With All the Trimmings ..

I know from past experience that losing weight is not easy. It usually requires a lot of discipline, patience, and fortitude. When I am working hard on my weight, I can generally lose at most about a half-pound a week, and usually not usually even that.

My winter diet started seven weeks ago. As of the weekend, I had lost approximately 6-7 lbs. That may sound like a lot, but I suspect most of it was the excess belly fat I had gained during the latter part of this year. A lot of it was water weight, or more likely, beer weight. Going forward, I expect diminishing returns, and smaller gains.

The goal is to drop another 7 or 8 lbs by Spring, which initially looked like a tall order, but now looks entirely possible. I’ve found the right food combinations that keep my workouts fueled, while not adding unnecessary weight.

Now comes the holidays. Kelli over at Apex Nutrition has some great suggestions on how to keep a diet going during the holidays. Her first point is key — the actual “Holidays” are only a few days. Many people, myself included, blow diets by grazing during the holidays. A cookie here, a brownie there may seem harmless enough, but it adds up.

What I’ve found is that once my body gets into the habit of healthy, light eating, it doesn’t crave a lot of food. If I had only eaten 1,800 calories in a day a few months ago, I would have felt like I was starving. Today that feels normal. As long as I stick to the good habits, the weight will continue to come off, holidays or not.

I’ve also found that it’s easy to break those habits. When I eat too big of a meal, the routine is broken. My body all of a sudden remembers how much I love food, and wants more, more, and more.

The biggest temptation of all is coming this week — Thanksgiving! Like Kelli says, it is good to unwind, enjoy the company of family, and yes, eat. I have to remember to get back on track after Thanksgiving, until the next temptation in late December.

15 responses to “With All the Trimmings ..

  • Robert Armstrong

    I hear you Aaron. Isn’t amazing how we have all this discipline when it comes to training on our bikes, but somehow it doesn’t always transfer to discipline around food, especially when family and friends continually urge us to taste their specially prepared holiday meal, or that holiday treat. And my wife and I are spending Christmas in London with our daughter and she’s already baking all my favorite holiday treats. How do you say no without hurting feelings. I think I’m in deep trouble!

    • aaronwest

      Sounds delicious. Maybe she’ll be willing to SAG again while you climb the calories off. I’m with you about the difficulty in managing food, but at least during the season, you can burn most of it off anyway.

  • Gerry

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one on team who a) has a problem keeping weight down, and b) likes beer! The key for me is constant training and eating ‘real’ food, instead of my favorites – chips, for example. And yes, cutting out (or down..) beer helps, too. Good luck with it. I’m sure once the heavy training hits in the New Year it’ll fall off you.

    • aaronwest

      Mmmm, beer. Same here. I love food so much, especially the nasty stuff that packs the pounds. I have to indulge sometimes just to keep my taste buds in check. If I lived around all that delicious French food, I might end up twice the size.

  • bgddyjim

    I go absolutely nuts on Thanksgiving. It’s the one day a year that I allow myself to overeat… The hardest part of that is the leftovers. Curse you leftovers!!!

    • aaronwest

      At least a lot of the leftovers (at least in my household) end up being light. You aren’t going to get fat on turkey and veggies. Gravy, stuffing and mashed potatoes might be a different story.

  • There’s a Tool for That | The Vicious Cycle

    […] dries up a tad and you end up getting blog articles in your inbox about, for example, a new jacket, keeping the weight off with Thanksgiving around the corner, and…Hostess […]

  • Wade Otey

    (please note: the following IS self-effacing sarcasm, you know how large I am…) I love it when skinny/fit guys whine about losing and gaining weight for riding, in that previous life, back in the day, playing in the scrum you had to have lower body power balanced with a big ass, then be able to run about 8 miles during a 80 min rugby match. (OK, so I walked some) Then, after retiring, I ballooned to 310 lbs. that is back down to 240 due to cycling, I wish now I had found cycling in 1995 when I retired from the scrum, Oh Well, Can’t Whine over Spilt Fat,…. But to your point, the more miles I put behind my slowly shrinking ass, the better I eat, but the flip side, the more rest I give my legs, the closer I can hang with the hammerheads on those weekend event rides, and the poorer my diet is….The Ying and The Yang of It All,…I need a coach!

    • aaronwest

      Thanks for the chuckles! I know that losing a few lbs might not seem like much in the context, but as you probably know, every single ounce helps you up the hill. I’m sure you’ve heard the cliche about how much less expensive it is to drop weight on the engine compared to the chassis. If you’re serious about needing a coach, I’d recommend Bobby at http://www.kineticpotentialcoaching.com.

  • Wade Otey

    BTW, is that a Guinea Fowl?

  • James Tobias

    The problem is when you have to go to multiple thanksgiving dinners in one day. I have lunch with one side of the family, dinner with another. Luckily this is solved by riding my bike in between them! Solid 1,800kj ride helps leave plenty of room for food!

  • James

    Trust you enjoyed Thanksgiving last week. We were down in NYC celebrating with some American friends and they showed us how it was supposed to be done. By God I ate enough for three men! Luckily in New York one walks everywhere, so four days of visiting, sightseeing and shopping all on foot kept off any critical poundage.

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