Putting aside the niggly details surrounding my lack of progress in my current attempts at weight loss, I really can’t complain:
- I’m maintaining my 60 pound weight loss which commenced almost EXACTLY 10 years ago as I write this. I was 265 on that Saturday when I bought the Atkins book. On this Saturday, almost 10 years to the day, I am 205.
- I am certainly not denying myself to maintain this weight loss. Regular bread, ice cream, regular pasta and rhubarb pie were only a few of the high carb things I’ve eaten and enjoyed this week. Wine also.
- Overall, my health (knock on wood) appears pretty good given my 1/2 century mark and a tendency to avoid exercise. I take meds for an inherited tendency toward hypertension and a low dose of diabetes meds as a preventative. I don’t have diabetes yet though my older siblings both developed it in their early 40s.
- While a bit snug for my taste, I am fitting in the waist size that I want to be when I reach my end goal. The clothes I have now would just be a little looser – that’s all.
- I never suffer from hunger and often eat to fullness. The foods that form the core of my diet seem decadent – butter, cheese, meat, cream, olive oil – and ‘fattening’ – but they are NOT ‘fattening to me – they are ‘fatty’, and for me, that promotes weight loss, or at least maintaining.
- According to my Fitbit (whereabouts currently unknown – I hope it isn’t in the washing machine right now), I pretty much take in about as many calories as I burn. Despite this, I seem to get a *slight* advantage if I eat low carb and keep the net count under 40 and go into ketosis.
- My fasting blood glucose this morning is 94 – even with the gummy bears last night.
I state all this as my consolation prize, as my diet is going nowhere.
I have NOT been able to stick to my plan and a pattern has emerged of ‘part time low carb dieting’. Strictly low carb during the day, then carbs – even junky carbs – in the evening. This seems to work nicely as a weight maintenance plan – but I’m not trying to maintain – I’m trying to lose that last pesky 20 pounds.
It’s not a bad place to be however. Heck – keeping 60 pounds off for 9 years is almost as impossible as cheating death. It just doesn’t happen – at least without a steely resolve – which I have demonstrated time and time again I simply do not possess. I just love food too much.
I will soldier on, and try again starting this week to avoid the ‘part-time’ low carb and get more serious about it. I am even going back and rereading the manuscript for a book I never published that documented day-by-day what I did to get into ketosis and peel off some weight last year.
There’s good news hidden in this ‘failure’: it certainly appears that I can maintain my weight on a ‘part-time low carb diet’. That’s kinda cool. There’s no struggle here. Any food is allowed. I can eat til I’m full and enjoy all the foods that we moderns have at our disposal, from exotic fruits and vegetables (high carb or not), to the most forbidden of high carb foods – pasta, pastries, cookies, pies, ice cream, gummy bears – the list is endless as long as there’s moderation.
That’s where the ‘part-time’ aspect works to my advantage. Since I normally stick to low carb until the evening, it is simply not enough time to make the day a total fail. It certainly is a fail from a weight-loss perspective, but from a weight maintenance perspective? Apparently not at all.
So like I said, I’m, once again going to hunker down and try for the full-bore low carb that – after all the experimentation – still seems to work best for me.
And if the past is any indicator, even failing will still leave me more or less where I’m at present.
On my 10th anniversary of low carb I have no regrets. Low carb has been very good to me.
Thank you, Doctor Atkins.
7 thoughts on “The Pleasurable Respite of A Weight Loss Stall, Part-Time Low Carb, and My 10th Anniversary on Low Carb”
Ten years….that is incredible. Statistically speaking, you are probably in the top 1% for weight loss maintenance! Congratulations on that achievement!
I hear you on the part-timing. I’ve been maintaining a 30 lb loss for two years (originally a 60 lb loss, but……gah) on part-timing. This week I decided to change my mental script and to make better decisions for the full-timing. Like running, low-carbing is largely a mental game for me. I need to force myself into the mindset of good decision making, and the mechanism for that (for me) is to change the mental script from “I am a part-timer” to “I am a full-timer.” Doing that helps me make the decision that a full-timer would make (example: In the cafeteria yesterday, I was convinced that I should check out the dessert selection, which is what a part-timer would do after having made excellent choices all week long. Instead, I asked myself to make a decision based on what a full-timer would do, and so I exited the cafeteria through a door that would not permit me to walk by the desserts).
I also put myself on a short-term goal schedule, which I see is a method that you employ regularly as well. That seems to help me. For example, I have December 9 set as a target date for reasons I won’t bother explaining. That’s manageable for me. I am hoping that the combination of changing the script + using a clear time marker will help me take off the next 15 pounds. After that, it’s just another short 20 lbs to a place where I am perfectly comfortable (though not ideal).
Anyway, best of luck as you Get Serious. Evenings are definitely tough, but I find that if I eat the bulk of my calories during the day, I can often avoid the evening carb-fests. Having HB eggs in the refrigerator helps, too: I say to myself that if I’m truly hungry, I’ll eat an egg. If I can’t eat an egg, then I’m not hungry and I need to go find something else to do.
I like your thinking on this, Christine. Sticking to a diet is more a head-game than most people give it credit for. I also find, at least for me, part of the problem is lack of awareness. When fatigued I simply forget my goals. I think the term is ‘ego-depletion’. It’s a big part of the reason I track calories even though calorie-counting is an inherently inaccurate way of measuring food intake: it forces me to be conscious of what and how much I eat.
Best of luck to the both of us.
Congrats…that is a big accomplishment to keep the weight off for 10 years. I lost 25 lbs from January till now and I want to lose another 10 lbs by end of this year. I so understand about the “maintenance” mode because I seem to be stuck in it right now. I know I can “cheat” and eat higher carb foods on occasion and still not gain, but it isn’t what my goal is so I need to get serious too and get these 10 lbs off by end of year. I do really well during the week as I plan out all my meals, but with the cooler weather starting here and thinking about all those wonderful fall foods like pumpkin muffins, pies, apple cider doughnuts and etc…this will make it tough on the weekends. But I am determined to find ways to enjoy these but on a limited basis and reach my goal. Good luck on your next goal and as I fellow low carber, I will be cheering you on!
Your comment made me hungry…pumpkin pie – did you have to go there? Actually, I’ve whipped up some low carb pumpkin recipes before that weren’t half-bad – the recipe is in this mess of a blog somewhere – I’ll have to find it now.
I find this time of year to be a really good time to go on a diet. While you and I might not reach our goals, dieting during the holiday season (I’m expecting to see Xmas stuff in the stores any day now) prevents what usually happens to other people – massive weight gain. “I’ll start in January.” They say – and pack on 20 pounds from now until then.
Good luck to you on ‘getting serious’. With a little discipline, planning – and some luck – our goals are achievable.
LCC ~ congrats on your 10 years! That is a long time to keep weight off!
Are you a daily weigher? Hubby checks his everyday because of the bypass surgery last year (since his fall on our deck a few weeks ago and the bypass last year, he is doing amazingly well ~ he is one lucky man! And we’re lucky to have him). His doc wants to be sure he isn’t gaining water weight. He is staying around 196. Before his surgery, 217. He’s been “volunteering” for the defensive driving program and it’s just like a full-time job. Anyway, it keeps him busy and occupied. (sorry to get off-topic here!)
I find I do very well during the holiday season for some reason and then screw-up afterwards – “oh I did so well during Xmas now I can really splurge” mentality. That has got to go!
All things with pumpkin and Xmas cookies are really my downfall. But onward and upward we go! Have a great week ~ I am nervous about my physical on Wednesday ~ even though I am remarkably healthy. Fingers crossed!
Congrats again and we all appreciate your columns so much! ME 🙂
Yes – I do weigh myself daily – unless I was *so* bad the night before that I’d rather take a day to *recuperate* than see that number.
Thanks on the congrats – now to start working on the next 10 years…
Hey, sorry I missed the anniversary party. 60 lb off for ten years is amazing so a pat on the back for sure. And yes you are right this is as much a head game as anything else. When our head is in the game we eat much better. So hoping for a better week for you, less stress at work etc which will probably help keep you from overeating at night. Perhaps you don’t want it enough right now. When you want ‘it’ bad enough you can and will do it. So if you need to coast for a while, go ahead, you can rest on your laurels for a while, ’cause you certainly earned it.