Thursday, June 23, 2016

Point Of Clarification

I have had at least two of my friends kind of inquire about one of the things that I said in my last blog post. Also, I will be out camping on the day that I would ordinary weigh in so I won't be able to do it until I get back. I thought I would throw up this mini blog post in the meantime to clarify what I meant. Here is the paragraph in question.

"This weigh in, I know exactly why my results came in the way that they did. I ate out several times and on Father's day, we went out and saw a movie and enjoyed popcorn and a coke. I have mentioned several times in the past that I don't really like making excuses. I do believe that sometimes, you need to enjoy some small things in life. That is not an excuse to go nuts all the time and not do the right thing. But sometimes, it is nice to enjoy time with friends and family. Also, I do feel that this can recharge the body for the journey ahead."

They felt like it sounded like I was kind of endorsing overeating. I am glad that they brought this up as it made me realize that perhaps what I meant was not as clear as it should have been. But I think it is good to have an open and frank discussion even if people do not agree with me once I clarify my position, at least I can better define exactly what I meant.

So, first, obviously I did overeat to some extent or I would not have gained weight. Part of the problem was the frequency. I believe that we went out at restaurants maybe two or three times. I forget now exactly. To be clear, I am not saying that you should do that. What I was saying was, I think that it is good to go out and have a meal once in a while. Let me explain the reasons that I think that is a good thing and some of these are strictly from my experience.

1) Burnout: You have to be careful with this one. It is easy to use this as an excuse to not eat healthy. At the same time, from my own experience, if I stick steadfast to a set amount of calories day after day and never deviate from that plan, I will eventually burn out. I am not trying to use that as an excuse. It is just what I have observed happening to me.

2) Calorie Cycling: This is an interesting one to me. I have read some articles online that discuss calorie cycling. That is basically where, and I am probably butchering this explanation, if you stick to a set amount of calories all the time, your body adjusts to that and it actually makes it harder to lose weight. The recommendation is to vary your calorie consumption so that your body never has a chance to adjust to a set, defined number of calories being consumed. I can tell you that there have been multiple times in my previous weight loss journey where I would hit a plateau big time and just couldn't seem to move forward. This was at a time when I was sticking to a defined calorie plan fairly religiously. When I went started varying my calorie consumption it allowed me to break through that plateau and start to make progress again. This happened to me on at least two separate instances and I am not talking about small bumps in the road either. I mean like being stuck for months at a time being obsessive about calorie consumption and not seeing the needle move until I changed it up.

Again, I definitely over did it with regards to what I did wrong with the last weigh in. I did not mean to endorse what I did as justifiable. What I was trying to say was, I think it is good to go out and have a nice meal out with family once in a while. Everyone has to choose what is right for them. I did not mean that when you go out with family that you go nuts either. When my girls and I went to the movie we split a medium popcorn three ways and had probably 20 ounces or less of Coke. To me, that is not all that bad. The number of times that I had gone out was what cause me to gain weight and that was bad.

I hope that this post does not come across as me trying to defend my actions or anything like that. I truly love the friends that pointed this out to me. I know that they only have a desire to see me succeed. I value their input in my life. I only wanted to clarify because I think that, for those of us with a serious amount of weight to lose, it can be a daunting task. I do not think it is the end of the world to go to a restaurant once in a while.

That being said, my friend's point is that we should stop thinking of food in terms of reward. Certain holidays are even focused on food. Thanksgiving and Christmas being obvious examples. This is a great point and one that we need to consider. Youth sports teams win a game and what happens, coach takes them out to pizza. We do tend to use food as a point of celebration and that does perhaps reinforce in us the idea that when you achieve something, food should be part of the reward. Food for thought? Haha.

I appreciate my friends pointing this out. Hopefully I was able to better define what I meant and clarify at the same time where I messed up. Keep the feedback coming, even if you disagree with me. I love the thought provoking issues being brought up and trust me, I am certainly open to the prospect of me being wrong. It would be foolish of me to think that I have things figured out. I would obviously not be in this situation if I was an expert. Take care my friends and until next time, goodbye for now!


  1. Sheldon THANK YOU for bringing to light about counting calories! This is so helpful and I understand it completely!! Enjoy yourself camping!! Good luck and again thank you!!