Sunday, July 26, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Over two years have passed since I lost 85 pounds and then went off low-carb. Regardless of diet, I did pretty good at first in keeping the pounds off. This was mostly due to excessive walking during the six months last year that I spent working in Paris, France. But after returning home to a mostly sedentary lifestyle, my weight began creeping up again. I have now re-gained about 70 of the 85 pounds that were lost. However, the weight is not distributed the same as before. My pant size is up to a 48 but the last time I weighed this much my pants were size 54. I have not calculated my percent body fat recently but am certain that I am more muscular than I was a few years ago. This may be due to lugging around a 3 year old child.
I wonder how clearly I see myself. It's hard to be objective when looking in the mirror or at photographs. I know that I am a bit larger than most men but don't think that I am sloppy fat. What scares me is that I often see people who I think are enormous only to find out that they weigh less than me or have smaller pant sizes. The other day, an enormous co-worker was telling me that he didn't need a seat belt extender on airplanes. This shocked me as he looks huge and is even taller than me. Granted, he doesn't have much of a butt. This makes me wonder if I am seeing myself clearly. My calves and thighs are big and strong. I have always had a bigger than average butt. I think that most of the people who look really fat appear this way because they have skinny legs, fat necks, and/or fat faces. But, maybe I do look as fat as I am. Maybe I am simply not able to see myself clearly and objectively. Yeah, I'm fat. I'd like to think I'm football player lineman fat. But do I really look as fat as other people my size? I don't think so.
Why did I allow myself to gain back this much weight? Unlike the last time I weighed over 300 pounds, I currently feel great. My feet and back don't hurt. I don't tire out as quickly when I go on long walks. Overall, I don't feel bad. I actually feel pretty good both physically and emotionally. I'm comfortable. But at the same time, I know that I'm now on the cusp of having major health problems. Also, I admit it, I am fat mostly because I love food. When not kept in check by a structured diet, I eat much more carbohydrates than is healthy. And, the more carbs I eat the more carbs I crave. On top of this, I spend 12 days on the road each month. On these trips, I work late then eat late, then go straight to bed without any real exercise.
What sort of exercise am I getting? I'm not the type to go to a gym. I find the monotony excruciatingly boring. On travel days, I get virtually no excise. When at home, I have started finding more constructive alternative forms of exercrise. Much of this revolves around yard-work. I'm working on building wooden borders around our flower beds. This entails digging and sawing and hammering. I hand-plowed my tomato garden. I'm going to build a shed and have begun digging out the side of a hill to make a flat area for it to sit. I'm moving dirt by hand to fix irrigation problems. Soon, I'm going to dig up a row of Hollies to make room for new landscape plants.
When will I get serious again about losing weight? Many of you are probably thinking that I should start this vary minute. I find it hard to just jump right into a diet and stick with it. Instead, I think it's easier when I plan ahead. I'm going out of town labor day weekend and will begin when I return. This will give me time to get my head together as well as to clear out most of the unhealthy foods in my kitchen.
What will be the diet strategy this time? The last time that I did straight low-carb, each month, I lost half of what I did the previous month. While I lost a great deal of weight, it became quite frustrating after my body metabolism adjusted to the diet. At that time, I experimented with carb cycling without exercise. This seemed to break my stall but after a few months my metabolism seemed to adjust and the weigh loss slowed to a halt again. This time, my intention is start with a cycling program from day 1. The thought is that it might prevent my metabolism from adjusting. The plan is to do low carb 5 days followed by my eating anything I desire 2 days. This will allow for me to be "normal" on weekends. I expect the initial weight loss to be less than it would be doing straight low carb but my hypothesis is that I will not plateau. If after a couple of months it looks like the carb cycling is not working then I'll switch to straight low-carb with maybe one floating "cheat day" each month (to use on birthdays and special occasions). I expect to take about nine months to get close to my ideal body weight. Afterwhich, I do not have a good strategy to keep it off besides to stick with the low-carb lifestyle.