The Weekly Weigh-In: Back On Track … Almost

Last week my weigh-in got way off track.  I’m happy to say that this week I got back on track … almost.

My goal weight for this week was 208 pounds.  I weighed in this morning at 209.2 pounds.  I’m active in my children’s Sunday school, so I didn’t have much time to waste this morning, but I got a little crazy trying to get that down to the high 208s.  I held off on breakfast as long as I could.  I even did our stairs for five minutes trying to work it down.  Pardon my bluntness, but I knew the only hope I had of losing those extra ounces would come from using the bathroom, and guess what?  I didn’t need to go.

So, I stopped acting like a fool, ate breakfast, drank my coffee, and headed out to church with the family.  I wanted to be able to tell you that I got back on track so badly.  I wanted to be able to report that I made it to 208 after getting so off course last week.

Ironically, the message at Sunday school today revolved around finding joy in disappointment and being content even in the face of adversity.

With that said, I’m going to look on the bright side.  I’ll keep trying to hit 208 early in the week, and, hopefully, when next we speak, I’ll be at 207 pounds.  I’m only just over 3 pounds away from my goal of reaching 205 pounds by the end of the month.  I can do this.

Wish me luck!

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(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s Dr. Nekros e-book series HERE)

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The Weekly Weigh-In: A Step Back

It was bound to happen.

During this weekly weight loss journey, I kept managing to come in under the target weight for that particular increment of time.  I realized that such a thing wasn’t likely to last, especially as I had less weight to lose with each passing week.  After all, the most rapid weight loss occurs in the early stages of the process.  I’ve been preparing myself for the unavoidable misstep.

Well, I can’t say it’s a surprise that the misstep finally occurred.  Nonetheless, it’s still a disappointment to miss my target this week.

My goal was to weigh in at 209 this weekend.  You’ll remember that this was my weight last week, so I kind of took it for granted that I’d be able to maintain that number.

Friday morning I didn’t make it, so I thought I’d put it off until Saturday.  I didn’t make it on Saturday, either, so I thought I’d get it on Sunday.  Sunday is still the weekend, right?  This morning, I came in at 211.0.  I realize that’s just a pound over the back end of 209, but I’m still upset with myself about it.

Though I’m a little angry with myself, I have to stay positive.  I’ve known this was going to happen at some point, so there’s no point in wallowing in self-pity.  I need to assess my consumption during the last week and figure out if the slight weight gain is due to anything within my control.

The answer is: yes.

I overindulged in a few things this last week.  We ate out several times, and though I tried to avoid the fries and soft drinks, I did partake in too many nacho chips with melted cheese.  I also had a few brownies throughout the week, as well as a few drinks while out with friends on different occasions.  This doesn’t sound like much, but where I am concerned, every calorie counts.  I do not need many calories to function well, and my body lets me know when I’ve taken in too many, as is apparent this week.

Thank goodness the warm weather is finally acting like it might arrive.  Getting outside with my kids will surely result in more calories burned, and I find it easier to eat well in warmer weather.  My desire for comfort food lessens when it’s hot out.

My goal for next weekend is 208 pounds.  I’m going to stay positive and focus on getting back on track by increasing my basic exercise during the next several days and resisting those little delights that can add up.  Wish me luck!

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(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s Dr. Nekros e-book series HERE)

The Weekly Weigh-In: Holding Steady and Keeping Watch

My goal weight for this week was 210 pounds.

You may remember that last week my goal was 211 pounds, yet I somehow managed to come in at 209 pounds.  This was very good news because, up until the holidays, I held firm at 208 pounds.  Several weeks ago I noticed that my weight was creeping closer and closer to 220 pounds, and that simply could not be allowed to happen.  Though 208 pounds wasn’t ideal compared to the weight loss I enjoyed about four years ago that took me down to 195 pounds, I felt satisfied with that number as it didn’t take too much effort to maintain.

Well, those days are over.  When I initially dropped below 200 pounds, I told myself I’d never cross that 200 mark again.  Unfortunately, that only lasted a few months.

The problem is that staying under 200 pounds took a lot of effort.  I remained vigilant about every single thing I ate and drank when under that threshold.  Maintaining 208 pounds didn’t require much effort at all and I could be far more lax about my intake.

However, I liked being under 200 pounds.  I felt healthier, looked better, and enjoyed more confidence.  While I’m trying to reach 205 pounds by the end of March, I hope to ultimately attain 195 pounds again by summer.

You may recall that I’ve been regularly coming in at 2 pounds under the goal weight every week since I began this endeavor.  By that rationale, even though my goal weight for this week was 210 pounds, I thought I could perhaps hit 208 pounds.

Well, the good news is that I came in under 210 pounds, but I did not reach 208.  I held steady at 209 pounds.

Consequently, I experienced a mental challenge this morning when I saw that 209.  It was something like 209.4 pounds–not that far off from 208.  For a moment, I considered skipping breakfast and weighing myself an hour or two later.  This would give me a chance to <ahem!> go to the bathroom and also to move around and burn off some calories.  I know if I had done that I probably would have reached the top end of 208.  However, that’s a dangerous precedent and one that can turn sour quickly.  I won’t let myself get so obsessed with weight loss that I start skipping meals.

I’ve been saying from the start that a pound a week is my objective, and most agree that this is the best method to practice.  Even though it’s been going better than expected, I’ve often said that staying realistic and mentally positive is vital to this journey.  As I keep losing weight, it’s going to get harder and harder, and I’ll need to accept that and keep my chin  up.

This week is probably the beginning of that more difficult stage.

I’ve noticed that I am not as careful with my eating on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and then I start getting more serious on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday because I know that weigh-in is looming.

But, now that I think I’ve entered a more challenging area, I’ll have to increase my consumption awareness throughout the entire week.  It’s time to keep a more careful watch.

I hope your venture is also going well.  Feel free to let me know in the comment section how you’re doing!

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(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s Dr. Nekros e-book series HERE)

The Weekly Weigh-In: Made It To the Single Digits!

I’ll be honest: this was a tough week for eating well.  My wife and I went on a date to see The Favourite last Saturday.  Afterwards, we visited my favorite local Mexican restaurant Hacienda Leon and–there’s no other way to say this–I gorged myself on chips and salsa.  I know chips and salsa isn’t terribly fattening in and of itself, but when the main course arrives and one isn’t even hungry anymore … that could be a sign.

I also sampled a few more of my wife’s Valentine’s candy.  Just a piece a night for a few nights, but those empty calories add up.  Again, a treat every once in a while isn’t a big deal, but I knew I got the week off to a rough start and then indulged in candy, too … My willpower struggled.

However, with my public weight-loss journey and the next weigh-in looming, I cleaned up my act.  I had a salad for dinner a few nights later in the week.  Truthfully, though, I didn’t think it would be enough.

This week I hoped to hit my scheduled target of 211 pounds.  I weighed in at 212 or 213 pounds for most of the week, so I really did not think it was going to happen.  In fact, I spent the latter part of the week composing this article in my head.  I figured I would talk about how setbacks are only natural in this process and that I can’t let them have an adverse impact upon my mental well being.  I decided I would write about how the weight loss will eventually even out and the pounds will stop falling off at such a rapid pace.

I know that article will one day have to be written when there just isn’t as much weight to lose, but–I’m pleased to say–it won’t be this week.

This morning I left the double digits and came in at 209 pounds.

I weigh myself every night and every morning.  I weighed 212 pounds before I went to bed, so I felt confident I would wake up at my goal of 211 pounds, maybe even get lucky and hit 210 pounds.  I did not expect to be as low as 209 pounds.

So what happened?

I’m going to be very honest with you.

Maybe too honest.

This was a very stressful work week.  My body seemed a little … bound up all week, if you catch my meaning.  This morning I slept in and woke up feeling refreshed and … relaxed.  My body seemed to uncoil a bit, which allowed everything to loosen up.

Consequently, even with the big dinner last Saturday night and the Valentine’s chocolates, I maintained my new habit of healthy cereal for breakfast and oatmeal as an afternoon snack.  I think choosing these sensible foods, along with not eating anything after dinner, is having the greatest effect upon my weight loss.  Other healthy habits I’m continuing are no soda or sweet tea, no second helpings at meals, a moderate amount of bread, and few if any sweets for treats.

I’m very pleased to report that with a total loss of 6 pounds in 4 weeks, I’m ahead of schedule.  My goal is to lose 10 pounds by near the end of March.  My ultimate goal is to get back down to 195 pounds by summer, which is appearing more and more realistic with each passing week.  But, slow and steady, right?  Let’s take this one week at a time.

(February 23 — 209 pounds)

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(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s Dr. Nekros e-book series HERE)

The Weekly Weigh-In: A Valentine’s Treat

I started a journey a few weeks ago, a journey that–so far–is going very well.

Since January 25, I’ve been mindfully trying to lose weight and inches.  My goal then was to lose ten pounds over the course of ten weeks.

I’m glad to say I’ve been slightly ahead of schedule each week by coming in a pound under my target weight for that period of time.  As I’ve said before, that’s not a trend I expect to sustain, but I’ll certainly accept it when it happens!

If you’re new to this series, I strongly believe in healthy weight loss through portion control.  Since we’re in the dead of winter, even moderate exercise is difficult to achieve, but portion control is something everyone can do.  However, weight loss through portion control has to be executed patiently and sensibly.  Crash diets are not sustainable, but slowly reducing caloric intake can become part of a lifestyle change that, over time, can be maintained.

So, with that being said … I’m still sticking to cereal every day for breakfast.  I think this has made a huge impact on my weight loss.  I’m also pleased to say that Lactaid milk has made this possible.  I’m not lactose intolerant, but milk is really rough on my digestive system.  As a result, I typically avoided glasses or bowls of milk.  Thankfully, Lactaid, which doesn’t bother my stomach at all, has made cereal a viable option for me again.  No more microwavable sausage and pancakes for this guy!

I’m also sure to have a mid-morning snack–usually a banana or a serving of trail mix.  Lunch is usually just leftovers from the night before or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I often have an applesauce cup, a mixed fruit cup, and a cup of black olives, too.  I might throw carrots and celery in there as well.  No chips or pretzels.

I get home about 3:30, and that’s a dangerous stretch for me.  In the past, I’ve been known to gorge a bit.  The last few weeks I’ve limited myself to one serving of flavored oatmeal.  It’s not great, but it curbs my appetite.

For the most part I’ve continued to cut soda and sweet tea from my diet.  Those are empty calories that can add up in a hurry.  I did have soda one morning due to a rumbling stomach.  Forgive my bluntness, but the soda helped me burp.

Cutting breads at dinner has worked well in addition to generally eating less.  I’ve talked about this before, but I am now sure to have two tacos instead of three, a half bowl of spaghetti instead of a full, that kind of thing.  For example, we went out tonight for dinner.  I ordered a calzone.  This baby was huge!  The old me would have eaten the whole thing.  I’m proud to report I ate half of it and brought the other half home to eat for lunch tomorrow.  Guess what?  I’m still full from the half I ate.

Speaking of which, nothing after dinner to eat.  Nothing.  If I get hungry, I have a glass of water to give my stomach a little relief.  This isn’t starvation–I typically don’t even get hungry at night.  I’ve conditioned my body to accept the fact that it’s not consuming any calories in the evening.

What’s that?  What about Valentine’s Day, you ask?

Funny you should mention that.

My wife is an elementary teacher.  Every year, her students’ generous families shower her with gifts, candies, and chocolates.  She brings home a LOT of chocolate.  Now, I like chocolate as much as the next person.  Did I deny myself one of her chocolates?

Remember what I said in an earlier entry about denying yourself a treat?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that if I deny myself a treat, I just eat twice as much later because of some weird sense of entitlement or something.  In the long run, it’s better for me if I just have that treat and get it over with.  However, I have to be smart and purposeful about it.  So, I had one chocolate from her stash.  Just one.  It tasted great, and I appreciated it all the more in knowing that it was the only one I would have.  It’s called a “treat” for a reason, right?  If you stuff the whole box into your mouth, that’s not really a “treat”–that’s a meal.

So, last week I wanted to weight 213 pounds, and I came in at 212 pounds.  Today I hoped to maintain that 212 pounds as it was my projected weight for this week.  Guess what?  I kept the trend going and came in a pound under again–211 pounds.  Again, I don’t want to get too excited about this trend because I know people tend to generally lose the most weight up front since there’s more to lose in the beginning.  At some point soon, the extra pound a week is going to stop, and I have to be okay with that.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–it’s a marathon, not a race.

I hope your journey is going well, too.  I wish you the best!

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(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s Dr. Nekros e-book series HERE)

The Weekly Weigh-In: An Unexpected Development

Last week, I discussed the secret to losing weight.  I also challenged you to join me in trying to drop a few pounds.  More specifically, I publicly declared that I am attempting to lose ten pounds within the next ten weeks.  Finally, though it’s a little embarrassing, I revealed my then-current weight in order to put my money where my mouth is.  My weight back on January 25th?  215 pounds.

Though a pound a week may sound a little slow-going to most, it’s generally considered to be the healthiest, and most long-lasting, process to weight loss.  A pound lost a week signifies portion control without starvation.  We all know that extreme weight loss in a short amount of time often indicates an unsustainable diet.  The real secret to weight loss is modest portions all day, every day.  We’ve got to reduce those calories.

With that being said, I had a fairly successful week in regards to my eating.

I cut back on bread, like I wanted, but did not take it out of my diet completely because I know that isn’t realistic.  I still ate my sandwiches for lunch, I still had pasta for a few dinners, but I made sure not to eat the extras when I could help it.  For example, no garlic bread with said pasta.  (Confession: I snarfed a small piece–just one.)

On taco night, I limited myself to two tacos instead of three.  I also excluded the chips and salsa.  However, I still enjoyed my shredded cheese.  Again, I’m  not going to make myself suffer during this process.  I like cheese.  I’m going to eat cheese–just not as much.

For drinks, I stuck to water and coffee only.  No sweet tea, no soda.  Sweet tea and soda are killers for me.  As I’ve been doing for years, I also kept my creamer to one tablespoon per mug.

Potato chips did not make it onto my plate at all.  I’ve never really craved potato chips, so this isn’t a huge deal to me.

Finally, my daughters and wife made chocolate cake one night.  Of course I’m going to eat my daughters’ cake!  But, I only had a half of a slice.  Just one.  Haven’t had any since.

We also got dessert one day at a restaurant.  The four of us split it–a skillet cookie.  Man, this thing looked delicious.  It was a giant chocolate chip cookie covered in warm chocolate syrup and topped off with vanilla ice cream.  That moment proved an important psychological test for me.  I knew if I did not have any of it, I would feel denied and bitter.  Those feelings would fester and, if personal history proved any indication, I would just binge on something else later to make up for it.  Instead, I ate a spoonful.  I got a taste of it, just enough, and felt satisfied.  Moderation.  Moderation is key.  (And then I had one more spoonful, but that was it–I promise.)

Generally speaking, I continued my practice of avoiding food after dinner.  I also did much better with my snacks between lunch and dinner.  I regulated myself to a granola bar or a bowl of healthy cereal.  That time between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m. has traditionally been a weak spot for me.  That’s the time of the day I most need to watch carefully.

The results of all this?  An unexpected surprise.  I weighed-in this morning at 213 pounds.  I hoped to weigh 214 pounds, so this extra lost pound pleasantly surprised me.  However, I’m not going to shoot for 212 pounds next Saturday.  According to my schedule, I hoped to weigh 213 pounds next week, so I’m simply going to strive to maintain 213 pounds.  We all know weight goes up and down according to water intake, bowel movements, stress, water retention–all kinds of things.  If I weigh 212 pounds next week, that’s great, but if I stick to 213 pounds, that will satisfy me as well.  The primary goal is to make sure I don’t go back up to 214 or 215 pounds.

This is a slow, methodical process, but it worked for me once before, and it will work again.  It just takes discipline, a positive attitude, patience, and portion control.

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(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)

Trying To Lose Weight? We Already Know the Secret To Success

A few years ago, I lost about thirty-five pounds over the course of roughly four months.  At my heaviest, I’d been as high as 240.  At the time of the loss, I started out around 230.  I was approaching forty years of age back then, which definitely, along with my weight, brought up some potential health concerns.  I also had a beach trip coming up that summer with my family, and because my brother is always super fit, I didn’t want to look like a total slob next to him.

I wish I could tell you that I have this grand secret as to how I lost the weight.  In fact, I remember when people started noticing the weight loss, they literally asked me what my secret was.  They always seemed a little disappointed when I told them.

It wasn’t exercise.

Let me first say, by the way, that there’s nothing wrong with exercise–obviously.  Exercising is great for your mind, your heart, and your general health.

However, it’s not so great as the sole means for losing weight.  I mean, if you exercised for eight hours a day and hit it hard, yes, you’d lose weight, but most of us can’t dedicate that kind of time or energy to weight loss.  For most of us, if we exercise forty minutes, then have a can of soda, we just gained back every calorie burned during those forty minutes.

The real secret to weight loss is simply not eating so much.

You know it’s true.

When I lost all that weight, I kept a journal of every single thing that I consumed on a daily basis.  I didn’t count calories–I don’t have the patience for that.  However, by writing it down, it forced me to really think about what I was eating.  It cut way down on my stress eating, which is a big problem for me.  I also decided to avoid a lot of starch products.  I didn’t quit bread–again, that’s crazy.  But, I cut out fries completely, scaled way back on bread, and stayed away from chips as best I could.

I also fought hard to avoid sugar whenever possible.  That meant that soda pretty much left my diet, most candy got left by the wayside, and–here’s the big one–creamer consumption changed drastically.  I honestly think this made the biggest difference in my weight loss.  I used to pour creamer into my coffee without regard.  When I started controlling my consumption more carefully, I limited myself to one tablespoon of creamer per cup of coffee.  Turns out that I cut a lot of calories by doing that.

Finally, I committed to the idea that I would not eat anything after dinner.  No more late night snacks.  No more giant bowls of ice cream before bed.

Guess what?  It worked.  The pounds started melting off.  I started the process in early August, and by mid-November I had exceeded my own expectations.

In fact, I got as low as 193 pounds.  That’s around what I weighed when I was 18.  I couldn’t believe I’d made it under 200 pounds again!  That was something I never thought would be possible.  I promised myself back then that I’d never see 200 pounds again.

That was a foolish promise, I know.

Here we are, four years later, and the weight has been creeping up again.  I’ve managed to stay in the 205 range for the most part, but these last few months, I’ve gotten up to 215.  This is horrifying because it’s almost half of my original weight loss.  I overindulged during the Halloween season, and then the Thanksgiving season, and then the Christmas season, and now I’m paying the price for it.

But, I know what to do.  I’ve done it before.  Yes, I’m 42 now instead of 38, but I know it’s still possible.

My body doesn’t need a ton of calories to function well.  I’ve always eaten more than I require.  Some people need to eat a ton to keep up their energy–I’m not one of those people.  So, the journey begins again today.  And the secret?

Portion control.

I’m going to try to keep up  with not eating after dinner–I’ve been doing that throughout.  I’ve also stuck to my creamer rule.  However, I’ve gotten really bad about eating every dessert offered, indulging in leftover Halloween candy, and generally eating more than I need.  Chips and fries probably should go away again, as well as too much bread.

I’m not saying to stop eating things you like.  I’ll keep eating pizza, tacos, pasta, and all those things they say you shouldn’t have.  But, instead of three pieces of pizza, have two.  Cut out the chips and queso dip from the taco dinner.  Maybe eat half a plate full of spaghetti instead of a whole plate’s worth.

I think it’s unrealistic to say we’re never going to eat certain things again for the rest of our lives.  However, it’s absolutely realistic to say we just won’t eat as much of those things.

So, I’d like to check in with you every week until I get back down to 195.  I confess that there’s a certain shame in admitting my weight to you.  It’s hard to put this out there publicly.  But I think most of us would like to lose weight.  I think most of us have a bit of a negative self-image due to weight.  I think it’s important to share not just my struggle with you, but also my impending success.  Perhaps I can inspire you, and in doing so, continue to inspire myself.

My goal is to lose ten pounds by spring break.  That’s about a pound a week, which is totally possible.  Will you join me?

January 25, 2019 — 215 pounds.

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 (Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)