Weekly Digest 28 2/8/19 – 2/14/19
The thing about dieting is that it is not an exact science. And that fact irritates me to no end. I WANT it to be a direct calculus of calories in vs. calories expended as compared to your basal metabolic burn rate. That is a formula and I can work with that! I WANT it to be factored on a spreadsheet and for the math to be irrefutable. However, somewhere along the way the body just decides it isn’t going to play by the rules of mathematics-based science. As a result, all of us are left manage the situation to suggestions of what “should” happen if we do X and what is “likely” to happen if we do Y. Systems are developed around these statistical likelihoods and then someone writes a book, gives it a clever name and voila, a diet is born!
Despite the flash, pomp and circumstance of fad diets or long term sound approaches or sustainable lifestyles (pick your own watchwords there), each of us remains in charge of what we put in our bodies. And, ultimately, it is through our choices that we either maximize or minimize our chances for success. Yet, it is merely a chance. As I have seen over the last four months, my physical health has had a LOT to say about whether or not I see any degree of success in my diet. So every week there is the potential for a surprise. Such is the case this week.
A big surprise:
So last week I was struggling with a series of injuries that had on the sidelines recovering and I ended up with a diminished exercise regimen for the week. Finally, on Sunday I felt healthy enough to get back on the elliptical and start exercising. In retrospect, I was not. After doing mild cardio runs on Sunday and Monday, my right knee started to hurt pretty significantly. So that put me on Injured Reserve again for the remainder of the week. Given that, I wasn’t expecting anything positive this week. It was my most inactive week over the last year.
Despite all the seemingly contradictory conditions that had set in, my body broke loose and I lost 8 pounds this week, bringing me to 198lbs lost in total. While I am cautious about this – and do expect a slight rebound as my system normalizes, or reacts to the current injury, I am also thrilled to have FINALLY seen a positive turn again! It makes me absolutely giddy and somewhat nervous to be THIS close to my next micro-goal of having lost 200 pounds.
I will tell you what, folks …I am damn sick and tired of talking about the struggle to hit that micro-goal. I am ready to achieve it and set a new one and get on the road to the NEXT micro-goal, whatever that ends up being.
The knee issue:
What I came to understand about why my knee was not feeling well was that trying to continue elliptical cross circuit sessions while experiencing a gout flare-up the previous week, had forced a change in my form. As I attempted many of these exercises in my normal cross circuit routine, I had to slightly alter my form to accommodate for the pain when trying to bend my left big toe. As a result that put different stresses on the joints that were all now injured.
As a result, most of this week had me being relatively sedentary and alternating ice and heat on my knee to help it heal. As I write this, things are improving, but I have learned a couple valuable lessons here. 1. Don’t alter your form – if it hurts to do an exercise, don’t do it rather than do it with bad form. Pick a different exercise. 2. When I am injured and it prevents more mobile work such as elliptical sessions, then I need to focus on free weights and continue building lean muscle. Building lean muscle remains a big aspect of developing and maintaining a healthy routine for day to day living.
This week my intake was pretty good. Recognizing that I was injured yet again, I knew I had to keep the intake clean and reasonable. I had just one day over 1500 calories, and while I think I did not eat as clean as last week, the overall calories were quite good.
My stumbles this week included some tortilla chips, a few crackers, some cheese, a few butterscotch chips and a few mixed drinks. It’s not terrible, but I am getting more and more conscious of the fact that it takes very little to mess up a week for me. So, again, I need to keep reminding myself to make wise choices and keep pushing a clean diet.
This week I have had some enlightening conversations with friends Scott and Karibeth. One of which surrounded the impact of wheat in our diets, exactly how addictive it is, and it made me realize my own propensity to reach for breads or crackers as comfort foods or snacks. I think of how much I love toast with peanut butter on it, or sandwiches, or crackers or doughnuts …and I truly have to ponder just how addictive wheat can be. That was eye-opening for me. It’s through conversations like this where we get a glimpse into what we might do to improve our own situation. This is a prime example of making a subtle change in your diet to help your system.
This will be one of my shorter paragraphs. Two elliptical sessions is all I did. The rest of the time I was moping with ice packs being alternated with a heating pad on my knee. It, clearly, is one of my most inactive weeks in a long time – and that’s on top of winter being a fairly inactive time anyways! Next week needs to include some free weights as my knee continues healing.
Well, the next week needs to include more exercise for certain. I think it will be a big free weight week. I also need to do a better job of eating cleaner. I am already two days into the next week and can see a couple areas I need to improve on already – so the remaining 5 days need to be super good. In a nutshell, eat clean and exercise smart.
So …8 pounds. That’s great, but we all know how the seesaw effect works. There is a better-than-even chance that I will gain a little back. BUT …my goal this week will be holding on to the great gains I made last week. I know that some of that had to be water weight. Important things are happening with my system too – the prednisone is out of my system, and my body is healing gradually. Within the next week I hope to be fully ambulatory again and can pursue being active.
The last word
My last word this week is about being grateful. First, I am reminded about not taking my health for granted. When I am fully able to be up and active I need to take advantage of that more than ever! Those warm summer days when I can hop on my bike and just GO seem like a dream now. I can’t wait for their return. Second, I am grateful for friends and all those who support what I am trying to do here. All the amazing input and perspectives from those who travel this road with me is fuel and inspiration in the darkest of times. It’s good to have allies in this fight because I do not relish the idea of making a go of this alone. I have a great team. Thank you, all.