Each year, as the leaves begin to fall, my weight begins to climb. I have many good reasons for this annual phenomenon, all of which share the common theme of blaming something besides my exercising less, while eating more.
This year, however, things will be different. This year I have noticed the warning signs early. In early September, for example, I noticed that I was tending to wear my bigger jerseys, just because they fit a little more comfortably. In mid-September I noticed that I consistently had good reasons to go on rides that have less climbing. In late September, I noticed that my knees squoosh into my gut when I pedal.
Subtle hints to be sure, but I am a very observant person.
Armed with knowledge of what had happened and what would — if left unchecked — continue to happen, I have created a plan to nip this problem in the bud. Specifically, I have created a weight loss plan to carry me through the rest of this year.
But this is no ordinary weight loss plan. No. This is a plan that takes into account the realities of life. It is a practical plan. One that I can — and will — follow.
Week of October 4
This was the week immediately preceeding Levi’s GranFondo. A hectic week, and I really didn’t have much time to get to the grocery store to buy lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. Plus, I knew that I’d be going to Santa Rosa on Thursday and that it would be practically impossible for me to eat well during the next few days.
Still, I’d be going on a long, demanding road bike ride on Saturday, and that would be a great starting point for me to begin the next week. I would establish and hold to good eating habits and get on track to having lost the ten pounds I’d like to have off by the time I go to NYC for the NYC Marathon.
Net Weight Change: + 2 pounds
Week of October 11
Of course, following the GranFondo, I was completely ravenous for about three days, and who could blame me? I was replenishing my depleted energy stores. Not to mention rehydrating.
Sure, there are probably better ways to rehydrate than drinking a gallon of chocolate milk per day, but after all, there’s lots of research that shows chocolate milk is an excellent recovery drink. So I wasn’t being a glutton; I was recovering.
By the time I got to Wednesday (today), I felt pretty much recovered. There’s just one little problem, though: the kids have the next two days off of school, so today we’re loading up the family into the minivan (yes I own a minivan, shaddup) and heading to Southern CA for a vacation to Magic Mountain.
And honestly, can anyone really expect me to successfully diet while at an amusement park? No. It’s impossible. I may as well loosen my figurative belt (figurative because I never actually wear belts)and just enjoy myself. I’ll start dieting Monday. And I’m going to be hardcore about it.
Net Weight Change: + 2 pounds
Week of October 18
I’ll get home just in time to get caught up on work for a few days, then I’m off to Austin for the LiveStrong Challenge / Ride for the Roses. I’ve been there before and know that while we’re all ostensibly gathered to ride and celebrate the good work we’ve done fundraising, it’s actually a three-day food fest.
Besides, I’ll be hanging out with Team Fatty, and that’s no time to diet; that’s a time to celebrate! Plus, one more week isn’t going to make any real difference in the grand scheme of things.
Net Weight Change: + 2.5 pounds
Week of October 25
From Austin, I’ll be flying to Chicago for work for four days. It’ll be an intense four days of work, broken up only by lunch being brought in (I love sandwiches and potato salad!), and then late-night dinners together with coworkers. I’ll need to be at the top of my mental game that week, and I can’t think clearly when I’m hungry (and don’t even get me started on how grouchy I can get).
I’ll get home on late night Thursday, and then it’s trick-or-treating with the kids on Saturday. I know myself well enough that I realize that if I start dieting on Friday and make myself all hungry right before Halloween where there’s candy everywhere, I’ll just pig out worse on Halloween and will — paradoxically, I guess — gain more weight because I dieted than if I hadn’t dieted at all.
So I’ll wait ’til the next week to start dieting.
Net Weight Change: + 3 pounds
Week of November 1
A quick few days at home, and then The Runner and I fly to NYC for the NYC Marathon. At this point, starving myself is counterproductive. I need to carbo-load for the race.
Seriously, I’ll start dieting right after this marathon.
Net Weight Change: +1.5 pounds
Week of November 8
I really do diet this week. And I’m good about it five days out of seven.
Net Weight Change: -2.8 pounds
Week of November 15
My success of the previous week goes to my head and I gather a false confidence: it’s not so hard to lose weight after all! I begin to back off on my clearly-over-regimented diet.
Then, on November 17, I get LASIK surgery, and my exercise plan falls apart. I lie in bed for a couple of days, milking my minor eye irritation for all its worth. And I eat my body weight in cheese-fries.
Net Weight Change: +2.8 pounds
Weeks of November 22 – December 31
You know what? The holidays are here. Trying to lose weight during this time of year is like pushing water uphill.
But starting January 2, I am going to lose weight. Seriously. No matter what.
Net Weight Change: +5.6 pounds
Total Net Weight Change: 16.6 pounds
I have high confidence that I can make this plan happen. In fact, I’ve already got a good start on it.