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Dan Nied’s Fortress of Weight Loss: Day 95

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What I am going to eat today
Again, a quick menu, starting from Meal 1…

Cheerios, turkey sandwich, big salad, fruit platter (with two apples, an orange and a nectarine!).

That should add up to about 1,400-1,600 calories.

What I am not going to do tomorrow
Work out. Why? Substituting Monday’s workout for Thursday, since I happen to have a rare Thursday off this week. Plus, I find it hard to go four days in a row. (Catch the hint there that I went to the gym Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I am doing pretty well.)

The real reason I brought you here today
I am dancing in my chair with new, yet familiar, musical sounds buzzing about the room. I am wearing a year-old light blue T-shirt that once hugged my body, but now hangs loosely and comfortably over my torso.

I am writing by lamplight with a space heater warming my legs. I am gazing around my room and seeing a typical, whimsical mess of clothes, books, a scale and bedding.

I am attentive to what the future will bring. I am hopeful and realistic and aware of the challenges ahead.

I am aware of success, those in the past and those coming around the corner. The former must be celebrated while the latter coddled. I know success doesn’t happen right now. It is an entity that exists either in the past or the future. I am not successful, but I have been successful and I will be successful. Now is always the time for reflection. Now is when you figure out how you did and how you will.

I am not high.

Not at all, actually.

Instead, I am just happy on this Sunday night. I can’t exactly figure out why. Perhaps it is just one of those nights where I get to sit at my computer, listening to new music and enjoying the fruits of labor of the past week.

Before I get into specifics, I am going to toss a quick plug out there. I am listening to the new Counting Crows album, as I have been all weekend. And though I am still in the breaking-it-all-down stage, I think I am ready to label this a great album. Of course, it helps that, after all these years, I am still huge Counting Crows fan and credit Adam Duritz with helping me get over every heartbreak I have ever experienced. Still, upon four listenings and a few glances at the lyrics, I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those albums that defines a time period for me.

Kind of like when I was a freshman in College and bought “The Dave Mattews Band Live at Red Rocks”, or when Blues Traveler’s “Four” got me through my junior year of high school, or when O.A.R.’s “The Wanderer” was all over the place during my third summer in college, or when “White Blood Cells” by the White Stripes guided my studies through that deciding fifth year of college, or, more recently, when I spent my first full summer in California listening to the Hold Steady. I think you get the point.

Anyway, there is a very good chance that “Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings” by the Counting Crows will immediately remind me of that time I got down to 240 pounds.

So yeah, check it out if that’s your thing.

But back to the task at hand. There is strong evidence, though I am not ready to call it incontrovertible, that the recent changes in the diet are working exactly as I had hoped.

After eating under 2,000 calories for six straight days, and going to the gym for five out of six days, I weighed in on Sunday morning at 267.4. Before I went to the gym around 6 p.m., I weighed in at 266.2 (Don’t ask me how I weighed less. I prefer not to question these things). Since I didn’t weigh myself on Monday, the first day of the changes, I can’t exactly say how much weight I lost. But I know that I am two or three pounds down from Thursday, since I was 269 then.

For the first time, I can see 240 clear ahead. In the distance, for sure, but clear ahead.

While living in the Colorado plains in 2005, I drove to the mountainous regions for work one weekend. There was a moment on that drive that parallels this quest so perfectly and obviously, that I just have to share it.

I drove through the flatlands, past the same cows and crops over and over again. Then, past a curve, there was a single mountain barely visible in the distance. Had it not been a perfect Colorado day, it would have been covered by the thinnest clouds. But it sat there like in a fifth grader’s diorama staring me down from at least 100 miles away. That mountain was at least two hours away by car. But I could see the snow line and the trees underneath it. That was the first time I saw mountains on that stop in Colorado (clarification: I did my internship in the very mountainous Colorado Springs back when I was in college), and it was the first time I realized they were actually there.

I drove a few more hours, and the mountains, sure enough, showed up with all their grandeur and majesty.

Looking back on these past seven days — including a Sunday where my “cheat” was eating two weight watchers meals (600 calories combined), too many blackberries and a nectarine that I probably didn’t need – It dawned on me that this might have been the best week of my life in terms of eating right and exercising. Obviously, I can’t say that for sure, especially since I lost 95 pounds two years ago (and I must have done something right then). But I can’t imagine that I’ve done better than I have in the last seven days. I haven’t been more focused, I haven’t treated this quest with more reverence, and I haven’t performed so perfectly.

But as I said earlier: Success is only in the past and in the future. I sit here now as a man who has been successful before, and will be successful again. For now, though, I am content with just knowing what has been done and what lies ahead.

I leave you today, this official opening day of the baseball season, with one thought that I will be echoing, hopefully, in October: Go Tigers.

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About Dan Nied

  • Guy

    Nice plug for the new Couting Crows. Martha and I spent a rainy Friday morning in the car finishing up the drive from Detroit to Philly listening to the album straigh through. I’m pretty sure I think it is excellent too. It’s like Adam Duritz is Rasheed Wallace- he’s unleashing the dogs. But instead of Mike James and Lindsey Hunter he’s letting guitar players Dan, Dave and Dave loose.

    Glad to see you’re having success powering through the wall. Dieting is definitely something that goes in cycles or stages. I was stuck for a good long while but I am a refocused man in April. Years from now people will be talking about my April- someday children will read about it in school.

    Later