Where There’s a Will, There’s a Weigh-In
With the motivation of a looming midlife birthday, my wife, Kristine, and I started to lose weight together on Feb. 1. Having a buddy to check in with was a good way to start.
I had felt for years that my unchecked eating was one of my main vices, so I had a powerful desire to prove to myself that I could control food and not have it continue to master me. Achieving that self-discipline has tremendously boosted my self-esteem, as I have now been successful at losing weight for the first time in my life.
My story is a testimonial that it doesn’t have to take forever. I lost 20 pounds in six weeks. I never would have believed that I could lose the weight so quickly. To do this I changed many things at once, so I can’t pinpoint which things were most crucial. Here’s a list of the modifications that worked for me:
1. I walk briskly for 30 to 60 minutes every morning. I ride an exercise bike for another 30 to 60 minutes later in the day two or three times a week.
2. I have cut down on my portion sizes. I still eat all of the foods I love, such as pizza, but I only have one or two slices and not four. Instead of no ice cream at all, I dish up a small scoop. After looking at the calories in peanut butter, I spread about a third of what I used to in making a sandwich. Controlling, not eliminating, portions has not made me feel deprived of any of my favorite foods.
3. I try to eat a lot more fruit, especially when I have a sweet craving.
4. I take an over-the-counter appetite suppressant midmorning. I also take a multivitamin and chromium picolinate, a so-called fat burner.
5. Instead of avoiding the scale as most people told me to do, I get on it regularly. As the pounds have come off, it has been a real momentum keeper to see the daily totals; it’s almost a competition with my self-will.
6. I drink a lot of water. I keep a 32-ounce container on my desk and refill it three or four times a day. At first, I erroneously feared that I would retain water weight if I drank so much, but it appears to have had the opposite effect.
Success breeds success. As people have noticed my weight loss, I have had more willpower to keep going. I have changed my eating and exercise habits, hopefully for good.
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Name: Mark Matheson
Occupation: Investment executive
Old weight: 210
New weight: 190
Height: 6 feet
Time to Get There: Six weeks
Want to Share Your Success Story?
Losing weight is as individual as gaining weight. Do you have a story on how you got in shape and stayed there? If so, we’d like to hear from you with a 500-word essay listing what worked in terms of diet, exercise, encouragement / support as well as your emotional and physical changes.
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Send essay and photos to “How I Did It”, Health, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, and include daytime and evening phone numbers. No phone calls, please. Submissions cannot be returned.
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