OK, this took me a bit longer to get back to than I realized it would!
I am so very close to my 100 lb. mark, but I just keeping losing a bit at a time. I think it is because I am adding muscle at the same time that I am losing fat. This is a good thing.
In this installment, I want to talk about another aspect of my journey to become lean: exercise.
I have alluded to this before, and this part of my plan is just as important as diet in getting the weight off and keeping it off. Don’t get me wrong, diet is EXTREMELY important! If you don’t eat right you won’t lose weight, and you won’t be able to power yourself through a workout.
I also mentioned before that you have to find an exercise that you enjoy, otherwise you might not stick with it. This is important, but I don’t think you should box yourself in! I know many people who LOVE running, but hate lifting. I also know many who are the opposite, myself included.
For the first part of my weight loss plan, I started walking on a treadmill and using weight machines. This started the ball rolling for me, but it wasn’t really giving me much noticeable change.
In what I will call my second phase, I stuck with the weight machines and switched to a stationary bike. Once again, I was still losing weight, but not at the rate that I really wanted. I could tell i was getting in better shape, but my body wasn’t changing too much.
In the third phase, which I began in November of last year, I actually completely (*gasp!*) quit doing cardio almost completely (besides walking to and from the bus and a little here and there)! I switched to lifting with free weights (not machines), doing the “Big Three” (Squat, Deadlift and Bench Press) along with the Overhead Press. I think that this moment was the best move of my fitness journey. Since that time, I have added a LOT of strength and muscle mass. I think that this lifting has boosted my metabolism so much that the weight began to fall off.
Here is an illustration of what that shift has accomplished for me:
From March of 2011 when I weighed my heaviest at 334.5 pounds, until November 4 of 2011 I lost a total of 31.9 pounds. That means I was losing roughly 1 pound per week. Pretty slow loss, huh? Of course, any loss is good!
Now let me examine the most current period from November of 2011 until the present. During this period (which is just about 10 months) I went from 302.6 pounds down to my current weight which is 235 pounds. That is a total loss of 67.6 pounds. that is a rate of about 1.69 pounds per week. Pretty good progress!
Of course, as time has progressed, so have my diet and eating techniques. I cannot discount those changes as well. All I know now is that I have lost 10 inches in my waist since I started, and I can now wear a men’s Large shirt, but I still weigh over 230 pounds. I am pretty sure that I have gained a LOT of muscle during this period as well.
Now, I am not discounting cardio completely. In fact, I will most likely start to run when I feel like it won’t damage my joints or interfere with my lifting/weight loss. I believe that both are an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but I also believe in slowly making changes.
I actually consider most of my lifting sessions to be cardio, because of the elevation in heart rate and breathing. You try doing 11 sets of squats or deadlifts without sweating and your heart beating super fast 😉
In my next installment, I will outline some of the dietary changes that have evolved over this weight loss journey as well. They might assist you with some ideas on what to eat and what not to eat. Specifically, I will discuss my current strategy of Leangains-style Intermittent Fasting.
Stay tuned, and feel free to contact me if you want to ask a question!