Goal Weight Achieved

Goal Achieved

I did it. I weighed myself today and I’m down to 199.6 pounds. Under 200! Of course, tonight was a scheduled ‘carb-loading’ evening (once in a while, I’ll eat a relatively high(er) number of carbs than usual, as I’ve found it resets my weight set-point), so I’ll likely temporarily be back to over 200 tomorrow, but regardless, I did it.

Unlike this guy, I kicked the scale's ass. Hard.

Biggest tip I can give people is to ease up on the exercise. As I’ve previously discussed, exercising caused a rapid decline in the rate at which I lost weight. Basically, once I joined a gym this past May, I went from dropping pounds per week to a pound a week at best. Part of that, theoretically, could be muscle gain but it just doesn’t add up to explain it. It’s not like I’m rockin a wife-beater like Ronnie these days…

Wish I could eat carbs like these Jersey Shore cats do. Ronnie eats a lot of pizza.

Before I continue – please forgive the Jersey Shore references. I gotta admit – I love the show, and for those of you who find it as hilarious as I do, there’s more to come in this post…

So back to the weight loss slowdown from exercising thing, and why it’s worked out that way – I just don’t buy the ‘but you’re gaining muscle from the exercise, and muscle weighs more than fat!’ theory in my case. I don’t look any more muscular. It’s kinda like that old pointless saying about how muscle burns calories even when you’re not working out! True, but the obvious question to ask is: just how many calories? No one ever asks it. If they did, they’d find it’s not enough to break a sweat over…

Anyways, about a month ago I stopped doing the chronic cardio and started playing squash twice a week. Instead of tiring myself out on the cardio machine at the gym, I’ve been making sure I’m just moving slowly at night – walking the dog, playing with the kids, doing chores, etc. I saw a slight increase in the rate of loss the first week of this experiment, but I missed working out. I missed the cardio. Until a few weeks ago, when I started playing squash twice a week with an older fellow who is so accurate with the racquet that he just runs me around the court like his name is Geppetto. If you’ve never tried it – squash (not the vegetable, the sport) is a heck of a workout. In fact, according to Forbes magazine, it’s the ‘healthiest sport’ there is. So I was enjoying playing twice a week with him, until he had to quit for a while due to his body being so sore that he couldn’t play twice a week anymore (give the dude a break – I think he’s in his late fifties or early-sixties, and is obese).

As an experiment, I purposely haven’t worked out for the past 2 weeks. And guess what? I’ve quickly dropped about 5 pounds during that time. I hadn’t dropped that much weight that quickly in months (not since I joined a gym and started working out). So working out, while it has great health and emotional benefits, it certainly does not help me lose weight. Quite opposite. Like Taubes says – working out just makes you “work up an appetite.”

Back to the self-aggrandizement. I’ve reached my long-term goal. So, now what? What’s my next goal? The reality is, I still have a flabby gut. It’s what I call a “shirt gut” – a “shirt guy” is when you have a shirt on no one can tell you have a gut. But it concerns me because my “shirt gut” is in the style of the ‘heart attack’ belly you hear about from the medical folks. While I’ve learned to not trust a thing coming from the medical establishment, I can’t help but be a little concerned about it. Enough at least to continue to try to slim down. But I’m at a crossroads, in terms of my next goal:

Option A. Screw the Scale – Hit the Gym Hard

Get back to the gym, hit it hard (crossfit? weights?), and focus on getting a stomach like this guy:

The "Situation"

OR

Option B. Screw the Gym – Continue to Slim Down

Continue with what I’ve been doing recently, continue to slim down, not working out (traditionally), but remain active day to day, with the occasional sprinting/HIIT activity (like orienteering this Sunday!) for fun. By the way – I’m not contradicting myself when it comes to exercise – I am a firm believer it is good for me, and I enjoy it. It just works against weight loss.

Option C. Eat Carbs!

Of course, there’s always option C. I could just not give a shit anymore, wave a flag, and go back to eating carbs and “healthy whole grains” and, come next Summer, I can hit the Jersey Shore and rock it like this guy:

No, I’m not really considering option C.

For now, I’m just going to be proud of my accomplishment. I haven’t weighed under 200 pounds since I was around 18 or 19 years old. Time to splurge on a gift for myself. Anyone know where I can get one of these t-shirts?

Next post, I promise to be less humorous and more thought-provoking. : ) And I apologize if this post is a bit insensitive to those still struggling with their weight loss, particularly the images used – it wasn’t meant as such.

I know you don’t want to hear this but, after getting off the scale this morning and shocked at the low number, I was at first a bit sad. I truly enjoyed the journey to this point. Once I learned how fat is stored and released in the body back in January, and with a month or so into proving it in practice, I had no doubt I’d continue to lose weight and eventually reach my goal. So much so that I truly enjoyed the journey to this point. The pursuit of the goal.

Time to find a new goal.

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6 thoughts on “Goal Weight Achieved

  1. Good job. Wasn’t your original number 248? It’s interesting that you mention the journey in a wistful way, but you set your goal and reached it.

    I am finding that because of the Seroquel I take for bipolar disorder, a month off wheat and eating fewer and fewer carbs (down to zero some days) isn’t moving the scale past the ten pounds lost during the first two weeks. The only significant scale movement I’ve had was when I fasted. I have been riding my bike 5 miles a day, and I will stop that for a couple weeks also.

    Between you and Dr. Davis and Jack Kruse, I think I will finally hit my number, too, (I’m 230 now) which is 180. I will also cheer at the 200 mark.

    James

  2. Hi James,

    My original number was 258 lb as of November of last year. I had started a typical restricted calories/low-fat diet and the first 2 weeks yielded a great 4lb loss. And then for the next 2 or 3 weeks I didn’t lose another ounce, but I was starving all the time. Then the Christmas holidays promptly wiped out the 4lb loss.

    Stick with it man. I still could stand to lose another 10 or 15 pounds for sure, so my post might have been a bit premature and the tone of ‘I did it!’ is probably a bit over the top. I never, ever thought I’d get to under 200lbs in my life, hence my overzealous post : )

    The majority of my weight loss was between January and May. In May, I started working out heavily – between May and September I was a workout warrior – every day I was doing some cardio, with some weightlifting thrown in here and there (though not disciplined enough with the weights). Also a yoga class on Saturday mornings. My weight loss stalled quite a bit during those months. I kept losing, but it was very ‘up and down’ – that said, I weighed about 218 in May and by September I was down to 208. Considering I went from 258 to 218 in just 5 months, and then only lost 10 pounds the next 4 or so, without consciously changing my caloric intake, I’m convinced the working out slowed down the weight loss.

    But, I enjoy working out. Enjoy going to the gym. So I’m happy I did it and stuck with it. I’ll likely, once I get over this nasty cold I have, get back to working out. I believe in the true health benefits of working out. And I’m no longer as concerned with how it slows down my weight loss now that I’m under 200.

    In regards to carb intake – Atkins was probably right when he prescribed the ‘raise the grams by 5 per week until you start gaining weight, and then you’ll know your limit’. Me personally, I’m already a bit over-obsessed with this stuff, but I never got to that point where I was able to stick to less than a certain number every day for a week. I likely did, but I didn’t keep track of it. I work day-to-day (like an AA member I guess!). So I’m mainly just keeping mindful of carbs for today. I worry about the next day when I get to it. It’s much less overwhelming for me that way. In fact, it’s just easy. I wasn’t lying when I said I enjoyed the journey. Just know that you WILL get there. It’s a given. Enjoy knowing that fact.

    mark

  3. One other comment –

    Jimmy Moore and many low-carbers insist that working out is essential FOR THEM. My own experience/self-experimentation confirms Gary Taubes’ meta-research into this topic, for me.

    I’m not usually one to say that what works for me may not work for you. I think the basic principles will work for anyone who is predisposed to being fat. Carb cutting is the prime culprit. And, in my opinion (and Taubes’), it is the only culprit (barring any other medical issues).

    That said – I recommend you just do your workouts twice a week for a few weeks and see if the scale moves.

    If that doesn’t work, then try carb-loading for a meal. If you can stand gaining a couple of pounds back temporarily. It seems to ‘reset’ my weight set-point. So, for example, when I was stuck at 204 (it would fluctuate up some days, but never below that 204 mark) for a few weeks, I just ate a bunch of pizza on night (shame!). 5 slices to be exact (small slices, but it is what it is). I jumped up to 207 the next day, then 205 the day after, then 204 the day after, and then 203.8, then 203.2, and so on. It broke the setpoint for me.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardless – just enjoy the journey!

    mark

  4. OK. You guys are DEFINITELY wired differently than we female types. I am most certainly not svelte, still have that damn muffin top and thighs that are too big, IMO.
    But if I looked anything like the three overweight/obese guys in this post, I would not let a soul come near me with a damned camera! Geez!

  5. Off topic, but I have to give you a big THANK YOU for your “eat more fat” advice. On Monday, while coming back from a medical appointment, I stopped at a grocery store and bought a jar of coconut oil. Had a Tbsp that day, and have eaten 3 Tbsps a day, spread out during the day, ever since. I am really pleased with the change in how I feel. The low level headache is gone, the dizziness is gone, my energy has returned and I seem to now have an overall sense of well-being and contentment. I have decided to just continue with this day after day, because I really think I am simply not consuming enough fat in my daily food consumption, even though I cook my eggs or pork chops in bacon grease, add butter to my almond meal muffin, eat a tbsp of peanut butter everyday, etc.
    So thank you so much!

  6. Thanks Linda. As I had written in that post on this topic – I almost ruined this past Summer for myself due to not eating enough fat. I had the dull headaches, dizziness, etc. Was really worried – went to the doctor, tried a bunch of goofy vitamins that people mentioned in various forums that I found while searching for others experiencing this problem.

    I am going to buy some coconut oil myself. Been meaning to try some but just haven’t due to the cost. The other day I was feeling kinda tired and sluggish. I had some avocados that I purchased and needed to use up, so I threw one in a smoothie along with some strawberries, light cream, and a little whole milk. Mixed it up and drank it down and felt great the rest of the day. Fat is definitely important and I need to keep reminding myself. Bacon in the morning, while great, is just not enough, particularly once we lose a good amount of weight and become more active.

    mark

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