A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Old dogs, new tricks: My weight-loss adventures, part one

It's gratifying and fun when one discovers that he or she has a hidden talent, ability, or aptitude, especially years after any of those things last manifested themselves. Myself, in my mid-thirties I learned how to drive stick shift when an office colleague offered a great deal on a sharp-looking Eagle Talon with a manual transmission, because he wanted to upgrade to a Corvette. Taking a chance that I'd actually respond to the free lessons on driving stick that he was throwing in with the purchase, I went for the deal.

And you know what, I took to the whole driving stick thing almost immediately. I was driving the car to and from work the next day, driving fairly smoothly within a week, and driving perfectly smoothly within a month. It was a great ego boost: Wow, I picked up a major new skill with little difficulty!

Jump several years ahead to my late forties. After years of taking my tall, thin frame for granted, I started noticing... changes. I wasn't getting hugely fat all of a sudden, but for the first time in my life I had a belly, my collars were feeling tight, and I was developing- gulp- jowls! What was happening? Long story short, after about a year or so of putting up with people's mostly harmless but still annoying comments ("I guess we can't call you the Thin Man anymore!"), I decided to do something about it. And that's where I found my second post-youth talent or aptitude: weight control.

In the coming days, I'm going to share with you- in a post every day or so- the things I did and the approach I took to lose weight and keep it off. And I have kept it off. I started addressing my weight in June of 2009 and we're now in August of 2010. So we're not talking about a short burst of focus and enthusiasm that brought about some weight loss, followed by a loss of focus and enthusiasm and getting all the weight back. Nope, I lost my weight and have kept it off. In fact, on occasion it's actually been a challenge to keep from losing too much weight!

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Once I started my new approach to eating, I did an offical weigh-in once a week, every Monday morning. Here are the results of the first five times I officially weighed myself during the first month of my diet, the initial number below being the Monday morning when I woke up and started my new approach to eating:

Monday, June 1, 2009: 183 pounds

Monday, June 8, 2009: 177 pounds (yes, a six-pound loss in one week... I was amazed!)

Monday, June 15, 2009: 174 pounds

Monday, June 22, 2009: 173 pounds

Monday, June 29, 2009: 171 pounds

Pretty good start, huh? A dramatic beginning, followed by less radical but still steady subsequent reductions. By the end of my first month, the results were clearly visible to myself and others, and I was feeling better, too.

Subsequent posts on this topic will address your obvious question- what exactly did I do to lose the weight?- and offer other observations, insights, and tidbits on the whole process. I'll try to keep each post fairly short: I'll give you a month's worth of weigh-in reports, like I did today, and a few bits of information you may find helpful in your own weight loss efforts.

And don't worry, the book and movie reviews aren't going anywhere, and neither are the occasional dumb jokes. We're just going to add this topic to the mix for a little while.

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