Sunday, November 09, 2014

Weight Loss & Me

Achievement Unlocked: Goal Weight Reached!

I used to cook a lot for me and my other half and we ate well and it was delicious (except the time I made tomato soup with soy milk, that was simply awful, I can't recommend it at all.) But, my meals were making us both bigger, a lot bigger than we wanted to be. So, I learned a new way to eat that is healthier for me and has gotten me from 205 lbs (93kg) down to what you see here in the fuzzy picture, 165lbs (75kg).

When I was at my biggest the doctor told me during my annual exam that I was what's it called? Pre-diabetic. Well, that's no good at all. So, taking a page from my Mom's playbook based on the assumption that I've got a 50% chance of having a metabolism similar to hers, I went on the Atkins diet and tried to make sure I walked 10k steps a day. There was a stint in there when I ran pretty regularly, but that's mostly over right now due to a knee injury I did to myself out of stupidity. Nothing permanent. It's better now but I lost the momentum and haven't gotten it back.

So, now when I tell people I don't eat something because it's "not on my diet" what I really mean is it's not good for me and I'm trying to not do things that are bad for me. But what they say is "You're not fat." Nope, I'm not. But I was and I don't want to be again! So, instead of trying to foist the garbage onto me as a kindness it'd make me SUPER happy if you'd smile and say, "Well, congrats. It's working," instead of "You don't need to be. Here eat this." You're not all jewish mothers from 80's sit-coms trying to fatten me up, so stop playing the role. It's rude and irritates me. I'm not telling you to eat like I do so please, PLEASE stop telling me to eat like you do.

I'm a huge fan of MyFitnessPal as a way of tracking what I eat and keeping me on target. I mostly know what I can eat, but sometimes I go on an "enter it all because you need to pay attention dummy!" phase and when I do, MyFitnessPal is there with a great site and a great app for the android phone. I'm a huge fan. Another tool I used was a fitbit flex (affiliate link - buy it and I'll get a nickle or two) I got back in the day when I had money. They're not cheap but they're great activity trackers and the website dashboard is the best I've seen out there. It really is fantastic. Love mine.

In there I had a BIG job change where my income was cut by a LOT and money was tight, like really tight for a while, like seriously... I lived in a shack and was broke as hell. They're better now, but that was the hardest time to lose weight because carbs are cheap and protein isn't. Fresh vegetables aren't. It was a lot harder to eat healthy while broke but it's possible. It involved a LOT of chicken and eggs (when they were on sale) and frozen vegetables instead of fresh like I preferred. If I could get fish on sale I'd add that as often as possible because that's helpful with the good cholesterol.

That bout of near-poverty did help me see something I'd not paid attention to before (the last time I was poor I hadn't cared what I ate and would eat anything.) cheap food is factory food. I could get more bags of frozen dinners and pot pies and frozen pizzas than I could of real food for the same amount of money. But those things are all loaded with carbs, empty calories, salt, and God knows what other chemicals to give them the months long shelf-life that real food just shouldn't have. So, when I look around and see the obesity epidemic I understand it better now. Real food isn't as cheap as factory-food, or as convenient. Those bags of frozen chicken parts aren't something I could just throw in the microwave and eat... they required a time investment to turn them from ingredients to food.

So, now what? I've reached my goal weight. Well, it hasn't been about weight for a while now. I am a healthy weight for my height and age and I look pretty okay I think. I'm happy with my weight and have been for a while. Next though, because there's always a next, is getting in a little better shape. I'm not planning on lifting trucks or things, but I'm at an age where evidently muscle starts to go away. Well, that's no good. I don't need a lot of them, but I need enough to get me to the coffee pot and back for a lot of years yet! So, I've started using some Runtastic Apps on my phone to do some fitness type things. I'm not to a point where I'm lifting weights because seriously, picking things up bores me, but some exercises, bodyweight exercises, can't hurt: crunches, push-ups, planks, and squats so far.

How about you? What're you doing to get healthier? Take it from me, an inveterate pizza, Mountain Dew, and donut junkie, it's possible and without feeling like you're going to die. :)
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