When I originally wrote this blog post From fat to less fat (a journey), I had lost over 30 pounds. That was in September 2015. Today is pretty monumental for me. My BMI as of today is normal, at 24.9. I don't think I've been at a Normal BMI since early college. Now, I know that BMI is pretty skewed (if you work out to bulk then you're going to have a lot more mass than someone the same height as you, so your BMI will be more), but for me, my problem was obesity. I can honestly say the word was. That feels amazing.
So here is where I am as of today:
- 178.6 pounds
- 15.2% Body Fat
vs. July 2015
- 272.2 pounds
- 36.9 % body fat
That's a lot of change. 93.6 pounds and 21.7 % body fat loss.
My regimen has changed quite a bit since i started, but in a nutshell, this is what my fitness life is:
- workout every other day at the gym.
- elliptical 40+ minutes
- weights 10-20 minutes (depending on time and what I'm doing that day)
- Off days I try to make sure I move at least 5 miles. Most of these days are around 6-9 miles depending on the day.
The biggest change for me in terms of diet was that in November of 2016 I went vegan. My main reason for this is due to the increased cancer risks that are associated with eating meat and dairy (There are lots of studies about this but you can read about it here). Also, reading about how terrible dairy cows, pigs, chickens, and all "farm" animals are treated is just horrible and depressing. I'm not going to get into a rant about it in this post, but if you think that because the grocery stores show cows living on lush acres of land, go read Project Animal Farm and learn the truth.
I'm still not drinking caffeine, and my primary beverage is water. I make vegetable juice often, and will once in a while have a root beer, but I pretty much steer clear of anything else.
Now, everyone has setbacks. I was no exception to this. When I started this change, I was living in Colorado, and had a pretty normal commute to my job. In November 2015 my family moved back to the East Coast (New Jersey), and I wound up commuting into NYC for my job. Due to this commute and other stresses, I didn't have the time to work out like I wanted. I worked at this job until June 2016, where I transferred in the same company to a job in NJ. During that time, I wound up eating really shitty food, and eating too much, and wound up going from 210 pounds back up to 240. It was really discouraging and bummed me out. Fortunately, due to the job move, as well as going to see a therapist, and getting proper medication for depression and anxiety, I was able to get myself back on track. Like I said, setbacks happen to everyone.
So what now? My ideal is to get to 175 pounds, so I'm really close, and don't think it will be much of an issue to get there. From there, I'll maintain my weight, while focusing on building more muscle, endurance, and agility. I want to do more hiking and get into rock climbing this spring/summer.
My biggest issue with my body now is the excess skin I have at my stomach. There's not much I can do about it, short of getting a tummy tuck. It may be something I look into, but I want to be able to maintain my weight for a while before I look into that. For now though, it's a reminder of how far I've come.
At the end of the day, I can't believe how far I've come. I can't believe how bad I was. The thing is, those types of things don't happen overnight, same as how positive changes don't happen overnight. I remember I used to eat a almost an entire large pizza along with a dozen buffalo wings by myself, as well as 1-2 cans of soda. Now, I eat vegetables, fruit, beans, and nuts. I was almost to a 3XL in shirts before. Now, I'm wearing larges, and some stuff is even Medium. My pants were at a 44-46 waist size, and never felt right. Now, I'm wearing a 34 and even those are feeling a little loose.
For anyone dealing with these kinds of issues, there's no magical diet, pill, or surgery that makes this easy. Even if you decide to get some sort of bariatric surgery, you will still need to put forth a lot of effort and to change your eating habits and activity in a more positive way to make that change stick. It all takes a lot of work, and I hope that you are able to succeed in your goals much like I was able to.