Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Wall.

1-9Well, I haven’t exactly broken through the wall like the Kool-Aid man, but I have chipped a hole in it. After pretty much no wiggling on the scale in a week, I’m at least moving in the right direction. Barely. I may hit my wiggle-room goal by the end of the month; depends on what the weekend holds. It’s this friggin’ rupture – while I’m still going to the gym every morning – even this morning, with weather not fit for, well, anyone – I just can’t get a good burn going because I’m gimpy. Still pushing, though, and the rupture is showing some signs of improvement. Not much, but some. It may take weeks or months to heal, but I guess that’s just part of the game. Nonetheless, I need this last 1.9 lbs. I want it. Tomorrow, I should get the new carb-blocker supplement I ordered – I’m anxious to try it. Even if it only blocks some of the carbs, that will give me additional wiggle-room as I gradually increase my carb intake to 50ish grams a day (not all days, but some). I generally don’t go in for such things, but most of the articles I’ve read on carb-blocking have been positive. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll just go with Amy:

jealous

Let’s Active.

18milerideFor the first time in months, I had a fully active weekend – despite my latest injury. Saturday, 18 miles on the bike, and my first trip up the new Riverwalk extension, which runs up to Sterchi Farms. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t allow me to do a marathon ride, which is probably just as well. Turns out that the recent dieting has left me *ahem* less padded than I was used to. A trip to the bike shop for a better saddle is on the agenda for this week. Nonetheless, it was great to get back on the bike; I haven’t had a ride in months.

Sunday morning, a good walk with the boys. Again, the weather conspired against us, but we were still able to get several miles in around the North Shore. The pups got to have some good woos when an ambulance went past, and they love all the attention the get from the early morning WSB crowd.

And, as always, a full workout early Saturday and Sunday morning. I especially like the gym on the weekends; generally, there’s no one there but me. I can really do without the Running of the Bros that I usually deal with on weekdays.

As far as the diet goes, I’ve hit the wall. Not because of the injury, but because I think I’ve just about lost as much as is possible for me, short of going really extreme. I have around 28 pounds of body fat right now; it’s physically impossible to have less than about 10 lbs of fat. So, I have about 18 pounds more than the most ripped body builder. Plus, since I’m hitting the weights hard, I’m basically trading fat for muscle, so the scale isn’t wiggling. I’m still under my previously-achieved Ultimate Goal, but still a couple pounds away from my wiggle-room goal. I’m going to keep working towards it, but it’s going to be tough. Hey, at least I’m not a Weeble-Wobble.

Oh, and since I’m sure you don’t know this, “Let’s Active” is an obscure 80s band – which is the best type of 80s band.

50 Days of Keto.

2-5It’s been 50 days since I began keto, and it has worked better than I could have dreamed. If you’re serious about losing weight, look into it. Right now.

So, in those 50 days, I’ve hit my goal twice, and I’ve further reduced my goal another 5 lbs (2.5 of which are already gone, leaving only 2.5 lbs to go to what I really would have thought was an impossible final result). That means, as of today, in the past 50 days, I’ve lost a staggering 32.5 lbs. That’s 72.5 lbs since beginning this adventure. I wouldn’t have thought those kinds of numbers would have been possible, but here we are (and FYI, there’s no number-fudging in there – my FitBit Aria scale is accurate and unforgiving). When I drop those last 2.5 lbs, I’ll be done. At least with the keto portion. Sure, I’ll still keep the carbs and calories low, and make healthy choices, but if I decide I want a cookie, I’ll have a flippin’ cookie. Moderation – that’s what it’s all about. And being smart, reading labels. Of course, I’ll still go to the gym – I doubt that will ever change, especially since I’m shifting from cardio to weights. But I’m just about done. And I did it. My way.

trailmixOn an unrelated note, when I fell off (jumped off, really) the fitness plan last year – mostly because of injuries – I still tried to eat healthy, and I discovered this trail mix. It’s trail mix, right, so it can’t be that bad, right? Mostly nuts, cranberries, raisins, with just a few little chocolate and peanut butter bits. Can’t be that bad. I would eat a whole bag in a day, sometimes over the course of a morning. Perfect “desk food”. Two or three times a week. Anyway, I hadn’t had any of this since getting back on track last fall, and the other morning, I was craving it. But now, I read labels. And when I read this one, I just about burst into tears. One bag: 3500 calories. Thirty-five hundred. Three-thousand five hundred. And 400 carbs. 400 grams of sugar. Four hundred carbs? That’s twice what my absolute max should be for “maintenance”, and about 25 times what I’m doing now. You know how many Oreos you have to eat to equal 400 carbs? 48 Oreos. I don’t think I could eat 48 Oreos if I wanted to. What about (blueberry frosted) Pop-Tarts? 10 1/2 Pop-Tarts. It’s no wonder the weight crept back on. But…but…it’s trail mix! That’s healthy! Right? When you scarf down a half-dozen (or more) Oreos or a package of Pop-Tarts, you know that you’re misbehaving, and you obviously made that choice. But trail mix? And I (stupidly) thought that I was making the smart choice by choosing trail mix over cookies, Pop-Tarts, whatever. Point is, don’t trust what you’ve been told. Read everything. Every label, every ingredient. The one thing I’ve learned in all of this is that there’s sh*t hiding everywhere.

And There It Is.

goal-met-feb-11It’s been a bit of a tough week, goal-wise. Kinda got off task a little bit – nothing terrible, but the Aria and I had a bit of a standoff earlier in the week. Nonetheless, a little re-focusing, and here we are. My ultimate goal, finally met. I hit what I thought was a realistic goal about 10 days or so ago, and set a new one just to see if I could do it – and here we are. And I did it my way – hard work at the gym, cutting as many carbs as possible, logging every calorie. It works. Trust me on this.

So, if you’re keeping score at home, that’s 30.2 lbs down since beginning keto 45 days ago. About 2/3 of a pound a day. And (embarrassingly), 70.2 lbs total lost since June of 2013. That’s well over 1/3 my current weight. Or 2 bags of Blackjack & Tonka’s Blue Buffalo dog food (I think they’re 35 lbs a bag). Or 280 Quarter-Pounders. Mmm, Quarter-Pounder. If I were to run into someone I hadn’t seen in several years, they probably wouldn’t recognize me. Oh, there’s still work to do – tomorrow, I’m going to get back to Cool Sculpting, and now it’s time to cut the insane amounts of cardio and start doing insane amounts of weights. I’ve been doing about 75% cardio/25% weights, and I’m going to move to about 50/50. With the weight gone, the next step is the toning. My body fat percentage is hovering right around 16% – surprisingly low! – but I want to get that down to about 12% – 13%. Totally doable, but there’s still hard work to be done. Luckily, spring is just around the corner, which will mean more outdoor activities. Not a minute too soon – maintaining during the winter is hard, but losing is really hard. Once longer days and warmer weather arrives, it’ll be much easier to stay on track. And I can’t wait to get back in the kayak. And on the bicycle. And, of course, out with the pups.

So, what’s next? Well, I think I’m just going to enjoy this for today. But tomorrow? Let’s do 5 more pounds. The aforementioned wiggle-room. If I can hit that – no, when I hit that, it’ll be a nice, round 75 pounds off. After that, who knows what I’ll do?

Tonight, I shall dream about Chinese buffet.

40 Days and 40 Nights.

1-7I’m getting close. Really close. Down 28.3 pounds in 40 days and 40 nights. Only 1.7 to go to hit my ultimate goal.

Maybe.

scienceWhen I hit that goal, I think I’ll go 5 more pounds, just so I have some “wiggle room”. See, once the goal is hit, the 10g – 20g carb days are done. Oh, sure, I’ll still be mindful. But according to Science, to “maintain” my weight, I can do about 200g carbs per day.

Now, I’m not going to do that, but I won’t panic if I have 50g – 75g a day from time to time. Hence, the wiggle room. Room to fluctuate and stay below my ideal.

In June, I will have been wearing a Fitbit for 3 years. There’s a good chance that’ll end, as well. I’ve been chasing numbers, measuring everything for so long now, so at the 3 year mark, I think it’ll be time to take the training wheels off. Plus, the Apple Watch will help keep me on track, without the daily step obsession. That’s a little ways off – we’ll see.

So, as of right now, these lifetime numbers since June 2013:

23,110,541 steps
16,008.4 miles
68.3 total pounds lost
10 inches off the waist
4 major injuries (dislocated kneecap, two torn quads, and that whole nerve damage thing)
4 Fitbits worn out (on #5 now – grr)
6 pairs of Brooks bought
3 pairs of Brooks worn out
Countless donuts, oreos, and pop-tarts fantasized about

And I feel pretty good.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel.

3-1I think I can say without question that the cheat meal didn’t hurt me. In fact, I’ve been reading that an occasional cheat meal can “reset” your body and jump-start additional weight loss (in moderation, kids!). It would seem to be true – I was very pleasantly surprised with I stepped on the scale this morning, especially after missing the gym thanks to Mother Nature. Only 3.1 pounds away from my ultimate goal. I won’t make that before the upcoming Weekend Cheat Meal (which, actually, isn’t a huge cheat – unless I make it to Aretha’s, which is a distinct possibility), but I will make it next week. As it is, I’m thrilled. And the numbers do not lie.

Total loss since beginning keto (5 weeks ago): 26.9 pounds

Wow.

Cheat Meals.

5-9I have always been somewhat ambivalent regarding the concept of cheat meals. Is there a psychological benefit? Do you owe yourself a “reward”? Or is it more of a social necessity? I really don’t know. Nonetheless, I had my first cheat meal on Saturday since beginning keto at the end of December.

It wasn’t terrible, but my head wasn’t spinning with glee, either. I went to Ankar’s – one of my favorites, where I predictably get exactly the same thing every time. Steak in a Sack with cheddar, onion rings. Easily 1000 calories and 50 carbs (they don’t publish nutritional info, but I have a pretty good idea about such things). Easily. Plus a 3rd of an Oreo bar thing. And later, a tasty treat at Panera. Now, this was following a good 6 mile hike, plus lots of walking at the mall – so, it wasn’t like I spent the day in bed, stuffed my face, then sat on my huge, fat ass the rest of the day. But ultimately, the concern I had about going off-plan outweighed the short term binge happiness. And it took two days to get back on track – yesterday, the Aria was not my friend. That was depressing. But today, I worked hard at the gym, and hit a new lowest-ever weight (more on that in a sec). So, basically, one cheat meal = one bad day on the scale. Worth it? I’m not real sure. But it didn’t kill me.

Will I do it again? Sure. In fact, I’ll be doing it again next weekend. Something different though – where I’m going I don’t think will be as bad as Ankar’s. So, I guess the answer varies by person. I’m more interested in hitting my ultimate goal than anything else right now, but once I’ve hit that, I don’t see having a cheat maybe once a month as a deal-breaker.

So, lowest weight ever, again. Only 5.9 pounds to go to a goal I quite frankly didn’t think I’d be able to hit. That means 24.1 pounds down since December 28th, which is, quite frankly, stunning. I’m practically willing the weight off (well, and working super hard). No starving, no crazy-ass fasts, pills, surgeries, or anything like that. Carbs. Eliminating as many of them as possible (I’m staying around 10 – 15 a day now). And I’m not hungry at all. Eggs, bacon, fish, jerky (homemade in my dehydrator), Ensure shakes. Tuna. Olives & pickles. Low-carb stuff. Seeing my weight graph is awesome. Hitting that final goal will be even better. I’m not sure when that’ll happen – maybe sometime next week. Until then, I’m just going to keep digging.

I’m also continuing the crush on the Apple Watch. 64 straight “perfect” days, perfect December, perfect January. Combined with my trusty Fitbit & Aria, I’m getting all the motivation I need. Of course, the mirror isn’t hurting, either.