Sunday, April 3, 2011

218 and still more to go...

The first quarter of 2011 is already behind us and I'm rather proud of what I've accomplished so far on my personal quest to get fit and hopefully stick around on this planet as long as possible. On Jan 1, 2011 I weighed in at 252. Before that I think my highest was 258 sometime in early 2010 (before the Half Marathon training began). On April 1st,2 2011 I weighed in at 218.2. I personal best (so far) and a weight I've not seen in 15 years or more. A few people have asked me what I'm doing for my weight loss. My answer? Nothing special really. Just five things:

  1. I'm using the Livestrong App on my iPhone and iPad to keep a daily record of what I shove into my mouth. You'd be surprised how fast stuff adds up when you document it. It really makes you stop and think.
  2. Realizing that food package size does not equal serving size. This is where I believe America's problem lies. We are constantly presented with "snacks" that are packaged in what is assumed to be a "serving" never thinking that it could be more than one. In truth all food labels show the nutritional information for just one serving which misleads people into thinking the "snack" they are consuming is not as bad as it really is. I believe that all snack type items should be made to be in single serving packaging but in today's age that'll never happen. People want bang for their buck and a tiny package of 15-18 chips doesn't look anywhere near as good as the typical "snack" bag we are sold today. Usually containing 2 or 3 servings per bag.
  3. For items not packaged for individual "snack"size consumption I've taken the same approach. I pour myself a cup of milk instead of a glass of milk. A cup of cereal instead of a bowl of cereal. I was surprised at how much a true serving of cereal was. For years I've been presented with full heaping bowls of cereal in TV commercials and on the front of the cereal boxes. All of those images are bullshit. They are showing you 2-3 servings minimum either deliberately or through manipulated perception by using smaller bowls/cups/utensils. Cutting back to actual servings works wonders.
  4. Getting off my ass. Sounds simple enough right. That's because it IS. Some people, myself included, need a motivator to get off their ass. I use money. I have been keeping my schedule full of races that require non-refundable fees and getting them registered and paid for so I have money to lose if I don't get off my ass and train to make those events. Money is a great motivator in this respect. Try it, it works. For training, find a local run group, hashing group, bike group, etc... When you have a group event to routinely do every week it helps get you going because you have people you want to see and that are looking forward to seeing you.
  5. Drinking more water, less sodas and sugary stuff. Yup, here's another simple one. It's as simple as it sounds. I'm not a soda guy. Never have been really. I'm a sweet tea guy. So instead of sweet tea, I now order unsweet. If no unsweet is available I order water.
This is about all I've done to alter my habits in the past 3 months and so far its working. I've still got many miles (and pounds) to go and I'm not giving up.