The One Year Project

A Personal Experiment in Deadline Transition

Weight Loss – Week 3: How to Analyze and Overcome a “Bad” Week

with 6 comments

Photo by capn madd matt

Photo by capn madd matt

This week started out great.  I was down to 244.  Then something happened.  When I stepped on the scale this morning I was 246lbs.  That’s right!

One pound gained from last Sunday!

My immediate response was depression and withdrawal, feeling like giving up (naturally).  But this time I’m determined to get in shape so I knew I couldn’t let these emotions control me.  Here are a few things I did to get back in the “weight loss” mood!

Get Motivated!

The first thing I set out to do was get re-motivated.  I spent literally hours scouring blogs and websites for success stories and for people like me who’ve gotten quite a bit farther along.  I became hooked on many of them a literally read about every post.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. The Anti-Jared –
    This guy had some massive weight loss.  After ballooning to a whopping 420lbs, he set out in February 2008 to finally change his life (like he had set out to do many times before, so not even his wife expected anything to happen.)  But this time was different!  Now, ten months later, he’s down 200 pounds and has control of his life!  Recently, he’s decided to give back!  Now for every comment he gets he’ll donate something like 10 cents to a charity.  So GO! Be inspired.  Comment!  Great motivation.
  2. Run4Change –
    This guy has commented on this blog a few times and I’m really glad he did!  His journey was similar to what my journey is now.  He had been overweight since he was a child and wanted to change his life, so on December 13, 2006 (I started December 14, 2008!) he began a year long journey (sound familiar?) that would leave him 133lbs down!  Nowadays he continues to write about the ongoing work of maintaining his weight and also does Q&A posts.  His before and after pictures are VERY inspiring.
  3. Men’s Health Belly Off! 2009 Profiles –
    The guys on here have gotten some awesome results and they are all at different stages of the process.  It’s always encouraging to see what other people are doing.  Not only can you see their progress but many mention exactly what they are doing, how they are doing it, when they are doing it.  The profiles had the most significant effect on my motivation, but the Men’s Health site was motivating all around.

Compare the “Bad” Week Against Previous Weeks and Make Changes

After I had gotten inspired by how things had turned out for these other guys, I developed an “I can do it” attitude and set out to see why it was I was gaining weight.  I had assumed I was doing everything in the third week exactly the same way I had been doing it in the first and second week.  Boy, was I wrong!

I had gradually been making changes to my process without really noticing.  I found out that I had cut my calories from ~2000 in the first week to ~1800 in the third week.  Combined with the intensity of my exercise (which isn’t much), this may have been enough of a change to put me in a deficit, the kind that tells your body you are “starving” and to store more fat.  There is also a possibility that that the weight I gained was the result of some muscle gained.  If that is the case Week 4 ought to be a great one!

I think it is also worth noting that the scale isn’t necessarily the best way to measure progress.  I’m one pound heavier, but I look better in the mirror already and I have a much easier time with the workouts than I did on day one.

But I’d definitely recommend comparing your bad week against previous successful weeks.  Retrace your steps, look at any logs you had made from week one or two and just see if your habits had evolved in an inefficient way.  It will definitely help and, personally, it led me to the next item…

Start a New Eating and Workout Plan

After having seen the progress of some guys on the Men’s Health site I decided to look into The Abs Diet.  I immediately got the book and started reading.  It is brilliant.  When the author revealed his reluctance to call it a “diet” I was hooked.  You see, The Abs Diet isn’t a diet in the pop-culture sense, but in the scientific sense.  It’s a way of eating.  There are a list of healthy foods to eat but absolutely no food is restricted.  It’s a sensible approach to nutrition that encourages good decision making and promotes foods that help build muscle and burn fat.

It’s not much different than what I have been doing.  All the foods recommended have a low glycemic load.  The Abs Diet is just an expanded and more elaborate version that takes into consideration muscle building.  It is also much less restrictive (i.e., MORE REALISTIC).  It seems to me to be a decision making philosophy more than a “diet”, and I can’t wait to try the workout plan either.

Once I’ve finished the book, I’ll be transitioning into The Abs Diet.

So then, I’ve successfully overcome my first hurdle!  On to Week 4!  (By the way, I’ve only lasted as much as 4 weeks eating healthy and exercising.  Week 5 will be a milestone week for me!)

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Written by J. Bentley

January 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Don’t feel too bad. I started out where you are a year ago (256). I’m starting this year at 199. My weight went up and down week-to-week, but it’s the long term that counts. Stick with it. This time next year, you’ll be really happy!


    January 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm

  2. Thanks a lot! This is what I keep telling myself too. All the times before this I haven’t stuck with it long enough. I always got frustrated and quit too soon. This year will be different!

    Congratulations to you too! That is awesome. I’m dying to get below 200. Keep up the great work!

    J. Bentley

    January 4, 2009 at 4:59 pm

  3. Yeah, this happens a lot week-to-week for me. There’s just a lot going on with the human body. Things like hydration, bowel movements, what time you eat, etc all factor in. I’ve found that I weigh a full kilo heavier in the evenings than I do in the mornings as well.


    January 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm

  4. Yeah me, too. I always make sure to weigh myself every Sunday morning before I eat or drink anything and wearing the same clothes I wore the first day. That takes out a lot of the variations. Then there are things like hydration and bowel movements that you can’t do much about.

    I’m starting the Abs Diet soon. I’m expecting much better results with it!

    Thanks Steve!

    J. Bentley

    January 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm

  5. Keep up the good work. Getting re-motivated is so important all though not that easy. You are going to do great. Good job. Thank you very much for the encouragement. I appreciate it. There will always be set backs, but if you take care of them like you are, you are certain to win the war even if you lose a battle or two.


    January 5, 2009 at 8:03 am

  6. Thanks man! I’m excited to be starting a new program. I just *know* that this is the time. This is the year I’ll finally do it!

    I appreciate all the encouragement!

    J. Bentley

    January 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

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