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.

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.