You all know my new diet, spurred by joining the "Extreme Brickover Challenge" at my gym, officially began this week. You all know that I've already committed a lot of planning to the 8-week program. I created menus, made freezer-ready meals, and prepped dinners by chopping veggies ahead of time.
"Is this not a lot of work?" you ask, and I can tell you are hoping that I am just a crazy, obsessive compulsive basket case with a penchant for spreadsheets. You brush away my planning with the assured knowledge that when you choose to lose weight, you will simply begin eating less. No planning needed.
Oh, dear reader, how I wish you were right.
But it is just not the case. The reason I have so dreaded losing weight on purpose again is this (unfortunately crucial) planning stage. And even with planning, I still tend to falter as the week goes on. Sunday and Monday go better than planned, and I can't seem to find enough calories. It is effortless. Tuesday also goes well, though I have no trouble eating the allotted amounts. Wednesday? Not so good. Thursday through Saturday tend to get lost in anonymity, as I lose the muster to enter the 7 cookies and 4 beers I had throughout the evening onto my spreadsheet.
This week was admittedly going ever so slightly better. Until I cheated. That's right, I cheated!! On Thursday I was hunkering down and feeling guilty for the two meals out and the "tall" beer special of Wednesday. (Side note: I got salads for both meals, thank you very much...only later did I realize that one salad was easily 700 calories). I was not super hungry in the morning, but I figured this was due to the humungo salad (and beer and did I mention the crab pretzel appetizer?). I ate my breakfast anyway, knowing I would only screw up the diet more by being ravenously hungry at 10:30am.
But 10:30am came and went, and my mid morning snack remained uneaten. Lunch time also came and went, and it was just after 1pm that I felt pangs of pain in the stomach/intestinal region. Just as I was putting my head in my hands and thinking about how I sort of felt really truly horrible, one of the electrical engineers asked if I had talked to the mechanical guy about something. He said I should email, because mechanical guy is out sick - puking his guts out.**
Suddenly I remembered our landscape architect's "food poisoning" story from Monday. (She and her husband spent the day puking together on Valentine's Day - awww!) This was when a light bulb flashed on over my head, and just for good measure, my body clearly indicated that I should maybe get up and shuffle quickly to the bathroom.
About 40 minutes later, I surprised my cat by being home. At first, she was very excited to find that I would be spending my day cuddling with her on the couch. However, I think the cat may have actually been worried about me later in the day when I was huddled in a fetal position on the bathroom tile. Well, she may have just wondered about her eating situation since I was obviously in no hurry to refill her dish.
OK, so it wasn't super pleasant, but I am darn certain that I will have dropped a pound or two come the next weigh in. I ate a total of 421 calories that day (excluding the negative calories, as that is just too difficult to calculate). On Friday, I was still recovering, and not hungry at all. This is a highly unusual and downright improbable case. I have had severe colds, headaches, and hangovers, but never once lost my appetite during an episode of infirmity. I did eat three meals, and have also done so today, but it is more because I know I should than actual desire.
The question is, which is better? Eight weeks of planning and meticulous spreadsheet maintenance, along with hours of kitchen prep time? Or one day of misery?
Still working on that on that one.
** How on earth the mechanical guy could email while encumbered with this illness, I know not. I was barely able to turn on the television, and did so only in hopes that the sound would distract me from my misery. I tuned to "Blue Planet" and set it to repeat. It is a nature video which features soothing sounds such as ocean waves and whales and baby seals. Did you know that baby seals are abandoned by their mothers shortly after birth? Unable to move, they survive on their blubber for 18 weeks. As I considered my resemblance to this predicament, tears began to well up in my eyes...