Saturday, October 25, 2014

I'm Melting!

I was sitting in a very dull meeting the other day, and one of my co-workers leaned over and whispered to me, "Are you wearing your dad's shirt?"  It made me laugh.  I have been looking sloppy lately, and my pants fit about the same way the shirts do--badly.  I've lost a little weight.  About 19 pounds in eight weeks--just slightly over two pounds a week.  That's about five inches around the waist, and at least an inch around the neck for me.  How?  It isn't that complicated.

The photo wake-up call: Labor Day at 216 lbs.  I was waiting in line for a corn dog with my grandson when my eldest daughter Jaclyn (who is now out of the will) snapped this lovely photo.  Same day I got stuck in a giant chair I couldn't get out of.  It was time for a change.
Americans spend billions a year on weight loss products, diets, supplements, etc.  Get on the subject of weight loss, and you'll have no shortage of advice--mostly from people that could stand to lose a few pounds themselves.  They have lots of advice because they've been on twenty different diets over the years, and obviously very little of it works at all.  Losing weight is easy.  You eat less, and you exercise more.  I've made no dramatic changes at all.  I've cut down on beer.  I've cut down on ice cream.  I've cut way down on snacks, and make better snack choices when I do snack.  But I haven't quit anything.  What modest changes I've made I view as permanent changes--I'm not on a diet.  I'm eating differently. 
Two months and nineteen pounds later--just over half way to 180.
And then there's the exercise--also something I view as a permanent change.  I walk over the lunch hour.  I used to do that every day, but got out of the habit a few years ago--oddly enough, about the same time I starting putting weight on.  No elevators.  I take the stairs.  I also ride a stationery bike for 30 minutes three times a week--that wasn't easy at first, but it's gotten easier over time as I've gotten into better shape.  Now I look forward to it.  It's time I spend listening to music, reading, or updating my calendar. I've also gotten back to one of the things I really enjoyed when I was much younger--nature hiking.  I've been all over the local parks over the last couple months--even took my youngest daughter on a hike along the Middle Fork River a couple weeks ago.  She had a blast. 
FitBits come in different models, but all work the same--they track your activity. 
And it's cost me very little.  I already had the exercise bike--we used it as a clothes hanger as many people do.  We spend less at the grocery store, so it's actually saved money there.  One investment I did make was in a FitBit.  That's actually worked very well for me.  It clips to my pocket, and I wear it day and night.  It links to my phone, and it keeps track of my daily activity.  It also monitors how much sleep I'm getting (which as it turns out wasn't nearly enough before).  I also keep track of how much water I drink (which as it turns out was also not nearly enough).  I plug in what I'm eating and it helps me stay in the zone to lose about two pounds a week.  As competitive as I am, I find I compete with myself--always trying to improve what I did the day before.

Everybody is different, but you don't have to spend a fortune to get into better shape.  You might be surprised just how easy it can be with just a few modest changes.  It's a secret the multi-billion dollar a year weight lose industry really wants to keep under wraps.  Of course, the hardest part is keeping it off.

I'm just over half way to my goal.  Should be there by Christmas.  I have few doubts I'll get there.  I have a feeling I'll be getting a lot of clothes for Christmas this year.  And I have a feeling Goodwill is about to get some very nice dress shirts and pants at about the same time.


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