Progress Report

Back in November I posted my weight loss story and was down 36 pounds. Here it is in the middle of August, and I am very pleased to announce that my weight loss journey is still going strong. I'm still counting calories every single day, and logging everything I eat with My Fitness Pal.

The result? I've lost 98 pounds so far. I am soooooo close to that magic "100" number that will be a huge milestone. That's going from a starting point of 300 pounds down to 202, the lightest I have been since sometime in early high school.

Technically I've probably lost over 100 pounds already, but I honestly don't know my actual starting weight. I would step off the scale when I saw it go over 300 and never let it finish. My guess is probably around 320 somewhere at my heaviest.

| >300 Pounds | 264 Pounds | 202 Pounds |

Non-scale Victories

I've had to basically re-buy my entire wardrobe. My shirts fit like dresses, my pants could hold more than one person. Now I'm wearing a size Large t-shirt (down from an XXXL), a 16-3/4" dress shirt, and my pants are still baggy with a 34-inch waist (down from a 48/30 regular fit, 44/30 relaxed fit).

I can't remember the last time I didn't wear a shirt with an "X" in the size. I'm pretty stoked about that.

Running

I've taken up running in full force now that my weight has been dropping and my medical issues are pretty much gone. I've been running 5k races, and try to run at least three 5k distances on the treadmill per week at home.

The latest race I ran was while on vacation. We took a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas, and I participated in the Castaway Cay 5k on Disney's private island. It was super hot, humid, and not my best time but it was a lot of fun.

Castaway Cay 5k

Rewards

In my last post, I detailed a series of personal rewards for hitting weight loss goals. I have had to revamp them a bit and put them on hold, so here's the current list:

Weight Reward Status Notes
30 Facial Hair Changes Achieved Grew a goatee and shaved my head
50 New Clothes Achieved Replaced my entire wardrobe
75 Piercing/Ink Pending Currently saving up and designing
100 New Exercise Gear In Progress Equipment, running clothes, or something
120 Tailored Suit In Progress Moved to goal weight so it'll fit longer

I highly recommend putting together your own reward chart if you are looking to lose weight. Gamify your weight loss and reward yourself, because it is definitely hard work.

Dealing With Vacation

Like I said above, we just went on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas. It was a 4-day, 3-night cruise stopping at Nassau and at Castaway Cay.

I thought about it for a good long time before we went on the cruise, and decided that sure, I could go ahead and count calories and not fully enjoy the cruise. But weight loss isn't a race. It's not a matter of "get to your goal then go back to previous habits". It's not a punishment. It's a lifestyle choice for health.

If you can't take vacation every now and then (like once every few years for a cruise), you are setting yourself up for potential failure. Frustration will set in, "diet fatigue" will start nagging you, and your will power will eventually break.

So I decided that my year-long streak on My Fitness Pal would have to end and I took 4 days off to just enjoy myself. Sure, I gained a few pounds back during the cruise, but when we got home I got right back into my routine and they melted off super quick.

The bottom line: don't stress about occasional interruptions in your weight loss routine. Don't feel guilty. Don't hate yourself. Just make sure they remain occasional so you don't set yourself back to far. And make sure you get back into your routine.

Frequently Asked Questions I Still Get About Weight Loss

You're also running. That's the real reason you're losing weight.

No. I'm sorry, but you are wrong. The math does not add up that way.

One Pound of adipose tissue stores approximately 3500 kcals. That's why (while not completely accurate) you typically say that you need to expend 3500 calories in order to lose 1 pound of fat. It's an oversimplification and not the entire story, but it is good enough to get most people going.

Take a look at the chart of average calories burned for different activities based on body weight here at the Harvard Medical School website. So if you are 185 pounds and ride an exercise bike pretty vigorously for 30 minutes you will burn on average about 466 calories.

With your typical restaurant meal ranging from 1000-2500 calories it doesn't take a genius to see that you will have to exercise a lot more than you think in order to burn enough calories to lose weight. It's much easier to modify the foods you eat (first in quantity, then in quality) to lose weight than to punish your body by exercising harshly all day, every day.

Exercise is good, important, and essential; but it is for your everyday health instead of the primary weight-loss tool. It can help gain back a few extra calories if you want to go over your typical budget on a sedentary day, but it is not a magic bullet that will make all your weight problems disappear.

With walking, swimming, etc. on the boat, isn't that enough to cover food?

Repeat with me: You can't outrun your fork. All those activities will definitely burn a lot of calories, but on a cruise ship with buffets, fancy restaurants, copious soda and alcohol, and complimentary room service, you are bound to eclipse those calories burned very quickly.

I binged and my day is ruined! I should go crazy and start again tomorrow.

Don't do this. For real. It's a trap. If you binge at breakfast, just get right back on your routine right away. Sure, you may go over your daily budget, but it is much easier to recover from a single meal than an entire day.

I'm on the KetoBanditoWereGaruramon Diet and it's healthier than what you do

Whatever floats your boat. But your fad diet is just a fancy (and maybe expensive) packaging around reducing your calories. Me, I'd rather not punish myself by making a certain food "off limits" and instead just think smarter about my daily calorie budget. But whatever works for you. As long as you are healthy and enjoying yourself, then by all means continue your KetoBanditoWereGaruramon diet.