Guest blogger Don Blount is serious about dropping some poundage.
One hundred ninety-six pounds (89 kilograms). That is what the scale showed as my weight on April 15, the morning I went in to see my doctor for a troublesome right shoulder. I mentioned previously that my doctor is also a cyclist. For him, the longer a ride is and the more climbing it has, the better. My doctor, who is in his mid-50s, weighs 136 pounds (62 kilos). I kid him that he is the size of a seventh-grade boy.
And each time I see him we discuss my riding, climbing and eventually my weight. And I always pledge to lose some. And I do. I have lost as much as five pounds. The only problem is I usually to gain it back.
I watch what I eat. I eat no red meat, only poultry and fish. And I don’t snack between meals. But it seemed that no matter how hard I tried I could not lose a significant amount of weight or keep it off. So I was kind of resigned to remaining in that low-to-mid 190 pound (86 kilo) range.
That is until that doctor’s visit. For some reason I left vowing to lose weight and to keep it off. Maybe it was because I was tired of struggling up hills. Maybe it was because I was tired of my little doctor chiding me. I don’t really know.
During the first two weeks I lost four pounds. I was pleased and prepared for the long, hard slog.
Then a friend, a former work colleague, announced that he had lost 74 pounds (33.5 kilos) over two years. When I asked him how he said: “Just what you used to always tell me, diet and exercise. There are no shortcuts.”
And as a throwaway line he mentioned that he also used myfitnesspal, a calorie-counting app. He suggested I check it out.
And I did.
One hundred seventy-eight pounds (81 kilos). That is what my scale showed on July 31. A weight loss thus far of 18 pounds (8.2 kilos).
What did I do differently? In short, I used the calorie-counting app to see exactly what I was eating. Quite frankly, I had no idea of the calorie content of some of the foods I ate. And although I worked out regularly, I often ate more calories than I burned. (Let me know if you want more detail and I will send it to you.)
And although these calorie counts are only estimates, they served as a good guideline for me to follow what I ate. For me, it became a daily goal – Win the day. To burn more calories than I consumed. It later became a guideline. Eat 2,000-2,500 calories a day and be active.
I made sure to consistently go to the gym and to consistently ride my bike.
From April 15 to July 31 I rode 1,802 miles (2,900 kilometers). That is 460 miles (740 kilometers) more than I rode during that same period last year.
I rode 505 miles (813 kilometers) in May, 543 miles (874 kilometers) in June and more than 573 miles (922 kilometers) in July.
Weighing less is better both in everyday life and for biking. I now look forward to rides I would not have considered just a year ago. (And don’t tell the hills but I no longer consider them evil, at least most of them.)
And although I am not yet at my final goal I am already thinking of how to stay at this smaller size.
As my doctor says: What comes off, stays off.
myfitnesspal also helped me lose 10lbs last year. unfortunately I lost the habit, and I gained 3lbs back lately. your post inspired me to take up calorie counting again. I’m now 158lbs so I hope to lose 10lbs before the year ends.
Ryan Thompson says
It’s articles like this that should push people to start leading a healthy life style by eating right and following a good fitness program! I followed a book (Yes a book!) that helped me turn to a healthy life style.
Honestly people should give it a shot before going to pills / medicine. Can’t find a review anywhere on it but here http://www.moltenreviews.com it’s called The Weight Loss Formula
It’s a decent book and should really be looked into, there some great tips on there too for leading a healthy lifestyle.
Nice job, Ray. That’s a good amount of weight to shed!
Duh, meant nice job Don!
Michele L-G says
Excellent and great job Don! I lost my weight in 2009-10 when I was going to the gym and counting calories. I then got bit by the biking bug (!) and focussed on longer rides, and got a great road bike for ease and speed. Then, work, domestic activities, and fewer-and-far-between bike rides happened, and I gained back 8lb that I was struggling to lose and slipped in my maintenance. Oh, and I was more tired and grumpy from not riding or being active as much.
The breaking point causing my renewed vigilance and determination to lose weight this time: I couldn’t finish a 10-12 mile bike ride in San Antonio between the Missions, got heat-exhausted (from not drinking enough and low endurance in 97+ degree heat), and had to wait it out while my fit husband biked back to the car to return and pick me up. I knew what I needed to do to keep hydrated, to rest in between long bike runs, and how to use the gears (all mistakes of the past), but I didn’t keep it forefront in prepping for this bike ride. And, I didn’t have my former endurance on my bike due to my “lazy-ish” lifestyle. Can’t blame me for trying to recapture the good feelings of doing the Mission bike ride, but can blame me for resting on my laurels of past endurance and abilities that slipped away. I’m not teaching a “dog new tricks”, but I definitely let the dog crawl onto the bed, eat from the plate, and bark as often as he felt like it!