What I’ve Learned From Weight-Loss Week 4

October 7, 2013  —  Written by Chris 

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I’ve been working on my little “experiment” for a month now. There have been both easy and difficult days. I’ve come to understand my triggers and weaknesses much more intimately than I did before, which has helped me understand why I succeed and fail. I’ve also been able to make adjustments in my original plan, now that I understand how my body has reacted. Just a few thoughts I wanted to share today:

1- My body doesn’t react the way a fit person’s body would. This is obvious, but sometimes you think of something you’ve already “known” and it just makes more sense to you than it did before. I’ve noticed that people who are fit eat a lot, and their bodies handle it fine. They eat bread. They drink hot chocolate. They snack on candy and caramel corn. They dish up multiple servings, they don’t worry about it, and they’re fine. On the other hand, if I have a piece of bread that weighs 2oz, I gain 1lb. My body doesn’t metabolize foods the way theirs does, because they’ve spent their lives building up an efficient, calorie-burning factory by being active. I have spent the majority of my life sitting and lounging and not being active. From the research I’ve done, I’ve come to understand this essentially means that, in order to boost my metabolism to their levels, I need to be even more physically active than they need to be, and I’ll basically need to be that way the rest of my life. I could sit here and say, “That’s just so unfair” and throw myself a pity-party. But guess what- it’s totally fair. Here’s the deal, my fellow overweighties. We got ourselves into this, and we can’t blame the cosmos anymore.

2- Realizing I’m the one who made myself fat is quite empowering. I know how strange that sounds, because it was my weakness that led to my being overweight. But realizing my weight is due to my actions means that I also have the ability to fix it. I can stop looking at myself as a victim, because I’m not. I made choices that landed me where I am, and I can make choices to get me to a healthier place.

3- I’ve progressed as far as I’m going to with my current plan. Getting from 220 to 210 in a month is great and I’m proud of that accomplishment. But my weight is still very unstable. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed I didn’t weigh in this morning. I’ll explain why in a little, but as for the number, it was up about half a pound from Friday. I was hoping to be back to the 209 range, but it didn’t happen because I ate more than I should and exercised less. The impact this weekend had on me made me realize that something more has to give. I either need to eat less, or exercise more. Otherwise, I can expect my current plan to keep me between 210 and 213 long term. I’ve pretty much compromised as much as I can right now with my food. If I cut anything else out, I’ll get discouraged and crash. So that’s not the answer for me. On the other end of the issue, I wake up every morning at 6:20 and exercise for about 30 minutes, but it’s nothing very strenuous. Push-ups, sit-ups, some 10 minute trainer. All very casual. While it has helped me feel better, I think it’s time to up my game. So in connection with item #1, I’ll now be waking up at 6:00, and exercising more seriously during the week, for longer periods of time. I need to sweat, and my lungs and other muscles need to start hurting.

My original goal was 200 by October 13th. After the first week I realized that was a bad idea for me, so I changed it to 207. That goal still stands. I am going to be 207 or lower by the 13th, which is this Sunday. I’ve decided to stop posting my morning weigh-ins this week, and will just post my “final” weight on Monday the 14th. The 14th is the day after my birthday, so I’m saving my final weigh in for that day to keep myself from totally engorging myself (which is probably more of a birthday tradition than I’d like to admit).

So, there it is. A few more adjustments, but I think they’ll make a big difference. I want to be more healthy. I want to have energy. I want to feel good about myself. But most of all, I don’t want to quit anymore. I’m proud of myself for resisting the urge to be extreme. I’m proud that I’m being sensible and honest with myself. I’ve seen positive emotional and mental changes that I can’t measure on a scale, but they’re just as real, and even more important. I appreciate the support everyone has given, and hope you know that it does make a difference for me. Cheers all.

I want to stress that this is MY experiment. In blogging about this, I’m not trying to tell anyone else that they need to change their life, and I’m not trying to start a movement. I want to be honest with myself and take control of things I haven’t been in control of for years. That said, I do hope that someone else can benefit from seeing my process- the good and bad.

What do you think?

  1. you’re the man, Chris Marcum. Can’t wait to see the new you!

  2. Catie Fry says:

    I love reading your posts about your journey. I’m so glad that you’re being realistic about it, because we all know that extreme diets and weight loss are never long lasting. It’s all about a change in lifestyle. I myself have been working to develop healthier habits over time, rather than trying to force myself into unrealistic goals. By small and simple things, great things come to pass. Keep up the good work!

  3. Cindy says:

    Hi Chris! I am a group exercise instructor and have enjoyed hearing about your journey. You are doing so many things right: “owning” your story, taking your time, finding a community to hold you accountable. So, so important!

    In the past 9 years, as I’ve watched people in my classes on their way to reaching (or not) their goals, I am struck by how true it is that your body does indeed create its own momentum — for better or for worse. I completely agree with Kara in the comment above: when you build serious muscle, you will see that momentum work for you and not against you. Keep going, and good luck!

  4. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and admire your honesty. Keep it up Chris! You can do it!

  5. I’ve really enjoyed reading your weight loss posts. I’ve been working on losing weight for over a year now (with weight watchers) and I know it’s not easy. I appreciate the frankness in your writing.

  6. Sherri says:

    Chris- have you read the book “Fast Metabolism?” I know of two friends who are doing this now & are having success. They both have gained & lost weight & been on various diets for years. This book explains how your metabolism is out of whack from all of that. It has very credible logic and is realistic. Anyway, just an FYI. Congrats on your success, and I wish I had the love for cooking that you do. Everything looks delicious. I’d rather spray paint & re-purpose something any old day!!

  7. Kara says:

    Hey Chris. Congrats on the loss so far. If I can offer a few words of advice from someone who has been there and done that, the only thing that is going to increase your metabolism in any serious, measurable way is to build muscle. And to build muscle you have to lift heavy weighs. It can be your own body weight – not saying you have to go out and buy a weight set (yet) or join a gym, but in order to build muscle, you have to overwork it. And lifting things that are lighter than, say your backpack or a bag of groceries ain’t going to cut it. :)

    And again, I say this from the point of someone having been there. If you build muscle, you boost metabolism. If you do cardio then all you do is put yourself in a position of having to do lots of cardio to lose/maintain that loss.

    I highly highly highly recommend checking out any of the New Rules of Lifting series of books. I have all of them and every one of them can be adapted for non-gym applications.

    And good luck on future loss!~

  8. Chris, thanks so much for sharing! I’m not a big “shake” or “protein powder” person, and have struggled with some people that I follow because that just doesn’t work for me. It’s really nice to see someone who enjoys food making small adjustments to positively affect your life!

  9. Laura says:

    I primarily read this blog for the home makeovers. But I myself have been working out and changing my diet in order to drop just 10 lbs that I put on my last semester of college. I’m getting married soon, too, so I do have an ultimatum date. I also want to be fit and strong before I start having children.It is very encouraging for me to read about somebody else who is being very realistic about weight loss and dieting. Granted, my goals are different, but it’s long-term fitness and health that we all should be working for, and I love reading and knowing I’m not alone in the hard work, frustrations, determination, and excitement of result. :)

  10. vicks27 says:

    Great job, Chris. You’re inspiring ME! I’m going to lose 10 pounds by Christmas, following your advice. Then we’ll get a photo together!

  11. So proud of you Chris! You’re so inspirational! There is always room for improvements in anyones lifestyle. Whether it be working out or eating better. And like we learned from Elder Holland this weekend, we need to take care of ourselves, spiritually AND physically. Good work!

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