45 pounds

In January of 2004, I decided that I was going to lose weight.  I made a resolution, and recorded it in my Treo on January 13, 2004.  The description I provided was this:

Lose weight with hacker's diet.

Starting weight: 231
Goal weight: 180

I have all kinds resolutions in my Palm, although, most of them don't have a definitive goal.  Essentially, things like "don't put things off until later" and "take responsibility".  I've always been a goal oriented, list-making kind of guy.  Although, what I've learned about myself is that I tend to make the list and then forget about the items on it.  Afterall, taking the time to accomplish the tasks on a list only takes away from time that could be devoted to making new lists.

It is August now, and I weigh 186 pounds.  It may not be in my best interest to lose any more weight, since I arbitrarily picked a number that a chart said was good for my height.  I'll chat with my doctor to see what she thinks, but I have always been a larger framed person and suspect that I am probably at a good weight.  I started by reading the entire contents of The Hacker's Diet online, downloading the Excel spreadsheets and picking an arbitrary caloric value that was 500 less than an estimate of what I would need to eat per day to maintain that weight.  (It ended up being closer to 1600 calories less than what I needed, according to my charts; it is easy to not notice how much you are really eating when you aren't paying attention.)

So, what was the trick?  Why was I able to succeed with this resolution but not with others?  This had not been my first attempt to lose weight.  What was different this time?

Although I have declared my diet officially a success, I knew before I lost my first pound that I would accomplish my goal.  The keys were:

  1. A devotion to my weightloss
  2. The knowledge I needed to create and follow a plan
  3. The tools I needed to to measure my results.

Reading the Hacker's Diet gave me the knowledge I needed, and also provided the Excel sheets for tracking calories and charting weights.  But, the mystery is, where did my devotion come from?  Really, I cannot be certain.  I think it may have been that I was officially obese for too long and was simply tired of it.  Once I intellectually understood exactly how to lose weight, and knowing that all I had to do was keep track of what I was eating to do it, it became less of an effort and almost automatic.

For a long time, I was under the impression that people couldn't change, not really.  Sure, they could start something, and maybe be with it for awhile, but they would eventually end up back where they started.  Now, I know that is not exactly true.  Instead, I now believe that change can be very difficult, takes time, and requires a good  reason.  If you aren't convinced by your reason, save yourself some time and give up now.