Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day Three

This morning when I weighed myself I was down 7 pounds from Monday and three pounds from yesterday.  That is- according to our crappy bathroom scale, which may not be super accurate and is one of those dial scales that’s really hard to read.  Three pounds in one day seems like a lot, but I have been following the diet carefully.  It could be water weight, but I’ve actually increased my water intake.  I think this weekend I will go buy a nice digital scale and see how we do.  Even if my weight ends up being higher with a digital scale, at least it will be easier to read and track my progress.

Yesterday when I got my lunch they had it all wrong- a ton of beans (way more than any person should ever have to eat), a ton of mushy veggies (I hate it when veggies are overcooked), and no chicken.  They totally screwed up my order, but since it had already taken 15 minutes and I was starving, I choked down as much as I could.  It was horrible.

So today I took a different approach- order one chicken taco, one veggie taco, a side of beans, and a side of guacamole.  Then, they can’t screw it up and I just won’t eat the tortillas.  It was so much better!  The food actually tasted delicious and I didn’t feel like I was forcing myself to eat.

Diets are hard when you have to eat food that you don’t like or doesn’t taste good.  I know the beginning is going to be the hardest, and after a while it becomes habit.  So far I’m just preparing myself to meet the challenge- which for me, is saying, “No, I don’t want to eat that delicious gooey chocolate chip cookie of amazingness right now.”  Knowing that I will have a “cheat” day on Saturday does make that better- now, I can say, “I will eat that delicious gooey chocolate chip cookie of amazingness on Saturday, probably along with 3 of its friends.”  MMM..... Saturday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day One

Today I started an approximation of the Slow-Carb Diet recommended in The Four Hour Body.  I say it’s an approximation because my breakfast was the same as before because I don’t have the ingredients for the new breakfast in the house.  The book did recommend starting with changing breakfast to see awesome results, but given this week’s schedule, that probably won’t happen until Sunday.  But, I figure if I do the diet the rest of the day, it’s better than nothing at all.

For lunch, I stopped by the Mexican place on campus and got a steak burrito bowl without the rice.  I ordered extra beans but I don’t think I got any.  I also ordered veggies but didn’t get any of those (besides lettuce, which it came with).  I think the guy was very confused with my order.

At any rate, it was moderately delicious.  Not as good as Chipotle, but ya know.  When I first stopped eating, I didn’t feel completely full, but as I went for my lunchtime walk, I realized that I was full.  I am worried that since there weren’t enough beans in the meal that I’m going to get super hungry long before it’s time to eat another meal.

It’s hard to shift my expectations about dieting.  I know that starving doesn’t work for me because I will have a major blood sugar crash and get super cranky and ineffective.  Counting calories doesn’t really work because then I get obsessive about food.  I think I need to change the way I think about this.  I don’t have to count calories, and if I get hungry, I can eat again, as long as I eat from the list of “chosen foods.”  Then on Saturday, I can eat whatever the hell I want.  It seems simple enough. So far so good.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Four-Hour Body

Ok, it’s probably time to get real about my physical situation.  

I know I’ve talked a lot about losing a lot of weight, or a little weight, or being healthy, or whatever.  And it’s not like I haven’t done anything.  I’ve changed my diet pretty dramatically (following the “Eat Food” of Michael Pollan’s “Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants” mandate), I work out with a personal trainer 3 days a week, and I’ve gained a considerable amount of strength and lost a considerable amount of body fat from when I started in September 2007.  In addition, my cholesterol levels are phenomenally good, my insulin levels are normal, and my BMI is within the “normal” range.  Compared to the average American, I’m doing pretty good.

But reality hits me today.  My body still embarrasses me.  I wear clothes that purposefully cover up my belly (and violate most rules from What Not to Wear).  I don’t particularly like looking in the mirror and despite the progress I’ve made, I don’t feel like I’ve met any meaningful goals.

I’ve started reading The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss.  When reading it, part of me wants to scream “This is bullshit!” and throw the whole thing in the garbage.  But the other part of me sees truth in what it says.  The reasons I haven’t met any of my goals are because a) I’m holding my own self back, and b) I didn’t set goals that I believed I could achieve.  Today, when I was out for my lunchtime walk and enjoying 65 degree weather, I decided it was time for me to stop hating myself and to start actually feeling good.

One of the most important suggestions from the book I’ve read so far is that I need to post a “before” picture somewhere that I will see it frequently.  So, time to swallow my pride and put them up:

If I wear strategic clothing, you can't tell from the front so much.

I won't suck it in for these pictures.


The book also recommends that you track your progress.  It’s not just weight, which I will track out of curiosity, but also percent body fat and circumference measurements.  I feel like tracking measurements besides weight on a daily basis is a bit much, so I’m going to track those on a weekly basis.

Weight in Pounds: 162
% Body Fat (approx): 25
R Upper Arm: 11.25
L Upper Arm: 11.75
Waist: 34.75
Hips: 40.5
R Thigh: 22.25
L Thigh: 23.25
Total Inches: 143.75

So, here we have my starting points.  I’m going to keep blogging about this because accountability is super important in being successful, and I don’t want to fail!