How'd I lose 115 pounds, or 52 kilograms, or 8.2 stone?
Starting at 255 lbs., losing 115 lbs. in a year and a half, and now maintaining 138 pounds for the past three years? Not easy but easier as time has gone on.
I was 54 years old when I started, so I had 54 years of overeating habits or patterns to get over.
Yes, I have dieted before -- many times.
How did I get started and why is it working this time?
Therein is the story, eh
First, I looked at myself in glass door by chance and neither recognized, nor liked what I saw. Was that enough? For good intentions and a binge that probably added 10 pounds or so.
Most of us, me especially, are very good at fooling or lying to ourselves and substituting "trying" for effort and results.
Second, I found a nasty lump where there should not have been one and it scared the you know what out of me.
It turned out to be an infection, so I thought I was off the hook. But my doctor sent me to a urologist just in case. And he said, looks as though you probably have TYPE II DIABETES, chum. Better go back to you doctor and get a full work up.
I did and found I did have Type Two Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. "A ticking timebomb, Ned."
"Get this medicine for your blood sugar and lose some weight," he said. Six months later, he said, "Stop taking the medicine for diabetes! Your blood sugar is so good, that the drug would give you a low blood sugar problem. You blood pressure is now normal, and your cholesterol levels are also normal. Losing 40 pounds, getting exercise, and those reishi mushroom and oatmeal have done the trick, You know you are the only patient I have ever had who actually took my advice and lost weight." I said, "you ain't seen nothing yet Doc!" I said. "Wait until I hit 155 pounds, then we'll talk success." He smiled. A year later, his scale said 154 pounds.
The rules (my rule) and approach in short order.
1. No added sugar to anything - amended to no desserts and no added sugar to anything.
2. No added salt to anything.
3. No eating after 9 PM. Like many American males (and other nationalities I suspect) dinner at 6 PM was followed by snacks all evening and too often a heavy duty before bedtime snack that amounted to a second meal.
4. Stop driving to get one or two blocks - walk!
5. Get reacquainted with oatmeal - which I fortunately loved as a child. I was already a vegetarian (excepting eggs) so I did not have to go light on meat.
6. Be patient, as I could be,and weigh myself every day. I finally figured out that I had 54 years of habit and patterns to overcome or replace and that took time and everyday effort.
7. No days off on rules or routine .This is a do or die problem that only I can do something with.
8. When I started walking as a regular part of my routine, my intent was simply to work up to 3 miles a day. I had already -- finally! -- learned that "overdoing" was a part of my pattern of eating and dieting. So when I began walking, it was two blocks (.2 miles)in the morning before work and another two blocks when I got home. I kept to this for two weeks before increasing it one block in AM and one block in PM and stuck to that for another two weeks. Tortoise, or turtle was my totem -- slow, steady, persistance would win me my loss.
After a year, I was up to 8 miles a day (4 in morning and 4 in evening). I stayed with that for about six months before going up to 10 miles a day.
9. I can not go back and I will not be defeated in this effort.
Now I know that it takes about 40 days of steady, disciplined daily effort to lay the groundwork for a new habit, behavior or pattern. And I know that the "old" pattern or habit is not really broken, or replaced. My 6-year old habit pattern of being healthy is now the dominate habit or pattern but it has to be maintained or the old pattern lurking in the background would just love to reassert itself -- grin.
I do enjoy many of my walks but many are just work that has to be done for me to enjoy the rest of life that I now have. Ned