It's been almost a month since my last blog. I've been around -- logging in to Sparkpeople and keeping up with everyone's blogs. Just haven't had much to say myself. Went through a bit of a period of not caring too much about what I ate and how much I exercised. I've been doing kind of the minimum in both cases. My weight is up slightly, but not really anything that's out of the ordinary for me necessarily. However, I think the trend is for it to keep going up, and that's not a great thing.
As always, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what will work for me in terms of weight loss. I've long struggled with the idea that I want to be like a normal thin person. That is, I don't want to have to track my food and exercise, I don't want to have to cut out certain foods entirely, etc. The thing is, I've never really been a thin person, and I'm not sure I know how to think like one. It's difficult for me to have a small portion of something like candy or cookies. And if I do manage to keep to a small portion, I'll often end up setting myself up for cravings for the rest of the day, if not longer. So I think I have to accept that I am different from a normal thin person, and thus will have to do something different than they do to stay thin.
I've been doing a bunch of reading mainly related to lifestyle design (not weight loss specifically), and I've been exploring The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. That turned my on to The 4-Hour Body, also by Tim. He proposes an interesting diet called the Slow Carb Diet, that I started trying yesterday. Basically you can eat meat, eggs, fish, poultry, vegetables, and legumes. He recommends staying away from anything white (so bread, pasta, rice) as well as fruit and dairy. Drink tons of water, and diet drinks with aspartame are okay as well in limited quantities (2 per day). He also recommends keeping meals fairly simple -- repeating the same 4 or 5 meals over and over again. Eat as much of the allowed foods as you need to stay full. And you're allowed 2 glasses of red wine a day. Woo hoo!!
Do this 6 out of 7 days, and on the 7th day, eat whatever you want. This is meant to kick start the metabolism. Tim cites many people who have lost 20 pounds a month on this diet, and body composition analysis shows that most of the weight lost was in fact fat.
Sounds relatively easy, so I decided to try it. Today is only day 2. My weight is down 1.8 pounds from yesterday, which I realize doesn't necessarily mean anything. However, so far the diet is relatively easy to follow and I find I feel pretty good so far. Often when I re-start healthy eating I end up with stomach pains from trying to eat a bunch of salads and raw vegetables. In this case, I'm working with foods I know I tolerate well. I will stick with this for a month and see how it goes. I am making one modification -- I'm having a Visalus or other protein shake in the morning (made with almond milk), because my lapband prevents me from reliably being able to keep anything else down in the mornings. Right now, the thing I miss the most is cheese. I think Saturday (my eat anything day) will be a big cheese day.
He recommends taking a picture of everything you eat, and not counting calories, at least not initially. I've been trying to remember to do that but it's been a little hit and miss so far. He also recommends weighing daily. I'm tracking my water intake on Sparkpeople, and will continue to track workouts as well. For now, I'm going to stop tracking food and go with the pictures. I'm weighing daily and recording the weights in Fitbit, then using Trendweight to determine the overall weight trend, rather than relying on a single daily or weekly data point.
From June through September, I exercised 5 or 6 days a week, apparently burning tons of calories. I was careful about what I ate, tracking everything. I lost almost no weight and my body fat didn't really change. It was puzzling, because I was probably the most active person I know, and certainly more careful about food than anyone else I knew. I'm starting to wonder if maybe I was overtraining, which is one of the suggestions Tim makes in his books for people in my situation. For this week, I've decided to re-group and decide what I want to do for exercise while getting used to the diet. There's an interesting section in his book about how quite a number of people have lost a lot of weight and toned up using just kettlebell swings. It's something I'd like to consider. I do think I'll get back to running twice a week. That will be a new challenge for me in the cold.
Anyway, that's my new plan. In other news, I've booked a winter vacation for my boyfriend and I. We're going to a Sandals resort in Varadero at the end of January. I'm hoping I can use that as incentive to keep pushing.
Going to try to get back to more frequent blogging as well, because I know that's something that really helped me before.
A song for you: www.youtube.com/watch?v=