If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Fortunately for me, I knew where I was going and was even able to take a few friends along for the ride (Cue the Joe Cocker tune, “With a Little Help from My Friends…”)
About 18 days ago, I announced to my MFP family that I needed to lose 10 pounds in order to reach my 30 Sep 2011 goal of 180 pounds. I set this goal a little less than a year ago. I chose the 180 marker because it was the weight that my doctor said, if reached, I could stop taking some of my diabetic medication (I’m Type II diabetic as most of you know). So, 325 days ago, I started this weight loss journey at 220 pounds. My goal was a pound per week loss pretty much over the next year.I progressed well and was actually ahead of schedule for most of the year. A few plateau spots here and there, but was chugging right along with an “I think I can, I think I can” mentality; losing weight, putting on smaller clothes, wearing fitted dress shirts (an NSV victory) and sucking up every positive compliment I got.
So, when September hit and I was 10 pounds off-goal, it was time to buckle down. So I turned toward the MFP family and formed “Team 180”. They volunteered (well, technically I had to bribe them) to virtually kick my butt and keep me motivated while I tried to lose 10 pounds in 18 days. Before I forget, let me thank sylouette98, riley711, jennifox63, fourmenandalady, lolathompson (aka “Home Skillet”), melloxyellow, Tiquella, jinshil, scapez, Sasha_Bear, demery12371, carmendownes01, and cbug75.
Now, I’m not an idiot. Losing 10 pounds in a little over two weeks isn’t easy. As you get closer to your “ideal” weight (whether you define that psychologically, physiology, or via BMI), the more difficult it is to knock off a lot of weight in a short period of time. So I knew I was in for a good fight.
My approach to “git ‘er done” involved changing my profile in MFP to calorically allow for a two-pound weight loss per week and upping my calorie burn from exercise to 1000 calories per session. I typically average 5-6 sessions a week. So over the last 18 days, I did strictly cardio and no weight training, varying the routines with elliptical, treadmill, arc trainer, lifecycle and rope skipping. Meals went well for the most part. The majority of the days I was under my caloric intake, with the one exception of being mugged by waiters at the Cheesecake Factory (long story…too calorically tempting to tell to most readers).
I should never have asked for help and motivation from you! I had people kicking my butt online 24 hours a day—that’s what happens when you have friends all over the world! Every time I signed on, someone had posted to my profile, commented on my diary, sent me a private message or a combination of all three. If I’m told to drink any more water, I’m going to feel like the statue of the little boy you see in Europe that’s always peeing! I was told to watch things that I never paid much attention to (e.g. sodium) and got a lot of helpful tidbits along the way. Even people who weren’t on Team 180 got into the fray. I haven’t had this many friend requests since I publically admitted my affair (read my blog for more on that).
So, what did I learn out of all of this? Here are a few things:
· You can only reduce your calories so much before you start doing more harm than good.
· Your body needs more water than you think it does.
· Small meals throughout the day are more effective than 3 big ones.
· After several days of 1000 calorie burns, your metabolism ramps up pretty fast.
· Sleep/Rest is equally—if not more important—than exercise.
· The best way to keep people away from you when you’re working out is to NOT wash your polar chest strap for a few days
· Girls aren’t the only ones who can get sore nipples when running (the band-aid recommendation really helped!)
· Nothing kills motivation faster during a hard workout than when you forget to start your Polar watch.
· Celebrate every victory no matter how small.
So, how did I do over the 18 days? Did I meet my goal to lose 10 pounds?
The answer is “No” (I hear the collective sigh). Don’t fret. I’m not. I lost about 7 (exactly 6 pounds and a few ounces—depending on how full my bladder is when I step on the scale). Definitely can’t complain…the loss equates to about 2 pounds every week—which is what I set my MFP profile for. So, I’m a few pounds away from 180 and if I stay true to form, I’ll probably hit it in a few weeks. I’ll continue to “press toward the mark…” , undaunted. Tomorrow is a new day. I’ll be where I always am: In the gym, knocking it out, getting’ er done.
Again, thanks to Team 180 for all of your help. I have a little “gift” to get in the mail for you so I’ll be contacting your shortly.
Okay, enough for the day. Let’s get back to the task of staying in shape! Have a blessed night and remember that the world would not be the same without you!
Appreciate any comments or constructive criticism...God Bless! Shawn