Goal Weight Achieved!

The difference between me at 236 and 181 pounds
I have lost 55 pounds in two years and this is what it looks like. I can’t ever let this happen again.

For a day anyway. I haven’t weighed this little since 2008. Earlier this week I got on the scale and it read 179 pounds even. I think it was Monday. It may have been Tuesday. Of course, Christmas overindulgence has me back up over 180 (~182). But, I really don’t care. It doesn’t bother me and I am not worried about it at this point in the process. I now have the formula for my own body to continue to drop weight if I so choose. I am not sure where I want to go from here.

MeSo, how did I finally get off the year-long 190-pound plateau? I am glad you asked. I had gotten down to 184 in August but bounced right back up quickly. I am determined to stay at or about 180 for the duration.

Prior to Thanksgiving I finally started taking some advice I had long been ignoring. I never could wrap my head ahead drinking copious amounts of water for the sake of drinking water. I started drinking enough water to make a camel proud and the needle started to move. Between more advice and my own research, I decided to start putting more miles in when it comes to running and walking.

I read that 20 miles per week is the magic number to make a dent in visceral fat, the bad fat, the fat that infiltrates your internal organs. Well, finally pushing the envelope to over 10 miles per week also started to help drive the weight down. Lo and behold, it had an effect on body fat in general. Twenty miles a week is difficult to achieve but I can do 12-16.

Changing the diet again and really concentrating on eating clean and at regular intervals throughout the day became part of the formula. I dropped the bad carb-laden snacks in lieu of healthy treats and upped the protein intake.

The catalyst? A stomach virus. Right before Thanksgiving I came down with this nasty little bug and I lost five pounds in a week. I am not advocating contracting an illness as an appetite suppressant. However, this seemed to jumpstart my system. It also kept me from overeating at Thanksgiving. I ate because I needed to but I didn’t overindulge.

I kept eating clean, and stuck to a run every other day, lift weights on the other days exercise regimen. I got on the scale early this week and danced a jig in the master bathroom. I let out a sound I didn’t think I was capable of making, part of which I think only dogs and dolphins could hear. 1-7-9-point-oh!

Thanks to Christmas ham, mashed potatoes and apple pie, I have put a couple of pounds back on. But, as I mentioned, these pounds are temporary and will gone inside of a week. I have continued to run no matter what and I lift weights on the opposite days.

I do think I want to lose a couple more. Maybe get to 175 so I have that cushion to slide between 175-180. I am not entirely sure what the plan is going forward from here. I find myself addicted to running. There are worse things that I could be addicted to I suppose. Maybe I’ll run more races. Maybe I’ll try to do a 10K or a half-marathon. I have no desire to do a Marathon. That kind of sadomasochism is not in my DNA.

Decemver vs November running
December has been a better month. Longer distances at a faster clip.

I have been increasing my distances and trying to run faster with some measure of success. I ran 71 miles in November, with a walk or two thrown in. I have already run 73 miles in December and there is still almost a week left in the month and I have taken more than two minutes off my average pace. My personal best for 3.12 miles (5K) is down to 27:58, and I ran a personal best for 4 miles today, 37:55, taking 1:02 off my fastest time at that distance. I’ll stretch it our to 4.5 miles and I can do that in 46 minutes or less. The next step is to leg it out to 6 miles. I have been running through a calf strain but I have been so focused on all of this progress and success that I haven’t given it proper rest so it can heal.

I want to lose the rest of this belly fat and carve up this body and develop a physique of which I am proud. Don’t worry, no matter how good I look, I won’t be rocking a Speedo this summer.

What have I learned? What works for me doesn’t work for everyone else. Maybe I have that backwards. What works for everyone else doesn’t work for me. I had to find my own way, do my own research and work my own plan.

I have made a lot of mistakes doing this. Had I taken some of this advice sooner I may have achieved some of these results sooner. Sometimes these mistakes took weeks to correct, some took months.

I have desire, want-to and self-discipline I had no idea I possessed. So many nights I didn’t want to lift weights – I did it anyway. So many times I didn’t want to walk or run – I did it anyway.

Eating right is easier than you think. You can have a taste without eating the whole thing. Giving up soda and most sugary junk food wasn’t hard at all. Believe me, I have a sweet tooth, especially for chocolate. I cut down the salty snacks and I don’t eat too much late at night.

There is no easy answer, magic pill, or elixir. Diet and exercise. Self-discipline. Hard work. These are the words that ring true. If you find yourself obese, overweight or even just carrying a few extra pounds, read my blog entries, see where I have come from and you’ll know it’s nothing but good old-fashioned sweat and moderation when it comes to food that got me here and that’s the answer for you. Get off your ass, eat right and work hard and you’ll lose what you want to lose. You’ll look how you want to look.  Folks tell me this blog has inspired them in some way. That was not my intention. If it has, fantastic. Good luck on your personal journey.

I am not done. I still have some body and belly fat that need to go. I need to get back on the weights and work on strength and definition. I will say this, and I don’t want to sound like those trite and cliché Bowflex commercials, but I’m 45 years old and I think I look better than I ever have.

I receive a lot of love and support from my family and friends, many of whom are sick and tired of listening to my whining and complaining about the ups and downs of the scale, the aches and pains of exercise and my psychoses and neuroses. And I thank all of them – they know who they are.

I feel like I have truly accomplished something here. I have earned this. It’s taken almost two years to lose roughly 55 pounds or so. But I feel like I have done it a right way. I won’t say “the” right way. If that had been the case I would have written this particular blog a year ago.

Mark my words – I am nowhere near finished. The journey will end when they put me in the box. I am determined to like what I see in the mirror and in photos. I am getting there and I like what I see more than I ever have. I posted a link to a Huffington Post article that resonated with me with regard to body image. Apparently, body image is the last thing to go or to happen for folks who lose a lot of weight. I agree. The fat guy has gone away and come back. I think he’s gone for good this time.

The Jerry Project is not complete. I am a work in progress. But I do declare I am not fat, I am not overweight, I am not obese ANY MORE. I feel pretty good except for those aches and pains of exercise. And it felt damn good to write this blog entry.

Keep reading party people. It’s about to get interesting.

Just a Quick Note

Found this article on Huffington Post that I thought I would share. I am definitely going through points 1 and 5 in this article. No. 1 is very difficult to deal with. I have written about my body image issues in this blog before and maybe it’s time to do so again.

But here are the five things nobody tells you when you lose weight…