- Sunday Jan 13, 2019
(Trying to figure it out.)
Bit of a roller-coaster to start out the new year. Kind of the reverse of most years. Typically I've been out of control during the holidays and buckle-down at the start of the new year. This time I was fully on-plan during the holidays, made it to goal, and went mildly nuts as soon as I made it to goal.
Had a few off-plan days, with Wednesday being the biggest departure. Woke up Thursday morning and the scale said 183. Decided to try to not freak out about it. Took a few days to just kind of relax, while logging food again. And just kind of got back into the lower calorie eating pattern again Thur, Fri, Sat. Feeling mostly in control again and the scale number dropped quite a bit, back to a number I'm comfortable seeing.
Changing things up with the family's meals / menu. The wife has been having migraines for quite awhile and has decided she wants to weed out the majority of sugars / carbs to see if that helps any. Personally I think she has too much screen time (tv, ipad, phone), but maybe the diet also has something to do with it. I've been on a much lower-carb diet for the past while (not overly strict). Since carbs tend to lead to most of my off-plan days, I'm happy to get rid of the majority of the junk carbs from the house. They've been eating down the supply of cereal, pasta, etc this past week and this coming week will be quite a bit lower in processed sugars / carbs for them. With the lower carb push, I've decided to stop buying my popcorn, oatmeal, and grapefruit for now. I still have a few packets of oatmeal left and enough popcorn to last another few days. After that, I'm sure I'll initially regret the lower-carb approach for a bit while withdrawing from those daily staples.
Don't know how long the lower-carb approach will continue for the wife and girls, although I'd guess it'll be a quick week or two experiment. Also not sure about my immediate and/or extended plans personally. Just trying to relax somewhat and not be so fixated on weight / food. Although that's a bit tough while continuing to log all of my food eaten.
Progress as of today: 108.3 lbs lost so far, only 14.8 lbs to go!
- Tuesday Jan 08, 2019
(Trying to figure it out.)
Made it through the day and night - no binge.
Day 1 yesterday - no food fast - felt decent, few cravings or hunger pangs - still felt full from previous days over-eating / binge
Stayed up a little bit later last night and fell asleep right after going to bed.
On to conquer day 2....
Progress as of today: 106.2 lbs lost so far, only 16.9 lbs to go!
- Monday Jan 07, 2019
(Trying to figure it out.)
Don't know what I'm doing. But I do need to relax, pause, level out, figure out what I want.
Will update later if anything comes to mind.
Concerning my late night binges. Think I'll put a gallon of water by the side of my bed tonight. Maybe I'll drink it and not have any room left in my tummy for food. Or maybe I'll trip over it and break a leg, so I'm not able to make it to the kitchen......
Each morning I wake up and go about my routine. And it seems to be pretty easy for me during the mornings. This gives me optimism. Like right now.....I feel that I'm 100% in control and that food isn't a problem in the least. This quickly changes course when I start eating later in the day. My mood changes from feeling like a conqueror, to feeling like I'm in control and just working through the plan. As soon as the rest of the family is done with dinner, my mood changes to being a little pessimistic and wondering if I can even pull this off or will I fail yet again? And the last few days this mood has progressed into shame and feeling like a complete failure. And yet since I'm sitting here typing this in the morning, I'm 100% optimistic that today will be easily conquered....... It's like Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde. Jekyll in the morning, Hyde at night......
Ran into a couple friends (males) over the past week that I hadn't seen in a couple years. Barely said "hi" before they commented about how much weight I'd lost. Made me feel good. But also gave me a little fear or motivation, depending on how you look at it. Since people obviously notice this type of thing........ If I gain a good portion back, I'm going to look like a complete failure to everyone I come in contact with that hasn't seen me for awhile. Fear, motivation, or a little of both?
6:30pm update - Working on a fully in-control day. Only 3 or 4 hours to go until bedtime. NOT going to throw this day away like the past 4 days.......
Also cleaned off the headboard of our bed and stuck a few water bottles within easy reach. If I'm tempted to get up for food, I'll chug a bottle.....or two. Hoping I'm not tempted by food and don't have to drink extra water. Really don't want to get up during the night to use the bathroom due to the extra water, although an additional sleep interruption is preferable to food binging at this point.
Progress as of today: 104.1 lbs lost so far, only 19 lbs to go!
- Sunday Jan 06, 2019
(limited calories until the Supper Bowl Feb 3rd)
You'd think I'd have more drive / determination at the beginning of a new year, but I don't seem to. I keep talking about plans / goals and I keep following through with them......until just before bed. Then I keep throwing the day away with a mini-binge in the last 30 minutes of the day.
And I'm sitting here at 7am in the morning and almost decided to start eating junk for the day because there are cookies and cereal bars in the house.
I'm not depressed. I'm not unhappy with life. I'm very close to where I want to be weight-wise. And it's only been 3 moderate days in a row. But I don't like feeling like I'm not in control.
28 days to go until SB.......and I want a "win" today.
Progress as of today: 109.5 lbs lost so far, only 13.6 lbs to go!
- Saturday Jan 05, 2019
(limited calories until the Supper Bowl Feb 3rd)
Yesterday I weighed over my magic number of 170 and was supposed to keep below 1500 calories for the day because of it.
Well, I didn't. I went most of the day without eating anything, only drinking a bunch of zero calorie drinks. Then I decided to eat a few things, which turned into a few more, then a few more. Decided I'd better go to bed to get this under control before I screwed stuff up. Went to bed, then got up for one final snack. Went back to bed, then got up for the last final snack. Went back to bed, then got up for the real last final snack and "I mean it this time!". You get the picture. It continued and I ended the day between 2000-2500 calories.
The amount of calories that I consumed yesterday isn't the problem. The lack of control is the problem. I just got in that shark "feeding frenzy" state of mind. I knew I was in that state of mind, but didn't stop it as soon as I should've. Some would say that I should relax and that it was progress that I stopped below 2500 calories for the day. But in my mind I'm just getting started on a slippery slope. Back to back higher calorie days. And if I don't control it, the next time will be a 3000 calorie day, then a 3500 calorie day, etc. Then I'm back to taking a week off and paying for it with a month of work afterwards. I so don't want to go back to the giant up / down swings of weight.
So I've chosen to temporarily go back to my previous daily logging of all foods and limited daily calories until the Super Bowl / Supper Bowl party on February 3rd. We host a SB party each year for a group of friends and there is always tons of junk food. In previous years I've tried to control my eating during the party, with limited success. And this year I fully intend to stuff my face silly at the party (if I feel like it). I will control my calories between now and then, but will eat as much of anything as I desire at that party as my "reward".
Food has always been a "reward" or something that is present at every celebration, ever since I was a little kid. I've been on this most recent diet quest since April 2017. During this time I've tried to think of ways to change how I view food. I've tried to figure out other things to substitute as "rewards" instead of food. I've tried to change my perception of food to just being a "fuel". Well, it really hasn't happened. I still love and crave food. I've learned the steps I need in order to control my intake, but it hasn't changed my perception of food. So I'm thinking maybe I should stop fighting it and embrace it. I like goals. I like food. I like accomplishing something and being rewarded for it. And I'm fine with delayed gratification.
Maybe I don't have to change my perception of food right now. Maybe I can continue to use it as a reward and still stay on track with my health goals. Maybe I've just been structuring it wrong up until this point. In the past I've always been overweight. I'd decide to start a diet in order to lose weight and would always have one last binge right before starting. This was essentially my food "reward". But I'd have my reward before starting, instead of after accomplishing something. Now that I'm at a weight where I can maintain, I'm still approaching food rewards in the same kind of backwards mentality. I'll eat my reward food until I go over a magic number and need to diet again. Maybe I can switch things around and limit calories for a set period of time, followed by a food reward day / event / meal / whatever. Technically it's still pretty much the same process, but I perceive one as negative and one as positive. Reward first with work afterwards give me nothing to look forward to. Work beforehand and eating my reward at the end always give me something to look forward to. When completed back to back, they're technically the same pattern. But the reward at the end just puts me in such a better state of mind. So instead of fighting food as a reward, I'm going to embrace it for this month. Logging food with a set daily calorie limit. Reward event is the Supper Bowl party. After the SB pig-out reward, I can reassess things.
I changed my goal weight to 159.9. I don't know if that's where I'll end up or not, just decided to lower it since I'd still like to lose a little more bodyfat percentage (tummy pooch and other).
So if my math is correct, I have 29 days to go......
Progress as of today: 112.5 lbs lost so far, only 10.6 lbs to go!
- Friday Jan 04, 2019
(Weigh daily and MAINTAIN)
Still haven't decided what to do for the upcoming month. But it doesn't matter for today since the scale peaked back up over my magic number (170). So today will be logging the food and staying under 1500 calories.
Yesterday was mostly a normal day like the past 4-1/2 months, but I started snacking around bedtime. And kept snacking. Ate a few things I was craving like 1/2 peanut butter sandwich and some chocolates. Ate more chocolates than I would've preferred, but it only totalled about equal to a king-size snickers. Ended the day probably around 2500 calories, which was a huge increase from the previous several months, but pretty close to the indicated maintenance range allowed.
I did feel guilty about eating more than I had initially intended, but had to keep reminding myself that I'm at goal and shouldn't feel guilty because I'm eating more. It'll probably take a little while for my mind to change from "diet mode" to "maintenance mode". Unless I decide to set a new goal weight of 159.9......
Last night was feeling like a binge-fest, but it was nowhere near the type of binge-fest I would've done in prior times. This was partially due to feeling more in control now, but was also partially due to not having a lot of junk in the house to choose from. In fact if we hadn't had the chocolates in the house, I probably wouldn't have gone over 2000 calories for the day. Having my wife take the remainder of the canister of chocolates to work with her today so that temptation is gone.
Back to logging my restricted day......
Progress as of today: 112.4 lbs lost so far, only 0.7 lbs to go!
- Thursday Jan 03, 2019
(Weigh daily and MAINTAIN)
Day 100 completed successfully.
I will not lie. I am sooooo happy that I'm to the end of that 100 day streak. It doesn't mean that I'm doing anything different today, but I will not be keeping a running streak total anymore. I've accomplished that goal, so I need to just let it go and move on. Working towards the 100 days helped get me through the holidays without any see-saw action on the scale, but it definitely wasn't fun. 100 days in a row of not going over a low calorie count was difficult and there were many times that I just felt it wasn't worth it and almost caved. At the end of the 100 days now looking back, it was for the best and I'm thankful to be in the place I am now.
I've also gotten to my goal of weighing less than 170, although I'm sure the scale will fluctuate above / below 170 over the next bit while I try to figure things out for this next stage. Moving from DIETING to MAINTAINING.
Emotions have been swinging back and forth from one end of the spectrum to the other concerning food / weight / body image. So much so that I'm wondering if all this dieting has started to change me into a woman? (No offense intended, I'm just joking!) Yesterday hitting the start of day 100 and also hitting my goal weight, I was initially underwhelmed. But as the day went by, I got in a really good mood. I had some spare time and went through several grocery stores picking up some various items for the family dinners (my week to cook). The more I looked at, the more "free" I felt. Because I realized that the extremely strict diet phase was coming to an end and I realized that everything I saw was now a possibility to eat as long as I kept the portion sizes in control. I didn't buy any of the previously forbidden items because I still needed to make it through day 100 successfully and didn't want any added temptations in the house.
Had a very low calorie day to finish off day 100. It was low in calories, but bulky. Butternut squash, salad, grapefruit, 100 cal bag of popcorn, chicken andouille sausage, mushrooms, anaheim pepper, shiritaki noodle "rice", SF jello, FF Reddi-whip, cream of wheat. I knew the calories wouldn't cause the scale to go up, but kind of worried that the bulkiness might. I kept the sodium intake low again. Just tried to do everything to keep the scale from swinging back up over 169.9 today.
Woke up this morning and saw the scale still below 170, which caused me to swing from worry / trepidation directly to happiness / elation. My mind went directly to "what food should I eat right now?". Opened the fridge, then remembered that it was only 5:30am and I haven't been eating breakfast for many months. My first food of the day has been sometime between 11am-4pm on most days, which has helped me control things. Since I have little desire to stop eating after I've started. Did a quick reassessment of my situation and realized that I was about to fall back into the trap of eating as much stuff as I wanted......all day long. So I grabbed my normal zero calorie drink and closed the fridge. Went to the computer to try to figure out a plan of attack for maintaining. I don't want it to be structured, but I know I need some basic guidelines to keep me accountable.
So what to do now? Like my emotions of late, my ideas for what to do now are all over the place. One option is to continue logging food and staying under a set calorie count (daily 500 calories higher than the past several months). Another is to continue the loose intermittent fasting plan I've been using (not eating my first food until as late as possible in the day). And the final maintenance option is to do what I've been talking about for the past few months, which is to be very structured with logging when the scale says 170 or higher, but if below 170 there are no rules or logging for the day. Of course then my mind swings to the fact that I'm not happy with the pooch of fat still along my belly, so the thought of continuing a low calorie attack for 1 more month has also crossed my mind.
The only solid decisions I have made are: 1. login here daily and post for accountability 2. weigh myself every morning 3. If the scale says 170 or higher I will log all foods for the day and keep my calorie count below 1500
Other than those things, I don't know what direction I'm going to go right now and really don't want to get stressed by dwelling on it. So I'm just going to let it go for now and will start today off like normal by delaying my initial food intake until later in the day.
BTW - When I mention my emotions varying widely, this is only concerning food / diet and isn't negatively affecting the rest of my life.......which is pretty structured and in control.
On to conquer the day.......learning to live with my love of food, without letting it control me.
Progress as of today: 114.2 lbs lost so far, only -1.1 lbs to go!
- Wednesday Jan 02, 2019
(Finish out the 100 day streak......then what?)
Day 99 completed successfully.
Processing stuff, so lots of different ideas below since I'm at a transition point and just need to figure out which direction to go......
So I'm sitting here on the morning of my 100th day in this current streak. I also just weighed in this morning crossing over to being AT my weight goal. And how do I feel?
"Meh", while shrugging my shoulders. I'm just kind of thinking "that's it?". Needless to say, seeing the "169" on the scale this morning was appreciated, but anticlimactic. There were no balloons or fireworks, no checks for $1 million. (The wife did congratulate me for all my hard work when I told her.) I looked in the mirror and still saw the pooch of fat sitting where my abs of steel should've magically appeared.
Part of the lack of elation might be due to my knowing that the scale will quite probably shoot back above 169.9 again tomorrow. I've been on lower sodium / salt for the past few days to trigger a drop in the scale. And it's worked. But I know if I go back to my higher salt intake today that the scale will probably read a few lbs higher tomorrow. Since this is the final 100th day of the streak, I'll be staying under my daily calorie allowance again.
The app I've been using to track my daily caloric intake also has my goal weight listed. I went in to check what my daily calorie allowance for today was since I dropped to 169 this morning. But the app is tied to my bathroom scale, so it knew that I'd reached my goal weight. It instantly changed from diet calorie limit to maintenance calorie limit by adding 1000 calories to my daily allowance. So it says I should eat 2408 calories today, although I'll stick to 1408 with today being the 100th day of the streak. I'm kind of surprised that the app doesn't have a gradual transition period programmed into it. I'm guessing that going from averaging 1400-1500 calories for an extended period of time to suddenly 2400-2500 per day overnight probably wouldn't work real well for the majority of people.
Although I am happy that the app thinks I can eat 2400 calories per day and maintain my current weight. I really hope it's right. An average of 2400 calories per day would feel like a feast compared to the past 4-1/2 months. One plan that comes to mind is averaging 2000 calories per day for 5 days per week, a 3000 calorie day on date night, and one 3800 calorie day per week going out to eat with the family for dinner and not worrying about eating the higher calorie entree that I really would prefer to eat. That sounds like something I could enjoy, but of course that's predicated on whether the app's guess-timate is anywhere near reality.
So back to my looking at myself in the mirror this morning. The realization was that the goal I've been working towards for so long isn't my final goal. So now what? I haven't made up my mind yet. I've been looking forward to entering maintenance mode for so long that part of me thinks I should do it. I could start up some type of weight-lifting program again and stay at this current weight while attempting to replace fat with muscle. That would shrink the tummy pooch over time, but lifting weights takes work and I'm not really feeling motivated to work. The other way to go would be to lower my goal weight another 10 lbs to 159.9 and basically continue on counting calories for another couple months until I hit that new goal weight. Of course there are several options in between these plans that I can implement.
Another funny thing about making it to goal is......one of my first thoughts was: "Sweet, I've made it to goal. What am I going to eat to reward myself?"
So I work and work and work to get to goal. And one of my first thoughts is......what junk can I now eat?
Today is my 100th day, so I know that I'm sticking to a limited calorie amount today. And I'll have a future plan of attack figured out by tomorrow. Until then, on to conquer day 100.....
Progress as of today: 114 lbs lost so far, only -0.9 lbs to go!
- Tuesday Jan 01, 2019
(Finish out the 100 day streak......then what?)
Day 98 completed successfully.
Ate right up to my daily limit yesterday, but avoided adding any extra salt / sodium when possible. Also only ate one of my 100 calorie bags of popcorn yesterday. This caused a nice little dip in the scale number this morning.
So it's January 1st. The start of a new month. The start of a new year. Over the past couple weeks, I've been kind of looking forward to a new fresh start. But now that it's time to start something new......I'm feeling lazy and don't really feel like doing anything.
So a look back on 2018...... Started Jan 1st at 198.5 after a big off-plan 16 lb gain over Christmas 2017. Dropped most of the gain within the first 10 days to settle back down to 183 lbs. Dipped to a low around 170 by middle of February for a life insurance exam (168 technically for one day due to a couple fasting days). Stayed in the upper 170's for most of the Spring and incorporated some weight / strength training in for several months. Went on a cruise at the beginning of June and went mostly off-plan for the Summer, gaining 40 lbs and weighing 218 on August 20th. Realized I had to do something immediately or I'd be back to weighing 260+ lbs again by end of the year. Got fully back on-plan and had a successful 20 day streak going right up until my birthday. Went mildly off-plan for my birthday, but didn't go completely nuts. Got right back on-plan the next day and have continued on-plan for the past 98 days without another off-plan day as of yet.
The Cliffs Notes version of 2018: Paid for 2017 holiday binge with first 2 weeks of January. Did well maintaining Jan-May. Went back to old eating habits for the Summer and gained a ton of weight. Spent the past 4-1/2 months "paying" for my Summer of excess.
2018 lesson learned: Going off-plan for a day or occasional weekend is ok. Going off-plan for weeks / months results in major extended months of hard work in order to reverse the effects.
2019 plan? I haven't made any real decisions yet. Feeling lazy right now and am getting within striking distance of my goal weight. Probably just going to continue on the current path right now......finish out the 100 day streak......dip into the 160's. Then I can re-assess things and figure out what I want to do.
Hope everyone else is feeling more motivated / invigorated than I am today. (BTW - I'm not down or disappointed, just feel like relaxing and not picking up any new pressures right now.)
On to conquer day 99....
Progress as of today: 111.2 lbs lost so far, only 1.9 lbs to go!
- Monday Dec 31, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Day 97 completed successfully.
I'm starting this entry before I know what the scale will say at my weigh-in today. I try to weigh-in at the same time each morning. Woke up early this morning, so have been taking care of computer stuff until it's time to step on the scale.
Pertaining to the scale number..... Hoping for the best, but bracing for disappointment. Seems like the theme of my life lately. Not the fairy-tale-made-for-tv-special fully optimistic outlook I'd ideally like to have, but it's my reality. I've put my best effort into pressing forward towards my goal, but the resulting scale number that I'll soon see is out of my control. It's just a number. Logically I know that it's not important, but I still see at as a measure of confirmation that all of my hard work is worth it. In the end, the number that I see today really won't change anything. Whether it's up or down, staying 100% on-plan over the holidays was the right choice for me this year. If the number is up, I'll be disappointed......but it won't change anything. It won't send me into a spiral of despair and won't cause me to give up my goal or go off-plan into some sort of binge-fest. If the number is down, I'll feel happy.....but it also won't really change anything. I'll still remain on my current plan of a max number of daily calories.
I've pretty much decided that I'm going to successfully complete the 100 day streak. Also pretty sure that the streak will end after 100. Like I posted in reply to HOP, breaking the streak has more to do with changing goals / plans than giving up and taking a cheat day. The streak has helped keep me motivated to lose the weight I gained over Summer in as little time as possible, but it isn't sustainable long-term due to the very low daily calorie allowance. Continuing the streak has been a tool to get where I am approaching now. The streak isn't my new way of living, but rather just a tool that I've used to get to a destination where it's time to change my plan of attack. I'm mathematical and calculating. I like nice orderly numbers. I wish today was day 100. Completing the streak on the last day of the year would've been ideal. Starting a new year tomorrow with a new plan would've been ideal. Since it didn't magically happen that way, I've been faced with 2 options to get a happy end / start to my goals. Complete the 100 day streak or transition with the calendar. Of course neither truly matter, but I've decided to stick with the streak until 100 instead of transitioning with the calendar.
Have decided that I'll do something that fits into each situation. Will continue my current eating plan (restricted calories) to be able to reach streak day 100. But will also start some new January goal tomorrow. I haven't decided what it is yet, but that will allow me to both complete my streak AND start something new with the new year. Best of both worlds and they'll only overlap for a couple days.......
My alarm went off and it's now time for my first weigh-in since before leaving on vacation. Haven't weighed myself since December 20th which was 11 days ago. Cautiously optimistic / excited. And the result is.........."meh", with a side of minor disappointment.
Glad that I didn't gain any weight over the past 11 days, but mildly disappointed that the scale only shows a one pound loss as compared to 11 days ago. Fully on-plan throughout the entire vacation for a 1 lb loss is disheartening when taken by itself. So I'll try to dwell on the positives. Last year I completely derailed during the same vacation period and the scale shot up 16 lbs in a similar 11 day period. It was an artificial spike that only took a couple of weeks to re-lose, but that's something I don't have to do this year. Also, the scale reading before vacation was when I was intentionally trying for a dip in numbers by curtailing my popcorn and sodium intake. The scale reading this morning follows a couple of very high sodium days on the road (lots of heavily salted sunflower seeds over 2 days and 3 bags of heavily salted popcorn yesterday). There is a chance that I actually lost more fat / weight, but just am not seeing it due to different salt / hydration levels at the two different days. Of course there is also a chance that I'm just grasping at straws here. Either way, I'm glad I wrote most of this entry prior to weighing myself this morning. Because like I already wrote, the number on the scale this morning doesn't change anything. I'm still fully on-plan and am committed to reaching that magical 100 day streak number. I'm still moving in the right direction and will be at goal in the very near future.
Out of curiousity to see how it affects the scale, I'm thinking of limiting my popcorn and salt intake today kind of like I was doing just prior to leaving on vacation. Of course that may all go out the window as I start eating later today, but we'll see......
On to conquer day 98.......
Progress as of today: 108.7 lbs lost so far, only 4.4 lbs to go!