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Archive for November, 2010

Is My Scale Broken?


That was my first thought yesterday when I stepped on and it registered 215.  What?!?!!  215!!  That’s awesome! (I thought) But the next thought was, ‘Gee, is this thing broken?!’  How awful would that be?  Just as I think I am really getting somewhere in my weight loss journey, my scale methodically, slowly over time, breaks – 2-5 lbs at a time!

Ok, so it’s probably not broken.  I guess I am actually losing this weight.  It’s almost unbelievable because I have carried it around for years.  I have lost a lot of weight (about 40 lbs) twice in my life – once when I was about 30, and then again when I was about 37.  I lost it then gained it back, lost it again, gained it back.  But this time, it’s been 10 years, and I didn’t gain 40 lbs back – I gained about 55 lbs.  Egads.

So I was older, and had 30% more weight to lose.  The ‘older’ part made it hard enough – but to lose more weight than I had ever previously?  I guess that’s why it has taken me this long.  I’ve always wanted to procrastinate – but I just keep putting it off 🙂

So here I am – down to 215!  I have lost the 40 lbs.  A ‘familiar’ 40 lbs.  So what’s all this fat still doing here?  Oh yeah – the last 15.  Which may turn into the last 20 if I decide to go down to 195.  I may.  I’m about 6’2″ tall so 195 wouldn’t be bad.  If I got some more muscle on….

But remarkably, I actually can now see some things I haven’t noticed previously:  my stomach looks flatter.  Yes!  I wore a pair of jeans that was (last year) one of the tightest pairs I owned (even the stretch jeans I bought were snug).  I was able to pull them right down, while they were buttoned and zipped up.  (Could be embarassing!)  And those stretch jeans – I can’t wear them at all now – they fall right off.  And my biggest client told me the other day, ‘well you’re just wasting away to nothing!’ – and he usually doesn’t say much about personal things…

Why am I boring you with all this minutia?  Well if you’re still reading then there’s something that is keeping you interested.  If that something is hope, then please let me give this to you:  YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

This is the only reason for writing this series of blog posts.  For you, hopeful reader.  You CAN do it!  Mine certainly isn’t one of those amazing stories of someone losing over 100 lbs.  I did not overcome a major illness, I did not have surgery, and most importantly, I am not on any special diet. What is pertinent is that I am just a regular guy who was overweight by about 30% of my body weight (probably a bit more than usual), but nothing extreme.  I am middle aged (47) and I am a web developer (not a world class fitness instructor), etc…

I lost this weight one simple way.  I just ate less.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.  I have not lived solely on salads and fruit.  I eat ice cream!  I eat hamburgers, pizza, even fettucini alfredo (one of my favorites!)  But, I don’t eat a LOT of those things.  Or anything, really.  It’s pretty easy now.  Leaving food over at the end of a meal.  Or even better – simply taking less, and finding that when I’m done with that smaller portion – that it’s enough.  I do not need to go back for seconds.

There’s something else here that is key:  I wait for my hunger to abate.  I do not eat until I am full.  I have found that when I do that, usually I have overeaten.  The body metaboilizes food slowly.  Much slower than you eat it.  So say it takes you 20 minutes to eat.  You may not feel full for another 5-10 minutes.  If you stop eating a little sooner than you become full (eating a sensible-sized portion) then your hunger will abate, your body will feel satisfied, and you will not really need (or want) to eat anymore.  That is basically how I lost this weight.  It’s easy, and it is all in the mind.

If you take this approach dutifully (out of duty to yourself) for one month – you will never stop.  And you WILL see results.  Try it.  Do it for a month and then get back to me and tell me how it worked for you.  But don’t do it selectively. Don’t use excuses like, ‘well we’re eating out’ or ‘ it’s a special occasion, so it’s ok, this once’…

NO!  It’s NOT ok.  If you allow yourself those excuses, it will not work.  It’s your mind working against you.  Your mind needs to work for you.  Tell yourself you can do it.  Tell yourself that you will stop eating now, you will surely feel full in a few minutes.  Let your body catch up to your mouth.  Please.    And the very best of luck to you.

-Mark

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