Monday, May 30, 2016

172 is my shepherd

Today, Monday, I tipped the scales at 176.2 lbs.  Not bad.  I was on a juice fast on Saturday, which meant that yesterday I woke up to a nice 175.  A 1.2 lb bounce back up after a fast is good.  For most of the time since I've been doing this blog, I would have killed to see 176.  That I now view it as a pleasant figure, but nothing to celebrate, is progress. 

Still, I hunt the great white whale, the questing beast, my girth Grendel of 172 lbs.

172 is my shepherd. 
Because of her, I want to want.  She maketh my lie down and go to bed rather than eat Ben & Jerry's.  She leadeth me beside the still diet sodas.

She haunteth my soul.
She leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for my pride's sake.

Yea, though I walk my body into the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art ahead of me.  Thy rod and thy staff, they discomfort me.

She preparest a table before me filled with my enemies.  She annointest my gut; my Wawa cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy will find me someday, and when I dwell in the house of the Lord, He will give me something to eat.


Current Numbers
7 day average:  177.4
30 day average: 178.1


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Starting to Feel Thin

Yeah, I know.


I'm inviting the fates to swoop in and crush me like a bug with a title like that, but the hidden truth is that I am experiencing the opposite phenomena of the "I keep eating crap but I don't gain weight" routine.  Namely, I've been pretty focused for about a month with not a whole lot of result on the scale.  I've had my lapses, but I'm more of less eating well all week and fasting on Saturdays. 


Today, Sunday, is the 4th week in a row.  I've been losing weight, but not much.  However, my body is changing.  That pesky fat on top of my hips (aka muffin tops) seems to have gone.  If I squint in the mirror, I can discern something resembling stomach muscles under the belly fat. In fact, if the belly fat went, I don't think I'd have much to complain about.


All of this is interesting because my stated goal is to get my 7 day average weight to 172.  There I would be comfortably under 174 -- the weight which it takes to get my BMI under 25, the weight at which I am no longer, according to any governmental agency worldwide, overweight.  174 is the top most range of "normal weight" for someone who is 5'10".  Why 172? Well, two reasons.  First, I'd like to be comfortably under 174, so even when I spike, I stay in normal weight.  Second, when I weigh myself at the doctor, I'm wearing clothes (they kinda insist), so that's another two lbs.  That's right! I want the doctor to mark me down as officially "normal" weight too.


Which brings me back to the point from which I was digressing -- vanity.  172 also represents something new to me -- a self-imposed limit to my vanity.  When I get to 172, will I think, "Be nice to be under 170, wouldn't it?"  It has to end somewhere. I started losing weight for health, and now vanity is starting to creep back in to my consciousness.  Vanity is not something want to drive my behavior.  (Let's leave aside the point that this may be another form of vanity.  Turtles all the way down and all.)  So slimming down without losing weight is an interesting phenomenon.  I'm not moving towards my stated goal, but my appearance is improving, which is not supposed to be a goal. 


But it is.  And I have mixed feelings about that.


Current Numbers
7 day average:  176.4
30 day average: 177.1



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Checking in

It has been a year of ups and downs. I never went back up over 185, but I certainly spent some time north of 180. Mostly my goal was to keep my weight under 180 -- and when I say weight, I mean my 7 day average weight.  And OK, my 30 day average weight too.

Finally, I've been able to achieve this.  Both these numbers have been under 180 for a couple of months now.  I'm starting to dream of once again achieving the ranks of "normal weight" or just plain old not overweight.

One thing I have been very good about since the last post is tracking.  I weight myself everyday and keep it in a spreadsheet.  Ironically, this seeming hyper-vigilance makes the whole process much less stressful.  Weight still pops around, but the average weight is more sluggish.  I've gotten  much better at worryng less about the daily battles and focusing more on the long-term war.


Current Numbers 
  7 Day Ave: 176.9
30 Day Ave: 178.1

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 29 -- Slow and Steady

The time of restraint continues and weight trickles off. In four weeks, I've lost 4 lbs.  Not bad.  Its taken a little will but the white-knuckle moments have been rare.  I would like to get sub-180, so maybe I'll try to restrict the food choices for another couple of weeks to see if the last 2 lbs come off.  I definitely feel better at this weight, but I'm still carrying around some unneeded fat.

Watched the documentary Hungry for Change, and it has gotten me focused on continuing to make better food choices.  I may even give the juicing thing a try.

Current Numbers 
Starting Weight: 185.9
Current Weight: 181.6

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Day 11 -- Going well

A good week, and I did remind myself several times that I was trying "to be good" and thus prevented some bad food choices.  My daughter takes ballet across town.  When I drive her to class, I have to kill time while class happens.  Frequently, this results in me sitting in a diner snaking on fries (because they don't seem to mind if I sit for 1.5 hours drinking iced tea if I get fries).  This week I went to a coffee shop and sipped coffee for 1.5 hours (with cream -- I'm not trying to be a saint, merely good.  Also, I note that coffee shops seems to lack lingering time limits.  I imagine you could get away with bringing a sleeping bag if you took a sip every 15 minutes or so).  Of course, this mean this meant I had insomnia, but that's a different blog topic.

This slight gesture of control seems do be the "magic key" if such a thing exists in weight loss/control.  Can I structure my life to pull back just a little bit against the tide of "EAT THIS GREAT FOOD NOW !!!!" which seems to pervade our culture?  Is it no wonder that 1/3rd of us are obese?

Unchanged or lost a pound and a half
See this is why the 7 day average rocks.  My weight this morning is 182.4, just what it was last week.  If I was going by the number on the scale, I would have had a week of random ups and downs.  I would have fought to be good all week with the result of "no change".  If being good just keeps my weight the same, it would be hopeless and I would commit weight loss suicide -- a varying process usually involving ice cream and burgers or pizza.

BUT, since I'm tracking the 7 day average, I note that I've actually lost 1.5 lbs since last week.  That's about right.  If I my weight were to stay exactly the same for another week, I would  "lose another pound" even with unchanged numbers on the scale.

See.  As I tell all my middle school students, "Math is important".

Current Numbers 
Starting Weight: 185.9
Current Weight: 183.4

Saturday, August 30, 2014

30 Days of Being Good -- Day 4

"Where's Day 1?" you might reasonably ask.

Well, that was 4 days ago, but I'm just around to writing things down, see.  I've been continuing the battle with weight, and I'll tell you all about it, but first my latest weight management idea ...  Hmmm, actually I better tell you a little history, so it makes sense.

January 2014
So, throughout the fall of 2013, I continue the coffee hostage technique to keep my weight under 180.  It works pretty well.  Winter comes (Starks were right).  Weight creeps over 180.  I stay off the coffee in respect of the rules for a few weeks, but finally start drinking coffee and say, "To hell with it."  A happy time ensues where I eat anything while my weight hovers between 182-4.  You might have noticed the resultant spike in the share price of "Ben & Jerry's" in spring 2014.

April 2014
Weight takes off like a runnaway train.  For a day or two, I even crest of 190.  Real weight I estimate peaks at 188.  I lose the sense of feeling comfortable physically.  I start to feel sluggish and heavy.

Realization comes that sadly the law of physics do, in fact, seem to apply to my body, and I cannot eat like a pig with impunity.  Resolve to try to bring it under control by a little dieting and lots of exercise.  I have a great amount of time for exercise starting in June when school is out for summer.

May 2014
I consciously try to modify the eating habits and weight dips lower.  In fact, I even gets to 182.4 without anything other than trying to tone it down.  Real weight is probably around 184. This is going to be easy.

June - mid-August 2014
School's out for summer.  I start walking every day.  Lots of long (10+ mile) walks.  Start slimming down quite a bit.  Weight doesn't budge because I'm also eating lots of fun food.  This continues through most of the summer.  I don't exactly eat everything I want, but I am not dieting or even eating sensibly.  (Note: the two pieces of chocolate cake and ice cream on my birthday was admittedly the high water mark.  It was really good cake.  I would also note that chocolate cake and coffee makes a surprisingly good breakfast the day after your birthday.)  Weight bounces around in mid 180's.  I want to get to 180, and I'm doing the exercise; but I am also eating to put back on what I seem to be losing.

I also did a lot of reading about the obesity epidemic in the US over the summer.  This is a serious problem, and it's no wonder it is tricky for me.  Leading to my latest technique ...

Thirty Days of Being Good
I weigh myself every day now as a habit.  I've noticed a few things.

1) Weight jumps around for no reason from day to day.
2) When it goes down, I tend to believe this is real weight loss.  When it goes up, I tend to think this is a false spike.
3) I will talk myself into allowing a bad food choice because of good news on the scale.
4) I am incapable of objective thought when I am hungry and tired.

So, for 30 days, I am just going to be good.  This definition is just like the chowderhead standard of 2009.  I know what are good choices and what are not.  I just need to make them.  Unlike other times though, I have only the goal of being good for 30 days, not a particular weight loss.  I will track my weight, with a slight wrinkle (see below), but in my mind, I'm just trying to "be good", not "lose weight".  I can be good for 30 days.

What then?

Who knows. I am choosing this for a few reasons.  First, I think I'm in much better shape from the summer exercise and that I have a leaner body waiting for some butter to melt off.  Second, I am realizing that the key to weight loss for me is the focusing of the will, not the actual technique.  This seems a very good and manageable focus time.  Finally, a combination of these two, I believe I have actually done the work over the summer I just need to bring it home.  I think it will be clearer what a good strategy is after the 30 days are up.

Tracking Weight Wrinkle
I've started to look at my real weight as my average weight over the last 7 days.

(Yes, this means that not only do I weigh myself every day but also I type it in a spreadsheet. Or at least I have for a month.  I am a geek.  Freely admitted.)

The scale tells me I weigh 182.4 this morning, and I weighed 186.4 when I started the thirty days.

 "I've lost 4 lbs!" 

No, I haven't.  Seven day average says 1 lb.  That sounds right.  If my weight stays at 182.4 for another week, it's be closer to 4 lbs. That won't happen.  Even with "being good",  I think the 182 is a spike into low territory, but that's OK.  My current 7 days average is 184.9, so anything below that is moving in the right direction.


Current Numbers 
Starting Weight: 185.9
Current Weight: 184.9

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Holding Steady -- Popping Java

Still going well.  Waking up and weighing myself has become a new routine as has seeing a weight that starts 170-something.  I was in the 177 range for a long while, but I've been painting the line at 179 this week.  Still, I'm drinking coffee.