Saturday, September 5, 2009

the countdown(s)

Another thing I'm reproducing from the last time I did this is the countdown calendar. I found it helpful to have a goal in mind - sort of like a smaller chunk of time to concentrate on. It started right at the beginning because there is a "quick start" program that lasts 4 weeks during which you only eat "their" food and it works out to just under 900 calories per day. So I created a calendar where I could count down the 28 days. I remember the first time coming home with seemingly small bag full of every single thing I was going to eat for that first week and being very nervous about it. Mind you I know I said to myself "uh it's not like there's any danger of you wasting away in 7 days". As each calendar time was up I would look forward to some upcoming date and make a calendar to that - maybe my husband's birthday, or my own, or Christmas, or when I was going to see some old friends - and I'd count down - 35 days to go, 34 days to go, 33 days to go. On more than one occasion I'd think, well I know I can make it for 33 more days.

So this time I started right off with a date in the future, which is October 10th. That date is the start of a conference that both my husband and I work at for the weekend. We'll see lots of old friends and we'll be working at least 18 hours days and will be likely eating the sandwiches brought in and participating in at least 2 nice dinners. I haven't fully decided how I'm going to handle the weekend eating wise, but I have decided that from now till then I'm going to give it my very best shot. My calendar has a countdown within a countdown. The first 28 days I am doing a similar quick start program and so I want to count down to the end of that in addition to counting down till the conference. As of this morning, I had 23 days left of the quick start part and 35 until the conference. I can manage both of those, though it will be really great when the numbers move to the next set of 1o as in below 20 and below 30 - those are markers I can get behind.

As for my plan and progress it's been going good. Last time I was eating a combination of Medifast and Advanced Health System foods and a day consisted of 6 "meals"; 2 bars each 150-160ish cals, 4 "other things" of about 100-120 ish cals. For two of them I usually chose some soy based chip or pretzel but it could have been a soup or shake or a variety of other things, and for the last two you could have their version of fettuccine alfredo, or macaroni and cheese and they would equal 2 "other things" and it was about 220 cals. In addition to that I needed to eat 10 g all at once of fat (which last time was either a teaspoon of butter or some cream cheese - each 100 cals. Apparently this is for proper gall bladder function and very important.

So this time I ordered from Medifast a bunch of bars and I buy soy chips at the grocery store. My plan was to eat 2 bars (breakfast and lunch) and two little prepared baggies of soy chips (mid morning and mid afternoon) and then come home and eat one of the pasta meals I had left over and when they were gone I was going to find a replacement that was as close to the same nutritional makeup as I could find. The pasta were not from Medifast and I hadn't been able to find them online. I was able to find some Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals that meet my nutritional requirements, but if finally dawned on me - Why not see if my very assertive and more internet savvy than I husband of mine could get me a source of the pasta. It took him some searching and a phone call and an email but he found me a source and I've ordered them. They should be here on Wednesday which is none too soon, since I've already run out of my supply - I thought I had more... oops.

The problem I've not quite solved though is that I couldn't find the bars I had last time and the bars I got only have 110 calories instead of 160. Which means at the end of the day I'm 100 cals in the hole. On the one hand - ok that's good right - but on the other - I'm afraid of not getting enough and then having my body think it's starving and wanting to hold onto the weight for all it's worth. I haven't fully decided to just eat another bar each day, but I've been a bit liberal with some things. For instance I put parm. cheese in my pasta which has some cals but not many carbs. or I went "heavy" on my cream cheese.

The first 3 days as expected were the hardest but then my body figured it out and I'm doing okay. I've exercised 3 days at a moderate pace, just working up to a sweat before stopping. In the past I've found a relatively slow buildup to exercise has helped me not burn out and stay consistent for long periods of time. Usually I'm pretty anal about only weighing myself once a week, but the first week I've allowed myself to do it every day; and I lost almost 7 lbs in the first 3 days and nothing in the next 2. Part of me is worried about the "my body thinks I'm starving thing" but the bigger part of me feels like I'm eating really closely to what I ate before for the other first 4 weeks and am just going to see what happens. Maybe it's as simple as where I am in my cycle. I definitely think 5 days in is way too early to panic so we'll just have to see.


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