Plateaus and Life…

Dreaded Plateaus           

My apologies for not writing for a while… Life has been a bit rough recently, and I’ve had to endure a few big changes. But all is well , and I hope to continue to better myself as a person in the future. I’m the firmest believer in the following:

1)      Everything happens for a reason.

2)      If something’s meant to happen, in time, it will.

While I won’t go into my personal life in this post, I will say that we can learn a lot from these schools of thought regarding eating plans and self control.

Here I am, in my first plateau of this diet. It’s taken 3 full weeks, but I’m finally in the position where I’ve stopped dropping weight at the constant rate that I was. After dropping 6 lbs the first week, followed by 4, I only lost 1 this week… For me, someone who desires numerical losses, I consider this a significant plateau.

So, to address #1, everything happens for a reason:

This plateau is coming for a reason. Life has gotten tough recently and I’m stressed. Mind you, I haven’t deviated from my plan, however, when life gets difficult, sometimes those difficulties come in swarms. The best action to take, at this point, is to endure the storm, because once you come out on the other side in calmer weather, it’ll be well worth your toil. I’ll take the next week as a personal challenge to endure this plateau, and get through it. And, if for some reason I’m still struggling, I’ll attack next week with even more vigor. Were I to give up, I’d never make substantial progress. You’ll know if I succeeded next week when I weigh in.

To address #2: If something’s meant to happen, in time, it will.

I decided to embark on this quest to make myself a better person, and to have more self-respect. Therefore, I’d be completely betraying my motives if I were to become discouraged at this point. The fact of the matter is, if having a more desirable body was something that was easy to come by, we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic in this country. You need to WORK for your success if you want it. If you put in the hours, the effort, and attack a challenge with the right state of mind, you will come out with what you deserve. Mind you, it can’t all be instant (hence the existence of plateaus…) however, if something is attacked with enough effort and enough mental power, it WILL come to you when the time is right.

Until then, you need to be patient, and work hard. Because once you achieve your goal, it will be so much sweeter.

Moral of the story, both for this diet, and for my life’s troubles at the moment: Work hard, and you’ll eventually find yourself where you want to be. It might take a while, but if it’s meant to be, it will happen. If the light at the end of the tunnel means enough to you, the barriers to get there shouldn’t matter. Just work hard, and someday, everything will work out to your advantage.

Good things happen to good people. Always keep that in mind, and never be afraid to try.

If you never take any risks, your life will reflect very few rewards.

Until next time…

Best,

@bkc78

#39 

How Do You Quantify Success?

Let me start off with a report: Yesterday, I said i’d be pleased with maintaining my weekend after an… unhealthy… weekend in Boston. However, to my delight, I actually ended up losing 4 more pounds. That’s 10 down total. Feeling very successful and particularly awesome about that.

So then I got to thinking, what makes one successful on any diet or eating regimen? Do you need to lose weight consistently? Do you feel successful if you simply stick to your plan, knowing you’ve done your best? Does success translate in the form of your physical appearance?

These answers vary by person… personally, I love seeing the number fall on a weekly basis. However, it is hard when the number doesn’t change from one week to the next. But, when that happens, its even more gratifying the next week when you break through and lose those difficult few.

So, i’ve lost 10 pounds in just over two weeks, just about 5 per week so far; that’s pretty great. It means i’m 1/5th of the way to my goal. However, the sheer numbers don’t always matter… because if someone is smaller than me and they drop 2 pounds a week, that may be huge for them. It all depends on a few things: 1) Body composition 2) weight 3) height… people have different expectations based on their different bodies.

Additionally, its personally hard for me to quantify my weight… I think back to my days of weight cutting and remember that i’d lose 20 lbs in two weeks when I was in-season… that’s double what i’ve done in these two weeks of hard work. However, this is where you can’t focus on the sheer number on the scale, because in those weeks of practice and wrestling, I was dehydrating myself, sweating off a lot of water and not burning as much fat. This is a different kind of weight i’m losing. So that’s something to get used to when you step on the scale. Come to think of it, cutting weight was sickening… in one practice where I was luckily hydrated beforehand, I lost 11 lbs... in two hours… not healthy, to say the least.

So, the purpose of this post: 

Remember, people can define diet success in many different ways. So, whether you’re proud of sticking to your plan, or if you’re dropping pounds constantly, or you’re proud of slight visual improvements to your body… understand that your personal gratification will come from how YOU internally define having “succeeded”.

Don’t let societal expectations or the preferred body image of the modern era dictate how you feel after some time dieting; be proud of what you accomplish, set little goals along the way, and keep your eyes on the goal at the end. If you’ll remember, I said in my first post that the best year of my life was my year at 197 lbs. It wasn’t because I was normal sized, or had a normal body fat % for the first time in my life, its because I achieved my goal... a very lofty goal, and I couldn’t have been more proud.

So my advice to you: Treat plateaus like brick walls.

Brick Walls? … Yes, Brick Walls. Think about it… the brick wall is keeping you from your goal on the other side. You HAVE to get through it. Now, it’s going to suck getting through them, but once you DO get through them, life couldn’t be sweeter on the other side.

Here’s a quote from an amazing inspirational speaker, Randy Pausch, observing the above allusion…

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!”

 

Always remember how bad you want it.

Best,
@bkc78

#40

Boston Recap and Another Big Shiny Trophy

So I got back from Boston around 10 last night. Amazing weekend with my friends, and some epic shenanigans to last me a while, and a proud moment or two. I’m glad I got my fill.

Luckily, I didn’t get too much of a fill from bad food. I stuck to my plan completely and ate only what was in my bagged lunches, aside from a Salad w/ Hummus that I got for Angora with my dinner. Being that I eat a big salad with my dinner every night, this wasn’t a departure from the plan; needless to say, I’m thrilled with my self control.

With that said, I did ingest a couple few beverages, which probably raised my calorie intake; however, when possible, I did my best to keep it to lower-calorie options, like Vodka sodas and tequila.Only used diet/seltzer mixers… so I did the best I could to manage that aspect and I think it will show when I weigh in later this week. I’d be okay with maintaining for the week if that’s what happens… I did go to Boston for a treat, and there ARE calories in alcohol, unfortunately. I’m just glad the drinks didn’t lead to a binge-snacking escapade when inebriated. Win on that front.

All that said, i’d love to see more results. Now that i’m entering my third week on the program, my body is becoming used to the amount of food/calories i’m taking in on a daily basis. Accordingly, my energy has been higher than usual, and i’m finding myself satiated at the end of meals. Additionally, my spirits are high due to the 6-pound loss in Week 1 1/2. I’d be thrilled if I dropped another pound or two this week… I think i’ll weigh in tonight or tomorrow, not sure yet, but expect an update soon. We’ll see how much the Boston trip deters my progress.

However, something to remember is that even if you have a sub-par week, its important to STAY ON TRACK and challenge yourself for the next week. Sometimes, you may hit a plateau on any diet. Instead of giving up and indulging in foods that are off of your plan, its important to challenge yourself and stick to the diet even harder the next week. You WILL break through eventually, you just need to have faith.

To all reading from Boston: Amazing to see you all, and expect to see you all again soon.

For all those who I missed on this trip: I’ll be back, and i’ll see you soon.

Now that I’ve addressed the “My Scale” portion of this post, let’s address the “Says I’m Frat” part.

A huge shout-out to my brothers. At Lambda Nu Pike, we won our second consecutive Smythe Award at the International Convention yesterday. This is an award that is given to the top 5% of chapters in the nation, and something we hadn’t won until last year.

I remember sitting at the 2010 Convention with 4 of my fellow Executive Council members. At one point during the Trophy Ceremony, I turned to one of our VP’s and said, “We’ll win these every year from now on, if its the last thing I do.” That was my vision for our chapter, he agreed, and the rest was history.

True to my word, now, after our second consecutive Smythe, its amazing to look back. Our chapter was founded in 2006, and now, in our 6th year, we’ve won two Smythes, and one in each year when I was the Secretary (Coincidence? Nope.)

Just looking back at when I pledged in 2008, we were a 50 man chapter with very little structure. Now, in this past year, we’ve donated almost $22,000 to charity, and volunteered over 2,000 hours of community service. With over 130 members, we’re the largest student organization on campus, and easily the most influential; we dominate the social scene, and we’re all around good people, which is the most important. Not to mention, buzz has been spreading from the International HQ that BU is one of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapters in the nation. Needless to say, this was the perfect way to end my Pike career, and I couldn’t be more full of pride for the vision we’ve finally realized.

So, to all of my brothers: We did it. Can’t wait to see our 10th straight Smythe in 2028.

What an amazing way to go out. It’ll be great to know that I helped start the tradition of excellence.

Best,

@bkc78

 

PS. When I told the story of the tile of this blog, the credit should go to Brock Mantella, as he politely reminded me this weekend. It’s a clever pun, good sir… and an oh so vicious  cycle.

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[Photo]

Here’s a picture of me at the Academy last year with our First Smythe:

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Beantown is Waiting

Morning Y’all-

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So, i’m stoked for the weekend. Heading up to Boston with my buddy Steve after I leave work today.  It’ll be great to see all my friends and finally be able to let loose a little bit after THREE FULL WEEKS as a corporate professional.

Shit, i’m a real person. Can’t believe these three weeks have flown by so fast, but its a testament to my job-– I love it.

Another thing I like about 9-5 life is the definite structure to it.

Fact: Every morning I will walk in the door at about 8:14.
Fact: Every night, I will leave at about 5 PM.

With these definite times come the chance for some serious organization, moreover, a level of organization I seriously enjoy. With this structure also comes the chance for a highly-regimented diet plan, which i’ve been employing and it’s been working.

Every night, I lay out my food for the next day, knowing that if I eat anything but what’s in front of me, I’ll have cheated and failed myself… it’s black and white, you stuck to it, or you failed. By having everything pre-packed/laid out, i’m able to control myself better and further adhere to my newly structured life. Furthermore, being at work and bringing my lunch, i’m not tempted to go out to lunch (because mine is on my desk already), I don’t have food to snack on, AND I have calendar reminders on Outlook that tell me when to eat. Basically, I know that I can only eat what’s in my brown bag, and only when my Outlook dings three times a day (2 tiny snacks and a lunch).

Going along with my pre-organized life, i’ve packed bagged meals for the next 6 meals i’ll be eating in Boston... all labeled by meal and day. Again, if I eat anything but what’s in the bag, I cheated and I failed. Simple as that. It’ll be an exciting challenge. The only challenge I foresee is if I go out to dinner/lunch with friends, I order something EXTREMELY sensible… like a salad or a burger w/o a bun. This way, I substitute a meal with a healthy (if not even healthier option).

Regardless, i’ll report back on Monday and let you know if I failed myself or stuck tight to the plan (which i’m almost certain I will, to stave off the embarrassment of publicly calling myself a failure).

All of that said, i’m excited to have a weekend to let loose. I only hope I can contain myself and stick to the diet plan whilst I do so.

Most likely, you’ll see another post on Monday, and not until then; God willing, i’ll have interesting things (to say the least) to write about.

Be well,

@bkc78

#44

At My Smallest… [Picture]

Piggybacking off of the last post, I figured you guys should see what I looked like at my smallest…

This picture was taken out in Iowa after we wrestled at Iowa State. I had weighed in at 197 lbs just hours before…

Me in 11/11, after weighing in at 197 lbs.

Footnote: I had blown out my shoulder and didn’t compete… thanks to a certain teammate who was a bit over before weigh-ins. Regardless, that was the first time I officially weighed in at 197; it was very gratifying.

Not sure I want to be THAT small ever again… I look kind of bony and sucked out. But I wouldn’t mind settling back at my hydrated, healthy weight.

Until next post,

@bkc78

#44

Background and What You’ll Be Reading…

So I figured I’d start this post with a bit of background on my current life situation.

I recently moved back to New Jersey after 4 years at Boston University. While at BU, I was a member of the D-I Varsity Wrestling team for 4 years, competing at both the 197 lb. and 285 lb. weight classes.

For those who aren’t well-versed in the sport I love, you may be thinking, HOLY CRAP! That’s a huge range of weight for someone to fluctuate… While that reaction is usually quelled by the fact that the 285 weight class usually consists of people from 240-260 lbs (being that it ranges from 285), I was a bit of an anomaly.

The fact of the matter is, from my Senior year of high school to my Senior year of college, my scale read anywhere from 195.5 lbs and 297.5 pounds. Yes, almost 300 pounds… correct.

While I’d weigh-in and wrestle at 197 lbs, wrestling isn’t the healthiest of sports. I’d often weigh around 212 lbs. at the beginning of the week before a match, sometimes as high as 215 lbs. Accordingly, over the following 4-5 days, I’d be tasked with dropping 15-18 lbs to compete… not an easy task.

I’d have a very strict regimen during the week…

+Monday to Wednesday: Oatmeal for breakfast; Power bar for lunch; one bottle of water in the morning; salad with a small piece of chicken for dinner; one cup of water at night. (Note… only about 24 oz. of fluid a day.

+Thursday and Friday: Apple for lunch; cup of water after practice; 2 small ice pops for dinner (you can chew them and they are like fluid as well so it kind of hydrates… kind of.)

So, you’re thinking: THAT makes you lose 15 lbs in a week? Sign me up.

No. Not how it works.

What you don’t know is this: Each day, Each day, I’d go to practice in a heated wrestling room… usually wearing full sweatpants and sweatshirt over two layers of Under Armour. Needless to say, I sweat a lot. And then, depending on my weight, I’d go for about 3 runs a week, all about 3 miles, in the same attire. From such a regimen, I’d sweat off about 4-7 lbs. per day. As any wrestler knows, the more you sweat off in workouts, the more you can put into your body later.

With that said, I made the cut happen and never missed weight, ever. So, that’s something I’m very proud of. After my Sophomore year, I left weighing about 245-250; so, to make weight at 197 was quite the accomplishment for me. I spent the whole summer previous dieting and working my butt off, sometimes twice a day at the gym. I also used social media as a motivating tool; sometimes I tweeted my weight, and every time I talked about wrestling, lifting, working out, etc, I’d use the hashtag #197 at the end of my post/tweet as a constant reminder of my goal.

In my life, I’m most proud of that year at 197 lbs. Period.

The next year, our lineup was different, and I thought I had a better shot of helping the team at Heavyweight, so I bulked up over the summer and focused more on strength than keeping my weight down. I came to school weighing about 240 lbs, only 20 lbs more than my natural weight of the year previous, and most of the weight I put on was good, good muscle. I shattered all my personal bests in weight testing in the fall, and had an average season afterward.

So, why did I tell you all of that?

Well, since then, going through the school year, and the one-month bender that was Graduation… I put on a few more pounds. Nothing too crazy, but I was able to notice it, and it drove me crazy. I tried to go back on the plan I was on between my Sophomore and Junior years, but it didn’t work so well, being that it was tailored for an extremely active college athlete. The fact of the matter is I’m not as active as I used to be. Nine to Five life makes it harder to work out, but as my sleep cycle has been adjusting and my body has been getting used to the new diet I’m on, I have a lot more energy.

So now, I’m settled into work, feeling great, and just started Nutrisystem a week and a half ago. In my first week, I lost 6.5 pounds, making me extremely motivated and giving me a strong sense of belief in the system. I also haven’t drank since I’ve been home (almost 3 weeks), so I’m sure that’s helping my cause.

So, as we go in this blog, I’ll be covering my daily thoughts and feelings on Nutrisystem, and will be updating anyone who reads this on my progress.

Needless to say, you’ll know if I’m succeeding or failing; and that’s why I’m doing this blog. I’m trying to be accountable for my adherence to the diet… and I feel like if I expose my progress to everyone, I’ll be embarrassed if I fail, or cheat, or betray my plan in any way.

Sorry for the length of this post. They won’t all be this long—assured. However, I felt it was important for people to know where I came from and where I am now.

My ultimate motivation is this: The way I looked, felt, and LIVED during my Junior year of college was the most amazing thing in the world. I want it back, and I won’t stop until I get it.

 

My Goal: Quite simply, to LOSE 50 POUNDS.

I’m at 6.5 now, so that means only 43.5 to go. Baby steps.

**Going to Boston this weekend, so that will test me. I’m bringing all of my food and resolving to STICK TO THE PLAN, no matter what. Even if I have a few drinks, I won’t depart from my eating regimen, and I won’t get too out of control with my time out in the city. Yes, drinks have a lot of calories, but by choosing things like Vodka+soda (about 90-100 calories per), I can make sure that a good time/treat night out doesn’t turn into a binge roadblock to my success.**

Look for a post tomorrow and then probably next week after the trip.

Best,

@bkc78

#44

My Scale Says I’m Frat– First Post

Hey everyone,

So, I’m not sure how much I actually want to start blogging, but I figure the best way to find out is to give it a try and see how I feel.

Basically, after graduating from Boston U at the end of May, I swiftly started and quit an internship, ultimately settling into a full-time position back in New Jersey. At BU, I was extremely active socially, physically, and academically. I was a member of BU’s Division I wrestling team and the top fraternity on campus.

So, here, I plan to write about my early adult-life crisis, if you will. I’m moving from the ultimate social environment (college) back to a suburban bubble. Needless to say, the transition has been far from easy to process.

I think the general theme of the blog will help me track my health… I just began a new eating regimen (a fancy way to say diet), and I feel like writing about my thoughts and feelings might help me keep my life organized and my diet on track.

Also, to explain the title of the Blog… one of my teammates came up with it a long time ago.

He told me, “Yo dude, if you ever write an autobiography, it needs to be called “My Scale Says I’m Frat”, because you wrestle [scale] and you’re a in a frat. Oh, and you’re large, so the book will probably be about your life’s vicious cycle of being unhappy and eating.”

So, thank you @SwankyLegg. I appreciate the kind words, and I hope you appreciate the fact that your Wordsmithing/Pun-creating talents have come to life, in a sense.

So, until my first real, non-introductory post, I bid you all farewell… even though nobody’s reading this as of yet.