Sep 22, 2007


My expanding girth must be reduced

At my recent physical my physician chastised me for my failure to make some appreciable improvements in my weight. I am currently at 228 pounds, with an ideal weight somewhere between 190 and 200 on my 6'5" frame. I set a goal to lose twenty pounds this year, and to date in 2007 I have managed to see a mere two pounds melt away. Even worse, my triglycerides level (420/mg/dl) was through the roof, and there are fatty deposits in my liver from the excess lipids floating around my bloodstream.

Thus, I am now taking seriously the need to lose weight and improve my physical fitness.

For the past three days I have averaged about 1600 calories, and have integrated some walking, weightlifting, and other exercise into my routine. I have read that 10,000 steps per day is ideal to maintain weight, and 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day will help reduce weight more quickly.

Bananas and apples are my snacks of choice, while I am making a concerted effort to replace fatty foods with healthier fare. I am also focused on eating smaller portions and eating more slowly, as opposed to my typical gorge-like-the-food-is-running-out style.

I am also interested in hearing the success stories of other dieters. For years I was a person with a high metabolism who seemed to be able to eat anything in sight without worrying about weight gain, but in the last seven years I have put on 25 pounds that need to go.

So feel free to weigh in (pun fully intended) on other weight loss tips you might recommend.


JQ said...

I too am both blessed and cursed with an ultra high metabolism. My wife says that just because I am skinny does not mean I am healthy. I disagree—time will tell. What about Weight Watchers? My wife practices this program and the fat-reduced food is really quite satisfying. My advice is keep your chin up and the bag of Red-Hot Cheetos down. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

I've lost about 15 lbs. and my husband has lost about 30 lbs. on Weight Watchers. I went to the meetings and got the literature. He unofficially did the eating plan with me.

It has completely changed how we both look at eating and it also provides some "alternative desserts" which help keep the edge off.

They have a website which provides an overview. (And no, this is not a sponsored post.)

Anonymous said...

Move over, Mike. We're in the same boat.

I talked to a guy yesterday whose wife lost more than 100 pounds on Weight Watchers, then gained it back and then some. He's chipping away at his weight slowly, but steadily. He's about 30 pounds lighter than when I'd seen him about seven or eight months ago. He said he's doing it by eating as if he were officially on Weight Watchers -- and he also eats some frozen product that has "Steamers" in the name. Cafe Steamers? Bistro Steamers?

Mad Jack said...

Could you guys shove over one more spot, please?

I've dropped weight by exercise on the bike to nowhere combined with weight lifting. From what I understand, a person can lose 3 to 5 pounds a week safely, mainly by exercise and drinking enough water.

Also I found another thing that helps is if you cut out that morning shot of whiskey with your coffee.

HumboldtsClio said...

High protein (chicken, fish, minimum red meats), lower carb (avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and make friends with wheat bread and pasta... but even that minimally), lots and lots of water, and an hour of some kind of exercise per day. I'd stick to walking as much as possible while on campus, and if you can squeeze in an hour at the gym 2-3 times a week, you're great.

Also... 1600 calories? You're out of your mind. Assuming you want to lose a pound to a pound and half per week, you can eat as much as 2000-2500 calories per day as long as you exercise moderately everyday. It would take you about 6 months to reach your goal- maybe less. 1600 calories a day makes ME cranky, and I'm smaller than you are.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

A big Weight Watchers tip is to increase your water consumption. They rec'd that you drink 48 oz of water daily. According to them, many people mistake signs of dehyrdration with signs of hunger. Water fills you up and acts as an appetite suppressant.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

Me again. I'm giving away all of my WW secrets. Another WW tip is that you switch to 98% fat-free bread for sandwiches and toast.

I also found success by limiting my cheese consumption.

(Cripe, I'm getting hungry just typing this.)

historymike said...


Thanks for the tips and the well-wishing. Be aware that high metabolisms tend to mellow out over time, though.

historymike said...

Anonymous 1,2, and 3:

I'll give some thought to Weight Watchers, though the Spartan in me looks skeptically at spending money to fix what is essentially (for me) an issue of self-control and intelligent eating.

historymike said...

Mad Jack:

Does that apply to the fifth of vodka under the front seat of my car?


(Note to law enforcemnet professionals: The above remark does not condone drinking and driving, and was written in the spirit of the comment, and there has not been a bottle of vodka under my front seat for many years)

historymike said...


Ah, water... my new best friend. Every time the humger pangs start I slug down a glass. Helps a little with the gnawing hunger.

As far as my goal of 1500 calories a day: I must admit that the "tipping point" for me is the fact that my 36" waist pants are getting really snug. It's either lose some weight fast, or buy a whole new wardrobe of 38" pants.

I have been at a 36" waist since at least 1995, and it would be a depressing moment for me to jump to the next-higher stage in fatdom.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I wouldn't pay for Weight Watchers, especially if you're like me (hate meetings and public chit chat about weight). You can get Weight Watchers recipes from the web.

I did NutriSystem many years ago and it worked great. I have no idea how their food is now, but back then it was good. I liked having my meals decided for me.

Historychic said...

Hey Mike,

I lost about 60 lbs with the Insulin Resistance plan. I can let you borrow my copy. Its a modified carb/protein plan with emphasis on whole grains, fruits, veggies and protein. Its something easy to follow and not restrictive, just helps you to make healthier choices. Let me know if you are interested.

Mad Jack said...

Does that apply to the fifth of vodka under the front seat of my car?

::Laughing about the bottle comment!::

I don't know... it didn't apply to mine.

A while back my brother bought me a membership to a gym, so I started going. I bought a few sessions with a personal trainer, which turned out to be a very smart investment. She showed me how to exercise correctly and made a few diet suggestions, namely that I should forget about a diet. I'd never stick with it and dieting would do nothing more than irritate me. Instead, she suggested that I limit the foods that aren't good for me, such as pizza, burgers and fries to something reasonable, such as one serving a month. Then, she suggested I drink more water, which I did, and that I exercise hard every other day, and light on the days off. I followed this advice and started losing weight.

Outside of showing me how to exercise (I did most exercises incorrectly), my PT explained that men go to the gym to exercise their egos, while women go to exercise their bodies.

Hooda Thunkit said...


I'm down ~55 lbs since March 23rd which is half way towards my goal, with an 1,800 calorie/day average, 90 g. of fats, and 270 g. of carbs.

My doctor insisted on WW and I declined, so he predicted that I would fail.

Three months later and 25 lbs lighter, he was shocked, surprised and completely apologetical when he saw the results for himself.

I developed 2 Excel spreadsheets; one to classify and load repetitive (reusable) data and the second one as my daily log.

Oh, in the process, I've switched to diet pop/sodas, kicked the habit of buttering my toast and my lunch sandwiches are now bread-less.

And, I deliberately decide what I want to eat, when a choice is possible.

After I lose about 70-75 lbs I intend to start exercising, gradually

If you're interested, I'll send you a sample ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hoodathunkit brings up a great suggestion. Not everyone in WW did this, but I did and still do. I wrote down every single thing that I put in my mouth.

God almighty did it make me accountable.

I also decided to start looking at serving size. Geez oh Pete. Previously, I was doubling and sometimes tripling most portions on supposedly healthy food and then scratching my head on why I was gaining weight.

For instance, a serving of Triscuits is 6 crackers. I could pop down 24 like they were beer nuts and tell myself they were "healthy" so it didn't matter.

BTW Hoodathunkit . . . GREAT JOB! Very very impressive!