Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Road to Being a Healthier Gamer: March Update!

OR "How to continue being healthy while at Adepticon"

…I thought "March Update" was easier to swallow.

Let's be honest though, staying healthy while cramming prep for a convention isn't the easiest of things.  You're already short on time to get things done, and exercising, watching your calories and more just takes even more time away from that oh-so important prep.  Not to mention anything else that life decides to throw at you.  Which it did.  Throw at me.  Life's mean like that.

Adding to that, Adepticon is also in this month and you've got a recipe for disaster when it comes to maintaining a weight loss regimen. 

So did I succumb to the pressure?  Did I lose?  Did I gain?

I ended February at a weight of 245.8 lb., for a current loss of 35.2 lb.  Starting March first, the goal of the month was to hit 245 lb.  Why so low of a goal?  Because that's the goal I set back in January as the weight I wanted to be by Adepticon.  That and fit into my old clothes, which we already know happened from back in February's update. 

I already know what you're thinking…

".8 pounds?  Easy goal.  Let's coast through the month, save time from exercising to much and logging all the food you eat to put towards finishing up for Adepticon.  Heck, fast food could even be an option on occasion, right?"

Okay, maybe you aren't thinking that at all, however I know I did.  See?  There is that temptation to take a break again.  After all, I'm going to eat Convention Center food, Portillo's and more when at Adepticon, right?  Maybe I shouldn't stress about…


Cutting corners and not worrying about the details isn't a way to get better at something, be it losing weight and getting healthier, or our hobby.  I mean, think about it.  How many different ways can you correlate cutting corners in the hobby to Bad Things™ happening because of it?  Here's a handful for you just off the top of my head:

Cheap Primer
Here's an easy corner to cut, right?  There's plenty of cheap primers out there, and not worrying about the performance of them is a quick way to ruin a model from the beginning.  I'm not just talking about snowing a figure, that's the best case scenario as then all you have to do is strip it and start over.  I'm talking about a cheap primer that ends up not adhering to the figure well, and then your paint begins to flake off later in the process when you have untold hours into a project done already. 

Poor Planning

Couple this with a tendency of gamers as a whole to procrastinate, and you have a recipe for disaster.  As miniature hobbyists the devil truly is in the details, and if you're striving to become a better painter, sculptor, modeler or gamer and you don't pay attention to the details?  Well, just ask a Warma-Hordes player what happens when they face an opponent in a timed tournament and they aren't prepared, or a painter who wants to enter the Draconic Awards and doesn't pay attention to the color choices, base and lighting, or time and deadlines for that matter, for his or her entry.

Bargain-Basement Brushes
Okay, so maybe Jim Wappel would disagree with me here (and for the record, he would.  But that's because he can be amazing with a $2 brush form the craft store), but cut this corner at your own risk.  Ask any carpenter if they would rather work with good materials and tools, or…well anything else, and they will look at you like you're crazy.  Buy good brushes and take care of them, and this is a detail that won't go unnoticed in your painting.

I could literally go on and on here about corners to cut in the hobby, but I'm sure you get the point.

Does all this talk about not cutting corners mean that I was a good boy, and was perfect this month?  Nope, can't say that either.  March was a roller coaster of life throwing crap at me this time around, the least of which was Adepticon prep, and even Adepticon itself.  After all, we're talking about the whole month here.  I had a wedding to attend, my uncle was in the hospital and then passed away, all before Adepticon, Adepticon was in there, then I got the Con Crud™ after I got back! 

I was careful, while not being a buzzkill about going out to eat during the con.  I still watched what I ate, and logged my calories.  I also logged nearly 13,000 steps per day at the convention, which earned me extra calories due to exercise.  I did not get lazy, cut corners, or take a break because it would be easier.  Was it hard?  Of course it was.  Was it worth it?

I'm now at 242.6 pounds, weighed in last night.  Yes, it was worth it.

I went shopping for another size smaller in pants this past Saturday.  Yes, it was worth it.

I had someone at work yesterday tell me they can really see a difference in my weight and body.

Hell yes, it was worth it.

Sure I only lost an additional 3.2 pounds for the month, but you know what?  Every one of them counts.

- Tim


  1. Super awesome job Tim! Keep it up!

    One thing to keep in mind, that as time goes on, the weight loss will slow down, but don't ever let that discourage you. At that point its better to pay closer attention to your inches, and less to the numbers on the scale.

    Oh and be prepared when you go to the pool this summer. After such a great job losing weight, your buoyancy is going to be WAY off from the last time you jumped in! (part of the fun thing about losing weight...also forever being cold).

  2. THAT is dedication. We have a neat set of rules in our house during the spring summer and fall regarding junk food. None ever comes in the house. If you want junk food you have to go to the store and get it. You have to walk or ride a bike or scooter or skateboard. You have to bring the kid as often as possible because that will lead to the park and even more exercise. Doing fun stuff like that can change your lifestyle too and it doesn't even feel like work. It can be quite deterrent when you are feeling tired or lazy too cause you're like: I want a mars bar! Oh man, i don't want to go for a 1/2 hour walk in the rain for a mars bar - screw it I'm good with an apple :P

  3. Hell yes, great work man! That's awesome news, know I'm in your corner rooting for ya, bud!

    Been finding I hit a bit of a plateau with the weight this month myself (down to 285 from 330), some of which is down to muscle tone, but there's also been a bit of 'resting on my laurels' contributing as well. Gotta keep pushing, get back to the one-and-only-one cheat day a week and crank up the resistance/extend the distance on the exercise bike (15 miles a day, going up to 18 starting April 1st). On the up side I did have to buy new pants recently, went from a 44 waist to a 40, and that was an excellent feeling!

    Go man, go!

  4. Way to go man, you had me there for a moment I was reading and thinking in my head. "damnit Tim you were doing so good" Solid job man, its all about making a habit and not breaking from it, that and laying off the beer/soda, and not eating a bag of pretzels while staring at a miniature thinking, "Maybe if I eat more pretzels I will know where to go with this next"

  5. Brilliant, mate: nice one!

    The way it works in my mind these days is 'Hey, even if I DO cave from time-to-time and beat myself up afterwards, it's better than 'caving' all the time and barely even realising it!'.

    Every little helps...

    ...or in your case, I guess every great stride helps!

  6. That's awesome man, really good.

    As someone whose lost about (converts stone to pounds.. ) 70 pounds in the last year there is one peice of advice i'd give, and it comes from a snippet of your use of language above.

    You said "take a break" - I'd strongly recommend changing your thinking there, while even though you didn't take a break (again, well done!) there's thinking there that suggest your current regime is temporary and will end, or have breaks.

    I'd strongly urge you towards thinking that embraces lifestyle change permanently. That might mean slightly slower weight loss, but it would mean keeping it off forever. I can also attest after many years of shoulder shrugging and eye rolling whenever a food evangelist would speak before tucking back into some chips, that real lifestyle change actually doesn't feel like compromise.

    once you shake off that sugar addiction and the reliance on processed fats theres a point at which it actually becomes hard to eat it, and it's not appealing at all. and health natural sugars and foods can taste so much more awesome when you arent holding out for a processed fat or sugar hit.

    anyway, now i sound like a food evangelist.

    tl:dr - way to go man, keep it up, it's working, but look at long term plans not just for loosing, but for maintaining once you're happy. :)

    1. +1 Karitas. The true key to long term weight loss, is coming up with a simple, lazy way of maintaining the weight loss.

      Here are few ways I am super lazy in terms of weight loss.

      1) Make sure to stand at least 4 hours a day at work.
      2) Create a workout routine that can be done anywhere and isn't tied to a gym. (never an excuse then)
      3) Come up with ways to combine things at the same time...like cooking dinner while doing your never ending stretches. (frozen brochili + meat steaming in a container on the stove top)
      4) Buy protein/salads in bulk (costco is great for this) to keep costs down, as eating healthy (especially if trying to bulk up some) can be very expensive.
      5) If you like wine, try malbec's (very low in carb). If you like beer, look for high alcohol content (will drink less).
      6) Avoid diet soda at all costs. (makes you hungry).
      7) Come up with an eating plan that is both cost effective, and easy to follow (like intermittent feeding)
      8) Learn to say no all the friggin time. No I don't want that cake!

  7. Wow. Seriously guys, wow. Thanks for the support, encouragement and advice :)

    One thing I definitely want to address though is Karitas and Greg's last couple comments. You two are 100% on the money. Maybe my phrasing was off when I said "Take a break", as that mentality is more a temptation to me rather than an indication of this new lifestyle ending at some point. That I can assure you of!

    I've had a time in my life (abotu 5 years ago...or more...?) that I lost 30 pounds, from 240-210. Just 10 pounds shy of my goal right now. What happened? I stopped, exactly as you guys said. This time there is no stopping. The only thing I'll probably stop once I hit my goal weight is the meal replacement shakes. I won't stop exercising, watching and counting my calories, cooking everything from scratch (though I did that before, I'm doing better with it now, decision wise), and more.

    Heck, I can't even eat McDonald's anymore without my stomach rebelling, and it's only been 5 months since I used to eat it a few times a month at least.

    Trust me, this is a hard change, but it's a permanent one!! :)

    1. If you ever need added incentive....if I can do it, everybody can do it!
      Greggles then and now!

      Also make sure to treat yo self once in awhile. moderation is the key!

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  9. Congratulations Tim! It takes real dedication to eat well at a con where your main focus is performing well in games and bad choices are readily available.

    Great job on the weight loss! Keep it going!