I didn’t write about last year’s GSWLD because, quite frankly, it’s a little embarrassing to admit you’re carrying 225 pounds on a 165-pound man’s frame. Also, having tried unsuccessfully to use exercise as a means of losing weight many times before, I wasn’t feeling great about actually succeeding on Yet Another Diet/Exercise Plan, so I didn’t want to announce my grandiose plans to the world and then ultimately fail after only 2 weeks of effort.
However, this time was different. Someone pointed me to a little eBook called The Hacker’s Diet. It essentially uses an engineering approach to weight loss, where the body is considered a rubber bag, and the amount of weight you lose (or gain) depends on the difference between the calories you ingest and the calories you burn. If you burn more calories than you eat, you lose weight. If you eat more than you burn, you gain weight. Pretty simple stuff.
What really smacked me across the face was this little fact:
There are 3500 calories in 1 pound of fat.
After reading that, the weight loss mystery suddenly became crystal clear. In order to lose 1 pound of fat per week, I needed to create a deficit of 500 calories per day (3500 calories / 7 days = 500 calories per day). Whether I achieved this by eating less, exercising, or some combination of both, the fact remained that I needed to eat 500 calories less than my recommended daily intake.
So in March of 2006, I did just that – I cut down my daily caloric intake, joined a kettlebell class led by Ken Black, and started taking brisk nightly walks with Kelly and Homer. The results were immediate. My blood pressure dropped from 150/100 to 120/80 within 2 weeks, and I started losing 1-2 pounds each week. I continued this regimen until about mid-September, at which point I had shed a total of 45 pounds.
What with the success of the 2006 GSWLD, it’s time again to lose some weight. As I mentioned before, we ate like kings for the three weeks following Troy’s birth. That, combined with the fact that I have been pretty lax with my diet since Thanksgiving, has led me to put ~10 pounds back on my frame. The pants are getting a little snug around the thighs, and I can see in pictures that my face has filled out again.
I currently weigh in at 187 pounds. My goal is to hit 165 by July 1st. It’s go time.
If you’ve been meaning to shed a couple of pounds, now is as good a time as any. You can probably drop 10-15 pounds before summer rolls around. Talk to your doctor, figure out a weight loss plan that will work for you, and go for it! It is hard work and takes a ton of discipline, but the results are very rewarding. Stick with it!