Three Lessons I’ve Learned About Losing Weight & Keeping It Off

From 318 pounds to 238 pounds.

I tipped the scales at 318 pounds, which, even for a 6’5″ male pushes me beyond the traditional medical height/weight chart.  “Obese” is a word I don’t care for, especially applied to me.  I was 36, a father of three, a pastor, and happily active, and… obese.  Today the stats are almost the same except that I’m 2 years older and 80 pounds lighter.  People ask how I did it, what motivated me, and how I feel.  Here’s my best attempt to answer:

How Did You Do It?

I lost weight the way most people do: more exercise and less food.  I measured calories with an app called LoseIt.  By measuring, I mean that I measured every single thing I ate… even barbecue sauce.  It turns out that I was eating way too much food.  Measuring caused me to eat less and helped me make better nutritional decisions.  My family became accustomed (and slightly annoyed) by my regular phone checking during and after meals, but they’re pretty OK with the results. By the way: the Decaf Latte’ I’m drinking right now contains 130 calories.

I joined a gym… and I actually go! Exercise time is built into my daily schedule.  The habit is so ingrained that I don’t even have to think about going anymore, which means I don’t have to talk myself into it each day.  I made a plan & kept it: count calories & work out every day.

What Motivated Your Weight Loss?

When people ask “how did you do it?” they often mean “how did you discover the willpower?”  That, friends, is the hard part.  In years past, I’ve jumped on the treadmill on January 1 only to down a gallon of ice-cream on January 4th.  But the blood pressure meds and the young kids who needed a dad around for a long time pushed me to life change.  We are creatures of habit, be it physical, spiritual, or professional.  The best resource I found is The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.  My Keystone habit is exercise, meaning that exercise is what holds my disciplines together.  Check out this interview on Keystone Habits.  Once exercise was firmly established, prayer and writing became much easier.  Indeed we are body, mind, and spirit.


How Do You Feel?

I sleep better, I’m sick less often, and my heart doesn’t do weird jumping jacks anymore.  My knees and legs don’t ache, I’m not winded, and it’s easier to find clothes that fit.  But all the other issues I faced as a broken human remain and still need healing.  Physical health is only part of our total human equation.  No, weight loss isn’t a cure-all, but it definitely helps.  It helped me in more ways than one.  I recommend!

One Question They Don’t Ask: How Will You Keep It Off?

I’ll answer that in a future post!

Do you have questions?  Experience with weight loss?  Any words of advice for me or others?  Please comment!



About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (
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2 Responses to Three Lessons I’ve Learned About Losing Weight & Keeping It Off

  1. Ed McMurray says:

    I learned not to go on a diet. After many attempts to lose weight trying the latest fad diet, counting calories, carbs, cabbage soup diet, Adkins, & Weight Watchers I usually ended up weighing more than when I started. I weighed 204 lbs when I went on first diet. My last diet I weighed 280 lbs.

    Weighing 294 lbs and fast approaching the magic (?) number of 300, I was scared cause diets were not working. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me. He did. I got Bell’s Palsy and lost taste on half my tongue. Nothing tasted good, I ate anything I wanted, I just wasn’t eating. Pounds flew off at the rate of nearly 1lb a day. I dropped 30 lbs in nothing flat.

    I have hovered at or around 280 until recent times. What I learned was never again will I go on a diet. I will start a life changing event that will be my lifestyle for the rest of my life. Being on a diet seems to signify one can go back to eating whatever once your goal is achieved. So change your lifestyle and do not, I repeat, do not go on a diet. The secret? Eat less and if possible exercise.

    I am presently under 250 lbs for the first time in 40 years. I have gone from size 50 pants to size 46, shirt size from 2X to XL. Suit size from 52 to 48. I do not have a goal, but 200 lbs would be nice.

  2. That’s great, Ed! Congrats on going down in size.
    I’ve also experienced that going “on a diet” is a temporary change that brings temporary results. It has to be lifestyle change. Emily and I once did a diet where all we ate for a week was chicken and rice. It was horrible. I lost 7 pounds but gained 10 over the next two weeks. What I’m doing now seems to work well for me, but I know if I’m not careful… things will creep back up in a heartbeat.

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