About a year ago (April  2011), I decided that I needed to lose some weight (I weighed 185 pounds). I didn’t really feel fat, but I didn’t like the way I looked with my shirt off. Plus, my blood pressure was inching up, and I felt slow and too tired a lot of the time. When I had my wife take a frontal, side, and rear view picture of my torso, I was stunned. I looked gross. Even though I was healthy in most ways, my weight had started to creep up year after year, but it wasn’t until these pictures that I realized how much fat I was carrying. I set myself a goal; lose 10 pounds in eight weeks. And, I wanted to do it without undertaking a radical change in the way I was eating (I personally hate diets). This was my plan to lose fat. I would exercise  5 times per week, religiously. I would stop having my nightly beers (I would always have 2 beers after work). I added more salads and made vegetables the main part of my lunch and dinner each day. I didn’t restrict any of my favorite foods like pizza, burgers, cookies, etc., but I would allow them on only two ‘cheat days’ each week, with the thinking that if I didn’t totally ban them, I would have more success. And, I cut my portion sizes down, ate slower, and drank a full glass of water before each meal. I also made sure to drink at least 2 cups of green tea every day. I weighed myself at least every other day-after the first week I had lost 2 pounds! I kept looking at the pictures, being disgusted and motivated at the same time. More weight came off; not as quickly, but steadily nonetheless. After a month, I was 5 pounds lighter, but my body didn’t seem too much different. I kept my nose to the grindstone, and after 2 months, I was 10 pounds lighter, a svelte 175. But I still wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to lose more, maybe 5 more pounds. I gradually started have a few beers here and there, but not regularly like before. Also, my workouts seemed better. I felt quicker, able to do more in the limited amount of time that I devote to working out (I never work out longer than 20 minutes). The weight didn’t come off as easily as before, but I kept my nose to the grindstone. I’d lose a pound or two, gain one back, for several months. In December 2011, I was down to 170 pounds, exactly what I weighed when I graduated from high school. However, I still didn’t like how I looked, that I still had room for improvement. My weight kept coming off slowly; the last photos you see are from last Friday (5/18/12), with my weight at 165 pounds! I still feel like I could lose another 5 pounds, but I’m happy with where I am now. I have dropped from a size 36 waist to a 33, my blood pressure is constantly around 112/68, and I have much more energy. I’ve sent photos of myself to my webmaster to put on the website-it should happen in the next day or so. The takeaway lesson form my saga? Be patient with weight loss. The whole process is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. I could have easily given up after the first two months, had I been satisfied with my original goal of losing 10 pounds. I look forward to getting down to 160. It won’t be tomorrow, or next week, but it will happen. I still enjoy my favorite foods, though not as often, And, it’s not really a big deal. If you want more info on diet or exercise, email me at john@haveithealth.com.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.