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No excuses for not losing weight

I will no longer fall victim to my own excuses for not losing weight.  In 2012 I have set a goal to lose another 50 lbs.  In the last year and a half, I lost 50 lbs., and then I went on a rollercoaster ride, of gaining some of it back, losing it, to gain some of it back again.  I have decided that in 2012 I am going to continue on the weight loss journey and work on my goal to get under 300 lbs.  I have 50 lbs. to go in order to meet this goal and I feel like if I do the right things that I can accomplish the goal.  My long term goal is 50 lbs.  My short term goal is 1 lb per week.  I want to lose 1 lb. per week and keep it off.  I do not want to continue down the rollercoaster ride that I was on in 2011.  

One of the ways I am going to lose 1 lb. per week is to go to Planet Fitness five days a week.  I am going to shorten my work outs to one hour and focus on aerobic exercise for half of that time and then circuit training for the rest of the time.  In the past I have been going three times per week and spending 90 min to 2 hours and then skipping a day in between work outs.  In 2012 I am going to step it up and do more focused work outs. 

One of the ways I am going to lose weight is by disciplining myself not to eat those things that I know will cause me to put on weight and not lose it.  I am going to do my best to stay away from breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, chocolate, sweets.  I am going to eat wraps instead of sandwiches on bread.  I am going to try to drink more water during the day and less Diet Dr. Pepper or Coke Zero Cherry.  It took me a year and a half to get away from the sugary soda pop so I have met a goal in that regard.  I also need to eliminate snacking late at night when I am on the Internet or watching the idiot box.  If I need to snack it will be sunflower seeds.  That is something that meets the psychological need to cram something in my mouth and is very low in calories. 

Exercise is work but it is the best thing you can do for yourself.  Love yourself by eating better and getting more exercise in 2012.  We all need encouragement to do better in this area.  I want to encourage you to make a commitment to yourself and to me to stop making excuses.  Start over in 2012 and do what you need to do to be a better, thinner and more healthier you.  You can do it!!

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Saturday at the gym

Good morning sports fans! Are you a fan of healthy living? Do you eat the correct foods and get enough exercise on a regular basis? Do you drink 8 glasses of water per day? Do you get enough sleep each day? Do you live a balanced life that is stress free? Is being stress free possible?

If you are like me, you are able to answer yes to some of those questions, and some of them are reminding you of areas of improvement. I believe that I struggle in some areas because I struggle with self discipline. It is not for the lack of knowledge that I struggle. I know what I must do. The hardest part of doing something is making a commitment and following through with it. Doing it no matter what. Having a “nothing will get between me and my goals so help me Jesus” attitude.

Having a positive mental attitude and believing you can do it goes a long way. Setting reasonable goals that are achievable is important. Understanding our limits and pushing ourselves to excel past those limits will keep us motivated. Losing weight, building stamina and strength are all important things to consider.

My goal today is to lose 26 pounds by the end of this year. I know I can do it because I have been working hard at the list of questions I asked earlier. I am learning how to make adjustments in my life so I can enjoy healthy living. One baby step at a time. One good decision at a time. I must commit to a lifestyle change.

What are your healthy living goals and what obstacles are standing in your way? You may be surprised to find out that all of us share in these obstacles. Together we can push past the obstacles, get back into the battle and find victory as we work towards our goals. You CAN DO IT!!

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Weight loss and where do you start?

I have been struggling with weight loss for at least 10 years now. I did not wake up one morning and I was fat.  It was a slow gradual process, sort of like putting the frog in a pan of cold water and slowly turning up the heat until one shocking moment arrives and the frog realizes he is dinner. I think that is the way it is for us. Time goes on and we grow older and the weight just creeps up on us.  When I was in my 20’s I could eat whatever I wanted and not worry about it.  When I was in grade school and high school I was very active.  I played basketball for 5 years in school, ran 10 miles a day and lifted weights.  I was very athletic and in shape.  As I entered into adult life my priorities changed and I found myself having to focus on working and paying bills and surviving in the real world.  At some point exercise and wellness became a thing of the past and it did not occur to me that in order to stay well exercise and eating healthy needed to be a life long life skill.  

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A picture of me in 2008

In September or October of last year a friend of mine at work turned me on to Take Shape for Life.  This is a wellness program that helps you to make a radical change in your eating habits.  I do not believe that regular exercise is an integral part of the program but I am sure that they encourage it if you are physically able to. Take Shape for Life to me was like taking a smoker and one day removing all cigarettes from them and telling them you will never smoke again.  I walked around angry for about 2 weeks because I had committed to removing the foods I loved to eat from my diet.  I hate the word diet so we can substitute eating habits if you like.  No matter how hard I tried I just could not convince myself that the food substitutes that they provide for you tastes like real food.  There were a couple of snack items that they provided that were not that bad but all in all my success with the program failed hopelessly.

I did learn some things from Take Shape for Life however.  Here are a couple of things that I learned.

A. I have to want to lose weight for me and no one else.

B. I should want to lose weight because I want to have a normal healthy life

C. I should want to lose weight because I want to feel better and look better

D. I should want to lose weight because I want to live longer

E. I should want to lose weight because I do not want to live through the consequences of obesity

 

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Picture of me in Sept of 2010

The hardest thing for me was to come to the reality of not doing something about the weight problem. I came to the realization that if I wanted to lose weight that I had to want it bad enough.  No one else is going to be more motivated than me to lose weight.   In other words I could not depend on someone else’s motivation to make the decision to do it. I had (still have) a monkey on my back and the only person that is going to get rid of it is me. I can lean on friends and family for encouragement and help but ultimately it is going to me that has to do the work.  

Take Shape for Life was not the program for me however it did help me to shock the system for two weeks and during that time I noticed a couple of things.  I did lose about 25 pounds and I felt so much better.  I did not lose 25 lbs in two weeks but that came off over a period of about 6 weeks.  I transitioned myself off of Take Shape for Life to a modified Adkins eating plan where I cut out as many carbs as I could. Here are some things that I stopped eating on a regular basis and sometimes not at all.

A. potatoes

B. pastas

C. white bread

D. sugary soda pops

E. sweet tea

F. regular ice cream

G. white rice

H. sweets such as candy, cakes, pies etc.

That is a very basic list of things that I cut out of my diet and with some regular walking I started to see some more weight fall off of me.  Between November of last year and about January or March of 2010 I started having major problems with my left knee to the point that I needed a walker to just get around.  That meant that I was unable to walk in our neighborhood and that was depressing to me because I knew that I needed to walk. 

One day I got sick and tired of being depressed about my weight problem and decided to switch doctors and go to a doctor that one of my co workers referred me to.  I had a full physical expecting some of the results to come back with bad results.  The doctor and I were amazed at the fact that there was nothing wrong with any of the blood tests.  Everything was in perfect order when it comes to blood sugar and cholesterol.  The doctor told me that I would be around a long time and he also agreed with me that I need to lose some weight. I realized and was reinforced with the fact that if I continued to let the weight stay where it was that I was a candidate for a stroke or heart attack.  One of the side affects of obesity is high blood pressure and I have been on meds for that for several years now.

We moved to West Ashley in June of 2010 and I am now about 7 minutes from Citadel Mall. My son and I went to the mall one day doing some exploring and I found Planet Fitness. The sign on the outside of Planet Fitness said membership is 10.00 per month with no contract.  I looked at Justin and told him that I had no excuse not to join with the cost being as low as it is and my being so close to the mall. I have been going to Planet Fitness now since the end of June. I go three to four times per week and when I go I do not play games.  I get on the elliptical trainer and I run for 30 to 40 minutes at a very brisk pace.  I get my heart rate up to 145 to 155 bpm which is in the 80 to 90% fitness range for my age.  I am 48 years old and I weigh 328 lbs as of today.  I am of the opinion that if I can do this anyone can.  Most folks I know are no where near as obese as I am so that means to me that it will be e
asier for them to do this physically than it is for me. 

When folks look at me they figure me at about 270 lbs but I am very big boned and I carry the weight well. When I started this journey last year I was close to 366 pounds. I was at a size 58 pants and I had resorted to wearing shirts that I could wear on the outside of my pants so I could mask the weight issue. I felt bad, my knee and feet hurt me to the point that I needed a walker to get around. My self image was in the basement and I was not really happy with myself.  Put all of that together and all I was able to do was to go back and forth to work and church and that was about it.  I was too self conscious about how I looked to bother going out into public because I was just too embarrassed about how I looked. 

In the last month I have taken 5 pairs of pants to the cleaners and had them taken in 2.5 inches.  The pants are at size 54 and they are starting to get loose on me already.  I am looking forward to having them taken in some more between now and January 1st 2011. I have said this before and I will say it again.  Losing weight is a lot of hard work. My weight loss was jump started by regular aerobic exercise.  I realize that not everyone is as obese as I am and therefore maybe they do not need to be as extreme with their work out habits. We are all on our own unique individual journeys and that will require an honest assessment of where we are and to set some goals.  My goal is to lose 110 lbs between June of 2010 and June of 2011.  That means I have a lot of work to do and I have to change my eating habits in a radical way.  I have a good head start and I have seen some improvement which makes me happy and it is motivating me to keep on keeping on with what I am doing and to improve upon it. 

Most, if not all of the battle to lose weight is in your mind and heart. Your flesh is not going to want to get on an elliptical trainer or do circuit training with weights. Trust me when I tell you this, if you listen to your body its natural tendencies will be to whine and moan and complain that it wants to stay at home in bed or in the recliner or couch with a bag of potato chips or a bowl of ice cream and do nothing.  You have to decide that you are sick of being the way you are and be determined to make some life changes.  We all get to that point differently and we all need different types of motivation and encouragement.  The important thing for you to understand is that you can do it.  You have the ability within yourself to do whatever it takes.  One of the first steps to making these life changes is to educate yourself on what changes that need to be made.  If you are struggling within yourself on making those changes then you may need to ask God to help you. Every single day when I am on the elliptical trainer I quote Philippians 4:13 that says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.

I have faith that God in me can give me the strength to keep going and to do the exercise even though my body is screaming that it wants to stop and go find that bowl of ice cream.  I will tell you that the longer that you do regular exercise the easier it does get.  I have found that my body is slowly but surely responding to the exercise and now I am looking forward to going to the gym and starting my day off with a good work out. You will be very happy in how much better you feel and how much energy you will get because of it. 

In my next “Wellness” blog posts I am going to try and focus on specifics. You know my story now and I am hopeful that it will help you to jump start what you need to do to get motivated. I would encourage you to respond via the comment section of my blog and let me know how you feel or where you are at in your wellness program or let me know you need encouragement to just get started.  My desire is to share my journey with as many people as possible so that others like me can find success now and in the future.  This journey is not a part time effort or only for a season, it is for life.  We can do this if we take it one day at a time, one prayer at a time, one decision at a time. 

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 James Moffitt

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Planet Fitness Day 5

I managed to go back to Planet Fitness today over at Citadel Mall. I am working on Saturdays now and since I had a 14 hour day on Saturday thanks to a power grid going down and killing electric service on all three islands I decided to rest on Sunday. I started my day by taking princess to work at the Jewish Community Center and then I went over to Planet Fitness and climbed on my beloved elliptical trainer. I have a love hate relationship with the elliptical trainer because I love to HATE it.

One of the reasons I use the elliptical trainer is because it gives me a good aerobic workout in a short amount of time. I am still starting out on level one for my age and weight but in 20 min I can run 2 miles and burn off 250 calories and get a nice sweat going. My heart rate goes from 83 to about 153 in about 10 minutes.

I want to journal my way through my experience because I know how hard it is. I need to lose 100 lbs or more so if you think about it I already carry around an extra person on my back every single day. It is much harder for someone like myself who is obese to go to the gym and have the self discipline to get exercise than it would be for someone that is slightly over weight. I want to be as transparent as I can in my journal so that anyone reading it will not think that I think this is a cake walk.

I have been severely over weight for way too long and as I get closer and closer to the big 50 I realize that the time has come for me to DO SOMETHING about this NOW. I could easily be considered as a contestant on the Biggest Loser and I have to tell you that I do not watch that show because it really seems pretty depressing to me. Maybe it was depressing for me because it reminded me of the fact that I am in those shoes and really have not done much about it. Yes, I have dabbled with walking on and off and changing my diet in the last year and I have lost some weight however I need to do more.

Weight loss is a mental and physical journey but it is also a spiritual journey. I can not lose weight by myself and believe that I am going to have the self determination to do this no matter what. Every time I get on the elliptical trainer within the first five minutes I find myself quoting a verse out of the bible (Phillipians 4:13) I can do ALL things through Christ that gives me strength. I quote that to remind myself that it is through Jesus in ME that gives me the will power and motivation to keep going even when my body is screaming to get the heck off of that elliptical trainer. Every day I ask God to give me the wisdom and knowledge I need to make the healthy choices with what I eat each day.

Weight loss means real life changes. I have to examine how I got this way and figure out what changes to make in my diet, exercise, mind and spirit. My diet can no longer consist of fat greasy foods. I can no longer eat the deserts I want to have and I have to chose to eat better. Eating better will take many pages that I do not have time for in this writing but I promise to revisit it soon. I already touched on the importance of regular exercise and burning more calories than I eat. I already touched on the spiritual side of things and how my faith comes in to play through prayer and using bible scriptures to help me keep on keeping on.

The other part that comes into play is my mind set and attitude. It is hard to go work out in a gym when you are surrounded by hard bodies. You will find out quickly that not everyone is as overweight as I am and most of the folks are trim and slim and seem to have lots of energy. If I am not careful I find myself comparing myself to those people and then I can slip into despair and depression and then my will power and determination goes into the drain. I have to be careful to NOT compare myself to others. I must realize that I am on my own physical, mental, spiritual journey and it has nothing to do with anyone else. Some days that is easier said than done but I am getting better at it. I have to work at having a positive mental attitude and realize that as long as I am making steps in the right direction by eating better and getting more exercise and having a manageable goal of losing one lb per week then I should be happy with myself. Thus far I am back on track and meeting my goal.

My prayer and hope is that someone reads this blog and can find the courage to make that first step which is to realize that the weight will not come off magically. Yes, this is like any other thing in life, it is hard and requires a lot of work and sacrifice. The important thing is that YOU CAN DO IT. Take baby steps and make the changes that will improve your quality of life. One day at a time make some subtle changes and figure out a way to eat better and get more exercise. Your quality of life and how you feel about yourself and the way you look will start to change and that in and of itself will help you keep on keeping on.

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Planet Fitness Day 2

Today was day two for my trip to Planet Fitness in West Ashley. Today was special because my 15 year old son went with me. He told me that he would love to go work out with me if I were to get a gym membership there so that helped to motivate me to make it happen. I am not sure how much camaraderie we will have while we are there but at least his going will get him some exercise and it will give me another reason to go.

I can tell that my legs are still not strong enough to handle the elliptical trainer for longer than 20 minutes but I am determined to stick with it no matter what. I am punching in my height and weight and then putting it on level 1 and going for it. The elliptical trainers all have control boxes you can plug your headset into and listen to the TV’s on the wall or whatever music station you chose. I chose to listen to 100.5 or His Radio while working out. The music helps to motivate me to do what I have to do. After about 10 minute on the elliptical trainer and my heart rate getting up to about 154 I started to develop a good sweat and I could tell that I was starting to get a decent cardio work out. I averaged 3.9 for speed and ran 2.5 miles and burned 252 calories.

Once I was done with the elliptical trainer I got on some of the weight machines and did some light reps. I did some bench press reps and then spent some time with the dumb bells and did curls with Justin. I must remember to take it slow and not over do it. Once I get there I tend to forget that I am no longer 18 years old and if not careful will go overboard and then pay for it for the next couple of days. One day at a time and one step at a time. That is what I have to keep reminding myself as I do this.

Along with regular exercise the other important part of trying to lose weight is nutrition. Katy and I went to Kingstreet Grill on Kiawah today since I had a call from the office that something was broke. When we go out to eat most of the time we order one entree and share it. We got the prime rib wraps and Katy had the home fries and I ordered a side salad instead. I have to continue to eat less and eat right and stop eating garbage. Getting more exercise and still eating junk is defeating the purpose and will only slow down the weight loss process.