THEME OF THE WEEK: #1: Did Disney World Make Me Fat? | #2: Undulating Bodyweight – It’s All In The Trendline!
Coming off a family holiday-of-a-lifetime and settling back into the woking and training rhythm, the sunshine of ‘normal life’ has come back out and things are feeling good. 😊
We made a pact at the beginning of 2018 – it will be a big, challenging, but exciting year for our family. And so far, I’d say we’ve kept true to our word.
It’s not been a bed of roses, as starting afresh, learning new skills, constantly failing and having to figure a lot of big picture stuff is no walk in the park, but the overall sentiment of 2018 so far has been one of excitement and growth.
Summed up in perfectly in a hashtag – #workhardplayhard
#1 – Did Disney World Make Me Fat?
As part of our commitment to ‘Play Hard’, we made a last-minute decision to surprise the girls and take them to Disney World Florida. Here was the moment, at the airport, when I dropped the bomb on them. Our little one was excited inside she says, but hey, food comes first! Just like her Daddy…
It was an amazing Holiday. Amazing service, so many family magic moments, thrills, adrenaline and tons of nostalgia. The kids absolutely loved seeing the characters, the intensity and drama of the rides, the beauty of the park settings, the giraffes looking into our hotel room and the Halloween spookiness.
Don’t get me wrong, it was not a chill! Tons of walking, standing, waiting, lugging about baggage all day, and sweating in the 32 degree Orlando heat.You need a holiday after this holiday that’s for sure.
And Then There’s The Food…
How did we manage the situation of food abundance, American dining, buffets and fast-food everywhere you look?
Did we succumb to the constant sensory overload and marketing of the Burgers, Chicken Tenders, Popcorn, Candy and over-the-top food experiences when the day-to-day effort makes most people ravenous?
Well, we had a plan of sorts ahead of touching down in MCO:
- Walking all day would hopefully give us a good calorie buffer
- We would not even try to Calorie count – i.e. I’d take 10 days off tracking
- We’d load up on a protein-rich hearty breakfast at the hotel
- We’d skip lunch to increase productivity and reduce consumption
- We’d bring our own snacks for the family to keep us going – e.g. Crimbles, protein bars, artisan Choc-Oat bites, Pom Bear
- We’d drink lots of water to keep hydrated
- We’d have ‘experience’ dinners every night – letting our hair down with three courses at quality restaurants. Not just burger joints every night.
- Having a mostly Gluten-Free lifestyle, we’d look to avoid or mindfully contain Gluten consumption.
- We’d take some Gluten enzyme tabs if having a big Gluten meal, to help break it down
- Other than protein powder, we’d carry on most of the essential supplementation *
- Where possible, we’d try and get a strength workout in, to balance all the pavement pounding
- I’d just exited a Cut on the lead up to the holiday, so conveniently timed my mild bulk to line up with this trip. 😉
* Vitamin D, B-Complex, Creatine, Fish Oil, Multi Vit, Resveratrol and Probiotic.
For the most part, this pre-determined plan worked. The restaurants and food choices were surprisingly diverse, with a fair amount of African and ethnic cuisine, as we were staying in the safari-like Animal Kingdom. We managed to try new exciting cuisines, making the big dinners exciting, different and not overly glutinous.
Body Took A Pounding!
The walking and daily energy demands was BRUTAL! 16,000-20,000 steps in the heat, carrying back packs and on our feet for 12+ hours a day. We were taking a pounding! I managed to get in three short strength workouts in, and that was enough.
But, calorie burn wasn’t through the roof – only 3,000 – 3,500 kcal a day, which is about the same as an average training day when at home.
That said, our feet and knees were slammed. We also weren’t getting long or quality sleep, due to the schedule demands and non-homely hotel room. It felt like we ran a marathon everyday.
Did I Blow Up Like Baymax?
So, what was the impact to my body through this time? Did I blow up by having a 3-course dinner every night, a fair few buffets and eating out on every meal for 10 days?
In short – NO. 😊
In the moment, I must say we both felt like we were piling on the pounds. The lifestyle, lots more carbs than normal, being less hydrated than we liked, having alack of quality sleep, having high sugar high fat restaurant grub and not having the training sessions we’re used to made us feel squishy, bloated and podgy.
Combine that with air travel too, and I was suffering from quite a bit of water retention. It was kinda disheartening to see the fruits of your cut disappear under a layer of podginess within just a week.
However, we were not slamming down food and soft-drinks at every available opportunity. We were being conscientious where we could about keep quality over glutinous indulgence.
We have a good sense of calories from tracking, so knew we were not excessively over eating every day. But for sure, we were overeating to some degree. It’s almost impossible not to on this type of holiday.
So, here are my Body Weight Stats:
1️⃣ My Cut End Weight: 190.4 lbs
2️⃣ My Bulk Pre-Holiday Weight (day 0): 195.0 lbs
3️⃣ First Day Post-Holiday Weight (day 12): 199.2 lbs
4️⃣ Three Days Post-Holiday (day 15): 195.4 lbs
5️⃣ Current Weight (day 22): 197.4 lbs
What this shows is that I gained 4 lbs in 12 days, but only added 0.5-1lbs max of body fat. Especially due to the sleepless long flight back home, I was retaining some 3.5 lbs of water!
For many people, that gain would freak people out. I understand. But, if you knew you did your best to control the variables whilst making sure fun was a top priority, then you’ll expect some water retention what will drop quickly once your carbs normalise, and a little body fat that you have a tried-and-true means of dropping when you are back.
#2 – Undulating Bodyweight – It’s All In The Trendline!
Looking at those number again, I’ve put on 7 lbs in 7 weeks, as part of my current bulk-phase. Bear in mind I bounced back out to 194 lbs within a week after the cut (water and extra gut weight), what we’re really talking about is 3-4 lbs of extra fat/muscle weight. Average that out, that’s about 0.5 lbs weight gain per week and and 2 lbs per month, whilst having a holiday-of-a-lifetime.
Bear in mind typical maximum rates of monthly lean muscle growth:
As an intermediate natural lifter who is taking the gym pretty serious, but is 37 and has lower than normal testosterone, I should be looking to gain 0.5-1lbs of lean mass max per month.
Therefore, I expect I’ve put on 1 lbs of muscle and 2-3 lbs of fat. Without the holiday, the fat may have been a tad lower, but for the most part these are numbers are normal for men my age and weight.
Crazy (but Normal) Bodyweight Fluctuations
But, I must admit, bodyweight is a bit of a puzzler, even for those like me that track, control most of the variables and are informed on the physiology and internal chemistry.
Take a look at this graph. It shows my daily weigh-ins, from the last day of the cut to today (7 weeks later). The graph is pulled from MyNetDiary, but I added the trend line and the annotation:
See, in the moment, it makes no sense sometimes. I’m sure you’ve been there. Weight bouncing around like a yo yo and you can’t justify it. Worse still, you ask “how have I just put on two pounds of fat in a day?!”.
Or, if you’re bulking to gain muscle mass, you eat over maintenance and for a couple of days on the trot your weight is dropping. “Shit, I’m gonna lose all my gains! I must be eating too little!”.
Neither of those things in reality are possible or true, especially if you are doing most things right most of the time. You’d need to overeat by 7000 kcals more than you need to put in two pounds of fat in a day… i.e, not gonna happen!
It’s funny, but in retrospect, now I’ve drawn in the trend line, and identified the cause and effect between high calorie dinners, high carb days, high salt days, high fibre days etc to my weigh-ins, it all kind of makes sense. In the moment however, something must be wrong!
Maybe if I was more robotic and regimented with my food choices, my weight would be more stable with less dramatic undulations. That said, EVERYONE’s weight will jump up and down to some degree.
In my opinion, I do enough. I track, I always hit my protein goals, I’m +/- 50kcals from my daily calorie budget 90% of the time, I train intensely with intent and proven systems, I drink lots of water, get good sleep most days, and eat foods that are nutritional dense and will help me thrive (check out my IIFYM+ Thrive Principles).
If I was more consistent on Fat and Carbs every day, I managed a consistent ingestion of salt and potassium, I drank the same amount of water every day, I always had a shit before weighing myself and stayed away from alcohol and diuretics, there would be less drama I’m sure. I’d also HATE IT! And for what, being slightly less emotional when I weigh myself or notice that I’m a bit ‘soft’ looking today?
I really don’t care that much.
Don’t get me wrong, I care enormously about being my best. I care about feeling strong, having energy, looking good and having confidence. I care about keying off from owning my body and gym time, and cascading that ownership, progress and results into all other areas of my life.
I guess I care more about the long term trend and future goals being attained, versus where I am exactly at this moment…
Coming Up In Next Few Weeks
In terms of Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness and Body Goals, here’s my focus for the next few weeks:
- Continuing to reap the rewards of Escalating Intensity Sets (from OCT-18 #HyperWorkouts)
- Podcasting with and learning from some BIG names in the Fitness industry…
- Finishing up my read of Swallow This by Joanna Blythman
I’ll let you know how I get on with an update every 2-3 weeks… 🙂
Follow Steve’s Body & Mind Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer, and please keep me honest to the above.