This week I weighed in at 287.0, down 3.5 pounds from last week and a total of 56.2 pounds. Last Sunday was the Super Bowl and I indulged in the snacks (to the tune of > 4,000 calories that day), so it is even more satisfying to achieve these results. My average caloric intake was 2,500 calories per day – slightly higher than the previous week. The breakdown was 36% carbohydrates, 18% protein, and 45% fat.
A Look Back
I’m coming up on 4 months on my journey and I have had a lot of people ask me what diet I’m doing. They ask how I’m being so successful. I’ve heard a lot of stories of past diets that didn’t stick, and I have some of those stories myself. I believe the reason diets don’t work for people (at least not long term) is that a diet is typically a big change for a short period of time. After the diet, people go back to what they were doing before. They go back to doing what got them in the position they were in before the diet and then they inevitably gain the weight back. What is different for me is that I am not doing a diet at all. Instead, I am changing my lifestyle. I am identifying unhealthy behaviors in my life and finding alternatives that are more healthy. In some cases, I am finding unhealthy behaviors and accepting them. For instance, I love pizza and I don’t want to give it up like I did soda. Instead, I look for healthier pizza options, limit the quantity I eat at one time, and augment a day where I have pizza with a more nutritious meal that day. For instance, if I have pizza for lunch then I will try harder to eat a lean meat and some vegetables for dinner that day. The reason that I think this will last long-term is that the changes I am making are all changes that I can stick with. Let’s look at some examples:
Giving up Soda
On my first day of this journey, I gave up soda and other sugary drinks like lemonade and sweet tea. This isn’t something that is necessary for everyone, but for me, it was an unhealthy addiction and I knew it. I have now gone 17 weeks without drinking a soda and I see no reason that I would need to go back.
Starting an Exercise Program
I have exercised in the past and I have a lot of experience with different types of exercise programs. My biggest problem with exercise was that I was not consistent. When I started this journey, I committed to doing some form of exercise twice a week. After three weeks, I wanted to do more (exercise is addictive) and I started a two-a-day challenge. What I did was not very important, but forcing myself to be consistent – to get moving in some way every day for five days – that was an important change. Over the last 17 weeks I have pushed myself to stay consistent and as I have gained endurance and strength I have been able to do more difficult programs and I now do some form of exercise 5-6 days a week. It is very satisfying to look back at things that were physically hard (or impossible) and see that I now can do them easily. I have a long way to go to get where I would like to be, but seeing progress helps to keep me focused. My advice is to start something (whatever you are able to do) and be consistent.
Doing a Cleanse
I wasn’t sure what to expect before I started my cleanse, but one month after I started my journey I did a 5-day cleanse where I only had a protein shake and some supplements and vitamins totaling around 600 calories each day for 5 days. Looking back, I believe this was the single most important thing I have done so far. The process of going through this helped me to completely change my unhealthy relationship with food. It helped me to understand portion sizes, it strengthened my willpower, it helped me understand the difference between hunger and desire, and it helped me understand the negative impact of sugar and processed foods in my diet.
I know that some people will tell you that you should put the scale away if you want to lose weight. For me, I like to know what is working and what is not. I don’t think that a typical scale gives you enough information, but I have been using a smart scale that measures a number of things. The best part is that all I have to remember to do is stand on it for about 30s every morning. I don’t even have to look. Later, when I am interested in looking at progress and trends, all the data is there for me. I use the iHealth Core wireless scale and I am very happy with the data I get, but there are lots of other options out there. What I think is important is to have a goal and track your progress toward that goal regularly.
I weighed in today at 287.0 pounds, down 3.5 pounds from last week. Here are all the additional details from my iHealth Core wireless scale:
|Category||Started At||Today||Total Change||Goal|
|Weight||343.2 lbs||287.0 lbs||-56.2 lbs||240 lbs
(NIH suggests 200)
|Lean Mass||216.2 lbs
|76%-82% of weight|
|Body Water||41.6%||46.0%||+4.4%||37%-63% of weight|
|Muscle Mass||201.0 lbs
|>35% of weight|
|DCI||3799 kcal||3272 kcal||-527 kcal||n/a|
|Bone Mass||10.3 lbs||9.4 lbs||-0.9 lbs||n/a|
Continue on to the see how I made it 120 Days Without Soda:
or head back to the first post: Starting My Health Journey