Six Pack Abs by Summer: Day 21, 22 & 23

by David

in Health & Fitness

This is Day 21, 22 & 23 of my attempt to get a flat stomach by the end of June. Iā€™m doing it eating one meal a day and I’ve set myself a challenge to do 10,000 push ups and run a marathonā€“ 1.5 miles at a time, all by the end of the month.

I’ve got 7 days left to achieve my goals.


June 21st 2012

Weight: 171.2 lbs (Down 1.4)
Chest: 39.25 (No change)
Belly: 34 (Down .25)
Waist: 34 (Down .25)
Hips: 37 (No change)

Running: 3 Miles – Push Ups 300

June 22nd 2012

Weight: 172 lbs (Up .8)
Chest: 39.25 (No change)
Belly: 34 (No change)
Waist: 34 (No change)
Hips: 37 (No change)

Running: 0 Miles – Push Ups 0

June 23rd 2012

Weight: 173 lbs (Up 1lb)
Chest: 39 (Down.25)
Belly: 34 (No change)
Waist: 34 (No change)
Hips: 37 (No change)

Running: 0 Miles – Push Ups 0

Like it says at the top I’ve got 7 days left to achieve my goal.

And whilst optimism is healthy, it needs to be tempered with a touch of realism.

The realism is that I’ve got it slightly wrong and there probably isn’t enough time to lose the remaining fat.

Sure, if I spent a week eating 500 calories a day, then maybe. But I’m not prepared to do that, because I think that approach ends badly.

It’s always been important to me that I don’t under-eat, but of course that’s difficult to guage when I’m not counting calories, so my tendency is to err on the side of caution and eat closer to a maintenance intake.

I’ve always acknowledged the flaws in what I’m doing, but the benefits still outweight the drawbacks.

I’ve also acknowledged that there are quicker and more effective ways to lose weight, including cleaning up my diet and counting calories.

But I feel compelled to see this through with all it’s imperfections (for resons that will be made clear once I’ve done what I set out to do).

It’s bloody minded I know, but just like Frank Sinatra, I’ve got to do it my way.

Problem solving my way out of this

Something has gone awry and I know what it is. which is good because it means I can fix it.

It stems from this… The plan will work if I work the plan. But I’m not working the plan.

Over the last few days I’ve been watching what I’ve been doing. Not to the point where I’m writing it down, tracking and timing everything–but being more conscious about what I’ve been eating (albeit, usually after the event).

For the majority of the day I’m on the plan. I’ll eat an apple, or a carrot if I’m hungry–maybe a handful of nuts and raisins.

At dinner I’ll eat a good sized meal and have a dessert, after which I don’t feel the need to eat anything else because I’m full.

However over the last week or so there’s been a subtle change to my behaviour. I barely noticed it.

I’ve been eating less for my main meal, for two reasons (as far as I can determine):

1. I’m trying to create a greater calorie deficit to make sure I achieve my goal

2. I’m eating less of the good quality food to make sure I have room to eat the junk food.

In the first instance (1) I end up compensating by eating more junk food, sweets and treats–because, just as I said, I’m determined to do this without under-eating. It’s a bizarre form self-sabotage, in which I can find justification for for eating the junk food.

In the 2nd instance (2), it’s old habits resurfacing. I used to enjoy eating treats in the evening and I miss it. So I’ve made room to eat more chocolate, cake and cookies, by eating less for my main meal.

Now that I’ve noticed what I’m doing, I can do something about it.

I’m going to increase what I eat for my main meal.

In practical terms that means eating more meat (fish, chicken, whatever) and more veg to make sure I feel satisfied when I’ve finished eating.

Previous experience has shown me I don’t tend to cheat when I do it this way.

So, my solution is to eat more. I love it!

Why it happened

As with many failures in life it’s usually a combination of factors that act together.

Here are some that are relevant to me right now, but they’re common to most people:


  • I’ve got young children, they’re fabulous but they’re demanding.
  • I’m managing other changes in my life right now and it’s proving taxing (I might talk about this at some point).

The increased exercise:

  • With the challenge I set for myself this month I’ve increased my physical activity massively and this has resulted in an increased appetite.
  • Plus, there’s a little voice inside my head that tells me I’m working harder so I deserve to eat more. As an evolutionary mechanism it’s pretty cool, but from a dieting perspective it’s a pain.


  • I’ll be the first to tell you how important sleep is, but it seems I’m the last to listen to my own advice. I’m getting to bed at 1 or 2 am and I’m getting up again at 6 or 7am.
  • Being tired and stressed leads to poor decision making and opens me up to comfort eating.

What I’m doing about it

I’ve taken two days off. No running, no push ups and no diet.

I’m getting to bed by 11pm and getting up at 7am.

I’m taking a break from the mental pressure and the physical pressure and then I know I’ll be able to hit it hard for the final week.

I’m certain I can still achieve good things in the last week, but I know now that this will roll over into next month – and I’m definitely OK with that.

(I’ll post my diet pictures tomorrow because right now I need to go to bed, it’s 10.50pm!)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Midlife Singlemum June 24, 2012 at 6:34 am

You’ve still lost 3lbs and and an inch from your middle (both belly and waist). Even if you lose only one more pound this week that’s a pound a week and a good inch. Nothing to be ashamed of. We know it’s more difficult when you get near your goal. Maybe in July you will think of one more challenge and tweak the diet to absolutely perfect all you efforts over the past six months. Good luck and don’t give up – you’re doing great.


David June 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Thanks for cheering me on. I think my situation looks much worse than it actually is. I really needed to break and I made a mistake not factoring that in. I thought I could do a whole month at full tilt, but I didn’t plan on dealing with all the other things life threw at me this month. We live and learn and I’m certainly not down hearted about it.
In fact I feel great about what I’ve achieved… as you say, I;ve still lost weight! šŸ™‚
Your positive outlook on my behalf made me smile, so thanks for the encouragement.


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