Phase 2 Day 1:

Weight: 153.8 lbs (69 kg)

Last week, I publicly declared my intention to begin following the 123Diet and hopefully to lose at least 25 pounds (11 kg). My weight has been fluctuating between the low 150s and high 140s since towards the end of this past year, when I gained from a set point in the 130s during a particularly chaotic holiday season.

At this point, it’s been years since I’ve been on a formal diet, but it’s also been years since I’ve eaten in any remotely normal way. I’ve probably been in some form or another of a binge/restrict cycle since towards the end of high school.

I was disappointed but not particularly surprised to see such a high starting number on the scale, since I’d eaten and drank quite a lot over the weekend. My loading days were basically the last hurrah of my binge mode; I probably ate a little unhealthier than usual because I knew I was starting the diet on Monday, but weekends are typically my worst eating days anyway because of lack of structure and social triggers.

The pressure of trying to be a role model of sorts also probably exacerbated my usual overindulgent tendencies. While it’s fairly often that I impulsively declare to myself or my family members that I'm going to go on a diet, not so often do I also tell my boss, my supervisor, and the whole freaking internet! Then again, about the only weight loss strategy I haven't tried so far is risking public humiliation, so I guess it's about time!

I did at least managed to dutifully gather my healthy ingredients, pictured below.

I ended up not properly getting up until 10 am on my Phase 2 D1 Monday, at which time I had my drops and then 2 apples. I then headed into work late, and thus didn't end up taking my lunch break until around 3. After I clocked out for lunch, I took my next dose of drops. I've taken to dripping all ten under my tongue at once, swishing them around a bit, and then swallowing them in one big gulp.

While I waited for the suggested 15 minutes to pass, I went downstairs, walked around for a while, and took over some gyms on the popular Pokémon Go app. I’m one of the few non-quitters from the game’s initial period of hype—I know it’s a silly habit, but at least it keeps me walking! I'm also pretty attention-deficit, so I get jittery if I don't make sure I move around during the day as much as I can.

For lunch, I had 3 egg whites and one egg yolk with some plain spinach and only added salt as a condiment. I was surprised to find that not only I was actually hungry, given all my weekend overeating and my usual habit of skipping lunch on workdays, but that the food tasted quite good! Nothing wrong with the simple stuff!

I felt pretty tired throughout the day, but I blame that more on my terrible weekend behavior and screwed up sleep schedule than on the diet. After work, I walked half an hour to the Boca Tri-rail station, then another half hour from the Del-ray Tri-rail station to a drop-in improv (improvisation) class.

Class was from 7-9, so I had a fairly late dinner of cucumber and chicken in the car on the way home a little before 9:30. I didn’t really intend on eating the allowed mini-toasts unless I was using them as a pre-workout carb source since the booklet tells us to “only have snacks if you need them.”

As you can see, I can easily slip into “dieting perfectionism” when I’m not in binge mode. However, I felt weirdly nauseous, so I did end up trying the toasts when I got home. I liked them, but later realized I may have had the wrong brand because they had 1g added sugar—oh well!

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Total Food Consumed:

2 apples (Breakfast)

100 g eggs and 2 cups spinach (Lunch)

1 lemon half (Midday snack)

100 g chicken and 2 cups cucumbers (Dinner)

4 mini-toasts (Evening snack)

Total Exercise:

About an hour and a half walking

Phase 2 Day 2

Weight: 152.6 lbs (68 kg)

Not a huge loss, but glad I saw a small one to keep me motivated! I woke up feeling pretty hungry. I had my drops in the car on the way to work and a quarter of an orange 15 minutes later, but then found I didn’t even want the rest of it until way later in the morning, especially once I started drinking my iced coffee!

However, I’ve been having a weird thing with coffee lately where I can be craving caffeine but then feel like gagging when I actually take a sip. Because of this, I’ve been drinking a lot more diet soda, so one of my bigger struggles might be cutting out those... I seem to have a bit of an oral fixation whether I'm dieting or not, and because I spend most of my workday day sitting and typing, I would often grab a diet soda less because I really wanted one than out of boredom and so I'd have an excuse to get up. Guess I’ll just have to go harder on sparkling water and tea!

My lunch was chicken and cucumber with some chili pepper and salt added; quite refreshing after my usual walk! I’ve never disliked healthy food, and in fact I love most of it. Unfortunately, I also love all the terrible food.

I feel like my biggest dieting problems are that I’ve built up a lot of negative emotional habits regarding wanting certain bad food as a reward or consolation because it is so “special,” and that I use excitement from food to compensate for a lack of excitement in my life. I’m trying to get around these emotional issues by treating this whole thing as just another work obligation or writing project. So far, I'm cautiously optimistic!

Today was also my first 123 gym day. I’ve been going to the gym on and off since I moved home from New York in July, starting with the yoga and cycling classes and gradually moving into dance classes, kickboxing, and strength training. I’ve almost totally lost the taste for exercise that isn’t either a class or walking; I just find being stuck on the treadmill or elliptical boring and punishing. I had my mini-toasts with tomato as a pre-workout snack, then took a Total Sculpt Strength Training class.

Though I have been coming to these sorts of classes consistently for at least a month now, I am still undoubtedly in the category of “total weakling.” Despite the fact that I stuck to the 2.5 and 5-pound weights, I still had trouble keeping up with my instructor’s tyrannical number of reps. Oh well. At least I keep coming!

My dinner after class was surprisingly satisfying; a burger with a tablespoon of feta and some cooked asparagus, with a few raw spears later on as a snack. Day 2= survived!

Total Food Consumed:

1 orange (Breakfast)

100 g chicken and 2 cups cucumber (Lunch)

Juice of 1 lemon half (Midday snack)

4 mini toasts with a few slices tomato (Pre-workout snack)

100 g burger w/ 2 cups cooked asparagus and one spoon low-fat feta (Dinner)

Total Exercise:

Half an hour walking, 1-hour strength training

Phase 2 Day 3

Weight: 149.8 lbs (67 kg)

And out of the 150s am I! Partially in an attempt to scare myself off from cheating this weekend, I worked on a few articles about the dangers of milk and nuts… I better reread my alcohol article before the weekend hits!

The more I learn about health, the more holistically I try to look at the whole process of weight loss. I want to focus more on that side of things as opposed to the scale, but I also can’t pretend that I’m not excited or motivated to lose weight.

Today I walked to the Tri-rail again after work, then another 20 minutes to a coffee shop to check out a new millennial book club. I noticed I was really tired on the way over, but eventually figured out that that was probably because I was dehydrated.

I usually drink a lot of water without really trying, but I’ve now realized that my water drinking is mainly concentrated in the morning, when I’m drinking a lot to wake myself up… I need to make more of an effort to stay hydrated all day!

I was a little nervous about having to meet new people, especially because that particular shop also serves alcohol that I was now not allowed to indulge in. I stayed pretty quiet, but I survived, and it seemed like a cool group of people! Looking forward to their next event!

I also stopped by the grocery store afterwards to grab some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and konjac noodles. Meals today were pretty simple, besides mixing my grissini sticks with my egg-spinach salad this time instead of having them or the toasts on their own… yummy choice!

However, since I hadn’t used my dairy allowance for the day, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I made the mistake of thinking I could snack on a tablespoon of feta. It tasted so good that I ended up finishing the container! Luckily, it was a pretty small one, so only 3 servings or so were left, but it was still definitely a screw-up.

I’ve also made the decision that at least for now, I’m going to hold myself to a slightly less strict exercise schedule; not because I’m lazy, but because my weekday schedule usually makes it difficult to work out in the mornings and I want to be free to do other things on some of my weekday nights!

But between one or two weekday nights and both weekend mornings I should still be able to average about 4 gym days a week most weeks….I also usually end up walking a lot even on my off days because of my reliance on the Tri-rail to get places, since I don’t currently have a car!

Total Food Consumed:

2 apples (Breakfast)

100 g chicken with lettuce (Lunch)

100 g eggs with spinach and grissini sticks (Dinner)

Some unremembered amount of lemon (Mid-afternoon snack)

Around 3 servings of low-fat feta (Midnight snack)

Total exercise:

About an hour and 20 minutes of walking

Phase 2 Day 4

Weight: 148.8 (67 kg)

Phew, still lost weight! I spread out my apples throughout the morning and ended up having three before 12, with my lunch not too long after that; though I wonder if that was because I was really that hungry so early or just wanted get up and out of the office. I am a total salt freak, so I straight up drenched my lunch of cucumbers and chicken in Bragg’s, which I thought tasted a little less flavorful than soy sauce but was a pretty decent substitute.

Oddly, I felt almost jittery before and sluggish after eating both my lunch and dinner. Maybe it was because my body is in “hunting mode” before I eat and can chill after I’ve “caught” my meal? Or maybe I put myself into some kind of salt coma…

After work, I decided to treat myself in a calorie-free way by going shopping at a local thrift store for some fun weekend outfits, getting my eyebrows done, and getting a Venti Starbucks unsweetened iced green tea. I had my mini-toasts and tomato as a pre-workout snack again, then went to a cycling class.

The grand thing about cycling is that the instructor makes us do a lot of push-ups onto our bikes and other arm exercises while cycling and has us pedal with super heavy resistance for a decent portion of class, so it could conceivably check my boxes for both resistance training and cardio (this isn't a part of the 123 Diet, in fact you don't need to exercise at all on it; I am simply fanatical!!)

Since cycling and Total Sculpt classes usually happen at the same time on my gym days, maybe I’ll alternate them so I have time to forget how exhausting each one is before I have to do it again! For dinner, I had a yummy salad with shrimp, onion, lettuce, assorted spices, and konjac noodles, also drenched in Bragg’s.

Trouble came when I woke up hungry in the middle of the night again. I tried just snacking on safe raw asparagus with yet more Bragg’s, then decided, heck, why not finish the pack of konjac noodles too, since I’m allowed two servings a week and I’ll be too busy to eat them over the weekend.

Then, when I decided I could maybe have just a little bit of low-fat feta with them, I ended up having the whole container again! Again, a pretty small 3.5 serving container, so it was under 200 calories, but it did have a lot of fat and sodium. Maybe I just ought to keep feta out of the house for the time being….

Total Food Consumed:

3 apples (Breakfast/mid-morning snack)

100g chicken and 2 cups cucumber (Lunch)

5 Melba toasts (finally got the proper brand!) with 1 whole tomato (Pre-workout snack)

1 Lemon (Snack⁠—one half during the day, one half during cycling)

100g shrimp, 1 onion, 2 cups lettuce, and konjac noodles (Dinner)

Unmeasured raw asparagus, another handful of konjac noodles, and most of a container of low-fat feta (Midnight snack)

Total Exercise:

1 half hour walking, 1 hour cycling

Phase 2 Day 5

Weight: 153.5 lbs (69 kg)

I am now the perfect role model for why you should not cheat on the 123diet, however small that cheat may be; because then you’ll think you can do it all the time! Since I know that even with my screw-ups I didn’t consume nearly enough calories to gain any actual fat, I’m attributing the high number on the scale mostly to the insane amount of sodium I had between my ridiculous amount of Bragg's and the feta.

I thought about jumping to a stall day today to make sure I could get if off quickly, but since I already had all my normal 123 meals prepared for today, I’m just going to use no extra salt or Bragg’s on anything today and drink a ton of extra water.

My strategy for outsmarting my usual weekend binge tendencies is to stay ridiculously busy! I plan on going to an improv show and mixer Friday night, to the gym Saturday morning, to an audition and then to the arcade with my cousins Saturday afternoon, to a play directed by one of my old high school teachers Saturday night, and to a 10:30 performance of Rocky Horror with some improv friends after that!

Next is another improv drop-in class Sunday morning (my usual yoga time, so I’ll either have to double up on classes Saturday morning or skip it…), and then two more plays at 2 and 7:30. I realize that’s a lot of plays for one weekend, but I’m trying to gather material for the theatre blog I’m starting as well as distract myself from chocolate and vodka….

I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble sticking to the 123Diet this weekend because it’s all still a novelty to me, nor during next week’s weekdays when I’ll have nicely structured days. It’s on the second weekend that I’m worried about hitting a wall and getting depressed that my usual indulgences are really and truly off limits… maybe I’ll deal with it by over-scheduling again?

Or maybe I can completely transform my junk food addiction into a theatre addiction, which would well serve my body and the arts but may not be the best idea for my wallet. But now I’m overthinking everything, which is probably the root cause of all my food problems in the first place. Onward, onward, onward!

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