October Diet Report

I’ve been a bit lax in the updates on the diet that I normally post monthly. I have some good news to report and then a new challenge for the future. The hard part starts now.

The last two months have been a continued vigilance of what I am eating, and how much I am eating specifically, and my weight has been reflecting it. I didn’t reach my goal before the vacation that I was hoping for in the August update, but the first international travel that I made after this whole thing started was a lot more comfortable this time than it was before. The airplane seats were marginally more comfortable, and there was nothing that I was really regretting about the whole thing. The seats are still too small for me, because I am a tall as well as a big guy still.

The low-carb diet itself has gone completely out of the window lately. I wasn’t even trying to keep it while I was on vacation, and I kind of kept not keeping it after we returned from the vacation. I have still been keeping track of my calories when I can, and trying to overestimate when I can’t keep track of what exactly I am eating. It continually is a struggle, because Diana is a great cook, and we have a comfortable enough life that we can go out to eat at least a couple of times a week. These meals are really fun to go to, but are the hardest to budget for on my diet because rarely do they include nutritional information on the menu, and most likely not even on the website for some of the more local places that we like to frequent. The calorie counting is doing okay for me still except for these types of meals that I can’t keep track of. If I have some warning that I’ll be having one of these “untrackable” meals, I’ll try to eat significantly less throughout the day to make up for it.

The big news for this month is that I’ve succeeded at my first stage goal for weight loss. I now weigh less than 230 pounds fairly consistently over the last few weeks. This means that I am 110 pounds lighter than when I started focusing on weight loss almost 22 months ago. Right now, I’m planning on making this a stopping point in my weight loss, and trying to maintain my weight at this stage until the end of the year at least. This means that I will be upping my calories, and actually eating more, and also replacing a bunch of my clothes as they were getting comically large on me at this point. I’ll still be tracking my calories as closely as I can. I’ve been promising a more up to date picture, and some of them leaked out last month during the vacation, but here is one from today, juxtaposed with one from last summer - not exactly the start of my diet, but close enough.

That looks pretty good, partially because I was actually eating in the first picture, but I can’t really find a better “before” picture for myself. The before and after pictures are available in full size too. I’m also wearing my new jeans in this picture, which are size 38. Compared to my old size I’ve lost about 10 inches. The shirt I’m wearing is a size Large, and the before picture I’m wearing a 3XL shirt. It’s pretty great, but feels strange when I’m wearing clothes that are so small now.

So I’ve decided that I’m done trying to lose weight, and will try to maintain my current weight until the end of the year. I’ve started already by increasing my calorie budget by 500 calories. Technically that’s still a diet, because I was cutting 1000 calories below BMR before, but I don’t want to overshoot and start gaining weight again. I’m going to keep it at this level and then reevaluate whether I am losing or gaining and adjust as necessary.

More importantly, there is another goal that I will be focusing on from now until then is my fitness. I’ve been exercising all through this diet trek in order to give myself some headroom on calories, but now I’m doing it in order to get a bit more fit. My first goal is focused on running. I’ve been running around the neighborhood, keeping this running course so that I can measure my progress. I’ve been getting faster lately, with my best pace being 10:30 per mile which was just about a week ago. That’s about a minute per mile pace gain since August.

2011 October 30 days graph

Last month I ended up skipping the update, mostly because I was just lazy, but this month the graph looks good. Last month looked pretty good as well. You can see some of the stability at the end of the graph once I hit the 230 goal that I have been working towards. I’m hoping that I can keep that line straight or going slightly down in the next report that I end up posting.

2011 October Year to date graph

The yearly graph still looks great. There are only a couple of extended red areas, which both correspond to vacations. These graphs have been keeping me on track, even though I only look at them once a month. The daily deficit is based on the best-fit line that is shown here, and fed into my idea that I shouldn’t be too hasty to increase back to the BMR.

So there’s my first intermediate goal met. If I am still at or under 230 at the end of the year, I’ll claim victory and re-evaluate my health and my goals for my body for the 2012 year. I’m still somewhat not happy when I look at myself, but my fitness goal I think might help with that a bit by reshaping my body a little more instead of just making it smaller. If you’re interested in tracking my progress, feel free to follow me on dailymile or runkeeper.