And I'm not talking about the dance number from the catchy Archie Bell and the Dells song from 1968:
Two consecutive days of too much food and alcohol have caused me to spike up over my +/-3% maintenance range for the first time since I got back from my vacations in New York and Munich. 155. That was the ugly number staring at me on the scale this morning. And that's a full ten pounds over the weight I got down to at the end of my boot camp in late July. Now, I know that a pound or two of that will quickly disappear over the next few days and that 145 is not a weight I've been able to sustain for any length of time, but it's time to face the facts. I took off my first few vacation pounds relatively quickly upon returning home in late August, but over the past few weeks, I've been down one week and up the next. And this weekend's food orgy is definitely going to result in a net gain for me this week and leave me a good six pounds above the weight where I look and feel best in normal times.
So where am I going wrong? I've realized that, for the past month, I haven't been living as if I want to lose weight--I've been cruising along in maintenance mode and being much too loosey goosey on a number of fronts. I've been guesstimating my portions a good deal of the time--and I'm a crap guesstimator. I've been taking lots of bites, licks and tastes when cooking or putting my leftovers away--and those add up pretty fast. I've been letting my weekly treat meals get far too out of hand, even having two instead of my usual one some weeks, and I'm eating too much for things to always level off by the week's end. And I'm scrimping on my cardio in favor of a heavier lifting routine. All of these things would be okay if my goal were to stay the same. I can loosen up that much if weight loss isn't my goal. But if I go into the holiday season already at the upper end of my maintenance range, I'm going to be in a heap of trouble come January. I need to tighten things up. So what's my plan?
1) Stick to my 1,500 calorie target six days a week, with a tolerance of +/-100 calories.
2) As the old Weight Watchers saying goes, "If I bite it, I'm gonna write it." No more guesstimating and kissing those extra bites, licks and tastes up to God. All my food will be weighed, measured and tracked.
3) Put a cap on my weekly treat meal of 2,000 calories. I haven't been accurately tracking these in maintenance and they've clearly been undermining my efforts to come out with the net loss I'm aiming for each week right now. In addition to the cap, these meals are going to be weighed, measured and tracked so that my estimated 2,000 calories isn't actually 3,000 or more.
4) Reinstitute my 5K running program, which consists of alternate days of sprints and longer runs at least four days a week, preferably five. I'll keep my lifting routine as I want to try to preserve as much muscle as I reasonable can while getting leaner, but I need to give my calorie burning a boost and set my muscle-building routine on the back burner until I'm more comfortable with where my weight is. I'm going to flip-flop my gym routine so my cardio workouts come first, that way I'll be sure to comply with them as close to 100% as possible. And I'll need to make adequate gym time a priority. No more running through the doors less than an hour before closing time, so I barely have time to just get my strength training done.
5) Shift my weekly weigh ins from Friday or Saturday (before my weekly treat meals) to Monday. I think this will help keep me more mindful of just how much I'm taking in when I'm indulging and hopefully prevent me from going overboard.
So that's my plan to shed about six pounds in six weeks, which will bring me to November 24-- a full month before Christmas. This will give me some time to live on maintenance for a few weeks, rather than jumping back into holiday regain/damage control mode straight away.
Got my gym clothes on and am ready to recommit. My head's still in the game, even if I'm slightly fuller around the edges. Time to do the tighten up!