Sunday, August 3, 2014

One Month

A month ago, I started a journey to lose weight.

0.0 Miles

It's been a month, and I figured it was time to share some results. When I started last month, I weighed in at 295 pounds. I had just purchased a Fitbit, and was struggling to hit 5,000 steps a day with a daily goal of 10,000. A month has gone by...

...and I'm still fat. Just slightly less so.

I got a lot of feedback after the first blog telling me not to call myself fat, but I am. I am a fat person. I am still morbidly obese. My BMI is still in the red zone. I appreciate that my friends are being kind and want to cushion my feelings, but I try not to do that with myself. Part of holding myself accountable, for me, is being honest with myself, and I'm not good at beating around the bush. I don't have a glandular problem. I'm not big boned. I am fat because I am carrying a lot of extra weight on my body, and I have that fat because I eat too much of too many bad things and don't exercise enough. I'm not saying that's the case for everybody, but this is my truth, and this is the situation that I committed to changing.

And change is happening.

Today I weighed myself before dinner in a pair of boxer briefs, just like I did last month. (Sorry for the mental image if you never wanted to picture me that way, or if you are now because I just suggested it.) I weighed in today at 273. I have lost 22 pounds. Since I got the Fitbit, I have walked 324 miles. You know what's less than 324 miles from me?

Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Atlanta, Savannah, and Augusta, Georgia.

Charleston, Ashville, and Charlotte, South Carolina.

Raleigh, North Carolina.

Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky.

Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, Ohio.

Indianapolis, Indiana.

So, what does losing 22 pounds look like so far?

For starters, I'm sleeping a lot better. Part of this is that I am often exhausted when I finally go to bed, but part of this is also that I can get more comfortable now. My whole life, I have always slept best on my stomach, but for the past few years I haven't been able to. If you're not sure why, lay down on your stomach on top of an inflated beach ball and try to go to sleep. After a few minutes, your back is going to hurt because it's forcing your spine to curve the wrong way, and you will probably give up and roll over onto your back or side. I'm still sleeping on my back and side, but it feels more comfortable.

Also, my towels fit around my waist now. You know how sometimes (at least for guys; I have no idea what girls do after a shower) you get out of the shower and wrap the towel around your waist and tuck in the corner, and wear it around the bathroom for a while? I haven't been able to do that for at least a year, even with extra large bath towels. (Bigger clothes aren't the only upsized items I've had to buy in the last year.) I can do that now. It feels like an accomplishment.

There's also the time that my shorts fell off in public.

Yeah, that happened. I was going to walk to the mailbox, and thought, "It's just a ten minute walk. I can throw on these shorts and a t-shirt and it'll be fine." As I was walking down my steps, it was fine, and then I started to think, "Hey, these shorts feel a little loose." Not catastrophically loose, but riding a little low. Then I turned out of my parking lot and started walking uphill, and I started walking out of them. I had to grab them with one hand and jerk them back up as I hurried back to my apartment, and then when I started climbing my front steps they started to fall again. Thankfully, I make it a point to always wear underwear, so everything was fine, but still, I've lost so much weight that my shorts fell off in the middle of the street.

This is an accomplishment, I think.

And also almost an embarrassment.

This is not to say that the last month has been all positives.

For one thing, I am hungry all the time. Even after I eat dinner, there is still a constant low grade "I'm hungry" burn in my stomach. I'm told that it will shrink as I continue this, but right now I spend a lot of time trying to think about something else.

I've also learned that portion control is un-American. I'm not being sarcastic. I mean that every time I've gone out to eat this month, during which I have been painfully conscious of my portion sizes, the first thing I want to do when my order arrives is put half of it in a to-go box. Plates of food, at least at the restaurants around me, are enormous, and that's not even counting appetizers, sides, and maybe dessert. I've actually found myself reading the nutritional information for restaurants, and some of it is a little disturbing. Before I started this, I seriously think I was eating 3,000-5,000 calories a day, and then going home to sit on my couch. Is that what everyone's doing?

I also have a blister on one foot because I didn't lace my shoe tight enough the other day. I'm trying to walk through it.

So, that's where I am with the diet and exercise.

22 pounds down, 73 to go.


Jeannie said...

You are doing so well, Joel! Congrats and keep it up!!

Ahnie said...

Way to go! So excited that you beat me this weekend!! Even with my moving!

Justin Bower said...

Congratulations, that's a hell of a change.

Marcheline said...

Wow - that's awesome! Now that you're down 22 pounds, you're going to start noticing the cycle kicking in... the weight loss is going to enable you to do more, which is going to enable you to lose the rest of the weight.

I'm slightly concerned about you feeling hungry all the time, because that can wear you down mentally. Look into drinking more water - a large glass between meals, maybe - and/or bringing bags of cut celery and crunchy vegs to work for in between times. Low sodium V8 is good, too, as it has a little bulk to it and makes you feel full. Give your stomach small low-cal snacks to work on so it will shut up and let you get on with your day.

Not only is it awesome that you're doing this for yourself, you are also inspirational. I've decided to start doing my yoga again this morning. No more excuses. If Joel can get healthy, so can I.

nan said...

Really great, Joel.