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June 29, 2006
180 Days and Still Maintaining!
After 180 days ( six months!) I am still easily holding at 155 with a half pound average variance day-to-day. Maintaining my weight is a matter of awareness and gentle tweaking (UP as well as down).
More and more people are noticing the weight I have lost. This is good reinforcement for my continuing the changes I have made to how and what I am eating. It is secondary to how I feel. I am more energetic, more active and have a more positive attitude. Rather than dreading the next two decades (sixties and seventies) I am actually looking forward to enjoying them. I am finding that tennis need not be a young man's sport!
Everyone has to find their own way.
For me, it was grasping the knowledge of what my dietary choices were doing to me. The 20 ounce steaks and large baked potatoes were great but today an 8 ounce portion with veggies and a salad is just as satisfying. I just chew slower!
After 20 minutes your stomach registers that it has had its fill. I have learned to finish my meal then wait for twenty minutes. Any lingering hunger drops off then almost regardless how much I have eaten. We do tend to eat until we feel full without realizing that we have overeaten. Our fast-paced dining habits may well be one of the causes of our obesity problems.
June 8, 2006
Weight Control After 120 Days
After 120 days I am still tracking at 155 with a half pound average variance day-to-day. Maintaining my target weight has become an after thought. What is interesting is that I have to watch losing weight as much as gaining it. I seem to have "balanced the scales" and keeping it there has become part of my daily routine.
This month an old friend has been placed on Phase I of the South Beach Diet by his wife (again). We had lunch the day before he started and he celebrated the pending deprivation period by ordering a cheeseburger with onion rings accompanied by two martinis. That is the attitude I aim to leave behind by an aggressive maintenance mode. Why have to go through the ups and downs of dieting when a few simple changes to eating habits and exercise can actually give you control.
There has been another benefit. Besides running (treadmill) and kayaking (pedal or paddle driven) I have added tennis back into my exercise program. I was very surprised after the first match. After 20+ years I found by lightening my "load" I have more "bounce" in my step and the wind to play three consecutive sets with the energy for more. The typical post-play general muscle aches and joint pains are gone. Yes, my arm and shoulders are a bit tender but that is from lack of use of specific muscles rather than from carrying too much weight around the court. I am excited to have a new, less boring way to get my morning's exercise. This, of course, makes maintenance that much easier!
The first 90 days of what I did to gain control over my weight were the toughest. I had to learn the impact of food selections and portion sizes. Once I had a basic grasp of the foods I was partial to, I found I could intuitively make good choices with ease. Now I can mentally calculate a days menu impact and on the fly adjust for a heavier than usual meal. No charts, lists or scales needed. No points or other contrived gadgets. Just the facts and the awareness that you are choosing your weight each time you have a meal. Looking back it seems so logical that I wonder why I never realized it before. For me it was the ability to log and track food choices on a laptop for that first 90 days. The information led to self-assumed control and then personal responsibility.
I lost the weight for me, not because I was told to do so or because others expected it of me. I still enjoy martinis, carbs and hamburgers. But I enjoy them in balance with other meals so that I can enjoy them without guilt or remorse. Life is for living not dieting!