HA! If you know me for real, you know that I am not a wildly successful person, but recently I have been quite successful at losing weight. I remember going clothes shopping with my mother and buying size husky as a child. I’ve always been heavy as far back as I can remember, and was picked on at school for it. I got down to 177 back in 2002 in order to join the Navy, but haven’t been that low until now. Recently, I have gone from my all time high (that I measured on a scale) of around 220 (but there was a period where I didn’t get on a scale because I knew I had been eating poorly and gained a lot of weight since the last time I weighed myself and topped at around 250) all the way down to 155 where I am at now. I’m in the best shape of my life (including most of high school). How did I do it? Let me tell you.
First off I started as most people do at New Year’s thinking to myself that I would love to shed some extra pounds. My friend (at the time) Billy and I were hanging out and going to the gym. He told me he wanted to lose weight in time for Pride, which I had no idea about at that time. Pride in San Francisco is the last weekend in June, which put the goal about 6 months out. I figured this was a good goal to set and decided on 165-160 as my goal. Quite lofty for a guy in his 200′s, but something to strive for.
Before this I was doing a high carb; low fat diet. I would eat all the foods I wanted as long as there was little to no fat in them. Pretty much my diet consisted of beans & rice. While this diet might of been effective for some, it wasn’t working for me very well.
I decided to go with an old diet I had done in the past with mild success. I got down to about 185 with it before and figured I would give it a full go this time. It isn’t the Atkins diet and it isn’t the South Beach diet, but somewhere in between. (Let me also interject here that I drink a SHITLOAD of water every day. While I do still occasionally drink diet soda, I make sure to have at least 9-10 8oz glasses of Voss water a day.)
Breakfast: I would eat depending on time (which most days was very little) an Atkins breakfast bar or shake shortly after waking up (6am-8am). These chocolate shakes turn out to be pretty yummy. If I had more time, I would fix up about 2 eggs as scrambled or over medium. When I got to work, I would microwave 2-4 pieces of precooked bacon as a 9am-10am snack.
Snack: If I got hungry outside of the bacon, I would have a string cheese. Cheese turned out to be one of the best snacks for me, as it is something I love, but also is very low in carbs. I would get 50% reduced fat cheese and other low-fat cheese to help reduce the daily fat intake.
Lunch: Now let me explain that I am very much a meat and potatoes person. I don’t like most vegetables, fruits, salads, etc. I am one of the pickiest eaters I’ve ever met. My lunch would consist of 2 turkey sausages or 2-3 turkey hot dogs. I would microwave them for about 30-45 seconds, then pull them out and slice them down the middle. Pour my favorite condiment of the day on, then finish cooking.
Sept 2007 (I didn’t eat anything for 3 weeks)
Here is a HUGE tip…these meals are quite repetitive, at least they were for me. Here’s the tip on mixing them up. SPICES & SAUCES! Every day I would pick a different spice, mustard, etc to put on my meals to help mix things up and keep the tastes different. I love Emril’s Essence, Boar’s head spicy mustard, and low-carb/reduced sugar Heinz ketchup. BTW be careful with mustard, almost all of them are zero carbs, but once you start getting into honey mustards the carbs rack up quickly.
Sept 2007 (Obviously started eating again)
Snack: In the afternoon I would grab another string cheese or more often a sugar free Jello. Throw on a dollop of light whipped cream (0-2 carbs) and you have a yummy and low-carb snack.
Snack: Between leaving work and dinner I would sometimes have a snack. It might of been a carrot, piece of cheese, or Atkins bar (which are going up in price recently, but still worth buying to help fight those chocolate/sugary cravings).
Dinner: Being new to California and not used to the expensive cost of living, I would stay clear of eating out as much as possible. Instead I would buy frozen or raw chicken breasts and cook them up at home. There are plenty of great zero/low carb dressings to marinade your chicken in. This is where spices would play a huge factor as well. Every night a different spice or different sauce to pour on. I would occasionally eat a helping of cooked broccoli (with melted cheese on top) to round out my dinner and keep me from being hungry the rest of the night.
Here is the key though…as much as diet played a factor….EXERCISE is what helped me lose the weight. I would go to the gym, even if I didn’t want to 3-6 times a week and do at least 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I would go and work on some of the equipment as well, and always do at least 100-200 crunches. It wasn’t an intense workout, but I would maintain certain goals while on the elliptical.
Working out became something that I looked forward to (so cliche I know), but it is true. I would typically go after work, but have recently started toning up more and doing more machines, so I go in the morning to do weights and still do my cardio on the way home from work.
I also for a large portion of the diet have taken Alli. It is one of the first OTC diet/weightloss drugs the FDA has approved. It has some crazy “treatment effects” which I am glad to say I never had, but with the wrong intake of fat you are in for some nasty times. I would take one pill with each meal. Alli isn’t the answer for everyone, but it does help eliminate up to 25% of the fat put into your body while eating.
That’s about it….diet, exercise, and Alli were the main secrets to my success. I am still not exactly where I want to be and with such rapid and dramatic weight loss I have some left over areas I am trying to tone up now. Am I where I want to be? No way…Don’t get me wrong, I love the new me and feel great as I went from a size 36 to 34 to 33 to 32/31 and now to 31/30. I just want to feel more comfortable nekkid and specifically with my shirt off. I am sure that I will get there with time and effort.
I hope this helps you, I know this plan isn’t right of everyone, but being a very picky eater I think I can maintain the diet for sometime to come…as long as they keep slaughtering those stupid chickens, I will be sure to have them for dinner.