Losing 8 kilograms in 80 days, eating right 80% of the time


First let me start by saying this: A scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. It cannot measure fitness, beauty, purpose, talent, possibility or strength. The number staring back at you should never be an excuse for you to be miserable. My latest mission, to lose 8 kilograms in 80 days, eating right 80% of the time, comes from me not feeling “well”, a fact coincidentally confirmed by a bathroom scale.

A two-pronged plan

Losing weight starts in the kitchen and not wherever it is that you get sweaty. You can’t out-train a bad diet. It’s simply not possible. I’ve tried really hard and failed – every time. Besides, going for a run with a hangover is not fun. So, step 1 would be to clean up your diet.

The second step would be to get moving. Don’t get too hung up on a training program or fitness regimen or anything that resembles a routine. Your motivation will wane, you will miss a workout, you will start beating yourself up about it and eventually you’ll quit. New Year’s resolution down the drain. We all know the feeling. Don’t go there. Go easy on yourself.

It is not about the numbers

Forget the 8 kilograms in 80 days. That is simply my target because I know where I want to be and when I need to be there. On the other hand, keep that “80% of the time”-thought in the back of your mind.

We are not pro athletes. We are moms and dads (with social lives) that are never going to train like maniacs all the time. Even less likely is eating 100% right, 100% of the time.

My “This week vs The next week” approach

I started my “8-80-80 mission” on the 23rd of July. The week before I did zero workouts. In fact I haven’t done anything resembling a workout in more than 6 weeks (and promptly added 6 kg to my frame). On the 23rd of July my wife and I started from scratch. We did a CrossFit workout in our garage. That in itself made that week a better week than the previous one.

During the previous week (and weeks before that) we had a glass (or two or three) of wine every evening. By the time we got into bed on Thursday evening (of week 1) we haven’t had a single glass of wine and we completed three workouts. Progress.

Friday was a bit of a train smash, so much so that we did not do a workout on Saturday. On Sunday we went for a run which made us feel better about Friday night’s party. The week ended with 5 “clean days” and 6 workouts. So, compared to the previous week we made giant strides!

I recommend keeping a “little black book”. Log your meals and workouts (no great detail required). All you want to do is to measure progress. If you had a slice of cake on Monday and you don’t have one the next Monday, that’s a step in the right direction.

My Training Plan

For the duration of my eighty-day challenge I plan to move every day. In my book, a long walk counts. So if you’re not up for a rigorous workout, take your dog for walk or go kick a ball with your son.

My first two weeks looked like this:

  • Monday 23 July – Starting weight 84 kg
    • CrossFit (50 min)
  • Tuesday 24 July
    • CrossFit (50 min)
  • Wednesday 25 July
    • Walk-Run-Walk (4 Rounds of Walk 2 minutes, run 4 minutes)
  • Thursday 26 July
    • CrossFit (50 min)
  • Friday 27 July
    • Indoor rowing 7km (30 min 52 sec)
  • Saturday 28 July
    • Woke up with a monster hangover (Wife’s birthday) – did nothing
  • Sunday 29 July
    • Went for a walk-run-walk on the golf course (35 min)

Keeping in mind my “80% of the time” don’t-be-too-hard-on-yourself buffer, I was extremely happy with my week.

Week 2 (The idea is to improve on week 1) – Starting weight 82,2 kg

  • Monday 30 July
    • CrossFit (50 min) Upgraded from a 20kg kettlebell to a 24 kg bell
  • Tuesday 31 July
    • Indoor rowing 7km (29 min 55 sec) Shaved nearly a minute off the previous week’s time
  • Wednesday 1 August
    • CrossFit (50 min)
  • Thursday 2 August
    • Walk-Run-Walk Same workout as on Wed 25 Jul, went 1 km further in the same time and added 100 Kettlebell Swings
  • Friday 3 August
    • Try and behave tonight

The notes in red alert me to the areas where improvement is needed. The notes in italic is where I improved. As long as I’m not screwing up more than 80% of the time, I’m happy. Same goes for my “diet” (I hate that word, what you should be aiming for is instilling healthier habits so that it becomes a lifestyle as opposed to “following a diet”). As long as I’m eating clean 80% of the time I’m happy. By eating clean I mean eating real food as opposed to processed, packaged stuff.

Real food (a topic justifying an in-depth discussion) in short, is anything that is whole, fresh and unprocessed. Goodies that your great-grandmother would recognize as food. A chicken, a vegetable, a nut, a fruit, an egg – you get it.

I’m weighing 81,7 kg heading into the weekend…would dearly like to keep it there.

You can follow my 8-80-80 journey here and if you have any questions you can contact me via this blog.

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Professional dad, prone to accepting random challenges of endurance. Novice writer and would-be mountaineer. Firm believer that you can burpee your way to hapiness. I'm not taking myself seriously and neither should you. Trying each day to make less mistakes than yesterday.

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