Welcome to 2017, part I

Well, I finally turned the lights off at 11:13 pm ET; I can say that I enjoyed the New Year in a similar way to the ways I enjoyed it as a younger person…just retired a bit earlier. 🙂

And so I was up relatively early and got a 4 mile run on the treadmill; well…the first mile was a bit of a disaster (12:30 as I had to walk some of it)…24:06 at mile 2, then finished in 44:40 as I felt better and better.

I’ll report on our activities later; let’s just say that I am withdrawing some “spouse points” form the bank. BIG-league.

I did happen upon this article in the New York Times, which told about those in the “biggest loser” competitions..regaining their lost weight:

The results, the researchers said, were stunning. They showed just how hard the body fights back against weight loss.

“It is frightening and amazing,” said Dr. Hall, an expert on metabolism at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. “I am just blown away.”

It has to do with resting metabolism, which determines how many calories a person burns when at rest. When the show began, the contestants, though hugely overweight, had normal metabolisms for their size, meaning they were burning a normal number of calories for people of their weight. When it ended, their metabolisms had slowed radically and their bodies were not burning enough calories to maintain their thinner sizes.

Researchers knew that just about anyone who deliberately loses weight — even if they start at a normal weight or even underweight — will have a slower metabolism when the diet ends. So they were not surprised to see that “The Biggest Loser” contestants had slow metabolisms when the show ended.

What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight. […]

Erinn Egbert, a full-time caregiver for her mother in Versailles, Ky. And she struggles mightily to keep the pounds off because her metabolism burns 552 fewer calories a day than would be expected for someone her size.

“What people don’t understand is that a treat is like a drug,” said Ms. Egbert, who went from 263 pounds to just under 176 on the show, and now weighs between 152 and 157. “Two treats can turn into a binge over a three-day period. That is what I struggle with.”


“All my friends were drinking beer and not gaining massive amounts of weight,” Mr. Cahill said. “The moment I started drinking beer, there goes another 20 pounds. I said, ‘This is not right. Something is wrong with my body.’”

Sean Algaier, 36, a pastor from Charlotte, N.C., feels cheated. He went from 444 pounds to 289 as a contestant on the show. Now his weight is up to 450 again, and he is burning 458 fewer calories a day than would be expected for a man his size. […]

Mr. Cahill started weighing and measuring his food again and stepped up his exercise. He got back down to 235 to 240 pounds. But his weight edged up again, to 275, then 295.

His slow metabolism is part of the problem, and so are his food cravings. He opens a bag of chips, thinking he will have just a few. “I’d eat five bites. Then I’d black out and eat the whole bag of chips and say, ‘What did I do?’” […]

Background on me: I had trouble with my weight off and on for my early life; I gained weight when I went to sea (in the Navy) and gained 100 lbs. in 7 years; 6 of them in graduate school.

I have been 185-200 lbs. since fall of 1995. I never eat between meals and do not eat sweets. I run, walk, lift weights and from time to time, swim and do yoga.

My remarks (personal experience only)

1. Working out DOES make my body “more efficient”; that is really part of the point of training. So my workouts really do burn less and less energy. And though working out does burn come calories, most of my workouts burn the equivalent of, say, 1-2 medium apples.

2. My metabolism has slowed with age; every 4-5 years I have to cut back on my food intake. My weight slides from 185 to 195 over the course of a year…and so I have to cut back my diet (“diet” meaning “what I eat” and NOT “temporary weight loss diet”).

3. Another reason I have to cut back: I am 57, not 37. Therefore I can’t workout the way I used to. Gone are the days of “2 mile open water swim” followed by a “14 mile run” as a routine Sunday workout. 🙂

4. Yes, some foods are like a drug for me; it is simply easier for me to avoid them all together (candy, certain types of chips, sugary drinks, pastries, beer, alcohol, etc.)

5. There is also a mental attitude. Many view “eating what you need” and “not getting to eat more” as deprivation. Why? No one says “oh great, I get to put more gas in the car”. I am not saying that I don’t eat stuff that tastes good to me, but my primary pleasures have to come from things OTHER than stuffing my face.


January 1, 2017 - Posted by | running | ,

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