Selling my car – because I am trying to lose weight


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It is a Chrysler Grand Voyager diesel registered in 2005 but only used from 2006. Always garaged and well-maintained. Has been very reliable and a pleasure to drive. But now I try to walk to work as much as I can and prefer to avoid driving. I have been so successful at that that I don’t use it enough now to justify the running costs and so we decided we can do without a car altogether. It has under 107,000 km on the clock and I am asking 33,000 PLN which is a quarter of the new price for a car that still has half its life to go.

About Viktor D. Huliganov

48 year old accountant who loves languages, literature, history, religion, politics, internet, vlogging and blogging and lively written discussion. Conservative Christian, married to an angel, we have three kiddiwinkies, and live in Warsaw, Poland. I also work in Prague, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia.

Posted on February 4, 2012, in Blog only, Poland, Uncle Davey's Warsaw and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Well…have you sold your car?

  2. Good old plain stupid walking is really one of the best methods for effectively losing weight, and this without too much stress. In my experience two hours a day, preferably every day, is a good amount, this alone will burn one pound of fat each week, possibly more. In terms of energy consumption it is same as effective as going to the gym for workouts and stressing oneself out several times a week. Home gymnastics also assists weight loss, since it builds muscles, but personally I find it more difficult to keep a discipline of 30 min of it twice or thrice a week than walking for two hours every day. A wholesome diet is no doubt a must, but here quality is more important than the exact quantity: the worst thing is to starve oneself by not taking enough food, which in the long run is the best guarantee to not stay the course, give up at some point and gain even more afterwards as a result of reduced metabolism. After having achieved one’s goal one can reduce the daily walks to one hour or alternatively do some light sports. Please keep us posted on your programme, or progress. All the best!

    • That’s a great response and I think you and I are on the same wavelength. The closer a person gets to having a Vegan diet, with a particular accent on a high variety of plant foods in whole, unprocessed forms, and limiting as far as practical other forms of food, and also giving up entirely caffeine, meat and shellfish to the point of near religious duty (to some people they have made it a religious duty, but that is not my view, we have liberty to kill ourselves with a knife, fork and spoon if that’s what we wanna do, but more blessings come the other way) then diet will be such as to promote the metabolism and there is no need to be hungry. You can eat your fill and not worry.

      To lose weight though, rather than keep the same, exercise is needed and I agree with you entirely that walking is far more interesting than home gym equipment. Some people who like to watch TV might get on with exercise bikes and that, but I really can’t get on with that. And getting out and about is a good thing also – fresh air and sunshine are also an indispensible part of a healthy lifestyle. I need to get from place to place, and the more I use my legs to do that and not just get a car to do it, the more I can incorporate exercise into daily life without wasting time going to special places or getting special equipment and changing into or out of special clothes – I just don’t have time for that.

      If I walk home it takes an hour – if I were to take a taxi or tram it would still be 15 minutes on occasion. So I get 60 minutes worth of exercise out of 45 minutes marginal time invested. People go on about swimming, but that means going more often than not by some transport to a swimming pool, getting changed, having an hour’s swim and then getting dry, getting changed back and driving home. That might be a good deal more than 90 minutes to get the 60 minutes exercise. The other time is wasted. If someone likes swimming in other people’s bodily wastes in a light solution with a bunch of chlorine to stop it from giving us dysentry, then fine. It’s not my cup of tea, though.

      • One fascinating thing I have noticed about walking is that after doing it for a while, some weeks maybe, sooner or later people will either greet me or stop me on the street for some chat, both people I haven’t seen for years and others which I do not know at all. I guess this is due to two reasons: Some people are actually incredulous at the sight of someone just walking about without apparent reason: if you want to get somewhere you could take a car or a bus, and if you want to exercise you would do so at specially designated places, this seems to be their line of thinking. I believe there is also another factor involved: after engaging in regular walks for months, and in the process losing weight, you start appearing to others an ‘active’ person (which for some reason daily work in the office or other kinds of mental work does not bring about), therefore more interesting, someone to get in touch with. It is kind of weird, but I have experienced this many times.

        Medical authorities tell us that in order to lose one kg of weight we have to burn an additional 7,500 calories, by whatever means. They also tell us that taking a walk (medium speed or swift) for one hour burns 300 calories for the average person, or rather 400 or even 500 for people who are either very tall or very heavy. It means that a very overweight person having an hour’s walk on a daily basis will burn about 400 calories each day on the average during his weight-loss programme, just by walking. This amounts to 400 x 7 = 2,800 calories a week, so it should take about 3 weeks to lose a kilo. Add to this the benefit of a healthy, balanced diet, and the time will further reduce to about 2-3 weeks for a kilo.

        These are all approximate values, and in reality they are usually more towards the lower end, but still: sticking to a balanced diet and walking at least for one hour each day it is reasonable to hope for losing a minimum of 20 kilos a year, for the first year at least. Which still means that it may take up to 3 years to get rid of the overweight or most of it; one has to be realistic about that right from the beginning.

        It is of course possible to speed this up or even cut this by half by more exercise, but the price is a considerable and continuous daily effort, a lot of stress on the body, and a higher chance of breaking the programme at some point. Ultimately it depends on the personal circumstances – for someone with heavy professional and familial responsibilities a minimum of one hour of exercise a day should be doable, but probably not much more than that either. One has to find the right amount that is feasible and best suited to one’s lifestyle and possibilities. But in any case losing weight takes a lot of patience and staying power. The most important thing is to stick with a routine, and not stop or modify it without good reason.

        Thanks for posting your car ad. The sight of your empty car made me reconsider whether I really need a new car or can do without, as I have done for several years now. A car is comfortable, but apart from the purchase and running costs it may also cheat one of the greater benefits daily walks and even train rides can bring.

        • Well, that’s pretty much what my books say too, it corroborates well. If a big chap like me keeps to a 5 km a day target then that’s about 500 additional calories. If I am eating loose vegan at a rate that would be just stable if I wasn’t doing the exercises, then that exercise means a kilo every 15 days or 2 kilos a month, which is a great rate of weight loss. Anything quicker and the body will not adjust down so well. That route leads to much floppiness of skin.

          In a year a big person doing 5 km a day burns 24 kilos, That’s enough to make a big improvement to health.

          I haven’t been on target since it went very cold here, but I am looking forward to when the snow melts and I will do the 5km a day and catch up what was lacking before also.

  3. I hope you can get it sold. If I had a car, I’d sell it too.

  4. I don’t believe there is a ‘best way’ to lose weight for everyone across the board — Everyone has a unique genetic disposition which will influence their weight gain and loss. I have read often that the best way to “burn fat” is to build muscle in the areas where you would like to slim down. From my own personal experience, I have always been healthiest when I actually increase both the amount I eat and the amount I exercise: It perhaps creates an active metabolism? And it certainly results in muscle gain and fat loss. I am vegetarian (sometimes fish) and love dairy – I have milk with coffee or tea every morning and eat a lot of cheese and yogurt. I also love fruit and raw vegetables, having fruit with every breakfast and salad with every lunch.

  5. Uncle David! Don’t you know that the only way to lose weight is to stop eating so much? It takes a huge amount of exercise to burn of even an ounce of fat, or so I read. A vegan diet is best, because all animal products contain fat which just goes straight onto your waist.
    With very best wishes,
    Peter

    • I went Vegan on 24th October last year – or at least as close to Vegan as I can practically get, which at home is very close, less so at work and least of all during travels, but even there I’m strict vegetarian and no marine invertebrates either. I have had to make exceptions for honey (which anyway I don’t regard as an animal product in the way milk is as the bees regurgitate it rather than process it in their cells) but also for some cheese when is is incidental to other foods which are largely healthy and also some other dairy, eggs and kosher fish by way of exception also. I have not eaten shellfish or meat. In all cases I’ve tried to maximise plant-based wholefood and minimise processed rich foods like processed flours, vegetable oils and sugars, by which even Vegans can find themselves with an unhealthy diet and a weight problem.

      Nevertheless, even a Vegan diet is not healthy without exercise, and you cannot drive and exercise at the same time. What I noticed about this diet is that it makes you want to get up and move about. This is because healthy food resets and stimulates the metabolism when excess animal proteins dull and disable the metabolism.

      I haven’t really started talking about my new diet on here as yet but there is a lot to come on that matter.

  6. Congratulations!! I hope you are able to sell the car, but I’m so excited about your decision, because commuting (on foot or by bicycle) has always been my main exercise activity :) It’s such a pleasure to enjoy the surrounding environment in a slower mode, and to arrive at work or school with a fresh mind and healthy body, rather than fatigue and stress that driving usually induce. For me, this is also a moral decision: Who am I to use precious oil to pollute the city with noise, traffic and smog, just for the sake of my personal convenience? I never will drive. I hope city designers will begin to shape the urban environments to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, rather than encouraging a “cars first” model. I would like to have the city carved up into alternating motor vehicle and bicycle roads, so that cars do not simply dominate every road in every city. In old Swedish towns and cities, where housing was mostly of wood, streets were separated by walking roads to prevent massive fires from engulfing the entire city. Today, where these designs still exist, people can enjoy peaceful walking or biking commutes, away from the noise, danger and pollution of the motor roads. Thanks to you for contributing to a cleaner, more beautiful city! Best wishes!

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