Loss Regained, Except the Opposite of That, or Not

Well, the primary and secondary effects of the Week of the Robot Cake are behind me, and I am pretty much right back where I started from. All my weight gains, or loss in progress, have been lost, or recovered, except that I have really started to get bored with the whole points tracking thing. This is why I ended up quitting Weight Watchers in the first place (the second time it was because of the long line, the folding metal chairs, and my entourage). I am very good at maintaining a weight when I need to, but counting points all the time is tedious. I just lost patience with it a lot sooner than I thought I was going to.

And here’s the kicker: I am still interested in losing weight! And it still seems to be working!

If I were going to Weight Watchers meetings and if I brought this up, they would no doubt tell me to try the core plan. I’d always meant to try the core plan, but the effort of making core food seemed more overwhelming than the effort of tracking points. Plus, you still have to track points if you eat things like bread or rice, and I do love my rice. However inaccurate, it’s easier for me to mentally count up to 22 points a day each day than it is to try to remember 35 points per week. Besides, you still have to engage in portion control. You are probably eating a fantastically healthy diet on Core, but fantastic health has never been my overt goal. So sad, but so true. I’ve decided–without explicit confirmation or advice from a doctor–to try to sneak my way into longevity with good cholesterol and low blood pressure.

So this is me dropping the whole flex points thing, I think. I still have my kickass spreadsheet, and it disappoints me to not use it, so I’ll probably keep it handy; I am tracking my weight in it at least. I could morph it into some sort of graph generating opportunity, which I’d have to figure out, but which might be kinda fun–I do like watching the line graph for the stats for this blog. (Which, as an aside, is back on the uptick. I credit Mad Men for that. The sexy lesbian nuns just don’t have the same draw anymore.)

I was thinking about this yesterday. I have officially lost ten pounds now for a few weeks in a row, and it is pretty nice. You can see it in my face, and although no one is really noticing it, I do wear clothes better and I have more to choose from in my closet. I could stay at this weight for a very long time without a lot of effort. Granted, my BMI is still in the “fat cow” range, but I can rationalize my way out of BMI by invoking the names of some athletes and bodybuilders who are also in the fat cow range even though they are obviously fit people. So it’s all good! Yesterday I was deciding out loud, and then to my friend, that I think I am going to stop worrying about dieting and just be ten pounds lighter, and then later try to lose some more weight. I do want to lose more weight for cosmetic reasons, mostly because of how much better pictures of me look when I am thin. What’s the hurry, right? Does it really matter in the end if it takes until next summer for me to lose another twenty pounds? Swimsuit season is effectively over, I won’t be going anywhere fancy on New Year’s Eve, and I don’t own any of those fancy velour “track suits” that you have to wear blinged-out flip-flops with. It won’t matter in winter fashions if I am skinnier or not.

A long time ago, aforementioned friend lost a lot of weight. Like a life-altering amount of weight. She’d dieted off and on for a long, long time until one day (if I am remembering the story correctly and sufficiently stripping the filter of my own experience and agenda from it) someone suggested to her (in a weight-loss counseling role) if she’d ever tried just eating a regular-sized meal with no snacks in between. That was it. Of course, she did other things to go along with eating regular-sized meals without snacking (like exercise), but she has been thin ever since, even athletically trim. What I have noticed in myself this past month or two is that my appetite has definitely adjusted to less food. If I sit down and eat more than ten points worth of lunch or dinner or snack, I feel a little sick to my stomach. Without measuring or counting anything, I ate pretty well. I had a hearty half-sandwich and a bowl of soup for lunch (with a few French fries sneaked off the kids’ plates, but they were tasty and crisp and so totally worth it) and a frozen yogurt dessert. I put some candy on it. Some very good candy, however, and not a lot. I love me some Sno-Caps and some red sour gummy things. For dinner I had a chicken taco, from a marinaded batch of chicken breasts from Windmill Farms (an apparent product of the great Henry’s-Boney’s Schism, which warrants its own Shakespeare play), a corn tortilla, a quarter to a half of avocado (it was sort of mashed up), and some smallish amount of shredded cheese that was less than an ounce. I had a glass of wine. It got me through the evening, and when I ran out later to get milk from the grocery store I was barely tempted to snack.

Long story short–I’m adopting a policy of informal portion control and daily weigh-ins. I know how easy it is to go radically off track, as long-ago gleaned wisdom and recent episodes have shown me. So long as I hover around a target weight, which for me right now is ten pounds less than I was, then I’ll be happy, until I diet for another month and lose some more and hover there. A month of points tracking is pretty easy on the psyche; four weeks is not very long. I also have this idea that is not derived from science or learning in any way that it’s lots of weight loss at once that the body resists. If I gradually shrink and acclimate, it won’t be such a dramatic request to ask the body to shed a few more pounds later, right? It’s like climbing Mount Everest. If you just step out of an airplane onto the peak at 29,000 feet above sea level, you would die from a lack of oxygen. But if you work your way up the mountain slowly, you adapt to the thinning air and have a 75 percent chance of returning alive! Except my diet is the opposite of that. Or maybe nothing like it at all. (You decide!)

And now I’m in this Zen state about weight and diet modifications and reducing stress from my life, and I step on the scale, and I am down again. At this exact moment, I have lost 12.4 pounds since starting, less the weight of a can of Diet Coke. So before I wax all rhapsodical about how freeing your mind enables the rest to follow, I will completely undermine the mood by boasting that I haven’t even taken a crap yet. That’s gotta be like another pound, right?

BEGIN TANGENT: It is shocking to me how little sand from the sandbox it actually takes to mess up an entire patio. I think I need a shop vac. If it picks up sawdust it’s gotta work on dry sand, right? END TANGENT

So, yeah, diets. I’ll keep you posted. And I’ll enjoy making a self-generating graph in Excel, especially at the expense of folding laundry or doing work for money.

NEEDLESS UPDATE My crap did not weigh a pound. It weighed, if you are wondering, less. END NEEDLESS UPDATE

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  • Aimee  On August 26, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    As always, entertaining…I too have dealt with this issue of late…was very successful (not scale-weight wise, but muscle-response- and overall compliments-received-wise)…until I lost two coworkers within a week of each other, and now have had to deal with their workload and the residual complaining of other coworkers that goes with it. Update to come.

  • Lauren C.  On August 27, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Your new philosophy about losing gradually reminds me of this book, which I always thought about reading:


  • Joan  On August 29, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Thank you for the much needed humor and for reminding me to buy a shopvac.

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