Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Secret to Weight Loss

Me on 4/28/07


I'm asked all the time, "How did you do it? What is your secret? What diet are you on? Are you following a particular plan?" And even, "Did you have the surgery?" So, how did I go from 315 pounds (or 306 - the difference being different scales, time of day, clothed vs. unclothed) to 193.8 in such a short time? I'll share my "secret" with you. I'll break it into five parts. All must work in unison. Ready? Here they are:

  • Motivation
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Consistency
  • Discipline.

How many of your looks of anticipation were just turned to frowns with an audible, "Oh, that's your secret?" Some of you probably thought, "Ya, ya, I've heard all that before." or "I can't do that." I completely understand. That was me. But the truth is, there is no miracle pill or quick fix. It is work. It does take time. It takes something to motivate you to start. In all seriousness, that was the hardest part for me. Once I got there, losing the weight was easy. No, I'm not kidding. Easy.

For those of you that know me or have been reading my blog for awhile, you know my motivation. A health scare and becoming a father kicked me in the seat of my pants made me take action. Yours need not be so drastic. Just wanting to feel better, look better, or be healthy should be motivation enough.

I'm fortunate that I don't get bored with eating the same thing over and over. My diet has been more restrictive than it will need to be for most of you. Since my health scare had to do with diabetes, in addition to watching portion size and fat intake, I also had to watch carbs which means I greatly reduced or eliminated things like bread, rice, and potatoes. Most of you won't have to eliminate such foods, just watch your portion size. Here's a sample of a day's meal plan. With all meals, I use little to no oil. If you are wanting to lose weight, I suggest at least one meeting with a nutritionist to set up a meal plan based on your calorie-per-day needs.

1/3 cup of oatmeal with Splenda and cinnamon
Coffee with Splenda and Coffee-mate

CarbMaster yogurt (from Ralphs)

Chicken breast (with salsa or mustard/balsamic mixture or seasonings-no butter or oil)
Vegetables-enough to cover half the plate
Fruit (on occasion-only because of having to watch the extra carbs)

CarbMaster yogurt or half cucumber or sliced tomato

Baked tilapia with salsa or seasonings (no butter or oil)
Vegetables-enough to cover half the plate
1/4 cup brown rice (smaller portion only because of the affect on my blood sugar)

1/4 cup (before popping) air popped popcorn with I Can't Believe it's Not Butter spray, Splenda, and cinnamon...YUM

I recommend keeping a food log to keep track of what you eat for two reasons.
  1. It will help you see how much you really are eating. This was eye opening for me when I had been thinking, "I don't really eat that much."
  2. If you know you'll have to write down something that shouldn't be there, there's a chance you won't eat it.
I started by just walking during my lunch break. I then went to the gym and began using the treadmill. When I began at the gym, I did one hour at about 3.0 mph and a 5% incline. I worked up to 3.6 mph at a 15% incline. Now, I walk 10 minutes at the same settings, then run 5 minutes at 5.7 mph at a 2% incline and repeat that three more times to fill the hour. I've also added bicycling to my routine. I exercise 5 to 7 days per week.

The above have to become lifestyle change for me. I've lost weight before. Even though I have more weight to lose, I can't say, "I'm done" when I get there. I MUST continue eating well and exercising in order to maintain.

The motivation and consistency have helped me stay disciplined. As I mentioned, this has been easy up until recently. Only within the last two weeks have I felt temptation and have yielded a few times. On several occasions I have found myself overeating and eating things I should not eat. But I catch myself and make sure to work out as soon as possible. I have hit my first real plateau, which I knew would come. I put a few pounds back on but have since lost them over the past two weeks. This has actually been encouraging to me because in the past, I had not recovered until far too late.

I still have anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds to go. The hard part for me, based on past experience, is after that. The maintenance. The lifelong goal of staying healthy. The allowing myself to eat within moderation. To be able to eat certain things occasionally and sparingly rather than finding myself sitting in front of the TV going through a pint of Ben and Jerry's night after night. (Yes, I did that.)

I hope this was at least informative, and hopefully helpful too.


Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Half a cucumber? Wah wah wah! I really thought that veggies were free foods...can't I have a whole cucumber? With salt and fat free dip?

Mel said...

great article...I have a habit of putting on and losing and then putting back on the extra 5 kilos so I liked the section about consistency :D

Robert said...

Go ahead, have the whole cucumber. Live it up.

The dreaded consistency and discipline. I learned the hard way how important they are. Now if only I could apply those principles to my spiritual life.

mlkjrm said...

I too found your blog from Mary Beth Chapman...
Congratulations on your weight loss! Something to be proud of!

We received our daughter in that very same room in Nanchang, May 2006. Almost the exact same spot :)

I will return soon to read more of your journey and reminisce.


Mike said...

Well, I have to say I am extremely proud of Robert. I am one of Robert's few friends that actually knew his father Tom. As a kid I simply remember him as a FUN dad! Great job Rob! I have forwarded this blog to a bunch of people to help inspire them.


Robert said...

Thanks for visiting. How exciting that you had such a similar experience. The whole thing still amazes me-how God worked out every detail.

Thanks so much for your encouragement and friendship. Ya, my dad was a fun dad! Hearing that brings back good memories. That's nice that you forward this to others. I hope it encourages them. Which makes me think...have you considered a blog? You've got stories and ideas that would make for great reading!

Todd said...

Holy Cow!! I can't believe it!!! The incredible shrinking Robert. You inspire me, Robert. I went on Weight Watchers 4 years ago, and proceeded to lose 19 lbs. Now, it's back on and so am I (on WW again). Your loss is your gain and my inspiration. I'm amazed!!


Dottie said...

What a great accomplishment in just 6 months. I have a lot of weight to lose and really need to focus on what I'm eating and when I'm eating it. Portion really isn't a problem and I've started to exercise which I didn't think I'd ever do. i wanna have results like you! What an inspiration. If you have any other helpful hints or recipes...anything...I'd love to hear them.

Happy Momma said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I have just located your family blog via Wordless Wednesday and in looking around for a very brief moment, these are my thoughts:
-I love the instant feeling of peace your blog title picture portrays
-adoption, something very dear to our families heart
-teaching-I taught in the classroom for 6 years and loved every moment. Now I love and am blessed to be home teaching day to day, hour to hour our miracles and blessings from our Abba Daddy
-This post: CONGRATULATIONS and please do not stop! To make a very long story short, my hubby and I are on a simular journey. Your post was encouraging to me and I will be back to read it and share it with my hubby and children. You encouraged me in the area of discipline, thanks. Our prayers will be with your family please add our family to yours as well.