Deadlines, Diets, and Determination

I’ve been quiet lately because I spent August desperately working on Camp NaNoWriMo – despite getting an average of only 5½ hours sleep a night!  In fact, I only had two nights in the whole month where I got as much as 8 hours sleep – and one of those is only if you count an afternoon nap as part of the total!

Anyway, despite being zombified for most of the month, I managed to hit the 50,000 word deadline with two and a bit novellas.  It took a lot of self discipline to write when I was that tired!  I managed it though, even though I had a six day period around week 3 where I couldn’t write at all & had to play catch up during the last week.

It always makes me feel virtuous when I ‘win’ a NaNoWriMo.  So, I’m still coasting on the sense of accomplishment, but I need to get back to work soon.  It’s a shame that I find editing much harder than writing when I’m tired.  It’s not a good state for jobs that require attention to detail.

I’m working on the post-editor edits for my next title.  It’s a fantasy romance novella and should hopefully be out some time later this month.

On a personal note, I’m thinking about starting to track calories & exercise on MyPlate (part of Livestrong.com) again.  I can’t just cut down on food, because if I don’t eat enough calories, I don’t lose weight.  My body is very clear about that!  For example, if I set my calorie goals to lose 2lb a week, then I won’t lose any.  I have to aim for 1½lb if I want to lose weight.  MyPlate (or the Daily Plate as it was back then) was the only thing that helped me lose weight before my wedding.  Exercise and cutting down on food weren’t helping.  It’s a narrow path that I have to walk if I want to shift the pounds.

I’ve got a family wedding coming up next year, and I’d like to shift a bit of the weight that I’m still carrying after I had my son.  I need to shift about a stone and a half (21lb) and I think it will only happen if I calorie track.  It’s an annoying and time consuming faff.  Calorie tracking is only easy if you eat pre-packaged foods, which I don’t in general.  Having to calculate every single ingredient that goes into cooking a meal is a real pain.  It does work though.

For years I refused to diet at all, and I still don’t believe in diets that involve denying yourself things.  If I try to cut something out, then I just wind up eating twice the calories in other stuff, trying to satisfy the cravings for the thing I’m denying myself.  I’ll be eating what I usually eat, just in moderation.  Plus, knowing I have to track something if I eat or drink it means that I’m less likely to eat when I’m not actually hungry.  As eating when I’m not actually hungry is something I do more often than I should, that’s helpful.

If I run out of calories for the day and I’m still hungry, then I’ll eat something.  I’m not going to be overly strict with myself.  It’s just a good set of guidelines to work with.  Plus, it will help me work out which of my favourite meals are most calorific and should perhaps appear less frequently than they currently do!

According to Wii Fit I’m at the upper end of the ideal weight category, but it doesn’t take my frame into account, and I know I am carrying more weight for my BMI than is healthy for me.

I intend to reward myself for losing weight by having a go at making a gorgeous dress I’ve seen in one of the Burda magazines I’ve been buying.  I haven’t yet made anything out of them due to a lack of free time.  My dressmaking experience is limited to my wedding dress (a simple, empire line pattern) and a couple of outfits for my son.  This dress will involve learning how to do gathers, so it will be a steep learning curve!  Hopefully a fun one though.

I currently really want a packet of crisps (chips), but I’m not actually hungry yet.  The self-discipline starts here… wish me luck!

Edited to add:  A warning to anyone considering using MyPlate to track calories.  It seems to set a suggested calorie intake amount that is way too low.  I set it to lose 1½lb a week and it told me I should be aiming to eat 1,000 calories a day.  That struck me as far fewer calories than I used to be able to have – I have a vague memory that it used to be 1,400 to 1,600 under its former incarnation as the Daily Plate.

I checked and yes, 1,000 calories a day is far too low for healthy weight loss.  Not sure why it’s doing that but it’s something to be wary of.  I plan to aim for more like 1,400.  Livestrong’s own site warns against 1,000 calorie a day diets, so I’ve no idea why it’s telling me to eat that little!

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