I used to be fat, and now I'm not.
It's been at least seven years now. Things are pretty easy these days. Stable. Some call it homeostasis, which in my body's case is the ability (or tendency) to maintain a stable and relatively constant condition. In my case, that condition is maintaining 185 pounds.
I have to admit that I often feel like I push the boundaries of this stable and relatively constant condition, yet the scale itself, rarely moves. It's possible that a weekend of too much ice cream is a common area of opportunity for me ...for example. Yet on Monday, I tend to find the scale reading 185 pounds.
I do not take this lightly, though! I cannot afford to. We all hear stories of weight creeping back up over time, and I choose not to be fat ever again. It will not happen quickly, overnight, and not slowly over time. It just won't happen.
For years, I've tended to eat a little free and easy on the weekends; I have the kids, we wing things more, eating out where they want to eat, the previously mentioned ice cream, and the general lack of routine that I tend to follow when I'm working and controlling all my meals. Come Sunday night, I'm usually ready to nip this dietary freedom in the bud! Um, but I'll start "tomorrow..."
Fat loss Monday
Monday has become my day of redemption for the dietary sins of the weekend, but more than that, it sets the stage for how my week is going to go. Over the years, I've decided to make it more than just weighing myself again and resolving to eat right until next week. I have a plan and a routine -- I wake up early, take a walk, listen to a fitness related podcast, all while drinking some coffee. This burns some calories and burns some fat, all while giving me time to reflect on what I want out of the week. It starts me off in a good mood, too, which is a good enough reason as any.
Once I'm back, I get ready for work, don't eat breakfast, and head out. Instead of food now, I do an Intermittent Fast until lunch or longer.
That's the gist of it, but for those who want more detail, here it is, possibly not in the most obvious order.
You gotta loose it to lose it!
Do not eat -- I've been fasting all night, so now is not the time to wreck THAT! I want to draw from whatever I've got in "my stores" that's ready and raring to go. First a.m., with a slow walk goin' on, that's fat!
Coffee, black -- a little jolt of caffeine and almost zero calories. I know a lot of people make fun of the fasted cardio thing, because they say it's trivial. I agree.
Yohimbine -- I have a bottle from way back when. I'll use it up and not buy more. But if it's here, might as well, right? Trivial, once again.
You gotta loose it to lose it. It is all trivial. But, the idea behind this triviality is to loose the fat (e.g., release said fat from said fat cell so it can be burned as energy). Fat burned as energy = lost fat.
Trivial, yes, but I'm not trying to lose a pound of fat in the walk, much less per week. I'm going to walk anyway, so why not slant things in the right direction? Caffeine helps "stuff" come out of the fat cells, easier. Then you can burn off said "stuff" doing your super low intensity stop and smell the roses cardio (walking). I don't have a reference for all this, by the way, but roses do smell good.
BTW, tea works, too. It's the caffeine that's the key, if there's a key at all. Better safe than sorry so take a cup of something with you.
Oh, skip the cream, milk, sugar, and even the zero calorie sweeteners for this one. Remember, we are dealing with the trivial here, and there is a chance that the mere taste of sweetness spikes insulin, shutting off fat loss, even trivially, when you're trying to burn that trivial amount of body fat by doing fasted cardio. That sentence is a mouthful! Anyhow, there's really no doubt that zero cal sweeteners make me hungry, so there's that, too. I don't want to be hungry.
Take a walk -- one hour long, the speed is not important. Time it, so you're not late for work. Walk 30 minutes, then walk back. Figure it out. Making the time is more important than the walk itself. If you are rushed, you defeat the purpose. You will come back stressed and tense, and those things encourage bad eating habits, not good ones.
When you get out there early, you see things that are gone later on. One day I saw a faery ring, some squirrels and bunnies, and a field of African daisies go from closed to open as the sun hit them. I also saw about a million other people walking, and almost all of them said "hi" or did that nod thing. (Hi right back, buddy!)
Fitness Podcast -- If you don't listen to fitness podcasts, here's a chance to try some out. I can't recommend TheFitcast highly enough. The chemistry between the hosts is great. They are funny, knowledgeable, and they obviously like each other a lot. It's like morning drive time radio, but fitness related.
Podcasts suggestions, fitness and otherwise
TheFitcast -- A nice mix of fitness, nutrition, training, and plenty of off topic stuff. At first, you'll wonder why that have to talk about Kevin's dog (Marty) instead of about lifting weights or nutrition, but soon you'll wonder how Marty is doing when they don't mention him. Kevin Larrabee, Leigh Peele, and Jonathon Fass know their stuff, but they have also had virtually every respected name in fitness, plus my friend Lou Schuler, on the show multiple times.
Inside Out Weight Loss -- A little hippie voodoo mental podcast that's pretty motivational. Just because you know what to do with diet and exercise doesn't mean you really want to stick with your plan. Find of why or why not, and learn to get back on track and stay there. Renee seems cool.
Spilled Milk -- More cooking than healthy, I must admit. I have a crush on Molly's voice, so if anyone knows her or her husband, I'd love to get a good seat in her pizza restaurant next time I'm in Seattle. Although I don't eat pizza, I just might eat pizza. Maybe...
Iron Radio -- Good solid info on strength sports and the nutrition to support it. Lonnie Lowery, Rob Fortney, and Phil Stevens give sound, rational, and reasonable advice on all things relating to strong and big.
Mike Robertson -- An interview podcast from a strength coach's perspective. Mike interviews the big names in sports training. Good stuff if you want to train athletes or are an athlete, yourself.
Livin' La Vida Low Carb Show -- Jimmy Moore is a big figure in the low carb community, and he interviews people with a wide variety of perspectives, not just the low carbers. He often has people on who debunk (or attempt to debunk) the conventional wisdom (saturated fat = death, etc.).
Leigh Peele -- Leigh is a straight shooter when it comes to fat loss and shaping your body. Short and sweet (her podcast, at least. I'm not sure she exists. There is a possibility of a Max Headroom situation here).
The Paleo Solution -- Robb Wolf and Greg Everett take the paleo approach, but you might be surprised how sensible these guys are in these podcasts, whether you are a paleo or not. There's a lot of regular (non-paleo) common sense, too. If you've ever done TNT, Adam's Diet, or John Berardi's Metabolism Advantage or JB's 7 Habits you'll see more similarities than differences.
Up early to take a walk, listening to a fitness related podcast, all while drinking some good coffee and setting the mood for my week. It's a short fast, a micro-detox, and a mini-resolution, all wrapped up in Monday. It puts me in the mood to succeed for the week, and I do it whether I'm making up for Sunday or just keeping on track after a very good weekend, dietarily speaking.
A little fat loss
A little motivation
A little peace
A little learning
If I'm right about any one of the above, it's all worth it. The rest is cake. (mmm... cake...)