Discover The Secret to My Big FAT Stunning Weight Loss Results

I’ve lost 121 lbs in less than 45 days – and you can too!  Ur.. ahem… I mean… I’ve lost 21lbs – but it has been about 45 days and I am losing weight.  I’m amazed at how quickly this little online weight loss journal has grown and I figure if so many of you guys can relate to my Quest, then you may be interested in what I’m doing to lose the weight.

So far, I Quit… Again – has been a clever name but nothing more – I have not quit.  And I spent sometime thinking about why that is, what has been the secret of my success (albeit a bit premature to call it success just yet).  I realize that everyone is different and you are going to have to find what works you – but there are a few things I feel have made me progress in this battle of the bulge:

Food Diary

This is the MOST IMPORTANT THING I have done to lose weight. Trust me – its not working out or even eating the right foods. Here in America, we have lost sight of what a 2000 calorie diet actually looks like. I dreaded always having to measure food – but for the first few weeks, I did it for everything I eat.  Since then, I check my portions one day a week to remind myself how small a tablespoon really is.  Logging my food – every bite, everyday allows me to remain focused on what I’m putting in my mouth.  Trust me when I say, once you have learned exactly how small two tablespoons of peanut butter really are, you’ll think about the 10 egg whites omelet you could have for the same calorie count!  Maybe you decide the peanut butter is worth it – but no matter what, I can’t say it enough – LOG EVERY BITE, EVERYDAY! When I don’t log my food, I gain weight – PERIOD.

I’m an IT guy, so I require a technology way to do almost anything – so for me its an online food journal.  I don’t think it really matters which online service you use – there are a lot of them out there – but I use My Fitness Pal (linked in the sidebar). Creating a profile was free, easy to do, and using the service to track my food intake is super easy as well. They have almost every food I have eaten since I started tracking already in their database, but when I do find one that is not already there, I can easily add the food to the database. The only complaint I have about them is that when I am looking to add food to my daily journal – I cannot sort the search results in the database to first show confirmed data (either entered by My Fitness Pal, or confirmed by other users) over unconfirmed data (added by someone but not confirmed by anyone).

Weight Tracking

I’m using the Nintendo Wii Fit to track my daily weight. Its amazing how much of a motivator the scale can be but for me its not just weighing in – but its watching the trend over time – The Wii Fit logs my daily numbers so I can know how I’m doing compared to yesterday, last week, even last month. I get instant feedback each morning on how my food and workout decisions yesterday affected me today. Every morning, the first thing I do after going to the bathroom is get on the Wii!  On Saturdays, I put my weight in on My Fitness Pal – which is how you get my weight lost so far reported in my sidebar.

I recommend you have a good scale and that you weigh once daily.  Once!  Its tempting to weigh yourself more than once a day, but don’t.  I’ve gotten on the scale and found I gained a half a pound from the day before (and realize I didn’t log every bite!) – so I try again in an hour after a run to find I’ve lost a full pound – which feels great, but the problem with doing that is that you cheat yourself from real numbers – sweating off some water weight is a short term game and you are not looking to make a weight class for a wrestling match – you are trying to lose real weight, right?  If your first weigh in had you up a pound, focus on your diet for the day instead of on the scale.  Still go for that run – just don’t get on the scale when you get back.

Workout Tracking

I picked up the Nike+ running system. To be honest, its a fancy pedometer – but as far as pedometers go this thing is amazing! Distance, Time, Calories burned, all given in real time as I work out. I’m motivated by numbers – I want credit for every calorie I burn. Nike+ requires the Nike+ pedometer, an IPod Nano or Touch, and Nike+ shoes (although there are options to allow you to use your own shoes). Not only does this system keep my run data – it allows me to upload them online, make online goals, join an online community of other runners and track my progress.  I also workout at a local gym but because I can’t track my calories while lifting weights – I have a workout partner to keep me motivated and going.  Brandon pushes me and I him.

Your diet is extremely important, but don’t loose sight of the workout.  I’m not the best source of authority (…YET) on BMI, BMR, and the like – but I can tell you that just changing your diet won’t do it.  You will lose weight, but eventually (sooner than later) the weight loss will stop and so will your metabolism.  The human body is an amazing machine and if you stop putting fuel into it, your body will learn to get ‘better gas mileage’  (I wish my car could do that).  Your body will learn to do more with less and your weight loss will stall. You have to work out.  Learn to burn calories instead of relying on simply reducing them.  Its better to eat 1800 calories and burn off 500 of them than to just reduce your intake to 1200 calories.

Support Group

Ahh… You guys!  I use this blog to help me stay focused on my weight loss goals, gain feedback from other dieters, and find encouragement when I feel like I’m going to slip back into my old habits.  So far, this has been a great ride but I have a long road ahead of me – at the time of this post, I’ve lost 21lbs but I still have over 100lbs to go.  Sure, I’m averaging about 3lbs a week weight loss, but I don’t actually expect that rate will keep up  forever – and when it slows down or even stalls – its my support group both online and in person that will get me through.  I really do mean it when I say – thank you for taking the time to read my blog, comment on my posts, and subscribe to my RSS feed.  You guys really are an important part of my journey!

Speaking of comments: I’d love to hear yours – have you been losing weight?  What’s working for you?  What tools are you using?  Do you have a weight loss blog?  Don’t be shy!

You’re Too FAT to Eat Here!

When you go into a fast food restaurant, you expect the person behind the counter to say something like "Welcome to Good Burger, Home of the Good Burger, Can I take your order?"… but that isn’t what I got.  She took my friend’s order as expected but when I stepped up in line, the cashier said these words – You shouldn’t eat here – you’re getting fat! I’m not making this up, people.

If your first thought was OMG, how rude! then you are in the same mind set I was when I heard the comment.  I couldn’t believe it.  An employee of a major fast food restaurant actually said I was TOO FAT to eat there.  I was a little embarrassed but laughed it off and ordered two double cheese burgers, a six piece order of chicken nuggets, and a large diet coke (totaling about $4).

After she filled my order, I took my tray and went to sit down with my much lighter friend and co-worker, Jason.  He was sitting in a booth {corporate groan from all fat people}.  Now if you aren’t large, you may not know that a booth is difficult because you cannot move the seat out from the table to allow for the additional required room.  At this particular establishment, some of the booths are not evenly spaced so while my lighter friend had almost 2 feet of space between him and the table, when I went to sit down my gut was laying on the table and my butt was pushing the chair back so hard, I swear I heard it cry.  Noticing my situation (likely because he was a bit more sensitive to it after hearing the comment from the cashier), Jason suggested we switch places… which I gladly excepted.

He got up, moved his tray to my side of the booth and I his, but as he sat down again to more than 2 feet of empty space between his stomach and the table, I realized this booth IS evenly spaced… As I squeeze into the both, pushing my gut under the table, the embarrassment of it all was really starting to sink in.  Even though this happened over 5 years ago, I can’t help but think about it every now and again.

The truth is, that cashier was right – I was (and still am) too fat to eat there.  If you read my Should Fat People Just Suck it Up post (worth reading again in my opinion), then you may have the impression that I want people to be more sensitive to us FAT folk; I do but not in the way you might be thinking.  I do want people to understand that many FAT people are food addicts and treat them as they would an alcoholic (you wouldn’t insist your AA friend drink a beer, don’t insist the FAT guy try your brownies).  But I don’t want people to feel like they shouldn’t hurt a FAT persons feelings by saying “Dude, are you sure about that second piece?

The truth is, I wish more people were like that cashier.  What appeared rude at first glance, was actually very thoughtful.  I went to lunch there often and she had noticed that I was gaining weight.  We weren’t friends – I do not know nor did I ever know her name – but she noticed I was gaining weight and said something about it.  My co-worker and close friend may not have noticed that I had packed on the poundage because he saw me everyday or maybe he did noticed but was to uncomfortable to say anything about it.  This woman saw me about once or twice a week; she noticed and she spoke up – like a good friend trying to grab you back from the cliffs edge – she spoke up.

The only thing worse than being ridiculed for being fat – is being invisible for it.  Fat people are intentionally not noticed because of our weight; We get passed over for promotions in our work life, We are not invited to group functions in our social life, I’ve even been past over for volunteer opportunities in my church life… Being 300lbs and pointed at may be uncomfortable – but being 300lbs and being ignored is unbearable.  She noticed me.  And she said something to help me even though it was tough for me to hear.  And five years later – despite the fact that I will most likely never run into that cashier again – I hope I’m making her proud.

My 500 Calorie Run with Nike Plus

Nine AM, Kids are still asleep, throw on sweats, grab phone, fill up water bottle, close the front door quietly as I leave to not wake up the kids, Forgot IPod, go back in house, grab IPod, close door quietly, try to start workout run, forgot Nike+ IPod plugin thing, back in, grab it, close door quietly, start run…

First song is fast, very happy with IPOD, realize its trash day, realize I forgot to put trash out, keep running, lady’s voice on IPod says “50 calories”, wow – very happy with Nike+, turn into park, run around the lake, avoid duck/goose mine field, lady on IPod “100 calories”, thinking about Stephanie, thinking about Zander, thinking about Lexi, my left knee burns, I really like this Nike+ thing, keep running…

Turn into neighborhood, find a new park, round corner, its the same park, I went in a circle, “200 calories”, did I miss 150 or did she not say it?, glad I got the Nike+ and the IPod, think about Stephanie, my legs are burning, my left knee hurts, what song is this?, realize I’m almost at a walking pace due to slow song I’ve never heard, skip song, pick up pace, side hurts, think about the New Year, think about my weight, doubt myself, think about writing this post, when is that lady going to tell me how many calories again…

“Half way point”, is she mocking me, wonder if 500 calorie run was the right decision, think about Stephanie, think about today, think about Father-In-Law (he past away Dec 31, 2001), think about Stephanie, wonder if the kids are up, worried about money, think about church, think about God, wish I had read my Bible more this year, am I slowing down?, another slow song…

Skip song, pick up pace, am I chaffing?, knee burns, thighs burn, how much longer is this run, think about Stephanie, look up, where am I, all the houses look the same, avoid doggie land mine, think about my brother Jeremy, he hates it when people don’t clean up after their dogs, think about Alaska, realize I’m sweating, realize its the last day of 2008, think about the year, “150 calories left”, think about Stephanie, keep running

Wonder if the kids are up, worry about Stephanie, I know she is planning to mourn all day, wonder if I should be home to give her a break from the kids, my knee burns, my thighs burn, I AM chaffing, regret going on this run, “100 calories left”, look up, get my barrings, turn toward home, keep running

Legs are burning, knee is screaming, I’m soaking wet, “50 calories left”, considered sprinting, decide to go for it, 40 calories, great – a count down, push harder, side is splitting, legs are screaming, knee is throbbing, 30 calories, keep RUNNING…

I’m too far, wonder if I should try to sprint the whole way home or just until I hit the 500 calorie mark, think about this post, think about the kids, think about Stephanie, think about God, did IPod lady forget me, grab side, keep RUNNING, SERIOUSLY WHERE IS THAT IPOD LADY!, I hate this Nike+ thing, 20 calories left…

Pass mail box, think about stopping to get mail, think about Stephanie, wonder if I can do this again, wonder if I should do this again, worry about Stephanie’s bad day, realize that I’m not really sprinting any more, 10 calories left, pick up the pace, round the corner, see house, feel relieved, 10 calories left, keep running… have a profound thought – I can’t erase Dec 31 2001 for Stephanie, but if I lose this weight I might keep her from adding my date any time soon…

“Workout Completed, press the menu button to end workout”… thanks IPod Lady… I really like this Nike+ thing … can’t wait until tomorrow…