Nonlinear Weight Loss
After a conversation with Ian yesterday, I realize that weight loss isn’t a linear process. Ian actually used the term nonlinear in reference to the weight loss process. What he said makes complete sense, if it was a linear process I would lose weight every single week. The reality of it is that I never know whether I am going to lose a big amount, a small amount or gain weight in any given week.
If my diet was still chaotic I could attribute the fluctuations from week to week on my food intake, but the reality of it is I have never in my life eaten as consistently as I have in the last 4 months. Its insane how I can lose weights three weeks in a row, then nothing happen in the third week, or not lose weight for two weeks straight then lose 6 pounds, and then gain 3 the following week.
I wish I had an answer, and I wish I had an idea; ultimately the only thing I know is that I can’t have any expectations. It’s hard to build a mindset that is only focused on the work, and none of the results, because clearly in this situation the result that I am looking for is losing weight and it doesn’t happen in a manner which provides constant proper feedback.
There have been weeks were my workouts are phenomenal, the ones where I know I have made physical progress yet nothing happens on the scale, or in the clothes. In these weeks what’s happening inside of my body that makes it possible to perform at high levels yet not manifest itself on the scale or in the pants.
After 161 lbs of total weight loss over the last two years, and 90lbs in the last 4 months I still have no clue about what happens to the body, I guess at this point the only thing I know is that you have to have a sustainable plan built around what you eat, with your workouts built around how quickly you want to improve physically. I guess the focus has to be on constant improvement and not necessarily the weekly weight changes.
What the hell, weight loss is nonlinear, but your discipline and belief have to be…
08/04/2011 Daily Recap
Hearing the Alarm clock go off at 5:30 AM in awesome…No really it is…I love it…especially when the first thing you plan to do is go to Crossfit…No it’s the best…the absolute best…So is having a dog pee on your leg…
As soon as I woke up I got on the scale and somehow had gained 3 pounds, I started the day off pissed.
Today’s WoD centered on doing Snatches, a snatch is another of the Olympic power moves. It’s tricky because you have to grab the bar with a very wide grip, think about making fun of a no neck meat head with his arms bowed outward away from his body trying to scratch his ass, and that’s the width of your grip, (Hans & Franz from SNL).
What makes this maneuver even tougher is that you are attempting to drive the bar from just above the ground vertically above your head, and then get your body underneath the bar as quick as possible, then lower into a squat and back up.
Watch below as Brian one of the Owners of Potomac Crossfit does a 1 rep max of a snatch, notice the depth, and the quickness of the bar and his body getting underneath the bar.
Below you’ll see my first work set at 95 lbs, the lack of flexibility in my inner thigh, and hamstrings prevents me from getting the depth. The other thing I need to work on is keeping my eyes at a target in front of me, because every time I look down I am pulled forward.
As you watch the videos below there’s a woman just to the left of me she is doing equal if not heavier weights than me, and doing them better. It’s almost like a “how to” versus a “how not to”.
The final work set I did the same weight, but I think I was improving my technique as the work continued.
The Metcon involved doing the following:
- 5 Power Cleans (185/125)
- 10 Handstand push-ups
- 4 Power Cleans
- 8 Handstand push-ups
- 3 Power Cleans
- 6 Handstand push-ups
- 2 Power Cleans
- 4 Handstand push-ups
- 1 Power Cleans
- 2 Handstand push-ups
Not being able to do hand stand push-ups, I did seated dumbbell presses with 25 lbs dumbbells. It took me 3:38 to finish, not a bad way to start a morning.
After Crossfit I decided I wanted to do some cardio so I headed to Washington Sports Club to use the Arc Trainer. I did a session of treading. Since it had been some time from the last time I used the Arch Trainer I decided I would set the incline at 20 and the resistance at 80 for the top of my treading work (normally I have the resistance at 100).
Treading is a cardio workout where you start at maximum intensity for a period of 5 minutes, then use 5 minutes to recovery, 4 minutes of maximum intensity, followed by 4 minutes of recovery, 3 minutes on, 3 minutes off, 2 minutes on, 2 minutes off, 1 minute on, 1 minute off. I chose to start my treading session with a 6 minute cycle on, followed by a 6 minutes of active recovery, essentially adding an extra set of work at the beginning. The entire session lasted for 50 minutes.
As the session went on I increased the resistance to 90, and on the last minute of work I set it to 100. What I found interesting was during that last minute I was really pushing the machine, I haven’t ever been able to move the Arc Trainer at full capacity as I did yesterday. I have become powerful, and strong and getting on the Arc Trainer I could really feel the difference. It was my one feel good moment from yesterday.
When I finished my 50 minutes of cardio I felt good, still steaming from my morning weight in I decided to do some lifting so I could get some chest and back work in, it’s the first time I’ve done three workouts on a Thursday.
My first bit of work involved doing 1 minute of jump rope, chest press with a 50 lbs dumbbell one handed, 12 reps per side, then followed by 25-30 slam balls. During my first round, I hit myself in the face with the medicine ball, fortunately I have a flat nose and it didn’t break. The video below is from final round of work.
I followed this by doing incline dumbbell bench presses and standing cable rows. The work was broken up as follows:
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 12 x 55 lbs
- Standing Cable Row 12 x 100 lbs
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10 x 60 lbs
- Standing Cable Row 12 x 120 lbs
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 8 x 65 lbs
- Standing Cable Row 10 x 150 lbs
The next area of work involved doing a short circuit of flat bench press, planked dumbbell back rows, and a burnout of chest presses on a resistance ball. I did the bench press at 135 lbs, used a 45 lbs dumbbell for the rows, and 25 lbs dumbbells for the burnout. This was done for three sets.
My final bit of work was to do some lat pull-downs. I did three sets which broke down as follows:
- 12 x 100 lbs
- 10 x 120 lbs
- 8 x 140 lbs
When I finished my three workouts my stress from the scale had been alleviated. Later in the day I talked to my workout shrink Ian. He told basically told me that my neurotic behavior isn’t necessarily the best thing, and that weight loss isn’t linear, and that everything’s incremental. Both are ideas which have been scratching at me but I haven’t been able to put into words, it was nice to have him put it that way.
It made me reflect on the day, yet I did not regret getting the extra work in, I thought it necessary, and it is making a significant difference in how I feel today. I did what was needed at the moment, I can only live in the moment, at the moments yesterday required extra work.