Monday, January 5, 2015

A sad story - the data of my getting fat.

After I wrote this I realized that some may think this a bit of a pity party. Let me be clear - it is not. I wrote it to come back to this post from time to time as a reminder of what happens when I lose focus. Because of this I turned off comments and I'm not putting this on Facebook. Don't feel offended. This is all about "me vs. me."
Thanks for your support.

Most of my physical and medical maladies are due to me carrying too much weight. I assume there was a seemingly magical threshold for my body that when I crossed it I triggered a whole bunch of bad things but have no idea what that threshold actually is or was.  It might have been a combination of weight and time (being fat for a too long) but again, that would be yet another mystery for me to fail to solve.

As the calendar flipped to 2015, I went back through my data (I'm a data hound and track way too much stuff) to figure out how much I actually gained this year. I have years of data points on what I weighed and when [there are some gaps but it is not material]). I was a bit surprised to find I only gained 11.4 pounds in 2014. While not great, I expected it to be more. Of course losing 5.2 pounds in the last week made this look better than it was.

I went back in time and found that in 2013 I gained 7.2 pounds. As a single data point, again not so bad. In fact, better than 2014.

So, I kept going back in time to find where it got bad. 2012 had me gain 34.6 pounds but this wasn't where my troubles began. I completed Ironman Florida in the first week of November 2011. I found in the year of 2011 I gained 21.2 pounds, most of it in the 2 months post Ironman.

But my weight gain did not start post Ironman. It actually began between my bike accident in 2010 and the start of my actual Ironman training. The lowest I've weighed in the last decade was 245. I hit 250 in September 2010 and gained more weight while training for an Ironman. Yes, I've proven that one can gain weight, and a lot of it, while training for an Ironman. I've also proven I can gain a lot of weight after Ironman too. I don't have much more to prove in this area.

There is a concept called nutrition periodization where you match your nutrition (intake) plan with your  training (consumption) plan. In summary, during periods of high training you need a higher caloric diet. As you lower your training volume, you need to lower your calories in. I failed in that not only did I, post ironman, keep my calories high, but I reduced the quality of the food I consumed. I replaced salad with french fries, breakfast at home became fast food breakfast sandwiches on the go, first one then two (hey, they were on sale, 2 for $3), and the spiral kept spinning in the wrong direction.

The last time I lost weight (before prepping for Ironman and at the beginning of what I call adult onset exercise) I started at 328.4 and ended at 245 for a loss of 83.4 pounds. So it can be done and I can do it.

This time I'm starting at 351.2. 250 would be great as a long term goal. 101.2 pounds. While that will be a great long term goal, I think it is too big a goal for me to grasp so I need to go after smaller chucks. I think it might be novel to track my lost weight against when I gained it. So my first goal is to lose the weight I gained in 2014. So 11.4 pounds to my first goal.

I have a plan and just need to execute against it.