Monday, June 9, 2014

My name is Bryan and I'm a FAT ASS...

So the Saturday after I arrived back from my 90 day tour of excessive beer and unhealthy food in Boise I weighed myself. I was 204.4 lbs. Ouch!!!

The good news was I figured I was 211 lbs. In either event I knew it wasn't good because on the car ride home my belt was pressing into my belly and left a branding mark. It was itchy and hurt and frankly looked pretty disgusting with this imprint of my belt on my belly.

It was kind of an unbelievable site. I was thinking how did all that happen in only 3 months?

Then it gets worse. I start training the day after I get back from Boise. I had to I have a full Ironman on August 3rd. Which as of today is only 8 weeks away. Typically you need a minimum of 12 weeks to train for one and the ideal would be 20 weeks.

So I start training last week and it kicks my A$$. I haven't felt so tired in as long as I can remember, ever. My first ride back from Boise I did a 3 hr ride and it was hell and near bonking afterwards. Last week Friday I did a run, pretty fast all considering and I was near ready to throw up afterwards.

I was asking myself "what the hell happened?"

What happened is the vicious cycle I've been putting my self through since I got into triathlons in 1986. I train, I get in great shape, I stop training, I eat and drink, I get fat and then I decided to get back in shape and I train and I eat better and I lose weight and I tell myself I'm not going to get caught in that vicious cycle again and then viola I do it all over again. It's like the directions on a shampoo bottle, "lather, rinse, repeat", except its "train, get thin, eat and drink like a pig, get fat, repeat".

So I thought 204.4lbs was bad enough and then today I weight myself AFTER my bike ride when I should be dehydrated and lighter and I'm 206.6 lbs.

I do know why I'm higher. First I've been training for a week and my body is creating and repairing muscle and to do that it requires the body to retain water. The second reason is I'm back taking beta Alanine to help repair the muscle damage and it facilities the retention of water.

I've been here before many times. My weight will stay this high for 2 - 3 weeks of which within that time I'll lose inches but not weight and then the weight will start peeling off.

The problem is I'm sick of this cycle. Every time I go from fat to fit it gets harder and harder especially as you get older. I always tell myself once I've thinned down that that is the last time I'm going to balloon up as it's too hard and painful to lose the weight. The last time I said that was after Ironman Cozumel. I trained super hard and ate very healthy, no beer and got in pretty good shape.

It was so hard work to get back into that shape that I promised myself I wasn't going to let myself go. Then low and behold not only do I let myself go I take it up a notch and now need to lose 20 lbs in 8 weeks to get down to my fighting weight.

The worst part is training with this big gut. It's like dragging along a 20 lb medicine ball. The tough part is that training doesn't make you lose weight as you get older. No matter how much you do. I've done 60 hours in one month and gained a pound. The only thing that makes you lose weight is dieting  and my diet sucks.

It's better than Boise. I've really reduced my beer intake and I'm not eating the fried foods like wings and french fries. I'm still having a few beers and snacking.

The snacking is what kills me. In order to lose weight the key I've found is not to eat or snack after 8 pm. You want to have a bit of that hunger feeling in the evening. When you snack you lose that feeling and typically I'm snacking on high carb and high sugar snacks which spike my insulin and turn off my fat burning. It goes into fat loading.

Now I'm not all negative. I do try and play head games with myself. They start every morning after the day before. Before I wake up I play in my mind the good things I did the day before. So for example I may have had 3 beers and a huge bowl of popcorn yet I didn't have all that and the ice cream and liquorice that I had the day before.

Then I wake up the next day and saw well I didn't have any did have popcorn, a snickers bar and red liquorice. Its' still a win, it could have been worse, there was no beer!

When it's all said and done I know the secret is to "suck it up" and do no snacking and live through the hunger pangs at night.

The only problem is I want my cake and to eat it too. Literally.

I want to enjoy life on every level. I want to train, be in great shape, at my goal weight AND I want to eat whatever I want, drink what ever I want and do it when ever I want. I don't want to have to sacrifice.

Especially as I get older I find the motivation to diet is harder. As I get older the less vain I am which means my motivation to look good is less. On today's run I was actually thinking "what if I gave up Ironman's and just got fat and sloth like? Would it be more fun? Would I be more happy to just enjoy and not sweat?

I can tell you what I don't like and that's running with 20 extra pounds. Today I did just over 5 hours of training and it wasn't pleasant. I can feel the extra 20 lbs on the bike. Near the end of the ride I was feeling like I feel after a 7 hour ride. Then on the run I felt that I was running gut first. If it came down to the wire my chest wouldn't cross first instead it would be my gut.

Then I play things in my mind like "you know if you just eat strict for a week you'll be down 5 - 10 lbs and if you did it for a 2 months you'd be down to 180lbs". Only issue is it hurts not to eat.

I remember not that long ago that if I stepped on the scale and I was over 183 lbs I'd be freaking out. Then it became 185 lbs, then 188 lbs, then 190 lbs and now I'm at 206.6 lbs. I will say if I could stay under 185 lbs I'd be happy.

Training for me is different right now. I don't have the same motivations I used to have. For a number of years when I was uber serious and qualified for Clearwater and Kona I was just a man on a mission. I was out to prove something to myself and others and training was my number one focus.

Now that I've done that and got the T-shirt and have put in more 100 mile rides than I could count I don't have the same motivations as years past. I do remember in one year doing 26 rides over 100 miles and don't forget half our year is winter. I was a mad man back then in 2010. Now I'm trying to figure out when to do my 100 mile training rides around trying to hang out with family and smell the roses.

This morning I sat down and figured out my next 8 week training plan. It went fast. I saw all the 6 - 7 hour rides and 2 - 3 hour runs and it didn't excite me like years past. I was thinking two things, first I'm fat and two, I need to try to make this work and still not sacrifice having a rich personal life.

I guess you could call this a new phase. I can see why many people get into Ironman's and then after one or two drift off to deal with regular life stuff and then others continue to do them and never really focus on regular life stuff. That's why it's often said Ironman's are a selfish sport.

So here I am in a different head space than I've ever been in and trying to figure out a new motivation.

In many respects I think I'm forging new ground. Not many people stick around and do as many Ironman's as me. The ones that do still have major personal issues they are working through, me included. Yet my issues are not where they used to be and not big enough to carry me through the heavy training hours without losing my hunger.

There is a lot to be said for where I am. It's like discovering a new path and the only way you can is by taking the long road to get there. You can't get to this stage easily. For me it's been Over 25 years of doing triathlons and 11 Ironmans that I'm entering this new world and trying to figure out how to keep it up without it taking first priority in your life.

And now some props....

I want to give a shout out to Derek Rogers @drogman for a great finish at Kansas City Ironman 70.3, he finished in the 40 - 44 age group with a 4:34. Amazing time and he has an amazing story. Not mine to tell but epic from where he came from to where he is now. I met him via twitter, we became friends, we did Ironman Lake Placid together and we've kept in touch. I've seen him from just getting into the sport as a middle of the packer to someone that was made for the sport. Good work D.

Mod Bike - 3:46:51 / 100.8 km / 26.7 kn
Mod Run - 1:21:26 / 14.82 km / 5:29 per km


  1. Thanks B!! Appreciate that!! And for sure following, chatting with you....staying connected - has been a huge huge help for me!

    And great news on the start of the comeback. As you know, and note above in your takes longer to see the number results on the scale than it did even 5 years ago. I did the near exact same training and eating this winter with just a few subtle took me at least 3X as long to see numbers drop.

    Keep at it!