Fitness Report — January 2015

December proved to be a good month overall in my personal getting fit at last project. As the year came to a close I could only be thankful for the positive change in the direction of my health brought about by my getting fit at last project. I am really looking forward to 2015 and to the goals I have in mind for the next twelve months.

December Weight Loss

While getting fit means more than just losing weight, there is no question that losing excess weight remains as my number one objective at this time. It has been over the course of the last year and will remain so for most if not all of 2015.

Weight loss chart through Jan 2015

As the graph indicates, my weight loss for December was modest, as it has been over the course of the year, but still steadily moving down which is most important. On a personal level reaching the 215 mark has been a cause for celebration. While I am still considerably overweight, this marks the half-way mark in my overall quest to lose eighty pounds.


The Third Best Christmas Gift

When I got up on Christmas morning I received an unexpected gift. I was so excited about it I thought immediately about making a blog post celebrating it as the best Christmas gift.

Decorated Christmas tree

But before I could even put a single finger to the keyboard I realized that it was at best second to what I received the day before, and by the time I could start writing I realized it was at best third to another!

The Best Christmas Gift

When we write online, our audience comes from all over the world. My primary website is Success With Money. It has readers from countries all around the globe, so certainly not all are Christians—even in America which is primarily Christian there are many other faiths as well.

But even if people come from very different backgrounds, there is one thing about the life of Jesus that is worth considering for all mankind…


Dr. David B. Samadi Nails It!

Portrait of Dr. David Samadi

When interviewed on a network news show today (December 20, 2014), Dr. David B. Samadi, Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and contributor to the weekly Sunday Housecall program, was asked to comment on safe eating over the holidays and how to lose weight in the long term for those who were overweight.

He managed to state in a matter of just a few sentences just about everything a person needs to know to lose weight and establish healthy eating habits….


Fitness Report — December 2014

November marks the beginning of the holiday season when lots of eating is customary but even on Thanksgiving Day this year I was able to enjoy turkey and even pie while still making progress on my weight loss plan. The end of the month marks another good step toward fitness and another notch taken up on my belt.

November Weight Loss

Last month I ended up a few tenths of a pound short of my target of 225 but this month I succeeded in getting under my target of 220, just barely, but under at 219 pounds, so I feel better. Even if by a hair it is much more pleasant to barely succeed than to just miss a goal!

Weight loss chart through December 2014

Getting under that 220 pound mark was a big achievement for me personally psychologically in that it marked my moving technically from being obese to being overweight. Looking at the graph, while it is very slight so takes a close look, the trajectory for November is slightly better than it was in October. So all in all, it has been a good month.

How did I handle Thanksgiving Day? Interestingly, I mentally prepared to just eat what I wanted and accept a small setback in order to enjoy the holiday. However, I have gotten used to eating more moderately and when it came time to fill my plate I just did not want to overeat, so I only ate a relatively modest amount of food.

In addition to that…


Celebrate Weight Loss Milestones

Today I reached another milestone along the way to personal fitness. Now to figure out how to celebrate! No, it will not be with food.

No longer obese!

Man weighing

Finally this morning, after losing a full thirty-five pounds, my scale dropped below 220 pounds (at least momentarily until I grabbed that first cup of coffee). So officially I am now just overweight, not obese.

Of course I know I am at the very top edge of being overweight. I also know that I am less than half way to my goal of a fit weight. But it feels great nevertheless.

From a fitness point of view there is little difference between my weight yesterday and my weight today, but reaching this point has been a marker, a sub-goal along the way toward my ultimate weight goal. I have had my eye on it for some time.

It is important to set major goals if we want to achieve anything in life, and certainly that is true of getting fit. A weight goal is one of them.

It is equally important, perhaps more so, to have intermediate goals, so we can recognize our progress and be motivated by our achievements….


Hanging On One Day at a Time

Like a lot of other things, sometimes success with a weight loss plan is a matter of just hanging on. I like to think of it as succeeding one-day-at-a-time.

Some Days It Is Hard

calendar with dates circled

For several days I have been on a mini-plateau with my weight loss. This is pretty normal. Eating something with a little more salt than usual or whatever can bring on a little stall.

It is harder to exercise the self-discipline needed on days when the scale doesn’t cooperate (how could I gain two pounds in one day without eating much of anything!) even though we know it is temporary. It helps to have some method for giving a boost to our motivation on days like this.

For very short plateaus like this it is only necessary to have a very short—intense but short—boost in commitment and focus. My approach is to collapse my view of the project at hand, to forget about my long term goals, and focus on maintaining my diet for just one day.


Three Tools for Controlling Calories

There are three key kitchen tools used by those who become successful at losing excess weight. They are simple tools but powerful ones nevertheless.

Nutritional Labels

Nutrition Label

When working on a weight loss program, the number one consideration has to be controlling calories. And the number one help for this is the required nutritional information found on food packages.

There are two primary numbers to look for to get it right. First, look at the calories per serving. Second, look for the serving size or servings in the container.

The importance of checking the servings per container was never more obvious to me than the time I got a salad at one of the popular fast food joints and discovered to my great amusement (I laughed out loud to tell the truth) that one packet of the salad dressing was represented as containing 5 servings!

In order to lose weight you have to get your meals down to just a few hundred calories per meal. Carefully reading the calorie and serving size on labels enables you to make effective food choices.


Which Diet Plans Work Best?

Last night on the news I heard about another study of diet plans showing the same results as many others before. But it seems that most people seem unaware of these facts from the way they buy into every new diet fad that comes along.

What is the Weight Loss News?

Weight Loss Plans Compared Newspaper

The primary author of this latest report is Renee Atallah of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Lady Davis Institute at Jewish General Hospital of McGill University in Montreal in a study on behalf of the Canadian government. The study conclusions were released on November 11, 2014.

The results of using all types of diets were similar, whether low fat, low carb, or otherwise. All help lose about the same amount of weight over time; all typically result in some gain back after people stop using them.

Some particular plans seem to help people lose weight a little faster at the beginning, but people average the same at the end of a year, about 16 pounds in previous studies but only around 5 pounds on average in this one.

Honestly, to me the average results are not too impressive for any of them. It appears to me that people have adapted to dieting as an inconvenient interruption in eating patterns rather than permanent change in eating habits so that the benefits of trying any of the popular weight loss plans is becoming increasingly less permanent.

Only Weight Watchers shows any real advantage and even then not in losing weight. The difference is that apparently because some people stayed in contact with their support group they fared a bit better in maintaining their weight loss over time—the study continued over two years.


I Want to Be Overweight!

Yes, I want to be overweight. How can that make sense? Well, in a strange, perhaps slightly perverse way, it does.

How Can Being Overweight Be Good?

Scale with word help

When I began my fitness journey I weighed 255 pounds. This morning I weighed 224.8 pounds. During these initial months there has only been one word to accurately describe my condition: obese. An ugly sounding word isn’t it!

Now I am zeroing in on a different word, overweight. Naturally I do not like the idea of being overweight either, but it is oh so much better than obese.

With my height, I need to get down to 220 pounds to reach the top of the overweight category. That means I need to lose another five pounds to make it. At that point I will still be a long way from even the top of the normal weight range, but it will be a step in the right direction.

To be successful tomorrow it is essential to feel good about what we are doing today so we will be able to make the effort to keep moving ahead. This has a really important impact on our effort to get fit.


Fitness Report — November 2014

Although not perfect, October has been a good month as far as progress on my fitness journey is concerned. As is human nature, I am never satisfied totally, but in general I should be happy with what I achieved during the month.

Weight Loss Achieved

This is where I should be most pleased but exactly where I feel a little disappointment. I really wanted to get under the 225 pound mark, but it did not happen. Close (within 1½ pounds), but no cigar, as they say.

Nevertheless, I did break the plateau I was on, as the chart shows. Although I lost only a little over a pound a week, the rate was better than in the previous month when I hit something of a plateau. In addition, I reached the one-third mark as far as overall weight loss progress is concerned.

November 2014 weight chart

There is a particular reason I look forward to getting under that 225 pound mark. I remember very well the first time I hit that level going up. At that time it seemed really extreme. I could not believe it was possible I had gotten so heavy. Yet, after losing a bit I soon started up and went way past that mark.

This time I only want to wave at it in passing, on my way down, and never look back. Then I can start looking forward to the 200 mark in a similar fashion.