Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Another Angle on Weight Loss

I lost 35 pounds a few years ago, and posted extensively about how I did it.

A series of injuries (including a solid year off my feet) led me to regain the weight.

But it's recently come to my attention that I've lost 18 pounds. It snuck up on me. I didn't realize. In fact, I'd worry I had some wasting disease if I didn't feel so normal. Anyway, here's my thesis:

For the past year I've been consumed with painting, repairing, doctoring, and staging my house, cajoling workers and running back/forth to paint stores. It's fast-paced stuff, and my clock's paced accordingly.

I've also been preparing to sell the house, consulting with realtors and lawyers and working on "staging" (trying to make it look like an actual grown-up lives here).

I've also been gathering the unimaginably complicated application materials required for residency visa in Portugal (I needed to be fingerprinted, have fingerprints sent to FBI for background check, then have their report sent to Dept of State in Washington for apostille (verification), each step with roadblocks and dependencies, and this represents like 3% of the process). Multiple trips to Newark to open a Portuguese bank account. Multiple consultations with a professional visa fixer in Portugal. Etcetera.

All this while downsizing and decluttering and working through scary boxes and throwing out so much stuff (the rest went on eBay - hundreds of sales, which meant I was constantly running to the basement for shipping boxes, printing mailing labels, and hustling to the UPS Store - or donated to charity or gifted to friends).

I've been running around, highly agitated, perpetually spinnning multiple plates, for a solid year and a half. Stress, as always, was optional, and I've mostly avoided it. Just geared up, that's all.

The exercise wasn't intense, like the first time I did weight loss. I've averaged only a couple miles per day, and no weight training. But the constant motion, up/down the steps, carrying this and that, really adds up. A busy afternoon or three won't do it. You need to keep it up for months and months. Keep your clock well-paced, lots of action and movement.

My painter friend Kurt - who may buy a Camry from what he made off me - described me as having "a head full of steam" re: getting the house ready. I've had to be. Half the job has meant broaching my darkest phobias (I'm terrified of going through boxes, terrified of moving for the nth time, terrified of missing the seller's housing market - which, indeed, collapsed a week after I listed the house), and the other half was merely difficult and beyond my knoweldge and comfort zone (I know nothing about houses, renovations, paint colors, windows, etc, and had to totally wing it the whole way).

And the whole thing was so sizzly and uphill and relentless, with my head full of steam, that I wasn't eating much. When you're existing in an accelerated state, there's little time/patience for extended eating. A housefly doesn't seat himself to tackle a sumptuous repast. I haven't had the focus to eat more than a half sandwich at a sitting. I'm "Mr. Half-Sandwich" (though, obviously, they were exquisitely good sandwiches; I haven't degenerated!).

Another innovation: smoothie breakfasts. 200 calories: 1 teaspoon matcha powder (the only dietary item that I've ever found to significantly reduce my cholesterol), 1 teaspoon flax seed (toasted in my nonstick egg pan and ground for 20 secs in mortar and pestle), 1/2 teaspoon Penzey's vanilla extract, 1 large handfull fresh spinach leaves, and a decent (not generous) quantity of frozen fruit (wild blueberries, sour cherries, TJ's "organic tropical mix", banana slices I froze myself on cookie sheets). 

17 year old girls are right; this is how you do it. No more breakfast skipping, no long pause before breaking fast, just dive right into smoothie each morning. Then a substantial lunch, then a light dinner (largely chopped salad kits with 1/4 the dressing, none of the cheese, and adding in whatever protein is left over - most commonly TJ's simple turkey slices or else cut-up egg white omelet - along with chopped tomato and, often, kernals cut off an ear of corn. Drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Very satisfying supper, very low-calorie.

Between the diet changes and the constant jittery movement and the over-clocked steam headedness, it's no wonder I've lost weight!

So...I told you before a way to lose weight (see links above). This is another way. Take on a big scary project! Keep the fires burning! Never chill! Move! And don't starve yourself (that last was part of the previous weight-loss plan, as well, as examined at length in my series "How Perennially Fat People Diet", re: that same link above).

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