Thursday, January 5, 2012

Weight Loss Chronicles: Day 1

I mentioned in a post last week that we're going to be expanding the scope of the blog a bit now that the football season is over.  Here is the first installment in following my weight loss efforts, I'm hoping doing this in a more public forum will help keep me motivated.

Ouch, "213.4 lbs" is what my scale screamed at me this morning as I weighed myself for the first time in quite a while.  That would be a pretty awesome weight if I stood at 6' 4" tall or so, but unfortunately my genes decided to stop at a towering physique of 5' 7".  So yeah, I'm pretty fat.

I played soccer year round growing up, and through high school typically maintained a weight of around 155 lbs (I'm naturally built a little wide, so carry some weight even when I'm fit.  Most guys my height in high school weighed in the 135 -140 lb range or so), and I remember my dad telling me one day that I'd have to be careful because once I quit playing soccer all the time, if I didn't watch my diet, I'd be 50 lbs heavier by the time I was in my 30's (I'm 34 now).  I thought he was absolutely nuts, there's no possible way I'd ever be over 200 lbs..........um, well, yeah.  Dammit, hate it when he's right.

I'm actually not the heaviest I've ever been.  When I got married at the age of 25, I was already up to 217 lbs.  Not too long after, I ended up doing the Atkins diet (yeah, I know, not the best diet) and dropped down to 180 lbs in about 7 weeks, and actually maintained a weight of 185-190 for a couple of years after that.  Since then, I've done the yo-yo thing quite a bit, but 2 years ago I was back at 190 lbs when I started my current job, and it's been a steady rise to my current weight since then.  And as I've been gaining weight, my wife has been losing it.  Since having our youngest one about 18 months ago, she's gotten herself in great shape, and is lighter now than even before she got pregnant with our first one.  The disparity between us has become pretty significant, and one of my co-workers was even kind enough to point out that when my wife and I walk beside each other, we're starting to resemble the number 10.  Even I had to admit that was pretty dang funny, but it still kinda drove home the point.

What REALLY drove home the point for me though was from my 5 year old.  She and I were talking about people exercising the other day, and at some point she said "Yeah, but boys aren't supposed to exercise, right?"  At that point I realized that being 5, her memory really only goes back for a year or two, and during that time she's never seen me exercising on a regular basis, while her mom has been at the gym 3-4 days a week.  So based on the example being set in our household, girls are supposed to exercise, but boys don't have to.  While that would be awesome if that were true, it hit me pretty hard how bad of an example I've been setting for my kids on how to take care of yourself.  It's funny how looking at things from a 5 year old's perspective makes you reassess things.

So, now my adventure begins.  I'm going to take a different philosophy this time.  I normally go into weight loss like hell on wheels, going to the extreme with everything, and I've pretty conclusively proven that doesn't work for me.  So I'm making some small changes initially like taking breaks to walk while at work, doing some light exercise at home (pushups, situps, squats), and trying to get my eating under control.  I don't have the willpower in the long run to just deny myself the foods that I love, but I need to do things like instead of shoving 4 big pieces of pizza down my throat, just eat a couple of small pieces and maybe some fruit.  Portion control is my greatest downfall, so I'm trying to focus on that initially.  As the weight comes off and I start to feel better, that will help motivate me into more strenuous exercise and diet corrections.  I realize that I won't see the huge weekly weight losses that I have seen in the past, but hopefully with the right mindset I can still stay motivated.

My goal is to get down to the 175 - 180 range, and maintain that.  All the official charts out there say a guy my height should be at the most 160 lbs, and closer to the 150 lb range, but that's a pipe dream.  Even moreso than focusing on weight though, I'd like to get back to where jeans with a 34 inch waist fit me comfortably (My 38" jeans are currently getting snug).  My ultimate, pie in the sky goal would be to fit into 32 inch waist pants again, but I would be happy if I could maintain at 34".

Who else out there is doing the weight loss thing right now?  I hope you'll contribute in the comments as I go along, and perhaps we can all serve as an encouragement for each other.  I'll check in with the weight loss thing once or twice a week to update you guys on my progress, my struggles, request advice, etc.  For those of you who come to us through Dawgbone, and are not interested in these posts from me, I'll always use the title of "Weight Loss Chronicles", so it will be easy for you to skip over.  By no means am I abandoning talking about UGA, the weight loss posts will just be in addition to that.

-Rev.

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