This one is about counting calories and the worst run I’ve ever had.
- Get out of bed everyday and exercise
- However I want
- for 30 minutes
Because I read that it takes the average person 66 days to form a habit, I will follow these rules for a continuous 66 days without interruption.
My diet during these 66 days (and counting) has been … not perfect.
I’ve been eating a good breakfast. My nice wife usually makes us eggs in the morning. Which is pretty great. I pack a lunch of leftovers, and dinner is mostly veggies and fish. I do eat junk food sometimes, but I try not to eat a lot of it. If I’ve kept it to three square meals a day without much snacking, I consider it a good day. So, as you can see, no hard and fast dieting rules this time. Just guidelines.
I’m not counting calories.
But if you want to, it’s easy. This simplest way to do this is to find out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure. This is kind of a rough estimate of how many calories you normally burn in a day. Mine is 2530. What this means is that, based on my profile (M, 33, 5’11 and a bunch of other factors) I need to eat 2530 a day to maintain my current weight.
If I want to lose weight, I eat less than that.
To know how many calories I eat, I’ve used Livestrong’s MyPlate and Myfitness Pal. Both of them do exactly what they are supposed to do. You create an account, add your age, weight, height, etc., and log your food (you can customize meals on both, which is convenient if you eat a lot of the same things) to get your calorie intake. You can subtract the calories you lost exercising (both programs will help you with this) and in the end you’ll have your over all daily caloric intake.
If that number is less than your TDEE, congrats. You’ve lost a little weight. Now do it again, every day.
If you can manage it, counting calories in this way totally works. You’ll probably lose weight. Even if these numbers aren’t 100% accurate, I think mostly it just quantifies your process and makes losing weight a more concrete, objective experience. Understanding these numbers can be very helpful in your weight loss journey.
But I hate it. It takes long time and bums me out, so I haven’t done it in years.
Here are some pictures! This is day one, day 14 and … day 50!
Yes. I kept up with my plan for at least (I don’t want to give away the ending) 50 days. I wish I knew exactly how much I weighed at the beginning and throughout the process. I would guess that I’m around 195 in that first pic, and 182 or so by day 50.
It wasn’t hard to keep up. I’ve said it before, getting out of bed at 6:00 to lift heavy things or push yourself on a treadmill sucks. But I just kept doing it. I didn’t miss a day.
Once, I decided to take my wife out for dinner to celebrate something, I forget. This was around day 40 or so. We went to the kind of place where you fry your own fish. Delicious, at the time, until not long after I found myself sick at every end. The next day, despite definitely having food poisoning, I decided that NO, I would not break the streak.
So after about 23 hours on either the couch or the toilet, I got up, I dressed in my warmest clothes, set a timer for 30 minutes, and ran around my apartment building in circles, sweating and aching, wanting to die. I puked almost immediately upon completion of the run, had a shower and slept in fits. It was awful. But I did this.
And I didn’t break the streak, and now anytime I don’t feel like running, I just remember that if I can manage it when I’m close to death, I can manage it anytime.
Next time: Day 66 and the Marathon I Stupidly Signed Up For!