Tux Challenge Quasi-Live Blog



Can you live-blog a multi-week thing? And is it really a LiveBlog! if only edited 1-2 times per week? Can you start a LiveBlog! with events that happened several days ago? Well, I’m doing it. And no one can stop me. Ha ha ha ha ha. At 3Bulls, we change the rules to suit our needs.

Anyway, here we go…..


I was recently informed by wife that I have to attend this formal event 3/15/08. I’ll have to wear a tux.
The last time I wore a tux, I got married (3 years ago). I have not worn the tux since.

But I still own the tux. Financial genius that I am, I decided to buy the tux instead of rent it, so I wouldn’t have to waste money renting every time I needed a tux in the future.

The plan has worked out rather poorly. Making reasonable NPV-type assumptions to account for the time value of the extra money spent in 2005 to own vs. rent, and accounting for the decline of the dollar since 2005, I will have to wear the tux about 30 times per year for the next 65 years for that decision to pay off.
But that is in the past and hence a sunk cost. More potentially damaging is the psychological impact of not be able to wear the tux due to weight gain, as shown in the following chart:

2005 192.542 lbs (est)

Today 207.2 lbs (actual)

I probably could not wear the tux now. At 200 pounds, I could wear it, but it would hurt both pysically and psychologically. If I get to 193, I’ll be comfortable despite a weight gain of 0.478 pounds over 3 years. Let’s target 193.

The incentive value of this is great. Prior to now, I had been “trying to lose weight”, but it had been a half-ass effort at best. But there is no way I’m renting a tux and ruining my “hey, I should own this tux” idea – it’s time to go 3/4 ass and get this done.

I will have to lose approximately 14 pounds in 23 days. My weight has been extremely volatile in the past three years – not great news for my long-term health, but it does give me some hope in being able to shed the pounds.

I do like to eat, and I don’t much like exercise. So mustering the will power to get this done will be tough.

I have decided to post my progress on 3B. By doing so, I will open myself up to ridicule from the entire 3B community should I fail, thus providing extra incentive. (I am aware that I will also be riduculed by the entire 3B community if I succeed, but in that case I would feel the ridicule to be unjust so it will not bother me).


DOUBLE UPDATE, EVEN BETTER- ALSO, STARTING TO LOOK NOT SO GOOD. I suggest baseline master and maybe sweatshirt jogging or Civ III on the treadmill. Or strike a deal with big oatmeal!


2/27/08 6:38 PM

Progress to date…

Target is 193 pounds by 3/15/08

Date Pounds Pounds to lose Days left Lbs lost per day Lbs to lose/day

2/21/08 207.2 14.2 23 n/a 0.62

2/22/08 207.2 14.2 22 0 0.65

2/23/08 206.0 13.0 21 0.6 0.62

2/25/08 205.4 12.4 19 0.45 0.65

2/27/08 204 11 17 0.53 0.65

Progress is in the right direction. However, since each pound is harder to lose than the last, I should be distressed that I have only lost 0.53 pounds per day so far, and I need to lose 0.65 pounds per day from now on to hit my goal.

My main vehicle for weight loss has been a three-pronged attack:

  1. Reduction of Starbucks beverage consumption (has been a financial windfall as well)
  2. Replacement of Coke with Diet Coke
  3. Verbally assault self upon any contemplation of excess snacking

To date, I have not resorted to the dreaded exercise, but it appears I may have to in order to meet the target.

The saddest experience is that I’m thinking, “Hey, 204, I’m looking pretty good here, I’m feeling better, this is great.” A decade ago I would have declared that anyone who allows his weight to get as high as 204 is a disgusting pig who should be shot.

UPDATE 2/27/08 9:27 PM

I arrived home to discover that while I stayed late at the office “working” (posting the above), my daughter had some sort of “birthday party” or something. I missed the whole thing – the family wasn’t happy with me, but I think of all the calories I would have consumed at said party had I attended – I’d be up to 210 by now. Another winning decision by RR.

Huge TY to PP for the visual aids. I now am even more depressed. You know, I feel like Ron Paul running for the GOP nomination. He started at about 0% in the polls, so gaining 0.6% per month is great, but he just never had enough months. If the primary season were 4 years long (maybe next time), he’d be fine. Similary, I’m in big danger of running out of days.

Since PP is using some kind of fancy science-y computer program to make these graphs, I’d like him to use a non-linear regression (non-linear since weight loss rate in pounds per day should decrease over time) to project where I will be on 3/15/08. Suggestion for exponential decay type model: If my lowest weight ever (at current height) was 165 pounds, we might say, for example, that at 207.2 I started with 42.2 “loseable” pounds, and was able to lose 7.1% of them in 6 days for 3.2 pounds lost – I now have 39 loseable pounds, and in the next 6 days I can only lose 7.1% of them, or 2.8 pounds, and so on. Right now, using exponential decay, (1-7.1%)^(1/6) = 98.8% —> I’m losing 1.2% of my “losable pounds” per day. One might say this is flawed since it implies that given infinite effort, I can never get to 165 again – but believe me, it’s true! PP is an analytic genius, so I trust he can make his program thing do this.

UC’s suggestion of targeting 200 lbs is reasonable, but since I tend to come up short on my goals, I need to set them a little more aggressively. I also love his story of gaining 14 pounds in a sitting, I’ve been there.

Seitz is a maniac. I’m scared to try his diet.


35 Responses to “Tux Challenge Quasi-Live Blog”

  • To lose that match weight that quickly, I suggest ridding yourself of a limb and/or more limbs.

    If you had more time, I’d suggest the Shangri-La diet. Don’t let the Dennis Prager endorsement fool you. I know swallowing three tablespoons of flavorless oil per day sounds crazy, but dude, it works like damn ass crazy! One month and I’m down roughly 11 pounds.

  • Unfortunate side effects may include using the word “match” in place of “much”.

  • We should have a Seitz/Randroid weight-loss off! CONTEST!

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    I would target the 200 pound mark and just suck up the physical and psychological pain. Anyway, as someone whose weight fluctuates more in one day than you have lost to date, I would suggest that your current dieting program, though one that is likely to have some long-term success, is not the fast way to get down. Exercise is not the way either – it is an adjunct to a proper diet, but unless you are sweating it off in a sauna on a treadmill, will not provide the rapid weigh loss you desire.

    Here is a sure-fired way to succeed in the short-run and fail incredibly miserably in the long-run. Starve yourself, but not too much. Take the normal amount of food you are going to eat, and have exactly half of it. Within two weeks, you should be able to get below 200 and you will think that you are an absolute genius and marvel of biological systems design. Then at some point in the not-distant future, you will have a single large meal – perhaps at the formal event itself. In that meal, you will gain back 14 pounds. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, and I certainly don’t know how you can put on more weight than the actual mass of consumed food. But that will happen. You will then quickly gain more weight until you surpass your original 207.2 starting point. One day you will look back, and wish you could just weigh 207.2 pounds and wouldn’t that be great.

    Or you could just rent a tux.

  • I have done the math. Let us presume that the rented tux costs 0.2 of a bought one. Your tux usage rate is essentially 0.33/year, but your current possible tux usage rate is zero for the bought tux due to the fact that it doesn’t fit. Considering interest earned and tux inflation etc. it is unclear to me exactly how many times you would need to wear it- to come out ahead. Here is what I would do: once you can fit into the tux- wear it for the hell of it every five days- then you can get your money’s worth.

  • Also, two words: Custom Tailoring. Those things usually have pretty wide seams.

    Seriously, though, this shangri la thing is working really well. Plus, I’m taking about half of the oil as flax seed oil, which is supposed to be really good for you. I eat some fruit in the morning, like a few clementines for vitamin C, eat a normal lunch, and half the time I eat a small dinner, or fruit at dinner time, and I never really feel hungry. And if I go to a restaurant now, I’m stuffed about halfway through the meal. I also have been drinking a crapload of water instead of a crapload of diet soda, which I’m assuming is probably good for me.

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    So in effect, the Shangri-La Diet requires Roberts to be on a lifetime calorie restriction regimen, but it wipes out his appetite to such an extent that he doesn’t feel deprived.

    I’ve heard that rat poison works as well. No more Delicious or Disgusting? No thanks!

  • May I recommend Dr. fish’s Stinky Meat diet…

  • “Can you live-blog a multi-week thing?”

    Is that simply known as “a blog”?

  • Mock if ye must, but I’m swearin’ by it. I was at Morton’s last week and it was chore after getting about halfway through my filet. And I think “requires” is the wrong word. It doesn’t require or force you to do anything (except drink the oil or sugar water). The calorie restriction happens naturally. It’s like what you suggested above, without the huge meal at the end that makes you gain 20 pounds.

  • I am pretty sure that “anyone who allows his weight to get as high as 204 is a disgusting pig who should be shot” is a direct Ayn Rand quote.

  • Kathleen – you’re right. See Atlas Shrugged, p. 1031 of 3rd edition

  • If your wife won’t wear her wedding gown I see no reason for you to wear your tux. If, however, that eminently logical response gets you as little as it did for me, why not simply capture a moose, skin and eat it, and use its pelt for a unique and gorgeous homemade tuxedo? It will be more than room enough.

  • Might I suggest simply strapping 20 penguins to your body as an alternative? Moose may be a little casual for the event, and if you use emperor penguins, it will add that splash of color that is all the rage in Paris these days.

  • Missing a daughter’s b-day party causes all calories not consumed at said party, plus all calories that were consumed by others, to be stored as fat on the bod of the missing person. Sorry. Strap on one more penguin, baby!

  • Wow. 193. If I ever managed to make it to anything like that weight, that would be me in grade…8? 9? Mayyybe.

    My experience of weight loss has been totally like UCs. One year I managed to lose 25lbs. However, it was also a year of relative angst and depression, for no serious reason. I’m quite sure that the weight loss plan and the angst fed into each other like a vicious cycle. Once I fell off the wagon (inevitable), the weight returned but a good chunk of the depression went away.

    http://mann.bol.ucla.edu/files/Diets_don't_work.pdf (the actual paper)

    BTW, “tux challenge” should only be used on a Linux post.

  • Bad news is that about 5lbs of weight loss comes from the release of water as you use glycogen stored in your muscle (you literally pee away the pounds) Most diets “work” through this method (and that is why rebound is so fast and can overshoot like UC joked, you actually can gain more than the weight of the food). Once that water is dropped it becomes much harder to get real weight loss.

  • I believe the Ayn Rand quote is from the sequel, Atlas Chubbed.

    You definitely cannot rent the tuxedo. That would be surrendering to the Tuxlamofacists and bring about the end of privately owned democratic formalware as we know it.

    My suggested diet method:

    1) Rent Vision Quest
    2) Do what Matthew Modine does
    3) Explain to your wife that you can either not fit into your tux or continue your affair with an attractive older woman who is now your tenant.

    I am actually doing the South Beach Diet now and getting back to the gym for weights and cardio four times a week. I had a lot of success with that diet and routine a few years ago and kept the weight I lost (about 15 pounds) off for nearly three years. I’m shooting for losing 20 pounds by the time I go to Vegas at the end of April so I can fit into one of my suits again.

    Good luck, RR!

  • Brando- wasn’t it Fatlas Chubbed?

  • MD’s current regimen, also known as “saving money to pay for his trip to Europe next month”:

    1) Drink less beer
    2) Eat less take-out
    3) If you can walk anywhere instead of driving (eg. supermarket, liquor store, massage parlour), do so
    4) Vitamin supplements
    5) Lots of water
    6) Don’t spend two hours every day after work in front of the Playstation

    As of the end of last month, about five pounds have been lost. If I actually exercised this would be greater, although I have a lack of empirical data to back this up.

  • Since starting the shangri-la diet:

    Jan 28: 211 lbs.
    Feb 10: 206 lbs.
    Feb 16: 202 lbs.
    Feb 18: 204 lbs.
    Feb 25: 202 lbs.
    Feb 28: 199 lbs.

    So about 12 pounds down, 20 or 30 (or even 40) to go. Note: Those numbers are via the scale I had when I started the diet. I went out and bought a new fancy scale and they appear to be roughly, yet consistently, nine pounds off. I’m not sure which one is right, but I like the results on the old one better. I don’t really feel or look any different, but pants that hadn’t fit very well for a while are fitting much better. Also, I play recreational floor hockey once a week, and I’ve been riding my bike attached to a mag trainer for about a half hour per night a few times per week.

    Still no massive hunger, though I do still think about food (and admittedly, I may subconsciously suppressing my hunger to make this work, but how the hell would I know?). Yesterday I had a breaded steak sandwich for lunch, some clementines in the morning, a large double IPA around dinner time, and that was it. And I felt satisfied all day.

    I’m sorry that this post wasn’t funny.

  • Have you considered cigarettes? Or Girdles? Either are effective at suppressing appetite.

  • What are you talking about? Just “work late” on the 15th again. Or is this formal event more important that the tears of your very own flesh and blood when you blew off her b-day? No frickin’ way. If you can shaft a poor kid like that you should be able tell the wife to go stag without remorse.

    Problem solved.

  • I suggest the contest be referred to as the ‘Pound-Off’

    The great advantage is that the graphics may be used for other more obvious contests also.

    I predict Chuckles will win that one, with a close second by Filthbot. Or maybe Snag’s F***ing Moose.

  • Don’t underestimate fish in the pound-off…

  • …. I had been “trying to lose weight”, but it had been a half-ass effort at best.

    if you were half-assed, you probably wouldn’t be trying to lose weight.

    But if you were making a whole-assed attempt to lose weight, would you end up with any ass at all?

    In any case, Billy Pilgrim is not one to make smart assed, half-assed, or half-smart comments about ANYONE attempting and/or succeeding at weight loss.

    However, Your Assedness May Vary.

  • Have you seen the price of fish per pound? If I gain weight, pure gold baby! And yes Jennifer, I am intensionally misinterpreting your remark.

  • fish, you’re doing that on purpose.

  • On porpoise.

    Welcome home BP.

  • Lots of great comments…..

    * Seitz – impressive weight loss results. I admire your toughness, but I believe balance is often prefereable to single-minded stubbornness. I am referring here to your only eating half of your portion at Morton’s. 50 billion humans have walked this planet, and probably less than 1% ever got to enjoy a meal as good as that one you were enjoying at Mortons’s – for you to not finish it off is disturbing. Impressive, but disturbing.

    * Jennifer, Diogenes and perhaps others think I was wrong to miss my daughter’s b-day. But I missed it in order to post this blog for the benefit of all. For once I try to think of society at large as opposed to just myself and family, and the liberals at 3B pounce! Besides, she has to learn at some point that you can’t rely on others to deliver happiness to you – people letting you down from time to time is an inevitable part of life. My job is to prepare her for adulthood, not give her some false sense of security that sadly doesn’t exist.

    * Fish – your comments about the first 5 pounds being easy really depresses me.

  • Also Seitz’s “fancy scale” story is interesting. With all the technological progress we’ve made in recent decades, why are scales still so bad?

    Thirty years ago, my grandmother had one of those olde-fashioned scales with the wheel, where after a few uses it would show 7 pounds when no one was standing on it. So you either subtracted 7 from your reading, or you turned the little knob to calibrate the scale.

    I hypothesize that with all fancy scales out there now that estimate your body fat % and whatnot, we really haven’t improved basic weight-measuring accuracy at all.

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    RR, I think we’re really great at measuring mass and terrible at measuring weight. The other universal truth is that you will weight 7 pounds more on your doctor’s scale, than your own. Even if you’ve carefully calibrated your own scale using standards and normalized the measurements using careful linear regression. Even if you’ve done a densitometric analysis of your entire body using nan-scale resolution. Even if you’ve calculated your entire body mass via mass spectroscopy of every atom in your being. 7 pounds more at the doctor. Cobags.

  • UC, if we can measure mass so well, why don’t we just measure mass (giant triple beam balance for the home!), then multiply by 2.2046 or whatever the number is to get lbs.

    Actually I don’t know much about how you measure mass, but this is 2000 freaking 8, somebody’s got to get this done. We are a nation of people thiniking we are 7 pounds lighter than we really are – that’s not good for our future or our world image.

  • I am referring here to your only eating half of your portion at Morton’s.

    Au contraire! I ate the whole damn thing. Including desert and the apetizer (scallops wrapped in bacon). I was just full halfway through. I didn’t say I stopped eating. Are you crazy? Do you know how much that stuff costs?! A lot. Especially when your “friend” orders like a $150 bottle of wine without telling you the cost. Oh no, that whole fillet, with Bernaise sauce, made it down the hatch.

    Besides, in my experience, part of successful long term dieting is the occasional indulgence. If you deprive yourself for too long, it will never work.

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