Back in the saddle again.

Whoa, has it really been three weeks since I last posted? That’s a pretty good reflection of how I’ve been doing with VB6, actually.

After my numbers post, I was feeling pretty good. It wasn’t a crazy drastic weight loss or anything, but it was enough to indicate to me that this approach was working for me. But the toughest thing about a diet is always sticking to it. So after a little flush of success, I slid.

It wasn’t that I didn’t keep vegan during the day. It was more that sometimes, my vegan options were off-plan in some other way. For example, we had burrito day at work. Yay! With a vegan tofu option. Yay! Biting into the burrito, I realized that in addition to the white flour shell, the burrito was full of white rice. Boo! As discussed previously, vegan does not inherently equal healthy.  White carbs are definitely not part of the plan—and I would argue that they’re significantly worse than say, lean meat.

Given a choice of burritos, I suspect my choice was actually better than the other options presented to me. The meats were not necessarily lean, and for all I know they were full of white rice too. On the other hand, I could have gotten lunch elsewhere or brought it from home (we get the Wednesday lunch menu on Tuesday). 

Alternatively, I could have gone vegan for dinner, so that I just had one meal off-plan that day. I don’t remember what I had for dinner that night, but I’m pretty confident it wasn’t vegan.

I also had indulgent dinners a little more often than I had been. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulgent dinners: steak with blue cheese or buttery mashed potatoes. But if I’m eating those kinds of dinners five times a week, I suspect the plan is not going to work for me.

I didn’t gain weight, but I didn’t lose any either. It just sort of evened out. Now the plan is to tighten up on my plan a little, allow fewer exceptions, and really watch out for processed foods and white carbs. I also need to get back to fixing my own food most days: once I’m at a restaurant, I just have less control over what I’m eating. Besides, things seemed to be going pretty well when I was eating salads at lunchtime.

This week has been good so far. I’m suddenly down another couple of pounds—lost those basically as soon as I reined myself back in a bit—and I’m feeling good about my choices again.


After 6

What happens to my diet after 6 p.m.? After all, part of the plan is that after 6, there are no rules. Still, I’m trying to be healthier, so I don’t want to sabotage myself every night. So some nights, dinner looks like this:


On the other hand, there are foods that I like that have… shall we say, questionable nutritional content. I am not interested in removing these things from my diet forever. “Don’t let the perfect Beeville the enemy of good,” right? So some nights, it looks more like this:


This week there was a fair amount of slippage in my evening meals. There was date night, dinner-with-my-daughter night, and my-work-lunch-sucked-today night. That’s OK, though. I’m looking to tighten things back up a little this weekend, but I’m still feeling pretty good about how I’m doing overall.

The two-week mark: in which we talk numbers

I track my weight daily. The standard advice used to be to weigh yourself no more than once a week. Your weight fluctuates daily, and even over the course of a day, depending on lots of different factors: exercise, sweat, water consumption, blah blah blah. I think the idea behind the “once per week” advice was that you would get discouraged by these fluctuations.

On the contrary, I find it helpful to know about the fluctuations. Let’s say I weigh myself in the morning, and I’m 165.7 lbs. UGH. I feel sad. But if I know that I weighed 163 the three days before today, then I know it’s probably just a little bump up due to the weather or my menstrual cycle or the crappy salty junk I ate yesterday. In fact, if I eat especially well or poorly, and my weight changes the following day, that is rather useful, immediate feedback for me. My scale lets me know: “No, seriously, Jean… pizza makes you fat.” And while I know that correlation isn’t causation, when it’s appropriate, I’m willing to let that psychology work for me.
By weighing myself every day, I have more data points and a more realistic idea of where I am. Research is now showing that dieters who weigh themselves daily do better at sticking to their diets. (That said, each individual should do what works for them.)
On to some actual numbers!
Over the past two weeks, my highest weight was 165.2 lbs, and my lowest 159.7 lbs. That’s the first time I’ve weighed in at less than 160 in several months, so I was pretty excited about that. While it’s tempting to say, “I’ve lost nearly five pounds!” that isn’t quite true. Mostly, my weight at the beginning was hanging around 163 lbs., and in the last few days, it’s been more like 161 lbs—though today I weighed in at 160.2 lbs. So I’m going to say that over the past two weeks, I’ve lost two or three pounds. Not drastic, but not bad, honestly!
My body fat measurement tells a stronger story, I think. My scale does body fat, too, and my body fat over the past two weeks has very been falling very consistently. When I started VB6 two weeks ago, my body fat was 37.1 percent (102 lbs. lean / 60.7 lbs. fat). Today, it was 35.8 percent (102.8 lbs lean / 57.4 lbs fat). I’ve seen very little back-and-forth fluctuation in that measurement—just a nice, steady, daily drop. And that feels pretty good.