To better explain the concept of “burning” a weight that I mentioned yesterday, here’s my deal.
I have been increasingly merging the parts of my life that I like together while obscuring the parts that I don’t like from the rest. I have found parts of my professional life that I greatly enjoy, most of which involve problem solving and heaps upon heaps upon heaps of Math and statistics. The merging comes right around here – anytime I find something in my personal life that can help me professionally, I’ll start dragging it in to work with me; anytime I find something in my professional life that can help me personally, I bring it home with me. My evolving understanding of statistical analysis and controlling processes is coming home with me. I wanted to start losing wait and I didn’t just want to “fly by night” that shit. I wanted to track it and give myself limits. I wanted to do this because of the best advice I have ever received or given about weight control. This is advice that I have received and given when I was younger in other words, but did not truly appreciate and follow until recent years. Advice that has best been summed up by a radio DJ by the name of Chad Dukes from the Big O’ & Dukes Show (among dozens of other places you may find him) – STOP GAINING WEIGHT!!!
The older you get, the harder it gets to drop weight. Sorta. It’s actually been slightly easier for me now than it was a few years ago, but that’s entirely self control. But the advice stands either way. Any pound that you don’t gain is a pound that you don’t have to lose. It’s kind of a alternate first-world-problems version of “a penny saved…”. So what I do is keep trying to lose weight as often as possible while busting my balls about any weight gains that happen. Every morning, I weight myself on the same scale, right around the same time, with the same amount of clothes on (none), with as close to the same amount of stomach fullness as possible. I log whatever weight that I have clocked in at onto a simple spreadsheet on Google Drive. I pay attention to that spreadsheet, but not just the latest entry. I check out the historical data to keep my spirits bolstered when I’m low. That reminds me that I can keep up the good work without fucking myself. And I pay attention to the most recent collection of entries to check out trends. I have built a modifiable control chart.
My control lines aren’t based on standard deviations – that’s no good for this kind of fix. It’s based on simple checkpoints. Every ten pounds. Every time that I cross another ten pound mark, I watch how long I am able to stay below the top end of that ten pound mark. The top end of my mark is described on my chart as the “ucl”, or Upper Control Limit. The “lcl’, or Lower Control Limit doesn’t mean that I can’t get that low, rather it designates an area where I should start paying attention to and thinking about shit. I’ve reached new success. I should pay attention to how long I have been in that success range and how deep into it I have gotten. I should pay attention to what has allowed me to reach that success. I should pay attention to what hasn’t worked. With some fuzzy-Math, touchy-feeling thinkings, I pick I date to lower both the upper and lower control limits, and to do so forever. I can never again breach the ucl. Once I have been below that ten pound mark for a long enough period that I consider it “real”, or that the weight isn’t just a fluke because of a one-time training, dining, or scale technicality boon, I “burn” it. I don’t actually burn anything, by the way. I guess you could write the top number on a slip of paper and light it up if you really wanted to… I guess. That’s not what I do. I just act as those I can never, ever, ever, forever, ever be that weight again.
Once a weight is burned to me, that means that if I get too close or exceed that “burned” weight, I go fuckin’ psycho. I add half an hour to each work out. I swap all meats for beans, all pastas roots, all breads for greens, all grains for more-better-er-grains, and all indulgences ( like booze, snacks, or gravy) for fruits, water, or (angrily) trying to meditate in. When I’m back at a comfortable trend of being below my “burned weight”, I go back to the standard plan and do my best to lose weight healthily and not crazefuckily. While I do recommend tracking your weight loss and might recommend the control charts, I don’t recommend that “going psycho” part. Almost every doctor ever says that you shouldn’t lose weight too quickly, and my “go psycho” thing is all about peeling the weight off as quickly as possible, regardless of the clear damage it will certainly do to your insides.
Some of these aren’t on the chart because I lost the data, but the heaviest I have ever been was, according to the double-bar scale at work, was 303 pounds. I hated it. I starved for three days. I tried to run on the forth and puked what little water I had consumed that morning all over myself on the trail behind my place. I did everything I could think of as I thought of it and got back down to 290, 285, 280. It took about a month to lose 20 pounds, but most of those are what I refer to as “bullshit pounds”. That concept is probably close to “water weight”. A giant-assed jug of water isn’t your actual weight – a pint is a pound the world around, so if you’ve had the gallon over what you probably need, that’s 8 pounds. And lets not act like 8 pounds of water is bad. You need that shit. But if you are already fully hydrated and the scale tells you that you’re a few pounds over, it’s probably that jug of water you just chugged, stupid. Don’t go out and kill yourself for that weight. In my case, the “bullshit pounds” were probably extra heft from a combination of things that just weren’t actually going to stick to me. Plus, I was weighing in at work, which meant I had to be clothed, and you know how that goes. Needlessly wearing stupid pants and all.
280 got burned early. It hurt a bit, but set a baseline for me that I am still thankful for. 270 took a while to burn. 260 got burned reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal quickly, and I’m still trying to figure out what made that work. 250 got burned at the rate that is typically quoted as “doctor recommended”. 240 got a little fucked up because of some personal life/relationship maintenance decisions that I made and don’t regret. I’m back on track and hoping to ‘burn” it soon. If my current trend keeps up, I’m not too far off from considering being able to “burn” 230. This number is high, and I’m guessing that my mid-point goal of dropping to a weight of 200 may seem high as well. Here’s the deal – my service weight teetered between 190 and 210. I once dropped to 170(ish) and my doctor… actually, this is a fact I tend to leave out in most story telling situation – TWO doctors told me that I needed to gain weight. I’m only 5’8″, and that’s after rounding up. This makes it difficult for me to agree with or even understand how clearly bullshit concepts like the “BMI” are supposed to work, though that’s for another post.
At 215, I had the biggest and strongest biceps and thighs that I have ever had. I held up the back end of a HMMWV while by myself while an insanely heavy tired got swapped – though there was quite a bit of adrenaline involved, so… 210 was the weight I was when a model hit on me at a USO show in Iraq. 210 was the weight I was when I saw veins in my arms. 200 was when I saw my first two “abs”. At 190, I had a six-pack. At I thought I was doing great at 190, but I may not have been. Here’s the deal – I ran a 5 minute mile at 195. I had zero chance of even talking to a doctor for months and was in a pretty bad place so when I got home, I weighed about 171. According to most BMI rankings of the time, I should have weighted around 150 pounds. At 171, I was considered morbidly obese. That’s very odd, as two doctors told me that I needed desperately to gain weight. From that point on, I had to get weight wavers at each medical check up, and never had to ask for it. I also had to orchestrate a few weight wavers for others, to include one for a dude with 3% body fat who would have otherwise, under the basic BMI rules of the time, been considered morbidly obese. I had a six pack and the BMI said that I was a super-fat-ass. Yeah. Great formula you got there.
Here’s the deal, though. These days, I am fat. Real fat. But I’m only about 30+ pounds from the weights where I was healthy as can be. This tells me something, because I can almost certainly tell that there are more than 30 pounds of fat on me. It means that my fitness level goes far beyond my weight.
I don’t think for a second that I can ever again be fit at 200 pounds. When I had a six pack at that weight, I carried around more than my own weight in equipment, clothing, food, and ammunition on my back, every day, all day, in a gigantic pack on my young-assed back and did so into the most horrific experiences that I can never tell you about. I was strong then. Strong in ways I am not now and will likely never be again.
Look at all that dumbass crap on my back. I didn’t even use most of it. Dipshit.
But I am strong now. I am strong in ways that I was not then and will likely be until the end. I will exploit that strength, and part of that is being able to adapt my own mindset and view of myself. So when I hit 200 pounds of Aaron, I will re-evaluate things and try to figure out a newer, better set of goals. Some of those are likely to revolve around those fucking sex lines, because I really fucking want to have those motherfucking sex lines and I really want to knock the bottom out of a beautiful woman with some sex lines and press my sex lines against her sex lines and divide the fuck by zero and make the fucking space-time-continuum fold inside on itself, and make some stars because I told you that’s how it works.
tl;dr – Better living through Math.
Seriously, this might be a little bit much. But since so many of you assholes are picking up things like “CrossFit”, well… fuck it, right?
lets take a closer look at the chart, just to make sure you have some idea of what it actually means in case you want to make your own.
Also… oops! I just realized that I accidentally released this before it was finished. So… sorry if I fucked you up a bit if you got at this early. If you’re reading this, you’re probably up to date and shit.