Height 5'8" Age: 61
Goal weight: 165 lbs.
Total loss goal: 44 lbs.
Beginning waist size: 43 in.
Current waist size: 42 in.
Weight end of week 5: 197 lbs.
Gain/Loss this week: 0
Total Gain/Loss: -12 lbs.
No gain, no loss. Feeling disappointment and relief. On a couple days this week I gave in to temptations--stood at a snack table during a party and mindlessly nibbled on this and that, ate more at a restaurant than I'd intended. But most of the week I was highly disciplined--that is, before snacking, I asked myself, "Are you really hungry?" I find myself trying to decide if I'm just impatient or if my body has some superpower to get nourishment from air or somehow squeeze calories from waste (not to get to too detailed, but I haven't been expelling a whole lot lately--partly a case of less in/less out, and nothing a mild laxative couldn't fix :). If you've read the book, "2-Day Diet: diet 2 days a week, eat the Mediterranean way for 5, they say that your metabolism will slow down, making it harder to lose after you've lost some. But let me back up.
My wife, Rita, is petite: 5'3", 105 pounds. I used to ignore her comments about hunger and food, because like most overweight people, I just assume that it's easy for some people to stay thin. Their metabolism, I assumed, allowed them to eat more without gaining or their natural appetites do not drive them to overeat as the rest of us so often do. I did, however, listen to her even if I had no point of reference to comprehend what she was saying, and now I'm beginning to understand some of the concepts she was imparting about how she, a mother of two, has remained so trim all her adult life.
For one thing, Rita makes the distinction between being hungry and being empty that I never made. As soon as my stomach was “empty” I had named that being hungry. Now I’m learning to tell the difference, and doing pretty well. A few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go without a snack between meals—I couldn’t remember the last time I’d gone without something between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner (unless maybe I had a really late lunch and an early dinner). Since then, a couple times I’ve done so. It’s kind of sad that it seems like an accomplishment. I’ve laughed at Rita many times when, an hour before dinner time she’d say, “I’m really hungry!” And I’ve said, well, have a snack. And she responds, “but I had a few grapes and a cracker a couple hours ago.” And what did you have for lunch? I’ll ask, “an apple and some cheese, oh yeah, and a mocha at Starbucks. Those are really filling!” Don’t get me wrong, she can eat—she’ll chow down and eat as much as anyone, but you won’t see her do that two meals in a row, and snacks…rare and small. I’m learning, however, to make a small snack go a long away, and though I still would rather have a snack between meals, I've learned I can go without if I have to.
That’s a far cry from six weeks ago when if I knew I’d be out of the house most of the afternoon I’d be bringing something to snack on…pretzels, cheese and an apple, or I’d be thinking about which fast food place I’d want to stop at and pick something up from the dollar menu—a small chicken sandwich, burger, or maybe a soft serve sundae. “Now Rita, that’s a snack—what you call a snack,” I've said, “that doesn’t even count.”
Since the first week of my "new approach to eating", the weight hasn’t been exactly dropping off. Yes, I’m losing a pound almost every week, but it seems like I’m only managing that because I’m cheating. Yes, I hate to admit it, but the two low carb days, which are supposed to be the weight loss days, haven’t seemed to be weight loss days for me. I’ve ended up not gaining or losing the last three weeks after the low carb days (usually that’s been Tuesday and Wednesday for me), and then, because I really want this diet to work, I've eaten much less than the allowed number of servings Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and have ended up with one pound of weight loss.
I want it to be easier. It’s not fair! And you know how when you get into that state of mind, it's an easy step to tell yourself, "This is too hard, I’m not losing like I should be, I might as well just eat more and enjoy myself,” and you let yourself have that handful or two of pretzels at the party, or a cookie. And I did this week. But then I was around another friend who really should be thinking about losing some weight and saw how desperate she was to eat something when lunch was delayed. And, like I not long used to do, she stopped at a convenience store, bought a few snacks, and offered me some (I didn’t find it difficult to decline). Less than an hour later we were eating lunch. Her snack had not spoiled her appetite; she ate as much as I did. I know what that's like, that desperate feeling that leads to eating three or four pieces of bread before your entree comes, or stopping for a slice of pizza an hour before dinner.
So, even if I don't lose another pound (and I'm pretty sure I will), I'm in a much better place in my "relationship with food" than I was. And I plan for this to be a long-term relationship.