When the scale is not being your friend

The expectation

Last week was week 2 of my effort to lose around 80 lbs. Week 1 was great, I lost 4.5 lbs and I thought that I could probably lose another 3 lbs in week 2. I did everything correctly. I kept my calories in check and averaged about 1800 per day. I also did 2 workouts a day averaging about 800 cals burned (500 in the morning and 300 in the evening).

The math

So assuming that my TDEE (https://tdeecalculator.net) is 2312 and I am eating 1800, I should have a 3500 calorie deficit from eating alone. If we add in 800 cal workouts each day, I will be at a 9100 calorie deficit ((7 * 800) + 3500 = 9100.). We know that a 3500 calorie deficit should equal one pound of weight loss. So I should be roughly 3 pounds lighter when I hit the scale.

The reality

I stepped up on my scale after that great week of hitting it hard and found that I had only lost 1lb. I was expecting to weigh around 271.5 but saw 273.5. Sure. I was happy that I lost a pound but I will admit that I was pretty disappointed. Even 2 pounds would have been nice. What do I have to do to lose this weight?

The response

There are 3 ways that I can respond to this.

I could change my diet and try a low carb or clean eating diet. I could also lower my calories. I really can’t add too much more exercise because I am about at the time limit that I can take without sacrificing work and family life. This is something that I have done many times in the past and I think we know how that turned out.

I could just quit… Perhaps I am just destined to be fat? This is something else that I would have done in the past. But when I start all over again in a few months or next new years, I will probably wish that I just kept going.

I can push through and keep going. This is probably the last thing that any of us want to do. But it is the best thing given that the math is supposed to work out and it is something that I feel that I can stick to for a long time. I could eat healthier and I will eventually but the best diet is the one that you can stick to and this is mine, for now.

Final thoughts

The fact is that we just can’t predict how our bodies are going to respond each week to our workload and food intake. All we can control is how much and what we eat and how much we workout. 80lbs didn’t just magically appear and it will not just magically disappear. We just have to know that we are doing the right thing and keep going. I can almost guarantee that I will look back at this in a few months and be very happy that I did not give up or make any snap decisions. So we will see in a few weeks how this is going and if it doesn’t change by then I will make a decision on where to go next. But I need to give it time.

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Fat Leading The Fat: The Blame Game Is Just Plain Lame, Dane!

My daughter approached me earlier today and asked me to fix her toy. This newly acquired toy is a blonde Barbie (real original, right?) with a white horse. The horse sports a pink rubber saddle that Barbie can be placed on. The reason I was mandatorily-volunteered to 'repair' this equestrian play-thing was that Barbie would not remain seated while my daughter played with her. I was able to refrain from scolding Barbie for being so rude while I tried to decode the leg-straps I just discovered in that moment.

Hunched over, I frustratingly manipulating my own fingertips as if they were a couple of nineteenth century surgical robots. My daughter repeatedly sighed while muttering "I just don't know". She also began to pace like a mother waiting on the results of her child's surgery. FYI: I hate performing tiny tasks that aren't raised to a pleasant working height with adequate lighting. The feeling of curling over, hunching down, and having both hands work closely together undoubtedly annoys me. That being said, I did resolve the issue by placing Barbie onto the saddle with her legs snugly held by the straps.

I was feeling a bit vindictive. My daughter obviously didn't feel the gravity of the situation as intensely has she had communicated with her words, sounds, and her actions. This annoyed me during and after the 'repair'. She learns this behavior from my beautiful, wonderful, amazing, and only sometimes dramatic wife. That's not to say that my daughter doesn't exhibit bad behaviors from me, but for some reason whenever anything can be my wife's fault, I go with that option. I lovingly texted my wife the following:

I ALWAYS take advantage of the opportunity to blame someone else or something else, especially my wife.

For the record, my wife wasn't feeling well that day. She had some episodes of mild nausea and a husband who sometimes forgets to stop pointing fingers. Any disappointed noises she made that day were because of this.

People reliably look for someone or something to blame whenever there is a problem. It absolves us of responsibility and of guilt. In regards to weightloss, I have historically blamed stress, workloads, my home environment, timing, the alignment of the planets, pizza, genetics, holidays, family, commercialism, hallmark, you name it and I blamed it!

Blaming externally instead of taking responsibility steals from you your individual sovereignty and the potential for an upgrade to your internal software. Every time we fail, take responsibility, and learn from it we are essentially writing a patch for our internal software. Some of us unfortunately never make it past version 1.0.

Something I have been making a point to attempt do in the last few years is recognize what is my fault and taking responsibility for my choices and actions.

I urge all of us on this journey for self-improvement to toss blame out of the window and swallow a big heaping helping of responsibility. I am where I am because of the person I've chosen to be, and even though it is not bad it could certainly be better. My next major 'patch' needs to be a physically healthy version of me.

So I say everyone, especially in today's hyperbolic and hyper-sensitive culture, should make an effort to take personal responsibility over themselves, identify failures, and write a new patch so they can develop a better version of themselves.

....Or we could continue on, wear down our floors, and possibly die early. Who knows. I at least want to spend a some amount of time being a healthy weight to see what all of the fuss is about.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Happy Losing!

- Mark

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