Monday, December 28, 2009

Vacations and resolutions

The blog has been dark the past few days as I visited with in-laws in Wisconsin and ate my way to about a 10 pound gain (yep, last night the scale read 340). Nothing like Christmas holidays in the land of cheese, beef, and beer to expand the waistline. Of course, it was worth it to have a week to just enjoy yourself with family around you.

But now that we're back to reality, it's time to face some facts:

- Timberman is mere 235 days away. That may seem like a long time, but I'm going to need every bit of that time to get into a shape that will make competitive for anything other than last place.

- Lowell 1st Run is a mere 4 days away. I did 4 miles on Wednesday, and it feels like a month ago. So I'll be running every day this week to be ready. It's cold and windy out, but I'm still going to be shooting for a PR. (Sadly, anything under 1:25 is a PR). If I can just manage to run the whole thing, I should be able to PR. My previous 10ks were either walking or in the most recent Nike Human Race, a mix of running and walking.

- I have gained weight rather than losing it since starting the blog. While I have been training somewhat aggressively and probably gotten both stronger and faster, I'm not going to make real progress until the belly begins to recede. Sure, some of that is intentional lack of training during the holidays, but it's time to really get serious about making this a total body, no, total lifestyle transformation.

To that end, I am following the Weight Watchers protocol that I used to get down to the rotund shape I have managed to maintain for most of the past 2 years. If you aren't familiar with the current WW math, it's pretty straightforward. It's based on points. You get a certain number of points per day, based on your current weight. Points are really just calories divided by 50 so that people don't have to deal with big numbers every day. So a 600 calorie meal is 12 points (600/50). There are some additional pieces like every 12 grams of fat is 1 point. This means a 400 calorie meal with 36 grams of fat is the same amount of points (11) as a 600 calorie meal with only 12 grams of fat. There's also a modifier for how much dietary fiber a food contains. For every 5 grams of fiber, you get to subtract 1 point. It's really pretty simple once you get used to it.

The hard part is experiencing it after a period of eating whenever you feel like it. Because of the limitation on how much you can eat, even with proper food planning, you still wind up feeling hungry every day of the first couple weeks of the plan. It takes time for the body to adapt to having less food, and in that time, you can go a bit crazy fighting off the urges. Drinking more water helps, as does anything that takes up time (like blogging!).

I just try to remember a few things:

1. Hunger means it's working. If you're hungry, your body isn't burning your last meal for food anymore. It's burning other stuff, like protein and most importantly... fat!
2. Because your body tries to burn protein while you're adjusting your food intake to a healthier level, you need to make sure to work out so that the weight you lose isn't the muscle you need to perform better.
3. Eventually, I will get used to this level of intake and won't feel hungry.

I just hope eventually comes soon!

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