darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Chart)
I've lost more than 60 pounds and kept it off for a couple of years, but I'm still overweight and I don't want to be. These last 30 pounds have obstinately resisted all my tricks.

The problem comes down to cravings. Starch cravings, to be specific. I'll be in fine shape all day and then bam! I get home from work and turn into a ravening pancake beast. No power in the 'verse can stop me. By the time I come to, I've added several hundred excess calories to my day. 1

Why do I keep falling into this trap?

Carbs, cravings, and the pancake monster. )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Chart)
After three years of Wednesday breakfasts (during many of which the conversation has turned on health, weight, exercise and aging), I got my good buddy Todd to take up calorie-counting. He joined the smartphone brigade a few months ago and discovered an app (I think he's using My Fitness Pal), and he's been extolling the benefits of simple daily food awareness ever since. He's lost about 20 pounds so far, so go Todd!

As for me: I resume my forward progress at last. )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Chart)
Intermittent fasting, which I began on January 21, is still working out very well for me, but it hasn't been without some weird rough patches.

A little hypervigilance, maybe? )
darkemeralds: Photo of espresso with caption "Straight Up" (Espresso)
A few weeks ago, discouraged with steady but super slow weight loss, I decided to hit the accelerator and re-commit to losing another 30 pounds.

Then along came Intermittent Fasting.

Sixteen hours a day )
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
Since my diet reboot back in June, I've intended to lose about three-quarters of a pound a week. It's been seven months, and no matter how I look at the numbers, I'm losing at the near-imperceptible rate of a quarter of a pound a week. Somewhere, there's about a 375-calorie-per-day leak in the system.

Either I've misunderstood the math of energy-in and energy-out, or my data is bad. Since I've proven the math to my satisfaction, I decided I'd better take a look at the data.

I found slippage. )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Graph)
It's no fucking wonder people believe that diets don't work. When I turned my back on mine last year for ten minutes a few months, I regained 20% of what I'd lost and it's taken a whole year to get back to where I left off. Without my massive data set, my half a pound a week loss would be indiscernible, and I'd be on the diets-don't-work bandwagon myself.

But I have that data, so I keep going.

GPOY + the value of slowness )
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
I've now lost half of the weight I regained during my period of neglect and denial. That's nice--it's wonderful, in fact, and I feel empowered and my knees are starting to look square again--but let the record emphasize: three months. To re-lose seven pounds.

I don't think this is because fat-burning itself has become inherently slower or harder (due to age, or a "set point", or too many diets or whatever). It's as if the metabolic controls just need time--about two months in my case--to rev down, switch fuel sources from today's food to yesterday's stored fat, and then rev up again.

More internal combustion metaphor within. )
darkemeralds: Photo of half an apple pie, with the caption "First Create The Universe" (First Create The Universe)
It turns out weight loss isn't a trip to Mars. Sure, there's a goal, a weight I'd like to reach, but it's not a landing place. It's a more like going into permanent earth orbit. And the orbit will decay without a little maintenance.

'Planet's comin' up a mite fast.' )
darkemeralds: Photo of half an apple pie, with the caption "First Create The Universe" (Pie)
A weight loss graph showing a span of 600 days and a weight trend starting at 256 pounds, dropping to 193, then rising again to 207, with a trendline continuing upward


This is the picture of a typical diet--mine, in fact. It says, "She lost a lot of weight but not as much as she planned, and then started to regain it, and if she doesn't change something, she'll be right back where she started by early 2013."

Have I become the statistic I swore I wouldn't become? )

Fat city

Jan. 9th, 2012 10:49 am
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Chart)
My doctor--who is young and hip and up on the latest in nutrition--says that a woman my age (presumably with my particular body makeup and health history) should be aiming to get 75% of her calories from fat.*

Say what? )

*I hope I don't need to emphasize that this is specific advice from my doctor to me, and not a recommendation to others. But just in case: this is specific advice from my doctor to me, and not a recommendation to others.
darkemeralds: Photo of half an apple pie, with the caption "First Create The Universe" (Pie)
This is the first time I've lost this much weight, the first time I've made a regular habit tracking both my daily weight and my daily food. It's the first time I've ever deliberately pushed the pause button on a diet, and definitely the first time I've ever re-started a diet after stopping (but before regaining all-and-then-some of the weight I'd lost).

After a hiatus of several weeks, it feels good--comfortable and safe--to get back to tracking what I eat. I can envision a time when it'll be enough to do that intermittently, say one week out of the month, but that time isn't yet. I still need that tool.

I haven't quite turned the weight trend line downward again. It takes a couple of weeks for any consistent calorie change to show up there. That's true in either direction, which must account for that magical thinking at the end of a diet that says, "Hey, look! I can now eat all I want and not gain weight." Because for two weeks or so, that's true. The metabolic train doesn't stop on a dime.

Once it does slow down, there are a few weeks where the re-gain is deniable. Then there'll be a couple more weeks where you can't really deny it, but you're not ready to stop it. Then two more once you finally re-take control, and two more after that before the undeniable gain starts to go away again...

The moral of the story, for me, is this: it's easier to stay on the diet than to get back on it, and easier to get back on it sooner rather than later.

I want to remember that.
darkemeralds: Photo of half an apple pie, with the caption "First Create The Universe" (Pie)
Given that ninety-eight percent of "successful" weight loss becomes weight re-gain within a year (I don't actually know if that's still true, but it's a figure that has entered legend), and given that I set out fourteen months ago consciously and deliberately to become part of the other two percent, I think an update is in order.

In a nutshell: I started to experience the creep of bad habit, and over three months I've regained four of the sixty pounds I lost between October 2010 and September 2011. Here's the great thing: the toolkit I put together at the beginning of this journey still works. When the weight trendline began to slant upward undeniably, I was able to take all the tools back out again and use them to get myself back on track--and it wasn't very difficult.

In fact it was much, much easier than starting the diet in the first place. This surprised me: my dread of falling off the wagon and never being able to get back on again was significant.

I get back on. )

I'm fully back on track again, but I'm aiming to lose only a half pound a week now. That means that it could take me seven or eight weeks just to turn the trendline downward and get back to where I was in September. I'm not thrilled about that, but it's a valuable lesson.

On the other hand, I caught it. I caught the problem before my clothes stopped fitting, before I lost the health and mobility benefits I'd gained, and before I fell into the 98% trap that I've promised myself I will never again be part of.

Bounty

Oct. 9th, 2011 08:43 pm
darkemeralds: Screenshot of Zoe from Firefly, caption "So You've Never Pretended to Fall?" from an unfilmed Firefly script (Zoe)
I just had a lovely dinner of sautéed chanterelle mushrooms, a bratwurst, and a honeycrisp apple. Fall is here. \o/

My Sunday morning rounds to the grocery stores and my Sunday afternoon cooking-for-the-week extravaganza have netted me a large pot of bœuf bourguignon, a dish of kedgeree made to [personal profile] kis' recipe, a crock of carrot salad, a big jar of thinly sliced cucumber in rice vinegar, two quarts of plain whole milk yogurt (being strained and Greekified into a single quart), dried blueberries, the above-mentioned sausages and apples, and now a lovely pot of tea.

Happy sigh.

I did not bring home any chocolate, any nuts, any butter, or any rice cakes. I just can't seem to have that stuff in the house right now without eating all of it. Cheese is a little iffy, too. And bacon. Bacon's right out.

My weight loss has flatlined for two months, and this time it's no mystery: I've been eating too much to keep losing. I'd like to get it back on the downward slope. So in a moment of renewed discipline at Trader Joe's, I walked past the Aisles of Temptation, squared off against my fear of bored starvation or starved boredom, and came home with the makings of dessert-less meals for the whole week.

We'll see. I feel back-to-schoolish and structured this time of year, and it's a good moment for me to set things to rights.
darkemeralds: Old black and white portrait of DarkEm at the age of three (Little Me)
My weight loss habits went on hiatus the day I left on my vacation (August 18), and have been slow to come back.

I've spent the twenty days since my return home experimenting with "natural eating"--which is to say, eating without tracking--and the best I can say for it is that the weight I've lost isn't coming back on very quickly. I feel like I'm on the edge of a cliff and about to fall. It's too scary.

The break did me good. It bled some of the pressure out of the system, and I'm no longer so fixated on achieving a certain goal weight by a certain date. I now have an idea of what maintenance will feel like, and I've come to the realization that my original goal weight was too low by at least twenty pounds.

So, though the break was worth taking, I feel better returning to counting calories and recording my weight every morning, and generally wrapping myself back up in the safe blanket of the plan I committed to almost a year ago.
darkemeralds: Photo of half an apple pie, with the caption "First Create The Universe" (Pie)
It's been a little over nine months since I began this trek of losing a lot of weight.

Refining my goals. )
darkemeralds: Photo of half an apple pie, with the caption "First Create The Universe" (Pie)
This post is mostly for my own record-keeping, but I'm posting it unlocked in case the information is of use to someone else.

Strictly weight-management details. )
darkemeralds: Old black and white portrait of DarkEm at the age of three (Little Me)
Ho hum.

Plateau plateau plateau. Boring boring boring. My weight has not shifted meaningfully since April 26.

You know. Diet stuff. )

Most Popular Tags

Page generated Apr. 28th, 2017 02:02 pm