If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season therof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. D&C 59:18-20

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Step 1 -- Getting Started

I'm not sure what motivated me to finally do something about my weight. The stroke I had in August 2004 didn't do it. I think if I had to choose one single thing, it would be the embarrassment of being at the point of having to go up one more size in clothes. Smaller sizes aren't very forgiving, a 10 lb gain can throw you into the next size. But when you get into the plus sizes, you can gain quite a bit of weight before having to go up a size. I was growing out of all of my 1X plus clothes, and I was too embarrassed to buy 2X clothing.

I didn't decide, in October 2005, to lose all of my excess weight. I only wanted to stop the weight gain cycle and to regain some flexibility and mobility.

I knew from past experience that to halt the weight gain process, I had to change my eating habits and become more active.

The first step

Changes in eating habits

1. I gave up soda and juices and drank only water.

2. I cut back on snacks. I started purchasing the individual sizes of my favorite snacks, and allowing myself only 1 or 2 a day. If I had a large bag of potato chips, I'd eat and eat and eat frm that bag. If I had a box of individual packages of potato chips, I'd open one bag and eat it, and not go back for more. Why? I have no idea, but I used this quirk to my advantage.

3. Conventional wisdom is to eat breakfast soon after rising, but that did not work for me back then. Once I ate, I had a compulsion to keep eating. So, I didn't eat breakfast and refrained from eating each day until the hunger pangs became noticeable. I didn't eat much meat, and ate foods that I could easily count the calories for. I concentrated on not eating more than 300 calories at a time, but ate frequently during the day.

Adding exercise

1. I took short walks. And I mean short. To the end of the block and back. Just something to get moving.

2. I had a step-down from my dining room to my living room that was 5.5" high. It made a perfect step for exercise. I had a CD by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir -- some very energetic gospel songs. I would 'step' to one of these songs, about 3-5 minutes in length. At first, I did a song first thing when I got up, and last thing before going to bed. Then I added a song at lunchtime. Then I added a song mid-afternoon. So, by a couple of weeks, I was doing 3-4 songs per day.

The Results

I started at my peak weight of 255 on October 24. By the end of the year, I was down to 225, and had dropped down one category -- from super obese to morbidly obese. I could fit into all of my clothes again.

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