Yes, today is 365.
One year ago, I changed the way I eat/think about food.
OK, so this is the umpteenth time I’ve done this. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, it fit, then it didn’t. But dag nab-it, I’m trying to make it stick this time.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s one that shows this past year:
I know, no before/after picture…like the ones on TV and in magazines? Sorry, I’m not into that; though I will say that I recently watched a video I did in 2007 for work and was amazed. Blown away, actually.
Yeah, the picture is an eye chart, but it’s a loss of just under 75 pounds (74.6…no rounding here, baby)! Year two will add to the downward slope and level off at some point.
It’s been an interesting year and very challenging at times, but I do feel better. Being a stress-based eater, 2010 made this especially tough; but I stuck to it, only logging weight gains four of the 52 weeks (the largest 2.2 – the smallest 0.8 pounds). My largest weekly loss was 4.4 lbs. (at the very start), the smallest was 0.2, there were five weeks where I did not lose/gain anything, and my average loss over the year was 1.4lbs per week.
People have asked me what my “secret” has been – what have I done to lose the weight. It’s pretty basic and nothing special or “secret” really. In a nutshell:
- I used the Lose It! app for my iPhone (app / website). This is the central resource I’ve used to setup and maintain my program. I fanatically Log EVERYTHING I eat – much to my wife’s frustration at times. Seriously, this FREE(!) app is a program in and of itself. It assists in setting up a realistic weight loss program, allows you to track food and exercise, and also has some social interaction aspects (which I did not use). They actually have a web version (also free) that you can use if you don’t have an iPhone or can even sync it with your iPhone. If there was one aspect of this last year that I could not have done without – this is it.
- Food choice. Bottom line, I eat healthier. That said, I still pretty much eat anything and anywhere I want – just smarter. I have NOT given up any fast or favorite foods – I think I’d go crazy if I did/had to. I am a creature of habit and pretty much eat a lot of the same things for breakfast and lunch – which would seem boring – but they are things that I like. Dinner is where variety comes in… I did not track specific nutrients, but know that my food choices improved stuff in that area. NOTE: you can track this info on Lose It!.
- Portion control. Bottom line: I was eating WAY TOO MUCH. Not sure how much I was eating calorie-wise before I started (it was a lot), but my initial program-imposed calorie limit was 2,240 (to sustain a 1.5lb per week loss). I always made it a practice to eat under my daily allotment by a few hundred calories. My average caloric intake over the past year was about just under 1,600 calories each day.
- Dogged determination. I used the word “fanatical” above. I was/am. For me, it’s the only way I can succeed at this. I once had someone tell me that “if you ‘almost diet’, you’ll ‘almost lose weight'” – that has stuck with me. The other times that I’ve lost and gained have really been because I’ve lost focus or determination. I’m hopping to change that.
- Gamesmanship. I have made getting the most out of my daily calorie “budget” a game. I always look for angles at getting the most for my “investment” in meals. You can get pretty creative with food and portion control. Sometimes a small portion is better than none at all…!
- Exercise. I will plead no contest here. I would like to say that I have a regular regimen that I follow each day; but honestly, I have not exercised much. I know that is a key part of being healthy – I plan to answer honestly when asked by my doctor at my check-up. That is a “year 2” goal that I am working on. I know it’s important and I’m getting there. Eventually. Soon. I promise. Eventually. I promise. Eventually…
There’s probably more I could write, but these are the core items that come to mind as I reflect on the past year. It’s definitely been an adventure. I’m trying hard to stay on track and I would like to lose a little more, get to a comfortable level (even though I probably should lose beyond that), and then maintain. Posting this, I guess is part of my “accountability” to myself…
Are you starting a new program this year? Is this a “YEAR 2” for you?
In the words of Kramer, “giddyup!”