I have lost 10% of my body weight. I started with 143 days to lose 85 pounds, trying to get from 250 down to 165. I've lost 25 lbs in three weeks, so I need to lose 60 lbs in the next 122 days.
If you had told me three weeks ago that I would be 25 lbs lighter by now, I wouldn't have believed you. Here I am, though, 225 lbs, healthier, exercising, happier — even my severe allergies probably have disappeared! Of course, I'm not a doctor, so I'm only guessing that I'm healthier because I feel healthier. I'm only guessing that the severe allergy symptoms which recently developed as I gained more weight and then disappeared as I lost it were related. It could be a total coincidence, but I don't think so.
I was chatting with my mother, an experienced low-carb dieter (87 lbs lost), and she mentioned that most people see a "plateau" around day ten, and that the third week is the slowest of all. This checks out perfectly with my own experience — day ten was my first no-progress day, with two more in week three — and it sure would have been nice to know before I encountered them. As a result of this, and just for my own sanity, I've decided to end my daily weigh-ins. I'll only be checking my weight on Tuesdays, which will give me room to include my weekly menu.
Word Is Spreading
One doesn't lose 10% in three weeks without people noticing. I've had a number of people ask me what I've been doing, and some express skepticism that a diet could have such dramatic results. Surely I must have taken up crystal methamphetamines, they suggest when I'm not around, or I had some sort of surgery. They know better, because they see me at least weekly, but they struggle to explain how some people can spend their entire lives dieting and make little or no progress, while I can drop so much weight so quickly. I've thought some of the same thoughts, as I've been on diets before, but never one like this.
Some of it is the time limit. A person who is just a few pounds overweight can simply adjust their diet and physical activity levels to lose those pounds, but when you're 85 pounds overweight, the idea of losing one or two pounds a week is unappealing. It would take over a year, assuming no slip-ups! It's essentially an open-ended commitment, which I'm just not strong enough to make. By setting a short time period, I've got something on which to focus. If I don't reach my goal by November 2, I'll wait a bit, and then set another start date and stop date. Even if I do, I expect I'll gain a bit of weight on my trip to Central Asia, and perhaps over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays (though I'm going to work very hard on sensible portions and physical activity), so one way or another, I plan to restart the special diet on January 1, 2008, which is another Tuesday, and with a deadline fewer than 143 days away that time. If I had more weight to lose, and no international travel to act as a natural deadline, I would still split things up into roughly six-month blocks, though I might stack them pretty close together. Instead of waiting until January 1 to restart, I'd restart one week after finishing the first block.