Om Nom Nom…No more.
Last week it finally clicked in my brain, I need to lose the fat on my bones. I know what needs to be done, but I needed a tool to help me accomplish my goals. Let me give a little background information first…
(TL:DR I have been fat for a while. Various things didn’t work; one thing did but I gave up. Now I have a tool and a plan to lose the weight. Will you help me along the way?)
For all of my adult life I have been obese. While I have ridden up and down the scale of obesity from a “borderline healthy, mild obesity” in my late teens to today’s “Oh my Lord, why don’t you have pre-diabetes, morbid obesity.” Some of this is due to college (a nice freshman 25), some due to emotional eating, some due to beer, and some due to my depression medication. Three of these things I can control. I have just chosen to focus on other things than my own health… Part of this stems from my clinical depression telling me “you’re already fat, this burrito won’t make a difference.”
Three years ago I was arguably the healthiest I have ever been since I wrestled in High School in 1998-9. I was running a great deal (doing a 10k run on the weekends) and when I went to a friend’s wedding, noticed that the suit I had been measured for five months prior was several inches too big for me. It felt good. Then…I stopped. Not only stopped running, I stopped caring about the food I ate and portion sizes. I preferred sitting on the couch to running through the woods. I would still run from time to time, even doing a 10K race in 2012…but that proved to be my last running event.
Now I am spitting distance to 300 pounds. All of my blood work tells me that I am a healthy man in a fat suit, but this doesn’t motivate me to lose the weight. What does motivate me are an increasing list of worrying things. I can feel more pain in my knees when I kneel down and get short of breath from tying my shoes. My back hurts from carrying things a short distance and stairs sometimes scare me. I am in my early 30s. Sure, the aches and pains of being an adult will be coming on gradually, but I don’t need to be struggling this early. Plus, I don’t see many happy fat people in their 70s…
In January I made the first step. Kristin, my wife, was pregnant with our son, Oliver. I knew I wanted to lose weight to be a healthy example to him and to live to see his 30s. I took advantage of the Weight Watchers New Years offer to join their monthly online service. The first month I lost like crazy as I felt my energy returning and excitement to get on the scale to see how much had melted, even a half pound…then the app started guilting me because of how much I was losing. Saying it was dangerous, even though my doctors said I was healthy and could sustain an aggressive regimen. The app would remind me daily to eat all of my points, even my banked activity points and the flex points… So I did. And the weight loss stopped. I stopped feeling motivated to get on the stationary bike or to walk if those points weren’t going toward melting the fat. I gave up.
It is really easy to ignore an app. Easy to trick myself into thinking that “I’ll log that later” and “I’m sure I’m within my point limit.” Easy, when I stopped getting on the scale for fear of what it would tell me.
At the very end of May, Oliver was born. He ushered in a season of busy life. One with little sleep and little sense of trying to eat healthy. Around that time, I did join Planet Fitness and started to work out a little each week (PF gets a lot of hate from people who want to use the gym to bulk up and call it the McDonalds of gyms…BUT for a guy who needs to get his heart rate up and lose some weight, 10 bucks a month is super affordable). I wasn’t taking control of my weight. I wasn’t owning it.
Last week was the last straw for me. The Weight Watchers app was dusty. I didn’t feel like I could be aggressively in control of my transformation. Therefore, I found a new tool. Another, not-so-perfect, tool to help me reach my goal. I purchased a fitbit flex and thus far it has been what I needed all along.
The fitbit costs less than 8 months of Weight Watchers online and will last me until I reach my goal. The strap is always on my wrist, reminding me of my commitment. The app tracks ALL movement through the day and helps me realize how much sleep I get and how restful it is. I feel more than motivated to reach DAILY exercise goals and to take that walk instead of playing a video game.
Why am I telling the world about this? Because I need your help. I will be posting updates on my journey here as I reach goals, run races, and change my food habits. I need the help of friends to encourage me to not drink that second beer and to not encourage me to take more of any dessert. I will be posting some before photos soon and progress pictures as I go.
My weight loss goals: my first goal is to be at 250 by 2015, that’s about 35 pounds away. My next goal is 225 by this time next year. My ultimate goal is to reach 190 by my 35th birthday in 2018.
My fitness goals: To run a 5K this fall (zombie run preferred). To run three 10Ks and five 5Ks in 2015. To run a half marathon in 2016. To run a full marathon in 2017.
My plan: Cut back on beer when I have it (usually I will have at LEAST two beers in a sitting). Limit sweets and fried things to once a week, eventually try to make it once a month. Drink a lot of water. Eat more fruits and veggies. Have a caloric deficit each day of at least 100 calories. Walk a few miles a day. Workout 6 days a week (starting with run/walking, moving to jogging, then to long runs), rest from cardio on wednesday. Work in some strength training from TRX twice a week.
So far, so good. I will keep it up if you will help along the way. My future updates probably won’t be this long and comics will be included.