Back in mid-2006, I documented my fairly dramatic weight loss in a series of blog postings. I went from a high of 224 pounds to a low of 164, which made for a total loss of 60 pounds (I’m about 6 feet tall). It’s interesting to go back and re-read what I wrote back then:
- Diet Tips or How To Lose Weight with a Spreadsheet and a Web Site
- The Diet Plan and The Three Habits
- The Diet Spreadsheet
- Diet Tips: How To Eat Less
Fast forward to January of 2011, and I had gained back about half the weight. I was hovering just below 200 pounds and had needed to purchase larger jeans a few times during the five years in between. Considering the success rate of most diets, that’s not bad but it’s also hardly ideal. Other issues had crept up along the way too.
What went wrong?
There were two main problems with this approach. First, it was built on a false assumption: calorie counting. The number of calories wasn’t my problem. The source of calories was my problem. As I gradually went back to eating “the old way”, I started eating more and more of the Wrong Things and the fat slowly started to reappear.
The second problem was that I didn’t particularly enjoy that way of eating. I always felt a little too restricted (even after gradually raising my daily intake) and felt like I was missing out on some really good food. In other words, it wasn’t sustainable. I was able to succeed by a combination of early success and sheer force of will. But over the long term, that never works and is why virtually all diets fail.
So, what does work?
That’s a big part of what this blog is about. In the coming days and weeks I plan to write more about this topic and many of the discoveries I made along the way. In 2011 alone, I probably read over 20 books on health, diet, nutrition, etc. And I’ve been read a lot of new blogs on the same topics. As a result, I’ve changed my habits in a way that’s far more healthy and sustainable.
The results speak for themselves. I’ve been able to drop most of the weight I gained back without counting calories or any of that nonsense. I eat healthier and better tasting food, and I have no desire to go back to “the old way” of eating and living.
Here’s a look at my weight for the first quarter of 2011.
The blue line is my weight on any given day (always weighed first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything). The red line is a 5-day moving average, which helps to smooth out the normal 1-2 pound daily variation we all have in our bodies. The full spreadsheet is on-line too if you’d like to see the daily values, average daily loss, or any of that stuff.
I have since stabilized in the 168-172 range. I still weigh myself every morning and haven’t seen a value outside that range in the last 9 months.
So what do I eat now? That’ll be the topic of many future posts, but the short version is that I don’t eat much of any refined foods anymore, few if any carbs (bread, pasta, cake, bagels, etc), and lots of good quality meat, seafood, and vegetables. That includes things I wouldn’t have dreamed of in the past, like raw whole milk (thank you, Organic Pastures) otherwise known as real milk.
Needless to say, 2011 was a period of learning a lot about food and nutrition (both what’s good and what’s bad), along with some experimentation. You can expect to read more about all of that this year right here.
My success last year led Kathleen to make similar changes and eventually resulted in the idea for this blog that’s all about our lifestyle: HowToEatAndLive.