So, you’re a nerd (or a geek, if you prefer). You spend your life sitting in front of your computer, your TV, or your latest book. You don’t play sports, you don’t go running, hiking or cycling, and the word gym conjures up painful memories from middle school.

And you’ve put on a bit more padding than you’d like.

The problem is, you can’t stand exercise, you don’t want to spend the next 2 months eating cardboard food, and you don’t want to record your every caloric intake with a spreadsheet (though if that idea appeals to you, go for it). What’s a geek to do?

Well, here are some tweaks you can make to your lifestyle that, with a minimum of effort, will help. They won’t take the weight off quickly, but they’ll lower it over time. And you might be able to keep it off better than someone who goes on a crash diet, because you’re changing your habits, not just making a short-term change. Continue reading

I’m beginning to think I should recommend convention-going as a good form of exercise. At this size convention, anyway. Not only do you get winded just traveling between panels (which comes standard at just about every con I’ve been to, since they all go overtime and the next one you want is always at the opposite end of the place), but there’s the opportunity for climbing multiple flights of stairs, the walk to and from your car is a great hike, and the food at the convention center is expensive enough to keep your caloric intake down. Also, the dealers’ room is sort of like an Olympic-sized crowd-weaving practice ground. Fun if you’re me, not so fun if you’re trying to follow me.

The other thing about cons that makes me want to exercise is seeing how the medians of the demographics play out. You have the younger contingent, who are mostly good-looking and relatively thin. You have the really old people, who are using hand-carved canes and usually there because they’re connected with actually producing something, and who are generally moving pretty well. Then you have two basic groups of middle-aged fans: the ones who are really skinny and nerdy-looking still, and the ones who put the “middle” in “middle-aged.” It’s wonderful motivation to lose weight when you see a forty-year-old Arwen on a Lark. (Please understand that I’m not trying for a cheap shot. I consider myself lucky that I’m able to lose weight when I want to, and I wish everybody were that fortunate. It’s just kind of heartbreaking in a weird empathetic way.)

So I’ve been on a real veggie kick the last couple of days, and I only just figured out what was up with that this afternoon at Subway. (Found out they’ll give you spinach on your sandwich if you ask nicely. Score!) And all things considered, it could be worse. I could be on a steak kick in the middle of India.