Weight Loss Challenge – month 1 update

Posted by SuperClydesdale on March 9, 2010 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

I am now one month into my team’s Weight Loss Challenge.  My intention is to get down to as close as I can to 205 pounds — to see what it’s like to climb at that weight.  Many who know me think I’m nuts, and that at 205 pounds I will be “too skinny,” as I have a very wide frame.  Maybe that can be my out – “I really wanted to skip dessert, but I’m way too skinny now… so give me an extra scoop on that Apple Pie Ala Mode.”  Realistically, “you’ll be too skinny at 205″ is what they say to my face.  What they say to others could be more along the lines of, “205?  He’s still going to be wearing a C cup manzier at that weight!”

Some people — like my wife,  are very committed to the concept and are willing to eat compressed dust masquerading as toast, paste pretending to be jam, and eggplant disguised as something edible.  These people are doing something different than I am —  dieting.  I am not on a diet.  I refuse to diet, as it’s not sustainable and it sucks.   I have gone into this effort with the following principles:

  • I will not go hungry
  • I will not count calories
  • I will not eat anything that doesn’t taste good
  • I will not abstain from much, as I have little to no will power.  Actually, this is more of an observation than a principle.   Stop drinking alcohol?  Yes, right after I stop breathing.

Pretty simple.  Any life without the above isn’t worth living, let alone extending.   What I am trying to do is actually change the way I eat, from now on.   If that causes me to lose weight, then so be it.  If not, that’s okay too.  Whatever I do has to be something I can really live with. What I have done is pretty simple and easy,  and the results are pretty pleasing.  I started at the beginning of February at 232 pounds, and at the end of the month, I’m down about 6 pounds to 226.   That is actually ahead of what I was expecting, and what I was told to expect, which was about a pound a week.  So, I’m 2 pounds ahead of where I could/should be.   Using this approach, I am going to ease down to a weight that is sustainable at the lifestyle I am willing to live.

My nutritionist wants everyone in The Challenge to use a web site to log everything we eat, and all of our exercize (you can do this for free at sites like http://caloriecount.about.com/). While trying to force me to do anything is generally a fruitless effort, I did enter my information for the first couple of weeks to really understand the caloric impact of what I eat and drink, as well as the protein, fat, and carb makeup of different types of food.  It’s pretty laborious, as you have to dissect each meal and enter it into the system.    While I refuse to get into the calorie counting game, unlike my wife, I did want to understand and appreciate what I was eating, to help me chart a course towards the Mediterranean-style foods that I should be seeking out as replacements to the more traditional comfort foods that I would eat far too often.  Lucky for me, as I’ve gotten older, a lot of the crap that I used to eat when I was younger just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.   A Big Mac just doesn’t do it for me.

Once I got a good idea of what different foods provided, I stopped using the web site.

Below is a quick summary of what I have been doing on a daily basis, since it seems to be working, and is little to no work on my part, and doesn’t require will power (which I don’t possess):

  • I eat my normal “breakfast”, consisting of a scone or other baked good with as much coffee as I can consume, governed only by the speed of my coffee maker.
  • No snacks between breakfast and lunch.
  • Some type of salad for lunch.  The bigger the better.  Lots of steak salads, Chicken Caesar salads, etc.   Cobb salads seem to have too much other crap on them so that it would defeat the point of eating a salad.
  • No breads with lunch, or all of the other crap that goes with it (butter, obscene amounts of olive oil, etc.)
  • Some Mediterranean-style dinner
  • As little sugar and processed foods as possible (outside of breakfast)
  • Cut way back on the beer, in favor of wine, or (one of my new favorites) – single malt scotch, Irish whiskey, and Cruzan single barrel “estate rum” (wow) — which is great for sipping.
  • Whenever I am hungry, I snack on veggies (carrot sticks, celery, etc.) or fruit.  Surprisingly, I almost never snack anymore.  I just don’t get hungry between meals.  I eat as much veggies and fresh fruit as I want, any time I want.

So far, it seems to work out for me.  We’ll see what the long-term brings, as I’m sure I’ll plateau soon, and each pound becomes harder than the last.  But, so far, it’s pretty strange how quickly my body and system adapted to this.  It took about 2 days for me to adjust to not snacking between meals.  It’s very odd – I just don’t get hungry.  It’s like snacking actually makes you hungrier.

  • brendan montgomerie said,

    Losing weight is really, really hard. Keeping it off is even
    harder. And know it all- y people like me ( lol)
    will try to tell you how to do it.
    So while I wanna throw in my 2 cents, I applaud
    your efforts and at the end of my schtick,
    you gotta do what you gotta do, YOUR WAY!
    I think the part about keeping it off is a stumbling block
    for most dieters. That is because the goal has
    a defined ending, your goal weight. I have lost
    over 70 lbs, but if you added up the gainbacks along
    my very long diet history it’s even more.
    I’m just gonna list all the things that are working for me
    as a springboard of ideas, I would not think that
    any of them are appropriate for you.
    1. I use a scale religiously. I weigh myself sans
    clothing, before and after eating. If I am away from
    my scale I still think about the weight of the food I am eating
    and weigh myself as soon as I can. This is brutal,
    as you quickly begin to notice how quickly the
    lbs add up.
    2. I find things that I like to eat that “pass” quickly. For me,
    a very disciplined dieter, that is baked potatoes with
    an amazing amount of spices, bananas and jam, strawberry is preferable, Whole oatmeal, homemade soup of any type.
    I snack on dried fruit, apples, handfuls of raw nuts.
    None of that sounds like it’s gonna work for you,
    but maybe potatoes. But I eat lots and lots and if you
    can find things you like, that don’t stick, that is the ticket.
    salads are great, but I gotta carb up of I just stay hungry.
    3. Try to lose weight as slowly as possible, because your
    body kicks and screams less. With the constant
    scale use, you can see how much you take in,
    and how long it takes to leave. I take in 5-6 lbs food
    and water per day. This is way down from about 10-12 lbs.
    I lose 1-2 lbs per night just breathing through my mouth while I sleep,
    just evaporated water.
    4. Water. This is the hardest part for me, because
    water adds weight to the scale so fast. But I have learned
    that the more I drink today, the more I lose tomorrow.
    I eat until I reach a certain weight, then I cut off food for the day and only allow myself to drink. I drink whatever I want, and if I am still
    hungry, I’ll drink juice punch, and if there is nothing around and I am
    desperately hungry, I will even resort to sugar in water,
    lots of it. This may seem counter intuitive, because
    sugar is bad, blah blah, and adds body fat etc etc,
    but for me I am very active on the bike and it’s solid food
    that sticks around. On a liquid diet, even beer,
    you can lose tons of weight. You just can’t eat.
    So that is what has worked for me, and I don’t recommend
    it for anybody. I am 43, 6’6″, 165-170 lbs.
    At 23 I topped out at 245, on a vegetarian diet
    consisting primarily of pasta. My current weight
    has been consistent for about 5 years.
    If anything, think about using the scale as often
    as you can. I always here people saying to not
    weigh in to often, do it the same time, etc.
    For me, I just bite the bullet and allow the scale to
    be my lord and master. There is no b.s.ing a scale.
    My incentive for all this Draconian discipline is simple;
    @ 170 I can ride up the local 3 mile climb (tunnel rd. Berkeley ca.)
    in 12:16, putting me a 16th out of 3000 on strava.
    When I ride up that very popular cycling spot, I know
    There are only about 15 guys who can beat me, and I rarely
    see them. And it feels good passing everybody at 15 mph, again and again. Even though I am pretty thin, at my height,
    nobody expects me to go flying by 5 mph faster!
    10 lbs lost equals one minute off a 3mile hillclimb at the
    same effortlevel.
    On hills, weight is the bottom line.
    I’m done, I hope that helps somehow, at least to help
    you realize that none of that is for you so you can scratch it off the list!

  • brendan montgomerie said,

    Losing weight is really, really hard. Keeping it off is even
    harder. And know it all- y people like me ( lol)
    will try to tell you how to do it.
    So while I wanna throw in my 2 cents, I applaud
    your efforts and at the end of my schtick,
    you gotta do what you gotta do, YOUR WAY!
    I think the part about keeping it off is a stumbling block
    for most dieters. That is because the goal has
    a defined ending, your goal weight. I have lost
    over 70 lbs, but if you added up the gainbacks along
    my very long diet history it’s even more.
    I’m just gonna list all the things that are working for me
    as a springboard of ideas, I would not think that
    any of them are appropriate for you.
    1. I use a scale religiously. I weigh myself sans
    clothing, before and after eating. If I am away from
    my scale I still think about the weight of the food I am eating
    and weigh myself as soon as I can. This is brutal,
    as you quickly begin to notice how quickly the
    lbs add up.
    2. I find things that I like to eat that “pass” quickly. For me,
    a very disciplined dieter, that is baked potatoes with
    an amazing amount of spices, bananas and jam, strawberry is preferable, Whole oatmeal, homemade soup of any type.
    I snack on dried fruit, apples, handfuls of raw nuts.
    None of that sounds like it’s gonna work for you,
    but maybe potatoes. But I eat lots and lots and if you
    can find things you like, that don’t stick, that is the ticket.
    salads are great, but I gotta carb up of I just stay hungry.
    3. Try to lose weight as slowly as possible, because your
    body kicks and screams less. With the constant
    scale use, you can see how much you take in,
    and how long it takes to leave. I take in 5-6 lbs food
    and water per day. This is way down from about 10-12 lbs.
    I lose 1-2 lbs per night just breathing through my mouth while I sleep,
    just evaporated water.
    4. Water. This is the hardest part for me, because
    water adds weight to the scale so fast. But I have learned
    that the more I drink today, the more I lose tomorrow.
    I eat until I reach a certain weight, then I cut off food for the day and only allow myself to drink. I drink whatever I want, and if I am still
    hungry, I’ll drink juice punch, and if there is nothing around and I am
    desperately hungry, I will even resort to sugar in water,
    lots of it. This may seem counter intuitive, because
    sugar is bad, blah blah, and adds body fat etc etc,
    but for me I am very active on the bike and it’s solid food
    that sticks around. On a liquid diet, even beer,
    you can lose tons of weight. You just can’t eat.
    So that is what has worked for me, and I don’t recommend
    it for anybody. I am 43, 6’6″, 165-170 lbs.
    At 23 I topped out at 245, on a vegetarian diet
    consisting primarily of pasta. My current weight
    has been consistent for about 5 years.
    If anything, think about using the scale as often
    as you can. I always here people saying to not
    weigh in to often, do it the same time, etc.
    For me, I just bite the bullet and allow the scale to
    be my lord and master. There is no b.s.ing a scale.
    My incentive for all this Draconian discipline is simple;
    @ 170 I can ride up the local 3 mile climb (tunnel rd. Berkeley ca.)
    in 12:16, putting me a 16th out of 3000 on strava.
    When I ride up that very popular cycling spot, I know
    There are only about 15 guys who can beat me, and I rarely
    see them. And it feels good passing everybody at 15 mph, again and again. Even though I am pretty thin, at my height,
    nobody expects me to go flying by 5 mph faster!
    10 lbs lost equals one minute off a 3mile hillclimb at the
    same effortlevel.
    On hills, weight is the bottom line.
    I’m done, I hope that helps somehow, at least to help
    you realize that none of that is for you so you can scratch it off the list!

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