So, I’ve been an amateur nutritionist/exercise reader for decades. Lots of information I haven’t really used since 90s. If only I did the things I literally read about every day for years upon years I’d be Rambo.
However, an arm-numbing disc herniation in my neck and an unexpected bout of vertigo in March really shook me. Without going into details, I sulked heavily for a couple weeks after going to the hospital, but then one day I woke up on April 7th and I just told myself I’m going to figure out this health thing. I was 185 and I should be 145 if I’m ~12% body fat. BP was moving up to 135/90... 👎
So, after decades of reading I decided to pull what I thought was useful to me regarding how I live, how I think, what motivates me, and what was sustainable.
What I came up with is that 16/8 intermittent fasting was a plan that addressed my issues. I was a late night binger for decades. That had to be the first to go. IF gave me the mental structure and discipline to avoid eating after 7pm. I couldn’t just not eat. I had to be actively be not eating because I was telling myself I had to revamp my relationship with food in a structured way.
After IF was settled upon then I knew I just couldn’t eat the garbage I was doing before during my eight hours. So, I calculated my maintenance calories, tracked calories using MyFitness Pal, and established a 500 cal/day eating deficit. 1600 was my limit. That seemed enough to eat without starving and being sustainable.
After that, I took a hard look at my heart health. BP and walking/resting pulse rate. I knew if I continued down my path that was going to be my weak link. So, I decided to address that with walking. Walking is sustainable. I walked 3-4 miles most days of the week until this last month (it got too hot). This had cascading benefits. I built stamina I was losing. I burnt 100 cal/mile. It was hopefully addressing BP.
So, now I set myself up to eat 500 cal below maintenance a day AND walk off another 300-400. Once I got started, I was losing 1.75 lbs per week like clockwork. My graph from 185 to 161 is a virtual straight line. I measured my weight every morning (I crave feedback and results), along with waist and BP. My 1600 calories forced me to tweak my diet, with mainly eating oatmeal and eggs for breakfast every morning at 11am and to eat salad with my dinner every night. Both sustainable.
I hit my first plateau at 161 and I’ve been fighting through it. I’m at 157.5 now but there is a stick in my spokes somewhere. 160 was my initial goal. Then I thought 150 was attainable. Now I have my sights set at 145 which is where I graduated high school and just at upper end of my healthy BMI range.
I have no clothes to wear. I’m in the process of buying a couple items in case I have to go somewhere. Problem is I’m hoping this isn’t bottom. We will see.
So, I picked and chose things that I knew addressed me and weak points and what I thought would be sustainable for me in the future. So far so good. I miss eating at night, but if I can continue to kick that habit I should be in better shape in the future.