We’ll get to the massive amount of end of year recapping that happens around this here blog soon – but I had to share this one as it’s in my brain.
I’m finally at that point where I am really, really ready to get down and dirty and do something about this extra flubber.
My intention was to give myself a week after the marathon and then really hop on the train. However, that didn’t work once I realized I had all this pent up partying and stress relief and just letting loose a bit, I needed to do and it wouldn’t be healthy for me to clamp down immediately and become a food nazi. My diet has been at least in the “fair to okay” range (I’m not eating burgers and mexican combo plates and pizza every day or anything), but I’m finding that I am popping out for takeout more than I’d like because I’ll have shit to do, and then by the time I get home, I’m starving and don’t want to take the 30 mins+ to cook something. Also, with all the celebratory stuff going on around the holidays, I want in like a kid outside a candy store because I have spent a lot of the year watching celebrations and social events go by that I didn’t have the time or energy for, and now I do.
So I’ve given myself some latitude the last few weeks. Somehow latitude + celebration + offseason short basic fitness workouts = nothing fits right anymore. I had a small breakdown on Saturday when I couldn’t find anything to run my second 5k in that didn’t make me feel like a major before picture and jokingly threatened that I was going to stay home and not take race pictures. That’s when the tipping point happened. This is no longer a “lalala I’d like to improve my body comp” type thing. It’s now an action item.
I have two big motivations:
1. I believe the single thing I could do to improve my times in tris next year is safely and healthily shed some weight and turn more flubber into muscle. For someone who loves to attack a training schedule, I fall flat on my face lately when trying to do this simple thing of “put just a little bit less than my body wants of good things in my mouth”. When I decide to screw the pooch and make bad food and drink choices, I need to remember that this is akin to skipping or cheesing out on a training session. Sometimes it’s necessary. Most often, it’s not, and I need to imagine that delicious looking cake adding seconds to my race times.
2. Zliten got a GoPro camera for xmas (don’t worry, he’s already unwrapped it so I’m not ruining the surprise). Now he’s dreaming about all sorts of videos to make, and filmed both of our races yesterday. Let’s just say I’m not happy with what’s on camera, and if I’m going to be the star of the show, I refuse to look the way I do now. I’m actually incredibly thankful for this motivation. Clothes don’t motivate me as much – I can always buy new ones. I still take a pretty keen picture from the right angles. However, video is way less forgiving and just as I refused to get married until I was sure I’d treasure those wedding photos and not just hide them under the bed, I don’t want to be pasting my ass all over the internet the way it looks right now. And since I don’t get to set the time line on that one, I better get on it. ASAP.
This is a lot of talk from someone who has been here quite a few times in the last few years. All you can do is fall down seven times, get back up eight, right?
So, here is my plan for success and timeline. I am nothing if not a planner.
Now – Dec 31:
1. Now that the holiday parties and work treats and such are over, stop eating that crap. The only exception is the requisite tin of holiday popcorn which I will portion out like a snack and not sit and stuff my face at and pretend like it doesn’t have calories because I’m having a handful here and there. Other things, if I want it, buy it and save it for bike fuel next year.
2. Actually track my food and try to keep the calorie count and quality reasonable (for my activity level right now, I will not keel over and die if consume about 1500 calories).
3. The exceptions to this rule: Christmas eve (try to keep the food in check, but definitely drink all the absinthes as is per household tradition), Christmas day (no drinking, and be reasonable, but enjoy the family’s traditional lasagna, salad, garlic bread, and desserts), the day of our epic 100 mile trainer ride/movie marathon because I’ll be burning more than that, and New Years Eve (good healthy food, but in enough quantity that when the champers starts flowing, I don’t make a fool of myself at the party we’re hosting).
4. My food weaknesses are getting too hungry to make rational food choices and eating everything that Zliten eats (not accepting that as a female, I burn ~500 calories less than he does – how rude). My food strengths are that I really like a lot of healthy foods and it’s not challenging for me to find a whole plethora of things that are both good for me and delicious), and that I’m lazy. If what I’m craving is separated from me by a car, and I have something that sounds halfway decent in the fridge ready to heat up, I’m 99% of the time going for what’s in front of me. I think this is the second part of the equation of why I lost weight during peak training season (besides training volume) – Zliten was crunching at work and I had to fend for myself for most meals, and I ended up eating a lot of “what’s around” instead of being motivated to get food from a eatery place.
Identifying that, I think I have the answer, and it’s something I resisted for a long time: batch cooking. After purchasing enough My Fit Foods and liking them well enough but they always needed a little something, I’m going to make My Own Fit Foods – I even saved the containers. So the plan is – Friday is grocery day. Then, every weekend, we’re going to cook 3 meals that each has 6 servings (3 for me, 3 for Zliten) and store them away for lunches and dinners (I’m aware that 9 != 14, but that leaves me 5 meals to either whip something else up or go out). I plan to do one soup/stew, and have Zliten pick one meal and I’ll pick one meal. For example, next week, we’ll make pork noodle soup + stir fry, shepard’s pie, and chicken taco/burrito/salad filling. We’ll probably go out a few times and make fish for the rest of them. The awesome part of all this is I will know exactly how many calories I will be eating because I already have the food made and portioned out and I can then figure out what I have left for snacks.
These are the first steps. Then, January I’ll kick it up a notch.
Jan 2-4: fruit and veggie cleanse.
I’m doing this not so much as a way to actually lose weight, but as a way to sort of reset my body and set it up for success. Also, if I spend 3 days eating just fruits and veg, then I’ll be really happy adding good, healthy carbs, organic dairy, and organic lean meats back. Also, this would be good repentance for the sins I have put my body through in offseason.
Continue with batch cooking, and keeping calories between 1500-1800 (prep month in training means only 6.5 hours per week of not crazy intense stuff, so this should be fine to just underfuel me a little bit)
No sweets. I haven’t done a month of that for a while and I can tell, something sweet has crept into my diet every day, sometimes every meal. I’ll allow fruit, greek yogurt with stevia + fruit, smoothies, and arctic zero treats if I need a little something something. No candy, cookies, ice cream, cake, pie, etc. The only exception is 1 jelly bean on the bike per mile.
Limit snacks. I just do better eating a solid meal every few hours rather than grazing – that’s what makes me freak out on the fridge immediately upon arrival home from work and/or declare that we need to go out instead of cook. Breakfast around 10, lunch around 1, second lunch around 4, dinner around 8. Lunch is the biggest, dinner second biggest, breakfast and second lunch are a bit smaller.
At the end of January I’ll assess where I’m at and see what tweaks I need to make to get to my goals.
Questions of the day: What was your last tipping point to get you back on the wagon? What’s your best flubber shedding tip you can share?