Losing Weight

Weight Loss Update January 26th 2013

Yesterday is the first day I've broken out the measuring tape and surveyed the damage in over a month. Looking back on my weight from this Dec 8th, I'm pretty close, so it's not too surprising that the measurements are the same too.

My current weight as of yesterday is 202.2, which is just a hair under the 203.8 of last Thursday which will have to suffice, as I wasn't home to do the normal routine and measurements on Saturday.

I've gotten into a good routine the past couple weeks and it feels quite a bit like the really productive season I had last summer when the pounds and the lethargy just seemed to disappear daily. I think that the single most defining piece of my routine is probably remembering to drink enough water. When I do, I don't find myself craving food as often.

I'm handily winning the office weight loss challenge for the time being, but I've got some great, disciplined coworkers so I'm not planning on letting off on the intensity.

Short this time around, but I'm guessing that's due to the simplicity of what is needed. When I do what I know to do, this just works.

Weight Loss Reboot

Well, I haven't written much of anything about health, fitness or losing weight in quite awhile. In fact the last post went up on October 30th. That's 2 months and 17 days. I was posting every week for quite awhile, and then slipped into every other week and I think it was mostly due to the lack of progress. Do you remember why I started writing about this and posting it publicly? I do, but I forgot for a bit.

I got down to 194 in late September and then held steady for a few weeks. As I mentioned back in October, a vacation to visit family really did me in. I went into it with the thought that I'd just be really disciplined about everything for a couple weeks and get caught up. I did lose a couple pounds once I got back into the routine, but almost as fast as that happened, Halloween came, with all its candy. Then a week or so after the candy was gone, Thanksgiving happened, and then...Well, people don't make a big deal about weight gain during the holiday season for nothing.

Anyway, enough with the excuses. I'm back on it.

I started at 212.4 on the 31st of December. Today I weighed in at 203.8. I haven't been taking measurements, but I plan to do that this Saturday. I've also started doing a weight loss competition with my coworkers. That should add a little extra cash motivation. I'm still aiming for the same goal of 180 pounds and I don't have a real time frame. I'm certainly thinking it would be cool to get there before the 1 year anniversary of starting, which is May 12th.

As before, if you are using MyFitnessPal, I'd love to connect and my userid is danredwing. I'm not great at remembering to input everything I eat, but I'm trying to get better.

If you are just getting started, I'm happy to answer any questions about what has and what hasn't worked for me. You can also take a look in the Archives under Losing Weight and see all the updates from this past year.

Weight Loss Update Week 24- Getting Back on The Wagon

So, I've been home from vacation in southern California for a week and a half now. While I was there, not riding my bike 14 miles a day and eating well due to the hospitality of our families, I gained about 9 pounds.

I'm not proud of this, but it isn't an insurmountable obstacle. A week before I left for this trip, I said that I was going to start tracking what I eat more closely in order to get back on track.

I'm late doing it, but I started today.

Just trying to stay honest and get moving in the right direction.

Weight Loss Update Week 21- Pizza is my Nemesis


Here are my measurements for today and from 2 weeks ago:

9-22 Weight 195 Waist 43 Chest 45 Hips 42 Neck 16.25 R Bicep 12.25 L bicep. 12.25 R Thigh. 25.25 L thigh 25.25

10-6 Weight 198.4 Waist 42.5 Chest 44.5 Hips 42 Neck 16.25 R Bicep 12 L bicep. 12 R Thigh. 25.25 L thigh 25.25

I'm still making some small progress in terms of measurements, but unfortunately, weight has kind of leveled out again. My weight is higher today, but it was at 194.2 earlier this week and 194 last week. I have noticed (and so has my wife) that my arms and chest have gained some definition and my clothes are continuing to fit differently.

All of that leaves me with a desire to push even harder. I'm still about 15-16 pounds away from my original goal and I'm even more convinced that I'm not quite to where I need to be in terms of discipline. In other words, I still let food be in-charge more often than I'd like. Yesterday was a prime example. I had a great workout, breakfast, and mid morning meal, but then a friend asked if I wanted to go to lunch with him. My lunch was something that seemed like a decent choice, but untimately, was probably 50-70% higher in calories than I should have had. After that, we had pizza for dinner, and I ate more pieces than I should have.

As I've said before, I really love food especially Pizza.

So, here is my commitment for this coming week. I will start tracking calories again using myfitnesspal.com and my focus will be on mindfulness regarding the foods I'm choosing and why.

One more thing- Though things have slowed down lately, and I haven't seemed quite as fired up over the past few weeks, I'm feeling great and am continuously reminded of how good this move has been for me by my ill-fitting clothes.

Weight loss update Week 18- Shiny Things and Bacon

I've had a pretty good week and am feeling good about my old nemesis discipline. When I look back through journal entries from the past few years, this issue of discipline has been constant. An old lyric by Derek Webb just popped into my head. "...the same old struggles that plagued me then are plaguing me still"

I don't know if this is such a struggle for you, for everyone or just for me. I've certainly met people- close friends even- who are amazingly disciplined and just do what they know is right with impressive consistency.

My resolve is so much more fleeting. I am so easily derailed and distracted by shiny things and bacon.

I've had a couple weeks of holding steady. My weigh in this morning was 196.3. I was hoping an all time low and hit it, but just by one tenth. My goal was for somewhere under 196. Either way, I'm feeling better week by week and my measurements continue to decrease.

I guess that the primary update to give you is that I'm not tracking my food as closely anymore. I've gotten into some pretty good habits at this point and feel like I don't really need to input every thing I eat to know how many calories it has. That being said, I may start back up again at some point if I feel like I've gotten off track.

This has been part of my long-term strategy all along as I don't want to be stuck counting calories the rest of my life. It's kind of like reading instructions or a recipe the first few times you make something. At first, you havent' memorized exactly how it works and need to check every so often to make sure you are still doing it right. After you have made the same thing 50 times, chances are you have the recipe/instructions memorized and can wing it.

So, all of that said, I'm not able to use autopilot just yet. I read a great post this week by Joshua Becker on his blog Becoming Minimalist that kind of addresses this. He is talking about getting to the point where you don't miss and long for possessions. That contentedness comes from recognition of what you are able to have because of what you've given up.

Cool. I'm gonna have to chew on that a bit this week.

Weight Loss Update Week 16

This past couple weeks has been more about maintenance and trying not to lose ground even with crazy circumstances. As you can see from the photos this past week, I was backpacking last Saturday through Tuesday. It’s always a bit of a challenge just making sure you get enough water, and fuel when you are away from civilization like we were.

At my last update on the 18th I was 199.6. Last Saturday before leaving town, I came it at 197.6. Wednesday morning after getting home, it was 203.4. By the next morning, I’d dropped back to 197.8. I’m pretty sure it was water weight as the first shower I took, my fingers shriveled up like prunes because they were so dry. Basically, your body hangs onto any extra water you can get when you aren’t drinking enough.

I put a couple pounds back on this week and weighed in at 199 yesterday morning. Honestly, I just stuck with a more carb heavy diet after all the dried camp food. I feel like I’m back to an equalibrium.

I’m planning to really go at it this week and get back on track. I’m hoping to lose another 10 pounds before the end of September- More if I can, but 10 at the least. I had a goal of hitting 180 lbs by that date, but I’m a little behind.

I also have really noticed some changes in my body, from a composition sense. I’ve lost a lot of fat from my core torso area and have gained muscle that I can feel. I’ve been surprised when I’ve scratched my arms and side, by how firm things are feeling.

One last thing. I’ve really need to get some clothes altered and in some cases, just start replacing things. Not a bad feeling, Not bad at all.

Under 200! Weight Loss Update Week 14

Here are the numbers-

8–4 Weight 202.8 Waist 44.5 Chest 44.25 Hips 43 Neck 16.5 R Bicep 12.25 L bicep. 12.25 R Thigh. 26 L thigh 26

8–18 Weight 199.6 Waist 43.5 Chest 44 Hips 42.25 Neck 16.5 R Bicep 12.1275 L bicep. 12.1275 R Thigh. 25.5 L thigh 25.5

Can I just say how stoked I am this morning? Man, I don’t remember being under 200 pounds since college. I intentionally didn’t record measurements last week as Emily and I were celebrating 12 years of marriage and that meant, we were at the coast, eating out for every meal and doing very little that could be considered active.

That being said, the folks that see me every day and ask were fully aware that I was on the verge of breaking through the 200 pound mark.

Here’s another thing that’s really exciting- I also lost a full inch around my waist during this last 2 weeks and .75" from my hips/butt. I knew these would both be great numbers this week as my suit pants have all gotten ridiculously big on me this week. Another belt loop, and another 2 suits that absolutely have to get taken in this week.

Ok. Enough about the success, let me say a little about what has been working for me.

Water and sleep. Every weight loss book or plan I’ve ever read or casually browsed talks about these two, but until very recently, I just didn’t approach them with much enthusiasm.


I’ve been pretty hardcore. I refill my 27 ounce Klean Kanteen bottle at least 5 times each day at work, and usually 3 times again after I get home. For those who aren’t great at math, that’s 216 ounces, which is 1.6875 gallons. I got on this after my I saw my friend Chris fill up a gallon container and take it back to his desk each day. Chris is ripped. That may seem like a ton, but I feel less hungry, I have less cravings for other drinks, and my body seems to regulate temperature and everything else much better.


I was talking to my friend Shaun about sleep this week and we both felt like it was so common sense, but so easily overlooked. I am a little crazy about weighing myself. I weigh myself every evening before going to sleep and again in the morning. When I get at least 7 hours of sleep, I lose 4 pounds of weight at night. When I get less sleep, I lose less. Not just that night, but also the whole next day. I looked into it a little further and it seems like the consensus among doctors and researchers is it’s mostly water weight lost through respiration, perspiration and trips to the bathroom. In addition, the average person’s body burns around 70 calories an hour while sleeping through normal metabolic functions. There is some research pointing to overall metabolic processes operating more efficiently when you get enough sleep.

Ok, enough weight loss nerdiness. I’m now 19.6 pounds away from my 180 pound goal. I blew right past the halfway point without even realizing it because I was so focused on getting under 200. I’ve set a stretch goal to hit 180 by October 1st. It’s going to be tough, but I’m feeling pretty motivated and energized this week.

If you are also trying to lose weight, or develop healthy habits, I’m here to cheer you on. Drop a note and say “Hi!” and/or introduce yourself!

Delayed Marshmallow Gratification

Just saw this article today on Slate.  Researchers gave a group of kids a marshmallow each and told them that if they could wait to eat it for a few minutes, they would receive a second marshmallow.  The study was done back in the mid 70′s and they’ve been tracking key data about these individuals who are now in their late 30s and early 40s.

The data indicates :

…that the kids who knew how to delay gratification at age 4 tended toward higher SAT scores and social competence. As a group, they were better at planning and handling stress. And now a new study shows that all the way into adulthood, they are also less likely to be overweight or obese.

My wife always says that I have no sense of delayed gratification.  I can’t really argue.  I’m not sure how I would have fared in the marshmallow test, but I’m like a big 8 year old when it comes to gadgets.

Found the article via Dave Pell’s Nextdraft newsletter