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Starting a weight loss challenge

Scott Russell
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Ryan James
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started an eight week weight loss challenge here and I figured I could blog a little about it.

I first started using LoseIt in March, 2011 after reading a report in ChitChat of a guy that had lost 80 pounds in a year. Since then, I've logged everything that has gone in my mouth and most of the exercise. I set my goal at 200 and selected 2 pounds per week rate.

I started at 319, which wasn't as heavy as I'd ever been, but pretty close. Up until then, I'd been getting three to four 20+ minute stationary bike rides per week for a few years, but not paying any attention to what I was eating. My cholesterol levels were borderline even though I was taking meds for it.

I started working out more, simply because I really liked eating and ramped up to where I am now. Almost every day, I am putting at least 45 minutes on a stationary bike in winter and a real bike during the summer. I ride a 29" mountain bike and for a few summers did a lot of mountain biking, but the last couple years I just ride on roads or rail-trails. I am considering getting back on the mountain trails, but we'll see. I aim at an hour and 800-1000 calories. Occasionally, I'll mix up my workout, but biking is the best thing for my knee. (After an X-ray, the first thing the doc said was, "Your knee is shot!") Swimming would be better, maybe, but I can't listen to my books on tape, so it isn't as "transparent," and feels more like drudgery. (And my times are no where near my high school times, so it's also a bit discouraging.)

By October, I'd dropped to ~240 and about then realized that I'd accidentally put myself in as a female. When I changed that my loss slowed, but I still made it to 219 (100 pounds off!) in late summer 2012. At my physical, my doctor was amazed and suggested dropping the cholesterol meds. I did and my numbers actually improved.

Unfortunately, I slacked off after hitting the century mark. I still logged everything, but didn't worry too much about actually keeping under my daily quota. So I've drifted back up to the 240's, so this challenge may be just the thing to get serious about it and maybe knock the weight down to 200.

I plan to keep on using LoseIt and a pure calories in/calories out approach. I eat stuff I like without worrying too much about carbs/proteins/fat ratio. But evaluating everything in terms of enjoyment per calorie has pushed me into eschewing white bread entirely (except baguettes sometimes) and not a lot of even the good bread. My normal breakfast is a container of Greek yogurt, pistachios, a can of V8 and a piece of fruit (usually banana). I pack a lunch most days of salad (mixed greens, blue cheese, dried cherries, peppers and carrots), fruit (usually three clementines) another yogurt and V8 and then usually some kind of treat. I used to bring olive oil and balsamic dressing, but now usually just eat it "dry." Sometimes, I'll bring some leftover grilled chicken and/or some soup. I use the grill year round with pork chops and chicken being the most frequent, but hamburgers, fish and veggie burgers make occasional appearances. Some days, I'll have a beer or glass of wine, others I won't.

The best way to resist the munchies for me is just to go to bed fairly early, my over calorie days usually are a result of staying up late and succumbing to the siren song of the snacks in the closet or the ice cream in the freezer.

Day 1, I've still got enough calories for a beer and will decide soon if I use them or just leave them.
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