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graindart - Sunday Jan 13, 2019
(Trying to figure it out.)
Weight: 174.7

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!

Donkey on 01/13/2019:
Glad to see you're posting again - or at least an update.I hope your wife has success with a lower carb approach to managing her migraines. I have a friend who did just that. She finally had to go gluten-free altogether to get to the point where she wasn't having migraines any more. Come to think of it, a high school acquaintance went gluten-free too, to handle her lupus symptoms.

Going gluten-free is probably something I would only do if my symptoms (if I had any) were otherwise unmanageable.

I wish I could get my husband to stay consistently low-carb or keto. I've heard that these diets do wonders for inflammation.

horn_of_plenty on 01/14/2019:
I gotta tell you popcorn oatmeal and grapefruits are so healthy though !!!

Yes I see donkey mentioned inflammation which can cause migraina - maybe eat a little avocado / olive oil / fish ?! Lol.

graindart - Tuesday Jan 08, 2019
(Trying to figure it out.)
Weight: 176.8

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!

horn_of_plenty on 01/08/2019:
Each time you do this process, the dieting, the learning, it IS DIFFERENT. you are learning and changing. learning from these experiences. becoming stronger, yes, you are.

You have to fail in order to learn and grow.

I have failed countless times, but the important part is how i chose to pick myself back up and try harder.

Love that you are coming on here and sharing the journey with us this time around!

Donkey on 01/08/2019:
I can attest to what Horn said: every time is a learning experience, even if it's the same 10 (20, 30... 50, 60) pounds.

I've been thinking about your situation. I do not have any solutions, but was thinking that maybe you came off plan too soon or too quickly?

What would be wrong with losing the same 10 pounds over and over as a way of maintenance?

Listen to me, like I know what I'm talkin' about, right? I'm still in your corner, cheering you on.

Donkey on 01/10/2019:
I hope you are doing OK... You are among friends here, so no shame, whether it be good, bad or ugly. It is what it is, and we all just strive to do a little better the next day, even if that takes a week or two to manage.

graindart on 01/10/2019:
Just taking a little step back. Will post something over the next 3 or 4 days. And will catch up with everyone's entries then too. Hope everyone is doing well.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 01/10/2019:
Donde estas!?

Where are you!?

Horn_Of_Plenty on 01/10/2019:
Donde estas!?

Where are you!?

graindart on 01/10/2019:
Just taking a short break. Will start posting again over the next 3 or 4 days. Will catch up with everyone's entries then too. Hope everyone is doing well.

horn_of_plenty on 01/10/2019:
Yeah !!!!

graindart - Monday Jan 07, 2019
(Trying to figure it out.)
Weight: 178.9

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!

horn_of_plenty on 01/07/2019:
the new saying that everyone uses:

"You got this!!!!"

graindart on 01/07/2019:
Based on the past 4 days: "No, no, I really don't!!!!"

If I can string together 2 or 3 in-control days in a row, then everything will begin to feel more like "I got this" again.....

Working on day 1 right now.... 5pm without screwing up the day yet. Only have to make it another 5 hours and I'll start feeling more in-control again.

BearCountryGG on 01/07/2019:
The struggle is real......That is why we are all here. I know you don't need me or anyone else to remind you of damage control......There must be someplace, somewhere between healthy weight...and enjoyable eating. Just don't forget all of the work you put into losing. You will figure it out.

graindart on 01/07/2019:
Your wording appears to have been chosen carefully in an attempt to come across as nice as possible. I'm imagining what you're really thinking is:


That may or may not be the exact thoughts going through your head (and others reading this), but that is what's been going through my head.

BearCountryGG on 01/07/2019:
That is exactly what I have told myself in the past....and now when i'm thinking about just mindlessly eating in the evening......the nice way...and the "all caps " way........it's difficult.......losing is one thing.....keeping it off is another.....both take different skills sometimes.......the ones I know on WW that kept it off were the ones that learned new habits.....I didn't learn new habits then...and I admit...I don't want to voluntarily learn new habits now either....but it's necessary....unfortunately......i just want to go back to what I was doing before.....but it doesn't work that way, sadly. We have to make choices...do we want to eat whatever we want and be obese...or do we want to control what we eat and be slim...it's our choice to make...either way.....but yo-yoing isn't healthy so we need to make that choice. My biggest regret in my whole life is getting obese in the first place.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/07/2019:
what BCGG is saying is what i'm always telling myself. i worked so damn hard...and now i'm gonna ruin it...not so much / not so fast!

graindart on 01/07/2019:
Yep. Always worried I'm going to throw all of my hard work away. Since I can pack it on so quickly, it doesn't take much time at all.

Jan 3rd weigh-in = 168.8 lbs. This morning's weigh-in = 178.9. Ten lbs difference in 4 days.

If I just get back on-plan right now, the scale can be right back down within another few days to a week. However if I let it go another week or two, I'll be looking at a month or more of constant work to remove.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/07/2019:
keep the confidence, when you replied to me previously in your other entry that "it's never the last time," remember you learn something every time.

for me, it was 2x i had to "diet big" ...the rest of it was maintenance and the last 10 lbs was also incredibly hard...the last 10 took me a year and i don't really include it as the "2x" i had to diet big.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/07/2019:
first time i lost the weight, too fast, it took a year and i was only 21.

second time i lost the weight, i was around 28. it took more than 2 years. and the last 10 lbs of it came off after i really got into it, separate from the 15 i lost prior. probably like 3 years it took to lose 25 lbs. then, i gained some back due to injury, but didn't gain as bad because i didn't want to deal with the issues like the previous two times of losing so much! so i did far better even with an injury...then i recovered, around 2 years ago like fully...and it's been great having full range...

Donkey on 01/07/2019:
Each time I've regained the 50-60 pounds I've lost, I just shake my head and say, "How did I let this happen?" The only thing that keeps me "trying again" is when I get close to my 9-month pregnancy weights. Both babies I had were HUGE, but with my son, I gained up to 186, came back down to 165, and with my daughter, I was up to 192! I'm only 5'3".

So my last weight gain was at work, and now that I know what kind of people I work with, I can't help but wonder what kind of things were being said behind my back.

IDK what else to say, except that when you get to bed, STAY in bed. After dinner, the kitchen is CLOSED.

One thing Male Co-Worker said about the keto experience for him was that it's helped him differentiate between "craving" and REAL hunger. So many times he thought he was hungry, when really, it was something else.

Maybe ask yourself if you're really hungry, before you go back into the kitchen. If you are, then a hard boiled egg or an apple or carrot sticks will sound yummy. If you are just craving, then that's an emotional issue, and stuffing your emotions with food gets you (me, actually) nowhere.

graindart on 01/07/2019:
I don't ever need to ask myself. I already know that I'm never really hungry. I just want to eat.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/07/2019:
:-) you can do this. you can stop...just try not to be too restrictive to start back.... :) we're cheering for you!!

Horn_of_plenty on 01/08/2019:
one more thing, perhaps the "diet drinks," try to find some without caffeine. when i have a lot of caffiene, my hunger spikes and i have more trouble controlling myself...

...make sure you are drinking liquids throughout the day. when i'm home in my apt, i go thru a lot of flavored seltzers and i add liquid stevia to them to make them sweeter.

graindart - Sunday Jan 06, 2019
(limited calories until the Supper Bowl Feb 3rd)
Weight: 173.5

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!

Donkey on 01/06/2019:
I have no easy answers for you, friend. Maybe just an observation, that if you're having a mini-binge at the end of the day, are you rewarding yourself for getting through the day?

"Eating" rewards or celebrations are to be more special occasion like, rather than a daily or weekly thing...?? IDK I don't even know why I'm commenting - as, obviously, I'm still trying to figure out this maintenance thing myself.

Unrelated to the above, have you given any more thought to an exercise goal? Pull-ups? Planks? Walking?

graindart on 01/07/2019:
Thanks for the comments.

Not much thought on exercise / strength goals right now.

BearCountryGG on 01/06/2019:
I know the last minute ..."the day is almost over...you have only one chance to save yourself" binge.......I have done it many many times...no MORE than many times....hundreds of times.......I can look back on those times and see that it was kind of like some adrenaline rush....I am doing better at that by drinking a cup of coffee in the evening ( caffeine doesn't keep me awake)...and for the last 2 nights I drank about a half of a bottle of propel water just before going to bed....and I'm sleeping very soundly for about 5 hours straight. The only other thing I can think of to do....and it is what I am doing....is to just tell myself NO! NO! NO!...honestly...you won't die in your sleep over missing a few unnecessary snacks.....I keep waking up every morning.....( of course that may change one day...LOL at my age)....I know exactly what you are dealing with.......My guess is that you like myself...find it quite easy to tell ourselves no...about other things when needed.....so when it does get to food...that is the one pass we allow ourselves...as some kind of reward...but...when we do that...are we really rewarding ourselves?...

graindart on 01/07/2019:
The late night stuff definitely isn't because I'm physically hungry. Going to bed early, drinking additional zero-cal drinks, and reasoning with myself are all things I attempt to do to escape the binge desire. Caffeine doesn't really affect my sleep, so I have drinks with caffeine right up until bed too.

I just need to get it figured out and stop it.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/06/2019:
listen, for 100 days and then PLUS other days, you have been on plan.

then, right before going off plan you weren't sure of a new plan.

and it makes sense you'd like to loosen the reigns after being so in control for so long, like 1/3 of this year, right!? and all in one shot! that's very good.

but like a pendulum, you were at the far "left" we can call it, very in control but perhaps with desires to not be many times but sticking with it for the time being to get to your goal, but now the pendulum swung the other way.

you are a very GOAL-Orineted person as you say. and you reached your goal.

give yourself some wiggle room.

even if you eat for two weeks or a month of 2000-2500 cal days, you are ok and wayyyyy better than last year.

you have to give your mind and body some change and time to relax. before you set up for your next difficult goal.

life cannot only be very harsh diets and standards. inbetween these storms and challenges that we put ourselves thru, there has to be moments of relaxation.

this i believe is where you are at.

you cannot be angry with yourself for wanting some "relax" time now. you conquered the goal.

even if you were to gain five pounds in the next two months, you are OK.

just relax at where you are. then when you are feeling ready, conquer the next goal or challenge.

it's because you met the challenge. 100 days and the weight you wanted.

it's normal to now want to relax bc you reached the final height of what you set out to do.

try to find a new challenge...which i know you were thinking to weigh lower.

graindart on 01/07/2019:
Thanks for the comments.

I know the pendulum is swinging the opposite way right now. It always does right after I've accomplished a big goal.

Ideally I'd like to relax and just eat moderately. Just need to calm down and figure some stuff out.

innerpeace on 01/06/2019:
Don't do it!!

graindart on 01/07/2019:
I know, right?

That's the exact advice I'd give to a close friend that was also a male. Stop talking about it, stop complaining about it, stop trying to analyze it. Just don't do it! Problem solved.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/06/2019:
i really enjoyed BCGG's comment.

one day you will be so sick of the binge / purge (restrict) cycle.

for all the hard work you did, you will be frustrated to destroy your efforts by bingeing but only after you experiment more with what actually satisfies you :)

you are doing great, you'll see.

graindart on 01/07/2019:
Oh, I'm definitely tired of the up/down cycle!

And everytime I'm on the "down" cycle, I say this is the last time this happens. But it never is.

graindart - Saturday Jan 05, 2019
(limited calories until the Supper Bowl Feb 3rd)
Weight: 170.5

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!

BearCountryGG on 01/05/2019:
The life of a foodie...I know it well!!! I see that maria gave you some good ideas yesterday for bologna sandwiches........( a different way to have a favorite sandwich).........I have a couple of tricks for favorite foods.....lets say you LOVE ice cream.....now...which ice cream is your LEAST favorite? Have that one in the freezer....no others allowed........cookies....which cookies are your LEAST favorite? Have that as a food reward if you are sure you want to have food rewards.......you get the reward...but it will be a lot easier to STOP with the least favorites. I do that...because I love ice cream...but popsicles or fudge sicles really don't call me...so I keep those around....the same thing goes for gingerbread or molasses cookies...I don't care for those...and I won't over eat them. I totally think that for you...setting a goal seems to get you where you are going...you do that with a lot of determination.......I guess that is why they say maintenence is more difficult than losing.

graindart on 01/05/2019:
Thanks for the suggestion on less liked food favorites, but I don't think it would work for me. When I get into my shark feeding-frenzy, I really don't care what food it is. Last night was mostly small dinner rolls, deli ham, cheese, peanut butter, etc. I wasn't overly craving any of it in particular. Just started eating and didn't want to stop. While I was shoving a roll in my mouth, my mind was already darting to figure out what was next. I just didn't care at that point.

Like you noted, I think I'm going to have to keep some type of future goal in this process. Without a goal, I lose focus very quickly. Lose focus of what I'm eating for a week and the scale can jump around 15 lbs for me. Of course not all of the 15 lbs in a week is 'real', but I can definitely pack the weight on quick when I'm not focused.

BearCountryGG on 01/05/2019:
You were just making food disappear.......

graindart on 01/05/2019:
....and I'm good at it!

Donkey on 01/05/2019:
I wanted to really think about your post before responding, hence, the lateness of comments.

Very interesting about getting out of bed multiple times to eat. In my house, the bedrooms are on the 2nd level, so getting up to get something to eat is a very deliberate act, with many opportunities (in my mind) to change my mind about getting something to eat. Once I'm upstairs, I usually do not come back downstairs.

My husband, on the other hand, comes up from the basement (if he's on his computer) or main level, if he's reading, and will stop to get something eat before bed almost always.

graindart on 01/05/2019:
It's about 20' from my side of the bed to the bedroom door. And the refrigerator is only 20' from the bedroom door. So if laziness doesn't keep me from standing up, there's little time for second thoughts.....

Donkey on 01/05/2019:
(The formatting started doing wonky things on my computer, so I am continuing my comments, so as not to lose what I had typed...) I could really relate to what you wrote when talking about how it's a slippery slope and the "sharky" feeling - that sharky feeling is what I try to avoid at any cost, as emotionally, sharky goes hand in hand with shame (for me).

I found it so interesting that you've chosen to embrace or accept that food will always be (at least for now) a reward for you, that, because of your history and family habits in childhood, carried into the now of today, this is a part of what you are. I have to admit that I never really thought about it like that, because I have had a similar relationship with food, and my husband does too. (My children hate this, by the way - especially my daughter.)

This concept is mind-blowing. I've fought so hard against this mentality, but if I switch it from a "mentality" to a "cultural" thing, then it makes sense. I can't imagine telling my Sicilian aunt (through my step-father; I am not Sicilian) not to prepare any Italian food any more, or my Mexican friend to stop her tamale events.

I think Bear said it best that you are a "foodie" at heart, so in that case, I would encourage you to partake of a higher quality of food, made with effort and purpose, rather than just the processed crap that corporations have pumped into our food supply.

I've got to think about your entry some more... *WOW*

graindart on 01/05/2019:
I have no clue if it will work out or not. It could either turn out great......or as a great failure. But I'll know better in a month.

I just want to find something that allows me to maintain my current weight without devoting so much mental time to it.

If I could wave my magic wand, I'd love to not see food as a reward. I'd love to only eat it when needed and only see it as fuel. Just another mind-numbing task to be accomplished in a normal day, like showering or brushing my teeth. But that's just not how I see food.

I want to have my cake and eat it too. And if that means eating low-cal boring food 6 days in a row prior to my cake......I think I'm willing to do it.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/05/2019:
I didn't even finish reading this entry yet, browsing as i exercise at home....

First BIG thought that pops into my mind (and i was smiling reading this entry bc it makes perfect sense to "us foodies" like most of this group if not all of us here on DD:

"It's not about how often you fall, but how fast you get back up."

this is the MOST important part of life and maintenance of ANYTHING in life. it's also how olympic athletes think and many other people who have accomplished big things including singers.

think, Britney Spears. she's fallen big time. And she got right back up (maybe it took awhile at first...but she did it). and she learned from it and got better! so good she can perform most nights of the week in Vegas. that's a high level performer right there. even if she's lipsinging, just appearance in night after night of Vegas shows! that's a pro. she keeps getting back up...day after day after day. even after she's fallen. just one example. there's so many others.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/05/2019:
If you had been reading my earlier entries (even under another screen name, before i started using this one) on here, i was a different person. I didn't have control for some years. and even when i first lost my college weight, i had no clue how to maintain. always eating 1200-1500 when dieting, less muscle mass. my metabolismm slower compared to now.

all stresses of life caused me to binge. i was such a mess. i had so much to learn. i wasn't acting accountable. i had a child's mindset completely where i didn't understand that it's my choices (in everything including career and how i did in school even besides eating and food - but that as well) that it's my choices that brought me to where i was at. and where i'm at now!

i blamed outside influences and people. held more grudges.

Now i realize, i'm accountable for most of the things that happen. and i can mostly blame myself for most things that go wary. food, career, etc.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/05/2019:
sorry so long. !!!

but thinking how i'm truly responsible for stuff...for my dieting success, life success...it has me smiling more. has me trying harder. it has me happier.

i cannot blame the outside world for my own failures. so now i see the world as a better, happier place. i'm off track in my comments to you, but wanted to share.

i've become a happier person seeing that even my lack of choices affects my success and my life. my lack of choices simply puts others in charge and i have less of a say in stuff and means i really can't complain since i didn't do anything to make a change! haha

Horn_of_plenty on 01/05/2019:
back to the rest of your entry.. i love food, too. i also like to "reward" myself with it.

i tend to eat on the highest end of calories till i sense weight which is when i realize i have to take it down a notch. ..similar to what you are saying with about when to treat and when to watch.

i don't really see your "fat idealistic philosophy" (i just named it that right now lol) to be so wrong.

even thin people can be "fat" at heart.

i think more than anything, it's about discipline ? and self-awareness.

i think it's more a habit issue. me, too. with dealing with the food habit in a way where we learn to manage it.

i think that managing issues with food (because we need it, unlike pot or heroine or coke) is best by finding a healthy, moderate way and it takes forever to do it.

but moreover, i think that managing issues with food means retraining the brain and also creative alternative approaches, like finding ways to satisfy yourself and relax yourself without indulging as much.

i have found that some of my food issue was because i'd get exhausted and i'd use food as a way to calm myself because it would numb me and then i'd sleep. now, when i am that tired, i am able to eat (but a normal amount) and realize i need sleep...eh. lots to talk about here.

you're entry is a good one.

graindart - Friday Jan 04, 2019
(Weigh daily and MAINTAIN)
Weight: 170.6

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!

horn_of_plenty on 01/04/2019:
I'm glad you went a little loose last night and ate a bit more. it's good to have a change on your metabolism and system every once in awhile. and after being so good for so long, it's nice that the 2500 felt like it was even more when it wasn't. that's due to your diligence. you are learning how to indulge but not have such a slippery slope and lose total control because now you have foods that work for you and fill you, so you can have less but it feels like it is more!

enjoy your day.

i liked reading this entry but you were actually very much inline with lowered cal eating yesterday, despite it being a filling, higher cal day. it will not ruin any of the progress at all because the calories are not overly high. this is great!

graindart - Thursday Jan 03, 2019
(Weigh daily and MAINTAIN)
Weight: 168.8

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!

horn_of_plenty on 01/03/2019:
You were my hero as well!!!! Outstanding to "watch" you go thru the holiday season. very good contributions to this site also!!! we are here for you for your downs and your ups! keep on!...back later to write more.

graindart on 01/03/2019:
Thanks. I just need to figure out what I want now pertaining to food intake / weight / body fat %. One minute I want to relax and de-stress the food side of my life. The next minute I want to double-down on my efforts to lose my tummy fat before settling in at a comfortable weight.

Finishing off the last couple of goals has put me in a mostly better mood over the past couple days. Now I just need to decide what I want.

legcramps on 01/03/2019:
Congrats on getting to your goal weight.

graindart on 01/03/2019:
Thanks. It's put me in a better mood. Accomplishing a long-term goal always does. Now I just need to decide what I want. Relax or set an aggressive new goal? If you had asked me a few days ago, it was a simple answer. I was feeling burned out and all I wanted to do was get to a place that I could relax and take it easy. Now that I've accomplished a couple goals, I'm feeling somewhat re-energized.

horn_of_plenty on 01/03/2019:
personally, i think you should look at what you can do to maintain more...first...beacuse your weight is rather LOW and good here. try to build muscle and stuff...and up your metabolism so you can eat a little more...that's my personal opinion though! lol

graindart on 01/03/2019:
The thought of building muscle has crossed my mind, but I'm not feeling any motivation towards exercise right now. The weather kind of has me in a hibernation mode. The 100 days straight was draining and I don't know that I want to start up something new that I just don't feel motivated towards (even just for 1 month). Still trying to figure out which direction I feel motivated to work toward.

horn_of_plenty on 01/03/2019:
I think if you go too low or keep restraining, your body / mind will want retaliation. i think it's good to start the next phase...increasing cals a bit.

graindart on 01/03/2019:
I'm not worried about going too low on the scale. There's still a lot of wiggle room, while remaining healthy. According to google searches for ideal weight for men my height / age, the majority of the formulas indicate 155 - 165 lbs, with the average being around 160. And the healthy BMI recommendations equate to 129-174 lbs. My "smart" scale still indicates 18-19% bodyfat and I've got a very visible tummy still, so I'm not in any danger of being too low on my supply of fat.

horn_of_plenty on 01/03/2019:
btw, nice job food "bulking" yesterday. good deal, man! very good approach for day #100! amazing! i'm sure going into this you didn't know you'd get so far! that's well over 3 months which is a huge portion of one year.

graindart on 01/03/2019:
The 100 days was just the last portion. I actually only had 1 day that I went over my calorie allotment since August 21st. That was my birthday. And even then I didn't go completely crazy. It's just my light switch mentality. 2-1/2 months fully off-plan over the summer, followed by 4-1/2 months fully on-plan.

Have to learn moderation.

horn_of_plenty on 01/03/2019:
That was good. so many days in a row is also habit forming. so, there are some lightly ingrained habits that you can add to your "tool box" for maintenance. !!!

I totally get everything you were commenting back on, above. Totally understand!

Donkey on 01/03/2019:
I feel like this is a post to be revisited from time to time. When you said that you went from trepidation to elation - wow, I could relate to that so strongly, I almost felt the mood swing myself!

I really like the list of (3) firm decisions you've made. I think those will work for you.

I try to delay my first food intake as long as possible, for a few reasons. If I eat later, then that's less time overall in a 24-hour period to be accumulating calories. If I eat later, that prolongs my semi-fast state (end of dinner, which usually ends around 6pm until I eat at around 9am - if I could last until 10am or 11am, I would do that). *see note below* This "semi-fasting" gives the body more time to use fat as fuel rather than food. I think it's helped. Finally, eating later, somehow seems to contribute to a more productive routine in any given day, than if I start eating earlier. IDK, eating earlier just means more calories.

*Note: My "semi-fast" isn't a true/hard fast, because I do have 1-2 cups of coffee in the morning. I've switched from sugary flavored creamers to heavy whipping cream (it's a keto thing) because the higher fat content keeps the body closer to a fasting state than if I drank coffee with sugar/sugary creamers. ????

Anyway, congratulations, you're doing fabulous!

graindart - Wednesday Jan 02, 2019
(Finish out the 100 day streak......then what?)
Weight: 169.0

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!

BearCountryGG on 01/02/2019:
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I tend to agree with you that the app does sound like it is possibly pushing you to eat more cals than you should........one of the problems with electronics......they do lack the human element. But I'm sorry that you aren't excir=ted about reaching your goal.......like you have said in the past.......working toward goals helps you.....but they also seem to open the door to sabotage.....YOU DON'T WANT THAT THOUGH!!! I think it's a good choice on your part to continue with day 100 as you have been...and then possibly set a new goal.....what ever that may be...cals, exercise etc........but you got where you wanted to go!!!! And that is a HUGE ACCOMPLISMENT!!!

graindart on 01/02/2019:
I'm not disappointed with reaching the goal. I'm actually happy about it.

I just want to live in a fairy-tale land where setting a goal and achieving it means that everything is perfect.....like most scripted TV shows have told me for the past few decades.

BearCountryGG on 01/02/2019:
Yeah...NO.......unfortunately life still goes on and we are still going to have to watch it. BUT...you have opened new doors today that will allow treats...in moderation...like skinny people eat. Not as much fun as pulling up to the bakery and buying everything in the case.....but.....it also will allow us to learn how to eat like a healthy person who can basically have any food we want..in moderation. That's a good thing...

graindart on 01/02/2019:
As the day goes on I'm feeling happier that it's time to make a change in a new direction. I still don't know what direction I'm going to take starting tomorrow, but I think it's going to probably revolve around a 1 month goal type thing. Initially I was thinking to start something tomorrow and end on the last day of January, but then remembered that the Supper Bowl is coming up on February 3rd (yes, intentional misspelling). So it's probably best that whatever I decide to start tomorrow will probably go all the way up to Feb 3rd.

horn_of_plenty on 01/02/2019:
Wow! Happy New Year and Congrats on meeting your goal!!!! YOU DID IT! Anything is possible when you plan to do it! awesome :)

That's unbelievable how both goals worked out at the same time: 100day streak and goal weight ! unreal! I honestly feel that's a sign as proof that you did it in a moderate fashion this time around. It also proves that even if you go on vacation, you can stay on plan and get things accomplished! No excuses and you did it!


graindart on 01/02/2019:
The organized side of my brain really likes that the 100 days and goal ended together. (Of course I know the scale could be up again tomorrow for no reason.)

Seeing the lower scale reading now definitely makes me feel like the 100 day streak was actually worth it now. There were certain days along the way that I really didn't know if I'd look back and be happy about staying on-plan (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, NYE).

horn_of_plenty on 01/02/2019:
i do believe the calculator that says you can eat that higher amount. however, i will said that foods add up faster than you think. also you may have a tendency to gain faster due to eating lower for a long period of time...however, if you move more you will be able to gain more muscle which burns more cals and fat...win win over there.

....you did it! welcome now to learning to moderate it and begin maintenance i guess!? GREAT JOB.

graindart on 01/02/2019:
That's what I'm thinking too. If I were to just start eating 2400 calories tomorrow I'd probably start gaining weight until the body adjusted. So if I easy into it, in theory I should be able to work up to 2400-ish per day without gaining fat.

Donkey on 01/02/2019:
A couple of thoughts:

Very correct of you to finish Day 100 of your challenge. That is the right thing to do.

If it were me, if I reached goal and I'm still thinking of how to reward myself with food, then I'm not done yet. I too am VERY surprised that your app didn't recommend a gradual increase in calories. I suppose metabolism doesn't work like that, but it doesn't seem right to me that all of a sudden, you can add 500 calories and be able to maintain. Hmm...

Well, it's not fireworks, but I give you some serious props for completing your 100-day challenge and reaching your numerical goal. Over the holidays, you were definitely MY hero to aspire towards.

horn_of_plenty on 01/03/2019:
You were my hero as well!!!! Outstanding to "watch" you go thru the holiday season. very good contributions to this site also!!! we are here for you for your downs and your ups! keep on!

graindart - Tuesday Jan 01, 2019
(Finish out the 100 day streak......then what?)
Weight: 171.8

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!

BearCountryGG on 01/01/2019:
Great weight in!!!!! And your summary of last year can be such a good reminder......Good idea to keep going for that 100 day mark...it has worked really well for you. In fast your weigh in today is AMAZING!!! Salt/ low salt...can make such a difference on the scales.......I think you have this.......it may just be lack excitement because you have figured out just how to control all of this.....It has become a habit and that's a GOOD thing!!!!

graindart on 01/01/2019:
I was happy to see the scale dip, even if it was due to me manipulating salt / sodium intake from my normal.

The 100 day streak goal has been a blessing and a nuisance. It's kept me consistently on-track, which has shortened the amount of time needed to reach goal. But it's been a real nuisance at times too. Three and a half months straight seems like such a looooong time to be at a constant sub-1500 calorie daily intake. It's not a physically difficult situation, but it's mentally draining. Thinking about food daily, but knowing you can't eat most of what you're craving even for one day, if you want to keep the streak alive.

It's worked well this time, but I don't think I'll be doing another 100 day streak of anything anytime soon. Setting 30 day / 1 month goals has worked well for me in the past and I'll probably return to that type goal period. It's much easier to commit to 1 month at a time. 3-1/2 months is just too long to try to maintain perfection. And as long as I don't go off the deep end again like this past summer, I shouldn't ever need to do an extended rigid streak / plan like this again......

By the time I get to goal in the very near future, I'll have "paid" 4-1/2 months of low calorie eating for my prior 2-1/2 months of overeating. Definitely not a good trade. Must remember this time that extended periods of overeating just isn't worth the cost.

BearCountryGG on 01/01/2019:
It's definately NOT worth the trade off.......My goal is to just get to the point whee I can LIVE...and forget about diets all togerher.....but....for me...the daily weigh in will be the only way I will be able to control it without getting so far into trouble that I once again...give up...and just pile it on with the stupid idea that i will just lose it all again....I don't ever want to do that again.

graindart on 01/01/2019:
Fully agree with what you just wrote here. Same ultimate goal for me.....live and eat without dieting or really thinking about it. And the daily weigh-in is the only way that I see being able to somewhat do that without gaining weight and having to restart the whole dieting process again.

Donkey on 01/01/2019:
Love your lessons learned in 2018 -- that pretty much summarizes maintenance. Most days are still "on plan" with the EXCEPTION of "off plan".

I really enjoyed yesterday's entry, reflecting on your journey and weigh-in before weighing in. I'm with Bear - any loss is a victory, especially, as you've seen in my own journey, the closer you are to goal, the harder each pound gets. So that you lost over a pound during VACATION is huge.

Like yourself, even though I've been talking about 2019 goals for about a month, I haven't really committed to accomplishing anything specific, which has me a little worried, but maybe unnecessarily so.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/01/2019:
Like Donkey, i agree this entry is excellent for reflecting back over the year. I should do the same but i'm feeling too lazy to give it much thought right now! i have noted back to it though on former entries at times though. we all def have ups and downs over the course of the year.

You just got back from a busy but fun vacation where you did a lot of driving. I can totally understand wanting to relax today! enjoy!

graindart - Monday Dec 31, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 174.3

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!

BearCountryGG on 12/31/2018:
A loss is a loss.........and I don't t think I have ever known anyone who went on vacation and lost weight.......I see you mentioned that you weigh in at the same time everyday........have you ever weighed in first thing in the morning? That is supposed to be the best most accurate time......but anyway you look at it...it's all just a snapshot in time.......there are a lot of variables involved in the weigh ins....I think you did GREAT!!!!!

graindart on 12/31/2018:
I try to weigh-in at 6am every morning. That's been my normal wakeup time for quite awhile, although over the past few months I've been going to bed a little earlier and waking up probably 30% of the time around 3:30am-4:30am. Have stuck with my 6am weigh-ins for continuity.

Don't mean to come across in my entry as being negative or down in the dumps. Just like everyone, I'd prefer if the weight just magically dropped off instantly. I know it doesn't, but I can still dream......

graindart on 12/31/2018:
It was actually a relief not to see my weight stay the same or inch up at all. The more I think about it, the happier I am. I'm even considering doing a forced push to drop this last 4 lbs quick. I know it would be an artificial drop, but I might be ok with that in order to just get a "taste" of the 160's.

BearCountryGG on 12/31/2018:
I agree.....this close to goal....you won't probably see very big drops at one time......but...if you eliminate salty foods....you will likely see a drop due to water retention. Maybe a slim fast day or something like that.....

Horn_of_plenty on 12/31/2018:
You did soooo great! I myself am a little bit anxious because i'll be in florida 2 weeks...very off my regular routiens....for a long time. 2 weeks is a LOT of a year. there's only 12 months and this is half of one! so, i'm anxious because there will be loads of food and drinks if i want. but it's not really what i want. so, i'm going to have to decide, some of the decisions when i'm there, how to mantain and go there knowing i want to feel OK when i get back. ...my friend from work ended up coming for the tail end of my time away, she likes to party...so now i have to also make sure i'm not doing anything too crazy or i'll come back more tired than when i leave!

anyways, back to you, i'd say you did awesome. you LOST weight! real weight! what's better than that!

graindart on 12/31/2018:
My vacation time is very limited and is rarely relaxing. I figure I can try to relax before / after vacation, but during the days off I like to be busy with new experiences whenever possible. My wife is the opposite and sees no problem with sleeping in daily and just sitting around reading a book to pass time during vacation.

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