Thursday, December 20, 2012


So the weight loss thing. Yeah, that turned out to be an unexpected adventure. As I've mentioned previously, I tipped the scales at 232 on October 27. I took a look at myself and decided I didn't like the fat, out of shape John nearly as much as the fit and slim John. So I embarked on a diet and exercise program to fix or at least address the problem. This morning I weighed in at 198.8. This is the lightest I have been since around the time A.J. was born.

So how did I do it? Denial and hard work. Denial of any and (nearly) all food cravings that weren't on the "approved" list. That meant no burgers, pizza, fried chicken, french fries, egg nog, etc. until I got it under control. I replaced the "bad", high fat foods with more reasonable fare. Lean Cuisines, Healthy Choice meals, Smart Ones, and lots of chicken noodle and chicken and rice soup. Chicken breast and vegetables for dinner.  Calorie intake anywhere from 1000 to 1500, sometimes less.

Also, it meant a serious rededication to exercise. I hit the gym HARD. Weight training and 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. Hard, hard work that paid off. I also dusted off my pedometer to keep track of my daily steps. I set a minimum of 10,000 steps every days, but ended up averaging around 17,000. With my stride, a mile is equivalent to about 2000 steps, so yo can get a picture of the miles traveled.

So, the take away?  You must first understand that I know how my body works and what it is capable of. I know that I can lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off if I stay focused. When I lose focus, I gain the weight back. The second thing is that I had a goal in mind. It was not necessarily to get my weight below 200 pounds. In fact, I am more comfortable at around 210, which is where I may settle. No, my goal was to be in shape for the return of Bloodline hockey. When we trained for Mount Whitney two years ago, I developed an amazing (for me)  lung capacity and overall cardio-vascular fitness. I could stay on the rink without getting winded. It paid off late in games and I wanted to be able to compete at a high level when we returned in January. I am there right now and I can't wait to get back into game action.

At the end of the day, please realize that weight loss and increased exercise are not something to be taken lightly and for that matter, too seriously. Don't obsess. If you gain a pound or two, don't fixate on it. The goal is long-term and if you stick with your program, it will happen.

And, most importantly, know and listen to your body. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Know your limitations and don't ignore them. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to fall off the wagon once in a while. Don't miss out on meals with friends, potlucks and all of the enjoyment of the holiday season. You can get back to it tomorrow with a vengeance.

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