First goal of the year: Accomplished.
At the start of the year, I set a bunch of goals that weren’t SMART. Knowing myself and how self-motivated I am, I knew I’d still push myself to reach them. As of this morning, I’ve accomplished the first.
On January 1st, I weighed 184lbs after having taken a month easy from my cardio work, eating nonstop over the holidays, and a weeklong cruise with the family. As of this morning, the scale showed 174 (wifey can verify). 10lbs lost in a 1 and 1/3 of a month. The goal was to do it by my birthday (the 15th) en route to a “race weight” goal by the start of the racing season in April. I’m well on my way and don’t care what Chris has to say on the subject (I kid… his post is very worthwhile; weight loss isn’t always the answer and is rarely a good measuring stick unless you’ve got odd goals like myself [race performance]).
How did I do it? Lose 10lbs when already skinny?
- Exercise. I’ve always done this, but I usually slack off in the cold months. Not this year. I’m averaging over 100 miles ridden per week and about 5 run despite 1/3 of the year being zeroes due to my neck woes. A hidden bonus of cold weather work is that your body has to burn even more calories in order to keep its temperature.
- Eating smarter. When there is a healthier option, I’ll go for it. Forced to go out for someone’s last day of work? Have the grilled salmon and veggies instead of the burger and fries (note: if you’re eating at Ted’s, this actually still won’t be a healthy option). A lot of restaurants nowadays are listing their nutritional info in the menu. If not, check their website. Some of what I’ve found has been shocking.
- Not finishing her portions. This has always plagued me. After finishing my food, I’d wait around drooling in hopes that she won’t finish her’s and I’ll get to. No more. I’m done when I finish. This is 100+ calories a couple of times a week.
- Fewer sweets. Especially tough considering how much chocolate I received for the holidays. I’ve limited myself to a piece per day and stuck to it except for one or two binges. By “piece” I don’t mean a whole Hershey bar. I mean one square of it. It’s hard, but I’ve found it more satisfying to eat a small amount of chocolate every day rather than one bar once a week.
- Strength work. Typically, adding muscle battles against weight loss. It does, but ultimately increases your resting caloric consumption. Since the start of the year, I’ve done about 1000 pull-ups and 1500 push-ups (roughly 30 and 50 a day, respectively). I’m not keeping track like I normally do, which I think is keeping me from quitting… Casual works. It’s not heavy lifting by any means, but its all I need and doesn’t risk injury.
- Smaller meals, especially dinner. As long as you’re not waking up hungry in the middle of the night, you could stand to eat less. Eating less at dinner also has the side benefit of typically taking less time to prepare and cleanup. You don’t need a four course meal every night. Instead, make something simple or even snack most nights of the week. If you don’t feeling like eating at home, split a meal. What do the following have in common? Burrito at Chipotle, a 10″ pizza, a footlong sub, a single order of Chinese or Thai… That’s right, they’re all two meals. Save a buck, save a pound… Brilliant.
- Eat leftovers. Make more than you need, limit your portions, and eat the same thing the next day. Saves time, money, and calories.
- No beer (note: plenty of wine). Empty calories that I didn’t need. The biggest problem is that it’s rare to drink just one. I probably do limit my intake more than most (have one after a ride or one while cooking dinner and no more), but cutting it out altogether has been pretty easy. Unfortunately, by not consuming it (except for a happy hour at which I couldn’t control myself), it means we’ve been collecting it as I’m paid in beer for a lot of the favors I perform for friends. I suppose we’ll have to have folks over soon to get it out of here? Added bonus.
- No soda. I didn’t drink soda to begin with, but this is one that a lot of people could stand to cut out. Like beer, it’s empty calories, and a bunch of random chemicals going into your system. Save that $1.99 and drink water.
- Choose your battles. For a few weeks, I was drinking my coffee black. At 30 calories for my two teaspoons of sugar and another 30 or so for my half & half, the benefits didn’t outweigh the costs. I love coffee and I wasn’t loving it black. When you set a goal for anything, you don’t need to sacrifice everything to accomplish it. Pick and choose what works best for you. Being happy will go much further than saving those last 60 calories. However, know that there’s a big difference between a drip coffee with cream and the caramel bananafrappalatta you’re eyeing (by 500+ calories).
So that’s the gist of it. If I can drop 10lbs in a month, anyone can, but know that weight loss isn’t always the right answer.