Author’s Note: I’m currently in the process of migrating old blog posts to this new system. That may mean some links, syntax highlighting, and other details are broken or missing temporarily. Sorry for the inconvenience!

It’s been seven weeks of my “real” dietary changes, though looking back at the data, there were two weeks of “uninformed” meal prep — I wasn’t paying attention to nutrtition, but I was operating at a reasonable calorie deficit for that time. I was playing around with meal prep for a few weeks prior to that, but I wasn’t reducing calories, and was really just playing around with learning to cook, and failing to drink. So I’m comfortable not counting those. So call it nine weeks. We’re nine weeks into the diet and lifestyle changes:

  • 2 weeks of protein-heavy meal prep
  • 2 weeks of potato monodiet
  • 5 weeks of plant-based meal prep

I didn’t do a great job of setting goals at the time. I was just fed up and wanted to stop being as large as I was. So we’ll just have to look at some different areas and evaluate them more generally. I’m a fan of Wil Wheaton’s letter grading idea, so let’s steal that.

The Weight

I weighed in at 300.8 pounds today. My weight nine weeks ago on August 8th was 358.2, so I’ve been losing about 0.9 pounds a day.

In looking at absolute weight, I prefer to compare to my peak weight from July 19th, which was 371.1 pounds. That brings my total weight loss to 70.3 pounds, which is very exciting.

I’m starting to notice clothing fitting a bit more loosely. Belt and wristwatch notches heretofore unused are suddenly being pressed into service. I may need to start buying new clothes soon, which is a very exciting, if annoying, problem to have. A+

The Food

When I went into the local food co-op last week, and they were ringing up my produce, I was asked if I was doing a cleanse. Nope! This is just what I eat now!

I have put very little effort into changing up what I eat. So long as the monotony of eating the same thing day-in, day-out doesn’t prevent me from sticking to my habits, then there’s no real reason to switch things up. I’m not eating for entertainment. I have slowly added more bell peppers, jalepenos, and cayenne pepper, but nutritionally, things have stayed mostly the same.

Since I’m preparing all my meals in advance, it’s much easier to track the nutritional information. I am running at a pretty heavy calorie deficit, but the foods that I’m eating tend to be pretty nutritionally dense, which offsets some of the problems associated with that.

There are some areas for improvement, however. The amount of canned food I’m currently using means I’m getting 1760mg of sodium per day. That’s lower than the average (3400mg) and the FDA’s recommended limit (2300mg), but above the American Heart Association’s recommended limit of 1500mg.

I’ve also discovered that I’m starting to lose a bit of energy by the end of the day. Low-energy is to be expected on a very low calorie diet, but the benefits of the weight loss have kinda shrouded that until now. This week, I’m adding an additional 100 calories of almonds (28 grams), and we’ll see if that helps. I’d like to avoid having to make any drastic changes, so fingers crossed.

Let’s give this an A-, since there’s still some room for improvement and tweaking.

Fitness

I’ve not been making a particular effort to get much exercise while losing weight. I’m much more inclined to just drop it all, and then work on bringing muscles back. That said, I have been doing more walking recently. And I’ve added a Jawbone UP3 to my arsenal of personal tracking devices. It’s early days to really look at any trends in resting heart rate or general fitness, so I’ll have to reserve judgment in this area.

Subjectively, I’m able to go on hour-long walks without pain. That used to involve no end of blistering and chafing, and I’d be exhausted when I got back. Now it’s really just a pleasant experience. I do want to be more regular about the habit though (which may be challenging as the weather gets colder). Still dealing with some moderate back pain. Might be worth doing some targetted exercises to help out with that.

The one area where I do have data going back over the past nine weeks is my morning blood pressure. I was initially on the cusp of hypertension, though over the past several weeks I’ve been averaging around 120/70, which puts my on the verge of prehypertension. It’s an improvement, but I’d like it to go down even more. That said, weight loss is stressful on the heart, so maybe this is just the best to be hoped for while losing weight.

We’ll give this a B, since I’d like to start making my walking habit a bit more regular.

Mood

I don’t hate everything anymore!

This has been honestly the most surprising change. A lot of this is due to the weight loss, though today also marks 50 days of journaling and meditation, which I’m sure contributes as well. I’m struggling a lot with my meditation practice, but I think that doesn’t undermine the benefits.

I do still find myself getting more annoyed or upset than the situation necessarily warrants, and I want to keep working on this. But from a progress perspective, A+

Sleep

Well, here’s the elephant in the room. This area is not going particularly well. Despite being tired, I’m still having a really hard time getting to sleep. Some of that’s personal discipline about sleep hygiene, and some of it just is…whatever it is.

I mentioned in the health section that I picked up a Jawbone UP3. The reason for that is that it seems to be a pretty decent-quality sleep tracker. I’m hoping that being able to look empirically at my sleep patterns might help reveal some solutions. Until then, I’ve just got to work harder on turning off my damned brain! D

Adding it all up

In terms of health, I’m in better shape than I was through most of college. That’s really exciting. If we average up all those scores, we get a B-. Definitely some room for improvement, especially where sleep is concerned. But overall I’d say we’re doing pretty well. And hopefully in a day or two, we’ll be seeing scale numbers down in the 200’s!