T Minus Ten (And Counting?)

I have a secret; one that I’ve only shared with a handful of people. In fact, I wrote this post at the beginning of the year, and saved it as an incentive. As the clock ticked down on 2005, I joined a lot of people in making a new year’s resolution. And not just any resolution, but probably one of the most common: lose weight.

I’d was in denial for longer than a year, and it was getting to be a stretch. I’d started buying my pants slightly larger in the waist, one or two pairs at a time, whenever we happened to be shopping. Then, around the end of last year, I bought a pair of larger belts, because the final notches on the ones I’d worn for the last four years were no longer comfortable.

The clincher was when I saw the proofs of our family portrait this year (which I have not and will not post anywhere online). As I’ve heard said many times, the camera only takes what it sees, and the camera saw what it saw. It showed in my face that I’d put on weight, especially compared with pictures even a year old. (I also knew that when my family got the picture with their holiday cards, they’d notice it and mention it. They did not disappoint.)

I resovled as soon as I saw that picture to something I haven’t done in years: go on a diet. I also resolved not to post anything about it until (and unless) I achieved some degree of success at my specific goal: lose ten pounds.

Today, I can happily report that for several days now my scale indicates that I’m actually a little more than then pounds lighter. (And, no, I’m not giving up any numbers to anybody I’m not married to.)  In addition, the pants I mentioned earlier are now a few inches bigger in the waist than they used to be and I’ve returned to wearin the my old belts. (And using the next to last notch, at that.) The process has yielded a number of realizations on my part.

First, I had to figure out what diet I wanted to follow. Being a vegetarian kind of means that most diets — like the Atkins diet or the South Beath Diet — are going to pose a particular challenge for me when it comes to adapting them. Besides, any diet that requires buying special foods or making special recipes isn’t something I’m going to be able to maintain.

To be honest, I didn’t take the “Hackers’ Diet” seriously when I first came across the link and added it to my del.icio.us feed. But as December ran out, and I hadn’t come up with a gameplan for what I needed to do, I started reading it and decided it’s basic premise was simple enough: figure out how many calories I burn, and then eat fewer calories. So I decided to give it a try. (Disclaimer: I consulted a physician; the one I’m married to. If you’re not married to one, find another to consult before trying this or any other diet. And take a multi-vitamin)

Ten pounds later, it appears to have worked. I made a few changes, but not many. I started bringing my lunch to work a lot more often, and I started looking at labels on foods. I figured out about how many calories I burned in day, and discovered I could eat fewer calories and not get terribly hungry if I made the right food choices. And I didn’t have to give up all the foods I enjoyed. I just budgeted them into my allotted calories for the day. I was a little paranoid about eating out at first, until I figured out that if I ate sensibly for two meals I could afford to relax a little for the third. (And I learned that I don’t have to eat everything on my plate, if I’m not the one who put it there.)

I also learned to pay attention to calorie count and serving count. I learned a few other things too.

  • I eat when I’m bored. Or even when I’m not bored, just to have something to do wth my hands. (Maybe it’s an ADD thing.)
  • I’m not longer a teenager who can eat anything I want and not gain weight.
  • If I want to maintain a certain weight, I’ll have to pay attention to my weight, pay attention to what I eat, and adjust accordingly. 

So now what? When I started, I decided that when I reached my initial goal, I’d reassess and make some adjustments. Either I’d adujst my eating to maintain, or I’d keep going for another five. The “And Counting?” means I’ve chosen the latter.

The other thing is that I haven’t really included a exercise program in my diet plan. (And I lost weight anyway.) But I know I’d benefit from exercise. So, I’ve unpacked my old yoga tapes from before Parker was born. I figure — since I’m usually the last to turn in — I can clear a spot on the floor in the familyroom and get in a half hour or so of yoga before I go to bed.

But the important thing is I feel better, and I’m happier than I was before with where I am physically.

Just wanted to share.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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9 Responses to T Minus Ten (And Counting?)

  1. Tim Who? says:

    Good for you.

  2. OnyxNeo - KG says:

    Good for you. Keep it up.

  3. Lauren says:

    Fantastic!  Good for you.

    Did you pick up on any exercise in addition to the calorie count?

  4. Nio says:

    It’s awesome that you have been able to stick to losing weight.

    I eat when I’m bored. Or even when I’m not bored, just to have something to do wth my hands. (Maybe it’s an ADD thing.)

    I would agree that it has to do with ADD. I think it’s because those of us with ADD like to do things with our hands, constantly.

  5. Oh mate..what’s a pound or two of flesh between friends? Doesn’t yr partner love to hold on for the wild rides?

    Seriously tho, losing weight is a bitch of  a job- I know.

    One of the tricks I learnt was that, you don’t calorie count that strictly. What you do is look at how many calories you need to maintain weight, health etc… then  you work out how many calories you need to reduce in order to lose weight. Once you have that, you divide the figure in two.

    For example, say you need to consume 3000 calories to maintian weight. But to lose weight, you need to reduce that consumption by 1000 to 2000 calories a day. The trick is not to reduce yr intake by 1000,but by half that amount 500.. so you consume 2500. BUT the you must expend the other 500 calories by exercising or whatever it is you do to expend those calories [run after yr little brat for example].

    This actually worked for me. The point was u take it slowly, that u don’t notice the change and it is far more permanent way ofkeeping the pounds off.

    And yes, you still need to modify yr diet, but you find you don’t have to give up everything [e.g.chocolate, esp. Swiss or Belgian varietys..ooooooohhh]….

    Last but not least, look into food allergies/ intolerances as they can play havoc with yr body… I have lactose intolerance which makes my body retain a lot more rubbish than I otherwise would..

    Anyway, keep it up babe. You’ll get there.

    Then again, I think…why the fuck is Luther Vandross, Solomon Burke, and even BB King still considered to be lurve Gods inspite of their size? Big Boys can be sexy too ya know!

  6. Terrance says:

    Well, truth be told exercise bores me to tears. To do it, I have to be distracted. When I went to the gym regulary, prior to parenthood, I’d be on the treadmill while reading a book, listening to music, and watching whatever was on the television screen in front of me. We have a rowing machine at home, but it’s in the most boring room in the house, so I don’t use it because I hate to just stare at the wall and row.

    So, as far as exercise goes, I busted out the yoga videos, and I think that’s a pretty good place for me to start.

  7. Terrance says:

    For example, say you need to consume 3000 calories to maintian weight. But to lose weight, you need to reduce that consumption by 1000 to 2000 calories a day. The trick is not to reduce yr intake by 1000,but by half that amount 500

    That’s basically what I did. I used a chart from The Hackers’ Diet to find a range of the calories a guy my size and age burned in a day. From that I picked a number in the middle of the range, and subtracted 500 calories or so to determine my window for weight loss. It’s worked pretty well without making me feel terribly hungry or deprived.

    I have an unrelenting sweet tooth, so I make various choices to budget in something sweet after dinner. Even then I make low-cal choices and/or limit serving size. Lately I’ve been looking forward to a serving or two of Jelly Bellies at the end of the day. At 140 calories per serving, I can fit in a couple and still be comfortably within my "window." (And they’re gelatin free! So there veggie-friendly in that sense.)

    I have latose intolerance as well, and it seems to get worse as I get older. Ice cream makes me pretty gassy if I don’t have my Lactaid. Regular milk is out of the question. And these days too much cheese causes discomfort. I haven’t gone vegan, but I definitely have less dairy than I used to.

    Once I’ve lost the next five, I’ll start adding some calories back a bit at a time, to see how much I can eat and maintain the weight I want.

  8. eRobin says:

    Yoga is awesome.  Good luck.

  9. Don’t get too strict with the calorie counting… dontcha even like walking. It’s what I do [OK, Ok, OK… even that gets boring, but round where I live there’s lotsa bush … ]

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