Monday, December 15, 2008

On Weight Loss: The End of One Road

I have concluded that I have finally reached the end of my weight loss journey. If you look at the chart, you'll see the slow and steady path that I followed -- click on it for a larger version.

You can see that I lost about a quarter pound each day while I was doing this "Phantom Weight Watcher" thing. I totally have to give credit to my wife, who made it possible. She cooked for me, encouraged me, participated with me (well, I participated with her, technically), and always reminded me to behave myself. I wouldn't call what she did nagging, just gentle reminding; which I was free to ignore (and sometimes did). She is a wonderful, glorious woman, and I am greatly in love with her.

I am now comfortably down in the middle of the "normal" BMI range, and am feeling pretty happy about how I look. I feel good, too, with good energy levels; and even though I get the same amount of sleep I did when I started this little journey, I don't feel quite as exhausted. It really is true that the extra weight doesn't help at all.

When I tell people that I lost 35 pounds, most people wonder where I had kept it all. I was never really "obese" before, I don't think, but I was "pleasantly" rounded -- I was well within the upper half of the "overweight" BMI range. Now, I latch my watch one notch further in, my belt three notches in, and my wedding ring has literally fallen off my finger.

Anyway, a few musings on this whole weight loss thing:

-- I believe that sustainable weight loss is not a matter of self-denial, but rather self-control. Following the "Weight Watchers" approach has worked really well for me. I'm a numbers guy by nature, so keeping track of things wasn't so difficult, but any diet that prevented me from eating what I love (ice cream! meat! peanut butter!) would not have worked for me. Instead of denying myself of these things, I just have to plan for it now.
-- Despite my great success, I wouldn't say that I'm happier now that I'm skinny than I was before. I was pretty happy before. I would say, however, that it is easier for me to do things than it was before and my stamina has increased. I can climb stairs easier, I sprint more readily, I walk faster than I used to, chasing my kids around doesn't seem like a chore, and I can now crouch or get on the ground (and back up again) a lot easier than I could before -- a very important thing when you have small children.
-- It really is flattering when people comment on my weight loss. Nearly everyone I know has asked me about it, and it always makes me smile. (Why, yes, I have lost weight! Thank you for noticing!)
-- My confidence level has gone up. No longer do I worry about what people think about my appearances, because I know I look good. Yep, I do, just ask me.

Everything I own is really baggy on me. My church suits are really bad, and I desperately need a new one. This whole buying a new wardrobe thing really stinks, but it is, in its own way, sort of fun, too. My wife, on the other hand, absolutely hates shopping for clothes. For men, buying a pair of pants is as easy as finding the right waist and length (okay, okay, if you really gotta make it hard, you might want to care about the style -- loose-fitting or regular fit), whereas for women, it's a far more complicated challenge. For her, though, she's been very surprised and pleased to try on sizes that she couldn't fit into even as a high school student.

Now my challenge is to learn how to stabilize my weight. It is a different task than losing weight, and I hope to maintain my weight between 140 and 145. It should be an interesting experience, too, and maybe I'll post some of the long-term results of that effort.

As it is, this particular experience is now at an end. When I find the right pictures that illustrate the story, I'll post a "before and after" entry. It's been good.


Melissa said...

I can't believe you only weight 140 pounds! But congratulations for losing so much. I really don't think I could ever do it. And I hope I won't have to! When are you coming to Denver again? I'll have to try to fatten you up!

Anonymous said...

Good work Roy! Quincy convinced me to join Weight Watchers last week, and 40 lbs is about what I need to lose...although at the end of that process I'll be closer to the weight where you started...

Roy said...

Melissa, it's weird for me to think of that, too. I haven't weighed this little since junior high! I don't have any plans to be in Denver again for a while ... (un)fortunately.

Kirk, thanks! You big lug, I remember you once gave me grief for being a little soft around the mid-section ... ah, the sweet satisfaction of turnaround ... Hey, good luck! It's a long road to travel, but I think it has been worth it!

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