Monday, June 21, 2010

8 Inches Gone an 3 New Notches on Belt

I have some motivational clothes on my bathroom door as a visual reminder of where I want to go. I’ve been wearing size 54 clothes that are getting more and more baggy. After making the third new notch in my belt on a whim I tried to put on the smaller shirt and pants. I just put on size 46 jeans and buttoned up a shirt that I haven’t in a very long time (if ever?) I hit the scales and saw 310.5 the other day.

It’s odd, in this journey I’ve dropped to that weight before about 6 months ago then started gaining. Before I couldn’t put them on. What I hadn’t realized is I have been trading some fat now and getting more muscle! Don’t misunderstand, along the journey there have been lots of goofs where I have again wolfed down a whole pizza, seen a half gallon of ice cream as a challenge, and visited the Chinese Food buffet place loads of times.

I’ve been learning, even in mistakes I’ve been reflecting on what happened. I hope somehow this may motivate someone out there that is struggling and also of course share this in a celebration with my many blogging friends. I can not say if I can do it you can too… But I will *SHOUT* if I can make progress, maybe… just maybe if I can do it maybe YOU can do it too!!!

SO WHAT IS THE TRICK? WHAT IS FOOLSFITNESS MAGIC SECRET? I’m *NOT* about fad diets, magic pills, super workout gismos… I want to even urge you to see a doctor and have them monitor your progress to be safe before trying anything (Even though I haven’t) but I’ll share some of the things I’ve done, they may not be right for you, or even safe… Maybe you have a better way for you, if so great! I do have a couple of degrees but they are NOT studies in physical health. I’m no doctor. (ok, enough disclaimers) here is a few of the things I‘ve been doing and thinking about…

VISUAL REMINDERS: I’ve kept a coin in my pocket, yellow live strong style band around my wrist, a picture of a healthy bicycle rider on my fridge door, and the aforementioned small motivational clothes hanging right on my bathroom door.

FOOD: At first it was just eat a little less and move a little more. Then it was reading the packages and really thinking about the caloric intake and monitoring how much I ate in a day with a goal of around 1500 calories. I have no interest in magic bars or super shakes… I want “real” food. Many days chips, pizza, chimichungas, even candy bars get in. I try to have a goal of “Mindful, Aware, and the Power of the Plate” you can see in the Foolsfitness Pledge I created on the right column. I’m starting to look at reasonable portions even thinking what if I took half of what old Alan would put on his plate? I ask myself “Am I really hungry?” Is this sane? What about one sandwich instead of two. What about mustard instead of mayo? Do I need all that sugar and creamer in my coffee?
Then I try things a bit different.

One now it’s a can of chicken noodle soup with a small can of mixed veggies in it. A major bowl of hearty soup for just under 300 calories. Or looking at a little difference of two brands of chicken and tuna salad. One can be 100 calories less in that simple choice. Yogurt differences between brands in calories can be significant too.

I *DON’T* WORKOUT! What?! Workout denotes Work, effort, drudgery! I play! I’ve picked swimming and bicycling that’s easy on this heavy guys knees, volleyball that is fun. Walking looking at the birds and trees. Kids get plenty of exercise if they go out outside and play. I want recess. Why beat on my knees painfully running or contorting myself around some weird workout gismo machine?!

GOALS: first it did start out as just eat a little less and move. Then it started to evolve. Without specific goals it’s so easy to drift aimlessly getting nowhere fast. Now it’s an hour swimming, or 10 miles on my bicycle. Training for an upcoming bicycle event. Even longer goals like trying to improve to become a personal trainer to help others who are like me, understanding more of what it’s like to walk in shoes weighed down with 350 pounds. No offense to the fit all their life jocks who are personal trainers, who I’m sure many are wonderful people, but can they really understand what it’s like to live as someone who weighs twice what they do without experiencing it? Several commenters mentioned writing a book. If that helps people maybe I will in the future someday. Hopefully it will be more fresh and real, without the diet gimmicks. Hopefully people will laugh and be encouraged!

MODIVATION: Perseverance is so hard I can’t even write it without my spell check. If it was easy we would all be fit and healthy. People want the simple quick trick. IT’S HARD! How’s that for sugar substitute coating it? I mentioned the motivation clothes, picture on my fridge. Reading people’s blogs and writing my own forces me to think, or reminds me, about where I want to go. Vision in goals. I’m even considering getting a subscription to a fitness related magazine so each month I’m forced to get a reminder of my goal just by checking my mail. Even my cat in the picture at the top of this post is curled up with a Lance Armstrong book looking for her motivation!

Phew, long post… but allow me to take some time to gloat in being so jazzed about putting on a size 46. I’m sure to some of you it might still sound huge while others may long for it. I’ve got some way to goal but I dare you to actually whip out a real life ruler and look at eight inches visually, in reality, and say that isn’t an accomplishment. Maybe someone reading this understands my struggles, fight, progress, and now realizes that just maybe they can do it too. Maybe some of you ahead of me can keep on pulling me along through the tough times (PLEASE!)

At Fools fitness an Atlas weight belt now drapes over the bathroom door, it’s like a Championship World Wrestling Title Belt waiting for me to fight for it, and win it!- Alan


  1. I absolutely LOVE this post. And the Championship Belt analogy---perfect.
    Congrats my friend!

    My best always

  2. love the "i want recess" idea!

  3. Maybe someone reading this understands my struggles, fight, progress, and now realizes that just maybe they can do it too.

    Oh, I totally get this... Congrats on the size 46 and btw--I too have been keeping something on my fridge--a letter from my doctor regarding diabetes... if that doesn't keep me from reaching for the sweets, I don't know what will.


  4. Hi Alan, What I like about your approach is that it isn't all or nothing.
    I don't think ALL OR NOTHING is always doomed to fail, but I do think it is for the few and far between. I think little changes over the long haul produce spectacular results....which is very very cool.
    Great post.

  5. Wonderful post with wonderful, common sense tips. And...CONGRATULATIONS on losing those inches and sizes! That is huge! hahaha no pun intended. :D It feels so good to be surprised by clothes fitting. May the good feelings continue!


  6. congrats alan keep up the good stuff!

  7. If I had a Perseverance Award, you'd get it!

    But all I have to pass on right now is the one on today's post that I tagged you for. You deserve it! (now that you already finished that cool poster showing your awards!)


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