I have a wee bit of a challenge: I need to lose 30 pounds.
This isn’t me having body image issues, or buying into an unhealthy obsession with thinness.
This is me listening to the repeated advice of multiple doctors, all of whom have told me to drop 30 pounds to reduce my very elevated risk of stroke and cancer. Now, if it were one doctor telling me this, it’d be easy (too, too easy) to dismiss him as a crank. The thing is, several doctors have said the same thing. So: Message received.
Now, I have a bit of a problem here. I can’t really exercise much more or much harder than I already do. I go to the gym 5 or 6 times a week, and I literally push myself to the point where I’m falling over at the end of workouts. At 5’9″ and 210 pounds, I don’t look obese by any stretch of the imagination. Much of that weight is pretty dense muscle. I also don’t smoke, and I hardly drink.
So, what does that leave me? What can I stand to change?
Sadly, it’s going to have to be food intake.
Why is dieting so painfully hard for me?
There is absolutely no getting around the fact that I eat a lot. Cartoonishly so. In fact, if I had to find an animal metaphor to describe my eating habits and frequency, I would be the Biblical swarm of locusts. It’s that bad.
And that’s why I went out and joined a fitness challenge at my gym. I have to go to the gym 16 days out of 31 (which will be easy, for obvious reasons). The challenge also gave me a meal plan for weight loss.
Guess what? Following this meal plan is the REAL challenge for me. I get to eat three tiny (for me) meals a day, seven days a week. So that’s 21 meals, out of which I can “cheat” on 3. It’s even less fun than it sounds: Two pints of beer is a cheat meal in and of themselves. Hell, a single dessert is a cheat meal. This is problematic, since I can easily a half dozen desserts in one sitting (and often have, in the past).
If I were to measure it out, a single meal under this meal plan would have roughly the following quantities of food:
- 100 grams of meat
- 200 grams of vegetables
- 100 grams of fruit or brown rice
- 20 grams of nuts or seeds
This… really isn’t much. Not for me. I easily eat double (if not triple) this all the time. But hey, gotta be done, right?
And so, on Day -1, I went out, bought a bunch of Tupperware and the volume of food I would need to make it through the week. When that was done, I settled in to make at least the workweek’s worth of food. Here it is:
In case you’re wondering, this is what’s in that tiny pile of food:
- 6 skinless chicken thighs
- 800 grams of tilapia fish
- 16 eggs
- half a kilo of carrots
- 750 grams of white mushrooms
- 250 grams of spinach
- 400 grams of bok choy
- 200 grams of pasta
- a cup of meat sauce
- 6 bananas
- 3 apples
- 100 grams of nuts
All told, it took me 2.5 hours to cook and pack all of this. That’s a pretty short amount of time to make 15 meals (that’s my only real solace here). How will this go?
Well, details in the next post!
Follow me as I take the plunge toward losing 30 pounds (and gripe a whole hell of a lot).
I’m determined to make this work. And I’ll be blogging about this the whole way through. Join me, won’t you?