Some people really do lose weight more easily than others. If you’ve ever tried and failed at maintaining a significant weight loss, I’m sure you’ve run into someone, somewhere, who managed to lose ____ pounds and has kept it off for ____ years.
Well, I live with one. And it is frustrating beyond belief to eat dinner with him. He can pack away a significant amount of food (two hamburgers with buns and mayo, a huge portion of mixed vegetables and a ginormous baked potato, for instance), while I have one plain beef patty and a salad. Guess whose scale will show a slight gain in the morning?
He lost a lot of weight before I met him 15 years ago. Over the years he’s gained about 20 pounds back. He would occasionally try to get rid of it, but his work situation was challenging and he enjoyed food as a reward. Most of the time he was eating on the road, as well.
When he retired in December, he came home to healthful meals and limited snack opportunities (no hotel vending machine down the hall). And he started taking a daily walk. At first it was two miles, then he increased it to three, then five and now he’s really proud of himself for walking a 10K almost every day.
He lost 30 pounds in six months. He was patient and consistent. He didn’t, to my knowledge, have a weekly weight-loss goal in mind. He just kept on doing what he knew would work and, eventually, it did.
That daily walk seems to allow him to eat almost whatever he wants. We don’t keep peanut butter in the house, and if I buy a can or jar of peanuts I have to hide them. (Peanuts are not like crack for me, but they definitely are for him.)
Lean protein, good carbs, a small amount of good fat and almost no starches seems to be the way I need to eat. I dream about crispy fried chicken – dark meat! – and pizza and ice cream sundaes. But in real life, about all I eat is chicken breast, eggs, salad, vegetables, yogurt, hummus and light cheese.
And exercise is vital. Excuse me – exercise is vital!
This week of gravel-moving has been good for my muscles. I finished up the hard part of the project yesterday and then I lifted weights anyway. I didn’t especially want to, nor did I feel like I had to, considering the number of rocks I moved (to edge the gravel area). I just did it. Cross-training was on the schedule, and I didn’t have to run. One more star on the chart.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. He and I are living proof that different bodies lose weight differently. I’ve not been consistent with either food or exercise since I started South Beach May 15. Two trips to Florida will mess with your schedule. But I’ve lost a total of six pounds since that first weigh-in – two pounds a month – which is about average for me.
Training for the Richmond race seems to be what I needed in order to get the exercise ball rolling again. I could have had five rest days so far – I’ve only had one.
And six pounds is six pounds, no matter how long it takes.