Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kole Austerity Program

This is my boring mid-life crisis. No hot cars or wild young blondes for me. Nope- just a plan to lose weight, get fit, and figure out a way to have some fun on the cheap.

Hey, if Italy and Greece can pretend to curtail their irresponsible management of their nations, I can reign in my bad habits for real, me being smaller than a nation. At least so long as I don't look at my waistline.

I'm at 195 lbs, and want to get back to 180. I figure that will be good for at least 2, maybe 3 inches off my waist. I can get there by the first week of January if I limit myself to about 1,650 calories per day. I'm using an online program to monitor progress. If I have to look at the numbers, I'll do a better job of keeping on track than if I wing it.

So, the first thing to go is drinking my calories. I had done a good job of managing this for several years, having been beaten up by Lyme Disease, which got me away from drinking alcohol, and then kidney stones, which got me away from my old friend Coca-Cola. Having not had a major flare-up of Lyme symptoms in better than three years, and not a major stone (some very small ones) in more than five years, I slid off the bandwagon and started first drinking Diet Coke, then regular Coke.

Understand that when I was in my early 20s, and my metabolism was still very high, I used to drink 4 liters of Coke every day. That was good for about 1,600 calories every day. Crap calories, but oh, I loved Coca-Cola so. This time around, nothing nearly so extreme, just three cans a day. Still- an extra 450 or so calories every day at 43 is good for gaining a pound a week without a tradeoff.

So, goodbye Coke. It's been three days without one. The first two days, I thought about it endlessly. It's a silly thing to think about endlessly, really. But I think it's starting to pass.

The other item that needs to be reduced is eating out. Work can be tough in this regard, because I frequently work on the road. It's one thing if you work on the road at one location for 4 or 5 days. You can get a room with a mini-kitchen, go grocery shopping, and make decent food. If you're in a different location day to day, it's way easier to eat out. I can eat a 2,000 calorie meal every meal on the road, easily. That doesn't square too well with the 1,650 calorie-per-day plan.

Eating out and drinking calories is expensive. Knocking off 3 Cokes/day is about a case week, or $7 week. If I make meals at home, I can do it for $2/serving easily, whereas eating out I'm going to average $15/serving. Add the rest of the family to those numbers?

It just comes down to a prior lack of discipline. Laziness. The benefits of changing ways on these two items is obvious. It just means more prep time, and careful selection when eating out. No buffets.

If Italy and Greece can pretend to suck it up and impose discipline, certainly I can do it for real. Nothing to lose but extra weight.


Josh Featherstone said...

Good Luck, Mike! I'm shooting for 40 lbs, myself. Unfortunately, I don't have anything eresembling a plan. Just more time at the gym and a little more self-awareness on my diet. Recipe for disaster, probably.

Mike Kole said...

A little self-awareness can go a long way. Check out the Lose It website. It's a pretty good program for setting a goal and charting progress. Free, besides.

Rob Place said...

Great post, good luck to you! This has been a bad year for me in terms of working out/eating right, so I look forward to future posts about your progress; maybe I can gain some inspiration...

BTW, our next meetup is at Barley Island on the 1st...:)

Doug said...

Good luck, Mike!

I switched from coke to coffee years ago; I don't know what the calorie conversion is - but, even with the creamer I add, I expect it's a net plus. But, I realize that's not for everyone and, if you can do without either, it's probably all to the good.

Eating out is a tough one to kick -- and I don't even have the "on the road" excuse; I just can't get myself to make lunch in the morning, and then it seems like a waste of time to drive home and back during lunchtime. I still seem to have an irate metabolism, so weight isn't the big issue in my case, but it's a lot of money I don't need to be spending.

Mike Kole said...

Thanks, everyone! I'll do my best.

Doug, I suffer a bit from dint of personality in that when I am working in town, I'm working out of my home. I certainly can go downstairs and make lunch, and dinner. Problem is, I start to feel very confined. I like to go out to lunch (esp) with a book and spend an hour completely away from the work. It refreshes me to be out of the work environment for a while.

Sure, Rob- tempt me with Barley Island, you Jezebel.