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i've got more chins than chinatown
For the first time ever in my life, I am dieting.

I spent most of my adolescence and young adult life underweight; a mere 120-125 pounds in a 5'10" frame. As I approached my thirties, I shot over 150lbs. and have naturally settled around 165lbs. for much of the past decade. I made myself a promise a long time ago that if I ever got upwards of 175lbs. that I would take steps to make sure I didn't go any higher than that. With the exception of children who can't ever remember being anything other than obese, I've always imagined that people serious obesity problems must have had some point (or should have had some point) where they went "Oh, yeah this is getting out of hand". Reaching a weight of 175lbs. was my absolute cut-off point and I would not allow myself to get any heavier than that. I figured at that point I'd be 10-25 pounds overweight and it'd be a lot easier to lose that than let it go any further.

A few years ago, I actually broke the 180lbs. mark, but it's when I was doing flatbed work and I chalked it up to muscle gain. Sure enough, within 3 months of leaving that sort of work, I dropped back down to around 165. A while back, I discovered I weighed 173lbs. and couldn't explain it with muscles. It was time for something to be done.

For my BMI, the estimate for maintaining weight is ~2400 calories per day. The diet I've adopted is pretty simple really. First of all I virtually have cut soda from my diet. I'll have one every now and then, but most days I stay away from it. There was a time when I could easily put away 5-6 cans of soda a day. I was drinking nearly a third of recommended daily allowance! I mostly drink coffee and iced tea sweetened with no-calorie stuff or sugar-free Kool-Aid. Sometimes I'll have orange juice in the morning. The other thing is that I don't eat just because I'm hungry. What we in the first world call "hunger" isn't what most of the people call hunger. Just because I'm hungry doesn't mean I have to eat. It's simply a matter of will power. I try to have no more than two meals per day, and sometimes, only one, when I have regular access to coffee throughout the day. I also don't "graze" on crap throughout the day between meals like candy/crackers/chips. And speaking of chips, I've decided that potatoes are the devil and try limit my consumption of them. Just 10-11 potato chips is like 140 calories. How many times have I plowed through a family sized bag in one sitting? I buy one large bag pf potato ships every couple of weeks and have a few with sandwiches in the truck. I'll have hash browns or mashed potatoes with the occasional diner meal, but otherwise, I stay away from french fries and potato chips as much as possible. I've also stayed away from pizza. After working for Pizza Hut for 10+ years in the 90s, this is no great sacrifice. I can take or leave it. I really never gave it much thought until I was standing in a Pizza Hut Express in a truck stop a few months back and they had a sign listing the calorie content of a personal pan pizza. Depending on what you put on it, it can be anywhere from 1000-1500 for a single personal pan pizza. I used to get two of them and make a meal of it all the time. No wonder I was gaining weight.

I've found that the longer I can can put off eating in the day, the less hungry I get. Once I succumb to the first meal of the day, then I'm only going to be hungry again 6 hours later. So what I try to do is put off having my first meal of the day until 4-5 o'clock in the afternoon. For instance today, all I've had is a 32oz. of coffee. and it's 3:45pm. I plan to have a couple of turkey and cheese sandwiches in the truck in the next hour or so then by the time I start to get hungry again, it'll be time to go to bed. It's easy to ignore the hunger pangs when you're unconscious for 6-7 hours

In all, I estimate my daily calorie intake to be consistently in the neighborhood of 1200-1500 calories per. Sure there are days when it's more, but they're rare and I'm sure there are days where it's less 1000. In the past few weeks, I've averaged about 2lbs. per week of weight loss. As of this morning, I was 164. My goal is to get back down around 150 and then hopefully, between the soda out of my diet (which I don't really miss) and a modest amount of exercise (I try to take 2+ mile walks daily when the weather and time permits), I won't have to worry so much about what I actually eat, or at least, not paying as much attention to it as I am now.

It's weird though how much of a difference 10lbs. makes. The first waistcoat I bought when I committed to dressing the way I have was a large and now it's starting to feel a little too roomy, whereas the past two I bought were medium and fit just fine.
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I'm proud of you for the weight loss. :)

My BMI thing says I need like 1800 calories a day to maintain my weight. I doubt I even break 1000-1200.

(Deleted comment)
Well the intention is not for it to be a sustainable pattern of living, but a means to allow my body to utilize what it's been storing as fat. I'm hardly starving myself, just cut my calorie intake enough to achieve a modest and healthy weekly weight-loss. A net loss of 2 lbs. per week isn't drastic by any means and once I drop another 10 lbs. or so, I plan to put my diet back in the 2000 calorie range. The problem is that for years I've consumed nearly 3000 calories per day, but I had a younger man's metabolism.

Plus, I would imagine it's a bit difficult to eat really good, fresh food when you're on the road all the time.

Yeah, that's the other thing. Regular access to fresh food isn't as easy as when you're home. Even when I do get access to vegetables, I'm sure they are seldom "fresh" and are likely canned/frozen/preservative laden.

I've given up the soft drinks as well. Iced tea and lemonade are now my drinks of choice.

Ek. I can't imagine eating 1 meal a day + from the sounds of it no fruit/veg can be overly healthy.

I will be honest and say I didn't read this whole entry. BUT I am also watching my weight and exercising and found myfitnesspal.com and accompanying phone application and it helps SO MUCH. Not joking, join it.

Also, I am not a commercial and I get nothing out of it. It just helps me exercise and eat better.

Edited at 2012-02-25 05:23 pm (UTC)

I created an account and have been checking it out this morning. Looks pretty cool. Thanks for the tip!

Good job and good tips. I find that hunger goes away on its own- just ignore it for an hour and it'll fade. We get hungry and eat or use junk food like chips but doing nothing will also get you through it. I usually don't follow that advice and like most eat then eat too much but I'm trying to watch it more. Weight gain is more problem over 50 than under and the mostly sedentary life of trucking compounds the problem. Lots more overweight than skinny-assed truckers.

I'm not driving anymore but used to always hit the eastbound I-70 Welcome Area in Indiana - plenty of truck parking and a circle sidewalk that made for a decent walking path although noisy. I'd circle that six or eight times many nights to work out the kinks and get things moving after the run from KC to the Indiana line.

The days are starting to get longer again, and the weather nicer... so I'm hoping to add regular walking back into the mix. It's hard to do in the winter time. Back in the fall, I was walking upwards of 10 miles a week. One of the nice things about trucking; there's always new scenery around the corner to see on your daily walk. :)

I miss when you used to write here.

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