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.
Earth 2.0: What Would Our Economy Look Like?
2 days ago