Losing 30 Pounds
End of High School was also the end of my teenage-thin 165 pound days. Since then I’ve generally bounced between 180 and 190 pounds, overweight, but not obese. I had tried and failed a couple times to get back into shape, only able to shave a few pounds when I tried and gaining muscle you couldn’t see under my subcutaneous fat. My first engineering job out of college even held a weight loss challenge, which I won. I knew enough of the science to affect some change to my health and weight, but not enough for anything long term. Health and weight loss has always been a blur of legit and misleading information. I was at least happy I wasn’t over 200 pounds and always told myself if I ever hit 200 pounds, I would do something about it. For years I ate very little junk food, avoided fries and potato chips, and drank only water or black coffee(and beer socially). Then it finally happened: Late June, 2016 I noticed I was a few pounds over 200. I wondered, would I do something about it? Or would I let it go and continue my normal life. I was already eating relatively healthy, but still slowly gaining weight. I wasn’t sure there was much more I could do.
By early July, I had done even further research into weight loss until something finally clicked that I ignored for years because professionals disagreed. July 4th, 2016, I picked up my figurative sword and prepared for battle. As I said, health and weight loss is a blur of information. Find someone saying ‘X’ is healthy and ‘Y’ system works, you’ll find many others disagreeing entirely. The click was, despite what modern health professionals have been saying lately, studies always show eating less calories equals losing weight. And with that, I chopped away at my calorie intake. I also decided to not care about what people thought about how I looked currently and enjoyed going on the lake several times last year, the first time i had gone swimming on the lake in years. I said no to people offering beers, and didn’t care about their frustration. I was taking control. By the end of July I was back under 200 pounds and by fall I had hit 190 pounds. I did further research and realized I could safely reduce calories even further, and I did(as long as I never felt like I was starving myself). It was bizarrely easy. Pounds dropped slowly, I graphed my weight daily and it looked like a stock market ticker that slowly went down. Winter holidays came along and my weight loss had slowed to a crawl, but I had also drank and ate more. January came and I went back to serious mode and tweaked my diet yet again, adding intermittent fasting. I found it even easier, I only had one large meal at the end of the day to keep an eye on and hunger wasn’t an issue. I skipped breakfast and had 1 or 2 protein shakes for lunch(about 100 calories each), and one large dinner usually 1000 to 1400 calories. By my 30th birthday in March, everyone would comment on my weight loss, which I rarely talked about, by then everyone noticed.
I crossed my 1 year anniversary and I’m a 168 pounds and still dropping, still have a bit of a muffin top. I feel much better, sleep better, I’m less self conscious, I enjoy wearing clothes I didn’t fit in for years. I still want to lose a bit more weight and then start more seriously strength training, but my goal was to make it to 170 pounds by Summer, and I had accomplished that goal. And to top it all off, everything I had built my new eating habits on is more than manageable long term, it’s easy. I planned an easily maintainable diet from the beginning, knowing making it too hard would likely lead to failure. I didn’t restrict too many foods, cheated occasionally, ate out, brewed and drank plenty of beer. Just kept the diet steady 90% of the time. I noticed when i have an off day, that weight gain disappears pretty quickly back to where I was when I go back to my usual diet during the week.
Next step I think will be to tweak my diet again, this time more for the health benefits. I eat very little sweets and not a lot of grains and carbs, but I’ve decided to make a point to eat even more veggies, grass fed beef, certain organic foods and reduce grains and sugars even more. I may even attempt to drink less beer, my biggest occasional guilty pleasure.
My goal for the year was to cross $75k in retirement accounts and savings, and I’m happy to say I’ve already passed that (thanks to a good market), and onto $100k soon to follow.
You may have noticed that many personal finance bloggers and people good with money in general tend to be relatively fit and healthy, if not very fit and healthy. I actually have a theory about that, there’s a couple things you need to be successful at health and finances in this confusing world of misinformation and misdirection.
- A thirst for knowledge, truth, and enlightenment.
- Careful planning and adapting to change.
- Determination and will power to accomplish long term difficult tasks for self improvement.
Both tasks of building wealth and being a healthy fit individual involve wading through lots of bull shit misinformation and long term planning and execution.
I’m really not lying when I say losing weight has been pretty painless, and I’m more than willing to freely share any insight I can to those still wading through the fog. If you’re interested in more details, you can contact me, or simply ask in the comments. I may continue diet and health posts if there’s enough interest.