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?)
   Strawberry milk
   Curry steak & Curry chicken
   Strawberry cheesecake

March 24
   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