Dropping the Weight of an Elephant Stone

Why am I posting “Elephant Stone” on Steady.org? Three reasons:

  1. This song fucking rocks!
  2. When I hear this song I feel awesome!
  3. I’ve broken through the plateau on the weight loss front!

I knew it was just a matter of time. I knew I was doing the right things. I knew that cutting out booze had to have a positive effect on my weight. And yet, the scale kept saying otherwise. (As a man who holds a degree in English, I know better than to trust numbers.)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been stuck. Right around 231. Up then down, up then down, but never down below the 230 mark. I started taking measurements because I was determined to find a way to keep myself motivated.

In the back of my mind, I had a nagging feeling that my body’s stubborn refusal to drop weight had something to do with the amount of training I was doing to get ready for my MS Ride. Now I feel like that has been confirmed.

Yesterday, I weight in at 229. Today I weighed in at 226.6. I’ve gained ground against the reversal that I suffered last fall and winter. I’m back to where I was a year ago! And I’m gonna keep going.

Here’s what I think was in play with the scale not budging:

  1. I was training hard, which meant that I was building up muscle as I was burning fat. Muscle weighs more than fat. The math is simple here.
  2. I was drinking a lot of water and (more importantly) a lot of electrolyte fluids – Salt makes the body retain water. So, as I was working to keep myself hydrated and doing so with drinks meant to replenish salt lost in exercise, I was likely retaining more water than I would have liked.
  3. This week, I’ve relaxed the pace of my training. I was pretty much forced into recovery for two days after doing 108 miles over the weekend. I have taken two rides this week, one on Wednesday and one today. Both have been relatively low intensity and relatively short. Today’s ride was more intense and longer than Wednesdays, but it wasn’t an all-out effort.

My gut tells me that because of this, I’ve continued to burn fat without adding significantly more muscle this week and I’ve flushed my system of excess fluid, while remaining hydrated. Of course, I’ve also kept the calorie intake in check and haven’t had any booze.

All in all, today feels like a winner!

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