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I said from the beginning that I was going to be as transparent as possible during this journey. That being said…

The week between Christmas and New Year’s I was pretty loosey-goosey on my eating.  And, yes, loosey-goosey is a real word. Then last week, the week AFTER New Year’s I was on vacation, and I made a conscious decision to eat poorly.

I didn’t eat bad just to eat bad, but instead, I just ate the way I used to eat all the time. BAD.

It was partly an experiment, but mostly just a bad idea.

Since May I’ve hovered right around 240 lbs, give or take 5 pounds. I’ve been as low as 233, but never more than 245. On Christmas Eve I weighed-in, and I had crept up to 247 lbs. So when I stepped onto the scales on the 8th of January, I was hoping that I hadn’t gone too far north of 250 during my “experiment’. I was weighing in the evening, so I thought the results might not be good anyway. On top of everything, I had just ridden 16 hours in a car, and was feeling a little “bloated”, to say the least. I stepped on the scales, and…

270.0 lbs.

That’s right, 270 lbs. Two hundred and seventy pounds. Two. Hundred. Seventy. Pounds. I hadn’t weight that much since LAST February, almost a year ago.

Ouch.

I was 37 lbs over my lowest weight, and I had “gained” 16 lbs in two weeks. Of course, I knew that an evening weigh-in and morning weigh-in was not really apples to apples. I hoped that the morning might bring better results. I really didn’t expect a miracle…and I didn’t get one.

263.3 lbs. 

On a positive note, I had “lost” 6.7 lbs overnight. On a negative note, I still weighed 263.3 lbs.

That morning, I got back to my original “1 Meal – 1 Workout” plan. This morning I was curious, so even though I would normally only weigh once a week, I jumped on the scales again.

259.0 lbs.

Over four pounds in one day, and eleven pounds down since Sunday evening. Obviously, some of that must have been water weight.  I’m still up 12 lbs in two weeks. Not good. But at least I’m heading in the right direction. To be honest, it scared me just a bit.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. I still have one of the most efficient metabolisms on the planet. I’m better at converting food into fat than just about anyone I know.
  2. The grass is not greener! Eating bad is not the promised land. I don’t miss it.
  3. If you sit in a car for 38 hours and eat lots of bad food, you will gain weight.
  4. I’m ready to “finish” my journey. My tentative goal is 220 lbs. I plan on hitting it in 6 months.

 I’ve been on vacation for the past week, and I decided to do a little experiment. For the past 18 months, I’ve eaten quite differently then I have for all of my adult life. I tried to make smart choices each meal, lay off the bad stuff, etc., etc. All the stuff I’ve been talking about on this site and my podcast.

This week, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however much I wanted. If I was offered a piece of pie, I took it. If I was offered a second piece, I took that, too. For lunch today? Double meat jalapeno cheeseburger…my favorite!  Or at least, it used to be.

After my one week experiment, I’m officially BACK on the wagon. There was nothing that I ate that was as satisfying as running my first 5K. Sweet tea was not as sweet as going from XXXXL to XL shirts. No comfort food was as enjoyable as being comfortable in my clothes.

The grass is not greener on the other side of the eating fence. I’m not missing out on ANYTHING.

This week the guys chat with Steve Kamb, founder and architect of the Nerd Rebellion occurring over at NerdFitness.com. Don’t know what that is? Check out the podcast. Click HERE to start listening! Make sure to check back next week and hear the second part of our interview with Steve.

In the news:
NY Times: Why Ice May Be Bad for Sore Muscles

Eat Less/Exercise More: We’re closing out this feature with the end of 2011, so, for perpetuity, your Eat Less/Exercise More tip is…drumroll…listen to this podcast each week! Starting next week, we’ll have a new type of tip…or we won’t. You’ll have to tune in to find out!

This week the guys discuss Snake Oil and Pixie Dust…also known as weight loss pills and diet supplements.  Are they safe? Are they effective? Also meet Kelly Duncan, our newest “test pilot”, and be encouraged in your own journey! Click HERE to start listening!

In the news:
NY Times: How Exercise Benefits the Brain

Eat Less: Take your time! Your stomach takes up to 15 minutes to send signals to your brain that it is hungry, full, etc.

Exercise More: Set yourself up for success. Going running? Swimming? Biking? Get your gear together the night before. Clear your schedule. Do exercise you enjoy. Plan a meal that you won’t dread making/eating afterwards. Make things easy on yourself in any way you can.

So, last Thursday was the single day in the U.S.A. each year when more calories are consumed per capita than any other! Did you do your part? I know I did. I didn’t eat myself sick, but I did eat a bit too much. Let me rephrase. A lot too much. We had 25 people at my house…and food for 75. Here’s just the highlights:

  • ham
  • smoked turkey
  • baked turkey
  • vegetable casserole
  • corn casserole
  • green bean casserole
  • rolls
  • green beans
  • pumpkin pie
  • pumpkin cheesecake
  • pecan praline cheesecake
  • lemon poundcake
  • chocolate pie
  • asian slaw salad
  • cranberry fluff
  • cranberry sauce
  • sweet potatoes
  • mashed potatoes
  • deviled eggs
  • relish tray

There’s was more, I’m sure, but you get the idea. 

Thanksgivingfully, this day only comes once a year, and as long as I truly treat it as the exception and not the rule, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Time to slap myself out of my post-Thanksgiving coma…Christmas is just around the corner!!

This week the guys are joined by Danial Sims. Danial shares the experiences, both good and bad, of his recent liposuction surgery. What went just like he thought, what was better…and what was worse. Click HERE to start listening!

In the news: MSNBC: Drug helps monkeys lose weight, are humans next?

Eat Less: Pickles…again

Exercise More: How Can I Fit a Workout Into My Daily Route

This week Aaron and Mark tackle the somewhat controversial topic of Intermittent Fasting, or IF. They discuss different methods, pros and cons, and their personal experiences! Click HERE to start listening!

In the news: www.runnersworld.com – Drew Carey becomes a runner!

Eat less/exercise more tip: Read the menu!

We stopped on the way home from the Tough Mudder today to grab some lunch (more on that later), and Joshua and I started talking about lunch choices at Arby’s and whether or not mine would meet the 1 Meal – 1 Workout standard. I told him that I had gotten the small sandwich and the small fries with a diet drink.

Pretty reasonable, right?

That started a discussion about what’s “reasonable”. I told Joshua that I figured if I was reasonably active and ate reasonable meals, then it would make sense that I would be in “reasonably good” shape.

It’s my guess that people that do one (eat reasonably or are reasonably active) but maybe fail on the other (eat poorly or are fairly sedentary), would be somewhat out of shape. People like me, that used to fail on BOTH almost all of the time, would be VERY out of shape. I think for most of us, we don’t have to strive to be paragons of fitness with a 50 point workout plan, scales to weigh our food and an organic garden behind our house. We just need to work at being reasonable.

Today, the guys are joined by Dr. Steven Lenhard, MD and Cindi Haga of Piedmont Physicians in Marietta, Georgia, to discuss the facts about the HCG Diet. What it really is, how it really works, and is it something for you?  Click HERE for the podcast!

In the news:
New York Times article:  McDonalds Trims Happy Meal

Eat less tip:
Don’t starve yourself.

Exercise more tip:
If you’re dreading your workout, ask yourself, “Why?”

 ”So how does one get REALLY fat?”

This was the question posed to me a while back by one of my close friends. I had just officially past the “100 lbs lost” mark, and we were discussing health in general.

“I mean, as you got bigger and had to buy bigger clothes didn’t you realize there’s a problem?”

Of course. But it’s a little more complex than that.

When you’re fat you don’t like to go clothes shopping. At least I didn’t. It’s not an enjoyable experience to be confronted with the reality of your situation. For me, it would usually go like this.

I would put off clothes shopping as long as possible. As I gained weight, my clothes would do their best to accommodate me. Shirts would get stretched out, buttons on pants would loosen…or pop off. You get the picture.

Eventually I would be forced to shop. Either because I literally did not have enough clothes to make it through the week, or I had a wedding or other event coming up. When I ultimately made it to the store, I’d find out that I crept up a size…or two. Each time, one step at a time, I progressed down that unhealthy path. 44 inch pants turned into 46s…2X shirts to 3X…

The problem is that by the time you’re at the Big & Tall Store trying to buy pants, you can’t just say, “Hey! Whoa!! Hold the phone! I believe that I may have gained some weight. I’m not buying any clothes today. I’m going to go lose some weight and THEN come back and buy some clothes.” You’re at the store, you need the clothes or you wouldn’t be there, so you buy the clothes that fit.

Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s a vicious cycle. In my case, this was perpetuated by an incorrect body image.

Most of the time when people think about weight issues and body image, they think about bulimia or anorexia: people that see themselves as fat when they really aren’t. Mine was the opposite. It wasn’t really that I was in denial, per se, but every time that I saw a picture of myself, I was surprised at how fat I was. In my mind’s eye, my body image was such that I saw myself 75-100 lbs lighter than I actually was.

So how DOES one get really fat?

Simple. Avoid buying clothes as long as possible so that you aren’t confronted with the weight you’ve gained in any quantifiable way.

That’s what I did, and it worked for years! By the way…I don’t recommend it. If you find yourself in this cycle, don’t wait for the next time you’re forced to by clothes to find out the bad news. Start making little changes today, so that the next time you have to buy new clothes, you get to go down a size…or two!