darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
Both of my sisters are into the smoothie for breakfast thing--grinding up a bunch of otherwise not-well-liked vegetables with some fruit and nuts and rice milk and drinking it down to start the day with a big nutrient boost. So I decided to try it today.

I went to the farmer's market and got some stuff.

a cutting board with a carrot, a beet, some hazelnuts, some blackberries, some chopped kale and a knife

A beet (including greens), hazelnuts, fish oil, kale, coconut milk, half a peach, blackberries...I left out the carrot and added some honey. Whrr-whrr-whrr went the blender. Whir some more. Add more coconut milk. More high speed whirring.

A tall glass containing a thick, brownish smoothie, with a green straw stuck in it

The result tasted considerably better than it looked--somewhat sweet and acidic, a bit "green"--and I can overlook the ugly color caused mostly by blackberries. But I honestly don't think I could choke one of these down daily, especially not first thing in the morning. It's lumpy and thick, which prevents the guzzling that would make it at least go by quickly. It was kind of a chore.

Do people really do this every day? In the absence of an expensive blender, how?
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I was just standing here eating broccoli when it occurred to me how odd both of those things are. I switched to a standing workstation a couple of months ago, and somewhere in the last year or two I've finally managed to make vegetables a part of my everyday life. I believe, but can't prove, that each of these changes has been good for my health.

So I got to wondering what else I've changed in the last few years.

Turns out, quite a lot. )
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)
It's been a little over nine months since I began this trek of losing a lot of weight.

Refining my goals. )
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. )

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