Monday, April 4, 2016

Entering The Danger Zone (Also Known as the Delusional Zone)

Okay, maybe that title's a little dramatic, but let me explain.

When you're trying to drop some weight, early success is a double-edged sword. When you start hitting that 15-pound, 20-pound mark for weight loss, you feel great. Clothes that fit are now loose, clothes that were too tight to wear now fit (though maybe a tad snugly). You start to think this just might work.

That kind of success breeds more success -- it makes you want to work a little harder, see even more success.'s also dangerous. You know you're dropping weight, you know you're being successful, when you pass by a mirror you can see you're a little bit different. It's so easy to think "hey, I can eat an extra snack, I can have a candy bar, I can take an extra night off."

Why not? You're losing weight, you're feeling good, what's the big deal?

Here's where the "delusional" part comes in. I can tell you from that long-term yo-yo dieting experience, if you're as big as I am, dropping 20 pounds is great. It's worth celebrating. But, you're really not as "slender" as you think when you glance at that mirror, you're really not that much different than when you started. You really can't afford that extra snack, that extra off night, skipping that workout.

But it's hard to remember that.

No, this isn't a long-winded way to say I fell off the wagon today. I had a good day. But that's the point I'm at now -- I know I'm making progress, can measure it, see it, but this is the point where so many of my other weight loss efforts meet their end -- when I start finding it too easy to cheat just a bit here, a little there.

I suspect there are plenty of people who have had the same experience. What's the answer? Well, I guess it's simply just don't do that. Easy, right?

We'll find out.

I've had a pretty good day on the eating and a good day in the gym, so here's my results:

Weight Training
Chest, shoulders, triceps

Dumbbell Bench Press
55 pounds, 1 set, 10 reps
90 pounds, 1 set, 8 reps
85 pounds, 2 sets, 8 reps each
85 pounds, 1 set, 7 reps (yes, that was to failure)

Incline Barbell Press
135 pounds -- 1 set, 8 reps
115 pounds -- 1 set, 8 reps

Seated Machine Chest Flyes
125 pounds -- 2 sets, 10 reps each.

Seated Barbell Press
95 pounds, 1 set, 8 reps
115 pounds, 1 set, 6 reps

Seated Machine Side Raises
110 pounds, 2 set, 8 reps each

Seated Machine Rear Delt Flyes
140 pounds, 2 sets, 8 reps each

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Tri Extension
65 pounds, 2 sets, 10 reps each

Standing Tricep Pressdown
150 pounds
1 set, 12 reps
1 set, 8 reps

Seated Machine Crunch
110 pounds
1 set, 15 reps
1 set, 12 reps

Okay, this is a little off tonight, because someone else was on the main stationary bike at the gym, so I did my first 10 minutes on a recumbent bike, which is those bikes where you're sitting back, almost lying down, pumping your legs without really having to do much of anything. I call it the lazy bike. I hate them (so naturally, our gym has FOUR of those and just one regular stationary bike). After 13 minutes on the recumbent bike I was able to get 27 more on the regular bike. Ten of those minutes were at level 6, the rest at level 5.

Total for both bikes
40 minutes
14 miles
435 calories

Food for the day
Eggs -- 1 whole, 2 whites
1 ounce lean ham

Boiled, skinless chicken thigh -- 4 ounces
Brown long grain rice -- 1/2 cup
Veggies -- 1/2 cup

Salad (lettuce, one boiled egg, 1 ounce lean ham, fat-free dressing)
Greek Yogurt

Snack 2
Greek Yogurt
Not-so-lean ham -- 1 ounce

Tilapia -- 4.35 ounces
Baked potato -- 6 ounces
Diet butter -- 1 1/2 tablespoons

Snack 3
Cheerios --1 cup
Milk -- 3/4 cup

Total for the day
1,360 calories
32 grams fat
123 grams protein (way too low)

Water -- 85 ouncs
Diet soda -- 24 ounces


  1. My weight yo-yo'd for years too, but I've been in a good place for almost 3 years now consistently. The difference for me was focusing on the routines and the process rather than the results. I measured success with goals like "going to the gym at least 3 times every week this month" or "cheat no more than 2x this week." I rarely weighed myself, and didn't take any measurements or anything. My goal wasn't to "lose weight" it was to change the habits, my lifestyle. That number on the scale is such an emotional roller coaster that I only found consistency by stepping off the ride.

  2. Hey Mark, thanks again for stopping by. You're right, the real difference, at least in terms of making a lifelong change, has to be in the process and the habits formed, such as working out, eating healthy consistently, rather than weighing and measuring. I do need to do a better job of focusing on the health and process, rather than simply stepping on the scale and using that as a measure of success.

    Thanks for the tip!