I have a few topics rolling around in my head I wanted to put on paper, but none of them warranted a major post at this time. I’m using some sick time this week from work, as we have “use or lose” and as the end of the year is coming up, I needed to take some of the time.
So my trainer asked me last week, “when was your last yearly checkup” – and I deadpanned “7 years ago”. A woman next to us started busting out laughing. I rarely get sick. Not sure what exactly they are going to check, but I figured it might be a good time to check the blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, etc. The last time I was at the doctor’s, I think I was 357 pounds and got numbers taken then because I was trying to undergo another failed round of weight loss. I think before others undergo weight loss programs, they should check with their doctor and try to get some numbers for a baseline comparison. Then, periodically, go back to check your progress.
Overnight Oatmeal cups
My experiment was a success with these. I dialed back the oatmeal and honey and added whey protein. What I wanted to do was lower carbs and increase protein for rest days. Amazing. What I also did was a chocolate/PB one. Not so much PB flavor, but it’s like a really good chocolate pudding that is healthy…lol.
- 1/3 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup 2% fage greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 TBSP cocoa nib
- 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
- 1/2 TBSP Jif natural peanut butter
- 1/2 TBSP honey
- 1.5 TBSP chia seeds
447 calories, 30.2 g carbs, 44.5g protein, 16.6g fat.
At work, I design some complicated process using software. Pretty much a “how to” for doing ridiculously complicated stuff. I believe the weight loss community needs something like this. Why?
Sunday is donuts, ice cream, pizza, laying on a couch….”my diet is starting tomorrow”.
Monday is rabbit food, rabid starvation, run 3 miles, hate yourself, snack on carrots.
The truth is, these are two extremes and it’s just not going to work if you go from absolute zero to boiling hot in a day. Shit will break down. There are no real gimmicks that work long term. They might work for 20-60 pounds, quick, but you get the yo-yo effect and when you stop doing the gimmick, weight comes back on.
It’s more like….
Month 1 –> Increase water and track food –> month 2 start doing lots of meal prep and some walking……….–> month 12 start 3 days of heavy lifting, have 80% of meals prepped, walk a lot, etc.
I am starting to come to a realization that none of this is about weight loss, it’s about lifestyle change. This means:
- Choosing what you do socially with friends
- Choosing how you want to live and study how these people live
- Finding healthy eating habits that work for you and have some semblance of academic basis. For example, eating nothing but ice cream isn’t a good idea, even if it fits your macros
- Choosing what level of activity you want to achieve
- Setting reachable goals
- Holding yourself accountable for your past mistakes, letting go, and doing better tomorrow
- Finding people that share your passions. For example, a few months ago I found out I loved hiking.
So every process has a desired outcome that you have to map to. Every process has a start to it. Decision points. I want to get a few more miles out of my previous drawings, so here’s a big picture process if you want to look at start versus ideal…
With me, my lifestyle has completely changed. Here’s one example….when I started, I was doing 2-3 cheat meals a week. MEALS, not days. My one rule though was that I had to be within my calories for the day. Secondly, I wanted to try and get close to my macros.
Fast forward a year or so and I am hitting a cheat meal once every week or two. I almost have to force myself to do it – and I do it more as a means to do a little reward rather than before where I NEEDED them. I believe over time, the dependence I had on certain foods completely changed.
If on day one, someone told me I could have a cheat meal once every two weeks, I wouldn’t have lasted. I would have failed, and then I would have reverted. This is a long process, it’s not something you can switch on or off one day.
I’ve said goodbye to some running for quite some time. My weight really isn’t moving, but I do “feel” thinner. I’ve increased the heavy lifting and changed my macros up a bit.
- Off days – 40+% protein, 30%, 25-30% fats. Idea is to recover and increase protein
- Lift days – 40% carbs, 35% protein, 25% fats.
So for the next few weeks, I’m going to be patient with the scale because I know when you stop the running, your body may “slow down” the weight loss, but I’m giving the weight training a month or so to kick that metabolism back up. I’m feeling pretty “pumped” 5+ days a week now.
I’m also jonesing to go hiking – I have a Dr. appt tomorrow, but after that I’m planning to take a 2-3 hour hike.
I also have to get my bike fixed, transmission is a little screwy. While I’m not going to do the 20 mile rides for a long time, I do have 5-6 miles of hilly trails around here I can bike on nicer days.
The beauty of the hiking is that if bundled up, I might be able to do this well into December to keep my activity going. Usually when it’s cold out, I don’t go outside much. Well, I think this is going to get me out there 🙂
I’m already missing running a bit. However, I think my joints are secretly thanking me, as some slight lingering pains have recently disappeared as well.
There’s a new fitbit watch out I like. It looks like it can do everything my black and white fitbit does, but it’s color, and I can also use it in the pool without having to change my fitbit out to the flex. Might be a good Christmas present!
Mountain/Trail bike. I think in April/May I’m going to look into a trail bike. Not sure yet, I might wait 1 more year on that to drop a lot more weight off. I grew up biking with my 20″ all day and all night. I loved biking. The bike I have is a hybrid which is really good for the flat gravel trails, but won’t work too well on mountain bike trails.
What started out as having to need will power to say no to donuts at work is now simply the fact I don’t crave/want them. What you can find interesting with some of your cheat meals is how ridiculously shitty you feel the next day from food. It was the constant norm over a year ago, and when you go 2 weeks between cheat meals, you FEEL it when you eat something really shitty. Suddenly, you crave feeling good and you actually turn down a donut not because it’s will power, but because you CHOOSE to not feel like dog shit. Ultimately, this is the behavioral modification you can’t get on month one or two of any weight loss plan. This is behavior that takes a lot of time to put into place. You can’t teach this to people. You need to understand how good you feel to then compare to how bad you feel…then the decision becomes easy, and you never feel like you’re depriving yourself.
I think this year I’ve had one cupcake. My birthday is coming up, and I actually don’t want any form of cake. None. I would ask for some form of cupcakes for everyone else though 🙂
I’m switching my training up to twice a week pretty heavy for one hour sessions, usually Weds/Sat. I will also be walking the dog a bunch, and as mentioned, I hopefully have some hiking coming up and maybe a bike ride or two before I hang it up for the year. I’m also interested in re-engaging in more swimming, as the JCC I go to is more or less dead in Nov/Dec. I did about 1,000 yards the other day after my session and look to do that this evening if I can get some open lanes.
I’m also researching something called “reverse dieting”. If any of you have ever done this, post any results. The concept is if you’ve been dieting forever, rather than dialing back calories, you gently add more in. It seems that if you diet to a certain number, your body can adapt to this and adding more calories in might jump start some fat burning. I’m not going to tinker on that now, perhaps I’ll adjust the calories more or less around the new year.