Food Fight

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I broke the 180s.  Down 1.2 lbs from yesterday.  That’s hot.  40 more days like yesterday and I’m at my target.

The above graphic is taken directly from my scale this morning.  I weight myself every morning, naked, post- (TMI WARNING FOR THE SQUEMISH…AVERT YOUR EYES NOW UNTIL THE NEXT PARAGRAPH) shit. I think this is the most realistic way to weigh myself.

Last time I wrote about my workout routine and generally what that entails.  Today I’m going to write about food: what I eat & when I eat.

A few months ago I read Penn Jillette’s book, Presto.  I was hoping  it would give me the kick in the ass I needed to start losing weight.  And it did play a role.  The thing that stuck with me the the bit about how he’s a drastic guy, and so he needed a drastic dietary change.  Most dietitians and trainers will tell you, generally, that drastic doesn’t work, won’t last.  I think they will also tell you the routine that will work is the one that’s right for you.  I think Penn just found what was right for him.

And so I have been spending a lot of time reading, and thinking, and failing, trying to figure out what’s right for me.  That’s all fine, it’s part of the process.  You failing?  That’s ok.  Keep trying.  You only really fail if you don’t try again.  Failing and trying again is just process. You trying to get healthier? Then you’re in process. I’m in process. Our lives are just process until we die.  Sound defeating?  I find comfort in that.  We’re all just trying.

But I digress. I’ll write more in another entry about the reading I did and the things I learned that are helping me now.  This entry is about food.

What I eat now:

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This is a screenshot taken directly from My Fitness Pal.  I prefer vegetarian meals. and I had that remarkably low cholesterol when I was vegetarian, so for now I’m sticking to vegetarian.  I’m not much of a cook, that is to say, I’m actually very capable in the kitchen, thanks to the women in my life, but I don’t enjoy cooking.  So for this weight loss to work, I have to be honest and acknowledge that, right now, I don’t enjoy cooking.  So I find pre-made, reasonably healthy alternatives.  Almost anything is better than pizza and ice cream.  You know what I also love? Hot sandwiches. So I eat Potbelly’s for lunch.  I love hummus.  I love onions.  I love red peppers.  Their Mediterranean sammie has all those and more.  And while it has feta on it, the amount they put on is much less than the six slices of cheese I would get on their other vegetarian option, the mushroom melt.  Sure, I could ask them to not put any cheese on at all, but I think that would be the fast track to failure.  I can adjust later.  For now, the cheese stays.

And I work at Trader Joe’s, so grabbing dinner there is easy.  I had a sandwich for lunch, so I have a salad for dinner.  Dinner’s closer to bedtime than lunch is, so I try to eat less bread later in the day (fewer simple carbs hanging out overnight, just begging to become a part of my waistline). The salad is good because it has quinoa in it, which will help raise my good cholesterol and lower the bad.  It also helps me feel fuller.  It’s got kale and cabbage and tomatoes, all super healthy.  But the best part is the cilantro and lime dressing, with some cotija cheese and roasted corn.  The dressing is the least healthy part, but the tastiest.  As I continue to eat better, my taste will continue to shift toward desiring healthier foods, but for now, just like the sandwich, this salad, dressing and all, is a much healthier option than pizza.

As for snacks, I love a decaf iced coffee with some soy milk added.  The milk is a little sweet, so it beats back my cravings for an entire chocolate cake.  I have some fruit every night when I get home, because I am a little peckish after work, and I don’t want to fuck up my day by going for pizza.  If I have the fruit to look forward to, it keeps me on track.  It also scratches that sweet itch.  The cookie?  Well, there’s always something open in the break room at work for us to share, and it’s a real struggle.  I love our sugar cookies.  So I ate one & logged it on MFP.  I didn’t eat 4, and I didn’t leave it off my tracker, so it’s still a win.

You might notice I don’t eat breakfast.  Through my research (mostly reading and podcast listening) I am persuaded by the weight loss results others have had with intermittent fasting.  Unfamiliar with IF? Go here for more info. Briefly, IF for me is the decision to not consume anything but water between my fruit when I get home at 11pm and my Potbelly lunch before work at 1:30 pm.  That’s 14 glorious hours of not eating!  Here you can find out about all the sick benefits of IF. And you will notice I am consuming the amount of calories myself and my doctor are comfortable with (i.e. I’m not starving myself), and because I dragged my ass to the gym yesterday morning and I’m fortunate in that I have an active job, I left plenty of calories on the table to run a good deficit.  Fuck yeah.

So for now that’s my routine: gym in the morning, blog post in the morning (both activities keep me from getting bored and confusing that boredom with hunger), sandwich for lunch, salad for dinner, coffee snack, fruit snack (and it has to be fresh fruit, nothing dried or artificially sweetened.  I want the fiber and water only fresh fruit can give me.), then bed.  I sleep about 9 hours, if you care to know that.  That’s what feels good for me.

Oh, and I drink around 100 ounces of water a day: 30 before work, 70 at work (I count the 16 oz. coffee with that because it’s decaffeinated) and another pint at home before bed.

Stop thinking about me in bed, you perverts.

XOE

 

Gym? Rats.

I wrote ever so briefly yesterday about my goal: 140 lbs.

That’s 50.6 lbs. to lose.*  I’m giving myself 5 months to lose it. Ten pounds a month sounds doable to me.  That’s 2.25/week, which by most doctors’ estimates is the upper limit of how much a person can reasonably expect to lose weekly and keep off.  Let’s start counting today: July 23rd.  In five months it will be December 23rd!  Huzzah!  Christmas Eve Eve I will be looking hot af for Jesus’ birthday. My gift to him will be rippling abs.

Let’s go over how I expect to do it.

My methods are not sexy or cool or cutting edge.  I’m looking down the barrel of a lot of leafy greens and hours spent on the elliptical.  I think losing weight is about routine.  Because gaining weight was a routine, too.  A routine is what got me where I am, right? Nightly pizza after work, weekends popping over to the ice cream spot. I’ve been eating like everyday is a 4th grader’s birthday party. How much does a 4th grader weigh? About 50 lbs I bet.  Carrying around this kid’s weight is not sustainable.  Not if I don’t want to end up some fat asshole on a rascal missing a foot.  Diabetes does run in my family.  So let’s forge a new future.

I have some tools I’ve been using that I think are going to be essential in getting off (heh-heh) and keeping off the weight:

-My Fitness Pal, which you can get here.  It’s a free calorie counter, and super easy to use. I used it once to lose weight, and it worked,** so I’m going back to it. It makes me conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth, and how many calories the junk really has in it.  If you try it out, don’t cheat, log EVERY SINGLE THING you put in your mouth.  MFP is the most useful when I’m completely honest with what I’m consuming.

-Fit Bit, the model I’m using can be found here. Or really any pedometer.  While the one that comes standard in your smart phone isn’t as accurate at counting expenditures as a Fit Bit, it will give you a good baseline of how many calories you’re burning daily.  The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you expend, so just make what’s going in smaller than what’s going out and you will be on the right track.

-Weight Gurus scale, find it here. I referred to my scale in the previous post, and wrote a little about what it can track.  I pair all three apps and they tell me all the things I need to know to lose weight: what I eat, how much I exercise, and my current weight (including my fat %). They are all synced so, for example, my Fit Bit tells My Fitness Pal how much I’m exercising, and I can adjust my calorie consumption accordingly.  But I choose not to take into account my exercise when it comes to calories eaten daily, and instead just count those extra burned calories in my deficit.  The point is to lose weight, not eat more just because I can.

At the gym, I do cardio, not weights, because my doctor told me I have high cholesterol, and that is a thing that was never, ever true about me.  I was a vegetarian for almost ten years, and was routinely told I had incredibly low cholesterol. My grandfather died of a heart attack, so that high cholesterol news scared the shit out of me. If you’re trying to lose weight, I suggest going to your doctor and asking them to be brutally honest with you.  Maybe you’ll get some horror show news that will scare the shit out of you, and light a fire under that ass, too.

So, cardio at the gym will lower my cholesterol and burn some calories and it’s good for my lungs, too.  And it’s good for lowering stress, too.  And it will help me sleep better at night while I’m worrying about my cholesterol.  Six days a week I do 30 minutes/daily, alternating between a fast walk on the treadmill to a steady pace on the elliptical.

Tomorrow let’s talk food: what am I eating and when am I doing it?

XOE

PS: My spacing after periods is all over the place.  You may have noticed, maybe you couldn’t give two shits less.  But I can’t figure out if I’m pro two spaces after or pro one space. I just wanted to acknowledge it so you didn’t think I was just some idiot who didn’t know he didn’t know how to properly type.


*I lost some weight between my last post and this post, which explains the discrepancy in weight from yesterday to today.  Hooray!
**But if I lost weight using MFP once and gained it back, am I sure using the app worked? Yeah. I am, because I stopped using it, and gained it all (and more) back. The complicated reasons for losing and gaining the weight will be discussed in a later post.