Thursday, January 29, 2015

Training - Diet, Riding, Life

I keep starting posts and then leaving them because I didn't finish them. Then they get sort of stale because of time related events in the post and it becomes one of those "well there is a story in there so maybe I'll pull it out and do that bit as a post some other time."

Then it becomes another one of the 200+ drafts I have (there are 213 to be exact, with 1219 published posts).

So whatever I get through right now I'm going to post.


First, diet. I've plateaued pretty hard and it's a bit demoralizing. I keep reminding myself that I'm 17 or 16 or 15 pounds lighter than I was when I started (note how that number shrank a bit as I listed it?). Still, though, to be on the cusp of breaking the 160 lbs barrier then sitting at 162 lbs is not really inspiring.

The thing is that I'm still pretty fat - using the "what do the various body fat % look like?" chart I'm still in the 20-22% fat area. My lean weight seems to be in the low-mid 130s, so 10% body fat would mean 145 lbs or so.

That number is sort of insane.

Still, though, it means that I ought to be able to get into the 15% range, and that would be in the 150 lbs range. That's pretty low but it seems sort of attainable, maybe as a long term goal.

For now, though, I want to drop into the 150s, like 155 lbs or 157 or something in that range.

The problem is that I've gotten used to going over the calorie count and then riding to burn some stuff off. I think, though, that I've lost some muscle mass, especially in my upper body. The problem is that muscle burns energy and losing that mass means my body has reduced its energy requirements. This requires me to adjust the calorie goals downward, but I don't know by how much.

For now, though, I'm just trying to get back into the right caloric range each day, not going over by 300 or 400 calories consistently. I've even upped my number to make the goal more attainable, from 1510 cal to 1690 cal per day.


The upside to overeating, relatively speaking, is that I've been riding a lot to try and burn off some calories. I'm feeling better on the bike, surprisingly so, which means that I'm really overeating. When I'm dieting aggressively I really can't ride well because I have no energy, so if I'm riding well it means I'm eating way too much.

However, with my weight in the lower 160s, it's reasonably acceptable. I want to be in the 150s but if I can ride like this then that's kind of neat.

I'm starting to dig through my kits to find size S shorts and size S or M jerseys. Size M jerseys seem a bit baggy now and even the very tight new fangled Verge Triumph size M (it fits super snug) is wrinkly. Snug, okay, but wrinkly. I never thought I'd fit into it and now I want to see what a size S is like on me.

Go figure.

A huge benefit to losing weight is that I can sit back a bit more on the saddle. The main reason I sit forward is because my legs hit my gut. Only when I get skinny can I sit back a bit more on the saddle - that's really only happened in 2010 recently, and now, again, in early 2015. It's cool and I like it.

In 2012, I think I was almost 180 lbs.
Photo by Heavy D I think.

In 2010 at about 158 lbs.
Photo by RTC.


The biggest thing for me has been Junior. He's progressing in leaps and bounds.

One of the things that really surprised me is his reading memory stuff. We read a book or two to him each evening before he goes to sleep. Often I'll read the same book or two before his nap.

One of his favorites is "Goodnight Train", a book about a somewhat psychedelic train that kids get on and everyone, including the train, goes to sleep at the end of the book. It's great to read it and have him get quieter and more still and have his eyes fluttering shut and watching him pass out.

The other night the Missus was reading it to him but with a twist - she left the last word off of each sentence. I was a bit worried because I couldn't remember the words, and I was reading this to him all the time. I figured it would frustrate him to not know the words.

Because we still have a video monitor in his room I could hear the Missus reading to him. To my absolute shock he completed all the sentences with the right word, albeit pronounced like a kid. It was so cute to listen to him finish the sentence.

"The goodnight train gets set to…"
"It's being shined and filled with..."
"Wash the cars off with a…"
"Scrub the engine's dirty…"


A different day we were at the supermarket, Junior and myself. He was a bit stir crazy from the cold weather. Temps in the single digits and teens made it a bit cold to go out and play so instead I let him run around a bit in the store.

At some point I figured we really ought to get going but he wanted to keep playing. When this happens I typically pick him up and distract him. This time I carried him over my shoulder and tickled him a bit. He squealed with delight, laughing that honest kid laugh, the one that only kids have, so full of joy and completely unrestrained. I could see all the grandmother and mother types turning and smiling and saying nice things as we went by them.

I realized that I was so lucky to share that moment with him, along with all the other ones that I've had with him.

When he gets a bit fussy I sit with him and pull a blanket around us and ask him about all the things he did earlier in the day.

"Did you go pee in the potty?"
He'd nod affirmatively. "Sticker a Dusty Crophopper."
"Did you go to the store?"
"Running. Help Daddy with numbers."
"Did you walk on the curb?"
"Wait for the car!"
"Did you eat pancakes in the car?"
"Did you make a tower with Legos?"
"Orange and blue and red."
"You were so good today, you did so many great things."

This calms him down and he starts talking about something, random stuff, stuff that stuck in his head.

"Lightning is a red racer. Fire truck a siren a police car. What is dar? Yaby (library). Bus da Legos."

It's times like this that it's hard to think of my diet or training or whatever as important. It is, sort of, but at the same time it's so inconsequential.

Well, maybe not. Over the weekend we went to the Big E where they had a hobby railroad show. Everything was at adult height, so at my chest or so.

The problem was that this was just above Junior's head. The solution? Carry him everywhere.

We were there a solid couple hours and Junior is now almost 30 lbs. Normally my back would be protesting loudly within 5 or 10 or 15 minutes but not that day.

Then I realized something.

I weighed 17 or 18 pounds less than I did just a couple months ago. This made Junior feel like he weighed just 11 or 12 pounds, not 29 pounds. It ended up that although I was tired after carrying him around I wasn't in pain or anything.

So I guess the diet and stuff does help taking care of Junior, even though I didn't realize it at first. It's all a big circle, one thing affecting another. That makes me wonder.

I wonder what the race season will bring.


ADJ said...

Thanks for sharing those Junior moments on here, really sweet to read. I love the blanket cuddle. And re: the weight loss, that short video clip of you and Jr running in circles around the house? The difference from when i last saw you is huge! I don't have any advice but you look great. I'm sure you'll get past this plateau.

Aki said...

The Junior thing really hit home recently again. I think I go through a rediscovery of just how much he means to me every few months, it must be when he does something new. The funniest thing he does right now is give himself a kiss when he hurts himself, so if he stubs his toe he stops, sits down, kisses his toe, narrating the whole time "Give a kiss, boo boo", then keeps going.

The supermarket, the cuddle to read, these are things that made me appreciate the time I have with him.

As far as weight I know objectively that I'm skinnier. I'm two belt holes smaller, my size S cycling shorts are getting a bit wrinkly, but the weight has just plateaued. I meant to link to an article where a trainer/coach type person points out that having a bit more muscle mass can burn off a lot of calories just for maintenance. I've started to do some minor lifting because I got pretty weak dieting. Even the Missus said something about "your arms look small". That might be part of my weight plateau thing, having a tiny bit more muscle mass. We'll see.

Aki said...

The article about weight loss (happened to be aimed at women).

The Unique Difficulties that Women Face with Weight Loss