LGN 15: The %$#@! Plateau

Click here to see all of my LGN (I want to Look Good Naked) posts.

I feel like crap.  Man.

A few poor nights’ sleep will do you in.  I’m not sure what the deal is.  I think it’s that bird.  Or those birds.  I like animals and even have respect for their precious little lives, but there are times when I want to punch that bird right in its cute little face.  Instead, I’ll say this:

Morning does not start at 3:10 am.  Shut the %$#@! up.

Lack of a good night’s sleep also makes one cranky.  Did I mention that?  I think I may have done some emotional shopping tonight.  I bought Addictive Drums and the jazz and jazz brush expansion packs.  I’m excited.  The possibilities.  Except that it’ll take another hour and half to finish downloading and I need to get myself to bed.

Health Care

There’s a lot of talk, discussion, argument, celebration, anger and what not about health care legislation.  In a rare display of restraint I’m going to bypass all of the polemics.  Except for my own.

If you really want to fix the health care system and even the health insurance industry, I know how.

Eat in moderation and exercise in moderation.  Shed fat.  Put a little bit of effort into your health and fitness.

I keep seeing all of the interviews of ailing people and their health care woes and so much of it involves, like, controlling cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and so on.  If you want to lower your medical costs, it’s not up to the government or insurance companies.

It’s up to you and me to stop eating crappy food and get off our duffs and move.  If you’re so inclined do a little Googling on the ailments that being overweight and being obese are related to.

This ain’t no mystery.   Our health care is broken because we let ourselves be seduced into gluttony.  We didn’t know better before.  But now we do.  Obviously, not every ailment is related to culinary self-abuse, but so many of our illnesses and deaths are results of our own behaviors and choices.

A special commentary for smokers

By the way, if you smoke … well, let me state this delicately and diplomatically.  You’re a bad person.  I’ve got friends and family who smoke so don’t get me wrong on this.  Well, I avoid being in their presence although I don’t want you to think I’m being judgmental.

But if you smoke, you probably kick puppies and throw kittens at defenseless babies.  I’m pretty sure that I read somewhere that smokers enjoy the idea of genocide and ethnic cleansing.  Also, smokers use the N-word and are inherently racist sadists.  It’s true.

Tobacco smoke is solely responsible for man-made global warming and will cause a catastrophic planet-level catastrophe in December of 2012 just when you’re about to get laid by the man/woman of your dreams, according to my sources.  Throwing your filthy butts out of windows on to the streets non-chalantly like the filthy degenerate animals that you are.

Smokers are:

  • 90% more likely to insult your mother’s lineage
  • 75% more likely to smell like the devil’s butt crack
  • 100% more likely to to put a burning cylinder of combustible poisonous materials into their various orifices and steep their organs in malignancy concentrate
  • Eleventy-seven% more likely to chew with their mouths open because they can’t taste anything
  • Stupid

And I got those statistics from the Bureau of Underwriting Tautological Treatises, Inc. in case you want to look it up by its acronym.

Seriously, though.  You suck.  The only form of “human” lower than smokers are so-called recreational smokers.  The ones who aren’t addicted but will smoke just because there’s a cigarette in their hand.  You make Mother Earth vomit magma.

No, really seriously, though.  I have a relative who survived throat cancer and guess what.  Still smokes.  Had another growth recently which required a biopsy and procedure.

All in all, it was a form of hell.  Still smokes.  It will be their death.

Hope & Frustration

By the way, I’m fully prepared for the irony of my trying to rally people to be fit and the possibility that I’ll drop dead from a coronary any minute now or the next time I go mountain biking or something like that.  That doesn’t let you off the hook, though.  Nice try.

How?

This is going to sound trite, but it’s the god’s honest truth.  I promise you.  If you’ve ever thought I was smart or if you respect my opinions, now is a good time to take it to heart.

I know you’ve tried a lot of things before and didn’t lose weight or you lost it and as soon as you stopped that regimen you gained it back.  I know.  But listen.

If you’re serious about your health and your life, there’s no trick, really.  No gimmick.  No pill.  No food delivery.  The only thing you need is patience, because if you want to “lose” weight you have to do it slowly.  Or moderately, I should say.

Don’t try for any more than two pounds a week.  If you’re very overweight you can stand to aim for more, from what I understand.  But even if you aim for two pounds a week, you’ll lose quickly at first and then level off and eventually you’ll plateau.  That’s where I am right now.  The dreaded plateau.

And you have to keep track of your calories to some degree.  There are lots of ways to do it.  Lots of websites devoted to it.  Lots of FREE, attractive, well done websites and applications devoted to it.  So no excuses.  If you’re interested, contact me and I can tell you about my experiences with them.

  • FitDay
  • Daily Burn
  • Lose It
  • Traineo (haven’t tried this one myself)

This is NOT about dieting either.  It’s not about depriving yourself of calories.  If you’re trying to eat 1,500 calories a day or less or something crazy like that, chances are your body hates you right now and is holding your metabolism hostage.  Don’t go for the short haul, please.  Please don’t.

Hope

About two weeks ago I was excited.  I first started losing weight just by watching my calories.  The first 10 to 15 lbs. I lost were just from that.  Then I added exercise and lost 5 more pounds.  Started gaining muscle, which slowed down the weight loss since muscle is more dense than fat.  Cool.  A shame to not be able to see those numbers go down on the scale but I can live with that.

Got to the point where I can burn through some serious calories and I was excited because with that kind of reasonable eating and enjoyable but serious exercise it’s just a matter of time.

Working out has become a habit.  When I don’t work out it’s like … it’s like how you feel if you don’t brush your teeth in the morning.

So if I just keep up my routine it’s just a matter of time.  Right?  Right??

Frustration

So apparently if you lose weight over a long period of time — even moderately — your body will think that you’re slowly starving.  In an effort to prevent you from dying your body will put the brakes on fat loss and try desperately to hold on to it.  Eventually, it may even start breaking down your muscle.

That’s where I am right now.  Despite my overall good behavior — not perfect but pretty good — I haven’t lost an ounce in at least three weeks, possibly a month.  Getting aerobically fitter and stronger as I work out but not slimming down.  And that’s the whole dang point?

Yes, I want to be healthy but I’ll be pissed if I can’t be healthy and look good naked doing it.

So I’ve done a little research, looked up the Fat2Fit Radio episodes about plateaus.  Like this one:  http://www.fat2fitradio.com/2008/10/fat-2-fit-show-45-breaking-weight-loss-plateaus/

It turns out the way to get out of a weight loss plateau is … to eat more.  You have to eat more calories so that your body can chill out and relax.  “Hey, it’s cool, man.  We’re not dying.  See?”

Like calming a territorial guard dog when your friends knock on the door.  So I’m supposed to up my calories for a “few” weeks and then reduce them.  I don’t know how long a few weeks is.  But eating my maintenance level of calories, which is around 2,700, is hard as hell.  It’s too much food.  Ha.  So ironic.  I mean, it’s easy to do but not easy to do if you’re trying to eat healthily.

So that’s where I am.

I’m still on track but my schedule — well, let’s just say I didn’t take this into account.  Even if I started dropping fat right now, I wouldn’t reach my target weight (20 more lbs.) until June.  So June it is.  Or whenever.

There may be delays but nothing’s going to stop me from pulling into the station.

Who else is with me?  Come on.  You know you want to look good naked.

And you know you want these mother %$#@! snakes off this mother %$@! plane!  (replace snakes with “fat” and plane with “body”)

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8 comments

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  1. Sarah Benelli

    Ah!

    “It turns out the way to get out of a weight loss plateau is … to eat more.”

    Well, as a wise person once said, “Holla!”

    But seriously… I’m having a lot of trouble with this LGN business. It’s hard to get a steady routine of working out going when I have J all the time, and Isaac is in rehearsals every night. I try to do a little weight training in the living room, but that usually devolves into J jumping/climbing on me and asking for snacks.

    I suppose I could wake up before him but it all just seems so early!!! I guess that’s one area I need to toughen up in. Sometimes you can’t wait until you feel like working out. You just need to wake up and do it.

    I’m in the fortunate position of actually being a healthy weight for my height (my BMI is 21). But I need to toughen and buffen. For me it’s about strength, endurance, asskickability, and bootyliftishness.

    Gah, I was invited to a bootcamp tomorrow morning at 6. Childcare provided. But still… it seems over-the-top. YAWN. WTH is the matter with me?!

    • garyarthuryoung

      Sarah!

      Yeh. Life does seem to interfere. And motivation is hard. But that’s why you have me.

      Do the boot camp! If it makes you feel any better I’ll be just as exhausted in the morning as you will be. Although in my case it’ll be because that dang bird is going to start up on less than two hours.

      Besides once you do a group thing like that you’ll have some built in support, comraderie and commiseration. I assume.

      I’m not good about things like waking up early but like you said… My life is the shambles that it is because I tend to do what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it. Inertia is a killer.

      Maybe you can use J as a dumbbell. 🙂

  2. Janna

    I’ll speak as someone who recently joined the early-rising ranks of bootcamp goers, and say that its a hell of a lot easier if you can get your whole schedule a bit earlier. In my book there will be no working out at 5:45 am if I’m not in bed till after midnight. These days a late night is 10:30. Boring, but I’ve found I like being a boring person.

    On the other hand, a recent business trip taught me that its WAY easier to survive 4-5 hours of sleep for multiple nights if I make sure to get a good sweaty workout in every day. It totally improves my body’s resilience to lack of sleep. But I still HATE not getting enough sleep.

    In other news, I think Lose It gives me too many calories because I’m so tall, and have a fairly high BMI (26.6). I’ve been staying a little under my 1/2 pound a week allowance and haven’t really lost any weight. I manually subtracted an extra 100 calories as of yesterday, so we’ll see how that goes. On the other hand, the first couple weeks of bootcamp have done really great things as far as toning up some of the overly soft areas of my body, Jeremy is probably already tired of me showing off my newly acquired guns. (not that they’re really that impressive, just exciting to me) 🙂

    • garyarthuryoung

      Check out those guns. Awesome.

      That ain’t a high BMI. I can show you a high BMI.

      I’m obviously no expert but from what I understand, that boot camp is probably toning you up crazy time. So your body is replacing the fat that’s marbled throughout the muscles of non-exercisers like a fatty steak with grade A muscle. So you may not see the weight loss you expect to see.

      Also, try this: http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/bmr/

      For what it’s worth it provides a little more perspective for me.

      Go, Janny MO!

      • Janna

        Thanks for link, interesting stuff. I kind of like this take on it, like ‘no, you’re not dieting, you’re eating the correct amount for you to get used to eating on a daily basis for the rest of your life.’

        The one thing this handles that Lose It doesn’t is that the exercise I do on a particular day does not and should not correlate to a 1:1 increase in food calories that day.

        Like when I run for an hour one day and take the next day off, if I ate the calories Lose It allotted, (about 700 extra for the run) the running day would feel pretty gluttonous, and the day off would feel like I had to be really careful. Not really sustainable.

        Wondering if it would work to use Lose It primarily for the weekly summary. Hmmm… I’ll keep you posted.

        P.S. Of course “high” is relative – let’s just say higher that *I* want to be. If the American government agencies (or whoever makes this stuff up) are putting me solidly in the “Overweight” category, that’s definitely sub-ideal.

        Thanks for the encouragement, Gare, you keep up the good work too!

    • garyarthuryoung

      Last night’s sleep was much better, thank you.

      I woke up in the wee hours but quickly fell back asleep. I’m tellin’ you, though. Without a good night’s sleep, especially after an epic workout — mtn biking — this past weekend, I’m a wreck. Sore and groggy much longer than I should be. I had to take mid-day naps in my car.

      Anyway, getting back on track now. Just have to get into bed earlier, which hopefully will also mean my sleep is less disturbance-prone. Maybe?

      If you want to hear what it sounds like:

      Last Spring I opened the window and recorded what is either the same or same type of bird and put music to it. This Spring I feel less inspired and more grumpy.

      Get off my lawn, you kids!

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