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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

Independent Contractors = Oppressed or Liberated?

I was reading an article the other day about how realtors aren’t sufficiently educated when they get licensed. Seeing the things my wife – a realtor – has done over the years I found the article to be less than persuasive. That it was written by an appraiser, a field loaded with people the depths of whose incompetence I’ve heard wonderful tales over the years, made it less so. But that’s not really what I was going to write about today.

After reading the article I made the mistake of wading into and reading the comments. This is almost never a good idea and more so when the commenters have no idea what they’re talking about. In this case there was a lot of discussion on how realtors (and magically not appraisers) were somehow responsible for the housing bubble & its resulting troubles. People suggested that banks should employ brokers instead of them being independent for some (almost certainly) stupid reason. And a lot of people thought that realtors were mistreated by their management because they’re often hired as independent contractors rather than employees.

One thing I didn’t know before marrying a realtor was how the whole independent contractor thing works. I’m betting most other people don’t either because it’s not something they tend to run across. Basically most realtors are really self employed, even when they have remax or century 21 on their signs. This means they (usually) only get paid on what they sell and Remax or Century 21 don’t take taxes out of their pay. They also don’t tend to get employer-provided health insurance or any other real benefits that most Americans expect for full time work in this day and age.

At first it seems crazy, like the idiot comments make good points. Their employers don’t provide insurance or a 401k? Nazis. No paid vacation or sick leave? They probably have handlebar mustaches and tie pretty girls to railroad tracks and run around with fully loaded burlap sacks with dollar signs on them too.

Then I actually thought for a second and my outlook changed a lot. Maybe being the tech and finance guy for a real estate company and being married to a successful broker influences my attitude, I don’t know. But it seems to me that companies like ours are among the few in this country that actually treats its people like responsible, independent adults.

Seriously, why should your employer buy you health insurance? Or finance your retirement? Or pay your taxes for you*? If he or she does it’s nice of him or her, but nowadays if s/he doesn’t you we see outraged comparisons to silent movie villains.

* – I understand that in most cases income tax withholding is the law, which in my opinion is one of the most brilliant and evil things our government has ever done. If people had to do their taxes like we do every quarter/year, there’d be blood in the streets.

Independent contacting has its advantages too. You don’t have set hours to work, or set days. If you want to take a week off your “boss” – such as he or she is, can’t really do anything about it assuming your contact doesn’t say otherwise. You can make a ridiculous amount of money if you work hard enough and do your job well enough. But ultimately it’s on you and you alone. And that seems to be a rare thing in this country.

Please don’t take this to denigrate the great majority of people who work jobs with benefits. I’m not criticizing them at all. It’s the system. As with income tax withholding, the state of employer/employee relations in this country is how it is in many ways because of stupid decisions by governments past. If the government in the 40s hadn’t created wage caps for businesses, the businesses wouldn’t have started offering health insurance to their employees in lieu of added pay. At the time it could’ve been done away with but by this point it’s expected. I just think it’s kind of dumb. Why not expect your boss to buy your food too, while you’re at it?

That’s all. Feel free to disagree. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and yours is probably really stupid.

I Watched Hockey Today

canada_flagI watched Women’s hockey, of all things. The nice thing about women’s hockey is there doesn’t really seem to be an equivalent to the missed layup which basically kills women’s basketball for me (also Ohio State men’s basketball this season.)

And what happened? Our team didn’t win. The dirty Canadians won. You know, America’s hat. Michigan’s Michigan. You may remember our feature on their maple syrup-odorous nation from years ago. Little has changed since then. They still like hockey and putting gravy on their french fries, and we still enjoy pretending to be them when we travel overseas because no one wants to kidnap and hold a Canadian hostage.

USA! USA!

But back to hockey. The biggest disappointment of today’s game, aside from the final score, was how there are rules in women’s hockey against checking and apparently, most all hitting. In other words, they took hockey and got rid of the interesting parts.

Lesson learned.