Friday, September 03, 2010

My Journey From Obesity to Normal. First Stop: Stuck in Overweight!

Because of the long holiday weekend looming here in the U.S., I anticipate that today will be pretty slow. Therefore, it's a good time to record something personal and not offend my readers who may be looking for a "Mack Attack" such as the one I launched yesterday against Allergan, which I labeled an "unethical marketer and the the drug industry poster boy for off-label promotion" (see here). I guess most people started their vacations yesterday, because I didn't get any response to that attack.

Anyway, today I record here the first leg of my my journey from obesity to normal weight. The following chart shows my progress to date:

This chart was created by an iPad app that I am using to record my meals, weight and exercise history. The app is called "FatSecret." It syncs up with the web site so that whenever I update data using the iPad, my Web account is also updated and vice versa. There's also a community, buddy system, etc. on the Web site, but I haven't used those social networking tools yet. That may change, however.

As you can see from this chart, I seem to be a bit stuck at my current weight of 191 lbs. My current body mass index (BMI) is 29.0. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's BMI calculator, that puts me out of the obesity range (BMI greater than 30.0), but at the high end of the overweight range (BMI = 25 to 29.9). To get into the normal BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9, I will have to lose another 27 lbs!

Since I am halfway there, I can look at this as a glass half empty or half full. Right now I feel half full, I can tell you that!

My goal, however, is to reach 175 lbs by the New Year. I am using the Numbers app on my iPad to plot my goal each month against my actual weight:

I missed my "goal" this month by 1 lb! Actually, I have been resetting the goal based on past performance. In August I reset the goal for the beginning of September to be 190 lbs. That's an 11 lb drop from the goal I set at the beginning of August (you can see the graph dropped steeply). I now have set my monthly weight loss goal to be about 4 lbs, which I hope is more realistic and attainable.

If you have any ideas how I can keep on schedule -- including some good low calorie recipes/meals, etc. -- let me know.

To those of you who have called me an "ass" or worse, thanks for not prefacing it with "fat"! When I lose that additional 27 lbs, nobody will be able to legitimately call me fat. I may, however, still be an ass!


  1. John, congrats on the healthy progress and for sharing it out. I think many will learn and perhaps be inspired by your story, and personal example of the "quantified self" journey (although I know you didn't write this like this).

    You asked for advice or recipes...I'm not a good advice giver, but I try to do the 5 small meals a day thing, with lots of high fiber foods. I've dropped ten pounds in the last couple months and hope to lose a few more. Need to fit into my suits on Sept 28-29. ;-)

  2. John, Does each of those little dots represent a measurement point? If so, it looks like you lost the most amount of weight in May and June, when you weren't getting on the scale so frequently. After you started checking your weight a couple times a week in July, the gains seem to decrease. Maybe try to push yourself to stay away from the scale for at least two weeks at a time?

    Regardless, congratulations on the commitment and on your progress so far!

  3. Zoe,

    I'm not sure there's a correlation as you suggest. I always pooh-poohed weighing yourself every day because it could be discouraging. But I find that weight loss comes in spurts -- just like weight gains. When I see the number every day and it's not where I like it to be, it helps me get out and go to the gym.

  4. Pharmaguapa11:42 AM

    Congratulations John! That's a great downward looking curve - keep it up : ) I lost 21 pounds (1.5 UK stones - think that's 21 pounds ) or 10th my body weight through a mix of daily swimming, the lemon juice diet and low fat cooking (ish - still ate out lots in restaurants). I also find that the classical eat early works - if possible main meal at lunch but if not I try not to eat after 6pm. I will email you some of my low fat recipes.

    Good luck with the rest of the weight loss : )

  5. John, I have had to watch what I eat my entire life because, when I don't, I live on breads and sweets with predictable results. Thank you for sharing your progress and the 'fatsecret' app. I assume it will work on the iphone?
    What has worked for me: 1. enough sleep (sugar's boost is VERY tempting when you're tired) 2. physical activity every day (a 20 minute walk is enough to ramp up your metabolism on days when you're not up for a 'workout') and 3. planning meals and shopping lists. By planning, your food will be so good that you won't feel deprived and -- very important -- 4. Edy's light ice cream - I recommend French Silk). I'll send you some recipes, also!

  6. Betsy,

    Thanks for the advice. I am trying to better plan my meals so I don't get into a rut and feel bored with my diet.

  7. John, I haven't forgotten my promise to share recipes. First, a question - do you enjoy cooking or do you like 'quick & easy but tastes good' meals -- or a mix?

  8. I enjoy cooking and am especially interested in recipes for vegetables. But for lunch I need quick and easy. Breakfast is a problem. Thanks.


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