Seventy-five pounds lost. You can see from the pictures, I already look like a new man. I still feel like me, and I am surprised from time to time when I see a mirror and that guy isn’t the one I expect to find there.
I’m down to size large for t-shirts, shorts, and even Nike brand running tights and stuff. I haven’t been a large in a long, long time. My old military coats are just on the cusp of fitting, even though I have 15-20 pounds before I get to my military weight. Of course, that just proves my point – I have a lot less muscle now than I did then, and fat squashes around much more easily than muscle.
Before I get to the big question, I want to talk a bit more about plateaus. I decided, back when my daily budget was around 1500 calories, that when I got to 1100 calories (the budget drops as you lose weight), I would make that the bottom line and adjust my budget so I stayed at 1100. The problem was this:
I hit 1100 around the 12th or 13th. As you can see, I practically flatlined for about a week, then started to GAIN for the next five days or so! Unacceptable! I have been participating in the Lose It! online forum since I started this stuff, and several people there have talked about how too few calories can send one’s body into starvation mode, forcing it to preserve everything you eat rather than use it. So, we had the 20th as a weekend away and I didn’t worry too much about my budget – I worked out to burn some of the extra calories, but not enough (obviously); that’s when I started to gain. So on the 22nd of November I decided to bump my budget up to 1300 calories per day. Two hundred calories would not slow me down much, and it might help, I figured. Obviously, it did. I’m back on schedule, and back up to over 3 pounds per week. I’m not at 4 ½ anymore, but I knew that as I got closer to my goal it would slow. I’m sure by the end of December I’ll be in the mid 2’s, and it will eventually get down to one pound a week for that last handful. That’s OK.
The last handful… That brings up the big question. When do I stop? I’ve been chugging along like gangbusters so far. I’m just a 3-4 pounds from being “
overweight” instead of “
obese” on the BMI scale. Most people who see me now don’t judge me as fat at first glance, and some friends and family are already saying I’ve done enough. I don’t think I have. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure if I am going to stop at 170 (don’t let my wife hear me say that, though!). Here’s the scoop:
When I was an active duty Marine I spent most of my time hovering around the 190-lb mark. Sometimes a bit less, sometimes a bit more. But I was incredibly active. Even with all of my running now, I was more active then. I lifted stuff and hauled it around. I had a lot more muscle then. I came up with 170 because I figured I probably have 20 pounds less muscle now. Truth be told, I’m starting to think I underestimated the muscle mass. My Wii says that I should be aiming to weight 155, and I am starting to think it might be right. So here is the deal.
I am going to stick with 170 as my goal weight, but I am seriously starting to do training for longer distances. I did a 5k, I’ve got a 10k in two weeks, and according to several web sites I could get from my current condition into shape to finish a half-marathon in 12 weeks. That would get me on a half marathon by March or April, about when I should get to the 170-lb mark. If I am digging the long distance running – and the only way to know will be to keep on trying it – then the best thing for me to do for further distances would be to drop more. The less you carry, the faster you can go, right? But I know that 160 is really thin. I’ve got Boot Camp photos to prove it. So I’ll get to my goal, and re-evaluate. No matter who says so, though, I don’t plan to stop until I get there. I might decide I’m happy at 175, but I’m not stopping now, nor at 200, nor at 190.