First Steps

Today I began.

My first move was to drop my portions and document what I was eating. I picked an arbitrary goal of 1000 calories. This seemed the common sense thing. Let’s face it, many Americans consume three or four times what they really need.

I started with reading labels. I nearly went into shock
when I discovered that what I considered to be two healthy bean wraps, almost all the calories were in the shell. Each shell was 170 calories a piece. That was over a third of my target for the entire day without considering breakfast or dinner or snacks!

This day was a bust.

Then I found http://www.MyPyramid.gov which is helpful with unlabeled foods like fruits and vegetables. If you register with them and log in, you can actually enter your diet using a search field allowing you to store up to seven days based on 2400 Calories in a day. It also projects “Extras” or junk in your diet like sugars, solid fats and alcohol. The search function has some packaged stuff, but can sometimes be way off, like the large tortilla shells it had listed as 90 calories when packaging showed 170. I would have loved to have used only the Menu Tracker function, BUT this lack of accuracy and flexibility was enough to submarine the entire purpose of tracking my progress.

It’s a good reference, but certainly not the only tool for me to use for now.

So I set up a small spreadsheet. Initially I’m starting out with a Date, Intake or Output, and a Calorie column. Simplistic for now. Who knows what it will look like later.

Weight Control for Me – The saga begins

At the end of September 2008 a mandate was passed through my branch of the military reserves that weight standards would be further tightened to match those of the Center for Disease Control’s use of the Body Mass Index.
Everyone has one year before the standards would be enforced at our annual weigh-in. What does this mean to the organization at large? A 1% decline in maximum allowable weight standards across the board. 1% seems insignificant until you realize that for a 200 pound person that is a 20 pound drop.

What’s the impact to me? My standard allowable weight was 213 pounds and I always stayed under that maximum by at least ten pounds. Now, my maximum is set at 191 pounds, which means I’m currently ten pounds over and to keep my ten pound buffer, I need to drop 20 pounds.

This thread will be an attempt to document over this next year, what I do to reach this goal.

I have to say that although I received the initial word about this with chagrin I wasn’t truly happy with my weight as it is.

So what is my long term goal: 1) Meet the standard for the new body weight requirement consistently. 2) Attempt to reach an added buffer weight of a few extra pounds below the standard.

Stay tuned.