I was overweight, but had no concept of how big I really was. I felt smaller than I was. I didn’t feel thin, mind you. I just didn’t think I was as fat as I was. I’ve read a bit about anorexics and bulimics and the distorted views they create of their bodies. No matter how thin they starve themselves, their mind deceives them into thinking they are fat. I had a similar thing happening but with weight gain. No matter how heavy I got, I didn’t see myself as large as I was getting. I didn’t feel that I was getting winded climbing stairs or mowing the lawn. I didn’t eat desserts often or snack between meals. I thought that qualified my eating habits as “healthy enough.” I guess it was Lara’s diabetic diagnosis that spurred me to lose weight. I know I decided to do it starting January 1st. It was cliché in retrospect.
It was time to lose weight. I had to come up with a strategy. I started researching in December. I looked at several different diets. I read Zone, Atkins, Weight Watchers, and other plans. None of them seemed like they would fit my lifestyle or tastes. I also researched the statistics of success at wieghtloss. I found that success was always linked to changes in diet and exercise. That added to my research. I watched a lot of YouTube videos of different reviews and demonstrations for 10 minute workouts, P90X, Insanity, Yoga, etc. Watching someone exercise is really boring. Don’t believe me? Here’s a challenge, go to your local gym with those big picture windows on the front of their building, set up your chair about 10 feet from the window, sit and watch people working out. How many times would you check your phone or watch for the time in the first 10 minutes? How long before the police showed up and asked what you were doing? Sadly, a lot of exercise videos have the forethought and video direction of a security camera at the gas station.
After hours of reading and watching I decided to simply calorie count and modify P90X. I looked at several calorie counter aps for my phone eventually settling on Myfitnesspal (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ ). I used the schedule that comes with the DVDs of P90X to plan workouts. Eventually I found an Excel file that tracked all the P90X workouts and results. It made things much much simpler. I followed everything religiously. I scheduled 3 meals and 3 snacks throughout the day. I put more calories into the early part of the day, and smaller calorie counts in the latter part of the day. We also started using Greenbean Delivery (http://www.greenbeandelivery.com/kentucky/ ), a business that delivers organic produce to your door. They had some good food, but we stopped that after a year because of travel and vacations messing with our schedule. I lost weight at a respectable pace. Then one day my brother started running, and ran the Blue Ridge Marathon ( I recommend running this at least once. If someone pays for me to run it this year, I'll run it with you. it would be my third time). I talked to him a month or so after, and he suggested we both run it the next year. I tried running around my block to see if it was possible. I didn’t make it 150 meters. It was time to truly commit to my weightloss.
Facebook is the most effective weight loss tools I have ever used. I did something simple and compelling, but incredibly risky for your ego. I posted that I was trying to lose weight, and I wanted everyone online and in daily life to hold me accountable. Then I typed in my weight for everyone to see. It was that first hill rollercoaster feeling when I hit "Post." I stared at the post for a minute, with an angel and devil on my shoulder encouraging me and discouraging me. Then I got a "like" and a wave of relief washed over me. I was flooded with encouragement. I have a huge group of wonderful friends who patted me on the back for every pound I lost. I posted my weight every day. It was good to see. It felt good to read. There was one delightful curmudgeon who messaged me with several concerns about my weightloss methods, exercise choices, and so on. He ended the message stating that for all these reasons, I would fail. I am convinced it was the single most brilliant statement by an old friend who knew me too well. He told me “You can’t,” knowing I would meet my goals just to spite him. I refocused my efforts. I got to where I could complete the P90X workout without modifications, then I could complete as many reps as they did. I was eating with a purpose of health. I shed pounds, stopped getting sick all the time, and slept better. I weighed 205 pounds by June 3rd, our wedding anniversary.
My planning, exercise, and diet were effective, and would be effective for anyone. But if you want real weightloss and healthy living, you need to have a genuine motivation. I have always had a rebellious streak, and my friend realized that I needed a boost. Ultimately your motivation for change must come from within yourself. If you use an artificial motivation like comparing yourself to another or a reward, you will falter or get temporary results. If you focus on results, you will not change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Some people will tell you, “You can’t” just say , “Watch me.”