My Weight-Loss Plan… For Real This Time

All right, guys. I’m going to proclaim my goals out loud (so to speak) and unashamedly, so that I cannot renounce my plans.

I am fat. More than fat, I am obese. I can’t seem to locate the entry where I discussed how I’m not-quite-morbidly obese and linked to the scary Flash BMI calculator (Beth? Do you remember?), but we’ve gone over the fact several times in the months before the wedding. I am still the same weight I was in November… which could be good or bad. I choose to be grateful that I haven’t gained any more weight. I maintain that there is some validity to the concept of a weight setpoint, since I seem to have stabilized around a given weight.

Oh, hell. I’m not going to dance around it anymore. I weigh 250lbs. *collective gasp*

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am 70 pounds overweight by the most conservative estimate. Being my ideal weight (my personal ideal weight, not what "they" say) would put me back in middle school — though I’m now about three inches taller than I was then. (Yeah, I hit my growth spurt in sixth grade. Oh, the horror…)

So, you say, whatcha gonna do about it? Well, I’m glad you asked.

First, I’m going to create a little spot for current weight info in my sidebar on the main page. That way, everyone can cheer me on (*nudge, nudge*). I’ll include my current weight (embarrassing though it may be), BMI (body mass index), and body fat percentage, and indicators as to whether each is rising or falling.

Next, I’m going to set goals. Actually, let’s do that right now. *scribbles math problems on scrap paper* OK, let’s assume I can lose one pound a week. That’s fair and relatively simple, right? Right. So, that would put me at my ideal weight on New Year’s Eve 2005. Not this coming New Year’s, but the following. (Good God, that’s a long time.)

But I need short-term goals, too, so let’s figure I’ll aim for ten pounds in ten weeks? That means I’m shooting for 240 by… oh, let’s say October 1st. Certainly I can do that… right?

— There. I just wrote it on my calendar. Hang on, do I need a five-pound mark? Oh, OK… *writing on calendar again* There. The end of September.

…Oh, yeah. Don’t I need a diet and exercise plan now? D’oh!

Actually, I have several books on the subject (yes, yes, Aaron and I have the Atkins Diet book…), but my favorite is The 200 Calorie Solution. No, it’s not a super-starvation diet. 🙂 It tells all about thermogenesis, which is the body’s burning of calories after a meal, and explains how to get the most out of your exercise by walking or doing other exercise within an hour after a meal. The idea is that if you can boost your metabolism just a little, that will be enough to raise your basal metabolic rate so you continue to burn calories at a higher rate. The process expounds upon itself, and eventually your body actually becomes an efficient fat-burner. Theoretically. I like this program because it strokes my food-ego; I don’t think I eat more than your average person, nor do I eat worse food. I do eat too many starches, though, and I’ll admit to being a pastaholic. I’ll give you that. Overall, though, I think I’m just too sedentary. (Case in point: I’m sitting here blogging while I should be out practicing what I’m preaching.)

Another favorite book of mine is The Setpoint Diet. It’s more dietary than exercise-based, but it’s portion control rather than calorie-counting. It also includes an exercise factor, though, as should any good weight-loss program. The hook to this diet is the groupings of foods into the stardard food groups, plus an "A list," a "B list," and "freebies." The concept is that complete elimination of any food group (ahem, Atkins Diet) is unhealthy for the body itself and a dieter is less likely to remain on a diet which completely removes a given food or group of foods. Eventually you’ll go off the diet, or just cheat, and the weight will come back. (Yes, I know there is a throng of Atkins supporters out there… I side with the anti-Atkins bunch, even though I haven’t tried the diet myself. Call me a skeptic, call me hypocritical, call me stupid, but I still say it’s just not sound.) Anyway, on this diet, you’re allowed to have, say, a couple beers or a piece of cake or some real mayo. Just not a whole lot of it, and not all the time.

The reason it’s called the Setpoint Diet is because the author is one of the believers of setpoint theory, which says that your body tries to stabilize itself at a given weight, just like it does with temperature (with shivering and sweating). If you kick-start your metabolism with exercise, and reach the lower setpoint without your body thinking it’s starving, your body will attempt to stabilize at the new, lower setpoint. Setpoint theory has also been supported with underweight people who try to gain weight, fyi. (I’ll look up some references later, for the skeptical.)

So, yeah. My first obstacles are a.) walking for 30 continuous minutes a day, and b.) eating breakfast. Speaking of, I should go for a walk now.

Anybody need a diet buddy? Come on, I know you’re out there…