It took longer than I thought it would to decide whether I wanted to write this blog entry or not. For the last few months, a lot of friends on MFP have asked for me to post some progress pics. I kind of blew it off, primarily because I wanted an entire year to pass first. I had a goal in mind and I didn't want to see "before & after" pictures side by side until I reached it.
Well, about two weeks ago, I reached the one year mark! One of my primarily goals was to sign on to MFP every day for a year. I achieved that goal and am proud of it. It wasn't easy, but between international travel, one earthquake, one tornado and a week-long power outage, I somehow managed to get on here every day--even if long enough to sign in and sign back out.
I started on MFP in November 2010. Here were my stats when I started:
- Weight: 220
- Waist: 40.5
- Hips: 39
- Fat %: 32.7%
- A1c: 10
And here are the dreaded photos during that time:
I intitally started with a three-session per week workout schedule, set my allotted calories up in MFP, and set my goal to lose a pound per week. That seemed to work for the majority of the year. However, after about six weeks into the program, I increased my workout sessions to six times per week (3 cardio session and 3 weight training sessions) while maintaining the same caloric intake. I made some slight calorie adjustments as the weight came off and rotated the type of cardio and weight training I did to incorporate some muscle confusion and to stop myself from getting too bored with one particular program. I also had a "cheat day" in my weekly program so that I could enjoy a slice or two or three of my favorite vice--pizza.
There were challenges along the way. You have your haters, your naysayers, your binge days, your stress days, days/weeks you plateau, and your missed workouts. I took it all in stride fully realizing that what I'm doing is making a lifestyle change--not putting a band-aid on a few fat cells. This journey was going to involve "weight" training and "wait" training. The process for getting there is simple, but not easy. If it were easy, the diet industry would be out of business.
365 Days Later
Well, a year later, here are my stats:
- Weight: 185 lbs (Missed my goal weight by 5 pounds)
- Total Pounds Lost: 35
- Waist: 34
- Fat %: 27
- A1c: 6.8
Here's what I'm looking like these days:
Non-Scale Victories (NSVs)
There were quite a few NSVs along the way that kept me motivated through the process:
- Having to tighten up the HRM chest strap every few weeks because it was getting loose.
- Pulling out clothes from "waaaaay back in the closet " that you promised you would get back into someday.
- Being able to wear "fitted" dress shirts as opposed to "regular"
- Running three miles non-stop for the first time.
- Seeing the outline of a six-pack instead of sucking in my one-pack.
- Seeing the looks on friends and families' faces who haven't seen me in awhile.
- Getting through the afternoon without my head hitting the office desk.
- All the compliments received from people like you.
The People That Make It Possible
None of this would have been possible without the continual support from my MFP family. Fortunately, many of them have been with me through the entire journey, applying encouragement where necessary and a swift kick in the pants otherwise. I put together a few "task forces" along the way as I neared specific goals ("Team 180" being the last one) which proved very effective in getting me over the bumps in the road. There's no way I could begin to list individual names for fear of missing more than a few. Suffice to say, that if you're still on my friend's list, your contribution, comments, compliments and encouragement have been extremely instrumental in my progress and I thank you sincerely.
The advice I'd give anyone who is either just starting this journey or has been on the road awhile:
- Set smart achievable goals up front. Where do you want to be in a month, three months, six months and a year in terms of weight, fitness level and/or inches.
- Take pictures and measurements every thirty days.
- You will not get to where you want to be if you don't hate where you are enough to do something about it.
- Surround yourself with solid MFP friends for accountability
- Log your exercise and calories
- Have fun with it. A 100% vegetable diet is not going to work for you if you don't like vegetables.
- Switch exercise routines from time to time to break the monotany
Okay, I've said enough! Have a fantastic weekend and remember that the world would not be the same without you. Always keep Summers in your heart and Charity on your lips!