So, a lot of you have been asking how I did on my wedding weight loss challenge / ultimatum. For those of you who may not be up on the story, you can read about it from a post I made last June. Long story short, the lovely Lisa (my then-fiancee) gave me a challenge to lose 25 pounds before the wedding. In June, I weighed in at a ridiculous 228 pounds. This was after getting all the way down to 195 after my first Nutrisystem adventure (which took place when this blog started).
If you recall, in June I decided to sign up for Medifast. After about a week or two I just couldn’t take it anymore. It was absolutely, positively disgusting. I had chicken soup that tasted like water with crayons in it (fans of Linus and Lucy will get the reference), I had chocolate brownies were I was literally gnawing off dried chunks of chocolate dust off a paper cup, and I had crunchy bars that tasted like styrofoam with a little sugar on them. Even the best parts of the diet, the shakes, got really old really fast. Needless to say, I tossed what was left of the Medifast.
The one good thing I took away from Medifast (and Nutrisystem) was to set an eating schedule. Now back in my bachelor days it wasn’t uncommon for me to skip breakfast, sometimes skip lunch, and gorge on dinner. In my mind, I figured that skipping two meals would mean I’d lose weight 2/3 faster. But that logic just doesn’t work for a couple reasons. First, my skipping meals I was ruining my body’s metabolism. It was counterintuitive, but by eating less my body would be less efficient at burning calories. Making matter worse, of course, was that I’d snack throughout the day without even realizing it, plus I’d eat an enormous dinner because I thought I’d “earned it”. What Medifast taught me was to eat many small meals throughout the day. But instead of eating their awful food I replaced it with comparable portions of fresh fruit, salads, and even some healthy snacks.
Something else I did was start to include more exercise in my daily life. Where I work in Manhattan is about a 20 minute walk but a 10 minute subway ride to the train station. But I’d find myself walking 5 minutes in the other direction to the subway, and sometimes I’d have to wait 5 minutes for a subway to come. And sometimes the subways were so full that I’d have to skip the first one and wait another 5 minutes for the second. So ironically, I discovered that walking was often faster. Not only that, I realized how cool it was to walk through Manhattan; sometimes I’d take 5th Avenue and pretend I was one of the beautiful people, sometimes I’d walk down 6th and get a fantastic view of the Empire State Building, sometimes I’d walk down 7th and enjoy the hustle and bustle (and occasional free stuff) of Times Square. All the while I’d listen to my favorite podcasts. In other words, I turned what I’d normally think of as a chore to a really fun experience. And of course on weekends and evenings I’d do some NFL Fitness Camp, some Zumba, some Just Dance, and just relax by playing video games and “fooling myself” into getting exercise.
And so the burning question is…did I make it? For the answer, check out a video from my wedding (fast forward to the 17:45 mark)
Now those of you who read my blog know that I don’t like posting pictures of myself (on XboxFitness.Org reviews of those annoying Kinect games where they take your picture, I always hide my face by wearing a Ninja outfit). But just for loyal Nutwiisystem readers, I’m showing you my wedding dance, something I would not have pulled off at 228 pounds 🙂
I didn’t get to the target 203, but I came close, at least close enough for Lisa to say “yes” 🙂 And more importantly, I think I learned a lot about diet and exercise. “Fake food diets” are a lot like Dumbo’s “magic feather”. As Timothy The Mouse would say, “the magic feather was just a gag”. What these diets do is “force” you into behavior that you could well be doing on your own. The reason why people go off those diets and gain all the weight back is that they didn’t build their experiences into real habits.
Our grandparents who worked with their hands and worked in the fields needed huge meals, and so they fed them to our parents who fed them to us. Our portion sizes have gotten larger, but our lifestyles have gotten more and more sedentary. It’s no wonder that obesity is so rampant. The media likes to treat obesity as if it’s a medical disease, and in fact it is for a very small percentage of people. But for the vast number of people, it’s just a result of a series of choices of eating more and moving less. Change that equation, and you’ll find yourself losing weight, feeling healthier, and living longer.
I’m still not done with trying to lose weight, and rest assured I’m not done with the Wii either. As new Wii games comes out, I’ll keep reviewing them, and as the Wii U comes out I’ll review that and games for that as well. I have yet to find the “perfect” video game workout, where the workout is so engrossing, fun, and effective that you want to come back every day to play and that you can’t help but get great exercise.
Thanks to all who’ve come on the journey with me, and I hope this has been some inspiration to some of you out there who are struggling with weight loss just like me. Here’s to many more adventures down the road with working out on the Wii!