I’ve combined the last three assignments into one so I could finish the course. Here are the questions and my answers to Assignments # 4, 5, and 6 for my weight loss course, which is part of my Hackable MBA.

I will be self-monitoring:

I will be monitoring my weight by weighing myself on the days I am at my house (T, W, F, S). The time will be in the morning, before going to work, and will be posted on this blog here.

Caloric Intake
I will be monitoring my daily caloric intake, with an average goal of 1800 calories a day, which should put me at or below my target goal weight of 190 lbs. This will be posted online daily on this blog (in the same post as above).

I will not be as structured about this aspect as the instructor was. I prefer the method discussed in the video, Hungry for Change, stating, “You just need to add more healthy foods into your life until the bad food is naturally pushed aside.” I will also be reading the book, Intuitive Eating, which approaches weight loss and health in a similar manner.

I will be following the exercise plan I posted earlier in this course and will post regular updates to the website (yep, same post).

Three people I can be accountable to:

Finding support people is counter-intuitive to my current, solitary lifestyle. I do not maintain friendships and have few family relations that I involve myself with regularly. I do not socialize with co-workers outside of work, and do not share personal aspects of my life with them while working. I will, subsequently, be skipping this section altogether.

What are my triggers?

I would definitely say stress is my primary trigger. On the weekends, boredom would possibly be another trigger. There is, though, a significant trigger, feeling like I’m missing out on something when I have healthy food to eat, but want or crave an unhealthy food. Pizza, McDonalds are killers for me when I’m leaving for lunch. If the thought of getting something comes to mind, I will inevitably do it. I had a pizza yesterday at lunch, then got another one today, too! It’s terrible.

What strategies will I use to handle these triggers?

I’m not really certain how to combat the lunch issue at the moment, other than quitting my job. When at the lake, I think the best avenue is to have a full agenda of tasks to do to keep busy. Also, since the lake is not so quick to the grocery store, having only healthy foods will help. I believe having my meals pre-made for the entire week will keep me from impulse purchases for dinners and, hopefully, having a more rounded, filling lunch will help, too.

How will I monitor my hunger levels?

I’m not completely certain. I will need to research this more. Possibly in the next book I read, “Intuitive Eating.”

Have I ever tried to lose weight in the past? What happened? Why did it not work? How could you do it differently this time that would lead to success?

I was skinny and active as a teenager, though my eating habits even back then were terrible. I did not start gaining weight until I went into the military. In my 20’s I hit 200 lbs and peaked at 240 lbs. My doctor at that time warned me that my diet would catch up to me. My 30’s saw a failing marriage and horrible work environment, so I gained more weight and peaked out at 307 lbs and felt miserable. I’m now at 270 lbs and, though I feel much better and I have a much better interpersonal and work life, I still feel horribly tired much of the time.

During my 30’s I tried dieting several times, only to give up after a few weeks because the food restrictions left me bored and craving “good” (aka tasty) foods. Stress of home life always drew me back to overeating. I don’t think the diets were ever realistic. Atkins certainly wasn’t. Much of the problem is I’m not eating for a permanent lifestyle change, but something to do to reach a weight loss goal. I don’t think this will work long-term.

I think I need to find an eating and activity lifestyle that will promote good health overall. Foods I will adopt for a lifetime.

Do you have any psychological reasons for being overweight?

I believe most, if not all, the reasons I’m overweight are psychological. I believe it is stress related. Frustration leads me to crave foods that change my mental states, so I can derive satisfaction from something, possibly as a distraction from my current circumstance.

There is something also in me – some kind of switch – that I don’t fully understand. It is flipped whenever temptation is around, foods I know aren’t good for me, but I enjoy eating them. I seem to be helpless against them. I can’t stand the feeling I get when I tell myself I should or plan to eat a more healthy alternative. I feel like I’m suddenly missing out on this really great thing, and feel devastated about it. I inevitably give in and eat the wrong foods, and way too much of them.

Does Leptin fuction make you less or more hopeful about your prospects of losing weight and maintaining your target weight once you’ve reached it? Please explain… .

If Leptin resistance is caused by being overweight – so, because I have had a western diet since I was a teenager, my Leptin production is off the charts but my body no longer recognizes it – this explains why I feel helpless against the cravings, the psychological dialog in my head telling me to eat pizza when I have fruit for lunch instead. My mind says I’m starving, even though my body certainly is not. The cure, then, will be to get the weight off as soon as possible. This way, my struggle will be with weight maintenance rather than weight loss.

That’s it. The end of my first course in my Hackable MBA. I’m ready to jump back into business related topics for my next course. I’ll post an update once I select a resource.

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