Sunday, March 28, 2010

The 3 Truths of Weight Loss Part 2:

The Second Truth Of Weight Loss : Do Not Deprive Yourself.

I like food.

Actually, that’s not true.

I love food.

It is that love for food that led to me to the brink of 300 lbs. It is that same love for food that would make my quest to lose 100 pounds impossible if I attempted to sustain myself on a restrictive diet. I couldn’t make it through a “pizza party” at work smelling the hot delicious pizza and only eating a bowl of roughage. I would probably eat my own arm off first.

If you have ever tried to diet you know how hard it can be to deal with the feelings of deprivation. Whether you are cutting carbs or counting calories you know how hard it can be to rely on willpower and simply deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy.

If we don’t restrict our diets and deprive ourselves how can we possibly lose weight? The answer will sound simple; make smarter choices.

The first thing that happens when you decide to remove certain foods from your plate is that you start to crave those foods. Think about the times when you have tried to reduce carbs, didn’t it seem like your stomach just longed for the hot buttery taste of a melt in your mouth yeast roll. Or doesn’t it seem like if you try to avoid red meat the steakhouse across the street from your office starts piping in the most amazing smells imaginable.

What usually results is the deprivations leads to cravings and those cravings grow more and more intense until finally you reach your breaking point. The problem is once you are at that breaking point you don’t just eat and enjoy one of the yeast rolls that seemed to call your name but instead you devour an entire basket. This binge only frustrates someone who is trying to be a “good dieter”, who just wants to improve his or her life and health. Far too often this leads to failed diets and frustrated people.

It is for this reason that my second truth of weight loss is simply not to deprive yourself but to make smarter choices.

Making smart choices doesn’t always mean choosing the salad and watching with drool dripping from your lips as your dinner companion enjoys the seafood platter, what it may mean instead is finding items on the menu or in your cabinet that are better choices that will still meet your craving.

For example on a recent trip to Texas Road House instead of choosing the beautiful 16 oz rib eye with the loaded baked potato I ordered an 8oz sirloin with rice pilaf and steamed vegetables. Now keep in mind I like everything on my plate so I enjoyed this meal very much and it left me surprisingly full and satisfied.

Another example of making a smarter choice is when I go to lunch at Wendy’s instead of getting the Baconator with a large fry and a large coke (1412 total calories) I get a chili with a Jr. Bacon cheese burger and water (500 total calories). The key is I still enjoy what I ate.

I can not and will not live on bean sprouts and sea weed. I will eat food I enjoy. The key is to eat food I enjoy in a smarter way.

This is not just for meals but for snacks as well. There is never a need to deprive yourself of snacks, The snacks just need to be smarter. Fruit is always a good snack and it is very portable and extremely tasty. Nuts and trail mix are also good healthy snacks that I really like.

There are times however when fruit and nuts just are not what I want when I am snacking there are times I really just have to have a Snickers bar. I try to fight the urge for a Snickers bar with an alternative like a fiber bar which is only 90 calories, but sometimes nothing satisfies the craving for a Snickers bar quite like, well a Snickers bar, and when that happens I eat a Snickers bar.

It is not a failure to give in to the occasional craving I believe it is actually better go ahead and eat a snack size Snickers now and try to make up for those calories somewhere else than it is to deprive myself now and eventually eat a whole bag of that nutty chocolate temptation

The following are a few tips from the USDA about making smarter choices. Each tip is a link to several more tips. For more information you can go here.

Make half your grains whole

Vary your veggies

Focus on fruit

Get your calcium rich foods

Go lean with protein

Find your balance between food and physical activity

These tips are all great but be sure you implement them with food you enjoy it is the only way you will be able to stick to your plan.

Making smart choices is an individual thing, I can’t tell you what foods you like and what foods you don’t like but if you make smarter choices with the foods you do like I believe you will have greater success. There is something smart on the menu that will taste good, you just have to find it.

The next 2 parts of this series will focus on the misperception of calories and some “tricks” and tips to making smarter choice

34 pounds gone 66 to go; only 2 days until weigh-in Wednesday

Thank to anyone who may be reading and hopefully enjoying. Remember the opinions expressed in this blog are mine and the plan I am following including “The 3 Truths of Weight Loss” is not approved by a doctor, a nutritionist, or a bureaucrat, only by me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The 3 Truths of Weight Loss Part 1:

The first truth of weight loss:

Goals & Accountability

One of the first steps I took when I started my weight loss journey was to make sure I was setting realistic goals and finding ways to hold myself accountable. I believe that one of the biggest pitfalls that someone faces when they first begin an effort to lose weight is that of unrealistic expectations.

We see the ads we hear the stories of losing 20 pounds in a week; or “90 days to a better body” and we set our sites on the “quick fix”. How many of us have a room full of old exercise equipment or a shelf full of diet books but yet we look in the mirror and the weight is still there. I believe that is because we set our expectations to high and when we don’t see the results we want to quick enough we give up. I didn’t get FAT overnight and I will not get skinny overnight.

We must set goals or we will never achieve them; but we must set goals that are attainable and that will not cause us to fail before we even get started.

I knew when I started I had a lot of weight to lose, but until this weekend I never mentioned 100 pounds to anyone. I did some research and found that most doctors recommend only losing about one to two pounds per week. 1 Pound per week is NOT a quick fix! 1 Pound a week is makes it seem like it will take forever to achieve your goals.

Take it from me; I started out with one pound a week as my goal in December,

I also set a “short term” goal of 25 pounds. At 1 pound per week I expected to have lost 25 pounds sometime between May and June.

However I am already at 30 Pounds lost and it is not quite April.

It is very rewarding each week to see bigger losses than expected, but as long as I have seen at least one pound each week I have been happy.

As important as it is to set goals it is equally important to hold yourself accountable.

I have found a few little ways to keep myself motivated and hold myself accountable.

1. The first thing I did was to tell someone who would hold me accountable. I didn’t share my goals with many people at first just my wife and my brother 2 people I knew would push me and support me. The support is so important

2.I have committed to weigh-in once per week no matter what I have eaten or how consistent I have been with my exercise I know I have to answer to the scale.

3. I have also done other things. For example I have a $25.00 gift card in my wallet that I told myself I could not spend on myself until I lost 25 pounds.

with the realistic goals and self accountability I am attempting to overcome the first big pitfall.

the next 3 segments will further discuss the pitfall of deprivation and complication as well as focus on the next 2 truths of weight loss. Then we will talk about some of the "tricks" I am using to achieve results.

70 lbs to go... only 2 days until weigh-in Wednesday

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weight Loss

It has been 6 months since I have posted on here and I have decided to rededicate my blog. There are 2 million people blogging about politics and honestly I am weary of politics right now. So I am going to spend the next few months keeping an online journal as I attempt to lose 100 pounds.

Some of the people who read this may have known me for a long time, others only a short time so I wanted to share a little history. I have not always been FAT ( I hope that word doesn't offend anyone, but it is the word that best describes what I had become) Growing up I was always a slender guy, athletic even. I was the 145lb starter on my varsity wrestling team in High School. I ran regularly and pretty much ate whatever I wanted, and never had a problem making weight before a tournament. As I got to college, I discovered beer & pizza delivery. I also quit making time for exercise. I began to slowly pack on some pounds. Four short years after High School I graduated from College weighing somewhere around 230lbs.

I thought at that time 230 was pretty large and I begin exercising and became very active and lost about 20 pounds, before I had another life changing event. I met my wife, we got married and "WE" became pregnant. I was a good husband I ate when she ate, and I shared her cravings. She craved Chili Cheese Burgers. I gained 40 pounds while Reagan was pregnant. Over the next 7 years I kept gaining weight, and never did anything about it.

I would hang on to clothes until I had no choice but to move up, sadly my wardrobe went from loose fitting XL to tight fitting XXL shirts. My dress shirts had gone up to a size 20. For anyone who doesn't wear dress shirts daily the average size is somewhere between 15-17. Worst of all I felt so lethargic all the time. When fat sneaks up on you slowly you don't always realize with one look in the mirror just how much fat you are.

On December 17, 2009 I made a decision. I decided I no longer wanted to be FAT. I got on the scale that day and the scale after screaming in pain informed me I weighed 299 lbs... yes you read that correctly I was one Chili cheese burger away from 3 bills. Yes, I weigh enough to play lineman in the NFL. Do you realize if I weighed myself twice in high school it wouldn't have been 299 pounds. I am 5ft 9, I don't carry 300 pounds very well. I knew then I had to make a change.

So, that's how I got FAT and how I realized I needed to make a change, the next question was HOW?

That's the key. Everyone has a plan and there are somewhere around 4,123,654,987,books on the market each with a different approach on what to eat and on how to exercise. A person could drive themselves crazy trying to figure out where to even begin. If you cope with stress by eating, avoid the stress of trying to figure out what diet to choose or what plan to follow.

I believe there are only 3 truths to losing weight:

1. Set realistic goals and keep yourself accountable.

2. Do not deprive yourself or you will not endure.

3. The only rule rule about eating is to burn more calories that you take in.

These are the only rules I follow. I weigh -in every Wednesday and to this point I have lost 31 pounds. I have a long way to go and I plan to use this blog and my new Facebook site to keep track of my progress. I will go into more details on how I am following my 3 rules and I will update everyone on my weight each Wednesday.

Thanks to everyone who is supporting me. I hope you will all be happy with much less of me around.