Thursday, December 27, 2007

A New Year's resolution kept

Lot's of folks face bigger challenges than me in the weight control area. I don't want to come off sounding smug here, but I am proud.

I made the resolution on Jan. 18, which is both close to the New Year and the day after my birthday. The resolution was lose 10 lbs, and keep it off for the year. The AND there is key. I didn't want to lose it and gain it back, or lose it, gain it, lose it right before the end of the year. Not overly ambitious, but something that would be an achievement.

I was 185. I had a noticeable gut going, though I wasn't obese. I had gotten to this point by creep, putting on 2-5 pounds per year. Not real noticeable or worrying the first few years. But if that keeps up for 20 years, you can do the math. I wanted to maintain my health into the future, so that I could enjoy life, so that I could be there for my wife, and later in the year so that I'll be around and active for my kid.

I had lost the 10 pounds by the end of February. All diet change. I was very careful to not think of myself as "on a diet." I was changing my diet for life. Then I really wanted to hold the weight steady. Limit the big swings.

Worked pretty well. There was the occasional swing, both up and down, but pretty steady. During the summer I averaged about 173, which was slightly better than the goal of 175. When Fall set in, the average moved up to 175, and I have to admit the swings became more frequent. Just harder in colder weather. Started exercising semi-regularly during this period.

Then we hit the holidays. I heard somewhere that the average American gains 7 pounds from Thanksgiving to the New Year. I'm not sure I believe that number, but I believe its common to gain. I vowed not to. I went into Thanksgiving 175, and came out of Thanksgiving 175. Cool. I did gain a couple pounds after a Christmas potluck in mid-December. Took almost a week to get back to 175. That was the only blip.

Today it is December 27. Christmas is past and only a few days to the end of the year. Weighed in at 172 this morning.


JimII said...

Congratulations, Josh. I am obviously someone who has bigger challenges than you in the weight control area, but that only means I should appreciate how difficult it can be to lose weight. It requires constant dedication, a marathon not a sprint.

I find it inspiring that you were able to be ten pounds smaller a year later. And, I think it is something to be proud of.

Nice job.


Josh Gentry said...

Thanks, Jim.

Matt Dick said...

Verifiable studies show that the average American adult gains 1 pound/year throughout their life. That probably includes greater gain through the winter months and a one-pound fewer loss through the summer months.

So if you have changed your lifestyle such that you are not losing through the winter months, you are probably going to be fine in maintaining a constant weight over the long term.

Of course now there are reliable studies showing we should be significantly heavier than what has been considered normal and healthy up until now.

Josh Gentry said...

Since they continually contradict themselves, I don't think many of the studies are reliable. Anytime they try to get more specific than the fundamentals about nutrition and weight than what I was taught in grade school about the 4 food groups, its bullshit. The system is too complicated. They have no idea.

I believe these:

1. Eat a balanced diet. Meaning get protein (including some from meat), grains, dairy and fruits and vegetables.

2. Most Americans probably need to eat more fruits and vegetables and less of the others than they currently do.

3. Avoid empty calories, in other words, outright crap that contains calories but little nutritional value.

4. Its better not to carry large reserves of fat.

I think its safe to believe those, and I'm very skeptical beyond that.

Interesting stats about weight gain per year.

shadowfax said...

Good job. I am in the same boat as you one year ago. I gained about 5 pounds in 2006 and another 5 in 2007. This is after about a decade of absolute stability in my weight. I'm back down a few pounds with several more to go. For me it's all about portion size control.

Josh Gentry said...

Thanks, Liam. You are right, portion control is big. Some things I don't eat anymore, like french fries, but lots of things I still eat, just smaller portions.

Josh Gentry said...
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Jill O said...

The whole weight thing is such a drag. I like your approach Josh. It is a lifestyle, not a diet. I prefer to call it a way of living. I had to give up caffeine and fast food when I had my gall bladder removed in 1998. So no soda and no fast food was a tremendous help for me. Then I started working out regularly in 2000. 6 years later, I have kept off 25 lbs by doing cardio 5 days a week, pilates 2 times a week, and watching what I eat. I still enjoy my favorite foods (pizza, ice cream, garlic bread) I just watch my portions and how often I enjoy them. I think at 33, weighing less than I did at 16 is pretty good. Now the question is, how long will my metabolism and gravity allow me to maintain. : ) The holidays sure make things tough though!

Josh said...

Jill, nice to hear from you. The gall bladder thing must have been a drag, but nothing like being forced to do the right thing, huh? I admire your exercise. That's what I'm working on now. Ramping up to steady, routine exercise. Luckily, there is a Y right next to work. I've gotten a start on resistance training. Nothing intense but way better than nothing. Still lagging on cardio.

Luke said...

We just started going to a gym that opened nearby. It is nice, pleasant, and has amenities that make it nice to hang out a bit after a workout. I was going before vacation and need to get back to it. I shoot baskets and do cardio. I do light free weight stuff at home, so use the gym's good equipment for cardio. I find it much easier to get myself up for a cardio workout than weights or resistance stuff.

I was weighing myself at Mom and Dad's. I was gaining about 1 pound per day for a brief stretch there and came home five pounds heavier.

My weight is an interesting thing. I'm 6'3+'' and weight about 195lbs. Lately I usually run right around 190. I've weighed as much as 210 during the days of long work hours and eating out lunch and dinner every day. I'm at the weight I generally want to be at. I like the 190 to 195 range. The problem is that while I weigh about what I have for several years now, I'm noticeably "softer". So I'm working on the goal of just better general health and fitness first and then I may or may not try to tackle my middle age male self image issues.

Josh said...

Hey, Luke, that's great that you are happy with your weight and are exercising. I' the opposite of you. I find it much easier to do resistance training than cardio. Unless I go for a nice walk outside. I'm going to the Y mostly for the free weights. If I got a few used dumbbells I could do everything at home, but I also find sometimes its easier to do it if I leave the house.

Josh said...

Oh, Luke, I was also going to say that I'm in the same place as you now with the weight being OK but being soft. I need to keep my weight where it is and get in better condition.

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