During Week 2, I started to get used to the new regime. I wasn't hungry all the time, and actually started to feel physically stronger already. After just a week, I was able to get further up hills before I had to hop off my bike. The muscles still ached, the ibuprofen was still regularly ingested, but things were noticeably improving.
My body started to adjust to the lower levels of food intake, and the healthier meals. I only felt hungry at regular meal times. For the record, I'm far from starving myself, I'm eating at least five times a day: breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and dinner.
As far as eating goes, I've realized I'm more or less following the Weight Watchers points system model. (I'm not actually following Weight Watchers, but after hearing a friend describe it I realized I'd sort of stumbled onto their model in my efforts to find a way of eating that made sense.) A good variety of foods, nothing forbidden, but an awareness of how much I eat each time affects my intake for the rest of the day's meals. I eat as much as I want of vegetables, eat some, but not as much fruit, try to get some protein at each meal, small servings of carbs like bread or pasta, and minimal fats and processed sugar. And drink lots of water.
Portion control: not just buzzwords.
Like everything else that gets repeated ad nauseum in the lose-weight-get-fit canon, it actually works. I don't hesitate to put mayo on my sandwich. (Actually I hate mayo, I use Miracle Whip.) But it's a smaller sandwich than the giant servings you get in a restaurant. I put butter on my toast in the morning, but I only have one slice. Like almost all North Americans, I was eating far more than was necessary. When I cut my intake down to reasonable levels I very quickly started to feel a lot better, physically, and saw instant results in weight loss.
The Imp on one of our water-proofed outings
Bicycling became more a part of daily life, especially when The Imp began to insist on it to get to daycare. One morning it was pouring down rain, and I thought, "Well, I'll show him how miserable it is to be out there in the rain." We bundled up into more or less water-proofness and headed out into it. The Imp, of course, loved it. And honestly, it wasn't as bad as I'd thought it might be. (Note to self: add fenders to wishlist. And by fenders, for once, I do not mean guitars.) So there went any excuse not to get on my bike at least once a day. The return trip to daycare and back is just shy of 5kms. Looking for some exercise to do not in the rain, I downloaded a yoga workout from iTunes and have added it to the mix. I have to say, The Imp, who imitates me as I work on my poses, has a far more vigorous yoga practice than I do, which somehow involves a lot more climbing on the coffee table.
My decision to try and build exercise into my daily routine and not place it on some rarified pedestal requiring Time, and Money, and Commitment was the best choice I could have made. And using the bicycle more is the best way imaginable for me to do this.
And now, for the numbers:
Starting weight: 149 lbs
Week 1 weight loss: 3.5 lbs
Week 2 weight loss: 3 lbs
New weight: 142.5 lbs
Thanks so much for your comments, suggestions, and words of encouragement, both here and on twitter! I wanted to hold myself accountable, so I made this public. What I hadn't counted on was how much inspiration and motivation I would draw from your feedback. Thank you, thank you, thank you! (And the bicycling Imp thanks you too.)