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Weight Loss – 3 years (and 5 days) in

With all that is going on both professionally and personally, I forgot to celebrate an important day on Sunday... the 3 year anniversary of me starting Nutrisystem!

History thus far:

Start (5/3/2006): 415.2 lbs

End of Year 1 (5/3/2007): 291.2 (down 124)

End of Year 2 (5/3/2008): 224.2 (down 191)

8/10/2008: 215 lbs (down 200.2)

End of Year 3 (5/3/2009): 252.8

Your eyes do not deceive you, despite having lost ~205 over 30 month period... I've since gained ~40 of that back... to explain some of how that happened, it's important to tell the story of how the weight first got started so many years ago.

History of the weight

Due to food allergies from a very young age (pre-kindergarten), I was put on a diet that avoided not only certain foods I was known to react poorly to (behaviorally, not so much physically), as well as so many of those pesky pesticides and herbicides that some worry about.

Each day I went to school with a lunchbox of foods that didn't quite look the same as what everyone else was having (rather than Cheerios I had Oat-e-oos, rather than chocolate cookies I had carob ones (the list goes on)) and all was well in the world... except for that I'd already had issues making friends and having such a difference made things even harder.

Eventually one day in 4th grade I had enough, I said I was done with the whole diet thing and began to eat normal cafeteria food.

On the surface this wouldn't seem like a bad thing... only because of always eating out of a box at school... I'd never fully learned proper portion control. That... coupled with the fact that all of the cafeteria food was just so delicious (compared to what I had been having for lunch) that I'd when I'd get done with the food on my tray and I'd go back for seconds, sometimes even thirds, all the while almost never going out to recess afterwards.

At this point two things happened... 1) my behavior changed radically and eventually lead to my parents deciding that this the school wasn't the right place for me (something I'd been advocating since the first day of kindergarten in fact), 2) I began to gain weight.

Prior to quitting the diet, I was a fairly scrawny kid, not super short, but not at all on the taller side of things, pretty average in fact (except for when you'd turn me on my side I'd virtually disappear), but after quitting the weight just began to grow and I never really took steps to prevent it.

What about the recent 40?

All was going well last fall where I'd largely plateaued ~210 lbs, was going to the gym 2-3x a week and doing both strength and cardio training to try to eliminate some of the remaining fat pockets (which were leading to awful muffin top issues and requiring me to wear slightly baggy shirts) and generally boost my metabolism, something I'd really not tried through much working out previously... then things got busy.

In November I was sent to PDC & WinHEC in LA, and due to what I knew was going to be a tight schedule that would also likely involve me having a difficult time doing the additional grocery shopping I would need to do, I opted not to bring my food with.

I figured that a week or two of mostly eating out wasn't going to kill me or set me to far back.

Then came a 2+ week long vacation spread between South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota and involved plenty of good home-style cooking, a pair of Thanksgiving dinners (in the same day no less) and more eating out, most of which to precluded my being able to bring my own food with.

Come December I was trying to get things back on track... only to have some family visit and again... more eating out and even a big ole Christmas dinner.

Somewhere along the way... I had a glimpse into something I'd long forgotten... a semblance of being 'normal' and not having to obsess over what I eat.

This bout with normalcy was only a half-assed one really as while I still mostly stuck with my Nutrisystem foods... but would also sometimes forget to bring lunch and have something (almost certainly bad for me) from Café 43 on campus (the cafeteria a short walk down a few flights of stairs and out a door from my office), however this level of cheating was enough to negate much of the goodness from the parts of the diet I was following.

Then... the fire came, completely throwing my personal life into a bit of chaos which created a bit of a sense of 'awe *(&$-it', at which point I did a little more fast food and other bad things I shouldn't have.

On the plus side though, all the while I stayed at least semi-regular with the gym, even to the point that I decided at one point that walking to work on most days I wasn't going to the gym was probably wearing my legs out a bit so I should pick one (the gym won out).

A couple of times since the 'awe *(&$-it' I've tried to restart the diet, usually going a couple of weeks before straying to various levels of badness... though I am hopeful that the last restart sticks.

Unfortunately though, hitting 210 again is likely going to be more difficult the second time than it was the first... partially because this time around my body knows what I'm trying to do (and likely doesn't like it)... but also because in the ~9 months I've regularly been going to the gym (except for most of November) I've built of a fair bit of strength in certain areas:


(Entertaining sidebar: Unfortunately a few months ago I had to buy a new arm band for my Zune as the old one seemed to be getting smaller and smaller as time went on and kept falling off when at the gym, go fig?)

And we all know that muscle mass is still mass, so even if I am replacing 1 lb of fat with 1 lb of muscle, while I may trim/firm up a bit, the scale will still report me as the same weight.

So... that's my report on the last year, major successes during the first half... and major setbacks during the second, with any luck by the time year 4 rolls around I'll be in a far better place physically than I am today.

Although the recent 'awe *(&$-it' stage also reminds me that at one point I am going to need to figure out what I'm going to do when I eventually reach and can maintain a weight/build I am happy with and move away from the Nutrisystem foods... as my cooking skills are largely non-existent (which is another reason for the initial weight gain).


So now without further ado... the requisite photo montage:

Before start:

Before - FrontBefore Side

Year 1:

Year 1 - FrontYear 1 - Side

Year 2:

2 Years In - 192 down2 Years In - 192 down - side

Year 3 (on Wednesday):


While it may not look like there is much of a difference between year 2 and 3... take my word for it, it's there. While the shirt(s) in year 2 and 3 look the same, while both are labeled XLT, the one worn in year 3 fits far better than the one in year 2 I'm sad to say.

One upshot

Before closing, I do need to point out one strange benefit of what has happened in the last 6 months... arguments have been easier to win.

A few months back while disagreeing with a co-worker over the correct implementation for something during a meeting and rather than finish things there, someone suggested (rightly) that we meet later to discuss the issue or just arm wrestle over it... to which I agreed and without thinking said "lets just do a quick arm wrestle now to save time"... to which the co-worker said "I don't know... let me see your arms" at which point I pulled up the sleeve of my shirt and the co-worker jumped back and decided not to proceed with the match.

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Published May 08 2009, 03:20 AM by I Hate Linux
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