One Year of Weight Loss and Maintenance

One Year of Weight Loss and MaintenanceI think my 2-year old nephew's birthday party last year was the last straw. I had just come back from Berlin feeling bloated and slow, and then I pigged out on pizza, chips and brownies at Nate's birthday party. That Monday, I decided to change things up.

I was going to start doing three things:

  1. I was going to modify my diet. Essentially, less sugar and junk food and smaller portions of the foods I love. I was going to be smarter about what I put in my body.
  2. I was going to exercise more - more walking, biking all summer long and now swimming every weekday
  3. I was going to weigh-in every morning, documenting my progress via Wii Fit

Below is how my weight chart looks after this morning's weigh-in. I bounced off the bottom in September and started building mass with the swimming.

Wii Fit

Here's the tale of the tape:

  • Feb 3, 2012: 86 kg (189.5 lbs)
  • Jan 31, 2013: 66.3 kg (146.1 lbs)

I still eat lots of pizza and pasta, and if you bake me cookies, I'll have a few, I'm just aware of what my decisions do to my body. It's simple math: calories consumed - calories burned.

I've never felt better.


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Brian

Any beer with this diet?

January 31, 2013 @ 12:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Additional detail:

Since I started one year ago, I've had zero fast food. No McDonald's, no Harvey's, no Burger King, Wendy's or A&W. Zero fast food.

I rarely eat out. When I have pizza, which is often, I control the ingredients b/c I make it at home. When you make your own food, you know what you're eating. Eating out or ordering in is a killer.

I'm not a heavy drinker. Excluding my trips to Europe, I had maybe 20 drinks the past year.

January 31, 2013 @ 12:42 PM

Corey

That's awesome Mike, and inspirational. I took a similar approach a couple years back, using the Wii to monitor progress. I managed to go from 207lb down to 185. The problem I found was any lapse in discipline was deadly. I got cocky and indulged here and there in sugary crap, and before I know it, those snacks became a part of my life again (especially hard to avoid at the office where everyone who hosts a meeting invariably has a box of Timbits on the table...), and here I am back up to around 195. I'm recommitted to doing it again, but breaking that sugar fix is tough man. Once you go without for a few days it's not hard to lose the sweet tooth, but again, one lapse, and it becomes a problem.

My lessons learned:
1) don't skip monitoring weight - every day
2) don't cave in to mid-day sugary crap.

January 31, 2013 @ 12:59 PM

Alex

You mean I don't have to live off of water and bean sprouts?

No cleansing or fasting required?

Wow!

January 31, 2013 @ 1:25 PM

Sam in Pickering

I listen to Humble and Fred, based on your recommendation about 18 months ago.

They're often talking about how fat and out of shape they are. The talk about wanting to make a change but they are always looking for a shortcut. They want a magic pill or miracle ointment.

You nailed it when you wrote it's calories in vs. calories out. It just takes discipline.

Well done!

January 31, 2013 @ 1:28 PM

Sam in Pickering

Oh........ and my point was that Humble and Fred should follow your lead. I'd love to hear them weight in once a week and report in on their progress on the Toronto Mike Weight Loss Programme.

January 31, 2013 @ 1:29 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Sam in Pickering

I was talking to a friend this morning who is doing "a cleanse". I'd never do one. I don't believe they're healthy or wise. You need to make changes you can stick to long-term and then, as you said, be disciplined.

I'd love to dunk a row of President's Choice Decadent Cookies in milk right now, but I know what the consequences will be. But I did enjoy a Heneiken and PopChips during the Leafs game on Tuesday, because I did the math.

Humble and Fred know I'm here when they need me. :)

January 31, 2013 @ 2:02 PM

Lorne

Good job, Mike. Love your math. It'd be nice if more people realized such a simple formula, rather that cleansing. (You and I both know a lot of the same type of people).

January 31, 2013 @ 2:54 PM

Dave Williams

@Mike congrats; I honestly can say I have ever dieted, but have worked out since I was a teen. Is there such a thing as a low BMI?

January 31, 2013 @ 3:07 PM

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@Corey

Back in April, after losing the first 8.2kg, I wrote about awareness as a weight loss tool:
http://www.torontomike.com/2012/04/awareness_as_a_weight_loss_too.html

If I weighed in every day, I'd see cause and effect right away. So when I had that party weekend full of burgers, pizza and beer, I'd see a 1-2kg increase right away.

Seeing the effect overeating had helped me catch it before it could spiral out of control.

January 31, 2013 @ 3:17 PM

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@Dave Williams

An interesting problem I had in the summer was making sure I consumed enough calories. I was biking a lot, burning a crazy amount of calories, and my better food choices actually made it difficult to ensure I didn't drop to a BMI that was too low.

I always keep apples around for this reason. An apple isn't just tasty, it's a good 125 calorie hit.

So yes, you can have too low a BMI. Folks who suffer from anorexia have this problem. You have to make sure you're taking in enough calories.

January 31, 2013 @ 3:25 PM

Anonymous

Ironically, this page now has ads on it for weight loss pills and mini gastric bypass surgery.

January 31, 2013 @ 3:29 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Anonymous

Normally I'd want people to click on every ad they see on this site, as it helps me pay for this little hobby.

But in this instance, I hope none of you click the ads for weight loss pills and mini gastric bypass surgery.

There are no shortcuts. There is no miracle pill. There's only a sensible plan and discipline to execute.

January 31, 2013 @ 3:37 PM

Cheryl

I don't diet, but try to watch what I eat, not too much junk food. My trainer makes sure I don't eat too much junk food, and I work out twice a week on Tuesdays and thursdays. This week it's Saturday as well as he leaves for Provincials on Sunday. Sure it's nice he made it, but no workouts this week though.

January 31, 2013 @ 3:45 PM

519 Rob

Here's my long winded story...
When I moved from home and went to college in '96, I weighed around 180-185lbs. I probably carried a little too much weight at that time, but I was also fairly active. Spent many nights playing road hockey, shooting hoops, golfing...whatever.

Then college happened, and the classic freshmen 40. It hit me hard. I came home for the Christmas break needing to move up a pant size. Not a proud moment.

I managed to right the ship, to a degree, and stayed at a pretty steady weight.

Then some job changes happened a few years ago, and my weight spiked again.
Christmas 2011 I weighed in at 245lbs. I was beyond embarassed.
I should note for me, my weight was around 225.
I'm not saying 225 was good, but it was me, and I was generally comfortable.
But that 245 hurt.

Jan 1 2012, I started on our treadmill. Nearly everyday I was on it.
I wouldn't say I dieted, but I cut all alcohol, and was much more diligent about sweets (even no birthday cake that year - 4 cupcakes for me and my wife and 2 kids).

I got to around 215-220. Not my ideal weight, but I felt much better.

Then the warm weather hit, and it was getting hard to stay motivated. After about 5 months of dedicated exercise, I fell off the wagon. I haven't put all that weight back on, but enough that I am angry with myself.

Anyway, long story short, I got back going again early this week.

I downloaded a few apps which have been good for some motivation. Next step is the treadmill again.

I'll admit, I am not really looking forward to it. I know what I am like, and the bad habits I can easily get into.

But I am tired of feeling like a fat guy.

January 31, 2013 @ 3:52 PM

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@519 Rob

That reminds me of that old radio jingle...

Don't wanna be flabby any moooorrreeee....

Don't wanna be a fat guy!

January 31, 2013 @ 4:18 PM

Derrick

"Look at me, I'm a pear!"

January 31, 2013 @ 4:25 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Derrick

That's the one. Catchy as all hell.

January 31, 2013 @ 4:37 PM

519 Rob

Thats funny, I was thinking the same thing as I typed that.

January 31, 2013 @ 4:39 PM

elvis

It looks bigger. I've seen it.

January 31, 2013 @ 5:24 PM

Lynne

@Dave Williams - Of course there is such a thing as a low BMI. Take a look at runway models. They are dangerously thin. The fashion industry is promoting very unrealistic goals for young women. After a rough time with my health about 20 years ago (yes, I am pushing 60), at 5'5" I went down to 107 lbs, which equals a BMI of 17.8. Anything below 18.5 is underweight. Those days are well "behind" me now ;-)

January 31, 2013 @ 6:22 PM

Lynne

@Mike - WAY TO GO! You are doing it right.

January 31, 2013 @ 6:22 PM


Gary

Mike...if you don't mind me asking....how tall are you?

February 1, 2013 @ 7:54 AM

Gary

Further to my last comment...I am 5ft 11' and weigh about 185. I was always about 174 till about a year ago and feeling a bit sluggish lately.

February 1, 2013 @ 7:56 AM

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@Gary

Height's an important part of this. If I were 6 foot 2, I'd be underweight. I happen to be 5 foot 9.

February 1, 2013 @ 9:21 AM

Danielle Kappele

Hi, Mike.

My name is Danielle Kappele and I’m a journalist at CBC Radio. We’re working on a 60 minute special on obesity and weight loss, and we’re interested in talking to people struggling with weight about their experiences.

The focus of the program is how the body fights weight loss and fights to put lost weight back on. We’ll talk about how science has debunked the widely accepted notion that weight is about willpower, discipline and motivation. And we’ll talk about the implications, the misconception and stereotypes have for people with obesity.

We have only just begun work on the show, but the plan so far is to open and close the radio documentary with a conversation between three people. One would be someone who has lost weight and is struggling to keep it off (me). One person who has decided to make peace with their weight as is. And we're looking for someone who's in the middle of trying to lose weight. In between the two conversations, we’ll talk about the metabolic changes, hormonal changes and neurological changes that happen when you diet. And take a realistic look at the options for individuals.

I was obese for decades, and understand the emotional pain and shame that can accompany this problem very, very well. Our hope is to empower people with knowledge.

If you’re interested in taking part, or might be interested in taking part but have more questions or concerns, please contact me.

Thank you for your time.

Danielle Kappele
danielle.kappele@cbc.ca
(647) 779-8184

November 23, 2016 @ 3:21 PM

Igor

Hey everybody,
I wanted to ask your opinion about one weight loss method that from my understanding is really successful - Hypnotherapy.
My basic goal is the get in shape again and I have been trying almost everything except surgeries and pills, which I would never come across.I also tried the missionary ways - Gym & Proper diet, non of them worked since my schedule is crazy busy, meetings on top of meetings so basically get the message, I eat a lot OUTSIDE. I would love to hear your honest opinion about Hypnotherapy, and please don't try to change my 18 hours schedule because I'm a career driven.
Thank you guys, ill appropriate any comment! :)

January 17, 2017 @ 10:35 AM

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