Tuesday, August 18, 2009

+5.4 (∆ +3.4)

Got back from Waterford Watsonville last night. Walks on the beach, kite-flying, Pixar flicks (Cars, Monsters Inc.) whilst cooking, delicious dinners, cold beers, 2 hour naps, and about 90 minutes a day of kid-free time. Sadly, our vacation highlight was going to bed at 9:30 every night.

I also have three days before this weight loss challenge comes to a close. I have to laugh when I see a 3.4 pound weight gain since my last missive, but I attribute almost all of that to being "topheavy"; a second measurement later in the day read +2.8, (instead of +5.4). One satisfaction of faithfully tracking weight over so many months is knowing that when weight wildly ascends, you can sense it's probably a temporary thing—tracking an overall weight trend over a week or month is far more important than any day's weight in particular. All you really need to know is if the weight at the end of the month is lower than the beginning, you're making progress. In all seven months but one, my weight has always been lower at the end of that month. In that other month, it was only higher at the end because I'd had several cumulative setbacks (a three week out-of-town visitor an opportunity to have tons of bad food, the worst flu I've had in years, and a long stretch without getting to the gym).

Despite all my overt claims, my goal has never really been to just lose +33.5 pounds. More important than that was to nestle into a sane way of living so I could 1) stop gaining more weight, 2) lose some weight (10-15 pounds), 3) live more healthfully, and 4) feel better about my mind and body. If I weighed +33.5 pounds and could still run up stairs without losing my breath or worrying if I'm going to have a heart attack or get diabetes before I hit 50, then I wouldn't have anything to worry about. Sadly, +33.5 was not a safe lifestyle, so I'm thankful that the journey has given me the itch to learn more about nutrition and fitness. Slow and steady, slow and steady...

And so, even if I don't hit my exact mark of +0 by this Friday, I'll still have scored an enormous win because the real measure of my victory is in learning how much food I eat in one sitting, and how my body works to burn fat and build muscle. Once you learn how it all works, it gets a lot easier to nurture the kinds of results you want to see.

Make sure you read Friday's post. I'll be posting tons of screenshots of all the spreadsheets and iPhone apps I've been using to track my progress.

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