The Academic Redneck Fitness Challenge: Update 6

Previous Weight Loss (November 28, 2016-December 4, 2017): 29.4 pounds
Weight Gain (December 4, 2017-January 1, 2018): 3.8 pounds
Total Weight Loss (November 28, 2016-January 1, 2018): 25.6 pounds

Damned if these accountability check-ins don’t get here as quick as lightning every month! Unfortunately, as you can see, I gained weight again in December, so I’ve had to report gains two months in a row. Bummer. Last month, I gained five pounds. This month, I managed to keep the gain to a  fairly respectable 3.8 pounds during a holiday filled with travel, celebrations, and copious quantities of food.

I’m not trying to be flippant about the gain, but it could have been much worse. In fact, it was worse. Three days ago, when we first got back from our trip to Alabama, the scale indicated I was five pounds heavier than I was this morning. That extra weight was most likely the result of fluid retention and constipation. (Sorry if that’s too much information.) After two days of being back on my normal diet, I had shed the most egregious excess poundage.

 Looking back over December, I can point specifically to behaviors that led to the holiday gain. It wasn’t the special holiday meals that sabotaged me.  I would have been perfectly fine had I simply eaten the celebration dinners and desserts on my birthday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. The difference was the food on the road. In total, Mike and I drove nearly 4,000 miles from December 14 to December 28. There were far too many king-sized bags of M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Almond Joys while we were in the car. We weren’t sharing a king-sized snack; each of us was consuming one by ourselves. Make no mistake, spending six and seven hours a day for three days coming and three days going leads to eating from boredom. But as Mike says, “You almost have to eat something along the road to maintain some energy.” Too bad we didn’t just bring a bag of apples or those Cutie oranges. Mike gained five pounds during the trip, but he’s still within his normal weight range.

We bought the wrong kinds of snacks at pit stops along the road, but we didn’t stop at the establishment pictured above, Praise Da Lard Cracklins in Woodville, Mississippi, which we passed during our journey. I’ll eat most anything, but having cracklins as a tasty snack doesn’t hold any appeal, even for a foodie like me. But then again, maybe fried pork skin and fat would have been more healthy than all the sugary candy.

So much for the past. It’s a new year, and I have a full twelve months in front of me to improve my health. I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions about my weight because January usually turns out to be the easiest month of the year to eat sensibly. Just about everyone is trying to cut back after the holidays, so there are fewer temptations–at least until the Valentine’s Day candy sales kick into high gear toward the end of the month. 

I’m not even going to set any specific goals for myself in 2018 other than to keep fighting, month to month, and day to day.  I’m still grateful that I’m twenty-five pounds lighter than I was thirteen months ago.  Praise Da Lard for that.

Next Update: February 5.

3 Discussions on
“The Academic Redneck Fitness Challenge: Update 6”
  • It’s been fun reading your fitness challenge reports, Dana. You’ve done a magnificent job of improving your health. Thank you for the inspiration. I hope you keep it going. Best! –Eric

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Eric! It’s a daily struggle, but I can only keep trying. It’ll be fun to see where I am a year from now.

  • Congratulations on keeping so much of it off, that is a great success! I’m also working on shedding the pounds and have made it to twelve. I don’t like to put in plugs for companies, but I will here, because I’m impressed with how this company has modified their system over the years. Weight Watchers recently came out with a new system of how to track “points” – all fruit, vegetables (including corn and peas), seafood and fish, skinless turkey and chicken breasts, beans, and eggs are zero points. We need the protein to feel satisfied. Good luck to you this year! P.S. Your “Praise the Lard shack” photo is fantastic.

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