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Mowens's Diary

Discussion in 'Weight Loss Diary' started by Mowens1984, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

    Joined:
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    Never done anything like this before, but I could use some encouragement.

    First, the basics: I'm male, 31 years old, 5'10'' started out at 275lbs as of June 23rd, 2016.

    I decided on June 23rd of this year to get myself in shape. I've been working a desk job since 2007 where I sit for 10 hours a day, then I would go home and sit for another 8 hours and get maybe 5-6 hours of sleep a night. I did this for the last 10 years.

    I have 2 daughters, a 3 year old named Evelyn (Evie) and an 8 month old named Eleanor (Ellie) and when my 3 year old asked me to get in the floor and play with her, it was such a huge effort just to lay down to play with her, I nearly burst into tears. I promised myself I would get into better shape for their sake. My mom also passed away last October partly from complications arising from being obese and she was overweight most of her life. I want to get into shape in part to show that I appreciate the life that was given to me and that I won't waste it.

    I downloaded the "MyFitnessPal" app and it's companion "Record" which allows me to track workouts. I've gone from drinking about 5 soft drinks on average a day (Citrus Drop and Diet Coke mostly) down to drinking only water and the occasional flavored water (Sparkling Ice drinks they sell at Kroger) which are 0 calories.

    My app tells me if I want to lose about 1 1/2 pounds a week, I need to eat around 1900 calories a day. I've stuck to this very easily by simply cutting down on my portion sizes without really altering my diet much at all.

    Just last Thursday I decided it would be much easier to stay on track with my calories if I started exercising as well, so I started with just walking twice a day at work for about 10 minutes each time. This has been incredibly challenging for me already. Not for the sake of motivation but because my right ankle and both calves just burn like crazy from such a short walk. Years of sitting and having almost no activity has caused my muscles to just atrophy and it's very difficult to walk for even a few minutes.

    You wouldn't think I would be this out of shape by looking at me. I have fairly thin arms and legs and carry most of my weight in the torso, maybe if I feel bold enough I'll eventually post pictures if that is a feature on this site.

    I've been dropping weight very quickly without really meaning to and I intend not to overdo it. I am currently 259 pounds, down 16 pounds since June 23rd but my goal weight is somewhere between 180-200. I don't really know how far I can take this so I haven't settled on a number.

    Currently, my 2 biggest goals are just working on getting a flatter stomach (which is by far where I carry the most visible weight) and building stamina through walking more and more.

    I'm still a newbie at this weight loss and I'm trying not to go too crazy with it all at once, but I welcome any encouragement and tips for starting out.

    Thanks!
     
    LaMaria likes this.
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  3. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

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    I'm thinking I should also give an overview of my eating habits now in case someone has some easy suggestions to make.

    A typical day consists of the following:

    Breakfast: 2 packets of Maple brown sugar oatmeal and a banana or an apple most days.

    Lunch:
    A Banquet brand chicken pot pie or a can of Progresso chicken noodle soup with a side can of mandarin oranges or pears. I've just started trying some of those $1 meals that every other office worker in the world tends to eat but I've never been a big fan of them.

    Dinner:
    Fluctuates much more, sometimes Manwich, Hamburger Helper, tacos, pizza, dinner is usually by far my highest caloric intake and the only meal I get to have with my family so I tend to go overboard.

    Snacks:
    Gluten free pretzels, sunflower seeds, mixed nuts (salted and unsalted mixed), Lance cheddar crackers

    I'm not huge on eating vegetables. I'll eat peas, corn and green beans on occasion. My wife has gotten me to eat asparagus some but both of us are new to trying to even remotely eat healthy, so I'm taking baby steps at this point. Fruits I enjoy are bananas, purple grapes, red apples and pears.

    I'm a texture eater and a lot of foods just don't jive with my pallet. This makes it really hard to eat certain foods. I've tried eating lettuce 1,000 times and it makes me gag, so I have never eaten a salad in my entire life.
     
  4. cate

    cate Senior

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    Hi Mowens & welcome to the forum. I'll come back later with some suggestions as I'm in a bit of a hurry this morning. Good for you making a commitment to getting healthy. Cheers, Cate
     
  5. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

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    Hello cate and thank you for the warm welcome!

    Feeling a bit down on myself today. I weigh myself every day, and even though I hear people say not to do it too often, it's hugely motivating for me when I'm even an ounce down. It's been 3 days today since I've made any improvement. I've been precisely at 259.6 since Monday.

    I'm trying to tell myself that it took 10 years to put on this weight and I've only just now hit a month since I've starting trying to lose it. I'm my own biggest critic.

    Having lost 15.4 lbs in just 1 month feels great and I've noticed a big change in how bloated my stomach looked. I just need some more patience and to look at this weight loss as a marathon, not a sprint.
     
  6. Butterfly88

    Butterfly88 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! You seem to be off to a good start. One suggestion I would make would be switching the Maple brown sugar oatmeal to plain oatmeal. Sounds like the maple brown sugar one may have a lot of sugar. Or maybe it's nit as bad as I'm expecting, check the packaging.
     
    Mowens1984 likes this.
  7. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

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    Hi Butterfly and thank you for your input. I just looked it up on the Quaker Oats website and it says 2 packs of the Maple and Brown Sugar comes out to 24g (12g each) of sugar vs 0g in the original flavor. It is also 60 less calories, 0.5g less saturated fat, less sodium and less carbs. I had no idea it was so dramatically different.

    That is quite a drop in sugar intake if I make that change. I'm thinking I may switch temporarily to 1 packet of each to cut my intake in half and get used to the flavor before committing fully.

    Thank you for the great suggestion, I will give it a go!
     
    LaMaria likes this.
  8. jonom

    jonom Senior

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    Welcome to the forum Mowen! I was the same way.When I was heavy I could barely bend down to tie my shoe. Also I carried most of the weight in my torso area so I had lower back problems. 1900 is a good amount to stay around.
     
  9. LaMaria

    LaMaria Senior

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    Hi Mowen and welcome to the forum! I think you´re being sensible by not changing too much all at the same time - humans are creatures of habit and most of us tend to do better in/near our comfort zone. If dinner with your family is a hard time for you to control your calorie intake you might want to try eating more slowly. Possible strategies:
    - Put down your fork after each mouthful and don´t pick it up to start building the next bite until you´ve chewed thoroughly.
    - Don´t eat while you´re listening to what your wife and kids are telling you.
    - Drink a large glass of water before starting your meal.
    - Have a clear veggie soup as a starter (low sodium in the long run but let´s not overcomplicate things). It will fill you up AND help you eat more veggies.

    Good luck on your journey and well done on deciding to model better behavior for your kids.
     
  10. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

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    Hi LaMaria, thank you for the advice!

    I have a tendency to feel the need to "clean my plate" like we learned to do as children. I try to stop myself from scooping large portions in the first place because my history has told me that I will tend to eat whatever is in front of me, not taking into consideration how hungry I actually am.

    After switching from soda to water, I'm already drinking nearly double the amount of liquid I used to take in. For comparison sake, I used to drink about one and a half 20oz bottles of soda in an entire day, so basically 30oz of liquid. Now I'm drinking about two 16oz bottles of water a day on average. I know this is still considered low, but it feels like SO much liquid to me.

    Walking has built a slightly higher tolerance for drinking more, but I still feel like I'm forcing myself to drink when my body doesn't seem to want it to go down.
     
  11. Florence

    Florence New Member

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    Hey Mowens,
    you sound like you are doing a really good job. Making changes slowly is the way to go and not trying to rush your weight loss. I realised yesterday that it is probably a blessing in disguise that I can't lose weight faster than my body will allow because I have lessons to learn on this journey (like eating more healthy food, looking after myself and self care...what does that even look like, and things I probably don't even know exist yet) and if I skip the lessons I'll just be back where I started anyway.

    Just keep going with the taste of veggies and raw/whole foods. It is an interesting taste in the beginning because there isn't anywhere near the amount of sugar in natural foods. I also started having dark chocolate as my treat (proper dark chocolate) like what Lindt do. It didn't taste very nice at all in the beginning but now I am finding it nicer and in truth the highly processed milk chocolate is a bit sickening now.

    Also, I think your short walks with work are great. It is amazing how fast our bodies actually want to right themselves when we give them a chance. The walking will get easier for you and probably quicker than you realise.

    Again, you sound like you have a good plan going with little changes that you can build on. Looking forward to sharing your journey with you.
     
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  12. cate

    cate Senior

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    Hi Mowens. I think the advice you have been given so far is good advice. Switching from the sweet oats to natural would be a good start, but also adding a little protein to breakfast. Replacing the sugar in the sweetened oats to some fresh fruit would be healthier. Maybe a dollop of yoghurt or a little fruit/nut mix. Walking is very good for you & will get easier. Well done on the loss so far & replacing soda with water. You're off to a good start.
     
  13. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

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    Thanks folks! The encouragement feels nice. I know I'm nowhere at the level that is considered ideal, however, if you consider where I'm starting from, this has felt like a huge amount of change in my diet so far.

    I had a really good day yesterday... stuck to the meal plan, no extra eating, got some walking in and the scale gods smiled upon me for my effort. Down 1.6lbs more for a total of 16.8lbs lost (7.6kg for you metric folks).

    I've already had the pleasure/annoyance of having to start wearing a belt with almost all of my pants because they suddenly want to fall down on me. It's a bizarre feeling to say the least.
     
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  14. jen_renee

    jen_renee Senior

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    Ahh... I'm not alone. A fellow texture eater! Welcome to the forum! :)
     
  15. cate

    cate Senior

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    & Yay to pants falling down & needing a belt :D
     
  16. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

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    Happy to report I had a productive weekend. Lost 1.5lbs during it. Felt good to be down 2 days in a row. I allowed myself my first 'cheat day' in the 5 weeks since I started.

    This morning, I tried Butterfly's suggestion with the oatmeal. I had 1 packet of original mixed with 1 maple brown sugar. The taste was definitely much less potent than what I'm used to, but it seems sustainable enough, if only to cut down drastically on my sugar intake. I was thinking about trying the chicken and rice pre-prepared at the beginning of the week like a lot of people do just to see if I can give myself another relatively low calorie option for lunch.

    Also trying another one of those frozen Michelina things for lunch, only 330 calories in the sweet and sour chicken. Hopefully it tastes better than the last one I tried.
     
  17. LaMaria

    LaMaria Senior

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    If you do prep chicken&rice at the beginning of the week, make sure to add in a bit of variety (if only in sauces). Oven-baked veggies would combine well, are easy to do in advance and stretch the portion without adding crazy calories. Well done on the weekend!
     
  18. Butterfly88

    Butterfly88 Well-Known Member

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    Congratz on the loss! Glad you tried that, I think you'll get used to the taste over time.
     
  19. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

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    Blatant bragging on self, please excuse me:

    Went on a 20 minute walk for the first time in memory where when I was done, I wasn't gasping for breath.

    I can't explain how big of a deal this is unless you've also lived most of your life where this wasn't a thing. I feel great. If I didn't have to get back to work right now, I'd still be going. I'm so happy for myself. This is a big step for me in getting more active. I'm so excited.
     
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  20. Mowens1984

    Mowens1984 Active Member

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    You're talking to the sauce boss. I put sauce on just about everything I eat. I've been preemptively trying to talk myself down from going sauce crazy from the get go.

    My wife suggested soaking the chicken in an italian dressing and she claims it would be sufficient, but as someone who eats sauce on everything, I'm skeptical to say the least.
     
  21. cate

    cate Senior

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    Soaking the chicken in an Italian dressing is an excellent idea. One you mix yourself is even better. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, some seeded mustard, salt, pepper & garlic is what I use & it's delicious. Cutting down on processed food is a win/win & bought sauces are full of nasties & loads of salt.
    Great news on the walk & the loss Mowens!!!
     
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