Thursday, December 18

Share the Wisdom Wednesdays (on Thursdays): Part Seven

Part Seven?  I know.  I'm amazed myself.

Weight loss.  It's often a part of getting ready for the "season."  There's lots of click-bait articles that get shared on Facebook and the like that offer tons of advice.  Most are worthless or just plain common sense (or both).  I'm going to share with you how I lose weight... for no real reason at all.  Not saying my methods are healthy, smart or something you should do.  Just how I get it done.

Keep in mind, my weight fluctuates almost as much as the stock market.  In a ten month period, I've been as low as 123.4lbs and as high as 145lbs+ (I say "plus" as I passed out before I could read to the right of the decimal point).  This would probably be considered unhealthy, but so is me staring at a monitor writing this and you staring at a monitor reading it as well.

Step one of the Team Dicky/Bad Idea Racing weight loss program (with other unnumbered steps to follow):

Prepare myself to be very sad.  For a long time. A very long time.

All that extra weight didn't settle in overnight.  It took months to gain it, and it will take months to lose it.  The sooner I get comfortable with the fact that life is going to suck, the better.  This is going to be a long term commitment, and the "one day at a time" mentality has to go.  I live in America, and food is all around me.  Opportunities for failure abound, and I just have to face it that food is no fun anymore.

One minute at a time.


I start with a thorough draining of my bladder and a weigh-in.  Knowing that I've improved or somehow screwed up is powerfully motivating either way it goes.   Stagnation is crushing though.  I do it anyways... partially because the fat monitoring aspect of my scale lets me know if I'm screwing up with my hydration levels.

Decreased weight + increase in fat % = thirsty 

One French press of coffee and two organic toaster pastries for breakfast at 6:30-7:00AM.

400 calories plus a little for the small amount of creamer I put in my first cup of poop juice.  Not the best way to start the day, but oatmeal doesn't do it for me anymore, toaster pastries taste good with coffee, and this might be the most irresponsible thing I allow myself to eat all day.

Ride to work.  Roughly 6 miles, 1.5 of it being a shit stain urban sprawl, going mostly downhill and holding back The Fastest Bike in the World at the 7,000 intersections and driveways while looking over my shoulder.  Hardly building fitness or burning calories, but it's the off-"season," and I'm not building fitness.  I'm just getting to work.

I'm at work.  Some days, I ride a lot.  Some days, hardly any.  I can never predict how much I will ride or how many calories I will burn.  Whatever.   I try to stay hydrated no matter what.  Either water or diluted Gatorade... more than a quart but not more than two.  Hydration is key, especially if I'm still factoring beer consumption into all this weight loss stuff.

I postpone "lunch" as long as I can, somewhat comfortably.  I can usually make it until 12-1:00PM.  When I do eat, it's a cup of Greek yogurt.  Not much more than 100 calories, but a whopping serving of protein... because those toaster pastries weren't filled with steak.   Then that's it.  Of course, Greek yogurt is killing the earth.  Nothing good comes without a price.

Around 2-3:00PM, the sads set in.  I'm hungry, but I like to think of it as a form of meditation.   Deep breaths and think about something else until the ride home at 5:02PM... which is 7+ miles... I like this way home better than the other options, so yes, it's longer than my way in.

Then things get difficult.  If I'm helping with meal prep, the desire to nibble is strong.  Also, I like to drink beer when I'm using a knife to cut things.  Starting with beer at 5:45PM is a sure way to drink more beer more later.  I just have to say "no" to all the things... some of my favorite things.

Meal time.  Whatever The Pie and I have made together (or she made before I got home) will be something I like... dare I say "love?"  Our dinners usually lean towards healthy, one of the benefits of living with a vegetarian.  I'll still want to eat all the things until there are no more things, and I'm perfectly capable of doing so.  It's my modus operandi, but I can't let it happen.

I need to think it out when I dish out my serving.

"What would a normal person put on this plate?"

I end up with a serving that looks like Red Pollard's plate in Seabiscuit when he decides to starve himself for his comeback.

Then I have to make the food last... chewing and stuff.  Looking up from the plate, making eye contact, talking to my family.  Civil, normal people stuff.  Generally not my forte.

And when that plate is empty, that's it.  No "one for me, one for the Tupperware" spoonfuls as I deal with the leftovers... assuming there is any.   No "what else is in the cupboards?"  Nothing.

Then I have to think about beer.  Do I want one?  Two?  How bad?

I'm smart enough to know that each and every beer is gonna be @200 calories.  It's also gonna slow down my metabolism, dehydrate me, and mess with my REM sleep.   I can (and do) ignore these downsides on a regular basis, but hopefully all the forced suffering I've done throughout the day adds just enough guilt to make me feel invested enough in the effort to turn around and walk away from the fridge empty handed.

Before I head to bed, I should be feeling the "meditative state" (hunger) coming on again.  This is a sign that I made it through a whole day without screwing up... at least that's what I tell myself to feel better about what I'm doing to my body.

During this entire period of weight loss, junk food just has to be ignored.  I can't eat "just one" cookie or a handful of chips.  I'm an all-or-nothing kinda guy, so the only option here is nothing.  Sucks, but since I prepared myself to be sad, it's a bit easier than normal.

I don't consider beer an absolute, goal-crushing enemy, but I have to be less cavalier than normal with my consumption.  I'm not going all-or-nothing when it comes to drinking beer.  I pick something between the all or nothing once in a while without too much guilt.  A man can live without cookies and chips, but I think I saw something on the Discovery Channel that said a man can only live without beer for three days.  That mighta been on Facebook.  Whatever.  Science.

Weekends are the worst.  Without structure and things to keep me busy, my successes may be limited by my personal proximity to the kitchen.  Worse still, a planned four hour ride in Pisgah might turn into a five hour day in the woods with two and a half hours of actual riding followed by a burrito the size of my head that I refuse to only eat half of and save the rest for later due to my issues with styrofoam and my own lack of planning (bring Tupperware, dumb ass).  Add in a pleasant game of "I bet we can stay ahead of the delivery of tortilla chips until our food comes," and one bad weekend can ruin a week's worth of efforts.

Of course, all of this would be much easier if I could sense the tangible and very direct relationship from the impulse of the moment to meeting some kind of goal in the long term.  I don't do that very well, probably because I lack the "goal" part of the equation.  Some years, I can pull it off, but others...

I can start every day with great intentions only to convince myself that tomorrow would be a better day to start this insanity... and that's how I come into late March at least ten pounds heavier than I want to be, trying to add saddle time and still drop weight (and stay healthy).

The Keith Bontrager 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that when one wants three things, one can only have 66.6% of those things... because... burrito.

"Train hard, lose weight, stay healthy...  Pick two." ~ Keith Bontrager: Nutrition Scientist/Burrito Engineer

So maybe I should not worry about weight at all, but it does give me something to fixate on... you can only buy so many crabon widgets for your bike.


Take all that for what it's worth, which is very little, but still redeemable for a Wendy's Frosty.*

And just in case Selene made it this far:

*At participating locations


Anonymous said...

But it is my job to make snacks. How can you help me Dear Dickey?

Fat Buck.

Fatty said...

It's like you're me. Or a tinier facsimile thereof.

Max Smith said...

It's comforting to know that even "world class" athletes struggle with diet in the same way as I. I do great all throughout the day until about 7pm, then it was all for not most nights. Yesterday's battle was lost to a box of graham crackers and a glass of milk.

Anonymous said...

The trials and tribulations of a former world champion. I think you should have gotten an official sponsor after that title . . . . like Trek or Cannondale.