Tightening Screws is Always Hardest

Sherry and me in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.

It has become readily apparent to me that it’s time to buckle down, tighten the screws, and get back to eating healthy and exercising without anymore excuses. I’ve allowed far too much alcohol into my diet as well as making sketchy food decisions while drinking.

It’s not that I drink a lot. I honestly don’t. But this summer has had many occasions that socially led me to imbibe alcoholic beverages, and when I’m drinking, my self-control slides away and I find myself eating in a way that is not conducive to my best health. It’s not that I go completely off the rails (except sometimes), but I tend to over-eat. Even healthy foods in large amounts results in too many calories.

So, starting today, I’m back to my very strict Paleo diet. If it’s not compliant, it’s not going in my mouth, and that includes alcohol. I’m also sticking to the healthy portion sizes and not going for seconds. It’s going to be tough for the next few days as my body has to get used to the reduced calorie intake, but it’s become necessary.

I’m also starting my 6-day/week exercise plan. Don’t worry; I’m not going, “All out.” I’m still being very careful and slow with my progress, but I am increasing the number of days I’m committing to the exercise.

I’ve had to resort to the “Fake it ‘til you make it” mindset when it comes to my running and weightlifting. I keep repeating to myself throughout the day, “I get to run. I get to lift weights!” in a positive manner. It’s kind of funny. Even though I know I’m not all-in on feeling motivated, repeating it over and over actually has an effect, and I do find myself more motivated and excited to get started. Attitude is so important.

I am searching for something to do in addition to StrongLifts 5×5 and my running. I’m not sure yet what that will be, but I feel like it’s just not enough. I do ride my mountain bike on the “Off” days from lifting, and I don’t want to add anything for those days, but on my “On” days, I feel like I need more. I’ll continue to investigate the options and I’ll report back here when I find something.

I haven’t weighed myself yet. I’m not sure I’m going to, to be honest. While the scale is the easiest measure of our overall health, I’m going to forego that. I, instead, will be focusing on how my clothes fit, how I look, how I feel, and how fit I am. I’m less concerned with a number and more concerned with the holistic approach to my health: the sum of all the different measures. The scale has a lot of power over how we feel, and I honestly want to avoid that this time. I’m not sure how it’s going to work out, but time will tell. I’m optimistic that this is a good approach.

I will be going on active duty in the military starting in October, and I need to be in good shape by then both physically and in terms of my fitness levels. I have very specific goals to reach, and I’m going to do my best to reach them without sabotage. So, while to some, what I’m starting today may seem very strict and restrictive is actually a path toward liberation and freedom. Liberating myself from a lack of good fitness right now, and freedom to do whatever I want physically without restraint.

I get to run. I get to lift weights.

Podcast: Extra Skin

This is a question I’m asked pretty regularly by people who are obese and worried about what their skin might look like after losing a large amount of weight. Listen to my podcast to hear my thoughts and experiences on the matter.

TMI Time: Extra Skin After Weight Loss

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A difference of over 140 lbs.

This is something I get asked pretty often once people become more comfortable with me and feel like they can ask me more personal questions. I’m okay with it, as I’m not the most modest person when it comes to body image. “Do you have a lot of extra skin since you lost so much weight?” Fair question, and it was one of my major concerns when I started on this weight loss and fitness journey. The short answer is, “Not really.”

I have seen many photos and heard accounts of people who had lost 100+ lbs and they have flabs of skin hanging off of them. These people typically lost their weight very quickly, likely a result of either gastric bypass surgery or a lap band. These people will lose weight very quickly, and as a result, the skin doesn’t have time to shrink over the lost body mass.

Since I lost my weight naturally and without the aid of surgery or other outside sources, my loss was at a slower, albeit rather steady pace. I lost about 6-10 lbs/month on average which, while it seems very vast, in the grand scheme of things, is considered a healthy and safe rate of loss. As a result, my body has done a decent job of shrinking the skin around my reduced frame. Is it perfect? Of course not; I have lost over 140 lbs so far, and it’s hard for the body to shrink the skin that much within a year and a half. However, the amount of extra skin I have is pretty negligible, and I can see it continue to shrink monthly. I am not sure if my running is helping, or if it’s just a natural process taking place, but there is more and more of my muscles showing and less and less skin surrounding it.

WARNING: The following is a photo of me without clothing on. It is definitely not safe for work, and I recommend not opening it anyplace where nudity is frowned upon. I am covered from showing anything graphic, but I am otherwise not wearing any clothing. I am posting this photo only to demonstrate that you can lose 140 lbs in 18 months and not have a lot of skin hanging off your body.

You have been warned!

Continue reading “TMI Time: Extra Skin After Weight Loss”