Thursday, August 28, 2008

30x40: Weeks of 8/18–8/25/08 Progress

A WEEK AFTER MY TRIP to Central City, I still find myself recovering from the divergence from my home weekday eating plan and the time away from the gym. Some of the problem was self-inflicted; getting dessert with dinner out there was a mistake. Some of it was inadvertent, notably the poor gym facilities at the hotel and the pizza lunch we were given on the big-meeting day (with no alternatives like salad; in fact, I think dessert pizza was the salad) in the CC office. And some of the problem arose from having a weekend right after this comparative fitness/nutrition desert. Although I allow myself some divergences from the usual diet on the weekend, Mom was kind enough to offer her macaroni and cheese Sunday night, which made for leftovers Monday and Tuesday nights. . . . So the weekend represented a bit of retracement.

My weight didn't visibly shift too much, and my Monday gut measurement didn't show any gain, but I did feel fatter for a couple of days after my return. The bags felt heavier when I carried them upstairs here, and not because I stuffed them with souvenirs. (More likely were binges at the comic book and boardgame stores across from my hotel.) Not exactly the streak I wanted to rack up just before my second-month anniversary on the 30x40 plan. I'd much rather have continued the run I had between 8/14 — when I touched 220 for the first time in years — and 8/16 — the second of two days at 219.5. I'll have to analyze what exercise and eating combination resulted in this dip. But from the standpoint of the broader goal (losing .57 lb./week or 2.5 lb./month), I met my milestone: 222.5 lb. on August 27, down from 225.0 on July 27, for a loss of exactly 2.5 lb.

I didn't sweat the fat gain too badly upon my return. No mistake is totally irrevocable on this plan, and some — like a cold, or a business trip — are unavoidable and best rolled with and corrected ASAP. The iron was waiting for me when I returned to the gym Saturday afternoon, and I racked up a shockingly energetic weight routine. Doing so well got me through the last few days; nightmares have been kicking me out of bed at hours early even for me. This has left me a walking corpse by the end of the workday, which in turn fucks up my attempts to eat a healthful dinner. But I kept going back to the gym each day, to keep my muscles going on a regular schedule. When one aspect of my life gets out of balance, the smartest thing I can do is stay consistent with as many other aspects of it as I can, until I can fix the problem. Sleep last night was far more consistent and horror free than has been the recent case, so my plan may be working.

With Labor Day Weekend coming, I have a chance to address the dinner difficulty. And lunch; after I got sick of my usual turkey sandwiches, I had an important void to fill. I can grill a shitload of animal protein on Monday to get me through a few days of next week. Veggies I can handle day to day. (It would help if the current crop of broccoli were better; the heads I'm finding are being harvested far too late, with loose, overdeveloped florets. I am a broccoli snob.)

I wrote everything preceding this paragraph before I left for work this morning. As I closed the door after me upon my return home, I noticed the running list of daily weigh-ins, and the top- and bottom-left entries in that block of early-morning scribbles jumped out at me:

7/22: 225.5
. . .
8/22: 222.5

Three pounds in a month. As much as I still need to lose, as attentive as I need to be in my eating, as hard as I'll have to lift to keep what fitness I have and maybe develop just a little more, I can't help but be proud of that three-pound drop.

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