Saturday, July 14, 2007

One year off of SLD

It's been a year since I stopped following the Shangri-La Diet. Have I gained weight? Yes, a little. My seven-day moving average is about three pounds higher now than it was then.

In the last year, I've been lighter when I've been running every day, or nearly every day, and about this weight when I haven't. For example, through the 17th of March, I ran 55 days in a row. On the March 20 I hit my low for the year, 175.2 lbs. Since then, my running has been much less consistent, and I've gained weight.

Though I remain skeptical about SLD for me (though not for many others; see the SLD forums for plenty of evidence), I'd have no qualms about trying it again.

Who knows, this may be my last post. Thanks for reading.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another month flies by

I don't think I've gone an entire month without a post until now. I have less and less to say as time goes on. My weight has stabilized for many months now, with no Shangri-la dieting; indeed, no watching my diet of any kind. I'd like to lose some more weight, but I'm reasonably happy where I am right now. The theory behind of SLD says I should be gaining.


Sunday, March 18, 2007


A mild bout of gastroenteritis is probably going to end my streak of running every day at 55. The worst part is that my two-year-old has it, too. We'll spend the day together, feeling lousy, napping, reading, watching some TV, and trying not to spread our germs to the rest of the family.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

David? Are you out there?

One of the very few active Shangri-La Diet blogs has disappeared, and now redirects to a site that's, uh, shall we say, not safe for work. I about had a heart attack when I loaded the page at my desk today. I've removed it from my links, but if you're out there, David, and your site comes back as it was, leave a comment and I'll put the link back.

Friday, March 02, 2007


J. Weighty's one-day crash weight loss program, in three E-Z steps!

  1. Shovel snow in the morning.

  2. Skip lunch.

  3. Shovel snow in the evening.

Weight: 178 lbs.
Seven-day average: 179.3 lbs.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Treadmill vs. the ground

It turns out that running on a treadmill and running on the ground are really rather different.

[T]hese biomechanical considerations explain why it is almost always better for serious athletes to train in real conditions rather than on the treadmill when given the choice. Working out on a treadmill in a controlled environment is better than slipping along on icy roads, plodding through snow drifts, fighting gale-force winds or battling with high heat and humidity, but it is unlikely that treadmill training can improve running economy as effectively as overground work. In fact, the movement patterns of the two types of activity are so different that treadmill training might even retard improvements in overground running economy - a particularly troubling thought.

It's also just more fun to run outside. Right now, though, the "icy roads and snow drifts" argument is more than enough to keep me inside.

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Two-pound drop. If you weigh yourself every day like I do, you learn to treat those impostors -- two-pound gains & two-pound losses -- just the same.

I am at my lowest spot weight since November, and my lowest 7-day average since December. My spot weight bottomed out at 175.2 and my seven-day average at 176.1, both in October, about three months after I stopped the Shangri-La routine.

I've now run 32 days in a row. My year-to-date mileage (243 km) has surpassed last year's January through March mileage.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Life Fitness T3-5

I promised a review of our new treadmill, and I'm now officially breaking that promise. I wrote a review, then read it, and realized that I don't have much insight or authority.

I will say that I like it very much, and it's a wonderful Survival of the Thinnest tool. With just a few button presses, I tell it to get my heart rate to 160 and keep it there for 30 minutes, and it does the rest. Well, I have to run and run and run, and for a few minutes I have to run up a rather steeper incline that I would like.

I run daily at 11.5 km/hour, which is almost exactly my half-marathon pace from last September. It gives me 2 or 3 minutes to warm up, then starts to crank up the incline until my heart is pumping at my goal rate. The incline usually gets to around 5% or 6%, but I've seen it go above 8%. Then the incline goes gradually down (and occasionally back up a little) for the rest of the run. Some days it gets all the way back to 0% incline, and once even that wasn't enough to keep my heart rate low enough, so it slowed my pace a notch. I bumped it back up manually, and my heart rate stayed near enough to 160 that it didn't try to slow me down again.

I have a couple of minor complaints about the treadmill. It doesn't show pace in minutes per km (or mile), other than briefly while one is manually raising or lowering the pace. Other than that, it just shows km or miles per hour. I'd say that most runners think in terms of minutes per mile, not miles per hour. Another thing is you have to take what it shows you on the display. If you want to know how many minutes you've run, and it instead happens to be showing how many minutes you've been in your target heart rate zone, well, you just have to wait. Eventually it will switch back to showing total minutes. The Precors I'm used to let you change the display at any time.

But those are minor quibbles. I'm quite pleased with it.

Currently my running streak stands at 25 consecutive days, with the last 21 on the Life Fitness. 25 may be more than I've ever done in my life. Certainly it is in the last five years.

I've noticed that my appetite at meal time is lower lately, but between meals I often crave snacks. This is the opposite of when I was on Shangri-La, when I rarely snacked but when meal time came, I was often pretty hungry. Maybe it was just the forced twice-daily two-hour flavorless windows that cut down my snacks; or maybe the oil was the snack.

In any case, the 25 days of running hasn't had a dramatic effect on my weight. My seven-day average has dropped only 1.6 lbs. since my running streak began.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Treadmill adventure

A little experiment with our new treadmill gave me a bit of a surprise. I'd been using it with English units (miles & pounds). I'm used to using metric, but I just hadn't bothered to change it yet.

I'd set up what LifeFitness calls a "workout profile," which saves a workout for quick selection later. In this case, it goes for 30 minutes at 7.1 miles per hour, and it automatically adjusts the incline to keep my heart rate near 160 beats per minute. I like how the profiles work; with four button presses I'm up and running.

I thought there was a slight chance that it stores the unit setting as a part of the workout profile, so I could easily run my metric workout, and not have to set the global units to metric. My wife prefers English units.

So I set the treadmill to metric and reprogrammed my workout profile to go at 11.5 km per hour (fractionally faster than 7.1 mph). I also changed my weight from 180 lbs to 82 kg. It uses this to calculate kcal used. I don't really pay attention to that, but I thought that I may as well have it right. Then I set the treadmill back to English units, and started up my workout.

It accelerated to 11.5 miles per hour! Yikes!

I don't know about you, but I can't sustain that speed for anything close to 30 minutes. Or 3 minutes.

It also put my weight at a hyper-anorexic 82 lbs.

So much for that experiment. For now, I'm going to leave the profile at 11.5 some-units-per-hour, and just change the units setting before and after each run. It takes about 8 or 10 button presses, which is a mild annoyance. I just know that periodically I'm going to either forget to change it before, and go on a brief, wild run until I frantically hit the stop button, or forget afterwards and confuse and annoy my wife.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

More on Unhappy Meals

Seth Roberts doesn't share my opinion of the Michael Pollan piece.

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New month, new low

Well, a recent low, anyway. Both my spot weight (178.8 lbs.) and my seven-day average (180.1) are lower than they've been since December.

I'll post a review of the Life Fitness T3-5 treadmill in the next week or so. It helped me achieve my highest January mileage (117 km) since I've been keeping track. My current streak is 11 straight days. There are runners that go for years without missing a day. I don't hope to match that, but I do intend to miss as few days as possible. My best stretch last year was 40 out of 41 days -- two 20-day streaks, with one travel day in the middle. Had I had a treadmill then, I'd have run that one day too.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

What to eat

There was a fantastic article in the New York Times yesterday: Unhappy Meals. It's a good description of what science doesn't know about food and nutrition.

wt: 181.2 lbs.
seven-day average: 181.1 lbs.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Serial Self Help

I found a relatively new blog today with a really interesting premise. The writer will follow one self-help book (or web site) each month for the whole year. This month's book is none other than the Shangri-La Diet.

It's called Just Help Myself. Give it a read.


Sunday, January 21, 2007


The Weighty family spent the day yesterday shopping for a treadmill. We chose the Life Fitness T3-5. We had settled on the Precor M9.23, which was on sale at a pretty good price, but we went to one last store as the day ended, and were really impressed with the Life Fitness product. Mrs. Weighty negotiated a price on the T3-5 that was just too good to pass up. It was a bit too big to wedge into the old van at the same time as the whole family, so we'll get it in a day or two.

I can't wait.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Back into the swing

wt: 180.2 lbs.
seven-day average: 181.2 lbs.

I've put in five short runs so far this week. Sunday and Monday my left knee was bothering me a little, so I took Tuesday off. Since then, it's been much better.

It's turned very cold here. Some people, not me, run outside when it's this cold. I have free access to treadmills at work, but the weekend hours are limited. Mrs. Weighty (hmm... probably shouldn't refer to her that way...) & I are considering buying a treadmill for our home. It wouldn't see much use in the summer, but boy, in the winter it would be nice to have.

Speaking of the Mrs., she's trying the Shangri-La Diet. I'll report her progress, or better yet, get her to do it herself.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back from vacation

wt: 180.8 lbs.
seven four-day average: 181.7

I was at about 1600 km running for the year just before Christmas, which is just short of 1,000 miles, and I didn't make it. The holidays, immediately followed by a long vacation via automobile, stopped me from getting in those last 5 or 6 miles.

Despite getting almost no exercise, and eating out a lot, I kept my weight gain to a fairly modest level. I'm back in my routine now, so I hope to start losing a bit again. I've set some running challenges for myself for this year that I think will require me to drop a little weight. I'll have more to say about that later.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Day 233: down 19.6 lbs.

wt: 178.8 lbs.
seven-day average: 179.9 lbs.

200 blog posts. I only wish I could have made many more of them interesting or useful.

Thanks for reading. I'll be back in the new year. Good luck to everybody trying to stay healthy and lose weight.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Day 266: down 18.8 lbs.

wt: 179.6 lbs.
seven-day average: 180.5 lbs.

I'm still in a plateau. My seven-day moving average has been in a narrow range all month, hovering around 180 lbs. I'll be on vacation after today, and I probably won't have any more blog posts for a few weeks. I won't even weigh myself most days.

I'm about 6 miles away from hitting 1,000 miles of running for the year.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Day 223: down 19.4 lbs.

Wt: 179 lbs.
seven-day average: 179.4 lbs.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Day 220: down 19.2 lbs.

wt: 179.2 lbs.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Day 219: down 20.2 lbs.

wt: 178.2 lbs.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Day 218: down 20.2 lbs.

wt: 178.2 lbs.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Day 217: down 18.8 lbs.

wt: 179.6 lbs.
seven-day average: n/a (I've missed too many weigh-ins lately to get a meaningful number)

It's been a long while since I've posted. I've found it hard to stay interested, even to the point of not weighing myself. Probably as a result, I've drifted up a few pounds.

I'm still off of Shangri-la. My wife is talking about trying it. Given the success that so many have had, I'm gently encouraging her. Like me, she exercises a lot, and anecdotal evidence on the Seth Roberts forums tend to make me think that dampens the effect of Shangri-la. But it's most certainly not unhealthy, and if it works for her, great.

My running is going reasonably well, but I'm not making it out every day. It's turned very cold here lately. I'm lucky enough to have a gym at my workplace, so during the week it's easy to get in a short treadmill run over my lunch hour or before work. The weekends are tough.

I missed five days in November, but my monthly mileage was second-highest of the year. With winter here, and road races a distant memory, it's a little harder to stay focused. Through the end of the month I'll be thinking hard about my running goals for next year; maybe that will get me motivated.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Day 204: down 21.4 lbs.

wt: 177 lbs.
seven-day average: 177.5 lbs.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Day 203: down 21 lbs.

wt: 177.4
seven-day average: 177.4

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Day 198: down 22 lbs.

wt: 176.4 lbs.
seven-day average: 176.6 lbs.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Day 197: down 22.4 lbs.

wt: 176 lbs.
seven-day average: 177 lbs.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Day 196: down 23 lbs.

wt: 175.4 lbs.
seven-day average: 177.3 lbs.

I'm in a long plateau right now. My seven-day moving average has been in a three-pound range for about 2 1/2 months. I've been able to run a little more consistently lately, and I hope that will break me out of this and get my weight dropping again.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Day 194: down 21.6 lbs.

wt: 176.8 lbs.
seven-day average: 177.7 lbs.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Day 193: down 21.4 lbs.

wt: 177 lbs.
seven-day average: 178 lbs.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Day 190: down 20.4 lbs

wt: 178 lbs.
seven-day average: 177.7 lbs.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Day 189: down 21 lbs.

wt: 177.4 lbs.
seven-day average: 177.6 lbs.