9.03.2009

Mikey-lite strikes back

Back in 2005, I lost 25 pounds and was really proud of myself. I had always wanted to drop five more, but slowly I let the weight creep back on and basically never recovered from an especially gluttonous Christmas! Since that time, I half-heartedly struggled with losing a little and gaining a little, and eating way too many pizzas and milkshakes, and basically just accepting being overweight. Then in May I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time with my pal Ryan, and while I was there, the thought kept occurring to me that I really could lose weight again. Somehow the Grand Canyon was so unreal and incredible to me that it inspired me to do something “unreal”, too. It was like flipping a switch, because when I got back to Austin, my cravings and temptations were basically gone. Well not really, but I had no doubts that I could overcome them!

I didn’t do any research or anything – I just knew I wanted to eat fresh food (no more TV dinners), as close to natural as my lazy no-cooking lifestyle would allow. So, I quickly settled on a small set of foods, and ate nothing else:
Lettuce, canned tuna, canned salmon, black beans, eggs, chicken breast, fruit cups, raisins, almonds, carrots, yogurt, oatmeal, frozen vegetables, blueberries, grapes, fruit juice, green tea, water, lite beer
I was so strict with these foods at first that I even went to friends’ BBQs and dinner parties without eating a bite. On vacations I still ate whatever I wanted, but the setbacks were pretty small, and I got back on track right away!

At the same time, I started walking almost everyday. During the workday I take two walks just under 1.5 miles each, and on the weekends I try to do a two mile walk. I started loving the crazy 100-degree Austin heat and enjoying sweating! I’ve also been hitting the Wii pretty regularly, too (though I only started that about a month ago).

Back when I was struggling and not getting anywhere, my pals gave me a Japanese daruma for my birthday. You are supposed to draw the pupil of one eye while making a wish, and then draw in the second pupil when the wish comes true. Back then I decided I wanted to lose 30 pounds (more than I lost in 2005), and today I reached my goal. My daruma finally has depth perception! It may have taken me a few years to get my butt in gear, but I finally lost the weight! It’s been fun wearing shirts that I never wore because they were too tight, and wearing the smaller-sized pants that I saved from 2005!

Now that I’ve hit my target weight, I’m going to change absolutely nothing. I’m going to eat the same foods and do the same amount of exercise, except I'll allow myself to indulge every now and then, mainly with friends when the opportunity arises. I’m also going to keep a short leash on my maximum weight, and if it hits a certain number then I’m switching back into strict mode for a while. Even though maintenance seems a little scary (since I didn’t do well before), right now I’m just happy and excited with what I've been able to accomplish, and I’m going to use that excitement to keep myself fit in the future!