Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weight and See

My running is motivated by the guy you see staring back at you on this page. He took 49 years to get into that kind of shape, and six months to fix it. It will take the rest of my life ensure I never become that guy again.

Russ and Jonathan over at their blog have begun an informative series on the issues of weight loss and exercise.
My weight loss wasn’t due to fad dieting, supplements, or gastric bypass surgery. I simply tracked what I was eating and drinking. Once you understand what you are eating and where the calories are coming from changes become simple. Too many empty calories from soft drinks was one of my biggest issues.

Lack of exercise was the next. Sure I was playing hockey twice a week in the winter and doing nothing once the ice was gone the rest of the year. Facing my 50th birthday, and acting on some simple advice I heard but never heeded, “You don’t play hockey to get in to shape, you get in to shape to play hockey.”

I’m no expert on diet or nutrition, but what resonated within me when reading the second article of the series was the following:

"Where calorie counting is helpful is in creating awareness about diet, and if there's one thing you remember from this series, it is that awareness is perhaps the most powerful ally you have in trying to lose weight. There are studies, for example, that have found that having people write down what they eat every day (volumes, sizes and content) leads to significant weight loss, even though they are not told to do anything else differently. Similarly, if you are on an exercise programme, and you write down what you do and what you eat, you lose more weight than if you exercise 'blindly'. In both instances, it is awareness that helps, because it guides sensible food choices, smart exercise and it is this combination that helps to produce sustainable weight loss."

This is my exact experience. Creating awareness. I tracked my eating, I tracked my exercise. If I did it, I tracked it. This blog is a logical extension of my tracking my life experience in attempting to reach my goal of running a marathon (or qualifying for Boston, or completing the Goofy Challenge). Me! Me! Me! It’s all about me!

My weight has been as low as 161 pounds on a 5 foot 10 inch frame. Perhaps that’s too low, time will tell. I’ve progressed from watching how much I weigh, to how I feel. My worries are different now. I’m worried that I don’t get enough protein in my diet. I debate supplements, soy protein versus whey protein. Can I avoid the cholesterol in the whey? Can I avoid the shredded cardboard taste of protein powders in general?

Given that there is so much misinformation on dieting, weight loss, exercise, and nutrition, it wonderful to have a go to source for factual, scientific analysis and commentary. Thanks to Russ and Jonathan for their insightful series, I’m looking forward to reading them all. (and who knows I just may have to pull the trigger on that donation)

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