As Long As I Exercise, I Can Eat Anything I Want

I had a pretty awesome weekend. I finally had a weekend I could relax. ChewyDenise came to Seattle for a workshop, so we got to hang out. I’ll talk about that in a separate blog post.

For the 1st time since college, I’ve dropped below 140lbs. My scale read 139.6lbs this morning. I’m excited and scared at the same time. I appear to stick at a certain weight (within a pound) for most of the week, and then suddenly drop 3lbs overnight. My eating habit has also been changing. I don’t think I’m becoming anorexic, as I still love eating. But I’ve noticed I’m eating less and less these days, not that I ate that much previously. I think I’ve dropped to VonLobster’s level of eating.

With my busy work schedule these past few weeks, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been skipping out on weight training, but at least I’ve continued with the elliptical. I was surprised I was still able to do 8 pull-ups the other day.

Here’s a picture of me when I first started working at Microsoft (July 2005):

profile picture

I believe I was ~135lbs back then.

I’ve mentioned my motto to several friends before:

As long as I exercise, I can eat anything I want.

The funny thing is the 1st time I mentioned this, my friends “claimed” I said As long as I exercise, I can do anything I want. If I recall correctly, Chad’s response was, “Does that include murder?” Ah, my friends. ;p

So there you have it. My motto. Eating delicious food is one of my favorite things to do and I find it very sad to see people giving up tasty food because of health reasons. The day I’m told I can’t eat this or that anymore, is the day I’ll seriously consider if it’s worth living anymore. I’m not on a diet, but my body (or shrinking stomach) seems to be limiting what I eat. Therefore it makes even more sense to eat more of the good stuff, since I can only eat so much (e.g. cheesecake for dinner instead of the entrée).

On a somewhat-related topic, Xyon had mentioned that Costco sells mozzarella sticks. Mmmmmm. Unfortunately the last 2 times I went, they’ve been sold out. I did end up buying these vegetable spring rolls which comes with deep fry instructions. Haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but they look tasty from the box. Plus what deep fried food isn’t tasty?

Since we’re on the topic of Costco, there’s 2 things I wanted to also mention. It looks like my Costco is carrying this new product called Santa Cruz Organic Sparkling Lemonade. Being a big fan of lemonade, I just had to give it a try. And it did not disappoint.

Santa Cruz Organic Sparkling Lemonade

Another thing I don’t quite get is dress sock sizes. Costco carries 2 brands of dress socks: Kirkland Signature and Gold Toes. They only have 1 sizing: Shoe Size: 6-12.5 / Sock Size: 10-13. I thought cool, my shoe size of 8 falls into that range, but when I tried it on, it’s a lot bigger than I had expected. The sock feels very loose and if I pull it very tight, the heel of the sock doesn’t align with my heel. Is this normal?

Goal #1: Get Fit

This morning my physical therapist asked if I lost weight and indeed I have. It’s always nice when someone notices.

As some of you may already know, I had 3 goals to accomplish this year. You can call them new year resolutions if you’d like. I mentioned I would talk more about my 1st goal, which is to get fit. In order to work towards that abstract goal, I needed to set some measurable targets. I had come up with 2:

  • Get into the normal range for my BMI. At my height of 5’5″, that meant a weight of 150lbs to reach a BMI of 25.
  • Grow a 6-pack of abs (or 4, or 2, just not 1 giant round tummy)

I started out this year with a maximum weight of 168lbs, which puts my BMI at 28 (inside the overweight range). I remained around 163-165lbs for quite awhile until the middle of February when everything in my world got turned upside down. If you followed me on twitter, you would’ve seen my tweet about hitting 149.4lbs this morning, putting my BMI at 24.9 and into the normal range. Milestone 1 reached!

Not quite sure how long it’ll take to reach milestone 2. My stomach is already starting to get flat, and depending on how I flex my body, I can start seeing muscles in my abdominal area. Hopefully not too long. Did I mention that medium sized t-shirts fit me again? It also appears I need to wear a belt now, or else my pants start falling.


As for my exercise regiment, I would say most of the weight-loss was due to running on the elliptical. I run 2 miles on it everyday which comes out to about ~45 minutes, which is perfect for a TV episode or 2 anime episodes. If a Netflix movie comes in, I watch that instead. Update: One thing I forgot to mention is that my elliptical claims I burn ~850 calories at the end of each session. Not entirely sure how accurate that is.

I’ve also been doing weight training every other day. I would do it everyday, but Xyon tells me my muscles need to rest for like 40 hours between rigorous exercises. My workout includes sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, curls, and a series of other weight lifting exercises I do not know the names of. I’m not exactly sure what doing sit-ups on an exercise ball is called, but I’ve gone up to 2 sets of 50. Recently I added a 10lb weight to that since losing weight has made doing those a lot easier.

Of course once in awhile I do miss a day of exercising, but I try my best not to. If I had to guess, I would say I miss about 1 day every 2 weeks.


I haven’t really changed what I eat (food is just too awesome to give up), but I have changed my eating habit, which I think came out from laziness. For lunch on most days, I usually have cereal, Special K to be exact. I discovered Special K sometime near the end of last year and loved it, though recently it’s gotten a bit boring. I’ve gone through 6 or 7 Costco twin packs since the beginning of this year. I guess I can attribute it to the fact that I’m too lazy to walk down to the cafeteria for food. It’s a good thing work provides milk, bowls, and spoons. 🙂

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve been eating smaller portions, but not on purpose. Sticking any more food into my stomach would hurt. Maybe my stomach shrank?

Elliptical User Warnings

Since Ungsunghero had requested this, it has been bumped up in priority.

I had mentioned I got my elliptical a few weeks back and I’ve been using it pretty much everyday. I spend about 30 minutes on it while usually watching an episode of Heroes or 2 episodes of anime. I started at resistance = 5, but have bumped it up 6. I’m pretty sure 7 would be fine too, but I’ll stay at 6 for now.

What I found amazing is that even though with 30 minutes of exercising on the elliptical, I don’t feel that tired afterwards at all and I burn more calories than when I was on the exercise bike. With 30 minutes on my exercise bike, I get extremely tired by the end and only burn about 400 calories. With the elliptical, I burn about 690 calories and can probably go on for another 15 minutes or so.

One interesting number on the elliptical is that it also measures carbs, and my number usually ends up around 100. According to the user’s manual, the number represents the number of grams of carbs I have burned. I wonder if that’s just some calculation based on the calories I’ve burned.

Anyway, the elliptical took some while to get used to as it felt unnatural and initially, I often lifted my feet off the step or started sliding on the step.

I typically do my exercise barefooted, but the steps on this elliptical has these poky pyramids which I’m guessing is to provide friction so you don’t slip on the steps. That made sense so during my first workout, I wore slippers. Very bad idea. Back in elementary school, did you ever get an Indian burn? Well, my feet basically ended up in a similar state, but worse. Since I was wearing slippers, my feet basically kept on rubbing it, chafing it constantly for 30 minutes. Of course when i was exercising, I didn’t realize that. But afterwards, it hurt pretty bad to walk.

Having a few pair of new shoes, I decided to use one specifically for the elliptical. That has worked out well ever since and my chafed feet have returned to normal.

Another thing about ellipticals are the moving handles. Even if you let go of the bars, they continue to move as long as your feet is moving. So if you drop your remote, don’t try to pick it up with moving handle bars or you may end up with a bump on the head like me.


So I’ve been meaning to get an elliptical for awhile and when I saw that Costco had one on sale this month, I jumped. It was only available online and I had recalled receiving a letter stating that my Executive Membership which gives me an extra 2% back doesn’t apply to online orders. I decided to email Costco customer service to find out if that was the case. It turns out I was wrong:

Thank you for your e-mail to Costco Wholesale.

Yes online purchases do count toward the 2% the same way they do in the store. If there is anything further please let us know.

Thank you,

Costco Wholesale Corporation

Awesome. After reading that email, I pretty much jumped and made my purchase. The one I got is: NordicTrack CX 938 Elliptical, which is still on sale for $400.

Fast forward till last Friday when I decided to work from home. I get a phone call asking me if I’ll be available on Monday between the hours of 11am and 2pm for delivery from UPS freight. I said that should be fine.

The UPS gave me a call around 1pm today asking me for more specific directions to my place, since I live in a complex. Turns out he went into the wrong complex. But he got here in the next 10 minutes or so. Turns out UPS freight won’t take things up the stairs and he insisted that he dump the package in my garage which is on the 1st floor. I didn’t blame him. The package was huge and heavy and he was by himself. I thought to myself, I could probably bring it up part by part later. I had to get into work now.

When I get home tonight, I start unpacking the thing, and part by part, I started to bring it up to my living room. However, I was left with a very “big” problem. There was 1 gigantic part, which I would say weighed about 80lbs or so. That’s what sucks about living alone. I don’t have someone that could lift the other end of heavy things. Otherwise, I’m perfectly fine.

So I tried dragging it, and for the most part it worked. The stairs were a bit tricky, but I guess the recent exercises did strengthen me up. When I went back downstairs to the garage to check to see if I had anything left, that’s when I noticed some broken plastic. I was like *!@*!*!@#*@!#*!@$*!@#*@!#!@. It looked like it was part of some electrical connector. I went back up stairs to check it out and found the broken piece. Thankfully none of the wires were damaged, just the plastic encasing for the connector head.

So step by step, I started building the elliptical. When instructions asked to have one person lift up X, that person turned out to be a cardboard box. Things were fine until it got to the point of attaching the handles. First I needed to apply grease and being inexperienced with grease, I of course overdid it and ended with big chunks coming out afterwards. Then there was the stupid thing they called the push nut which came with a push nut tool, which was basically keep hammering at it till it held the handles in snuggly. That took a lot of work as it wasn’t easy hammering something with a hole smaller than what it’s trying to get into.

Don’t you hate it when you forget to put a washer between your screw and what you’re screwing into? Yah, that happened to me a few times and I had to unscrew it and screw it back again.

It turns out this elliptical doesn’t use AC power, but instead is powered by 4 “D” batteries. Thankfully I have all sets of common batteries which I’ve purchased from Costco (AAA, AA, C, and D). After plugging in the console unit, I did a test to see if the wiring was fine, since I did damaged its “spine” earlier. It turned out okay as I was able to control the resistance (located in the back) without any problems. What I found hilarious is the the fact it even has a little fan in the center of the console with multiple speeds. I wonder how long that’ll last with “D” batteries.

My elliptical was finally complete and it’s huge! Not exactly what I was expecting. Now I needed to squeeze it into somewhere where I would actually use it, which meant it had to be in front of the TV. Unlike my exercise bike, this thing was probably going to be stationary. Being 6ft long also meant it would barely fit between the couch and the TV.

So I moved my couches around and stuck both the elliptical and exercise bike in between and ended up with:

living room setupliving room setupliving room setupliving room setupliving room setup

Don’t worry about the wire going across the floor. Since I had moved my speakers, that was just part of the process to recalibrate them.

Afterwards, I noticed that my left toe had a painful feeling, like thousands of little pins poking at it. Not exactly sure what happened and it doesn’t look injured. Hopefully I didn’t hurt any other part of my body either.

I’ll probably give it a try either tomorrow or the day afterward. Building this thing used up quite an amount of energy.