About the Author
Why I Lost the Weight
In my senior year of undergraduate, I was 22 years old, but I also had some much more unfortunate numbers associated with my life. Like these:
- 6'4", and weighed 308 lbs.
- BMI of 35.2
- Body fat percentage of 45%
- Prehypertension and blood pressure of 135/105
- Resting pulse of 88 bpm
4 doctors, over the course of 3 years had all told me to lose weight, or risk some lifelong damage to my health.
But none of that actually affected how I thought of myself. I was still perfectly happy with of the aspects of who I was. I liked me. My physical appearance hadn't stopped me from having a healthy social life or experiencing great friendships in high school or college. But it was something that I couldn't conquer. It was something that I couldn't change. All of my young life, I had had the will and determination to set out and do other things I wanted for myself, but for some reason my weight was beyond my control.
Something happens to people in college, though. The shift from childhood to adulthood becomes less of a future event and more of a present reality. We're taught that when we want to accomplish something, all it takes is having a goal, a plan to succeed, and the grit to obtain that goal, no matter what. If your goal is an 'A' in a class, you make plans to study (or should), and you persevere by accepting the opportunity costs of studying and missing out on parties, fun, and sleeping.
The same was true for me when I didn't just want 'A's' in classes anymore. My weight wasn't stopping me from living life how I wanted, but it was stopping me from feeling like I could accomplish anything I wanted. It was the goal that should have been so obvious to myself, but for which I never made a plan. Until I did.
November 12, 2013 was a pretty boring Tuesday outside the fact that it was the day I started wanting to make the changes for my life to be healthier and to take control of my weight.
As most of personal revelations hit, I was lying in bed, wide awake with anxiety over why there wasn't an app to help in losing weight. That lasted for about 5 minutes and then a quick search on Apple's App Store turned up LoseIt.
LoseIt and MyFitnessPal both offered up options to count calories eaten and burned from exercise. Once I started counting calories going in and out, it became like budgeting a bank account, a personal little project where I could spend calories on whatever I wanted to eat, and it was all good as long as I "earned" more calories to spend by working out or waiting till the next day to get more calories to spend.
By Thanksgiving, I had lost close to 20 pounds, and people noticed. By graduation in May 2014, I was down to 260 pounds, had gone down a pantsize, and was wearing a size smaller shirt.
With that momentum, I went down to 230 pounds before starting grad school through Doug more cardio and sticking to a stricter diet. No diet sodas, less red meats, skipping desserts and processed cake foods and candy.
Throughout my first year of grad school, I maintained the 230 lbs benchmark, drifting between 225 and 235. Daily yoga practice, 2-3 gym visits a week, and mindful tracking of intake calories all allowed me to focus on my studies while staying in control and happy with my new self.
But being 230 pounds only kept me happy through the end of my first year of grad school. As soon as I was done with my last class on the last day of the quarter, the next goal was set for my summer. I wanted to be below 200 pounds for the first time in my life in over 10 years.
The beginning started with research into the high fat, adequate protein, and low carb diet, Keto and upping my gym visits to 6 or 7 times per week. By switching up my diet and exercise tactics, I finalized my weight loss goals and reached a weight I hadn't seen since being 14 years old.
When I returned to grad school for my second year, I weighed 189 pounds, my BMI was 21, and my professors barely recognized me! I wasn't just healthy, I was for the first time in my life considered "athletic."
Since graduating, moving to New York and beginning life as an adult, my dieting and exercise routines have remained in place, and each season presents a new challenge to continue being healthy. It's no longer just a project that I used to get where I could be healthy, it's my lifestyle . And this blog can help diet and exercise to become your lifestyle too.