Monday, February 7, 2011

Ego Over Matter: Week 6: Creative Tricks for Quick Wins

So at the end of five weeks, I currently sit at 245 pounds. This is down 1 pound and is 47 pounds away from my goal of 198 pounds.

It was nice to see the scale move again. Back feels much better, but it’s reminded me that the extra weight is hugely responsible for the pain. Needless to say, I’m more motivated now to get rid of the remainder.

I started thinking about the little tricks that I tend to play on myself in the early going any time I diet or try to lose weight. I do them for a variety of reasons, but generally they are to get me some quick wins, so that I feel motivated to keep going over the long haul. One is a minor habit tweak, one of them is a regular thing I’ve been doing for years generally speaking, and one of them is a new development and is, well, somewhat bizarre.

1. I work with a small company on the 4th floor of an old brownstone. As it’s an old building, it has older infrastructure, the most obvious being the fact that it only has one bathroom. Put 25 people onto a floor with only a single bathroom, and needless to say, the line can be long. At the street level, there is a meeting annex to one of the nearby high-rises that has a Men's & Women’s restroom. When you make it a point to go down and up four flights of stairs every time you use the bathroom, that can have a cumulative effect (especially since I make it a point to drink 64 oz of water each day ;) ).

2. In my faith (for those who don’t read this from my obvious sources or can’t figure out from my blog feed, I’m L.D.S. ;) ), every month at the start of the month we have what is referred to as a “Fast Sunday”, where we go without food for a 24 hour period (or more precisely from end of dinner Saturday until start of dinner on Sunday). Mileage varies on how this is done or how strictly you do it, and for what purpose it is normally done (I do it in association with a goal that I wish to pray for or a question I want to pray about. Well, back in 2007, when I shed 52 pounds in 6 months, I decided to have a Fast Sunday every week. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but it has generally worked well for me and has actually had other benefits outside of the purely weight loss related. It also helps that it tends to give me a good push towards weigh in day (which is always first thing Monday morning).

3. You all jumped ahead to see what the bizarre thing was, didn’t you (LOL!)? Well, here it is. One of the things I discovered back in my last big shed-down is that having an overpowering taste can really be effective as a weight loss and appetite suppressant aid. In 2007, my spice-meter went through the roof, to the point where I was literally filling a shot glass with either Tapatio or Sriracha hot sauce. I don’t know if it really had much of an effect by itself, but it certainly helped blunt my hunger. Problem is, it doesn’t work anymore; I’ve become too used to it. This time around, I wanted to try to find “calorically empty” foods. Not those bereft of nutritional value, but I mean literally those with an almost zero caloric input. Perfect candidate? Pickles! So some of you are asking “what’s so bizarre about that?” well, nothing yet, but as I was trying to dig into the jar, I decided that I needed to do something with the vinegar that I had to dunk into. Instead of pour it down the drain, I drank about a quarter cup of it. Wonder of wonders, it had this really strong sour taste (not altogether unpleasant, but not something I’m normally go out of my way to drink straight). The really cool thing was that, within about 15 seconds, I had a total blunting of any appetite! Just by drinking about ¼ cup of pickle juice (which is effectively garlic infused vinegar). So now each time I reach for a pickle or two, I drain off just enough of the vinegar to get a “fortifying shot”. It probably won’t work forever, but right now it’s strangely effective.

So how about you? What are *your* psychological tricks to help you score your quick wins :)?

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