A failure in discipline, a lesson in status quo

So here we are 26 full days in – I technically started on the evening of January 2nd, so January 3rd is my first full day.  I’d say that after the 15th, I have barely touched a can of soup.  While at work, it’s rather easy to stick with the soup option.  I basically get hungry, go to my drawer, and get a can of soup.  At home, I have more choices.  In fact, the last half of the month, I have taken a number of days off, making every week a short week.

When I’m home and it comes to making a choice about what to eat, the fact that I’m on a diet barely registers on my mind.  My brain pays no attention to that fact.  It’s not like I have an argument with myself over eating either soup or a hamburger and then give in — rather, I just grab something.  Sometimes it’s soup, other times it’s a bag of M&Ms.

The one thing I have managed to do is to track my food intake.  I’ve primarily been interested in calories, with a secondary eye on sodium intake.  I was originally shooting for approximately 1500 calories per day, over 26 days though, I am at an average of 1712.  I kept being amazed by how many calories everything has.  “LIte” syrup has 100 calories in a serving.  I did however, find some Splenda-based syrup that is only 30 calories per serving.  Since I love waffles and pancakes, I will be purchasing this type of syrup more often.

>>> # starting from Jan 2nd
… print (1450 + 825 + 2473 + 1220 + 1190 + 1980 + 1910 + 1630 + 1338 + 1734 + 1653 + 1190 + 2497 + 1630 + 1370 + 2680 + 1078 + 1694 + 1264 + 2662 + 1366 + 1820 + 1877 + 2511 + 1862 + 1616)/26

Weight-loss: I went from 204 lbs to 200 lbs at a steady decline.  My weight loss moved decently in the beginning, and then levelled off as I strayed further and further from the original diet plan.

Excercise:  During this experiment, I did almost no exercise — I wanted to see how well a strict diet did.  Unfortunately, since I didn’t keep a strict diet, it’s pretty inconclusive.   It did however, test my ability to stick to a diet, even a temporary one.  Going into this, I figured that I would do much better at sticking to a diet than I would at motivating myself to do exercise.  To a point of watching calories, I was mostly able to.  To sticking with a certain food regime (even with allowances on certain days a week), I failed.

Looking forward: For February, I’m going to continue tracking my calories, but I’m also going to attempt to increase my exercise.  My two primary exercises I’m hoping to get into will be sprinting and the 100 push-ups plan. I did the 100 push-ups before, but did not complete the program.  Hopefully between February and March, I can push myself to do so.  As for sprinting, up until this point, I have been focusing on distance and endurance — walking or jogging for several hours at time.  My goal now is to go fast and sweat quicker.  I’m not sure if I can really do this on the treadmill or elliptical — I’ll have to look around.  Otherwise, it will be an outdoor activity (as it was meant to be).  Hopefully snow and ice won’t interfere too much.  Even if it does force me indoors, I can still set those treadmills up faster than I can run.  It is just somewhat tricky press the speed buttons as you’re running.

Some changes

I made a few decisions last week.  The first is that my transition day where I switch from work to home, I would go ahead and eat “regular food”.  I went a little overboard in this.. on the drive up I had hot dogs, and at home I had some corn dogs, as well as my regular soup meals.   I ended up with 2,473.  However, the previous day I only had 825 calories, so the two day average is 1649, which is still a bit higher than my 1500 calories or less goal.

I also decided that I’ll let myself have one other day each week to have regular food, but in moderation.  This week, I chose Saturday, during which I had a a footlong Subway Steak and Cheese sandwhich.  Despite that (and a FiberOne bar) being the only food for the day, I had 4 cups of Creme Soda at my parents and 2 cups worth of Dr. Pepper.  Altogether, I had 1,980 calories for the day.  Those were the two “high calorie” days.  If  I had moderated my soda usage during Saturday, it would have worked out much better, calorie wise.

I also have weighed myself in at 202lbs, a 2lb swing since last week.  While 2 pounds is small enough to be just coincidence, seeing the lower weight gives some positive reinforcement. 

Progresso also makes a soup with similar nutrition values called “Chicken and Wild Rice”, which I am trying out this week.  It’s somewhat cheaper than the Select Harvest varieties, and seems more readily in stock.  The Chicken and Rice that I get from Campbells is frequently out of stock.

Food and soda

I’m starting to get some caffeine withdrawal.  That shouldn’t be too bad.  When I went through this in August, that takes a day or two to overcome.

No, the big thing is the limited food diet.  One of my coworkers has been hitting up Taco Bell constantly, and they’re all talking about fast food foods.  Tom, who lives on nuts and berries, brought in a steak last night to eat.  Everyone had some form of beef meat.    I think I need to look at adding a healthy “dry” snack to my diet.  Or, I could look at some of the creamy soups that might not be quite as healthy, but still within bounds.

I had thought about adding a protein drink like “Muscle Milk” to my diet, but some of those have more calories than the soup I’m eating and similar protein content.  Plus, they aren’t really filling.  Better to go with something solid.

Weigh In

I checked my weight at the gym today.  I gained 6lbs (3%) since November 2nd, bringing me to 204lbs.  This will make reaching 190lbs by the end of the month much trickier.  My desired goal is 180lbs, but I don’t have a set date for that.  According to halls-md, my recommended weight is between 125lbs and 164lbs.

30 Days Of Soup

This morning I had part of a sub and then later, some KFC.  My Dr. Pepper has a couple sips left in it, but once that is gone, it’s gone.

Tonight into tomorrow begins my “30 Days Of Soup”, a 1-month diet plan where I eat nothing but soup and crackers for 30 days (to end at midnight on February 1st).  The soup and crackers will be of the healthier, low-fat, low-sodium variety.  I have been sticking to a partial soup diet previously.  I would eat soup while at work for the week, but then when I would go home on my extended weekends, I would eat whatever was convenient.  For the TDoS, I will stick to my soup and crackers for all 7 days and nights of the week.  I will also be cutting soda back out of my diet during these 30 days, sticking to a variety of healthier drinks.  I also plan to get back onto a regular exercise regime.

In addition to a better shape physically, I am hoping to regain some focus in other areas.  One growing concern for me over this last has been my increased use of social websites such as Reddit, Digg, and Facebook.  I find myself filling up my time by constantly obsessing over what is posted on these sites and coming up with short replies and status updates for these sites.  So in order to free up that time, I have instituted LeechBlock on my computers to prevent access to these sites.  In order to disable leechblock, I have to enter a 32-character random phrase that changes each time.  I haven’t fully blocked facebook, but have restricted the amount of time I may spend on it in any given week.