Trying to Lose 100 Pounds in 12 Months

As I said previously, I’m going to start posting e-mails from readers and respond to them on the blog. This is number two of that continuing series.

I’m a man of my word.

This e-mail was sent from Andrew of Minnesota:

I’ve been working on losing weight the past five weeks or so. I even started a blog. You can find it at http://waterballoonist.blogspot.com. I’ve had a slow start, but the past couple weeks have been encouraging. My goal is to lose 100 pounds in one year. I have 90.3 pounds and 47 weeks to go. The blog has kept me focused on my goals and helped me to define new ones. I feel I’m more accountable and have been enjoying the encouragement and advice of visitors.

A few days ago, a friend of mine pointed me in your direction. I’m very glad that she did. I subscribe to a number of weight loss blogs and yours’ is the first that I can truly relate to. We seem to have a lot in common. I topped out at 313 (I know it’s not 344, but I’m a few inches shorter than you), I’m in my 20s (26) and I’m married. I have felt disgusted with my weight and felt like I was headed for an early death before I started running last spring. I feel like you are what I could be a year from now.

I have so many questions I don’t know where to start. I feel like there are questions I should be asking that I don’t even know about. I guess I’ll just ask what comes to mind at the moment. Forgive me if you’ve already addressed these questions on your website. I’m in the process of reading all of your posts but there are over 200 of them, and it may take some time for me to get through them.

If you could go back in time one year and offer yourself one piece of advice for your weight loss journey, what would it be?

Have you had issues with your knees (ankles, feet) and running (or any exercise)? How did you deal with them?

How do you keep stress and sleep deprivation from destroying your resolve when it comes to diet and exercise?

Can I post your response to this email on my own website?

That’s all I can think of right now. I was also wondering if you’d be willing to glance at my blog (http://waterballonist.blogspot.com) and give me any suggestions on ways to be successful. Thank you so much. You’re an inspiration to me.

The one piece of advice I would like to go back in time and tell myself is to try to get some sun since I’m going to be on camera.  My legs are much too white.

Kidding.

I’d probably like to tell myself that past success does not guarantee future results.  I lost 100 pounds in 6 months, but it’s taken another 10 or so to lose the next 45 pounds.  Yesterday and the choices I made (whether good or bad) have no affect on the decisions I make today.  I lost 100 pounds, got less focused than I should have and my weight loss slowed.

I took the hard work and determination I had the first 6 months for granted.

Issues/injuries — I’ve only had minor issues arise.  I had issues with my feet for the first month from being on the elliptical machine so much.  I had massive blasters all of my feet.  Right or wrong, I ignored them and fought through the pain.  I worked so hard to lose weight at the beginning — nothing could have stopped me, especially not a few blisters.

As far as sleep deprivation is concerned, I don’t let it bother me.  I have a few things I have to do every day — be a daddy, be a husband, go to work, visit the gym, and blog.  The clock can do what it wants and I’ll do what I want.

Lastly, I like your blog.  I’m not a blogging expert or anything, frankly, I can barely use this magic box with the keyboard in front of it.  I would say one thing:  it needs some color.  Maybe some bright purple or aqua blue.

But of course, I’ll leave that decision up to you.

Thanks for reading and writing.

39 thoughts on “Trying to Lose 100 Pounds in 12 Months”

  1. First, I think it’s fantastic that this person wants to lose 100 pounds. But personally, I think losing 100 pounds in 12 months sounds unhealthy. I lost 110 pounds and it took me just under 2 years. Of course I would have loved it if the weight came off faster, but I did it the healthy way with trying to change my lifestyle, relearn how to eat well, create my own exercise program. It’s been almost 4 years and I’ve kept the weight off.

      1. I agree. There is nothing wrong with losing two pounds a week…that’s been my goal all along, and I’ve been sticking to it pretty well.

        In addition to Jiu-Jitsu, I just joined a gym, so I’m curious how the two extra days of cardio will affect things for me.

    1. I established the 100 pounds in a year goal because I was sick of not going anywhere with my weight loss and needed a goal to keep me accountable. If it takes me longer than a year, it takes me longer than a year. I’m not giving up (though I may have to change the name of my blog if I miss my deadline).

      I figured out that I would have to lose 2 pounds a week to be successful. That was within acceptable limits and I’d have to keep focused in order to make my goal.

    2. Also he’s male. In the beginning he’s likely to lose a lot more weight making up for any under 2lb weeks. If he was a she then it’d be a little less probable but still possible.

  2. Drink lots of water, if you think you’ve had too much, drink some more. Count your calories, stay on budget. Start a food journal and stick to it. Go for walks, 30-40 minutes a day, get your body moving as much as you can. I play Wii Boxing for instance, it gets me sweaty. I’ve dropped 25lbs in the last two months by doing these few things.

  3. Ugggh… Its the time focus that kills me. I can’t guarantee you that I will lost 100 lbs in a year, I can guarantee you come hell or high water I will make my goal because my life is different now, I’m not a smoking snack-eating human garbage disposal for all of the parties at my workplace. It is *ALWAYS* okay to turn down free food that is bad for you. If it looks like its bad for your body, it probably is. Trust your head not your gut. If you don’t make the time goal celebrate the accomplishment you did make.

    1. Thanks for saying it’s okay to turn down free food that is bad for you. The cheap-o in me is always saying “but, it’s free. You have to eat it.” I’m going to keep your thoughts in mind the next time I’m offered something for free.

  4. I need to finally start a blog and stick with it. The discipline problem I have with going to the gym is the same discipline problem I have with remembering to post to my blogs.

  5. Hrm, maybe I should offer web design to weight loss blogs or something. The last few paragraphs has my mind going now.

  6. I rensently wrote about the need to make the lifestyle change on my blog and not falling into the trap that so many gimicks have for weight loss. Do count calories, drink water, exercise every day (even if it’s just a walk on your cool down day), and allow yourself to make mistakes. Don’t buy diet bars or drinks, or jenny craig look-alikes, learn to cook food you enjoy! Home cooking is the best way to go, but if you have to eat out make a choice before you leave the house and stick with it!

      1. Your welcome, and with most chain resturants poasting their nutritional values now online you can make the best choice from home and know you are eating well enough. Applebee’s has finally done this, and I looked at their values – it seems like only the weight wachers meals are the only thing worth eating there that isn’t going to pack on the pounds. So, watch out – even salads can be disguised with fat!

  7. I’ve lost nearly 100 pounds since May 15th of last year. Cross your fingers for me as I am going for that big 100 finish, too and then another 100 to make it to 155! Thus far I’ve learned that beating myself up for having something I’ve been craving for weeks isn’t going to get me anywhere. Learn to listen to your body. If you are following a calorie regimen (I highly recommend Calorie King if you don’t mind paying $9 a month), try not to eat the same number every day. Your body gets bored. Average the number over a week.
    Find lower calorie foods you already love and incorporate them, this makes you feel less like cheating for a while. As Tyler says, have that occasional hamburger or pizza or whatever food is your weakness but have it in moderation. I would so not make it without chocolate and seasoned crinkle fries.
    Water, water and more water. I don’t flavor mine but there are plenty of zero calorie options if you don’t like plain old water. I think some of them taste good but I actually like straight water and good ole unsweet tea.
    I’ve spent the majority of my journey without exercising due to some health issues. I’ve started walking and biking and light weights recently now that so much weight is off. I’ve dealt with swollen ankles regularly but that seems to be disappearing. I’ve had my back go out a couple of times too. If something happens physically, DO NOT DESPAIR!!! Just watch your calories until you’re better. You might not lose anything but you won’t gain anything back either if you’re careful. Oh and shoes (yes I love this part being a woman) but make sure you are wearing a good sturdy and supportive pair of shoes when you are working out. This makes a HUGE difference in how your legs and feet feel later.
    Hmm other little tidbits…find some cheerleaders, whether they are here online or in your “real life” friends, family, and coworkers. I love being able to report in to my friends when I’ve been successful. They also provide me with support when I’m not feeling so on the ball with all of this. Set little goals and reward yourself when you reach them. For me this means shopping! Just try not to reward yourself with food. My latest treat was finally buying something from a regular department store that actually fit! And it wasn’t even their largest size!!!!
    Anyways, I know I’m very long winded here but just remember life happens and very often gets in the way. As one of my very favorite books says in “bold friendly letter…Don’t Panic!” You’ve made a choice and small baby steps will get you to where you want to be.

  8. First, know this: Diets do not work. Short term, maybe. But your first step can be adjusting what you devour. For me (50lbs lighter than this time last year), it came down to 5 things. Less salt, less fat, less meat, more fiber, more plant matter.
    Things I could live with. I like meat, I’ll never give it up, but treat it more like a condiment than an ingredient, you know?

    I wish you the best of luck on your journey. It ain’t an easy path, but you’ve got some fellow travelers.

    -transiit

  9. My lifestyle change has not been in place but about 12 weeks now but if I could go back to before that journey began and offer myself a peice of advice, it would have been to take several pictures of myself. You may already have them on your website, haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. I began taking pictures of myself after dropping several pounds and did not really see as much of a difference as I would have liked, which led me to feeling kind of down. Friends that I haven’t seen in awhile ask for before and after photos and I have none(making that big of a difference) to share with them.

    After deciding that I was going to change my lifestyle and lose weight, I had to find a hard working work-out that was comfortable for me(being so obese) and that allowed flexibility with my schedule to ensure my success by not having an excuse to not work out. I found an at home video of The Biggest Loser – Boot Camp, which required some dumbbells and a resistance tube(others if you’d like but you can make it by with that). I started by doing the resistance tube excercies that came with it and adding bicep curls, push ups, jumping jacks, sit ups, and then would do my work out video. All of these excercises gave me the flexibility to reduce the number of repititions if I began to have major aches and pains (I have, had would be a better word though, a bad back and would occasionally not be able to complete them all without the risk of it going out completely. After dropping a little over 70 lbs, I have finally began to walk and jog without feeling as though my legs are about to fall off from being so numb. Prior to my dropping the weight I was not able to walk a half mile without my legs throbbing, going number, and me having to sit down.

    Stress got me where I was 12 weeks ago, I would eat (without realizing it), everytime something stressful occured. I have learned to deal with stress by walking, jogging, or dancing. The last couple of weeks has been extremely stressful with finals and stuff at school and not being able to study as much as I’d like because of my full time work schedule; I have picked up my activity level a notch by walking, jogging, or dancing an hour per night that I have a stressful day. Yes, it does cut into my sleep some but tossing and turning all night thinking about my day keeps me up longer. Not to mention, my morning workouts energize me and my nighttime activity, promotes sleep. Weird huh? I know when I have little sleep it does cause my weight loss to not be as much as I’d like or hope for but it’s part of life. Everyone, healthy or obese, is going to have periods where sleep doesn’t get to happen as much and we have to make the best of it. What I would recommend is that you try your hardest to get a full nights rest every night but don’t think about it’s affect on your weight, it may cause you to not “care” as much and lead to a slip in your food selection.

    Generalized advice:
    This has been stated numerous times but it’s something I practice as well, find the food you are going to order from looking at an online nutrition guide before going out to eat (from my experience most restaurants do not have the guide available).
    Don’t overexert yourself when working out, the phrase “no pain, no gain” is bad. If the pain gets to instense and you could rate it high enough to get morphine from a hospital, it’s time to back off. Pain happens while working out but in moderation.
    There are so many diets out there telling you that they are “scientifically proven”. The main thing about food choices is finding one that works for you. I believe Tyler has stated this before in one of his blogs, calories in – calories out = weight loss, this is what I have been going by since starting. I not only watch the calories, I also try to limit other things like sodium, cholesterol, and trans/sat fats. I don’t go overboard in these categories, mainly calories, but I do atleast monitor them.
    And lastly, if you have medical conditions that a doctor has told you was due to obesity, you have a bright future ahead. My blood pressure dropped from 145/95 to 118/76 within 3 weeks of beginning to workout, with the help of no medicine; consult with your doctor before you stop taking a prescription if you are on any. And not to mention, my cholesterol is within range; while discussing cholesterol in my class my teacher asked who’s cholesterol was below 200, I was only 1 of 3 people out of 18 that could say yes.

    It is possible and you have already taken the first step in the right direction, good luck on your journey.

  10. Supposedly barefoot running is good for ankle/knee injuries. I haven’t tried it yet because of goosepoop and concrete but I plan to because I have bad knees and ankles and now an elbow that hates me. The idea behind it is humans were naturally designed to run barefoot (which they are) and that it allows the body to function as it was meant to. People evolved to our current level long before hard soled or hard leather shoes were made. Our joints and tendons are springs and are meant to move a certain way and our feet are meant to spread out when they hit the ground but aren’t allowed to do so in shoes. Basically confining our feet prevents our body to move as it was supposed to and changes our gaits which prevents the supporting muscles in our feet and ankles from developing the strength they’re supposed to. There are shoes now made to simulate being barefoot while still providing protection.

    These are the shoes.
    http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/

    This is interesting reading.
    http://www.menshealth.com/men/fitness/motivation/longevity/article/3b4b1ca01e91c010VgnVCM10000013281eac

    If you google “barefoot running” you’ll get many sites with pros and cons. The main support for it is the fact that many runners of the more famous marathons (New York, Boston) are usually Africans that basically kick ass and shoes were not a main part of their training. Even advanced running shoes made by companies like Nike have been slowly moving towards as little material and as much give as possible.

    Anyway check it out if you like.

    1. I’m thinking of going that route. I’d be afraid to start first. Maybe I can find a shoe store that has an awesome return policy so I wouldn’t feel like I was taking as big of a risk on buying a pair of shoes to run in a different style.

  11. I think the time focus and big picture focus are mistakes. Smaller goals that are more achievable will help Andrew get there. It’s too easy to get discouraged by not achieving a big goal quickly.

  12. I’m not sure I’m competant enough to leave any advice since I just started this journey myself back in January but if I can say anything it’s this: You must become your own priority.

    Get up and take care of you first whatever that means. When you go to bed, take care of you last. No matter how crazy and hectic your life gets, this journey must always come first.

    Drink as much water as you can. I started out drinking one glass and 6 diet sodas daily. Four months later I’m drinking a gallon of water. Period. Nothing else. The body needs you to cleanse it. It wants to feels better and get healthy but you need to put the stuff inside so it can do it’s job.

    Sleep. Just as important as the goodness you put in your mouth, sleep is imparative to this lifestyle.

    Move. As much as possible. Stop taking elevators if you do (unless you work on the 20th floor of a building lol). Park farther away from everything and walk. Your body will start to crave the exercise. I couldn’t go 25 minutes on the wii in the beginning. Now I can get on the elliptical for an hour, swim for an hour and run a 3k all in one sitting. I need it. I crave it. I want you to feel the same thing.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

  13. I think the one suggestion I may offer to your reader is this.

    Always look for evidence of your progress. There is always something that will tell you that you are on track. Continue to look for the things that are working in your eating and fitness plan and YOU WILL FIND MORE OF THEM.

    1. I agree. I was pulling my jeans on the other day, and I noticed that they slipped right past my thighs much quicker than usual. I didn’t have to yank them up nearly as hard. That’s all it took to make me smile and feel good about what I’m doing.

  14. I regularly lose up to 4 a week, and I believe it is all relative to how much you have to lose. If a person weighs over 400lbs. like I did, it is normal to see a much higher loss of weight. I don’t feel like 100 in a year is bad at all, If the person doing it maintains a healthy diet and stays hydrated. I have lost that much in under a year and just had the best blood work / health profile of my life, even though I used to be a football player. I think that it is a wonderful goal and with discipline can easily happen.

  15. One alternative to running or hard pounding on the elliptical is to increase the incline and/or resistance on the machine. It then becomes more of a leg builder and the pump would be immense, but the overall reps and pounding the feet, legs, etc take will be less.

  16. I have been on Weight Watchers online for about 11 months and have dropped about 120 pounds (I started at 399.6). I am also regularly visiting my doctor and getting blood workups. I feel great and I am not deprived at all.

  17. Hi Tyler,

    I read your blog everyday for motivation. I have started a workout and diet regime since the past week or so. I have lost 2 pounds. I have reduced my calorie intake to 1600 cals per day. I am not eating as much as I used to. I do try to eat healthy and filling meals. So from time to time, I feel hungry and not satisfied. Did that happen to you initally? and does it get better as our body gets used to eating less amount of food?

    Thanks for your time. I know you are a busy man. :-)

    Sara

    1. I still feel hungry and not satisfied. One thing I do is drink a ton of water. It fills up my stomach and tricks me for a while. Not to mention drinking at least 64 ounces of water is recommended for those trying to lose weight.

      I’d suggest using a website like http://thedailyplate.com

      Put in all of your information and they’ll tell you how much to consume in a day. Then just keep a log of it on the site.

      Keep it up. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  18. Water – I was raised a soda junkie, my whole family is, really, but it wasn’t until after a serious injury that stopped my sports activity that it hurt me weight-wise. Cutting soda out SUCKS, but when I started tracking calories in verses in verses cals out… pop just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. But I am simply not accustomed to the taste of plain water, so I play a mind game with myself. If I put crystal light or koolaid or any of those in the water, it’s POP. No no, don’t argue with me – it’s pop. NAH NAH NAH NAH can’t hear you. Plus, if I stick to the water i can drink as much as i want and not enter it in my calorie tracking. Soda has to be entered. At restaurants I get water with some lemon, and PRETEND HARD until I believe it is pop.

    I do allow myself the exception if the restaurant has particularly yuck water – then i’ll order a coke or whatever (diet soda is disgusting, no way!), but it still holds that pop gets tracked (and therefore has to be accounted for as calories out) and water (even with low or minuscule calorie flavoring added) doesn’t.

    Be prepared for some real caffeine withdrawal symptoms if you cut pop out cold turkey like I did, though…. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth OVERdoing!”

    Tracy

  19. hello everybody,
    i’m new here. I want to change my life and loss 100lbs. to be at 150lbs. because i am only 17 and weigh 250. I want to change for me not for any one else. In the past i have wanted to lose weight to fit in or to not “stick out”. I want to be healthy and am in desperate need of support. I told my brothers I want to lose weight and they said it be impossible. I don’t have money at the moment for a gym membership but i plan to start walking everyday and keep a journal of what i eat and what activity i do. I want to change so I can be happy with myself. I am determined I just need some help. I also am going to delete my facebook and watch only 1 hour of tv a day because i lose track of time and spend hours in front of the computer and television….

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