So, now that I've filled your head with numbers and calculations and convinced you how easy it is to lose weight, I thought I would spend today talking about where things go awry for me.
First off, I mentioned yesterday that these number assume current weight, age, and activity level. The first piece is easy to understand, As we lose weight and get older, the number of calories we need to exist goes down. For example, my BMR has gone from 2250 calories when I started (260 lbs 2 years ago) to 1960 now (based on 215 lbs). That's a reduction of 300 calories a day (that's one Krispy Kreme Chocolate covered custard filled donut). Here was my first little toe stub. When I first started losing weight I would "reward" myself and have that Krispy Kreme (well -actually we don't have Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts here in Orange County - but you get the idea). I didn;t understand that that 10 pounds I just lost was more than offset by a donut a couple or three times a week. Just to maintain weight as I get older and trimmer means I have to eat less - or at least be smarter about what I am eating. I would lose weight, and then relax. I would work out a little less and east a little more without understanding that those few extra calories a day was all it was taking to keep me from losing weight. It's not hard to rack up an extra 200 or 300 calories a day.
Second, AKA Alice hit the nail on the head when it comes to what makes calorie tracking difficult for me - estimating portion size. Portion size is the death knell for most people. What is 4 ounces of pasta? Cooked or pre cooked? 1 ounce of chips? That's a 1.3 ounce bag. Etc. Etc. I resorted to having a 1/2 cup measure with me to estimate portion size. Others I know have a postage scale. When I BBQ a burger at home though, I'm still not sure whether that's 4 ounces or 6 ounces or 7.34672 ounces of ground beef. Is that really a tablespoon of mayo? You get the idea. Portion sizing made folks like Jenny Craig very wealthy.
Then, Lindsay hit a home run with my other weakness - logging. To be effective, I need to log my food. Religiously. Lindsay left a comment yesterday - "last night i was tempted to have some more m&m's or sun chips before bed but then i was too lazy to log it so i didn't." Lindsay - I wished I had you will power. If it was my comment, I would be saying "last night i was tempted to have some more m&m's or sun chips before bed but then i was too lazy to log it so i didn't log it." Meh - what's an extra couple hundred calories between friends?
Finally, I love a nice meal out. Last night - for example. It was my wife's birthday, so the family went out to a nice relaxing dinner. How do I log baked truffle scented macaroni and cheese? Or Prime Short Ribs of Beef braised for 30 hours in rum and peppers. Sorry folks - I love good food!
So - how do I deal with these issues? I try. I try real hard. But I also don't stress if I have a few extra calories here and there. Or if I don't lose weight one week. Or put on a pound or two in a month. I know that by following this methodology I've dropped 45 pounds in total. And it's still moving the right direction, so something is working! Maybe slowly, but it's still happening.
On the exercise front, yesterday was a scheduled rest day. I'm hoping that my legs are rested enough to run my scheduled 5K (Magic Shoe 5K) this morning. The race is about a mile away from my house, and I'm tempted to run over to warm up. I'm still feeling fatigued, but not like last weekend before my 10K. I guess I'll find out just how tired I was in a couple of hours!