Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Not Nutri-System, Not Weight Watchers, But It's Simple and I Lost 30 pounds in Less than 90 Days

In April, I preached at a conference and at that time I was 232 lbs.  It's not the most in my life. I've been up to 240 before.  230 to me has been a nasty top limit of weight.  I say "nasty" because I shouldn't be at the top limit.  It is in fact a top limit.  And it shouldn't even be my top limit.  It's a top limit that became one when I didn't stay at other top limits.

I am about 6'3" tall, so some would say I carry my weight well, and my doctor said I wasn't fat, even though the chart would say I was.  I lifted weights since I was in high school, nothing in the way of body-building, just a faithful 30 minutes three days a week kind of thing.  About three years ago, I shifted to a maintenance shorter hybrid of a P90x type weight exercise that is about push-ups and few other exercises with dumbbells.  I've been faithful to some kind of running all this time too, recently to jogging 2 1/2 miles 3-4 times a week.

I haven't been a huge eater.  I actually have watched what I ate.  I haven't snacked a lot. However, what occurred is that slowly I added weight.  It was cumulative.  Inching up.  A second helping of supper.  A donut whenever one was around.  A few cookies here and there.  Chips when the bag was sitting there open.

We bought a single family home, which was a wreck, about a year and a half ago.  The first year I remodeled it.  And at the height of that, I went down to 212 at my lowest from the sheer intensity of it.  20 lbs picked up in a year.  Hmmmm.  Did I say my metabolism was low?

But I digress.  To my diet.

To me, a diet needs to be simple, something not difficult to keep track of.  The diet itself shouldn't be too much labor.  And I've found it doesn't work for me, if I cheat, so I need to have a clear delineation of what I could eat, and I could eat nothing else besides that.   Anything else was cheating.  I've found that if I allow myself to cheat, then I'm not in fact on the diet any more.  At this point, the age of 52, I know that losing weight is 75-80% the diet and 20-25% the exercise. You have to have both, but it is by far mainly the diet.

The first month I did not change my exercising at all, and I lost the most weight.  I didn't add any exercise to lose the most weight.  I know I lost the most in the first 30 days because the first weight that you lose is the easiest to lose, and especially the first week.  I understand that people say that you need a diet that will allow you to keep the weight off.  Sure.  But I can tell you that I'm not going to continue eating exactly like this when I'm done, but I have a diet to go to when I reach my new top limit.

I said I was 232.  When I started the diet, I was 230, and that was my initial weigh in.  My goal is 200, and I weighed myself today after eating lunch and I was 201.  I'm not worried about reaching the goal, because I have two more weeks.  You may think, 'Wow, 200, that's still a big person.'  Right. But 200 on me is skinny.  No gut, not even a paunch.

The first week I lost 7 pounds, and out of all the other weeks, I've lost 4, 3 twice, 2 is the most constant number, most weeks 2, and once zero.  Yes, zero one week.  I could not do the diet faithfully that week for several reasons, and I knew it was a potential zero week.  But a zero week is not a weight gain week.  Maintaining is what life looks like after the diet.

I think you want to know what the diet was.  I'll tell you and I do recommend it, because it worked.  I know it did.  You should know this.  Despite the fact that it worked doesn't mean that I wasn't hungry all of the time, and I'm hungry right this moment.  I'm hungry still after I eat. You've got to be hungry to lose weight in any conventional way.  Part of losing weight is learning to deal with hunger.

I'm not a doctor, so this comes with that disclaimer.  You are taking your life into your own hands. I started the diet because my doctor said my cholesterol was borderline.  He talked about cholesterol medicine.  I wouldn't take it anyway.  I didn't tell him that, but I told him that I didn't need it because I would lose the weight.  Since getting to around 210, my acid reflux is gone and I stopped snoring.  That's right, my weight loss stopped my snoring, which probably means I'm getting more oxygen at night.  I know that lots of other things are better, including all my joints.  By the way, my skin is better too, I've noticed.

OK, here goes.  I'm serious this time.

Breakfast:  A pear, a banana, and a cup of coffee.
Lunch:  A bowl of oatmeal (two packets of instant oatmeal).
Supper:  Either a salad with some meat in it, or a salad with cottage cheese or a salad with a hot dog.  Yes, it's better to have good stuff in the salad, like spinach.  I use clear salad dressing, never ranch or something creamy like that.  If not a salad, then a bowl of soup.  The soup is my own idea, which is a bowl of chicken broth with green beans and sometimes peas in it.  I have added a cut up piece of chicken breast in that soup too.
I do have a snack available, a half glass of vegetable juice, like V8 (you can buy generic), in the afternoon.  This is like a donut, really.
About an hour before bed, a hot beverage to sip on.

I did that diet for 2 months.   You really know when you've cheated, because it's so simple.  On Saturday night, our family has a pizza night.  That's my only break in the week, but I cut down on the number of slices from 6 to 4, and the ones I eat are slimmer.  During this third month, which isn't over yet, I've added some food purposefully.  I want protein, because of the exercise I've added, and so when I'm done exercising, I eat two hard boiled eggs immediately and drink a lowfat glass of milk.  That's quite a bit of protein and it's like a steak dinner when you are on a diet.  That is all I have added though.

I haven't had a snack since I started.

OK, during my second month on the diet, I did thirty days of P90x for my exercise.  I used youtube and watched other people do it, and followed along with them.  You don't have to buy it. To splurge this summer, for this month, I joined a 24 hour fitness, and and on a 6 day regime that includes 55 minutes of cardio (the eliptical or treadmill) and then this schedule:  Mon-Legs, Tues-Core and Abs, Wed-Upper Body, Thurs-Legs, Fri-Core and Abs, Sat-Upper Body.  I've enjoyed the gym because of how easy it is to work hard on machines and free weights.  However, I would rather just do the P90x. I did the gym for a month for my wife to help her reach her goals.

Like I said, I just weighed myself after lunch and I was 201. I've not been on the scale and have reached my goal of 200, but that will likely be this week, a week and a half or so short of 90 days. Today at 24 hour fitness, I saw a commercial for nutri-system and it was sort of funny because I know it is unnecessary and then more complicated than what I do.   Even though my goal is 200, I'm going to try for 197-198 or so, so that if I gain, it will be up to 200.  My goal for maintaining is changing the top limit, and then going to this very diet for a week at a time, when I need to get it back down.  I will also be more careful, because I don't want to do this diet. :-D

Let me know if you try my diet and tell me if it is working.  You can comment here when you do.  It works!!


KJB1611 said...

Dear Pastor Brandenburg,

We recently purchased an exercise bike for our house. I like getting exercise on it because I can read or do other study of Scripture while exercising – knowing that I can do that is an incentive to me to get on the bike. Right now I'm trying to memorize the Gospel of John in Greek, and I'm using my time on the exercise bike to do my memorization.

Joe Cassada said...

Great job on the weight loss!

I hope it helps some to get motivated and lose weight. Ministers are notoriously an overweight demographic.

Exercise is key - weightlifting 3x a week is what I prefer. I think Bunyan recommended frequent hikes and weekly horseback riding for ministers to stay healthy.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Great to hear about the exercise bike. Hope that does well in your cold winters.


Thanks. I think it's great that you pump the iron. I like your Bunyan references too. Thanks.