When I was 344 pounds I was wearing 4XLT, bordering on 5XLT. For skinny people, that means XXXL Tall; an incredibly large shirt (or blanket).
Buying clothes is hard for overweight people, especially at the sizes I was wearing. You can forget about buying clothes at stores like Wal-Mart, Target, GAP, Old Navy, American Eagle, etc — they don’t carry anything above 3X, and even those are scarce at most chain stores.
Overweight people have to rely on specialty stores, like Lane Bryant (female only), or Casual Male (where I used to shop).
I decided to open a box I’ve had in my bedroom closet for the past few months; it contains clothes I’ve overgrown throughout the past year or so.
I decided to try on a shirt from the box on Saturday, then another on Sunday; both fit very loose on me.
They’re size 3XLTs.
I haven’t worn a 2X shirt since high school, but I know that’s the next stop. I can just see it now: six months down the road, hanging out with friends and family in the mall and shopping at the same stores…
Another motivation to lose this weight.
I haven’t had anything to drink other than water since January 15th, 2009.
That’s 39 days.
My body is now addicted to water, and every swig I take makes me want even more.
Weight loss. Water is beneficial for weight loss for a couple of reasons. The first is because of its usual replacement of other drinks that contain calories, like soda, juice, alcohol.
Secondly, water acts as an appetite suppressant; and a lot of the time when we think we’re hungry, our bodies are simply thirsty.
Cleanses. Our bodies use water to flush out toxins and waste products.
Boosts energy. If you’re dehydrated, your body will have absolutely no energy and you’ll feel tired and sluggish. Anytime you feel you’re thirsty, that’s your body telling you that you are already dehydrated.
Improves skin. Water improves your skin by moisturizing your body’s tissues, particularly in the areas around your mouth, eyes and nose.
Cushions joints. This can help prevent fractures or worse. Those that benefit specifically from this include the elderly, overweight people and/or those that are involved in intense physical activities.
I’ve been going to the gym six days a week since mid-January. I normally go between the 4-6 p.m. block, so naturally, I’ve become accustomed to seeing the same people on a daily basis.
I was in the gym tonight with a couple of other regulars — one a mother about 30, the other an older guy who is a state trooper.
Both of them came in after me and got on the treadmill, and as usual, I was securely fastened on my elliptical. I pick the same machine every time unless it’s occupied, which is rare.
I had been on the elliptical for about 30 minutes when the woman mentioned above switched from the treadmill to the elliptical. As soon as she stepped onto the elliptical, she asked:
“You’re crazy, how long have you been on that thing?”
“30 minutes, 15 minutes to go. 45 minutes every day, an hour on Wednesday,” I replied.
She was amazed. She was even more amazed though after she asked me what level I was on and I told her 12.
February 25 Weigh-In Results
Feb 25 weight: 320.2
Feb 18 weight: 324.0
Feb 11 weight: 328.2
Feb 04 weight: 333.0
Jan 28 weight: 338.2
Starting weight (Jan 21): 344.2
I’ve lost 3.8 pounds in the past week, 24 pounds total in five weeks!
I had an incredibly sloppy weekend (shrimp po’ boy, anyone?), so I’m very pleased with this week’s weigh-in. We’re almost into the teens which is amazing; even more amazing, 20 more pounds and I’ll be under 300 pounds.
By increasing intensity at the gym for the next several weeks, I reckon I’ll be walking into the post office on tax day at 300 pounds or less.
Easy to make at home and extremely delicious — pretty healthy, too.
The BLT has plenty of lettuce and tomatoes, in addition to two large strips of bacon (20 calories a strip). I put it all between two pieces of wheat bread, 45 calories apiece and compliment the sandwich with less than 18 kettle-baked BBQ potato chips (140 calories per 18 chips).
I put a little Lite Miracle Whip on a piece of the bread too: 30 calories.
For dessert: applesauce. It’s only 50 calories and it tastes really sweet (even with no added sugar). Such a great quick meal to prepare for lunch or dinner.
Like almost every 23-year old male, I grew up playing a lot of video games. I’ve owned nine different game consoles in the past two decades.
That’s not to mention the numerous computer games I’ve played extensively in the past eight years.The cost of playing so many games has been enormous.
Not only has the hobby drained thousands of dollars over the past decade from me and my parents, but I’m sure there might have been something better to do with those thousands of hours.
That being said, please know, though, that I don’t blame video games for making me overweight.
I know many people out there blame video games/movies/entertainment for the obesity epidemic in America. That’s just stupid.
I blame myself. And if you’re overweight, so should you.
Before Jan 15th, my wife and I ate out (not including workday lunches) about six times a week. That number included a Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch, and a couple more nights during the week.
That’s probably close to the average for a couple of our age.
Since starting my new lifestyle on the 15th of January, we’ve eaten out on average three times a week.
The decrease has nothing to do with our finances; it’s simply the fact that restaurants are terrible for those watching their weight.
Cooking at home gives me control of the ingredients and calories. I like that.
By comparing bank statements, I can take a look at our food expenses from Feb 2008 and Feb 2009. What I found surprised me more than I suspected:
Dining out in Feb 2008: $397.91
Eating at home in Feb 2008: $385.31
Dining out in Feb 2009: $242.23
Eating at home in Feb 2009: $229.22
That’s $783.22 in 2008 compared to $471.45 in 2009.
Not only are we saving $150+ a month by not eating out as much, but our grocery bill has almost been cut in half.
My iPhone was dead, so I couldn’t take a picture of this fantastic meal.
For dinner last night my wife and I went to Zaxby’s. I had the meal below, complete with sweet & spicy boneless wings, french fries and celery. I drank water though, of course.
The entire meal was 900 calories. The celery was two extra calories, so I decided to skip those. I am trying to limit my calorie-intake, after all.
Heading to confession, err, I mean the gym.
I’ve been extremely competitive for as long as I can remember.
In my childhood and teenage years, it was always related to sports. I played both basketball and soccer for several years.
I always begged my parents to show up really early for practice, and coaches always had me play throughout the whole game. I was always chosen as MVP after the season ended.
I was overweight during these years, but I was physically fit. I was good.
I’m getting physically fit again and I know I still have some moves — so why is my only form of competition playing spades with the in-laws?
As of this past week, it’s not. I had just gotten home from the gym and the kid next door, probably 16 or 17, asked me if I wanted to play a game of basketball.
He had a ball, but not a goal to play on (he plays at school). My wife and I have a goal in our driveway; I set it up when we first moved into the house a couple years back. It has sat unused for probably eight to nine months.
We shot around to warm up and something just went on fire inside me. It’s that feeling you get right before a big game, or when the game is on the line and it’s up to you to win it all.
This kid had been practicing at school for months, he was faster, and he had more stamina — I knew a battle was about to begin.
The game started and he took a quick lead — his only lead of the day. I ended up destroying him the first game of 21 we played to the tune of 21-9, while the second game I won 21-15.
Since last Monday, Richard (the boy) and I have played a game or two almost every day after I get home from the gym. I win most of the games, but he squeaks in a win every now and then.
I love the extra calories basketball burns. I love winning. I love beating Richard at “his” game. More importantly though, I love being a competitor.
If you were overweight growing up and weren’t homeschooled, then you are well aware of the names and jokes that were made at your expense.
Personally, it was really bad for me through elementary and middle school.
During high school, my weight was much less of a target for jokes, but when it was it was much more venomous. The sad thing was, I was the class clown in school; I was fairly popular and still the target of numerous jokes.
Other overweight kids weren’t so lucky — they got tormented daily. I could have probably stood up for them or at the very least changed the subject, but I didn’t. I thought about it several times, but I simply didn’t want to take the chance of the jokes backfiring on me.
Parents: Don’t let your kids go through school overweight.
If you don’t (tactfully) try to help your kids lose weight you’re setting them up for years of torment that no skinny person can ever understand.
Having said that though, being overweight in school made me tough. I was called so many vicious things and dealt with so much crap in school that it makes me extremely insensitive when I face aggression or adversity these days.
I haven’t been called a name (related to my weight) for years — until today. I was called “crazy” again today by the gal I talked with earlier at the gym.
She was with her friend behind me doing ab crunches and I saw her pointing at me through the mirror — as soon as she did that, I muted my music.
“See that kid? He does 45 minutes on the elliptical every day at level 12. He’s crazy, I don’t know how he does it!”
She’s wrong, though — I’m on a level 13 now, not 12. I moved up today and burned 811 calories in 45 minutes on the elliptical machine.
March 4 Weigh-In Results
I haven’t weighed under 300 pounds for years. It’s near, ladies and gentlemen.
Mar 04 weight: 312.0
Feb 25 weight: 320.2
Feb 18 weight: 324.0
Feb 11 weight: 328.2
Feb 04 weight: 333.0
Jan 28 weight: 338.2
Starting weight (Jan 21): 344.2
I’ve lost 8.2 pounds in the past week, 32.2 pounds total in six weeks!
I was shocked when I stepped on the scale this morning, I had to call my wife to double-check AND I had to take a picture. Is that really 312?
I had a feeling that the huge increase in intensity at the gym would help me shed an extra pound or two this week, but I had no idea it’d be eight POUNDS!
How I Lost 32 Pounds in 6 Weeks
As of this morning’s weigh-in, I’ve lost 32.2 pounds in the past six weeks.
“What’s the secret?”
I become a little perturbed when I hear this question. It devalues what I’ve done for the past six weeks.
I didn’t lose this weight by joining the carrot soup diet, taking some pill, or getting on some exercise machine for five minutes a day three days a week — I’ve worked hard.
I’ve made smart eating choices, worked out every single day (in and out of the gym), and fought the urges and cravings to quit it all.
That’s the truth, but it’s hard to respond to the “What’s the secret?” question with that diatribe. People need more details. They need specifics to follow — a list, if you will.
So, here you go. Here’s your list. This is how I’ve lost my weight.
No fad diets, no magic pills, no bull:
Burn more calories than you take in. I’m not on the low carb diet, carrot soup diet, or sugar busters — I don’t count points or tokens or whatever either. I lost weight by burning more calories than I’ve taken in every day,
it’s as simple as that. For every 3,500 calories you burn, you lose a pound. If you eat 2,000 calories today but burn 3,750 during your day, you’ll lose half a pound.
Drink water all day. I don’t want to hear it: “Waah, I need my coffee/soda/juice!” I went from drinking 75-150 ounces of soda a day on January 14 to now where I drink nothing but water all day long.
I drink at least 50 ounces of water every day and have it as a beverage for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in addition to carrying a water bottle around with me everywhere I go.
Moderate, not eliminate. You can’t tell yourself that you can’t have certain things — you’ll eventually break and binge. You can eat anything your heart desires and still lose weight, as long as it’s in moderation.
Things I moderate include mayo, butter, ranch, ketchup, cheese, candy and all fried foods — that’s about it.
Gradually make the switch. I cut out soda cold turkey, but some people can’t — it’s understandable if that’s not an option for you.
One thing where I didn’t make the switch overnight is milk. I’ve drunk whole milk since birth and when I started my new lifestyle I switched to 2%. Then 1%. Now, I’m drinking skim milk, and I don’t notice any difference.
Wheat is sweet and white ain’t right. That’s so corny, I’m sorry. Another thing I’ve had since birth: white bread. This is something else I’ve quit cold turkey — I made the switch from white to wheat.
Before my new lifestyle, my wife would have me try her wheat bread — I absolutely hated it. Now, wheat tastes wonderful and white bread tastes like candy, chalk full of sugar — disgusting.
Learn to love the gym. If you haven’t worked out for a while, the gym is going to be terrible for you at first. Your body will ache, you’ll be bored, you’ll want to be anywhere but there — tough. Stick with it.
Once your body gets used to moving around it and starts getting physically fit, you’ll forget all about those first two weeks when you would rather visit the in-law’s instead of going to the gym.
Make gym mandatory. With my past attempts to lose weight, I thought going to the gym was optional. Not this time. I make the gym every single day after work, and if something comes up, I go to the gym later that night.
You need to think of the gym as a basic necessity, like food, water, or shelter. You need the gym. It needs you. Be there everyday at least four days a week. I go six, but that’s up to you.
Use your newly found fitness. Once you have been going to the gym and your body starts being “useful” again, have fun. Since I’ve become a lot more physically fit and active, I’ve been doing all kinds of intensive projects around the house, playing basketball, running around more with the dogs, etc.
The more fun you have with your refined body, the more motivation you’ll have to continue working out. It’s no fun training your body all the time just to park it every night in front of the television. Go out and enjoy your body.
Keep increasing your workout intensity. I increase my workout intensity on the elliptical machine about once a week. As soon as my body gets comfortable with one setting, I dial it up a notch. You have to keep increasing the intensity of your workouts or you’ll keep burning less and less calories every workout.
Avoid mirrors. My diet tells me I’m healthy. My workout tells me I’m healthy. My habits tell me I’m healthy. So why does that stupid mirror in my bathroom every morning tell me I’m fat?
I’ve been on my new lifestyle for over six weeks and have lost 30+ pounds, but in reality, I’m still 300+ pounds. There is a huge lag in my perception and reality.
Don’t get caught up in your appearance until the end. I know I’m losing weight and I know I’m healthy — it just takes a little time for our bodies to catch up.
Tell people about your weight loss. Everyone I know is holding me accountable for my weight.
You may think telling people you’re trying to lose weight is scary — it is, I won’t lie. But that’s where the value is — you’re scared to death of being embarrassed. Once people know all the intimate details of your struggle to lose weight you have no choice but to succeed.
That’s what this whole charade here is all about, my friends.
Goodbye Big & Tall
I went and bought new pants tonight for a meeting tomorrow. Size 44! I bought them in the regular men’s section, not the big and tall section that they always herd us cattle off to.
I haven’t had a 40 inch waist since high school, but that day is coming again.