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28 Days, 8.9 Pounds

February 18, 2007

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still” – Lao Tzu

As you may recall, I have resolved to take better care of myself, to eat better, and to lose the weight I’ve gained over the last two years. The 48-hour fast last month was a good starting point. I cut back on calories for the entire week prior, did the fast, and proceeded to eat to lose since that time. How am I doing? Pretty damned good.

It’s been exactly four weeks since I started this process and I have lost 8.9 pounds since then. That’s over 2 pounds per week. Not bad! If I can have three more months like this one, I’ll stride through the streets of my hometown naked, looking like Michelangelo’s statue of David.

Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but I’ll look damned good.

So how’d I do it? I’ll tell you. But first I have to establish that I don’t give people nutritional or health advice. See a doctor or something. Whatever I tell you is probably wrong, will lead to illness, disability and death. Don’t do what I do. Got it? Okay.

Monday through Friday, I aim to arrive at dinner time with about 600 low-fat calories in me. Usually that means: a granola bar and juice for breakfast, and a fruit smoothie or a nutrition bar for lunch. Then for dinner I eat real food. I try to avoid cheeseburgers and pizza. I often turn to frozen stir-fry bags from Trader Joe’s. (If you look carefully you’ll find some that are both dirt cheap and absolutely delicious.) I usually conclude the weekday with a grand total of 1600-1800 calories in me. (I do not, however, count alcohol.)

On weekends, things are different. I still try to avoid high-fat, high-calorie foods, but I eat quite a bit more for breakfast and lunch than I do during the week. It’s not unusual for me to eat an additional 500 calories on Saturdays and Sundays.

Yes, I exercise, but not as much as I should. I would love nothing more than to hit J. K. Lee three times a week. Perhaps I’ll be able to manage that kind of schedule over the summer, I don’t know. But right now with working and parenting and going to school and finding time to have a significant other, it’s 2 times a week at best. In fact the last couple of weeks it’s been 1 time a week! Yikes. The kids have new bikes and I still have my Trek. When the weather warms up, we’ll bike. And when I have lowered my weight enough, I’ll probably pick up running again. Maybe by May.

So that’s the deal. At 2 pounds a week I should be looking and feeling like a different person by June/July.

Oh, I forgot to mention: I weigh myself daily and use an excel spreadsheet of my own design plus a web site called physicsdiet.com to track my progress. The cool thing about this site is that it takes out the “noise” of your daily ups and gives you a meaningful average weight. I highly recommend it.

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  1. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t maintain that rate of weight loss even within your current regime — the first 10 lbs. always come off the quickest. The key is not to get discouraged when you plateau.


  2. Good advice. I’ll try to remember that if/when it happens!


  3. Wow, that’s amazing progress Scott, congrats! I tried something of this sort, but stupidly started right before a trip and couldn’t sustain it. It’s hard when you don’t have your own set-up and are constantly eating out as one tends to do when visiting people and places.

    I’m surprised that this works with dinner as the heaviest meal. I don’t think that’s healthy, but perhaps you’re proving that idea wrong. I always though lunch was supposed to be the biggest meal of the day. (Okay, so you can tell I didn’t grow up in the US.) So I have nice lunches, but I try to cut back on dinner. And I tried to cut out chocolate significantly. In fact, for the first time in probably a decade, I managed a few days without any chocolate at all.

    I’ll see if I can get myself back on this regime. I did buy a pedometer and that’s been encouraging for my daily walks.


  4. Scott,
    Sounds like you’re doing a good job. Keep it up! (Or down if we are talking about weight)

    You don’t exactly look like ‘David’? David is not circumcised… I hope you weren’t referring to that!


  5. Yeah, that bit at least will be different 🙂



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