I’ve mentioned before how, when I was in Albania, I ended up getting sick and losing a lot of weight. Recently, I’ve volunteered to lose weight have been doing my best not to get sick.
The impetus for this was a discount on a guided weight loss course run by former US Army soldier Vic Magary. I don’t remember how I heard about him, but I remember seeing some of his videos a few years ago and getting some of his diet books and thinking, well, yeah, some day. I like his common sense attitude and the fact he doesn’t try to sell a bunch of equipment or play up his service in the “I was totally Special Forces and please don’t look up my DD 214 and prove I wasn’t” kind of way. (Note: he was in infantry, not Special Forces.)
Then, when the 30 day course went on sale (it was the last time he was offering the course as he is starting a new project.) I decided to try it. I knew there would be resistance from She Who Must Be Obeyed and I also had a trip to the in-laws that would complicate things (hint: beer, beer and more beer and lots of food), but for the most part I’ve stuck to the plan.
Vic required participants to keep a food and exercise journal (daily exercise is part of the plan) and promised to send us angry emails if we didn’t keep our journal updated. He gave us daily feedback on our food journals and also gave us access to different sources of advice.
I found, and still find, the food journal to be the most useful part of the plan. Twenty four days after the official program ended I’m still keeping it. The idea is you enter what you ate, when you ate it and about how much you ate and that can be kind of terrifying in a “do I really drink that much bourbon?” kind of way. You also weigh yourself once a week. If you have a bad week you can review what you ate and never do that again. If you have a good week, you have a plan you can use again.
I went with much lower carbohydrates, meaning I eat a lot less pizza than I usually eat (luckily we don’t order it that often) and I have to go easy on pasta, rice and potatoes. I have to find a way to include vegetables with every meal, including breakfast. I also eliminated a lot of in-between meal snacks and changed the snacks I do eat.
My goal was for this to be a lifestyle change and not just a “I need to get into this suit for one night” plan. I also didn’t want to starve myself. She Who Must Be Obeyed is slowly coming around, although she refuses to join the plan. (She doesn’t need to.)
The results have been pretty good. I started out at 98 kilograms (216 pounds) and as of today’s unofficial weigh-in I’m at 89.5 kilograms (197.3 pounds). I’ve been inconsistent with the daily exercise, but mostly on work days when I do a lot walking (3.1 miles/5 kilometers each work day).
My goal is 84 or 85 kilograms (185 or 187.4 pounds) Then I can moderate things a bit.