Confessions Of A Serial Dieter

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted any of my updates in a while. I decided today it was time to get real and actually post something personal.

I’ve been posting a lot of stuff, but every time I have hit “publish” since missing my first week of fitness updates, I have felt guilty. I’ve felt like I’ve been putting on a show for everyone, and I need to come clean.

I’m one of the kinds of people who knows how to do something but sometimes lacks the fortitude to do that thing. After toying with weight loss for so many years, you start to pick up some stuff. But head knowledge never did anything to get rid of my belly. I’ve started falling into that rut again with 4HB. Sure, it took several months, but I’ve reached the point with this that I always had before. This post, however, is my first attempt at getting out of the funk.

A quick update

It’s been a couple weeks since I told anyone how I’ve been doing. My meals have been almost entirely slow-carb – from Monday through Friday. Saturdays and Sundays (this is where I feel like a hypocrite) have pretty much been cheat weekends. I didn’t go nuts on either day, but it wasn’t like I only cheated one day. During the week, as I said, my meals were fine; it’s what was in-between my meals that wasn’t fine. I’m still struggling with the candy jar my co-worker has on his desk.

Side gripe: what frustrates me about that is that even though literally every single person in my area talks about needing to lose weight, we still have THREE bowls of chocolates. There are six of us in here, and while we generally eat healthy foods and discuss things like Weight Watchers, slow-carb, boot camps, and kettlebells we do enjoy our chocolate. But out of the six, who do you think is the worst offender? This guy.

In terms of exercise, I’ve been doing OK with last week being the winner so far. I went for jogs on three out of three planned days and did the strength exercises two out of three days. On Saturday I did a 3 mile jog which took me 45 minutes. My pace has slowed since my last 10K, but I’ve been out of practice. I have a 5K on Friday, so I’m hoping to beat 45 minutes. I’ll talk more about that on Friday. I definitely will keep jogging because I’m signing up for a half-marathon in November.

In terms of weight, on Friday morning I was 292, which is a change of +1lb since the last time I reported my weight. My wife still says things like “you look smaller”, “your jawline is more defined”, and “your biceps look bigger”. I put on my “skinny” shirt, and – to my surprise – I was able to close it. It’s a bit tight, but I’m excited that I’ll be able to wear it again soon.

But my weight hasn’t changed in 2 months. I’m not doing something right, and it’s probably the combination of chocolate during the week and too-long cheat days. I need to get to the bottom of those bad habits.

Plans for moving forward

Justin left a comment on my results post discussing the struggle suggesting that I spend more time working on exercise. Now before some of you say “but Tim said we could do it without exercise,” let me remind you that he never said we didn’t have to move around. In fact, he specifically said

don’t confuse physical recreation with exercise … Recreation is for fun. Exercise is for producing changes. Don’t confuse the two.

Too, gone are the days of weight loss without exercising. The fact is I don’t move around much. I sit at a desk all day, and when I get home I sit again. I practice what I preach about finding ways to be more active at work, but it’s still not that far to the water cooler or bathroom. I’ve decided to focus on three things this month, taking it one week at a time:

  1. No chocolate at work. What I’m thinking about doing is keeping a pile of chocolate I *want* to eat (ie, if I get a craving, I put that piece in the pile and drink water or something). On my cheat day I can eat the pile. I bet I end up not wanting as much as I see the pile forming.
  2. Strength training 3 days a week. Specifically the exercises Justin sent me that I’ll do Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  3. Jogging 3 days a week. I do want to enjoy running. I’m starting to. Specifically my wife and I will jog Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

I will never be a gym rat, nor do I want to be. I have too much more exciting things going on in my life than spending an hour or two in the gym every day. And I’ve realized that the people who eat nutritionally dense foods (aka Real Food) don’t need to spend so much time in the gym. But I do need more than I currently have. These three manageable actions will help me down that road.

I still say fitness is not a race, it’s a journey. I don’t expect to get it all right immediately. I’ve got a long way to go, much farther than a lot of people I’ve seen who have lost their 20 lbs and are now focusing on muscle building. But I’m not looking for a way to lose weight; I’m looking for a healthy and active lifestyle that keeps me thin. First it will get me thin, then it will keep me that way. Of that I am convinced. For now, I’m trying to undo 25 years of terrible habits and beliefs.

Thank you for bearing with me and keeping track of me on my journey. I am constantly amazed and impressed by your results and humbled by your support.


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  1. 1. Dude I didn’t see your reply to my comments about running sorry. How do I subscribe to your comments? I started using discus and I think is rocks (plus I love python/django)

    2. Yes HIIT/Tabata style training will increase your VO2 max and anaerobic capacity. Meaning running will be easier and you will be able to do it faster and longer. Similar to what Laura mentioned, you don’t need to run much to train to distance run. This is stated in the endurance chapters in the book as well, which I guess you still haven’t read?????????? 2 things you need to get better at running 1) increase leg strength specifically hamstrings (swings, deadlifts, squats) 2) increase VO2 max, anaerobic capacity and lactic acid (Tabata). Sprinting and strength training is the best way to train for distance running.

    3. Don’t blame other people for having chocolate on their desk. I have a BAD chocolate addiction as well. An idea for you, steal all the chocolate so he gets pissed off and stops putting it out for everyone.

    4. How much TV do you watch? What do you do while you watch TV? probably sit on the couch? Don’t! Sit on the floor, stretch your legs/hips. Do some pushups, crunches, squats, planks etc. You should feel guilty every time you sit on the couch ๐Ÿ˜‰

    5. When do you do the “air” squats and wall presses? Only cheat days? Do them for every meal every day, why not? That is what I did/do and I think it contributed largely to my fat loss.

    6. Fitness is not a race or a journey its a way of life, it is no longer a required way of life but it should be. Tricking ourselves into thinking that it is a race does help motivate us (goals).

    7. Exercise is not required to lose fat but its not a very fun way to lose fat. Exercise has a lot of indirect affects on fat loss, both physical (muscle gain, energy use) and psychological. I have started my article on this an should have it done soon.

    Practice what you preach ๐Ÿ™‚

    • As always, Justin, I enjoy getting and reading your comments! Even when it sucks how right you are. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. You couldn’t before but I didn’t realize it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just added a plugin to allow comment subscription.
      2. No, I haven’t read that section yet because I wasn’t interested in it yet when I read through 4HB. I should probably check that section out now that I’d like to run. It’s interesting that not running is best training for running long distances…
      3. Right…I mean he doesn’t put the chocolate on my desk (well, sometimes)…but he never puts it in my mouth. But it still amazes me that people who talk about getting healthy offer such strong resistance to removing things that harm that progress!
      4. I don’t really watch that much anymore. If I’m sitting I’m usually on my fitness ball (I don’t use a chair at my desk).
      5. I’ve done the squats and presses on cheat days. I have considered doing them after every meal, just haven’t yet. No real reason other than I don’t think it’s necessary – although it probably wouldn’t hurt.
      6. It’s a journey if you’ve never experienced it before. In the sense that a person who has no personal experience with fitness can’t just one day decide to be fit (and see it actually stick), it will take time to lose weight and learn how to eat right and how to exercise correctly and efficiently. It’s not about who gets there first, it’s about getting there and staying there. We are essentially saying the same thing, I think.
      7. I look forward to your article. Will it be ready for the carnival this weekend?

      Too bad we can’t work out together…that would probably be fun.


  2. Would be fun to workout together, started trying to figure out how to record my workouts and get going. Hard to do a good job without a camera person.

    Your right it is a journey, I just meant that emphasize that it is forever, and something we were engineered to do for survival until the agricultural revolution.

    I read almost the whole book, there are tidbits of related and useful info everywhere.

    Can you reply and see if I get an email? WP plugin is pretty cool.

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