Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the Gut has Got to Go

Seriously. I'm sick of the flab. Everything's been shaping up pretty nicely from about mid-chest up and knees down. It's just that mid-section that still keeps holding on to what it's got.

I'm sick of it. Sick of feeling my belly jiggle when I run. Sick of having to move extra thigh flab out of the way when I cross my legs in yoga twists. Sick of not looking like I work out as hard as I do. Sick of wondering if maybe I'd be faster if I weighed less. Sick of whining to my friends that I just can't seem to get thinner.

Unlike other sicknesses, this won't just go away with "plenty of fluids and lots of rest." Nope, this is going to take some serious work to cure. But I think I'm finally ready to face the fact that I'm not going to get any smaller unless I work hard to do so. And unfortunately, "work hard" for me means I have to watch my diet.


Obviously I'm doing fairly well at balancing my intake/output, as I've been right around the same size/weight for over a year now. Even though my workouts and thus calorie expenditure have increased quite a bit, I haven't shed much if any of my excess body mass.

Body mass? Who'm I kidding. Call it by it's right name: Fat. Ugh, I hate that word. But that's what it is-- Fat. And it's got to go.

So here's the deal-- I need your help.

One of the main reasons I keep signing up for races is because it gives me a concrete goal-- something to work towards, to prepare for. It takes away the chance for excuses (oh, I'll exercise NEXT WEEK doesn't work when trying to prepare for a race). And with a race, I know that my friends and family will be checking in with me to see how my training's going, and will not feel afraid to ask me how I'm doing. So there's a little peer pressure there that definitely helps keep me on track.

With a race, I develop a plan, I implement it (with minor adjustments as necessary), and I share my experiences, my ups and downs, with everyone.

Until now, though, the weight loss goals have been taboo. I haven't made any concrete goals, just I hope I can start looking trimmer. And I don't talk about it much. And you guys don't ask me about it. So I don't feel the need to be accountable.

Well, no more.

I have a goal. And you guys get to help me stick with it.

My next triathlon is August 17-- eight weeks from now. I'll go into my race goals later. But for now, I'll set some body goals for that same date:
  • I currently weigh around 139-142, depending on the day. By Augst 17, I want that range to be 134-137 (roughly five pounds lighter). But no muscle is to be sacrificed. So I'll continue my strength training, but work to get rid of the fat.
  • I currently fit comfortably into size 10 jeans. By August 17, I want to need to go shopping for size 8's.
  • My circumfrences for the narrowest part of my mid-section, right around my belly button, and around my hips are: 30.5", 34.5", and 39.0", respectively. By August 17, those numbers will be smaller.

I've been willing to make lifestyle sacrifices to train for races. I've been willing to endure pain. I've pre-meditated weekly plans and stuck to them.

Now I'll be doing that with my diet, too.

Yesterday I had a good long talk with my favorite instructor from the gym, Rose, who's PowerPump class I go to every Friday (and sometimes go to her Boot Camp class on Mondays). She empathized with my situation, but also told me, in nice-but-not-too-nice terms that if I really want to lose some weight, it's gonna be hard. Tough. If you want it, you have to work for it.

So next Monday she'll be expecting a Food Journal from me, in which I've written down everything I've eaten for the last week, with estimated calories eaten. And estimated calories burned. And she'll scrutinize it with the eyes of someone who knows me well enough to be perfectly honest with me, but who doesn't know me well enough to be afraid to be honest and tell me what I don't want to hear.

The rest of you will be expecting a report on how I did at meeting my goals for the week. And you'll no longer tell me nice little things like "oh, I think you look fine" or "I'm sure you've just gained muscle, not flab." Thanks, but I don't need those boosters. I need you to help me stop making excuses, to be tough on me.

To lose 5 lbs in 8 weeks will take an average loss of 0.625 lbs per week, or 0.09 lbs per day. A totally healthy rate of weight loss. That takes an average calorie deficit of 312 calories per day-- approximately two beers. Or one large scoop of macaroni and cheese. Or one pre-dinner binge on chips and salsa.

Sorry, Chuck, but it ain't gonna be easy. I'm going to have to eat good, healthy, nutritous foods to keep your energy up for all the training I'll still be doing. But I just can't keep eating "extras" just because I worked out hard that day. Sorry, I'm going to have to be anal about tracking what I'm eating. I'm going to have to say "no" sometimes when there's something really tasty in front of me. I'm going to have to report in to my friends and family about how I'm doing, and honestly answer their questions.

And if I work hard and I REALLY want this, it'll happen.


Robyn said...

You know I've got your back!

Anonymous said...

Size 8's are on the way!

Dad & Cathy