Jim’s Fitness Wisdom for Geeks

For months now, Jim Henley has been regaling us with weekly tales of his journey on the road to fitness. His goal: to be able pull off (that is, not be embarrassed in) a proper superhero costume in time for Halloween. I see him every week or so for roleplaying, and his progress has indeed been impressive. This week, he turns all his experience into advice for the rest of us:

Weight Loss for Geeks: You love books and games, Cartoon Network, fantasy, sf, animation, comics or some sizable combination thereof. You live on Pepsi and pizza, know what’s inside your computer. You are a geek. Maybe, you’ve decided you weigh more than you’d like to weigh, maybe by a lot. You may have felt this way for some time, but now the matter has acquired an urgency it didn’t have for some reason – a sober consideration of your sexual prospects, anxiety about interviewing in a soft economy at your present weight, some health concern that tips the scales (in my case, a gnawing fear of Type II diabetes). It may have taken a lot to get you to this point. Among other things, your appearance may have long represented to you a rejection of false values: shallow standards of beauty and glamor. Losing weight and gaining fitness might mean, on some level, becoming more like them, the jerks in high school with big muscles or bubble butts, empty heads and vicious mouths.

That’s a lot to overlook or overcome. But like I said, the time, you have decided, is here. So how to do it?

Answer: make a game of your body. Turn the venturesome intellect and sense of play that have stood you in such good stead in the one direction they’ve never really focused: your physical form and prowess. Become curious about what you can become capable of doing. How fast? How long? How hard? How much? What can you decide not to eat or drink after all? What do you need in the way of macronutrients and micronutrients? Which of the schemers, visionaries, nannies and charlatans in bookstores or bureaucracies gets how much right and how much wrong?

There�s more; check it out. I�ve recently come up with a more concrete reason to lose weight than just “it’s healthy” or “down with love handles” — a lot of the yoga I’m doing (or trying to do) right now would be a heck of a lot easier if I was twenty pounds lighter. The problem is the same as it ever was � food is so darn yummy.