How I Dropped 25 Pounds in Less than 4 Months

In mid-July, I wrote a blog about not meeting my personal goals. When 2018 started, I set a goal to hit personal bests in weightlifting and running — within the same general time period.

Yeah, that wasn’t happening.

I was the heaviest I had ever been at 204 pounds. And after participating in a handful of half marathons, I couldn’t run a 5k without stopping to walk. As I looked at the picture below, I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck went wrong?

running
July 4, 2018

Instead of focusing on the answer to that question, I concentrated my time and energy into doing what I knew was right: getting my &$%@ together and meeting the goal I set out at the beginning of the year.

Three and a half months later, I’m happy to report I’m down 25 pounds, ran a half-marathon in mid-October, and am near PRs in the weight room.

IMG_0953
October 23, 2018

I think writing about my issues helped provide the motivation to follow through and find success. It forced me to be accountable. So, let’s keep it going!

Here’s what worked so far and what I need to do to stay on track:

Whole 30 Lifestyle
I’ve committed to generally eating a Whole 30 or Paleo diet with the exception of one cheat meal (including beverages) each week. I generally eat the same thing each day for breakfast and lunch. It’s basic and boring — but effective.

I’ve also learned the cheat day can create long-term problems. I took advice from The Rock’s Instagram feed (my BFF, by the way) and turned my cheat days into cheat meals.

Smaller Portions
While Whole 30 is great, you won’t lose weight if you eat buckets of food. At one point, I hit 185 pounds and couldn’t seem to move the needle. I lost 6 additional pounds when I went out of town and was forced to change my routine. While I may have eaten some crummy food here and there, I didn’t each much of it. When I got back, that helped me to reduce portion sizes and keep the weight off.

Adios Alcohol (Well, some of it…)
I had been pretty good about limiting drinking to a couple days a week, but I was downing more than I needed. When we throw back a few drinks, it screws up our metabolism, makes us reach for food we don’t need, and gets in the way of workouts.

I learned to limit alcohol intake to a single cheat meal (or evening) where I didn’t plan to run the next morning.

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October 21, 2018

Increase in Cardio
No surprise here folks: when you’re running regularly at longer distances, it’s a lot easier to keep the weight off. There’s a huge difference between 30 minutes on an elliptical a few times a week and running 17 miles over 7 days.

To make it happen, the alarm’s been going off at 4:30 a.m. It’s not easy — and that serves as a nice transition into the next area…

Consistency
This is everything. Whether it’s diet, exercise, or anything else outlined above, it’s all about sticking to the plan. When I jumped to 204 pounds, it’s because I got off track and ate foods that instantly put the weight right back on (bread, dairy, etc.) at a time I wasn’t doing enough cardio. That’s a recipe for problems.

We’re going to celebrate the 25 pounds with a cheat day (bad idea, right?) on Saturday. With me sticking to a strict diet, my 7-year-old daughter has suggested some restaurants over the last few months that I’ve immediately shot down. Saturday will be her day to select the places. She has a list. Waffle House for breakfast, Pizza Hut for lunch, and Chinese food for dinner. Wish me luck…

As soon as the feast ends, it’s time to get back on track and refocus.

We’re in the final two months of 2018. If I’m going to meet the goal, I have to get to work. No excuses.

It’s time to #Finish18Strong!

 

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