February 10, 2015

SBSAFFF Challenge – Update

You’ll notice that I stopped posting last April. It wasn’t because I fell off the wagon, or back on the wagon, or whatever wagon-related metaphor applies to this kind of thing. I had some things happen in real life that kind of sapped my interest in writing. To be honest, it’s surprising that it’s been since April that all that business happened – seems like it wasn’t that long ago. And it’s been a year since I started this journey. I mean it’s not really been a journey because I’m still pretty much in the same place as I was this time last year. I’m just 15% less massive than I was then.

I can proudly state that I was able to stick with the SBSAFFF challenge through college football season and the holidays without too much incident. I haven’t yet reached my ultimate weight-loss goal but I’m definitely in a better position, health-wise, than I could say at this time last year (or the year before, or the year before that, etc.)

Some things I’ve learned in the process:

  1. You gotta take a break from the grind from time to time. We went on a trip for about a week in the fall and I basically stopped tracking and ate whatever I wanted. I repeated this process over Christmas and New Year’s. Sure, I put on a couple pounds in the process each time, but it was really nice to just cut loose. The ultimate goal of this challenge has always been a healthier lifestyle and a happier day-to-day existence, so if I have to delay hitting my ultimate goal so I can have some Gold Star coneys in Ohio, it’s worth it. To be honest I expected (and prepared myself for the possibility) that I would gain a lot more weight in those times and I really didn’t, so there’s that too. As Andrew Jackson said, taking a week or so to just relax and eat really terrible food from time to time can be invigorating.
  2. The Fitbit/myfitnesspal combination seems to work really well if I’m actively exercising on a daily basis or close to it. When I’m actually sedentary, sitting on my ass on a daily basis as is occasionally my habit, it hasn’t been so accurate. This probably has something to do with my metabolism or enzymes or whatever’s in the yogurt Erin Andrews hocks in those awful commercials. Whatever.
  3. Weighing yourself every day is bad for the process because it makes it easy to get disheartened but it’s really hard not to, especially if you’ve lost weight a couple days in a row.
  4. The new Fitbit Charge HR is pretty awesome. I like being able to check steps/heart rate/floors climbed without opening a web browser or my phone. The heart rate monitor seems to track about 10% higher than reality, according to an extremely non-scientific test we did at my doctor’s office yesterday afternoon. Still, it’s data and knowing the margin for error makes it a little more useful. I’m concerned that it’s letting me eat more calories than it should be, but that goes back to my suspicion that Fitbit and myfitnesspal aren’t really good at establishing a baseline metabolic rate for people.
  5. Drinking water is always a good idea. Even if you don’t see weight-loss benefits from it you really will feel better. If you don’t I’ll give you your money back from reading this post.
  6. None of this will work if it’s half-assed. If you’re really interested in seeing results you have to track everything you eat and stay within your bounds according to your goal. It sucks sometimes but that’s really the only way this particular method will work.

The point is, it’s been going well, in case anyone was curious. And you’re about to see how well.

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week 52 (!)

Weight as of 2/10/14: 254.9 lbs
Weight as of 2/10/15: 206.2 lbs
Total loss: 48.7 lbs
Goal for 2/17 (adjusted): 205.2 lbs
Thoughts: For the next couple of weeks I’m going to change up my workouts, riding the bike for shorter periods but more intensity. We’ll see if that makes any difference. I even thought about running once or twice. Then I laughed.

April 27, 2014

Still Going

I realized I didn’t make an SBSAFFF challenge post last week, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t weigh in, etc. I’m just lazy. Any of my loyal reader will know that I go through these stretches from time to time.

The nice thing about changing a calorie goal from losing 2 pounds a week to 1.5 is you get an extra 250 calories a day. Man, does that make a difference.

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week 10

Weight as of 4/15: 229.5
Goal for 4/21: 228
Weight as of 4/21: 227.7
Total loss: 28.4 lbs
Goal for 4/28 (adjusted): 226.2

April 15, 2014

SBSAFFF Challenge – Stage 1 Summary

As they would say on one of a hundred terrible reality shows that I don’t watch yet somehow have managed to seep their crappy dialogue into my subconscious, what a journey it’s been. If you recall from my original post back in Feburary, this effort was to be broken into four 12-week segments where I’d lose 2 pounds, then 1 1/2, then 1, then 1/2 per week.

Well, I finished Stage 1 three weeks early. Which is nice. Now instead of eating 1500 calories a day or so, I get to eat 1750 or so. It doesn’t sound like much – it’s the same as one can of soda or so, but for some reason it makes a really big difference.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to be transitioning from hardcore weight loss into a more balanced approach of weight loss and weight maintenance. It will be interesting to see how the next couple of months work out.

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week 9

Weight as of 4/7: 231.5
Goal for 4/14: 229.5
Weight as of 4/15: 229.5
Total loss: 25.5 lbs
Goal for 4/21 (adjusted): 228

April 7, 2014

One Downside of Trying Not to Be a Fatty Anymore: The Wall

So every time I’ve done this I have hit a wall where it seems like no matter what I do I can’t lose weight. This must be what it feels like to be a chick.

I’ve definitely hit that point the last couple weeks.  The reason I didn’t record a weight last Monday was because the scale said I’d gained five pounds and I found it a little hard to believe. Sure enough, the next day I was right at…the same weight I’d been for the last two weeks.

And I’m still there. The worst part is that I’m less than two pounds away from my goals adjusting to losing 1.5 pounds a week instead of two. Which means an extra 250 calories a day. But I’ve been within 3 pounds of that weight for almost a month now, it seems.

Ugh. Well, this is the trade-off for losing four pounds a week at the beginning of all this.

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week 8

Weight as of 3/24: 234.3
Goal for 3/31: 232.3 (230.3 for 4/7)
Weight as of 4/7: 231.5
Total loss: 23.4 lbs
Goal for 4/14 (adjusted): 229.5

March 31, 2014

SBSAFFF Delayed

I’m not going to post an update today like I usually do. Just need to look into some things and figure them out.

Hopefully that was vague enough.

March 24, 2014

Welp.

I have been thinking for a while that I was due to hit that point where I stop losing weight so quickly. Looks like this week was the beginning of that. We will see if it continues or if it’s just a blip.

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week Six

Weight as of 3/17: 235.2
Goal for 3/24: 233.2
Weight as of 3/24: 234.3
Total loss: 20.7 lbs
Goal for 3/31 (adjusted): 232.3

March 17, 2014

Disclaimers and Such

The following is probably unnecessary, but many of the things we do in life tend to be that way.

Just because the method I describe in this series works for me doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone. There is a class of people who seem to think we know and understand a lot more about the human body and its biology than we actually do. Here’s the thing: if there were a weight loss strategy that worked equally well for everyone there’d be a lot fewer infomercials.

Most people accept that burning more calories than you take in leads to weight loss, but the details are where disagreements seem to happen. Also it’s pretty unhealthy to lose as much weight as I have as fast as I did this time and in the past. But to me being a giant tub of lard seems unhealthier.

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week Five

Weight as of 3/10: 238.5
Goal for 3/17: 236.5
Weight as of 3/17: 235.2
Total loss: 19.8 lbs
Goal for 3/24 (adjusted): 233.2

March 10, 2014

The Wonders of the Human Metabolism

It’s amazing. On Sunday evening I weighed myself and weighed in at 243 pounds or so. This would have been a two pound gain since last Monday, in essence, a waste of two weeks’ time.

I didn’t freak out though, because experience tells me that I can lose up to seven pounds just sleeping. I tend to weigh 5-7 pounds more in the evening than I do in the morning. It seems like a huge amount of variability but it’s no joke.

My recommendation of the week is for you to weigh yourself in the morning before breakfast, because that’s probably as light as you’re gonna be that day. Then make sure to weigh yourself around the same time of day every time. If you don’t you’re not really learning as much about your progress as you may have thought.

Imagine having your goals based on your weight at seven o’clock in the morning one week and then weighing yourself the following Monday at seven o’clock at night. You might have “gained” five pounds, which would probably be a bummer. But did you really gain that weight? Not necessarily.

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week Four

Weight as of 3/3: 241.6
Goal for 3/10: 239.6
Weight as of 3/10: 238.5
Total loss: 16.5 lbs
Goal for 3/17 (adjusted): 236.5

March 3, 2014

Faturday’s All Right For, Well, Everything

There is one thing I forgot to mention last week when I was discussing my strategy when trying to become 80% of the man I was. It is something that makes it possible for someone like me to embark on an extended diet modification. By someone like me of course I mean someone who really enjoys eating things that are just awful for you.

I speak, of course, of Faturday. Once a week I take a break from maintaining a strict caloric limit and just eat whatever I feel like eating. There’s a risk of binging but it hasn’t become an issue in my past attempts. I think this time around I’ve found a couple ways to make Faturday work even better than it has in the past*.

* – I only bring up the past because I want to remind all of my reader that I’ve lost 30+ pounds using this method on several prior occasions. I may not have the “keeping it off” part figured out, but I do know how I lose weight.

In the past I have just eaten whatever I felt like on Faturday and didn’t track it or anything. While it didn’t have any adverse effects on the weight loss process, it did, I think, give me some bad habits. Rather, it didn’t allow me to fully develop a good habit. Since I was only tracking my food 6 days a week I never got to the point that tracking was just what I did, and so eventually I just stopped and didn’t feel like anything was missing.

This time around I’m tracking what I eat on Faturday which can be a little disturbing. Yesterday, for example, I ate about double what I usually do on a non-Faturday, calorie-wise. But man was it good.

The other thing I’ve tried which I think makes negligible difference except psychologically is try to keep my total weekly calories under or at least close to my goal for the week. Most days I am under my target by a couple hundred calories and by Faturday I end up with a weekly deficit much larger than what is necessary for hitting my weight loss goals. If I stay under my weekly goal (which is currently 7000 calories fewer than I need to maintain my weight) whatever I’m under gets added to what I can eat on Faturday. And it usually ends up being a much larger number than I’m going to eat even if I do go full Jabba.

So that’s Faturday for you. If you’re a big fat fatty who really likes eating, knowing it’s less than a week away can help get you through the times when you’re just starving and want nothing more than to drink a giant glass full of gravy.

You guys want do that sometimes too right?

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week Three

Weight as of 2/24: 244.5
Goal for 3/3: 242.5
Weight as of 2/17: 241.6
Total loss: 13.3 lbs
Goal for 2/24 (adjusted): 239.6

Thoughts: Although I haven’t quite hit it yet, I’m pretty sure I’m soon going to to get into the weeks where I struggle to hit my goals. Fortunately I have about a seven pound buffer which is nice. Still, the next few weeks are really where the grind of this starts happening. The nice thing is I’m more acclimated with exercising daily so I can start pushing it more than I could three weeks ago.  So…good times. Wish me luck!

February 24, 2014

5 Things I Do To Be a Slightly Less Fat Fatty

Apologies for the cheesy, linkbaity headline but I thought it would be funny.

Some of the multitudes thousands hundreds dozens pairs of people who read this have asked me what my method is in the Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge. At first I just kind of shook off the idea of my having a method and oversimplify it to “I eat less.”

While that is the essence of what I’ve been doing, what follows is a slightly more detailed list of what I do when I’m in Stop Being Fat mode versus Keep Being Fat mode.

  1. I keep track of what I eat and drink. I use MyFitnessPal (username baconninja16 if you wanna add me) to track what I eat and what I burn as well as setting my calorie goals. I used Livestrong’s MyPlate app when I lost 45 lbs a couple years ago and it (obviously) worked pretty well too.  I prefer MyFitnessPal mainly because it seems like their food database is better and they offer really good integration with the other stuff I use, such as:
  2. I keep track of what I burn. I had a Fitbit One last year but I lost it mowing the lawn and I lost its replacement in a Home Depot parking lot. It comes with a little clippy that holds it in your pocket but over time the thing just doesn’t grip as well. Now I have a Fitbit Flex which has the same app interface on my phone but is a wristband. Which means I don’t lose it. Which is nice. The Fitbit Force looks pretty cool and I wish that had been out when I got my Flex but apparently it can cause a rash so maybe I’m glad it wasn’t. The nice thing about these products is that they keep track of how much activity I actually partake in on a daily basis. So I set my activity level on myFitnessPal to Sedentary which sets my calorie goal at the absolute minimum and then I get more calories to eat as I exercise, even if that exercise is pretty mundane physical activity.
  3. I don’t drink many – if any – calories. For me cutting out soda was huge the first time around. I used to drink a case of Mountain Dew a week at times and that’s just really, really awful for you on many levels. But I hardly ever drink fruit juices or even milk, which I love. The reason is that drinks don’t tend to be very filling and I need all the calories I can get for my food intake, especially early in the process like this.
  4. I hardly ever drink alcohol.  Which kind of sucks. We used to joke that having a degree from Ohio State no matter what your major is you get an honorary minor in alcoholism. But I’ve found that if I have more than a drink or two in a night – even if I have the calories for it – I just make zero progress at all. It’s probably a water-retention thing or something. I don’t know – I’m not a scientist.
  5. I try to get some exercise every morning. I’m a really lazy non-morning person and if there were no consequences I’d sleep as late as possible every day, do what I absolutely have to do in the morning, and then go back to sleep until sometime in mid-afternoon and stay up until sometime after midnight. But I function relatively well (maybe 90-95%) if I wake up an hour earlier than I have to and get on the exercise bike for half an hour, stretch, and take a nice long shower. The nice thing is that allows me to start off with a couple hundred extra calories. Being someone who really enjoys food, especially food that’s bad for me and loaded with calories, that’s important.

So that’s about it. I think. I’ll add more if it occurs to me.

Bacon Ninja’s Stop Being Such a Fat Fatty, Fatass Challenge

Week Two

Weight as of 2/17: 252.9
Goal for 2/124: 246.7
Weight as of 2/17: 244.5
Total loss: 10.4 lbs
Goal for 2/24 (adjusted): 242.5

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