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Time for tough love

May 15, 2014 - Andy Flynn
This week: 400 lbs.

Last week: 405 lbs.

Start (Dec. 17): 470 lbs.

Total lost: 70 lbs.

Twenty one weeks on the Lake Placid Diet, and I can safely say this has been a life-changing mental and physical challenge, an emotional roller coaster, and a journey I wish I’d taken years ago.

Yet it all comes down to mental endurance. When I’m pushing my body’s physical limits in a workout at the Fitness Revolution gym or on a long walk training for the Lake Placid Half-Marathon, my mental muscles are working overtime, pushing me through to the end. When I’m deciding what to eat — no matter what emotion I’m feeling at the time — my brain is fully engaged in the process. And when it comes time to buckle down and work hard to reach a weight goal, I have to prepare myself mentally to be in the zone until I get there.

Right now I’m in unfamiliar territory, trying to push through a daunting weight barrier. I’ve spent weeks mentally preparing myself to lose enough weight so I’m safely under 400 pounds. That’s a major milestone, and it’s one I’m anxious to leave behind because I haven’t been under 400 pounds for more than eight years. Yet that number — 400 — keeps playing with my mind.

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Last week should have been a celebratory one for me ... and the week before and the week before. Since the second week in April, I’ve been so close to getting under 400 pounds I could taste it. But I guess I wasn’t ready.

I even weighed in at 399 pounds on Wednesday, April 30, a day after my official weigh-in for the week at 401. But I inched up to 405 pounds by last week’s weigh-in, so I couldn’t technically count it. Maybe I gained because of my “reset” on April 30 (eating more calories than a normal diet day), or maybe it was because I was gaining muscle from all those tough workouts. Either way, the number only matters on Tuesday mornings.

I’ll admit I was tempted to cheat and report 399 as my May 6 number, since I truly did weigh 399 pounds on April 30, but this column is all about honesty, and I was sure people would understand that it takes a lot of weight wobbling — going up and down the scale — before you reach your goal. So 405 was my honest number on Tuesday, May 6, showing that I had gained 4 pounds for the week.

And this week’s number — 400 — on May 13 was an honest one, even though I weighed in at 397 on Monday, a bump down from Sunday’s 10-mile walk.

It’s natural to feel a little depressed after seeing a gain, but instead of getting discouraged, I’m getting tough with myself.

After a month of wobbling, I was sick of balancing on the 400-pound beam. For one final time, I’d like to fall off the beam to the 300 side instead of the 400 side. And that was my goal this past week: Crush those numbers so hard it would be difficult to wobble back to the 400 side. It’s tough love, and there’s simply no time for a reset, at least until I get to 390. Even then, I may have to be extremely strict with my food intake and exercise regimen until the beginning of June.

With less than month left for the Take It Off weight-loss challenge at Fitness Revolution, I’m determined to end my 12-week program with a good number. I don’t want all those nights of two-shirt workouts to go to waste (two shirts because I sweat so much I have to change my shirt in the middle of the workout).

In a perfect world, I’d love to reach my goal of 50 pounds lost after 12 weeks. That’s a weigh-in of 371 pounds at the end of the Take It Off program. But I’m not sure that’s realistic, so I’ll settle for 40 pounds, which is attainable as long as I get into that mental zone. It’s make-or-break time, and I have my sights on a weight of 380 on Tuesday, June 3. This way, I can say I’ve lost 90 pounds in 24 weeks on the Lake Placid Diet.

It also gives me two weeks to lose another 10 pounds so I can say I lost 100 pounds in six months. Seeing that number on my scale would be well worth enduring six weeks of tough love.

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Blog Photos

Andy Flynn reaches the top of Harrietstown Hill outside Saranac Lake during his 10-mile walk on Route 86 Sunday, May 11. It was a beautiful day for a walk in the Adirondack Park. (Photo — Andy Flynn)