My Weight Loss. How I did it.

Me

Me

I am proud to say I stand as a living breathing example of how you can lose weight and not dramatically change your life in doing so. If I’m right that there are a lot of people who are overweight because they don’t think they can lose weight, or haven’t reached a stage yet where they feel the need and don’t want to change eating, drinking and exercise habits in order to make it work have I got the solution for you.

As of this morning I weigh 208-pounds. I’m 6-foot 1-inch tall. And I have a 32-waist. Since I’m 49 years old and was 185-pounds in high school and know that I’ve added muscle mass since that time I’d say I’m doing pretty good. Nine months ago I wasn’t doing good. I was 245-pounds and had a 40-inch waist, a big ol’ pot belly.

46 years old, 240 lbs.

Me at my worst- about 245 lbs.

I thought a blog on specifically what I’ve done since my great weight loss adventure began would be helpful. So, here is what’s typical.

(With the mention of each product I use I provide a link for you to go to the website and see and read, purchase and try-out said product)

I wake at 5:30am, weigh myself and immediately have my AdvoCare Spark, Prostate Support, and Bio Tools.

At 6am I’m in my exercise room to begin my workout Mon-Fri. I was a member of LA Fitness for the first 6 months of this journey. But since I have much of the workout equipment already in my home I decided not to pay the monthly fee at the gym and just continue what I’ve been doing for 10 years at home.

The first 20 minutes of my workout consists of vigorous stretching.

In following a plan devised by a fitness trainer I conduct resistance training (weight lifting) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday its cardio workouts, or simply treadmill work.

Monday’s are “core” days. I do three sets of 60-second planking. Sit-ups. And most everything else on the universal weight machine we bought years ago. I do lat-pulls, bench press, and butterfly presses. I frequently do an exercise in which I hook on a single handle to the weights, hold it with my arm stretched fully down my side, and then I bend sideways at the waist lifting the weights while doing so. With all lifting I do 3-sets of 10-to-15-reps. Muscle building is not a goal. Thus the high reps. At this point I’ll then put in ten minutes on the treadmill to wrap up my hour.

Wednesday are “legs” days. And I hate legs days. After stretching I do 3-sets of 60-second squat-and-holds. Did I mention that I hate this? I do leg extensions, leg curls, and toe raises by clicking the lat-pull bar to the weight pulley near the ground. I grasp the bar behind my back and with my arms fully extended and NOT shrugging my shoulders I rise up on my toes and lift the weight simultaneously. I do 3-sets of 20-reps of this exercise. As with Monday and Friday I close-out with 10 minutes on the treadmill. But on legs day instead of jogging I wear 10-pound ankle weights and walk the treadmill with a steep incline. By the end of my hour on Wednesday’s my ass is kicked. Did I mention I hate “legs” days?

Whenever there is only 10-20 minutes left in my workout I take my packet of AdvoCare MNS pre-breakfast supplements.

Friday’s I work on arms and shoulders. Arm curls, arm extensions, and fly weight lifts (arms fully extended to the side. Raise weights up from legs to shoulder height, keeping arms straight and locked). And I also have a 10-pound weight tied to a dowel with a long shoe-string. I roll the dowel in my hands, lifting the weight. I do this palms up and palms down. Three-sets each exercise.

On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s I put in 40-minutes on the treadmill, after stretching.

Breakfast comes after my workout. Since my weight loss began breakfast 4-5 days per week is an AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shake; Chocolate. When I’m doing the 24-Day Challenge I don’t add anything to the shakes. When not doing the Challenge I might add something to the shakes like peanut butter, a banana, strawberries,  black berries, or raspberries. I’ve done the challenge three times, or every three months. And I have my breakfast MNS supplement packet, which usually contains OmegaPlex Fatty Acid pills.

About 3-4 hours after breakfast I have a late morning snack. It’ll either be a piece of fruit, nuts and seeds (unsalted), or an AdvoCare Snack Bar or Fruit and Fiber Bar. Love ’em. Sometimes I’ll have a celery stick with Adam’s All-Natural Peanut Butter (no salt, no sugar).

30-minutes prior to lunch I enjoy another Spark, AdvoCare Catalyst, and my MNS pre-lunch supplement packet.

I eat a late lunch so that I can watch one of my favorite TV programs, Pardon the Interruption on ESPN. At lunch I frequently eat dinner-left-overs. Lately, that’s included a lot of fish, and chicken breasts. The food items that are most frequently missing from my diet now, that were regular before, are cheese and bread and condiments loaded with sugar and salt. Also I have my lunch-time AdvoCare MNS supplement packet.

To help one’s metabolism nutritionists recommend eating 5-6 times per day. I never did this before beginning to lose weight. And now the meal I’m most likely to miss is the late afternoon snack. Since I eat lunch so late I often am not hungry, and merely forget to eat something. When I do it’s usually a piece of fruit, nuts and seeds (think trail-mix), or celery and peanut butter.

Throughout the day I have a glass or bottle of water with me at all times, and I drink it at all times.

Around 6pm I’m having a cocktail, usually rum and coke. Usually 2.

Dinner comes around 7pm. On Friday’s it’s almost always pizza. My wife will fix-up some pasta recipe most weekend days. But usually its something quick and sensible; again lots of chicken and fish. I don’t eat out often. I might have a fast-food meal once every 1-2 weeks. Salads are part of my dinner 3-4 nights per week. I use spritzers now instead of the italian or bleu cheese dressings I used to always pour over my greens. If I don’t have a salad I have vegetables of some kind.

I don’t avoid hamburgers, or other junk food any more than I used to. I still enjoy a fat, juicy burger, beef steaks, spaghetti with meat sauce and parmesan and lots of other “bad” stuff. I don’t think I eat as much as I use to eat. And if I had a big-bad lunch I have a very light dinner. And vice-versa. I don’t think I was previously as conscious about eating light during one meal because I had or was going to have something heavy in another.

About 2-3 times per week I enjoy a dessert; usually about 2-hours prior to bedtime. Dessert could be a bowl of ice-cream or 2 cookies.

How does this differ from the time when I was 40 pounds over-weight. Honestly? Not much. I added AdvoCare. Other than that most of what I just described I’ve been doing for at least 10 years. The only major difference is AdvoCare. And now I weigh less than I have in nearly 30-years. It’s the truth. You figure it out.

Sonja's lost over 30 pounds and even more since this pic was shot in July 2012.

Sonja’s lost over 30 pounds and even more since this pic was shot in July 2012.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won’t regret it.

People Don’t Know They’re Fat.

Me and My 2 Oldest- Easter 2011

Me and My 2 Oldest- Easter 2011

According to a 2012 study 35.7% of adult Americans are obese, and 16.9% of kids 2-19 years of age are. Basically it’s like this, if you have two friends and they are fit and not obese…then it’s probably YOU.

The comment is offered mostly in jest, but also with the intent of getting to a point. People really are not aware that they’re fat. For some it might be denial, for some it could be something else. Like an alcoholic who believes their drinking isn’t a problem over-weight people will continue all the bad habits that created their lack of fitness until such time they realize they have a problem.

I know what I’m talking about. At 47 years of age I finally realized that I was fat. I always knew I was overweight, but I would always say I was only 20-30 pounds from my optimal weight and that wasn’t too bad.

My wife and I watched the movie “Flight”, starring Denzel Washington, a couple of nights ago. (If you haven’t seen the movie skip ahead to the next paragraph because I’m about to reveal some aspects of the movie which aren’t a mystery, but that you may not want to know about in advance of seeing it). Washington plays an alcoholic airline pilot who’s drinking has caused him some embarrassment, and a divorce. But for the most part he remains functional, with the help of cocaine. Because he is functional in many parts of his life he continues to deny he has a drinking and drug problem. He says, “I drink because I choose to”, refusing a girlfriends efforts to convince him that he drinks because he “NEEDS” to.

Washington’s character finally does realize he has a problem when continuing to lie about his problem would have destroyed the reputation of someone else. It was then, as his character put it, “he’s free”.

Call 425-687-0100 if you finally realize what I did.

Call 425-687-0100 if you finally realize what I did.

I’m not a psychologist. But in my understanding of the word “denial” that’s not what most people with destructive lifestyles or habits are dealing with. Whether it’s obesity, or drug and alcohol addiction, or slothful laziness; people are not aware they have a problem. A lot of times it’s because they surround themselves with other people with the same problems and they compare themselves favorably to these other people. They convince themselves I’m not fat. Look at so-and-so. Or they say, this is just how I’m made. “I’m husky”. “I have big hips”. Please understand…no you are not. You’re fat. And you are fat because of what and how you eat and probably because you don’t exercise enough. But most probably it’s what you are doing in the kitchen or at the dining table that has led to your lack of fitness.

Sonja Comparison

My wife and I were in the same boat. When I finally tired of my size and feared the threat of dying young like my Dad, my Uncle, and my Grandfather I didn’t think I had much to lose. I was introduced to AdvoCare by a long time friend who told me I could have six-pack abs. At the time I was about 245 lbs. and said I’d just be happy to drop below 230. I still didn’t get it. I swear, I don’t know how my friend avoided laughing out loud at me. AdvoCare opened my eyes. I lost 30 lbs. And even more, though I reached a weight I’d not been in 25 years, I can comfortably lose 10 more pounds and possibly 20. My wife has dropped nearly 40 pounds thanks to AdvoCare and acknowledges the reason she always argued against my efforts to get her to lose weight was that she didn’t think she had so much to lose. From my perspective I hear that and think she must be nuts. But my wife is no more nuts than I am, or any of the millions of other Americans who are oblivious to a condition that will shorten there lives, and in some cases drastically affect the quality of what short lives they have remaining.

Nobody will change the mind or create awareness for someone who is over weight, or dealing with other negative habits, behaviors, or lifestyles by criticism. Criticize the fat person and they are more likely to think you’re a jerk than change anything they’re doing. Be it yourself, or someone else, be kind in realizing or explaining the problem. As stated earlier more than 1-in-3 are not only over-weight, they’re obese. So they, or YOU, have plenty of company. Plenty of enablers. Plenty of excuses. If it’s you please realize there is no reason you can’t be the size and shape you were after high school. Realize it’s possible. It’s lived every day by most, MOST Americans. You can do it too.

We can help. Call us to get started today. 425-687-0100.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Lead your industry with video. Call us.

Lead your industry with video. Call us.

My Weight Loss Frustration turns to Success

See my progress before the 24 Day Challenge was complete.

The fact that I’ve written about my efforts to lose weight twice in this calendar year is not something I would have ever expected of myself. It was just not a subject I cared too much about. That all changed in May 2011 when I got on my bathroom scale and it barked back at me 245.3 pounds. It was the heaviest I’d ever been. That combined with the fact that I didn’t feel particularly good, things had to change. Little things like bending and stooping became difficult. And recent photographs of me were quite un-flattering. Like this Easter pic from 2011:

Me and My 2 Oldest- Easter 2011

Me and My 2 Oldest- Easter 2011

Notice the round belly, and the double chin? Not my best moment.

So I took steps to lose weight which I wrote about last January in a blog I called, My Weight Loss Frustration. The writing of it was prompted by a holiday season of mostly regular indulgence resulting in no weight gain, followed by the first week of the new year filled with exercise, light-healthy eating and a gain of five pounds. Grrrrrr.

In the six months since that writing my weight has remained fairly steady…though gaining slightly. I may have started the year at 233 lbs. But by June I was again approaching my heaviest, about 240 lbs. And while I never would have thought so prior to my weight/size awakening in May 2011 I can REALLY feel those extra pounds. And it’s not a good feeling.

I think perspective is important when discussing an individuals weight. In my case even at my worst I’ve never considered myself obese. Just heavy. Since the weight of an average man is 160-195 pounds, according to Wikipedia, it might be easy to think I’m way over weight. Here’s my history in pictures since my full height of 6′ 1″ and High School.

15 years old, 6’1″, maybe 165lbs.

In this pic I don’t remember how much I weighed. But I would guess around 165 lbs. It was July 1979. I was 15. I know I was already my full height of 6’1″.

August 1981 - 17 Years old, 181 lbs.

My High School Senior Portrait was shot in August 1981, when I was 17 years old, 6-foot 1-inch, 181 lbs. I have a clear memory of my weight at that time because I was trying desperately to gain weight for the upcoming football season. I still harbored hopes of playing in college. But try as I might, I couldn’t put any meat on a pretty skinny frame.

21 years old, 6’1″, 195-200 lbs.

In May 1985 I was 21 years of age and through natural maturation and some weight training I was a fit 195-200 lbs. And since attaining legal drinking age I had begun drinking alcohol, BEER, pretty regularly.

This pic below came as a result of a funny story. I was fishing off this dock you see me standing on with my buddy Rob McBride, and my daughter Arica, who must have been 6-7 years old at the time.

So that would make me 30 years old in this picture, and based on appearance and memory I was about 220 pounds. I’m soaking wet because my daughter had dropped her brand-new fishing pole into the water and was crying. Not wanting her to be sad or have a bad memory from fishing, which is something I LOVE, I decided to dive into the water, where I retrieved the lost pole. Feeling quite proud of his friend, Rob rewarded me with a Budweiser.

Approx. 1993. 29 yrs old, approx. 220 lbs.

46 years old, 240 lbs.

Never posted this pic anywhere at any time for any reason until now; for obvious reasons. It’s not very flattering, and shows me at close to my worst. This shot was at Steamboat Rock State Park in July 2010 at the age of 46 when I weighed about 240 lbs.

June 18, 2012. 48 years old 240 lbs.

Really wasn’t looking forward to posting THIS one…ever since the pic was taken. Obviously I don’t look very good. I weigh 240 lbs. I don’t feel particularly good. I’ve gained back the 8-9 lbs I lost the previous year. This picture was shot the day I began the Advocare 24  Day Challenge, June 18, 2012.

At my worst I’m just 35 pounds heavier than the 210 lbs. I weighed when I married my wife at age 23 in 1987 and was in pretty good physical condition. No pot belly. Not even any love handles. Pretty firm, regularly playing basketball, and doing other physical activities. A 35 pound weight gain on a 6-foot 1 inch frame is not good. But the story of my weight loss frustration isn’t my weight or how much I’ve gained since any point in my life. The real story is how I felt, how I looked, what physical limitations I was encountering, and what health time bombs I was planting in my body. My Dad, Grandpa, and his brother, my Uncle, all died in their early 60s due to health reason that were largely preventable. They were all over weight. And they were all over weight for a considerable part of their adult life. The thought of dying young (60s) like them scared scares the hell out of me. I have too many things to do.

So, the Advocare 24 Day Challenge seemed logical to me. The ONLY time I’d lost weight in the 13-14 months since it became important for me to do so was in July of last year when I took a couple of friends advice and did the Advocare 10 Day Cleanse program. At that time I lost about 6-7 pounds, and felt great.

What might surprise many of you is how avid an exerciser I am. Underneath this round belly and chunky figure is a rock solid body waiting to get out. I stretch, lift weights, run treadmill, and do some bicycling and other cardio five days per week. I’ve done so pretty religiously for 8-9 years. 14 months ago I began eating all my meals on salad plates, rather than dinner plates so that I would be eating less. Still the weight wouldn’t come off. Not until Advocare.

Being Silly- Feeling Great

Its great to get back to a body that has some muscle definition.

A real frustration for me was 230 lbs, which I bumped into several times in the past year but could never break through into the 220s. I finally cracked 230 lbs. 6 days into the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. Because of the muscle gain I’ve achieved with weight-training and natural aging I’m not sure I can get down to 210 lbs. again, and I know the final 15 pounds will be the hardest. But I know with Advocare I can do it. I’m down 15 lbs. to 225-pounds at the conclusion of the 24 Day Challenge and feeling much better about my health, my appearance, and my future. It’s the only thing I’ve tried that has worked.

My lovely wife of 25 years has been on the 24 Day Challenge with me and has also lost 15 pounds and says she now weighs less than she has since before the birth of our 13-year-old daughter.

Sonja lost 17lbs on Advocare. Call us for info.

In the course of a lifetime I hope to have last 80+ years, 24 Days is just a tiny blip on the radar screen, and the minor sacrifices I had to make in this short time frame were infinitesimal compared to the tremendous benefit I have gained.

Contact me about Advocare. I’d be happy to give you the whole scoop.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

My Weight Loss Frustration

Sucking in the gut

Sucking in the gut at about 240 lbs.

There is no doubt that one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever attempted to do is lose weight. And it’s not for a serious lack of effort.

Before I tell my short story let me request that all my many friends who peddle weight loss plans and programs withhold your personal invitations to try your product. I know who you are, and when the time is right I’ll seek you out.

See if my story doesn’t mirror yours in some ways.

My latest frustration came when I stepped on the scale this morning and found that I’ve gained 5 pounds this week. This is frustrating for the following reasons: During the holiday season I fully admit to eating generously, drinking frequently, and ingesting everything that is supposed to be bad for me. From Thanksgiving to New Years Day I didn’t lack for pies, cookies, candies, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, creamy sauces, and fatty meats. And through this month-long gorging of myself I didn’t gain weight; unless 2-3 pounds counts as gaining weight. I don’t think it does; especially since I started at around 233 pounds. Were I the size and weight of an average man, about 170-180 pounds; 2-3 pounds would be more significant. I gained this five pounds in spite of joining my neighborhood LA Fitness gym and seriously stepping up my regular workouts this week.

As in all things context is king. So here’s my context. I’m 47 years old, 6-foot 1-inch, with a fairly heavy build. I’m a big guy. Bigger than most, anyway. I grew up an athlete and physically fit. As a 18-year-old high school football and basketball player I was 185-190 pounds. By age 23, when I got married, I had added a lot of muscle through weight training and weighed 205-210. For most of the past 10-15 years I’ve been pretty steady at 235-240. Like a lot of men, if not all, my excess weight is carried between my arm pits and my hips.

A funny thing about my weight gain is that it was actually endorsed by a few people around me who I love. A few years after marrying my wife of 25 years I was about 220 lbs. My wife’s 80+ year old Grandma who we all affectionately call Granny always referred to my size by saying, “Now you look like A MAN!”.

At age 39 after remaining fairly active through my 20s and 30s I noticed how my body was frequently experiencing lots of aches and pains. It was particularly acute in my hips and knees. I attributed most of this to playing catcher for my teen daughter who was a fast-pitch softball pitcher. The bending and stooping to help her training, combined with age, took its toll. So I began a regular exercise routine. I’ve religiously stuck to that exercise routine of weights and treadmill work for the past eight years. Every morning I’m up at 5:30am working on generating a sweat. The routine helped tremendously with my aches and pains but did nothing for my weight and shape.

So last Spring after reaching my all-time high weight of 245 I decided, for the first time in my life, to really try to lose weight. My efforts were mostly directed at my diet. I began eating off salad plates instead of the larger dinner plates, which I always piled high with my wife’s delicious and filling cooking. I made a concerted effort to eat more leafy vegetables and began taking fiber supplements. Progress was slow. So at the behest of a couple of friends who’d had some success with the Advocare diet and nutrition program I went on their 10-day challenge. I dropped six pounds. Shortly thereafter I was down to 230 pounds, and was looking and feeling better.

This is the point where my frustration began to grow. At my best point in the past eight months my digital scale showed me at 230.00 pounds. It really grinded my gears that I couldn’t dip into the 220s. I know its silly but 229.99 would have looked and felt so much better to me than 230.00. At least three times in the past 5 months I’ve stepped on the scale and seen 230-point-something. Each time I got excited and practically starved myself for a day or two trying to nudge that scale below that torturous 230 mark, only to see it climb back to 232-233-234. WHAT! God must want me to be fat. Or so I thought on a couple of occasions.

This whole experience has made me a far more compassionate person toward those who battle weight. I know what I’m doing. And I know I’ve improved my eating habits and maintained a regular exercise routine. But I have so little to show for it.

The good news is I maintain healthy blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and believe I’ve taken steps to lengthen my life. I’ve also realized that I need help. I’m always resistant to spending money on things and services I feel I can do on my own. But I’m now going to find a diet that will knock off the 15-20 pounds I really want gone.

Weight loss is more than a vanity exercise for me. It’s a life decision. My father died at 64. His father at 65. His brother, my Uncle, at 61. They were all overweight. Though like me my Uncle was pretty active. But when he died nearly 2 years ago I was struck with a fear I’d never felt. The idea of only living on this planet another 18-20 years seemed like a desperately short amount of time for all the things I still wanted to do. I want to see my kids continue to grow and succeed. When the time comes that I’m a Grandfather I am eager to see my grandkids grow into adulthood. So, ya, I want to look and feel better. But I want to live longer. And sadly, I’m now at the age where I have to entertain such thoughts.

So for the others out there also struggling to look and feel better. You have my heart-felt sympathy and support. Like me, you can do it. I can do it. I won’t quit. My life depends on it. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.