Dieting Sucks

“I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I lost two weeks.”

– Joe E. Lewis

Corporations, doctor’s, fitness trainers, and scientists advertise products and programs that, they say, will change our lives forever. In just “4 short weeks” or “with just minutes a day”, they will be able to take our fat bodies and turn them into something majestic. These claims are attractive because they are quick, easy, and seemingly painless. In my opinion, dieting sucks. Diets seem to all suggest that you do activity ‘x’ for ‘y’ number of days and then you will be healthy. Very few of them advise how to live after the diet is over and do very little to treat the reasons why a person may have become obese in the first place.

I was obese because I didn’t understand food and because I had a very negative self-image. Diets have the potential to teach you something about food like how many grams of carbs a healthy diet requires or what an appropriate portion size is, but it is the fact that they are making such rapid changes to have you live that concerns me. Every time I’ve dieted, I’ve craved the foods that I have cut out and would eventually crack and binge on them. This would lead to an eventual meltdown of the entire diet and I would usually end up heavier then when I had started.

What I think makes more sense is to make small, subtle changes that you are OK maintaining for the rest of your life. Making sustainable changes will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle and overtime can lead to massive weightloss that STAYS OFF. When changes do start to occur (and they will… it took one month of simply walking for me to see some), you begin to believe that you might actually succeed at losing weight. Once your mind is in, you’re set. I have seen no diet do what healthy living has done for me. I have been slowly losing weight over the past four years and I know that it will never come back. Diets suck because they are not sustainable. So, lose the diet, decide to make some small changes and cut the string of that yo-yo life you’ve been living.

Happy Weightloss!!

My Favorite Healthy Recipes: Taco Soup

*** I HIGHLY recommend pressing play on the above video before checking out this recipe ***

Nothing warms my stomach more than a bowl of this tasty Taco Soup.  It one of my absolute favorites (I’d eat it everyday if offered) and is also SUPER healthy.  You won’t even believe that it’s good for you though.  Love.

 

Ingredients

1 large jar of Salsa (I prefer ‘Hot’)

1 can mixed beans

1 can of stewed tomatoes

1 large onion

1 red pepper

5 cloves of garlic

1 liter of chicken broth

2 large chicken breasts

2 tsp olive oil

Salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper powder to taste.

Directions

–          Have chicken breasts defrosted prior to starting.

–          Chop onion, red pepper, and garlic into small pieces and put in a large soup pot with olive oil and some salt.

–          Allow 5 mins for onions to caramelize. (be sure to stir occasionally to make sure they don’t burn to the bottom of the pot)

–          Chop chicken into small, bite-size pieces.

–          Add chicken to soup pot and allow time to cook.

–          Once chicken is cooked, add chicken broth, salsa, tomatoes, and beans.

–          Add water until all the ingredients are submerged.

–          Bring to a boil. Add salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper powder to taste.

–          Serve.

If you want to add some extra flavor, you can add sour cream, tortilla chips, and cheese.  Just keep in mind that everything you add adds extra calories to your dish.  This usually makes about 5-6 bowls.

This is the first recipe I’ve ever written out, so if you have suggestions for improvement, please feel free to add them in the comments below.  Enjoy!

5 Miniscule Changes that Can Lead to BIG Weightloss

Photo By: porshelinn

The first couple of times I attempted weightloss, I focused on big changes I could make to live a healthier lifestyle.   This was usually something drastic like “I’m going to wake up at 5:00 AM every day and work out for 2 hours before work”  or “I am going to ONLY eat healthy foods for this point on.”   As I discovered, making drastic changes did lead to weightloss, but did not keep the weight off for very long.   In fact, I ended up much worse off than I had originally been.   My most recent attempt at weightloss, which started almost 4 years ago, has focused primarily on sustainability.  Whatever change I decide to make must be something that I am prepared to do for the rest of my life.  As an example, I am NOT prepared to give up chocolate.  I AM prepared to only have chocolate on special occasions.  Make sense?  With that said, I decided today to post the 5 smallest changes I have made that have helped me lose weight and keep it off.

Drink Water – Drinking water instead of high-calorie, high-sugar drinks (pop, juice, etc.) will greatly decrease the amount of calories you consume in a day.   If drinking water is not something do, I’d recommend diet soda, no-sugar drinks, or black coffee.  Liquid calories go down far to fast, not allowing you to enjoy the extra calories you are consuming.

Walk – I think my favourite outdoor activity is walking.  Not only is it good for my body, I also find it is good for my mind as well.  After a walk (no matter how short or long), I come home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Eat Breakfast – I am not a scientist or a dietitian or anything fancy like that.  All I can say is what has worked for me.  Eating breakfast every day helps to awaken my body and leads to less brainless eating throughout the day. I find that when I don’t eat breakfast, I snack more and am more likely to pig-out at lunch or supper time (often using my lack of breakfast as an excuse for my eat-fest).   It doesn’t take much time (contrary to what some would suggest) and starts your day right.

Pay Attention – Be aware of what you are putting into your mouth and if the calories that are coming with are really worthwhile. Pay attention to how much food you are eating at meals and to whether or not you are still hungry before you finish every last morsel of food.   Being aware of what you are eating will go along way to lessening the amount of bad food you are eating and increasing the number of good food.

Sleep – What could be easier than sleeping? Sleep isn’t just the time when you get to relax and shut off your mind.  While your consciousness rests, your mind is active, performing maintenance and service to your body, both mental and physical.  To deprive yourself of regular maintenance will lead to more frequent mental and physical breakdowns.   It’s recommended that adults get between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

That wasn’t so hard, was it?  I never suggest cutting something completely out of your diet, but making modifications that make the diet you already have healthier. Happy Weightloss!

Grocery List for Sustainable Healthy Living

Photo By: Polycart

So, you’ve made the decision that you want to make an earnest attempt at weightloss.  Good for you! I’m really excited for the journey that you’ve decided to embark on and wish you success.  You might now be thinking “I want to lose weight, but HOW do I actually do it?”  A lot of us know the basics (eat fewer calories than you burn in day), but what about the nuts and bolts of healthy living?   One of the biggest changes I had to make when I decided to live a more healthy lifestyle was my grocery list. For me, I find that if I have less-than-healthy food in the cupboard, I am going to eat it. Keep in mind that my philosophy of healthy living focuses primarily on sustainability and a big part of that is allowing yourself to eat foods that you love (pizza, burgers, whatever), but to do so in moderation and in appropriate portions.  If I do decide to eat something less-than-healthy, I typically purchase it on the same day that I’m going to eat it.  OK, let’s get on with it; my grocery list for sustainable healthy living…  (oh, and just keep in mind that this is MY grocery list for what works for ME.  YOU need to figure out what works for YOU… so feel free to make substitution where YOU think they are needed… own your own health.)

Dairy

Yogurt – I like to get yogurt from time to time.  Just check the labels to make sure you’re getting the healthiest possible option.  It can be tricky, but you’re looking for lowest calories AND lowest fat.  Sometimes products listed as ‘Fat-Free’ have substituted the fat with higher sugar content, so just keep your eyes open.   I also like to get yogurt tubes and freeze them quick, healthy snack.  Also, Greek yogurt is higher in protein, so keep an eye out for that as well.

Almond Milk – I switched from milk to almond milk a couple of months ago.  The main reason for this that it contains less sugar than skim milk (usually 7g compared to 12g per serving).  I realize that you may not get as much calcium or protein from almond milk, but more than enough both of these can be obtained through a balanced diet.

Parmesan Cheese – I get parmesan cheese to help flavour some of the dishes I make… and I love cheese.  Parmesan cheese allows the taste of cheese to come through, without having to pile on a lot of it.

Margarine – As with yogurt, I try to find the healthiest possible choice.  I haven’t really done enough research on the whole ‘butter v.s. margarine’ debate, but I buy maragine and it has worked for me.

Drinks

Coffee – For me, this one is a must.  I think one of the key’s to being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle is finding something that you allow yourself to indulge in that you can have as much as you want of without seriously affecting your weightloss.  For me, that something is coffee.  I drink my coffee black, but try to find flavoured beans to help improve the taste.

Diet Soda – I am fully aware of the ‘aspartame in diet soda will kill you’ debate, but I have decided that it is something I need to maintain my weight.  It helps soften that sweet tooth I have and gives me something to have while I watch T.V. or relax.   It also doesn’t hurt  that it contains ZERO calories per serving.

Fruits and Vegetables

Spaghetti Squash – This is one of my favourite vegetables.  Usually I substitute pasta for spaghetti squash and highly recommend that you try it.  When cooked, it has a texture similar to spaghetti, but without all the carbohydrates.

Onions –  Onions are the backbone of everything I cook.  I usually saute them in a bit of olive oil and then build the rest of my meal around them.  I usually buy yellow onions to cook with, red onions to put in wraps/sandwiches, green onions for soup or as a topping for stir-fry.

Garlic – I don’t know if I could maintain a healthy diet without garlic.  Garlic makes takes most food from good to great. I usually saute garlic with my onions.

Cucumber –  I’m not a huge fan of the actual taste of cucumbers, but they are a good substitute for crackers when eating dips.  They are also a good lunch combo for tuna, substituting for bread.

Lettuce/Spinach –  I’m more likely to buy lettuce, but can go for spinach from time to time.  Used for making salads… duh.

Tomatoes – I usually buy canned tomatoes for putting in chili or meat sauce, but will also buy fresh to put in wraps or on sandwich.

Mushrooms – Mushrooms go great with a lot of meals.  I usually saute them along with onions and garlic.

Peppers – Peppers (red, green, orange, or whatever) go great in wraps, on sandwiches or sauted with onions and garlic.  Another stable in the majority of food I cook.

Carrots –  Carrots are another good food to dip with, but are also great roasted and sauted.  They also go great in soups.

Celery – I really like putting celery in soup, especially its leaves. so tasty.  Also good in stirfry.

Cabbage -This one is another favourite as it is filling and really taste when cooked with some onions and garlic.

Berries – I love eating berries for snacks as they take care of my sweet tooth

Pineapple – Another great snack food

Apples –  Also great for snacks.  I will sometimes pair with cinnamon and Splenda for a little variation.

Banana’s –  Good snack again.  For a little twist, you can freeze banana’s, blend them up and add a little syrup to make a pretty delightful substitute for ice cream.

Frozen Mixed Fruit – I like to get frozen fruit to mix into smoothies.  Just make sure to check the label as some frozen fruits have added syrup and those extra calories can add up quickly.

Proteins

Chicken – I buy frozen chicken breasts.  Very versatile and can be used in A LOT of different meals.  I will also buy seasoned cooked chicken to add to salads or wraps.   I avoid chicken wings, as they are usually really high in fat.

Fish – I’m still getting used to eating a lot of fish, but because it is so healthy (high protein, low-fat) I do my best to eat fish at least once a week.   My favourite is tilapia as I find it has a really mild ‘fishy’ taste.

Shrimp – Similar to fish and very versatile like chicken.

Wild Game – I try to avoid eating beef in favour of meat that is lower in fat and less processed.  I actually get deer meat from my father-in-law and wife, who hunt, but if that is not an option, I would seek out a butcher near you who sells wild game.  Once it’s cooked, the differences are subtle and who knows… you might like the taste of wild meat more.

Carbohydrates

Wraps – I buy whole-wheat wraps and eat them maybe 2 times a week for lunch.  They are good because you can stuff so many veggies into them.

Bread – If I buy bread, which is pretty rare, it is white rye bread.  At only 70 calories a slice, it is the lowest calorie bread I have found.  For me, this is more of a treat to have around than something I buy on a regular shop.

Cereal –  I eat cereal every morning for breakfast.  I usually try to label compare to make sure I am getting the healthiest option.  What I look for is high fibre and low sugar.

Yams –  I really like yams, or sweet potatoes as they are sometimes called.  A good treat, but just make sure it is a treat and not a regular occurence as they can be really high in carbohydrates.

Quinoa – I like to have quinoa from time to time.  It is a grain that is as easy to cook as rice, but much higher in protein.

Spices and Other’s

The key to delicious food, in my opinion, is the type of spices you use when cooking.  You need to figure out what flavours you like, and use them to make the food you cook taste how you want it to.  The seasonings I most commonly use are salt, garlic powder, chili powder, lemon/dill flavour, steak spice, and ginger.  You need to find what works for you. Other things I buy at the grocery store are salsa, hot sauce, olive oil, and humus.

Phew. That’s quite the list.  Well… now you have all the food and ingredients to make some pretty tasty AND healthy food.  In the coming days/weeks I will post some of my favourite recipe’s.  Don’t be scared to try cooking these foods and if you have other foods that you love to eat that are healthy, please feel free to provide them in the comments.    Happy weightloss everyone!  Dan

My 4 Weakest Justifications for Not Attempting Weightloss

We all make excuses for why we can’t or won’t do certain things.  Weightloss is no different.  Below are four of my weakest justifications for not attempting weightloss and what I did to overcome them.

Photo By: elcamino73

“I don’t have time to exercise” – I get this.  Trying to lose weight within busy lives is challenging.  But… WE ALL HAVE BUSY LIVES.  You must ask yourself “how is ‘person A’ able to have so much free time to exercise?”   They have the time because they make the time.  When I first started losing weight, I would spend 30 mins every day doing something physical.  This usually manifested itself in walking, but later evolved into my rigorous physical training.  As I began to see results, I started to ‘workout’ for longer periods of time.  You don’t need a lot of time to exercise.  If you watch an hour of T.V. a day, that’s an hour you could have spent on a treadmill watching T.V.   This justification is weak and should not stop you from attempting weightloss.

“I don’t have enough money” – This statement would usually be followed by “to buy the healthy food”, “to afford the equipment”, “to go to the gym”.   Ok, let’s start with the myth of health food being more expensive.  This blog post I found goes into much more detail then I will here, but to sum up, basically it classifies food into three categories;  normal food, pseudo-healthy food and actually healthy food.  Normal foods would be things like pizza, bread, mustard, etc. You know, the types of food people would normally eat.  Then there are the pseudo-healthy foods which are versions for normal foods that have been processed slightly differently to make them ‘healthy.’  These foods are typically priced more expensively than normal foods, which I’m sure has led to some believing that healthy foods are more expensive.  I believe this is more of a marketing ploy to get people who want to be health conscious to buy ‘quick, easy, and processed’ foods.  Then there is actual healthy foods.  Foods that are homemade and not processed fall into this category.  They are usually cheap to buy, but people don’t favour them because, as the post says “you can’t slice open a package and munch.”    We have all been led to believe that in order to get healthy, we NEED to go to the gym and we NEED to buy expensive fancy equipment.   Just type ‘Street Workout’ into YouTube.

“I will just gain the weight back” – This is a legitimate concern.  I myself have been a weightloss yo-yo and have been discouraged by trying so hard to lose weight, only to put it all (and more in some cases) back on. I think the key here is finding something that works for you that is sustainable.  I really don’t like ‘diets’, I like having a healthy diet.  When I lost weight (detailed here), it took three years.  It was a long process and that may sound like forever, but I know I will NEVER gain the weight back.  My slow weightloss was the result of making changes to how I behaved over a long period of time.  This allowed those changes to become a part of my life… not just something I was doing for 4 months.  Make changes that are manageable and sustainable, and you will be on the road to successful, lasting weightloss.

“I love good food too much” – Well now.  I too LOVE good food.  I’ve heard some people say that they don’t like to eat healthy because it tastes bad.  I used to believe this also.  To be honest, I hated ALL vegetables up until I was 21 years old. Why did I hate them?  Mostly because I hadn’t tried them yet… or tried them once and had a bad experience.  I have made it a life rule to try everything not once, but twice.  It also doesn’t hurt to find some new ways to cook foods you once thought were gross.   I really don’t like raw vegetables, so I take those vegetables, roast them, saute them, and add a little salt and viola, they are delicious.  Stopping your addiction to salty, fat filled, processed food may be tough, but once it’s broken, I think you will be hard pressed to go back.  Some of the best food I’ve ever tasted, also happens to be some of the healthiest.

So, there you have it.  My reasons for not attempting weightloss and what I did to overcome them.  If you anything to add, please post it in the comments below.  Happy Weightloss everyone!  Dan.

How I Lost 100lbs: Part II

The first part of this post can be found here.

I ended the last post with a short note to those readers who are currently on, or wanting to start a weight loss journey.  What I am writing here is what has worked for me. Everyone is different and you will need to find those tricks that work for you.  I am lucky enough that the weight has come off and is staying off, but if you are having a difficult time, please goes see your physician to find out if there is something medical standing in your way. There is no shame in owning your own body and wanting the best for yourself.

OK. Now that we have most of the preamble out-of-the-way, we can get into the nuts and bolts of my weight loss journey. I’ve decided to break this into two sections that I think are equally important in terms of losing pounds, fitness and diet, and then we’ll wrap things up with some tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

Fitness

It’s been said that every journey begins with a first step and, in my case, that can be taken quite literally. My weight loss began with walking around Wascana Lake in Regina with my then girlfriend, Megan.  To be honest, at first I hated it.  It didn’t take much for me to work up a sweat then and I was really self-conscious of appearing as this big sweaty fat guy lumbering around what felt like hundreds of fit people.  That said, Megan loved to walk and I loved Megan, so I walked. This activity has been the one consistent factor in my entire journey.  I now walk (almost) every morning with my dog Sully.  I have found that I love walking. It gives me the chance to collect my thoughts and to reflect on my life.

I have gone through different periods of increased exercise which helped to kick my losing into high gear. This included going to the gym every morning, running on the treadmill every night and playing soccer again. While these are all good (and needed… I should be doing more of this), some of my attempts were simply not sustainable. I would be ‘good’ for a few months and then fall off the wagon and do nothing.  Something I have been able to maintain is my daily walks. It takes only about an hour a day and makes me feel hundreds of times better. I think it’s important to note that if you want the weight you have lost to stay off, you need to have an exercise routine that you can commit to… forever. And that’s it.  I have been lucky enough that my weight is able to be controlled with moderate exercise and diet. That said, I still have a way to go and actually plan on doing P90X… at a later date (famous last words).

Diet

The biggest changes I have made in my life are in regards to diet. As mentioned in the last post, my diet consisted of mostly unhealthy food.  This was because the only factor in my choice of what food to eat was whether or not it tasted good. In order to change my eating habits, I needed to become educated in what I was putting in my mouth and how it was being absorbed in my body.  Three key terms will need a brief explanation before we can go any further (keep in mind, I am not a nutrition expert and that these are just the definitions as I understand them. If you see something that is off, please point it out. We learn better when we learn together):

Carbs: or carbohydrates, are used by the body for energy.   They are found in a lot of different foods, most notably sugar. This means that candy, bread, milk, fruit, wraps, chips, potatoes, rice and more all contain a high number of carbs.

Fiber: some carbs are also fiber. Fiber is good because it helps get things moving in our digestive track.  Fiber usually comes from grains and vegetables.

Fat: the wiki article linked here pretty well explains this one. Basically, it’s another source of energy that can be stored by our bodies for later use.  Fat can be found in meat, nuts, and dairy.

Protein: can be used as energy for the body, but also help in the rebuilding of torn muscle tissue. Protein is usually found in meat, but is also abundant in some grains.

Most of the food had been eating was both high in carbs and high in fat. The first move I did was to cut out all the sugar I was getting from soda.  This meant no slurpee’s or pop (the former of which had been my main source of liquid). I think it started as a competition with Megan (my wife) about who could go longer without their vice (mine being slurpee’s and hers coffee).  I don’t remember who won, but the important thing is I ended my addiction to soda and have never looked back. Instead, I now drink diet soda, which contains no sugar (I’m not going to get into an argument over aspartame at this time… so don’t bother).  Making this simple (at the time it wasn’t simple, but now I couldn’t even imagine getting a regular soda or a slurpee) change combined with my walking helped me to lose 30lbs in about 4 months. Now 250lbs and starting to feel amazing.

Next, I decided to try the Atkins diet.  In short, Atkins is a diet that focuses on eliminating, at first, and eventually controlling the amount of carbs that a person consumes. In thought is that the body will always burn carbs for energy before burning fat.  In order to get rid of the fat in the body (i.e. have the body use it as energy) you need to starve your body of carbs. I actually believe (and who knows if this is true or not) that by not eating carbs, I was training my body to use the fat that I had stored for energy. I think that this ended up teaching my metabolism how to work correctly.  I don’t know all the technical jumbo on how this happened, but I do know that I have an easier time maintaining my weight. I also become very familiar with which foods contain high carbs and which do not.  On Atkins I lost another 30lbs, bringing me down to 220lbs.  I didn’t continue on this diet, however, because I found it completely unsustainable. While I was losing weight, I also found that I was “cheating” more often than I had before and that when I “cheated” I REALLY “cheated”  (I can remember one time eating half of an ice cream cake… tasted amazing at the time but I paid for it later).  I had decided that Atkins was not the diet for me, but the lessons I had learned about carbs stuck with me and have benefited the rest of my journey. 

The remainder of my weight was lost by following the diet that I have now. What do I eat, you ask? Everyone morning I have either a small bowl of cereal with very little milk (1%) or 2 eggs fried in a small amount of low-fat margarine. For lunch, I usually have soup that contains chicken pieces, chickpeas, lentils, or other high protein or high fiber grains or a salad containing chopped peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese (just a little bit), and a protein (usually chicken).  Supper’s usually consist of a protein with vegetables.  Staple proteins in our house include chicken, fish, deer meat, and occasionally steak (in the summer). Snacks usually include a small portion of nacho chips (usually no cheese) with salsa, veggies and dip, diet soda, and the occasional hot sauce and crackers. Sounds too simple right? Well… it is and that’s why it’s sustainable.

Tips and Tricks

Throughout this journey, I have found many tricks that I feel have allowed me to sustain my weight loss and I am more than happy to share them with fellow travelers.

1. Don’t go at it alone.  I think this is why programs like Weight Watchers are so effective; they encourage you to find a person or group of people who you can travel with.  This adds accountability and encouragement and you will more likely stick with it if you know someone else is depending on you.

2. Know what you can eat/drink as much as you want of.  I can’t even explain how important this is. I would have failed many times already if I had not learnt this. I know I can eat as much as I want of 5 things without ever compromising my weight loss.  I can eat/drink as much black coffee, diet soda, hot sauce, vegetables and garlic as I want.  When I feel like splurging on some potentially unhealthy snacks, I grab a sweet diet soda and feel the craving. Works wonders.

3. Learn how to cook. When cooked the right way, ANY food can be tasty. I usually start whatever I’m cooking with a base of 1tbsp of olive oil, an onion, a pinch of salt and a few cloves of garlic. I have taught myself to LOVE the taste of savory food, instead of relying on fat or sugar to make something delicious.

4. Try everything twice. This tip comes with a little story.  When I was younger, I went to Africa on a missions trips. What I saw there was extreme poverty and people eating whatever they could find that would fill their stomachs. We are SO picky here. After seeing these people who would eat anything, no matter how bland or flavourless it was me, I decided that I needed to try more foods (one’s that I had previously decided “weren’t for me”). Trying every food twice gives you a chance to really know if you like it or not (firsts can be weird at times).  I can’t imagine not being able to eat sushi, Indian food, onions, and salads.  I would be missing on so much.  If you are someone who “doesn’t like” healthy foods, I recommend giving them another chance. At the very least, just think of how these foods will benefit your body as a whole.

5. Buy some “goal” clothes. I have hanging in my closet right now a shirt that is still too tight for me to wear in public.  It the third “goal” shirt I have had since starting my journey. Periodical, I would try on my goal shirt to see if it would now fit. My first “goal” shirt was an XL, second an L, and third a tight M. There is something super encouraging and satisfactory about wearing clothes that you know you could not have fit before.

6. Treat yourself. Now this one needs to be done sparingly… otherwise it wouldn’t be a treat. For me, this is pizza. I LOVE pizza, but it’s not good for me.  Instead of swearing off of it for my entire life, I only allow it at certain occasions.

7. Don’t worry about failing. If you stop your exercise or go off start eating unhealthy food again, do not be despaired. Look at what has led you to this, learn from your experience and try again.

Bonus Tip: Where to ‘eat out’. There are times when you either can’t or don’t want to cook for yourself.  Many people cite this as a reason that they eat at fast food restaurant chains. Well, there are good options out there that offer quite the tasty little meal. My favourite are Pita Pit/Extreme Pita and Subway. Healthy choices at these establishments are easy to make. Subway offers salads that you can build yourself… I usually pick chicken with no cheese and add hot sauce and a little bit of BBQ sauce.  At pita places, the same thing goes; chicken, hot sauce, BBQ sauce.  I would try to avoid any sauces with too much sugar, or the high fat proteins they offer; you don’t really taste it anyways with all those veggies in there.

There you have it. I hope that you can feel encouraged through this and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask either on twitter (@ddubs08) or by commenting on this post. I really want to help you if I can.  It has been a long process and I still have more to learn.  All I know is that I feel better than I ever have before and know that my life is changed for good.  There are times when I am still tempted to just eat whatever I want (and there are times that I still do) but I don’t let these times set me back.

 Have a great day and happy trails!

 

Well That’s a Load Off: How I Lost 100lbs

The last three years have seen incredible change in my life.  I got married to the love of my life, I bought a house, I went back to University and I’ve lost 100lbs… well almost. I’ve actually technically lost 95lbs, but I hope by the end of this post series that I have reached my goal.  I have been thinking about writing a post on this for a number of weeks now, but I was waiting to reach that magic number of 180lbs.  I was tired of putting it off and decided to do this as a series of posts (its been quite a long journey) starting with how I gained the weight that I had and then sharing some of the strategies I have used to lose that same weight and ending with hopefully sharing that I have reached my goal weight.  I have not used any special ‘diet pills’ and have tried a number of ‘trend diets’ but have found the biggest factors in my success is not doing it alone, having the patience to do it the ‘right’ way and never giving up (I’m no stranger to failure, but have learnt that it’s not so bad). Ok here we go…

In 2007, I had just finished my second year of College (I had at one point be going to Bible College with the intention of becoming a Youth Pastor) and had already made up my mind about a number of things.  One of these was which foods I liked (sugar, fat, salt), and which I didn’t (vegetables and most condiments). I’m not sure where or when in my life I decided not to like certain foods, but was resigned to this ‘fact’ and was set in my ways. As such, when I started to purchase my own food, I chose mostly high fat, high sugar, high salt foods.  This diet helped me to quickly gain pounds. The Freshmen Fifteen quickly turned into the Sophomore Fifty and upwards. At my heaviest, I weighed 280 lbs, which for someone who is only 5 feet 8 inches tall, made me quite the pudgy man.

In my teen years, I was fairly athletic. I played both indoor and outdoor soccer and ran on my schools track team (100m, 200m, and relay’s. Side note: one hilarious attempt was made at a regional  track meet when we had an open spot for a long-jumper. I deserved the last place finish I got on that one). In my teen years, not matter how much I seemed to eat, I never felt full and never really seemed to put on any weight. This changed when I graduated  and no longer participated in any physical activity. Combined with my love of fat, sugar and salt, lead to a potentially deadly cocktail.

My added weight helped to develop some new character traits and defensive mechanisms that I used to justify my hefty state. I decided that I would be the classic ‘fat funnyman’ and that ‘I didn’t care how I looked.’  Pictures from this period are scarce (reasons obvious) and I resigned myself to the fact that I was fat, I was always going to be fat, and that I was OK with it.

I moved to Regina in 2008 (to be closer to my future wife) and was given an opprotunity to recreate who I was which I believe ended up saving my life.  (we’ll continue this story in the next post)

If you are struggling with your weight (and I know there is a tonne of us out there), I hope these posts can encourage you that change is possible and while the methods I have used to lose weight worked for me, they may not work for you (everyone is different).

More to come in the weeks to follow. Peace. Part II can be found here.