It was the first week of January 2012. I hadn’t stepped on a scale in over 4 months. I knew I had put on some pounds, thought I was around 235-240 at most. I step on the scale Sunday Morning and look down to see 255 pounds! To think that 3 years earlier on the day my wife and I were married I had weighed a normal 160 pounds. Depression started to sink in; I wanted to just let go and binge, eat without remorse and not worry about trying to get back into shape anymore. I had been working out for over a month and to see that number was very discouraging. What was I doing wrong?
Flash forward to April 29, 2012. I step on the scale determined; I had been working relentlessly for almost 5 months. I adjusted my eating habits dramatically; I was working out 6 mornings and 3 evenings a week. I look down at the scale and I am shocked once again. It reads 222.60 pounds. A difference of 32.4 pounds over four months. An overwhelming statement that losing weight without diet pills and starving is very possible. It just takes strong will and incredible work ethic. Yes I still have much to lose but my accomplishments are more than evident. So how did I do it? Counting Calories by watching what and how much I eat as well as exercising.
As you would expect the results were noticed by several people. When asked what I had been doing I replied “Counting Calories”. It surprises me how many responded with “oh I don’t believe in that”. Why not? The results were standing right before you. The fact of the matter is counting calories is a science based on facts. To lose one pound of fat one needs to burn 3500 more calories than he takes in. That is not a theory or magic pill, it is a fact. I knew I wanted to lose around 2 pounds a week if not more so that equated to creating a 1000 calorie deficit each day, which would lead to a 7000 calorie deficit for the week. How did I do it?
At first I wanted to lose 50 pounds in 2 months. It’s just not possible. If you have unrealistic expectations you are bound to fail and your weight gain will only increase. I had to realize the need to be patient and to set realistic goals. I needed to build a lifestyle that would promote weight loss and help me to maintain my weight once I lost all of it.
One of the challenges I had to overcome was being honest with myself as to what I was eating. As humans we sometimes tend to give ourselves a break when we shouldn’t. “Oh this doughnut won’t hurt, I’ll have another one.” Then we make excuses as to why the scale is going up and not down when the reason is right there in front of us. My hurdle was sweets and brownies. The day I saw 255 on the scale I grabbed a wrapper of a 7’11 chocolate brownie. These brownies packed on 420 calories each and I was eating almost two a night. Think about it, an extra 800 calories to what I ate on a regular basis. That’s half of the calories I take in on average of the course of my weight loss journey.
After discovering my fault I immediately cut off the late evening trips to 7-11 much to the chagrin of my wife. I was started to make major changes in my diet by eating less. One less burrito from taco bell, a smaller fry and drink at McDonalds with no refills. I was slowly losing weight. I then discovered a tool that has been pivotal in my weight loss success, the website of Calorie Count. This website is amazing. It allows you to keep a food diary and track your progress. It counts the calories you take in and calculates the calories you burn. Keeping track of what I was doing made my journey 10 times easier.
I also realized that to achieve the calorie deficit I desired I needed to exercise. I bought a total gym. I began working out 6-8 minutes six mornings a week and 25 minutes three nights a week. Even if you can’t afford a total gym there are many resources out there to help you discover exercises that you can do right out home without any accessories. Websites like livestrong.com give great tips and advice.
Set Small Goals
There was no need to overwhelm myself. I knew I eventually wanted to get down to 160 pounds once again but I had to take it one step at a time. I set the first goal of 220 pounds, a goal I am very close to reaching. When you set small goals you are able to reach for them, and when you achieve them you are more inclined to take that next step. My next goal is to get under 200 pounds.
Getting Past the Wall
On April 1 2012 I weighed 227.6 pounds. April 8 was the same and April 15 I weighed 228.2. It sucks hitting the wall but it happens to the best of us. Our body learns to adjust to our new lifestyle and it begins to become more efficient and you start to burn less calories. I had to respond with a change my self, though I was losing weight and feeling great I could not seem to get to those 8 cups of water a day that is recommended. I set the goal to drink 10 glasses of water a day and pursued it with all my might. Yes I was going to the restroom 10 times a day but I noticed I was less hungry and I had more energy. The pants were starting to loosen up more. I also increased my physical activity; I began playing basketball 2-3 times a week.
April 22nd came and I stepped on the scale. 227.8 wasn’t a huge step but at least I was headed back in the right direction. I continued working out, playing basketball and following my calorie count more strictly. One week later a large weight was lifted off my shoulders, literally. I stepped on the scale and again I was in disbelief to see the scale display 222.6 pounds. I had to step on the scale three more times just to make sure.
So that is where I stand today, ready to obtain my first milestone a push ever harder for that next goal. Why did I write this post? Simply to encourage anyone out there who has had that desire to get back in shape, maybe they just need that little push. With hard work and persistence anyone can achieve the results they yearn for. Trust me you would not only look better but you will feel much better and that is what counts. So don’t give up and I promise you I won’t. Let’s all build a healthier lifestyle together.
Just a Thought