Sunday, November 8, 2009

8 Days a Week - A Retrospective

In the past year some significant events happened over a week and a day. The United States financial system almost collapsed during a period of 8 Days in September of '08. In August of this year Texas boaters were capsized in the Gulf of New Mexico for 8 Days. In the same month a 12 year-old boy was lost in Kruger National Park, South Africa for 8 Days surrounded by lions and elephants. Just a few weeks ago Chinese coal miners were trapped underground for 8 Days.

And in a period of 8 Days, from Sunday, November 1st to Sunday, November 7th I lost 12 lbs. Roughly the weight of a bowling ball.

My preamble to this terrific personal news is to underscore the insignificance of it all. What? I should be thrilled! I am well on my way! All true! When I stepped on the scale I was very very happy this morning. But after many hours of contemplation, and hearty praise coming everywhere from Northern California to North London, my excitement dissipated a bit as I realized that this is not a game where the optimum score is equal to winning. It is the way the game is played on and off the field, and how you act long after the game is over that is far more important than the scoreboard scale in the end zone.

This morning I walked to Equinox on 2nd Avenue taking the same route as the previous Sunday - remember Marathon Sunday? But there was a huge difference! Unlike 8 Days ago I felt lighter, happier, healthier, but more importantly, my attitude had shifted. 8 Days ago I was focused on the game's results. My attitude back then was similar to my first High School football game. I was 14, in 9th Grade, and it was my first game on the Jr. Varsity team. It was an away game, against El Segundo. They were the same age as us, but they were huge! As they came out of the locker room I greatly hoped they were merely the Varsity team out early. No such luck. My thoughts that evening were: What have I gotten myself into? This is going to be really fun, or more likely, this is going to be absolutely awful. Either way, it's only for 60 minutes, and as long as we have more points on the scoreboard at the end of the game I'll be happy! (PS: We won 7-6)

Last Sunday the 1st was no different. What had I gotten myself into? As long as I am 75 lbs lighter at the end of this game I'll be happy. I treated it as such. A game. Before the start of the game I took the previous two weeks to eat and drink like King Henry VIII going to the Chair.

End of week one. I lost 12 lbs. I was at first ecstatic, but then I thought... what if I hadn't gained about 8 lbs in the weeks prior to this endeavor? What if I ate a little bit healthier this week, and worked out harder? Maybe I could have lost 15?

Well, no use beating myself up. But the next rule is not to be a slave to numbers. If focused solely on the numbers I can lose 75 lbs easy by taking up Heroin for instance. No, I will focus on the journey - how this game is played now, and for the rest of my life. Bottom line, eat healthfully and exercise and you will weigh what you want to weigh.

Don't get me wrong, I am very happy to have lost 12 lbs (actually 13 after my steam, but whose counting). But, now my sights are set not so much on the remaining 63 lbs - I know I can do that - rather on how I will eat, and how I will live.

My true goal is certainly quantitative, to weigh 225 lbs. But after thinking about this all day, it is really qualitative - after I lose the 75 lbs, can I play a full 80 minutes of rugby? Will I let my urges for particular food or drink control me, or will I be the master of my pleasure? Will I have changed my eating and drinking habits just because of will power, or will it be because of my nutrition education? I don't know yet.

Sorry to get so deep here, but it was an introspective day.

Last Wednesday I weighed myself on another scale - I had lost only 4 lbs. I was pretty bummed. Today, while on my "official" scale I lost 12. Awesome! But then again, I let the numbers determine the score, not how I was eating, and living. If I weigh myself daily at whatever gym I happen to be at, and at different periods through the day when your weight will fluctuate, I will go mad! So I will not obsess over it, but I will weigh in each week. The weight will be the guide, but my lifestyle change will be the true scorecard.

The weight loss will be the by-product, the secondary goal. I did all right this week, and I am proud. But, I know I can do better! If by next Sunday I am 10 lbs lighter but not improved on my already pretty good eating habits, or work-outs I will not be as pleased as if I weighed in 7 lbs lighter, but have mastered my work-out regimen, and nutrient-dense diet.

OK, scorecards out:

Breakfast: apple (I need to mix it up more!)
Snack: some nuts, and a coffee
Lunch: Only a large soy-based smoothie (Not great, need to be much more nutrient-rich!)
Snack: Bear Naked granola
Dinner: A Small organic pasta, and pasta sauce. Mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, beansprouts, broccoli, and cucumber.
Salad Dressing: (OK, looking for some advice here, not sure if I should stick with this dressing - it's good, but is it healthy?)
Organic Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
100 Calories, 80 from fat
Total Fat - 9g, 13% Daily Value
Saturated Fat - .5g, 3%
Sodium - 240 mg, 10%
Carbs - 4g, 1%
Sugars - 3g
Protein - >1%

SALIVATION OF THE DAY: My buddy text me that he was grilling up some ribs. Mmmm.

These were a good 8 Days. Week one was just a warm-up - on to a better, and more disciplined week two!

1 comment:

annabella said...

The 12 pounds is awesome! Of course what "matters" is how you feel and how your clothes fit but the numbers are rewarding.

Re. the salad dressing, the label generally looks okay - what are the ingredients - is there anything in there that you don't recognize or can't pronounce? If not, it's probably healthy!