Friday, October 25, 2013

Losing Weight

When I married Adam, he weighed (I think) about 145 pounds. 5'11" tall. He was thin. He'd been a cross-country runner in college. The first time I saw him without a shirt, he had blue veins running all across his chest -- he was that kind of thin.
Adam's college ID, when he was about 22 years old
Then came marriage, meatloaf, and spaghetti. And a man with a large appetite.
We both gained weight. And we blamed it on bad joints and broken bones and having kids and way too much stress. But in the end, there's really one thing that makes us overweight, and that's overeating.
I dug lots of photos of Adam out of my archives from this past year. He weighed 274 when we went to a health screening (thank you, Farm Bureau!) at the end of May. Even then, I considered him a handsome fellow, and loved posting pictures like this. I found him eminently kissable and huggable.
He carried his weight in his belly, but not like a beer belly. (He's not much of a drinker.) His belly fat is inside his muscle sheath, which is more dangerous for internal organs.
And as he got heavier, he carried weight in his chest, back, shoulders, neck, and face.
June 1st marked a turning point for us. I took photos of us on my birthday date. Adam had discovered his life-threatening blood pressure issues, and he'd just begun his new dieting attempt. He's stretching the limits of this shirt's buttons.



Adam is a gentle-spirited fellow, and he can make himself be downright mellow if need be. But when he sets his mind to something, he can be tenacious as a bulldog. He set about to lose weight and apply all the addictive behavior he had toward food, instead toward his weight loss. He is utterly disciplined about entering every calorie and every moment of exercise into the app. on his iPad. He weighs each day at least twice. He keeps track of his daily heart rate and blood pressure. His doctor wishes all his patients were like Adam.
This photo was take a little over a week ago. You can see the difference in his neck and face. And that angular face on Peter? Yep, that's that same face shape I fell in love with on his daddy, 25 years ago.
Here's a better head shot, taken a couple of weeks ago. The difference is more marked here.
Adam has lost 45 pounds in about five months. 45 pounds is a lot of weight, and it shows. But in the end, even now he is still overweight. Technically, he's still obese. Even after all that hard work, he still has a long way to go. This is a lesson for all the over-eaters out there! If you're still reasonably thin, stop eating so much -- it's so easy to gain weight, and so difficult to lose it.
45 pounds thinner than in the profile shot on the beach
I'll keep taking pictures of Adam, and when he reaches his goal weight of 165, it will be fun to post them. He has achieved this loss with portion control only. He's not using any weight-loss products, nor taking weight-loss pills, nor has he dramatically increased his exercise. (He was already an avid walker.)

It was hard for us both to face this fact:  our excess weight is due simply to eating too much, and the best way to lose it is to stop eating too much. The amount of food necessary to alleviate hunger and nourish your grown body is really not very much. It's alarming how much excess food we were consuming. Adam was easily 100 pounds overweight, and I was at least 50 pounds overweight. I started cutting back my eating last month; I've lost 9 pounds thus far. I post no pictures of me here because you really can't tell a difference yet. How sad! Do you know what nine pounds of fat looks like? It's a lot. But I'm so overweight that its loss doesn't show yet. I have a long way to go.

The good news is this: it's doable. If you're telling yourself (as I did) that everybody else can lose weight, but not me, don't believe that voice. Push away the plate as soon as you don't feel hungry anymore. Throw away the bites leftover. Don't buy the food that tempts you to indulge. Do not eat seconds, ever. We thought some of those activities were "the pleasures" of life, until we finally realized they were killing us.

In all of Adam's Christian life, only two friends have ever had the temerity to tell him, "Brother, I think you might suffer from the sin of gluttony." Only two -- when he's wearing his sin right there in his belly! Gluttony is the jovial sin. But like all sin, it leads to death. Be encouraged, if you're a glutton and are fat -- it's reversible! It requires discipline, and a long view with slow progress. It took us 24 years to get this fat. I think a year or two to lose those pounds is reasonable, don't you?

7 comments:

  1. I agree, and hope you don't mind me saying, your husband is indeed very handsome. :)

    And I get what you're saying about the nine pounds. If you take a bag of flour, that's 5, and almost double that...it's heavy. I totally get this. Well done for you too. Self-discipline is HARD.

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  2. Nine pounds is a great start so give yourself a pat on the back. Congratulations to Adam, amazing discipline!

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  3. Wahoo! I'm so glad for both of you. My Hubby and I started eating better last year about this time. About 5 months later, he had lost 50 lbs. and I lost 20. Mainly, we chose to eat just meat and veggies and very, very little fruit. It worked great for us. We noticed how much better we felt in so many ways. I wish the two of you all the best as you continue to Eat Well and Live Well.

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  4. Go Adam Go! It's amazing to feel the difference every pound makes. Lance Armstrong talks about weight in this video from back in his hay day. The last 30 seconds talks about what a difference one kilo makes for an elite athlete, imagine the toll 118 pounds had on me or 45 had on Adam's walks. He's an incredible athlete, still makes me sad.

    http://youtu.be/sStK1KG8lnA

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  5. Good on him! Losing weight is difficult - especially if eating good (and not-so-good!) food is a pleasure. I can see the difference in your lovely man already - but do make sure he doesn't lose weight TOO quickly or else the skin will be very saggy afterwards. They say 1lb a week is the ideal weight loss.

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  6. Looking good and hoping feeling good, too.

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  7. I think he is doing it the right way. I have friends who lost 50 pounds doing radical diets, and then they promptly gain it back when they go back to eating. I am working on this myself, but not quite as successfully as you two:)

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