Sunday, March 15, 2020

Retrospective #393: My 2nd 30-lb Challenge (Amended): “Final” Report

This Retrospective reports on my first effort, in 2017, to become “half the man I once was.” It failed, miserably.
Followers may recall that a few months back, in my 1st 30-lb Challenge, I lost 31 pounds in 10 weeks. I then embarked on a 2nd (16-week) 30-pound challenge. After 12 weeks, I reported a less than stellar performance and amended the 16-week goal from 30 to 15 pounds. This is the 4thQ/Final report on the amended goal. I started the 4th quarter at 215 lbs. The goal is to return to 202 in 4 weeks, then 197 two weeks later – a +/- 50lb weight loss with full-day “fasting.”
Week 13: Attended Keto Fest, a festival in New London, CT, organized by 2 Keto Dudes. It was educational and fun, and I ate too much: Eggs/bacon breakfasts (in a hotel), ketogenic lunches (at the festival) and half-priced cherrystones and white wine (dinner on my own), but too much food/wine. I gained 5 pounds. FBG aver: 103mg/dl!  
Week 14: Fasting Mon-Wed-Fri. I dropped 10 pounds from 220 to 210. Amazing! Including an amazing buffet lunch at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, NY, before seeing “Porgy and Bess.” And I cheated a little each fasting day, but only with a protein/fat snack (bought at Keto Fest) with my happy hour spritzer. FBG aver: 99mg/dl (better)
Week 15: Fasting Mon-Wed-Thurs this week. Tuesday we’ll again have lunch at the Otesaga Hotel before seeing “Oklahoma” at Glimmerglass, and then a light “all protein” supper at home. All went well ‘till Saturday, our annual neighborhood association picnic. I had just one plate of protein and fat, plus 3 cups of my keto clam chowder, and 3 glasses of white wine. Next morning: FBS up 29 points. Net 4-pound loss for the week.  FBG weekly average: 86mg/dl.
Week 16: Need to lose 4-6 pounds this week to reach my target. Glimmerglass (“Xerxes”) on Tuesday, so I will try “IF” Mon+Wed-Thu and maybe Fri. I’ll substitute iced tea, for my usual spritzer (6oz red wine + 8oz seltzer): fewer carbs. more This week I lost 3 pounds, down to 203 (1 shy of my target). 26-week total: 45 pounds. FBG average: 90mg/dl.
Multiple day, consecutive or alternate, “fasting” is easy, if you’re “fat adapted.” No hunger at “breakfast.” Just coffee with cream. No hunger at “lunchtime.” I usually forget about it if I was busy in the etc. Supper has proved to be a little harder. In recent years I “snacked” before supper. It’s always been real food, recently plain celery; before that radishes with salt and sometimes butter. Since beginning full-day “fasting,” I have substituted or supplemented my “snack” with a red wine spritzer (6oz wine + 8oz seltzer) as my supper beverage. In week 16, for 3 days I replaced the spritzer with iced tea, to save 150kcal/day while I used up leftover, keto chowder. Worked out okay. No cooking.
Other Related Thoughts
The brain is so facile at rationalizing. I have quickly come to accept that losing less than half the weight I wanted to lose in my 2nd 30-lb Challenge was still a good outcome. And it was. I lost 12 pounds in these last 4 weeks. And a pound a week over the total 16 weeks. So, I rationalized that a pound-a-week-loss is respectable. Many healthcare professionals would even describe it as commendable. But I consider it a big disappointment. Not exactly a failure, but then I have high expectations for myself (and others, my wife says).
Going Forward
I have, however, gained another insight from this less-than-stellar outcome. I have reasoned that to maintain each weight loss, the challenge must continue. And the best way to do that is to continue to set goals – albeit incrementally smaller goals – in successive weight loss campaigns. There are just two variables: elapsed time and weight.
Time was the variable in the two original plans: 30 pounds in 10 weeks and then 30 pounds in 16 weeks. When I faltered in the 2nd plan, I cut the goal to 15 pounds in 16 weeks. Going forward, beyond this next 8-week challenge, to lose the 15 pounds I fell short, I propose to lose 5 pounds in the 1st 2 weeks. Then, the “final” 10 in the last 6 weeks.
We’ll see how it goes. And then? Another challenge?  Of course.  Don’t mind me. Weight loss is a challenge. And, readers: Pay no attention to me. You have my permission to ignore my misadventures. Just know that I will do it.

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