Sunday, May 2, 2010

U-Turn in Progress

Weekly weigh-in: 207.5
Loss: +5.1
Total loss: -85.2
Body fat percentage: ??
Emotion: From business trip to back to business

When Jack Sh*t turns into Jack Sh*t-for-Brains, the scale generally rewards him with a richly deserved bitchslap. It’s almost as if there’s some sort of cause-and-effect relationship at work there…

All I can tell you is that it could have been… perhaps should have been… much worse.

This was my first out-of-town business trip in eons, and I was in the company of a bunch of friendly, fun-loving folks who liked to eat, laugh and consume all manner of adult beverages.

“Stay gold, pony boy,” I told myself, but it was a slippery slope from the get-go, and I simply couldn’t keep my footing. I got in a couple of hour-long workouts at the hotel fitness center, but each one was offset by longer sessions at the hotel bar, before hitting another bar, before going to dinner, and then finding a good bar for a nightcap.

Even the plane ride was brutal. I had some ancient trail mix in my travel bag that I started scarfing up. Only after I finished did I read the packaging and realize I had consumed a day and a half’s worth of fat, sodium and calories. The chocolate-covered pork rinds should have been a tip-off...

Could have been worse? Oh hell yeah. I was up over 10 lbs when I returned home, but I’m miffed that I couldn’t erase my party-boy week with my wicked workouts and back-on-plan eating.

I did have a really good time, and I suppose that counts for something. I learned some things about myself in the process; namely, I’m nowhere near finished with my “re-education of Jack” project. Some days I think I’ve got it nailed down cold and then a week like that makes me think that I’m trying to fill up a bucket with a gaping hole in the bottom.

But I won’t get too hard on myself and I won’t completely give myself a free pass either. My plan this week is to pay attention to the details, to power through my workouts with drive and determination and to continue with the strength training even though I’m fairly certain it’s impeding my progress on the scale.

I even forgot to measure my body fat percentage on my body fat percentisizer. That’s just how out of it I’ve been. But I’m getting back in the saddle.

I may have gone in the wrong direction for a bit, but I promise… I promise… I promise that my compass is still in good working order.


  1. Its tough those business trips...for me holidays back home with my family test me...while losing the bulk of the weight I managed to lose while on holiday, but once maintaining I found I wanted to eat more of the stuff I had said no to...wanted others to see I can be thin and eat...cause everyone thinks you don't eat I tried to prove them wrong...and gain 8lbs. Now struggling a month later to get it off...but know I am on plan - therefore feel okay - there is nothing more I can do but keep to my plan.

    I feel like you, sometimes I think I've learned so much and other times I see how much more I still have to learn...this journey has NO ending, that I know.

  2. Ah.

    So it happened to you too Jedi Master.

    We shall conquer this together. Yes. Proceeding to clear a proper ninja clearance now.

    >commence restructuring sequence<

  3. We're going to have these bumps in the road. It's definitely a learning experience. What matters most is getting back in the saddle. Ride on!

  4. I know I haven't hit my goal ... not even close ... but a similar little monster gets a hold of me when I'm feeling like I've got this whole thing licked and I'm in control and on my way and nothing in the world is going to stop me.
    When I quit smoking, I didn't have this hard a time to leave the cancer sticks behind. When I drastically curbed my drinking ... none of these out of control feelings overcame me.
    But take me out of my safe, controlled environment and put me in the middle of a foodfest and I'm toast. French toast with whipped cream and cherry sauce. With a side of bacon and sausage.

    The old Jack may have used this as an excuse to throw up his arms and give up altogether. But you've got this new lifestyle thing going on and this is just a blip. It's just been a year since you began losing ... you're kind of like a toddler right now learning to walk with this new slim body of yours.
    You're going to be just fine.

  5. Work socialization is always my nemesis too. It is hard not to party like the big boys that you travel with. Well, the good news is you are a pro at losing pounds, so what is a 10lb do-over in the long run? Have a rockin' strong start of your week Jack!


  6. Travelling was my nemesis when I was a consultant...expense accounts are a killer. And thankfully my current position has only required limited travel. There is something evil that clicks on in my head when someone else is paying the bill.

    That is one of the reasons I took up running, though. I had really hoped it would be one of those activities I could do anywhere I went and hopefully keep that little bit of evil in check.

    At the moment, it is theory only since I haven't been put to the test.

    Bottom line, this event doesn't define Jack...Jack will define this temporary.

  7. I believe that the slippery slope is pretty much the bane of my existence, so I know how you feel. Good thing is, most of that weight is just water, seeing as how you already lost half of whatever you gained.

  8. Thank you. It helps to see that even the stars of the weight loss blogosphere still struggle.

  9. Jack,

    A 5 pound loss is good news. The plane trip back may have been filled with too much of something, but losing weight is all about calories, not so much about nutrients and fat.

  10. I don't think a person who lost a large amount of weight will always be re-educating oneself. However, you made some great changes by adding workouts in while traveling.

    Next time, add 2 waters in between each drink and the empty calories will not be so high.

    The best part of reading this enjoyed yourself, but are ready to get back on the horse.

  11. I flew for the first time in a long time to LA for a business trip. I came home ten pounds heavier as well and feeling like shit. And while I may not have over ate the sodium kicked my ass. I didn't realize how sensitive I have become in my old age (46) to salt.

    My guess is (granted I didn't see what you ate) is that at least 6 lbs of your gain is probably water weight if you are over 40 and an old fart like me.

    Good to see it's coming off.

    It's been humbling to see how easy the formula for weightloss is -- and it's not so much really I am finding out about the nutrients and fat. It's caloric intake and sodium intake. You take in more than you burn, it ends up on my case my ass. You take in less than your burn in my case it comes off my boobs not my ass where I would like it to come off first.

    Just sayin -- hope it was a good business trip. I saw John Larroquette on mine and the dude totally stunk. Weird.

  12. Business trips were always really hard for me at my old job. My goal was usually to maintain rather than lose weight. I have no doubt you will get this 5 lbs off in no time! And as you said you had a good time, which definitely does count for something!

  13. Jack,

    Live and learn. It sounds as if some of it is indeed sodium, some is cabin pressure, but yes, some is too much good food and drink. Put it behind you and as you said, get back in the saddle. We all get thrown off from time to time.

    Join me at

  14. I spent a couple days at a conference this week ... that threw me right off :(

  15. even Superheros slip up. get back on that horse, buddy.

  16. Livin' and learnin'! That's what it's all about!! Get up and keep walking, Jack!!

    Woo hoo! and a high five, brotha!!

  17. Our journeys are just as much about recovering from getting off track as they are about staying on track. Instead of the "oh, boy...look what I have done" are focusing in the "well, hell....I did this and NOW I am going to fix it". It is that mental frame of mind that will keep you where you need to be. Good job....and I'll be sending you good thoughts on your active recovery this week. (A good portion of that weight is likely water retention from sodium and flying, bu the way...unless you really did consume 35,000 calories more than usual..which would be a feat even for the food addicts among us!)

  18. Sorry Jack. At least we know you are human. I agree - its probably still mostly water retention....You will be back in business in no time.

  19. JS, what I love is that there were no excuses & OMG, how did this happen type of shit. You took responsibility for it, there was learning about you in the process & now you can move on & keep that learning close to you!

    Back to it kiddo! Ya need me to come over & kick some JS a**! :-)

  20. “Ponyboy, listen, don’t get tough. You’re not like the rest of us and don’t try to be.”

    You are amazing, a gain or not. I personally think you're concerned about hitting 100 and the trip around the world. I'm trying to work a "nothing gold can stay" quote in here but it just ain't workin' ;) You gained, you move on and lose it. We all do it. ;)

  21. I had a similar week a few weeks ago and after just a couple of amazingly fun days, realized I was up almost 7 pounds. Despite the aggravation of weight gain, I think it's good every once in a while for us to realize that we're not as iron clad as we sometimes think we are, and that this really will be a lifetime of remaining conscious of our decisions. Congratulations for having a great time and then coming right back and making things right - it's so easy to just let it slide for a few more months and end up right where we started!

  22. Good for you for recognizing and getting back on the horse. There was a dark time that I would have keep going down the slippery slope. You ended at the cliff. Good on you.

  23. Hate it when that happens! Way to see it though and get back on top of it! Good luck this week :)

  24. OUCH! I have a trip coming up in June. I plan on maintaining. Period.
    Put my calories to 1500, get in a good half hour workout daily and fend off well intentioned solicitations to 'just relax' and "live a little'. It won't be easy...reading this tells me I am going to need a game plan. Because if the great Jack sh*t can gain five, chris the simple can gain 10....too much for me. I worked two months to get 10 pounds off.
    uh way. lol.
    Good luck with your next week. Rooting for you.

  25. Why does everyone always say the good stuff before I can? Hang in there Jack and rock the upcoming week.

  26. When I was 16, I memorized the poem from the inside flap of the book, "the Outsiders". Here ya go..

    Nature's first green is gold
    Her hardest hue to hold
    Her early leaf's a flower
    But only so an hour
    As Dawn goes down to day,
    Nothing Gold can stay.

    don't know who wrote it.. but hrmmmm interesting eh?

    by the way.. got a little prezzie for you on my blog, not that you need any more awards or anything.. but it will give you something to do. :)

    My WW leader says in times like these.. BAM!!
    Move on.

    Bam, Jack... BAM.

  27. Hi Jack. I love it that you admit to a 10lbs increase straight after your trip so no-one can give it the "it's only water" thing (given that the 5lbs you dropped immediately presumably WAS the water). That's serious honesty and accountability. Which is why you're so good at this of course.

    So, you can learn from this to a) alternate the alcohol with water and b) try emptying out your travel bag from the last trip before embarking on the next trip. I hate to think what else might be lurking in that bag!

    Good luck with getting back to business this week.

    Bearfriend xx

  28. Whoa, been there, and done that. Just a little bump in the road. Make sure you fasten your seatbelt when you in that wagon. :)

    Oh well, nothing a few days of eating well and some serious sweat won't knock off right? Keep on trucking Jack, it was bound to happen to you at some point. :)


  29. And here I was hoping for a drunk post series. Maybe next time...or maybe they were and we just don't know it.

  30. Body Fat Percentisizer - glad to know the real terminology. Always learning something new here! :p

  31. It happens to the best of us. Its hard when youre not at home and have less control, but seems like youre back on your horse! Good Luck!


  32. Throwing the compass away once in a while is a much needed adventure because the straight and narrow, right direction thing can suck if you don't veer off once in a while...:)

  33. You're not the only one who gets bitchslapped on a business trip. Happens to me all.the.damn.time. Measure your success on how well you bounce back.

  34. Chocolate covered pork rinds? Really? Ew. Well, at least you had fun..

  35. You are the only person I've ever known to quote The Outsiders - in a blog or elsewhere. And for that, I love you.
    Oh yeah, and chocolate covered pork rinds sound absolutely disgusting!

  36. I do truly believe that there is something genetic in this. There are those who just don't find food tempting, there are those that love to eat and just don't get the weight gain, and then there are us - who love the food, and get the weight gain, who have to exercise so much self control... however, while giving into temptation might be considered weak, and easy to do, at the same time, we give ourselves grief and beat ourselves up about it. I don't know if there is a solution. I don't think it's merely a case of mind over matter a lot of the time. It takes a lot of discipline to resist when those around us don't even give it a second's thought. However, we also need these blips to remind us how far you've come, and how easy it would be to go back, but finally to realise that it's just not worth it. The odd blip is fine. We just know not to make it a bad habit.

  37. "But I won’t get too hard on myself and I won’t completely give myself a free pass either."

    This is a GREAT attitude and one I'm adopting after my totally unplanned but amazingly fun weekend. As Chris put it, I had a dieting fail but a living win. I'm back in the saddle with you, Jack!

  38. My theory for vacations is that they are that - a vacation. A few times a year I give myself a pass to eat, drink, and be merry. I notice that after a few days, my body craves the gym and the veggies again, so it's not the launching point of a big bender, and the weight is mostly water and it comes off quickly as long as you hop right back on that wagon. In general, it's about 2 weeks to negate about 4 days of out of town decadence. IMO, worth it. Good luck paying for your sins, heh heh.

  39. My previous job was as a Director of Marketing, which involved taking clients out for formal meals. Is it any wonder I put 100 pounds on? Business trips can be hell on you. However, there are some strategies you can make. There are some great exercises you can do in your hotel room and healthy food options you can choose at meals. But the hardest for me was the alcohol. It was hard to say no, especially when clients wanted me to drink with them. It's not easy. Do you have many of these business trips to take?

  40. I'm a bit behind in reading your posts Jack and I'm sure someone has already mentioned this but you're looking at your strength training all wrong. So the scale isn't going down, so what. You are building muscle which increases your metabolism so you can burn more fat. My scale has stayed the same for a month now but I checked my waist and hip measurements and they both went down. You just need to have an alternate way to measure if the scale isn't doing it for you.

    thanks for all your great posts. They have inspired me with my weight loss and starting up my own blog.



Related Posts with Thumbnails