My name is Michael. In August of 2010 I weighed 355 pounds. It is now March 2011 and I weigh 283 pounds. I’ve been asked how I did it, and I promise you, there are no pills, fad diets, or anything like that involved. I just made an effort to change my eating habits.
Before that August, I used to sit and watch television or work on my computer and while doing so I could eat an entire package of chocolate chip cookies with a 32 ounce glass of milk. Today, just the thought of eating that much food makes me sick. So, how did I change? It started with a doctor’s visit. I was having some medical problems and from research I knew that if I had diabetes, which I was showing symptoms of, those problems wouldn’t go away. So I finally went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. The doctor told me that the fat content of my body was making my insulin work incorrectly and that if I continued the way I was, I would lose my legs and possibly my life. My first thought was of my family.
The doctor put me on a low carb diet. I was to eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. This confused me because I only ate about 2 times a day before that. The catch was I could only have 60 grams of carbs per meal and 45 grams of carbs per snack. I started reading the packages of the cookies and such that I ate. 9 cookies equaled 45 grams of carbs. 9 cookies. I had eaten the entire package in one sitting before and this woman wanted me to only eat 9 cookies! The nerve. My wife and I worked together to find snacks that I could eat that would make me feel full but stay in my carb limits. Cheese puffs are a wonderful snack for this purpose. Soft drinks were out. They were 90-100 grams of carbs per can. I wasn’t going to drink my snack. I switched to water and did some research to find out how much I should drink every day. I now drink 5 glasses of water a day. I know, most people know it as 8 glasses. Depends on the glass. The 8 glasses is when it’s an 8 ounce glass. I drink 16 ounces. So I drink 80 ounces of water a day. Helps me feel full.
As for my meals, I started eating plenty of meat and eggs as they didn’t count against my carb limits. I didn’t have high cholesterol, so this didn’t hurt me much. After a while, my stomach couldn’t take as much food. It was slowly getting smaller just like my body was. I started having oatmeal for two of my meals and adding some protein supplement to it. I didn’t want my cholesterol to go high, and oatmeal is great for keeping it under control. I also added cinnamon to the oatmeal because it helps with blood sugar. As for snacks, I switched to diet bars because I read the packages and found that they offered tons of nutrients, low carbs, high protein, etc. They also tasted good to me at this point (I haven’t had much sugar) and kept me feeling full.
Notice there’s no mention of exercise. I do some every once in a while, but not nearly as often as I feel I should. I do move around more. I stay out of chairs unless I’m doing work at a computer or watching television. My next step to lose the rest of the weight I want to lose is to find a fun way of getting exercise. For it to work for me, it has to be fun. I get bored easily. I figure that’s how I’ll get rid of the next 72 pounds, although I still drop just on the diet alone.
So, to sum all of this up, here’s a few things you can do to start losing weight if you’re obese:
1. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. If you need flavor try unsweetened tea or no-sodium soft drinks, but make sure you still get plenty of water.
2. Limit something. Go to the doctor and find out what that something should be. Fat? Carbs? Whatever it is, ask your doctor to give you a recommended diet for it. Follow the diet and fill it in with the things you are not limited by.
3. Eat at least 5 times a day. Sometimes I eat a third snack if I’ve been up for a long time. I still lose weight because my body burns it off quickly. When you eat that often every day, your body’s metabolism skyrockets.
Those should get you started. They got me started. The most important thing to remember is that if you’re obese, you’re going to die an early death. That’s just the facts. There’s no way around it. You have to lose the weight. Dropping the weight I have so far has added 15 years to my life according to my doctor. 15 years of being with my family is a tough price to pay for a bag of Oreos.
Perhaps you are now inspired to do something about your health? And before you say anything like “I’m in pretty good shape, I don’t need to do anything” or something negative like that……You are allowing yourself to live a small and mediocre life. We all have room for improvement, like it or not! Playing small in this world is not serving anyone, certainly not you and the ones close to you!