L-Wacko’s Keeping it Off

The day before our target weigh-in date, the 4th of July, I got an email from Lee:

“Out of the contest — my doctor told me it was too low a weight for me.”

Lee, that’s a good one. Nice to get this info from your doctor on your target weigh-in date. What do you weigh?

Lee started the L-Wacko Challenge at 195 and his target weight was 182. I think he’ll look nice in a pink dress with white pumps.

Another L-Wacko rookie, Eric S., doesn’t need no stinkin’ doctor. He made weight on the 1st of July (see attached photo of his scale showing 169.7 — his target weight was 170 and he began the Challenge at 183).   Eric S. making weight 7-1-2013   I asked Eric what he ate after he made his weight and he said he was suckin on ice cubes. I was shocked. I told him I thought that he would have gained 5 pounds by the time he sent me the email and he responded that he was changing his lifestyle. Awesome! I’m smellin Rookie of the Year.

I too am changing my lifestyle. I intend to stop eating so much that I get sick after my quarterly weigh-ins … but I’m not starting till next weigh-in (I’m hurtin from overeating the last two days since my weigh-in as I’m writing this wrap-up).

Scott worked hard to make his weight, relying heavily on tough workouts, including 6-mile runs and spinning. Rumor has it he was crying like a baby about having to starve himself leading up to the target date. But he came through, hitting 164.4 with Lori (his wife) as his witness – (no scale pic, hmmmm.) Scott started the Challenge in Dec. 2009 at 185 and has hit 165 at least twice a year for 4 years.

With the perfect combination of exercise and diet, Richard extended his 3-year L-Wacko Challenge winning streak, easily making his 190 target. In fact, he expected he would weigh-in at 187 after a round of golf.

Richard began his weight-loss journey tipping the scale at around 275 I believe. He started the Challenge when he had already made it down to 223. He hit his first L-Wacko target of 202 in July 2010, then 186 in Dec. 2010, and has maintained his weight since. As we all know, the “acko” part of L-Wacko, i.e., “and Keep it Off,” can be as difficult as achieving one’s optimum weight in the first instance, but Richard makes it look easy.

I recently heard from Sharon, another L-Wacko who lost the vast majority of her weight before joining the Challenge. She was feeling a bit down because she had crept up to 153 over the last six months, after hitting her last target weight of 140. I told her that hovering around 13 over her target weight in between target weigh-in days was no big deal – Scott and I do it all the time.

Sharon started her journey back in 1994 when she weighed 256. She got down to 215 in 2007 and began the next leg of her journey when she had a change of mindset (which I believe is the most important factor in successfully losing weight and keeping it off). Sharon was sitting in her doctor’s office for a physical and the doc was telling her that her Cholesterol was 247. Sharon figured the next shoe to drop is the doctor saying she is pre-diabetic. Sharon writes, “It was at that moment I knew I had to change – my health depended on it.”

Sharon says she had been eating like a “5-year-old” — most of her meals consisted of quick & easy to grab, tasty junk food. Her doctor suggested she join Weight Watchers and just try to lose 30 lbs by her next appt… “It was the kick in the ass I needed.” Sharon said.

“Believe me,” Sharon writes, “the transition did not happen overnight as I had to really learn to like fruits and veggies. I even went as far as making a New Year’s resolution that I would try new foods, which has really helped to expand my horizon. Who would have thought years ago that I would be eating spinach today.”

By the time Sharon joined the Challenge in 2012 she was down to 159 (see attached pic, where Sharon shows several large bags of rice, the weight of which represented how much Sharon had already lost.  sharon_rice_WW_2012

Sharon, determined to get back down to 140, just wrote that her half-marathon training will start in a few weeks, and she joined Orange Theory fitness, http://www.orangetheoryfitness.com/. She wrote, “As far as August and October, I need to get my weekends in check. I tend to eat very clean during the week and then all hell breaks loose during the weekend so all I have accomplished during the week is for naught… That is my biggest hurdle right now…”

I suggested she commit to hitting 149 by the end of August and 145 by the end of October and Sharon agreed.

I, myself, was only 1/2 a pound over on Wednesday morning the day before my target weigh-in date, and Scott complained that it would be too easy for me to lose the 1/2 by doing some house maintenance.

It wasn’t that easy, however, to set it up to be easy to make weight on Wednesday morning — I did 2 weeks worth of 1,000 calorie days (with a couple of cheat days) and then 500 calories on Monday, and 300 calories on Tuesday.

Scott suggested I put on rubber sweats and go for a run to get down to 157.

So, to make absolutely sure I could have made it on a doctor’s scale (because my scale may be a pound light), I consumed only 30 calories (a few grapes) on Wednesday, July 3, up until I weighed in at 5:00 p.m., I also did about 6 hours of heavy house maintenance, and then ran 3 miles (without rubber sweats), in 90+ degree, 90+ humidity down here in northern Virginia, and then sat in a car with the windows shut (a poor man’s sauna) for about 20 minutes.

It worked! I weighed in at 156.8, my lowest in more than 30 years (see attached pics).

Mike W. making weight 7-3-2013   Mike Willner - July 3, 2013 - 156.8 lbs     What a rush! I felt lightheaded the whole night and totally exhausted the next day. ( But don’t try this at home. You have to be certified or certifiable. I’m sure Lee’s doctor would not have approved.) After I made my weight, I drank so much fluid, I could barely eat any real food. And I couldn’t even get to the pastry until midnight at which time I passed out from exhaustion and my head dropped face first into a half consumed brownie (not really, but close enough).

My real L-Wacko accomplishment wasn’t dropping from 161.5 to 156.8 on the last day, however. The real accomplishment was keeping my weight down since my March 165 weigh-in, so that I would be in striking distance of my July 4th, 161 target. I don’t think I went over 172 in April and 170 in May before starting my descent to 161 in June. Having the “wearing-a-dress-to-a-crowded-restaurant” penalty hanging over my head ensured that I wouldn’t get too far over my target weight after my March weigh-in, or start my descent too late in the game. Even though I’ve convinced myself that it’s super important to keep my weight down, setting a penalty for not making my target weight certainly forces me to be disciplined and to shoot down any rationalizations to not making my weight by my target date.

On the other hand, if you’re not very bright, as is so often the case in my life, a hard, fast, failure-is-not-an-option target weight and date can be dangerous to your health if you wait too long before making the final push. I may have to change my weight-loss advice to take into account the possibility that one might wait too long to make the final push to achieve one’s weight-loss objective and then, be too dumb or stubborn to avoid hurting oneself in order to make weight. I think I came close to hurting myself this time around. I just can’t cut weight like I did back in my wrestling prime. I should note, however, that I made my 161 target without a last-minute starve and work-out push, it was getting 4 under my target just to show off that almost killed me. Hopefully, that was my last crazy sucking weight hurrah.

I’ve also heard from a few other L-Wackos:

Tommy P. has been staying around 180 since his last weigh-in, which is toward the high-end of his desired range (175-180), but acceptable. He’s been combining some Yoga with light exercise and eating sensibly to maintain his weight.

Meanwhile Elyse is feeling good hovering around 115, just 5 pounds over her usual target weight (and only 1 pound less than her L-Wacko Challenge starting weight of 116 – but with more muscle these days that’s reasonable).

Finally, rookie Jean A. (and her hubbie, Bear), look like they’ve each lost about 20 lbs. since starting the Challenge and are maintaining their weight until they can get mentally prepared to drop a few more. Looking good guys!

If anyone is interested in setting a target weigh-in date, shoot me an email at mike@thewilltolose.com or post a comment to this blog post with your target weight and date (FYI, October 31, 2013, will be the next official L-Wacko target date).

And that’s all she wrote.

Willna (with ice cream bar in hand) Out

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2 Responses to L-Wacko’s Keeping it Off

  1. Sharon says:

    Hey All,

    Just thought I would check in with just about 2 weeks 2 to-go. I am in week 2 of my half-marathon training, race Dec 8th. And just to add some more exercise to my routine I have added Pilates along with Beachbody Focus T25.

    I have been trying to eat pretty clean. This morning I weighed in at WeightWatchers at 150.8. So I am definitely on target if I keep up the way I have been going to hit target weight of 149, which will make me ecstatic as I have not seen the 140’s since Christmas.

    Have a great weekend all,

  2. Hey Sharon,

    Great job! When you hit 149, that will be a loss of 4 pounds since the end of June. According to Runners World, you can shave off two seconds on every mile you run in a marathon for every pound you lose. If the same formula holds true for a half-marathon, then if your total weight loss from June 24 to Dec. 8 is 10 pounds (you’re shooting for 145 by Oct. 31, so I figure 143 by Dec. 8 is a reasonable guestimate), then you will have shaved 4 minutes and 20 seconds off your time (if my math is correct). I hope that’s a meaningful reduction for you. Thanks for commenting and Good Luck!

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