February 12, 2014

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

A couple years ago my mother came out to Colorado to watch our kids while we went on a work trip. When we got back, we were all sitting in the living room talking and my mom stopped for a second and just said “You look so much like my dad.”

I’m not sure if it’s my hairline that made her say that or if I really do look like him – I don’t remember my grandfather as a young or even middle-aged man – he was probably in his early fifties when my first memories of him were formed. For some reason though, what she said shook me a bit, because one thing that I remember very clearly about grandpa was that he was diabetic. When my parents got married he was a pretty heavyset fellow, odd for someone who was 6’4″ and 135 pounds when he was in the Army Air Corps during WWII. By the time I knew him he was skinny and frankly, pretty cranky. I don’t really remember a lot of details beyond that.

Except his feet. Because of the diabetes his feet were all jacked up, to use a medical term. He wore special shoes and generally looked miserable when moving around. Odd that more than fifteen years after he passed away one of my lasting memories of the man was his feet.

Having just returned from Mexico and having the opportunity to see myself in swimwear I was already aware that I’d put on a few (dozen) extra pounds since I’d been younger. Something about being compared to my grandfather struck a chord with me though and the next day I began watching what I ate and exercising more regularly. By August, less than six months later, I weighed around 208 pounds – having lost around 45 – and was feeling great.

Then I went to Vegas for a week. And came home for two weeks and then went to Vegas again for a couple of days. By October I’d gone back up to almost 240. So I started tracking my food again and by the following June I was down around 210 again.

Then we went to Mexico for a week, and I stopped tracking everything. By my 36th birthday I weighed 255 pounds, as much as I ever have and the same that I weighed when I first freaked out about becoming my grandfather and having to walk around in special shoes.

I need to get back into a healthier body and I need to avoid the pitfalls into which I’ve fallen before. So this time I not only made a weight goal but also a plan for achieving it. The last couple times I’ve set a daily calorie goal that ends up causing me to lose 1.5-2 pounds a week and just stuck with it, allowing myself to eat whatever I want one day a week, a practice otherwise known as Faturday. The problem has been that once I hit my target weight I reset my caloric intake goal to one in line with weight maintenance, which is 750-1000 calories more each day. What happens is I immediately gain a couple of pounds as my body adjusts to getting so much more food.

Another issue is that when I have hit my weight goal in the past I’ve stopped tracking because tracking food is kind of depressing. Sometimes I just want to eat an entire jar of peanut butter without my phone judging me and reminding me that I just ate three pounds of fat.

This time I am trying something different. I’ve set goal weights for the next 48 weeks and broken this process down into four parts:

  1. Lose 2 pounds/week for 12 weeks
  2. Lose 1 1/2 pounds/week for 12 weeks
  3. Lose 1 pound/week for 12 weeks
  4. Lose 1/2 pound/week for 12 weeks

It’s odd. I know I can lose massive amounts of weight because I’ve done it before. This time my plan is to slowly taper off my pace of weight loss so that by the time I hit my goal and switch to a maintenance strategy I’ll only be adding 250 calories to my daily intake. This, I hope, will not shock my system so much, especially since it will have already happened three times during the process and I’ll be able to gauge the impact of increasing my ration, such as it is.

I’ve pretty much accepted that I am going to have to track what I eat for the foreseeable future. Which sucks but it’s not the end of the world. I’d rather put up with a minor annoyance like tracking my food and get an extra few years to spend with my kids and grandkids when I’m an old[er] man.

Also I’m going to try and keep this site updated with news of my progress. That way both of you can mock me if I ever fail to post an update on Mondays that looks something like the following:

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

Week Zero

Weight as of 2/10: 254.9 pounds (ugh)
Goal for 2/17: 252.9 pounds (ugh, seriously)
Thoughts: If you’re a little (or a lot) overweight and want to motivate yourself to lose some, a good method is to take photos of your gut or other problem areas from a couple angles. And then look at them for a while. Holy crap. I look like Jabba the Hutt if he ate Han Solo instead of just hanging him on his wall.

Wish me luck. I probably need it.