Dec 13, 2007


I added four more state highpoints in 2007, bringing my total to 28. My highpointing site

Hi everyone,

On Tuesday, I broke through an unexpectedly elusive weight barrier - 270 - and saw for the first time a 26 in the beginning of my weight. I celebrated by going to Albany and eating like a pig at my company's christmas party. Now it's Thursday, I'm back to 269.8, and I'm going to use the two days I have left before leaving for California to try to drop to 265. Missing my goal by 5 lbs sounds a lot better than missing it by 10. 259, the threshold where my BMI index goes from obese to overweight, seems deceptively close, but with the way my schedule looks, it doesn't seem likely that I'll hit it in 2007, but rather January 2008. That doesn't mean it's impossible and I won't shoot for it, but I'm not counting on it either..

Not much more to write, so I'm going to keep this post short and sweet.


Dec 7, 2007

I just registered for my first ultramarathon.

The best cheesesteak in philadelphia is not the cheese-wiz-laden joint with the long lines full of tourists, but rather on a triangular lot wedged between a railroad track and a chemical factory, and is closed on weekends in the wintertime.

dear readers,

the last three weeks have been met with impressive progress in the weight loss project, with a 6% loss in bodyweight since the philadelphia marathon, yet i have had a void in my life - a vacuum that i longed to fill. and as much as i was focusing on the weight loss, the inevitable fact was that each day, a nagging, growing presence in the back of my mind gained a little more prominence until i could no longer ignore it..

the void? i had no race plans. my calendar was blank. there were no races to look forward to.

(well, there was one race - the vermont 50 miler. but it's nearly a year away, and registration won't even open until june, so it didn't count.)

sure, i had some vague ideas that i wanted to run a marathon or perhaps a 50k in the spring. i was thinking that i may do something completely stupid and register for a 100k in july. but at that point those ideas were on a jello foundation and pretty much amounted to delusions of grandeur.

so i had to fill the void. i had to have something to train for. some purpose, some meaning, some goal. so i looked to the ultramarathon calendars. and i found a race. it was perfect. it was in april, it was only an hour or two from home, it was on flat ground, it was the right distance, and it was low-key.

i am officially registered for the lake waramaug 50K ultramarathon on april 20th, 2008 in northwestern connecticut.

i have run 4 marathons in my lifetime, all in the last year. they were all standard length, 26.2 miles. any race longer than a marathon is considered an ultramarathon - and 50K is 31 miles. It's not much, but it counts, and it will be my first.

of course, apparently, most ultrarunners consider 50 miles to be the minimum distance for a "real" ultramarathon, and i am inclined to agree with them. but this is a major step for me, and after clearing this 31-mile hurdle, my next step most likely will indeed be the 50 miler. but at this point, a commitment has been made - i am going beyond the marathon - and only time will tell how far i will go.

"The only way to know your limits is to go beyond them." -Arthur C. Clarke

Speaking of the weight loss project, it's proceeding slower than expected. I am not as bothered now as I was earlier in the week, as I know now that my dream goal of 250 is out of reach. 260 is still possible, but it would take some significant luck and a lot of work to reach.

The numbers:
Tuesday 12/4 274
Wednesday 12/5 273.6
Thursday 12/6 272.6
Friday 12/7 272.2

I am going skiing tomorrow (Saturday). Not only will it be my first skiing of the year, but it will also be the only exercise I will have gotten since the Philadelphia marathon. A week from tomorrow, I will be flying to California, where I'll be spending a month hanging out with my parents, skiing, and working (i telecommute). more to the point, i also will resume running, as i have a 50k to train for. i will also try to restrict calories as much as possible, with a goal to leave california weighing at least 10lbs less than when i arrived. should be fun.

oh, i'll be skiing hunter if anyone's around. call my cell.


Dec 4, 2007

274.0 - well, that was dramatic.

J & A

I won't lie to you - yesterday was rough. Strolling through Trader Joes at about 7:30PM, I found myself staring at a can of plain tuna and thinking about how good it would be to pop that can and go at it with a spoon. yuck.

But I persevered, drank a gallon of water instead and went to bed starving. This morning, I woke up, stood on the scale, and was shocked when it read back 274.0 lbs. Nearly a 4lb loss in one day - about 1.5% of my total bodyweight - and I can tell you, after 1000-calorie days for a couple of weeks, the 4lbs wasn't water weight.

It's hard to say if I've broken through the plateau of if I'm going to stay here for a while. I am still going to try my hardest to get to 260 by December 15th - 11 days from now. By my reckoning, this morning's weigh-in caught me up to a point where I'm only a couple of days behind my original schedule (250 dream, 255 aggressive, 260 realistic) - but now, unless the scale reads 272 tomorrow morning, it seems that 260 is aggressive. so be it. I understand that these plateaus are largely set by heredity, occur at certain weights, and do not tend to move up or down. Whether you're gaining weight or losing it, you're going to pause at these given "set points" for a few days (or weeks) before continuing. whether the next two weeks is spent breaking through the plateau that I'd eventually have to break through anyway, or it's spent losing 40 lbs, I am still making progress. I just set a goal of 215 by April 1st. That would be amazing.

In other news, I just realized yesterday that I qualify for a membership at I honestly didn't intend for this to happen, but I am pleased to join a pretty exclusive club. For the record, I qualified with the easiest standard for the lowest level - barely. To be considered a "bronze" marathon maniac, run 3 marathons in 90 days. It turns out that 86 days seperated the Self-Transcendence Marathon from the Philadelphia Marathon, with the Breakers marathon in between. So having completed all 3, I applied for membership and was approved. Sent in my membership information and I presume you'll see my name in the "InSane AsyLum" within a day or two. See for yourself at (While you're there, check out some of the qualifications for the levels above bronze. You can qualify for the highest level by running 52 marathons in a year. impressive.)


PS I bought the tuna. I'm going to eat that sucker today. (:

Dec 3, 2007

277.6 plateau - this means war.

My little rock climber

You know, if I'm going to plateau, I'd really prefer to plateau after a little more than 13 lbs of weight loss. But since it is what it is, I have a choice.

But first, an update on the last 7 days:
11/27 280.6
11/28 278.6 (This is when you last heard from me)
11/29 281.8 (Turkish Kitchen is Evil. I could not restrain myself from the gluttony)
11/30 278.2 (back on track, let's continue)
12/01 277.8 (WTF?)
12/02 277.8 (after a 1400-calorie day?)
12/03 277.6 (after a sub-1000 calorie day.)

So I've stopped losing weight. What does this mean?

1.) On one hand, it's worthy of being bummed about
2.) On the other hand, it's nothing to be alarmed about
3.) Plateaus are actually a normal and expected component of weight loss (gain, too)
4.) When I break through this plateau, I can expect to lose weight quickly again.

This happened to me before, at 301 lbs (which is a helluva time to hit a plateau) and it emotionally devastated me. I had been looking for years to get under 300 lbs, and for 11 days I was stuck right above the threshold. The devastation led to less discipline with my eating, which in retrospect makes me wonder if the plateau had to last 11 days.

I am taking a different attitude towards this plateau. True, it's a drag that it happened right above the 275 milestone, but that to me is not nearly as significant as 300, and thus never really looked forward to it (259, and 250 for that matter, are different stories).

This time I am rolling up my sleeves and getting even more aggressive with the calorie restriction. My old goal of 260 by next weekend is on the backburner - and it has been replaced by a new goal is 270 or bust, by any means necessary, as soon as possible, come hell or high water. I am not depressed but angry. not resigned but committed. not wishful but excited.

And I will take it one day at a time. Today, I am fasting. (I try to fast one day per week anyway.) I'll decide tomorrow's strategy when tomorrow comes. I am stronger than this plateau and I'm going to beat the thing.

I know you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat for the next update, so to pass the time, here is some reading on calorie restriction that I thought was interesting: