New tracking method/Life on Life March 24, 2007 at 8:08 am

Now that my official time on the 20/20 Lifestyles program is over and it is mostly up to me to track my continued weight loss and eventual weight maintenance I am moving my measurements to my home scale first thing in the morning buck naked after visiting the porcelain throne. I have a calendar and pen sitting by the scale and I am going to write this down every day in the morning and most evenings before I go to bed to get a record of my fluctuations and establish a good baseline for my Red light, Yellow Light, and Green Light numbers. These numbers are focal points for actions that I should take if I ever see them. Based on 210 it would work something like this: 215 is a yellow light and I should examine the eating patterns and exercise activities to see what has changed. Ideally this should give me enough warning to correct the weight gain before I have to go for a larger intervention. 220 would be a Red light. This is an indicator of a trend that needs to be quashed before I explode into a human gas bag again.

I really want to get under 200. I still have enough flab that I believe getting to 190 is a good possibility. It may take a while, but I think it can happen. I’d like to have a Spartan-esq (from the movie 300) set of abs, but that ain’t going to happen with my extra skin. I’ll settle for a decent definition and no extra flab pouches.

Anyway, my goal with writing down the numbers is to get a record of the pattern that I have seen over the course of the program. Most days I start the day 3-4 pounds lighter that I end the day. This really isn’t a major surprise because water and food has mass. Heck within 30 minutes of my morning weigh-in I have usually added at least 2 pounds back on! I drink a lot of water and a liter of the stuff during my breakfast weighs that much! My current working plan is to hover between 190 and 200 with 200 being the Red Light number that I don’t want to go beyond. The next couple of months will give me the information to see what the possibilities are.

Caffeine is a cause of one of my major malfunctions. This is not something that I didn’t already know, but every now and then I listen to what everyone else says about how caffeine doesn’t affect them and one cup of coffee a day won’t hurt you. I agree that one cup a day won’t harm your body, but for me it causes a cascade effect. One cup turns into two, then three, and so on until I am hooked on the elixir again and it starts to impact my sleep patterns. This impacts my performance physically. That impacts the energy that I burn because I am too tired to fully engage in the exercise. That impacts my need for a chemical boost which is coffee because I don’t get the rush from exercise that normally occurs. See the vicious circle? I have 100% verified this effect in me over the last seven months. When I introduced caffeine back into my daily ritual it didn’t impact me too much. I wasn’t having all that much, but I do quite LIKE coffee and in the PNW when it was cold I tend to like a nice warm drink even MORE! I was OK for a couple of months and then because a LITTLE wasn’t bad, I started pushing the limit. It isn’t that hard when you have a FREE coffee machine in the office that dispenses fresh ground Star Bucks coffee in 60 seconds! My conclusion on this (at least the 5th or 6th time that I have learned this lesson) is that I just need to stay away from caffeine and coffee. From now until next winter that will be easy. Let’s see how I do next winter.

I am generally happy with my physical abilities and new active lifestyle, but I still want more. I wonder where that will end. Something very extraordinary has happened to me in the past year. I care about things again. I care about how I look and about my health. I care about my mental well being and being out and about. I do know now that I was majorly depressed over the last 6-8 years and this took its toll on my health and general well being. I also know that the sleep apnea was a major contributor to this overall malaise. The combination of the 20/20 Lifestyles program AND the treatment of my sleep apnea has given me a life back and I intend to use it.

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