How I Lost 2.2 Pounds in One Day

02.28.2008 | 9:50 pm

Yesterday morning, I realized I had a big problem. Specifically, I had spent pretty much the entire week losing the weight I had gained while I had family in town all last weekend.

In short, I needed to lose 2.2 pounds by today if I didn’t want to pay up $150.00.

And here I am, at 168.4 pounds, exactly where I need to be. Check out the photo:


So, how did I manage to lose 2.2 pounds in the course of one day? Here’s how, listed by estimated contribution to weight loss.

  • I hardly ate anything yesterday. A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a little plate of spaghetti for lunch. Another little plate of spaghetti for dinner. That’s all. 0.4 lbs.
  • I left my water bottle at home. When I rode yesterday — it’s about 50 degrees (F) outside — I didn’t even bother bringing a water bottle, and I didn’t rehydrate afterwards. This was stupid, and it’s not even close to real weight loss, but it — more than anything else — got me where I needed to be for this morning. And for those of you who might be tempted to call this cheating, please bear in mind that I explicitly allowed this kind of behavior in last year’s B7, and gave up a jersey because of it. The thing is, I now have to be extra good in the long term to make up for my short-term trick. Water weight loss works tactically, but not strategically. 1.2 lbs.
  • I shaved my legs, head, and face. Since my head, legs, and face are kept shaved anyway, I suspect this didn’t do much for me. Still, every little bit counts. 0.0002 lbs.
  • I exfoliated. But just in case some of you are tempted to think that I’m a sissy for exfoliating, you should know that my method of exfoliating involves taking a belt sander to every square inch of my body (I use 60 grit sandpaper, for those of you who are curious).  0.1 lbs.
  • I turned up the thermostat: Further employing the weight-loss-through-dehydration-to-dangerous-levels technique, I turned the thermostat up to 92 (F) last night when I went to bed. I awoke with singed toe hair, as you can see in the above photo. I think this technique would have been more effective if I hadn’t already wrung pretty much every drop of water from my body during the day. 0.05 lbs.
  • I trimmed my fingernails: Not much work to do here, since I compulsively trim my fingernails whenever I’m idle, which generally means I take care of this task at stoplights. My truck floor is littered with fingernail bits. Really. Anyway: 0.0000837 lbs. (approx.)
  • Had a good cry: More dehydration, with the added benefit that since tears are salty, I lowered my sodium level and therefore my body’s ability to retain water. What did I cry about? Easy: I cried about the fact that there were freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies in my house and I couldn’t eat even one. That is tragic, as anyone who likes hot chocolate chip cookies will attest. 0.2 lbs. (I cried a lot) 
  • I filed down my calluses: Again, with the belt sander, but with a heavier grit sandpaper (25 grit). In retrospect, this wasn’t a good idea. It turns out those calluses were really useful. 0.03 lbs.
  • I trimmed my eyebrows. Not surprisingly to anyone knows me, this accounted for more hair weight than on any other part of my body. My eyebrows are so thick they’re a measurable source of aerodynamic drag, and are downright dangerous when there’s a strong crosswind. I think I must be part Russian. 0.6 lbs.
  • I spat, 420 times. It’s going to take me a while to recoup all this water weight I lost. 0.3 lbs.
  • I exhaled, fully. What, you think air doesn’t have mass? 0.1e-3 lbs.
  • I flapped my arms while on the scale. But I did it gracefully, like a gull, so as to avoid having my arms add to my downforce when they were on the upswing. This is a very difficult and beautiful motion. 0.03 lbs.

Next Week and the Week After That
I’m going to be in Houston most of next week for work, and then I’ll be at Disneyland with my family the following week. My goal for next week is to gain only one pound, which will bring me to 169.4.

PS: The jackpot goes to $200, though the weigh-in will have to be on Saturday, since I’ll still be in Houston on Friday.


  1. Comment by WinWin | 02.29.2008 | 9:20 am

    You have really nice feet. You could be a foot model.

  2. Comment by chtrich | 02.29.2008 | 9:21 am

    I say, that’s a very user friendly scale.

  3. Comment by mocougfan | 02.29.2008 | 9:22 am

    Just curious what those buttons do that I see in the photo.

  4. Comment by fatty | 02.29.2008 | 9:26 am

    winwin – you should see my hands. at least, you should have seen them before the disfiguring hand-mangling accident that cost me my modeling career.

    mocougfan – they’re for setting preferences — english or metric, your height, gender, etc. the scale’s also supposed to measure bodyfat, but it’s wildly inaccurate. anyway, i haven’t touched those buttons in years and years and years.

  5. Comment by dug | 02.29.2008 | 9:30 am

    you should try bleeding yourself. relieves headaches, gives cool scars, AND helps with weightloss.

  6. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.29.2008 | 9:33 am

    Fatty, I think you would have better exfliating results overall if you switched to 100 wet/dry, used with a water lubricant. Admittedly, this will take a little longer, but I think you will immediately recognize the superior results. Use the 3M brand – the black stuff, not the mottled gray and black.

  7. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.29.2008 | 9:33 am

    exfoliating. i knew that. i love it when you see typos just after you hit submit.

  8. Comment by fatty | 02.29.2008 | 9:34 am

    dug – bloodletting’s a terrific idea; within reason it seems like you could use it to lose as much weight as you need. “within reason” is the real key here i think.

  9. Comment by tavis | 02.29.2008 | 9:38 am

    0.9e1 lbs is 9 pounds (.9 x 10^1). I think you meant .1e-3 would be more accurate.
    Your friend,
    the nerd.

  10. Comment by Yeagermeister | 02.29.2008 | 9:39 am

    I lost 5.7 pounds between Saturday the 16th and Thursday the 21st. Of course, having the flu really helped a ton. I can now brag that I’m down to 140.5 (while trying to get to 138), but I’m almost certain that every bit of the 5.7 pounds l lost was from quadricep muscle. Tuesday night’s easy trainer ride really hurt.

  11. Comment by tavis | 02.29.2008 | 9:39 am

    I forgot to delete the “I think you meant” part. Just ignore that.

  12. Comment by fatty | 02.29.2008 | 9:44 am

    tavis – the thing is, i really have big lungs. nine pounds of air big.

  13. Comment by Terry | 02.29.2008 | 9:54 am

    Were you ever on a wrestling team?

  14. Comment by Reagan | 02.29.2008 | 9:55 am

    I don’t bike, although I rode it for transportation in college (two years ago). But I love reading your posts. They’re funny while addressing a real issue.

  15. Comment by fatty | 02.29.2008 | 10:01 am

    reagan – thanks for the kind words. are you saying i have issues?

  16. Comment by bikemike | 02.29.2008 | 10:03 am


    when i was married (i’m not now, you’ll see one of the many reasons)whilst watching tv on the sofa, i would manually (use of fingers only, no clippers) trim my toenails and “conveniently” toss the removed toenails behind the sofa. great idea until the purchase of new sofa. when the guys came to switch out the old one, there was a nice surprise pile of clippings. funny to them, very not funny to the ex.
    yep, pretty sure that was the irreconcilable difference. hey, it coulda been nose type articles on the bottom of the coffee table. i’m not a total caveman. no offense meant to cavemen.

  17. Comment by MonsieurM | 02.29.2008 | 10:05 am

    What about the weight of the camera? You had to have it in your hands when you took the picture and obviously, it increases your weight on the scale. So you’re probably under 168.4 already. I think you’ve filed down your calluses for nothing…

  18. Comment by cyclostu | 02.29.2008 | 10:18 am

    You have GOT to vacuum up the fingernail bits off of your floor boards. That’s just icky. And BikeMike, you too are icky. I, naturally, do nothing that could be considered gauche or inappropriate. You could call me Mr. Manners, although that might be weird if you did.

  19. Comment by LanterneRouge | 02.29.2008 | 10:23 am

    Fatty, I’m pleased that you met your weight loss goal. I am ecstatic that you know how to use the cropping feature in photoshop. Taking a picture at that particular angle could have been, shall we say, unfortunate for your readers had you been less skilled.

  20. Comment by fatty | 02.29.2008 | 10:26 am

    monsieurm – that’s an excellent observation, and deserves an explanation. when i first stepped on the scale with the camera, the scale read 168.6 (my scale does everything in .2-lb increments). “i’m screwed,” i thought. then i weighed myself again, without the camera, and got the right weight. knowing this, i weighed myself without the camera again but with the camera in reaching distance, after which — without stepping off the scale — i picked up the camera and took the picture. yes, i know enough about my scale to realize that once it’s settled on your weight, it doesn’t change the value when you pick something up. how strange am i to know such a thing?

  21. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.29.2008 | 10:40 am

    I have the same scale and you are right, the bodyfat calculations are dubious at best. There is no really good (read cheap) way of measuring that, is there? Calipers don’t really work, depending on how skilled the measurer is. The only way is the water chamber thingy (technical term).

    I felt like I was being really, really good this week, but I can’t get below 180…or 182, even.

    Guess I’ll eat one corn flake before I do my 40 miler tomorrow!

  22. Comment by Thom | 02.29.2008 | 10:43 am

    next week’s going to be tougher now…

  23. Comment by judi | 02.29.2008 | 10:44 am

    Mike – the body fat test that works the best is the one they do under water. It’s the most efficient way to measure body fat. I have also done the calipers but the guy did 6 points instead of 3.

    Fatty – you do have nice feet! Have a blast on vaca with your family!

  24. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.29.2008 | 10:49 am

    This’ll be interesting. Away for work AND vacation…that’s good for 3-4 pounds in a week.
    Buena suerde, Gordito!

  25. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.29.2008 | 10:50 am


  26. Comment by Bob | 02.29.2008 | 10:56 am

    Fatty – Next time, make sure you run a good lint brush over your skin to get up any dust from all the belt sanding. I’d suggest just taking a shower, but your body might absorb the water right through your skin from being so dehydrated.

  27. Comment by allison | 02.29.2008 | 10:56 am

    Simply hilarious. I almost spat tea out on my keyboard.

  28. Comment by axel | 02.29.2008 | 11:43 am

    houston of all places – it ranked as the least fittest city in the US a few years ago.
    There is plenty of good mexican food, barbeque, seafood, cajun food, southern home cooking and texas sized steaks available… The city itself is typical urban sprawling hell.

    But there is help – there is a “mountain” bike trail in Memorial Park, there is a velodrome ( open for riding in the evening and for a road ride I would recommend galveston to freeport or galveston toward sabine pass. And the weather has been fabulous lately.

    (I don’t live there, just close enough to know about these things…)

  29. Comment by the greg | 02.29.2008 | 11:53 am

    is it for six sigma, fats? my wife is going to houston on monday for a conference. i know, its a big city, but i like to search for coincidence. good luck re-hydrating and keeping the weight off.

  30. Comment by fatty | 02.29.2008 | 12:11 pm

    the greg – nope, not six sigma. i’m going to do customer visits. (insight into my day job: one of my most important tasks is to see how my company’s customers like our website and how they wish it could be better. in other words, i watch over people’s shoulders for a living.)

  31. Comment by Lifesgreat | 02.29.2008 | 12:49 pm

    Bloodletting? How about donating a pint of blood? You can only do it once every couple of months, but you do lose weight-and you help others.

  32. Comment by harold | 02.29.2008 | 12:59 pm

    A friend of mine was in a similar predicament a few years ago. He needed to lose about 7 lbs. in a day to avoid losing a bet. He put on a rubber suit and went for a long run on an 80 degree day. Then he took some diuretics. Before the weigh in, we found him passed out in a bathroom at work. The doctors in the emergency room said there was a good chance he could have killed himself. Something about totally screwed up electrolytes. However, he got on a scale before going to the hospital and didn’t lose the bet.

  33. Comment by FlatsMan | 02.29.2008 | 1:05 pm

    Think what weight you could be in SFla.

    We never ever ride until it’s above 60deg, brrrr.

    Summer average about 9000 deg and 110% humidity. Try not drinking in that mate. You can lose 20 pounds in an hour. Of course yu’d be in hospital hooked up to an IV later, then the hospital food is so gross you could lose another 30.


  34. Comment by FlatsMan | 02.29.2008 | 1:06 pm

    correction: you’d

  35. Comment by Madisonian | 02.29.2008 | 1:29 pm

    I’m just surprised you didn’t think to use leeches. After all, their blood-suckingly medicinal!

  36. Comment by Dan K | 02.29.2008 | 1:36 pm


    Axel just hooked it up! I mean, you have to do the Mexican and BBQ thing while you’re there, it’s mandatory. I’m talking about the velodrome. Velodrome! Open for training on Tues & Thursday evenings!! Velodrome, open, for training!!! Dude!!!! Bring a track bike if you still have one, or the Filmore with a fixed cog if you really did get rid of the Pista.

    Somehow I have a feeling the Pista ended up “sold” to a friend, and you could “borrow” it with a mere phone call. I’m not the only one that “sells” bike stuff like that, am I? Wait, I can’t be, because I’ve got bikes my friends “sold” me in the same fashion. Anyway, we your loyal subjects want a velodrome ride report!

    P.S. I just accidentally posted this on the wrong post. Don’t ask.

  37. Comment by Born 4Lycra 43 11 N 2 32 W | 02.29.2008 | 2:47 pm

    Fatty said “anyway, i haven’t touched those buttons in years and years and years.” Pity really reaching for those buttons would be like touching your toes. Combined wih the graceful gull like flapping of the arms it could have made the whole process of measuring your weight more of a ballet. And at the completion of each movement (so to speak) an amazing photo opportunity. Okay enough said.
    Great Weight loss strategy – what would you recommend as the ideal interval daily may be a bit too much but weekly?

  38. Comment by axel | 02.29.2008 | 2:49 pm

    they have track bikes for rent at the velodrome (according to the website), there is really no excuse…

  39. Comment by Dino | 02.29.2008 | 3:54 pm

    So if you ever find yourself in that situation again just go to the drugstore the night before your weigh in and buy some Magnesium Citrate (Oral solution, 10 oz bottle). Its a saline laxative. The night before I checked in for basic training with the Navy I was 4lbs over wieght. That night my recruiter gave me a bottle. I had to use the bathroom about once per hour through the night but at my wiegh in the next morning I was 2 lbs under the required weight. I drank a lot of water after the weigh in and regained all of the wieght. These tactics kept me out of the chub club. I think everybody should have to drink that stuff at least once. It’s an experience. I managed to drop another 30 lbs during the 8 weeks of basic.

  40. Comment by Andy | 02.29.2008 | 3:59 pm

    Your cheating FATTY. I can so see the reflection in the scale of you hanging onto your shower curtain bar taking an extra few pounds off your frame. Since I spotted it I should get the money!!

  41. Comment by Bluenoser | 02.29.2008 | 4:22 pm

    So fatty, is your job the computer version of a wheel sucker? I’m going to have to get a second job to get those race parts if you keep removing body parts. The mesh drywall sanding pads would probably do a good job. And how do we know that those are your feet? I think I need some kind of controller here like a picture of you getting a tattoo on one of your feet.

    I know I’m reaching here but I really need those parts.


  42. Comment by Wheels | 02.29.2008 | 5:26 pm

    My favorites are the shaving, fingernail trimming, and the exhaling as these are all thoughts I’ve actually had while stepping on the scale. I am embarrassed to admit, during the B7 I considered not shaving my legs and growing my hair long… so that for the final weigh in I’d have a drastic 14 grams drop off effortlessly. With eyebrows weighing as much as 8 oz. of water it would have been worth it! One of my favorite things you’ve written was the “review of my hair”, and I don’t remember any comment on those eyebrows.

  43. Comment by KT | 02.29.2008 | 5:31 pm

    Need to lose a few pounds? Get food poisoning.

    After you get better, you won’t want to eat. At least, not for a couple of days.

    Viola, all your clothes fit looser.

    (Personal experience… from last weekend. At a race. In which I dnf’d (my first) and went home.)

  44. Comment by Dobovedo | 02.29.2008 | 6:43 pm

    Ten toes? Ten!? Isn’t that a little excessive? You coulda shaved at least a tenth of a pound or so by removing more than just the nails.

    Oh, and one other thing you could have done.. but I’ll let you use your imagination. It’s a family show.

  45. Comment by DOM | 02.29.2008 | 7:04 pm

    If you get desperate next week, go for the lumbar puncture. You really have a great deal more spinal fluid than you’ll ever need. The only real service it provides is keeping your brain from rubbing against your skull. You can use the money you avoid awarding to buy Tylenol for the headaches.

  46. Comment by AllezWeGo | 02.29.2008 | 7:08 pm


    First, let me start by saying I am a new reader and a fan already. Great website and great writing.

    I read your post about doing eveything possible to hit the magic number on the unmagical scale, but you missed a trick. As a fat cyclist – a guy of fireplug proportations and a guy described by his doctor as a “fat, liitle f**K” – I know what I speak of. I too am in battle to lose some poundage and will do anything to achieve my weekly goal. Ended February at 172, got ragged on by my doctor (“If you weighed 140#s in high school, you can weigh that now!”) and am now in a bet with a buddy for a retro 7-Eleven jersey for most pound percentage lost by the end of April.

    My secret for those last tenth of percents on the Tanita?? A great poop. I mean a load off the mind, read a whole magazine, see you in an hour bathroom sitdown. Fiber tablets and a bowl of high fiber cereal before bed and I am ready to weigh-in in the morning like a wrestler trying to meet weight before the big high school championship.

    It may not be pretty (OK it’s not), but it is effective. Good for the insides, good for the Monday weigh-in and especially good for talking crap to my friend. (I know, bad pun.)

    Good luck on your journey. Hope this advice helps in some way. I look forward to more of your writngs.

    167 pounds and some percentage points

  47. Comment by Gordon | 02.29.2008 | 9:15 pm

    Have you ever noticed how disproportionately veiny your left foot is? You might want to have that looked at…

  48. Comment by Triflefat | 02.29.2008 | 9:57 pm

    Nice photo. Left me wondering about the shadows of the big toes. It looks like the light source is some feet above and between your legs. Does this mean that the sun really DOES shine out of your ….?

  49. Comment by Bluenoser | 03.1.2008 | 4:23 am

    Maybe a Fattyâ„¢ tattoo.


  50. Comment by Harvey [Chubby Old Roadie] | 03.2.2008 | 12:38 pm

    How about a “cleansing laxative” and inhaling some Helium? Well, it’s probably allowed in the B8.

  51. Comment by Arno | 03.5.2008 | 5:56 am

    I don’t think exhaling air would work, ( see archimedes principle ).
    Next time I suggest you try inhaling a large gulp of helium before climbing on the scale.

  52. Comment by amba | 10.29.2008 | 8:58 pm


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