It’s very nice to return here with the feeling that I can write again about things related to Movement, Music, Meditation and Massage. Since my last entry I’ve concentrated on really just one thing. Losing weight! Spring and summer morphed into this fat n=1 process of comparing the methods of Calories In, Calories Out (CICO) and Jason Fung’s idea of obesity as a hormonal phenomena rather than one of energy balance.
I wanted to experience this on my own body and it represented the end of a very long process that began in 2006. Essentially the CICO concept was the only one I had ever known and I had tried and failed to lose weight trying to increase energy expenditure while decreasing energy input several times over the last decade. Success if any was always fleeting and marginal.
Over time I upped the ante trying to count calories more precisely. I began to weigh everything I ate. When that proved ineffective I began to use an application called CRON-O-METER with the hopes of greater precision. The CRON-O-METER made it also possible to monitor my macronutrients and as I had heard that this is wildly important I also began to obsess about my ‘macros.’ Eventually I heard that High fat Low Carb (HFLC) could be the key to the treasure chest I was seeking to open and I played with this. I played throughout the entire range of possibilities that I could.
In time my lack of success convinced me that I wasn’t being precise enough on the output end of things and so I added a Fitbit to my technical arsenal. Eventually I also added monitoring of my blood glucose and blood ketones in order to add another layer of checks to understanding my ‘macros.’ My weight remained stable of even increased no matter what I tried it seemed.
By late spring my day to day experience of the process of trying to lose fat and maintain muscle was a very trying routine of weighing every morsel of food, wearing a device that monitored every step I took and the quality of my sleep as well as trying to hit on the right balance of calorie restriction with optimum nutrition. The CICO approach in the end didn’t work very effectively.
I did however eventually loose about 13kg (27lbs) but the counting calories and tracking macros wasn’t what finally got the needle to move, it was fasting, it was just not eating. I’ll speak later about these things in scattered bits and bites here and there. I’ve shared many posts however on FB related to these topics throughout the summer (which you can scroll along my timeline to find) that make writing about it exhaustively here superfluous.
Throughout this process, though fasting, I continued to follow CICO (at least keeping track on all of my devices). I’ve lost a nice bit of weight but how can I sustain it now without obsessive number crunching and quantification for the rest of my life? It’s this next stage that I feel is worth talking about here. I’ve abandoned the scale, I’ve abandoned the Fitbit and I rarely measure my blood sugar or ketones. Can I continue to improve my body composition, physical function and my blood work purely through the experience I have from this experiment without the “quantified self.” Is there a more natural path? And what about you? We’ll see.
By the way follow me now on Twitter for the blow by blow exploration of my personal approach to coming into harmony with evolutionary biology. Maybe it’s simpler than you think.