A short while ago, I blogged about some weight loss goals I wanted to achieve before the end of this year. Believe it or not it has been a month since then and I feel the need to reveal my progress report so far. I have such a long way to go on this little journey that I have to celebrate the little victories along the way or else I might get discouraged. It helps that I have several friends that have already reached the conclusion of their weight loss journey, so I have been spying on them for motivation. Yes Tracie S., Jenny B. and Charles E., I am watching you but not at all in a bad way. Looking to pampered celebrities and unrealistic fitness fads for weight loss does not inspire me. It's the everyday people that bowl me over as they win their bulge battles while having to get up and go to work all day and manage family and real life pressures. I see you and I salute you average-everyday-weight-loss-winner-guy. If you are a fan of the old Bud Light "Real Men of Genius" radio commercials, you will understand that reference.
I am still too embarrassed to reveal my actual weight, but I will tell you I am 5.5 pounds lighter than I was this time a month ago. Yes, I am making a big deal about that extra ".5" because no matter how small a victory it may be, I still earned it and plan to roll with it, baby. My intermittent mini-goal was to hit the 5 pounds benchmark by the first of every month until I reach my overall goal. June 1st is still a week away, so I hit this marker ahead of schedule. Score one for me! You can't see the lost pounds much. No one else has really noticed it either, but I don't care. I can feel it and it feels just as good as any race medal I have earned over the years. What exactly did the missing 5 pounds do for me? For one, I have been able to button up all the pants in my current size comfortably for the first time in a while. There was no way I was going to go up another pants size. My little weight loss venture started because I was no longer able to get the button on my pants fly to meet the hole on the other side and zip up without a little sucking in. Thankfully this is no longer a problem.
One of my other goals was to add back strength training to my workout rotation. Why did I stop weight training in the first place? Oh yeah, because I hate going to the gym. Aside from going to a good yoga class, I don't like being in a closed in space when I am sweaty. Call me a little neurotic, but sweaty bodies belong outdoors in fresh air. The worst time of day for me to go to the gym and get on a cardio machine is during that 6pm hour when it is packed with people like myself that come there after work to sweat out all the day's stress, meals and office aromas in a closed space of recirculated air. Their body odor is a non-attractive mix of everybody they encountered that day and their hot breath smells of everything they digested. Yuck!
Although I complain about it, I realize it is not their fault. It is my own little pet peeve to overcome. So to soften the blow of returning to a consistent gym routine, I have opted to go in the wee hours of the morning when it is completely empty of everything. When I say early, I mean early. Twice a week my alarm clock goes off earlier than any sane individual wakes up and I am in the gym about ten minutes after that. My gym of choice (not my usual gym) is located one red light away from my house, so the lack of traffic is wonderfully predictable at that hour. Once I am there, the familiarity of the free weights and hammer strength machines comes back to me and my competitive edge takes over. It is hard to get distracted when the only people in the gym that early are the cleaning crew and the lady at the front desk. Without any distractions, I have remained fairly focused during those early morning excursions thank Goodness. The results of this effort should start to become visible after another 5 pounds or so comes off.
Weight loss fads really piss me off. People tend to get all excited about whatever the latest diet fad may be and follow it to the letter. They buy the books, the DVDs and make the creator of the diet a billionaire success story. As soon as they reach their weight loss goal, they go back to eating crap and gain every single pound right back plus a few extra for good measure. Fads have never worked for me, mostly because I hate doing what everyone else is doing. My diet that has worked for me so far is broken down into three simple rules that I can live with long term. First, I eat more whole foods and less processed foods. That means I actually have to cook and prepare my meals ahead of time so I don't fall prey to the vending machine devil. I carry an insulated lunch bag everywhere so I can eat on the go. Second, I had to cut waaay back on my sugar intake. Being the sugar addict that I am, this means I had to upgrade my drinking habits, breakfast choices, and my Starbucks options to accomodate lower sugar alternatives. Third, I had to eat more lean protein. My old vegetarian habits die hard, because I don't usually eat meat with every meal. However now there is a serving of fish or chicken breast with lunch and dinner each day. In addition to all this I eat a small meal every 2 to 3 hours (about 6 times a day), so hunger is a non-issue.
This is nothing earth shattering or unique. It is good old fashioned Weight Loss:101. In month 2, I plan to change a few things. My weight training will go up to three sessions a week and my cardio will become high intensity intervals. The diet will continue on as-is and hopefully the sugar cravings will eventually disappear (yeah, right!). Let's make a date to meet back here in a month and by then I hope to be able to announce additional 5 pound loss. It is going on my calendar as a real appointment, so my super anal organized side will not allow me to break it. Whether it all goes well or not during this second month, I promise to be honest about my efforts here so I can be honest with myself about what the next chapter will be. Here's to hoping and working towards the best posible outcome. Talk to you then.