For a number of years I've been overweight. Not grossly obese but carrying around much more weight than is healthy. December of last year I came to conclusion that it was time to stop playing with my health and get serious about getting in shape.
I've gone through exercise and healthy regimens before but my expectations were, in my opinion, unrealistic. In this day and age of immediate satisfaction, I wanted the weight to come off and come off quick. To achieve that, my plan was to work out like a maniac and cut out anything that hints of high calories or fat. This time around I took a more rational approach and set my expectations at a more moderate rate of success. The way I look at it, as long as I'm progressing, that's what's important and if it takes 1 or 2 years to reach my goal weight and fitness level, then so be it.
My approach encompassed three prime areas.
1. Modify food intake and eat responsibly
2. Exercise program will include a form of metabolic workout providing three dimensional vs. one dimensional exercise.
3. Continue to enjoy guilty pleasures
January 2nd of 2012 was a miserable day. I began tracking my food intake on a daily basis using the Livestrong website. The food database is robust and allows one to enter a missing product, food or recipe into the database to use in your personal profile. The truth is, if you don't know what you're eating, how can it be managed?
So, looking at #1, I modified my caloric intake in order to achieve a
weight loss of 1-2 lbs a week, which is 3500-7000 calories. I also modified
what I eat. My whole life I've pretty much hated vegetables and
seafood. I disliked both of these food items because to be honest, my
Mother was a horrible cook and would cook veggies until they liquified
and seafood, well Lord knows how she ruined that but she managed. So now, it's mostly veggies, fish, chicken and on occasion, a small helping of a carb like rice or potato. At present, my intake is about 1850 calories a day. I also track my fat, sodium, carb and salt intake as well.
January 2nd I also began my workout regimen as defined in #2 above. It was killer. By definition, I consider running or elliptical training to be one dimensional. Something like Metabolic Training or HIIT to be three dimensional. My exercise program consist of three dimensional movement using a 20lb weight that includes high intensity activity with short rest periods in between. I still run but that's in addition to the other exercise.
What does this have to do with booze? I'm coming to that.....
Guilty pleasure, again, in my opinion, must be part of the equation. We all have cravings and knowing myself, I wasn't going to set myself up for failure. Pizza? Check. Hamburger or Philly Cheesecake. Check again. You get the picture. I haven't cut those thing completely out of my diet, but those are the exception now where they used to be the rule. I still have the occasional sweet but again, in very limited quantity.
Now, about the booze. Obviously, I like whisk(e)y and beer and those are still part of my diet. Whiskey is actually fairly low in calories so that's one thing that has stayed a part of my almost daily intake (I typically don't drink every day). Beer on the other hand has gone from maybe 1 a day or every other day to 1-2 a week. On the days that I want a beer, it's also a day I work out so I bank some calories to offset the beverage.
I'm now almost 2 shirt sizes smaller and 2 pant sizes smaller. Because of the high intensity work outs, some of the flab has turned to muscle so the weight loss hasn't been as dramatic as I would have hoped but in all I'm 30 lbs lighter.
Moderation is the key to my success. My workouts are still killer but later as I sit and sip on a dusty Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond, a MacCallan 18 year or maybe a Founders Kentucky Bourbon Stout, I do so with no guilt.