Thursday, October 30, 2014

Weigh-In, New Challenges and Changes

Good evening! 

First, here’s the weekly weigh-in:

Pounds Fat82.772.57370.370.871.370.8
Pounds Muscle 67.366.867.265.26765.467.3

Essentially the same number as the previous three weeks - a bit annoying since this was the first week “back” after all the Jewish holidays, and I was hoping to lose a bit.  Overall I’m considering October a maintenance month - not ideal, but pretty good considering the challenges.

Speaking of challenges, while I’m not a huge fan of the aforementioned weight-loss related ones that life craps out, I do like making little challenges or goals for myself. In fact, I’m so committed that I’ve been trying to break into the 170s since August.

Challenges keep me accountable, keep me focused, and make things interesting. When I did the low/no sugar month, I stopped eating office food, something that had definitely been stalling my weight or at the very least, slowing it. 

I was able to do it for the month because I knew it was temporary, and then I was able to keep it going after the time ended because I realized it was a good idea, and not as impossible as I’d assumed it would be. Just today our boss brought in delicious apple fritters for everyone and put them on my desk since that was the central location at the moment, and I didn’t eat any. And it was fine, and nobody cared. So I’m going to consider October not as the month I maintained, but rather the month in which I broke a bad habit.

New challenge: starting today and through November, I want to try and stop picking at food in other setting - that piece of pasta out of the strainer, that bite of leftovers, you know what I mean. I track it, but it’s really mindless, pointless calories that I barely remember and definitely are not satisfying. Maybe there are food issues at hand, but part of the reason I do this is plain old habit. And habits can be broken.

If I can work on issues one at a time, I think I could make real long-term progress.

I’m also going to change up how I count calories so that it works better for my style and can help incorporate those “picking at food” slip-ups into the week instead of wrecking the day. 

Since March, when I started diligently tracking my food, I’ve had a daily calorie goal. It’s on the lower end of the expected range, but I ended up averaging a bit higher because of occasional high-calorie days. Sunday through Thursday, I can usually hit that target number without too much effort. I slip up some days, of course, and go over my calorie goals, but for the most part these days have routines and I often “earn” more calories by working out.

However, I didn't give myself any flexibility. This Sunday I burned 700 calories from Zumba and walking to/from the gym, and felt like I had more calories available than I really needed or wanted. And then on Tuesday, I was weirdly hungry, even after my normal breakfast. So why not take the calories I don’t need from Sunday, within reason, and save them for the rest of the week? Why not count calories weekly instead of daily? I think as long as I’m eating a healthy amount each day and have an weekly average deficit of, say, 4000-4500 calories, the daily breakdowns don’t matter as much and my weight will go down.

I’m going to copy part of the Weight Watchers plan, specifically the idea of having both daily and weekly calorie goals. Weight Watchers managed to be be flexible but stringent, if that even makes sense. Essentially there were flexible rules, and flexibility built into the plan, and if you were careful to stay (rigidly) within those flexibilities, you’d lose weight. There was a daily minimum of “food points,” and a weekly allowance that could be used at any time - all in one day or split over different days. 

So I will start giving myself weekly calories, two thousand of them, available anytime from Wednesday through Tuesday, started today. Based on my patterns, I expect to use most of them on the weekend, but again, it’s all about flexibility.

I’ll keep this up for the next four weeks, and see how I feel. I’m thinking of October as the month I stopped eating office junk, instead of the month where I struggled through holidays and barely maintained. So maybe November could be the month that I get a handle on nibbling at foods and having unplanned higher calorie days.

On an unrelated note, you might have noticed that is now redirecting to, of which I am now the proud owner. Did you know they'll let anybody buy a domain?


  1. I like the idea of having weekly calorie goals. On the weekdays I'm always super under my goal and then come the weekend I go way over it and then feel bad. You're right though, if you have all those you didn't eat over the week, it's not outrageous to go past your goal one or two days of the week. Let me know how this new goal system works for you!

    1. Yup, exactly what I was doing! I would have 500 calories of ice cream on Sunday because I “could” even though I had eaten 300 extra calories the day before. I’m going to do a post with more detail tonight or tomorrow, but the bottom line is that it’s working great and I’m definitely going to keep with this method.