I hit my all time heaviest weight: 176 lbs
That was after the trip to New York and Montana for a wedding in each state. Let’s call my first attempt at the road to 159 a failure and the next attempt will be the revenge tour. Where, hopefully, I’ll be able to turn the first failure into one of those “Win or learn” failures to build off of.
Some of the bloat is coming off but let’s call the starting weight 175 lbs.
- Starting weight: 175 lbs
- Goal weight: 159 lbs
- Start date: August 16 (Mon)
- Next friend’s wedding date: October 10 (Sun)
That’s 55 days, let’s call it 56 and a nice, even 8 weeks.
This is almost 2 lbs a week, which I know is pretty aggressive. But that starting weight was at full bloat after a meal and the day after wedding feasts. (My biggest small win: not going for thirds at the prime rib station, but I thought about it.)
If I drop a bunch of water weight in the first couple weeks, this could be more like 1-1.5 lbs a week. I know, I should do a DEXA scan or something like that. Maybe for the winter revenge.
So for this first check in, here’s a retro with some steps to go forward.
Things that worked that I should continue doing
Keep focusing on making it easy to follow some simple rules: high protein, high fiber, veggies with every meal, no snacking
- Eating pre-packaged salads and chicken: I tried variations but the thing that was working really well (up until the trip started) was bulk packs of pre-packaged caesar salads and pre-packaged chicken breast. Convenience is king and this really makes everything so mindless and is the right balance of healthy + tastes good. Both taste better than when I try to make them from scratch. (Will this packaging destroy the earth? Collectively, over time, probably.)
- Minimizing snacking: I installed a 2-tiered drawer in our cupboard that has the snacks in it. It’s actually sort of cumbersome and a side effect is that I think it might be helping with reducing snacking. Unintended, but I’ll take it. I also know that basically no snacking is good because the meals more than cover nutrition. That said, when snacking I’ve been pretty good about just grabbing one of the pre-packaged chicken containers and eating that.
- Tracking with MyFitnessPal: Earlier on, I was tracking with the Drafts iOS app. This was good for increasing my mindfulness and at least thinking about tracking. But I wasn’t really paying attention to macros and calories, just eyeballing it. While I’m decent at guessing how much any individual item is (my wife is constantly impressed with this), it’s not really a useful skill in preventing myself from making bad food decisions. I switched to MyFitnessPal in the last couple weeks and that did help me make better decisions—usually in one of these major ways (1) Oh I need more protein today or (2) Oh I hit my calorie limit, I can try to cut myself off now.
- Using some mantras (win this fight-thru, eat like an adult, I already know what that tastes like): How you talk to yourself matters. Thinking these things doesn’t always help, but it’s worth giving them a try even if they only work like 2 out of 5 times. It feels like they’re working a little more the more I use them though so who knows. No cost to continue using them and I’ll keep looking out for any others that are effective.
Things that worked that I should continue doing
Some combination of heavy weights, bodyweight, walking, and kettlebells.
- Lift heavy – reverse pyramid 3x a week: The double progression has worked pretty well for me in the past. The lighter AMRAP for the final set always keeps things interesting and does help with the mental “oh that felt like a workout” feeling. Which might be dumb (soreness != good workout) but if it helps with motivation then it’s a good thing. That said, I need to be careful because there were a couple days where I was sore probably in the wrong ways. So I either need to warm up better or be more careful with form.
- Bodyweight – 3RM and 5RM fighter pull up program: I just want to get my pull-ups back up. I was listening to Pat Flynn and Dan John talking about strength standards and one listener question was about pull ups. I used to know I could bang out 5 no problem. Now 5 is a struggle, as in I’m not sure I can do 5 right now. So I want to do the 3RM sequence to get to 5. Then use the 5RM sequence to get to 10 by the time I’m headed to that October wedding.
- As many long walks as possible: Being back in New York for a week reminded me of just how much I used to walk and how that probably kept some pounds off over the years. I averaged 5 miles a day most months in New York. It’s gone way down in San Francisco and with the pandemic. But I want to get this back up by doing longer walks with Booster, walking to the gym, and aiming for one hike with Amy every weekend.
- Kettlebells: I want to work the kettlebells back in in some way. It might be something like doing a warm up with the kettlebells 2x a day (one before the workout and one at night as a little extra practice and movement). Or it might be doing 10 minutes of light get-ups on non-heavy days. Not sure but I miss using kettlebells.
That’s that, see you for the week 1 check in. If I’m numbering these posts right, I can do week 8 final check in on the flight to New York headed to the wedding.