Sunday, August 14, 2011

One Year

It has been one year since I started my weight loss journey. There have been ups and downs, as is the case with most journeys. Overall, it has been a wild and successful ride.

One year ago, I was an under active overweight man walking (on those occasions when I did walk) with a very intricately carved African Chiefton's cane. I was out of work with not a lot of work prospects, due partially to my size. There was so much I was trained to do that I could not do because of my failing health.

I was eating myself to an early grave, and at 52, early meant a lot more than it did at 32.

On August 8, I came home after a hospital visit and told TJ, I was changing my eating habits. August 9th began my journey. The week that followed saw me joining SparkPeople and beginning to track my eating. It was a week later I began my exercise program that consisted mainly of walking.

Since then, the changes have been too numerous to tell them all. Some are easily measurable, while others are not so easy to measure.

Changes

The easiest change to measure was what was reflected on the scale. When I started, I tipped the scales at 350 pounds. This morning, in the one year anniversary week, I set them spinning all the way up to 208 pounds. My impossible goal, set one year ago was to lose 130 pounds in a year. I really did not expect to achieve it, but knew I had to set a goal, or I would never move from my starting point, most likely. I, actually, reached my goal around the ten month mark. I had added some calories to my diet now to slow down and maintain. Even with those increases, I have lost an additional 12 pounds in 2 months.

Calories

Did someone mention calories? We didn't track my calories before I began, but in reviewing my old eating habits, my wife estimates that I was consuming around 3500 calories a day, and with no exercise (I could be nice and say, "little or no exercise" but it was definitely no exercise) I was just adding and adding to my size.

What I am telling you at this point is that my results are not typical and what I did might not be healthy for everyone. You have to listen to your body closely. You have to pay attention to the healthy and unhealthy points in it. You are the custodian of your own health. No-one knows your body like you do. You have to be alert to changes in muscle and muscle tone. You have to notice changes in hair. sickness, bowel movements, energy levels, and others body activities to know what you need to increase or decrease (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins.)

I went from that estimated 3500 calories a day to 1100 calories a day. (I did consult my doctor, eventually.) I had many people telling me that my calories were too low. My doctor told me what to look for if I needed to make changes. In the first nine months, I averaged about 1100 calories a day. In the last month, I am averaging closer to 1300 calories a day.

Sizes

When I began I was wearing pants with a waist size of 58 and/or 60 inches. Today, I wear pants with a waist size of 38 inches and they are a bit lose on me. I do have a pair of dress slacks that are a 37 inch waist that fit well. So, there is a measurable and noticeable difference of 23 inches in my waist. My hips have reduced about the same as well. My shirts, pre-journey beginning were 4X's. Today, they are size large. My suit jackets have dropped from 56's to 44's also. Yes, noticeable and measurable differences indeed.

Walking

I did mention walking, didn't I? One week into the journey, I began my walking regimen. (I didn't know it was a regimen at the time. I thought it was just a walk.) It has been my primary exercise. I do have a soloflex, but tennis elbow has prevented me from using it. So, I walked one third of a mile the first night and it tried to kill me. I did it without the aid of my cane. I came home 20 minutes later drenched in sweat. However, the next day, I did it again ... three times. Then I increased it steadily. From then to now, I have logged over 800 miles of walking. I live in a small town. Everyone sees me walking. More than a few people have let me or TJ know that my journey has inspired them.

I have been working again for 7 months now. I am working again as a construction electrician. The job has physical demands that I could not have done before I started.

Secret

The secret is simple, there is no secret. Eat less, burn more. It is just that simple.

If you haven't made up your mind to lose weight, it doesn't matter what program or what new fad diet you try, it will not work. Once you have made up r mind to do almost any of them will work.

Energy levels

Yes, my new energy levels are through the roof, comparatively speaking. I do more, more often than since my wife has known me (almost 10 years.) it is definitely noticeable, although I am not sure how measurable it is.

“I bet you feel better, huh?”

I hear this all the time. I almost say, “duh” when someone asks. However, politeness reigns. Of course I feel better. Who wouldn’t feel better?

Anyway, I go on.

Happy one year anniversary to better health. What started then as a weight loss effort has become so much more. It has turned into the ‘newer healthier me’ journey.

I have lost over 40% of my starting body weight.

Happy anniversary to all those that started the same week I did. I hope your successes are as great or greater than mine.

1 comment:

TammyJ said...

There are so many things I could say but I will keep it simple.. I am beyond proud of you. When there is a word created to express this feeling I will be sure to use it but for now all I have at my disposal are the words, proud, amazed and completely blown away by your changes.. I love you and I am so honored to be at your side as your journey continues..