I am not an idiot.

A pizza-eating-sunglasses-inside-wearing giant dork?  Sure.  But not an idiot.

I mean, sure, I do stupid things.  I make bad decisions.  I go with the “feels good now” choice versus the “will actually push me towards my goals” choice more often than I’d like to admit.  Sometimes I eat birthday cake even though I KNOW I will instantly regret that decision (stomachache, calories, etc).  Sometimes I stay downtown and party with the band that we just met and go into questionable dive bars and play flippy cup with the bartenders instead of going home before sundown like a good little triathlete.  Sometimes I’ll go for the fun bike ride with the team instead of doing my speedwork.  Sometimes I binge watch a season of a show on Netflix I’ve seen five times instead of finishing a writing, movie, or art project.

However, I do these knowing full well that I am making the “right now” choice vs the actual right choice.  So, I’m not an idiot.  I promise.  I’m just GREAT at self sabotage.

Delicious, amazing, decadent self-sabotage.

I know the reason I haven’t been losing weight even if I’d rather bitch about it the last few months than actually DO anything.  My calorie output is approximately 2200 per day (and that’s improved from the roughly 2k or less I was seeing when the air was trying to kill me with either allergies or freezing temperatures), and I’m TRACKING 1800-1900 average per day, which means I’m probably consuming a little more than that.  Studies show that even dieticians under-track their consumption so I am sure I’m doing that too.  It’s just hard to be so meticulous.

Instead of getting batshit crazy and tracking every crumb (I just had a conversation with my husband about whether he should track his GUM intake since he’s on this crazy handbasket to hell with me this time…), I’m just going to aim for a lower number to make sure, errors or not, I maintain a deficit.  This week begins the attempt at 1500 calories average per day.   The last two months have been pushing an importance of #1 – diet quality and then #2 – calories.  Now, I’m reversing the order.  The most important thing is to stay as close to the 1500 number as possible.  Of close second importance is diet quality, but if one has to win over the other, calorie count is king.

This sounds like a very subtle difference, but it’s actually pretty significant in how I handle situations that challenge me vs my goals.  It feels a little bit dirty sometimes (I really want a bottle glass of whiskey, and I’m going to not eat dinner an apple so I have those calories).  In all honesty, it’s not the best long term solution, but it is the *only* way I lose weight that doesn’t make me go completely bonkers.

Not an apple, but about as many calories as a large one.

When I eat super clean, 1500 is plenty for nutritional purposes.  For example, yesterday I ate:

  • Breakfast (10:30am): 1 mug of green tea + 1 cup Greek Fage 0% Yogurt with 1/2 cup berries and 2 tbsp powdered PB (270 cal)
  • Lunch (12:30pm): Snap Kitchen Supreme Pasta (340 cal)*
  • Second Lunch (3pm): giant mixing bowl salad with lettuce, broccoli slaw, cucumber, tomato, corn, peas, pepperchinis, olives, reduced fat feta, and lite italian dressing (150 calories)
  • Snacks (4pm-8pm):  1/2 oz pistachios (75 cal), sliced apple with powdered pb and cinnamon (100 cal), corn tortilla with beans and lite jarlsberg cheese (175 cal)
  • Dinner (8pm): Snap Kitchen Shrimp Paella (360 cal)*
  • Before bed (10pm): Sleepytime Tea (0 cal) and a square of dark chocolate (40 cal)

*Yep, I’m making this week a no brainer by using a meal service.  I <3 Snap Kitchen when kickstarting something like #projectraceweight because it’s easy to eat healthy food that’s pretty flippin’ delicious.

This works out to about 1500 calories and 31 DQ points.  One off a perfect score – just can’t justify switching out that last dark chocolate square for a piece of fruit instead to hit that +1.  I’ll live with that.

I rode my bike for 45 minutes easy-peasy-like in the evening and got my 10k steps for the day with walks, burning approximately 2300 calories and with a -800 calorie deficit.  Day one done.  If I can do this 5 days in a row, I will mathematically have lost just a little over 1 lb.  If I can keep this up consistently for the nine weeks before I go on vacation, I can lose almost 15 lbs.

However, I know how this goes.  I need to have an escape hatch every once in a while.  Sometimes you have to splurge.  So, once a week, I’ll allow myself to take in closer to maintenance calories – or around 2000.  I can attempt to make that up, by eating a little less on the days around it, burning a little more (though my training schedule is pretty set and intentionally fairly consistent), or just accept that I’ll go a little slower.  If I eat 2000 calories once a week for the next 9 weeks, I’ll lose 13.5 lbs instead of 15.  However, that math is a great reminder that every little decision I make counts.  Passing on an order of fries once a week is the difference of 1.5 lbs of fat loss over two months.  That doesn’t suck.

My lovely french fry friends… it’s not you.  It’s me.  I just need some space.  We’ll be together again soon.

So, I embark on #projectraceweight for the third time (and many other times before that under a different name).  While it’s frustrating that none of them have actually succeeded, I’m starting a little lighter (186.0 today) and in better shape each time (I’m coming off six weeks of heavy weight training, BULKING, if you will, not couch sitting like the previous two years).  And that doesn’t suck either.

It’s easy to be weak willed when faced with a goal months away vs the chocolate cake in my face (one slip up can’t hurt, right?), so I’m going to write out all the reasons why losing that 15 lbs would be awesome, in no particular order.

  • I’d like all the clothes I have in my closet/drawers fit me, and not pick the same few things over and over.  I have some really cute clothes I can’t wear because of the extra spare tire I’m carrying around.
  • When we lost weight, we stopped snoring.  The snore monster is creeping back into the bedroom.  I’d like to stop waking Zliten up at night (and vice versa).
  • Actually maybe someday wanting to purchase a race picture instead of them making me barf.  It would be awesome to be proud of how I look on the course vs embarrassed at looking like a sausage in my team kit.
  • I’m sure this knee/ankle/heel thing could be much improved with less constant pressure and pounding from my bodyweight.  Being able to run pain free again would be worth saying no to every junk food in the world.
  • A free 30 seconds per mile running.  Just for saying no to the chips or seconds at dinner for the next nine weeks is totally worth free speed.  I just need to remember that junk food = slower runs.
  • Confidence.  It feels really vain to say, but I’ll feel less hesitant about being on camera, putting myself out there as a brand ambassador and health and fitness mentor, and maybe even asking for help and mentorship myself if I feel better about my body.

So key points for me to remember until May 20th:

  • Eat 1500 calories or less UNLESS it’s that special once a week splurge day IF you need it.
  • Eat good quality food 90% of the time.
  • Don’t eat random crap just because it’s there.  If you splurge, do it because you absolutely MUST HAVE THE THING and do that not very often.
  • This actually means a lot to you, so don’t fuck it up with self sabotage.
  • This is temporary and you are really good at maintaining your weight once you settle somewhere, so you won’t have to be this neurotic forever.

Like I said, day one is done.  And I didn’t fall face first onto a plate of french fries.  Day two has started.  Six-one more to go.