Weight Loss Progress Week 1

So, I started this weight loss thing last week. To be precise, I wrote about it on Saturday, and I started actually tracking and doing the right things on Monday. So many people have written kind, supportive notes, and I’m incredibly appreciative. For me, it is just more reinforcement that people are aware and this isn’t a private matter. Thank you. I’m happy to hear that this has been encouraging to so many of you. That’ also part of why I’m doing this. A few of you are doing something similar, and let me just say- No good luck wishes. I am praying for you and I right now -for strength and humility because I think that is what it takes. Here is the progress so far-

If you remember, in the post I said that I was 225. When I started on Monday, I was 227.4. This morning, I weighed in at 220.6. That’s 6.8 pounds.

More important than the weight loss to me, is the way that I feel. I feel fantastic in two different ways. Obviously, there is the fact that I’ve lost almost 7 pounds physically. I have more energy and feel less sluggish. Less obvious, but more powerful is the way that I feel about myself today. I feel like a winner, like someone who is in control of where he is going and how he is going to get there.

So, here is what I’ve been doing.

I have been using myfitnesspal.com. My userid is danredwing, and if you are using it too, please add me as a friend and maybe send me a note to let me know who you are...those usernames can be a little wacky. I like the iPhone app. Surprise, surprise. I set it up to auto share every time I weigh-in to both Facebook and Twitter. In all fairness, it only shares if I lose weight, but I haven’t had a day with no loss yet.

I track everything. I input everything I’m eating and do my best to break down stuff into individual parts to get a real sense of how much I’m eating. I have set it to share my diary with friends, so if we get connected there, you can see my routine. I usually enter most of my food as I’m packing my meals for the day. This has the added benefit of making it easier to stick with the plan because I’ve already planned it out.

My friend Jon Smith posted this quote as his status update this week-

Prepare when you are strong for a time when you will be weak

It is the title of a chapter from Mark Laaser’s book- The 7 principles of highly accountable men

I haven’t read the book, but this phrase has stuck with me since I saw it earlier this week as it deals with so much of what I’ve struggled with in the past.

For Exercise, I’m still doing my usual 14 miles daily bike commute, but I’m pushing a bit harder than I did before. It burns about 450 calories on the way to work and about 550 on the way home. I’m truly lucky to have this sort of built-in activity, but it is no accident. I started doing it 4 years ago a couple times a week as a way to change my lifestyle.

As you may have noticed, I’m way ahead of the 1.5 pounds a week that I was planning on. An easy way to describe what’s happening is this- I’m dropping water and food weight. I was usually eating more food before and not drinking as much water. These changes have brought down sodium levels, which helps with alleviating water retention. Also, there just isn’t as much physical weight when you are controlling what you eat. Put those together and you lose weight that isn’t really fat.

I’m also taking advantage of this initial dramatic loss to help motivate myself and kick start the habits that I’ll need to develop over the long haul. It is a lot easier to stick with it when you are seeing significant daily results. I’m also on a lower calorie plan for these first couple weeks- a calorie deficit that should result in a 5 pound per week loss. It isn’t sustainable, but helps get things cleaned out and on track. I will likely add back in some food a couple weeks out. We’ll see how it goes.

I think that the biggest factor for me in deciding to do this is the nagging conviction that I’ve got to have integrity. I was justifying not dealing with it by believing that it was private and didn’t affect anyone else. When I really thought about it in those terms, I realized that I was justifying neglecting my health the way people justify all of their sins, hangups and vices. Something had to change.

Though I’ve said it before, I’m holding onto the conclusion that long-term it has to be about more than just looking better. If that is the only reason to do this, I don’t really have to. But, If it is truly about being there for my kids and wife and setting an example of doing the things that I believe in- then the stakes have just been raised.

Once again, thanks for the support!

Oh, and one more thing- everyone knows that the first step is admitting that you have a problem- But not just to yourself. Speak it (or write it) to someone else who will watch, encourage and root for you.

edit- Hey, I just wanted to let you all know that this evening, my friend Jon Bean posted that he  is taking on a challenge very similar to mine. Please stop by his blog, read about him and throw some encouragement and eyes his way.

I hadn’t really thought anyone else would put themselves out there like this, but I’m excited for what this will mean for Jon and his wife and boys and I’ll be praying for him.