ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been a while since my last post. I have been really swamped since starting NetResults, and have had little time to focus on anything else. But I thought I should force myself to update my blog with something that I have been meaning to add for a while.
Some of you may already know that I have been working on losing weight the past couple of years. I have been going through this process for about the past 2 years (since I moved to Ashland), and have had my ups and downs. I thought sharing some of that experience on my blog may both help someone else who is looking for information about weight loss, and provide me with some accountability when I have to update the site with my weight.
I should start off saying that I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always overweight. I started off as a pretty skinny kid. But after breaking my leg at age 10 I was confined to a bed, then full body cast for months. After that I started to put on a little weight. That lasted about 4 years, but then I started college, and unlike most college freshmen, I thinned out. Even through my Ã¢â‚¬Å“chubbyÃ¢â‚¬ kid years I was never very overweight. There were certainly many kids in worse shape than I, but I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in good shape until my teens.
From 14 – 17 I stayed in shape mostly by just moving a lot. I had few occasions to exercise, but I seemed to have a good metabolism. And then at 17 I joined the Army. I obviously spent the next year working out wether I wanted to or not. After getting injured I was discharged, and in pretty good shape. It was the first time I felt an urge to exercise after sitting around the house all day. And it seemed like for the next year I got in even better shape. But something started to change at some point. After 20 I started slowing down a little. I had moved to the mid-west and was experiencing those cold winters when I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t leave the house much. Soon the combination of pizza delivery and no exercise started to catch up with me. My pant size, which had usually fluctuated between 32 and 34 had gone up to 36 – 38. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give it much thought, I just figured I should start working out soon. As a matter of fact, some people said I looked better with a little extra weight.
But as you may know, getting fat is a self accelerating event. Soon I started to notice I had less energy, and my eating habits continued to worsen. My shirt size started to increase from large to x-large, and pant sizes were now moving up to the 38 – 40 level. It didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t occur to me that I was nearing the topping off point of clothes sizes. By the time I reached 23, things had gotten to that point. I was now being forced to occasionally shop at a Big and Tall store. On the up side, I was the smallest size they offered!
I now had a son, and a lot more stress in my life. When money is tight, and you have had a stressful day, few things can cheaply satisfy you like a pizza. And so the trend continued.
This is starting to bore even me, so let me skip to the (fatty) meat of the subject. As 2 years ago I hit my highest weight yet at 415! I had gone from from 190 to 415 in a little over a decade. And for the first real time, I felt it. I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t walk up a couple flights of stairs without getting a little winded. I was now no longer on the low end of the Big and Tall selection. And I was feeling the impact in social areas as well. I made the decision that when I moved to Ashland, things would change.
So the move came, and I started eating a bit more healthy without really even trying. Weight slowly started to come off. But it was a couple months into Ashland when I decided to start working out more. My weight had already come down to 393, which was good for a couple months with just eating a little better. I then started an aggressive diet through Nutrisystem. If you have done Nutrisystem, you know what it tastes like (and for that you have my sympathy), but it does work. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easy, but not fun, to stick to. You just eat what they tell you. I did this without working out for the first month, and the results were pretty good. I lost about 25 pounds the first month.
The next month I started adding some treadmill time to my workout. I was really out of shape, so the most I could do was 20 minutes at 2.5 MPH and no incline. But by the end of the month I was doing 30 minutes and feeling much better. And of course I lost more weight, although not as much. I continued at that pace for another 60 days and started to feel better.
But I was starting to get sick of the Nutrisystem food. I decided that it was possibly time to take the training wheels off a bit. I wrote down the calories, fat content and other items from the box and went to the store. It was difficult to find frozen foods that matched exactly. I noticed most had a little more calories and fat. Although the differences were small, and it looked like mainly due to portion size. But one big thing I noticed was the decrease of sodium, which was sometimes as much as 1/3 what was in Nutrisystem. So I made the switch and increase my treadmill speed.
The weight loss continued and my clothes sizes started to shrink. My pant size dropped down from a top end of 54 to around 46. My shirt sizes didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t decrease as much. I went from 5X to 4X.
I was at about 350 when I decided to add weights to my work out. How it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to increase my weight loss, it definitely made my clothes fit a little better. I also started to eat more freshly prepared meals like salmon and grilled chicken.
Things were progressing nicely and last November I went to see some friends in Las Vegas. I was hoping to be under 300 when I went, but I was stuck at 315, and had been for a month. But it was still nice to see people I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen for nearly 100 pounds.
In December I suffered a minor set back. After playing with my Michael and his new Nintendo Wii, my shoulder was feeling a sharp pain. I stopped working out with weight for a while while I recovered, but the pain persisted. After a couple months of continued pain, I went to a doctor and then to physical therapy. My weight loss continued, but I felt a little less healthy without the weight work out. I finally broke the 300 barrier in March.
One major issue in my weight loss has always been traveling. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very hard to keep in an exercise routine while on the road, and of course the food choices I make are never as good. Traveling while fat has always been a bit stressful, and in accordance with no logic I can explain, that seems to mean I make bad decisions on food. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like a vacation time from my diet.
Since my girlfriend has been in school out of state the past couple of years, this also put some added pressure on that. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to explain to her I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to travel to see her because it sets me back months on my weight loss, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a reality. If I lose an average of 10 pounds per month, and then gain 10 on a 5 day trip to see her, thats a huge set back. I will go so far as to say that if I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t traveled in the past 2 years, I would be near my goal weight.
This of course is a pretty irresponsible excuse for letting my weight continue to effect my life, but a reality I have had to face. And that reality came to hit home a little harder during the spring.
As some know, I have decided to travel a bit more for fun. The first place I went was Costa Rica. By the time the trip came around in May, I had gotten my weight down to 297. Not exactly thin, but a total weight loss of 118 pounds. The hotel didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a gym, but I did a lot of walking. The food was a bit of a downfall, but I was on vacation, and I will not regret eating the best piece of coconut cream pie I have ever had, while sitting on a beach in Tamarindo.
When I returned, I was called to travel again for work, which would take me out of town for another week. I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t checked the scale yet, and was off. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work out, and I eat like crap on that trip. When I returned I was in the middle of moving to a new house. In the move, the treadmill wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t set up, so I went months without using it. Finally I brought myself to the scale after months of inactivity. I had gained over 20 pounds in about 90 days! Fortunately my pants size is still at 42, although they were lose in Costa Rica at that size. My shirt size is still at 3X, which was nearing the 2X point before my trip.
On the up side, my shoulder is finally feeling a better. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s now only occasionally sore, and is getting better everyday.
I have started hitting the treadmill again, and watching the calories. I have already gotten back down to 314. I plan on being back to where I was by the end of October.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to post weekly updates on my Asides here for anyone interested in keeping track. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m also going to start posting the things I notice make the difference. Hopefully this will help keep me true to the goal.
[tags]weight loss, dieting, nutrisystem, exercise, obesity[/tags]