Fitness Quest is a weekly column in which the journey of losing 90 pounds is chronicled online in hopes of helping other people as well as providing a catalyst for motivation.
At first, the weight comes off easily, especially for guys. When you fall into the obesity column, losing a pound per day requires little effort. At the same time, the weight loss is not immediately noticeable. Ten pounds is, unfortunately, a small percentage of my overall weight.
While previously experimenting with Weight Watchers, I weighed a bit less. So, the impact had a quite visible effect. My stomach was smaller. My face looked trimmer. The extra chin disappeared.
This time around, the weights is coming off of my extremities first. My arms and legs are smaller. My face is a little trimmer but not drastically. My waistline is probably a little bit smaller but, at this point, pants and shirts are just a little bit looser.
It is a start and, to be honest, probably a better one than a quick drop in pant size. The glacial changes reinforce that this is not a quick fix. It will take time, effort, and dedication. I like that.
As mentioned in the introductory piece, I do not really drink beer or eat red meats regularly. I usually avoid the big fast food chains as well. The problem was that I typically skipped breakfast, which slowed down my metabolism and left me starving by noon. That lead to a daily uphill battle. While others ate small salads for lunch or would go the gym, I was craving french fries, soda or iced tea and a chicken cheesesteak. By the mid afternoon, I wanted some more caffeine in the form of a chocolate candy bar to keep me going through the rest of the day.
Dinner was no better. With a lack of food in the fridge or no time to cook, I resorted to delivery. Pizza, hoagies, wings, soda, fries and more were routinely consumed for dinner.
Some simple changes helped to fix that habit.
When I began chatting with Hal Greenblatt, who lost a ton of weight, the first thing he asked me was, “How many meals do you eat a day?”
I told him I ate three and a snack. He told me I was not eating enough. Changes were quickly made to put me in a position to succeed.
I currently eat five-to-six times per day. For breakfast, I have a high fiber cereal with non-fat or 2% milk. Around 10, I eat one of the two Nature Valley bars that come in a package and a banana. For lunch, I mix it up and either eat a salad, a Clif bar, a peanut butter on wheat sandwich, or a small portion of leftovers from the previous night. At two, I eat the other Nature Valley bar and an apple. Dinners vary daily with a focus on staying under the remaining allotted calories. I always drank a lot of water but now I have cut out all other drinks and upped my water intake.
At this point, I am still as sedentary as I was before but that will change when I hit my first big milestone.
These small changes have had a big impact, even if the physical weight loss is not as visible as it would be on a much smaller person. For starters, I am never starving. I do not even crave french fries or soda. A chicken cheesesteak still sounds delicious. If the calories allow it, I will still eat some pizza.
Previously, when I walked up flights of stairs, I made a conscious effort to be the last person in the group to do so, lagging at least a few steps behind. Even the smallest set of stairs left me panting heavily. That no longer happens. I breathe better. I sleep better. I feel better. I have more energy.
These impacts have a snowball effect. You want to keep feeling better. You realize how poorly a bad diet can make you feel. Just be careful if you have any setbacks. From my Weight Watchers days, I know how amazing that first unhealthy meal that you eat may taste. It is no different than quitting smoking. You can feel so good but the first time you cave in and have a cigarette, it can be all downhill from there.
Starting weight: 278 pounds
Current weight: 261.1 pounds