Ever wanted to hear a true weight-loss story about a ‘normal/average’ guy? Well here it is.
I went from 133kg (293.21 pounds) down to 83kg (182.98 pounds) in 222 days, a little over 7 months. I did it with no diet pills or fancy techniques, just the right research, a strong desire to lose weight and a little bit of hard work. If you keep reading, you might learn a few things that could help you.
Firstly, just a few things about me: I’m 28, married, kid on the way, work 9-5 in an office and would currently be considered as ‘fit’. I grew up in a small country town, and played a lot of sport as a kid, I was always very competitive, active and never really ‘overweight’. I worked at KFC for 6 years and ate plenty of it, but still never really put on weight. I even won a year’s supply of Krispy Kreme donuts and was downing at least 2-3 a day, but again, still maintained a ‘healthy’ weight range. It wasn’t until I got a 9-5 desk job that I started packing on the pounds. I stopped any sporting activities I was doing about the same time I got married. It kind of crept up on me, before I knew it, I was almost 300 pounds. How or why I got to that point, I don’t really know, I guess I was just lazy.
What changed? Well, my wife and I wanted to start a family. I’m not a doctor, nor an expert on children, but I believe one of the first steps would be to get ‘healthy’; to give the best chance of healthy children.
It was October 31, 2012 and I decided that I would start my ‘diet’ on November 15. I had 2 weeks to get ready. After browsing, trawling, googling and researching the best and worst ways to lose weight, I came to the conclusion that consuming less calories combined with burning more calories was the best approach. So the first thing I decided to do was STOP eating junk food. This included all take-out, potato chips, chocolate milk, ice-cream, fried food, fizzy drink/soda, beer and candy. I switched everything else to light versions – milk, cheese, butter, multi-grain bread, brown rice, meats, oils etc. I absolutely refused to budge on this, I had to just say NO. I aimed to keep under 1000 calories per day. This meant if I had 1150 calories of food/drink that day, I would need to burn 150.
I was dreading having to do PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, but it was necessary. So the second thing I did was buy a treadmill. Now, you don’t need to buy a treadmill, you could just go for a run outside, but I have a few problems with that:
1. It’s cold outside.
2. spiders hang down from the trees and I hate them been on me and
3. It’s boring.
So I went to google again, did some research, and found a good brand that would support my weight. I found a used one on ebay, it was local and for a good price. I picked it up the same day and placed it right in front of my 65″ tv, ready for November 15.
Now I just needed a way to keep me on track. So the third thing I did was…TELL EVERYBODY. I told all my family and friends, at work, home and facebook that I would lose 50kg by July 15, 2013. (My Workplace Annual Gala Dinner). I also promised my wife that once I had lost the weight, we would try for a kid. Telling everyone kept me accountable and motivated.
I needed a way to track my results. Firstly, I paid a visit to the doctors to get some tests done. (Keep reading and I’ll give you the results soon). I visited the same Doc once a month and it was very encouraging to see and hear it was working. Secondly, I downloaded an app called My Fitness Pal (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/). It was recommended to me by a friend, who swore by its usefulness. You can search the calories of any food or drink by just typing it in, or scanning the barcode. It even works for barcodes on food items that are in different languages. It also gives you a rough idea of many calories a particular exercise would burn eg. 30min jog, 15min swim a 18 hole round of golf. I used this app every. single. day.
November 15 came around very quickly. I checked the scales and jotted down 133.1kg on my calendar. I had 2 hard-boiled eggs with a pinch of salt for breakfast and a glass of water, 140 calories total. By lunch time I was pretty hungry, as usually I would snack on some lollies/chocolate in between. I had 2 light cruskits (puffed rice biscuits) with vegemite for lunch and 250 ml of vitamin water, 160 calories total. I had a further 2 cruskits for a snack, another 160 calories. When I got home from work, I tried out my new treadmill. I intended on jogging 3km, but after 500m, I was stuffed. I continued walking until I had reached 3kms. At this point, I felt I was starving, I needed food. For dinner I had 300g teriyaki chicken, with 200g of brown rice and 500ml of vitamin water, another 650 calories. In total I had 1110 calories for the day, but burned roughly 200 for the jogging. I continued this every day, of course mixing it up a little.
Some people say to only check the scales once a week, but I’m a one of those people who just have to know everything. So I checked the scales at least 3-4 times a day, more on weekends. I wanted just wanted to know how much certain meals or workouts translated to in weight. After just one week of this diet, I was at 125.9kg, I had lost 7.1kg. Of course, it wasn’t like that every week.
I got through 2 weeks, but I was hungry all the time, and hated the treadmill already, but there was light at the end of the tunnel, I could jog for over 1km now and the diet was working. My friends and family however, were sceptical. They believed that my calorie intake was too low, and that I couldn’t sustain this diet long term. They thought I wasn’t getting enough of the essential vitamins, they also feared I would get over it quickly and just put all the weight back on. Though they were probably right about the vitamins part, but I knew I could keep up the diet.
One of the hardest things about losing weight is avoiding places where food is plentiful. Birthday parties, work functions and family dinners are unavoidable at times and often required extra strong will power to say no that potato chip, pie or beer. What I’ve learnt though, is the more you say no, the easier it is to say no the next time.
After 4 weeks of this, I was so totally over it, but still refused to eat or drink any junk food. I was also not losing as much as weight as before, but I could jog 3km no problem and I was down to 118.2kg, a further 7.2kg loss. I felt I needed a faster way, so over the next few weeks I tried a few things.
I tried about 10 different types of diets eg. Slimfast, celebrity slim, fatblaster, lemon detox, alternate day diet etc. I gave most of them a week or so, but ultimately you just plateau and get really, really over it. It might work for some people, but they didn’t really work for me.
There were some things that worked well, one thing I recommend if you’re trying to lose weight is to get more sleep. I found that the weeks I got more sleep, the more weight I lost. Again, I’m no expert and google is the source of pretty much all my knowledge, but from what I understand, sleep deprivation slows down your metabolism. Also, while you’re asleep, you’re not eating or near food, you are actually burning calories, while asleep. I received this great tip from a colleague at work, he said ‘keep yourself actively doing something, like washing dishes, gardening or walking and avoid at all costs sitting on the couch to watch tv’. It actually works; it’s a great way to keep yourself distracted from going to the fridge or pantry, and avoiding old habits like grabbing a bag of chips to munch on while sitting in front of the TV.
After about 3 months I was 103kg. I had lost 30kg and had only 20kg to go. Whatever I was doing was working, so I just kept on doing it. Of course, by this time I was well over using the treadmill, but I had found a fun, fast calorie burning activity – SQUASH. One full hour of squash could burn up to 750 calories. At first, it was tough to actually play out a full hour, but over time it got easier. It was great for me, because I’m so competitive, the more I wanted to win, the more I had to run around after that little black ball. The only downside to squash is you need to find someone to play with; fortunately my family and friends were as keen as me to help me lose weight.
The last few months were difficult because you just want to finish it, just get to the goal and have some full meals again. I’ve been maintaining the same weight now for about 3 months. I eat roughly 1600 calories a day, but don’t really count them anymore and I play squash once a week. I try to go for a long walk once or twice a week as well. It’s true what they say, it’s 80% diet.
In summary, it was a tough 7 months. But it was only 7 months of my life; I probably gained 15-20 years from doing it. I use to wear clothes sized 4XL, now I’m down to an M. Here are some results of my first doctor’s appointment:
Weight – 133kg (293.21 pounds)
BMI – 40.5
Blood Pressure -165/104
Blood Sugar level – 8.0
I also had a severe case of Sleep Apnea, causing loud snoring, fatigue/exhaustion and lack of focus at work. I was told my risk of heart attack, diabetes and various other diseases were significantly increased, not to mention that if I maintained that level obesity, I would most likely lose decades off my life. My tests, 222 days later, showed a huge difference:
Weight – 83kg
BMI – 25.9
Blood Pressure – 124/85
Blood Sugar Level – 4.1
Not perfect results, but far healthier than before. Also, my wife and I are will be welcoming the first addition to our family in late February.
I wrote this blog to help people. Not just to inspire people, but to also give as many helpful tips as I could. Hopefully you’ve come away with something that could help you or someone close.
Summary of helpful tips:
- Consume less calories, burn more calories. Simple.
- STOP eating junk food – Seriously, just say NO.
- Tell everybody, make yourself accountable.
- Count your calories. (My Fitness Pal)
- Get more sleep.
- Regularly check your weight/health.
- Have a goal and stick to it, no matter what.
- Be more active, more regularly.
If you have any questions about My True Weight Loss Story, feel free to ask.