Catching Up With My Weight Loss
This week I lost 1.8 pounds, putting me at a grand total of 101 pounds lost! That’s right, I lost 100 pounds! When I look back at all the walking and the working out I have conflicting thoughts about the whole process. On one hand I know that it’s been a long time since I have started my weight loss journey. Although I’ve been on and off of “diets” and “lifestyle changes” since I was in Junior High School (or maybe even younger) I’ve only occasionally found success. I found success in Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and in the Atkins diet. But eventually I gave up and succumbed to depression and bad habits which resulted in more weight gain. However, after 34 years, establishing a career, getting married, and having a child something clicked and I got serious about changing my life.
What was it that clicked? I really can’t say. If I had to guess I would say it was getting to a point in my life where I knew that if I didn’t change that my life would be prematurely short. And if it wasn’t then it would be such a poor quality of life that I would be fairly miserable. So when I started having problems wiping myself when I went to the bathroom and I woke up every morning to find that my feet hurt from the weight of my body I finally decided that something had to be done.
I did consider surgical options, and although I don’t begrudge anyone who takes that route, I wanted to make sure that I had no other options before going in that direction. I also felt that if I didn’t change my eating habits and my psychological outlook on eating then I would eventually end up stretching my stomach back out and back in the same place several years later. It also didn’t help that out of all the people that I know who have had weight loss surgery only one has ended up not gaining the weight back and/or having health problems. So, I decided to go with what I knew worked for my mother-in-law and I took another look at Herbalife.
Main Topic: How I Lost 100 Pounds
- When did I start losing weight?
I probably started walking with serious intent around mid-October of 2011. My goal was to start losing weight on my own to where I could evaluate whether or not I could do it and to give myself some time to consider whether or not I actually wanted to get weight loss surgery. We also purchased a Eatsmart Precision Plus Digital Bathroom Scale and I set my first goal to get down to 440 pounds, which is the top weight that this scale can read. So in reality I was probably over 450 pounds when I started on my journey, but I only started officially counting at 440 pounds because that was my first measurable weight.
The weight was pretty slow to come off at first because I didn’t take it too seriously. It wasn’t until my wife purchased a BodyBugg for me around mid-November that I started taking losing weight seriously. It was also around this time that I once against started to bounce the idea of starting a podcast and blog off of my family. They were pretty excited about the idea and really encouraged me to do it. So I brainstormed with my wife and mother-in-law. I believe it was my wife that came up with Shake it Off Cast and we registered the domain and started working on the project.
In January I started doing the podcast and the rest can be heard in past episodes. But to summarize the weight has come off in fairly gradual paces, except for one month where I had some pretty dramatic losses. However, there have been some steady decreases over the past months and I’ve been pretty happy with the results. The thing to remember is that everyone is different. And whether or not you lose .1 or 10 pounds in a week, what matters is that you’re heading in the right direction. One of the things that works for me when I get frustrated is to remember that even though the changes might seem gradual or slow, just think about how huge the change will be if you keep changing at this rate in a year or two. Thinking this way gets me pretty excited about the changes I’m making to my body.
- What do I eat?
I’ll be frank. I eat pretty much whatever I want, and that includes the Herbalife products. I’ve been trying to get more fruit and vegetables into my diet, but for the most part I don’t think I’ve made any drastic changes to my diet. However, I’ll break down a typical day:
Herbalife shake with milk
Low-fat cottage cheese
Possibly some yogurt or a snack bar
Low-fat cottage cheese
Herbalife shake with milk
This varies, but usually something that ranges between 200-300 calories. We try to pick something that has a decent amount of protein in it as well, but sometimes we “carb-out” as well.
My goals are to hit around 2200 calories per day with 175 grams of protein. I don’t always get to my protein goal, but I always try to make a decent effort. Thursdays are “cheat days” and that evening we usually go out to eat and get something that’s not very nutritious for ourselves. Saturday mornings are a little bit of a “cheat” as well since we go out to breakfast, but usually I get an omelette or something that is fairly high in protein. Whatever I get I usually plug into Myfitnesspal and in the end it all works out.
- How often do I work out?
If anything has changed drastically in my behavior since starting on my weight loss journey it’s been my exercise routine. While I originally started out just walking half an hour a day, 5 days-a-week, I now work out with weights 4 days-a-week and I try to do some type of cardio every day. My weight lifting sessions usually span about an hour and fifteen minutes as do my cardio sessions. During the week I walk during my lunch break for an average of four and a half miles and on the weekends I use an elliptical trainer for half an hour and a treadmill for forty-five minutes.
I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to start working out start out slowly and build up. Don’t feel pressured to do as much working out as I do or you will probably end up burning out or hurting yourself. Take your time and do what feels good to you.
- How do I feel?
I feel a lot better than I used to. My back doesn’t hurt if I stand up for a long period of time. I don’t feel the need to sit and rest all of the time. My feet don’t hurt anymore when I get out of bed. And overall I have more energy and that I’m more capable of being more active. Actually, scratch that; not only am I more capable of being active I want to be more active. I find myself wanting to exercise more and do more active things. That’s not to say that I still don’t like lounging on my bed or vegging on the couch, but I also like going on a bike ride too.
- Do I feel like I have missed out on anything?
I think the only time I’ve “missed out” on things would be when I’ve passed on food. There have been times when instead of getting ice cream I’ve gotten a diet coke. Or where I’ve passed on getting an omelette with sausage gravy for one that is plain or has chili on it instead. That’s not to say that I couldn’t fit these things into my diet if I wanted to; it’s just that I didn’t want to go into that much detail in figuring all of that information out. In retrospect I think that I should figure out how to fit some of these into my diet at times to avoid situations where I pass on something and then later try to “make it up to myself” by sneaking in extra “treats” later.
- How far do I have to go?
My next goal is to get under 300 pounds, which would be amazing since I can’t remember the last time I weighed under 300 pounds. After that I’m not sure. I try not to think too far ahead since it can get discouraging when I do. My final goal though is somewhere around 180-200 pounds.
What tips would I pass on to someone who is having a tough time?
Take things slow with exercise. Take things slow, but at a pace that is consistent. If you give up exercising don’t get down on yourself; just get back to it. There’s no shame in stopping or taking a break. I’ve had weeks where I couldn’t exercises due to injuries or I just didn’t want to, but eventually I picked it back up again. The key is to not give up on yourself. It just takes time.
Also, one thing that my wife reminded me of when I was getting burned out is that sometimes we need a change to make things more exciting again. For me it was getting a Fitbit to replace my BodyBugg. I was getting tired of using the BodyBugg and as I’ve discussed before, even though it got me started I ended up eventually outgrowing it. But just like you should change up your workout routines, it never hurts to try a new gadget, app, or accessory if it helps you keep motivated and makes things more fun.
- How am I going to celebrate?
I celebrated by getting myself a new iPad app for digital comics called Comic Zeal. I’ve recently started reading DC Comic’s “New 52″ series and I thought that this would be a good way to celebrate reaching 100 pounds. My wife has also stated that if I get a room in the basement cleaned out and cleaned up, that we can turn it into a podcasting studio. The real treat being that we can go and purchase a new desk for the space to get things started. The concept of this gets me pretty excited; I just have to finish cleaning up the room.
- What were the keys to my success?
The number one key to my success has been my family. When I’ve been demotivated they’ve really done a great job at pushing me. They’ve pushed me to get this podcast started, they’ve pushed me to eat better, they’ve pushed me to exercise and they’ve supported me every step of the way. Without them I don’t think I’d be as far along as I would be, or even if I’d still be going.
I’ve also had a good support group in my friends, my coworkers. and of course you guys. My co-workers have supplied a lot of support and cheering my way. I’ve had a lot of information thrown my way and I’ve even had people at work I don’t know that well high-five me and cheer me as I’m walking. Of course you all have written me as well, supplied me with stories of encouragement, and you have encouraged me to keep going. All this really has gone a long way to making me feel proud of myself.
Lastly I’d like to thank God for giving me the motivation to get off my butt and myself for keeping with it.
- The website is located at http://www.shakeitoffcast.com
- Send me a review in iTunes
- I’m on Twitter as @tdhowell
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- And on Facebook
Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content isn’t a substitute for any medical advice and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all related health care related questions and issues.