Project 190: Introduction

I've never had a problem losing weight. My problem is that I've always been phenomenally skilled at gaining it back. If I had invested a dollar for every pound I've lost in my life, I would have a healthy bank account today. If I had invested a dollar for every pound I've gained in my life, I would have retired years ago. 

When I decided to, as a good friend put it, get my shit together and do something about my weight again, I was at my highest weight: 354.2 lb. That was on March 21, 2015. That seems to be the magic number. I’ve hit that twice, and both times it was unbearable.

The reason I’m calling this Project 190 is because that’s the goal weight I’ve set for myself. If I were to follow the BMI table and shoot for the recommended Body Mass Index of 25, that means I would have to weight around 174 lb. I literally have no recollection of the last time I weighed that much. So for now, my goals is 190 and I’ll cross the BMI goal when I get to that bridge. Right now, it’s not even visible.

Like most people that are overweight I’ve tried a variety of ways to lose. Back in the 80’s I lost 60 lbs on Jenny Craig; in the early 2000s I used Nutri System to trim 40 lb and back in 2011 I lost roughly 100 lb. using Optifast. Each time when the diet stopped, I went back to my old habits and gained every pound I lost and then some.

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result, then this time I’d like to do the sane thing and change things up. So this time around, no more diets. I will be following the Weight Watchers plan, which is more about awareness, tracking your food intake, and no deprivation. It fits nicely within the guidelines I’ve set up for myself: 

  • No more diets.

y definition a diet is a temporary change in your eating habits in order to achieve weight loss. Usually what this means is that the weight loss is also temporary. My ultimate goal is to get off this roller coaster so no more temporary drastic changes. This leads me to the next key point;

  • The process I use to lose weight should be practically no different than the process I use to keep it off.

The key here is sustainability. I lost 100 lb. on Optifast because the diet works. Limit yourself to around 700 calories a day, eat nothing but 5 shakes a day and you will lose weight. Keeping it off is something different all together. The process of losing weight was so drastic that by the time stopped, I wanted nothing to do with a maintenance plan so I blew it off. I set myself up to fail and I did.

  • No rush. Lifestyle changes don’t have artificial deadlines.

This time around my approach is to make lifestyle changes, not a temporary change. This means that the changes I will adopt are more about degrees than absolutes. Less about deprivation and more about moderation. There will be a pizza in my life, but perhaps 1 or 2 slices per meal as opposed to 4 to 6.

  • Have a plan

For changes to happen there needs to be a plan. One of the reasons Optifast worked so well for me is that I didn’t have to think about food. Once I made the decision that I wasn’t going to eat and that what I was going to do is have 5 shakes a day, it became easy. There was a simple easy plan, I just had to follow it. Losing weight requires planning and approaching every meal with a game plan.

  • The ultimate goal is improved health and fitness, the scale is only one measure.

Let’s face it, the scale is an easy way to measure success. In my case however, I would also like to see that I no longer take high blood pressure medication or that I take cholesterol medication. That I can run a 5k start to finish, or that I can get back on my bike and do those 50 to 100 mile rides the way I did just a few years ago. 

  • Change in diet alone wont get you there. Exercise must be a part of it.

Diet alone won’t do it. I’ve tried losing weight by just dieting and I’ve tried losing weight by just exercising. The best way is to do both. So this project will include an exercise component.

My hope is to share with you my journey to 190. The successes, the stumbles, and the lessons learned along the way. 


Week 1:

 3/21/15 Starting weight: 354.2

3/28/15 Weight: 351.6

Weekly gain/loss: -2.6

Total Loss: -2.6