My Weight Loss Journey

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Thanks for sharing that. It is very hard. There’s no easy way to do it. Even though the ups and downs happen I’m glad to hear you keep attacking it. For me, the battle is fought in the grocery store. You can’t eat it if it’s not in the house. That’s not easy because I really miss Doritos! Go slow and think long term. It’s small changes that make big differences in the long run. I’m not out of the woods either. It’s a daily, sometimes hourly struggle.
Thanks, I agree 100%. We know from a lifetime of being overweight, the intricacies we run into along the way. We were near perfect for 10 months, then all of a sudden...you know the rest. You're very encouraging and I appreciate it.
 
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My trick with the breasts is starting with a dry rub/brine. I get the giant boneless-skinless frozen bags at Costco. I let them that in the fridge a couple days. Then I grab a medium cambro (container) and I coat them with Tajin and chicken salt. Too much Tajin and they get too tangy. It’s a medium to light coating of both. I layer them on top of each other really packing them in. That goes into the fridge for 24-36 hours. That seems to be the sweet spot for me.

I smoke them in my Yoder at 225 but I check on them frequently. I’m shooting for an IT of 140-145. Above that and they dry out really fast. I drop the temp on the smoker to as low as it goes and I hold that temp for an hour or so. If I don’t have the time I will vacuum seal them and put them in the Sous Vide for 2 hours at 140.

I’ve gotten good enough I don’t need my thermapen anymore and can get them right by feel. When one is done I pull it and keep cooking the rest. They turn out unbelievably moist and tender. I slice them up into small bite-sized chunks to put on the salads or in a can of black beans. That’s my meal most nights but I do a variety of stuff to keep my diet balanced.

On the advice of my nutritionist I also take 500 mg of calcium +Vit D twice a day. Your body can’t absorb more than 500 mg at a time and that takes 12 hours do anything more isn’t used. Cheese is something that made me fat so getting calcium was super important for me.
Thank you so much and I will try it next weekend. Oddly enough I happen to actually go find some Tajin today to make esquites. Going to try and make me a version using cauliflower.
 
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I couldn’t gain weight all my high school and college years. My other nickname was Bones. In fact, twice I was called into the principal’s office because some of my teachers thought my parents were not feeding me. I’m a farm kid. We raised beef. We had an acre veggie garden and an acre for potatoes. 5 rows of the cornfield were always sweet corn for us (and the deer and raccoons). Once I lost that lung I lost that nickname.
Skinny / wiry has been my life story. 29 x 34 pants! I had 2 accidents (Moto) that I never recovered from the muscle atrophy and got back to my original weight. Then had covid last July, so Skinnier / wirier now more than ever. I paddle, I hike, I process firewood from standing tree to hearth. Can't gain anything.

You are a true inspiration with your transformation and willpower to do so.
 
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Congratulations. My dad was at 400 lbs. He got covid in 2020 and lost 40 lbs from it. He had a rough time, was put on oxygen
He decided to start walking to get his lungs working again. He lost 150 lbs and is walking 5 miles a day now.
 
Sven, congrats on your journey! That really takes dedication and perseverance to do… you are definitely an inspiration! Good for you, so happy for you! Thanks for sharing and encouraging others!
 
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Well done. I just started my journey in February. I was weighing 280. I am down 25 lbs now and long way to go hoping to hit 180. It is a lifestyle change for me. I totally changed how, what, and quantity of food. Just started walking most every day as my knees allow. Started with 15 min and up to 30 now (about 1.5 miles). Trying to work my way up to 45 min and hoping to be able to add some light jogging if joints allow. I like your swimming routine and may need to give that a try since I have a giant natural pool in my backyard, have also been contemplating kayaking. I am eating between 1700 - 2000 calories, 125-200 g protein, 25-30 g fiber most days but have hit a plateau the last few weeks. Time to tweak the routine. For me, the decision was due to my weight was affecting my everyday life, tired all time, lazy, easily winded, couldnt cut toenails, no clothes fit...and on and on. Hopefully your success is an inspiration to many.
 
Well done. I just started my journey in February. I was weighing 280. I am down 25 lbs now and long way to go hoping to hit 180. It is a lifestyle change for me. I totally changed how, what, and quantity of food. Just started walking most every day as my knees allow. Started with 15 min and up to 30 now (about 1.5 miles). Trying to work my way up to 45 min and hoping to be able to add some light jogging if joints allow. I like your swimming routine and may need to give that a try since I have a giant natural pool in my backyard, have also been contemplating kayaking. I am eating between 1700 - 2000 calories, 125-200 g protein, 25-30 g fiber most days but have hit a plateau the last few weeks. Time to tweak the routine. For me, the decision was due to my weight was affecting my everyday life, tired all time, lazy, easily winded, couldnt cut toenails, no clothes fit...and on and on. Hopefully your success is an inspiration to many.
I can completely relate top EVERYTHING you said. I'm laughing at the toenails comment because something so simple left me unbelievably winded as did tying my shoes. I started to wear slip-ons. Plateaus are normal and frustrating. I had one that lasted 2 months and I didn't think I'd hit my goal in time. I used a metabolism calculator to get my number in general but my pulmonologist had me take a metabolism test and found my resting rate was about 2100 which means this is what I was burning just sitting around. So my calorie deficit was 600, resting plus any exercise I did was a bonus. Burning one pound of fat cost me 3400-3700 calories of deficit and exercise.

I lost probably 25 lbs at first without exercise. That actually helped my future exercise because my knees and back were a little less pain ridden. I hate exercise and I still do. I don't get the runner's high and I wish I did. One of my breakthroughs was an attitude change. I looked at exercise as a punishment for how big I was. I was paying the price for being so big. So no wonder I hated it. After it started getting a little easier I changed my attitude and no longer looked at it as a punishment. I was now celebrating it as an achievement. I'm not on any social media (not sure if this counts) but I have a couple friends, family, and coworkers that let me "brag" about my accomplishments and small victories. As I increased what I was doing and the weight was coming off, they cheered me on. I regularly texted pictures of me on the scale, a new size of clothing I was fitting into, a screenshot of my hike or swim, etc.

I also used the health app on my iPhone/Apple Watch. At first I considered it as a gimmick. But I soon became motivated by it. I started to enter my weight and blood pressure numbers. My trick was I only entered my weight when it was lower than the previous weight. Your weight will fluctuate because of many factors. One of the big ones I found was drinking water as water is heavy. So I only weighed myself at a specific time which was usually after my hike and before my meal or chugging down a gallon of water. I also started taking pictures and did that every 25 lbs of loss and I could really see the difference.

The health app was super useful and I was amazed at what was happening. One of the biggies was heart rate and VO2 Max. My resting heart rate was 75 which is close to being a rabbit and not healthy. It's now regularly 42-50. My VO2 Max went from 23 to 49.2 which is off the charts excellent and squarely in the athlete range which I find hilarious. My BP went from 140/82 to 97/54. Two years ago considering myself an athlete would have been laughable. I was 1 point away from being officially diabetic and my blood pressure was horrible. I was also on a CPAP. That's all gone now. No medicine, no CPAP. My waist went from a 44 to a 32. My shirt size from a 4XL to a medium.

The change is slow but to see it and be encouraged by it you need to track it. Tracking can be tedious but it's very rewarding because it shows change. It's encouraging to hear you understand that it's a lifestyle change. My doctor said you cannot heal in the same environment where you got sick. The environment has to change.

My knees are also bad and during this journey I had clean-up surgery done on both of them. They still hurt but adding swimming helped as it's very low impact. I would bike if I could but my back cannot take the bent-over position. I would also jog but my knees and my ortho-doctor tell me no. Keep on track and keep increasing what you're doing because as you lose weight it will get easier. I promise. Always push yourself further a little more each month and make yourself uncomfortable.

Sorry for rambling on but I feel a bit passionate about this and decided to really put myself out there to help other folks however I can. I'm just an average guy who never thought I'd ever get healthy again. So any tricks I learned along the way I feel obligated to share. Keep pressing forward and find yourself a group of cheerleaders. In a year you'll be amazed where you're at.

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Here's the example of the weight loss chart, only recording a lower weight and not the fluctuations. You can see my big plateau toward the end.
 
About 20+ years ago I lost the use of my right lung from a car accident. I was a normal weight until then. That accident began a weight gain journey that put me over 300lbs. At one official doctor’s scale I was at 305 but I was over that number for sure in the months before that weigh-in. In spite of “encouraging words” from my family I had pretty much given up on weight loss. I was never a fan of exercise or healthy eating. I like to eat pigs and cows and not the stuff they eat.

It’s too long to get into but I tried several different diets with limited success and lots of rebounds. I tried motivational books and videos always convinced my success was eventually going to be achieved. But I never found that inspiration.

A sober meeting with my pulmonologist explaining what “morbidly obese” meant was one of the things that got me started. Again, too much to get into but a little over a year ago I started eating one meal a day and counting calories. I’ve talked about it a little on this forum in the past. With my pulmonologist I set a goal of losing enough weight in a year to move me from “morbidly obese” to “normal.” This was going to be a big 60th birthday gift to myself.

Trying to keep this short I’ll jump to the end. I lost 130 lbs. I did it by eating 1500 calories or less every day. I hiked an average of 6.5 miles a day but I had to build up to that. And, when I was in a big plateau, I added swimming about 2100-2500 yards 4-6 times a week to my fitness routine.

I’ve talked about it in the past on this forum but I’ve never shown you pictures of the results. I know we don’t often show ourselves as I’d rather see brisket or anything Robert is cooking than some old guy sitting in a lawn chair sipping Marker’s Mark next to a smoker.

I’m doing this not for kudos but to encourage you. Maybe you made a resolution this year to finally drop some pounds and you’re loosing your mojo. I know it’s a cliche but seriously, if I can do this you can, too. There’s nothing special about me. I was freaking huge and always tired and I loved sitting. I had a million reasons to not start. Exercise and one functional lung don’t mix.

So here it goes. Sorry this isn’t brisket or bacon. Haha. Just some old guy.

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Here I am enjoying an extra dirty martini. I’m over 300 lbs at this point.

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I think I’m the one on the left but it’s hard to tell. We have the same number of chins.

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And here I am in my wetsuit, something I never thought in a million years I would ever fit into. I swim outdoors in the winter and I hate the cold now, thus the wetsuit.

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And here’s a comparison shot one of my daughters made using the martini man picture.

I still smoke and eat meat but a lot less. I’m an expert at chicken breasts and shrimp now. I give away a lot of stuff I make so I won’t eat it all. I have a newfound love of grilled veggies and salads. I also don’t drink my calories.

Questions? Ask away. I’m an open book. And now you’ve seen me in a wetsuit so there’s not much left to hide. I thought that was better than one of those shirtless shots in front of a gas station bathroom mirror.
Thanks for sharing man. Very inspiring!
 
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Awesome job! Loved the story behind the motivation. I bet you feel so much better now as well...amazingly so.

I did something similar...75 pounds off in 18 months. Went from 250 to 175...kept it off for 12+ years now.
Started with Atkins ... did this for 3 or 4 months - but I really missed pasta
so
Switched to Weight Watchers ... did this for 3 or 4 months - but I really missed chicken wings
then, I really did something crazy...
I counted calories, used portion control and exercise. I bet that sounds familiar! Also - as you are aware, this lifestyle is sustainable and a "dieting" lifestyle is not.

FWIW - I just closed my exercise ring by taking a nice walk right before I read your post. As you most excellently explained, getting off the couch really does work!
 
Awesome job! Loved the story behind the motivation. I bet you feel so much better now as well...amazingly so.

I did something similar...75 pounds off in 18 months. Went from 250 to 175...kept it off for 12+ years now.
Started with Atkins ... did this for 3 or 4 months - but I really missed pasta
so
Switched to Weight Watchers ... did this for 3 or 4 months - but I really missed chicken wings
then, I really did something crazy...
I counted calories, used portion control and exercise. I bet that sounds familiar! Also - as you are aware, this lifestyle is sustainable and a "dieting" lifestyle is not.

FWIW - I just closed my exercise ring by taking a nice walk right before I read your post. As you most excellently explained, getting off the couch really does work!
Also - as you are aware, this lifestyle is sustainable and a "dieting" lifestyle is not.
Thanks uncle eddie uncle eddie . This is a fantastic quote and I'm going to use it. You're right on. A diet lifestyle is not sustainable. It gets too redundant, taxing, boring, frustrating. The key was eating healthier things I liked in the right proportions and cutting out ALL snacking. Snacks and little nibbles here and there were killing my progress. And, YES, getting off the couch does work. I do all my fitness stuff later in the day when I'm hungry as it keeps me away from the fridge and pantry.
 
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Congrats that's a life changing accomplishment. Can I ask your age? You are an inspiration!
Hitting my goal weight was a gift to myself on my 60th birthday. The goal was actually 183 which barely put me in the normal BMI category. I barely made it and it was a huge fight to the end. I had a trainer and he helped me do some intense stuff at the end I hated, but it worked. I hit 179. During this journey a couple things slowed me and those two things were surgery on both knees, one at a time. My trainer & PT worked with me on recovery and my trainer was also a huge help with my non-functional lung issue.
 
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Congratulations on your incredible journey, Sven! 🎉 Your dedication and success are truly inspiring. It's fantastic to hear how you found what works best for you. And you're absolutely right about sustainability being key—making it a lifestyle change rather than a short-term diet is where the magic happens!
 
This is an excellent result. Congratulations! I agree that this story will inspire many people who are experiencing difficulties in life. Thanks for sharing.
 
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