First, please forgive this scatter-brained blog, but I had a little too much of a fantastic time with my boyfriend this morning, and that has my head jostling around like a kite in a hurricane. Not only that, but it's rent day (without all the rent yet) and deadline day for many projects that are still lurking in my in-box after a hectic week, so my stress levels are wreaking havoc on my sanity...
Today is April 1, and I do feel somewhat like a fool, because my huge personal goal for the past weeks was to hit my elusive goal weight, 155 lbs., by the end of March, which was to be a month of personal closure for me in many areas of life. It is not a Wednesday, but I stepped on the scales today to see just how close I came to hitting that goal on this goal day, and I looked down at my toes and saw this: 157.8, a number 2.8 lbs. higher than the goal I've been chasing for 118 weeks and 2 days and 2 hours and 37 minutes (or longer, by the time I finish typing this blog). My goal was to lose 174 lbs., and I have now lost 171.2 of them. I may not have done it by April Fool's, but I am not about to give up, and I am giving myself a new goal: Tax Day. I never get refunds, being a self-employed freelancer with my own business, and I end up forking out a lot to Uncle Sam every year, so I'll be careful to mind what I'm forking into my mouth these next couple weeks and hopefully make something good out of April 15! When I'm feeling upset about not hitting goals or hitting them on time, I like to look at my weight loss in terms of visible objects, so today I calculated how many Jack Russells I've lost. My Maggie dog is the best dog I've ever had, and I'd never want to lose the real one, but since she's about 10.5 lbs. of furry fun, I can gladly say I've lost several Maggies by this point, and I only have about 1/4 of a Maggie left to lose! I may not have hit my goal when I wanted to, but I ain't too proud to blog about the lost doggies I have accomplished, and you should be proud of your own lost doggies, too, even if you've only lost a tail or an ear so far.
I do try to share some tips when I can, and I've had two questions recently that have popped up on Spark and IRL:
1. What is your eating regimen?
2. Do you count vegetable calories or let them be freebies?
I will address these questions here, for those who might wonder themselves. Here's a disclaimer, though, the same one I will be putting at the front of that book if I ever write it: I am NOT a doctor, a nutritionist, a personal trainer, Oprah, Richard Simmons, Jillian Michaels, or the Surgeon General. I am merely a normal person, probably quite like you (and please don't take that as an insult, because I am admittedly a bit exasperating and a nut-case sometimes), who has lost weight via calorie accountability, and I am happy to share what I've learned and what has worked for me. Now, for those answers...
My "eating regimen" (I love that. It's so...military that I feel as if I should eat every meal in fatigues) is SO complicated that you may need a brilliant physicist to help you decipher this VERY difficult math formula. If you did not do well on your ACT/SAT, I am not sure you will grasp it, because it is so difficult to comprehend that you may suffer an aneurysm from trying, so beware. Are you ready? Here goes...
300 cals. for breakfast and lunch +
400 cals. for dinner +
200 cals. for snacks/beverages/condiments/me
dicines, etc. =
Did you get that? I'm truly sorry it is so complicated, but that is the simplest way I can put it: Eat 1,200 calories a day, period. While my calorie counts have fluctuated since the beginning of my Spark journey, and I occasionally trek over the line a little, this is generally the amount that works for me. If I eat 1,100, I do not lose as much weight. If I eat 1,250 or more, I do not lose as much weight. If I glutton down 5,000 calories of pizza and chocolate, my scale cusses at me. It really is that simple: Put in less than you spend. Don't flood the engine, and try not to use the wrong kind of fuel. One sure-fire way to avoid using the wrong kind of fuel is to monitor those calories, because by the very nature of that low of a calorie count, you won't be able to "afford" the very costly fuel your engine does not need! When I move into maintenance, I will likely continue to use Spark to keep my calories between 1,300 and 1,500, but for now, while I am in loss mode, and anytime I need to hop back in loss mode in the future, I will hop back to my trusty ol' 1,200.
That second question is one many have asked me. Apparently, there are faulty, foolish diet programs out there that tell you that you don't have to count calories in the foods God invented and man has not yet fooled with, but I am a firm believer that this is false. The bitter truth is that Slim-Fast, WW, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and others NEED you to stay fatter for longer; when you hit your goal, you are no longer a customer, right? Many of these programs, from what I understand in my limited understanding, tell you that lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cukes, and other such from-the-Earth goodies do not have to be included in your calorie counts, but think about that for a minute. Remember what I said about not flooding the engine? These days, at the gas station, there are those pumps with the little cob of corn on them. Does putting corn gas in your car mean you aren't really fueling it? Does the clerk not charge you for that gas? It IS gas, and it IS fuel, just as vegetables ARE calories that should be counted. In fact, I count EVERY calorie I eat, right down to the >5 for a stick of gum (I count them as 5), the 1.9 for Tic Tacs, the 35 for a dose of Nyquil, the 10 for that little packet of mustard, or the 2 for a radish. If you are going to be truly accountable, which I believe is the only way to improve your weigh, you must count each and every calorie, no matter how green or organic it is. Sure, fruits and veggies are important and are healthier for you than those calories hiding in chicken nuggets and Booberry, but they ARE calories, and they MUST be counted if calorie-counting is the way you're going about things.
So, there you have it: a scatterbrained blog. I hope you are all doing well to write down your daily compliments, as I ordered you to do yesterday. Here's another one for you:
"Give yourself credit for every lost tail, because as long as you're trying, you won't ever fail!" (or, if you're putting it backward on that Post-It note for your forehead: "!liaf reve t'now uoy ,gniyrt er'uoy sa gnol sa esuaceb ,liat tsol yreve rof tiderc flesruoy eviG" You can thank my Twin Peakiness for that, because I learned long ago to type backward with some ease, thanks to the scary little MFAP in the red suit...and speaking of that, I started a Sparkies Twin Peaks fan group on here, so feel free to join it, so we can all talk about how the cals are not what they seem!)
P.S. I do not mean to sound childish or desperate here, but I really would love to be featured on Spark for my blogs or as a motivator, simply because I am trying to share what I know, in the hopes of writing that book someday. If you click on "I Like This" below, it will boost my blogs, and you can visit my Spark Page to nominate me as a motivator if you are so inclined. You all have NO IDEA how much your encouragement and support has meant to me in my writing as well as my home stretch in this long weight loss journey, so I thank you and adore you all! If you would like to keep in touch with me personally, outside of Spark, please feel free to do so at firstname.lastname@example.org I'm almost always online, due to the nature of my work, and I don't mind emails interrupting my interludes with my boyfriend while I'm working.