Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 58 Strategic Calorie Moves and Food Fantasy Grooves

Day 58

Strategic Calories Moves and Food Fantasy Grooves

I always get a little nervous the night before weigh day. I really don't know why. I've done everything right. I've overcome temptation, I've resisted a buffet, I've endured bad moods, and survived a collision with a buck. All those emotional and stressful triggers have struck out in the last two weeks. I survived without jumping into a vat of cream gravy or sliding down a slippery slope of Tin Roof Sundae. The only thing that I could have done better is push myself harder in my workouts. Don't get me wrong, when I work out I really sweat and my heart rate gets way up there. But I know I could go a little further, and I will, I just haven't yet. On the few “Biggest Loser” TV episodes I've caught, they always seem to push the contestants way harder than I've ever pushed. But I'll get there. I can't be disappointed in my results thus far. I've lost over 50 pounds in less than two months and that's something special. I promised myself I wouldn't guess at how much tomorrow will add to the total. I know it will be a good one, but still I will not relax until the scales freeze on a number.

The best way I've found to stay on track calorie wise is to maintain a consistent schedule. Usually I enjoy a hot breakfast of fruit and cream oatmeal. Sometimes I even slice a banana into the bowl. Several times, mostly on weekends, I'll enjoy some eggs and toast. Lunch is usually anything I want between 350 and 550 calories. After a mid-afternoon snack I usually have 50% of my calories remaining. This is good calorie management for me. If I can get to supper time with at least 750 calories to use, then I know I can easily enjoy dinner and a late evening snack. I try to always have at least 50% of my calories remaining for our evening meal. I know some experts would disagree with this, saying that you should use 75% before supper, and then eat nothing after 6 or 7pm. Whatever. I know there are some obvious benefits of eating less later in the evening, but I know myself well enough to know that what I'm doing is what's right for me. I've watched my calorie consumption patterns closely in the last 58 days. I've learned a bunch about myself in these patterns. I've concluded that the toughest time of day for me is between 2 and 5pm. If I can get through that portion of the day without going past 50% of my calories, then I'll be fine. I try to budget a snack during these hours, but sometimes I want more than a snack. That's when I have to confront my cravings and triggers head on. When I push my calories up before supper, something has to be dropped, and it's usually the late snack. I did that today. During the 2-5pm critical zone, I pushed my calories for the day to about 65%. The result was what I expected, after the evening meal I had only 25 calories remaining. I guess tonight's late evening snack will be a Werthers Original piece of candy or a big dill pickle, it's not exactly a Dream Bar or Fudge Pop, but I made the choices, and I'm OK with that. Proper calorie management is extremely important to staying on track. I know I've talked about having anything I want, and that's true, but I also know that if I blow 1,000 calories on lunch I'd be making it extremely hard on myself to get through the rest of the day and evening. Several people have asked me “Do you get hungry?” If I've properly managed my calories, no, not really at all. There was one day a few weeks ago I used all but 60 calories by 6:30pm. I may have felt a little hungry around 9:30 or 10pm that day, but not that bad. It all comes down to making good choices all day long. That's why I end each blog with “good choices.”

I've noticed that my “food fantasies” have dramatically decreased over the last 58 days. Food fantasies can totally kill your progress if you give in to them. I've made the mistake in the past of indulging in food fantasies as a way to celebrate reaching a goal. When I reached the 100 pound mark back in 2004, I went straight from the scales to the Hideaway for Courtney's birthday celebration. I bet I consumed ¾ of a large pizza and an entire bowl of fried mushrooms, I may have even thrown a cheese stick down too, I don't remember, it was a blur of food fantasy indulgence. I may have continued on for a couple of weeks or maybe three after that indulgence, but really I was not the same after that celebration. I understand now that a celebration doesn't have to include eating 3500 calories. I can still celebrate my accomplishments along the way and stay completely on track. It's about taking the focus off the food and enjoying the family and friends, the conversation, and the positive feeling of winning. I've been through so many failed attempts where I wasn't allowing myself to learn. I wasn't learning how to enjoy proper portions. I wasn't changing my attitude toward food, I was simply enduring the restricted calorie limit until I could justify cutting loose and eating all I wanted. Losing weight without learning how to handle food and portions is a very temporary thing. That's what is so different about this time for me. Some might say that I “think too much”, that I over analyze my past behaviors to the extreme, but it's how I'm learning these new food skills. These are the skills that will make my weight loss permanent. My future grandkids will never know me as a morbidly obese man. When they see the pictures of what grandpa use to look like they won't believe it's me. It'll be like when I found out my grandma use to smoke Pall Malls. The thought of my grandma smoking was inconceivable. There's no way! She quit many years before I came along. And I would have never guessed in a million years. That's the same reaction I want my future grandkids to have about my past obesity.

Tomorrow is weigh day! Irene has a doctors appointment at 4:30pm across the street from the health department scales in Stillwater, so we're weighing at around 4:15pm. If you're interested in a text message update after the weigh in, and you didn't get one last time, then please send me your number in a private message and tell me to add you to the weigh day text update. I sincerely appreciate your support. I know I say that all the time, but I really mean it with all that I am. Good night and...

Good Choices,

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