The last few weeks have been remarkably tough on the Fortress.
There was the ultimate high that, once broken through, led to a wall that just didn’t ever seem to fall. After reaching the 100-pound milestone at the beginning of March, I didn’t lose another pound for two weeks, no matter how hard I tried. Last Friday, the wall beat me, I am sad to say. After banging into it again and again for two straight weeks, I had had enough.
So I fell off the wagon over the weekend. Call it a three-day binge if you want. That’s pretty much what it was. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, eating like I was aiming for 370 by the end of the weekend.
But I can safely say that this was a physical binge only. My mind never really strayed from the task at hand. If I want to rationalize three days of eating like shit, I can do so by telling myself it was a needed respite and a chance to figure out how to tear down that fucking wall.
Sunday, free from work and any real responsibilities, I took a walk along the Vallejo waterfront. It was the first time I had walked outside in months. But I needed to clear my mind, needed to reflect on the first half of this diet, needed to devise a plan that would lead to success in the second half.
Somehow, I came up with something.
It is obvious to me, and probably to you, that the first half of this diet was, shall we say, casual. Off days were taken regularly, I ate extra calories here and there and I treated the gym like a chore instead of a certifiable path to health. I didn’t love being on a diet, I just saw it as something I had to do.
The lapses were clear to me, which was good as it gave me an idea as to where to begin the second half. That walk helped show me the way. Underneath an unusually hot California sun, I strolled through a dirt path next to the Mare Island strait.
It occurred to me that I should pay more attention to what I eat and when I eat it. I should go to the gym nearly every day. I should, in some way, have a time frame in which to lose this weight. I realized that I need an intensive, all-inclusive commitment to losing the last 30 pounds.
I knew things had to change, or I would stay at 270 for a long while. I don’t want that because 270 is definitely not the destination here. That would be like planning a road trip from New York to Los Angeles, but stopping in Nebraska instead because you were tired of driving. Right now I am in Nebraska. And you should know, Nebraska is my least favorite state in the union.
So here’s what I came up with for these last 30 pounds. Do I think that this plan will work? Yes I do, but mainly because I don’t have any other options right now. So here’s what I will be striving for from here on out:
1. I will go to the gym at least five days per week. Sunday, Wednesday and Friday will be lifting and elliptical days. Monday and Tuesday will be elliptical days only. Thursday and Saturday are optional, but encouraged.
2. I will cap my daily caloric intake at 1,500. Maybe you think that’s low. I think that’s high. Ideally, 1,200 works best.
3. I will strive to eat five 300 calorie meals throughout the day. However, I will be happy if I have three 300 calorie meals and one 600 calorie meal.
4. I will refrain from Weight Watchers meals and Subway sandwiches for the duration of the diet. These items are useful in moderation, but I have been abusing their existence. The food I eat will come from the grocery store and my refrigerator.
5. I will have a newfound commitment to eating vegetables and fruits as snacks. I will continue to eat big salads for my 600 calorie meal. I will stock up on apples, oranges and other fruits in order to help this along.
6. I will have my final meal of every day at or before 9 p.m. However, on work nights, I will permit myself one piece of fruit at 11:30 p.m. or directly after I get off.
7. I will drink more water. All Diet Pepsi will be replaced by either cold water or hot tea.
8. I will make a daily menu plan the night before. I will not stray from this menu plan throughout the next day. I will post this menu plan each day on the blog, and then let you know how it went in the next post.
9. I will update this blog five times per week, Monday through Friday. Though the posts may not have life lessons in them, they will keep you up to date, and keep me accountable, as to how the day went.
10. I will take off days no more than once every two weeks. Also, I may choose to take an off-day at each 10-pound marker (i.e. 260, 250.)
11. I will weigh myself once a week on Sunday mornings. (However, this is subject to change as we go along).
12. I will be down to 240 pounds by June 30, if not before.
And that’s what I came up with. The menu will begin tomorrow. So you know, Monday was a good day, with an intake of about 1,500 calories and a trip to the gym for cardio and some light lifting. The real weight lifting regiment begins on Wednesday.
I am optimistic about this plan. I think it eliminates some of the lethargy that plagued the first half of this diet.
So be optimistic with me. I think we’ve got a real shot at success.