It’s been awhile since I posted. My last post had a big flash about going off of keto for a few days. I’ve been back on it now and hit my 250 pound goal. The last 3 weeks or so, I’ve been dialing up the training with running/biking/swimming.
What’s helped me “turn the corner”?
Essentially, lowering my weight has now helped me get to a point where I can do longer training and more intense training. I am mixing in “light” days with “intense” days with “long” days. I’m doing this currently to not put too much stress on the frame, get some good cardio, and getting some good conditioning.
Something that people don’t tell you is that you hold a lot of water after exercise. For days, you might hold some water with respect to inflammation. I used to play the game of weighing myself incessantly. One day, you would eat 1200 calories and run 3 miles and wake up the next day 2 pounds more. That kind of stuff would mess with my mind. Now, I’m keenly aware that a lot of factors affect weight. Recently, I also use some pre-workout which has creatine in it – which is notorious for holding water weight on you.
I’m also using the information above to do my weigh ins as well as give myself adequate rest. For example, I try and weigh myself every 4 weeks at the gym. The last 3 months or so, I go hard for 3 weeks, and in week 4, I am resting. My best weight loss of the month, by far, is week 4. Always. My body repairs itself, I get a nice recharge, and my body releases excess water. So – I will step on the scale every day, but it’s more of the “control” aspects of weight loss. You want to see if something is way wrong.
After nearly 2 years, I stopped tracking MyFitnessPal. I needed that for the longest time for calorie counting. It helped me at least understand portion sizes and looking under the hood of nutrition. I then also used it to track carbs for keto. Here’s the shocker that most keto people probably don’t know. There’s no magic “30 carbs” number that you have to hit. You go from eating 400-600 carbs per day down to 30. Your body sheds weight like crazy. You’re in ketosis. After months, you become very fat adapted. Your body does a great job burning fat for fuel at this point.
But at this point of my journey, I have had 50-70-100 total carbs in a day. Guess what? At times, it may knock me out of ketosis. So what? I am fat adapted. What you do NOT want to do is get to a point where you consistently have too many carbs and your body switches back to burning carbs – but too little carbs to run effectively and you feel run down. I had 100 g of carbs about 1 week ago, but it was tons of greens, cabbage, some blueberries, strawberries. It’s not like I ate a candy bar or scarfed down some pizza. Here was my litmus test – that night I slept like a baby and the next day I woke up feeling amazing. The next day I had like 35g of carbs and ran a ton.
This is based off of the talks of Mark Sisson. It’s also going to where I’m going on my “keto off ramp” plan someday. For me, keto is very sustainable. For me. For others, it can be problematic. I’d suggest anyone interested in keto to do a “3 week challenge”. My “off ramp” will be after I hit my goal weight, I’m going to float between 75-150 or so carbs per day. My carbs will not be “sugar”, per se, but perhaps I add some sweet potatoes, apples, and some other nutrition items with fiber. I love how low carb makes me feel, but I also don’t want the “SAD” again where I had 400g per day of carbs.
What is also a factor here is the more cardio I’m doing, the more I can get away with adding some carbs. For example, I’m going to the gym in a few hours and I’m going to have a green smoothie with 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup strawberries, pre-workout, and Greens+ along with 20oz water and 1 cup of ice. This will have me running through walls and help my performance. After, I plan on either biking 20 miles or swimming 1000 meters. So – I might burn 1,000-2,000 calories before noon today. How do I feel about having 25-30g of carbs in my smoothie this morning? How do I feel about the keto police at your 20g of carbs? Or 30?
So I’m at a point now where my clothing is a serious issue. I’m at 250 pounds, and I know from 25 years ago that my 2x size I’m in now will only be this size for another 10-15 pounds (at most). I feel like I can probably get in some 1x shorts these days. I have two work pants that fit (and are very loose). It’s not that I’m taking off ridiculously quickly – it’s that the way my body is, I go from a 3x to a 1x in relatively short time. So I can’t exactly go out and spend $4,000 on a complete wardrobe I’m going to have for 3-6 months. This is another struggle some of you may have. What I’m doing is piecing out some things. A T shirt here, shorts there, etc.
So I got the triathlon bug. I’ve been following someone on YouTube who goes by the name Triathlon Taren, who’s from Winnipeg. He puts out amazingly quality content. I’ve always liked to run/bike/swim, and he’s awesome in giving you the behind the scenes “How to”. About 10 years ago, I did an indoor triathlon, which was 10 minutes swim, 30 minutes bike, and 20 minutes run. I finished second….to last! I plan on doing this again in February and gunning for middle of the pack.
Tomorrow, I’m planning on watching a triathlon near where I live. This one is 300m swim in a pool, followed by 15mi of biking through the countryside of Lancaster, followed by a 3.1mi run. At this point in time, I can complete all of these items individually. I could, indeed, finish this. But….I’m a competitor at heart. I don’t want to do this just to do it. I want to compete. This time next year….I hope to be down another 50 to about 200 pounds. I’ll be somewhere around 20% bodyfat at that weight. I feel like if I continue my progress, I have a chance to finish in the top half. That’s my goal for my first real sprint triathlon. I want to go tomorrow to watch and see how this works. The transitions and what to wear are my biggest things. Like, in an outdoor pool, are they just wearing a triathlon kit and swimming in that? Are they changing between swimming and biking? Is the bike course ridiculously hilly or flat? So many questions!
A funny thing now has happened with swimming – I’m not as floaty as before. I am now watching videos of swimming technique for triathlon, which varies slightly from those with a swimming background. Apparently, “time in the saddle” is the key to getting the bike faster, but with swimming, the key is technique.
With biking, I got a new bike. I wanted one with the drop handlebars and one that would be faster on the road. I got a gravel bike, which is not quite as fast as a road bike, but it will be faster on the gravel trails than what I have been riding. I got a Specialized Diverge, and I love it! I have reduced my times by 10.9% doing the same workout at the same effort. That is game changing!! Also, below, on my beloved trail by my house last week with the monsoon season apparently upon us, a tree fell down across the trail. Not cool!
With running, I have been able to routinely run 3-4 miles. I now am using strava for the bike/run and it’s pretty good with the graphs. While I am maintaining a steady pace, you can see my heart rate climbing as time goes on. I dialed back my pace for the long runs, but the graphs tell me the level of effort might be on my top end.
Also – Strava does the “effort level” thing which helps you understand how bad you just punished yourself, essentially!
One must think to lose 122 pounds that you have to eat like a bird.
No, you just eat with more nutrients and lots of salads – and some decent substitutes. Below, one thing you see is a MASSIVE taco salad. 6 cups of iceberg lettuce, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 small avocado, 1 TBSP of sour cream, and 1 POUND of grass fed ground beef with taco seasoning and plenty of hit sauce! Also – I had a hankering for cheesesteaks (I’m from just outside Philly, after all) and I decided on getting the shaved steak from Giant and make that up with American cheese, Victoria pizza sauce, and 6g net carb wraps with some fried onions. This is a 14oz package essentially split between two wraps. Lots of food. The shaved steak is coming in at 50 calories per ounce, so the steak portion of this is 700 calories. This might be what I consider these days as a “cheat” meal because while the taste and indulgence is there, I’m not looking at this as a great source of nutrition. Save this for your Saturday night meal once in awhile.
Not sure where I’m going with this a year from now – I obviously like to write about my journey. I like the idea of helping others. If I do get to my 190 pounds or so around this time next year, I’m looking at a total of 182 pounds of weight loss. I think I will have a lot of lessons learned here that can help:
- Childhood obesity
- National security with costs of healthcare and prevention
- People enjoying a much higher quality of life
If any of you out there are publishers/producers looking for some great content, let me know. I’m looking to write a lot of this prior to hitting my final goal, with the last few chapters reflecting the last 30 pounds or so. While this medium is nothing like the viral youtube vlogsphere, it can launch some writing gigs. I have a solid primary job so this would be a part-time or ad hoc sort of thing.