Before reading further, I want to make the following disclaimer:
My casual experience of losing weight documented below is strictly not for everyone and should not be treated as an advice until at least commented by experts and claimed to not represent health risks.
I have a casual success story to tell you about how I lost weight unplanned and ask you if it was a correct way to do it. Why casual you ask? It's because I wasn't consciously planning to lose weight which seems to be controversial to what most people preach - "People that have a goal will get there someday." What about people who don't have goals but reach them?
Let me clarify that until age of 18, I was eating an unhealthy diet. I was eating mostly sandwiches and didn't like stewed food such as vegetables and I didn't eat soups at all. The bad thing was that I mostly was distracted by staring into computer during meal consumption, the activity known for being bad for digestion which caused acid reflux in me. Mostly after every meal I didn't feel it was enough and wanted something else, something different and more tasty which was snacks like chips, candies or chocolates.
My Success Story
A few months until then I quit eating snacks like chips, quit eating sugar stuff like chocolate and chocolate waffles, changed what i ate late evening to reduced amounts of fruits and vegetables, quit drinking very sweet apple juices,quit drinking poisonous and addictive substances like Coca Cola and Red Bull alike copycat products.
It all started 2 weeks before New Year and I subconsciously made myself a goal to clean/square away my flat so it will shine before New Year starts. Every day I was feeling energized getting up early and working my sweat/butt off until 3AM-5AM the next day often feeling exhausted and consuming maximum of one meal during whole day and sometimes not eating at all, but not forgetting to drink of course. I was feeling sometimes nauseous which was mostly reason I wasn't eating more than one meal or any at all. Let me add as well that I also did morning exercises including sit-ups, push-ups, raising/lowering legs while lying on bed, exercises with dumbbells and runs of a couple of miles on a non-flat elevated/lowered distance which I think put more strain on heart. Something was driving me and keeping me energized to do everything meticulously and perfectly. Finally all was brushed, cleaned, squared away in such a way that rented flat seemed in such condition that I just moved in i.e like a new.
Two years ago my weight was 253.5 lbs and I was diagnosed with fatty liver, had hypertension - in short I was under risk of several medical conditions and I had to do something about it. A year later my weight saw small improvement to 242.5 lbs as I started stabilizing my diet and in last year alone I went from 242.5 lbs to 205 lbs which according to BMI index was still above my healthy BMI of 85kg = 187.39 lbs.
Today my weight is ... drumroll please ... Within my healthy BMI - 82kg which is 180.77 lbs!
That's right ladies and gents, I did it! But I couldn't do it without changing my mindset and the following 5 character traits which some I was born with and some nurtured in myself in the course of my lifetime which are:
- Goal Orientation (born with and nurtured further)
- Discipline (nurtured)
- Willpower (nurtured)
- Motivation (nurtured)
- Patience (born with and nurtured further)
There is a saying about once you start doing something, you become better at it. Same is true for fitness, because when I started, it was tough to perform exercises as easy as I perform them today. I couldn't do more than 1 full push-up compared to 13 full push-ups I do today. I coudn't walk and run 4 miles as easy as I walk and run them today.
How do I feel today? More energized, happier, optimistic and most importantly healthier than before ready to burn remainder of fat and get in optimal shape. Cholesterol levels reduced by twice, risks of medical conditions are eliminated, I think more clearly and there is a little memory improvement.
One thing is sure - losing weight is easier compared to maintaining weight when you need to maintain balance to stay within limits and be concerned of food you consume trying to not go "offroad."
Now I want to ask fitness coaches, bodybuilders and nutritionists:
Was the way I lost weight safe? What mistakes I made? What I should have done differently and what should I improve?
Appreciate your opinions and suggestions!
UPDATE July 20th, 2014: Hello people! In this world, nothing is exempt from cause and effect so let me update you on my fitness.
Over 2 and half years ago I started doing runs once or twice per day while weighing 253.5 lbs. I have been running in low quality running shoes and while it still had its sole in normal condition, I slowly felt as it gets more compressed over time until it became thin. The effect of this is that I have developed pain in my right knee running in low quality running shoes which were not absorbing shocks well. These days I no longer run because I am quite busy and after almost every long run I have aching knee. Sometimes short run can cause mild ache. I have learned lesson the hard way and I hope I will be able to improve my knee's condition. I would appreciate your input regarding this problem.
My weight is more or less 175 lbs which is within healthy range because in my opinion I have stabilized my metabolism. Did I just coin this "metabolism stabilization" thing? I think my body became less bearable for sugar consumption because the amount of sugar I could eat when was overweight, eating same amount now would make me feel nauseous and even throw up. For example I drank tea and coffee with 2 teaspoons but today only 0.5 teaspoon is enough. Today drinking morning coffee could make me satiated until noon.
Is Sugar Threshold For Headache Real?
Not long ago, my acquaintance from internet mentioned something about sugar consumption thershold and sugar withdrawal effects. So what have I learned about this and what happens if I overconsume sugar? First it starts with brainfog and then ends with headache lasting in the range of 1-3 days rarely turning into migraine where I lie suffering. I think this brings me to possible answer to question of why I was having many headaches in teenage years (some were due to impaired eyesight in a period when I didn't have glasses). Now that I think of my diet back then, it's crazy. I would not eat soups but sandwiches and after sandwiches would ear chocolate and chips after which I often drank Coca-Cola or sugar-stuffed juices. In fact, it was the only beverage I drank instead of mineral water because I hated it and was addicted to that poison. Food that looks good on the outside may be poison on the inside. Lesson learned.
Most of the time I drink tea, coffee and when summer comes, I buy juices but I never drink them as they are. Even if I tried, due to sugar (intolerance? / resistance?) my body developed I would feel nauseaus and probably develop headache. I always water juices down with mineral water and though I still drink mineral water, I don't drink daily recommended amount per day. People, what those bastards who are behind juice manufacturing doing is unacceptable!
Why Sometimes I Feel Tired And Lethargic?
I still have those moments when I feel slow, lazy and drowsy ("energy crash"?). At work, this really hits my productivity. You can even Google about this and find out that many people experience this. I think this has to do with amount of food I consume and it is recommended to eat 3/4 of meal since you will feel satiated after quarter and hour. In the morning though I wake up before 6AM and only drink coffee which lasts me until noon which is where I eat launch and then get drowsy and sleepy. Not good feeling and I will need to find out the solution though I think high-quality morning coffee with coconut oil could be the answer. Eating more frequently in small amounts could be the way too as I am not sure about coffee similar to "bulletproof coffee" that I drank. You can Google this if you are interested to learn more but the coffee I drank was past expiry date (yeah I know...) Arabica wholebeans coffee with added amount of grass-fed butter. After a while it caused hearburns so I stopped drinking it.
Sometimes I have food cravings and get to eat more until feeling "energy crash". I start from vegetables and end up with full stomach which is where I feel it is harder to move and want a nap. What is the reason people overeat? Those who are less busy and stay home more often than people who work their butt, get to overeat and ad weight. Usually this is when watching TV and feeling bored when commercial hits in. You go to grab a snack to to make it in time when show is back on. Similar with computer being bored when surfing internet or waiting videogame level to load. All of this leads to uncontrolled food consumption and obesity. Personally I try to not eat when watching TV or using computer because I get to lose focus and enjoy food leading me to compensate later.
Try to keep yourself busy in order to forget about snacks and start eating healthy and in time. When you are hungry, you will eat everything and forget about snacks.
How I Maintained Shape When I Worked at The Office
I was working at the office full-time in last 6 months and I had to stay productive. I did not quite understand why people working at the office complained about their job because I assumed physical work is the the one to complain about but now I do. In my case sitting chained to computer for 9 hours in my case was not as I thought it to be, especially sitting through a few hours after lunch break. I was fighting myself to not falling asleep and I was lethargic and drowsy. Eventually I have found how to stay in optimal shape, retaining mental clarity and creativity (my job requred that) in the morning and more or less after lunch time.
In the morning I was waking up 15 minutes earlier and doing simple excercises and excercises with dumbbells if I had time. I drank a glass of lemon citric acid, small bottle of probiotic yogurt and black arabica grinded coffee for the road. I didn't eat until 1PM and felt good. Sometimes I was forgetting about lunch for a couple of hours more until I felt I could no longer think and had feeling of fainting.
There were days where I came to work and drank instant coffee with milk and half teaspoon of sugar and was satiated until 5PM without anything else whatsoever! I guess instant coffee (with its toxins) works well for me...
For lunch break while it wasn't good solution, I reduced home meal from full portion to 3/4 and sometimes 1/2. After that I haven't eaten until 7PM-8PM and that's when I came home. I tried to eat salads as often as I could and then gone to sleep around 10PM but still I was still tempted sometimes to eat carbs.
Nightly Meals Should Be Eaten At Least 2 Hours Before Bed
I still eat late but not quite as often as before. I have noticed that when I eat something easy as salad and drink tea, I end up waking up with better mood and feel easy and eneretic. I also wake up hungry and eat healthy breakfast. Whereas eating sandwich, meat, chocolate even 2 hours before bed makes me feel sleepy in the morning, reluctant to eat with impaired energy.
When I want to eat 10 minutes before bed I ask myself - "Why would I eat now if I am going to sleep just to enjoy food and feeling not good in the morning?"
Sometimes this works but if it is not, I eat vegetables like carrots and fruits like apple and orange as this works okay for me.
What I have Noticed Happens when "Coming off of Tracks"
Here I refer to excessive carbs and sugar consumption which sometimes happens to me and results in bigger layer of visceral fat on belly which I am able to observe a day after when doing morning push-ups. I was actually see more of belly's fat hanging the day after "abusing carbs and sugar" and almost flat belly when not consuming carbs and sugar for several days. Can some of you relate to this or I am imagining things?
How I Am Able to Supress My Appetite for Half Day
Coffee - like mentioned above, if I drink instant coffee with milk and at least 1 teaspoon of sugar, I can stay satiated until evening. What really boosts the effects is added teaspoon of cocont oil and thinking of food would make me feel nauseus. I don't do this frequently because this method while works, can probably be unhealthy for those with stomach problems.
Working out - I don't want to eat for many hours after intensive 1 hour workout. If at some point I get tempted to eat carbs and sugar, I would do intensive workout again but it doesn't have to be 1 hour long anyway. I guess when body actively catabolizes and later afterburns, food is the least I can think about?
As I was on my weight loss path, I think slow conditioning of subconscience played a big part. Do one thing dozen of times until you forget about it and your subconscience starts doing it or you could just end up being OCD about it. If latter is the case, let's hope it is something healthy for your body.
That's all from me now. I hope you enjoyed reading it and if you have anything to add, feel free to do so. Let's talk.