Thursday, April 05, 2012

How a Programmer Lost 46 Pounds and Survived

So I started this journey 46 pounds ago on July 6th, 2011 weighing in at 196 pounds. That may not sound too bad, but keep in mind that I'm only 5' 6" tall!

It seems every year I've been gaining more and more weight. A combination of stress, overeating, late night snacking, and eating a bunch of unhealthy foods brought me to where I was. I used to hold back and resist getting larger pants, but it soon became ridiculous trying to fit into clothes that I really shouldn't be wearing. So, I eventually got up to a 36` waist so I could fit comfortably.

Near my heaviest weight an uncle of mine passed away from a heart attack. At the funeral I was approached by my sister and my aunt. They both showed concern for my condition. Deep down I knew I was at high risk for multiple health related problems, but having a relative die because of health issues opened my eyes.

So, what did I do to loose weight? Well, it mostly began when I started a special MetaGenics Ultraclear Detox diet in another attempt to reduce or eliminate chronic headaches. The passing of my uncle and other health problems (pain in my legs) were additional encouragement for me to continue with this detox, to start exercising, and to continue eating well.

The detox was a one month strict combination of reducing sugars, dairy, meat, carbs, and pretty much everything but vegetables, fruit, nuts, and brown rice. In addition I took a series of shakes and pills to attach and flush out any toxins that were in my body. After the month of this detox program my headaches were not any better, but physically I felt a lot better and I was loosing quite a bit of weight in the process.

I could not have stuck to this program without my wife. Having her support was vital for me completing this detox successfully. Our grocery list changed quite a bit and she helped prepare meals that we can both eat that are healthy and delicious.

The detox was not the only reason for my weight lose. I also was exercising quite regularly. I used to run outside, but that was too hard on my body. My shins would hurt, I'd get hot, and after about 15 minutes or so my arms would go numb! So, I was inspired by my 6yo daughter's swim lessons and decided to start swimming. As it turns out, swimming it is easy on my body and I stay pretty cool during the workout. About 4 times a week I go to our local YMCA and swim in the indoor lap pool. When I started swimming I could hardly swim a length of the pool without stoping to rest, but over time I worked up to swimming several laps at a time without resting. As of recent, I typically swim 1/2 mile during a workout.

Now that the detox program is over I am still being very restrictive of what foods I eat. I do eat some meat, but I try to limit it to organic beef, chicken, or turkey and wild fish. I still try not to eat sugars, dairy, or carbs. So, what do I eat and drink then? Here are some items that I enjoy...

  • Humus with vegetables
  • Guacamole with vegetables
  • Raw cashews and cranberries or raisins
  • Rice Cake with turkey and avocado
  • Rice Cake with almond Butter
  • Brown rice sushi
  • Black been salad and Shish Kabobs
  • Blueberries, almond Butter, and stevia
  • Lime water with stevia
  • Water with blueberries at the bottom
  • Dandy Blend with stevia in place of coffee
  • LĂ„RABAR for a snack
  • Apple and almond butter
  • Etc...

In addition to the above items a lot of what we eat these days comes from the MaximizedLiving Nutrition Plans cookbook.

As a developer who speaks regularly, I am finding it difficult to find things I can eat while I'm away from home. It seems everything is fried, has carbohydrates, or added sugar. I typically bring with me several snack baggies of nuts, dried fruit, and lara bars. I keep my pockets full of stevia packets just in case I need it while away from home.

If you know you are overweight and have been looking for a reason to change your life, I encourage you to start now. Maybe you can start by cutting out sugar drinks, cut out that late night snack, or start exercing in your home or at the gym. Whatever you do, please do something to take care of your body. Your family is counting on you to be alive.

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