Apparently in an effort to make yourself healthier, it is possible to over do it to a certain point where you push yourself back into being uninsured.
Over the years, before I lost all my weight, I was told repeatedly I couldn’t get health insurance until I got in shape. Once I started working my behind off (literally), I was hoping I could finally get some insurance, but then I wasn’t in a position to afford it. I continued to work on getting in shape, and eventually my weight started to go back up due to building muscle mass.
I now bench press more than I ever have, I can do seated leg presses of more than I ever weighed, and while I still look heavy, and have gotten some weight back, I’m healthier than ever. I’m also now where I can afford health insurance again, so, surely, I can get it with no problem!
… not so much.
I applied for health insurance last week online, and this morning I received a letter saying I was rejected due to my height/weight ratio. I called the insurance company to explain it isn’t fat, and that I’ve worked hard to get where I am, and I’m told it didn’t matter if I had zero body fat, my height/weight ratio precludes me from being insured by them.
In Jan. 2007 I started this journey to lose weight, and while I have had my slip ups here and there, I am extremely proud of how far I’ve come. And now I’ve been told … it doesn’t matter. I’ve apparently gotten too healthy. I’ve apparently worked too hard at getting into shape, and unless I’m some skinny, weak rail, I won’t be insured. Instead I’ve found something that makes me mentally happy, and it gives me some time each day that’s just mine. For 30 to 60 minutes a day I get to shut out the world, and know that I’m betting myself … or so I thought. Somehow I’ve learned that in the eyes of insurance companies I was swinging myself back into bad territory without knowing it.
And now here I am. Do I give up something that has made me happier, in a better mood, healthier and I feel has just improved my life just so I can be insured? Do I let all of this work I’ve been trying for slip away?
To say I’m angry, annoyed, hurt and insulted would be an understatement. It was the first thing I saw in the mail this morning, and it tainted my entire day. Thanks, insurance company. Apparently doing right by myself was wrong in your eyes, and now I have to decide to give up something I now love so I can fit some stupid chart of yours that has no brain, and has no ability to discern muscle from fat. Let me see if I can fit in your little mold.
I have come to the conclusion that one could go broke trying to get into shape.
Long time readers of this blog know that I have gotten progressively more serious about trying to lose weight and get into shape, but with this has come a seemingly never ending stream of new expenses. Every time I turn around it seems like there is something else I need to spend money on, and I just have to wonder where it stops.
The most obvious one is I have lost ten inches off of my waist, so I have had to buy several new pairs of pants over the past year or so. Generally pants last me years, so that was something I wasn’t planning on. I have also gone down two shirt sizes, so I am slowly rebuilding my supply of polo shirts. During my recent trip to Philadelphia, the Diabolical Miss M insisted that we go clothes shopping because “nothing you have is fitting you!” So, there was yet another clothes expense (although I escaped with just two sweaters and a pair of jeans that she bought for me), and it almost makes me fearful to keep losing weight!
Not really, but you get the idea.
Then comes the exercise expenses. Due to my severe allergies, I can’t really go for long outside walks where I live out in the country, so a treadmill at the gym is necessary, which costs me $35 a month. (I looked into buying a treadmill, but decided this makes more sense since I also have access to all the weight machines)
However, I don’t always feel like going to the gym, so I have also spent a goodly chunk of change on barbells for home ranging from 15 lbs to 45 lbs.
Oh, having barbells just laying around gets tiresome, so I also had to buy a rack to put them on.
Oh, and when using barbells, or weight machines at the gym, you should really wear gloves because otherwise you tear up your hands, so I had to buy gloves.
Oh, you need to buy a lock for your locker at the gym also.
Oh, you also need workout clothes.
Getting the point?
Now, something the Diabolical Miss M has been trying to talk me into for ages is giving Pilates a go. She has probably been after me for a year or so to do this, and I finally relented. I bought a beginners DVD she suggested (Gaiam Pilates: Beginning Mat Workout, affiliate link) and thought, “Oh, that’s all I need to buy. I don’t really need the mat.”
Turns out the mat is essential for properly aligning your spine so you don’t risk injury. I did the workout a couple times without a mat, and finally bit the bullet and spent $69 on a mat (yes, there are cheaper ones out there, but I needed one that is longer than most due to my height). I’ll be using the mat for the first time tomorrow night, and I hope it was worth it, but yeesh, what am I going to have to buy next?
Although, I will say, Miss M was right, I have never felt my abs burn quite like they do after Pilates.
While I am thrilled to be be in what is probably the best shape of my life, and I’ve become a total gym addict, I just keep wondering when all of this money spending stops.
Feeling like you just can’t get on that treadmill one more time? Feeling like you want to give in and have fried chicken? You need to stay motivated.
You’ve started exercising, and you’ve changed what you eat, but do you have what it takes to make the long haul? Believe me, I know it isn’t. You are surrounded everywhere you go with food that is bad for you, advertising telling you how delicious things are, all of them trying to lure you in to buying & eating them. It is so easy to give in and “cheat”, but you simply can’t.
So here are some simple points to staying motivated as you try to lose weight that have worked for me. As always, this is what has worked for me, and everyone is different, so you need to experiment to find what works best for you.
First Step, “The Cheat Day”
Okay, I have mixed feelings on this.
A lot of diets suggest you give yourself a cheat day on your diet one day a week, but I found that to be like inviting trouble into your life. It becomes easy to say, “Oh well, I’ll make this my cheat day …” and then you do it again … and again … and again. I finally did away with a set cheat day and just try to gauge it, but I have made it more like once every couple weeks. Basically, if I have to think about when I last cheated, more than likely I’m okay.
I also think “cheat DAY” is a bad term because it implies you can cheat on your diet all day long. I have preferred to just call it “treat”, and I allow myself something like a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen (they’re available only once a year, I figure one a year definitely qualifies for a “treat”), but that is the only cheat I allow myself on “cheat day”, the rest of the day is just like any other day of my diet.
If you don’t allow yourself some sort of occasional reward, you do run the risk of just going nuts one day and eating everything in your sight. So, moral of the cheat day story, use your own discretion to figure out what works best for you, but you do need to factor this into your plans.
Second Step, “Entertain Yourself”
I know this may sound a tad odd, but it’s vital.
There is nothing more mind numbing than walking on a tread mill or doing free weights. Boredom will kill your motivation faster than just about anything else out there. However, if you use the time constructively, you won’t even notice you’re really exercising.
So, how do you entertain yourself? Well, when I do free weights at home I’ve set up a TV and DVD player in the room I do them in and have taken to catching up on all sorts of DVD sets that I’ve been meaning to watch forever. So far I’ve worked my way through all of Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, The Batman and am now working through The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. Yes, I am only watching cartoons for now, there is no denying I am a cartoon fan, but it is also for safety reasons.
Although, let me stress that whatever you do to entertain yourself, you must put safety first. If you are putting in DVDs of something that requires you to read subtitles, pay attention to big plot points and so on, you are running the risk of losing track of your repartitions, how much energy you put into the way you swing a weight, possibly over extending your muscles and so on. So it’s fine to watch TV while you work out, but make sure to keep it light and not overly involved.
As for in the gym, I have discovered the wonders of podcasts on my iPod. Again, I try to keep them somewhat light so I can concentrate on my working out, and you also run the risk of laughing out loud depending on the podcast you’re listening to. (hint: The Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier podcast, Smodcast, has made me trip on the treadmill more than once thanks to laughing) The way I look at it, as I am a podcaster myself, this is almost like doing work while I work out as it allows me to keep up with what other podcasts are up to.
The ultimate goal though is to give yourself at least a bit of a distraction while you work out so it doesn’t become repetitive and monotonous. Those two things can become two of the biggest dangers to throwing you out of the mood to exercise. I have actually gotten to where I look forward to “my podcast time” as I don’t have any other time during the week to listen to them. I can’t wait to get to the gym each week when the new episode of The Grizzly Bear Egg Cafe comes out, the working out is just a fun by product of me listening to podcasts.
(by the way, safety tip on iPods, make sure to put your earbud cord inside your shirt unless you like them being torn out of your ears by certain machines … not that I have ever done that …)
Third Step, “Make Sure You Have A Support Group”
Many times I thought, “Okay, I’ve gone far enough, why not just stop?” I will admit that I am a lazy person at heart. I would much rather sit and watch TV, read a book, play a video game … basically anything other than exert myself. That, however, is also how I got into this situation, and I know it.
This doesn’t mean I don’t still occasionally think about calling it a day and stopping. Don’t kid yourself, this is hard work! I am exercising for over an hour a day, six days a week, it’s a lot of work!
Whenever I get discouraged though, there are my parents constantly telling me how much better I look every time I turn around. Then I have my long time friend, F, who has taught me a lot about picking the proper foods when I eat out, and telling me that he can see the difference. By far, the biggest booster, and a one woman cheerleader squad for this journey of mine has been the Diabolical Miss M. I thanked her profusely in my post about having lost 100 lbs, so I won’t embarrass her again, but I credit her bottomless encouragement with a lot of what has kept me going.
Never underestimate the value of the people around you to keep you motivated. I’m not saying to make an annoyance out of yourself by asking them, the people who really care about you will let you know how you’re doing. And remember, I said this is a selfish act due to how much time you have to spend focusing on yourself, but at the end of the day you are also doing it for them so that you can remain in their lives longer.
Fourth Step, “Don’t Get Discouraged
I can’t believe how many times I came close to throwing in the towel because I would hit a plateau. It happens. There is nothing you can do to prevent it, and you just have to struggle through them.
When I returned from my Boston vacation I had a really weird weight drop of 10 lbs over a two week period, and then I sat at 285 for just over 2 months. I was infuriated, I was discouraged and I wondered why I was killing myself in the gym and with the free weights if I wasn’t going to make any progress. I really wanted to throw in the towel this time, but I noticed parts of my body tightening up, but no weight coming off. I worked harder and harder and finally the plateau broke and I’ve lost six more pounds now.
You can also keep reminding yourself of the benefits of your weight loss:
More energy – I can’t believe how much more energy I seem to have, and I love every minute of it.
You’ll feel better about yourself – I finally admit it, this has definitely boosted my self confidence. It isn’t that hasn’t given me an ego, but it has certainly made me feel better about myself in general.
Clothes fit you better – I have also been able to get back in my favorite jacket from high school (an army fatigue jacket), that really makes the whole thing worth it!
Honestly, the benefits are far too many to list. On the other hand I can not think of one drawback to weight loss, and how could there really be downsides to that? Always remember what you are doing you are doing for you and your health. Is it selfish? Yes, but this is a good selfish because it can also benefit your family as you will be around longer.
This entire series has been a lot longer in the word count department than I anticipated, but I hope everyone learned something from it. These three posts have been far more revealing about myself than I originally planned, but it was worth it all if it encourages even one of you to start trying to lose weight. If I can lose 121 lbs, you can lose 10, 20, 30 or whatever that number is you are looking to drop.
As you can see from these posts, I radically changed my life, all for the better, and most of you don’t need to make such a radical shift, but it can be done if needed.
In short, if you need to lose weight, I am living proof that it can be done, you just have to get angry with yourself first … that was oddly the easiest step for me …
One last disclaimer: I am not a physician, a nutritionist or a fitness professional. Before starting any diet or exercise program make sure to consult your doctor.
Okay, you’ve started exercising, but have you changed what you eat yet?
Yesterday I talked about getting started with exercising, which most weight loss programs suggest is your first step, and then you work on changing what you eat.
As I said yesterday, I am not a medical expert, I have done this mostly by the seat of my pants with some input from a couple of close friends, and eventually my doctor. If you do plan on embarking on any serious weight loss, you should always consult your physician first.
First Step, “Put Down The McDonalds!”
Look, I know it’s bad for you, you know it’s bad for you, just simply stop eating fast food. Even their “healthy alternatives” are about as healthy as drinking a cup of fat.
Need more convincing? Simply watch Super Size Me. Slanted? Probably. It doesn’t matter, it will still scare the living heck out of you. Once I watched it, I dropped all fast food from my life unless I’m travelling, and even then I try to be careful as possible in what I order (focus on turkey or grilled chicken items with as few condiments on it as possible).
If you go to a walk-in restaurant such as Ruby Tuesday or Chilis, they have healthier choices, but even then you have to be careful. I have lunch once a week at Ruby Tuesday and I order the Turkey Burger Wrap (tortilla instead of a bun, less carbs), but as a healthy “alternative” it still comes with french fries. I change the fries out for rice mixed with tomatoes and green peppers, but even that gets ruined with melted cheese on top of it, so I have them leave the cheese off. So they give you a “healthy” main item and then try to kill you with the sides, so watch that closely.
Second Step, “Watch What You Drink”
Sodas have to go. Period. There is nothing redeeming in in soda pops … nothing.
Iced tea is okay in moderation, but try to watch what you sweeten it with, and if you can skip sweetening it, do so.
I have taken my coffee black since I was about 17 or 18, so I didn’t have to consider cream and sweetner, but if you use either or both of those, consider low fat alternatives or cutting them completely. And those big ass drinks you order from Starbucks? Go read the facts on them, and then if you must go there, try to choose their “healthier” alternatives. Personally I get a venti sized Latte when I go, but since I have no Starbucks in my town, that is one every couple months, I consider it a treat to myself and factor it into my calorie take for the day.
Caffeine also makes you retain more water, so the more caffeine you cut from your life the better as it will lower your water weight. I’ve written about my cutting my caffeine before, and the eventual withdrawl it caused, but all is good now, and I have been able to maintain the level just 2 -3 cups of black coffee a day, and one cup of green tea. There are days I would love to have more coffee, but I keep myself in check.
And did I mention no sodas? Yes, it is worth mentioning twice.
Oh, and for the love of the deity of your choice, stay away from the “energy” drinks! The amount of sugar they contain could kill a small animal.
Third Step, “Read Everything”
There is a reason nutritional facts are printed on packaging. Use it … embrace it … let it become your friend.
Make sure you read how many “servings” are in a package, and remember that the facts printed are for “one serving”. So, if a nutritional fact chart says “200 calories” and you plan on eating the whole package, multiple that 200 times the number of servings the package says it contains. So 3.5 servings per container would be 700 calories total. Read carefully, they try to sneak stuff past you to make it sound healthier.
Fat calories are pretty much unavoidable, but anything under 50 percent of the total calories is pretty acceptable. However, just remember it is acceptable once or so a day, not 3 times a day.
Fourth Step, “Cut Your Servings”
As Americans we are constantly attacked with “All you can eat buffet!” ads, and fast food employees asking if you would like to “super size” your order … just say no. If you are walking up to a food service station that looks like a feed trough, this is probably not the place for a person attempting to lost weight.
All that being said, the first place you need to cut how much you eat is at home. This has been the biggest hurdle for me as I do live with family, and my mother is an outstanding cook … I hate her for that. Saying no to her food is like telling a classic artist, “I’m sorry, I don’t care to look at your latest sculpture.” I have to build my eating each day around what she is preparing, and then I simply have to try to control how much of it I eat. This is never an easy task, but it has to be done.
Fifth Step, “Eat More Often”
I know this sounds crazy, but if you want to lose weight, eat more often.
The theory is that if you eat around 100 calories every three hours you will keep your metabolism burning through out the day. The problem is that after you have a large meal, your body only continues to process that food for another 2 to 3 hours. By introducing another 100 calories you can basically reignite your digestive system, and it will continue to process that food. It will also help control your hunger when you get to a large meal.
Believe me, it isn’t always easy to consume another piece of food. It may sound like Heaven to get to eat all day long, but you do get really tired of it after a while. Just remember to change up what you eat and you should do fine.
While I have no scientific proof that this actually works, it sure seems to have helped me out with my weight loss.
Sixth Step, “Build A Diet That Works For You”
I can not stress enough how these plans may not work for everyone. You have to experiment and find what works best for you, start by reading up on other diet plans, mix-and-match if you need, but I honestly see no reason to ever pay for a diet plan. The Internet is an amazing resource, why should you pay some entity to tell you what to eat when you can research it for yourself? Take that money and spend it on a gym membership or exercise equipment for your home.
Again, as with any weight loss advice, consult your physician for advice before beginning. I am in no way an expert, or nutritionist, and you should remember everything that I suggest in these posts is what worked for me. These suggestions may not be correct for you.
If you’re thinking about trying to lose weight the first thing that comes to mind is changing your eating habits, and then exercising. Well, let me tell you, reverse that thinking.
A few months ago I wrote about having lost over 100 lbs now (121 lbs since I wrote that). I made brief mention of the fact I might write up a guide to how I did it, but wasn’t sure. Well after several people contacted me about the subject, I figured I should, but I also wanted to collect my thoughts on it before I just launched into it. I also figured firing this up just before we went into the holidays made the most sense.
Let me say right up front that I am not a medical expert, I have done this mostly by the seat of my pants with some input from a couple of close friends, and eventually my doctor. If you do plan on embarking on any serious exercise plan, you should always consult your physician first.
First Step, “Okay, I’m fed up”
The first step to me deciding that it was time to start losing weight was three-fold: I bought my first ever pair of pants with a 60-inch waist, I was having trouble walking around Walmart without my hip starting to hurt and I came to the realization I never saw heavy set older people.
The pants happened in Oct. 2006, and the walking around Walmart incident happened shortly before the end of that same year. The noticing that I never really saw heavy set older people was more of a general observation, but one that really hit the point home to me that I needed to do something about my weight.
Like any good sheep, I decided to get serious about weight loss on Jan. 1st. It wasn’t so much a New Years resolution as I have always just liked to be able to remember dates. So, come Jan. 1st, 2007 I just said, “This is it, you are now going to exercise every other day.”
The reason for every other day was that I had taken a weight training class some years ago in my aborted attempt to go to college. I learned a couple things in that class, #1 being that you should not exercise the same muscle groups more than once every 48 hours, and never go more than 72 hours. So, lets say you do legs one day, you do arms the next, and so on. Since I was starting from a cold start I decided once every other day doing the majority of everything was the right course.
I started off slowly with free weights at home, I think the heaviest weights I had at the time were 15 lbs. I worked very slowly at this, and only bought heavier weights when I felt I was ready. How do you know you’re ready? Well, that was lesson #2 from the class I took, “If you can’t do 7 reputitions, it’s too heavy. If you can do more than 12 reputitions, it’s too lite.” This is an excellent rule of thumb, and is the one I have stuck with to this day.
Things will be slow when you first start, but don’t get discouraged. I really felt like throwing in the towel multiple times, but as the amount of exercise you do increases, the more your weight loss will accelerate. When I started this weight loss attempt, I was 400 lbs. By July 2008 I was 360, so it took me nearly 18 months to lose those first 40 lbs, but in the 16 months since then I have lost another 81 lbs.
This was a combination of acceleration and adding more exercise this year.
Second Step, “Keep pushing yourself”
Those first months in 2007 were horrid. I hated the exercise, I wasn’t seeing any progress, and I came close to giving up many times. However, I knew that giving up would get me nowhere, and everything I read said to expect slow progress when you start. I grunted a lot, and just kept plugging along.
The big turning point to me was the first time I went, “Huh… I think I can tighten my belt by a notch…”, and I did. After that I was sold and kept plugging away at it as I finally had a visual marker that I was making progress. Once I had that moment, I found it immensely easier to keep pushing my limits just a bit more.
Third Step, “Push yourself even more!”
I went to my doctor in October 2008 for a flu shot, and we discussed my weight loss briefly. He said if I wanted to really lose weight, I needed to start walking. I grunted and shrugged it off as I had never been a fan of walking. I however made one large mistake … I mentioned this tidbit to the Diabolical Miss M, my sometime Scattercast guest.
Miss M has mentioned walking to me many times before, and now she had an ally. At the same time, F, another friend of mine, had been talking to me about getting a treadmill. So I was getting it from 3 angles to give in and walk. In Nov. 2008, Miss M guilted me in to giving a walk a try after a long instant messenger conversation. Well, I did it, and I walked 2 miles just out of pure stubborness … and wound up sick from it. It was probably the weather, but I was amazed I had done 2 miles when I thought I couldn’t do anything really.
I tried walking a few more times, and each time I ended up with some sort of health problem, so I started researching treadmills as I knew it was my allergies causing the problems, and had come to the conclusion I was going to need one that probably cost around $2500, something I wasn’t willing to do. In March 2009 I went to the doctor to discuss my weight loss stalling out at 325 lbs, and again walking came up. I finally agreed I would join a gym and try it on the treadmills there.
I researched buying a treadmill some more, and after talking to the local 24-hour gym, I figured out I could join the gym for over 7 years before I was losing money over buying a unit for my house. The other bonus would be access to all of the other equipment, so the pros of the gym really started to win out. On May 1st, 2009, I went to the gym for the first time.
So, what did I do with my rule about every other day? Well, I decided to go for it and upped my exercise to 6 days a week: 3 at the gym, 3 at home, 1 day off each week. The gym was all about defining muscles with a focus on my legs, and the days at home were all about building muscle with a focus on my arms and torso. It seems to be working so far, and it also seems to have really accelerated my weight loss quite a bit.
Fourth Step, “Do what you are comfortable with”
What I have done for myself may not follow the letter of the law, as it were, when it comes to weight lifting, but I again stress this is what has worked for me. Every person out there is different, and that’s a lot of the reason I don’t agree with cookie cutter diet systems and programs. You have to find what works for you, your health, your budget, your schedule and so on.
Probably the most important thing is set an initial goal in your mind of what you want to accomplish, and then start researching it for yourself.
The next entry in this series will be about changing what you eat, and the third will be about staying motivated. These will be published on Wednesday and Thursday of this week respectively, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure as not to miss them.
I finally feel that my weight loss has settled, and I can officially tell you all that I have lost over 105 pounds.
Ever since I took my first airplane flight in 1988, I have asked for exit rows due to my height. Being just under 6’4″, I need the extra leg room, and so I have always wanted to make sure I was in the row with as much room as possible. In 2001 I was flying to Los Angeles to catch a plane the next day for Tokyo, and I had procured my precious exit row seat, but then something happened on the flight that changed things for me.
I asked for a seat belt extension.
I honestly had not realized how much weight I gained, and I was informed if I needed an extension that I could not sit in the exit row for other passengers safety. I was moved to a normal seat and enjoyed the embarrassment of not only being moved, but realizing I had allowed my weight to spiral wildly out of control. The seat belt extension was set at its tightest setting, I barely needed it, but need it I did.
For the next couple of years I played at losing weight, but was just never serious enough. I also came to realize I had hit 400 lbs. Seeing as I am built like a football linebacker, I never thought I looked that weight, but I was. In 2004 I was on my way to Japan again, and I still needed a seat belt extension, but just barely.
In late 2006 I got serious about my weight loss, but it was a slow build, and I still wasn’t making a ton of progress. Through out 2007 I built up more and more momentum, and I added in lifting weights towards the end of the year. Also, when I began professionally blogging in July of 2007, I knew I would be sitting down more than ever. I decided if I was going to be sitting that much that I had to get serious about exercise to counteract the stagnation of all that sitting.
As 2008 dawned, I got super serious (partially due to endless cheerleading by my friend M, which was always said with love and never, ever in a hurtful way). When I learned I was going to Seattle in July of that year, I decided to try my hand at an emergency row again. I was down to 365, and I knew at worse they would just move me again.
I sat down in my exit seat, fished for the ends of the seat belt… and they connected. I’m man enough to admit I almost cried. I had done it, I was back in the seat I wanted, but if anything, this just energized me more to work even harder.
By March of 2009 I hit 325, but I was having a heck of a time breaking through to a lower weight. I went to the doctor and talked with him, and he ran blood tests on me which came back surprisingly good. (To the point he admitted he had checked my name twice to make sure it was my results) He suggested I take up walking, something M had been cheerleading endlessly, but I have problems with walking outside due to my allergies. He suggested I join a gym, and he told me to set a temporary goal of 300 lbs, but an ultimate goal of 250. I called him a couple names for setting the bar at 250, but I accepted it as a challenge.
My personal goal all along had been 300, and both my doctor and I laugh at the height/weight chart that says my optimum weight is 212. We laughed to the point that he informed me if I ever came in the office at 212, he would be sending me to the hospital to see what was wrong with me. So on May 1st of this year, I started going to the gym three times a week, and working out with free weights at home three times a week. When I learned I would for sure be going to Boston to visit M in August, I decided to set a personal goal of 295 before I met her. (105 lbs being an inside joke between her and I for reasons I won’t go in to)
A week before I left for Boston, I did it, I had hit 295.
I wanted to make sure it held before I said anything, but the new weight held. I was ecstatic… and then realized I had to buy some new clothes before I left. D’oh!
So, when I got to the airport in St. Louis, I once again asked for an exit row, and not only did the seat belt work for me, I could tighten it. (the picture above is from my return flight, I forgot to take one on the way there as I kept falling asleep) My waist has gone from 60″ to 48″, and by golly I can fit in any airplane seat I want now!
The first night I met up with M was an endless stream of compliments from her over my weight loss. And for the first time ever, I showed her a picture from my heaviest time period… even I could tell now how bad I had gotten when I look back at it now, and the compliments only increased after that. I figured I might come back from Boston with a few pounds added on from all the eating out and such, but instead I came back at 294. I blame the endless walking around the city with her for that.
Last night the scale read 291, but I never mark a new weight as official until I get the same reading three days in a row, there are just too many variables: water weight, what you eat, etc. So, for now, I am still considering 294 my new official weight, and that means I have lost 106 lbs and have 44 lbs to go to my doctor’s goal weight. I would imagine I have actually lost more than the 106 lbs in fat because I have more muscle mass than I have ever had in my life. I actually have veins starting to pop out all around my wrists, my calves have gotten extremely defined and my neck has increased by an inch.
While there are days where I curse the working out, and the foods I have to skip eating (I haven’t had ice cream in well over a year… and I love ice cream), the results are obvious, and I feel better than I think I ever have in my life. With each pound lost, it only motivates me more to keep on this path and get to that 250 lbs goal.
At the end of the day I do not blame any one but myself for the situation I got myself in to. No one forced me to super-size those meals, no one pried my mouth open and shoved double quarter pounders with cheese in there, one hundred percent of what happened with my weight is my fault, and one hundred percent of getting myself in to shape is my own responsibility. So as much as I may whine at times about it, it is myself I am whining at, and I have no delusions about that.
This hasn’t been a solo journey though, and I would like to take a moment to thank a few people who have helped along the way.
My parents – They have been extremely supportive, and while I know at times they have wished I would stop talking about this journey of mine, they have congratulated me as each new milestone has passed. Thank you.
F – F is a friend of mine I meet each week for lunch, and while I am sure he would rather keep his name off my blog, I have to thank him. After some changes in his life, and in what he eats, he has taught me much by example in how to make the correct food choices no matter where I am. So, thank you, F, you have taught me more than I think you realize.
M – You have already been mentioned through out this post, but your constant concern and caring has meant the world to me. No one has been a bigger cheerleader for me and this quest of mine, and for that you have my eternal gratitude. I know I say the compliments don’t sit well with me because I did this to myself, but they really have been a huge help, and don’t ever think otherwise. (Don’t worry, no one reads this blog any way, your reputation as an evil genius will not be tainted by this)
Some time this week, hopefully tomorrow, I will be writing up tips on what I’ve found works the best for me, and maybe it will inspire some of you. Each person is different, but as I have pieced together my own program as opposed to following some cookie-cutter diet plan, perhaps you can find one or two suggestions from me that will help in your own weight loss journey.