The first week of maintenance went very well. I am still a fraction of a pound below goal weight, and this is in spite of the fact that, by my best estimate, I
consumed devoured nearly 5,000 calories on Saturday. I didn't just have a "bad" day; I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Yet, my weight is exactly where I want it to stay. Nonetheless, I'll try to be a little bit more circumspect on Thanksgiving.
The other thing I'd just like to mention is that now that winter is making its presence known, I am now dealing with the one side effect of the weight loss I could really do without: I am constantly cold during this time of year. In other words, I miss my blubber. I can never seem to get my hands and feet warm -- not unless I turn the heat up high enough to make everyone else in the house complain about the sauna-like conditions. Although I refuse to believe I would ever do it myself, I now completely understand why it is that some members of my family fled to warmer climes as they got older.
Although I know I did the right thing for the right reasons, there's a small part of me that wishes I could just put on 20-30 pounds of weight for the winter and then work my ass off to remove it again once spring asserts itself. Alas, that just doesn't coincide with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So, for the next few months I'll just be placing the electric blanket under the covers 10-15 minutes before I go to bed and wearing enough layers to nearly qualify as a living mummy. I'll survive, but I'll also certainly bitch-and-moan about it occasionally -- much to the dismay, I'm sure, of TeenLitGirl.
While I don't really regret moving most of my online socialization to Facebook, I occasionally find myself frustrated with the site's total lack of a way to easily search/scan through old status updates. With that in mind, here a couple status's from the past week I decided I'd like to archive in a format that allows me to find them again with a little less effort.
From Nov. 14:
Actual comment I just left on a friend's Facebook page:
"I am so awesome at being an nerdy, intellectual, uber-liberal, socially-maladroit, married, white, upper-middle-class, Mid-Atlantic dad that no one wants to even contest me for my crown. They just stand back and gaze upon me in all my glory!
KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!"
I believe it's very possible that I have consumed far too much caffeine.
From Nov. 13:
One positive thing about my not taking proper care of myself for most of my 20s and 30s, thus forcing myself to do so at this stage of my life: at the age of 41, I am the happiest I have ever been with my body and overall appearance -- and that's with the wrinkles and gray hairs that have started to make their presence known.
Suck that, youth.
Gain/loss for the fortnight: -1.1 lbs
Cumulative loss (past 12 weeks): 17.1
Lbs away from revised goal: Achieved
Now comes the fun part: maintaining. When I set my mind to it, losing weight and getting back in shape has never been a problem for me. The hard part has always been finding the proper caloric balance for keeping my weight in my desired range. In the past, I've found myself needing to keep an eye on the scale as I attempt to determine the proper amount of food for me to just maintain -- when I exceeded either end of of my desired range I then increased or decreased the calories until I was back where I should be. However, I've never previously kept a proper log of daily caloric intake. Without that, I don't really know what my ideal daily average should be.
I don't want to use LJ as the place to house such a log. So, I guess that means I need to use an Excel spreadsheet and start keeping daily records. I know that some fluctuation is in order as I get this hammered out, but the goal now is to stay within ±2.5 lbs of where I am now. Given that I am starting this new endeavor with the heart of the holiday season looming just nine days away, this could be an interesting little roller coaster of a ride.
- As a small child, I was baptized Catholic; as a teen, my dad put me through one Buddhist sect's equivalent of a baptism; and while in college I went through a full immersion baptism at a fundamentalist church. I can at least say I come by my agnosticism honestly.
- I was born with a club foot and spent most of my first year in a cast to correct it.
- I have an English Lit. degree and a minor in mathematics.
- Before my rapid radicalization to the left-side of the political spectrum, I actually voted for Guiliani for mayor while living in NYC in the mid '90s.
- I have seen nearly 20 Barenaked Ladies concerts over the years. I have only seen six other bands more than once.
- One of them was 4 Non Blondes, whom I saw three times.
- One of my summer jobs while in college was pushing a rolling chair on the Atlantic City boardwalk.
- A multiple-Hugo winning author actually demanded on his blog that I personally bring him a cold beverage, and I complied the next time he was in my area on a book tour.
Gain/loss for the fortnight: -3.6 lbs
Cumulative loss (past 10 weeks): 16.0
Lbs away from revised goal: 0.8
There's a lot that comes to mind as I look at those numbers and think about my eating and exercising over the past couple weeks:
- I inadvertently didn't have my bad meal this week, which possibly helped drive the weight loss number down a little further. However, It was likely offset by my eating some leftover Halloween candy over the past few days, so I don't know how much that really came into play.
- Because these numbers cover a two-week period, the weekly average is still very roughly in line with the first eight weeks since becoming incredibly determined to get my weight down to my ideal mark. However, although I didn't post last week's number at the time, I did do a weigh-in last Tuesday. While I lost only 0.4 lbs on the first week of this past fortnight, I lost 3.2 over the second week. Once again, this illustrates that even weekly numbers contain weird fluctuations, and as a result I am not expecting to make goal this week. I just have this feeling that today's number registered low thanks to some quirk I haven't yet identified.
- I completely understand how so many people become obsessed with weight and body image. Although I use my weight as my primary gauge of my level of fitness, I also take into consideration the amount of exercise I get, the type of food I'm eating, and my blood pressure readings. However, even so, I occasionally have to stop myself from unduly fixating solely on the scale itself and, to a lesser extent, my own perceptions of my body's appearance because....
- I know for a fact that standard BMI -- which is literally nothing more than an algebraic equation based on the archaic height-weight charts) does not apply to me. As of this morning, my BMI is 28.3, which is in the high-end of the overweight range. Given that I am less than one pound from my ideal weight -- a weight that my doctor of 10+ years and I determined based on my own weight fluctuations and other factors -- there's no way I will ever get down to "normal weight" BMI without looking horribly gaunt.
- Last week, TeenLitGirl suggested that once I return to my goal weight (I was actually there for over half of 2012), I post some before and after photos -- something I didn't do the first the first time I made goal in early 2012. I also still have my fat pants from my peak weight in April 2011. So if I do the before (that being photos from around April 2011) and after shots, I may even put those old jeans back on to show how big they are on me now.
It's hard to believe that it was really 20 years ago. This routine lasted through the late '90s, when it started to disintegrate for a variety of reasons: changing priorities, cancellation of favorite programs without new shows to take their place, the types of demands that becoming a responsible adult in a committed relationship start placing on your time, etc. But until that happened, it was my routine from my mid-teens through my late 20s. It was comfortable and reassuring, the way so many routines are, and when the memory of Saturdays past arrived unbidden, I became incredibly wistful and realized how I just don't have routines like that anymore.
Sadly, like so many things in life, I can never properly resurrect that routine, or those experiences. Finding the television programs to incorporate into a relaunch of the routine isn't the problem -- I have a formidable list of science fiction and fantasy series that I'd love to either revisit or finally get around to seeing for the first time. Rather, the very presence of TeenLitGirl's and my three kids, not to mention all the responsibilities raising them entails, presents the most formidable obstacle to creating such an endeavour. It's not the only major impediment though -- even if I manage to carve out a regular 3-4 hour block of time every Saturday (or even just a 2-3 hour block), I'm no longer able to indulge in chips and soda the way I used to in my younger days. I'm far too aware of what that does to my body now, and given how vital it is for me to properly take care of myself, there's no way I can consume salty, fried potato-based or corn-based junk food in the manner I did in my youth.
I'm sure that I can eventually revisit this routine again, in some fashion, as the kids get older and the demands they make on our time change. However, like so many things from our youth, it won't be the same the second time around. It's like Eddie Money singing "I Wanna Go Back" -- even if I properly reproduce every component, I can't morph into the 21-year-old I used to be... I can't go back. However, having something like that routine again would really be a nice thing, even if it never can entirely be the same.
12. Softspoken, Lucius Shepard
I posted a review to the revamped (still not completely transferred, despite my stated goal to complete the task and relaunch by the end of the summer) Some Fantastic 2.0 site. Greatly enjoy what I have read of his, and have lots more unread material on my shelves.
13. Terra Insegura, Edward Willett
Sequel to the novel Marsequro. Over two years later, I made good on my promise to track down this book and see how the story evolves. In addition to enjoying it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the second novel nicely concluded the story without an ending that leads to readily obvious sequels. That's not to say that Willett couldn't write another book in this universe; rather, this story just contains no loose ends that scream for resolution.
14. Human Division, John Scalzi
Scalzi is awesome. Enough said.
15. Slashback, Rob Thurman
I plan to post a mini-review to the Some Fantastic site within the next few days. I've now kept up with this series through eight books. I reviewed the first novel for the original incarnation of Some Fantastic back in 2006, and last year, here on LJ, I posted a very brief blurb on the seventh book. Without posting too much of my planned review here, I'm intrigued to see that this series might very well come to its conclusion in the ninth book, when it arrives next year. As much as I've loved the series, however, if it doesn't end with the next book, then Jedi from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away may very well sense a great disturbance in the force.
I generally like Foo Fighters best when Dave Grohl is scream-singing about anger, pain, and persistence in the face of adversity. However, I would eventually get bored with a band that stuck solely to that kind of material, and thankfully Foo Fighters is much more than that. They released "Walk" a couple years after I finally felt as though I had fully recovered from my separation from my first wife, but that didn't stop me from reveling in its embrace of recovery, finding yourself again, and moving forward (yeah, there's an element of the persistence in the face of adversity and screaming in the song too, but it's just as elements, not the primary drivers). It's one of those songs that demands that I turn the volume to 11 when it starts playing.
I don't quite love the video the same way, but I am really amused at the clear allusion to Fallen, starring Michael Douglas.
Cumulative loss (past eight weeks): 12.4
Lbs away from revised goal: 4.4
Today's results are much better than anticipated at the start of the week. However, that has everything to do with the fact that I kept the eating in check during Friday's Philly day-trip with Tank. Yes, I had one Tastykake product, a proper Philly soft pretzel, and half of a cheesesteak (I shared one with Tank, who was interested in eating a variety of foods -- he likely ate more than I did), but otherwise I didn't really indulge in any meaningful way during the day. In fact, truth be told, I really wouldn't have minded skipping the cheesesteak -- though I do enjoy them on occasion, they were never a huge attraction to me in the first place, and the half I did consume resulted in some rather uncomfortable gastrointestinal distress (I'm probably not used to eating incredibly fatty foods anymore).
At this point, I have finally achieved the original goal I set for myself back in April -- a goal that I didn't actually reach before embarking on my unhealthy summer bender. I'm also quite pleased that this month I have managed to stay on course through TeenLitGirl's and Tank's birthdays. I'm certain that replacing my "bad" day with one "bad" meal is the biggest difference maker during this particular attempt to bring my weight down to where it should be. Earlier this year, I lost an average of just over 0.8 lbs/week; this time around it's slightly over 1.5 lbs/week. Once I reach my goal, I will resume allowing myself one bad day -- either that or a couple additional bad meals over the course of the week. I can make a decision as I get closer to my revised goal, but for now I just need to focus on maintaining the routines I've established over the past eight week.