15 Lbs in 15 Days; One Man’s Mission to “Have a Cool Summer”

May 3, 2012 § 11 Comments

When you lose a belt loop, all other bets are off.

I went from 4 loops to 3 and that’s when I knew I had pushed the limit and it was time to get back to where I was before.  But it’s not going to happen over night… it’s going to happen in two months.

I give myself two months to lose 30 pounds and get back to the best shape of my life, but it all has to start somewhere and I’m starting with an intense 15 day plan to get back to 230 lbs by May 1st.

“Have a Cool Summer!” is the standard yearbook message that we’ve seen scribbled across dozens of pages in our school years.  To me, as a fat kid growing up, I always wanted to have the summer that would allow me three months away from my schoolmates in order to shape up and surprise everyone.

I never did have that summer.

I used to be a much larger man, once pushing 360 pounds and now I am but a fraction of my former self.  Still, over the course of a year I have put back on thirty pounds.  When you’re a guy of my size and stature this isn’t nearly as bad as it might seem.  Weight comes and goes a lot quicker for me.  I am not obese now but I also don’t plan to ever be obese again.  That’s why I am using the next two weeks to workout hard, eat right and see if I can cut my goal in half in two weeks.

This is a journal.  I am using this journal so that it does not only help me but helps anyone else out there understand how I did it.  If it can help just one person, then it’s worth it.

April 16

The loop heard ’round my waist.  I can go to four but it’s too tight to breathe and now I’m just lying to myself.  I put it at three loops and know that I’ve fucked up again.

Food – Smart Ones sliders, Lean Cuisine spaghetti, single bag of doritos, banquet nuggets.

Workout – My car starts to die as I leave work.  I get to the gym, which is only a block from work, and decide that I’ll need to spend extra time there to let my car cool down and traffic die.  I workout for an hour and fifteen minutes.

April 17

First time I’ve weighed myself in awhile.  244.5 lbs.

Food – Healthy Choice chicken and potatoes, two bags of baked lays, roasted chicken, fruit cup, hummus & carrots

Workout – One hour on the elliptical

April 18

Morning weigh-in: 240 lbs.  I’m 1/3rd of the way to my goal in two days.  That’s a lot of water!  I know that the weight will drop faster in the beginning but its good to know that I only have to lose 10 lbs in 13 days now.  With any luck I’ll be at 135 in one week and then only have 5 lbs left.

Food – Healthy choice low sodium soup (to me, low sodium is the key in soup over anything else because soup has SO MUCH salt in it to begin with,) Healthy Choice linguine, Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice and Beans, roasted chicken, carrots, fruit cup, hummus.

Workout – One hour on the elliptical.  Eat your heart out, DJ Tanner.

April 19

Weigh-in: 238 lbs.  I’m now just about halfway to my goal with three days under my belt and twelve to go.  I’m motivated to hit 230.  It’s important to set goals and to make them short and realistic.  I know that long term I want to be much healthier than what 230 lbs will bring, but it’s too hard to focus on what I’ll look like, weigh, feel like in six months.  It’s a lot easier to think about what I could do in the next two weeks.  I have twelve more days of this intense workout and that’s all I’m thinking about: the next twelve days.

My body is just a wreck this morning, too.  I joined a gym about three months ago and I’ve been exercising but this morning I realized that I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could have.  In the last three months I haven’t come close to feeling as worn out as I do right now and it’s a good thing to feel like such a pile of useless shit.  Putting in twice as much time on the elliptical as I did before and changing up the programs and resistance has really helped.  It’s important to have variation in your workout as much as anything else.  I should probably do something besides the elliptical but honestly nothing kicks my butt as hard when it comes to cardio.

Food: Lean pocket egg and ham and cheese, “Hummus House” (a restaurant by my work) roasted chicken, salad and hummus, low-fat/low-sodium chicken noodle soup, carrots (Need more hummus!) and fruit cup.

Workout: Body killing me and had to get home earlier.  So “only” did 30 minutes of cardio but I would have felt guilty if I hadn’t done anything.

I now go to bed thinking about my weight, unable to fall asleep.  It’s weird, it’s like I can “feel” my fat now.  In the past I would gain weight and not think about it but over the last year I honestly think I could feel myself getting fatter and it was uncomfortable.  I want to get comfortable again and now I can’t help but focus hard on my goal.  Which makes it hard to sleep or think about anything else.

April 20

Weigh-in: 237 lbs.  Another pound in the books.  If I eat light and healthy today and do 45-60 of cardio, I could be close to 235 going into the weekend.  It would be great to have a good feeling going into the weekend because the weekend will be the hardest part.  I will drink at some point and I’ve decided to switch to wine for any such drinking occasions over these 15 days.  Beer is definitely OUT but liquor might come into play.

The most important thing is that I keep myself under control with the eating and not drink too much.  Drinking is the absolute worst thing for a diet because: A.) Beer and alcohol have calories and some have A LOT.  I could probably easily consume 1500 calories in a night of drinking.  B.)  When I am drunk I am hungry and I don’t make good decisions on what to eat.  C.)  You’re eating very late at night, giving the food no time to digest.

It’s the worst thing I could do and I’m so focused right now that I won’t allow myself to do it.

UPDATE: I’m being told that I’m going to New York Monday-Wednesday on an all-expense paid trip which is awesome but will have to make me focus even harder and it’s not coming at the best time but NEW YORK!

Food: Lean Pocket, Healthy Choice Lemon Fish, apple, hummus and carrots.

Workout: One hour on the elliptical.  I was sooo tired but I now have guilt if I don’t work out and I think about missed opportunities to advance through my 15 lbs in 15 days.  When I get home, I am too tired to eat.  Later, I will play poker and eat the insides of a BLT.  Oh yeah, I drank over a bottle of wine.

April 21

Weigh-in 234 lbs.  Yeah, I don’t want to jinx myself but I’m close to losing 15 lbs in half the time that I planned.  Going to New York is a road block but I am in the zone right now so I can’t see myself falling off of the wagon.

April 22

It’s Sunday but knowing that I have to go to New York, I workout for over an hour.  My weight going to New York is now 233.  Only three pounds to go but New York will probably be a setback.

April 23-May 2nd

So, my journal efforts died when I went to New York.  I was no longer keeping a record of what I ate or when I exercised so I have to sum this up:

In the Big Apple I didn’t restrict myself as much but I was mindful.  Still, when someone is paying for your drinks and when you’re only in New York for a couple of days, take advantage.  I can lose weight whenever but I was only going to be at the Hofbrau Munchen (German bar) once so give me a liter of beer please.

I ate the free snacks and apps (Mac and Cheese bites, chicken wings, chicken strips) and had a good time.  When I get back, it’s back on track.

I get back on Wednesday night and am so tired from the trip that I don’t workout on Thursday.  I do workout on Friday night though and do an hour on the elliptical.  I now find myself in a position where I can’t do less than an hour of cardio or I feel like I’m cheating myself.  This is why I stress the idea of “Just one more.”  Push yourself to the limit and then do “just one more” and you’ll find that eventually the bar keeps being reset.

Over the weekend I eat pizza, twice, but stick to wine for my drinks.  Otherwise, I eat pretty healthy.  On Monday I get distracted and am unable to go to the gym but on Tuesday I’m back at it.  As you’ve noticed in my diet, I eat a lot of “healthy” tv dinners (but I’m not dumb, I know that they’re not a solution) but with my available time they are the most convenient way for me to control my caloric intake.

I eat enough to give me energy to exercise and I don’t eat unhealthy calories when I don’t have to.  The most important thing to me right now is the exercise and it’s working.

May 1st

Well, this is my 15th day so did I lose 15 lbs in 15 days?

Weigh-in: 232.

I have fallen short of my goal but only by two pounds and this included a three day stop in New York so I know that I could have done it and that I’m right on the edge.  The best part about it is that I feel good about the fact that I ate well and I exercised.  I did not crash diet and I did not take any “fat burners” or other “PEDS”.  I just pushed myself to continue working out and gaining confidence through the fact that I did it when nobody was watching.  I did it for myself.

I have always wanted to help overweight kids conquer their self-esteem issues about being overweight.  Sure, I want to help them be fit and healthy but I also want the to be aware of the fact that how you view yourself will be a lot more noticeable to people than your physical appearance.  Let them see that you love yourself and that you love how you look no matter what and the confidence will shine through.

I had someone like that when I was a kid.  His name was Pat and he was one of my camp counselors.  One of the biggest guys I’ve ever met but also one of the funnest and funniest.  His personality shined through and you didn’t think of him as fat, you just thought of him as Pat.  With a personality so big that he was once on Wheel of Fortune.

These are the kinds of role models that overweight kids need so that they know that no matter how you look, you’ll always be as attractive as how you see yourself.

If you’re reading this and not feeling so good about yourself or your weight, cheer up.  There’s a problem and there’s only two solutions to that problem: Change the way you eat and exercise or change the way you view what’s “beautiful.”

If you want to lose weight I’m only going to ask you one question and it’s not “What have you done with your life?”  That seems to be the question that many people have for overweight individuals, wanting to know how you “got so fat.”  It doesn’t matter how.

No, I don’t care at all what you’ve done with every day of your existence.  My question for you is only this: What are you going to do today?

And remember, Have a Cool Summer!

By the way, I am now at 230 which turned out to be 15 pounds in 16 days.

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