Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Creation of a New Term: Murphic Entropy

Post Number: 49
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 34 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 8126 (Took my Mom grocery shopping)
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: Missed the Aquatics Class at the Y

I think I am going to start using a new term, Murphic Entropy. Entropy is the condition of nature where organized entities head from order towards disorder. Anyone with kids and toys has experienced this. A clean play area goes from organized to trashed in the blink of an eye. In keeping with the science of entropy, energy must be expended to restore order to the play area. This is true everywhere. But sometimes, entropy seems to have a perverse sense of humor. This is expressed subtly by Murphy's Law, anything that can go wrong, will. Murphic Entropy, then, is the tendency of nature to head towards the most perverse disorder possible as directly as possible. In the case of yesterday morning, my swim trunks were not ready for me take (entropy). But worse still, they were in the washer (Murphic Entropy). I dried them for a few minutes before finally giving up. Energy is needed to overcome entropy. Thoughtful planning and careful execution in expending that energy and applying enough time is needed to overcome Murphic Entropy.

Of course, there was Murphic Entropy ahead of the swim trunks. The clip to the safety strap to my pedometer broke. I found two of the three pieces instantly. But I was distracted for quite awhile looking for the third. Then there was the attempt to put the clip back together. A process that would fail without tools. So then the search for the tool box commenced. But to no avail. So in the end, these and other similar events of Murphic Entropy piled into my plans for this morning. But while I can speak to these instances and examples, let's face reality. I am in pain. Let me say that again. I am in pain. Nope, not quite right. I am in pain. Close enough. My muscles are still aching with every motion. They tend to stiffen if I sit for too long. My weight bearing joints from my lower back down are complaining mightily. This has been true from early in my move, through the brief respite between moving and engaging in exercise, through to today's exercise regime. So while Murphic Entropy was in full force, the real reason I didn't attend my class is that I gave up the fight. There was enough opposition to forward progress to convince me to give in. This needs to be rare, so I can keep on track with my health improvement.

One of the reasons I am not worried about missing exercise as much as I am about the failure in the eating arena comes from studies on long-term weight loss Let's review the formula ahead of the information on the studies. The formula for weight loss is well known: Eat less and exercise more. There are programs on this that can help one way or another. For example, the Body for Life program spreads out food intake to encourage eating less. Exercise is a part of the package. More importantly, the exercise mixes cardio and weight training. And above and beyond the food/exercise combination, Body for Life gives you a day off to keep yourself psychologically charged. Low carb diets like Atkins and Kimkins rely on the high protein content to slow down your digestion so you feel fuller longer. In the end, the power of these programs is more about the eating less and less about the ketosis process the low carbs encourages. Also, carbs and alcohol have been shown to encourage eating binges. This can make low carb programs more likely to be successful ahead of maintenance. Other programs have wonderful explanations that really come back into eating less and/or exercising more.

While the eat less/exercise more formula is well-known, studies have located the best proportion of eating less and exercising more. If 100% represents the amount of effort being expended to lose weight, 80% of the weight loss effort needs to be in reducing the calorie intake, 20% of the weight loss effort needs to be in increasing calorie burning. This works out very well considering how little calorie expenditures we have during exercise. Studies have also shown that weight loss is maintained longer with the addition of exercise during weight loss and maintenance. I am putting my best effort (usually) into eating properly. I am pushing myself to exercise more. And later today, I will be seeing how well this week went as far as weight loss. I am hoping for four pounds of weight loss given the strict adherence to tracking every point eaten and the aggressive point calculations for BLTN's. I am not expecting much more than that because I was less than strict in keeping to Kimkins. We shall see what the results are.

I already know what the results of my errands with my Mom are. My pedometer reads in the 2000 - 3000 range most days. Yesterday read 8000. This number is more in keeping with what MBWM accomplishes on her pedometer on a daily basis. Since my pedometer is a Weight Watchers model, it shows the number of Activity Points I have earned and can use to increase my food intake. I ignore this option. But it made me start thinking about what foods I could "earn" through exercise. And then I hit upon the idea of calculating the time it would take to burn off through exercise the calories available in one Oreo. Here are the results -

Time in Minutes to Burn Off One Oreo Based on the Activity and Weight of Person

Activity 160 pounds 200 pounds 240 pounds
Aerobics, high impact 6.0 4.7 4.0
Aerobics, low impact 8.6 6.7 5.5
Aerobics, water 7.5 6.0 5.0
Backpacking 6.0 5.0 4.0
Basketball game 5.5 4.3 3.6
Bicycling, < 10 mph, leisure 10.0 8.6 6.7
Bowling 12.0 10.0 8.6
Canoeing 12.0 10.0 7.5
Dancing, ballroom 12.0 10.0 8.6
Football, touch or flag 5.5 4.3 3.6
Golfing, carrying clubs 10.0 7.5 6.7
Hiking 6.7 5.5 4.7
Ice skating 6.0 5.0 4.0
Racquetball 6.0 5.0 4.0
Resistance (weight) training 8.6 6.7 5.5
Rollerblading 5.5 4.7 3.8
Rope jumping 3.6 2.9 2.4
Rowing, stationary 6.7 5.5 4.7
Running, 5 mph 5.0 4.0 3.6
Running, 8 mph 3.6 2.9 2.4
Skiing, cross-country 6.0 5.0 4.3
Skiing, downhill 10.0 7.5 6.7
Skiing, water 6.7 5.5 4.7
Softball or baseball 8.6 6.7 5.5
Stair treadmill 4.7 3.8 3.2
Swimming, laps 7.5 6.0 5.0
Tae kwon do 4.0 3.4 2.8
Tai chi 12.0 10.0 8.6
Tennis, singles 5.5 4.3 3.6
Volleyball 10.0 8.6 6.7
Walking, 2 mph 15.0 12.0 10.0
Walking, 3.5 mph 10.0 7.5 6.7
160 pounds = 73 kilograms
200 pounds = 91 kilograms
240 pounds = 109 kilogram
Information Source  -
Accessed: 11/22/2013
Oreo calculations based on nutrition label of 3 cookies = 160 calories

As I was making this table in Excel and refining the HTML, a few thoughts occurred to me that I thought I would share. I should pick the activity I'd most like to perform to burn off that one Oreo. Then ask the following questions: 
  • Is an Oreo worth the time and energy to me necessary to burn it off?
  • Could I enjoy that one Oreo if I knew I had to burn it off with activity?
  • Could I enjoy that one Oreo for the same amount of time as the activity to burn it off?
And so, with those (hopefully) motivational thoughts, I am off to today's Weight Watcher's meeting.

Yours in the hope of weight lost,


Today's Post Script is brought to you via Randy Glasenberg's web site. Enjoy!

Check out today's Dr. Who inspired Google Doodle on the Google home page today (Saturday, 23 November 2013).
If you miss it, you can find in the Google Doodle Archive for the US.
Or, if you want to have some fun, just explore the entire Google Doodle Archive with all of its international entries.
And don't forget the Dr. Who song on You Tube.

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