Nine weeks down, more or less, and this past week was a bit of a milestone for me. I hit 238.5 on the weekly weigh-in, breaking the 240 lb mark, which was a bit of a personal target for me. My next personal goal is breaking the 234.5 lb mark, which is the lowest I’ve weighed in the past decade.
A few notes on what I’m doing might be in order here. My primary source of cardio exercise remains walking. I try to do at least five miles a day, though some days I don’t hit that target, while other days I go way past it. Most Saturday mornings my wife and I are up around 530-600 and walking about 7 miles. On Fridays, I am up around 6 and I do a five mile walk with a thirty pound backpack. That walk, depending on how I feel, may include a few interval sprints as well, since nothing gets the heartbeat up like a quick jog with some weight. Bust most of the walk is just done at a quick pace. I am also doing some body weight exercises, martial arts, and participating in a few random challenges from some of the on-line groups I belong to.
As for food, we continue to primarily eat at home, concentrating on whole foods and lots of vegetables. When we do eat out, we try to go to places where we can get good quality food (and we are on a bit of a Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern kick here lately) and continue to avoid the sugary drinks, foods, and deserts. It’s really all about quality. While I continue to concentrate on calorie counts, I am finding that it is pretty easy to keep myself at my daily goal when I’m not junking it all the time.
One thing I have noticed, and I am reminded of some things I learned as a trainer a long time ago, is the importance of water. Despite giving up almost everything to drink except a morning coffee, I still find that I do not drink enough water, and this can be a common issue. Oftentimes going from a SAD style of eating to a sustainable pattern of healthy eating results in a lack of hydration, especially if you are starting to exercise for the first time. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. First, an increase in protein requires an increase in water to properly digest and move the product through the gut, and we don’t really think about that. Low water intake can quickly contribute to constipation in higher protein diets. Second, it takes a while to get used to drinking water, which does not have the flavors and sugars we are used to and become addicted to. All that crap in our drinks would cause us to consume more and more, which of course is horrible for us, but still helps us to stay hydrated. It takes time to readjust and get used to drinking plain water, though once you do it’s hard to go back. We stopped for lunch the other day and the restaurant only had tap water, which was plenty nasty, and so I had iced tea. It just didn’t do it, so I ended up eating lunch with only a few sips of tea, then drinking water after we left. It takes a bit of time, but eventually water becomes the go-to drink.
I am very pleased with my progress so far, and on a side note, my wife is also doing extremely well with her weight loss and I am so proud of her. She has way more health issues than any one person should be stuck with, and good excuses for not being able to loose weight or exercise should she want to, but she is right there keeping up with me. Amazing and inspirational. So take it from us – no matter who you are, no matter what your situation is, you can change, you can transform your life.