In this blog:
- 2015 Week 8 Weigh-In
- Running vs Pumping Iron
- Mental & Physiological Concepts
Week 8 gives us our first official dip below 270 and by official that means it was part of my weekly Thursday weigh in. In all fairness, the first time I woke up Thursday morning, I weighed 270.6 but went back to bed and upon waking up the second time is when I weighed 269.8 :)
This past Sunday I was down to a low of 268.4 and Tuesday and Wednesday morning weighed as high as 273.8 lbs. Generally speaking, weight fluctuates like the stock market. Too many people get upset when they see their weight go up a pound or two and, as I alluded to in a blog I posted on DietBetter.com getting frustrated seems more like a necessary psychological ploy for many people which mainly serves to set up a plausible future reason for quitting an otherwise healthy lifestyle because the notion of a living a continued healthier lifestyle is too far out of their comfort zone.
The only other noticeable change I made in my Weekly Weigh-In desktop wallpaper was the addition of a car in the upper right hand corner. It’s a 2005 Volvo S60 and has been ranked for several years in Kelly Blue Book (KBB.com) as one of the best affordable used cars and it’s the only luxury type car to make that list. Last years weigh-in wallpaper included a variety of cars such as the Corvette (’cause it’s cool) and the new model Camaro which was a car I traditionally never liked but did like the newer body style and was enamoured with the performance of 323 HP from a 6-cylinder engine :) But, with close to 300,000 miles on my Saturn I really need a new car sooner rather then later. That Volvo has very good reviews and a trunk often described as enormous (13.9 cubic feet) which I also figured could be very useful for business.
The HealthyWage prize badge didn’t change but the prize amount did due to a fellow dietbetter.com participant who clicked on my referal link and signed up for a bet of their own which added $20 to my pot so, my new HealthyWage prize is now standing at $2,056.00 :)
If anyone reading this wants to set up their own HealthyWage prize to win some serious money – please click on my referal link below (link will open in new window)
Running vs Pumping Iron
Right now, I’m at a tie in 2015 with 6 runs and 6 lifting workouts. I’ve modified my miles/weight table found over in my Running Log tab by including a column to keep track of the number of times I’ve been to the gym to lift weights.
I’ve had a long time alternating relationship with Lifting, Running & Karate for a very long time – All three since 1982 and a challenge for me has always been to embrace all of them at the same time. Any one of the three is the easiest endeavor, and I’ve had fair results dabbling in two at a time and very little results trying to maintain all three of them at the same time. So, there may be a time when I put my weight at the very left column then Running, Lifting and Karate as the subsequent three columns to the right.
Sometimes, I have fun with my Running Log tab and think I might add pictures of trophy’s from lifting, maybe karate certificates and small pics for the rest of my running medals. I don’t really have any cohesive place in real life where I keep all that stuff. If I look towards the ceiling in my garage, I can see a bunch of medals hanging from two old bicycle hooks in the ceiling and there are a few places in the house where medals are hanging. All my lifting trophy’s are gathering dust in the garage and the usual resting spot for any other kind of awards are boxed up in the floor of my spare bedroom. I suppose the Running Log tab could be a kind of virtual trophy case. Plus, there have been a number of medals or trophies that are either given away or end up breaking so it might be nice to have at least one picture of each for posterity’s sake.
I’d also like to add my specific goals for the current year. I know I mentioned some reasonable improvements I wanted to make this year in a previous blog but sometimes I’m hard pressed to remember them all. The list was pretty simple. …let’s see if I can recall … I know there was a bodyweight in the low 240’s – I don’t particularly care where, 242 ,243 – even 244. I just know I feel pretty good physically at that weight and have a lot more clothes to choose from.
Running a sub 10-minute mile at the Macklind Mile run was another goal.
I think hitting a sub 3 hour 1/2 marathon (about time…)
oh, and another 100 mile month of running training like I did last August.
Mental & Physiological Concepts
One of the reasons I’ve thought of doing a VLOG in the past has been to keep track of what I’m doing. When I started again this year with the DietBet & HealthyWage type of competitions I had a hard time remembering exactly what I did last year to drop 72 lbs in 12 weeks. I remembered one competition I logged close to 100 miles walking in the first two weeks and this last competition was more focused on eating less and staying calm.
Two ongoing things which help keep my in check physically are this blog for one and keeping calm is the other one. The blog provides an ongoing awareness and I can easily become imbued with too many other facets of life and easily ignore my physical condition altogether if there is not some semblance of awareness. There was a post I ran across on Instagram a while back which really embodied my mindset more than most other descriptions:
Honestly, the whole notion of diet & exercise, certainly in the traditional sense most people think of those words is rather repulsive to me. I don’t have any particular diet I follow. I’ve learned a little bit from a friend who was a big advocate of the Atkins diet and I could easily feel how avoiding traditional breads and other tasty complex carbs/starches helped me to not feel so full after eating but, by and large, there is no particular diet I follow. I eat. I learned more about the quality and nutritional values of foods last year when I logged everything I ate into an app called MyFitnessPal. I kept that up for maybe the first 3 weeks of my 12 week contest last year and that provided enough awareness to help me win that contest.
What I eat is mainly dependant on what I have in the house or what’s readily available to me. So, I suppose there are some changes specific to me. I’ll avoiding buying 2lb jars of peanut butter because peanut butter usually has a lifespan in my house of no more than 36 hours and that’s a huge number of extra Calories to consume over a day or two. And, when I’m in a mode of improving myself, I don’t run to the nearest, local cheap buffet to consume a days worth of calories when I’m hungry and out of food at home. Lately, I’ve been having a vegan/protein bar to help quell hunger cravings and have recently resupplied myself with this option –
On big key to success in transitioning to a lower weight is allowing myself to be hungry. This is where staying calm comes in handy.
One unique thing I did with MyFitnessPal was to break each day up into 4 hour time segments starting at midnight. Just take the whole notion of breakfast, lunch and dinner and throw it out the window then, whenever you happen to eat just log what was eaten in the appropriate time slot. There were many times during last years contest when I would eat after midnight. Sometimes I would eat some pretty healthy portions – things like French toast and eggs – and syrup and butter. I logged it all. But, I made kind of a game out of it. A lot of times eating after midnight was part of the game because I wanted to keep a certain days number of calories at a certain level so I would wait until the next day. Sometimes, I would try to make sure that I wasn’t eating in adjacent 4 hour time slots. Maybe more importantly however, was during the few times I ate after midnight, I was very legitimately hungry – no doubt about it. Tracking everything one eats can be kind of a hassle so I did not eat out of boredom or just to pass the time when I ate it was from legitimate hunger and not habit.
Another interesting thing was after eating whatever I may have been craving (usually carbs) I didn’t worry if a lot of time passed until the next meal. Often 12 or 18 hours or more would pass until the next time I ate. On two occasions 36 hour passed.
I never worried about the time passage. Some of my original thinking regarding not eating for significant amounts of time came from co-workers at my last job. Some were very lean and it wasn’t uncommon to hear them mention during the afternoon that they hadn’t eaten since yesterday. ..and they were lean. Eventually, this lead me to PubMed to investigate further. PubMed was a website often referenced while in school. The latest article in Cosmo or People magazine just didn’t cut it. PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) is from the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and consist of peer reviewed biomedical literature and science journals. It’s NOT fluff and it also isn’t necessarily the easiest of articles to read but, it is one of the best scientific resources for pretty much any medical condition.
This search led me to a number of articles on VLCD’s which is an acronym for Very Low Calorie Diets. One traditional argument against VLCDs is that a person will end up losing muscle which, in turn lowers a person’s resting metabolic rate and therefore has a detrimental effect in the long run with regards to weight loss or maintaining lower bodyfat levels. However, the article I ran across noted that 77% of the weight loss by test subjects utilizing a VLCD was, in fact, fat. At this point, it’s probably worth noting that people with higher percentages of bodyfat will tend to utilize greater portions of fat for energy so, while a person with a BMI > 40 might metabolize 77% bodyfat in a VLCD, that doesn’t mean an individual with a BMI of 22 will have that same percentage.
There may be some real advantages to having a structured eating routing such as breakfast, lunch and dinner for those individuals who are already at a weight they want to maintain but I don’t necessarily subscribe to that notion for overweight people who are actively working to drop weight.
People also need to have an awareness of their own bodies. Wanting to eat something for the sake of eating something and no other reason than because maybe it looks good or might bring some immediate pleasure due to the taste is one thing. Wanting to eat because of hunger is another thing and wanting to eat because you’re so hungry that you’re actually getting dizzy is yet another thing. I do my best to avoid the getting dizzy aspects of hunger.
I remember another impetus for checking out the VLCDs. Last year the HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone diet was getting a bit of attention and I had a few friends that were actually on that diet but I quickly learned that part of that diet consisted of not only ingesting the HCG but of also following a 500 calorie a day diet. Well, heck, I can give you a sugar pill but when combined with a 500 calorie a day diet most people are doing to drop weight pretty rapidly.
I was ravenously hungry this past Wednesday. I lifted weights that morning and squeezed in a frigid 1 mile walk in the evening. I did eventually cave Wednesday evening and had one of those vegan bars but, for the most part, I told myself that I would be having a pizza the next day. It was sort of one of those Denis Waitley advocated mindset things about doing within while doing without. So, I kept telling myself I’ll be having a pizza the next day and I did.
But, once again, there is a big difference between picking up two large supreme pizzas from Little Caesars on the way home from work and devouring those with a few 2 liters while watching television and simply having a medium thin crust veggie pizza for lunch.
btw – Denis Waitley is a graduate of the US Navy Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He has done a lot of sports psychology stuff with elite athletes and olympians. Which reminds me, I came across an Instagram post by an old gross anatomy lab partner of mine who was recently invited to become part of the US Olympic training center which is pretty cool :)
Anyway, the word ‘diet’ to me simply refers to the food a person consumes. I don’t particularly advocate any diet in the traditional sense many people use the word but do think increased awareness of calories and nutritional content in what we eat can be a positive influence in helping people eat better and perhaps reduce weight if that is a desired outcome. I don’t think feeling hungry from time to time is any worse than feeling stuffed or full and, from what I recall in the back of my biochemistry book (i.e., Medical Biochemistry 2nd edition by Baynes & Dominiczak, page 606)
“Calorie restriction (CR) is the only intervention that consistently extends maximum lifespan in a variety of species including mammals, fish, flies, worms and yeast. Reduction in total caloric intake appears to be the essential feature of this intervention, i.e. the beneficial, life-extending effects are observed whenever CR is applied and regardless of dietary composition …”