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What I Didn’t Spend Money On

If you’re the one person that reads this blog on a regular basis (hi Mom!) then you know that I finally decided to buckle down and lose a lot of weight. There were a lot of reasons behind this, some of which are too depressing to get into now.

I’m happy to report that since I made the decision to really stick to a restrictive low-carb diet and doing some kind of exercise I’ve lost 32.2 pounds. Most of that was pretty easy and I attribute a lot of it to cutting sugar out of my diet, except in cases where it’s kind of impossible.

If you’ve been reading these blog posts you may also have picked up on the fact that I find it kind of difficult to spend a lot of money on myself in one go. That is, I’ll find something I want and then argue with myself on merits of spending the money versus not spending the money until I eventually decide to not get what it was I wanted.

One of these things was a recumbent stationary bike. The reason why I wanted one is because I knew that I’d never ride a bike outside; I live next to a highway and my apartment complex isn’t very scenic so riding around it a few times isn’t that appealing. Not to mention the fact that I always think people sitting out on their porches drinking beer are thinking, “There goes that fatso again!” A stationary bike would be perfect because whenever I was bored I could watch TV and peddle away to my hearts desire. I just didn’t want to spend the $400.00 to do it. And that’s on sale. Sure, I could spend less, I guess, but the one I picked out is pretty good and will support my weight better than the cheaper ones.

So, I still toss this decision back and forth with myself. In the meantime, I’ve started walking more. There’s a lake nearby that I had been walking by. I got myself up to a two mile walk. With the help of a friend I managed to walk all the way around it, a total of 3 and some change miles. Then I did it again on my own. And I plan to make this a regular thing.

Today, while I was walking around it I really wanted to stop and rest. You know, have a sit down. I felt it was deserved because I walked around the lake yesterday so I was, you know, tired today. While I was thinking this I looked up and across the lake. Far, far, far away in the barely visible parking lot, I knew my car sat, waiting for me.

And that’s when it occurred to me: if I had a stationary bike it would be really easy to just say, “Hey, I’m tired and I’m going to rest for a while.” At which point I could rapid ingest ice cream and Ring-Dings until I spread out so much, rolls of flab would press against my windows and the door would burst outward. However, with walking, I also realized something very important: if I didn’t make it to the end, I wasn’t getting home. That’s right. If I just stopped walking, I would never get back to my car. I had to keep walking or else I would have to start living at the lake, catching really small fish and birds just to survive. And, really, walking is a lot easier. In a worst case scenario I could swim across the lake, but sure that would be just as good as walking? Except for the snakes. And the hippos. But I haven’t seen any hippos. Yet.

So, the stationary recumbent bike is taking a back seat to actually getting outside, taking in some sun, saying hello to people who don’t want to talk to me, and having conversations with really old men who used to race stock cars in Hemi-equipped ‘32 Fords.

This may change the first day it rains. If it ever does rain.

What I Did Spend Money On

One thing I did argue with myself with, and eventually lost, was purchasing a “smart phone.” I wanted one because everyone else had one and they looked kind of neat. What I was worried about was not using it. I mean, the truth of the matter is that I rarely make phone calls and I never get phone calls. I have the social life of a dead sea crab. No, that’s not true; dead sea crabs are a great opportunity for other creatures to come together over the carcass. My social life is less than that.

So I got one. And I’m happy to say that it made a big difference in my life. I don’t even use it for games. I use it to check my email; since I’m looking to switch jobs now it’s become important to keep an eye on it while I’m out. I use WorkSmart Labs “Cardio Trainer” religiously when I’m walking. Along with listening to music. I also became mayor of Starbucks with FourSquare.

Overall, I’m glad I got it because it’s really helped me out. There’s a bunch of other things I use it for that are too pedestrian to get into.

Other Things That Help Me Out

My wife had two addictions in her life: wine and Dr Pepper. If we went out and a place didn’t have Dr Pepper she would drink water and we’d never go back. When we were first seeing each other I would bring her two packs of cigarettes and a 12-pack of Dr Pepper. One anniversary I actually gave her a wrapped 12-pack of Dr Pepper. I was buying at least two 24 packs of Dr Pepper a week. Needless to say, I started drinking a lot of Dr Pepper until I got to the point where that was all I would drink.

Giving it up as been hard. Diet Dr Pepper, to me, tastes like a vat of chemicals. Diet Cherry Dr Pepper tastes a bit better, but I still don’t like it. Then I found Diet Rite Pure Zero Tangerine. And this stuff is awesome. So awesome that it’s starting to become my new addiction. Which is bad because I should be drinking more water. But when I’m really craving something sweet, it is now my “go to” drink.

Cardio Trainer has a nifty bit where, when your workout is complete, you can share your stats, a map, and a note to Facebook so all your friends can see how much you sweat. I post mine up and the constant “likes” and comments from my friends and family makes a huge difference. I’m really thankful for the well wishes.

That’s where I stand these days. 32 pounds lighter and feeling fairly good these days.