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Check out this Extraversion

Monday May 20, 2019

So I’m going to be doing some testing with extraversion as a weight loss tool. Let’s do this, blog audience!

After losing over 100 lbs. a few years ago, starting near 300 lbs., I was feeling GREAT. At age 39 I could do 15 pull-ups vs. the zero I was able to do from as far back as I remember. Weight loss and pull-ups are epic friends.

But then I was feeling pretty skinny, at 175 lbs. and 6’1” tall. I could see all these bulging random veins in my head and legs and arms and stuff, which was neat, but family and friends were asking me why I was so skinny, telling me I should put some weight on. Then I saw a photo that was taken from behind me and a little bit to the side, and I saw what they meant. Wow. I needed bulk, stat.

So as weird as it would have sounded to past, overweight me, I decided to bulk up. I bulked up, then cut some, then bulked up some more. Then I injured myself doing really risky chest flys after starting on creatine, and of course with after all that creatine I had REALLY bulked up, but mostly just weight-wise.

Unfortunately all that growth came without even the conservative muscle gains I had hoped for, due to the injury. So I began to feel like a lazy fat lard instead of the sleek muscle machine I had imagined in vain.

My eating choices started to echo this psychology: Which Pop Tarts are your favorite? I like the cherry flavor…

So I’m pretty much done with that, and am feeling ready for more intense exercise. I’m ready for another gradual and deep cut.

However, old habits will have to be re-sharpened! This is not a battle, it’s more like a war. I will lose some battles and win others. Just like the best stock analysts are right 67% of the time, I’m not expecting this to go without its troubles.

The best tools of perception and judgment will be required. I have been around this track enough times to know that I will have to be really clever and reflective in order to deal with setbacks and psychological effects of things like plateau periods. Seeing a plateau can be devastating and feel like a universal confirmation of one’s worst fears. It can set up anxiety and lead to a stress-eating loop.

Breaking through a plateau though, after weeks or months, feels incredible. Some of the best brain chemicals you will ever experience.

For this reason I’ll be sharing my progress here for now. I’m going to use the best tools I know, and as a coach I also need to keep my personal tools sharp. No fat Karate instructors here.

Progress as of Today

First few days out of the gate:

  • Saturday May 18: 211 lbs. Start.
  • Monday, May 20: 207 lbs. 4 lbs. lost. Cuts always start like this, over-delivering, but I know better than to trust this loss rate :-)

Other stats:

  • TDEE: About 2000 calories.
  • Daily food allocation: 1400-1700 calorie swing. Mostly intuitive based on past experience counting calories and ketosis mouth-feel. But still checking numbers here and there.

Other thoughts

  • I need massive variety in my diet. I’ve learned this recently. I can’t just go back to the old weight-loss foods that were new and exciting to me in the past, which sucks. But I know that my Se-driven eating psychology will not respond well to sameness. My wife is helping a lot with this; she went to the store today and brought home a ton of amazing-looking and healthy foods.
  • It’s tempting to cut back on exercise because it’s just more stress on a stressed mental-physiological system. When you’re cutting calories, exercise is just another number factor; exercise is not necessary for weight loss. However, it makes me feel good, and I believe that it makes my eating choices healthier. I went on a super-long walk today and am really glad that I did.
  • I got used to eating breakfast again, which is not good. Breakfast calories were, previously, my unused contingency stress-eating calories. I’m going to try to keep breakfasts to 150 calories max.
  • I am pretty exposed here, sharing things like my weight and height on a public blog. BUT my experience with the psychological function here is that it’s really powerful.
  • I have a lot of stressful stuff going on. But I always, always have. So I’m just going to have to make room and push back. For now, I emphasize the cut and de-emphasize other stuff.
  • I don’t like being in maintenance mode, but I plan to be in extended maintenance mode after this cut is over. I need to do some thinking about this.
  • Weighing myself is super annoying. When it’s cold in the morning it is really hard to get the clothes off and step on the scale. Summer weather will help with that, but I feel like I can come up with some techniques or changes to help with this. Once I see the measurement, I always respond, so I don’t want to drop that practice.
  • One thing that I did before was saving up calories for occasional total junk eating. Like eating a whole box of candy bars in a week, and still losing weight. That was a ton of fun. I want to plan to do something similar this time. But nothing too consistently dirty, nutrition-wise.
  • I’m going to have to be aware of my contingency eating habit when we get into summer vacation season. Remembering that people will always want to eat out later. And acting like a secret agent with a secret diet agenda. Bulking up with tons of greens when available and tons of water.
  • I’ve gotta start up a spreadsheet again…hoo boy. I don’t want to make this really fiddly though. Really simple.

OK, that was helpful to get out! Let’s see how it goes.

Oh also: I’m going to fail. This definitely won’t work! Just to get that out of the way. ;-)

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