250 Lbs.

Today I accomplished another one of my life goals. I weighed myself this morning, and I now officially weigh in at 250 lbs. That probably doesn’t sound like an accomplishment for you walking twigs out there, but it’s a definite achievement for somene who weighed 277 lbs. back in March. When I first weighed myself, I couldn’t believe how much I’d let myself go between 2003, when I was around 250, and 2006. My plan was to lose one pount a month, reaching my goal of 250 in about two years. Of course, I’ll definitely take the much faster result!

How did I do it? What wondorous gadgets or medicines did I use?

  • I finally realized that we’re all dying. Obvious, I know, but it’s the lesson that’s finally changed my whole attitude towards life.

  • My friend Adam told Sarah and I that he runs because he likes to eat and because he’s vain. I know, obvious again. It’s just so easy to live under the fantasy that anyone who is skinny just has great genetics. Being confronted with the cold hard truth that most skinny folks are that way because they exercise┬ flipped some kind of switch in my brain. Now, when I’m getting a bit lazy on my runs I think, “you want to look good don’t you?”..and I keep running.

  • Wait five minutes before having seconds at dinner. Five minutes isn’t so long to wait is it? The funny thing is, at least for me, almost every time I wait I forget all about having more food. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wolfed down three plates of something tasty without even tasting the first two plates! Taking those few little moments to relax between servings is generally enough for the feeding frenzy to pass…and even if it doesn’t pass, the second helping still tastes better!

  • Playing guitar has taught me that even if a certain activity┬ doesn’t come easy for you, especially if an activity doesn’t come easy for you, doing it anyway can be a great experience. I’m getting better at guitar slowly but surely, and it doesn’t really matter that I’ll never give even a good 16 year old kid at the local guitar center a run for his money. In a way, there’s something beautiful about the constant struggle for improvement at something┬ one has no hope of suceeding at. Kinda zen, right?

  • Tiny bites. I started this whole exercise kick just by doing five push-ups a day. It wasn’t enough to turn me into an Adonis, but it was a small enough challenge that it completely disarmed my usual excuse-o-rama techniques for avoiding exercise. Once I got to the point where I was ready to start running, I decided just to run three miles twice a week. Usually, when I get excited about starting something new I go completely overboard with it. After the initial rush of excitement wears off, it’s easy for me to make excuses and eventually revert to my old habits. That’s a key take-away, start so small you can’t even complain…maybe I should have called this bullet “Little Acorns“?

  • As soon as you start losing weight, tell people about it. If you’re trying to quit smoking, tell everyone who will listen. Despite what people like to tell themselves, peer pressure is a powerful influence…for good or evil. Once you admit that to yourself, it can become a powerful tool to help you stay motivated.

  • Weigh yourself often, and track your weight in Excel. The official thinking seems to be that weighing yourself once a week is sufficient, but I weigh myself every weekday. It gives me a constant reminder when I’ve overdone it by having seconds or sneaking an extra snack. It’s also an exciting way to visualize the impact your good behavior is having on your body. It’s not always easy for me to notice the changes that are happening in my body, but the weight chart in my spreadsheet makes every little bit of progress visible. This is my low energy version of the Hacker Diet.

  • Watch out for cheap calories. I used to have pizza and a salad at lunch every day. For the first two weeks after giving up the pizza, I really missed it. I felt like I was depriving myself of something. Now I don’t miss it at all. If anything I feel less sluggish after lunch. I used to drink lots of coffee drinks and other sweet bottled junk. Then I noticed how many calories those drinks had, and how much sugar. Now I drink water and save those calories for really fun stuff like donuts or pie.

  • When you do something good, let yourself feel good about it. It’s really amazing how crafty that little voice of negativity in our heads can be. It takes actual effort for me to just enjoy a good post-workout buzz without finding something negative to latch on to. Just making the effort to counter those negative thoughts with positivity is half of the battle.

  • Give yourself a break. If you want to have a donut, go for it. Does it really matter in the long run, if you really work hard at adopting better habits? I don’t think so. Depriving yourself, or beating yourself up for having an occasional snack is just providing cannon fodder for your laziness.

I’m feeling about as good as I’ve felt in years, both physically and emotionally. I have a lot more energy, I’m a lot less stressed, and I can’t help hopping up stairs, jumping off curbs, and tons of other silly little things I haven’t done since childhood. The hot┬ humid summer, usually the bane of my existence, isn’t nearly as bad as it usually is.┬ Tons of people have remarked about how skinny I look, and that really strokes the old ego. I’m even…dare I say it…walking around the streets with a smile on my face some of the time.

A couple of weeks ago, on a lark, I tried on an old pair of jeans. Astonishingly, they fit! Even more astonishingly, they are actually a bit loose today!

…and all it took was a tiny bit of effort. A teeny tiny bit. No grueling exercise, no starvation diet, no gizmos, no gadgets. So what am I asking from you, oh Pickabar readers? Is this just an excuse for me to gloat about my newly svelte self? Of course not. I’m asking you all to pick one teeny tiny change to make in your life. Just think, if someone as lazy as I am can do it, why not you?