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Where I think back on the past 1000 days

by John on September 28th, 2015

We all know I can’t go too long without talking about diet & exercise . . . and, with today marking 1000 consecutive days on My Fitness Pal, I really thought I’d give an update to thoughts & stuff from what I’m doing, how I’m approaching life, and what I’m doing in a constant battle to better my physical self.

  • I commonly get asked “what is your secret,” and I always answer “diet & exercise,” which nobody likes to hear. But I think I need to change the answer – what has worked is that I’ve been consistent. I’ve been remarkably consistent. My workouts have become, in a word, boring. On weekdays, I walk Benji then fit in small sets of pulls, pushes, and leg stuff around getting the family ready (dressing the kids, packing lunches, etc) for the day. Every week, I change up something, but it’s all quite mundane – it started as pull-ups, push-ups, and lunges. Then I added kettlebell swings (because there was a kettlebell right there). Then I added goblet squats. Then I added push-presses at the end of the goblet squats. Then I changed up my hand position during the push-ups. Then I increased the kettlebell weight from 25 to 35 pounds (the heaviest I own). Then I started carrying the kettlebell as I did the lunges. Then I put a dumbbell in each hand as I did the lunges. Then I started holding my body at the apex of the pull-up and pulling myself from shoulder to shoulder. Then I added a set of chin-ups after I finish the goblet-squats to push-presses.
  • The true secret is diet. I’ve been reading a ton about “fad diets.” How so many people try this, or that, and it works . . . . then they put the weight back on. Diet is a word that has two distinct definitions — the first is “a restriction of food to promote weight and/or fat loss.” That’s not what I’m talking about — the trick is the broader definition of “the entirety of what someone eats”. People re-gain weight after Atkins, or Whole 30, or whatever because they go right back to their pre-temporary diet lifestyle. I’ve made sacrifices to the way I live my life . . . but nothing I’ve done is temporary – truly minimal amounts of refined ingredients (including flour & especially sugar). It means more cooking & less eating out or “just heating something up.” But, that also means that I’m eating healthier & saving money.
  • I miss sandwiches, I can’t deny that. But I can eat a loaf of bread, or a half dozen bagels, & feel no less satiated when I’m done. It’s just the way my body works, and always has. When I eat, I eat to address hunger, meaning I leave out those things which don’t make me less hungry, and I enjoy the results.
  • I log every bite of food. I log every sip of drink. I used to log every moment of exercise . . . but that was during a time when I was carving out huge portions of my day dedicated to workouts. These days, I’m fitting stuff in, wherever/whenever I can find a spare moment or two, and because of that, I’ve just stopped trying to list what I’m doing. It’s easier that way.
  • When I would work out a lot more than I do now, I used that as an excuse to, essentially, eat whatever & however much I wanted. Running 4-5 days a week, for up to an hour (sometimes two) a day resulted in the left — now? I run, maybe, once a week, or every other week, or once a month . . . if I feel like it.

    Before / After while Running

  1. 1,000 days is a long time.
    And you’re still killing it.

    Looks like you can safely say you’re in this for the long haul.
    So glad you’ve found solutions that make you feel great and still live well.

    • It’s funny, though – I have a marathon this weekend, so I’m changing my approach, specifically to ensure I have adequate glycogen stores. . . . which means more carbs, which means less discipline. And I could ABSOLUTELY get used to this.

      But I’m telling myself that I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled plan shortly. And that what I’m doing right now means I run 26.2 – which is crazy far, as you know all too well.

  2. I do my best and see the best results when I log my food on MFP. Unfortunately I am NOT that consistent. I still follow my plan when I don’t log, but when I DO log, I can adjust accordingly if I need more protein or fat, etc. If I don’t log and just kind of play it by ear, I don’t lose weight. I haven’t gained any, but I haven’t lost any in a while.

    • There is a very real part of me that wonders what would happen if I stopped logging, because I think I’ve moved beyond “habit” to “lifestyle” for the most part.

      But I’m truly afraid of what might happen if I did stop logging.

      What’s kind of funny/frustrating is that maintenance seems to be quite as difficult as the weight loss was.

  3. I had a long chat with Cam and Angela about the whole idea of “diet” and realized part of my problem is that, based on the first definition you posted, I’ve neglected to find a healthy idea of what diet actually is. After a little foot dragging, I logged into MFP to do nothing except log my food and sporadic exercise and see what it reveals. We shall see…

    • I have yo-yo’d my weight, time and time again.

      After I proposed to Duffy, I lost a great amount of weight — but I did it via a plan that was absolutely non-sustainable in the long term . . . and then I stuck my head in the sand as I started gaining weight back. When I realized I need to do something about it, well, I stumbled & fell & it was, just, bad.

      I truly believe I have a plan which is 100% sustainable (current carb binge prior to a marathon notwithstanding) in the long-term.

      If only I didn’t like cheese, I’d be far more confident in my ability to abide by said plan.

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