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graindart - Thursday Dec 20, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 175.3

Day 86 completed successfully.

Today will be spent just getting some final things ready for the trip that starts tomorrow.  Woke up at 4am-ish again today, so figure I'll probably do the same tomorrow and get on the road right away.  We'll have the truck packed tonight before going to bed, so hope to be on the highway tomorrow around 4:30am-ish.  The wife and girls will just fall back to sleep for the first few hours of the trip, so we should get some decent time / distance travelled without any stops for the first tank of gas.

Indoor skydiving tomorrow night if all goes well = www.iflyworld.com

Tomorrow should be about 12 hours of initial driving, followed by indoor skydiving, followed by an additional 2 hours of driving.  Hotel, then only 6 hours of driving on Saturday to our destination.  As long as there are no breakdowns, crashed, etc.  Hopefully the furry creatures stay away from the roadways, especially when it's dark.

On to conquer day 87.... 

Progress as of today: 107.7 lbs lost so far, only 5.4 lbs to go!

Donkey on 12/20/2018:
Oh I hope you have a wonderful trip! The skydiving stop sounds like a lot of fun - It sounds to me like these side adventures on your way to (and from?) your destination are really a good idea. I hope that you find this to be true, as well.

Stay active (i.e. participate), stay hydrated, stay alert as to what you eat, and you'll do fine.

If you do not log in during your trip, I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!

graindart on 12/20/2018:
Planning on logging in daily. It helps keep me accountable. If you don't see an entry from me for a few days in a row, it's a pretty good guess that I fell off the wagon in a major way......

Horn_of_plenty on 12/21/2018:
Yes, have a safe trip! I ***LOVE*** your idea of packing the car the night before. Oh, the stress we could have saved in the morning growing up in my family if we did that!!!! :) soon i must start packing...i should do it early, too, like you!

Indoor skydiving sounds SO SCARY! but also a nice fun adrenaline rush! i want to hear more after you do it.

graindart - Wednesday Dec 19, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 174.0

Day 85 completed successfully.

Mainly running errands and taking care of last minute things prior to heading out in a couple days for a long roadtrip / Christmas vacation.  Leaving bright and early Friday morning.

Had dinner over at my parents last night and wife / daughters opened their Christmas presents from them.  I added another knife to my collection (gift from dad).  I don't collect knives, but for some reason my dad gives me a new one pretty much every year.  Some have sat in a drawer or been used on occasion.  Others I've re-gifted.  This one has my first name engraved on the blade, so can't re-gift unless I find someone with the same name as myself.....

Dinner last night was prime rib, roasted potatoes (we brought), cauliflower w/cheese, and salad.  Had one and a half cookies as dessert (resisted the fruit / jam filled crepes with whipped cream).  I went sparingly on everything so I had enough calories leftover to eat my popcorn when I got home later that night.  Took it easy on the sodium intake again all day.

So we're all on the quest to find that magical food that doesn't contain any calories, but still tastes decent.  I've messed around with shirataki noodles / rice and can deal with it in some forms, but it's really not very good.  Then there's the brand Walden Farms, which has numerous products they tout as having no calories on the label.  Due to FDA rounding rules, anything with 4 or less calories can be rounded down to 0 for the serving size.  Not that it really matters if the serving size is 4 calories or truly 0, unless you're eating many servings at once.  If you eat 20 servings, you could actually be ingesting 80 calories when you think you're eating 0.  Again for the vast majority of people, the technicality really doesn't matter. 

So back to Walden Farms......  The brand name conjures up a rural country setting where food is grown in a healthy manner.  I don't know the reality, but from tasting the products, I'd probably guess that the site for Walden Farms is more likely a chemical plant / labratory somewhere urban.  On my quest for super low calorie foods, I've tried some of the Walden Farms products and most I've tried are barely edible.  I've tried all of the salad dressing flavors and could barely stand them.  I don't like wasting things, so I did finish the bottles off over time, but they weren't good.  I don't drink coffee, so haven't tried their coffee creamers.  Syrups I've tried include the caramel and chocolate.  Surprisingly, they are both decent when used in moderation on other things.  I like adding a small amount of the caramel sauce to my oatmeal quite often.  Haven't really found a regular use for the chocolate, but it tastes decent as long as you don't add much of it to something.  Again, they're good when you need a little of the flavor added to something (but not real good to just eat on their own).  Have read good things about the taste of the pancake syrup, but have been avoiding pancakes / waffles for the past few months since I find it hard to control portion sizes on such carbs.  I'll probably give it a try once in maintenance if I want to eat some pancakes.  Haven't tried the strawberry, but have heard it tastes like cough syrup.  I don't usually crave strawberry flavoring, so probably won't try it. 

They have a lot more available products on their website that I've never tried, but most aren't available locally.  Pasta sauces, mayos, fruit spreads, ketchup, cocktail sauce, bbq sauce, etc.  Most reviews I've seen of them range from inedible to "ok if you have to restrict calories".  The one I find funny that they still produce is the peanut butter alternative.  Everyone says it tastes terrible.  I just checked the Amazon listing for it and it has an overall rating of just over 1 star.  There have been 514 reviews of it on Amazon and a full 80% of the reviews have rated it as 1 star.  The funny thing is I almost want to buy a jar of it just to see how bad it actually tastes.  I'll probably refrain, but might buy a jar to be used in a white elephant gift exchange type scenario.

On to conquer day 86....

Progress as of today: 109 lbs lost so far, only 4.1 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 12/19/2018:
I think there are questionable ingredients in there.......may not be safe for dogs....in fact I doubt it's safe for humans either....The funny thing about the PB is that is does not taste even remotely...or appear to be PB in any shape or form...... I can't figure out why they try to pass that off as PB......that is possibly the worst thing I have ever eaten...it's right up there with goats milk...and possibly worse..blech!

horn_of_plenty on 12/19/2018:
Congrats on your ability to keep on and be successful for another day :)

Wow, your family trip is sooner than i was thinking as it's basically 1 1/2 days away. :)

Your dinner sounds balanced!!! Proud of YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should be so pleased. nice job on dessert but not eating the entire offerings. just a taste is enough if you eat a balanced dinner...! great job!

Yeah, we are on that quest to find magical founds. Some of my findings have proved good. I agree with you on the Shirataki. I also haven't been able to experiment with them as much as i'd like due to bad digestion which affects how i feel. it's worse than gas or something that'll pass in a day, for me - the shirataki just isn't good for me when i have to be at work.

i have recently found a new food that i ordered on amazon. it's Hearts of Palm "pasta". i'll send you a link later if you want it. so, i'm assuming it's like crunchy pasta. should be good with a meat sauce or any of my indian foods as toppings. i ordered a six pack of this Hearts of Palm pasta. The creators were on Shark Tank. (not sure that was even a good idea!).

Yep, i also despise Walden Farms. It tastes so fake and not even resembling a taste that seems edible..nope.

i used to do the light n fit yogurts of 80 cal. if you bump it up a little bit, i found that adding cooked cranberries to yogurt (2% fage is my fave) is very filling and a big portion. also, if you get that 2% plain yogurt, i actually mix in spices like cinnamon and stevia to sweeeten. my yogurts are so much more filling this way...

i found the light n fit to not be filling...and also the aspartame i didn't like..

i'm saying there's really nice flavor in the siggi's pumpkin pie flavor. one yogurt doesn't fill me, so i'm going to have it with a coffee or with whipped cream or cooked cranberries or VERY sweetened (stevia) pumpkin with EXTRA spices added.

Spices / Stevia / Herbs are what flavor food and make the dullest things the most delicious after flavoring them! example: plain yogurt :)

Online there's sugar free Lilly's chocolate chips sweetened with Stevia and expensive which is why i don't overeat them! haha...i'm tempted, so i use a portion and put them away.

Online also are BETTER syrups that are sugar free and sweetened with either erythritol or stevia or other BETTER products that don't cause gas or other side effects.

Keep on....the more you reach out and see what's out there, you'll see it's easier than you'd ever expect to maintain because the options are literally becoming endless on how to eat for satiety, fullness, pleasure even, and nutritionally decently!!!!!!!!!!!!!

graindart on 12/19/2018:
The Light & Fit yogurts or Carbmaster yogurts have been my go-to for the past few months due to 70-80 calories. It's enough to just kind of tide me over at times. Went to the Dannon website a few seconds ago to look at the Light & Fit values and saw that they have a version of Light & Fit called carb & sugar control that has only 45 calories per serving. Initially I thought I had discovered an even lesser calorie option. Then I checked the serving size and the lower calorie option is actually a smaller serving size. Using my handy-dandy calculator it seems that the carb & sugar control would only save 10 calorie if it were the same size as the regular light & fit. I hate when they make it look like there's a big cut in calories and you find out that most of it was from a cut in portion size.

Horn_of_plenty on 12/20/2018:
I was reading about how you broke your tailbone...some of my coworkers have really nice cushions (2-3" thick) on top of their chairs that they bought in addition. they are very soft and comfortable!

graindart on 12/20/2018:
I've tried some different cushions and such. Sometimes they relieve pressure in one spot, only to transfer it to a different spot. I think the best plan of attack is to just get up and move a little every 20-30 minutes instead of sitting in front of my computer for so long (90% of my job).

Horn_of_plenty on 12/20/2018:
yeah, the food industry is good at "tricking" customers in the food labeling system! i have seen people tricked. Like the Fig Bars. They are labeled as being 100 cal. But, that's if you only eat HALF the darn 2-bar package. i think i told you this once before. it's pretty hilarious. and my Lenny and Larry's protein cookies, labeled around 180-220 calories. But for HALF the cookie! who eats HALF!? now i'm getting better and actually did eat half the other day. but, dumb!

graindart - Tuesday Dec 18, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 175.0

Day 84 completed successfully.

Yesterday was a bit lower in calories, only 1 bag of 100cal popcorn, and no high-sodium sprinkle dust on the popcorn.  I did have some soy sauce on some shiritaki rice for dinner.  I forgot that soy sauce was so high in sodium.  When I checked the amount, I could've skipped it and had my high sodium sprinkle dust on the popcorn for less sodium content.  Doesn't really matter in the long run.  I'm just going lower sodium right now to see the scale drop.  When I go back to high salt intake, the scale will bounce back up a few lbs. 

Here's my thought process.......  Stay extra "good" the next couple of days until we leave for vacation.  Thursday will probably be my final weigh-in since I won't be taking the scale with me.  So I'm really hoping that the scale reading remains low on Thursday.  Then on vacation I'll try to maintain the streak, although with my normally higher sodium intake levels.  My hope is that I'll continue to lose fat while on vacation and that it will offset the higher water weight that comes with the higher sodium intake.  That way in theory I should come back from vacation and weigh the same on the scale, but while on the higher sodium eating. 

It would be great to see a solid 175 on January 1st while on my normal higher sodium intake eating.  That would mean I could tackle that final 5 lbs with renewed vigor in January.

On to conquer day 85...

Progress as of today: 108 lbs lost so far, only 5.1 lbs to go!

Donkey on 12/18/2018:
Nice number on the scale!

I agree with your assessment that if you moderate portions, any weight gained on vacation should come off fairly quickly. Deep ends are where the difficulty arises.

graindart on 12/18/2018:
Now I just have to remember that when I'm faced with a big plate of freshly baked cookies over Christmas. My going off the deep end last Christmas all started with one single gingerbread cookie. It tasted so good that I figured I'd have a 2nd. Then a 3rd, 4th, 5th. At that point I just started eating them back to back like a shark feeding frenzy. Probably ate 20+ cookies that night. Then it continued for 10 days of over eating.

So I just have to remind myself to make a conscious choice. Do I want to enter the new year with only 5 lbs to lose? Or do I want to constantly over-eat out of control in front of relatives and consequently have 20 lbs to lose on January 1st?

BearCountryGG on 12/18/2018:
Knowing what the problem was the last time is going to keep you from making that mistake again.......and you are right......remember the relatives....let them see you eat 1 cookie and then walk away from the cookies!! Great scale today........!!!

graindart on 12/18/2018:
Knowing the problem / trigger SHOULD help me avoid it, but in reality I don't know that it does. It's almost like cookies and other cookie-type things (granola bars) flip a switch in my brain. The switch turns off all reasoning and just gives my body one directive = CONSUME!

And it doesn't seem like I've learned much moderation when it comes to cookies / granola bars. A good example is I found a package of small cookies on the counter yesterday. They didn't look overly appealing and didn't smell overly intoxicating. But I decided to eat one since it was only 40 calories. It tasted kind of like a graham cracker. It wasn't bad, tasted fine, nothing special. Ten minutes later I grabbed 3 for the car as I was running errands. Then later I actually got up from bed to grab another 3. Then they were still on my brain as I went back to bed. It's not that they were great cookies. But as soon as I ate one, all I could think about was eating more. So I ate a granola bar instead. And went back to bed, but really wanted to finish off the rest of the cookies and granola bars. This morning I split the remaining cookies between the girls and sent them with their lunches. Still granola bars in the house, so I'll try to avoid them as best I can.

While I'm looking forward to entering maintenance in 2019 and eating more daily calories, I think there are some foods I'm just going to have to pretty much avoid 99% of the time. And cookies / granola bars top that list.

BearCountryGG on 12/18/2018:
I've been paying a lot more attention to the serving sizes on the pkg or recipe.....for some reason...it is finally clicking with me....I'm enjoying 1 serving now instead of just scarfing them down to make them disappear........It has taken a long time to get to this point....but it finally clicked.

graindart on 12/18/2018:
It doesn't seem to click for me when dealing with normal family-sized packaging. I can read the serving size is 3 cookies for 120 calories, but that just means I eat 3 cookies each time I walk past the package.

What seems to work best for me is buying packages of things that only contain single servings. It seems to work well with my popcorn. Although I don't think it would work with cookies. I'd just open a new single serving every couple minutes......

BearCountryGG on 12/18/2018:
Yes with the mini bags of cookies.....it is too easy to just take 2 bags instead of 1. I just finally got into the right frame of mind for some reason...my guess is that you will find that too.....possibly when you are in maintenence......

Horn_of_plenty on 12/18/2018:
was the shirataki (which i know is very filling from experience!) only with soy sauce? do you like it this way??

I really need to work on eating shirataki...i did but i have a problem digesting it and hate being at work very uncomfortable because of it...speaking of that...on my longer days off, i can indulge more in these types of food! i'd like to try to not exactly lose weight, but just not continue this i think it'd be a very slow gain per my higher cal weeks...which just keep coming!

now that i'm not working OT, i think i'll begin to feel more rested and get a little better with managing temptations :)

lol now i'm reading your "thought process!"...seems we have the same thoughts! i will still watch what i eat while away, but, i too want to feel my best there. we'll see. i'm not gonna do anything drastic as i have enough on my place with the winter weather and commute and stuff...no need to get sick over it! keep your goals... :)

graindart on 12/18/2018:
I've tried a few different versions of the shirataki. The spaghetti noodles and fettuccine noodles are basically the same. The only thing I've found that I don't mind them in is a ramen.

I just got the shirataki "rice". It's the same stuff that the "noodles" are made out of, just shaped more like rice or orzo. My hopes were to somehow make a super low calorie version of rice pudding with it, incorporating Walden Farms no-cal caramel sauce to give it a flan type flavor. Attempted something like that, but didn't enjoy it at all. So I've just been using the "rice" with soy sauce, which tastes ok (not good, but ok enough to eat).

I think my experiments with shirataki stuff are coming to an end. Like everyone that hears of it, I was hoping that it was the magic super low calorie food that would allow me to eat mass quantities with no guilt. In reality, it's a toss up of whether I'd rather eat it or nothing at all.

graindart - Monday Dec 17, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 176.4

Day 83 completed successfully.

Yesterday I took it easy on the popcorn with 2 bags and no overly salty sprinkle dust.  I was going to make it another extra low calorie day and was on track to do so until just before bedtime.  Then I decided on eating a granola bar.  Then another.  Then a handful of sugary cereal.  Then cheese, deli meat, mandarin orange.  Basically ate up to my normal daily limit all within the last half hour.  So it ended up just being a normal calorie restricted day in the end.

Have some regular work to accomplish today.  Last couple weeks have been slower than I'd like and this week is probably going to be rather slow too.  If I would've known that volume was going to be slower than usual, I would've planned something else to occupy the extra time.  But unfortunately there's no way of knowing business volume ahead of time.

Since Donkey asked if my goal was 100 days in a row, I've actually been considering it.  100 days would be up somewhere around Jan 2nd or 3rd.  That would mean no cheat days on Christmas, NYE, or New Years.  Logically that would be the best way for me to enter the new year, but we'll see what happens.

On to conquer day 84....

Progress as of today: 106.6 lbs lost so far, only 7.4 lbs to go!

Donkey on 12/17/2018:
In conjunction with my comments yesterday, it can be a struggle between the "rational self" and the "immediate self". I hadn't done the math with the 100-day mark, but it's rather nice that it lands after the holiday :)

I am waiting to see if this week will be slow for me at work as well. We have a lot of folks who want to close on their real estate deals before either the holiday or the end of the year. *sigh*

BearCountryGG on 12/17/2018:
Another good loss on the scales.....On to day number 84........

horn_of_plenty on 12/17/2018:
i totally agree with Donkey's first line. Ohhh, how hard it is to lose weight and then, when you are close you just want it to happen automatically! like a flash of lightening fast!

but, the last few are so hard to lose specifically bc the body is getting really close to where it wants to be!

Also though, if you are losing so slowly eating around 1500 cal per day, i DEF wouldn't lower it or fast.

You're body seems that the metabolism is dragging enough...meaning, you are practically in maintenance...and right now is the time to start thinking about muscle building, and trying to INCREASE metabolism.

by walking or trying to be physical 2-3x per week you can also break thru the slower weight loss slightly.

your calories are at the low end. in order to keep your metabolism strong, i'd say try to increase muscle...but try not to decrease cals. you have already decreased them to the lowest recommended.

this is my opinion.

i had a stint a long time ago, around 60 days around 1500 cals before a crusise. i am SO GLAD i have gained muscle since then. it makes it so much easier to enjoy the days...and it was low carb and low fat...horrible...i had no energy and i remember eating just lox and veggies before doing kayaking with my mom. were were the only boat to have two women & i felt SO WEAK. def not like i am now. i didn't have any muscle like now, btw, it was almost 10 years ago. i was thin and not eating right. we had to be pulled in by the guides. lol. it's a memory and i'm not embarassed or anything. but perhaps if i have coffee and carbs and full breakfast, i'd have done better.

graindart - Sunday Dec 16, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 177.2

After reading Bear's entry, decided to make a new afternoon entry for myself as I try to figure out the near future.

I haven't decided how committed I am to staying on-plan for Christmas.  Depends on the day or hour.  One day I'm fully committed to staying on-plan.  The next day I think I should have one cheat day on Christmas.  The next day I think I should stop logging food over vacation and just try to "maintain".  The next day I'm back to thinking I'll just stay on-plan.

I know that any of the plans would work and that it won't matter in the long run as long as they don't cause me to derail or take an extended detour from reaching my goal.  With that said, I'll make a list of pros and cons for each while I'm trying to make a decision.
Plan Pro Con difficulty?
fully On-plan, no cheating

- will feel accomplished on Jan 1st
- will get to goal weight quicker

- will feel deprived, especially on Christmas Day - mostly typical
- hard on Christmas
On-plan w/ Christmas Day cheat day

- hardly any setback to progress
- indulge & enjoy cravings

- can easily snowball into numerous days off-plan
- can cause additional cravings on future days

- mostly typical
- easy on Christmas
- hard after Christmas
try to just "maintain" through vacation - freedom - easy to gain weight and go fully off-plan
- will delay goal by a minimum of 10 days

- easy to go off-plan
- hard to be in control
without structured plan

After reading Bear's entry, I'm again leaning towards staying fully on-plan over vacation.  It would be nice to enter the new year on a positive note with little additional time and effort needed to finally make it to goal.  I would prefer taking a cheat day on Christmas Day itself, but I'm just not confident on my ability to get back on plan the very next day (based mostly on what happened last year).  I don't think trying to "maintain" throughout vacation is a viable option for me.  I think it would be just setting myself up for defeat and a large weight gain.
While I'll have my plan of attack in mind, I know that the final decision won't be made until I sit down for the family dinner on Christmas Day itself.

Progress as of today: 105.8 lbs lost so far, only 8.2 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 12/16/2018:
All valid ideas.......and all will probably go like you expect them too...you know yourself better than anyone.......Whichever you end up choosing.......a big glass of water before and possibly another with the meal will always be a big help.....But like you say....when you sit down for the holiday meal....you will decide and that's just fine.

Donkey on 12/16/2018:
I give you kudos for thinking this through, and I realize that you are still weighing pros and cons. I also agree with your observation that you may not really know what you're going to do until you're faced with it at the dinner table on Christmas.

Having said that, I would like to share something from MY experience, which I realize that you may or may NOT find helpful, but just putting this out there.

My plan was to have a "relax" day of Saturday, after my weekly weigh-in. It first started out as just the day. It wasn't an all-you-can-eat, but if I wanted something extra or something a little naughty, I could relax about it, as long as I got back on track the next day.

What I found is that sometimes the "relax" day would turn into 3 or 4 days of relaxing, with getting back on track by Tuesday. That was NOT conducive to my goals or how I wanted to live my plan.

Then I found that sometimes, on my "relax" day, I would have a secret eating episode. I don't know if you remember the time I snuck a can of flavored Plantar's peanuts into the basement while watching a movie and ate pretty much to the whole can. It wasn't what I ate, per se, but rather, the secret behavior that disturbed me very much. Very reminiscent of binge eating.

This type of "secret eating" also happened with jumbo marshmallows too. I did not want to go back down the path of binge-eating and restriction, binge & restrict, binge & restrict. Very self-destructive to the self-esteem and no way to live, quite frankly.

I found that if getting back on plan was "hard", then it wasn't worth it - to me - to go off plan until I knew I was in a stronger place, mentally (whatever), to really get right. back. on. plan.

My 2 cents...

graindart on 12/17/2018:
That's why I know the smart move for me right now is to stay on-plan even on Christmas Day. I know I'm just not in a place mentally that will ensure a one day cheat day remains only one day.

Even though I know what the smart move is.....and currently plan to follow it, I know that it could all fly out the window as soon as I sit down at the dinner table on Christmas.

horn_of_plenty on 12/17/2018:
Def not ignoring you...just need to caught up later i'm going to write more once it's around 5pm here... :-)...

graindart on 12/17/2018:
Relax and don't feel obligated or rushed to respond. Take care of the real world first. It really doesn't matter if I get responses once per day or once per week. Definitely don't feel like you need to respond to each an every entry or response I leave.

There are some days that I'm bored, so respond on here more often. Other times I'll let it go longer periods when I'm busy.

horn_of_plenty on 12/17/2018:
I like your different ways of thinking about options and actually putting them into options and writing them down. that's a lot more than less experienced dieters than you do...and that's the TOTAL DIFFERENCE between people who can maintain and learn to be moderate or at least be conscious of a decision and the CONSEQUENCES. very good entry for addressing components like the aforementioned!

thanks for the reminder to be with the "real world" first... this DD site helps me so much at work bc i can take a break and it's a nice diversion to work. it's fun for me to do at work (for brief periods, of course!) ;)

nobody is telling you to eat one meal a day on vacation...you can do a "modified" plan on vacation???????? what about some of your plan and some not!?

horn_of_plenty on 12/17/2018:
i don't mean some days on or some meals on, i mean some kinda mesh of plan vs off plan. ????

graindart on 12/17/2018:
I'm a lightswitch right now. On or off. I'm hoping to develope a "dimmer" mode setting in the near future that will allow me moderation in maintenance-land. But for now it's either full on or full off.

graindart - Sunday Dec 16, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 177.2

Day 82 completed successfully.

Had a lower calorie day where I avoided salt to a greater degree.  This meant only 1 bag of my 100 cal popcorn and with a much lower sodium based sprinkle on top.  So it was nice to see the scale swing the preferred way again as a "reward" for me being extra good yesterday.

I don't know if other people's scales swing as much as mine tend to.  Not unusual to see 1-2 lb variation from day to day on my scale with little reason why.  I don't complain when it swings in the "right" direction of course, but hate seeing the temporary swing in the wrong direction.  

But today the scale swung in the "right" direction, so all is "right" with the world. 

On to conquer day 83....

Progress as of today: 105.8 lbs lost so far, only 8.2 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 12/16/2018:
Well....look at that!!! Congrats on the successful weigh in and congrats on taking control of the pop corn!!! I think everyones scales do that....They say the only TRUE scale reading is the big old cumbersome scales at the doctors.......and that is probably true...I know WW used to say that it was a good thing to get in line for the same scale each week...( they always had 3). That one day of less salt made a big difference....probably less cals helped too........

graindart on 12/16/2018:
I enjoy the popcorn and salt so much. With giving up so much other junk food, it's the main food I look forward to every day.

I enjoy other foods daily, but really have to watch portion sizes for the other stuff. With the popcorn in 100 cal bags, it's easy to enjoy without going over calorie allotment.

Donkey on 12/16/2018:
Well done!

My scale used to swing a lot as well, and not always in a logical sense. I mean, eat huge bowl of ice cream for dessert, drop 3 pounds <-- that kind of insanity. I seem to be at a point in my life where the numbers have stabilized +/- 1-2 pounds.

Wow, are you going for the 100 day mark? I just noticed you're on day 83!!!

graindart on 12/16/2018:
Don't know when the streak of days will end this time. No real goal attached there, just trying to get to my goal weight number. Having cheat days just prolongs the amount of time that it takes to get to goal, so I've been trying to avoid them.

Might decide to have a cheat day on Christmas, but then again that turned into 10 days of off-plan eating last year. One cheat day wouldn't matter in the greater scheme of things. My fear is that if I cheat one day, I'll continue doing it until we get back from vacation.

So might make it to 100 days in a row, might not......

Horn_of_plenty on 12/16/2018:
In the supermarket i walked by the popcorn and thought of you! I bought bags labeled as 100 cal instead of my typical 200 cal single serve orville redinbachers. i said to myself, why waste cals on so much popcorn when i could have 100 cal bags! so, i bought them, sorta because i've been reading about you eating all these 100 cal popcorn bags!

YES, my scale varies day to day. Some days is where i want it, some days it's a pound or two different. more recently it's just a lb swing either way.

if i am running around and dinner is not bulky and i'm really just eating smaller portions, or dehydrated, the scale will show a bigger dip in the morning but only like you said - an artificial dip.

graindart on 12/16/2018:
Kind of like every time I walk past kombucha in the supermarket, since I read the word kombucha on your entries most days.

And I do love my popcorn lately. Was walking around Bed Bath and Beyond with my daughter and noticed that they had additional popcorn seasonings that I haven't tried. I think they included biscuits & gravy, dill pickle, and BBQ. I like real biscuits and gravy, but don't know that I want my popcorn tasting like it. Didn't buy any of the new flavors since I'm trying to limit my popcorn intake for the next week. Just trying to be extra good right before vacation.

Horn_of_plenty on 12/16/2018:
when my scale gets a couple pounds higher i start to have to manage my eating better. part of the reason i've stayed so long as of late at the higher calorie range is that i've been able to step on the scale and also wear my clothes and not have too many issues...otherwise, i would have had to lower my calories, since there's no way i'm managing in MORE exercise at this point.

Horn_of_plenty on 12/16/2018:
lol you remind me of ME in the supermarket today! i saw some kinda nice chocolate cake souffle dessert and was tempted to buy them bc they were on sale, but didn't do it...because i'm into making my own desserts and didn't like the idea of taking the "easy approach of a dessert you heat up already premade in the oven...". it looked good, not too much sugar, mostly fat.

then, there were new ice creams, sorta light. i decided on those.

there were also new brands and flavors of kombucha at this supermarket, of course i bought those!

haha....i'm surprised you didn't buy the seasonings. what if you buy some seasonings that don't have salt?...a lil salt is good tho!

bed bath and beyond also i know sells seltzer makers. i still like buying it though...my neighbor i know has one!

graindart on 12/16/2018:
If I bought the seasonings, I'd have to try the seasonings. That would mean eating more popcorn today instead of less. They'll still be there when I get back from vacation, so I'll count not impulse buying them as a small victory for now.

graindart - Saturday Dec 15, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 181.3

Day 81 completed successfully.

Day off, so will be just messing around with hobby stuff today.

On to conquer day 82.....


Below afternoon addition is mainly for my records and recounts something I did in 2014.  I definitely don't recommend anyone follow it or attempt anything like it.  Again, just a record of something I did so that I don't have to go back through multiple entries to remind myself.

Have been thinking over different ways of tackling these last 10 lbs.  Keep going back and forth on whether to just continue with the slow and steady that I've settled into or to speed up the loss by doing something more agressive.  A few years back I did an extended "fast" where I didn't intake any food / drink / vitamins / etc (other than plain tap water) for a period of 21 days.  Since that's something I've been considering as an aggressive tactic, I went back and looked at my recorded entries from that time in 2014.  For my records, below is a summary extended fast by day number:

Had a note about white coating on tongue and bad taste in mouth that lasted for the first few days.

1 - ok with mild hunger

2 - bit tougher - had more times of hunger and wanting to eat - somewhat weak & lightheaded

3 - much worse - hungry off and on all day - lightheaded, hard to concentrate, just want to sleep

4 - hungry, but less than day 3 - less lightheaded

5 - easier than day 4 - clearer head, less lightheaded, felt weak - hunger pangs gone quickly with a quick drink of water

6 - easier - craving food, but physical hunger mostly gone - couple tummy rumblings per hour, but quickly gone - still a bit lightheaded and weak

7 - not physically hungry - clear head by end of day and a bit more energy

8 - no real physical hunger - felt better

Days 9 to 21 were all mostly the same - not physically hungry, but still had occasional cravings (mental, not physical) - mentally as clear as normal, initial physical energy was good for most normal tasks but quickly faded if anything abnormally physical was required (walking up / down stairs like normal once in awhile was fine, but didn't have energy to run up/down them multiple times)

Progress as of today: 101.7 lbs lost so far, only 12.3 lbs to go!

Donkey on 12/15/2018:
The scale seems stuck...

graindart on 12/15/2018:
I've been trying not to mention it in my posts, since there's not much I can do other than wait. But "yes", it's been kind of discouraging lately. No screw-ups, no cheating, no binges, log every morsel of food I eat, and stay under a certain calorie count that is supposed to be conducive to losing 2 lbs per week for my size/weight/age. All that and lately it barely moves unless I do something to artificially cause it to move.

It's not technically a plateau because it is moving downward......just extremely slowly.

BearCountryGG on 12/15/2018:
Time for a shake up? Plateas are natures way of saying " I'm very comfortable right here,.....I like this...I think I will hang around for awhile"..........

BearCountryGG on 12/15/2018:
Have you tried shakes? Protein....assorted veg and fruit.....some 0% yogurt added to any of them...in place of a meal? Slim fast instead of a meal?........I'm thinking your body is very happy where it is......it thinks it knows what you are doing and it likes it too much.......I was stuck at 236 for years........( I was taking care of my Mom and basically eating the same things over and over again)......Obviously 236 was not a good or healthy weight...but my body just grabbed onto that and stayed there....because I was eating a limited number of foods over and over again....now...when I did change up my diet I gained...( that's one way to break a plateau....but not the good way of course)......But...years ago...when I was around your age and losing with WW....I ran into plateaus as does everyone who is losing....the only way I was ever able to break one was shaking things up.....less cals...different foods....a day of fasting.....and once I broke the plateau...i had to keep on working on it for a few days or I would go right back up to it...but once I was on the move downward again....it got a lot easier. With your trip coming up....making a change right now may seem like the wrong time to do that.....or.,..it may be exactly the right time...because you will have a different style of eating during the trip most likely....and it would give your system a chance to handle the different foods....( maybe praticing eating 1 roll at home will keep you from eating more on the trip)....

graindart on 12/15/2018:
The food actually varies somewhat from week to week, other than my daily popcorn intake.

Can't do too much with the daily calorie allotment without being miserable, as it's already <1470 per day.

Technically I could skip a day of eating or do a real low calorie day of 500 or so, but having done that in the past it really doesn't tend to do much other than cause an artificial drop for a day or 2.

So I'm back to the same dilemma that I've been facing for the past month or so. Do I continue on like this and make it to goal around February? Or do I do something drastic to force a quicker end result?

Slow and steady is more comfortable daily and provides for a smooth transition to maintenance.

Drastic change is super miserable for a couple weeks and will probably cause issues when moving to maintenance. I could just stop eating for a week or two until I hit goal, but the very next day that I eat I'd be back up 3 or 4 lbs. So I'd have to basically not eat until I was 3 or 4 lbs under goal so that the instant bump back up would still be at goal.

I've honestly considered fasting / not eating. And back a few years ago I did actually do that for 21 days straight (no food/drink/vitamin/etc intake of any kind other than plain tap water). It is extremely difficult and sucks for the first 7 days. Around day 7 or 8 your body adjusts and it actually becomes fairly easy. But from what I remember, days 2 to 5 are almost unbearable when trying to maintain a normal schedule.

I'm going to go back in the archives and see what my daily records for that 21 day fast were just to jog my memory. I'm going to update my main entry here with the info so that I have it all in one place while I'm considering it.

BearCountryGG on 12/15/2018:
I'm suprised that you are eating less than 1,400 cals a day.....for a man...that is extremely low.....I'm now wondering if you are in starvation mode and your metabolism has dropped very low.

graindart on 12/15/2018:
My daily limit is closer to 1500 (1470 a few days ago, but today it says up to 1489).

There's always something I can blame for the scale not moving in the right direction. In the end I go with the calories in / calories out idea. As long as my intake is below the break-even daily calories, I'll lose weight in the long run. The body definitely doesn't like change. So it may fight it by "lowering metabolism" or resisting in any way it can. Unfortunately there's really not much I can do to prevent that if I want to keep lowering my bodyfat.

My body would be more than happy to just stay at this current weight. But then again, when I weighed 283 lbs my body was quite happy to just stay at that weight. So in theory after I've been down at my goal weight for a length of time, it should be happy to stay there too.

BearCountryGG on 12/15/2018:
I just went to my Fitday program and entered the stats for my husband.....70 year old man current wt 200 pounds, want to weigh 172 by April 1st and it says he should eat 1,657 cals a day

graindart on 12/15/2018:
That's fairly close to what my calculator says too. But if you drop the starting weight from 200 to 180, on my calculator it knocks approximately 160 calories per day off that amount. So that would drop the daily calorie allotment to around 1500 which is very near where I'm at. In my program based on today's weight it actually says I can eat 1489 calories. (The 1470 was what I remembered from a few days ago when I was a few lbs lighter.) A couple months ago my daily limit was around 1600+-.

BearCountryGG on 12/15/2018:
My husband and I just sat down and figured what he planned to eat today...i'm still figuring...so will be back in awhile with what he adds up to...i think he will be surprised.....( no wonder he isn't losing)

graindart on 12/15/2018:
Before I got serious about it in April 2017, we ate out a lot. In fact we probably ate out 6 or 7 times per week between dinners/lunches. Now that I know the calorie counts at some of those places, I'm guessing a normal average day for me used to include 3000-3500 calories when I was at my heaviest.

BearCountryGG on 12/15/2018:
He made a list for me to figure...of what he already ate today...and what he plans to eat between afternoon and evening and it added up to 2,405 cals....That does explain to me why he is staying at his current wt.....His breakfast was coffee, 3 eggs, 1 piece toast with butter, his lunch was chicken wings, potatoes, cole slaw, for the rest of the day he has listed pop corn, cheese and crackers, mixed nuts, chocolate covered raisins, 2 apples and 1 orange....basically I do buy what he asks for as far as snacks go....he is diabetic ( pills, controlled)quite sedentary but does walk about an hour a day

BearCountryGG on 12/15/2018:
NOW.....A 21 day water fast sounds scary to me.......

graindart on 12/15/2018:
I did it when I weighed 250+, so had plenty of fat for the body to live on at the time. First few days were difficult, but after day 5 it was pretty easy and uneventful. Didn't stop at day 21 due to hunger returning, but needed to start eating slowly again at that time to be able to eat normally for a wedding thing I was a part of. From researching it, the hunger probably wouldn't have returned until somewhere between days 30 and 40.

I don't have enough fat now to do the same thing for the same period of time, but at the time it was surprising how easy it was after getting past the first few days.

graindart on 12/15/2018:
added a summary of my 21 day fast to my main entry above

BearCountryGG on 12/15/2018:
I see that......detoxing going on there......but for the long run it really doesn't help.......The last few pounds are the most difficult to lose anyway.......In the whole scheme of things WW wouldn't even accept a person if they only needed to lose 10...I know their absolute lowest amt was 12 back a few years ago......It's just a number...and not really worth getting too upset over. My old Fitday CD has several ways to keep track of things....cals, nutrients, weight....I found that I did enjoy tracking nutrients as well as the others....I have always found that I am lacking seriously in at least 3 or 4 nutrients....and at 200% a day on others....while staying within calories......It's do-able....but difficult......taking this whole process to a different level like that may help....

Donkey on 12/15/2018:
Something Bear said about plateaus: maybe your body is happy with where you're at right now. Have you considered moving into maintenance sooner?

Also, I must explain my comment. I meant to show empathy that I was seeing what you are seeing. I do apologize if it came across as rude.

Graindart on 12/15/2018:
Didn't consider the comment rude at all.

Horn_of_plenty on 12/16/2018:
LOL....you and donkey with all your scale drama!

graindart - Friday Dec 14, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 179.8

Day 80 completed successfully.

Was busy with some miscellaneous stuff this morning and just now thinking about getting started on my regular work.

Limited scheduled plans for this Christmas road trip:

1. Going indoor skydiving on the way down = iflyworld.com

2. Going to Lambert's restaurant (Home of the Throwed Roll).

3. Probably going to the St Louis Gateway Arch, although it is out of the way be several hours, so it's dependent on how tired of driving I am.

On to conquer day 81....

Progress as of today: 103.2 lbs lost so far, only 10.8 lbs to go!

innerpeace on 12/14/2018:
We tried going to Lambert's twice and didn't have time to wait in line to get in. This was the one in Springfield, MO. My friends who have been all say they have good home cooked food...and rolls.

We did stop at the Arch, however, the two I was with were adamant that they would not go up into the arch itself, so we looked at it form the ground.

Have a good vacation and merry Christmas.

graindart on 12/14/2018:
I've been to Lamberts once about 20 years ago and it was a very long wait in line since it was a weekend. The food was decent, but I think the real draw is just a different type of restaurant. They had little nets on handles at each booth that you could use to catch the rolls that were being thrown from the kitchen serving area. It was just a neat experience, one that I think my daughters will enjoy and remember. Kind of like when we took them to a Brazilian steakhouse and Medieval Times. More about the experience than the food itself.

If we make it to St Louis, we'll definitely be going up in the Arch.

bearcountrygg on 12/14/2018:
Sounds like a good vacation with teens...they will always remember it.

graindart on 12/14/2018:
That's the plan...... this trip is focused more about the experience and lasting memories.

horn_of_plenty on 12/14/2018:
i'm gonna look up, later, the restaurant you are going to so i can learn about the Throwed Roll :)

You could always do the Arch on the next trip :)

i like the scheduled plans!

maybe the arch will be good if you get out and walk around the area or stay there one night around there.

everything sounds good! keep conquering...!

graindart - Thursday Dec 13, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 181.2

Day 79 completed successfully.

Not much scheduled today.  Daughters school Christmas program this afternoon.  Other than that, just some miscellaneous work stuff. 

Countdown to leaving for Christmas vacation next Friday.  Visiting inlaws for Christmas, which we've done pretty much every year for the past 10+ years.  It's a 1000+ mile trip each way and I hate the driving more and more each year.  Normally we make a bee-line directly there, stay 7-10 days, and drive straight back.  This time we're mixing things up.  Adding in some extra stops to / from the in-laws and only staying with them for 3 or 4 days.  With the extra stops, it'll be quite a bit more driving involved, but it will be a nice change.

On to conquer day 80...

Progress as of today: 101.8 lbs lost so far, only 12.2 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 12/13/2018:
That sounds like a nice vacation.....congrats on staying on program

horn_of_plenty on 12/13/2018:
Very nice staying on your program!

What is the school Christmas program? Music production of chorus/band/orchestra?

I think it will be a wonderful change to see some sites along the drive instead of going straight there and back! 1,000mi is a ton! :) I know it's around 500mi i think from NYC to around Buffalo/Toronto...i believe...and it takes 8hours?

How long is the 1,000 mi drive?

graindart on 12/13/2018:
Used to drive it straight through and took around 20 hours with minimal stops (1200 miles). But with a family it now takes 2 loooong days to get there.

Christmas program was mostly music / singing. The first 5 or 10 school programs you see your kids do are great in the early elementary years. The next few are ok. Now that they're out of elementary school, I find I have little patience sitting there watching the program progress through each grade's portion over a 90 minute time period. I blame Youtube for my short attention span.

Donkey on 12/13/2018:
I do not envy you on that drive! This year's plan sounds more enjoyable!

legcramps on 12/14/2018:
Have a great day!

graindart - Wednesday Dec 12, 2018
(Slow and Steady --OR-- Aggressive New Plan ????)
Weight: 181.0

Day 78 completed successfully.

Lots of salty popcorn yesterday too.

Things are kind of slow right now.  No real plans for today yet.  These type days are generally less stressful, but offer more spare time to think about food.

On to conquer day 79....

Progress as of today: 102 lbs lost so far, only 12 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 12/12/2018:
Keep on Keeping on......

Donkey on 12/12/2018:
OMG yesterday was so slow, so boring... You're right: more time to think about food.

I joined a couple of keto groups on Facebook to have something to read on my phone while I'm at work.

horn_of_plenty on 12/12/2018:
have you been having citrus? your grapefruits?

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