Here I am on my engagement day…May 3, 2008. I weighed 162lbs.
Here Brooke and I are on August 31, 2014 right after finishing the Dumbo Double Dare (for me). I want to be the 2008 guy again. On my time away from blogging last week, I realized that, if I want to continue developing as a runner, I need to get leaner. So, beginning this week, I’m on a quest to get my weight back down to 160. So, I began working on a plan to get there.
Step 1 is the elimination of drinking soda on a regular basis. Some folks out there drink alcohol only on special occasions (and actually do this). That’s the policy I need to have in my relationship with soda. Recently, I’ve noticed that my soda consumption has gotten out of control. Back in 2007, I felt the same as I do today. Back then, I found a way of cutting soda out of my diet except for a small list of dates. It worked out well for me for a while. Back in 2007, I cut the soda as part of my plan to loose weight for my wedding. I knew I was dating the girl I was going to marry and decided to give myself plenty of time to loose the weight. Since it worked out well back then, I’m going back to the plan. So, here’s what I’m going to be doing…
2 sodas per day for the next 2 weeks – this might not sound like the start of something great. However, it brings control back to my consumption of soda. There have been days where I’ll only consume 1 or even 0 sodas. However, I also have days where it’s more than 2. By allowing myself 2 per day and no more, I’m starting off with something that is very doable.
1 soda per day for 2 weeks – after the first 2 weeks, I’ll cut down to 1 soda per day. By the end of 4 weeks, I’ll be down to 1 soda per day.
1 soda every other day for 2 weeks – beginning week 5, I’ll allow only 1 soda every other day for the next 2 weeks. This is a hard step because, by this point, I’ll need a suitable replacement.
1 soda Saturday and 1 soda on Sunday for 2 weeks – This is by far the hardest cut to make. However, if I’m successful, by the end of 8 weeks, I’ll be down from 2 sodas per day to 2 sodas per week.
1 soda on the weekend for 2 weeks – once I get here, it starts to get easier. Going from 2 sodas per week to 1 is not that different.
What I found, back then, is that the first week is hard when the cuts start happening. The second week makes the new habit regular. Using this pattern, I got myself off the soda habit.
Step 2 – Cut calories from my daily diet. There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound. To loose 1 pound per week requires either burning an extra 500 calories per day or cutting 500 calories per day off your consumption of food. When I’ve been successful at loosing weight in the past, this part was crucial. It was even more crucial than exercise. Cutting 500 calories per day is not done through skipping meals or something crazy.
Have you seen or heard of this book? Well, I own a couple of them. Here’s what WebMD says about the program the books set up. You can order the above book on Amazon.com here. The thing I liked about this book is how simple most of the swaps are. You feel like you’re not actually sacrificing calories.
Another source of some great recipes for low calories is Now Eat This! by Rocco Dispirito. (also available on Amazon.com). Between these two books, you can see that cutting 500 calories per day is very doable without starving yourself. These are just two sources. There are more. Of course, this part will take some work and tweaking. I’m not completely there yet on this. However, I’ve started working towards this goal already.
Step 3 – Keep the early morning training runs during the week. Hopefully, sometime soon, I’ll get to writing a full blog post on my transition from evening runner to early morning runner. I’m not a morning person at all. So, getting up at 5:30am when I could sleep in longer is not easy. However, I’ve found that my morning runs before work are going well. I’m finding more consistency and the times are faster than I was doing in July (before the new job and while I was fairly consistent in running mid-week). The morning runs are 3 miles. So, they’re short. However, I think they play a big role in keeping the running conditioning up.
Step 4 – Get back to being a regular at the gym. I know that I can make it at least 1 day a week. If I can figure out how to make it twice, that would be even better. These gym workouts are something I feel like helps me a little in running. It’s the routine that I was doing 3 times a week back in 2007-2008 to lose around 70 pounds. So, if I can do that twice, plus the running, I think the results will be there.
Step 5 – Make all the long run distances. As I prepare for the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon, this will be key to my success at that race. It’s way too early to predict results. However, lost weight and hitting all my long run distances will go a long way towards beating my 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon time.
Step 6 – Be Consistent! Doing any of the previous steps is great. Doing all of them is even better. However, doing all of them consistently is the real key to success.
This is going to be a long and winding road. However, I’ve got to do something. I’m sure that, along the way, I’ll figure some things out that I don’t already have in the plan. I am not a dietitian nor am I a personal trainer. So, whatever I report along the way is coming from someone who is untrained. I’m sure that some of the the things that work for me will work for others as well. However, there are things that will work for me that won’t work for you. I don’t have a timetable worked out for this journey as of now. It would be great if one year from today, I can report to you that I’ve met my goal. Wish me luck and perseverance.