26 Mar

Weight: 309
Difference from last entry: 0

I think it is important that, in this first month or so of my latest attempt to gain control of my weight, I don’t concentrate so much on my actual weight. You won’t see me referring to my weight much in the next few journal entires. I am concentrating more on specific strategies and on creating a plan. Once I have the plan in place, then the weight should naturally start to come down. Then I will start paying more attention to what I weigh.

I assigned myself one goal for the week that just passed: keep track of what I was eating. As in actually writing down what I am eating, not just thinking about it and then immediately forgetting about it. The result? Seven day’s worth of data on what I eat, along with a general idea of when I eat it. This is actually very critical data. This provides me with an insight not just into what I am (and what I shouldn’t be) eating, it allows me to see when I eat, and my eating habits.

Let me try to be a little more clear on that last point. American’s tend to define the “normal” eating habit as a medium breakfast, a light lunch and a huge dinner. Thrown in a snack sometime during the day, and you have the typical American view on how a person eats. However, researches have found that this definitely does not hold true of everyone. It is more of an average than an indication. There are people who don’t eat breakfast at all. There are people who have a very light dinner, but a gigantic lunch. Or breakfast. Everyone has a unique eating habit that their body would like to stick to. Knowing what that habit is is critical to gaining control of one’s weight. You have to know yourself to be able to make practical changes.

Looking at the data I collected over the last seven days, one fact stands out. Hell, it jumps up and screams for my attention. It is like it is written in 3-ft letters. That fact is that I don’t eat breakfast. My breakfast’s over the last few days have consisted of cookies, donuts and other pastries (usually at Starbucks). And that isn’t really a breakfast: I wake up at 7:00am (approximately), but don’t eat until 9:00am – 10:00am. Instead of breakfasting, I snack.

I also notice that I tend to snack just a few hours after eating lunch. I normally eat lunch somewhere between 2:00pm-3:00pm. And then, somewhere between 5:00pm-6:00pm I start to get hungry again, so I have a snack. Unfortunately, it is usually not a very good snack. But that isn’t the important thing right now; the fact that I need to eat again at this time is. I feel full after lunch, so I am fairly certain that this doesn’t mean I am not eating enough at lunch. But it does mean that my body needs to eat at that time. I need to plan accordingly, and have some type of “good” food on-hand.

I also notice (and this is only hinted at in my logs). I do get hungry somewhere between 7:00pm-8:00pm. This seems to be the time that my body wants dinner. However, my body is wanting a light meal; I’ve been forcing it to have heavy meals. I need to change my evening meal to something lighter, and listen to my body when it says that it is full. I can get away with a very light meal (say a bowl of soup and a sandwich) at night, and I’ll be fine.

I also see that I have a standard food for snacking. I tend to have a bottle of strawberry or chocolate milk, along with either a candy bar or a pastry. I’ll need to stop eating these things if I want to succeed. Since these are my comfort foods, breaking myself away from them will not be easy. I’ll need to keep a careful eye on myself with regards to those types of snacks.

Snacking has always been my downfall. I’ve known this, but I’ve never really investigated why I snack so much. Now that I am looking into it, I can finally see why my body wants the snacks. I’ve always thought that I would do better with a number (5-6) of small meals instead of three larger meals, but I’ve never given that more than lip service. I can’t deny now, though, that I really need to start paying attention to this. I need to have a very small meal (say a couple of slices of toast and milk or juice) not long after I wake up. Then I need a small meal somewhere around 10:00am. Then a large lunch around 2:00pm. Then a light meal around 5:00pm. And I need to top that off with a light meal around 7:30pm.

A meal plan that hits these times would provide a number of benefits to me. First, since these are the times that I would normally be snacking, this should help alleviate my tendency to snack. Since these are the times that my body wants to eat, I shouldn’t feel too hungry. Keeping myself on a schedule should allow me to make this into a habit. And I’ll be able to plug healthier foods into these meals. All taken together, this should provide a major pillar of support for my attempt to gain control over my weight.

That leaves me with an exercise for the coming week. And this should be a whole lot simpler: continue to record what I eat, but also start recording my physical activity. I have a feeling that I will find plenty of opportunities throughout the day to add some exercise to my daily routine.

I will leave you this week with the rest of my meal logs from last week. They are long and boring, though, so you might want to stop reading here. [Grin]

– Miguelito

March 22
   long john & blueberry donut
   large latte w/ caramel syrup
   Salad w/ dressing
   Veggies (including legumes)
   4 pieces of bread (corn, blueberry, spice)
   bowl of clam chowder
   strawberry topping (for strawberry shortcake)
   large french fries
   green chili w/ cheese
   strawberry cheese cake

March 23
   Cookie & candy
   20 oz Soda
   Big K Supreme (double-cheeseburger)
   Large french fries
   Lage soda (32oz?)
   Brownie
   Strawberry milk
   Curry steak & Curry chicken
   Strawberry cheesecake

March 24
   Cookie
   Chicken dunkers (deep-fried chicken strips)
   Large (44oz) root beer
   Gummi shark (candy)
   Strawberry milk
   Candy bar & Candy
   Cheese cubes
   1.5 cups pasta with sauce and sausage
   Garlic bread
   Cookie

21 Mar

March 21, 2002

Okay, as I said in my last update that my goal for this week is to keep track of what I am eating. I have been fairly successful at doing this; since the 19th, I’ve kept track of every bit of food I have eaten.

I am already seeing habits that I have fallen in to; habits that will probably be fairly easy to break. But I am not going to go into this now; instead, I am going to wait ’til the end of this week and then tally up everything that I ate, when I ate them, etc. I want a pretty good picture of what’s going on before I do anything. It is best to see the Big Picture before one starts trying to make corrections.

Here’s what that list looks like:

March 19
1 square Fruit Pizza
8″ turkey ranch sub from Quiznos
2 large cookies
Extra large lemonade
12 oz. Coke
20 oz Soda
Chocolate Dolly Madison Pie
1 cup macaroni and cheese

March 20
McDonald’s breakfast burrito
Sausage McMuffin with Egg
Extra large orange drink
Large burrito
2 kidney bean rolls
Venti caramel Frappucino
English toffee bar
1/2 Classic P’Zone
3 breadsticks
2 16oz sodas
slice of carrot cake

March 21
venti chai tea
english toffee bar
4″ honey burbon chicken sub
cup of chili w/ crackers
large lemonade
1/2 classic P’Zone
2 glasses of soda
mixed nuts
slice of carrot cake

Cheers!
-Miguelito

18 Mar

Weight: 309

Difference from last entry: -2

Well, at least my weight didn’t go up! [grin] Actually, I don’t mind at all that my weight only went down by two pounds. That is exactly the rate of weight loss that I am hoping I can get to; two pounds per week is a very healthy amount of weight to lose per week.

What I am worried about is the fact that I didn’t do very much at all this week to lose weight. I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of snacking I do, but I haven’t been completely successful at that. I have been drinking more water, and I have had a few better meals this past week. I’ve also been trying to make myself walk just a little bit per day. But again, I haven’t been very successful at doing this.

If you are wondering why I am looking a gift horse in the mouth, it is simply that this weight loss might’ve been just a fluke, just my body adjusting the amount of weight that it carries. And if that truly is what this was, then there is a fair chance that those two pounds will simply appear back next week. That wouldn’t be a good thing, IMHO.

A new week is upon us, and I have a goal for this week. My goal is to start recording what I eat. I am not going to necessarily try limiting what I eat, or changing what I eat. For now, I just want to get into the habit of writing down what I do eat. This will allow me to see what I am eating, and when I am eating. Once I have this information, it’ll be easier to create a meal plan that matches my lifestyle.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Ciao!

– Miguelito