Sometimes, it’s just time to take away the toys, deal with the crying and tantrums just to get it over with, and get what I want this way. I’m a big believer in the carrot over the stick, but unfortunately, lately, carrots have turned into carrot cakes. Time for the stick.
I am approximately 20 lbs from where I want to be. A year ago, I was about 10 lbs away. Two years ago, I was there. If I continue this, I will be back over 200 by the time I’m 35.
That shit scares me. While I definitely have some wiggle room in between now and when I would consider myself chunky, fat, rotund, obese, stay-puft marshmallow Quix, I am both not liking the trend. And I’m finding that less often, I want to make out with myself in the mirror. Sometimes I’m even flat out dissatisfied, and that comes with negative self talk and self feelings. The pants I almost got rid of 2 years ago because they were too big are now the ones that fit me best. It bothers the crap outta me that I’ve let myself slip like this. I should know better. I should be better. I lost 110 lbs that I said I never want to lose again, and now I’m facing the fact that 20 of them have found themselves back my way.
Part of the way to figure out how to attack is to analyze the problem. How did I get here?
a) I never accepted that I was at a healthy weight and set a plan for maintenance. I tried to struggle through a year of getting below 150 when I’m pretty sure my body was telling me NO, this is as low as we want to go, thanks. I wanted 125-135, and my body seems to want about 160-170. I’ll split the difference and say 150 is my stopping point. Once I can maintain 150 sanely for a year (+/- 5 lbs), I’ll think about going lower.
b) Its been slow. I gained 5 lbs, it wasn’t an urgency, I got used to being 5 lbs higher, then six months later I gained 5 more. It’s not as if I went from 150-170 in two months, it took 2 years.
c) I *have* put on some muscle. It’s not all fat. But it’s definitely not ALL muscle either, because my pants don’t fit and my shirts have started getting shorter.
d) Again, I’m not life threateningly fat. I’m not even close to Lane Bryant shopping fat. It’s not affecting my workouts (though I’m sure if I lost 20 lbs of fat, I could start seeing some major improvements!!!), my life, or anything but the fact that I just don’t goddamn like what I see in the mirror as much anymore.
This has made it very, very hard to see this as an emergency. I spent two years taking off weight, and frankly, it was exhausting. I hated the person I had to become at times to do it, and it was really, really, really nice to have a break from that. It was nice to want to eat mostly healthy things and work out hard because I was racing, not because I wanted to lose weight.
However, I’m done with this. I’m done looking in the mirror and going UGH. I’m done only wearing half my closet because the other half makes my pooch stand out too much or just plain doesn’t fit over my ass. I’m done being frustrated that my loose pants are now my tight pants.
I’m spending some time reviewing how I ate and exercised when I was losing weight fairly rapidly in 2008. I’ve come to some conclusions:
a) I kinda ate like crap compared to the nutrient dense food I (generally when I don’t fall face first into a plate of fried food) eat now. However, I definitely ate LESS of it than I do now. I stuck between 1300-1400 calories most days with 1-2 1700-1800 calorie days over the weekends. Generally, these involved a normal 1300 calorie day with about 500 calories of booze.
b) This is definitely before I started running a lot, because I had a drink or two most nights. Which meant I was still probably smoking a quarter pack at least a day. No wonder things were easier then, I’d get late night munchies and just go outside an puff a cig instead. Sigh. The days. Now I just have to DEAL.
c) I ate 100 calorie breakfasts and almost NO snacks besides a piece of fruit before the gym.
d) I stuck to a lot of the same types of food. Sandwiches, salads, soups, chinese food, and items in a tortilla (tacos/wraps).
e)I was doing not much cardio (20-30 mins HIIT or running x 3, 40 mins DDR x 2 per week), but more weights (3xweek). I was generally hitting full body 1x week, and arms and legs 3x week. I now know that cardio != leg strength training, but I remember thinking that then…
So basically, if I want to follow my old plan, I need to take up smoking and drinking more, eat less nutritionally dense food, exercise less, eat less little meals throughout the day, and skip the majority of the breakfast I eat now.
Sounds kinda like the opposite of every diet article EVER. I, dear readers, am an enigma.
So, what exactly to do…
a) I think I’ll aim for the calories but try to keep the healthy versions of what I’m eating. This is one place I need the stick. 1300-1400 is uncomfortable for me. However, above that, as I’ve proven, I just DO NOT LOSE. It’s somewhere between 1500 – 3000 where I actually start gaining, but it’s like I have this HUGE maintenance range and this teeny tiny “can loose weight but not going into starvation mode” range. Goal will be to stay under 1500 AVERAGE per week, whether that’s 1450-ish per day, or 1300 with 1-2 higher days.
b) Not going to go back to smoking more, but I’ll keep in mind that I was still steadily losing and often had a glass of wine or 2 or a small sweet treat after dinner. Maybe trying to be so restrictive with myself is actually NOT working in my favor. I try to eat treats so rarely it’s like a BIG DEAL when I do, and same with booze – I abstain until the weekend or special events and then OMG GO CRAZEEE. Still considering this one because it is empty calories, and it may be a while before my tummy is used to 1300 and not angry about it.
c) Breakfast people, I tried so hard with this, but I see NO evidence that eating more in the morning does anything but make me eat more during the day. I’m going to dial this back from my now normal 200-300 to about 150. This allows me oatmeal, greek yogurt with a few crunchies in it, picadillo beef breakfast taco, sausage patties with half an english muffin and fat free cream cheese, fiber one bar, or half a big protien bar. So I have options. Will give this a try. As for snacks… this will be harder (I’ve gotten used to having a decent amount of calories mid-day before I workout) but it will either have to be taken from lunch/dinner or just skip it. HUNGER IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD…
d) I don’t think this matters – I’m really enjoying my discovery of greek and indian food and the like, I just need to make sure I accurately account for what’s going in my piehole. And I do eat the same sort of foods a lot of the time…
e) I think I’ve given up the “maintain a base of 10 miles” for running, it’s just not realistic for me right now, and my goals are elsewhere. This spring, I need to maintain a good solid 5k time and perhaps occasionally run up to 10k at a slow clip but no more. Where I need to put the rest of my focus is:
1. Biking. It’s the vast majority of the time spent on my dus/tris and it’s my worst leg. Becoming a better cyclist and shaving off time here will be my best way to improve my du/tri time (well, that and transitions, but whatevs). It’s also low impact.
2. Strength. Once I’m fully released, I need to go back to working on getting stronger again, which the glimpse to the past fully supports. Sadly, there’s just nothing on my body that getting stronger won’t benefit tris (legs obv, core obv, back and arms for swimming), so I need to keep to it. Even if it’s light weights lotsa repeats at first while my back gets to 100% it needs to happen.
3. Swimming. Not as much of a priority because it’s generally the shortest part of a tri, but it’s new, I’m pretty good at it, and I enjoy it. Plus, it’s also low impact and I have the silly goal of an Ironman swim (2.4 miles) in 60 mins in 2011.
4. Running. I know I can knock out between 10-11 min miles no matter how dead I am, and it’s more of a mental thing than a physical capacity thing to move that to 9-10 min miles.
5. Yoga/Stretching. I used to do the 15-20 min yoga video at home, and I think I need to get on that. If I could get up and do that and/or strength sometimes in the morning, it might help me mitigate some time after at the gym.
So, the plan for this week is:
-1500 calories per day (minus Saturday, in which I will be camping and subject to other folks food, where the goal is to pick healthy things). I need a little time to adjust down so my body doesn’t go into complete shock, so we’ll start here.
-No restrictions if it fits in my calorie range, but have to track everything I eat.
Monday: 1.5 hour walk (5.5 miles)
Tuesday: 60 mins bike
Wednesday: 5k run then swim
Thursday: 60 mins bike outside
Saturday: Du Loop (5k run, 8 mile bike, 1.5 mile trail run)
Next week starts the 3 week countdown before the rookie tri, so the workouts will look a little different, I’ll work a small amount of weights/yoga in there. After the rookie, the only race that I’m really concerned about time/training for is the Gladiator Games 5k, so I’ll be incorporating short (20-30 mins) interval and tempo runs (anyone that has a good 5k plan to get faster, I’d love advice…), but that will leave me a lot of time to also work weights those days, plus biking hard on alternate days.
Rookie Tri (mini sprint tri) – April 17
Hell Run (mud run) – April 30
Muddy Buddy (bike/run obstacle mud thing) – May 14
Gladiator Games (5k run and obstacle course) – May 21
Spread Your Wings (adventure race) – May 28
Shammies and Koozies (25 mile bike ride and float back on toobs) – June 11
So, honestly, I have a busy schedule, but nothing that I’m really looking at super-serious-meeting-face-training-for-a-time besides the 5k, so this is still a decent time to do this. Just need to make sure that I am in good shape by late summer when long tri and half marathon training starts. LETS DO THIS!!!
So, the goal is calories down, intensity OR time down on the cardio, counting calories every day, every bite, back to weighing at least a few times a week, and giving it my all for at least 1 month before I get frustrated. I refuse to get frustrated until on April 23, I have not made any progress (tomorrow is my official weigh in, I missed this morning). Everything until then is just data to be analyzed.
Wish me luck, everyone! I’ll have awesome Houston warrior dash pics up soon, but I just had to get this out. Feel much better now! Thanks, internet, for your ear, because I’m sure Zliten is sick of hearing about it, heh.
EDIT: Ugh – 174.2 weigh in. Oh well, no judging, no getting upset, no freaking out. Just working on making that number go away soon.