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Itadaki M's posts

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"Belly Bailout" Challenge: Week 3 Weigh In
Biggest Loser Club
Posted: January 27, 2009
LW: 193.0 lbs. 17.7%BF
TW: 197.8 lbs. 17.0%BF

I haven't made any attempt to control my calories, though I have been eating healthier.

Good job all!
"Belly Bailout" Challenge: Week 2 Weigh In
Biggest Loser Club
Posted: January 22, 2009
LW: 189.4 lbs. 19.1%BF
TW: 193.0 lbs. 17.7%BF

Went to the gym after dinner tonight, so that's where the difference lies.
"Belly Bailout" Challenge: Newcomer Weigh In
Biggest Loser Club
Posted: January 13, 2009
Starting Weight: 189.4 lbs (1/13/2009)
Height: 5' 10"
Body Fat: 19.1% (morning measurement)

Could we also add waist circumference measured at the belly-button? This would be easier than BF for many to measure, and it is better correlated with healthiness than simple weight.

I'm posting two numbers: one while sucking it all in (used in BF measurements, like the U.S. Army method) and one while letting it all hang out (supposedly the norm for clinical use, but not emphasized or made clear enough).

Waist: 36.5", 41.5".

WC not BMI explains obesity related health risk (Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Mar)

More recent article
abstract (PLoS ONE. 2008 Jul 9).
Honest Waist Measurements
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: December 02, 2008
I've been hearing a lot about excessive visceral fat and links to diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems. So I went looking for a standard way of measuring this and found this helpful article.

I am currently at 17% body fat, which is not too bad (after roughly 6 months of mostly inactivity). However, an honest assessment of my waistline puts me at 40" (102 cm) which is right at the "waist obese" mark.

I'll be tracking both BF% and waist size from now on.
I can't run very far... advice?
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: November 25, 2008
Good for you!

C25K is friggin' awesome. I went from hating running and barely able to run a Philadelphia city block, to running 30 minutes (5k) non-stop in about 12 weeks (I repeated a few weeks of a 9-week program).
Presidential Health
Off-Topic & General Chat
Posted: October 15, 2008
This is the best analysis I've read of the current state of health of both McCain and Obama.
Stronglifts 5x5 Spreadsheet
Training Routines
Posted: October 15, 2008
Quoting: nicholman
I've been out too long - what's this new Stronglifts with abs and Inverted Rows???

Mehdi just switched up his Beginner's 5x5 workout within the last two weeks to include more body weight exercises.

I've been trying it and like it a lot. I actually get muscle pumps from all the added reps-to-failure body weight stuff.

Quoting: rosanne
Weird... I was just looking at that spreadsheet not five minutes ago and then lo and behold here it pops up on traineo too!

The new one is nice -- it has extra tabs for goal setting and progress tracking. I'll have to update mine to compensate!
I'm turning into a skinny fat person!!!
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: October 14, 2008
Here's a more comprehensive list of body fat ranges.

It's been a while since I compiled this info, and I don't remember where I got it from. Perhaps here?

I've found it useful to have non-gym exercises to fall back on when I can't make it out the door or am travelling. C25K or a walking program are great, as is 100 Pushups, some Crossfits, or the Navy Seal workout.
Stronglifts 5x5 Spreadsheet
Training Routines
Posted: October 14, 2008
Reposting the spreadsheets with Zoho, to make them cross-platform accessible. Also, you no longer need MS Office to view and print them.

Original Stronglifts 5x5

Revised Stronglifts 5x5
iPhone TrailGuru -- Automap Your Trip!
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: October 11, 2008
This is awesome -- I just click Start, then Stop and post the data up to Goodbye Nike+!

Here's a short trip I took from my neighborhood down to South Jersey Java for a cup of joe and a bowl of chili. Yum.

There is support for other GPS devices as well, but the iPhone 3G client just makes everything incredibly easy.

The only drawback is that it can't run in the background, unless you have a jailbroken iPhone and Backgrounder installed. However, you can always just stop for a rest, do what you need to do (make calls, change your iPod playlist, etc.) and resume your trek by re-entering TrailGuru.
Stronglifts 5x5 Spreadsheet
Training Routines
Posted: September 26, 2008
I'm posting a modified version of the Excel spreadsheet that Mehdi made available on

Here you go!

I highlighted the bits you need to modify with starting weights in green. Everything else is calculated from the initial values, so it should be a snap to set up your program. I also added two rows: Total Weight and Plate Weight + Bar Weight, where I've assumed you're using a 45 lb. olympic bar. It's easier to load the bar when you look at the Plate Weight, but you should really be tracking the total weight as well -- again, Plate Weight + Bar Weight updates automatically from whatever you put in the Total Weight row.

Forgot to highlight Date Started and This Cycle date fields, but you can edit those as well.

This is also the old Stronglifts 5x5. The newer one has ab exercises thrown in, and replaces the Barbell Row with Inverted Rows. When I get a chance, I'll post that as well.

Vegan Eating for a Non-Vegan
Diet Plans
Posted: September 14, 2008
I read the title as "Vegan Eating a Non-Vegan" and came by expecting to find a weird Youtube clip or something.
About to buy Asics Gel Kayano 14 any thoughts
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: September 14, 2008
I bought Asics Gel Kayanos from and regretted it. It's not that they're bad shoes, it's just that they were not the best fit for me. I had bought them purely on the say-so of some running magazine's annual Top Shoes list.

For me, the cheaper Mizuno Waves that my local running store originally fitted me with worked best. I'd have a specialty store fit you with running shoes, not a chain like Dick's or Famous Footwear.

And congratulations! That's a pretty good regimen.
I did mine! TAG YOU'RE IT!!!!
Motivation Tips
Posted: September 14, 2008
Quoting: axelisa
brown chicken brown cow

I need to do more of that too!

Completed Week 1 of 100 Pushups and Week 6 of C25K a day late, but I did it!
Silk in my coffee... pro's? con's?
Diet & Nutrition Tips
Posted: September 11, 2008
CoffeeMate has HFCS and transfats in it, in that order of abundance by weight judging by the ingredient list. They get away with saying "Zero Trans Fats" because a serving is 1 teaspoon and you can claim no trans fat if it's under 0.5g per serving. Rather skeevy of them really.

Honestly, I didn't like the taste of Silk in my coffee. It also looks greyish, instead of a nice brown color.

I didn't think I could kick coffee either, but I did. After a year of green tea, I'm back on coffee again. You can also learn to drink it black -- just buy decent coffee, and it won't need anything. Local small-batch roasters are best -- in the Philadelphia area, you can't beat Torreo.
FitBit -- Best of TechCrunch50
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: September 10, 2008
This looks like an interesting device -- a personal fitness monitor that you wear all day (even during sleep).

It also has a free web portal service that lets you track everything, etc. Nice that it wirelessly syncs data when you walk near your PC!

Now if only you could rig it to deliver electric shocks when you miss your daily workout.
Traineo Trivia Challenge!
Off-Topic & General Chat
Posted: August 23, 2008
Gestation implies placental mammals, I'm pretty certain -- so yes, that eliminates insects, reptiles, and poor old monotremes. *sniff*

I'll guess that very short-lived mammals would have the shortest gestation, so voles? Shrews is a good guess too.
Exercise Does Not Lead to Weight-Loss
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: August 16, 2008
Quoting: Suzay
Although, exercise is what will keep you from being "skinny fat" in the end.

I've seen this stated by folks who've gone through a diet induced skinny-fat phase before discovering the joys of exercise, like ChickenTuna (her BodySpace user name).

For the old timers, yes sorry for the shameless cheerleadering once again!

My respect for Ms. Szwarc's blog is beginning to tarnish as well. I'm currently doing my own readings into Metabolic Syndrome and criticisms of it, related to another article of hers, and I'm seeing inconsistencies as well. That's a topic for another post...

Well, I'm not about to give up on exercise that's for sure -- even though circumstances have forced me to switch more to cardio than strength training (against my preferences).
Should I repeat week 1?
Couch to 5K Running Program
Posted: August 12, 2008
I agree with Neesha. Speed and intensity (doing hills, etc.) are all secondary to sticking with the program until it becomes a habit or at least an integral part of your life.
Smartest Decisions I've Ever Made
Training Routines
Posted: August 11, 2008
I've also read somewhere that you can't properly digest more than 50g of protein in one sitting.

How do you high-protein folks space out your protein intake?

I normally take two 50g shakes. One in the morning and one before bed. For the rest of my protein, I rely on my normal diet. I average about 200g a day, with a body weight of 180-185lbs.

My main worry too was the effect of high protein intake on my kidneys (I did have elevated serum creatinine levels). From what I've read, protein intake does not adversely affect normal kidneys but I have a blood test done every year anyway to keep tabs.
Exercise Does Not Lead to Weight-Loss
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: August 11, 2008
I'm tired and cranky -- someone please debunk this!

The basic message is that calls for exercise to reduce fat are not supported by evidence. Ergo, exercise will not make you lose appreciable weight/fat and keep it off.

The author, Sandy Szwarc, claims to have no funding from Big Money with ulterior motives. She is a supporter of the Fat Acceptance movement.

I intuitively don't agree, but I can't really back up my opinion with facts -- only personal anecdotes (I've gotten a lot healthier and stronger after adopting exercise and better nutrition).

ETA: My problem though is that I respect Ms. Szwarc's views. Well researched and critical. Maybe the problem is that studies about obesity are just too sloppy? Meaning, you can't base anything on the data -- even though "intuitively" you know the recommendations are correct? After all, it took several thousand years for knowledge of physics to advance from Aristotle to Isaac Newton. Whatever.
Damn those olympians ...
Off-Topic & General Chat
Posted: August 11, 2008
Here's a very interesting photo series from the New York Times on Olympians and their bodies.

The first guy (shot putter) has about the same BF% as me, but Jeez is he strong! And heavy.

What really gets me is the calorie intakes they report. Look at the marathon woman -- very slim, but 4,000 kCalories a day?!!

This makes you rethink calorie intake somewhat.

Also strong and healthy does not necessarily mean a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit body.
Should I repeat week 1?
Couch to 5K Running Program
Posted: August 10, 2008
It's a balancing act.

You want to take it gradually, so that your body can adapt. However, you also don't want to get stuck in a rut.

My advice would be to go on to the next Week, but if it proves too difficult then just drop back to the previous and try advancing again next week.

I've certainly redone some weeks, sometimes multiple times. It's all part of the program -- most C25K sites will tell you that repeating weeks is fine.
What's With Japan and Losing Fat?
Off-Topic & General Chat
Posted: July 29, 2008
After reading more, I'd have to agree.

In particular, it seems that the measurements that make up the metabolic syndrome index aren't really correlated to mortality rates after all. In other words, metabo is not a good measure of health.

It's the whole BMI nightmare over again. BMI is a measurement of limited use, but is easier to measure consistently than Body Fat Percentage (which is much more useful). Likewise a cardio stress test or fitness test is much more useful in gauging someone's health, but is much more time consuming than simple measuring someone's waistline.

Lazy medicine triumphs again.

Anyhow I still have hopes that some good will come of it.
What's With Japan and Losing Fat?
Off-Topic & General Chat
Posted: July 29, 2008
Thanks for the article, Rachael! I wasn't aware of the new law, though my father-in-law had voiced concerns about abdominal fat as early as a year ago.

Personally, I think it's an awesome idea. I'm very interested in seeing how it turns out and very eager to see what fitness educational material comes out of it.

I'm even more motivated to get in shape. Keeping up with the 仲�'s and all!

Japanese don't typically go to gyms, though that's been changing gradually for the under-30 group. Taiso or exercise is a popular part of school and work routines, though it amounts to mainly light calisthenics.

I prefer Algorithm Taiso or Algorithm Koushin (with ninja!).

ETA: Wow, I've been reading some of the blog reaction to this news story, and most English-speaking bloggers are pretty horrified by it. Not a single one of those bloggers lives in Japan though. Different culture I guess.
What's With Japan and Losing Fat?
Off-Topic & General Chat
Posted: July 29, 2008
Back from Tokyo! Meeting up with old friends was great. However, it did remind me of an old question I had: Why are Japanese generally thin?

It's not genetics -- all three of my friends have spent considerable time in the U.S. and have gained weight here (which they subsequently lost back in Japan). Second generation or higher Japanese who live in the U.S. have the same obesity rates as anyone else. I'm not Japanese, but I usually drop an inch off my waist in the two weeks I generally spend there (found out the hard way last year, when I splurged on 6-8 jeans that now don't fit).

Whatever it is, we should be able to duplicate the conditions anywhere else, right? It's frustrating to me that I expend so much work to slim down whereas living in Japan seems to just naturally make you thinner with a much more modest effort.

So far the candidate reasons are:

#1: More daily physical activity -- Japanese walk and bike regularly, since it's cheaper and often more convenient to use public transportation than own a car. I guess the 3 hours of running/brisk walking I do in a week aren't enough to compensate for my gas-guzzling lifestyle?

#2: Better nutrition -- normal day-to-day Japanese cuisine is heavy on cooking with unprocessed food. If I want to see a lot of overweight Japanese, I go to the local McDonald's (though "obesity" looks more like what we'd call "overweight" here). In any case, unless produce and meat in the U.S. is sprinkled with Magic Growth Powder, I should be able to duplicate this as well.

#3: Smaller portions -- All purchased food portions are small, from cups of coffee (about 6oz) to ice cream cups (1/4 pint, or 4oz). As for daily home cooking, Japanese use traditional rice bowls instead of large plates, and take food bit by bit from central serving plates. I've read elsewhere that using smaller plates helps control portions, since you;re tricked into thinking you eat more than you really have. There might be something to this. It also helps that food in Japan is expensive -- about 50% more expensive in Tokyo than in New York.

So how much of a difference is there between the U.S. and Japan in terms of walking and caloric intake? Surprisingly, on average only 300 kCal a day -- 200 kCal from diet, and 100 kCal from walking.

So that means I just need to cut 300 kCal per day on average (or 700 kCal 3x a week at the gym) and I'll be as thin as the average Japanese person? Sounds doable. It seems to me I'm doing more than that, but I guess I'm not keeping count correctly and slacking off too much.

Then again, maybe I'm just envious that my friends are hot and I'm not.
Vin Diesel is HOT
Off-Topic & General Chat
Posted: July 10, 2008
Of course, he wasn't always that hot.

Then again, who was during the eighties?
Too tired to exercise
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: July 02, 2008
Wow, has anyone else done a Google search on a random line from this post to see how many times it's been spammed?

Here you go.

Plagiarism / Spam Check 101. Just Google it.

ETA: Not only has it been spammed, but the content was stolen from this eHow article.
Biking question...
Exercise & Training Tips
Posted: June 24, 2008
I have two Raleighs -- a hybrid and a mountain bike, both circa 1997. They're pretty decent bikes.
Profile Picture Won't Upload Correctly
Website Support
Posted: June 23, 2008
Happened to me too, and I've changed my photo many times before without a problem.