Week Ten Recap

Sun 16 September 2018

It's week ten, and I've dropped a little less than nine pounds. That puts me a week behind schedule. The tardiness is the result of a trip to Vegas eating at multiple good restaurants, of course. The actual damage done was much worse than just one pound, but last week's sprint brought me back to within striking range of my fifteen pounds in fifteen weeks goal.

So now, I have five weeks remaining with six pounds to drop. As the past ten weeks have shown, this is completely doable even with two trips to Vegas:

I don't think I have any huge party plans coming up for the next several weeks, so I should just make steady progress the rest of the way. If I find myself needing an extra push around week twelve or thirteen, I'll schedule a sprint for week fourteen to get myself over the top.

Metrics:

Targeting a fifteen pound loss at one pound per week:

Week 10
=======
Current     : -8.4 lbs
Weekly Rate : -0.84 lbs / wk
Projected   : 04-Nov
Original    : 21-Oct

Week Ten - Sprint Two, Day Seven

Sun 16 September 2018

Wow, that was awesome. The last day of the sprint, I did the toast mono-diet, and it was no problem. Maybe my system just got used to it. Regardless of why, it worked. I dropped almost a pound and a half that last day, and I'm now in striking distance of pound number nine.

It's not the full victory I was hoping for, but it was still progress. Better than getting back to even and a lot better than getting a regression. More encouraging than the actual weight dropped, this goes to show me that I can totally do a weight sprint for a week and get the results I need. I netted a four and a half pound loss from the week of my Vegas trip. If you count my peak weight (the day I actually got back home from Vegas), then I dropped a full five and a half pounds.

Now, even though I'm a week behind schedule, I feel confident that I can pull off another sprint in the next month and get that extra pound back. Other than that, I just need to do my normal meal scheduling the rest of the time.

This is the start of week eleven and I have five weeks and six pounds to go. Feeling good.

Week Ten - Sprint Two, Day Six

Sat 15 September 2018

Basically a wash from yesterday. I ate almost exactly the same thing yesterday as I did the day before: several pieces of toast and a portion of Chinese chicken salad. On top of that, I also ate a couple of bowls of granola. That granola must have made the difference between dropping any weight and maintaining. It's either that, or the weight drop is just slowing down naturally.

I'll have to see tomorrow morning. Today, I will stay on the toast, and only the toast. No salad tonight and no bowls of cereal this morning. I'd like to break through that eight-pound barrier, if possible.

Week Ten - Sprint Two, Day Five

Fri 14 September 2018

Another pound and a half for the week. Let me tell you, toast works. Just get the good stuff. Anyway, two more days to go in the sprint. I'm on track.

As I wrote yesterday, getting back to pre-Vegas weight would be considered a wash. That's where I am right now. So now what remains is to see how much actual progress I can make.

If I drop one more pound, then I'm in the area I consider a success for the week. I would be one pound behind schedule for the overall program. In that case, I would schedule another sprint week sometime in the next month, and then I should hit fifteen pounds in the fifteenth week.

If I drop more than just the one pound by Sunday, then I'll actually be completely on schedule(!). If that happens, I should be able to hit the deadline without having to do any more sprints (assuming no more Vegas trips).

This week is going as well as can be expected, with the chance of getting even better. Feeling pretty good right now!

Goals and Motivations

Thu 13 September 2018

So here it is, the middle of a weight-drop sprint week, with another one planned for sometime in the next month. This isn't easy right now, eating toast all day. What are the reasons I am putting myself through this process? What is the end goal? What is going to happen once I drop that fifteenth pound?

Motivations

In general, I want to be in better health. After getting married a few years ago, many life changes took place similar to when I graduated college. Back then, I went from walking multiple miles a day from class to class, with barely any money for food, to sitting deskbound all day, with more than enough money for all the food I could want (not to mention the free soda). That did not turn out so well.

This time around, I moved from a walk city with the ocean and multiple parks nearby to a suburban house where I need a car to get anywhere other than my front lawn. Oh, and also sitting deskbound all day with all the food I could want. After a year or two of that, I wasn't feeling so great. Then, of course, the baby came along. That changed my life even more.

So now, I want to reset myself, get back to a reasonable weight, and continue on from there.

Specific Motivations

But general motivations usually aren't enough. I also came up with specific reasons that I can shoot out at the people around me to get them on board my good health wagon.

The first specific reason: cheaper life insurance. Some may say that BMI is an outdated metric, but it's still considered a useful, inexpensive, and easy way of measuring obesity. (This is probably for good reason. How many of us are football players with so much muscle that our BMI gets distorted upwards?) So I'm working my way down to the next BMI level (from “overweight” to “normal”).

(How much do I truly care about the cheaper premium? Not much, really. I don't even know what the actual savings would be. I do know that it's an easy thing to tell people when they ask me why I'm losing weight. Apparently, better health is not a good reason, but saving a few bucks a month is.)

The second specific reason: I want to maximize the amount of time I spend with my kid. She's about one year old right now, and lots of fun. I'm sure there will be hard times, but I want to be there for the good times as long as possible.

Finally, the third specific reason: I want quality life time. I enjoy eating a good meal as much as the next guy (probably much more than the next guy). But eating is not the only thing I enjoy. Many things require that I eat less to be able to participate. (e.g. surfing and hiking) So I'm getting my body in shape for the things I enjoy doing.

And there you go, my three reasons for dropping fifteen pounds in fifteen weeks. I'm sure I can come up with a longer list, but this is enough to keep me on track for now.

Future Goals

What am I going to do once I drop the fifteen? After all, one needs to punch through the wall, right?

1 — Create a Weight “Buffer Zone”

One plan is to maintain the weight. Given my lifestyle, this will require planning and diligence. As I mentioned above, I am now getting my BMI into the “normal” range. Dropping the fifteen is just the first step. The step after that is to create a bigger weight buffer zone. This means dropping an additional three to four pounds sometime after the first fifteen. This buffer zone will allow me to let loose once in a while (see: Vegas Trips) and still be within my target weight range. I expect that I will be continually moving up and down in weight, within the buffer zone. If I ever get above the buffer zone, then I'll be in red alert mode.

2 — Build it Up

The second plan is to build up my muscles. This blog is, of course, very much about the superfluousness of exercise - but that only applies to losing weight. Exercise is very important for general health. So once I drop the weight from my body, I will be building it back up the right way. I intend to get lean and strong as opposed to big and bulky.

3 — Eat Less, Eat Well

As goal-oriented as my approach has been for this project, I have more of a natural affinity towards process-oriented techniques. One thing I've discovered during the course of the last several weeks is that I can probably continue forward with an “eat less, eat better” philosophy. In other words: make the calories count.

Like most people, I find it too easy to fall into the trap of eating for eating's sake. Much of the time, I'm not even enjoying (much less needing) the food I'm eating. What I will do from now on is to only eat if I know I'm going to enjoy the food. (Or if I'm super hungry.) I won't waste the calories I'm ingesting on mediocrity.

Another Tactic

Here's another tactic for staying away from the dinner table, by the way: write a super long blog post. Another few days on the toast diet...

Week Ten - Sprint Two, Day Four

Thu 13 September 2018

I dropped about three-quarters of a pound yesterday, not quite the full pound I thought I could do. Now, I'm considering my options for what would constitute a successful week or not.

If I get back to my pre-Vegas weight, another pound and a half drop from here, I think I will consider that a wash. That would put me two weeks and two pounds behind schedule. In that event, I think I would have to push my target date back a week.

If I get below my pre-Vegas weight (by another pound or so), then I will consider that progress made (though not the full success). In this case, I would need to do another sprint before week fifteen to get myself completely back on track. I think it would be doable.

So there's my goal: drop at least another two pounds before Sunday. This will allow me to still hit my original target date by executing another sprint sometime in the next month. I still haven't done any major exercise this whole time. I may put in a rowing session or even a full surf sometime in the next day or two. If I do that, I'll have to be careful not to overeat in the hunger aftermath.

Week Ten - Sprint Two, Day Three

Wed 12 September 2018

Half a pound from yesterday, not bad. About halfway through the day, I started getting that low blood-sugar feeling. I ended up giving in and ate a cup of yogurt, some chicken and rice, and an ice cream bar around lunch time. That was it for the day, and I was able to refrain from eating after that. So half a pound of weight loss is pretty good. I'll rebound from yesterday and try to stay on the toast mono-diet all day today and see where that takes me.

Once I see where I stand tomorrow morning, I'll figure out what an achievable goal is for the week. Five pounds total is still within sight, although looking less likely now. About three more pounds to go from here. I think I ought to be able to drop one pound today.

Week Ten - Sprint Two, Day Two

Tue 11 September 2018

I ate about eight slices of toast plus a bowl of granola all day yesterday. Decent progress made, dropping one and a half pounds in the process. I still have over four pounds to go to get back in pace. I'll give it another couple of days before I make any judgements for the week.

Week Ten - Sprint Two, Day One

Mon 10 September 2018

I don't know if I'm necessarily off to a good start, but at least I'm not off to a bad start.

Good intentions at the beginning of the day yesterday succumbed to bad habits acquired over the past week. By evening time, I was doing okay, but I gave in and ate a couple of leftover tacos in the fridge. The tacos weren't even that good — a waste of calories. Despite that failure, I still managed to drop about a quarter of a pound from the previous day.

Today, I'm in a better mindset. I'm on the toast mono-diet (aside from some granola cereal and maybe some fruits).

I think I will manage okay over the next day or two, then wherever I am Thursday morning will be the starting point for some hard work going into the weekend. A pound a day for five days doesn't seem sustainable, but I should drop at least two to three before the weekend. That will bring me back to the seven-day average. (More on that seven-day average in a future post.)

I don't intend to do a daily tactics post, as I did during the first sprint. I may do one or two before the week is over.

Something else I may throw in this week: exercise. Oooh, I know. I said it's not necessary and it can even hurt the cause. Those facts still remain true. However, I may need a slight boost in calorie expenditure to help push me over the top for this sprint. If I do exercise this week, I will be extra careful to not let myself give in to the hunger afterwards. In addition, I still need to eat as little as possible, regardless of the exercise I do.

Anyway, that's a decision for another day. For now, I'm just going to try and embrace the hunger for the rest of the day.

Week Nine Recap

Sun 09 September 2018

Well, that was rough.

Rough, but fun. The Vegas trip was a doozy, as far as eating was concerned. That's basically all we did. Traveling there with a kid makes for a much different trip. The time was mostly spent lingering over meals with family.

After we got back home, I rebounded a little bit, as expected. Then, we hosted a party at home that had me throw all caution out the door. That too was fun.

But now, it's time to pay the piper. After eight straight weeks of weight loss, I gave back almost half of it in a few days. I guess it would have been unreasonable to expect the streak to keep going unabated. Anyway, here we are. Strictly speaking, I need to lose about five pounds by next Sunday. I'm really not sure if that's possible, but I'll have to try. On the other hand, my seven-day-average weight is about two pounds less than where I am now. So, that would mean only dropping three pounds below the expected mean. That would be doable.

I think this will have to be another sprint week. I'll do a weekly plan tomorrow to see if it's possible based on my calendar.

Metrics:

Targeting a fifteen pound loss at one pound per week:

Week 9
======
Current     : -7.6 lbs
Weekly Rate : -0.42 lbs / wk
Projected   : 10-Mar-2019 (ouch!)
Original    : 21-Oct

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