I started this nutrition/exercise quest on 01 September making today, day number 60. This is a big deal to me as it marks the half way point of my expected reduction phase. I have felt a lot of changes in the past 60 days including:
Weight loss. I don't weight myself but an XXL shirt was getting to be too small when I began. Now an XL shirt fits nicely. I wore Levis with a 44" waist at the start. Now I am down to 40" and dropping. My goal is 36" -- the size I wore my senior year in high school. Overall I'm sure I'm down at least 50 lbs. I will begin weighing myself on 01 December.
Exercise. Broken-up into 2 or 3 sessions, I now walk 3+ hours/day at a fast pace. For the longest time I was exhausted after the walks (we have some steep hills here) but now they are slowly becoming routine. My bad knee (the main reason I began this program) know feels considerably better. My body now feels like a racing vehicle that easily cruises through each day but can really perform if I drop the hammer.
Food. I now eat very healthy. I feel extremely lucky that I have not had cravings for bad foods. I am also thankful that the hunger pangs have not been bad. I think the key is to eat a large number of fresh vegetables every day to fill up my gut. In terms of junk food and fast food, they just need to remain gone from my life. Not a once in a while treat, but gone altogether because they are not a treat. More and more I view them as poison.
I get my protein now from eggs, nuts, cow's milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, tempeh, tuna, kippers, sardines, beans, lentils and quinoa. I'm not sure if I will add back beef and/or chicken once I shift to a weight maintenance program. If I eat beef and chicken, it would be once a week with something like stir fry.
Overall. My skin and hair look healthier. I am no longer bloated in the face (I suspect I am sensitive to sodium.) I have a lot more energy. Though I do not stretch I definitely feel more flexible. I feel much more relaxed and at ease when I pray. Absolutely zero gastrointestinal issues -- I feel like I have a cast iron stomach again. As I mentioned my knee seems to be healing once and for all.
I am planning to eat "non-diet" dinners on November 20th and 23rd (Thanksgiving) but I still plan to keep things pretty healthy. I might put an extra bit of roadwork in between then and now so both evenings can be absolutely guilt-free.
"...Overall I'm sure I'm down at least 50 lbs. I will begin weighing myself on 01 December..."
BDM, you're an amazing example of discipline, insight and understanding of what weight loss is all about...
While everyone else, here, is obsessed about what the scale reads, and get little to no results, you, on the other hand, focus on the process of getting healthy and trust your body to heal itself...and, oh, btw, lose fat by the boatload.
I'd say, one in a hundred are able to transition from a destructive, dysfunctional lifestyle to a healthy one because it takes great introspection and humility to realize that you didn't know what the hell you were doing and, then...change.
One last tip, BDM (not that you need any lol)... When you workout, focus on the "breath"...oxygen is at the core of all healing. Blood pressure, liver, heart and kidney function, blood parameters, immune health all respond to improved oxygenation...and, in turn, weight loss. Once you reach goal weight, practice yoga. Trust me it works (plus, it will save you a helluva lot of time).
I am extremely regimented when it comes to this program. I had a real busy Saturday 2 weeks ago and wasn't able to take my second walk of the day until midnight. But I did it, I stayed on track (good for the mind and soul) and it turned out to be a great long walk.
I don't regret not weighing myself. I have slowly learned that I was a lot heavier than I ever imagined. Weighing myself might have been a real detriment to motivation.
After the first of the year I will go back to one walk per day. In the reclaimed time I hope to begin lifting weights.
If I can find a yoga group that is completely sans the religious aspects of the discipline I think I would join it. In the coming year building muscle mass and increasing flexibility will be added to my walking and nutrition program.
I wanted to say something else about motivation. Before I began I wondered what I would do if I went in for a medical check-up and got some bad news. What if the doctor said in a very grave and serious manner: "I'm sorry to tell you this Matthew, but you have cancer. The quality of your remaining life will be greatly impacted by it and you will die many years before you actually should."
Just for a moment, imagine the shock. Then imagine asking "Is there anything I can do to reverse the cancer, doc?" and receiving the reply "Yes there is. If you begin exercising, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy body weight you can reverse this disease."
Most of us would really get on it. We would being to eat right, exercise and maintain healthy weights. I think about this hypothetical all the time when I am tired and in the midst of a walk or feel a hunger pang before bedtime.
Finally I distinctly recall a local priest offering prayers for those in need just before I began. Something along the lines of "...for those addicted to alcohol, tobacco, other drugs or with food addictions, we pray to the Lord..." I found that very sobering and believe that such prayers are a big part of my success so far.
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