Preface: Please understand, this is my journey and experience and knowledge I learned over the years of my weight loss journey. Please always consult with your own doctor before you start anything, and always do your own research. I can not promise or guarantee the same results will happen to you.
I love food. I can eat all day long. My biggest hurdle in life is accepting this. Changing that mindset and lifestyle is the hardest part in losing weight and maintaining my weight.
My weight loss journey started in my early 30’s. Shortly after my 2nd child turned 1, I hit about 290+ lbs. I knew over the years, I was getting heavier but never clued into the severity of it. It clicked for me when I would sit on the floor and play with my kids. Getting up off the floor was a struggle. I just did not bounce up like I use to do. I had to lean over to the side, put my hands on my knee and push with all my might to get up. It was tiring and embarrassing. It was something I always saw one of my family members do when I was in my teens and 20’s. When they got up they would smile at me. Now looking back I could only assume it was from embarrassment.
Before all this, the last time I checked my weight was probably 8 years ago (My earlier 20s). Last I remembered I was 220lbs. I am a tall guy so I was able to move around no problem. But hitting 290 and not being able to move around as fast and get up from the floor, really hit me like a ton of bricks. I had no idea how to lose the weight. I knew I did not want to take some diet fad pills as I knew they were all scams, or just doing horrible things to your body to lose the weight. I wanted to do it properly. So I tried to do some research online. Once I got through all the fad diets, I always came across the few I remember hearing about years ago. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystems. I thought if those places are still around. They must be doing something right. After reviewing them, I had selected Weightwatchers. The main reason was because Jenny Craig and nutrisystems were more expensive and relied on buying their food. Being a single income family of 5, that was not an option. So weight watchers here I come.
Losing weight with Weight Watchers
When I walked into weight watchers I had no idea what to expect. I just knew I was desperate to lose weight. After I paid my fee, I sat down and listen to people talk about their journey and struggles. They gave me a bunch of info and a package with how info on how their program works. What I liked about weight watchers was they never said you can not eat junk food again. Or all the foods you love. You just need to follow the program. Their program worked on a points system. The amount of points you are allowed are based on age, sex, weight, height, and activity level.
I have to admit, the weight watchers program worked great. In about 7 or 8 months I lost about 48 lbs. I got down to 243lbs. I was very proud of myself and I did it all without exercising. (Well at 250lbs I started to exercise).
I proved to a lot of naysayers wrong who were telling me that you need to exercise to lose weight. But I am not saying don't exercise. Exercising will speed the weightloss process.
After losing all that weight I have been feeling like a million bucks. I felt unstoppable. But I then hit 2 obstacles I was not prepared for.
The Plateau and the weight gain
After loosing all my weight everything came to a stand still. I could not lose any more weight. I was eating right, I had adjusted my calorie intake, and was doing some simple exercises. Because of this I never properly took the time to research on how to deal with my plateau. Because of this, it lead back to weight gain. I was extremely frustrated. As the time went on I start to gain weight again. I stopped exercising. Started to eat poorly and I pretty much gained all my weight back. I went back to 285 lbs. I sat there for a bit. I was very unhappy. I did what I said I would never want to do. As I was loosing all my weight, I kept saying I would never go back to being overweight. Buying Smaller clothes, being able to move around, having more energy, sleeping better. There was no reason why I would want to gain all my weight back. But I did.
Weight Loss - Take 2
After some time passed and still being overweight and stuck in my rut, we had a weight loss challenge at work. I got motivated to loose weight again. And I did with vengeance. I followed my Weight Watchers Program. And lost all the weight again. .Got back down to 245lbs. Was feeling amazing the whole time. But like last time. I hit the plateau again. Stopped losing weight, lost motivation, and and gained the weight back...again
Another year went by and another weight loss challenge at work came. I jumped on it again. This time a co-worker I knew was losing some weight. We discussed and shared our story on what we did. He showed me another way to lose weight. He was just counting calories.
I thought it was very interesting. He showed me online calorie calculator that can be used to see how many calories you need to consume to gain, maintain or lose weight. I was surprised to see it was just that he was using. On the Weight watchers program, the points they use reflect calories fat, and fibre intake.
When you are consciously eating healthier, fat goes down and fibre goes up. They basically cancel each other out. So I tried again to lose weight for our weight loss challenge and this time I just watched the calorie intake. And to my surprise, I lost all the weight again. It was very simple and easy. It was something I preferred to do rather than the Weight watchers program. (But all means, they have an excellent program to lose weight)
So sadly I came to the same plateau and the same result. Gained all my weight back.
So what have I learned from all this?
- Losing weight is easy. If you are in the right frame of mind. You have want to do it. You have to be prepared to take out some of your bad habits. Remove the junk food and replace it with fruits and vegetables.
- Portion control. You will be eating a lot less then what you are eating now. The big problem for me was the amount of food on my plate at meals. I love peanut butter and jam sandwiches. I can eat them all day long. One sandwich I make is about 420 calories. Not bad. But eating 2 or 3 sandwiches, and not you are a good chunk of yor calories for the day. So if you had a big breakfast of bacon and eggs, toast and butter, and juice. And a couple sandwiches for lunch. You are over your limit already. You still have super to go and and snacks you sneak in during the day. It is so easy to go over your food intake when you are not counting it.
- Exercise more. Now I know I said you don't need to do it to lose weight, but it plays a big part in the life style change. (Which is the most important part in this whole weight loss journey)
- This is a lifestyle change. If you can not accept that or include that this is what it is. You will fail. You will gain all your weight back. You can not go change your food intake and lose all your weight and think.. I'm done. I can do what I want. Or go back to my old eating habits. If you do, you will gain all your weight back. Why do you think all those weight loss fads fail? People lose the weight, but they fail to keep it off. They go back to their old habits. No one tells them how to maintain the weight. Or what to do after wards. This is a lifestyle change. To lose the weight and keep it off, you have to break away from your old habits and never do them again. This for me is the hardest part of all this. Not losing weight. Accepting this is a lifestyle change. I love food. I can eat all day long. My biggest hurdle in life is accepting this. Changing that mindset and lifestyle is the hardest part in losing weight and maintaining my weight.