Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Six Weeks Done: Re-Losing and Average Calories

One of the things I struggle with is that I’m re-losing weight I gained over the last year or so. I’ve talked about this - how I lost fifty pounds and walked and felt like a badass with my bicep lines and singular chin. Then I got cocky, or lazy, or something, and found my way back to 190. Now I’m trying again. Old news.

The funny thing is that it’s not necessarily about feeling guilty or punishing myself for gaining back the weight (though that’s there too), it’s about being annoyed and impatient knowing that I already crossed this bridge. I did this part already, so when will I be done catching up and start making “real” progress?

I know rationally I need to just stop focusing on it and be glad I took control now, instead of after another fifty pounds. And that it was me eating those extra calories and gaining back that weight. Nobody else. Would I rather be relosing down from 190, or be dieting from at even higher weight? Besides, any progress is real progress, regardless of how many times I’ve made that same progress in the past.

I also need to apply this same reasoning to my lack of progress at the beginning of this year. I was all gung-ho tracking/working out, and then getting more and more frustrated at my lack of weight loss, only to realize that - whoops - I was actually eating way more calories per day on average than I realized. In some ways, I wasted March-May being annoyed and impatient instead of actually looking at what I was eating.

That brings me to the last six weeks, the “Reboot” edition of my plan. I started out at 191 with a plan to commit to tracking everything I ate and to work out at least four times a week. The results?  I’ve tracked my food and exercise every single day for the last six weeks - even the three or four crappy days I wish hadn’t happened and wanted to forget. (And good news, those crappy days weren’t as crappy as the crappy days of the past.)

I tried really hard to listen to my body, to decide if I wanted a snack at 3:30 because I was actually hungry, or just kind of bored. In short, I felt good and focused.

So my average calorie intake for the last six weeks is...drumroll...1330. A bit higher than I was originally aiming for, but still enough to lose at least a pound a week. Plus it’s a full 500 calories lower than the average from earlier this year. I’m in such a rush to just make some progress because of how uncomfortable I am in my body right now, but 1330 calorie days add up to 4.5 pounds lost per month. It will happen, this is real progress.

And with zero segway, this is my meal plan for this week, week 7:

Coffee, yogurt
Coffee, yogurt
Coffee, oatmeal
Coffee, yogurt

Tilapia, pesto, linguine
Potluck Luncheon - TBD
Tilapia, pesto, linguine
Tilapia, pesto, linguine
Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole

Chicken soup, hot dog
Corn tortillas, beans, cheese, salsa
Taco salad
Chicken, potatoes, brussel sprouts

Fruit, string cheese
Fruit, string cheese
Fruit, string cheese
Fruit, string cheese
Fruit, string cheese

On Sunday I took a giant bunch of basil and made nut-free pesto. Nutless because that’s the recipe I found, and also because I decided that they’re not worth the calories in this particular dish. I’d much rather focus on the basil, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan. It came out a bit creamier without the nuts, but delicious. Also hella-caloric.

In two weeks, I’ll take my final weigh-in and some new measurements. I love the idea of having a solid six weeks of food, exercise and weight data to use. I can explore fascinating/naval-grazing questions such as: how did the average calories/day relate to the weight loss? Was there a pattern of gains and losses? What weeks had the most weight loss, or the least, and how did it compare to the calorie deficit?

In that time, I’ll also figure out the next stage of the plan in terms of daily calorie allotment and how often I should be weighing in. If I can get my head straight and not be affected by normal fluctuations, I’d like to track daily for a while.


  1. Hey! Just found you on HRG's blog. I love all things weight loss--so good luck and keep it up! What you say you're doing sounds solid--keep listening to your body! :)

  2. Thank you, I'll try!

  3. I like that you planned everything out in advance! Have you counted the calories?

    1. I plan meals knowing that I'm aiming for about 300-400 calories on each, but don't count the actual calories until I'm preparing or packing up the food.

      For me at least, planning the meals with exact calories would be too inflexible because I don't want to feel like I'm ruining the day if I eat something not on the spreadsheet. Rather, I'd like to just incorporate it into the day and adjust accordingly, like have a slightly smaller dinner or forgoing dessert.
      Thank you for reading!