Saturday, January 10, 2009

Greg’s “Weight Toss” – This is my one year Fat-iversary

Last year I decided it was time to get serious about managing my weight. I’ve always fought my weight as has my father and his family. I looked to him and them as an example, and excuse. Last year I was tired of excuses. It was time I lead by example and took ownership of my weight. To truly own the problem, for if you don’t own it in your heart, it’s very hard to change it. Last year it was time I finally owned my weight.

On 1/9/2008 my official weight was 266 pounds, total cholesterol 223, LDL 187 and HDL 38 and my pants were 44’s. Yeah, ouch.

With professional advice and guidance, I made an wild and insane seeming at the time weight goal of 200 pounds. My initial daily calorie intake goal was 2200, which we’ve since adjusted downward to my current, self imposed, daily goal of 1,600’ish. On 1/10/2008 I started logging my calorie and fat intake and walking at least 30+ minutes a day, five days a week.

Yesterday at my “official” weigh-in I was 198, total cholesterol 152, LDL 93 and HDL 41 and I’m wearing 35’s. Oh cool is that!

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One way to think about weight management, is that it’s not weight “loss”. You don’t want to find this weight again, do you? Then it’s not a loss. You’re not losing anything. You are the weight tossing! Tossing it out with the garbage. Just as you don’t want to find that garbage back in your house, you don’t want to “find” that weight again either… Not a loss but a toss.

So how do you toss the weight? First, accept that you are going to make an ongoing life style change. That you don’t need to diet, as diets end, but instead to make a basic and long term change to your eating habits and life style.

Second, I suggest professional advice and guidance. My insurance covered my visits with a licenses dietitian (minus co-pay of course). Yours might too. In any case, GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. They are trained to help you, they can provide you tips and guidance you might never find if to try to go it alone. It’s not hard, nor painful and they are there to help you… (Thank you Tami, for all your help and advice! You rock! :)

Third, log what you eat, calories at the very least. You will be amazed at the calorie cost of food you are taking in. Yes, it can be hard to get started, but it’s vital that you do this. If you don’t know what you’re taking in, then it’s hard to know how much you need to burn. Just the very act of logging helps make you aware of what you’re eat. I have a log of everything I ate in the last year (in Excel, cause I’m a geek, with charts, daily summary, etc  ;) that without which I wouldn’t have been able to make the life style change I needed to make.

It’s like not having a gas gauge on your car. Imagine the gas tank could get bigger as needed and we didn’t have a gas gauge. We would fill it all the time and keep it full “just in case”? We’d probably also overfill it, not even realizing we were doing it, wouldn’t we? A food log can be your body’s gas gauge.

If you do nothing else, at least be aware of the calorie cost of your current diet. Don’t “cheat” and don’t skip entries. Just be honest with yourself and look at what you’re eating, in hard numbers. I’m telling you, you’ll be shocked at the cost of that dinner you had last night. Or the lunch, or that snack.

You don’t need an expensive program or some fad diet. You need to know what you’re taking in so you know how much to burn. And if you’re not burning much, say because you’re a programmer and sit on your butt most of the day, then you just need to take in less. Sounds simple, but it will take work. Just as important is a willingness to be honest with yourself and to realize that this is a life style change and that only YOU can do it.

Finally, there’s should be no guilt. If you want some ice cream, then have some. Want a cookie? Have one. Just log it and realize you might now have to do more to burn it off. Don’t punish yourself, don’t deny yourself and don’t starve yourself. Remember, “ongoing eating and life style change”. Drastic behavior is not sustainable.

 

Okay, enough for now.

BTW, my new goal is 180. I’d really like to comfortably wear 34’s, and Large T-Shirts (last year I was wearing XXL’s). How cool would it be to say, “I lost a foot… 44’s to 34’s…”   ;)

4 comments:

T said...

Awesome Greg! I'm proud of you as I am sure you are of yourself! Would you be willing to share your Excel sheets etc. that you used to keep track with others to use to help them keep track?

Tiffany

Greg said...

It's actually a very simple XLS. If I were to do it again, I think I would have starting using one of the many online food logging sites. My method is a little to manual and the online sites make it easier to look up calories, provide pretty charts, etc.

The key is to find a means that works for you, that you can keep with, be it on paper, post-it notes, XLS's or online. The act of logging is the key (IMHO at least :)

whoisjake said...

Greg:

You may or may not remember my name, Jake Good (Thoughts to Blog/whoisjake) used to run into each other in the blogosphere...

At any rate, just wanted to say that it rocks that you lost weight and became healthier! I think lots of people are moving that direction and are tired of not being healthy...

Congrats! and let's hope you keep it off!

Joe Crawford (artlung) said...

Belated muchos congratulations! Great job!