Last week, I explained that my weight loss had slowed down, and offered some possible explanations. I'm not sure if readers caught a whiff of frustration, but I was frustrated. As horrible as it sounds to be frustrated about losing "only" two pounds in a week, there I was.
One interesting result of the "slow" week is that I faced real temptation for the first time since starting. While the first week had the worst physical effects, at least for the first three days, this week had the worst mental effects. Every day, several times a day, I was tempted to have just one cookie (homemade butterscotch oatmeal), or just one ice cream sandwich, or maybe a tortilla to wrap around that fajita chicken. When I stopped to think, I was easily able to resist the urges, but the subtle thought process seemed to be that it didn't really matter that much, because I was hardly losing any weight anyway.
Of course, this is both a lie, and irrelevant. While two pounds a week wouldn't get me to my goal by November, it's still great progress. I didn't start out thinking I'd reach my goal by November, so even though I let my hopes rise, a dose of realism shouldn't discourage me. Even if my weight loss dropped to zero, or even if I gained a pound or two some week, splurging would still be sabotaging myself and risking every bit of progress I've made. One can always recover after mistakes, but it's much better not to make the mistakes. Why make what seems like a bad situation even worse? Waiting out a period of water retention or constipation is far easier than re-entering ketosis after eating too many carbohydrates!
Logic and reason have little impact when my kids ask, again, if I want a cookie, but I managed to hold on. After a few days, I realized that I needed to try a different approach to keep myself out of trouble, and so I focused on the inches I've lost around my waist. That seemed to help, and I realized that I'm fortunate to have had measurable progress at all. I fully expect weeks to pass with no measurable progress, and those will be harder. I can only hope that reason and logic will carry me through.
This is a marathon, not a sprint, and just as in many long races (think of the Tour de France, or any number of old Herbie movies), I've built in a resting period in November, so the "end" is in sight.
I can confirm — delicately — that the lack of fiber in my diet was indeed a major cause of the slow loss, and while I've made progress in that area, I'm still working on a long-term (non-addictive) solution I can recommend. I switched back to daily weigh-ins for the first few days, solely for my own benefit, which is what helped me link the effect of the lack of fiber in my diet to my weight retention. (It may have had the side effect of causing me to be discouraged, so I've since stopped.) That situation isn't wholly resolved, but periodic application of a potent herbal tea is helping while I track down low-carb fiber supplements.
This week I lost another four pounds, which makes 39 pounds lost overall, one pound shy of a real milestone I was hoping to reach. I'll celebrate the half-way point of 42.5 pounds sometime in the next week or two, and my next minor goal will be "Onederland," a label for any weight for which the first digit is one. I also lost at least another inch around my waist. It might be two inches again, but I've run out of notches on my new belt, so I'll have to poke some new holes to be sure. I'd like to lose another six inches or so around my waist, a return to my 32" waist when I was a teenager. My wife suggests that this is an overly-optimistic goal, so I'm treating it as a secondary goal — at least as far as she knows!
I'm tempted to run through the numbers a dozen different ways, but you've got the raw data, so you can do that yourself if you're so inclined. Instead I'll say that I've experienced a horrific personal catastrophe — I've run out of cappuccino-flavored protein powder! It turns out that those big tubs aren't bottomless, as I'd somehow hoped, so I've had to resort to breakfast shakes using other flavors of powder, and on two days I even had eggs (one whole egg, one egg white) with turkey pepperoni for breakfast. I just checked with my local supplier (my mother), and she has a few extra unopened tubs of the cappuccino powder, so I'll drop by for a visit soon, and pay her a buck or two over what she paid for the quick service.
I've developed a habit of walking to the grocery store when we need something, once or twice a week. It's about three-quarters of a mile each way, and I carry a bag or two of groceries on the way home. Monday night I noticed that my shoes felt weird. I was sliding back and forth in them. When I mentioned this to my wife, she reminded me that when I bought those shoes, I was surprised to find that I needed a bigger pair than I'd worn before. Only when my feet shrunk back down this week did I finally realize that my feet had gotten fatter! Any week in which my waist and feet both shrink is a good week.
My dietary goal for the coming week is to eat more protein, since I've started working out four days a week, and will probably increase that to five days most weeks. Two days of cardio, and two days of full-circuit weight training. If I add a fifth day, it will be more focused upper-body weight training. If I don't eat enough protein, my body will start breaking down muscle for fuel. While that would be good in the short-term for weight loss, it would hurt me in several ways over the long-term, and I'm in this for the long term.
2007-06-12: 250, initial weight
2007-06-19: 236, -14 pounds
2007-06-26: 231, -5 pounds
2007-07-03: 225, -6 pounds
2007-07-10: 221, -4 pounds
2007-07-17: 217, -4 pounds
2007-07-24: 215, -2 pounds
2007-07-31: 211, -4 pounds this week, 39 pounds lost total