Once again cheat day was moved back a day.  Thick Thursday became Weighty Wednesday.  It was pizza and breadsticks and it tasted great.  Unfortunately it made us pretty ill.  The further I get from eating fatty foods the worse an impact they seem to have on my digestion.  I felt like I ate a live coyote.  I think cheat day is going to have to be toned down a little.  Maybe steak and potato with dessert or something.  The good thing is this week cheat day was so early that it left me with four days until the scale and I have our appointment.  Lots of time to lose this bloat.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m hardcore enough. The other weight loss blogs hosted by men seem very serious.  They’re all “high intensity” and grunty.  It’s got me thinking I guess.  Where do I stand on that whole deal? 

I think that people, like any other animal, are very trainable.  When our actions result in a positive feeling we will repeat those actions.  I say “feeling” instead of “result” on purpose.  Results are often too slow or vague to flood our brain with goodness and thereby hardwire a behavior.  Feelings are immediate.  Unfortunately the feeling associated with “high intensity” training, for me and many others, is pain.  So there seems to me to be a problem with the logic.  Even a rat knows not to push the hurty button after doing so once or twice.  Instead it learns to push the button that rewards it with some sort of delicious rat-treat. 

Now I know we are not rats (apologies to any readers who are), and should be able to look into the future and say, “An even bigger treat is out there somewhere, and I’m going to push this hurty button until I get it.”  But as anyone who has tried to lose weight over and over knows, it’s easier said than done.  Hard enough that many of us have failed for not just years but decades,  even though the topic of weight loss was in the forefront of our minds the whole time. 

So, what do I believe?  I believe we need to learn to eat correctly.  I’m not talking extremes here either.  I’m talking about cutting out some stuff that’s just horrible, and slimming down portions of what’s left.  We need to cut out unnecessary calories like those from beverages.  Your not going anywhere drinking 500 calories a day.  I also believe we need to move more.  Preferably in ways we enjoy.  Play sports or walk or jog.  Whatever you like.  Keep those feelings positive. 

Now I’m not saying the hardcore fitness community is wrong in any way.  Eat five small meals of lean protein and vegetables a day.  Drink tons of water.  Avoid sugar.  Mix cardio with resistance training.  High intensity training will maximize fat loss while preserving muscle.  Yes, yes, yes.  It’s all true.  I know that.  But until you get results?  That lifestyle sucks.  Well, for me.  Always cooking and eating, always sore,  forty-five minutes of torture high intensity excercise a day, no food that I like, choking down water constantly.  Let me just say that if I had this kind of discipline I never would have gotten fat. 

That’s how I feel about hardcore dieting in a nutshell.  It’s great if you can do it.  If you can’t I think that’s fine.  You don’t have to climb straight up and over the mountain to reach your destination,  you can also walk around it.  Here is my idea of a natural and comfortable progression to good health. 

Step 1.  Learn to eat inside of your bodies needs.  Move more.

Step 2.  Cut out unnecessary calories.  Start a moderate fitness routine.

Step 3.  Work on eating consistently over long periods of time.  Elevate your workouts so they’re still challenging.

Step 4.  Cut your diet further, try to cut sugar and eat less salt and fat.  Set fitness goals like lifting a certain amount of weight or running a 5k.

Step 5.  Your diet should be pretty good.  Track it and tweak it.  Keep pushing your fitness.  Challenge yourself. 

Step 6.  Get a job as a greek statue model.

Step 7.  Freelance super hero work.

There are so many potential ways to get tripped up while losing weight.  There are two in particular that will come up again and again on your journey.  When you don’t lose any weight you will want to quit, and when you put in a hard week and lose  a good amount of weight you will want to relax and take a few days off.  Either of those things can throw you off-balance and ruin your diet. 

There was a time when I was really going at this weight loss thing.  I had been eating well and lifting weights for about five weeks.  My results were exciting and every week I was more dedicated and pushing myself harder.  I decided to eat perfectly and work out as hard as I could.  I stayed off the scale so at the end of the week I could bask in my success.  When it came time to weigh myself I was hungry and my body was exhausted from the beating I had put on it.  I felt like crying when I saw that I had gained a pound and a half.  That was it for me.  My heart was out of it.  I tried but could never harness that fire again.  That is the all or nothing style of dieting. 

Losing a lot of weight can give you the same result.  A woman from Weight Watchers challenged me to lose more weight than her over the week.  Being a competitive guy I went at it full steam.  It had nothing to do with the idea of losing to a girl.  It didn’t.  Shut up.  So I pushed hard and ate very little.  My weight loss was eight pounds.  She lost sixteen.  I don’t know how.  She wasn’t looking so good at the meeting.  But I was still happy.  Eight pounds is pretty extreme.  I’d done good.  So when I grabbed McDonald’s on the way home I didn’t feel so bad.  I deserved a yummy pat on my chubby back. The next day I ate fast food again, telling myself that this was the last time.  I ate well the next day but followed that up with a pizza.  I’d lost it.  Again.  I patted myself on the back all week long with fast food, pizza, and desserts.  I couldn’t stand eating healthy when there were so many delicious alternatives.  When I weighed-in that week I had gained nine pounds.  All my work erased, plus a pound.  I didn’t go back for over a month. 

Don’t throw everything you have into one week.  One week is basically meaningless.  This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.  Nobody cares if you burst off the line and blow past the pack only to pass out in the gutter a mile down the road.  Find that happy medium and try to live in that space.  When you can do that you can just let time pass and the results will take care of themselves.  I’ve lost over five pounds in a week at Weight Watchers many times.  But the older ladies who lose a pound a week are killing me in total weight loss.  They are the tortoise to my hare.  So that’s what I’m trying to do.  Just making small changes, staying comfortable, and finding my stride.

Week 2 Stats

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Stats by Week
Tags: , ,

Notes:  Week 1 is all done.  I made a rhyme!  It was a turbulent 10 day week.  I had ups and downs and in the end progress was made.  My goal is 2lbs a week.  Here is the official week 2 report. 

Fighting Weight: 276.2 (-2.4)   Weight Watchers Weight:  279.8 (-5)

Measurements in inches: These are as accurate as I can make them. Have you ever tried to measure yourself? It can be a challenge. We’ll be looking for trends rather then getting caught up in a half inch here or there. 

Neck: 18 (0)

Chest: 51 (0)

L. Arm: 16 1/2 (0)

R. Arm: 15 1/2 (0)

Belly: 52 1/2 (0)

Waist: 46.5 (-.5)

L. Thigh: 29 (0)

R. Thigh: 29 (-.5)

L. Calf: 17 1/2 (0)

R. Calf: 18 (0)

This week cheat day was moved to Thursday.  So instead of Fat Friday I enjoyed Thick Thursday.  Nummers.  It was a saturated fat extravaganza.  I may even have destroyed my points for the day as well as my weekly allowance.  I didn’t keep track.  I just sat there grinning, all glassy-eyed and dumb, shoveling poison into my bloated gut.  Delicious!  I have mixed emotions. 

It’s not important what I ate yesterday (hamburger).  I let myself enjoy food for a day (pizza).  It’s important to allow yourself to live sometimes (chicken fingers).  If we don’t enjoy ourselves than what’s the point? (cookies) I will not feel guilty for my weekly spurge! (fries, cheese curds, root beer…) 

Ok, so I over did it.  I was hungry.  The important thing is that I’m back on track.  It’s out of my system and I’m rolling again.  But I kind of hated myself.  Also today my stomach wants me dead.  It hates me with unequaled passion.  I’ve been trying to sooth it with healthy foods and water but it won’t be tamed.  Oh well.  I’ll deal with a little pain for alfredo pizza.