Chronicles of a Former Fat Man™
January 21, 2018

Day 5
Start Weight:340.0lbs
Max Weight:340.0lbs
Max weight on 2018-01-17
Total Lost:0.6lbs
Daily Deficit:526kcal
Est. RMR:2968kcal

Four Week Average
Total Lost:0.3lbs
Daily Deficit:38kcal

One Week Average
Total Lost:0.3lbs
Daily Deficit:151kcal

Next Target (10%)
Mass Loss:0.2%
Next Target:315lbs
To Go:24.4lbs
Days To Go:188
Est. Date: 2018-07-29

Goal Weight
Overall Goal:200lbs
To Go:139.4lbs
Days To Go:NAN
Est. Date: 1970-01-01

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April 15th, 2014

Day 105

299.0lbs (-34.8lbs)

I'm 9/10ths the Man I Used to Be

Yes! 10% lost in juuuuust over 100 days! WooT!

Never again will I see 3xx on this scale!

Strangest thing, I'd just spent the weekend eating way too much and not tracking a bit of it. Monday's weight was fine, and today... well, the results are obvious. Laughing

Lately I've been working on being less stringent with my intake -- I was taking in as few as 1300-1500 a day in the early couple of months, and I while it was wildly successful from a weight-loss perspective I noticed I was starting to acquire some of the psychological manifestations of long term caloric deprevation. Not wanting to be another example like those poor bastards from the Minnesota starvation study, I've been making a point to take in more calories day-to-day, only letting them get low if I'd had a whole bunch the day before. It's slowed down my overall loss speed to about 2lbs/week at this point, but I feel less... brittle.

I've been slack on my workouts. I could blame work, or school, or Grand Theft Auto (all of which have been taking up large blocks of my time) but really I just lost momentum. I need to get back into the swing of things. Spring seems to be here now which will certainly motivate me to get moving again. So done with fucking winter.

- Rick         

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March 30th, 2014

Day 89

304.8lbs (-29lbs)
Inching closer!

Umami and Sweet Tea

Well, it's been about a month and a half since I decided to reduce my sugar intake to less than 100g (optimally less than 75g) and so far it's been very successful. Yesterday was the first day in over a month that I've been over 100g, and it was a cheat day so I'm not super concerned.

My tea isn't nearly so ornate, but... yum!

While sipping a cup of green tea today though, I noticed that my tea tasted... well, sweet. That's unusual, because I've never known plain ol' green tea with no milk or sugar to taste sweet. I thought maybe I was just imagining it, or maybe had some residual "sweet detection" or something from yesterday.

Turns out that's not the case. Green teas, particularly high quality premium green teas, are high in glutamate, an amino acid that imparts a savory "umami" type taste that often includes a sensation of sweetness.

Recently I've been brewing my tea less aggressively - making sure the temperature isn't over 80°C, steeping it for no more than 3 minutes, and as a result I've been getting a lot more of this glutamate surviving to reach my tongue. Between that and reducing my overall sugar intake so I'm more sensitive to subtle variations, those changes have brought with them a bouquet of flavours I'd never experienced before from a cup of tea.

Me gusta!

- Rick         

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March 22nd, 2014

Day 81

307.4lbs (-26.4lbs)

Nerd At Heart

Today I engaged in something that probably ranks up there with the nerdiest stuff I've ever done in my life.

"Nerd" doesn't have to mean 98lb weakling
or pale doughy basement dweller.

An old friend of mine posted an image of his newly rebuilt jeep, parked next to a mountain lake at night, low lit with a long exposure. It was a clear night, so there were "star trails" in the sky, little streaks of light left by the stars tracking across the sky because of the Earth's rotation.

So did I admire the image for its composition, or congratulate my friend on getting his vehicle on (and off) the road? No, I immediately downloaded the image and set about calculating the exposure time based on the length of the arcs of the stars. I have no idea why I felt compelled to do it, I just knew I could, so I felt like I should.

Definite candidate for all time nerdiest moment, right up there with Lysa taking that picture of me arm-wrestling a Klingon at the Star Trek cafe in Las Vegas.

Happily, it gives me an excuse to mention Nerd Fitness. You know that DOMS agony I wrote about? Yeah, that's from following the workout plans from NF. It's good stuff, and I highly recommend checking it out even if you aren't a nerd at heart (but you absolutely should if you are!)

- Rick         

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March 21st, 2014

Day 80

307.6lbs (-26.2lbs)
Closing in on 10%!

DOMS del owies

Not a big update, not much to talk about lately. Been about a month since I consciously decided to limit my added sugar to no more than 5% of my total calories (per the WHO suggestion) and I've found it a lot easier than I thought it would be. Had to give up Starbucks to achieve it, but I find I'm not missing it as much as I thought I would despite the occasional craving.

Lies. It's been at least twice.

That's not what's on my mind at the moment though. What's on my mind is what I've recently come to learn.

Yesterday, I learned that 3 sets of 15 body-weight squats is harder than it sounds.

Today, I learned that 3 sets of 15 body-weight squats is a hidden delivery mechanism for OW OW OW FUCKITY OW.

DOMS is a bitch. Frown

- Rick         

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March 5th, 2014

Day 64

312.2lbs (-21.6lbs)

Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?

A couple posts ago I had a lovely graph showing the exponential weight loss curve that humans tend to follow. We tend to be creatures of habit, even when they're good habits. As such, we don't generally change around the amount of food we eat or the amount of exercise we do all that much once we get into a rhythm (once it becomes habit). Combine that with the fact that with every pound we lose the less energy we need to keep ourselves alive, and it ends up being a situation where each pound we lose makes the next pound just a little bit harder to lose.

I was generating my curves using a graphing package and some manual calculations (seriously, I have several pages full of exponential equation scribbles while I was working it all out), but it occured to me that others might find it useful as well. So I made a nifty online tool that you can use. 

Well, sorta nifty. There's a bug in there that seems to screw things up when dealing with loss profiles that go longer than a couple years. I'll work it out, but for now you might want to set your starting date to a weigh in you had a few months ago, rather than one from a few years ago. Wink

Just click the link above to give it a test drive, and I'll put an entry on the left to find it later if you like it so much you want to use it twice. Or more-ce. Morse? Morely? In the future.

- Rick         

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March 3rd, 2014

Day 62

312.8lbs (-21lbs)

Holy Crap!

So I pulled the first 2 months worth of images off the camera. I figured we needed some before-and-after pics, and I'm hoping to do a time-lapse sequence that I can make a little movie out of by the time I'm all done. I didn't know what to expect, although frankly I was anticipating nothing particularly visually striking. After all, despite losing 6%+ of my overall mass, I'm still over 300lbs. You wouldn't think it would be particularly obvious.

He is... the most interesting dog in the world! (click for full)

Was I ever wrong. The differences, particularly on my profile (how "thick" I am front-to-back) are dramatic. No wonder my pants are fitting me looser, and I can button up my old pea coat! I kinda wish I had taken tape measurements at the start now so I could get some numbers to back up the visual imagery, but the images are really obvious that I've lost a substantial amount of weight.

I'm not quite ready to share yet. I'd rather gather 'em up and have an even more dramatic shift from the before state to the after state. I promise I'll make them available here with all due fanfare when they're ready to be seen by the general public.

In the meantime... it's nearly 7am, and I really really want Lysa to get up so I can show her what I've seen. I think she'll be impressed. I know I was! Laughing

To make up for not having my own pics here, I put an image of Chino. I hope you enjoy the d'awww as much as we enjoy having him.

- Rick         

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March 1st, 2014

Day 60

313.6lbs (-20.2lbs)

Two Months, Twenty Pounds!

Yes! It's finally the end of February, the end of a month of what seemed like continuous storms (snow has been falling on more days than it hasn't!) and I managed to edge juuuuuuuuust over 20lbs loss in time for the new month! Go me! Laughing

Avid readers may remember (okay, very VERY avid readers may remember) that about 4 years ago I wrote a blog about curves in all the wrong places, talking about how linear projections of weight loss don't match up with actual loss very well because weight loss tends to follow an exponential roll-off, that is, every pound you lose the harder it gets to lose the next pound. Because your body has less mass, it's both easier to fuel it (meaning you burn fewer calories just living) and to move it (meaning you burn fewer calories being active and exercising). At the time, I had intended on modifying my code to move away from the obviously-wrong linear projections and towards exponential ones.

As more recent avid readers may know, I've also been taking a math refresher course (first marks are in, 100% so far!) and it seemed like the time was right to do some practical math, specifically: how long will it take me to hit my target weight at my current loss profile?

First off, to figure it out, I needed to figure out how many effective calories per day I'm consuming. This is a combination of a bunch of different inputs (food eaten, exercise done, resting metabolic rate, etc) but it's pretty easy to calculate: I just took the amount of weight lost divided by the number of days it took to lose it, and multiply by 3500 (there's 3500kcal in a pound of fat). Turns out I've only effectively been consuming about 1370kcal/day, which I thought was unrealistic until I looked at my food and exercise profile on my dairy and yeah, I've been undereating. I really need to bump that up some.

Once I know the effective daily calories, I can determine the "weight floor" for my intake. The number of calories you eat, combined with your height and age, determine the weight you'd end up at. In my case, if I ate a 2000 kcal/day diet religiously, I'd level-off at just under 160lbs. In my case of 1370kcal/day, if I stuck to that religiously, I'd probably end up dead... the weight floor for that intake for someone my size is around 40lbs! Fortunately, I have no need to get to the floor, I only need to get to my goal of 225lbs.

Once I have my weight floor, my starting weight and my current weight, I can finally make my projection for weight loss... and here it is:

Ooo... purdy!

The blue line is a projection of the standard 2000-calories-a-day diet which would leave me at around 260lbs by the end of 2014... at 2000/day, I'd hit my target sometime in late September of 2015. The green line is my projection based on existing weight measurements. You can see how closely my actual weight spots follow the curve, so it seems like it's a reasonable projection. The cyan line at the bottom is my target weight which, if I keep going the way I have been, I will hit some time around day 300 / mid-november. This is a much more realistic projection than the straight linear one, which had me at my target by mid-september! I've changed my projection stats on the left to reflect this new, more correct calculation.

Edit: I've also added a red line, which tracks a 1% body mass per week loss (ie. losing 3 pounds in a week if you're 300lbs). The 1% mass per week limit is generally stated as the maximum one should shoot for in order to prevent unneccesary system strain or potentially triggering defenses against starvation. As you can see, I'm riding pretty close to that line, but still on the "healthy" side.

In reality, I know I can't keep going like this. 1370 effective calories is just too damn low and my body's gonna start trying to conserve energy by any means necessary, so I'll need to bump that, maybe aiming for 2000 and letting whatever exercise I do reign me back in, so my real loss track ends up somewhere between the two projected curves and I hit my target sometime early in 2015.

But for now I'm just enjoying the view. Who knew math could look so (deceptively) pretty?

- Rick         

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February 19th, 2014

Day 50

318.0lbs (-15.8lbs)
Ugh. Plateau.


Yep, I bombed.

So remaining true to the form of the rest of this winter, we had yet another storm, with yet another pile of snow to remove. This time at least it wasn't the brutal, saturated, heavy-as-cement snow like last time (almost killed my snowblower trying to get that slushy mess off the road before it froze over) so I figured I'd let the blower sit this one out and I'd just take a shovel to it all.

My driveway isn't huge, but it's not exactly tiny, either. I was making good progress, and around half-way Lysa came out to help finish it off. We made pretty good time, took about 45 minutes from when I started 'til when we wrapped it all up.

I was stupid though. I hadn't eaten anything since waking up (I popped the top off a can of iced tea but didn't take more than a few sips from it), only had around 1500 cal yesterday which was WAY under my daily target of 2100, and I only had maybe 4 hours sleep. My enthusiasm got me to about the 35-40 minute mark, but that last 5-10 minutes of shovelling the plow snow at the end of the driveway was brutal. Light headed, shakey, all the standard signs of a bonk. Ugh.

Noone to blame but myself. I'm old enough now that I have to mind my excessive enthusiasm.

- Rick         

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February 12th, 2014

Day 43

318.5lbs (-15.3lbs)

Chipping Away at the Foundation

DATELINE HALIFAX (AP) -- Area man disavows favorite food, saves life.

Just Say No!

Yep, it's true. I've decided that potato chips, long my bane and my lure back into unhealthy eating, will from this day forward be removed from my life. This doesn't mean I'll stop eating potato-based products, of course. I'll still have the (occasional!) french fry, and I love bakers as part of dinner. Considering my apparent chronic lack of potassium it's not surprising that I prize the humble potato in all its tuber-y goodness.

Unlike those other potato-based noms though, potato chips are a curse. That old phrase betcha can't have just one for me didn't refer to individual chips, but entire bags. I've craved them so bad that I've literally woken up out of a dead sleep at 3am, got dressed, drove to the corner store in the middle of a Canadian winter just to buy them. They're my subterranean albatross.

No longer. I draw the line. My chipping days are done. They'll forever sit sullenly next to tequilla and KFC on the shelf labelled "Don't consume these on pain of death."

Good riddance.

- Rick         

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