8 Week Weight Loss Challenge

I’m too heavy. Or at least I’ve got too much dead weight (fat).

I’m not way overweight but could stand to lose 10 pounds or so. It would help my running, my self-image, and just be healthier.

This realization didn’t come overnight, although I literally popped a button off my shorts last night. For over two years, I have tracked my weight on a near-daily basis so I have been aware of the need to shed pounds. (Plus I have this handy tool called a mirror that gives real-time feedback).

As a side note, I use an android app called WeightTracker (by pigdogbay). What I like about it compared to other apps I tried is it uses linear regression to give you trends over the last 7, 30, and all time, of your progress and uses those to predict when you will hit your target weight.

The mystery is, how am I going to do this?

Just like a detective, I’m going to present my intended means, motivation, and opportunity.

Means

How am I going to shift the calories in to calories used equation to my favor?

First, taking a look at my current diet, the biggest problem is eating too much in general with splurging on junk food an contributing factor.

On a day-to-day basis, I just eat too much. The typical workday pattern is I slurp down a bowl of cereal in the morning, eat a fruit or two as a non-lunch, eat essentially a meal when I get home from work, and eat supper later in the evening. The “meal” I eat when I get home is the most problematic. Because I am pretty hungry at that point, I eat with great enthuaism and minimal concern about the quality.

In an effort to avoid this post-work binging, I am going to eat more. But eat it sooner so I do not feel the compulsion to overeat. Adding a fruit to my breakfast and eating a more substantial, healthy lunch consisting of various fruits and vegetables should allow me to arrive home without feeling very hungry and wanting to eat, eat, eat.
The other addition I intend to make is start each meal with a serving of fruit/vegetable and glass of water. The intent again is to front load my consumption with healthy food. I’m also hoping to slow down and give myself time to feel full sooner.

Motivation

I’ve been trying to lose these stubborn 5-10 pounds and, other than 2012 when I ran multiple marathons, have consistently failed.

On some podcast I heard about an app that “motivates” you to meet your goals by automatically making a donation to an organization you despise if you fail to meet the goal. Unfortunately I remember neither which podcast nor the app name.

I thought about committing to either the Clinton or Trump campaigns or even both. But that seems too severe. So I decided to use my “hatred” for the minnysota vikings and tie failure to them. A former viking player, Jared Allen, does some very good work building homes for wounded veterans. I vow to make a donation to his charity, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors if I fail.

But because that lacks real bite–the money would still be going to a good cause–I will also pledge to run a race in Wisconsin in viking gear if I lose. That makes the challenge a lot more visceral.

Opportunity

I have been trying to lose 5-10 pounds for over a decade and other than 2012 when I ran two marathons, have not been able to sustain that.

This morning, I weighed in at 162.6 pounds, had an average morning weight of 161.457 the last seven days (median of 161.8), and gut circumference of 36 inches.


But really, this one photo shows the problem in horrifying detail.

The Challenge

So my eight week challenge is to get under 155 pounds in eight weeks. If my average weight for week #8 is 155 or less, I win. If it is over, I lose.

2016, a New Year!

Turning the page on 2015 which was a down year for my running. Only had 500-some miles, breaking a 4-year streak of 1,000+ miles. Only raced three times, missing the final two races in the Salomon Autumn Trail Series–the only races I’ve missed in the 5 or 6 years of the series. I had some other priorities in 2015–I changed jobs, started grad school, sold & bought homes, have a 1-year-old, and had a blood clot that stuck me in the hospital twice and required the installation of a stent.

So I choose not to emphasize my running as much in 2015.

Some of those priorities from 2015 should be less of a factor in 2016 so I’m hoping to increase my running this year. I’m registered for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in June and am looking for some other filler races. I’m not setting any crazy goals for this year, just run 1,000+ miles, lose 7-8 pounds, and stay injury-free.

Happy New Year to everyone, hope 2016 is great for you.