12 September 2017

Being Intentional About Weight Loss


At the time of this post, I've lost 61 pounds, and I've accomplished this with no workout routine. I feel amazing! Want to know how I did it? Read on.


If you've followed my blog at all, you've likely read my posts about my exercise journey. It started with Get Out of Gyms, Get Into Neighborhoods when I began walking in my 'hood. In 2011, when that post was written, I weighed 270 pounds and my opinion was that spending money on gyms was kinda silly when I could walk in my 'hood for free. Also, knowing that just seven years earlier I weighed 200 pounds was motivation enough to get me moving.

The encouragement and relations that developed from the walking were captured in Never Know Who's Watching. Starting any new routine requires encouragement. Having someone affirming you in your journey is very valuable!

Eventually, my family did join a gym and it was an amazing chapter. I captured that experience in Tales From An Unexpected Gym Rat. Being members allowed G to have access to the pool, for she and I to attend a daddy-daughter dance, to have her birthday party there, and for Kim and I to work out together. I could workout whenever since they are open 24/7. A challenge with walking the 'hood or trails in this area is snow and/or ice on the paths during winter. Also, it can be just too dang cold. The gym removed those obstacles...for a price.

Eventually, we had to drop our family membership to help our budget. After leaving the gym, typical of breaking any habit or routine, exercise slacked off. But soon I was hitting the trails, again, and Back On The Wagon. During this chapter, I accomplished a goal of walking a half marathon by Crossing Off A 2014 Goal.

Yet, through all those posts, my weight loss was minimal. Looking back, I know why:

- My focus was more on exercise and less on changing my diet. Taking in more calories than one burns is never gonna end well. Regardless of my exercise routine, consuming too many processed foods, sugars, and carbs was literally weighing me down.

- No plan. With no goals or plan to follow, life and distractions will get in the way and win.

- No consistent partner. Although Kim and I did workout often, it wasn't consistent. Having someone with which to share your ups and downs is crucial. And when everyone in a household is eating a certain way, there's no temptation to stray.

Flash forward three years and there was still no intentionality, no plan, lots of talk of "we should cook at home" and "we should all start walking" and "we should join a gym." Meanwhile, it was getting harder for me to standup from the couch, I was becoming slightly winded climbing stairs, my right knee randomly ached, and my ankles always had a distinctive mark from my socks.

It was beyond time for a change.

One day, my Facebook feed presented a post from a college friend, April Smith. She shared in this post that she had lost 79 pounds. Her before-and-after pics were amazing. I reached out to her wondering how she accomplished this. I didn't know at the time that Kim had done the same!

April shared that she had tried various weight loss programs with no success: Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Ideal Protein, and others. She ran a marathon and tried CrossFit for a year but lost nothing from either.

What worked for her is a program that offers some products but also focuses on recipes using fresh foods. The main product is a liquid mostly consisting of B12. Ten drops are taken three times a day for a minimum of 21 days and a maximum of 42 days. 

Besides the drops, April recommended that we take some liquid vitamins that help with appetite control and a night time fat burner.

While this program clearly worked for her, my concern was if the investment into these products would produce results? Would they work for Kim and me? We prayed about this for a while and had a peace about ordering these products from April. When we got the products, they came with a plan detailing Phase 1, 2 and 3 and many recipes. We studied over this information, asked April several questions, and prepared to start the program.

What I learned very early into Phase 2:

- I was over-eating every day. Some random snacking in my mind wasn't bad. Grazing was ok. But the reality is that I was consuming more calories than I was burning. So, everyday I was gaining weight.

- Restaurants overfeed us. Most portions served at restaurants are two or more servings. I rarely took leftovers home.

- Smaller portions filled me. While it sounds backwards, the smaller portions consumed while on the program filled me up with the help of the products.

- Frequent headaches stopped. I took at least three iBuprofen weekly for headaches which felt more like migraines. Since losing weight, the worst headache I've had is allergy-related.

Weighing yourself daily is healthy. I've heard more than once to not weigh daily or become a slave to the scale. If you don't weigh yourself how will you know your progress? How can you celebrate wins of losing or even maintaining? How will you know how well or poorly you ate the day before? Daily weighing is crucial.


Beginning the journey Phase 1, Round 1 at 278 pounds.

During Phase 2 of Round 2 at 233 pounds. That's 45 pounds down!

During Phase 2 Round 3 at 226 pounds. That's 52 pounds down!.
When I first entered into my Fitbit the weight of 240 as my goal weight, I had no idea how that was going to happen but it seemed obtainable. My ultimate goal of 200 at that time seemed unrealistic. But how could I get to 240 by ordering in food multiple times a week, grazing throughout the day and even snacking late at night? My eating habits were constantly at odds with any exercise I attempted.

This program showed me not only how poor my eating choices were but also how some minor modifications and removing most processed foods could redefine me. I won't say it's been easy. There have been some difficult days. However, that's when doing this program with a spouse or friend is super helpful! Also, you have a huge community of other people doing this with you to lean on.

So, are you ready to be intentional about your weight loss? If I can do this, so can you! Click here for more information.