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Starting Over

Monday, June 04, 2012

Six years ago when I started dating my boyfriend, I was 150 lbs and a size 10.
Since January of this year, I'd been hovering around 180 lbs, and size 16.
It came on gradually, and I'd usually notice only when vacation time came around. I tried to find clothes to pack that fit, and I'd discover that most of my clothes were too tight, and off to the store I'd go to buy a bunch of stuff in bigger sizes.

This year I'm determined to do the opposite: With 12 weeks to go until vacation, I read "4-Hour Body" by Tim Ferris, and decided that I would give it a shot. If it works, this year instead of buying new clothes, I'll be able to wear clothes from 4 years ago that are currently stowed away in bins.

After the first week, just by using the slow-carb diet part of the plan, I've lost 2.5 lbs.

This week, I'm adding in the supplements he recommends, and next week I'll try to start doing the exercises.

I have a hard time with prescribed workouts on set days - usually, my boyfriend and I will go for a walk 2-3 times a week, logging a quick 1-2 miles, and most weekends we either take a 2-3 mile hike in the woods (with lots of hills), or a couple of hours of kayaking... this past weekend we did both :)

But the 4-Hour Body plan is all about doing the least amount necessary to produce significant changes in your metabolism, and from what I learned in Physiology in massage school, I believe the science behind this is sound.

Borrow the book from your library (I was able to borrow an e-book version to read from my android phone), and you'll find tons of information on everything from weight loss, to strength training and muscle gain, to better sleep, better sex, running faster, swimming better, jumping higher, and lifting more. It's a big book, and I read the whole thing, but for weight-loss only, you really only need the first 130 pages or so.

The diet is difficult to follow if you can't bring meals with you to work - he claims that you can follow this diet when eating out, but unless you're having lunch at a trendy restaurant, I would say it's a bit difficult. I survive by cooking basic staples on the weekend, and buying as much as I can in canned form - canned crabmeat, canned salmon, canned tuna, canned chicken - and I can throw together a meal with these staples, some mayo and/or salsa, and canned or microwaved frozen vegetables.

I use the nutrition tracker on SparkPeople only sporadically, just to check on how many calories I'm eating - sometimes I find I'm not eating enough!

I'm addicted to chocolate, and that was pretty tough, but I do two things: one, I tell myself I can have it on saturday, and two, I supplement my breakfast and any other meal I need to with a chocolate-flavored whey protein shake.

Cheese and milk are also hard to avoid, but again, I just save it for Saturday.

If I had to follow this diet for the rest of my life, I don't think I could do it, but if it will get me to my goal a lot faster than other diets, I can manage for 2-3 months. I'll take a break from it when I go on vacation, but I'll still opt for high-protein meals, I'll just allow myself a moderate amount of cheese and/or bread.

A word about the binge day that this diet espouses: the author says you can go nuts and eat whatever you want, drink a whole keg of beer or eat a whole cake or multiple pizzas if you feel like it, but I think that once you have eaten "clean" for 6 days, you don't really want excessive quantities of pure junk. Come Saturday, what I usually want is normal food in normal quantities, just things that I can't have during the week: cheese, bread, fruit, and some sweets - so I'll have 2 slices of pizza for lunch, and I'm satisfied. Some fruit as an afternoon snack. Some pasta or bread with dinner, and a small but decadent ice cream treat for dessert. Psychologically, also, I do my weekly weigh-in on Friday, so I have that sense of achievement and excitement that lets me "celebrate", knowing that on Sunday I start another week of clean, healthy eating and more lbs disappearing!

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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.