Tuesday, August 30, 2011

???.?: Periodization

In my training I do something called periodization, which means I have various periods of training intensity/routine for different goals. Training is not an all-or-nothing proposition and it recently occurred to me that eating right is the same. I always saw it as either I'm eating right or I'm not, but sometimes I think I need to step back for a second, catch my breath (so to speak) and go again.

Given that I'm really quite sick today and my body is breaking down just a little bit, I think it's time for for an easier week for both diet and training. I'm coming off the scale for a week having enjoyed my start with eating right and calorie counting and with the explicit knowledge that I'll be getting back on in about a week.

I had my best weekend ever last weekend. I had a nice 3 mile run on Saturday and an easy 8 mile bike ride. On Sunday, I had my best triathlon ever (and first run that didn't hurt like hell) and then ran a VERY solid 14 miler (I felt great). I felt the cold coming (although I thought it was just allergies). I expect to be better very soon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

176.5: All I Had to Do Was...

I was 178 yesterday, which was OK (although I'd rather have been at 177) - so I set forth to get down to 177, and I did it (and then some). All I had to do was swim a mile, bike 18.6 miles, and run 7 miles (all yesterday evening) and just have a protein shake for dinner.

OK, I was better than it sounds (sort of). I had a great breakfast of Kashi cereal. I had a large lunch of pasta with meaty marinara sauce and then I cheated and had three awesome lemon cookies. Total awesomeness. I almost threw in the "eating right" towel then and there so I could eat more cookies. But alas, I held off and managed to limit the damage to something "moderate." Still disturbing that it takes so much to lose and so little to gain.

I also have re-started my consumption of soda - ugh. I'm not proud of that and I think know it hurts my athletic performance. Still, it does help me "get through" things at work. I know I can do those things without it - it's just a lame-ass crutch.

Today, I'd like to hold my weight. We'll see where this goes, I've been very hungry generally lately. Triathlon on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

176.5: Whoops

My plan worked to perfection and then some. I packed a bunch of good food to bring to work and it really helped because I felt hungry all day. I once again got on the scale not knowing what to expect and when I saw 176.5 I thought "whoops, I'm dehydrated." I'm tempted to hold onto it by slowly re-hydrating (gotta ponder that a bit).

The connection between stress and food or pop is omnipresent in my life and it's highlighting the fact that I experience stress more than I was aware. Given enough junk food and pop, I guess, I become less aware of it. That's a weird trade off, and not one I'm willing to make (entirely).

Exercise-wise, it's a taper week (except for running) so my overall workout load is less. I'm happy about that, but now have fewer calories to play with. Still, I need this week after three tough ones.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

177.5: Surprised

I had a really great weekend and on Monday (i.e., yesterday) was 178, but that was with some very serious working out. I guess I reaped some reward today. I honestly got on the scale thinking "I have no idea." My calorie count said I went 45 calories over, so it was anybody's guess. I'm surprised by 177.5.

In general, I find myself "slipping" more often - small slips. Ice cream here, pizza there. I'm not too fond of that and I'm not ready to give in. Today will be on track because I planned it that way - made my lunch last night and packed a lot of good things.

The good news is that my slips are small and my inspiration is big, so it's very easy for me to jump off (and more importantly back on) the right track. That's new for me and I'm not slipping entirely. The 177.5 is inspiring and it keeps me right where I want to be.

Time is going to be scarce today - trying to get in two workouts today could be tough. I'm still going to eat right though.

I'm not ready to back down.

Friday, August 19, 2011

178.0: Right On Track - I Suppose

I started this whole thing two weeks ago with a plan to lose one pound per week. I know I'm fully hydrated so 178 is a true number, which is 2.5 pounds lighter than when I started. I'm right on track I suppose. While it seems to me that I *should* (dangerous word there) have lost more, I'm content to have lost exactly what I planned because it means I'm eating enough. I feel good and I'm training hard (have enough energy), although I'm not sleeping altogether very well (maybe a little too much training).

As I said a couple of days ago, the frustrating thing is that I burn calories like there's no tomorrow but the effect is pretty minimal weight wise. I can't help but think much of this is perception; my perception of "good" and "disciplined" must still be pretty far removed from reality - because numbers don't lie. For now I'll keep plugging along because I know I'm doing the right thing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

177.0: Off The Wagon, But Not the Street

I was really pleased with today's weight - it only took four workouts the day before (and some disciplined eating). What was really cool is that after this morning's 1:52:00 bike ride, I was 174.5. I know, I know, it's artificial and I should avoid going up and down the roller coaster. But I was just down and am going to enjoy going up for a minute.

I've fell off the soda wagon - and while I'm a little disappointed, I'm not so much because the fact is, I haven't slept much this week and the pop really helped me get stuff done. The trick is to come off the sauce now. Still inspired, so I believe I'll come off again.

Despite the fact that I've fallen off the wagon, I'm still traveling down the street. I resisted my normal temptation to go off the reservation with that 174.5 number. I was very disciplined today with the exception of a small peanut butter sundae after my 30 minute hard run.

To me, this is disciplined:
  • 1 serving of Wheaties FUEL with skim milk (300 calories)
  • 1 CLIF bar (250)
  • Turkey breast on wheat (690 calories)
  • Sun chips (210)
  • Organic whole wheat penne, 3 servings (630 calories)
  • Chicken breast (275 calories)
  • Goldfish (140)
  • Peanut butter sundae (390)
  • Goal (start): +1680. Exercise: +2039: Food: -2886. Net: 847 (833 remaining)
Good day overall, but I guess tomorrow is a better indicator.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

179.0: To Be Expected - Determined

I knew today would not be 178 like yesterday, after my tacos and roasted almonds at the Lighthouse concert. That said, I was in a public place without Diet Coke or junk food. Bonus! I'm frustrated still by how easily my weight goes up but how hard it is to get it below 178, but I'm pretty determined.

My "nark" moment for today is that I had a sugar free Red Bull this a.m. - the concert kept me up way past my bedtime and then I couldn't sleep. Still, I had just that and some tea - no soda! I also did a very good job watching calories today.

I'm not going to weigh in tomorrow or post because I didn't work out today because of some cool work I'm doing with the American Cancer Society DetermiNation Detroit team. So while I hit my mark calorie-wise, I don't want to associate anything negative with doing the right thing in my life (while skipping working out). Plus, I'm gonna make up for it all tomorrow - believe that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

178.0: Good Weekend

I was away from a computer this weekend so I couldn't post, but I was close to swim/bike/run. The number says it all. I find myself just a little frustrated though because I worked very hard (five workouts between Saturday and Sunday) for a pretty small gain. Seems that calories tack on much more quickly then they burn off. We'll see tomorrow - had tacos for dinner and although the rest of my day was very good nutritionally, dinner was not so much. My net is really where I started; 180 +/- 2 pounds. Gonna keep my chin up and no matter what I weigh, I'm eating MUCH better and haven't had a Diet Coke in quite a while. #winning

I was also able to avoid having any junk food at work! That's a victory unto itself, but I can see this isn't going to be so simple. Should be interesting.

Gonna go run three miles. Until tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

179.5: A Mixed Bag

Happy with my weight, although it *might* be a little wrong. All the factors are in play, but none of them point consistently either way:
  • Very late night workout (lowers weight) - 1:45:00 that ended at 11:30 p.m.
  • Even later protein shake after workout (raises weight)
  • More than normal sodium (raises weight)
What does it all mean? Well, I'm not riding the roller coaster so it means whatever it means. What's important is that I had pizza and cheese sticks last night - not good - but I ate very well the rest of the day. Definitely a mixed bag. I

I plan to pay very close attention to calories this weekend since I won't weight myself again until Monday (going away). I have a 3 hour bike, 6 mile run, 2600m swim, and 8 mile run all on tap for the weekend (and another 2600m swim today).

The key is nutritional value and to be sure to replace calories.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

181.0: Discouraging But (Probably) Artificial

Today's weight is really a step back, although it's not for eating junk. I must've just eaten too much and not burned as much as I thought. Still, no matter what, it's hard to go from 178.5 to 181 in one day without any binges, so I figure it's artificial for some reason. That's what I really dislike about my weight; it just spikes or falls and although I'd like to say "for no reason," there IS a reason, I just don't know what it is. I suspect my real weight is 179 and my earlier-in-the-day workouts yesterday are the reason why my weight spiked. Tomorrow, my weight will be equally artificially low because today I'm working out much later than normal.

I most definitely couldn't satisfy my appetite yesterday but I tracked my calories and went over by one hard-boiled egg and some trail mix. I had some mini dill pickles and now that I think of it, the salt probably forced extra retained water. 

Today is another day, but it's an interesting one because I'm going to work (I've been on vacation), which should be interesting for the caffeine/soda deal (I didn't even have any caffeine yesterday). I'm also taking a biometric test at noon, which means I have to fast until noon. Bringing my lunch for the first time in a while.

Should be interesting.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

178.5: The Origin of Disfunctional Eating

I was feeling down a few days ago (just before starting this blog) about my eating habits. My completely amazing wife Jill reminded me of the origins of my eating "pattern," so here it is. Growing up, we were financially underwhelming as a family so if there was food, it wasn't the best. A normal dinner of ramen noodles, mac n cheese, frozen pizza, or canned chili usually sufficed. For a competitive swimmer (I started when I was seven), it wasn't the best. For a homo sapien, it wasn't he best. Actually, I don't think that diet work work for any living creature. I can remember many nights of popcorn for dinner after swim practice and having such envy for "regular people" who ate normal foods, as if I knew what that meant. To me salt is was like water. My brother and I used to PILE sugar on our sugared cereal. It was something to behold. At any rate, that's where I came from, so normal was far from normal.


Such a background is a crappy excuse, I know. I've known better for a really long time, and I chose (I chose) not to act on that knowledge. But one thing I know beyond question is that people can do anything. Anything. I can chose to eat Oreos, or I can choose to eat something healthy. Underlying the choice, however, are the feelings of emptiness, which I also have a choice to dismiss. When I exercise those choices, good things happen. It's all pretty simple really.

Yesterday was pretty incredible. I went out on a 3 hour bike ride, but felt so great at the halfway point that I continued on to get in an even 60 miles (3:30:00). Fifty of those were good, but the last 10 were some of the hardest miles I've ever ridden. Not nearly enough nutrition to pull me through (minus over 3,000 calories replaced by only 200 during the ride). Still, it was epic and I loved it. I had an artificial weight of 175.5 (down from 179 in the morning). It looks nice. I managed to replace most some of the calories and resisted the urge to "reward" myself with junk. BUT MAN I WANTED ME SOME MAC N CHEESE LIKE IT WAS MY JOB! The 178.5 may be a little artificial, but I definitely replaced fluids, so we'll see tomorrow. Swimming and running on tap today.

Time to move beyond who I was to who I am. It's a choice.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

179.0: Hit the Mark!

I had a dream last night that I was 177, but I couldn't really see the scale and the "1" was going on an off so I wasn't sure if I was 177 or 77. So much like real life - it seems that just when I get a handle, I get on the scale and I've gained 5 pounds. I was pretty sure things were going to be stable but I was also worried that my "off" day wouldn't go well. (To that end, I wound up running 3 miles with my awesome wife Jill.)

At any rate, the 179.0 is VERY good news because that 1.5 pound loss is staying. I'll lose some more weight today (although somewhat artificially) because I have a three hour bike ride, track running, and (maybe) swimming in store today. My goal today is to get in the necessary 5,000+ calories with something healthy. On the surface, that's definitely a gold-plated problem (i.e., eating that much). But for someone like me - who has such a close tie between horrible food and reward - it's a lot more difficult than it sounds.

Yesterday, I did something for the first time (maybe ever): went to a movie and didn't have anything other than ice tea (no massively salted buttered popcord and no large Diet Coke). WOW. Jill and I went out and had small custard cones afterwards, but I wasn't craving it (and it was within my caloric range for the day). Simple diet:
  • Wheaties FUEL (1 serving)
  • Chicken soup (lots of pasta)
  • Chicken breast, corn, whole grain rice
  • Trail mix
  • Small custard cone

Monday, August 8, 2011

179.0: Don't Step Back

I'm reasonably sure the 179 is stable, because even though I burned a lot of calories yesterday, I replaced most of them and I'm fully hydrated (well over 100 oz of H2O). It was another (mostly) healthy eating day - I did have organic pepperoni pizza for dinner. I think blogging about the cravings yesterday really helped because none of that came into play yesterday.

Today, however, is another story. Mondays are my day off from exercise (that's about to change by the way because of a marathon training program) so my caloric intake is going to be much less. My phone app tells me that I get 1690 calories. (By way of comparison, I consumed over 3500 calories yesterday.)

Probably going to do the Seattle (full) marathon - that changes my running workouts quite a bit (many more). Should really help me get (more) ready for the half in Detroit too.

Another good day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

180.0: Let the Craving Begin

It was just a matter of time, wasn't it? If you crave food the way I do, you know exactly what I'm talking about. That time when motivation inspiration gives way to a seemingly insatiable desire to EAT. Wow. It's as if part of my soul needs to have something terrible to be whole. How strange is that? I think it's so arbitrary too - I mean, what's the difference between an apple and a Double Stuf Oreo? (Apparently, to me, the difference is big humongous.)

Yesterday was an excellent nutrition day in spite of it all and my .5 lb weight gain was merely because I was catching up on over three hours of exercise the day before. I'm also having excellent liquid days (i.e., getting enough water, no soda). In the immortal words of Lady Gaga, I'm on the right track baby. Nonetheless, it's still only been a few days and the glimpse of the obsession yesterday is only a sign of things to come. Yesterday I thought about this blog, and the entire point of it all - that is, to fuel inspiration since I'd hate to let myself down and then have to nark. Yeah, would rather avoid that - at least for now.

Today is shaping up well - omlet for breakfast (resisted the temptation to drown my toast in butter - remember that PSA "Don't Drown Your Food'?). Planning a fairly big lunch because I'm gonna burn a lot of calories again today: 2100m swimming and a 10 mi run in the humidity.

Day three should be a good one.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

179.5: Watching Calories

I'm 179.5 - the first few pounds are always easy. One thing that's different is that my diet was balanced and I didn't crash diet (SlimFast is my idea of "balanced nutrition"). I should note that the 1600+ calories I BURNED yesterday (swim, bike, run) made it quite easy, but I didn't fill my caloric intake with a bunch of empty calories.
  • Wheaties FUEL
  • Protein shake
  • 3-egg cheese omlet
  • Trail mix
  • Pasta
  • Natural peanut butter on raisin english muffin
  • xting tea
No junk, although it wasn't all 100% natural (the pasta was a calorie filler, but not a bad one).

I was worried about getting enough calories, and I'm not altogether happy with losing an entire pound, but a pound means almost nothing because of the mystery of water. It was a better day, and that was the goal.

Biking and running today (another -1600 calories) - want to do a little more with balanced meals today (I should've had a meal with my shake for lunch yesterday).

179.5 - I emotionally view any weight for me less than 180 as a good thing, but I've been here many times. In fact, I know that 177 is right around the corner. Things have gone sideways at 175, because that's when I feel good, and the reward mechanism kicks in (along with the ice cream, Oreos, and such).

Today is a new day.

Friday, August 5, 2011


That's my weight today; 180.5. It fluctuates a couple pounds either way. That's the baseline, and has been consistent for about 10 months.

The weight itself is not important here - like any addictive type of behavior, it's the guilt and fear that goes along with it that matters. I know my diet can kill me, and it scares me. Despite being "in shape," (I'm in good shape) I still have these fears, and I don't think they're different from anyone else who struggles with diet. My saving grace is that I love to work out (no small grace).

I mention this link to any other person who struggles with diet because I frequently get (and add to) that I can eat whatever I want. The truth is, however, that I can't. I suppose I don't "deserve" any empathy because a drive to exercise and a fast metabolism are real gifts. The guilt is the same though.

I think The diet soda scares me more than the rest, but the rest is no picnic either. For example, yesterday alone I had a 12 oz sugar free Red Bull, four 20 oz diet sodas, a beef/sausage combo sandwich, a donut, pretzels with peanut butter, Wheaties FUEL (the only good food I ate all day), and some other junk I just can't recall. Not good, and there was no exercise (I was traveling).

Today is going to be better. Much better.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why Minus Ten?

In January, 2010 I weighted 205 pounds. I've been skinny thin most of my life but after 40 30, it all got a lot more difficult and (not coincidentally), my eating habits got horribly worse. I started a disciplined regimen of exercise at that same time that centered around triathlon (love cycling most of all) during which I shed 25 pounds to get to 180. But now I'm stuck and I know why.
I know that if I ate anything even close to healthy, I'd not only get to my ideal (in my mind) weight of 170 pounds, but I'd be far more competitive. That's why "minus ten."

The spark that triggered this blog was provided by my friends at Wheaties FUEL because they chose me to be a 2011 Team Wheaties FUEL Ambassador (1 of a 100) . I can't talk about, and be a part of, something like Wheaties FUEL without being genuine. I mean, it doesn't matter if I look fit if I eat like trash and am more well known for my love of cookies than athletics? (No, for real.)

So thus my quest begins and here are the goals:
  1. No more soda - I'm embarrassed to say how much diet soda I drink per day. I'm sure artificial sweeteners are safe, but I'm also sure that only applies to people who don't drink as much as I do.
  2. No more Drastically reduce sweets.
  3. Eat great foods (including Wheaties FUEL of course).
  4. Execute steps 1-3 for the duration, not for a day.
So what? These goals without a plan is a lot like saying I'm going to a millionaire without bothering to think about how I'd do that.Fail to plan, plan to fail (yadda, yadda). My plan is simple: document food and liquid consumption just as thoroughly as I document my workouts (http://www.mapmyride.com/profile/2540482/), count calories, and nark on myself here.
There you have it. It's out, it's public, and I can't take it back.
Game on.