My mission is to lose 85 pounds in 20 weeks. I'm not going to make it.
I have lost 62 pounds in 15 weeks. That has earned me quite a bit of attention, and many people have asked for my "secret." Regular readers of this series may suspect my answer already, but I tell everyone the same thing: You must want to lose the weight more than just about anything else. There are many ways to turn that into a pretty slogan, but I've resisted them. "You must want to lose the weight more than you want to remain fat" is a little too "cute," while "You must want to lose the weight more than you want to eat" gives the wrong impression entirely. It really needs to be a priority worth reordering your life.
It did not start out that way with me, though, and that is where the low-carb, low-calorie diet helps. As long as you can commit for a relatively short amount of time, say two weeks, a low-carb, low-calorie diet should ensure you will lose a good amount, maybe even 5% of your total body weight! I lost a simply ridiculous amount of weight that first week, and I still can't explain it, but it sure made it easy to loosen my grip on food!
My wife has lost 31 pounds in seven weeks, and that's after already having been on another diet on which she lost five pounds in five weeks. Usually the first week of dieting is the most effective, primarily because of "water weight." My wife missed that first-week effect, and still lost so much in the first couple of weeks on this diet that she has decided to stick with it. She is now almost as dedicated as I am, after initially refusing to even consider the diet.
Of course, I'm not a doctor nor even a nutritionist, and the way it worked for my wife and I (and my mother and my father) may not be the way it works for you.
One thing I can say, though: picking nearly any diet plan and deciding to stick with it will help you. No, that chocolate truffle is not worth it. No, you do not need that slice of pizza. No, you can try that new flavor of Doritos after you're thin, by which time just a few chips ought to be quite enough. Before you start, everything sounds like it will be miserable. You think of all the things you will miss, and how awful that will be. Once you're losing weight, none of that matters nearly as much as being thinner. If you are like me, you'll find yourself sleeping better, and feeling fantastic. Clothes that had somehow shrunk in the wash on you will fit again. Even my severe allergy symptoms almost completely disappeared (This may be more the result of avoiding certain foods than just losing weight; I don't know). There is simply no way to compare the entirely trivial consequences of missing out on certain foods to the profound benefits of losing weight. The challenge is that the consequences start immediately, while it takes a few weeks — even on this diet — for the benefits to become obvious.
Shopping for Clothes
My waist size hadn't budged in a month, so I decided it was finally time to start shopping for new clothes. My old pants hang off of me; my wife says it looks "obscene." Coworkers have pointed out that my belt isn't entirely effective, since there is so much loose waistband it tends to slip out underneath the belt. Clearly my first priority, and perhaps long overdue, was to buy pants. Off to the thrift store!
It happens that the two thrift stores at which I shopped both lack changing rooms, so I bought two pairs of size 36 and two pairs of size 34 pants. One or the other ought to work, right? By the time I tried them on at home, the size 36 pants were much too loose, while the size 34 seemed just about right. I assumed that it had something to do with the thrift store mismarking them, forgetting that it had been about a week since I last measured my waist. By the time I actually wore the pants in public, even the size 34 pants were a little loose, and the 36-inch pants are completely useless. I had noted that I had lost only a couple of pounds each the last two weeks, but it seem that my body was focusing on my waist again, so that I lost three inches in those same two weeks! My waist is actually about 32.5 inches now, but I always round up. I once had a 32-inch waist, so I've only got another half-inch to go.
I had to buy pants, but I wish I could have held off just two more weeks. I'm glad I only paid thrift-store prices! Unfortunately, I still need to buy new clothes. And a new belt.
As I've already described, my weight loss has slowed down again, making it clear that I won't reach 165 pounds before the end of my goal. If I keep up the two-pounds-per-week pace, I'll fall 13 pounds short. So long as I've got a 32-inch waist, I'm not worried. It is interesting to me that periods of "slow" weight loss seem to correspond to more inches lost, and vice-versa. I'm close enough to my goal weight that expecting more than two pounds per week is probably unreasonable. Of course, expecting to lose 62 pounds in 15 weeks (more than four pounds per week!) is also unreasonable, but I constantly try to readjust my expectations.
I'll be taking a trip to Boston and Rhode Island in two weeks. How will I do after a weekend with the in-laws surrounded by seafood? I think I'll be okay. Rephrasing that: "I will be okay." It's up to me!
I'm already planning my next big challenge: keeping the weight off. My 20 weeks is up October 30, and BlogWorld Expo is just over a week later. While I expect to regain a few pounds once I increase the carbohydrates in my diet (and reintroduce alcohol!), I hope not to balloon up too quickly. Whatever I gain, I'll just have to lose again in December!
2007-06-12: 250, initial weight
2007-06-19: 236, -14 pounds
2007-06-26: 231, -5 pounds
2007-07-03: 225, -6 pounds
2007-07-10: 221, -4 pounds, 43 inch waist (estimated from belt size)
2007-07-17: 217, -4 pounds, 41 inch waist (estimated from belt size)
2007-07-24: 215, -2 pounds, 39 inch waist (estimated from belt size)
2007-07-31: 211, -4 pounds, 38 inch waist
2007-08-07: 209, -2 pounds, 37 inch waist
2007-08-14: 206, -3 pounds, 36 inch waist
2007-08-21: 204, -2 pounds, 36 inch waist
2007-08-28: 199, -5 pounds, 36 inch waist
2007-09-04: 196, -3 pounds, 36 inch waist
2007-09-11: 192, -4 pounds, 36 inch waist
2007-09-18: 190, -2 pounds, 34 inch waist
2007-09-25: 188, -2 pounds, 33 inch waist 62 pounds lost total!