Goal Weight Achieved, World Changed
I recently had a pleasant surprise at my doctor’s appointment. I stepped on the scale and realized that not only had I reached my goal weight, but I had passed it by 2 pounds!
I didn’t make my projected goal of 185 by my 51st birthday. Rather than despair over it, I decided that slow and steady wins the race. An additional seven months were needed to get to my current weight of 183 pounds.
Friends have been asking how I did it. This lengthy post is a synopsis of my journey. I’m re-uploading two old photos and a current one so you can see the difference. This first photo was taken in Hong Kong on Jan. 10, 2010. I was about to turn 50 and obviously due for a midlife crisis.
The second photo (red T-shirt) is one of a series of professionally taken head shots that I commissioned for my blog. I was 30 pounds down at that point. The final one was taken today (green T-shirt). I’ve gone from a 36-inch waist to a 32 and dropped four jacket sizes.
So this is how I did it — the old-fashioned way: diet and exercise. Except that I didn’t go on a diet; I researched how to permanently change what and how I eat. Sugar is the enemy, and it’s in everything. I thought I knew how to do this and had a tendency to do more of the right things and less of the bad. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Here is just a partial list of things to stop consuming:
1. Wheat products such as bread, pasta and cereal.
2. Soy products.
3. Diet or fat-free anything.
4. Aspartame: No pink, blue,or yellow packets of sweetener. Go with Stevia
packets; they are green, and it’s very sweet, so use very little of it (not Truvia)
5. Processed foods.
6. Fast foods.
7. Fruit juices loaded with sugar.
8. Diet beverages; they make you hungry.
9. The middle aisles of your supermarket are for cleaning products only. That’s where you will find all processed foods. Everything you need is on the perimeter, with the only exception being Whole Foods.
Ways to be:
1. Cook in more often to control your intake of salt and fat.If you must go out, ask your server to simply prepare your foods. More restaurants are getting with the healthy thing; it’s about time. If your favorite restaurant doesn’t offer that or accommodate you, it’s off the list permanently.
2. Salad is the main meal. Recently had a salad of field greens with dried fruit and goat cheese topped with grilled fish. HOME RUN!!! (Thanks, Ritch.)
3. Monitor how much veggies are in your diet. You can have all you want. The world is rigged for you not to get them. Figure out how.
4. Water drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces daily (this is difficult, but you get the idea).
5. All veggies purchased once weekly are cooked in one day; that way, there are no excuses when you get home after life has worn you down.
6. Pasta is legal if its quinoa or brown rice.
7. Cook with extra virgin olive oil. Coconut oil is also legal, and canola oil.
8. Cook with real butter in common sense moderation; my nutritionist can believe its not butter, and so can I.
9. Change everything over to organic, especially eggs. You won’t have to worry about cholesterol, if you eat them also in moderation.
10. Organic no-stir Maranatha brand peanut butter is delicious, and low in fat. Jif creamy is loaded with sugar.
11. All recipes can be converted to healthy with a few changes that in my opinion do not compromise taste.
12. Trail mix with dried fruit is a legal source of sweetness; put in dark chocolate espresso beans and regular dark chocolate; dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, cherries and mango; seeds such as flax and pumpkin; nuts such as walnuts, peanuts and almonds. Keep this at your desk at work and for the midnight munchies at home, and eat only a handful at a time. Make sure the nuts are organic and not roasted with salt.
13. Speaking of salt, use sea salt, not iodized, only. That way you can salt your foods and not worry about the threat of high blood pressure.
14. Cheese is naturally low-carb; goat and ricotta are best for lower fat and carbs.
15. Truth in advertising: Subway sandwiches are inherently healthy. Walk into a supermarket otherwise, and find stuff to eat there instead of opting for fast food.
16. permissible cheating: A slice of New York pizza — veggie only. Meats are where the damage happens. Steak (lean), a potato with real butter in moderation and a green veggie is a favorite cheat. Every five days, have something that you’ve been craving.
17. Protein held to a deck of cards standard for portion control.
18. Never eat anything bigger than your fist. That’s how big your stomach is or should be. Ergo, retrain it.
When I started this shortly after my 50th birthday and the Hong Kong trip, I weighed 220. It took me 15 months to reach my goal weight. I now weigh the same as I did in junior high school. In 1975, I was 15. I remember weighing in for gym class at 184. I was also 6-foot-2 by 15. I’m now 183. Nothing fits. I have a closet full of Armani that is not able to be altered. If you know someone who wears 44 long, I’ve got some good stuff. From my lifetime high of 232 pounds, I have lost a total of 49, and recently 37.
I taught myself how to interval train. This is taking 25 minutes of cardio and breaking it up in between a full body workout. Mine is designed to be low-impact. It takes me 45 minutes to complete every other day. On the off
days, I walk to the public beach and back; that’s 3 miles. I was vigilant about this and watched the pounds slowly melt away.
1. 10 minutes of treadmill at 3.8 MPH
2. 5 upper body lifts with 12 to 15-lb. weights with 1 minute on a StairMaster between each 20-rep set.
3. Leg lift, 20 reps; crunches, 3 different types, 20 reps each with 1 minute
on a StairMaster between each.
4. Ball squats against a door, 20 reps twice, 1 minute on a StairMaster.
5. Finish with 8 minutes on a treadmill at 3.4 MPH.
And yes I toughed out the walk through the Florida summer.
The most important thing is: You must want it. Visualize how you will look in a great pair of 32-inch waist jeans. You must condition yourself this way and chant that “nothing tastes as good as fit and lean feels.” Finally, don’t starve yourself; if this becomes a second job, you’ll never stick to it. Eat 5 times a day, every three waking hours.
Cocktails, anyone? Red wine, good; white wine, poison. Brown liquors bad; white liquors, such as gin and vodka, are better. Beer is a meal in a glass — it’s all carbs and therefore poison. My default cocktails are either a Sapphire martini with a twist, dry, or vodka/soda almost to the top with a splash only of cranberry juice, garnished with a lime. All mixers are generally mostly sugar and are to be avoided.
Welcome to Bill’s brave new world.