First Goal – Achieved. – What’s Next?

"Goal Achieved"

When I set out about four months ago to lose weight, I had an ambitious goal. There of course was a number that I wanted to hit, but really what I wanted was to feel better about myself both physically and mentally. I wanted to shed physical and emotional weight. Yesterday, I was one pound from that goal, as close as I’ve ever been. I’ve set this goal a number of times before, but never had the gumption to make it. I was a little worried that I’d stall for this last pound, and somehow never make it.

Today that has changed. When I “weighed in” today, I had exceeded that goal by almost an additional pound and a half. I started out 262lbs. and had set a goal of getting down to 220lbs. Today’s weight was 218.7. I weighed myself twice, as I didn’t believe it, the second weight was  .1 less. It’s official, I’ve hit my goal! I’m so happy with everything the way it’s gone. No crash fad diet, no feeling of dread about working out, I’m not restricted to certain foods, it just feels way better than other approaches I’ve adopted in the past. I’ve “technically” lost more than 50lbs, as at my worst I weighed 270lbs, but was 262 when I started back in Sept.

Now what? Well the first thing I can say, is that I’ll continue to blog, and hold myself accountable. Getting on the scale every morning is probably one of the biggest motivators, the fact that every time I weigh myself, the difference (plus OR minus) goes right to this blog on the left hand side! That is huge for me, I’m putting it all out there. One thing I know is that I don’t ever want to carry around that much weight – ever again.

I had been previously losing about 2 lbs. per week. I’m going to scale that back a bit, and lose 1 – 1.5 pounds per week. This slower approach of losing weight will allow me to up my calorie intake from 1600-1700 calories I had been eating to almost 1900 per day. My next weight goal is to get to 210 pounds. (Only 8.7 pounds to go!) After I hit 210, I’ll evaluate where I’m at, and may try to get to 200 pounds, I’m not sure yet, I’m still kind of taking this as it comes. I think I need another trip to Aruba, so I can go rent a wave runner, that’s kind of what started all of this.

Not to sound cheesy, but if you’ve been sitting back, wanting to make a change, yes, there’s will power and a regimen to follow, but I really think the harder part is what your brain is telling you to do. Conquer the “no way” or “can’t” attitude and know that if I can do this, there’s no reason you can’t too. It takes hard work and dedication, but as you commit yourself to the process, you start to see that the weight comes off faster than you think. There are even times in the process where you get so excited about waking up to weigh yourself that the whole thing snowballs, you’ll do more than you think you you’re capable of.

The way that I feel when I wake up, walk around, and live live lighter than I used to be is so much better than I could have realized. So many things are just easier now, I enjoy getting out to do things where I used to just stay behind. I’ve blogged about this in the past, but don’t mess around with it, just decide to do it and change. It’s not really as hard as you may think.

10 lbs. Left Until My First Goal

I’m about 10 lbs. from my first goal of 220. I’m at 228.8 right now, so I guess 9 lbs. really. I’ve had a good week, lost about 4.5 lbs., but I think I’ll probably put a few pounds back on this week, that’s typically how it goes for me. I’m trying to lose about 2-3 lbs. per week.

It’s been almost exactly 3 months since Aruba. I’m pretty happy with how it’s gone so far. Once I hit the 220 mark. I’m going to set another shorter term goal to get down to 210 lbs. That would be another 10 lbs, bringing my total loss to 50 lbs. At 210, I’m going to maintain that for a bit, and see if I think it’s even remotely possible to get to 200. I can’t imagine being any less than that, despite what the BMI charts say. I need new clothes. A lot of the stuff I have is just simply too big right now. Here’s some pictures, scroll to the bottom to see the ‘before’ picture!

John

10 lbs. to go! 228.8 lbs. Dec 5, 2012 – about 3 months since Aruba

10 lbs. to go! 230 lbs. Dec 5, 2012 - about 3 months since Aruba

10 lbs. to go! 228.8 lbs. Dec 5, 2012 – about 3 months since Aruba

Geocaching in Aruba

262 lbs.

No More Excuses

Face it. Life happens. There’s always going to be a reason that you can probably legitimately convince yourself that you don’t have time to work out, or to be bothered with losing weight. We do it every day, put things off, steer clear of people that we don’t want to talk to, avoid, dodge, and hope that things will just work out.

I’m sure we can all justify this, right?

The things that happen inside your head are so important to identify and fix as they occur. When you’re faced with a challenging situation, think positive, if you hear your brain telling you something else, change it. Sometimes during spin class, I get to a point where I think “This is too hard, I can’t do it.” Right about then the instructor blurts out something like “If you think this is too hard, stop it. Do it. Rise to the challenge.”

It’s amazing when you can identify the things your brain is telling you, without you even really knowing what’s going on! The big focus I have right now is not making excuses for why I can’t get to the gym, why I can’t work out, etc. etc. There’s always a way. I’m a busy guy, work more than full time, have two kids, a girlfriend, and friends. I have to balance this all while I try to meet my fitness and weight loss goals.

I think one of the things that I hear a lot from people is that they can’t afford the gym, but these same people spend money often frivolously. You can get good deals on gym memberships at Costco. Even just walking in off the street to most gyms, you can pay about $40 a month. Cut dinner out for two nights per month, problem solved. There’s even smaller independent gyms around where I live that cost as little as $15 a month.  I got very lucky, I had purchased a membership in Seattle for a small chain of gyms that was acquired by 24 Hour Fitness. I’m locked in to $10 a month for life. There’s been years where I never used it, but always paid, it’s worth it now.

Do little things that add up. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park in the furthest space at the store, go for walks instead of sitting and watching television. When you’re bored (not really hungry) drink water instead of eating. All of these little things add up over time and can make a big difference!

So don’t start Monday. Don’t start after the holidays. Don’t wait until there’s a certain number on the scale. Start now, hold yourself accountable, and know that whatever you want to do, you are capable of and able to do. No more excuses, now is the time for action.

What Happened? Why This Blog?

It’s one of those things that I’ve always known – I need to lose weight. I’ve tried before, and been semi-successful. About nine years ago I had lost about 30 pounds, and was looking great. I had worked my tail off, lost the weight, and people had noticed, it was exciting and rewarding. But then things happened, I convinced myself, that I didn’t need to keep up the regime I had started, that grabbing fast food here and there was fine, I had this under control. But what happens with me, is that I’m literally my own worst enemy.

When I experience a failure, or a short coming, I sometimes flip to the opposite extreme – I just abandon what was working because I’ve made mistakes.

Flash forward to about 2 months ago. I’m on my first vacation in several years. I’m out of the country, in a tropical setting, and it’s paradise. Sunny warm weather, cool tropical breezes, and a lot of fun things for tourists to do. I decided one day that it would be fun to rent a wave runner for a few hours. I went to the beach rental hut, negotiated a decent rate, and scheduled the time for later that day.

Geocaching in Aruba

Geocaching in Aruba

I was excited, it looks fun, I had ridden one maybe 15 years ago in the Gulf of Mexico, and it was a blast. I came back at the scheduled time, and I could tell something was wrong. The gal at the rental place was obviously having trouble telling me what the problem was, she eventually tried to explain that they were worried “a guy my size” could tip over their wave runner causing a ton of damage. She suggested for me to rent one of the two seater models that could accommodate two people instead of one. At this point I’m was pretty much speechless, I was numb, not mad at her or anything, but just shocked. I said, no worries, thanks, and went on my way.

This was the exact minute I decided to make a change. I know before in the past I had thought “oh I should lose weight”, or “I should work out because that’s what you’re supposed to do right?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a bigger size shirt to try and hide the fact that I need to lose weight, but I now realize the only person that I’ve been hiding it from is myself. My (and I’m sure many others) brain has done a very good job of justifying my physical state. No more. I’ve finally come around in my way of thinking of taking an aggressive (but healthy) approach to reaching my first weight goal. I’m better prepared to deal with the small failures, and do a better job of seeing the progress that I’ve made.

That’s the reason for this blog, a public declaration of what I’m intending to do, and something that will keep me accountable.

The Decision to Change is Only One That You Can Make.

Simply put, you’re the only person that can make the decision to make change in your life to do anything; lose weight, stop smoking, be a better parent, anything. Despite whatever people are telling you, no matter how bad they may want to help, criticize, or point out the obvious it all resides with you.

Now is the time for change.

Maybe you’re not there yet, maybe the things you want to change aren’t as bad as you think they are, maybe you’re afraid. These are all very normal, common, and real reasons to not want to change. This site is about change, it’s going to be the story of what it took for me to change. It’s also going to be what I use to keep me accountable for that change. I plan to share this journey with you over the coming months, I’ll tell you about my success, and I’ll be honest about my failures. This is a project for me right now, but I hope some people that choose to read my experiences will gain something useful from them.

I’m going to share my journey of the struggle, challenges, and triumphs of weight loss and living a more fit & healthy life. This isn’t a diet blog, although changing my diet and approach to how I treat food is certainly a huge part of it. I’m not going to tell you that if you just cut out carbohydrates, or completely avoid sugar, that you’re going to experience a miracle weight loss, because that’s just fantasy. My goal – what I profess – is an approach to losing weight and being fit that is beyond simple in theory it’s all numbers and dedication.

You’ll never lose weight in a long term healthy way, unless you do one simple thing. Create a caloric deficit. Eat less calories than you burn on a consistent daily, if not weekly basis. If you’re eating 3000 calories per day, but only burning 2200, you’re probably in the long run going to be consistently adding weight. Sure, we all know those people (that we’re quite jealous of) that seem to be able to eat anything without appearing to gain weight. They have the metabolism of a 12 year old apparently! I don’t think this is how most of us are constructed, I know that it doesn’t work that way with me.

I plan to focus on my regime. What I’m doing to accomplish my goals, the tools and technology I use (there’s a lot), and my progress as I strive to reach my first weight loss goal. I’ll also tell you the exact situation that sparked this all.

Thank you for your time. I hope some people will find this motivational or gain some ideas that help them in their daily lives.