Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Weight Loss Journey of DJ Lyons Begins

What is the purpose of this particular Blog?

One of the purposes of this Blog is to chronicle my Weight Loss Journey. Come along for the ride, if you dare. Make comments. Let’s share tales of our successes and needs improvement opportunities. Notice, I did not use the word failure. As a Sunday School teacher from my childhood was fond of saying, “There are no mistakes made; only great lessons learned.” Let’s just say that I have learned a lot of great lessons in my nearly fifty years of life.

My 10 main goals are the following:

1. I’ve lost about ten pounds already. I wish to lose an additional 75 pounds.

2. As I approach my 50th birthday, I want to become increasingly healthy and fit.

3. Keep the drinking of Caffeinated drink and Soft Drinks to the bare miniumum.

4. Maintain the practice of drinking at least twelve glasses of water a day.

5. Strive to eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables per day.

6. Observe portion control rather than diet.

7. Continue to walk 2 to 3 miles per day, five or six times a week.

8. Love my body every step of the way/weigh/way as I transform from Rubenesque to Slender.

9. On a scale of 1 to 10, only eat when my hunger level is between a 5 and a 10. Stop eating when my fullness level has reached 5 to 6.

10. Continue to identify and address my food issues rather than stuffing them down with comfort food.

When did you decide to begin your Weight Loss Journey and why?

I decided to begin my Weight Loss Journey on November 26, 2007. I was 49 ½ years old. I wanted to make certain that I entered the 2nd half of my life as a person who was healthy and fit rather than frail and weak.

How tall are you?

5 foot 4

How much did you weigh? What size clothes did you wear?

Back in late November of 2007, I was at my peak weight of 202.5 pounds. I wore size 18 to 22 pants, depending on the style.

About 5 weeks into my Weight Loss Journey, I requested that my boyfriend take the most unflattering “BEFORE” pictures as he could muster. I can imagine my male readers are shuddering with sympathy for how he bravely put himself in harm’s way. I promised him that he would not “pay” for this process. After all, he has always found me quite sexy. He enjoys my Rubenesque curves very much. I simply wanted to be able to have some “BEFORE” pictures and some “AFTER” pictures to show off at the end of this journey. Obviously, I am nowhere close to reaching the end of my journey; therefore, no one will see those pictures until that day comes. I must admit, he was quite successful in showing off every physical flaw. He managed to make me look quite unappealing. Oh, well! “Them’s the breaks!”

What were your typical diet, nutrition, and exercise habits?

Up until late November of 2007, these were 5 my most typical habits:

1. Diet Coke was my staple for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I would drink probably no more than 2 glasses of water per day.

2. Exercise? What exercise? Okay, I would occasionally climb on my Gazelle to do scissor kicks; however, it mostly served as a dust catcher in my living room.

3. Eat as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted.

4. Even though I no longer teach, I never got over the habit of “eating like a teacher” – a person with only 20 minutes to eat lunch. In other words, I was a fast eater.

5. Running on nervous energy, I probably only got 5 to 6 hours of sleep per night on week nights and a few more than that on weekends.

What was my former philosophy?

Written on 11/26/07:

Philosophy: I don’t believe in going on diets as that is all about deprivation and punishment. I eat what I want, when I want, in whatever quantities I want. I somewhat observe portion control. I know my fullness level takes 20 minutes to kick in. I try to be cognizant when I’m approaching that point as I heartily dislike the feeling of being uncomfortably full. I usually am successful. I enjoy drinking bottled water now and again. I have a Rubenesque body. I love my curves and my body. It was an acquired taste that I achieved. Until age 22, I was a stick with very little breasts and hips. Then at age 22, I went through puberty. I’ve been gaining weight ever since due mostly to the fact that food equated love.

Were there any enablers in my life that contributed to my former unhealthy lifestyle?

My boyfriend was my enabler for drinking Diet Coke. I have tried to kick the habit of Diet Coke several times. One time, I managed this for two years. Then life would get stressful and I would go right back to it. I think food tastes better when accompanied by Diet Coke; however, I know that Diet Coke makes me more capable of eating larger quantities of food. I also would go through caffeine withdrawal and get headaches if I didn’t drink sufficient quantities of Diet Coke.

I finally managed to stop drinking all carbonated drinks with two exceptions:

1. One day, I was sick to my stomach. I did drink about half a glass of Sierra Mist to help settle my stomach.

2. Yesterday felt like a stressful day for a number of reasons. As a side comment, alcohol, drugs, coffee, and tea have never been a temptation for me at all. Diet Coke was my only “drug” of choice with the occasional Hazelnut cappuccino. While my boyfriend and I ate our dinner at Olive Garden, I decided to order a Diet Coke. Then stating, “Well, if I am going to sin, I am going to sin big,” I ordered several refills. I must say that the carbonation was rather a shock to my system. After all, my only liquid intake for four months has been water and some juice. I decided that on rare occasions, I may give myself permission to continue to order a Diet Coke as a bit of a treat.

What is your Exercise routine?

Like I said before, I do not believe in diets. For me, dieting is equated to something short-term that feels like punishment and deprivation. I do not make a very good martyr. Instead, I decided to embrace practices that would be part of a ever-expanding lifestyle change.

I created an Excel spreadsheet where I could document all my fitness efforts, weight, measurements, food intake, and water consumption.

Here is the documentation for my Exercise routine:

Week 1: Walked 12 miles
Week 2: Walked 2.5 miles
Week 3: Walked 9.5 miles
Week 4: Walked 9.5 miles
Week 5: Walked 9.5 miles
Week 6: Walked 16 miles
Week 7: Walked 16 miles
Week 8: Walked 19 miles
Week 9: Walked 16.5 miles
Week 10: Walked 16.5 miles
Week 11: Walked 19.5 miles
Week 12: Walked 11 miles
Week 13: Walked 10 miles
Week 14: Walked 10 miles
Week 15: Walked 12.5 miles
Week 16: Walked 12 miles
Week 17: Walked 11 miles
Week 18: Walked 12.5 miles

That's a total of 231.5 miles of walking in 18 weeks. Not bad for a former "couch potato" and "computer geekette." This coming week will begin Week #19. As you can see, some weeks I did better than other weeks. My worst week was Week #2. My best week was Week #11.

I included a picture of my (Tony Little) Gazelle that I have used for 34 of those 231.5 miles. I'll tell you about the other 197.5 miles in a future blog.

As it is getting late, I will continue this chronicle sometime real soon. I would love to hear your comments, details about your Weight Loss Journey, your pearls of wisdom, and your challenges.

Thanks so much to all of my readers! Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Best Wishes to you all,
DJ Lyons
Author of “The Bell Witch Unveiled At Last!
The True Story Of A Poltergeist”

1 comment:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Thank you for posting information on my books on your website, DJ.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson