“I Don’t Need To Be Encouraged — I’m Quitting!”

Today I weighed, to see what progress I’ve made on my new calorie-counting (and supposedly weight-loss) plan.

In the past, we’ve owned bathroom scales that were a bit mercurial — you could experience significant weight loss (or gain) in the matter of minutes, as the scale readings varied wildly. In fact, several years ago Kathy and I were dieting, and the scale told us both we gained. Being mature, financially responsible adults, we tossed that scale in the garbage and rushed out to find a more ‘reliable’ device.

This morning, after at least four attempts, I could only squeeze a 0.2 pound loss out of that cursed scale! Maybe there’s something wrong with the batteries?

tomato trash

It could be worse, they could be throwing me in the trash like these tomato plants.

I was pretty disappointed, since I’ve been counting my calories like a miser, these past two weeks. I estimate I’m eating at least a thousand calories a day less than I was eating before, and so I hoped for a 2-pound loss. No such luck.

I came downstairs and loudly bemoaned my lot to anyone who would listen. Kathy was walking out the door, but tried to console me:

“I’ve got to go to my meeting, but when I come back, I’ll encourage you,” she promised, sweetly.

Petulantly, I whined, “I don’t need to be encouraged, I’m quitting!”

There was much giggling among my children, especially Joshua. I guess they know that I’m more bark than bite — sometimes a fella just likes to complain. They used to say this when I was in the Army: “If soldiers aren’t complaining, they’re not happy.” Joshua rushed off to add that quote to his Tome of Ridiculous Sayings, in which I figure prominently.

let's see daddy

“Let me just write that down, Daddy.”

It seems that, before I started this plan, my metabolism was going all-out, like a roaring furnace. I picture sweaty, soot-begrimed workmen in a gloomy factory, shouting over the sound of the flames and conveyor belts:

“Hey, Joe! I just got word from Corporate that there’s another load of high-calorie junk food coming down! Doesn’t this guy ever stop eating?”

“I dunno, Frank — he must think he’s an Olympic Athlete or something. Maybe the boys down in Waste Products could pick up the slack?”

“Those weenies? They’ll start whining about bowel obstruction or something — they don’t care about us, here, and they don’t care about the Company. I guess we better run three shifts again — do you think Sam can take the night shift?”

“I dunno Joe, those guys on the third shift are pretty rough. Hey, Bob, fire up furnace 14, will ya, and tell the lads everyone works an extra two hours, unpaid overtime!”

Now that I’m moderating my caloric consumption, the metabolic workers have apparently unionized, laid off a third of the work force, or taken some of the furnaces off-line for long-needed maintenance. I’m eating so many less calories, but not losing weight — it is enough to make a guy discouraged.

In the face of this lack of weight loss, I decided to revisit the calorie calculations. Sure enough, it seems the calories that a man of my size and lifestyle would burn is quite a bit below the 3000 I had originally estimated. I tweaked a few formulas and ended up with a more conservative ‘maintenance’ calorie allotment of around 2550, not 3000. This suggests that I need to eat no more than 2050 calories a day to lose a pound a week.

Average Calorie Burn
No wonder I haven’t seen any weight loss!

Ooof. Goodbye ice cream, goodbye cheese sticks, goodbye to that extra tortilla. Hello, hunger.

Happily, Kathy has developed several foods that enjoy a high calorie-to-satisfaction return on investment:

  • The fruity-oat bran pancake — 618 calories
    Yes, that’s a lot of calories, but this hearty 1.2 pound cake with complex grains keeps me going from 6 am ’til noon, with nary a hunger pang.
  • Tomato-barley stew with sausage — 476 calories
    Two cups of stew, with tasty sausage morsels — sweet and filling (and made with home-grown tomatoes!)
  • The hunger-panic vegetable pancake — 200 calories
    Never before has pureed cauliflower or broccoli tasted so good. Held together with an egg and some fresh Parmesan cheese, and broiled on Kathy’s cool grill, this pancake has enough substance to take the edge off any hunger.
  • The metabolic — 165 calories of frozen blueberry goodness

David Buddy

David is fond of nearly all those recipes.

Maybe I’ll post the recipes for these if I get a chance. I find all four to be very satisfying, and if I stick to these, they take care of breakfast and lunch entirely and leave a lot of room for other foods for supper, totaling 1459 calories.

I am reminded that at least 10 people promised to pray for me, many on the assurance that I would pray for them. Well, I have been — I’ve prayed every day for each of you (except, as advertised, for one ‘off’ day a week). Please pray that I would have the courage to reduce my calorie consumption further, and that I would see some success in weight loss.

If the metabolic foremen lay off another round of workers, I’m going to have to take drastic action.


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13 thoughts on ““I Don’t Need To Be Encouraged — I’m Quitting!””

  1. I hesitated to commit to praying for you before. So this is all probably MY fault that you failed to see the 20-pound weight loss you would have otherwise experienced.

    Seriously, I didn’t want to offer to pray because I knew I would then feel compelled to finally attend to my OWN gut. When my metabolism hit a grinding halt 5 years ago, I didn’t do much to address my increasing weight. But at my current climb, I can only assume I’ll be 500 pounds in a few years. So now that I’m ready to embrace what I need to do, I can finally offer to pray for you.
    So next week when step on the scale, you can know it was MY prayers that finally made the difference.

  2. Hello Tim,

    Just sending a hug of encouragement your way. A great blessing in your life is a wife that is supportive of you and your efforts..that will go a long way toward helping you!

    And I do believe I read somewhere that posting recipes for your blog readers burns at *least* 500 calories! :-)


  3. Ooo, I’d love to have that veggie pancake recipe. Keep at it, Tim. My hubby (also named Tim) has been counting calories since January and has lost 40 lbs. He’s in that last big push to lose a few before the holidays and even inspiring me too!

  4. I hear ya on the weight loss. My own weight yo-yo’d between 2 pounds week after week. Up & down it went. Ugh. Then I finally made the changes I need to & stuck to it & the weight is finally coming off. Exercise & a sensible eating plan – it’s all you can really do. Good for you for committing to it – even when you feel like quitting. Still praying for you here in Maine!!!

  5. Back to say “you stink.”. You were my motivation for going and working out this morning.
    It was either that or try your hummus, wheat germ, and tree bark recipes.
    I only kid. Your menu sounds surprisingly good.

  6. Oh,yes, YOU CAN DO IT. I am praying and loving you, dear Timothy!!

    I’m doing some yo-yo ing myselfl and am encouraged to STOP that and get serious. So thanks for sharing your discouragement so humorously and honestly.

    Love, Aunt Kate

  7. I came over from Scott’s website “Honey I fed the kids”. That should all probably be in caps but oh well!!

    I saw nothing about exercise on your diet blog today. Having not read you before, I don’t know if you are or aren’t. But 35 minutes a day, every other day is what is recommended. If you have a gym in your area, that would work, but be sure you change machines every ten minutes or so and don’t wait in between to let your heart rest. It has to go steady for 30-35 minutes. I have a treadmill and a bike with moving handlebars that works me out quite well. (I had a heart attack). Otherwise just plain walking at a fast pace will work just as well. And who doesn’t like a walk at this time of year? It’s beautiful outside. (Well it’s freezing here in MN) but you get the drift.
    Good luck and remember to combine your food with exercise. I’ll be praying for you also, now that Scott has given the ok!! LOL


  8. Tim, thought you would like know how Zach was praying for you the other day. He prayed that you would be able to stick to your plan and that God would change your taste buds to like ‘yucky’ food. I corrected him and said you mean HEALTHY foods right? And then he gave me a look that said; ‘you call it what you like Mom, I said what I meant.’ :)
    We are thinking of you and praying for endurance and patience.
    Remember when I began the KMEP? I did not see the poundage loss that I was led to believe would happen, but by the second month, it was steadily coming off.
    Don’t give up! And even if you quit, we will still encourage you and pray, so you can’t escape either way!

  9. I think you are still recognizable . I have the same problem myself . I will try to lose some in 2009 , but 157 is not going to be the magic number.
    I will pray for both of us to make a different this year . Happy new year to you and your family .

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