Welcome to Part II. At the point I left off, it was March of 2013 and I had just decided to try the South Beach 2wk intro phase so that when it didn't work, I could tell the Doc that I'd tried real hard.
From June 2008 to January 2013 I had lost about 50 lbs, gotten generally pretty decently fit, and I didn't really expect to go much below 210 lbs. In other words, I expected to be overweight my entire adult life.
Anyway, enough recap. Where was I?
Ahh, yes. South Beach.
Son of a bitch, it worked.
Now, I could type this story like it was easy. It wasn't. I was reprogramming my brain and my taste buds. I desperately wanted beer and pizza, but both were verboten. And French fries. Oh, to eat a French fry. French fries topped with ice cream topped mashed potatoes topped with Kraft Mac n' Cheese.
The month I spent on myFitnessPal wasn't horrible, but that tool isn't meant to do what I was trying to do (30 lbs in 3 months). I came out of the first month in pretty rough shape. In hindsight, I wasn't eating ENOUGH calories. When I went on the diet and then cranked my cardio I was putting myself in trouble mode.
But South Beach was different. I counted servings, but not overall calories or carbs or anything. Just servings of certain foods.
As bad as I felt, I could have stopped. Maybe I should have. But, I was determined. I was not going to be weak and fail. I stayed on plan and the weight came off. I hit my 30 lb mark and kept going, finally hitting a natural plateau at 195/197 or minus-40 from where I started and minus-90 overall.
I stuck with the plan. The longer I was on South Beach, the easier it got. I didn't realize until much later that somewhere in the middle I'd stopped craving fries, pizza, and beer.
Your brain is sneaky that way.
I returned for my recheck and the doctor was amazed. "Good grief ... NOBODY, EVER does what I tell them." My extended family was overjoyed and said I looked like my high school senior picture from 20 years ago.
My wife's family (who had only ever known me at 235+) was ... convinced I had cancer, much to my amusement. Whispers behind my back, the whole works. Hah.
On May 1st 2013, I weighed in at 198.6. I have stayed at 193 to 200lbs for the ~18mo since.
Quick aside about South Beach: It gets lumped in with Atkins because it came about during the height of the low carb craze of the late 90s. It's actually more about having a balanced diet and staying away from simple sugars. I chose to implement it without any artificial sweeteners or processed foods, so my particular personal version of South Beach is perhaps almost a Paleo diet, which seems to be trendy now. But at its core, South Beach is about eating complex carbs (whole grains), high quality lean protein (mmm, filet mignon), minimizing bad fats (butter, bacon) and eating more good fats (avocado, oily fish). It's pretty tolerant to an active lifestyle and I can eat in most restaurants. (And yes, on Triathlon days and heavy workout days I cheat and use high quality gels, energy bars, and/or recovery shakes; body needs simple sugar to keep going under those circumstances).
Since June of 2008, I have taken 10 inches off my waist and reduced my shirt size from a US-2XL to a Large (no X, just Large). I'm quicker on the bike, easier on my equipment (no more broken spokes), and have greater stamina. Mrs. Durden appreciates that I no longer snore.
And ... I'm not on cholesterol meds.
I will stop here for Part II. But, if you're reading this and you're not happy with your weight, here's some advice from someone who's been there:
- Nobody can decide to lose the weight but you.
- It's likely taken you years to get the size you are, it's ok if it takes you years to get smaller.
- Small, incremental changes do add up.
- If you want to talk, convo me ingame.