A few years ago I switched to wet shaving and in doing so I saved money, got rid of my razor burn and now get a much closer shave.
Wet shaving involves using a badger brush and good ol' shaving soap. You soak the badger brush with water and coat it with shaving soap. You then spend a few minutes working up a nice thick lather. I form the lather directly on my face, but many folks prefer to use a separate bowl to do so.
Don't be fooled by the photo below, I actually use handmade natural soap from Classic Shaving. I just happen to put it in a vintage Old Spice mug. The shaving soap lasts for months and is much cheaper and more effective than the store bought glop in a can.
For the actual shaving I use a vintage Gillette safety razor. It has a nice large handle and feels well balanced in your hand. It's called the Fat Boy and is especially popular with vintage shave enthusiasts.
The blades I use are made by a Japanese company called Feather. They're pretty much the sharpest razor blades you can buy and they work wonders. You can get a pack of ten for about six bucks from Classic Shaving. That equals big savings if you consider that Gillette five pack of Mach 3 blades will run you around $15.
Regardless of price, the sharper blades combined with the badger brush and soap have eliminated the razor burn I used to get. Plus, wet shaving is fun!
In the past five months I've lost over 30 pounds. I haven't been doing any strange diet or taking any weight-loss drugs. I am doing it the old fashion way, eating less and moving more. I have employed technology to help me reach my goal.
It's not hard to figure out that if you eat more food than your body can metabolize you will gain weight. The hard part is not eating more than you need. I am using an application called DietController to keep track of my caloric intake.
DietController has a fairly complete database of nutritional information including nearly all fast-food (of which I eat very little), packaged food and basic meal components. After every meal I enter in what I've eaten and it lets me know how much more I can eat and still be within my diet plan.
When you set up DietController, you tell it your height, age, weight and basic activity level. You then set how much you want to weigh by when. I chose 195 pounds by February 2009, which will just take me out of the overweight range. DietController then tells you how many less calories than you daily caloric rate you need to eat every day to reach your goal. For me it is 700 less calories per day.
Along with the eating less part, I have also been exercising almost every day. My sister-in-law recommended the Polar F11 which I picked up from Amazon. The F11 tracks your workout by testing your heart rate before each session. I actually disabled this feature and just set my age, weight and maximum heart-rate which I ascertained after a long sprint. Right now it has me working out six days a week, of which I normally do at least four.
For my workouts I started out walking. This worked well at first, but it started to get hard to get up to my target heart rate. Later I began jogging in place at home. A few weeks ago I started running with my lovely wife. Today I ran four miles and it felt great.
Every morning and night I weigh myself on a digital scale which I enter into DietController (see my night weight vs. diet plan chart below). Of course I always weigh less in the morning, but I like keeping track of both weights. The graph doesn't show the first few months of my diet as I didn't have a scale, but I know I weighed 268 when I went to the doctor in January.
After losing 30 pounds I feel great. I still have over 40 more to go, but it's just a matter of time until I meet my goal. Technology has played a big part in my weight loss, but my biggest backer has been my wife who has supported me every step of the way. Thanks Penelope, you're the best!
A screen-grab of my weight vs. diet plan chart from Diet Controller.
Recently I have started running again. My wife has always been a strong runner. Her
high school college cross-country running team was undefeated and she ran on a scholarship.
I have never been much or a runner due to my weight and lack of fitness. The one exception to that was in high school when I actually started to enjoy running in PE class. Now that I have lost over 30 pounds I am able to enjoy running again.
Last week Penelope and I ran around Not a Cornfield. It felt great. Later in the week we ran from out loft up to the top of bunker hill and the Disney hall. To take a break from running we hiked Chantry Flats on Sunday.
The hike ended up being a fairly challenging six mile loop. The abundance of steep climbs and descents made it a good workout. Now that we're in better shape we powered through the whole hike without stopping.
Someday soon my goal is to run Chantry Flats, now that will be a workout!
Downtown Los Angeles as seen from a parking lot in an industrial area east of the LA River in this file photo from 2007.
I don't have a bike, although I used to mountain bike all the time and I would love to have a nice new mountain bike, but not as much as I want a street bike! Anyway there is a cool downtown 14.5 ride to benefit the American Heart Association on Sunday September 18th. If you're in Downtown LA and have a bike (eric) you should totally go check this out! You can register here by clicking on the button that says "I will be participating in the Bike ride to the Walk."