Like the story of Charles Ray Fuller, sometimes plans just become better as they become simpler. For those who do not know, I have been trying to drop weight for the past couple years. This comes after over a decade of not really caring too much and gaining an obscene amount of weight.
I should say upfront that I have not been overweight my whole life. Up through about 21, I was under 200 pounds and about a 32” – 34” waist. I occasionally had a belly, depending on the season, but never significantly overweight. Something happened in my 20’s that led me to start gaining weight. Maybe it’s working more, going out less, having a kid…who knows? But I started to put on weight fast.
At my height of obesity I got to 415 pounds! That was when it really, really hit me that this was not a weight I could live with. Believe it or not, other than my weight, I’m in pretty good shape. That may sound impossible, but honestly I have much healthier friends that seem to spend a lot more time sick than I. I don’t smoke, I don’t really drink (maybe twice per year), and I don’t do any drugs. I seem to have a strong immune system, and I don’t spend much time in doctor offices.
But at 415 pounds, even with my strong health in other ways, I was starting to feel the affect. My first real attempt at losing weight was through Nutrisystem. I purchased the food and stuck to the diet. It worked very, very well. I lost over 30 pounds in the first month. The only problem was that it was tough to stick to. Not just in a “I want a pizza” stand point, but also in the fact that the food they sent tasted like crap, and I had to add things to the meal to stick to their plan. This required food preparation and shopping that I really had a difficult time getting done.
After a few months of this I decided to drift away from the plan and onto a little healthier alternatives. I stuck to the idea of the plan, but replaced the Nutrisystem food with frozen Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine type meals. This was a little easier because they were readily available at the grocery store and I had a bigger selection. And the food tasted much better. The calories were a bit higher, but there was a lot less sodium.
I started working out more and going out a little more just to take walks. The weight continued to come off at a quick pace. In less than a year, I lost over 100 pounds and felt much better.
Throughout this time I started to play with more fresh meals. I started having more fish like salmon, and embraced the idea that salad can be a meal in itself, not just a side dish to a meal. Things were going well.
But then I hit a little snag. In a freak Wii accident, I hurt my shoulder. For months I had sharp pains runs down my arm when I moved. This KO’d my workout routine for months. I went to doctors and physical therapists, all with no luck. Eventually the pain subsided on it’s own, but it was hard to get back in the swing of things.
Over this time I kept eating healthy, but I was slipping. I stopped eating fried foods (with the occasional once per month visit for fast food), I was eating red meat no more than once per week, and I cut down from drinking anything other than water and diet sodas (I know those are not god for me either). The problem I was having was portion control. I was eating healthy, but way to much of it. That combined with the lack of working out, which led me to become more inactive in general, led me to start gaining some of the weight back.
At my low from recent dieting, I got down to 292 pounds, I had went back up to 330. That’s a significant set back.
So last week I recommitted myself to the plan. I decided to go with the simple plan of using just having 3 meals per day that would be either the frozen Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice meals, or one of the few meals I know the exact calorie count, like a chicken breast sandwich, or Egg Beaters with turkey bacon. The goal is to keep calories on average to less than 1000 per day. I also committed to start working out again 3 times per week.
In the fist week I dropped down from 330 to 325, and I’m now around the 323 mark. My goal is to be back under 300 by mid-June, and be the lowest I have been in over 10 years by mid-July. It’s nice that these goals are not to far out.
I’ll try to post here weekly on my weight loss. Hopefully that will lead to some accountability on my side. Although I don’t see having a problem. I haven’t been too eager to go off the diet other than the occasional craving and urge to order out.