Disclaimer: The pictures you see of me were never intended to be shared. I was making weird unhappy faces in them, they were meant for my own personal connection to document my progress in order to see if progress was being made. Don’t judge. 🙂
I’ve been wanting to write this article for a while, but I wasn’t sure about what to say or go about it.
My Weight Loss Journey
I don’t really want to write another article telling people how they can lose weight. The caloric and weight loss science is so confusing that it conflicts itself most of the time, and most of the crap you read online are gimmicky diets trying to sell you junk
So, instead of instructing you what you should do if you wish to lose weight, I am going to just write what I did, and how I went from 230lbs to 170lbs within the time span a few months.
Let me start off by saying I was not a chubby kid, I never had any issues with food. I could eat whatever I wanted and was thin, But I was also an active kid. I never stayed inside all day. Video games bored me, and I was just outside pretty much all day causing mayhem.
My weight problems didn’t start til around the time I was 18-20 years of age. At the time I was going through a bit of depression, and started getting into video games on the computer. I don’t want to say that computer games caused my weight gain, because I play them now as I lose weight, but it just mentions that I wasn’t as active anymore as I was as a kid.
Around that time I became extremely addicted to cappuccinos. And that addiction would increase throughout the next 10 years. I’ve recently estimated that I started to consume 1,500 – 3,000 calories a day from cappuccino alone. My theory on this is that I think some of us are more sensitive to certain foods. For example, My stomach has always had major issues with milk. I’d usually get an instant stomach ache and have to goto the bathroom after having a bowl of cereal. Not all the times, but most of the time. I’ve never been diagnosed with lactose intolerance or anything like that though.
I believe that cappuccino has some of the same ingredients as milk has in it, or perhaps even milk itself, because the cappuccino would usually messed up my stomach too, but I was so addicted to it that I couldn’t stop, and I didn’t want to. To be honest, It could be sugar as well. Fruit drinks have always upset my stomach too.
I would goto the gas station and fill up a 44oz mug of cappuccino alone, and that wasn’t enough, i’d even goto the store and buy mix so I could mix it myself when I was at home.
Nothing else in my diet changed.
Within the time span of a few months my weight shot up from around 160lb to well over 200lb. I didn’t measure at the time, but I became big. At the time you really don’t realize how big you are. Alot of big people are used to it, so I just accepted it and continued.
Little over 10 years passed and I turned 30 in February of last year. I decided that I wasn’t going to be big anymore. I knew it wasn’t who I was. I was going to lose all the weight, and break alot of my bad habits. I pretty much quit drinking cappuccino cold turkey, actually wasn’t that hard once I decided it was no good for me, plus the negative effects on my stomach became so extreme after I had one that it really wasn’t worth it. Now tiny smell of one makes me sick, ha.
I went out on my 30th birth day and bought a weight bench, and started to work out nearly every day. I also started to ride my bicycle alot more.
I just assumed that weight lifting and cycling would lose the weight for me, and I wouldn’t have to worry too much about my diet. But months, and a thousand miles on the bicycle passed and I still had my weight around July 2014. I didn’t want to go the diet route, but I knew I had to.
I started looking up online how to lose weight, and as it turns out, I didn’t need a fancy diet. So no silly diet, no buying weird supplements. I just had to learn about food, and about calories and how the body burns the calories.
It’s common sense really.
Calories in and calories out. I had to start to think of calories and food as energy, and not just something that I put in my mouth. And the way to lose weight was I’d need to create a calorie deficit. This is the ONLY way to lose weight. The body won’t burn fat if it’s still getting the energy that it needs from new food. You gotta make it have to use the stored energy/fat. Which is what I did.
The problem is I had to figure out how many calories I needed to take in to burn a certain amount of weight. I used some online calculators to estimate my TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), and my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). I came to the estimation that I would need to limit my calories to 1800-2000 or so a day to burn fat. This estimation was based on my cycling, which was 16 miles a day, working out nearly every day (reduced to every other day).
I think having started lifting weights long before doing cardio (bicycling) helped me alot due to the fact that muscle seems to burn calories just being there.
I started to see the results immediately after limiting my calories, and within a couple months I was down to 170lbs, where I have remained since. This is a time span of the end of July to the beginning October.
Since I reached 170 I had enough of the deficit, and started eating normal again. It was turning winter time so cycling wasn’t a daily option anymore, so I stopped cycling everyday. When I stopped the cycling I thought maybe my weight would blow up, but nope. Stayed pretty much steady.
I have eaten pretty much whatever I wanted since without much weight gain, including whole large pizzas, and ice creams. But keep in mine, I’m not a fan of cakes, donuts, and other large caloric carbs. And I only drink diet drinks (have for years, which is unrelated to weight issues). If i ate a whole pizza, i didn’t eat anything else for that day. Just demonstrating that i didn’t stick to light “healthy” foods.
I took the half a year off of the deficit, and decided now that its time to go back into the deficit to burn off the remaining fat, so started the middle of the month of August I’ve started limited my calories again to around 2000, and exercising again such as riding the bike. I just have a bit more fat to burn, and I wanted to get down in the low 160 range, which I think is my natural weight. I have put on some muscle so I’m not sure how low I can go. I’ll probably stop once I notice the fat in my tummy has melted away.
Body now: Still alot of fat, but getting there!
I think once I get my fat level down to my natural state, or whatever, I would have beat this battle and have finally restored my body to the real me, or again… whatever? ha.
By the way, I just want to say that I didn’t do anything crazy. I didn’t starve myself, and I didn’t over exercise. If you ride a bicycle, you’ll know that 16 miles a day is nothing. Weight lifted every other day, sometimes it took as little as 30 min, to 2 hours. No biggie. 2000 calories is enough for a healthy person a day as well. There is nothing crazy about what I did, which means I think other people can easily do it as well. Just don’t exceed your calories.
Summary broke down into groups:
Stopped eating more calories then I needed. Most of the extra calories would be stored at fat.
Needed a Caloric deficit in order for my body to burn the fat for energy.
Limited my calories to 1800-2200 a day.
Eat more health dense food that is more fulling so it wont be hard to limit calories.
If i ate more, i could simply exercise it off
Riding bicycle 4 days a week, 16 miles a day. Sometimes 20+ miles.
Weight Lifting every other day, or every 3 days.
Down from 230 to 170 within 3 months. Some muscle tone, and no longer fat.
Update: September 27, 2015
As I previously wrote, I was going back on my caloric deficit, and bike riding. Results are amazing.
I kept my calories to around 1900-2200 a day, I didn’t cycle as much as I planned but as it turns out, I didn’t need to. I maybe put in 50miles in total, that’s about 10 miles every few days, about 30 minutes of riding, and the weight came off.
I am now down to around 165lbs. I was actually really surprised by how easy this was. I honestly didn’t have to cycle as much as I had planned, It must be the muscle I put on helping me burn calories without actually doing anything.
My weight lifting honestly hasn’t been as intense as it previously was. I became lazy and weaker due to the calorie deficit, even though I wasn’t starving myself, but was lifting every 3-4 days it seemed.
This week I had my dental surgery, So I haven’t been working out at all, nor eating much (only so much ice cream and other soft foods you can eat), but as soon as i feel well enough, I’m going to step up this workout game and try to get to around 160lbs before I take another break on this weight loss. 160lbs might be the best zone for me, but we’ll see.