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!