Diet Season Finish – Down Twenty-Nine Pounds

Before and After, 204 lbs down to 175 lbs
Before and After, 204 lbs down to 175 lbs

Actually, my hope was to achieve thirty-five pounds of reduction this season, but twenty-nine pounds will do.

You can get a better view of the before and after pictures by clicking on the link at the right.

I think that one thing that is important for dieting is to recognize that there are better and worse seasons for dieting. These may vary for each individual, but it is definitely be better to think about the ebb and flow of your life and plan which times of year are for weight reduction and which times of year will be more of a defensive hold-the-line activity.

For me, the next six months are clearly not going to be an ideal time to lose weight. There are three big challenges coming up.

  1. Travel – between now and Christmas, I have four separate trips planned totaling almost one month of travel. Typically I can about one pound per week while traveling. While I don’t want to make my travel utterly miserable, my goal will be to contain this gain somewhat. I will be happy if I can keep it to one-half pound per week. Expecting to lose weight while traveling is simply unrealistic.
  2. Holiday Season – Thanksgiving and Christmas are the biggest holidays of the year in the United States. Earlier this week I talked to my doctor about scheduling a routine blood test. His comment was: “We had better do it in mid-November before the eating holidays start”.  That actually gets right to the crux of the matter – these two holidays are food-intensive. Most of the social interaction resolves around food. I have no desire to be the wet blanket at a Christmas party that rigidly refuses to eat or drink anything but a carrot stick and a glass of water. Some amount of weight gain is inevitable during this season.
  3. Allergy Season – From the end of January to Mid-March Austin becomes one of the worst places in the world for Fall-Winter allergy sufferers. The tough, scrawny trees we refer to here locally as “Cedar” (they are actually a species of Juniper) go crazy and belch tons (literally) of aggressive yellow pollen into the air. Of course, this phenomenon does not directly cause weight gain, but it does make it hard to lose weight by eliminating outdoor aerobic exercise. The ensuing misery also makes it hard to skip alcohol Sunday through Thursday and that is also a key part of my weight loss regimen.

Therefore, I definitely expect to take a hit. If all goes well, I will be able to contain the gain to around five pounds by March 2011. As the cedar pollen clears up, I will go back on the program, knock that five pounds back off and perhaps another five or ten pounds to get to my final weight goal of around 165 pounds.

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