Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who is Driving my Vehicle Across this Plateau?

For the first several months, I consistently lost two pounds per week, exactly as planned.  Over the last month, I have hovered between 305 and 310 pounds with little change to my waistline. But, I have not stuck entirely with my plan.  My calorie intake has been over plan some days but on plan over half of the time.

The real problem seems to be that my mind is not in the game anymore.  I'm not wanting to think about what I am eating and don't want to take the time to count my calories.  I find myself grabbing energy dense foods (high carbohydrate & high sugar).  I know I shouldn't eat these foods but part of me just doesn't care.  My inner voice is saying, "You don't need this.  What are you doing?" but my silent driver continues with the action, ignoring my inner voice.  I know that I shouldn't but I do it anyway.  It feels as if I am watching someone else drive my body and actions.  Are there two minds at odds here?  Who the heck is in the drivers seat, ignoring my directions?  I am not a back-seat driver.  I want to be the captain of my ship, the navigator of my life.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Be Here Now

The mantra "Be Here Now" once meant to me that I should stay rooted in the present and not always yearning to move into the future nor dwelling on the past.  But, with technological advances in connectivity, I'm beginning to realize that this simple mantra applies equally to space as well as time.  "Here" is not just the present but also my location in physical space.  

Everywhere we go now days, people are on their cell phones, computers, and tablets.  Their attention is consumed with talking, texting, and Facebooking.  They are oblivious to the surroundings absorbed in what being said or typed elsewhere.  In the wrong setting, such as texting while driving, this may even be physically dangerous.  

About a year ago, I was given a BlackBerry smart-phone for use with work.  Since then, I keep catching myself reading work e-mails during my personal time.  Because of this smart-phone and convenient connectivity, I often find myself working when I should be focusing on my family and personal life.  Several times, I have even caught myself reading e-mails at my kid's soccer and baseball practice.  A few weeks ago, to remind myself to focus on the here and now, I put a soothing picture on my cell-phone's wall paper that contains the following message:

BE HERE NOW

So, when I am not at work and I pick up my cell phone, I see this message and realize that where I am is more important than what is going on at work.  Typically, when I see this message, I put the phone back in my pocket and focus on what is happening in my close vicinity.  The message is having the desired effect on my attention!

But, having "Be Here Now" plastered on my cell phone's wall paper is also having an unexpected result.  I originally put the message there to remind me while outside of work not to focus on work.  But, I continuously catch myself at work fiddling with my cell phone:  texting people and even reading Facebook.  The message "Be Here Now" means here and now no matter where I am.  The mantra is therefore is also helping me to stay more focused when I am working.  And honestly, when I am working my work deserves my full attention. 

The "Be Here Now" mantra on my phone was intended to keep work from encroaching into my personal life.  And it has accomplished this.  But, it is also keeping my on task at work.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

1/3 of the Way to my Goal

I am very pleased to report that I am over 1/3 of they way toward my goal of losing 100 pounds!!! I have not yet introduced a regular exercise plan, but I have not been completely sedentary either. I continue to do yard work... I planted my vegitable garden and Have done some painting on my house during some of the weekends when home. All I have done different than normal is to reduce calories and focus on attitude & expectatins. If I find some time this week, I'm going to run through my body calculations again to insure that my lean body mass (muscle content) has not gone down and to set revised calorie intake levels. I am using myfitnesspal.com apps on my cell phone and iPad to log my food and exercise. they use the Mifflin equation just like me to calculate calorie intake requirements. I highly recommmend their site to track what you eat. I am in no way affiliated with them Nor getting money to tell you about their free service. they also have very good discussion forums. If you want, please feel free to "friend" me on myfitnesspal.com.

Monday, June 11, 2012

2 Month Weight Loss Progress

I have been following a reduced calorie diet for two months now.  I have set my daily target of 1995 calories per day based on the Mifflin BMR calculation with an activity factor of 1.2 (mostly sedentary).  After three weeks of a weight stall accompanied with decreasing waistline, my scale weight has begun to drop again.  I have now lost a total of 29.4 pounds, over two thirds of which was in the first month.  My waistline has shrunk by 2.5 inches and my hips by 3 inches.  My "fat" clothes are not falling off of me yet but they are fitting much better than when I started this diet.

My wife is also following a reduced calorie diet but with a slightly smaller target calorie intake. She has lost 22.4 pounds so far.  And, yesterday she wore a perfectly fitting dress to church that had previously been too small.

In the past, I had used low-carb diets effectively (lost 85 pounds) and now I am using reduced calorie effectively.  As such, I am beginning the think that it doesn't much matter what method you choose to lose weight as long as you have the proper determination and persistence to stick with it.

Don't get me wrong though.  Nobody is perfect.  Living life to it's fullest means that you have to make room for special occasions and exceptions.  One of these for my wife and I was a wonderful dinner at the Loveless Cafe in Nashville.  Loveless, which has been featured on the food network many times, is world famous for it's biscuits and fried chicken.  I'm pretty sure that they use lard in the biscuits and for frying and I'd hate to even take a guess at how many calories we consumed that night.  Having one dinner there is not cheating.  Exceptions are part of life.  If I were to frame this as cheating then it would eat away at my will power.  Instead, I choose to see it as one of life's rewards.  It's simply a matter of maintaining balance.  And, the fact that we have continued to lose weight despite a few such nights is evidence that we are indeed restoring balance.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Have you ever seen a miracle?

Have you ever seen a miracle?  No!  Then imagine... that you are looking down, from some high window, upon the lights of a great city.  Lights radiating far as the eye can reach:  double rows of lights delineating streets; moving lights indicating cars; red, blue and green lights advertising merchandise or places of entertainment.  Hark to the ascending roar of the traffic!  Pause awhile:  gaze and listen.  What a whirlpool!  Now turn your head and glance upward.  There, twinkling remotely above, are the silent stars.  They are worlds -myriads of them!  Look down and wonder -look up and marvel -until you ask yourself, in a sudden spasm of ungrammatical amazement: 'Where, the Thunder, did all this come from?'
-excerpt from Nothing Dies by J.W. Dunne.

The real miracle, the incredible thing, is that any of this exists at all.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wait! Weight is not a stall.

I have only lost one pound in the last three weeks.  But, wait!  Weight is not a stall.  Thanks to keeping measurements of my waist, hips, and neck, I know that I am still losing fat.  How is that?  My waistline, neck, and hips have all shrunk during this same time period.  So, I know that I am still on the right track even though the scale doesn't show it.  Please keep this in mind when you diet and don't let the scale discourage you!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Is Ignorance is Bliss?

My business travel is at about 75%.  So, I am quite frequently dining out with co-workers.  Because I am using my blackberry (smart phone) to track calories, everyone sees me pulling up restaurant nutrition info on my phone before placing orders and then while waiting for the food, I am usually keying my menu or calorie counts into my phone.  I recently hired two new team members who are now in the process of re-locating from Spain to Nashville, Tennessee.  The other day, I overheard them in the back seat of my car, talking in Spanish about my always entering what I eat into my cell phone.  They weren't really making fun of me but just talking about my new quirk.  Sometimes at dinner, co-workers have begun asking me about their calorie counts, usually while they are eating.  This is a bit dangerous as they are usually uncomfortable when they realize that their pizza is 600 calories a slice or that their 18 ounce rib eye steak cooked with butter is close to 1200 calories.  Most people worry about calories when they are aware of the counts but actually would rather remain blissfully ignorant.