At midnight last night the January Challenge came to an end.
Overall I think it was a sustainable set of habits I can use to regain some fitness and shed some weight.
I walked 62 miles, drank 0g of alcohol, counted calories every day and didn’t weigh-in until this morning.
I am officially 10.2 lbs lighter than when I started. I still would like to lose another 25 lbs. The goal for February is to lose >= 6 lbs. But that is another post.
17 days down, and 14 more to go.
I haven’t really been hungry this month beyond what I would consider normal. Until today. I am so very very hungry. I am painfully hungry. I have no idea why.
Today hasn’t been really any different than the preceding 17 days. I did fast until 20 after 1p because I was busy doing stuff around the house. Then I ate 600 kcal. Usually that’s the end of it. It subsides and I get on with my afternoon. Today my stomach is still turning and roiling and tying itself in knots. I am trying to wait a bit to eat as I don’t want to burn through my calories before the evening gets here.
The slippery conditions outside will force me to the elliptical today. I should probably get that started. It might take my mind off my stomach.
Hopefully tomorrow is better.
As of 8a this morning January is 33% concluded. Hard to believe actually. Things are going well.
My body has adapted to the 16:8 fasting. I don’t really feel hungry most of the time. I get full very easily at lunch. Though I am usually pretty hungry after I begin to eat dinner.
Calorie counting sucks. This is just fact. It’s a bother to figure it all out. I am doing my best, though it is not always easy. Sometimes I have to eyeball stuff because I can’t walk around with a scale. If I don’t lose the amount of weight I think I should by Feb 1, then I will have to revisit this and do better planning. I think I am doing a good job, and I try to leave some calories on the table at the end of the day to compensate for any inaccuracies.
Exercising is also going well. I am 2 miles behind pace. At 33% I should be at 20 miles (obvs), and I am at 18. Planning 3 to 6 today and tomorrow so I’ll be right back on track.
Dry January is a drag. There is no doubt about that. Loving the reset and change of pace, but last night (Friday) after a long week I won’t lie, I wanted to have a few beers and watch nonsense on YouTube. Alas, the calories alone would destroy what I am trying to accomplish so it is not to be.
Not weighing in has been surprisingly harder than expected. My google drive is littered with countless spreadsheets documenting my weight loss and gain over the last 5 years. When I am working on my weight I obsess over the numbers. I track every fractional pound and my mood is twisted this way and that based on the graphs I generate. It’s not an unhealthy obsession, but it ain’t good folks. A couple of times I have felt a bit lighter and thought about hopping on the scale to take a peek. I have resisted and I think that is for the best.
Ignoring the scale has made these behaviors feel like habits rather than frustrating experiments. I think realistically I am going to have to come up with challenges for a few months to get where I want to go (more on this after the Feb weigh-in).
There has only been one real downside and that is the insomnia. I have a long history of not being able to sleep very well. Cutting out beer has not helped. My end of day relaxant is gone and with it my ability to quiet my brain. For now I am treating it like an exercise. Can I get better at going to sleep? I haven’t found a strategy yet, but I have plenty of time to try.
I’m fat. Rather, I have gotten fat. About 8 years ago I started putting on weight. It was not a dramatic weight gain (unless you last saw me in like 2012). Within a few years I was overweight, and out of shape. It was going to be difficult to dig myself out of it.
I have attempted to lose weight many times. All of them were successful. In fact it’s pretty easy to do. The downside is that is much much easier to gain the weight back. I like booze and rich food. It’s a shame.
I typically choose a few New Year resolutions, and this year is no different. However, in addition, I did concoct a special hell for myself for this January. I am calling it the January Challenge. The rules (for myself) are as follows:
- Track and eat 1800 kcal/day or less
- Intermittent fasting using the 16:8 plan
- Walk 60 miles (can sub elliptical here since I own one and it gets dark at 4p)
- Positively no booze
- No weighing in. I weighed in on Jan 1, and I will not weigh in again until Feb 1
Having done all these things before, albeit not all at the same time, I think this is a doable challenge, but I do think it will be difficult nonetheless.
Planning to blog about it here.