Friday, February 27, 2015

Weight management – am I back in the saddle again?


So it has been 3 years since I began to really take weight management / lifestyle (semi?) seriously. It has had many ups and downs, some of which are shown on the very much compressed graph above, although only the largest swings are shown there. But they are real doozies. As you can see, 2014 was anything but a banner year.

So a quick summary of history as I know it: I lost about 73 pounds in the first 6 months up to July 2012. This is typical after a long time off of watching you calorie balance. My father passed away at the beginning of August, which really wrecks your brain for a long time. You can see the resulting weight bump that peaks at the end of the year. There were many factors, though. It is never one thing. You can also see that I got back in the saddle and ended up even lower in mid-2013.

You can do this kind of weight loss with surgery’s help or by imparting the same disciplines as surgery patients are required to follow without the malabsorption benefits / negatives they have. All in all, it is a personal choice how you accomplish it, but in the end it is always about the calorie intake / output balance.

So back to the story … 2014 started out with my mother’s illness and continued with her passing in March. The effect of that is a subtle thing and acts on everyone differently, but I think most people would agree that you are out of sorts for a long time.

So of course I re-upped on all my bad old habits. And I am very good at those behaviors, unfortunately. Still, it was a break I did enjoy in some ways, except perhaps for the shopping for larger clothes which is always a total bummer.

I tried in November to click back into eating more carefully and was quite successful for about a month, but Christmas was too close and there were cookies to be eaten so in a fit of stupidity, I tossed in the towel again and climbed right back up that ladder. You can actually see the two high point bumps that bracket the last attempt at the end of the graph.

And the reason I am writing this today is that I have reached once again the point at which I threw in the towel last November. In fact, I am officially 1/10 pounds lighter :-) … all of which is to say that I have no interest in stopping this time. You can see that the slope of the loss is the same as the initial 2012 slope and the 2013 slope. This one is the result of about 12.2 pounds lost in a bit over 3 weeks. This is very fast, but then that’s what happens at the very beginning as your body flushes the water and salt. And what happens next will determine the overall success of my plan.

Let me put this another way, 3 weeks of hard dieting erased 3 months of sloth. That’s always a trade worth making. SO what I am hoping now is that the next 5 or 6 months will erase the rest of the sloth and get me back to mid-2012 … or even better, mid-2013.

My plan is simple: continue to eat small meals at regular intervals and continue to use structured meals (in my case, Atkins Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough meal bars) to get over those moments when it is too easy to just say f&&& it! and eat whatever. Instead, I grab a bar and a coffee or a diet Dr Pepper(substitute your low or zero calorie beverage of choice) and I am safe once more.

It sounds easy because it is easy … but the instinct to throw in the towel lurks always, always, always.

One last thought, and this is an old adage because it is true – “You cannot outrun your stomach.” I.e. don’t assume that buying a gym membership (even if you actually use it, lol) is a free pass. It absolutely is not. Control your input for your weight, go to the gym for your fitness and overall health. They work together and neither can replace the other.