Thursday, June 28, 2007

Weight Loss - How I Lost 38 Pounds

Losing weight is a tough problem for anyone! Statistics show that over 50% of the American people are overweight, and I didn't want to be part of that club, so I had to lose weight. Plus, I knew that carrying the extra weight was not good for my health.

Growing up, I had always been a skinny kid, so weight was never a problem. I was so skinny, that I had to run around in the shower to get wet! (just kidding) I come from a skinny family of four brothers and five sisters, and none of us ever had a weight problem, and neither did my parents, who were of average build. Throughout my adult years, I was always of average build...about six feet tall and 170 pounds, and I kept that weight for many years. During my lifetime, I have never been a heavy eater, either.

But, for a few weeks, I noticed something was not right with me. I did not feel right. I felt listless; overweight; bloated; not sleeping well; and just plain awful, etc. My clothes were not fitting right, and I was a little short-tempered! Something was wrong, and I had to find out what it was. When I found out what was wrong, boy did I get a surprise!

One day, I went to see my doctor for my annual physical examination, and I got on the scale to be weighed, and I weighed in at 209 pounds! I was shocked! Forty pounds over what I had always weighed! I was numb! No wonder everything was falling apart on me! I got off the scale, and sank to a new low, and a little depression set in right away! How could this happen? How could I weigh so much?

I've never weighed this much in my life...not even close! But, 209 pounds! I felt like I had just been hit in the stomach...a very large stomach! There are those who read this article and think that 40 pounds is small potatoes...but, 40 pounds are very large potatoes to me, etc. And yes, a six foot frame would have no problem carrying 209 pounds, but I didn't want that. As soon as I got off the scale, I knew the weight was coming off...but how? How did I motivate myself?

Diabetes: I am extremely afraid of getting diabetes! My aunt and a neighbor who lived next to my parents died of diabetes! And, I worked with a fellow who got diabetes, and went spinning into depression!

Clothes/expense: Today, (2006) clothes are expensive, and I was NOT going to start buying new clothes that fit...not on your life! And, then what's more new clothes as I got bigger and bigger and bigger? No thanks! The thought of buying new clothes motivated, in part, to take some serious action, and I knew a big challenge lie ahead! I was determined to lose 40 pounds no matter what! It would be my top priority, and I didn't care if it took a year, two years or three years! But, how was I going to lose 40 pounds?

When I left the doctor's office I felt awful. And for the first time, I could sympathize with what overweight people go through. My first stop was to buy a bathroom scale, because I never needed one. And, when I got home, I jumped on it, and sure enough...209 pounds! I knew nothing about weight loss and diets and so forth. I didn't like the feelings inside of me at all. I perceived that people were going to be looking at me a certain way and calling me names! I was sick!

There are millions of books out there on weight loss and diets. I had no idea where to start. First, I had to take a couple of days and think things out as what would be my game plan. I needed a little time to get out of this panic-attack I was in! I got a yellow pad and started scratching down some notes, and I chose to do the following:

Attitude: Attitude is everything! I thought attitude could be the most important factor in all this. For, it was attitude that helped me to quit smoking 30 years before. A mix of attitude, discipline, patience, sacrifice...that's what I wanted in my game plan. If I could quit smoking, with the "mental toughness," it took to do it...I COULD LOSE 40 POUNDS I was ready to kick some butt...MY very big butt! First, I had to get rid of my cry-baby attitude and self-pity about myself...which is not like me! I knew, over the next several months, I was going to take a healthy dose of agony, and a lot of whining on my part!

Patience: The next decision was to be patient from beginning to the end. Losing all this weight is going to take time. There's NO magic pill; there's NO magic malt; there's NO magic dust! Now, that I decided that patience was going to play an important role in my success to lose weight, I could now settle down a little.

Aids: The thought of books; pills; malts were out the window! I decided to make my own rules. I would not spend money on all this stuff. If my game plan didn't work, THEN I would go out and get the help I needed to lose the weight. There are no books, doctors, malts that are going to help unless the person WANTS TO LOSE THE WEIGHT! When I quit smoking, I did it because I WANTED TO...and nothing would stop me!

Moderation: Next, came the idea of moderation. I ate everything I ever ate...but, less of it! I decided to cut all portions in HALF! Instead of eating two eggs for breakfast...only one! Instead of eating two slices of pizza...only one! Instead of eating a whole apple...cut it in half and save the other half for a rainy day. Like my mother, I have a sweet tooth, and I love sweet things like candy, pies, cake, and all this would have to be cut in half, too! By doing it this way, I would maintain the quality of life I always enjoyed, only I would now have HALF of what I enjoyed before. In other words, I would have my cake and eat it too! (forget I said that!) Doing it this way, would keep me from going completely crazy...just HALF crazy!

Water diet: Several years ago, I heard about a water diet of some sort, but knew nothing about it. Usually parents will not let their kids eat candy or sweet things before a meal, because they will fill up with water and not eat their meal. Makes sense to me. So, I decided to try it. That is, drink a full glass of water before a meal and then I would eat less.

A pound a week: The thought of losing 40 pounds was overwhelming to me, and I didn't like it! So, I decided to get rid of that thought, and I would think of losing a pound a week, which sounded better to me than losing 40 pounds. As you can see, I created my own rules and my own game plan. Since I'm not a rocket scientist, my math told me, it would take about 40 weeks or about 10 months to do the job! That's took me about 10 months to quit smoking, and losing weight is every bit as important as quitting smoking! The little train that could was ready to go up the mountain, and I was anxious to get started. I knew I was going to do it, but what I didn't know, is how long would it take?

From the time I implemented my game plan, everything I ate was cut in half, and by the end of the month, I had lost three pounds! Yahoo! I was making progress right away and I was enthusiastic and I had to stay motivated. I thought my game plan was a good one, and each day, I couldn't wait to get on the bathroom scale, to see if there was any good news. Six weeks after I started, I went under 200 pounds! I was on cloud 9! I would give my game plan about three months, and if there was not much progress, then I would get the help I needed to accomplish my goal, etc.

I think I have two big advantages over some people:

1) Walking/jogging: I have been walking/jogging 10-15 miles a week since 1986! And still, in the year 2006, jogging helps me to sweat out the good times, and to stay fit. Jogging helps me to keep the stress out of my life; I sleep better; create better; solve problems better, etc. Once a month, I gave myself a fabulous "pig-out" party, and eat whatever I wanted...Mexican or Chinese food, etc. (That's because I was doing so good!) But, I would pay the price I would add about five miles to my agenda of jogging to burn out the good times! (boo-hoo!)

2) Quit smoking: I had to use discipline to quit smoking over 30 years ago, and now it would take discipline to get the weight off, etc. But, it took more than discipline. As mentioned earlier, it took sacrifice; determination; dealing with peer-pressure, patience, etc.

So, week after week and month after month, I stayed with my game plan. A pound lost here, and a pound lost there, and I was on track. My attitude was the most important part of this whole operation. I know I can...I know I was only a matter of time before I won the battle. But, it was a roller-coaster from the beginning. At the six month mark, I was down to 185 pounds, and I was on cloud 42!

Up and down...up and down...up and down...I would lose three pounds and gain four! The toughest part was to get down below 180 pounds! It took me THREE MONTHS to do it...up and down...182 pounds...down to 178 pounds...up to 185 pounds...down to 179 pounds and so forth. It was driving me crazy...sorry...HALF CRAZY!

FINALLY, I got down BELOW 180 pounds, and I couldn't be more HAPPY AND PROUD! Yahoo! I was on cloud 67! this was about nine months into the mission, and I had a little more work to do to get down to 170 pounds. But, I always knew I would do it! Yahoo! The little train that could...a pound a week...40 weeks and 40 pounds have gone bye-bye!

When I went back for a physical the following year, my doctor said to me, "You've lost a lot of weight over the past year, Jerry. Have you been ill, or did you lose the weight intentionally?" I JUST SMILED, and gave my doctor a "high-five!" YAHOO!

* * *

The weight was lost in the year 2000, and as of the year 2006, I still weigh 165-170 pounds. In my view, I think I have not gained the weight back because of patience. It took a long time to lose the weight, and the body adjusted. Today, we live in a fast-paced society, and people don't have patience. People today want everything YESTERDAY! There's NO easy answer...there's no easy way...there's no magic dust! A person just has to suck it up...get that "mental toughness," that's essential...AND, JUST DO IT!

UPDATE: As of election day 2006 (November 7, 2006), I still weigh 170 pounds, and all that cutting portions in half did it for me, as I still do it over four years after losing the weight.

MY TWO CENTS/Update; January 15, 2007

As a novice in writing, I think this is an amazing story about this piece, Weight Loss: How I Lost 38 Pounds. I wrote the piece on August 4, 2006, and it was one of my first articles I posted on Ezine Over the next 2-3 weeks, the piece was going nowhere...stagnant...not many hits/views...stuck at the bottom of the ocean! Over the next month, I did what I could for the "basket case" so there was nothing more I could do for the patient. All I could do, was to watch it die on the vine!

All the other articles I wrote during this time, would pass Weight Loss: How I Lost 38 Pounds and kick sand in its face! It was my 97 pound little basket case! And, then in September, (2006) sometime, the piece started to move out of the basement and show some life! Needless to say, I was happy about this. It started to take baby steps on its move up the ladder of my article list! Ever so slowly, it continued to move up! Week after week, I kept an eye on it as it moved upward, and by November, 2006, it had reached the top ten of my portfolio of articles! I was amazed!

And then it happened in December, 2006, as it continued to march up the list, and on December 28, 2006, it took the lead (456 views) and knocked SOS! My Serious and Silly Articles from the TOP SPOT! It took nearly five months to get to the top! Amazing! YAHOO!

UPDATE: 1/22/07: This piece has taken a 155 point (hit) lead over my second place article, and is running away with the pack! Yahoooooo!

ARTICLES PUBLISHED: (70+ websites/includes links) Direct link: Website name; humordoctormd - Over 150 colorful pages; over 300 graphics email; Copyright; Jerry L. Aragon (The Humor Doctor); 2006

Side Note: For more information try this Wesite

1 comment:

Marna Goldstein said...

Great post and awesome job taking off 38 pounds. I own and I always tell people the same can eat it all, it's just about eating less and checking in with your body to see when it's hungry and when it's satisfied.

A mix of attitude, discipline, patience, sacrifice is excellent advice.

Thank you for the great blog!