Friday, June 1, 2012

Fitness Challenge: Final Update

In February, I was pretty disgusted with myself. Over the past six months, I'd gained a lot of weight. I'd given in to all of my cravings whenever they struck, and it showed. I was weighing about 275, and I knew I had to do something.

For the last two years, I have been trying to change my fitness and nutritional outlook on life. But nothing seemed to stick. I tried HCG, and lost a lot of weight, but then, once I was no longer using it, I gained the weight back. Although HCG gave me an idea of what was possible, I could tell it wasn't the answer.

I was doing what doctors call yo-yo dieting. Losing weight, then gaining it back...and then some. Losing that weight, then gaining it back...and then some. Each time, you wind up worse off than before, because you lose some of the muscle from your body along with the fat. The muscle is what powers your metabolism. Metabolism is the amount of calories your body needs to function. If you have a lot of muscle, then you will have a high metabolism. Your body will burn a lot of calories just functioning from day to day, and that means your body won't have left over calories that it can store as fat.

So, with yo-yo dieting, you lose a little muscle, and gain all the fat back, plus a little. Then you do that again, and again. Soon, you're fatter than ever, because you killed off the motor that was burning your fuel. Now all you've got is cargo.

How do you avoid this? Well, two things. One, change your nutrition, and keep it changed. Don't go on a diet, make a lifestyle change. Stop eating the crap you used to eat in the amounts you used to eat for good. And two, start exercising. If you are exercising, your body cannot do without the muscle that you have, so it won't get rid of it along with the fat. Those two things together will keep the yo-yo from going up and down over and over.

So, at work, a friend of mine decided that he wanted to lose weight, and to do so, he got a bunch of people excited about a weight-loss contest. He was going to make it run for three months. Everyone would throw in $20 and at the end, the big winner would get 50% of that money, and the 2nd place male and female would each get 25%. He managed to get a lot of people excited about it, 21 to be exact. So the grand prize would be $210.

When I heard about this contest, I realized it was exactly what I needed. Three months would give me enough time to really commit to changing. Thing number one that I mentioned above with avoiding the yo-yo. Change my nutrition and keep it changed. Not a short diet, but a long term change. Three months seemed like plenty of time to really change the way I was doing things.

The contest would start March 5th. I decided I would do it, but it was still the middle of February. I figured, since I was going to go hardcore on this fitness challenge, that now was the time to live it up as much as I could. I ate pizza, Carl's Jr. Six Dollar Burgers, chips, cookies, candy, and pie as much as I could for my final two weeks. I had a Mountain Dew Code Red refill of my 52 oz. mug every friggin' day. I probably overdid that a bit. By the time the contest started, I was sick and effing tired of Code Red, something that I thought could never happen.

I'd also gained another seven pounds. I weighed in that first day at 282 lbs.

Over the last two years, however, I'd learned what it took to lose weight. So, unlike some in the contest, who were still just thinking that drinking diet soda is the way to cut the calories necessary to lose weight, I had actual knowledge on how to proceed.

I upped my commitment to crossfit. For the last six months I'd been attending, but only half-heartedly. Never working hard, and I was only going two or three days a week. Now, it was going to be four days a week, and full effort whenever I was there. And I managed this. I got up early four days a week, sometimes as early as 5:45, to be at my crossfit workout. I was so dedicated, that I outdid my trainer. She became more and more lax with each week, until I was lucky if I saw her at all. She would text me the workout each day, and I'd come to her house and work out in her garage by myself. But I did it.

And I changed my eating to. I changed it and stuck to it. All the stuff that I pigged out on before the contest was out the window. I didn't indulge in any of it. Especially not the Mountain Dew. Soda may be the worst thing for unnecessary calories, and diet soda, despite being gross, doesn't help any. You'll never lose weight if you're drinking diet soda all the time. That big 52 oz. mug was filled with water now, and I'd drink it through twice each day.

I started weighing 282 lbs. When I considered what my goal was, I figured 260 would be really nice. There was a time, after several rounds of HCG, that I made it as low as 245. I didn't think I could come even close to that, but 260 would be a good goal, and 245 could be my pie-in-the-sky you'll-never-reach-it goal.

After the first week, which is always the biggest week of all, I'd lost 11 friggin' pounds. There were a couple of other people who were in that vicinity, but I'd already taken a big lead. The next week, my weight loss had come back down to earth again. It was more like one or two pounds, but I continued to remain right near the top the whole three months.

I definitely had struggles too. If you've been reading this blog over the last few months, you know all about the health issue that I ran into. A health issue which is still unresolved. After about a month of working out, something happened to my body that kept me in pain constantly. At first, it felt like I had just trained a little too hard, but the healing never came. I stayed sore, and it even got worse. I went to the doctor, who put me through a bunch of unhelpful tests, and discovered nothing. But I have been unable to workout since then. I've done the rest of my weight loss without the ability to exercise.

As time went on, however, I passed up my goal of 260, and started to eye that pie-in-the-sky you'll-never-reach-it goal of 245. Could I make it? A few weeks ago, I was hovering right around 250, but I just couldn't drop below it. Then, after consistently eating right for a while, I finally dipped down to 249.

Then two weeks ago, I made it down to 247. I had a little over a week left. Could I make 245? It really seemed possible.

Each day I weighed myself, and came a little closer. I got on the scale on Monday, and BOOM BABY! It said 245.4. It seemed like a big drop from the day before, but hey, I'll take, right? Well, I thought, maybe I'd better double check. 246.8. Gah! I better double check that double check. 246.8, staying firm. I don't know why my scale sometimes gives me bogus weights, maybe it wasn't flat on the floor for the first weight or something. Apparently I hadn't made it yet.

246.6, then 246.4. I would certainly be 245 the next day, right? The next morning, the scale said 247. Aww, eff this! I only had one last chance now. Friday, June 1st, the last day of the contest, the final weigh-in, would have to be the day I reached 245. Or I guess I just wouldn't reach it in time. It didn't really matter, I guess, because I'd changed my habits. If I didn't get it Friday, well then I'd get it Saturday, or Monday, or the next week. But I'd get there.

With that healthy attitude, I stepped on the scale this morning.

BOOM BABY! This time it was real! I weighed myself several times over to make sure. I nailed it. I made it to that pie in the sky, and it tasted as good as pie in the sky should.

In my next post I'll detail how I did it, if you're interested. Maybe you can do the same in your own life. Pretty soon, that moniker Big Anklevich just plain won't apply...well, at least when it come to belly size. It'll still apply where it counts.


  1. WAY TO GO! That's a huge accomplishment. I'm not a fan of self-deprivation and I say treat yourself. But treat yourself in your new lifestyle way. ;)

    As for your continued pain, I'm really sorry about that but am also glad to hear it's not a fatal heart issue. I know people who suffer from fibromyalgia, lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome. Each person, in particular the one with lupus, took years to get properly diagnosed, but they all had one thing in common. They didn't take no or I don't know for an answer. I agree with earlier comments about finding another doctor.

  2. Congratulations!! So glad to hear you made it through, even with your troubles. You are an inspiration!