Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I had a long, nicely-written post all typed out...and then I lost it! I guess I'll have to re-create it later.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Strategy is Working?

Yesterday was supposed to be a better day. It ended up being another disaster, calorie-wise. I had been going along well, leaving a large allotment of calories for the end of the day. But then it happened....

We attended the baby's blessing ceremony at the beach. It started more than 1.5 hours late, because the godfather got lost en route. By the time we arrived at the house for the reception, I was famished and had mentally given myself permission to overindulge.

My overindulgence was mainly on "good" foods...four large bowls of salad greens without dressing, homemade lasagne with spinach and fruit. Oh, and I did have two glasses of red wine. And several thin slices of the vegan red velvet cake. But here's the shocker: I ended the day at 2825 calories and that's probably underestimating the lasagne calories!

My takeaway from this is that I am not to be trusted in party situations. I think I need to sneak my laptop computer with me when eating away from home and input my food as I consume it. Maybe that way I wouldn't lose complete control over the calorie count. I'm envisioning myself hiding in restrooms, inputting data! What a geek!

I know it's too soon to tell, but today seems better. In order to compensate for the last few days, I was hoping to consume fewer than 1300 calories today and for the next few days. I'm doing this by pretty much skipping breakfast and having a light lunch. This way I save most of my calories for the time when I want to eat a lot anyway.

It's now about an hour short of bedtime and my total is 1252. Yay! Now I just have to avoid the kitchen for an hour or so. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Better Today

Today is going to be a busy day. We're going to be attending a Newborn Blessing at a distant beach this afternoon, so we are going to take advantage of this by going early for a beach day!

I've been thinking about what went wrong the last few days and trying to come up with strategies for coping with temptations in the future. So here are some of my coping strategies, in no particular order:

- Don't eat in the morning. When I have a big breakfast (600 to 1000 calories), I don't have much margin of error for later in the day. I'm most tempted to go overboard from about 4 to 9 pm, so by skipping breakfast I'm more likely to end the day within the target calorie range. I'm told that lots of CR practitioners eat a single, large meal each day. I'm going to try this today.

- Headaches...I talked about this in an earlier post. If I start getting a headache, I think I need to treat it right away, to prevent myself from slipping.

- Drink water. I think I need to drink a lot more water. I understand that many people mistake thirst for hunger. And I had thought that between tea and water, I drank a lot. Now that I'm tracking my intake, maybe I'm a little low.

- Continue to exercise, but a little less. For a long time, I have been exercising a lot. I had typically been doing an hour or more of serious cardio per day, almost without fail. Upon starting CR, I was told that excessive exercise is counter-productive to CR, because it causes unnecessary wear and tear on the body. So now my plan is to be more moderate in my exercise...a half hour of yoga each morning and 30 to 45 minutes of moderate cardio, using weighted backpacks to increase bone density.

- When faced with temptation, walk away. Easier said than done, I know.

That's it for now. Maybe I'll report back tonight.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Having a Hard Time

The last week or so, I have been having a hard time. I don't know whether it's the stress of my job, or my intentional decrease in exercise, or what! I haven't been feeling like myself. I was irritable and snapped at my kids (not the first time, but relatively rare). I have been feeling depressed, but in denial about it. I haven't felt very motivated about the things I'm usually motivated to do. Maybe I haven't been sleeping well or long enough? I don't know.

I have definitely been having a hard time with CR. Just before this, six days out of eight were excellent CR days, where I averaged 1448 calories/day. But I haven't had a single good day this week! My average this week is almost 2189 calories/day, 21.5% over my goal of 1800. Maybe it is a rebound effect from too much austerity the week before?

I feel like I'm on the verge of tears a lot. Maybe it's hormonal, like when I was a teenager. Once a month, I would feel the need to cry. And after a good cry, I would feel much, much better. It's how I feel right maybe I would benefit from a good cry. I don't know.

I'm disappointed in myself, because I couldn't control my eating this week. It seems like it should be a easy thing to do, to control one's caloric intake. And I have a fair amount of willpower. Why am I having so much difficulty?

But then again, my fellow CR practitioners tell me not to be too hard on myself and to go slowly. They tell me that I have many, many years to tinker with my calories, my percentages, that I should enjoy the journey. Enjoy life, because without enjoyment, what's the point of going after longevity! Intellectually, I know they're right. I am still relatively young and if the theory is correct, I do have many decades ahead of me. But I'm sad and frustrated and disappointed with myself.

Perhaps I'll resolve once again to be strong "tomorrow."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Successful CRON Day!

It's 11 pm and I'm still at the office, still rushing on a proposal. Needless to say, I've been too busy to obsess about what I can eat. I'm ending the day at 400 calories, to offset the more than 4000 calories yesterday!

How to Start Practising Calorie Restriction

Tony Zamora wrote a blog post that serves as an excellent guide on how to start Calorie Restriction. It is so succinct that I'm linking to it here for anybody interested in joining me on this journey.

If you want more information, please go to The Calorie Restriction Society.

Headaches, Headaches!

I've been trying to adhere to Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition (CRON or CR) for four months now with varying success. CRON refers to the system of eating for longevity made famous by Dr. Roy Walford and more recently re-introduced on 60 Minutes and Oprah. The goal is to achieve a longer and healthier life by eating fewer calories, but consuming adequate vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

Dr. Walford believed that excessive exercise was counter-productive to the goal of longevity. Nonetheless, I'm a bit of an exercise junkie, so I'm calling my particular flavor, Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition and Exercise (CRONEX).

As I've mentioned, I've been at it for four months and have already had some noticable improvement in my biomarkers (which I will doubtless discuss in a future post), but today I want to talk about headaches.

I have this problem that everytime I get a headache, I eat uncontrollably. There are other circumstances where I eat uncontrollably, too, but this one came up today...and so I proceeded to eat everything in sight! I did take a Tylenol, but it didn't help. Or maybe I just wanted the excuse to raid the pantry. In any case, I hope that I've learned my 4000 calorie lesson! Next time, take twice as much medication and STAY AWAY FROM THE KITCHEN!