This is Part 2 of the Weight Loss Challenge Finale. If you haven’t already read, I posted my results in part 1 Weight Loss Challenge – Day 180 | The Grand Finale, go check it out.
In this post, I wanted to chronicle some of the many things I’ve learned over the last 180 days. Some about myself, and some about weight loss in general. So let’s get right into it.
What did I learn about myself?
- I learned that even at 34 years old, I can still lose weight like I did when I was in my early 20’s. I learned that technically, it was no different now as it was then. It was only harder because I have more aches and pains, oh and I have 3 kids now too.
- I’ve learned I am extremely uncomfortable talking about myself. I’ve always known this, but it has been so evident when people I do, or don’t know approach me and want to talk about my weight loss and I seriously have no idea how to communicate. I stammer and stumble to find words. I just don’t like talking about myself. I find it difficult to find things to say that either don’t sound arrogant or aren’t simply boring. Thus, I wind up saying very little and I’m sure it is perplexing to those trying to talk to me.
- I have a lot of will power, but I still don’t know when it will show up in my life.
- I am very competitive with myself and with everyone else on the planet. Most of the time, however, everyone else has no idea I’m competing with them. As is likely very common with guys, we’re constantly sizing people up, but I think I take it to another level. Everything is either a competition or a judgement. Those judgments may not be bad, they may even be directed towards myself.
- I still see an overweight person in the mirror. This was the same the last time I lost a lot of weight. I may have changed my physical self, but I still have a lot of mental “fat” to burn. An example, last night, I was working out and there were several other guys working out. They could very well have weighed the same or even more than me, but in the mirror, I looked twice their size. Right now I use that to push harder, but after a while that cannot be too healthy.
- I’ve learned to compartmentalize my failures to individual meals, rather than by day. If I failed at lunch time, I can still succeed at supper. This was a huge strategy for me.
What else did I learn?
- Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be if you want, but in the end, for most people, burn more calories than you take in and you’ll lose weight.
- A large number of people have a fundamental misunderstanding of losing weight. They just do not get it. They literally don’t believe weight loss is as simple as eating less food.
- The human body can get on pretty well with 1,200-1,600 calories per day, so long as you’re careful and take into account how active you are. If you’re super active, you shouldn’t eat that few calories.
- Sometimes it’s better to not tell people you’re on a diet. We all know there are people out there that are not supportive. The instant you tell them you’re on a diet, they start offering you food, inviting you out to eat etc. Perhaps, keep it to yourself if you have a lot of people that aren’t going to be truly supportive.
- You can lose weight without a lot of exercise. Exercise is very important, but you can certainly lose weight without working out a ton. Sometimes it’s easier to lose weight while you don’t workout. When we work out we mentally tend to give ourselves more credit than we deserve for what we do, then we eat more food, then we wind up worse than if we hadn’t worked out in the first place.
- You can lose weight while injured. It is hard. Really hard if you have an injury in your legs or feet. Be creative and find workouts that won’t affect your injury negatively. Talk to your doctor if you’re having a hard time finding exercises that will work.
- Dieting is horrible. GASP!!! What I mean is, eliminating problem foods from your diet is a bad idea. If you can never have something, isn’t that what you’re constantly going to be wanting? Thus, when you get it, you’re probably going to have too much. Eliminating “bad” foods from your diet may seem like a good idea, but you’re not addressing the true problem. Why are these foods bad? I chose not to eliminate any foods from my diet. I decided I would figure out a way to allow myself any food I wanted, so long as it fit within my allotted calorie goal for the day. This way, I had fewer cravings, and when I did have a craving, I could indulge, but I chose to do my indulging in small quantities.
- People seem to love talking to someone who has lost a lot of weight. So if you’re planning on losing a lot of weight, get ready to talk to a lot of people about it.
What did I already know, that was confirmed in this challenge?
- I like being thinner. I feel better about myself, I feel more confident, I am proud of who I am becoming again.
- Losing weight is hard. It is hard on day 1, it is hard on day 180, but it’s a different kind of hard.
- You can fail quite a bit, and still lose weight.
- Will power is the 2nd biggest factor to your success at losing weight.
- Having, and knowing how to achieve goals is the biggest factor to your success at losing weight.
- Many people don’t set real goals they are prepared to achieve.
- Tracking your food intake is nearly the most important thing you can do to ensure you lose weight.
There are tons of other things I’ve learned over the last 180 days and there is more I will learn as the time goes by. What have you learned in your weight loss experiences? What has worked and what hasn’t? Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Stay tuned for part 3 of my Weight Loss Challenge Grand Finale. It’s sure to be filled with words.