A litle self-congratulatory post here. Feel free to skip and avoid the smug.
I have a bit of a weight issue. Specifically, that issue is that I care way too much about how much I weigh.
When I moved to New York City almost three years ago, I felt pretty good about my body. After years of fighting to lose weight, I’d dropped 30 pounds in mid-2010 and kept it off for two and a half years. I was the lightest I’d been since high school, and aiming to lose another 10-20 pounds.
Then my self control went off the rails. It was a combination of things that did me in: A change in environment, job stress, an urge to spend more time on creative [ie. sedentary] endeavors, and living with a partner for the first time, which meant less authority over what groceries we bought and when and what we ate. Oh, also, New York City has a lot of great food, and it’s everywhere.
I ate more and exercised less, and in the first year here I gained 20 pounds–and other 10 the year after. I was back where I’d been pre-2010, telling myself over and over again that I had to work to lose the weight but never actually doing that work. I kept starting diets, losing a few pounds, and then going right back to eating and sitting.
So going into September, somewhat randomly, I decided to test myself with a month of self-control. I made a rule, and I had to stick with it for 30 days. Just 30 days, to prove to myself that I could do it. I designed a very simple diet: I limited my carb intake to plants.
Yep, that was my only rule. A couple of sub-rules: Grains aren’t plants, white potatoes are allowed but in EXTREME moderation, and cheese, protein bars and shakes, and peanut butter were all allowed as long as their carb content was very low.
I lost 10 pounds in a month, which makes me happy and is a good start losing that new weight. But I also found a way of eating that I think I can sustain for the most part.
In October, I’m going to allow myself processed carbs in moderation, but only on days when I’m working out. This is also a test, to see how my body responds, but that kind of eating is in-line with what a lot of macronutrient plans recommend anyway.
I won’t put myself forward as an example for others, but if you have a hard time with self control like I do, this is a pretty reasonable thing to try. It was hard for the first 3-4 days, turning down the pastries and donuts and cake that people are always bringing into the office, but after that it was pretty easy. I ate a lot of salads (with avocado, boiled eggs, and ranch dressing), a lot of cheese, and a lot of bananas. So I certainly wasn’t suffering.
I’m not sure I’ll report back about my progress in October–I’ll get back to griping about politics and drawing silly cartoons. The last thing I want is for this to turn into “Chris’s Diet Blog,” and I’m sure none of you would like that either.