Diary of a loser …or how I lost 20 pounds in 8 weeks and a total of 30 pounds in 16 weeks to become one of the biggest losers I have ever been. (All puns intended.) I have dropped from a near all-time high of 174 pounds on Jan. 1, 2009 to around 144 pounds in May 2009. For those of us with a Napoleanic stature of 5’5-1/2” (he was actually taller) it’s called ‘making a difference’.
But can I keep it up (or down, actually)? As Billy Shakespeare said, “THAT is the question”. Following are some notes and communications I’ve made over the last months as events unfolded:
It’s all about weight. Mine has been on my mind since I returned last week. I don’t like being heavy. I don’t feel good physically (too much huff and puff) and I don’t like the way I look. (I’m not vying for America’s Top Model, but seriously folks.) I’ve lost up to 5 pounds since 1 January, though I’m back to only 4 lost today. I could gain the entire amount back in 2 good meals. Yesterday I skied, had one modest-sized bowl of soup for lunch, one bowl of popcorn with light olive oil, herb seasoning, and no salt, my usual many cups of coffee with sweetener and non-diary creamer, and gained a pound. The story of my life. Of course it’s not only the number of pounds, but the percentages. 5 pounds is about 3% of my January 1 high weight of 174.9. (Thank goodness I don’t weigh 175!!) During some periods in 2006 and 2007 I was actually 15% lighter, in the low 160’s (briefly even in the high 150’s) and it made a difference in my looks and clothes fitting. I have no idea what I was doing to get like that.
What works for me is eating less, and that is what has helped me shed 4-5 pounds in 5 days. I’m living proof that exercise alone will not make you lose weight, though I’m firmly convinced that exercise is an absolute necessity for health and well-being. So, in the last week I have shunned eating really good things. There is no way I will do that forever but I really must ‘just say no’ to the frequency with which I have so many savory things to eat. Eating is fun and I enjoy it very much, it’s unfortunate it is killing me. Of course one must eat enough to prevent light-headedness and to support one’s relative activity level.
I’ve lost up to a whopping 8 pounds since the 1st. As a result I’m down to a weight I haven’t seen since very early last April. One more pound and I will hit a weight I only hit on 3 days last year. The fun part will be keeping it off, as well as losing more. Not much of a difference in clothes yet, but it’s a start. I’m still mainly working on eating less. I’ve cut out nearly all salt and laid off popcorn for several days now. (52 grams of carbs per bag, not counting a cup+ of light olive oil. What was I thinking!?) TBC.
Weight update – 20 and counting
20 pounds lost, that is, in the 6 weeks and 3 days since 1 January 2009. It’s a personal best of that much lost in that little time. The fun part will be losing a bit more, and the REALLY fun part will be keeping it off. TLW (The Little Woman) and I got to thinking seriously about our weight after returning from our Christmas holiday travels. (She has lost 10 pounds, despite her constant travels and work-related restaurant eating.) Christmas, and any other time spent visiting family and friends, has always been an excuse for an orgy of eating (something I LOVE to do). The results have always been predictable, major weight gains and subsequently slow weight losses. I’ve realized MY weight problems are all about self. Let others handle their own situations, what am “I” going to do about me.
How have I done it so far? I’ve always gotten regular exercise, lots of gym time, and winter skiing, healthy but with little visible results. What has made the difference this time is getting exercise and:
1. Eating a lot less food (going a little hungry from time to time, something I’ve rarely ever done, and snacking on healthy things when I can’t stand it anymore)
2. Eating a lot better food (REALLY watching calories, carbs, fat, protein, et al. Not with computer accurate precision, but just being more aware of what has how much of what in it.)
One of my favorite hunger busters is dry whole almonds. (Bake them on a shallow pan for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees (stir and turn them halfway through) for an added toasty flavor. Just don’t eat bowlfuls of them.)
We’ve switched from non-fat vanilla yogurt (still has lots of sugars) to plain, fat-free (tart tasting) yogurt, to which we add Splenda to sweeten, and frozen blueberries with a smattering of cereal for substance.
A friend has suggested artificial crab meat for substance in salads or omelets. Works great! Speaking of salads, I eat a lot more of them, and I’m liking it. I add the crab meat or salmon or very lean burger or nothing but veggies, and I like it! What a novelty. And I eat a lot of fish, and, and, well, I just say NO to pizza, chips, cookies, etc.
Ah well, I’m a six-week flash and wonder. Time will tell. It’s all about self.
I spent the better part of 2 weeks in Kansas City, MO at the end of March and not surprisingly, despite the best of intentions and some reasonably healthy eating, I gained 4 pounds. (HORRORS!) Fortunately, when I returned to Denver I lost a pound a day for the first 4 days. (Phewww. Close one.) Of course, this brought me back to a 28 pound loss since the 1st of January. It’s not like a went obese or anything. I have since hit a 29 pound loss once, and I’ve been hanging at that 28 loss for a week. It would be “nice” to lose a few more pounds and have more of a cushion to fluctuate within, but still I’m in a weight range now that I don’t think I’ve seen in 30+ years.
Here we are, the future that is now. My greatest loss (well, gain, but a loss is a gain when it comes to weight, umm, you know what I mean) has been 32 pounds, which I’ve hit twice this month. I’ve hit a 31 pound loss 4 times this month and been at a 30 pound loss the other days. These little milestones are important to the obsessed dieter, as are the daily measured tenths of a pound from the digital bathroom scales. (I could NOT do this on my older weight-mechanism scales, fluctuating 3-5 pounds daily. Arrghhh.)
I’ve lost more weight in a shorter time than ever in my life. I weigh less than I did 30 years ago. ALL my clothes fit, or, they’re TOOO BIG (a badge of honor for the time being). It’s a good weight to be at (144), with plenty of “cushion” on which to fluctuate.
BUT CAN I KEEP THIS WEIGHT? “…ay, there’s the rub.” THAT will be the REAL test, as many have warned me and with which I totally agree. I have to keep eating healthy food (which I now enjoy more than ever before). I have to keep exercising (that has never been a problem, though I’m a lazy exerciser and without good diet it has been insufficient alone). I also think I’m gonna’ keep an eye on the EXCUSES my wily psyche comes up with to gain a pound here and munch on something REALLY yummy there.
We shall see, we shall see. The fun has just begun. Stay tuned, don’t touch that dial. To Be Continued.
(P.S. TLW has lost about 23 pounds. Not too shabby either.)
(Attached picture: Weight chart for 1st six months of the year 2003-2009.)