The 500-cal. earmark seems to be a decent level. It's a faster heart rate than the equivalent time walking, though it uses different muscles and since my ass has less padding than it used to have, it hurts more. Maybe I'll get ass callouses.
And consider that 500 calories is a significant part of my daily caloric intake. If I were to get really anal, I could stricly eat my yougurt-and-whey-protein concoction five times a day and get my 75 grams in 500 calories entirely, but that would be a bit more of a miserable existence than I'd really like to do for any length of time. At this point, I like a little variety, so I'm figuring about a 1000-cal. daily average.
There are times I splurge. A Hershey milk chocolate bar with almonds is 290 calories, so I'm trying to tie that in to the equivalent time spent on the bike (say an additional 40 minutes) to determine if it's really worth it to me to have that wonderous little treat. Generally the answer is no, because after an hour on the bike, the thought of pulling another 40 minutes is something of a deterrent.
The bike is in front of the big screen. It's a sort of deal that if I'm gonna watch a show, I do it on the bike. It's a psychological thing, trying to remove the phrase "sit and" from my daily vocabulary where I can-- like "
And I'm not riding the bike every day yet, more like every other day. I'm trying to work in some weight training on the off days, and since I have lost muscle mass, it's a hell of a lot harder than I'd like it to be.
My body is very droopy everywhere now. The skin-bag looks like a deflated balloon, and I generally look melted. The loose skin is pretty much beyond it's elasticity, and isn't really gonna bounce back, so eventually I may have to have plastic curgery to have portions of skin removed. That's well over a year before I can even consider it, so it is something I have to live with for a while.
On the upside, I can feel my abdominal muscles quite well now. It's surprising how well-defined and hard they are; you just wouldn't expect that from looking at me. There are areas that I need to hit harder, like the backs of my thighs and my butt, but a lot of those exercises are difficult with a bad knee, and a little tricky to maintain. I have a weight bench, but it's not adjustable enough to be useful for leg exercises or crunches.
I passed the six-month mark a couple of weeks ago. July 22nd specifically. Kinda blew by in a rush of other stuff happening. I'm in a plateau currently, which is why I'm trying to up the ante in exercise, other than needing a better shape overall.
Having lost a lot of weight makes it much easier to do some kinds of workouts. Not gonna be jogging anytime soon because of the knee, but walking and riding the bike are both things I'm capable of. I'd like to find a way of doing squats and lunges that don't hurt, and don't involve going to a gym: I know me, and if it involves inconvenience, I'm more likely to fail.
I should also really look at getting a good set of dumbells, or a couple of short bars that I can put smaller weights on. And I really would like to get a short curling bar again; I used to have one but it was badly damaged in a me-not-being-responsible event and has long since passed into oblivion. I can use the big bar, but I'd really prefer to have two different sets so I'm not having to constantly change weights. I'm thinking that something like a 2nd Wind or Play It Again Sports is likely to have something that I could use.
We will see.