Stepped on the Scale, and it Collapsed into a Singularity
Rather than say what my life experience has been, I’d like to provide an extremely tl;dr version:
I was fat my whole life, lost some weight in high school, gained a tremendous amount in college, got off bad anxiety meds, discovered keto, started lifting weights, went from 450 – 250. I had kids, got on different anxiety meds, gained 70 pounds in 2017, got on better anxiety meds, decided to lose weight.
That last bit, the better drugs and ability to regain control of my life? That was about two weeks ago. At the time, I weighed 325, which is unhealthy but also incredibly disheartening, considering last year I was on track to be the sveltest I’d ever been as an adult.
Anyway, when I stepped on the scale, it wheezed and when I got off, it fled the country. I felt like that was a subtle hint that perhaps now that I could think clearly, it was a good time to get back on track.
Bodybuilding.com and the $250,000 Challenge
I like a good challenge, and when I’m in my right frame of mind, I like competing against myself the best. When the only variable is how much I want something, or how hard I work, I can only be pissed at myself.
In 2016, I reached my goal weight, using Healthwage as a motivator, and I felt great. That didn’t stop me from needing some mental health medication, a journey I’ve been on since I was 18, but I thought this time it would be different. I was wrong, and I didn’t really pay attention to the lack of attention I was giving to…everything. Some psych drugs work on me by “graying” me out. I don’t have anxiety, but I also don’t really have much interest in other things. When I finally got to my doc and explained to her what was going on, we got on the same page and I felt/feel loads better.
That still left me, however, with an extra 70 pounds I needed off. Oh so simple. I thought perhaps engaging in some social media accountability through the Bodybuilding challenge might help kick my ample ass into gear.
Weighing In and Measuring Up
This leads up back to me stepping on the now AWOL scale. At least I got a measurement out of it – 325. Gulp. Yuck.
I took measurements, too, because I know that sometimes the scale doesn’t move and the only way to objectively gauge progress is through losing inches, rather than weight.
Those numbers sucked, too:
Chest – 52 inches
Waist – 56 inches
Hips – 48 inches
Thigh – 28 inches
Calf – 21 inches
Bicep – 18 inches
Forearm – 12 inches
Rip that bandage right off – those are my starting stats. This challenge runs from January 15th (last week), until April 8th.
My goals are meager: conventional wisdom of a calories in vs calories out deficit suggests I should lose, at most, about 2 pounds a week. That means I could expect to lose about 24 pounds, putting me just under 300 pounds.
I will be approaching this challenge using a ketogenic diet, keeping my total carbs around 30. This may run contrary to the conventional low carb mentality that you need to track net carbs. Net carbs are tallied by subtracting fiber from your total carbohydrates, the idea that fiber is a wash in calories. The fellow who devised that system, however, did it 30+ years ago in an effort to get his patients to eat more veggies. He’d never have dreamed that we’d have bars and shakes and low carb wraps now that try to cheat his system. Most people, myself included, encounter stalls when using these products. For that reason, they’re going to be a hard pass in 90% of situations.
Using the Ketogains macro calculator (check them out, they’re fantastic), I’m looking at a macro breakdown like this:
Fat – 59%
Carbs – 6%
With a daily resting metabolic rate of around 2300 calories, I am aiming for around 1650 calories a day. This might seem low but it’s really not. Particularly in ketosis, accompanied by intermittent fasting, 1600 calories is very easy to stick with. In addition to the caloric restriction, I will be continuing my practice of 30 minutes of daily exercise (this is a minimum, based on my weekday morning schedule), as well as hitting my step goal daily. Right now that step goal is 7k, but my fitness watch-robot ups that every time I hit that goal. Lord knows what it will be by April.
In any case, my daily parameters are:
Fat ~ 107
Carbs ~ 25
Protein ~ 142
Total Calories ~ 1629
Daily steps ~ 7k
Daily exercise – 30+ minutes, generally weight training
That’s where I’m at, my daily goals and limits. I’ll be updating this particular series weekly on Mondays, as a means to evaluate my progress over time. Monday also allows me to look back at the last week with fresh eyes.
Check back Wednesday, where I will ramble about being a dad (probably).
Friday I intend to post a recipe that I have made. There will probably be jokes, so if you like healthy food or meh dad jokes, be sure to check that out.