a Shar-Pei puppy, and not in a cute way. This may be a little TMI, but one of the fears I had starting this weight loss journey was having to end up with saggy skin. I’ve tried to do my best at keeping my weight loss slow and steady to allow my skin’s elasticity to ease into it’s new shape. Unfortunately, my age and my skin type have a lot to say on how that happens. While I think I’m lucky that my stomach won’t have excess skin, I think my butt and the insides of my thighs won’t be so lucky. Years, no decades, of being large and filled with cellulite have taken their toll. The term “Cottage Cheese” thighs are now more unsightly as ever, because even though the fat cells are shrinking and exiting, their lumpy landscape still remains – like a deflated balloon of eww.

It goes to show what type of obesity I am/was faced with. I was jammed packed with visceral fat, the type of fat that’s packed inside my gut and nestled around my organs. Most of the fat I’ve lost so has been this internal. The subcutaneous fat, the fat that’s in my ass, thighs, arms, and man boobs, are slower to leave the building. I read about this in Dr. Lustig’s book “Fat Chance“, in which he explained that it is harder to get rid of this type of fat. The good news is, however, subcutaneous fat isn’t dangerous; the fat you have to watch out for is the visceral fat, which is a marker for metabolic syndrome. Once I lost most of the visceral fat, my apple-shaped gut now looks more like, er… a banana. My mid-section looks and feels skinnier.

Despite that win, I still have flab and loose skin. The more flab goes, the more likely I’ll have some sag. The sucky part is, I don’t think I’ll have the surgery to remove it once I’ve reached my final goal. I’ve seen those results on TV and it doesn’t appeal to me. Some people *have* to have that surgery because that excess skin hangs off them like a skirt. Thankfully, my fat at my heaviest wasn’t that extreme. I’ll have mud flaps, not a kilt.

My other options are nonexistent. Other than surgery, there are no other methods for shrinking the human skin. Creams and lotions offer slight tightening, but fail to take up the slack. The research I’ve done only points to the obvious. Lose the weight, exercise and tone, and let time do its thing. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I don’t want to end up teaching my butt to fetch my slippers or catch a frisbee.

DIY Sit-up Bar

DIY Sit-up Bar

I made this three months ago with a length of rope, a tennis ball, 16” 1” pvc pipe, a small foam pool noodle. Found items around the house. The tennis ball tucks underneath a door or other heavy item and my feet hook under the bar.

Fixing My Sole

Fixing My Sole

My trusty ancient sneaker is losing a bit of its sole. It’s flapping on the heel. Since I’m poor and broke, I can’t rush out and buy some new sneakers. And since I’m strapped for cash, I can’t go my second desired route – buy some shoe goo. I opted to go with super glue bought at the dollar store. I can’t vouch for the quality of the glue, but I can’t beat a buck either. I used a wooden coffee stirrer to push the glue into the wound and clamped it down to dry by putting a ten pound dumbbell on it.

Let’s hope it works and dries by tomorrow – I’ll miss accidentally kicking things in my living room, like my cat.

Breathing is Important

From the office of Blatantly Obvious, breathing is really important. Your lungs are connected directly to your heart – two of the heart’s four big pipes are connected to it. Blood rushes into the lungs and the lungs infuse the blood with oxygen before returning to the heart to be pumped back throughout your body.

My morning exercise routine consists of twenty to thirty minutes of cardio, and about ten minutes of muscle focus. I can do about thirty minutes of cardio with the normal expectant heavy breathing, sweating, and increased heart rate. That’s fine. It’s when the workout is over, I experience a moderate asthma attack. My lungs feel constricted and I just can’t catch my breath. It’s probably what is known as exercise-induced asthma – something that even pro athletes have.

Back at my heaviest, 316 pounds – I had massive breathing problems. I wheezed most of the time. I had always connected to my smoking or my allergies. I had quit smoking four years ago, and the problems persisted. I switched allergy meeds, and now only have the occasional allergy attack, which is different from my breathing problems. It was the weight.

As I lost the weight, my breathing improved. It’s still not at a hundred percent, as I still have many pounds to shed. But I no longer wheeze and I can have a decent night sleep without waking myself up with violent snoring. But thirty minutes of cardio still takes my lungs about ten minute to recover.


Enter two devices that I bought a long time ago. I never had the discipline to properly use them, but I guess I need to start now.

The first device is volumetric spirometer. You breathe into the device at a steady rate, trying to keep a bobble floating for as long as you can. The second column measures the overall capacity. This will supposedly increase your lung capacity and train your lungs to take longer and deeper breaths, which will supply better oxygen to your blood supply.

The second device is a respiratory exerciser. It looks like a snorkel mouthpiece, but without the snorkel. The idea behind this is that it forces the lungs to work harder in breathing. 25 good breaths a day is what’s recommended. Act like Darth Vader for a few minutes.

Hopefully these will help with my lung power. It can only improve as I lose more weight. I’ve added them to my Amazon store if you’re interested. I bought them a while ago, but like exercising other parts of the body, it requires commitment to a daily routine. I would also recommend to see a respiration therapist or consult a doctor if you are worried about your breathing. I would if I could, but money and insurance are rare these days.

Links to my store:

TELEFLEX Voldyne 5000 Volumetric Exerciser
Breathboost Breathing Exercise