Friday, 11 April 2008

Already in trouble

Well as we come to the close on the week, I have been cutting out the 'in between' meal snacks that I so enjoy. Eating smaller dinners (usually my big meal) and running on the weekdays, not just the weekends.

"So what trouble are you in?" you might ask....

Well I lost the easy 5lbs I had to lose and I still need to 'suck in my gut' to see my belly button. Dang!

I knew I could take off some weight, but this is more than about being lighter for me. It is about looking at my near 40 year old Body and thinking, "I still look 25" so when I behave like a child I won't get the strange looks I do now.

Sitting at home on a yoga mat doing sit-ups, push-ups, or any other "-up" is something I need to do and I dread it. That is my problem. I love going out for runs, taking along my friends at the Extra Mile podcast, or out with Steve as he rambles on. Stretching and (insert least favorite -up here) does not excite me at all. Oh why oh why does my tummy puff so?

I now have 9 weeks to loose 5LBS and its all the hard ones I have left. Usually I save the best for last, eating the vegetables first to get them out of the way for the main dish and dessert to follow. This is like eating the dessert first (feeling full) and needing to find some way to get the vegetables in.

So for me the storm is ahead, baton down the calories, get out the exercise mat, use it regularly! and pray hard I make it through.


Muscle Burn ?

From the various podcasts I have listened to, it seems that you burn a certain background level of calories, even when you aren't exercising. You need to burn fuel all of the time just to keep your body going.

But, I believe that the more muscle you have, the more calories you tend to burn, even when you're not exercising.

So, I thought it might be a good idea to try to add on a little more muscle during this challenge to try to 'keep the fire burning' and help me along with my weight loss.

Well, like most runners, I'm OK in the leg muscle department, but the upper body is puny to say the least. And, add to that I just find weight lifting/resistance training to be a real chore. With my limited time, its unlikely I'll keep it up.

But, I remembered a great strategy I heard Scott Smith speak about a while ago. It's really simple and so easy to do that maybe even I can keep it up.

The idea is this: start on day one by doing 1 push-up. Then on day 2, do 2 push-ups. Day 3 do 3 push-ups. Guess what comes on day 4...? Over time you gradually build up to doing whatever level of push-ups (or other exercise you like) you want to achieve.

I've tried this before and it really does work. It feels a little weird on day one doing just one push-up, but don't be tempted to start at 5 or 10 (I've tried that too!). But within a few days you find that you are doing a reasonable number of push-ups (with the associated benefits) and that it really works..

I'm going to increment until I get to 30 push-ups - that level will be quite demanding I think, but in 30 days I should be there. I'm also going to do the same with sit-ups up to about 50 sit-ups.

I'll let you know how it goes - I'm currently on day 4, and its stll easy going. If it works, maybe that extra bit of muscle may help me to burn off a few more calories !


Thursday, 10 April 2008

The First Weigh In

I knew it wasn't going to be good news.

Like Maddy, my clothes have been getting tighter.

I have been running less.

I have been eating more and low quality foods.

I have been STRESSED and working many, many, many hours.

AND I have not been feeling in the mood to do what it takes to lose the weight. I have been waffling back and forth.

For example, yesterday on the plane I ate the plane snacks - the 100 calorie crackers and the peanuts. Then when I got home, I relented and had a salad and some carrots for dinner.

So this morning I step on the scale.

134.5 lbs

Hmmmm, let me try that again. It's a digital scale. Maybe I wasn't quite standing in the middle.

134.5 lbs

This time it blinks the answer out faster than the last time, as if to mock me by saying, "Hey, I just told you the answer."

Of course, I got back on the scale one more time.

Same answer.

"Fine", I thought.

I now have my starting point. I know I can lose at least 5 lbs of that. The other 5 lbs will be my "challenge."

10 lbs in 10 weeks? We will see about that.

Protein shake for breakfast and water. It's off to work I go.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


You know, I don't if it's because this is a public challenge or what but today, on my rest day, I ran 2 miles and then jumped on my mountain bike and cycled 11 miles hard. Not a lot by the standards of a 'real' endurance athlete but pleasantly surprising just the same, especially as it's my 'day off'.

So far so good. No snacking, no crap food (so far). Well, when I was out on the bike I did have half a Mars Bar but I think that's probably permissable.

My Cunning Plan

I thought I'd better get a plan together if I'm going to be successful in shifting 10 pounds in the next 10 weeks.

It doesn't sound too bad if you just say "I've got to lose one pound each week for the next 10 weeks". Almost sounds easy to do. But, from previous attempts to do similar, things I always finds that getting those first 3 - 4 pounds off isn't too bad, but when I get towards the 5 - 6 pound area, things get a bit trickier. The thing I dread the most is the infamous 'plateau' when the weight just isn't coming off any more despite all my best efforts...

So, I'm going to employ all of the strategies I learned from Scot Smith over on the Motivation to Move podcast. These have worked well for me in the past. In fact, the only reason I've not done so well recently is because I've drifted away from the good habits I had gotten into over the past couple of years. So, as well as eating less and exercising more, I'll also be attempting to get some of those good habits re-installed.

I know that just eating less and getting hungry won't work for me. I find that eating less, but more often works well for me. Typically (when I'm on-track!), a day for me will start with a modest breakfast (e.g. smoothie or porridge or bran flakes & dried fruit). This is followed by a mid-morning snack (e.g. a cereal bar) as I get hungry around 10:30. I have a reasonable lunch (e.g. a sandwich & yoghurt), followed around 15:30 by another snack (e.g. piece of fruit or handful of nuts). Then I just have a standard evening meal (whatever the family is having), but making a point to try to avoid the temptation of a sweet afterwards.

As long as I can stick to this, and avoid any other 'misdemeanors' during the day, I will probably do OK. The only other area I can really improve is to drop the sugar in my coffee, which has crept back in over recent months. I can do without quite happily - I guess I just have a sweet-tooth.

In terms of my fitness, I'm going to try to get back to some more consistency in my training. This has also slipped over the past few months, so if I can get my usual level of mileage in (around 30 per week), I should get back to burning my usual level of calories which will hoepfully get those pounds off !

Well, that's my plan: smaller, frequent, good quality snacks and meals, accompanied by more consistent running. Its worked well for me before...lets see how it does this time :)


Putting it Out There...

... And being accountable.

I realized that after I decided to join in this challenge that I was going to have to "put it out there". I was going to have to post my current weight on this blog for the world to see.

I have fallen victim to letting my nutrition slide. Bit by bit. Oh, maybe I will have a bowl of ice cream. We're having a party, I'll get some chips, and of course I'll make vegetable dip with sour cream AND mayonnaise. I never made it to the grocery store and I have nothing to cook, let's just go out instead. And so it goes.

When you combine that with the dangerous thought-pattern that goes along with a long run - I ran ten miles today, I can splurge a little.

Um, no.

In reality, it all adds up.

And over the past few months, I've noticed that jeans are a bit more snug, that my clothes weren't fitting as nicely as they should.

I procrastinated. I made no changes.

Then, my company announced a weight loss contest. Their contest started yesterday. The same day Nigel posts a tweet about this weight loss group.

I hope that in this forum we will support each other, and still be accountable for what we put in our mouths.

My weight this morning?

Brace yourself.


Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Reminder on my fridge door

I mentioned this earlier in the day and here is a picture, taken only a few moments ago, of my fridge door.

You may recognise the dude in the picture to the right of the notice. He's been in the news a bit lately. Going to hear him give a couple of lectures next month.

First day has been a good day. I ran 4 and this evening I walked 4 with my darling wife. I've also been eating sensibly, lots of salad and fruit. No 'liquid' calories, not even when my wife offered me a night cap.

An early night for me then. I expect to get a bit hungry during the night. If that happens I will come down and get some cereal or something. Before it would have been a sandwich with something very unhealthy in it. I'm addicted to cheese. I love cheese. I mean, all kinds of cheese.

Cheese: the work of the devil.

Hope everything is well with you, fellow TITWC's.

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The 1

I come in at the start of this challenge weighing 199.5. I'm actually thrilled about that, frankly. It's been more than a year since I've seen a 1. I've never in my life been a thin guy. I've always had the silhouette of a longshoreman. I don't care if it's dancing on the edge -- I'll take the 1 if I can.

The scale almost denied me that prize, too -- when I weighed in, the scale wavered between 200.5 and 199.5, but I held still and exhaled more than necessary and thought about light things like hydrogen and marshmallows and canaries. And I was rewarded with the 1.

I can do better than that, though, which is why I took up this 10-pound challenge. It's coinciding with a new 10-week 10K training routine, my first 10K. The plan is to keep up with that regularly, stop eating garbage, stop drinking calories, and add a little more exercise into my day -- and hopefully I'll stay on this side of the 2.

Answering the Challenge

Hi Folks, Gordon here on the Isle of Tiree, Scotland. And can I say right away, it's much worse than I feared. I check my weight after my morning run. 191.8 pounds. I can't believe it. No much wonder my pace isn't picking up. No more. I've printed up a sign and have stuck it on the door of my fridge which says, Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to run faster? Yes? THEN STOP EATING AND DRINKING CRAP! I am so angry with myself for letting things get so bad. What a wake-up call. Where's that Muller Yogurt ... ?

Ten In Ten Challenge

Well, I put out a 'tweet' (I think its called) yesterday to see if anyone was interested in doing a challenge to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks.

I was really surprised that I had 5 people interested in joining in ! So, before anyone can back out, I put up this blog to start to track our progress.

I'm hoping this will be a lot of fun over the next ten weeks to see how we do.

I personally have slid back to an unacceptable weight over the past few months due to a whole lot of factors which I could use as excuses. But, at the end of the day, I've eaten too much and not burned enough calories.

So, I'm hoping that this little challenge amongst a few online friends will keep me good over the next few weeks.

As well as the health benefits, I'm really hoping this will improve my overall running form as well. And, I suppose it will be nice to be a few pounds lighter with summer just around the corner when I maybe need to expose my rather palid flesh on the beach :)

I'll open up this blog so that hopefully other participants can post their thoughts, progress etc.

If everyone is in agreement, I'll post at least once a week with our weekly loss (or gain!) totals just to keep it interesting :)