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Date: 17 June 2018. A Day of Reckoning (the diet)


It all started out with a realization that I'd gotten fat. Not just a bit rounded, but genuinely obese. It said so on the BMI Chart. I weighed 50% more than I had when I was 25 years old, post children. I knew I was wearing a size Large, but... well, I'm different. Special. And really the weight did not look "that" bad. The fault was hammered home by a Walker Bay dinghy. Here is what happened, and how I have dropped 30-35 pounds over the past year, almost painlessly.

The awareness that there was a weight issue is as a direct result of a Walker Bay dinghy. This one:

The dinghy looks innocent, doesn't it? Well it is not. This thing is a harbinger of doom. Here is why:

The label on the dinghy clearly states a maximum weight limit. Together my neighbor and I exceeded that limit. After all his talk about "I will ride you to shore so you do not have to use your trolling motor" we looked. I read the label and it said "NOPE!"

That safety label confirmed what I already knew. I was fat. It wasn't just me. Skipper was tipping the scales at six pounds. She should weigh 4 pounds. I was above 150, and at 25 had weighed 103. Ouch.

I am not tall so weight just sits in the middle of me.

I remember having a waist and I wanted to rediscover mine. It had to be there somewhere!

No amount of wiggle room would allow a man and his dog, plus Skipper and I in that dinghy together.

That is when I commenced a series of diets. I failed at each one. Food is delicious...

When it comes to restricting types of food or even quantities eaten I balked. You only live once, I deserve this treat, it is just a little bit, why not? Believe me, if there was an excuse I made it. To top that off, I am a midnight grazer. While working (writing) late at night I would take a multitude of trips to the reefer. And I always found something to tempt my palate.

I would toast marshmallows over an Aladdin lamp late at night. Yummy!

Finally the trip to Disney with my daughter and her family occurred in February of last year. It was wonderful. Totally 100% fabulous, and I ate. I let no treat pass me by. We went to a "drive-in" where I even had a totally scrumptious chocolate milkshake. Gosh that was good.


When I returned from Disney the scale had nudged past 150. I was 154 pounds. Now at nine months pregnant with Son I was 133 pounds so this was a truly horrifying moment in time for me. I weighed more than when I had a complete person inside me. Something had to change.


Six Health Factors


About this time a neighbor was having some health issues. His physician said six factors contribute to a healthy long life. The first two we can do nothing about. The final four we control.

I needed to eat properly and exercise too. I do not smoke and alcohol is not my thing either.

The factors are:

#1) Genetics
#2) Age

#3) Exercise
#4) Diet
#5) Alcohol
#6) Smoking

I decided to stop eating at dark. That was at 7:30 p.m. in February. I consumed nothing after sunset except tea or coffee. The first night I kept getting up and heading to the refrigerator. I realized I was NOT HUNGRY. This was a habit, and a bad one.

That discovery was an epiphany of sorts. I could change
my routine. By eating less I would naturally lose weight.


In the meantime Kidlet had also enrolled upon a health regime. Her personal trainer suggested not eating for three hours prior to bedtime. Online research pointed toward something called Intermittent Fasting too.

For every diet plan there are dozens of others all claiming
outstanding results. I opted to restrict food after dark.


The diet meant that once the sun set I ate nothing until the following day.

Photo ↑ taken by S/V OreMae of sunset in Key West harbor.

Dusk in February occurred at 7:30 so I stopped eating then. As summer approached I did not change my cut-off time. If you would like to try this diet plan you might pick now as the solstice nears. It is easiest to start when it's daylight until nearly nine at night. As the sun sets earlier, stop eating at dusk each day.

The major problem I had was zero self-restraint. My own habit of snacking all night was not conducive to losing weight. Eating even healthy items in excess made me get fatter and fatter. It was quantity as well as quality.

Repeatedly I went to the refrigerator the first few nights of my diet. I mean every ten minutes I was up looking for something to eat. I would head for the reefer out of habit. I was not even hungry.

I simply wanted to eat. That realization
 was the dawning of a new era for me.

Carrying 50% more weight than I should was not in line with a long life afloat. So I changed.

The days of eating without conscience or concentration ended.

My meals took on a more ceremonious status. When I ate I did not do anything else except enjoy the experience. I really tasted the food. Flavors became more important. I would not eat just to eat. I dined, and enjoyed the process far more than when eating by rote.

Zucchini, turkey sausage and scallions served in an antique dish found at a Reel Memories in Apalachicola.

I mentioned that wonderful shop in the Music aboard Seaweed (Alzheimer's too) article. Pam's the owner of Reel Memories and she's a gem.

At home, I did not eat until I was hungry. Often the initial cup or two of hot tea would carry me until afternoon. Then I would have a Full Meal. As I started to see progress I paid more attention to what I was eating. The quantities decreased. Perhaps my stomach was shrinking.

Whatever it was, I ate less and less. Also I did not much care if I finished the food I had prepared. I started to listen to my body once again. When I was full I tried to stop. I confess this is one place I still could use some improvement.

So, that's how I have done it. For me the key was to eat anything I wanted. I did reduce the quantity however nothing was forbidden. The only Rule was to not eat after 7:30 p.m. This timing thing allowed success to find me. I am bouncing between 119 and 122 at present. Still not where I want to be, but after a year I can say for me this program of intermittent fasting has worked.

I anticipate many healthy years aboard my Seaweed. Skipper's lost weight too. She is at 5 pounds.

Skipper and I both need to lose more. My goal is 111. Skipper is heading back to four pounds.

Wish us luck, and thanks for reading.

Is there one particular diet plan you've used that worked?
And, what's your favorite food treat? I like everything, which is the cause of my weight issues!


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