Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Week Eight: The John Nelson Weight Loss Challenge

Here's John's update for this week:

There is nothing more frustrating than losing control of a situation that you thought you had under control. For the first few weeks I followed a plan to exercise and eat right. It seemed to work. I lost pounds. I felt good. My clothes fit more adequately and people noticed the change in me. The plan was simple, eat less, burn more. The more I worked out, the more calories I would burn off. My heart rate monitor would give me the feed back to show how much I was metabolizing in a given workout. And then, I would eat accordingly. If I burned 2000 calories, I would be able to eat up to 1500 calories for the next meal. If I didn’t work out, then I would limit the amount that I ate.

Two weeks ago was tough though. I worked according to my plan and stuck to my guns about eating properly, despite having to eat out. I worked out hard, even spending an hour on the elliptical at my highest level. I pumped iron harder than ever. I burned baby! I burned! But then I stepped on the scale last Monday and I gained, baby. I gained? Two pounds! What the hell? I followed the plan. There should be a payoff. Right?

Well, I’ll confess that the two pound gain hit me harder than it should. I felt like giving up a bit; discouraged that the plan wasn’t working. So, in my head I checked out. I told myself that I was just going to blow the diet this last week and start again on Sunday. So I didn’t watch too intently as I went out on Friday to happy hour. For the record, I had three short glasses of Bacardi and diet cokes, at roughly 56 calories per serving, so about 390 calories for the night. Nor did I hold back on Dinner on Saturday, when I had a homemade goat cheese burger cooked by my next door neighbor Bob, who is a close to a gourmet chef as I can get. Mmm, it was damn delicious. Baked beans on the side, with deviled eggs (2). I was not caring about the diet all week when I decided to ease up the scrutiny this week. I expected the inevitable gain of weight that comes with the lack of tolerance for the diet’s discipline.

On top of all that, I didn’t work out one time last week. I didn’t’ really have chances for the most part. The one time I had to ride to work, I had to Metro in because of a later meeting. Even last Friday’s happy hour squashed the chance to ride in and stumble home in the dark. Actually, events at home and in the office prevented even a lunchtime workout last week. So, like the food aspect explained above, I checked out for the week, rationalizing that I’d do better this week.

So then, you know what happened? I lost 5 pounds, maybe 6. I went to the doctor’s office this morning to get the results of my blood tests. Excellent, by the way! At 7:45 I was standing on the balance scale. You know the one they always have in the doctor’s office? It’s the one that balances the little indicator on the right, up and down, depending upon where the weights are placed on the bar? I moved the first one to 300. The top one, I moved to 315. Yes, that it what I expected. Perhaps more, even. No workouts, no discipline on the diet… equals moving the weight to the right, right?

Thunk, the indicator hit hard on the metal gap. So I moved it a little to the left. No movement. More… some movement. I slide it to 305 and it slightly ‘tings’ the top end. Finally 306! I look down, and I’m fully clothed, and even wearing a tie. What… the… hell?

Here’s what happened. Since I started this endeavor I’ve been slowly acclimating my body to eat less. The three glasses of Bacardi was all I could take in before I felt full. The burger and beans, one serving was all I could take in, even though they had more for me. I had to take a Tupperware of beans home with me for the next day. During the week the same occurred. At lunch, I would have a few naked chicken wings or a bowl of turkey chili. I drank water like I just came out of the desert. My stomach had shrunk, is the only way I can put it. I no longer expect to, or even can, take in the buffet style meals I’ve been used to over the years. I’ve acclimated to eating less, anyway. And as for working out… if you’ve been to the Department of Agriculture building, the third largest office building in the country behind the Pentagon and the Reagan Building, you’d know how much I walked. All those meetings on one end of the building to the other made me walk miles, literally.

The moral of the story here, kids, is that for as much as I thought I had control of the situation, I really don’t. Meetings, dinner invitations, happy hours with the boss, and real life get in the way. All I can do is stick to the plan and let it work its way out. Calories in, calories out. Perhaps I gained some muscle in there somewhere and gained some back. But overall, the plan is working, with or without me trying to control every aspect of it, like a Type A junkie. I eat good foods, I workout, I ride, I lose some weight, and then I start over next week. If I make 300 by April, great. If I don’t, no matter. The changes to my lifestyle and body are what counts now. My stomach (or appetite) has shrunk. My pants are falling off my ass. I can climb a little better on the bike. And, mostly, I’ve gotten you all to contribute a little more to the Wounded Warriors. In the end, we all win. Even if I lose control every now and then.

By the way, for you cyclists out there trying to drop a few, check out this diet made just for you: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=8055

See you next week.


Calvini said...

Probably didn't hurt that you did, what, 90 miles on Sunday?

I notice that the more I work out, especially lifting weights, the hungrier I am. The appetite thing might be related to that.

Keep it up, man!

Cliff said...

Hang in there.

A great guy I know is both a former fatso >250 to <200 and a psychologist; he says that the losing is a roller coaster ride sometimes but maintenance sucks.

Maintenance sucks because no one notices, you wear the same clothes, blah blah. Keep posting and talking it out.

qualia said...

Congrats on the blood tests. That is really excellent news! Just keep eating healthy and stay active. Looking forward to riding together sometime soon.

Christina Daniels said...

Wow what an awesome post

Terry Smith said...

I love this blog post