Nov 27, 2007

Shifting to WLM with ACR


I've recently found that this scale is massively incorrect, even for the moon.

I hereby am officially switching from "MARATHON TRAINING MODE" MTM to "WEIGHT LOSS MODE"(WLM). (:

"AGGRESSIVE CALORIE RESTRICTION" (ACR) will occur between last Monday (8 days ago) and December 15th. Moderate calorie restriction plus modest exercise will continue between December 16th and January 12th. ACR will then resume until February 6th, at which I will moderately switch back into MTM. (no, it's not a coincidence that those are the dates of my California trip, where I'll eat normal food, but less of it than I'm used to. Half a burrito is plenty of food!)

If all goes as expected (and planned), I will be a cool 225 lbs in March. That should take another hour or so off my marathon time. (:

I suppose an explanation is due.

When I lost all that weight in the spring, it was without running at all, but rather it was by pure calorie restriction that didn't allow for much exercise. I wouldn't want to imply that "marathon training mode" and "weight loss mode" are mutually exclusive, but I find that I do much better at weight loss when I focus completely on food intake, and I do much better at marathon training when I focus completely on getting miles in. doing them both at the same time for me turns out to be a tremendous amount of effort, and while I'm not denying that it's possible, it's not something that I'm willing to do.

40 lbs would put me right at 245-250, and 50lbs would get me to 235-240 - and most people I know seem to indicate that 235 or so would be an ideal weight for a guy with my build. I am not convinced though, because at 235 and my height my BMI would be 27.2. I understand that the BMI is limited in its usefulness, but that is still a pretty large difference. So I'd ultimately like to be around 225 by early spring and maybe find a late May marathon and take it really easy. If I pull that off, I can then adjust my weight as I see fit, but a very aggressive weight-loss goal that would keep me from running would no longer be necessary. Then, next summer, my first ultra. Afterwards, the Vermont 50 miler in September. That will be the highlight of the year for me. In the fall, I will again run at least two marathons. My intent there will be to actually race them - and see if I could break 4:30 with all that weight off me. I'd eventually like a BQ, but that's not realistic in 2008.

It's funny. Losing weight is the #1 way to improve my times, and that's become the reason for losing it. I started running to lose weight, and now I'm losing weight to run.

But this post is not about running, but weight-loss mode.

When I am honest with myself, "AGGRESSIVE CALORIE RESTRICTION" (ACR) amounts to an eating disorder. I received a lot of flack back in the spring about my 1000-calorie/day diet, and everyone seemed to think that I would gain it all back and then some. When I reached 285 back in June, I stopped the ACR but exercised enough that I didn't gain weight. Over the next six months, my weight fluctuated between 287 and 293, but I never gained back the 50 lbs that I lost with the ACR. I can only conclude that it works for me, and while I would recommend this idea to exactly zero people, I use it myself because it happens to work best with my psychological profile (whatever that means..) (:

Of course, 1000 calories/day barely supports my day-to-day activities, and aerobic exercise during this period is pretty much impossible. So I don't plan on keeping it for more than a few weeks. But in those few weeks, I could potentially lose over ten lbs/week. And when I insert the period of modest calorie restriction with exercise, my body can use that time to adjust to its new weight so I can resume one more period of calorie restriction afterwards before going back into full fledged "MARATHON TRAINING MODE."

Another thing that I wouldn't recommend to most people but works for my psychological profile (hehe) are daily weigh-ins. God help you if your pysch profile (huh?) matches mine. I will post the daily weigh-in results on this blog every few days.

Here's what I have so far (I didn't weigh in on T-Giving, which this year was characterized by unrestrained gluttony, as usual):
Mon 11/19: 289.6
Tue 11/20: 287.0
Wed 11/21: 285.8
Thu Thanksgiving
Fri 11/23: 290.8 (that's some serious unrestrained gluttony.)
Sat 11/24: 287.6 (easy come easy go)
Sun 11/25: 285.2
Mon 11/26: 282.8
Tue 11/27: 280.6

Sat 12/15: 250 (Dream goal)
Sat 12/15: 255 (Aggressive goal)
Sat 12/15: 260 (Realistic goal)

I will reevaluate where I am on the 15th and set a goal for January 12th, but it will probably be for about 10lbs. Then, it's just a short journey of 15-25lbs to 225.

I fully expect to have broken the 280 barrier by tomorrow morning, and of course, in pizzapizza tradition, I will post when that happens.

-steve