Archive for the ‘milestone’ Category
Now that I’ve lost more than 189 pounds, I’ve crossed another (minor) milestone and have lost more than three-fourths of the total amount that I need to drop (250 lbs from my highest weight of just over 451 pounds).
I was really close two weeks ago, and then my wife and I went on vacation to San Francisco. In my hubris, I was planning to try to lose weight while on vacation, but the best laid plans often go awry when you’re faced with eating every meal out. I figured that I could eat an extra 500 calories a day without gaining weight, since I usually maintain a deficit of 800–1000 calories. Sounds easy, no? I started out okay, but those bowls of cioppino, loaves of sourdough bread, and mission burritos aren’t going to eat themselves.
So I can’t say that I did my best. Sure, I continued to log what I ate and count the calories, but after the first few days I stopped worrying about it. When I came back I logged my weight and found that I’d gained three pounds (although I lost the first pound a day later after I flushed out all the salty restaurant food and lost the water I was retaining).
It took me a few more days to get back into the swing of Clean Livin’, but as of this morning I weighed-in at 261.8 lbs, which put me down below the ¾ mark.
You’re in my sights, 250 pounds.
Plus, there’s all that great Napa Valley wine that needed drinking. ↩
By tomorrow I won’t be happy weighing just under 275 pounds, but today it’s a milestone that feels worth celebrating. I’ll celebrate a milestone with every 25 pound loss, which means I have about three major weight milestones left (maybe four if I count my “ideal weight”). After that I’ll have to set new fitness goals to make the most of my new body, like running a marathon, climbing a mountain, etc.
Of course, there are some BMI range and personal history milestones left to come:
- 262.5 pounds – 3/4 of the way down from my starting weight of 451+ pounds
- 250 pounds – over 200 pounds lost, and a nice round number
- 240 pounds – dropping from “obese” to merely “overweight” on the BMI scale
- 200 pounds – my base goal for now – will need to re-evaluate once I reach it – but also moves me into the upper range of “normal weight” based on BMI
Getting my weight down to below 275 feels almost as significant to me as being below 300, but maybe only because it’s been so long in the making. I reached my previous weight-loss milestone post a little over two years ago, although what really happened is that I maintained a weight of around 300 pounds for two years, and then gained 15 pounds back, and now have lost 40 pounds in the past four months. So here I am 27 months after my previous milestone celebrating another 25 pounds lost.
A Little Perspective
According to Wikipedia, a Scottish caber weighs about 175 pounds. While I’ve never picked up a caber, they sure do look heavy. I suppose that from now on whenever I reach a milestone and say I’ve lost the equivalent of [blank] that most people will have no real idea of how much that is exactly.
Since people rarely lift things that weight more than just a few pounds I’ve run out of reasonable comparisons. I know that 175 pounds is more weight than most whole persons, so maybe I should just pose for photos with people weighing what I’ve lost so I can point to them and say “There. See this guy? I’ve lost this much.”
Weighing under 275 pounds was my goal for Labor Day so now that I’ve reached it five weeks early, I’m re-setting my weight loss goal to 262.5, which is 3/4ths of the way to my overall weight goal. It’s a little ambitious, but even if I miss it, at this rate it won’t be by much. I’m losing about ten pounds a month, so losing 12.5 pounds in five weeks isn’t that unreasonable.
Because everyone loves before & after photos, here’s one of me playing pool (badly) about a month into my Clean Livin’, back in July 2008:
And then to contrast and/or compare, here’s one from July 2012 (last week):
As I contemplate my Clean Livin’ quadrennial I’m reminded of the last time I celebrated my healthier lifestyle anniversary two years ago.
In the interim I got busy with life, stopped writing here, continued to remain active, but otherwise stagnated for almost two years. When I started trending upwards again I decided to redouble my efforts, get back to basics, and work the program that I know is effective… when you actually do it.
Some things I do every dang day:
- Walk on the treadmill (okay, I do this almost every day).
- Ride my bike to work during the week (most days, about 8 months out of the year).
- Weigh-in and record my weight.
- Log everything I eat or drink that isn’t water.
- Assess my caloric intake at the end of the day.
Stat Me Up
Anniversaries are good for celebration, but also a good time to reflect on pass successes and stumbling blocks. Since life is a continuum and every day is a new Start Date you can’t fail, just not succeed as fast. As long as you’re alive, you can be a bit healthier than you were yesterday.
Here are some numbers to consider on the fourth anniversary of when I made the decision to improve my body, get healthy, and help others do the same:
- Weighed-in just over 1,200 times (which means I missed about 250 days due to travel, or missing a day or two here and there).
- Since I got my Fitbit in February, 2010, I’ve walked over 3,500 miles.
- Starting weight: over 451 lbs (since that was the max of the scale that couldn’t weigh me when I started – but considering that I was measurable less than a week after I started, I couldn’t have weighed that much more than 451).
- This morning’s weigh-in: 287.2 lbs. That means I’ve lost 163.8 pounds, or a 36.32% decrease from my former body weight. That’s about the weight of a full keg of beer. Have you ever tried to lift a full keg? They’re heavy. Now imagine wrapping yourself with that much weight and carrying it around every day.
- My current goal weight is around 200 pounds. I’ll re-adjust when I get closer. If my calculations are correct, when this body drops 88 pounds you’re going to see some serious shit.
- At an average of –1 lbs / week, I should hit my goal by the beginning of 2014, which is a bit later than I’d originally planned, but of course if I can lose more faster I will.
It’s still a little shocking to me to see pictures of how I looked four years ago. I wish I thought of taking progress photos, or at least a “before” picture, when I started down this road, but here’s a photo of me from Thursday, 19 June 2008, three days into Clean Livin’. I’m in yellow, sitting on the steps at Daley Plaza by the fountain with some of my co-workers at the time (I wish I had a better quality image, but I think this was taken with someone’s old cell phone):
And to contrast and compare, here’s a full-body photo of me from our trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum last week (wearing, now that I see the picture, a shirt that’s too big for me):
A standard U.S. “half-barrel” keg. Perhaps you’ve seen one at parties or in movies about college keggers. ↩
People have asked me if I have been taking progress photos, and I’m a little sorry that I haven’t been. It would’ve been cool to see a time-lapse of my gradually shrinking body taken at the same place over a few years.
While it’s not nearly as cool, I did compile a few photos taken of me over the past two years (and a couple of months) so you can contrast and compare. The first photo is from March 2008 (in front of Faneuil Hall in Boston), when I was actually a bit heavier than I was even when I officially started my Clean Livin’ program, and the last photo was taken a week ago behind our house in Chicago, with me wearing a white tuxedo because we were going to my company’s “Prom” party.
Rather than trying to show how heavy I was I figured I’d show photos that I considered flattering at the time they were taken. So many before-and-after photos show horrible before photos with professionally posed after-shots. I figured I’d make an effort to do my best to show me looking my best.
I’ve been on the path to Clean Livin’ for two years now. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long already. I’ve had some ups & downs on the scale, but mostly downs, as I’ve lost 153 pounds since 16 June 2008.
The first half of the year marked some major fitness milestones for me; the most notable of which was getting down below the 300 pound mark. I went back over it a few times, and I didn’t help myself in trying all of the unhealthy foods that Seattle and Portland had to offer (see photo). I gained 2-3 pounds during a ten-day vacation, which I quickly lost again to plateau at just under 300 again. These are things that happen.
Plateaus are part of the process, and shouldn’t be too discouraging, but it’s always nice to see the numbers decrease on the scale, especially if it’s a personal best.
What have I learned in the past two years? Mostly that I know I can do this (and you can too) and that I don’t have to eat healthily all of the time; just most of the time, and I’ll still lose weight.
I’m glad my original goal was to be fitter and lead a more active lifestyle rather than just trying to lose weight. With the weight loss being a necessary side-effect of Clean Livin’, there’s been less internal pressure on the process, and I don’t have to fret about my weight training slowing down my weight loss since the number on the scale isn’t what defines my fitness (although it’s the easiest number to talk about).
Into year three I still have a little over a hundred pounds to lose, but it’ll come off slowly and surely, I’m sure of it.