This is a bad time of year for those of us who gain weight easily. So many things working against us. The big events we’ve been working toward the whole season are over. It’s dark ’til later, then gets dark again earlier. It’s colder outside, making comfort food more…comforting.
And then there are the holidays. Halloween comes right before Thanksgiving, which comes right before Christmas, which is practically on the same day as New Year’s.
Hey, with all these things working against us, why even try to keep our weight down, right?
This Autumn has been especially bad for me, weight-gain-wise. I’m up to 173.2 pounds, as of this morning, which is 6.8 pounds away from my official “shame weight” — the weight at which I officially have to get out my fat pants and start wearing bulky sweatshirts.
I don’t want to have to do this. But I know that — unless I do something bold — I’m going to have to.
And so, starting today, I am going to spite the Winter Weight Gain god (his friends call him “Melvin”). I am going to use the (nearly) four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to lose ten pounds, instead of putting on another five.
And I’d like you to join me. The solidarity will help.
And as extra incentive, if you’ll commit, I’ll give you something cool for free (which will serve the dual purpose of helping me clean up my office).
What You Can Win
I just went through the pile of stuff laying around in my office — stuff given to me with the express purpose of me giving it away — and frankly I’m a little bit startled. Although I suppose I shouldn’t be, seeing as how I have to step over a big pile anytime I want to get to the computer. And then I have to sweep aside another pile in order to see the monitor.
And in general, I have a lot of stuff I’d feel guilty keeping for myself.
Plus — and this is the really awesome part — The Runner has promised me that she’d take care of the shipping of all these prizes, which has been the stumbling block that’s kept me from giving all this away already.
So, here are the things you might win if you join me in my quest to lose ten pounds before Christmas.
A Timex Ironman Race Trainer Kit
Don’t have a good heart rate monitor? Or a stopwatch? This’ll take care of you. And since it’s a Timex, you know it’s pretty much bombproof. I will be giving away 1 of these.
A 2009 Fat Cyclist jersey, signed by Levi Leipheimer and Bob Roll
I’m going to be honest with you: this jersey is slightly used. But the guy who used it is Chuck Ibis, and if you ask me, that makes this jersey even more collectible. I have 1 of these to give away.
A Garmin-Transitions Jersey
A 100 Miles of Nowhere T-Shirt
I will be giving away my remaining “leftover” stock of these t-shirts — all 23 of them. If you win one, though, I want you to promise to make it honest by doing a 100 Miles of Nowhere ride of your own.
Pro Bars and Fruition Bars
I love Pro Bars and Fruition bars. They’re pricey, but taste a lot more like real food than your ordinary energy bars. I’ll be giving away 1 box of the Pro Bars and one box of the Fruition bars.
Cycling Hall of Shame Autographed Pedals: Michael Rasmussen, Bernard Kohl
How many people do you know who have a pedal signed by even one disgraced cycling pro? Well, now you can have a mismatched set. This will be your most awesome conversation piece ever. One person gets both of these.
A Gary Fisher Stocking Cap
Miscellaneous Water Bottle Sets
I’m giving these — guaranteed to never have been used before — water bottles away in sets of two, so you’ll have a nice matching set. A Levi’s GranFondo set. A Fat Cyclist set. Two sets of Garmin bottles. A Team LiveStrong set. And even my Leadville Trail 100 set.
A Fat Cyclist Jersey
I have a few Fat Cyclist jerseys from years gone by — one from 2009, two from 2008. Part of me thinks I ought to hang on to them, but I’m giving them away, because I already have enough Fat Cyclist jerseys that I can go a month without wearing the same one twice.
How to Enter
Which of these many, many prizes might you win? That’s the beauty of it — you don’t know. I’ll choose randomly (though if possible, I’ll be happy to send you the correct size of shirt).
And even better, it costs nothing for you to enter this contest, or to win something. All you have to do is leave a comment either today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday) in today’s post , indicating that you’re in. If you’re brave, you should also post your current weight.
When you leave a comment, be sure to include your email address in the email field (don’t worry, that address isn’t public, it’s just so I can contact you and get your address if you win something).
Then, on each weigh-in day, in the comments section, tell me how much you’ve lost so far. Weigh-in days are:
- November 29/30: Initial weigh-in
- December 6: First week weigh-in
- December 13: Second week weigh-in
- December 20: Third week weigh-in
- December 23: Final weigh-in
Note that there are only 3 days between the third week weigh-in and the final weigh in, so don’t plan on losing a ton of weight then.
Out of everyone who successfully loses at least 10 pounds by December 23, I’ll choose random winners for each of the prizes listed above.
To me, it seems pretty likely that if you lose the 10 pounds, you’ll get some prize or other. Considering the entry fee (none), that’s not bad at all.
My Eating Plan
I am not a dietician. I am not a nutritionist. But I know quite about about what works, at least for myself (and I’ve got a pretty ordinary body). If you don’t already have a diet worked out, why don’t you follow my plan? It’s simple, it is usable for busy people in the real world, and if you stay on the wagon, I am almost certain that you will lose more than the ten pounds I’m setting as our communal by-Christmas goal.
Breakfast: I like eggs for breakfast. Here are the two ways I like to prepare them.
- Fried: either 4 egg whites — fried — with a quarter avocado sliced on top, or a 3 egg whites and 1 yolk. Either way, it goes on a slice of wheat toast.
- Scrambled: Saute a quarter onion, a handful of mushrooms, a handful of spinach leaves, and a couple spoonsful of salsa, then scramble in 3 whites and a yolk.
Snack: A grapefruit, or a tomato. Or an apple. Or a banana. Or if I craving something sweet, pears. Basically, any raw fruit or vegetable
Lunch: Tuna, egg whites, or chopped chicken, with fat free mayo, dill relish, celery, tomato, and mustard chopped in. On a slice of wheat bread or a couple of rice cakes.
Snack: Same as previous snack, but only one grapefruit per day. Not because they’re heavy or anything like that. I’ve just noticed my stomach starts to feel too acidic when I go too heavy on the grapefruit (wonderful though it is)
Dinner: Same thing everyone else in the family is having, but with portion control. No more carbs than two slices of bread would be, no more meat than the size of my fist. Keep fats to about a tablespoon.
- Throughout the day: Drink half gallon of water.
- When to stop eating: After dinner, I’m done eating for the night. This makes for very difficult sleeping the first couple nights, after which things are fine. And I’m done drinking, too. Because I hate having to get up to pee four times per night.
- How I Hope to Not Hate My New Eating Habits: Once per week, usually on a Friday or Saturday, I get a non-diet meal. So it’s still possible to go out to eat and indulge in the things I like most. It’s just that doing so will be more of a special occasion, instead of the default.
- My non-dairy-ness isn’t about diet. You’ll notice there’s hardly any dairy in my diet. That’s not because I don’t think dairy can work in a diet. It’s because dairy makes me fart. And I don’t like soy milk, for those of you who were about to suggest it.
My Exercise Plan
This is actually the hardest part of the plan for me, because it’s winter, and I just don’t love riding my bike in the cold (I know, some people thrive on it; I don’t).
So, I plan to ride the rollers for an hour every day. That’s as much as I can stand. I will then supplement that with a rotating schedule of a short run or swim and an upper body day. Upper body days consist of doing the Hundred Pushups plan and pull-ups.
The Runner, by the way, will be doing essentially the same thing as me, but will be doing P90X for her upper-body stuff.
How Fast I’ll Lose Weight
I expect to lose four pounds this first week, then three pounds in the second week, then two pounds in the third week. In the final three days, I’ll lose one more pound. Ten pounds by Christmas. Easy.
Now, I gotta figure out what I’m going to give myself for a prize when I succeed.
Let’s Get Started
OK, we’ve got a timeframe, we’ve got prizes, we’ve got solidarity. Let’s see how much, collectively, we can lose by Christmas. Go weigh yourself, and then leave a comment saying that you are committed.