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?
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.
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 Some may say that BMI is an outdated metric, but it's still considered a useful, inexpensive, and easy way of measuring obesity.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.
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.
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...