Posts Tagged ‘longevity’

Thought’s on Weight Loss

February 7, 2010

Well first off, I am not losing weight because I am feeling my own mortality and am afraid of dying.  My family knows I faced death 15 years ago when I was sleeping 20 hours a day and taking plenty of steroids to stay awake the other four hours.  I made peace with my myself and all I wanted was to have the best family Christmas ever – which we did.  I was diagnosed and healed but that Christmas and the family unity will remain in my mind forever.

The simple reason why I am committed to losing weight is my daughter told me no more family adventures until I lose 40 pounds and stay below 205.  The next big adventure is space camp and I really want to go with the whole family.

Now the reason I am fat is because I eat and drink too much and above 235 pounds, I stop my natural high energy state and my calorie burn drops from around 6500 calories a day to less than 2500 so to add insult to injury, it is easier for me to gain even more weight and harder to lose it.

Over the years, I have lost thousands of pounds so I know the drill.  I have lost over 50 pounds on three occasions so the thousand pound mark is not much of an exaggeration.  However the higher weight that I start at the harder it is to start losing weight because I am sluggish and still eat too much and exercise too little.

Because the threat from my daughter was so severe, I took full action.  I changed my whole eating style, went to a nutritionist and joined a gym in that order. I mean if I went to the gym first, I really wouldn’t gain much advantage until I learned to eat properly.

My success started  at Christmas. My daughter and niece were talking to me about eating properly because I acknowledge that I am fat because I eat and drink too much. I work all day and hate lunch because it makes me even more sluggish than I naturally am at 245 so I’m not likely to conform to three meals a day. Since I put in 12 hour days, the easiest thing is to stop at a restaurant on the way home and get enough food for two meals, eat half, and because I’m cheap, take the rest home. The next night, I can cook a meal for six while snacking on the leftovers from the restaurant and then eat two portions for dinner and go to bed. Of course the leftover are there to snack on while I am doing the next day’s cooking. Living alone is not conducive to good eating habits and cooking when you are hungry is also not a great idea.

In our family discussion, the concept of slow cooking came up and then the meal would be ready when I came home. Then the discussion led to portion control and as a reluctant dieter, I pointed out it’s tough doing meals for one in a crock pot that will cook a pot roast for six. My daughter gave me her gravy warmer which is a mini Crockpot but it was too small and besides I hate sticking anything with electric cords in the sink to wash. So while we all continued cooking Christmas dinner and drinking wine the idea of coffee pot cooking jumped into my mind.

The benefits are obvious, the wide mouth makes it easy to clean, it’s the right size and if it were hot enough it would be perfect. As previously discussed, there is not much on the web on the topic, but it has been done so as soon as I got home after Christmas, I started to test it out. I started the New Year as a convert to coffeepot cooking and portion controlled meals with a meal waiting every night when I got home.

Next I went to a nutritionist, Laurie MacMakin who was a real sweetheart. She had a totally non judgmental attitude and conveyed the message that my natural selection of foods was very good but could be a little better if I dumped the white stuff, i.e. processed grains and things made from them etc. It would also be nice if I cut back on my wine consumption and incorporate fruit and protein in my breakfast particularly if I were intent on skipping lunch. Actually, I now eat the fruit at about 6 am and the tuna or sardines at 11 am and if I’m hungry in the afternoon, a couple of celery sticks or a carrot.

Frankly, that’s not much of a difference in my mind than what I do when I’m in fat mode except it would have been toast and cereal for breakfast and nothing else except carrots and fruit until dinner when I eat for two and drink a bottle of wine. The single biggest difference is the portion controlled dinners.

By the time I got to the gym, my belly was down two inches and I was down 15 pounds. At the gym, I was asked my goals and said nothing big, I just wanted to lose 20 more pounds and more off the belly and learn to run a mile in 6 minutes. Well since I was already below 225, I found out I was in pretty good shape and the first day I did a mile and a half in about 30 minutes on the tread mill and then spent 15 minutes on the rowing machine. I am working up slowly (2 miles at 4 mph walk) and the only item stopping me from the running part is a concern for balance. I’ll get there in the next two weeks but other than confirming I’m in pretty good shape for an old man, I believe the portion control is more important to my weight loss.

So how do you find out if the weight loss is permanent. In my case I took a weekend off and went to visit my granddaughters where it snowed so I only left the house twice and sent my daughter out for wine and food. I ate what the family ate, drank what I wanted and skipped the exercise. When I returned I was still 223. I hit the gym after 10 days off for my most aggressive workout to date and I am still working more around my yard. So my one monthly progress report is now down 3-4 inches on my waist, down 20-23 pounds and I’m in better physical shape. The variance depends on the day with Fridays being the better number and Mondays the worse.

What the heck I’m not going for an Olympic Gold so my only goal is to stay healthy and keep up with all the family fun. This year is space camp, soaring, a zero gravity flight and night time snorkeling to see the things which go bump in the night sea.