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.