Greetings everyone. By way of quick introduction, I am a man in my mid-thirties with a lovely wife and incredible 4-year old son. I've been increasingly overweight for most of my life, but in recent years the bell curve has turned against me. I'm truly huge now. My biggest regret is that I feel so bad for my wife who knew I was large when she married me, but never asked for me to get so much larger. Likewise, my biggest fear in this regard is that my obesity would lead to my pre-mature death, making my son fatherless. Now let's be clear. I am a born again Christian. As such I've prayed that the Lord allow me to raise my boy (along with any future children) to adulthood. It is time that I do my part, however, in becoming healthy.
When I did the math, I was somewhat stunned to discover that the caloric deficit I must create in order to lose down to my goal weight of 220 pounds is above a million calories. Even forcing a deficit of 1,000 k/cals per day it means my journey would be three years. At first of course it will not be too difficult (relatively speaking) to produce much larger deficits even than that. But as time goes by and the numbers tighten the road will probably become much more rocky. This is a marathon and not a sprint. I've begun well so often in the past. This time I need to -nay, must! - finish the course.
Therefore I come to you, the calorie count community. I wonder if there may be others out there who are more than a little overweight and would like to join me in this challenge. Perhaps some who have already crossed the finish line will be willing to speak words of advice or motivation. I appreciate everyone who will team with me to TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!
May the Lord Jesus bless each of you richly.
I think it's great that you have made the decision to get healthy for you and your family. That is one of the things that motivates me most to keep the weight off. I didn't have as much to lose and did most of it in about 11 months but really, it is a marathon. Start by making small changes and tracking your progress. All the little things you start to change will add up to big payoffs down the road! And keep reminding yourself that if you make changes you can be X lbs lighter by this time next year or stuck in the same old place if you don't.
Having a support system is key to keep your motivation and dedication when things get tough. This site has a lot of great resources and supportive people. :)
I've read that it takes 3500 calories to burn a pound off once you have gained it; in this sense I had over 35 THOUSAND calories to destroy before I was anywhere near healthy. It's not anywhere near your million, but it's still more than 100 pounds of excess weight. To date I've lost over 70 of that.
For what it's worth here is my advice:
- LOG EVERYTHING; anything that so much as enters your mouth (condiments and drinks included) gets logged
- Even when you don't want to, hold yourself accountable. If you go way over your limit, log it, and do better tomorrow.
- Weigh yourself consistently. I weigh myself first thing every morning; it helps me remember throughout the day what I am fighting for and keeps me motivated not to give in, knowing I am going to be doing it again tomorrow.
- Natural foods trump processed foods any day; for example, a cup of cucumber has less than 20 calories; a cup of squash (zucchini, for example) only has 35 even when salted. Consequently, a Totino's pizza (the little $1.50 ones) has over 500 calories per pizza. When in doubt, go with the natural food.
- Have a day where you lax a little; my house has pizza Saturdays; I give myself a +300 calorie limit boost for that day. All other days of the week I'm right back on it.
- Find an accountability buddy. They don't have to exercise with you, just help hold you accountable.
- Exercise. Even if it's just playing tag with your little one for 30 minutes a few times a week, make sure you do it every week. This will help you.
- DRINK YOUR WATER. I can NOT stress how important this is! It will help you lose weight; your body will NOT shed water if you are not drinking enough, and you will start to hold on to EVERYTHING.
- Get plenty of rest. It's amazing what your body will do when you are sleeping.
- Take it slow. You are right; it is a marathon, not a sprint. You are making a lifestyle change; you are not going on a diet. Do not get rid of everything at once; if you drink both soda and coffee, get rid of one then SLOWLY get rid of the other. This goes for any kind of food which you might eat in excess.
- When you fall off on any given day smile, suck it up, and do better the next.
And always, always, ALWAYS know that we are here for you. <3
PS- welcome to CC. May this be the first positive step in a direction of many.
You can do this. And while it may seem daunting, the weight didn't come on overnight and it won't come off overnight, either.
When I did my calculation of fat calories I have lost, I came to a number of 595,000. I have lost 170 pounds to date. And guess what? I am a bit of an arse. I really am. So if I can do this so can you! You really can.
My weight has come off over 2 years. And the two great benefits I have found to this long term mentality are:
1. eating healthy and adding exercise daily has become a habit, and not a diet; this is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix, and
2. my skin has really bounced back; I have very few trouble areas which is incredible considering the amount of weight my wee body was carrying only a short 26 months ago.
I wish you the best on your journey. You can do this. I have faith in you.