This is the story of my journey trying to lose over 70 pounds, regain my life, and hopefully help others have success doing the same thing.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

So it's really (really!) time to get back to it.  Everyone needs a kickstart, and the other day I had my motivation to get back to how I should be living.  I got a call from a friend of mine.  He is a good 2-3 inches shorter than I am, and when we met, we were about the same weight.  We both retired from the Air Force, and both started flying for the airlines.  While I put on about 25 pounds... he put on about 100.  All of us who knew him were worried about him.  Well, eventually, he got worried too.  He went through surgery to help his sleep apnea, and in the process started losing weight--and in the last six months, he's lost 50 pounds. 

We had quite a discussion about it.  We have similar problems.  We live a highly irregular, highly mobile lifestyle.  We both like to eat a lot (with both possible meanings:  we REALLY like to eat, and we like to eat large quantities).  So when I heard that he'd started having some success, I was curious.  Turns out he's been enrolled in one of the weight loss programs involving pre-packaged meals.  I thought about it and considered joining up, but the cost and uncertainty of it put me off.  So I decided to create my own "program."

One of my big problems is portion control (remember liking to eat a lot?).  Eating out at restaurants all the time makes that problem almost insurmountable.  However, being away from home makes it difficult to do anything else.  However, several companies are now making reasonable portion (approx 220 calorie) meals that don't require refrigeration..  Also, the selection of meal replacement bars (high in protein and fiber, approx 250 calories) is getting better.  So here is my plan...

BREAKFAST:  I drink a Slim-Fast (170 calories) for breakfast.  Honestly, I'm not much of a breakfast fan, and so having "only" a Slim-Fast doesn't feel like I'm giving anything up.  If anything, I am ahead of the game on this meal.

LUNCH:  Meal replacement bar (270 calories).  Usually when I'm on the road, it's difficult to get access to a microwave during the day, so one of the pre-packaged meals isn't the best option.  The meal bar, followed by a piece of fruit (80 calories), makes for a decent meal.

SNACK:  I have a piece of fruit or a V-8 juice (70-80 calories).  Low in fat, reasonably high in fiber.  A bit high in sodium, perhaps, but lower than the salt on the french fries I would usually eat for lunch...

DINNER:  Pre-packaged meal.  As I mentioned, these range between 200-240 calories.  There are meals that go higher than that, but there's no need to go that high. 

So here's the rundown:
BREAKFAST:      170 calories
LUNCH:               270 calories
SNACK:                80 calories
DINNER:             230 calories
TOTAL:              750 calories

Now, I know what you're thinking--that's not enough calories.  Well, you're right!  BUT--that's my "framework."  I can add a meal bar here, or a piece of fruit there, and get the calorie total up to the 1500 range if I want to.  Given that my previous total was probably in the 2500 calorie range, this is a DRASTIC improvement.

Will I stick with it? Who knows--but it's a start.  Today was 274 pounds.  Let's head back toward 200, shall we?  Next post will be about my exercise plan.

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