Yesterday, I made an executive decision. i had been eating clean for two solid weeks (except for the occassional snack here and there). So I decided to reward my efforts with what we all refer to as a cheat meal. In reality, I failed to plan anything for dinner for that night when we did the weekly gorcery shopping, and leftovers just didn’t sound appealling. I had been solid all day and felt good aboupt my progress over the last few weeks. Unless I ate some bizarre man vs. food 10,000 calorie challenge I was in pretty safe space.
So I went big. I went for the gusto. I had a “Garbage Plate”. For those of you who went to college, grew up around, or otherwise spent any of your formative drinking/partying years from your 20’s into your 30’s around Rochester NY, you know exactly what I am referring to. That pile of meaty, carb and fat filled goodness, covered in hot sauce…served with a roll. ohhhh my. If you are not from around here, it sounds gross. It looks worse. It’s traditionally only served in greasy spoon late night diners. Usually served starting at closing time, when the bar crowd is headed home and they want something in their stomachs to sponge up the alcohol. Many of us have partaken in this ritual. Sitting crammed into a booth with our friends, re-telling the nights activities, voicing our regrets or our triumphs. all the while shovelling down this perfectly timed culinary creation. It is also a welll knwn fact this prevents hangovers (maybe).
Let me break it down. Take a plate. Drop on a generous scoop of macaroni salad. next to that, your choice of homefries or french fries. Pretty good so far right? on top of that place your choice of two of any of the following: hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, or even italian sauage. Wait for it……….now cover the whole mess in a ground beef-based tangy, yet sweet hot sauce. You will also have the option of adding chopped onions, and then drop on some ketchup/mustard. I like to add a little Redhot at that point. There it is in all it’s glory.
Guys/girls, if you are on a date, this is the “good night kiss” kiss of death. Don’t even consider trying it, unless your date ate one too, in which case it is totally cool. The perfect after-drinking food. NYC may have the moster slice of greasy pizza, we have this. I also recommend it post-race for you 5k runners.
So I saddled up and had at it. It was magnificent. I think at some point a single tear of joy may have rolled down my cheek. Normally, I would crush one of these in one sitting. The new me however had other ideas. I made it halfway through and had to call a stop to the festivities. I was a little shocked. My wife was too. My new relationship with food, eating and portion control has apparently re-aligned my body.That to me is surprisingly good news. I didn’t try to push myself, even though it was hella good. They got the hot sauce just right. I just dropped the rest into a container and into the fridge it went. It ended up being a late night snack. They are even better when you let them sit for a bit.
So here I am the next day. My body is asking me “what the hell just happened?”. Slightly bloated but otherwise no regrets. I am fasting a little longer than usual today. Lots of water to help flushnthe system of all that salt, and lunch was a double scoop protein shake. Cheating can be done. It’s a nice safety-valve so to speak. It keeps you from feeling too deprived and helps your body sort of reset itself. It should not be used as a reward for eating healthy or going to the gym, as that alters our relationship with food and or working out. It should just be something that you do. almost a scheduled activity once in a while. It shouldn’t be a whole “day” and it should be book-ended by healthy behavior.
You gotta find your joy where you can. being helathy doesn’t have to be one continuois “suck”.
Carl Spackler: [preparing to dynamite the gopher tunnel] In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir, gopher’.
-Bill Murray as Carl Spackler in Caddyshack
Sometimes the best way to start the day is just to smile and laugh and someone here said something that made this just pop into my head.
I sort of fell off the grid after my day 3 post. Things got busy, and there was little time for blogging. But I kept at it. I had a bump up and then down, then up again, then down. It was quite the roller coaster. Around day 4 I was gnashing my teeth in frustration. But I held the course. The end result is 2.2 pounds in 8 days (I cheated and waited an extra day.). Fairly respectable I must say and I am proud that I pulled it off. Would I do it week over week? If I absolutely had to, then yes. But that would have to be cutting for some type of event that has a weight class. And seeing as how I am not a body builder, or a power lifter and I gave up the strongman stuff, then hell no, I would not keep up that high of a pace for weight loss.
There was some learning this week. I have developed an introspective diagnostic tool that I plan to keep in my back pocket should I again end up in a spot where I am trying to drop weight and I am yo-yoing or just not seeing results. I am a Planning Analyst after all. I spend all day doing stuff like this at work, so why not put it to good use? The first one is a rookie move that I fell victim too. I should have known better.
First, (and this applies to either short term or long term weight loss goals) I need to do measurements as part of my baseline. It’s another metric that I wish I had last week. Especially on days 4 and 5 when my weight bumped up yet I dropped a belt notch. I missed that sign completely.
Second, I need to more consistently track water intake. Tracking with an associated goal pushes me to drink more water. For a while I thought I was but I really wasn’t. Weight loss is a lot more efficient when you are fully hydrated. Plus the more you drink, the less you retain.
Third, the next time I try something like this (I may do it again in a few months), I need to spend at least ten days to two weeks eating at or slightly below my maintenance level. It will give my body a chance to reset and replenish before I start forcing it to consume itself.
It was a fun week. I was shocked at how easy it can be to deprive yourself sometimes. Especially after being a month into having a daily caloric deficit. Your hunger can sort of shut off which isn’t good, especially when it is post-workout. Then you need to force yourself to eat something when eating is the last thing on your mind. Then that triggers the hunger and a viscous cycle starts over.
The last official night we had pizza and wings. My deficit for the week was around 7050 calories. So I ignored everything I was seeing and just trusted in that when we decided on dinner. That takes into account “exercise earned” calories that MyFitnessPal adds in when I log cardio. In reality the deficit was bigger. I did three weight training sessions and the App isn’t great at tracking that so I don’t even try. That helps account for the extra .2 pounds. I ate very mindfully and exercised restraint on pizza night and made sure I drank a lot of water along with it. Even with pizza and boneless Buffalo wings I still did well calorie-wise for the day. Of course, since I ate something with bread, the next day brought on the bloat but that quickly faded. Maybe I have some type of minor gluten intolerance?
Sorry I was a few days late. I took some time to process all that. Blogging during the evenings is hard. The puppy and the wife demand attention and by the time I get home, there isn’t a lot of time between hanging up my keys and bed. More to come though. My 2017 goal is to blog more.
I need to clarify something about day 1 and 2. I did not lay out proper ground rules for myself before starting. So officially, I have decided my New Year’s Day weight doesn’t count. My official starting weight will be the morning of day 1 (1/2/17). So truly there was a little bump up between day 1 and day 2 weigh-ins. That was erased and I was back to baseline the morning of day 3. My deficit for day 2 was 430 calories less than day 1. So I was incorrect, they were not nearly the same. Tracking this as a trailing indicator and blogging about it the next day got a little confusing. So I created a little table in my workout journal and I am tracking my progress there for reference.
So, day 3 is now officially in the books. Quick shout out here to Public-Supply for these pretty cool 5×8” journals I got. I love these things. I started out at my baseline weight again this morning. As I mentioned earlier, the slight weight bump went away. I woke up this morning and my back is feeling much better. I did some good stretching and used my trigger point roller to work the kinks out. No gym today though. By the time I got home from work my back was starting to get achy again, and i didn’t want to tempt fate at the gym.
My deficit for today ended up being 1130 calories. that includes this little gem, the chocolate peanut butter protein brownie:
1 scoop Muscle Milk Genuine Chocolate protein powder
2 tbs PB2 powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup whole milk (or more as needed to achieve batter like consistency)
Mix all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl until its a batter-like mixture. microwave for 30-60 seconds. It should rise, then shrink as it cools. It should be firm towards the sides of the bowl and slightly molten in the center.
Almost the same deficit as the day 1. There was a good drop in weight yesterday, follwed by a slight uptick in weight this morning despite almost the same deficit. But I am still down overall. I attribute that to what I ate…too much salt and my carbs were a bit high for the day.
Good workout on Day 2 as well. Somewhere along the way, I messed up something in my lower back and it baffles me as to how i did that seeing as how I worked chest and triceps. Right now its more of a hamper on my mobility than anything. If it cuts into my ability to exercise, then I will restrict my calories to match.
Only time will tell. Until tomorrow then….
So yesterday went well. Overall I ended up with a 1500 calorie deficit. In part beucase of exercise…45 minutes walking the dog. For future reference I learned that you can wear a puppy out, but all they need is 15 minutes to recharge and bang, they are off again. I wish my body could do that. I know I can’t keep up that deficit for the rest of the week. My body will adapt and I will see diminishing returns.
Intermittent fasting made it pretty easy to make my goal. My macros weren’t right on point, but they were pretty close. i don’t sweat it if I don’t get the macros right. I mainly use them to make sure my carbs stay in check and that i am getting a lot of protein. I didn’t eat until lunch which gave me a 14 hour fast.
I will try and taper off my deficit a little, but its hard. When you knock down your daily feeding period to 8-10 hours, sometimes you just don’t feel like eating. I need to add a larger snack/meal in between lunch and dinner. I am used to morning fasting now. I have been doing it for months, and my body really only needed about a week to adapt.
I hit it pretty hard at the gym. not a lot of recovery between sets when I was weight training. I never rest long between sets (something I adapted to when I was doing CrossFit and just never stopped).It kept my heart rate up the whole time. I can’t do that 5 minutes between set shit that I see all the gym bros doing. I just dont want to spend that much time in the gym. So by the time I got around to doing some treadmill cardio at the end, I had more than likley already done some cardio by default.
I may skip the gym tomrrow, we’ll see how it goes. Happy fitness to everyone!