Celebrating ‘cheat day’ with a shrunken stomach

Madison, Ben and Mason did an intense circuit workout Saturday night at the baseball annex, but it didn't help Ben and Mason, who wound up with a gain this week.

Madison, Ben and Mason did an intense circuit workout Saturday night at the baseball annex, but it didn’t help Ben and Mason, who wound up with a gain this week.

As expected, Colleen was the “biggest loser” this week in the family weight-loss contest, dropping nearly 5 pounds after a multiday stomach virus for an 8.8 pound overall loss two weeks in. The challenge now will be to avoid putting most of that right back on now that she’s feeling better.

Strangely, in four+ years of weight-loss competitions of one type or another, the notion of viewing a shrunken stomach as an asset – rather than a forlorn situation to be remedied as soon as possible – had never quite crystallized for me until reading “The Most Important Ingredient in Weight Loss” by Fit Recovery, a cyclist blogger that both Colleen and I read fairly regularly.

In the post, Jim writes that before he trained himself to eat less, he was used to “full” being overly full: “This is why gluttonous cheat days are tough on overeaters (and why I abstain from them entirely, save Thanksgiving).  In other words, cheat days should be the “what”, not the ‘volume’. “

It seems pretty obvious now, but this is a mistake I’ve made over and over again. It’s not fun to go through a process that results in a shrunken stomach — whether that’s Colleen puking half a dozen times over three days or me dieting at the end of every month to get to my Weight Watchers target – but once you’re in that position, why not take advantage of it?

On Sunday, Colleen finally savored the two slices of Oley’s pizza and a Valentine’s cookie she’d been been saving for a couple of days, but she didn’t eat much more than that over the course of the day – she was full.

In general, that was the overall mood of the group of contestants at Sunday dinner at my parents’ house, as well. Whereas the week before everyone was gleefully pigging out, this time just about everybody was careful not to overdo it, opting for smallish servings of Grandma Linda’s famous cherry dessert or key lime pie, but not both. The week before we’d ordered five pizzas from Pizza Hut; this week Ben made three pizzas from scratch, and though everybody agreed they were tasty, we had plenty of leftovers. (We did have a slightly smaller crowd, but still.)

Here are the standings after two weeks:

1. Colleen/Me: 5.3 pounds this week, 10.8 total

2. Brent/Madison: 6.5, 8.0

3. Grandpa/Traci: 3.0, 7.5

4. Ben/Mason: 2.3 pound gain this week, but 3.2 pounds lost total

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