Down 50 Pounds

Today, I reached a major milestone in my weight loss efforts. Through disciplined eating, regular exercise, and God’s strength, I’ve lost 50 pounds over the last 16 months.

The Background
I’ve struggled with being overweight my whole life. When I got married 13 years ago, I weighed around 170 lbs. Then, over the years, I kept adding more and more weight on. Sometimes, I’d try to lose some weight and end up losing 5-10 pounds. Then eventually I’d gain it back. In 2002, I lost 43 lbs, but then over the course of the next 5 years I gained it all back.

The Moment of Truth
In March 2007, I was pretty disgusted with where I was going. I didn’t care what I was eating and I wasn’t exercising. My weight had crept back up to 223 lbs. So I prayed about it and repented to God for the way I was treating the body He had given me.

What I’ve Been Doing
I got back on the treadmill and started walking for about 45 minutes a day, six days a week. I started to eat better as well. At first, I just tried to eat at Subway more often and cut back on the Big Macs. I’d had already given up on the soda back in 2003, so I was just drinking water, skim milk, or orange juice. By the end of 2007, I had lost around 40 pounds.

The Plateau
It seems that when I hit around 180 lbs, I’d hit a plateau. I wasn’t able to break through that point when I lost a lot of weight in 2002. So this time I tried to change things up. I cut back on the cardio work on the treadmill and started strength training. That didn’t work for me. In hindsight, I was not very disciplined with the strength training and I wasn’t doing enough cardio. So in June 2008, I changed things up again.

Here’s what I’m doing now
I’m just doing cardio now. I’m walking on the treadmill for 80 minutes, six days a week. I walk at 3.9 mph at a 5% incline. I keep my heart rate at 80% to 85% of my maximum. My Polar heart rate monitor says I burn 1000 calories per workout. I also do intervals 2 to 3 days a week. I’m not doing any strength training right now and probably won’t until I reach my goal weight of 164 lbs.

In addition to the exercise, I’ve also made a major change in my eating. I’m eating much healthier. I’m eating more vegetables, oatmeal, flaxseed and less cheese, sauces, and red meat. Here’s what a typical menu looks like for me:

Breakfast: Bowl of All-Bran Cereal with skim milk
Mid morning snack: Banana
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, an apple, a small bag of French Onion Sun Chips
Mid afternoon snack: Low calorie Protein Bar
Dinner: Grilled Chicken breast with lots of vegetables
Dessert: A small dish of frozen yogurt

The plan has worked. Since the beginning of the month, I’ve lost 16 pounds. I’ve blown past my previous barrier of 181 lbs. As of today, 6/27/08, I’m 173 lbs. I’ve lost 50 pounds!!! Praise God!!!

It’s been very exciting to see the weight come off. Here are some of the stats:

Weight went from 223 lbs. to 173 lbs.
BMI went from 34 to 26
Fat percentage went from 33% to 22%
Waist size went from 38 inches to 34 inches

None of this would have been possible without God giving me the strength and perseverance and for the encouragement and support that I’ve received from my wife. It’s my prayer that I can break the cycle of weight loss and weight gain. I’m praying that this will be a permanent change and the weight will not return. I’ll keep you posted.

Just 9 more pounds to go!

Down 50 Pounds

Weight Loss Update

Did I make my goal of losing 50 pounds by the end of 2007? Nope. I ended the year with an overall weight loss of 41 pounds. I went from 223 lbs. to 182 lbs. Am I disappointed? Not really. My body mass index (BMI) went from 33.9 to 27.7. I went from being obese to overweight. My fat percentage dropped and my pants size went from a 38 inch waist to a 34 inch waist. I thank and praise God for helping me to lose this much weight.

Even though I’m very pleased with the weight loss, I’m still a little dismayed. By Thanksgiving I had made it down to 178 lbs. and was in striking distance of reaching my goal of 173 lbs. by the end of the year.

But December was a crazy time. That’s when I moved from Illinois to Oklahoma and I started my new job. With all the stuff going on, exercising and eating right were not in the forefront of my mind. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay disciplined.

But with the new year, I’m renewing my commitment to treating my body as God’s temple. I’m setting an ambitious goal of losing another 18 pounds by the end of 2008. If I can do that, I’ll have reached my ideal weight of 164 lbs. Will I make it? Who knows. But I’m going to try. I’m going to ask God for strength and perseverance and we’ll see what happens.

Weight Loss Update

Down 40, 10 To Go

Today, I reached a major milestone. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve lost 40 lbs. Praise God. He has helped me to eat right and to exercise 5 to 6 days a week. I’m right on track to reach my goal of 173 lbs. by the end of the year. Just 10 lbs to go. Woo hoo!

What am I doing? I’m trying to eat healthier. I’ve cut back on the burgers and pizza. I’ll still eat them, but not that often. I’m also trying to take smaller portions. I don’t drink any pop (that’s soda for those not from the Midwest US). I’m not drinking as much water as I should, but that is my primary drink. On occasion, I’ll have a homemade chocolate chip cookie. My wife says she makes them for the kids, but I think she makes them just to torment me.

For exercise, I walk on a treadmill 5 to 6 days a week. I wear a heart rate monitor and try to keep my heart rate at 80% of my maximum heart rate. I try to burn 1000 calories at each workout. So over the past couple of months, I’ve had to increase my speed and duration. I’m now on the treadmill for 80 minutes per workout. Praise God for my iPod.

It’s going to be a challenge to keep losing the weight. I’m headed into a very busy season in my life as we move to Oklahoma. It’s going to be hard to stay consistent with the exercise and healthy eating as we are busy with the cleaning, purging, packing, moving, and unpacking. Never mind all the fattening food that’s readily available during the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, trick or treating for Halloween is this weekend. Where did my wife hide that Halloween candy? I’ll have to try some of it and make sure it’s okay to give to the kids. Gotta go…

Down 40, 10 To Go