Join Date: Jul 2008
Seeing results for the first time!
[Please bear with me, this is a bit long and rambling… and as with anything else, what may work for me might not work for other folks.]
Thought I'd introduce myself. I'm a 42-year-old male, 6'2", and have been obese since childhood. The last 15 years have been spent morbidly obese.
I spent a lot of time looking for "the easy and magic solution", whether it be drugs, weight-loss surgery, etc. and found that every so-called promise of success, once researched, inevitably proved to be snake oil or have health risks.
Of course cognitively, I realize that the main problems (for me) are (1) lack of exercise (when you weigh as much as I do, everything HURTS), and (2) what I eat, how much I eat, and when I eat it. But changing those things are easier said than done.
I can't cook worth a darn, and quite frankly don't have the time to spend measuring and cooking, etc. I eat out daily... of course it used to be strictly fast food.
My doctor has been advocating weight loss for years, but the only help he provided was to send me to various and sundry nutritionists. I despised those people. Without exception, they were waif-thin fit and trim bimbos, who had absolutely no frame of reference of what it's like to be obese. They've been healthy all their lives. They don't know what it's like to overeat constantly. I'll never forget one instance, where Bimbette piped "Sure you can have pizza from time to time! But instead of having 2 pieces for dinner, just have 1!" Uhh… Excuse me? 1 pieces instead of 2? If that were my problem, I wouldn't look the way I do? If I order a pizza, I'm likely to finish the whole pie in one sitting! Absolutely no clue. Give me a nutritionist I can relate to: someone who's fought the battle and won; someone who's lost 50+ pounds and kept it off. That person I can take seriously.
Well, in September 2007, I tipped 400 pounds on the scale, and realized I needed to finally do something. Not only for health reasons, but after being single practically all my adult life, I thought it might actually be nice to go on a date once every year or seven, and despite what politically correct conversation might imply, it’s much harder to meet people of the opposite sex when you’re obese.
The first thing I did was to analyze the types of foods I did enjoy eating, and see what I could find that was nutritious and that I could eat out.
I've always enjoyed Chinese food immensely; I've frequented several Chinese buffets regularly over the years. I found one perfectly situated between work and home that does an excellent job on vegetable dishes. I now eat there every day, 6-7 days a week.
1. No fried stuff. As much as I love egg rolls and wontons, etc., I've given them up entirely.
2. Almost no rice. Maybe once or twice a week have one portion.
3. Avoid the heavy sauces. Stick with things in lighter sauces or that are stir fried.
4. Heavy on veggies (especially broccoli), chicken, and shrimp (broiled, stir fried, or raw, NOT fried or batter dipped; by itself, shrimp is a VERY good low-calorie, low-fat food).
I also made some changes in WHEN I eat. I used to be a late night eater. My schedule prior to making changes was as follows: Get up at 6:00am. No breakfast. No lunch. Eat HUGE dinner at about 4:00pm. Eat another large meal between 9:00 and 11:00 pm.
My schedule now: Get up at 6:00am. Hit McDonalds on way to work. Breakfast: 1 Sausage-Egg McMuffin without cheese. 1 large diet coke. Yes there are more nutritious things to eat, but this is convenient, tastes good, and stays with me; gets the metabolism going. Still no lunch. Eat at Chinese buffet at 4:00pm. Was initially 3 plates, now down to 1.5-2 plates. Nothing after that under any circumstances. No late night eating.
This was NOT easy, and transition did not happen overnight. I still slip up and occasionally want a burger on a Friday or Saturday night, and once every 2 weeks or so, I’ll do just that.
Willpower did not work for me. If food was available, I ate it. Back in March of this year, I made the jump to not keeping ANY food of any kind in my house, other than a few cans of soup in case of emergency. This obviously won’t work for anyone with a family, but if you’re single, I recommend it! When I get those evening hunger pangs, there simply isn’t anything there to eat, and it’s a lot tougher to justify getting dressed, getting in the car, and going to the store just to satisfy a passing hunger craving. Evening hunger? Chug a bottle of flavored water.
I’ve found that it’s not THAT much more expensive to eat out than if I tried to stock food, not to mention the time savings… and not having food in the house to tempt me is priceless.
Over the course of several months, I found that my weight gain gradually declined, then I stayed at an even weight for a while, and then I actually started to lose weight. By April 2008 I had dropped to 355. Not huge strides, but for the first time in my life I wasn’t on an upward weight trend.
It was at this time that I started hanging out with a female acquaintance (not romantic; we just started doing things together). Between her schedule, the schedule of her kids, and mine, there were often days that there wasn’t time for dinner (or I’d simply work through my hunger). After about 2 weeks of this, I found that I wasn’t getting hunger pangs as badly as previously. I guess my stomach had shrunk a bit and I wasn’t used to being as “full.” This really made a big difference… a “lightbulb clicking” over my head. I’d never gotten to this point before… I’d always been hungry.
In mid-May 2008 I started walking. It’s really the only exercise I can do at my size. When I first started, I could only do about 15 minutes at a time before my joints and back would hurt. More than once I overdid it… the spirit was willing, but the body was not.
Advice: Spend money on REAL quality walking/running shoes. I cannot stress that enough. I initially bought some Wal-Mart cheapies, and they nearly ruined me. Upon advice from a coworker I went to a local sports outfitter (Body & Sole) where they watched me walk, measured my feet, and made some recommendations. It cost me $175 for two pairs of shoes, but they are phenomenal.
I had always had trepidations about walking because I never felt stable. I’m clumsy by nature, and always felt like I was going to turn an ankle, or stumble. The problem was that I needed a wider shoe with more stability. It turns out the shoe they recommended for me is one of the highest rated shoes out there for walking, especially for larger people: Brooks – The Beast. (Yeah, the name sounds funky, but these things are great).
Anyway, I started with 15 minutes a day, then worked up to 15 minutes twice a day. Luckily I work on a University campus with excellent walking paths, so lunchtime walks are quite doable.
I’m concerned with what I will do once winter hits and outdoor exercise isn’t possible; I don’t want to lose momentum. I may join a local health club that has an indoor 1/8-mile track.
My status now:
I’m walking 35-40 minutes twice a day (1-1.5 hours total per day). Every day. 7 days a week, weather permitting (the day before yesterday I had to miss my evening walk because of a rain storm, and was actually ****** off about it… a first for me: upset about NOT being able to exercise???)
I weighed myself yesterday and am at 317 pounds… down 83 pounds from where I started less than a year ago. I’m sure there will be more challenges and that the weight loss will come less quickly the lower I get, but my hope is to lose another 100 pounds.
I still have a long way to go, but the sheer fact that I actually now weigh less than I did 5 years ago astounds me.