How I am losing weight…’s not easy but the results are good so far. Have lost 12 kilograms and still looking to lose more weight.

I have always been on the heavy side and have tried to lose weight over the years with various diets and had some successes but always bounced back after a few years. I am not sure that if this is what will happen again but I have a lot of personal motivation now. I need to keep my blood pressure down as well my stress levels down due to my eye condition. An increase in blood pressure could affect my eyes and I certainly do not feel the need to take any risks, especially ones that I can control. So here is what I am doing now to get to a optimal weight for me and then go into some sort of maintenance mode. It is not easy but writing about is a good way to keep track and keep my motivation up…or at least lets hope so.

I am a pretty active person…when I am active :-) When I am not active I am a couch potato and love my couch to death!!! But I was working out every morning living weights and using the rowing machine. I would do curls with 22 kilos with each arm and row for an hour non stop. But I never lost weight. I would cycle 100+ kilometers every weekend and do long distance rides. I did a ride from Hiroshima to Kyoto which was about 450 kilometers and I was riding 100+ kilometers back to back daily for 4 days. And I actually gained weight at the end of the ride. The basic problem was my eating. I love to cook and would make these massive meals and enjoy them with friends. But I would continue to work out and cycle and all the time but weight was an issue. Finally I got to the point where even my new big pants were giving me problems. I was hitting 106 kilos at my peak!!! Perhaps this contributed to my detached retina issues, I am not sure but it most likely did not help. I have lost weight but am not done yet. I am looking for a target of 90 kilos and not being able to work out is not helping. But I have found new ways to do it!!

So this is my motivation diary, blog, log or whatever you want to call it. My approach is my approach and you will most likely not agree with it. In some cases it may feel drastic but I had a kick in the behind and drastic is what I needed. I tried atkins some years ago and was able to drop a lot of weight but after about a year I rebounded as I missed some of my favorite foods and could and felt that my body could not handle all of the meat and protein I was eating. I love my steaks but sometimes it got to be too much. I also love potatoes and could not stand not having any. So after a few years I bounced back. And then convinced myself that I was just big and if I continue to workout I would still be healthy. Not sure how well this worked out for me. I tried to get back on atkins again a few time but it never worked out. I tried low fat but I could not maintain that as there were too many temptations. I had a retinal detachment with my right eye and never really convinced myself that it was connected to my weight. I am still not sure but as I said before my weight increase probably did not help. It got worse after my right eye as I could not workout for a few months but I was back in the gym after a while and felt I was doing okay. Then I hit 106 I realized that I had to do something. I spoke to my brother who is into fitness and he told me to cut back on red meat and eat mostly vegetables, fish and chicken. Sounds straight forward and I had heard it many times before and read about this but trying to do it is difficult. A balanced diet rich in vegetables and lean protein. Well it does work but I am doing it in a slighty different way as I know myself and know that I will always be tempted. Especially when out with friends and having lunches with people at work and so on. So I made up some rules and try to follow them as best as I can.

First and foremost it is not easy! No silver bullet. I focus more on calorie intake than low fat and things seem to take care of themselves after that. I had this book which I had bought years ago called “Fat Burning Foods” by Judy Jameson. What I liked about it was that it provide a list of 30 foods that you could eat as much as you wanted. The books itself does not go behind the theory of fat burning foods and is pretty high level but does provide some recipes and a lot of stories of how people lost weight. The 30 foods that the book talks about are vegetables and fruits…and potatoes are on the list!!! I think I had bought this book along with the atkins book but preferred the atkins book at the time because it allowed steaks. I don’t really follow the book but just use the list of foods that that are listed as the “all you can eat” foods. My basic rules are pretty simple:

1. non fat blueberry yogurt and a banana for breakfast everyday or oatmeal with a banana on weekends. The oatmeal is not the instant kind but one one where you have the oats and make it yourself. I add honey and a banana in it.
2. Lunch is a salad only - lettuce or cabbage with some small pieces of chicken or fish - the chicken or fish is 2-3 pieces about the size of my pinky finger.
3. Dinner is usually only vegetables - baked or roasted potatoes or once in while a vegetable curry like channa that I make myself so i can control the ingredients. There will also be times when I just make a bowl of oatmeal. Yes nothing else just oatmeal.
4. If I go out for lunch or dinner I eat normally - what ever is available and usually no restrictions. I do stay away from fried foods and after a while I have found that I naturally gravitate to vegetables or fish or chicken.
5. No snacks!!! If I get hungry during the day I chew gum.
6. Drink water…lot of water!!

Thats it….easy!
The first four or five days are really tough. My body was fighting me every step of the way. I ate tons of gum to keep myself busy and I had several headaches as well. Water helped a lot. I also woke in the middle of the night hungry but forced myself back to sleep. My body got used to it and the headaches and hunger pangs went away. I could sleep through the night. After the first week my weight dropped by a kilo - not much but i was thrilled as i had not seen it drop in a long time. Only increase. After the second week I dropped another 2 kilos, after several more weeks I had dropped 5 kilos. Then BANG!!! I started to have issues with my left eye. I continued to follow regiment but then ended up in the hospital and thought I would not be able to maintain my weight loss since I know that I would not be able to workout or do anything. I was wrong. Everyday i would be served rice, miso soup, fish and some vegetables averaging about 1600 calories per day. Every food item was listed out with the amount of associated calories. About 50% - 60% of each meal was rice which is essentially zero fat calories. Pasta, rice or bread is something that I do not normally eat but I was in the hospital and I had to eat!! So rice it was. By the time I left the hospital I had lost close to another 5 kilos. I was still worried about the weight coming back after the hospital stay and that I would not be able to work out for many months or in the same manner I had before. But I got home and went back on my diet and I never gained the weight back. In fact over the next 4 weeks I dropped to 94 kilo which is where I am now. So in the span of 3 months I had dropped 12 kilo and and still looking for another 4 kilo.

With regard to exercise I was really worried as I am pretty restricted from doing anything. But the doctor did tell me that I could start walking. So now I walk everyday for several hours. I walk to work, about 7 kilometers, which takes me about 90 minutes and then walk home at night. On weekends I have started to go for long walks in the mornings. I have continued to see my weight drop and feel great. I picked up a pedometer to help me keep track of how long I walk, the number of steps, the distance, etc. I try for 10,000 steps a day which usually means about 7 to 8 miles. On most days I can reach this target.
Note that if I am planning on walking in the morning I do not eat before the walk. I will walk to work and then eat breakfast in the morning as an example. On weekends I usually get up early and go for a walk and then eat.

I am not sure what will happen when I reach my goal of 90 kilo and will look to figure out how to maintain or perhaps try to drop more. Guess we will see…no pun intend here :-) …

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