kinda blog.

5 hours 29 minutes ago

It's been over four weeks and basically a month-to-the-day since my last day of the great diet of 2023 and since I recorded a weight loss of almost 23 pounds. I figured that even though I probably won't add this post to the thread over there I should check in and add some notes about how things are going.

First, I've been running a lot. I mean, no really, a lot. I've been averaging 50km a week with my long distances touching close to a half marathon. Plus speed work and hill training and all the other stuff in between.

It's taken me a month to go back to eating normally. I think yesterday was only the second time I've eaten french fries since resuming my back-to-normal life and (a) it was a treat for a day off and a bunch of yard work and (b) every crispy bite still felt a little guilty.

All that said, the numbers have not only been holding steady they've continued to drop. If you asked me what my weight change was, as of a weigh-in not even an hour ago as of writing this, I'm down almost 26 pounds from back pre-diet. Yeah, that's another three pounds that I've shed. Some of that continues to be diet, but some of it is an increase in my activity, too. I've been very cautious about resuming normal eating, especially at first and those first couple weeks my numbers went completely flat as a I stopped "dieting" but still ate very healthy. The last couple weeks I've been a bit freer with my food choices, going out for crispy chicken and noodles or a curry box or steak last night on the bbq... but like I said, a bunch of running to supplement all that.

On a side note, folks are not too sympathetic when you grumble about not being able to sustain a certain weight and that "I just keep dropping, I don't get it!" ... "Um... shut up!"

Long story short, it's been a month and in that month I've run nearly 200km, dropped another three pounds, and haven't reversed or reverted or relapsed. May and June are looking to be active months, too, and though I have no idea what direction the scale will flow as summer arrives I can't help but have a lot more confidence that it's going to keep me in a zone that's where I want and need to be to marathon train through October.

4 weeks ago

My so-called diet ends at midnight tonight and with one last weigh in tomorrow morning I'll have whatever final number goes into my spreadsheet and tracking app and logs into my brain as my starting weight for a summer of marathon training.

All that said, I don't think that number is going to budge much from where it landed this morning and where "officially" still in the boundaries of said diet I'm going to call it and note it and write a short little epilogue to my blogging thread here.


How did it all pan out?

official weight change: -22.8 lbs
compared to original goal: 2.8 lbs better than planned
time spent: 66 days (or 9.4 weeks)
largest gap: -25.6 lbs (unofficial, highest/lowest weigh ins)
change in bmi: -3.2 points
change in body mass: -10.6%
change in pant size: -4 (36 to 32)

Some other subjective food notes worth pointing out...

breakfasts: variations on sourdough toast, jam, natural peanut butter, eggs, coffee, avoiding "dessert for breakfast" except for pancake Saturdays with the family

lunches: whole food approach including beans, fish, salad bowls, or small portion leftovers (when at home) or Subway, rice bowls, light sandwiches (when at the office)

suppers: modest portions of almost anything, including occasionally pizza, fried foods, etc. noting that the key here for me was portion control more than specific restrictions, rarely eating out (but not never eating out)

condiments: no cream-based or oil-based, only vinegar-based mustards or hot sauces
snacking: virtually none
desserts: limited to weekends or "special days"
alcohol: same as desserts, and at most two servings

Of course people who might want to follow this may also be interested to know that while I attribute the loss about 80/20 to food/exercise, I was ramping up to start a marathon training plan for the summer (read the other posts!) which undoubtably factored into the daily caloric calculation needs for my body.

distance run during diet: approximately 290 km
steps walked: approximately 1.2 million (no, really)
other activity: basic cross training, swimming, physiotherapy for my knee

I've false started on serious diet plans a half dozen times in the last ten years. Why this one worked this time, I don't know for sure.

Motivation for my race was definitely a factor, and being in a good place mentally and emotionally at the start of it certainly helped. Heck knows I had some trying days at work and with some personal stuff over the course of things, but I carried on with the momentum I had during those two months to see me through. It also helped that there wasn't much for big family meals or candy-focused holidays (save for Valentine's Day) during that span, and we only went out of town on a vacation once making meal planning at home and work the focus of the effort.

This was never meant to be an advice column for dieters though. Everyone is different. Everyone needs their own plan, but I'll go back to what I wrote in my much earlier posts at the start of this effort: in the end, all of this comes down to one thing... willpower. Every diet plan, every app, every club, every system that you might sign up for, pay for, subscribe to or join all boils down to just making good decisions 98% of the time for the duration of your effort. Those thing can help, if you let them, but in the end it's an agreement with you and your body to make those decisions consistently. Set a plan. Set a goal. Hack you own brain with shortcuts, lists, recipes, and a properly stocked pantry so that when those decisions need to be made they are easy (or already made for you in advance). And set a timeline. Don't diet forever. Set a date and go. And that's as close to advice as I'm going to give.

Thanks for reading.

1 month ago

I seem to have lost 20 pounds. If anyone finds it, please just keep it or throw it away. I don't want it back.

For multiple days in a row my morning weigh in has landed at or below my goal weight, so...

 my "confident to report" status is currently, happily, joyfully at… 20 down, 0 to go, and 7 days until my training starts.

Yeah, you're reading that right. Success has been found in twenty missing pounds.

Am I done?

Well, objectively yes. I've crossed the finish line and the race has been won. Hard fought. Two months of carefully planning every morsel of food that I eat and ramping up my running distance to accompany it. Objectively, if someone asked me how it all went, I'm going to say I did it. I lost it. I met and slightly surpassed my goal.

But am I done?

On the other hand, I have a few days left until Easter. My super-goal (the one in my head that I never mentioned here) was actually to lose 21.5 pounds. Why 21.5? A couple reasons. First, it gives me a little rebound buffer, which is something that I'm going to need to watch, track and guard against for the next month or so. But second, twenty-one point five is exactly ten percent of two hundred and fifteen, which was my official starting weight. So, to end this whole thing next week by saying I lost ten percent of my body weight... I'm a maths nerd, what can I say?

But really, am I done?

I'm going to have a minor cheat day today. Nothing crazy. Not a heaping hot fudge Sunday to finish of a bucket of fried chicken sort of cheat day. But I've got lunch plans and I'm going to eat semi-healthy but off-tracker. Second, since it's spring break we're going out to a movie tonight and I'll be damned if I skip the popcorn. So. A couple little things... and then back to it for just one more week.

And then?

Then training begins and the rebound-prevention plan begins and the spring and summer start to roll in and...

I did this whole thing to build a healthier starting point for a summer of marathon training. I knew I could not even entertain the idea of being in a "I'm on a diet" mindset while I was simultaneously training for and epic distance race like a marathon. No way. I would literally injure myself nutritionally. So, as I ramp up my distances towards twenty-plus klick runs, burning an extra two thousand calories in a morning run, I need to start consuming that to match.

I also want to start converting that calorie intake to muscle-first. I'm planning to start incorporating weight training into my general training plan. Lifting. Leg work. Upper body. Core! If I start to add weight again, I would prefer to guide it into the lean muscle mass category and not the flabby gut category.

So, I'm not done. This was the first step in an eight month training and rebuilding my entire fitness situation plan. And it seemed to have worked. Twenty pounds down. A couple more (and one last check in on this page) to go. And a lot of klicks to run before this is all over.

1 month ago

My graph, the chart I've created from all the data of my daily weigh-ins, is a scatterplot of a few dozen blue dots spread across nearly two months of tracking with a neatly sloping blue trendline down and towards my goal, that graph has error bars.

I write here and report numbers I'm confident that I've achieved, so when I write something like..

my "confident to report" status at… 17 down, 3 to go, and 16 days until my training starts...

...then that usually means that I've exceeded that goal for a few days in a row and the numbers on the aforementioned graph are all being plotted firmly below that horizontal axis line on the regular.

The point I'm trying to make, is that the data point I plotted this morning was (a) lower than my "17 down" number and (b) had error bars on it. Those error bars are now dipping below my final goal weight.

Or, in other words, within a statistical margin of error, literally, I'm getting ready to land this thing successfully: seats upright, table trays to their locked position, and time to gear down, folks, we're coming in for our final approach procedures.

And I have over two weeks left until my training starts (which is when the "diet" actually ends) so there is a very likely scenario where we not only land but drive this plane right to the front door of the hotel for some extra points.

And it's starting to show, to be honest.

My wardrobe is temporarily doubled because all the too-tight clothes fit again and my larger, formerly-just-right gear is baggy but doesn't look too out of place with my late-winter, early-spring gear. Summer will be a different matter.

A jacket I bought about six years ago and then promptly "outgrew" during one of my stressful phases, fits almost perfectly now.

The metaphorical cat is out of the bag, and people have made comments about "looking thinner" and "your face is skinnier" even just this past weekend.

And I've been feeling a lot lighter on my feet was I go out and break through some of my milestone training distances as I work on my pre-season training build up to training-proper.

There have been as many false starts over the years as there are years, but 2023 seems (knock on wood!) to have been a good year... so far.

Now, I just don't want to crash this plane with a mere two weeks to go. Focus!

1 month ago

Back earlier in the year I made a lot of plans and set a lot of goals.

One of those goals was to log three and a half million steps in 2023.

I have been meeting (and by all accounts regularly exceeding) that goal and the milestones needed to reach it.

So I thought it worth noting, simply, that today on my St. Patrick's Day lunch walk with the dog (a) knowing what my total steps-to-date was as of yesterday and (b) knowing what number of steps I needed today to hit the one million mark, that about five minutes from home the dog and I took step number 1,000,000 for 2023.

Not bad for a quiet Friday afternoon in March, huh?