Week 6 | Day 3?...Crunching Numbers
This blog post is a little late on account of my Vegas trip that turned my one cheat day into three! I planned to give myself a break while in Vegas, the problem was that I started cheating the week before...I know: not great.
When I weighed in yesterday, I was right back to 165. That’s only a 5 lbs increase from the previous week, so I’m not sweating it too much. The thing that really concerned me, though, was how difficult it was to do a series of exercises that I had done the previous week without any problem. I attribute this almost entirely to alcohol. It was a bit disappointing, but it also got me thinking about how to tighten up my workout and food/drink regimen to anticipate trips like this, and what actions to take or habits to practice to make sure I don’t fall too far off the wagon.
No Sips: no alcohol/caffeine/dark soda
No Sweets: no junk food, no sweets, more intentional eating practices
No Spend: no spending money on non-essentials
I actually exercised while I was in Vegas. I didn’t happen to bring my sneakers, so I didn’t make it to the gym, but I did a quick work out in my room.
I didn’t overdo it on the alcohol. Except for the superbowl, I had no more than 2 ½ beers each day I was there.
I didn’t spend much while in Vegas either. I brought a 12-pack and snacks with me for the trip.
I mentioned in my last post that giving up alcohol has been difficult for me: I’m a bartender and a musician. For both jobs, people sometimes tip you in drinks, and other times I find myself saying, “I’m too sober for this bull shit,” and help myself to some alcohol. I’ve been pretty good about keeping it to one or two drinks, so I’m not overdoing it, but that’s not the goal.
I also mentioned in my last post that I’m really good at rationalizing my set backs, which I’ve done a lot this past week. I’d say, “I’m doing a damn good job, and I already drink/eat sweets less and go to the gym more than I did before,” which is sort of the point, but that’s also the kind of thinking that will lead me to modifying my goals. I literally caught myself thinking, “What if I just change my plan so that I’m only allowed to consume alcohol on days that I make it to the gym?” or “What if I change it so that I can drink alcohol as long as it’s no cost to me?”
I’ve realized (and this is no real revelation, just kind of one of those “right under my nose” things) how much all the little “cheats” add up. Last night at work while deciding whether or not to eat the egg and cheese croissant I’d purchased from Jack in The Box just before my shift, I wrote down everything I had already stuffed in my face and the caloric value. I basically w
anted to see if I could “afford” to eat the sandwich. It was a bit frightening, but also super motivating. If I hadn’t spent money (no spend) on a “quick snack” from the fast food place (no sweets) next to my job I would not have exceeded my calorie intake goal by nearly 1000 calories or be out $7. I don’t know why this surprised me, but I divided my meals on that sheet of paper into “breakfast,” “lunch,” “dinner,” and “extras.” While there were more items in the “breakfast,” “lunch,” and “dinner” sections, the “extras” section accounted for waaaaaay more calories than any of the other meals. Conclusion: I need to keep a journal to log my daily spending and consumption. Writing this all down and having a visual of what I had consumed yesterday kept me from drinking a beer, although it didn’t keep me from eating the sandwich. But seriously, visuals help. Even though I’ve always kept tabs on the calories of the foods I eat, I also had this notion that keeping a food journal was a bit obsessive and unhealthy. I get it now.
In case anyone is curious, I’ll share how I set my calorie threshold for each day, and what foods I eat so that fewer calories doesn’t actually feel like I’m eating less.