Very often, we execute at the micro level – we have to. We count calories, we perform exercise, we measure progress on the scale.
But not so often, we must look at the macro level. Today, I want to take some stock at the macro level. And, you need to do the same. Sometimes the scale doesn’t move as quickly as you want. Sometimes you wake up 3 pounds lighter. So, here are some observations at the 50,000 foot level.
- Weight – I’m down 54 pounds. But what’s interesting here is I’m down a LOT of fat and gained muscle and water. So, my BMR is exactly the same as it was when I was much heavier. This allows me to continue to eat a lot of food whilst continuing to lose weight. I have been stepping on some really fancy scales which have been monitoring fat, water, muscle.
- Clothing – when you get to my size, most clothing you have at the upper weights are loose fitting and you don’t really have a handle on what exact size you are due to stretchy things like elastic. I now wear clothing that are more appropriate and fit much better. This also helps me feel better, which then helps perpetuate the cycle. I’m also in a waist size that I normally would not have been in unless I was 25 pounds less, so my size has shrunk considerably, despite being heavier weight (the addition of lots of muscle!)
- Heart rate – like I’ve written before, I’m trying to science the shit out of this. So, in October I was running 30-45 minutes at a time, several times a week. Today, I work out hard with weights 1-2 days a week, walk 1-2 miles every day with my dog, and perhaps run 1-2 times a week for 10-15 minutes each. Take a look at my resting heart rates.
4. Restfulness – I just feel amazing when I wake up these days. 9-12 months ago, I was waking up with aches, pains, felt like I woke up 45 times during the night. While I technically might have gotten 7-8 hours of sleep, it was not good sleep. These days, I sleep 8 hours and feel rested. There is a MASSIVE difference with how you feel when well rested, and this carries you throughout your day. And my sleep 6 months ago was far, far, far better than my sleep 6 months before that.
5. General demeanor – I can tell you this, when I’m sitting at work, I am calm, collected, thoughtful, and relaxed. I can tell you that when I was not as healthy, I was feeling anxious, stressed, had anxiety, and sometimes would be on edge.
6. Activity – This is just night and day. Anyone with massive weight on them knows sometimes just tying your shoes can be a stressful event. When you remove an extra tire from your stomach, it just helps you move a lot better. I am jumping out of my chair to do things, have a ton of energy, and want to participate in life. You get so complacent when larger, that you more or less cancel all physical activity that is non-essential. You do it just because of how uncomfortable you know you may be. I now have planted items in a “garden” with pots, so while it might not be bending down in a garden for an hour on end, it’s a nice compromise.
7. Hope – Now that I’ve been seeing tangible, repeatable results, I feel like I’ve unlocked the secrets of my body and am hopeful of future things to come. For example, who wants to spend $7,000 on a Caribbean vacation when you need an extender for the seat belt on the flight, you wonder if they will try and charge you two seats, you are too tired to do anything once you get there, and you stay out of the sun because you don’t want to take off your shirt or get sunburn. I’m very hopeful that this time next year I’ll be much, much closer to my goals. This summer won’t get me there, but this summer will be about maximizing my activity and cutting a bit. I would like to spend time biking, running, hiking, playing softball, tennis, golfing, walking – enjoying the outdoors like I haven’t since I’ve been in my teens. I am hopeful now that I will live past 70…something I haven’t had any plans to do since I’ve been in my 20s.
This past month, my weight has been slow to come off. But I don’t care. Some months will be less, some more. Years ago, I used to get upset if I didn’t see 3-5 pounds a week lost. I would claim “plateau”. The funny thing is, when you watch a lot of videos online, someone asks – “are you still losing inches? Then you are not in a plateau”. So, my clothing keeps getting looser and looser, so I am not worried. I know with my massive amount of leg exercises that I’m going to be adding some lean muscle. But the scale continues to do down, even if it’s not much.
So, let me run some numbers for you, and how I felt this might go.
At the start, at 372 – my thoughts are I would love to live a life at 165-170. So, my brain says I’m 202-207 pounds overweight. What you then laugh to yourself, is even if I lose 100 pounds, I’m still morbidly obese!
I am now at 318, and within striking distance of 300 shortly. With the warmer months now here, I can see this coming much sooner than later. In my younger years with running, biking, and eating well, it’s not unusual for a 15-20 pound loss in 4-6 weeks. But I’m also adding a lot of muscle to my body, and trying to sustain it to keep my BMR high. The thought is, when I hit 298, that perhaps my weight with 15% body fat may be around 198 or so. Meaning, in a span of 10 months, I went from “200 pounds overweight” to “100 pounds overweight”. I would not have gone from 372 to 297 by losing 75 pounds of fat. It is looking more like 95 pounds of fat, 10-14 pounds of muscle gain, and 10-15 pounds of water gain.
However, the long, long term goal is to hit 15-22% body fat at 190-200, then spend 2-3 years gradually losing the muscle and fat to take me to a trim 165 with a runner’s build. This build, I believe, has the best chance to live 100 years 🙂 I feel like those who are 190-200 with a lot of muscle may have problems with carrying the extra weight later in life, whether it is muscle or fat.
So, in September, I will do a part 2 to this, where I take stock at one year. I’m going to run the numbers then, and perhaps this summer will yield some numbers trimmed off more.
Best luck everyone, be a better you TODAY, not tomorrow!
P.S. My school had a massive party last night, and a lot of my old friends were going. I just realized on the car ride home from work on Friday that it’s been since November since I’ve had a sip of alcohol. It was one drink of scotch. Prior to that, it was binge drinking with friends in August 2016 right before I started getting my ass in gear. What’s interesting is I haven’t really missed it. My life is starting to circle back on what I was like at 16 rather than my 20’s, where I sort of regressed. At 16, I was very focused on competition, exercise, but I didn’t know how to eat well. I was an academic, and took my studies seriously. I was “straight edge” and didn’t drink. I wasn’t as much fun as the version of me in my late teens and twenties, but I like myself infinitely more than those years. The party of all parties yesterday also took me back to a place mentally….it was interesting…all of the insecurity. All of the doubt. Alcohol helped silence it, but that also led to a lot of further issues. Lots of years of me not liking myself much. Waking up with regrets. Instability. And guess what? Weight seems to come on when that happens.
So…be true to your nature. I tried to fit in with others and drink lots of booze. The truth is, I don’t fit in well with others, I’m socially awkward, and I always felt like the person on the outside of the clique looking in, wanting to be part of the cliques. I did become part of the cliques, kind of, but I didn’t like who I made myself become in order to do it. Today, I’m more true to myself, more honest with myself, and I’ve never been more confident and grounded. I realized I just don’t need anyone’s approval anymore other than my own, and that was pretty powerful. I want to be a better me…for ME, not for someone else. And that seemed to make the difference.