Alcohol and it’s effect on weight

I’ve not been as careful as I should be, and my weight’s gone up beyond what I consider to be acceptable. Starting Monday (after the end of my drill weekend), I will be back to very strict Paleo just like I was when I first adopted the diet back in 2015. There will be no desserts, no big portions, and very little eating at restaurants. Absolutely NO alcohol!

That has been my biggest problem: alcohol. I don’t drink often, but these past few weeks have put me into situations where I imbibe far more than I normally do, and the effects have been staggering. The amount of weight I’ve gained due to alcohol consumption has been truly mind-blowing, and I now understand why it’s so hard for people who drink alcohol to lose weight.

I see this as a learning experience. Since adopting the Paleo diet back in 2015, I haven’t ever really allowed myself to consistently drink alcohol except while on vacation (twice in three years). I thought that the weight gain I experienced was due to the non-Paleo food I ate. I think I may have been wrong since I’ve gained as much in the past two weeks as I normally do on a vacation, and yet I’ve had no non-Paleo foods in any quantity.

So, next Monday, it’s back to square one. I have 15 lbs to lose. I will get it done!

Chasing Weight Loss

This morning, I watched a group of individuals working out at a local church parking lot, and there was a sign posted nearby: “Morning Weight Loss Boot Camp.”

Sigh.

I applaud those individuals for getting up early in the morning and sweating it out (and here in Texas, even at 6 am, they are definitely sweating it out!) and doing the work, but I sincerely hope that their instructor/trainer is telling them to change their diets and nutrition plans. Without that, these people will get strong and fit, but they may not necessarily lose any weight, or their weight loss will be very slow.

I tell people all the time: You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Some people claim that they can do just this, but these people are likely the beneficiaries of TOFI: Thin Outside/Fat Inside. This is a condition where people are thin, but their arteries are clogged with fat and plaque due to bad eating habits and bad nutrition.

Yet, there are people out there who sadly believe, based on years of bad information, that exercise is the key to weighing less and being healthy. While it helps, it’s not the key. It’s more like an ingredient in a recipe. Even the most basic recipes have at least 3-4 ingredients. Good health, fitness, and weighing less have more than just one or two ingredients as well.

Weight loss happens in the kitchen. Fitness happens in the gym and on the road.

Are We Ever Happy With Our Weight?

It’s a funny thing, weight. We put all our eggs into the weight basket as it pertains to our overall health meter. When we weigh less, we believe we are healthier than when we weigh more, and while there is some correlation between weight and health, weight cannot and should not be used as a sole measure of overall health and fitness. Yet, this thought persists, even within me: when I weigh less, I’m healthier.

When I weighed 165 lbs, I wanted to weigh 160 lbs. When I got to 160 lbs, I was hoping to lose 5 more. Why? Looking back, I think it had to do with wanting to get back to a weight I was at when I was in my 20’s, but there was no other reason. I felt great at 165 lbs, I fit into all my size-small shirts, 30″ trousers, and exercise was super-easy. Now at 175 lbs, my shirts and trousers are all tighter, and I definitely feel the extra 10 lbs when I run.

With all that said, I absolutely, positively will need to get back to 165 lbs. No matter what, that is my goal. It is where my quest for weight loss will end. When I get to 165 lbs, I will try for no more. I will continue to work to maintain 165, but nothing less. Why? Because I realize that I felt great at 165 lbs. I looked good. My clothes fit great. Everything was where it needed to be at that weight.

I don’t feel right at 175 lbs, and that made me recall something about when I weighed 160 lbs: I didn’t feel right there, either. I was having to be super-super-super strict with my diet and exercise to be at 160 lbs. It was too restrictive and limiting. I am not willing to be ultra-strict with my diet for a weight on the scale when just 5 lbs more allows me to have some freedom in my diet and I felt GREAT.

Paleo works. It works wonders when you do it well, and combined with a good fitness plan and control of portion size and no cheating/sabotage will leave you very healthy. I do a firm Paleo: I will allow the occasional restaurant steak fry or waffle fry into my diet, and every now and then, I have some bread pudding at special occasions, and I just don’t want to do without that little bit of freedom. That extra 5 lbs isn’t worth it to me.

Unintentional Break

I have been off the blog for the past week or so due to my active duty status in the National Guard. I’ve been very busy, and that’s caused me to have to take a break from blogging for a bit. I’m back now, however, and I’m going to make sure to write some posts to not miss days again.

In my previous post, I wrote about my current struggle with my weight. I’m still doing well, and I’m still fit, but I’m just a bit heavier than I would like (and than I’m allowed) and I need to fix that. It’s weighing heavily on me, and I have to admit it’s causing me some mental anguish. I have a weight range that I’m happiest in, and I’m outside of it.

Add to this the fact that my trousers are all a bit tighter. Again, it makes me mad because I let this happen. Yes, I’m beating myself up about it, but that’s what I need to do to fix this. And fix this, I will.

I apologize for the lack of new content. That also is fixed now. Expect more daily updates from me again starting today.

The Problem with Success

file-3 (1)I have a problem. I have learned how to effectively and easily lose weight, and that knowledge has caused me to become more lax in my diet than I should be. As a result, I’m having a hard time getting rid of these last 15 lbs I need to lose. I have yo-yo’d between 169 and 179 lbs for the past month, and I need to stop doing that.

A big reason for the rollercoaster ride on the scale has been alcohol intake. I’ve allowed myself to partake far too often in drinking alcoholic beverages. I’ve also allowed myself to not run three times a week as I like to. I’ve further allowed myself to eat larger portions, and my wife and I ate at restaurants a few times more than we typically do. All these things put together have caused my weight to rise.

The worst part is that I know I can lose the weight, and that’s what I’ve used to justify allowing myself these indulgences. Well, that has to come to an end immediately. I’ve begun by being very strict with my lunches, and I’m sticking to my exercise plan. I’m cutting all alcohol effective immediately, and I’m going to go back to my strict portion sizes.

The interesting thing I’ve noticed is that this all happened because of conscious decisions I made to allow myself indulgences I typically don’t allow myself to partake in. I did this to myself. Therefore, I need to fix the problem within, and then attack the problem on all fronts. You can take the person out of the military, but you can’t take the military out of the person. In my case, the military even takes the person back in. Regardless, I’m going to get back on track immediately, and get back into the 160’s before the fall.

Active Duty Again and Lunches

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I’m on Active Duty in the National Guard for a few weeks to help with some logistic needs for our unit. That means I work closer to home, but it also means I’m working with a bigger group of people who like to go to lunch. While I bring my own lunch to work at my normal job, and I’ve been bringing my lunches to my work here, I haven’t had the ability to eat them. That will have to change.

My lunches are made for me by my wife, and they are healthy and the right size. The food she makes me allows me to maintain my good eating habits in terms of portion control as well as content. Eating out for lunch every day makes me lose focus, lose control, and ultimately, makes me gain weight.

I am currently just within the DoD height and weight requirements. I don’t want to exceed them; I worked hard to get where I am at now and I don’t want to have to do that work again. So, starting with today’s lunch, I’m back to eating my good food without exception (unless, of course, the MAJ or MSG want me to go eat lunch with them).

Oops… more time off than I wanted

I ended up taking another week off from running. This was unintended, but between the weather and being busy, I didn’t have the time I needed to get my runs in. I ran once last week, and although it was a great run, one run a week just doesn’t cut it. If the weather cooperates for me this afternoon, I’ll be running after work.

I will take it easier than normal. I usually tend to go out and run really hard after not running for a while, and the last few times I did that, I was sore. Really sore. So, tonight, I’m going to resist the urge to blaze the roads and I’m going to shoot for a slow and easy pace. I may even dial back the distance a bit and then work more on the speed Wednesday or Friday this week.

The important part of getting back into fitness after any missed periods of time is getting back into things with the knowledge you can’t hit it with the same intensity and expect to just pick up where you left off. You need to dial it back a bit to avoid injury. I will be heeding my own advice this afternoon, and while it’ll be annoying to run so slowly, I need to do so to keep from injuring myself. I want to run pain-free on Wednesday.