So, back at the end of August, on the day that I shaved off that big mustache that wasn’t as popular as the absence of it, I weighed myself. This is not unusual in itself, because I weigh myself every day. I know that people say that a person shouldn’t weigh themselves every day, but this is something that I’ve done for years and it’s the just the way that I am.
Anyways, on that last day of August I weighed 209 pounds. It’s not the most I’ve weighed in my life but I was headed in that general direction. And quite frankly, I didn’t really like the way I was feeling. Riding my bike was not as enjoyable as it had been in years past and I just didn’t feel comfortable in my skin.
Now, I’ve always had a “cub gut”. I will always have a “cub gut”. There is a picture of me playing basketball at 7 or 8 years old with my Dad’s cousin (we called him Uncle Bill) and when I posed for the picture it looked like I had a little tyke-sided basketball under my shirt. My abs have always worked undercover and they will always continue to do so. I am a realist and I know that I’m never going to be the chiseled type. My only goal was to feel comfortable in my own skin. So I decided to start doing something about it.
Removing the daily 75 minute commute each way was a big step in the right direction. By working from home three days a week, I had the opportunity to get out and do something instead of spending daylight hours behind the steering wheel. So I ramped my alarm back to 0500 ET (I always write that in military time so that I feel disciplined about it) and started getting up early and going for a walk. After a few weeks of doing this, I started riding my bike again. I found myself wanting to tackle hills I hadn’t climbed before. I found myself wanting to get out and feel the fresh air. My body thanked me after its initial confusion. The daily weigh-in, which never left my routine, did not result in disagreements with the scale. There was no drop-kicking. If the number crept back up, I decided I need to work harder.
I didn’t crash diet. I’ve tried that before and it has never worked. SlimFast did not enter the picture. Protein shakes did not become part of my routine. What I needed was a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. So what did become part of my routine was keeping track of everything on an app that our friend Jeff introduced us to, MyFitnessPal. I have written about this before and I have found it to be very valuable to this whole approach. It tracks my calories in, calories out, water intake and my weight, and it syncs between my iPhone, iPad and any computer with a web browser. I have no excuse for not keeping track of these things. It even has a barcode scanner that looks up nutrition information for you!
When the daylight hours grew short and the weather didn’t lend itself to bike riding, Earl and I joined the gym. Other than a break during the holidays, we have been going to the gym on a regular basis.
My area of concentration has been weight loss. I set reasonable milestones along the way and I even changed my goal once when I felt happy about where I was headed.
On the first of September I weighed in at 209. This morning I weighed in at 178.4. I have lost over 30 pounds.
I haven’t reached the number I have as a goal yet, but I’m in the ballpark. I took my blood pressure the other night and it was 120/82, and that was after a day at work! Ten years ago I was on daily medication because I had chronic high blood pressure. My weight yo-yos a little bit still, I’m sure I’ll clock in a little over 180 within the next week, but it just keeps me more determined.
Folks are starting to notice the weight loss and I find it flattering when someone says something. The folks that have always seen me with a beard or with the big mustache wonder why I’m clean shaven. It’s part of the effort; a more disciplined approach to my morning routine helps me get on track for the day and having a naked face helps me stay that way.
For the first time in many, many years, I am looking forward to the longer days so I can start walking or riding my bike in the morning before work without risking getting hit by a car. In the meantime, Earl1 and I are going to keep doing what we’re doing and holding tight to the effort.
It’s good to feel good, both inside and out.
1 Earl has made amazing progress as well and while I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to talk about his goals and achievements, I will say that he is impressing me VERY much with his efforts. I am very proud of him.