I had a plan: exercise enough to mitigate the effects of gorging on Thanksgiving. I did not stick to this plan. I also extended Thanksgiving, by at least 1.5 days. All in all, I ended up not where I started, but worse: 204.5 pounds and 25.3% bodyfat. Ouch! Everything went backwards this week! This is not a disaster, but it is a gut-check. It’s not so much that I must be perfect to meet my goal, but rather that sloth begets sloth, and now I must bounce back with a little more dedication to overcome the negative physical and mental effects of losing the Turkey battle. Let’s look at how I managed to take two steps back and none forward.
If you go by the colloquial definition of “diet”, this most certainly was not one. I managed to eat decently Mon-Wed, although I forgot my lunch one day and we had pizza on another – of which I had 2 slices and a salad (Thanks S&B!). As expected and allowed, I went big on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a special meal where family gathers to give thanks for all of their blessings from the last year, and cover every piece of their dinner in gravy. Not some hippie-healthy vegetarian low-fat gravy, no, no, no – we’re talking brown gravy, the type that you have a specific vessel for, so you can easily pour it over your entire meal. We rock a fairly traditional Thanksgiving meal at my parent’s house – stuffing (3 types this year!), mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole, my brother John makes a killer turkey, sweet potatoes, butternut squash soup ala Kellie, and of course, gravy. I had 2 full plates. I smiled. I congratulated myself on a job well done by drinking and talking music with my brother until 2:30 am.
On Friday, I ate a buffalo chicken sandwich, which cleverly consisted of not just buffalo chicken, a bun, and a piece of lettuce – it was augmented with one slice of tomato, pushing this meal into damn near health food status. I also opted for a salad, which I ate little of, as salads just do not satiate a hangover. I snacked through the night, nothing much. On Saturday I unfortunately completed a masterful trifecta: Chipotle, another Thanksgiving dinner at my Grampa’s house, and then Old Chicago pizza late night. Wow, poor form there. Today, Sunday, I had the Japanese Pan Noodles from Noodles and Company, which seem somewhat healthy, and I guess they are, but they aren’t winning any medals. I later had some Chicken Tortilla Soup from the grocery store as well. Oh, and I must mention for honesty, that while shopping with Kandra and Theresa, we managed to swing into the Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory and I had a truffle and a chocolate dipped Oreo cookie. That was mega-delicious.
It’s not hard to see the writing on the wall – that sort of diet isn’t getting me anywhere (well, anywhere lower). I expected this week to be bad, and maybe I let my guard down a bit. The thing to realize is that I’m going to have at least 2 more hard weeks before I can hit my stride, and I can’t do this bad each time. For now, I don’t need to try to look too far ahead – next week is the week I need to focus on. I’m planning on being at the gym early again, and going to the grocery store tomorrow night, so I can make sure I have healthy options that are as easy or easier to get to than unhealthy options.
Things aren’t all negative – I had two great days of exercise this week. On Monday morning I was up at 5:00AM, to the gym by 5:30AM, did a solid hour workout following my standard cardio set, and had a great day overall. Tuesday I couldn’t make it two in a row in the morning, but made sure to get to the gym that night. I had another great workout, and began to get the maybe-I-could-go-a-little-longer-or-a-little-harder-next-time feeling during my workout. This week I did identical workouts: Stretch, 15 mins on the bike (7), stretch, 30 mins on the elliptical (7), 5ish mins on the treadmill for cooldown, and stretch again before leaving. This week, I’d like to add some time to the elliptical, maybe 5 minutes. I may also try the same time at the next level (8), and see which method produces better results for me.
Unfortunately, Tuesday was the last workout of the week. I was fairly sore Wednesday, so I didn’t feel like strength training would be smart. It’s a convenient excuse, and not entirely inaccurate. Certainly, if your muscles are sore enough that injury may be a concern, it is not a good idea to work out. But there is also the chance that I was using a little pain as an excuse for not trying something that I could have easily done. Regardless, it’s Sunday, and I haven’t worked out since Tuesday, so I’m ready for tomorrow morning.
This week is “easy” in comparison to last week. I don’t have any pre-set excuses for inaction. I don’t have any limitations on when or how much I can workout, outside of my work. I would like this week to be my best yet, which only means I have to work out 3 times+. I can do that.
As I mentioned earlier, I’d like to push my regular cardio workout a little bit this week. I think for tomorrow morning’s session, I’ll try to go a little longer. For Tuesday, I’ll try to go a little harder. I’ll give myself a pass on Wednesday if needed, but I need to do my base-line strength measurements sooner rather than later, so I will do those by Thursday. If I can just get in another workout Friday or Sunday (Saturday is Christmas Tree chopping day), I will be satisfied with my week.
It was tempting to call this week a disaster when I stepped off the scale and realized that I had erased all of my previous gains. But as I stood back, I realized that at best it was a mini-disaster, like a level 2 hurricane or the like. I didn’t do everything wrong, only most things. The world thankfully didn’t come crashing down around me, so I live to fight another day. Tomorrow morning, that fight will be between me and the elliptical machine at Qi.
(*Monday morning edit: I weighed myself this morning in the exact same outfit as yesterday, and only tipped the scales at 201.6. I might need to do something to ensure that I’m always weighing-in in the same state, not just the same day of the week.)