March Diet Update
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about food, which is unsurprising because I’m on a diet or whatever you would like to call it. I’m calorie restricting, which means that I am eating less calories than my body needs in order to force it to use the fat reserves that it has accumulated over the years. It occurs to me now that I don’t exactly know how many fat reserves I have in me, which would be calculated using some type of body fat percentage. I should probably get it measured in some way - possibly as a reward for hitting an intermediate goal (270?) I should go to a local place that has a Bod Pod and find out exactly.
The feel of myself has been better in the last month or so, which I’ve been happy with. I don’t know exactly when I started noticing it, but I’ve been gradually getting too small for my pants, and I should really go out and buy some new ones. I really want to wait until I am at least one more size down though, because I will then be out of the “extended sizes” that are offered by the retailers and clothes will actually be cheaper. I got some new work/casual shirts a few weeks ago and they fit well enough, and I was happy about that. I also recently bought a new belt, not because the old one was too large (although I have one of those), but because it had broken and lost a screw or something holding it in. The new one should last me while.
There is a question which has been on my mind quite a bit recently, because of the steady progress over the last few months. What happens when I am done losing weight? I know the correct answer to this question is that nothing happens - you are meant to have changed your life forever by losing these pounds, and you will need to be vigilant about your diet for the rest of your life. The problem is that I am unhappy with that response. Seriously, I’m not even at the point when I need to think about it yet, and I am actually depressed. It almost feels like I will be cheated out of all of the hard work that I have put in to making myself thin, because there will be no end – it’s just the button, you have to keep pressing the button, or you will gain weight again and your life will be shit.
To that end, I’ve been thinking of supplementing the “cheat days” that are built into my diet plan and alternating them with a new type of cheat day: Practice Days. On practice days, you should not keep track of the calories that you eat throughout the day. Try to eat “normally”. Eat when you are hungry and then stop eating when you are full. Order the amount of food that you think is appropriate for how hungry you are, not because of how many calories you think are in the meal. This may mean that you actually avoid eating at places that you go to frequently because you know how many calories are in the sandwich.
After the practice day but within 48 hours, you should go back and think about how you did on your practice day. Attempt to estimate how many calories were in the food that you ate, and compare it against your metabolic rate not your diet calorie target. You want to be right around the number that would keep you at the weight that you are now, or maybe lower. For me, that means that practice days I can eat 1000 calories more than I would normally eat on my diet. Sit and think about what diet decisions that you made that day, and how you would make them differently in the future - but would still keep you happy with the day as a whole.
I think for psychological eaters or people who have a mental imbalance that made them fat in the first place, this will be very hard. I’m planning on doing it for a month or more, with the goal of them to have to not be in constant vigilance about my diet when I am “done” losing weight. If I succeed, I’ll be able to just eat when I want, because that’s what my body will tell me it wants, and what my mind will tell me it wants too.
My chart for the last 30 days is looking pretty good. I am happy with my progress. There was one day where I was above the trend line, but I am still on a steady decline. I would like to be closer to 2 pounds per week, but I can live with the numbers that I’m putting up now. The calorie deficit means that if I want to hit the 2 pounds per week goal, I should short what my calorie counting website is telling me by about 200 calories. I’ll try that for a few weeks.
This time, the yearly chart is telling me that I am losing faster than during the month. It’s pretty nice to see this one, that I have lost 15 pounds since the beginning of the year. The fitted line shown, if I keep it up, means that I will be at my goal of 250 around July. That is my next major milestone, and I want to actually re-evaluate my decisions around weight around then, and actually think about where the “done” point is.