I’m losing weight. It’s hard.
Two years ago I found the recipe and lost 22 pounds and managed to train into pretty good shape. Last year I had a some challenges (well documented on this blog) that left me a few pounds too heavy and not very well trained. I had the stroke and was off the bike for a while and just when I got back to riding, we had all the snow. That was a very good excuse for me not to ride. Of course all that was through the holidays with plenty of good food around. So I ate and got fatter.
Now I’m left with the double duty of shedding pounds and getting in shape. The getting fit part is pretty straightforward — ride my bike. Losing weight is more problematic.
I’ve shed lots of pounds four or five times in my life so I know what it takes. Even so, each time is difficult and the most challenging time is the first two weeks. So far this year, I’ve tried to start losing weight a few times so what’s going to make this time the one that sticks? It just is. I have the feeling that I’m prepared to make the commitment.
Losing weight is easy. Just make calories out more than clalories in. I can directly control both of those variables. The trick is to keep things at a sustainable level. I’ve seen people lose big pounds the first week or two because they are implementing a hunger strike diet. That’s just unsustainable. The hunger and weakness will drive you batty and the usual culmination is a loss of will and the end of the diet. Sometimes people will have a good start on a reasonable program and then they will kill it through a thousand cuts. Oh, this won’t hurt, that won’t hurt and before they know it, they are off the diet.
My program is portion control and limited (smart) snacking. I eat a reasonable amount of food that is a bit less than my total caloric expendature. Three meals plus a couple of healthy snacks. No junk. The problem is that I’m hungry a lot and it’s especially severe during the first couple of weeks. Eventually, my body gets the message and I’m hungry less often — but if I’m not hungry, then I’m not losing weight. Being hungry and not eating is tough. I find it especially tough if I’m around the house or sitting in front of the computer at work.
I weight myself every day but try not to pay too much attention to daily fluctuations. The important thing is to see the data points trend down at a reasonable slope. Since I’ve done this before, I have a pretty good idea of what that slope will look like. For the first three weeks, I can count on 2-2.5 pounds a week. Then for about six weeks, I can count on 1.5-1.75 pounds a week. Then it tapers off to about a pound a week thereafter. After about 12-14 weeks, I should be where I’d like to be.
As long as I can hold all this together.