Fitness is a major part of my “Fit at 40” goal. I’ve been overweight most of my life. I had a fleeting year where I made it down to 200 lbs, and on my 5’ 10” frame I actually thought I looked really good at the time. Definitely thinner than I’ve ever been before in my adult life. A lot of you will probably be taken aback to hear that I liked the way I looked at 200 lbs, but I actually didn’t know how much I weighed at the time. I didn’t own a scale for a long time and thought I weighed a lot less. I just liked what I looked like in the mirror, I was exercising, and I was eating right and I felt good. So I just assumed I was at or near my target weight.
And then… I bought a scale.
I wish now that I never had. Back then I thought that I had to be at a certain number to be happy. Completely forgetting I was happy with the way I looked and felt!
After months of hard work, seeing that the scale was around 200 lbs had me so dejected that it sent me into a spiral of depression that had me saying, “Fuck it. What’s the point?!” I stopped exercising, ate whatever I wanted (which for me is anything containing sugar), and just kind of gave up in general.
Which was so so stupid of me in hindsight, and should have been clearly obvious at that time, but I couldn’t fight and see my way past my feelings of dejection. I very quickly gained back all the weight I had lost. And then added on a few more pounds for good measure.
If I had just paid more attention to the way I was feeling and ignored the number on the scale, I probably would have kept losing weight and the scale would have dropped accordingly. More importantly though, I would have continued to feel better and enjoy myself and my life more.
These days I don’t believe you should be tied to a number on the scale. However, if you’re trying to lose weight I do think you should at least own one for tracking purposes. I know some days are going to be harder than others, but I feel as long as I see a downward trend over time, then I’m doing something right. The trick is to consciously let go of the guilt attached to the number.
I’ve been tracking my weight loss on a piece of paper I taped in my closet since the beginning of January. For purposes of this blog I downloaded a simple Excel template for weight loss tracking from http://www.contextures.com/excelweightlosstracker.html.
I backfilled my weight loss results and made a few tweaks to the format, but here are my current stats.
Clearly I need to buckle down and get stricter on my nutrition. Due to family obligations and several birthdays, there were a few weeks in here where we ate out nearly every night. When this happens I almost always “cheat”. I use quotes here because I don’t think it should be all or nothing; but, at the same time I’m still trying to get a handle on my eating, so it would be better if I didn’t overindulge while I’m still learning the ropes. I almost always head out with the best intentions to eat healthy, but usually by the time we finally get seated and order I’m starving and all my good intentions are long gone.
I aim for a very low carb diet. I don’t seem to have too many problems when eating at home. We have very few sugary/carby foods left in the house, and the ones that are here I don’t have any desire to eat. By focusing on eating at home more, and avoiding going out, I hope to see a more stable downward trend.
I feel like this post was all me, me, me. I plan to create more instructional posts on diet and exercise but I wanted to get some background information out of the way first. Hopefully just hearing about my journey will encourage others to start their own journeys.
Please don’t mind the mess.
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