Have you ever done something for a 1000 days straight? I never thought I would.
In December of 2014, after looking at my latest trip pictures and weighing myself on my home scale, I was pretty unhappy. I was 250 pounds, and that was a problem for me.
So I did what I knew best: went online, and started reading as much as I could. I learned about calories, paleo, keto, protein, carbs, and so much more. What really changed my life however, is the whole concept of CICO: Calories In, Calories Out.
CICO tells us we should use our calorie input (what we eat), and our calorie output (the calories we burn with our everyday activity) to control our weight. A net calorie surplus means gaining weight, a net calorie deficit means losing weight, and a balanced calorie input and output means stable weight.
Without going into too much detail, I can say exactly why this technique resonated with me: it was a budget. I could track and budget with my food like I can with my finances!
This was life changing because budgeting is something I love. You read that right, I love making those kinds of decisions. From the video games I like, to boardgames, to pen and paper RPGs, I’m a sucker for activities that give me limited resources, and ask me to assign them to achieve a certain goal.
And so I started budgeting what I ate. Was it really worth it to eat this extra piece of cake? Was I using my limited resources to their very best? The answer varied depending on the day, but I now had the tools to make that decision.
And here’s where the 1000 days comes in. The app I use to keep track of what I eat keeps track of your streak: how many days in a row you logged on and inputted your food for the day. And on October 10th 2017, I hit 1000 days of logging.
If you had asked me when I started if I thought I’d hit 1000 straight days, I would probably have said no. Afterall, skipping a day here and there probably wouldn’t have changed my journey that much (or so I thought back then) and the goal wasn’t to log the food, it was to lose the weight!
But here’s what I didn’t know then: the process is what makes you get to your goal.
That’s right, while it was the food I was eating, or not eating, that was dictating what my actual weight was going to be, the process is what made me eat the food that was worth it, and skip the food that was not.
How did the weight loss journey end up going? It took a little under a year for me to reach my goal weight of 192 pounds – well within the “healthy” range of BMI for a man my height – and I have since then kept my weight stable within 5 pounds of that value.