Kayaking and Weight Goals
Exercise 21st of July 2019
Today was a gorgeous day spent half paddling down and then up the river Medway. My fiancée doesn't seem to like exercise such as running or going to the gym but she does relish any excuse to climb a mountain or explore a river. This is good because I'm trying to do at least some exercise on the weekends and it turned out to be a wonderful time. Last weekend we ended up cycling somewhere but today we invited some friends and had a small BBQ at the half way point before heading back to drop off our kayaks. What was really nice is that they were both from Poland, so it was also lovely to hear it being spoken which really helps my motivation to carry on learning the language. I already explained in my first blog post that I've just recently joined a gym and this has given me a huge amount of motivation to tackle the problem of my weight. The problem is that I just haven't taken it seriously enough for a number of years.
There are three months until my wedding and, like any ordinary functioning member of society with a healthy ego, I don't want to look fat. About a month ago, I found myself in Poland attending the wedding of my future sister in law. The wedding itself was small but beautiful but the photos I saw after the fact didn't paint me in a very flattering light, the tipsy expressions and demeanor aside. Five minutes ago I weighted myself, the results are in and it's kind of tragic. I weigh 98.5kg.
The hard truth is that I've been here before, in fact, it's been way worse. Back in university, I was thin and healthy and all of the cider and hamburgers in the world couldn't, and in fact didn't, change that. And it wasn't just the familiar story of an invincible youth metabolism, at the time I was seriously into running and even ran a half marathon at the age of 19 in under 2 hours. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. University turned into a stressful full-time programming job far from "home", the exercise stopped and the weight began to pile on. I still have the stretch marks to prove that it wasn't until I hit 115kg (or more) that I decided to do anything about it. In case you're wondering, I measure 5 foot and 10 inches.
And then came the days of serious weight loss. During my second serious programming job, I found myself newly single and with the right amount of time and incentives to do something about the situation. It hurt to walk, it hurt to look in the mirror and it hurt to feel like I had slipped so far. For one year I burned a thousand calories at the gym three times a week and did intermittent fasting with a maximum of 500 calories two times a week. After all was said and done, I had made it to 85kg and boy did my body thank me for it.
For the past six months, I have been trying to do something about my weight. I'm not even entirely sure how it managed to creep back up again but I suppose it's the hazards of having an office job. Now, I have just under thirteen weeks until I "walk down the isle" (cram my friends and family into a small Polish administration office) and I want to feel comfortable in whatever suit I end up wearing. Being a fairly analytical sort of person, my perspective is the following:
- I would like to get back to 85kg.
- Burning each kilogram of human body fat requires a deficit of around 7000 calories.
- This means I have 13.5kg to lose, or about a kilogram a week.
- This means, rather conveniently, I need to be burning around a thousand extra calories a day.
- This is incredibly hard to do in a sustainable way.
However, if I manage to get half way to that goal, I'll still be very happy. So, my plan is to be at the gym every working day and burn at least 500 calories, continue to cycle to work three days a week and to do my two low calorie days. The maths works out that as long as I don't over-eat on my normal days, I should be burning 2500 calories from the gym and 4000 calories from my two fasting days, which comes out at 6500 not including the cycling. As long as I can keep up this rhythm, sometimes do some longer workouts and control what I eat very carefully, it does seem feasible. I also know that no plan survives first contact with the enemy.
I've already started trying to do intermittent fasting again, two weeks ago. The first week was tough but I was successful! The second week I completely failed and I think the reason why is because I tried a complete water fast, no food for 24 hours on Monday and Wednesday. This time, I'm going to do what I did before which is a more sensible 500 calories - a satisfying leafy chicken salad or half a kilo of beautifully salted carrots. Whether I'll be successful is anyone's guess. There will be stressful days in the office where my brain will be craving calories. There will be free cake and social meals with friends and temptation at the supermarket. However, the proof is in the pudding and I'll be posting here with progress updates. My muscles are also feeling a lot better from when my colleague Dave introduced me to the bench press for the first time on Friday and I'm excited to give that another go. I'm very grateful that I will have people to go to the gym with, and a gym that's less than 100 metres from where I work as well! I can't wait to post an update with a lower weight in the near future. Until then.
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