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.