Friday, August 21, 2009

A new day begins...

Welcome.  Let's begin, shall we?

Hi, my name is Adam, and I'm a fatty.

I am starting this blog to chronicle my weight loss journey.  I am beginning today to go from what I am now: an overweight, out of shape man, to what I want to be: a fit, healthy man.  This blog is about my journey, which is to say it is not an attempt for me to advise you how to lose weight.  I'm not sure if what I have planned will work, but I'm darn sure gonna try it.  Along the way if anyone who shows up here is inspired, can help me, or can help each other then that's always a nice bonus.  I hope I don't sound to self-centered, but this blog is about a life change that I need to happen for me to be more satisfied.

So where do we begin?  First let's get a look at me now:
Front view:

Profile view:

As you can see I'm not obese, but I definitely can stand to lose some pounds.  At the time of these photos I weighed 180 lbs.  Since I took them two weeks ago, and I have made some attempt at getting started already, I have lost a few pounds since then.  Right now I'm (as of this morning) 176.6 lbs.  For my height (5'7") that puts me at a BMI of 27.7*.  Ideally I'd like a heathy BMI of around 20 which would mean I'd need to get down to about 128 lbs.  So I have about 50 lbs. to lose.

That's a long term goal, however, and I know I'm not going to accomplish that overnight.  Heck, I'd be happy to accomplish that by this time next year.  My personality demands that I come up with a more achievable goal though, so I need one that is more quickly accomplished.  For a short term goal I'd like to get my BMI to the border of overweight and healthy: 25.  This puts my at around 160 lbs.  Much more easily accomplished in the short term.

So what is my plan?  Well it's a two phased approach, perhaps you've heard it before: diet and exercise.

Diet: I have a couple ideas about this, some general and some specific.  Generally my plan is to eat less.  Right now I'm eating at a pace where I gain around 5 lbs. a year.  My senior year of high school I weighed 125 lbs.  In the 11 years since I've gained 55 lbs.  That's an average calorie excess of roughly 50 calories a day.  So by only doing something as minimal as drinking an extra can of soda every other day, I have gained 55 lbs.  Let this be a lesson to you young whipper snappers and you're "high metabolisms."  That's how I used to think too.  Most of this weight gain is due to a lazy diet of fast food or last minute meal planning.  I plan to change this by eating less.  I'm not going to worry as much about what I eat except in regards to realizing that 300 calories worth of salad will probably fill me up more than 300 calories worth of a hamburger.  Essentially I'm not going to ban any foods, but I will be eating less of the foods that I shouldn't.  Also I'm going to try making healthier choices.  No mayo on my sandwiches, and stuff like that.  Soon, I'll be looking for suggestions from you guys to help me.  I'm also considering implementing a plan that I like to call my "3 x 300 relay."  Essentially what I think will help is eating more small meals more often, so I'm going to try eating a 300 calorie meal every 3 hours.  In a typical day that means I'll only be eating somewhere between 1500 and 1800 calories.  This will also help in that I know that worse comes to worse, if I make a bad choice in one of my meals and only get 2-3 bites of something decadent, I know the next meal is only 3 hours away and I won't be hungry for long.

Exercise: This is the phase that will be most difficult for me for two reasons.  The first is time.  For me to be able to go to the gym at my work means either I'll have to get here an hour early (not going to happen for this narcoleptic guy), stay an hour late (not going to be great to not see my son and wife for an hour less), or I can skip eating lunch somewhere and workout over my lunch break then eat at my desk.  This is what I have been doing the past couple of weeks.  And it sucks.  I feel like I'm robbing myself of an hour everyday (well, technically about 3-4 times a week on average so far).  Though I think this may be the case no matter when I'd work out.  I tend to be an inertial person by nature.  That is to say I don't like stopping what I'm doing to do other things I need to do.  When I'm working I don't want to stop to exercise.  When I'm watching TV I don't want to stop to get up and do something else.  Then again, this is probably why I'm at the point I'm at now.

The second reason exercise is difficult for me is because in a lot of ways it feels useless.  In a typical workout I burn about 300 calories.  For me, it would be easier to just not eat those 300 calories than to spend an hour doing stuff that is frankly pretty boring for me.  I suppose there are other advantages of exercise than simply losing weight, such as more energy and whatnot, but I have never seen any of those personally, so they're nebulous to me.  I will however, for the sake of this attempt, put my nose to the grindstone and continue.

This post is just a kick off if you will of my plans, hopes, and dreams.  I hope you will join me.  I pray that God gives me the strength to accomplish my goals and starting Monday you will start seeing (at minimum) of a post a day and a weekly post.  One weekly post for my daily weight (along with fancy charts courtesy of and one daily post for my exercise and food log.  I only ask a few things of you: keep me honest, encourage me, and encourage each other as we take this journey together.

*For the record I know that BMI is not the most accurate way to judge weight and fitness.  I'm sure there are plenty of football players and bodybuilders who have BMIs near mine who are in great shape.  The fact of the matter is those people are the exceptions, and not the rule.  A BMI in the high 20s is normally someone who is a bit overweight, but not obese.  Sounds a lot like me.  Therefore for the goals I have (get in shape, lose weight, though I have no intentions of becoming a muscle bound gym rat) BMI will be a tool that is sufficient enough for me to use.