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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

20/20

Late last week I accomplished the first half of a goal I had set for myself in mid August.

I lost 20 pounds.

It took me just about two months to do so, averaging about 10 pounds per month. Not bad.

Now I have another 20 pounds to go.

I set the goal after a freaky little health scare that occurred back in August. Things turned out to be okay, but after considering that my overall odds were better if I maintained a proper weight, and realizing I was 40 pounds overweight, I set the goal to get that weight off and keep it off.

To illustrate the point -- I'm 6 foot 3 inches and weighed 240 lbs. That represents a BMI (body mass index) of about 30. Body Mass Index is defined as the individual's body weight divided by the square of their height. A BMI of 30 and above represents obesity.

I'm now hovering near 220 lbs, which represents a BMI of 27.5. Still overweight.

I'm continuing to work toward 200 lbs (BMI of 25) which is still just above the "normal" range and considered in the overweight category -- I might be better served to shoot for 195; however, 200 is a nice round number, and while BMI is a relatively good index of obesity, it doesn't actually measure body fat -- and taller people typically report a BMI that is uncharaceristically higher than their actual body fat levels. About the only place I'm carrying a lot of fat around is on my stomach and waist -- and while that stomach is still there (although I don't look quite as pregnant as I did two months ago), I have seen it drop significantly.

To reach this goal I haven't done anything dramatic. I have merely done a few things:

1) Regular exercise - I've been trying to get on the treadmill 3 times per week, running and walking for a minimum of 20, preferably 30 minutes. I'm now back up to 3 Kilometer runs - it has been 4 years since I could regularly run 5 K during a 30 - 45 minute workout session. When I'm on the treadmill I keep trying to push myself to beat the distance from my previous session. (AND, I'm listening to audio novels on my mp3 player while doing so -- so it's accomplishing two great things -- exercise and getting more "reading" done)

2) Stop just throwing food indicriminantly into my mouth. Francine noted that I would often just toss stuff into my mouth without being aware what I was doing. A cookie here, the crust off Alexander's bread there -- all those little "empty" calories really do add up

3) Increase my intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and water -- (ie, filling those cravings with foods that are good for me and don't pack on unnecessary calories)

That's pretty much it. I've also slightly decreased my intake of bread products (not completely, because I love bread too much -- just limiting my portions) and I'm also making simple yet crucial decisions about what I'd like to consume. For example, would I rather have a slice of chocolate cake or drink a beer?

Anyone who knows me knows I'll be opting for the beverage.

And that's the great thing about this simple structure I'm following -- I'm watching the food I'm eating and eating more healthy -- but I'm still allowing myself to drink beer whenever I want.

And I'm losing those extra pounds.

If all goes well, by the end of October I should be nearing or at the 200 lb mark.

2 comments:

lime said...

well done. it is simple lifestyle choices that make a difference.

how about we swap...you can have my beer, i'll take your cake?

Lily Murray Obesity ED Reader said...

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