Doin’ The Calorie Limbo

“Trending downward,” as they say. “Interesting,” I say.

It actually may be too early to even make mention of this as anything other than an anomaly, but nevertheless my previous three days have seen a marked decrease in caloric intake with no effects… no hunger, no blood/sugar irregularities. Nothing. It’s all good.

Perhaps its my way of making up for the cookie dough binge of friday, the Mexican restaurant of Saturday and the Monte Cristo sandwich of Sunday, but Monday’s total was 1,942 calories, Tuesday’s was 1,553 and yesterday’s was an unheard of 1,279.

Not that I’m turning this into a how-low-can-I-go challenge, but as long as there’s no physiological back-firing I see no reason why I shouldn’t keep it up — or down as it were.

My fitday.com log can be viewed here.

Notch-urally

I skipped my weekly weigh-in yesterday. I made the decision to do that the previous Sunday when my scale showed I hadn’t lost any weight and my wife’s scale had me at 257.5 — 5.5 pounds more than what my scale showed.

So I decided to step off the devices in part because they are inexact and also because I just didn’t need the aggravation… especially when there’s much stronger and entirely unrefutable proof to be found in the fact that I’m now notching my belt two holes tighter than when I began this weight loss odyssey on January 8. They may say the scale doesn’t lie, but it certainly can be unreliable. There’s nothing unreliable in the two inches that are gone from my waist line.

It wasn’t as conscientious a weekend as I would’ve liked. We had lunch at Olvera Street’s El Paseo Inn on Saturday and then I brunched upon a Monte Cristo sandwich Sunday at Flor Morena, a new eatery here in Silver Lake that we’ve wanted to try.

But those meals are nothing to get discouraged about and I’m not. It’s not about food deprivation it’s about food management and I’m still as positive and dedicated as ever.

Gonna Shoot The Whole Day Down

Sunday again. Weigh-in day again. I had a goal to lose three pounds given that I gained one last week.

Perhaps it didn’t help that Susan and I went to the Spanish Kitchen on La Cienega for dinner last night and I had not one, not two but three mojitos and for dinner their carne asada.

Agh, let’s cut to the chase. I stepped in the scale and it gave me 252. Same as last week. Despite sub-2,000 calorie days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Despite a 26-mile solo bike ride to the beach Monday and the 20-mile Midnight Ridazz on Friday. Despite three two-mile walks with Shadow Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and an hour combined spent on the new exercise apparatus Susan got from Sharper Image.

Understatement: I’M FUCKING PISSED.

I suppose I should look at the positive and say to myself “Well, at least I didn’t gain another pound and have it show 253! If nothing fucking else, at least I’m holding steady!”

Yeah, that helps.

But then here’s where it gets good. I make the decision to step on Susan’s scale. Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig mistake. Gross error. First it shows me 255. Then I move it to another piece of the hardwood and it hits me with 257.5. I move the piece of shit into another room entirely (the same place I weightd myself with the first scale) and again: 257.5! I can almost here it laughing in this dry electronic tone and inquirying if I’d like to move it outside and try for 258?

Can I get a hell to the no!?

So here’s the plan. First, I’m not giving up. Despite the disappointment of these past two weighings, the fact remains I’ve lost eight pounds in five weeks, which keeps me on track to lose the 30 pounds by July 1. I’m still gonna stick with the healthy eating and the increased exercise as my primary tactics. But I’m going to skip weighing myself next week, and maybe even the week after that. I just don’t need the aggravation of all my good work and good feelings being negated by equipment that is proving unreliable. And when I do recommence the weigh-ins it’s going to be with the researched purchase of a non-electric “medical grade” floor scale.

Onward and downward.

Long Rider

So I biked over and met Carolyn Kellogg, editor of LAist.com at the Britespot in Echo Park this morning. Susan and I met her at the wake for the Ambassador Hotel at the HMS Bounty last week and since we’re both unemployed and living livses of leisure (cough) she emailed an invite to get together for coffee and so we did.

We talked old jobs and blogs and old bosses and blogs and old jobs until it was time for her to head downtown for an appointment so I bid her farewell and hit the ATM to deposit the two months worth of back unemployment checks that finally arrived yesterday having been on hold pending my appeal hearing which was now almost two weeks ago that resulted in a reversal of the decision to deny my claim (yeah, baby!). The EDD may not be the slowest beauracracy out there, but they gotta be in the top three.

Thus newly flush with cash, I tried to figure out how to celebrate:

  • Head home, pick up Shadow for a hike, maybe Fern Dell or Bronson Canyon?
  • Head home, get my workout gear and hit the Y, then afterward wander downtown snapping crappy phonecam pix of some of the sights… maybe the portobello burger at Traxx?
  • Don’t go home, don’t go workout, just go for a bike ride?

DingDingDing. No. 3 was the winnah! But the next question was where to go? The odometer read 186.5 so I thought wouldn’t it be cool to roll The Phoenix past its 200th mile?

Of course it would. So westward I went, but with no real idea of my destination. Up Sunset to Fountain, I stayed on Fountain all the way to La Cienega where I dropped down the hill and crossed Santa Monical and finally turned right onto Melrose, which I took to Robertson south to Burton Way in Beverly Hills.

It was around this time that I kicked up an internal dialogue:

“You’re not seriously thinking about biking all the way to the beach, are you?”

“Naaaaaaah…. am I?”

“It sure seems like you’re thinking about biking all the way to the beach?”

“Well, I’ll let you know when I make up my mind.”

Burton Way becomes Little Santa Monica Boulevard and before long I’m across Wilshire and then back on Big Santa Monica passing Century City.

Again come the voices:

“I knew it! You’re going to ride all the way to the beach!”

“But I’m still not sure yet… maybe we’ll turn around at Westwood.”

“Bullshit. Santa Monica, here we come!”

Sure enough, we zipped past Westwood Boulevard, then weaved our way through some gridlock coming up on Sepulveda, then under the 405 and a short distance later Santa Monica bears to the left and it’s a straight shot all the way to Ocean Avenue.

The Phoenix registered her 200th mile at Cloverfield, right by St. Johns Hospital where back in 1994 a few months after my motorcycle accident crushed my face I had a piece of my hip “harvested” and used to rebuild the bridge of my nose. Ahh, the memories.

A few minutes later I was taking a snap of me relaxing on an Ocean Park bench looking out at the bay, which looked better than my phonecam captured, but it will have to suffice (click to biggify):

Santa Monica Bay 02-07-06_1136.jpg

It took about 75 minutes to go that 16 miles. Not bad. Fortunately I had a little packet of sunscreen in my backpack, which I applied to my face and neck, and then just kicked back trying to decide if I was going to hop the No. 4 bus for the journey back or just crank it all the way home.

I biked down to the pier but decided not to go down there. Instead I came back up to Santa Monica Boulevard and started back figuring if I poop out I can just hang until a bus comes along. All was going well except that I sweated some of that sunscreen into my eyes and the shit stung but good. Still I rolled on all the way up through Beverly Hills then up Robertson to Melrose all the way to Virgil up to Santa Monica again up to the Sunset Junction and home where I rolled in about 1:15 p.m.
All told it was a 35-mile ride from Silver Lake to the Santa Monica Pier entrance and back, good for a couple thousand calories burned. Can I get a Woo-Hoo!?

Setback

If it’s Sunday, it’s weigh-in day and I met the first proof this ain’t going to be a nice and steady downhill ride. The scale showed me that I actually gained back a pound, putting me at 252.

Very disappointing considering my caloric intake was very well monitored this past week. But I’m not going to let it get me down (too much). Instead, I’m giving myself my first weekly goal of dropping three pounds. I’m going to step on the scale next week and it’s going to read 249. And I’m going to achieve this not by any drastic reduction of calories, but in maintaining that 2,000-per-day level (Super Bowl Sunday shamelessly not included) and just upping the consistency of the exercise I’m doing.

YMCA, here I come.

Gimme Kissee!

OK, so I blew it today, which is a negative way of saying I gave into an urge. At the market today shopping for groceries I tossed an 11-ounce bag of the new peanut butter-filled Hershey’s kisses into the cart and when I got home and had a healthy lunch of soup and sardines, I tore into the bag like a ravenous animal.

Before I could catch a breath I’d ingested three servings of the things for an additional 690 calories. But there’s good news in that last sentence: the part where I mention that it was “three servings,” which translates into 27 kisses. No more, no less.

See, I could have just as easily gobbled away and blown off keeping any sort of count. If I’d had the entire bag would be gone. But as it stands the remaining five servings are sitting right in front of me and I’m entirely uninterested in them anymore. In fact, after three-plus weeks of a terrifically limited candy intake (one half of a Fast Break bar a couple weeks ago) I’m feeling a little queasy from this mini-binge. I couldn’t eat another one if I’d wanted to. So I may take them with me when I go on tonight’s 25-mile RIDE-Arc group bike ride and pass them off to the first homeless person I see. Or I’ll just throw the bag in the trash, but I’d like not to just waste ’em. We’ll see.

Or maybe Cybele might like them to review for her Candy Blog?

Cue The Ennio Morricone Music

So it’s Sunday and that means my scale was a-callin’ me out for our regular weekly showdown. I did well this week, with three consecutive days consuming less than 2,000 calories, but still I stepped to my nemesis with a mixture of trepidation and fear as to what series of glowing red numbers would show up on its tiny display.

Planting myself fully onto the tiny platform the three zeros stayed put for an eternity, as if the little mechanism that calculates was having trouble figuring out how to fire. Did I lose a pound? Two (that was my guess)? None (yikes)??? Perhaps I even put some back on (double yikes)?????

Then the numbers came up and my jaw dropped. That couldn’t be right. I stepped off the scale, reloaded and fired again. The numbers were the same and my jaw dropped again. Once more I disembarked and reboarded, even moving the scale to a different section of hardwood in case some warp in the floor was influencing the thing.

Same again. The scale read:

251

I’d lost five pounds — FIVE!!! — this past week, for a total of nine in three weeks. Hawesome!