04 May 2011

Scaling Down #2 - How I Fell Off the Wagon

Each year hordes of people make a New Year's resolution to lose weight. In January, gyms are overcrowded with well-meaning people on treadmills desperate to lose a few pounds. By February, most have given up. In 2010, I was able to lose 45 pounds without the help of a trainer, special program, crazy diet, or supplements. This year I intend to continue that weight loss trend while documenting my efforts with a new Scaling Down feature every two months in hopes that my methods may work for you as well.

How I Fell Off the Wagon
Well, shit. That is essentially the exact thought that ran through my head as I stepped on the scale on the morning of May 1st. The digital demon told me I was 206.2 pounds with a 24.7% body fat. Gross. In two months, I gained back nearly all the weight I had lost between January and March. There are many contributing factors.

Off the Wagon
In the last installment of Scaling Down, I wrote about joining a gym in March. That did not happen. In fact, I still have not joined a gym and there is a pretty lame excuse why. I need a new iPod. My five-year-old Nano no longer holds a charge longer than three songs, and I find it difficult to run without it. I had crafted a particular playlist for running that started at a moderate tempo, gradually increasing from song to song before reaching its crescendo with a tune that more often than not would have me running at 10mph for the three minutes and twenty-four seconds it played. Without my magic music, I have never been able to keep a steady pace for very long. Aside from that, funding was not there for a gym membership at that point in time, and now, it could easily be another 2-4 weeks before I get around to it.

The other culprit in my weight gain is the month of March. In my household there were three birthdays within nine days which led to a lot of delicious cake being eaten. Furthermore, it just so happened that there were three or four other celebrations featuring chocolate cake to bridge the gap between birthdays and Easter, where there was plenty of chocolate. Including cake. Combine that with long hours and poor eating habits, and the result is one writer falling off of a wagon.

On the Wagon
Now I am pressed with the task of getting back on the wagon. The first step I took was signing up for Health Month. I discovered this site through Foursquare, and thus far it has been helpful in setting, tracking, and meeting goals. In this case, the carrot at the end of the stick is a Foursquare badge. Also, a healthy body.

Virtual rewards aside, setting and meeting goals is key to the next phase of Scaling Down. My financial situation has improved quite a bit since the last installment, so I do foresee an iPod, possibly even an iPod Touch, and a gym membership in my future. Also, with the weather improving, it's about time to get out on the bike for a few long rides soon. In addition to those more cardio-leaning workouts, I need to retouch my free weight routine to work out different muscles. Should I follow through on these efforts, I will hopefully drop back below 200 pounds come July and keep on moving in that direction. And I can stop calling the scale a digital demon.

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