Friday, March 18, 2011

Experiment IV

199.8 lbs.

I am over the 200 wall and sprinting towards freedom. This, my friends, is not a quotidian event (ha! I used "quotidian" in a sentence properly - I love that stupid word). I can barely remember, nor can anyone else I have been close to over the years, being this weight. I think the last time was around 1993. I feel like I have fallen into the Wayback Machine. I am sure an animated talking dog by the name of Professor Peabody is going to come strolling along any moment now.

For those of you new to the blog let me recap. About the second week of January I decided to start an experiment on myself partly based on a book called the 4-Hour Body. Later, I would do more research and adjust the experiment accordingly. The purpose was to see if I could lose weight steadily and efficiently over a period of time. Sometimes, I would disrupt the process just to see where it would lead me. My starting weight was around 232 (at one point it jumped to 234). The basic premise was to change not only how I ate during the week but what I ate during the week. From Sunday through Friday, I abstain (generally) from any processed food or wheat and sugar based foods - a low carb, high protein diet switch up. On Saturday, I eat whatever I want without limits, sometimes to the point of overeating - I can eat anything. If I take my highest weight overall and subtract my lowest weight, as of today, I will have lost almost 235 lbs. So far I would call the experiment a success. Wouldn't you?

What has been neat along the journey is finding out all the different things that people are trying or doing to change their lifestyle and not just in a dietary sense. I also have learned what an aversion we have as Americans to making healthy choices. In short, we hate them. There is an absolute rabidness that occurs when people talk about food. We decry the messenger who tells us to put the deep fried Snickers bar down because he must be some sort of bastard to assume he can tell us what we can and can not eat. Though, I have rarely read or heard any messenger tell you that you can't have certain things in moderation. But America's overall cry is: screw moderation, give me my remote and Little Debbies back you Nazi!

A few things started me on my path to self construction (see what I did there?). I wanted to be healthy for both my wife and my kids. I got tired of making excuses to myself like: I just don't photograph well, my gut isn't that big! I actually wanted to look good in my clothes and feel comfortable in public. The last statement was reinforced by an event that happened the weekend before I started this whole thing and one that has now come full circle.

January 7th, my wife and I went to my belated office holiday party. She looked beautiful, fantastic and petite - an absolute vision. Me? I dropped my Dr. House look for a moment, shaved, wore a nice collared shirt (albeit in typical Scottsdale "gotta try and disguise my gut" style - untucked) and some cool designer jeans. Over this I wore a black navy pea coat which I just think is the coolest thing ever. In my mind, I looked like one of the lost members of The Boondock Saints. But my self image was dashed by at least two people who said to me that night, "Man, you look just like Sam Kinison!"

Now they didn't see this as hurtful at all. Everyone seems to love Sam Kinison still. It was meant as a compliment. We are like a family where I work. But it dug under my skin and made me more determined. Dammit, I don't want to look like Sam Kinison. I want to be a Boondock Saint when I wear my now grossly oversized navy pea coat. I want to dress up as a superhero on Halloween without worrying about looking like a late 70's Elvis version of Superman. I want to be able to see my other man parts while standing up without going into a yoga pose. So I went at this experiment with a vengeance. Chart. Blog. Obsessiveness. Now here we are. Yesterday, one of my co workers who had made one of the Sam Kinison comments said, "You look like you are wasting away!" I like that, I honestly do (not in a sick anorexia after school special sort of way either). They sincerely meant it as a compliment too.

If I can be permitted to quote a line from a Mad Max movie (as I often do with little recognition on the part of the receiver of said quotes): This is a threshold moment, Johnny. Step through! Oh and for the sheer sake of randomness: I'll drive that tanker!

I have come to the conclusion this week that I will have to build muscle, there just isn't any other way around it now. For me to continue to lose weight consistently and to drop my body fat percentage, I need to give my body something to feed off the fat and that thing is muscle. Nothing drastic. Very heavy weight, very low reps, very controlled and steady movements and sufficient healing time in between. Now that I can see some of my rib cage and my chest isn't principally composed of fatty tissue, it will be a lot more fun to watch the changes.

Oh and speaking of Wayback Machines. Today's video is one where Dr. House goes back in time and stars in a Kate Bush video from 1986. I'm not joking, see if you can spot him. Enjoy.

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