The halfway mark: I've lost 21 pounds, and I have 21 more to lose to get to 180, which is where I change things again. That landfall is scheduled for March 1st: at present I'm far enough under the blue line that it might happen as early as mid-February. At a pound a week, these things take some time: I've been four months under this regimen and I've got at least four to go.
I chose 180 because it tended to be the upper limit of the "healthy weight" ranges given by various tables. I'm really not sure where I want my weight to settle, and I don't want to fix my attention on some particular number -- say, the 160 that the same tables tend to mark as the healthy midpoint -- in case it turns out that, for instance, 170 is fairly easy to maintain but 160 is hellish hungry all the time. I just won't know till I get there. But I'm pretty sure I want to get at least to 180. I'm a mesomorph, I lay on muscle pretty easily, but I'm no bodybuilder. There's no reason I ought to be way off the norms.
So at 180 I enter the "maintenance" phase, in which I'm basically eating as I intend to eat for the rest of my life. Here's how it goes, in theory: whatever my daily dole at that point -- I cut out the last of my breakfast toast, last week, and I expect I'll need to cut out something more before I hit 180 -- I get to keep. I just go on as I was when I hit 180. But I'll get to add some 300 calories daily: my notion at the moment is that I will take that largely in bananas (which I find myself craving!) and undressed potatoes. But basically it will still be the Tom's-and-Burgerville diet.
Should I cross back above the 180 line, I'll ditch the new stuff and revert to the regimen that originally got me there, till I get a weekly average of 180 again. But what I expect is that I'll still be running a slight deficit, and my weight will drift down a bit and hit whatever level it likes. That number -- whatever it may be -- will be my genuine maintenance weight, the one to stay within a couple pounds of.
So, is it Burgerville for good? Well, I hope not. Gradually I'll substitute other calorie-equivalent meals for the Tillamook-cheeseburger-and-half-a-small-milkshake, taking extravagant care with my measuring. But the Burgerville dinner will be there as my fallback.
That's the plan, as it stands now. I have no reason to think that my appetite will ever function normally. I will never -- I've fully accepted this now -- I will never eat ad libitum again. Which is not such a dreadful thing. It's just food. There are liberties that are more important to me.