How I Lost 100 Pounds
Let me share a little story with you about New Year’s resolutions and goal setting and how they helped me lose 100 pounds in a year’s time.
At the age of 23 I was 6’1” tall and weighed 308 pounds.
I was considered morbidly obese by medical standards. This means that my weight was putting me at higher risk of death from various diseases such heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, cancer, and osteoarthritis.
I was overweight since the age of 10, which made my childhood miserable. It also caused me to be socially awkward during my high school years, which led me to be picked on, and harassed verbally.
My weight affected my self-confidence on many levels as an adolescent and it caused me to look at food, as source of comfort and escape. The consumption of food had become a drug that affected my health and overall wellbeing as an adult.
The Day That Turned My Life Around
It was New Year’s Eve 1996. I had recently graduated college and was looking forward to getting out into the work force and living my life. I remember being out with a few friends celebrating the ringing in of the New Year and seeing people around me mingling about. I painfully realized that no one was mingling with me. I was also acutely aware that women weren’t paying any attention to me.
Now I know that many people would say that my weight wasn’t the problem but that it was my self-confidence. However, my weight was the problem. It made me feel and look less attractive to the opposite sex and affected my self-confidence on so many levels.
3 Ingredients to Weight Loss
- First Ingredient: Create A Burning Desire To Change
After that night I had a deep realization and breakdown. I confided to a dear friend who was deeply dedicated to fitness. I told him that I was sick and tired of being fat. I hated feeling the way that I did that night. When I said I hated it, I truly detested it. That feeling was my internal driving force and motivating factor to want to make the change.
You see many other times in life I had attempted to lose the weight only to be unsuccessful. My attempts were always futile and I failed time and time again.
Why Was That?
I had never felt like I did that New Year’s Eve. I had never been so furious at myself before. I swore to myself that I no longer wanted to be fat. I was totally disgusted with myself and wanted to make the change no matter what I had to do. That’s what fueled my desire to accomplish my goal.
Wanting to change is one thing, having something to truly motivate you is another thing. I have found with my particular story that my emotions at the time were the greatest motivational factor for me to put in the effort to change.
Change needs to be motivated by a burning desire to do so. The pain, disgust, and unhappiness can fuel and motivate you
2. Second Ingredient: Have Specific Measurable Goals
This time I told my friend that I was serious and that I would need his help. He told me that we needed to know exactly how much I weighed at the beginning of my weight loss project.
The second part of achieving the goal was to put a number on the amount of weight I wanted to lose and when I wanted to lose it by. He specifically told me we had to make it realistic. I wanted to lose 40 pounds of pure fat in six months. My starting date for this project was February 3rd and my end date was July 3rd.
Now we needed to know exactly how much I weighed at the time and what my body fat composition was. I weighed 308lbs and my body fat composition was 28%.
The reason we measured my body fat was because the goal was to lose pure body fat and not lean muscle mass. This was going to help spike my metabolism and keep the process synergistic for achieving maximum results in minimal amount of time.
3. The Third Ingredient: Self-Discipline
The next thing that I needed to do was to follow was my friend’s directions to a T, and make sure that I didn’t falter in any way.
He had an extensive background in fitness and nutrition so he mentored me through the process of what type of workouts I needed to do in order to achieve maximum results.
Prescription For Success
He said I had to train in a gym at least 5 days a week in addition to my martial arts training. Mon-Wed-Fridays were to be dedicated to cardiovascular exercise such as biking for 30 minutes. Tuesdays and Thursdays were dedicated to weight training for one hour.
He also told me that I would have to follow the diet he had prescribed me.
He knew that my eating habits were extremely poor. I had to eat a balanced diet that consisted of protein, carbs, complex carbs and fat. I needed to keep my fat content for the day under 30 grams a day. I also had to make sure that my sodium levels were kept under 1000 grams. I was not to have any condiments with any of my meals–no butter or oils of any sort.
I was limited to three meals a day–breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also needed to keep my caloric intake to around 2500 to 3000 calories per day.
Results You Can See and Feel
I began my weight loss program as planned on February 3, 1996. The first three weeks of my program were the hardest. Getting up at 5:30 a.m. to go to the gym before work was excruciating yet necessary.
I sweated a lot and worked hard to follow my program. Even though the first 3 weeks were extremely difficult, I began to get measurable results in my fourth week.
I lost 10 lbs in my first month and lost 2 percent body fat. I was elated; my hard work was paying off. I went from weighing 308 pounds to 298 pounds.
As time went by I began to lose more and more weight. Getting up early and working out had become a habit after the 4th week and no longer began to bother me as much. I just viewed it as something that had to be done, “part of the gig” as I like to say.
Finally July 3, 1996 rolled around quicker then you would know. At the end of my diet and exercise program, I weighed 248 pounds and was at 15% body fat.
My goal was to get down to 268 pounds and I got down to 248—20 pounds more than what I thought I could do. After this triumph, I said to myself “If I lose another 40 pounds I’ll get down to 208.”
I knew that I could do it so I continued to stay on course with my workout routine and diet. On February 3rd 1997, a year to the day after I started my program, I weighed 208 pounds and was 11.5% body fat.
I had lost a total of 100 pounds and reduced my body fat by 16.5% in a year. I attribute my success to coming up with a strategic plan with my fitness coach to achieve my goal.
Now looking back on it, that plan would be nothing without the burning desire to change.
Recipe For Your Success
- You need to have a burning desire to change and you will succeed no matter what.
- You need to know what is your starting point.
- You need to know what is your destination or end point.
- Your results need to be measured along the way “someone needs to hold you accountable.
- You need to know what do in order to get there and you need the self-discipline to do it no matter what…. NO MATTER WHAT!
If you follow these goals obediently, you will achieve them. I speak from experience!
Remember you need to see yourself attaining your goal and the feelings you’ll be rewarded with when you get there.
A resolution without these elements is a recipe for failure. Simplicity is the key to your success.
Have fun embarking on the New Year and remember to change because you truly want to change, not just because it’s a new year. The fire to change must be kindled from deep within the core of your being …. Don’t get pulled into the hype, do it for yourself. Remember what is outlined here can be applied to almost any endeavor you are interested in improving … Stay True to yourself.