Day 018-2 (W, 120118) — Monday’s Results and Ruminations

I weighed in.  So I weighed in on Monday.  It was supposed to be Saturday but life happened.

I had the day off work Monday so I got up and ran a bit that morning.  I went short (only 3.12 miles) and slow (15 min/mi pace; 4 mph) and included five 100-yard sprints in the mix.

When I got back, I pulled out the scale to see how things are going, numbers-wise.

The Envelope, Please.  And here are they are.

Date Weight BF% BF #
Week 00: 110101 228.5 29.7 67.9
Week 00-2: 111231 208.5 26.4 55.1
Week 02-2: 120116 212.9 27.4 58.3
Δ from Last +4.4 +1.0 +3.2
Δ from start -15.6 -2.3 -9.6

Revelation.  This is exactly why I needed to start weighing myself again.  I did not expect to be up and certainly not up by so much.

Subjectively, if I were to go back to ignoring numbers and only looking at things like how my pants and shirts fit, energy levels, how I look in the mirror, etc., I would have said things are headed in a positive direction.  My ring was really loose all week.

It’s certainly possible that much of this was water weight.  I had lost a lot in the final week of 2011 and it could be a matter of water weight good timing in Week 52/00-2 and bad timing in Week 02-2.  Maybe what I saw on the scale Monday was 3 pounds water weight, 1 pound fat, and half a pound of muscle.

So what to do with the results?

Reexamine and Reassess.   The number one thing I must do is take a second look at what I am doing.

1)  Am I following the program correctly?  Sisson says we should use the 80-20 rule: do your best 80 percent of the time and, while still trying to be good the rest of the time, don’t stress out about it.  I think I’ve done this pretty well.

Though I have not been able to get all of my food into the few-ingredients-nothing-artificial-organic-only category, I’ve gotten a lot of them there and have done my best to limit the others.  And I’ve done well at avoiding high-carb, prohibited foods.

2) Am I taking too many liberties?  My guess is that this is the most likely culprit: I allow myself the indulgences he recommends.

  • I have a dash (just a bit, mind you) of cream in my coffee(s) in the morning.
  • I eat full-fat, no-sugar Greek yogurt with berries as a snack.
  • I have some really dark chocolate (85%+), to help satisfy my sweet tooth.

I expect that, were I to chronicle my indulgences and ask Mark to look at them, he’d tell me my portions are too large (e.g. a full cup of yogurt with half a packet of Truvia and half a cup of raspberries and blackberries) and I’m having them too often (one a day, sometimes twice).

I’m two full weeks into the Primal low-carb program and I hope that, as I get further into the low-carb-no-Free-Days aspect of things, my cravings will continue to decline.  If so, it will be easier for me to stay on the straight and narrow.

3) Have I misunderstood or misapplied some of the principles involved?  I think I understood what he was saying pretty well.  I think it’s misapplication (see #2) rather than misunderstanding.  To make sure, I’ll go back and read the book again, especially the parts about what to eat, how much to eat, indulgences, etc.

There’s no sense in hoping I have it all figured rather when I could go and double-check.

4) Am I doing it half-assed and just need to apply myself more?  Again, I don’t think so.  I’ve done well avoiding forbidden foods and not taking any Free Days or Meals, etc.  I’ve worked out hard and done the more challenging exercises each week when I’ve been able to hit the mark on the version I’m doing.

Prescription.  Here’s what I plan to do to turn this around:

1) Limit my indulgences.  The number one way, which we all know so say it with me, is to eat.  Have a serving of something that is 100% allowed on the program and use that to help you overcome the urge.  Also, I can have smaller servings of the yogurt or chocolate.  Take out just a little; put the rest back up in the cabinet or fridge, fully closed up and put away.  Then just eat that small portion and don’t even allow myself the option of opening the foil just one more time to take just a tiny bit more from the chocolate bar.

2) Move more.  In #4 above, I said I’d done pretty well giving solid effort on the program.  Well, that is true for two aspects of it: eating low carb and the high-intensity workouts.

Unfortunately, on the other hand, I haven’t done enough of the “play” or the “move slowly” exercise Mark recommends.  Instead of counting on getting one big 3-4 hour activity on the weekend, I need to make it an hour or so three to four times per week.  Nothing to strenuous, just get my butt moving.  Weather permitting, I plan to start taking my kids on “nature walks” in the afternoons.

3) Focus on the basics.  Don’t worry about “experimenting” yet or about some of the more esoteric aspects of diet and health.  Just do the basics: eat right, move effectively.


Exercise for Today. I may not do my exercises today.  I may wait for Thursday.

We went to the park on Sunday.  At the park, I looked for a place to do some exercises just for fun.  Eventually, I ended up climbing the swingset and doing a four pull ups on the crossbar.  Since then, my elbows have been sore.  I think I did something wrong because it feels “tendon-y” like I strained something.  Or it may be the recent emphasis on powerful pushing/holding moves with my arms (plyo push-ups and handstands) and this is just a delayed ache.

If things feel better when I get home today, I’ll do it.  Otherwise, it waits til tomorrow.  Instead, I try to work in some slow moving (like a walk/bike ride with my kids).

Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Next/Goal/Notes:
Clapping Plyo Push-up same; 5×2
Pull Up / Chin Up same; 12×2
Pistol Squats –/side –/side same; 15×2
Handstand –s –s same; 90s
Forearm Plank –s –s same; 120s
Forearm Side Plank –s –s same; 45s



3 responses to “Day 018-2 (W, 120118) — Monday’s Results and Ruminations

  1. My opinion? Ditch the working out for a week (unless you really want to). I think you’ll find you lose weight quicker. One of the things that I found for me, which correlates to the ‘meta’ research that Taubes outlines in WWGF, is that when I work out I subconsciously eat more to compensate.

    So my suggestion would be to stop working out for a week. Also, ditch the yogurt – doesn’t that have a high carb count (relatively)? If you stick to under 40g of carbs per day you should lose weight.


    • Thanks for the comment, Mark.

      I am still(!) torn between dropping fat and gaining muscle/reshaping my body. Like people everywhere, I want it all. And I want it at the same time . . . now!

      What was it that Taubes said? “The instructions we’re given to lose weight — eat less and exercise more — are the very same things we would recommend to make ourselves hungry and increase our appetite.” Thanks for the reminder. It may turn out to be a really significant point.

      And you’re right about losing fat if I keep my carbs down. I think that’s the insidious trap behind my indulgences: a bit here and a bite there end up pushing my carb count much higher than I’ve been counting on.

      Speaking of counting, I haven’t counted carbs (or fat or protein or total calories) in a long time and don’t want to start that again. Rather, I will do as Prescription #3 dictates and simply focus on the most basic rule of all: eat right.

      I managed to get through yesterday without any yogurt or chocolate. I’ll do it again today. Do this enough and I expect to see good things happen, without giving up my workouts.

      We shall see.

      Keep the faith, brother. And thanks for the encouragement. =)

      New John

      • It gets tough trying to determine when to shift focus to ‘reshaping’ versus ‘losing fat’. Ideally they’d happen at the same time and maybe they do, I don’t know. But the scale doesn’t move when my workouts increase. I’ve focused heavily on fitness the past few weeks and really enjoy playing squash, which is a real killer physically. This past week I played squash Monday and Tuesday, and will play again this Friday. I definitely feel ‘tighter’ all over in terms of my body fat, and I noticed this morning that I could move up another notch on my belt if I wanted to, though it would be a tad snug. But within a week I’ll definitely be at a new, better ‘notch’ on the belt! But my scale weight isn’t going down. Will be interesting to see how it goes the next few weeks with the squash, which I plan to use as my only real workouts for a while, aside from maybe 30 minute walks here or there if I feel like it.

        Back when I was above 200 pounds I took a ‘focus on one and conquer first’ approach and if I wasn’t losing weight per the scale fast enough I’d ease back my fitness (at some points I went for a few weeks at a time between workouts and never *really* worked out hard last year while actively losing weight). Now that I’m at where I need to be weight-wise I’m focused on trying to get chiseled. A year ago I never ever would have thought it was even in the realm of possibility, after 30 of my 40 years on this planet being overweight/obese.

        Stay with it!


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