Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The First 10 Pounds Were Easy...

It was a few months back that I set a goal to myself to drop 25 pounds. Over this past winter, I found myself weighing the most I ever have in my life (around 225 lbs), was feeling frustrated when I exercised, and had stopped even trying to manage what I eat. It wasn't a good combination. I was out of shape, I knew it, and it pissed me off. So I told myself I'd change. Unfortunately just telling myself to lose weight didn't work. Instead I found out I actually had to change my habits.

Once I actually got in the mindset to do something about the round shape I was taking, I decided I needed to track my weight closely and do so over time. To do this I bought a good scale that measures to the 1/5 of a pound accurately and found a good weight tracking app for my phone. I also made a commitment to myself that I'd at least try to stick with things for a while before outright giving up.

I started at 224.6 pounds. It was ugly. I felt horrible. I struggled to run much more than a mile. I was hungry. I just wanted to quit. However, I didn't. Since I was being tracked and held responsible, I was motivated to try, and try I did. Slowly but surely, I saw some of the weight coming off. I'd fluctuate back up every now and again, but the overall progress was downward. I was happy! It was working!

...that is, until it wasn't. As you can see from the graph, things started to level out and stay leveled out. I found that I started feeling like I deserved rewards for good workout. I justified eating a bag of Oreos or an entire pizza by knowing I'd just run a bit more tomorrow. But eventually I couldn't exercise enough to offset my diet that had reset to where it was before I started this project, which is to say in a really bad place.

So I'm stuck and frustrated. 2/5's of the way to my goal and behind schedule I am tempted to give up. I'm not horribly out of shape. I exercise 5-6 days a week and keep active, but my diet is what's killing me. I have no willpower and I love food that's terrible for me. How could I get past this seemingly impenetrable barrier?

Go public.

So here I am, admitting I suck at my diet, but also noting that I have made some effort. My exercise regiment is pretty solid. I feel more in shape. However, my diet has gotten worse the better my exercise program has gotten. 215 pounds is less than 224.6 pounds, but it's still not 200 pounds. My new goal is to be able to break this plateau, work hard, manage my diet, and check back in a few months down the line and say I'm at 200 pounds, or at least closer to it than now.

Let's meet back here in a couple months.


Erik said...

Working through plateaus is where the real hard work takes place! The initial weight loss is the easiest part. I fall into the same trap of "I'm working out, I can eat this" too often.

I read something a while ago about having a six day a week diet and a one day a week cheater day where you can cheat some but not go totally overboard. That might work better, hard to say.

But keep it up, either way!

Rick Gebhardt said...

Yeah, the working out part isn't the difficult thing for me. I don't mind being active. It's the diet thing. I have a sweet tooth, no will power, and a tendency to not listen to my stomach when it says, "Hey, I'm good... no more."

I've had these plateaus in the past, but this time around I think what I've been lacking is some real, deep motivation to push through it. I'm hoping with summer now here I can really, really focus on it and at least shed another 10.

Nicholas said...

225 is also the most I've ever weighed (while my wife was pregnant). Dropped forty in about six months by being more active, but more importantly, only eating one bowl of cereal a morning, getting rid of all the ice cream in the house, and making sure I only had a minimal amount of candy available at work. I too have little resistance to anything with sugar and fat in it. I've been trying to limit my binges to holidays. Gives me something to look forward to.