Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Weight Game - The Intro and Week 1

As I mentioned last week, one of my main resolutions is to finally get my weight back down and keep it off. At first I thought I would avoid talking much about it here because I was worried about not living up to my resolution. Like last year I mentioned it here and I lost only seven pounds. Three of which were back by the summer and then another seven were added before the New Year.

But this year is different. Unlike last year where I just planned to eat a little better and try exercising, I have a set diet that I am following. But before getting into that, I thought I'd cover where I've been and where I am.

In my high school years, I remember being around 170 for my 5'-10" frame. I was big into running back then, though even that couldn't stop a slow and steady increase in weight. My freshman year in college started a continuing cycle of waxing and waning. I ran my first marathon that October, then promptly stopped running to refocus on my studies. I put on ten pounds that fall and winter. Hence began the cycle of adding weight during the late-fall/early winter then losing some of it (not all) over the spring and summer. A steady increase over the years.

One notable weight loss was during my first stay in France in 1991. They had no prepared food like mac and cheese or hamburger helper. So I cooked almost everything from scratch. I really enjoyed it. Two notable gains include when I gained financial freedom and when our first child was born. When I first started working and getting a substantial paycheck, it was like letting a caged animal run free. I was sucking down Starbutts latest super sugary concoction twice or three times a day and regularly having my fattening fast food favorites like burritos, pizza, and McDonalds. While our first child was cooking in the oven, I sympathetically gained weight alongside my wife. Though she lost the weight naturally over the next year, I never recovered.

Since we bought our computer in 1999, I have been keeping track our my weight-reduction attempts via spreadsheets and graphs. I feel it is the only way to comprehend your progress. The interesting thing is that I now have that all on record and can compare current progress against past years. I can also see what worked and what didn't (like last year).

So what worked. The Atkins Diet. In 2000, I lost 20 lbs on it, going from 204lbs to 184 lbs in 6 months. In 2004, I tried it again and lost 19lbs, going from 213lbs to 194lbs in 5 months. The problem with the diet was that there was so much preparation and eating out basically set you back a week. Although I wasn't hot on the idea of protein only, it was the diet that showed me how evil sugar and refined flour can be. I also tried the Zone diet in late 2000, but I found the requirement to strictly regulate portions difficult to manage. Though, this diet helped me understand the nutritional value of many foods. In 2001, I trained for my third marathon, but lost all of three pounds. I can only hope the lack of weight loss was due to increased muscle mass.

I have been interested in losing weight this year because my father is getting remarried and I would like to look good for it. Plus my father introduced me to the "Lets Do Lunch" diet and I've been giving it a whirl. I started at 213lbs and I am now at 208lbs. I will go into my thoughts about the diet in the next installment. But needless to say, I'm quite happy to be down 5lbs after a week. I know from experience that it is part water and the first pounds are the easiest to lose, but heck if it isn't a good motivator.

My hopes are that being this public about the whole thing will keep me dedicated to it. Plus the diet is currently a big part of my life so it makes sense to post about it. The diet is easier than the previous two mentioned, but it does still take work. My goal is 183lbs for early August. Lets see if I can do it (and keep it off).


Martine said...

Go for it, Frank. You are brave to post this, and it shows your determination. When I started my "program" a year ago, I didn't dare talk about it for fear of not succeeding. Hell, I barely talked about succeeding because I was afraid it was only temporary! I still haven't completely reached my goal but I'm closer to it than I thought I'd be able to and it feels good, which is all that matters.

Bon courage!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Martine. I've got quite a bit of momentum going already after a week. So that's why I figured I should be able to pull it off this time. The diet is working well and has a good chance of being followed for a long time. I'll get into it further next week.

Congrats on losing the weight. I know it's definitely not easy.

Blork said...

Frank, we'll be watching your progress. Last year I lost 20 lbs between January and May, and kept it off for the rest of the year. I put five back on in the past six weeks due to lack of exercise (sore back threw me off schedule) and holiday eating/drinking.

I'm back on track now and want to take that five back off, and another five (maybe 10) besides.

Maybe we need a little competitive wager!

Unknown said...

Oooo... A wager! If nothing more than blogging braggin rights, that's quite a bit of incentive.

I'll warn you that I'm quite good at losing weight. The problem is when I fall of the dieting wagon at the end of the summer and put it all back the following holiday season.

So if we do it, it would make sense that we have a ratio seeing as I have more to lose. My goal is 30, but 40 would bring me down to what my scale says is 18% body fat (173lbs). Or do we do it in kilos? And do we count the 6lbs I've lost already? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

I am considering doing something similar. You and are about the same height and weight, although I would be perfectly satisfied going down to 193 or thereabouts.

Rose has made a commitment to lose some weight as well, and it seems to be working. It's strictly a discipline thing, although her appetite has diminished significantly; a huge plus.

Unknown said...

Jonas, I thought you were much taller than me. At least 6 feet tall, if not more. Great for Rose. I've found cravings much easier to handle this time around. I attibute that to the diet which I'll elaborate more on soon.