The weekend before Thanksgiving, I went to Startup Weekend again (which is completely awesome and you should go but that’s another post) and I won a few cool toys there. One of them is the scale of scales, the Withings WS 50. It not only tracks your weight, it also analyzes body fat, checks your heart rate, and watches the air quality in your house. Then it uploads it to their website where you can check it on your phone and even sync it to other websites. Needless to say, it’s pretty cool.
So how did I win said scale? Basically, you had to commit to losing a bunch of weight by the next Startup Weekend (which is in February), tell the crowd why you deserved it the most, and then win the applause-off. I sort of cheated to win. The guy who went before me, a school vice-principal, said he wanted his students to stop coming up to him and saying “you’re fat”. I countered that I didn’t want my own kids to do that (and have already had a few oblivious nephews say as much).
I setup the scale that Saturday night and did my first weigh-in the following Sunday morning. It wasn’t pretty. 244.4 lb. It made it clear that I really did need to commit to dropping 30+ lb as quickly as I could. My doctor already said he wanted me to shoot for my post-high school weight, so I didn’t feel bound to try hitting an “ideal” of 160 lb which would probably make me look emaciated.
The first step is working on controlling what goes in. I knew I ate too much, and probably in very unbalanced ways. When I fired up SparkPeople, it recommended going down to a range of 1660-2010 calories per day. I’m sure I was double that, and probably not well-balanced between calorie types. Worse yet, this was the week of Thanksgiving that I was opting to get started. Could this end well?
In the first nine days, I dropped 6.9 lb, and I only gained 0.5 lb from Thanksgiving dinner. I learned very quickly that the biggest difference I could make would be to control portion sizes. Ironically, Thanksgiving leftovers provided some great options for eating well: lean turkey meat, prepared vegetables and salads, even the cranberry jello salad (since it’s packed with chopped fruit and nuts). The key was to measure the amounts and not load up on too much stuffing or potatoes. Heck, even pie is okay if you’re not eating half a pie at once with a vat of whipped cream.
While portion control is going to be an essential part of getting down to 210, I know it can’t end there. I’m also going to focus on getting in some kind of semi-regular exercise. Startup Ogden is going to do weekly classes starting Real Soon Now(TM), and I can bike to and from the FrontRunner stations. I’m also looking at getting a stationary bike stand so I can use my bike indoors without keeping a bunch of equipment around.
If I’m going to keep this going successfully, I’m going to have to keep myself accountable. I’m going to be posting my current weight and loss (or gain) each week on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. If I say “no thanks” to eating out for lunch, offer to meet somewhere to brown bag together. If I skip a biking day because the weather or air sucks, remind me that I should do something either indoors or on another day to make up for it. This isn’t something that I need to do to hit a goal; this is about changing my habits to maintain it.