Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Weight Gains & Losses By the Year - Part I

Well, I see that the majority of folks who voted want me to blog daily about my experience following Lyle McDonald's diet as outlined in his The Rapid Fatloss Handbook. I plan on doing this in a couple of weeks, so please stay tuned to more details about this. Thanks for those who voted, and please take your time to answer the new poll that I've posted ...

So, when you start a weight loss journey, many people who have already made the trip tell you the importance of journaling or keeping some sort of record of your weight loss as the months go by. Well, I can't say that I disagree with that advice; however, I'm not going to act as if I took meticulous notes like a Medical student or anything like that.

Actually, when I go back through my weight loss notebook (Sorry I'm old school and like to initially put my notes down with pen and paper before moving to the computer) I notice that as the years of my journey passed, the more detailed my notes became. This only makes sense because there were times, as you'll see in a minute, that I would lose weight seemingly at will, and then I went through droughts where I couldn't shake a pound off! But, you may be thinking:

Man, who has time to journal and write stuff down?
Unless, you're independently wealthy, I would venture to say that no one has the time, especially guys who have a family. Nevertheless, the question really becomes who is willing to make the time to journal?

Look fellas, you don't have to go out and buy a Franklin Planner to chart your progress. Simply buy a cheap spiral bound notebook from WalMart or the Dollar Store. Hey, I'm using an old journal from a student I had many moons ago who never picked up her journal at the end of the semester! LOL! I guess that one of the perks of being an teacher ...

The longer you keep your journal, the more it will turn into a place to jot down how you feel, your thoughts (negative & positive) that you're having on a particular day, etc. OK, I'm purposely avoiding using the word diary here because we're men, and we don't write in diaries, right? Of course we don't, so the information that I'm sharing with you below comes from my very manly weight loss journal/training log/idea and feelings recorder ;)

I've actually given you a time-line of my brief time on this earth and the causes of either my weight gain/weight loss. I strongly recommend that every guy does this at some point on their weight loss journey; you might be surprised what you discover.

* * *

1971 - 1981: This represents the first ten years of my life. I was always seen as a husky kid with big thighs like my mama, as my family was happy to tell me. Even though I wore husky jeans from Sears, my mom kept telling me, and everyone else, that my chubby physique was baby fat and I would grow out of it.

1983 - 1988: The good ole' teenage years where I finally started to grow taller and lose the baby fat. It was during these years that I got into break-dancing, popping and locking. The extra activity, along with my love for playing basketball, helped me to keep my weight between 170-180 at a height of 5'11''. During these years, I never felt fat or had love handles, but I knew I was not extremely athletic even though I loved to play b-ball!

1988 - 1992: These were my undergraduate years in college, and the years that I, unfortunately, started my adult weight gain and loss journey(s). The first two years of college I gained @ 25-30 pounds, which averaged out to the freshman and sophmore 15! While pledging a fraternity on campus, my weight dropped back to 180, but it was short lived because I lost the weight as the result of eating once a day and having to exercise like crazy for the majority of the semester.

My weight loss was very short lived because once I "went over" or became a member of the fraternity, I went back to the usual upperclassman diet of beer, pizza, and fried chicken. So, the weight I'd lost while on line came back with a vengeance, and, of course, it brought along friends with it! When I graduated, I was tipping the scale at 225lbs, which was more than 50lbs heavier than when I entered college!

1992 - 1994: Entering graduate school was a very stressful time for me. I went from being well known at my small, at that time, campus, to being basically a nobody at my new school. This not only bruised my former senior and BMOC (big man on campus) ego, but it caused me to start using food as a crutch for my depression. This is when I can say that my ED (eating disorder) started. Oh, and working in one of the college's cafeterias didn't help either!

After completing my Masters Degree in 1994, I had yo-yo'd with my weight only to complete my program 20lbs heavier than I was when I entered. But, I had no time to think about that because I went straight from my Masters program right into my PhD.

1994 - 1996: A series of "life happens" events had me going from having my own car and apartment to living in my aunt's basement and catching the bus to school. This extra stress caused me to eat more, especially junk food; I didn't exercise, and guess what happened? I promptly gained another 20lbs before leaving my program ABD (all but dissertation) and starting my new teaching gig at my alma mater.

One thing I can remember about this two year stretch is that when I first moved in with my aunt, I was wearing a size 38-40 pants. Since I was a poor and struggling college student, my cousin gave me a couple of pairs of his old jeans. I remember putting them on and being happy because they were size 42 and too big for me. "At least I'm not wearing 42s", I thought to myself. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to teach my first college class in the Fall of 1996, I weighed 265lbs and I was wearing at least a size 46!

1996 - 1998: Coming back to teach at my old undergraduate school seemed like a good idea at the time, but it soon turned out to be one big stressful mess! I don't remember my grad school counselor telling me to take a class on BS College Campus Politics 101 or How to Mind Your Own Business When You Don't Have Tenure 102. I wish he had because my young ass didn't know the whippin' I was in-store for!

It was during this time that I thought I had finally found the answer to my weight problem. I was good friends with the college's assistant basketball coach. This guy had played on a NCAA team that went to the Final Four, and he had played professional ball overseas. So, I knew that I was going to get proper training and diet advice. Man, was I wrong about that. This guy embodied the "No pain No Gain" philosophy in a 6'10 frame. I endured 2 months of being tortured by this "coach", and I did lose about 20lbs through replacing one of my meals with a Spirutein shake, since Spirulina was the supplement flavor of the month at the time, and eating rice, steamed veggies, and baked fish damn near everyday.

This victory was short lived, as my trainer was fired (hmmm, I wonder why) and after the torture I endured training with this guy, I was much happier in a Pizza Hut's booth than in the weight room. So, of course I re-gained the lost weight, and an extra five pounds!

In July of 1998, I packed up and headed west to a teaching position waiting for me in sunny Southern California weighing 270lbs! It was now 10 years since I first started college, and I was 100lbs heavier, wearing long African clothing that fit me loose to cover up my fat ass and protruding belly.

* * *
OK guys, I'll complete my rollercoaster weight loss journey next week when I'll detail my slow walk to weighing over 300lbs. I'll also detail how much weight I lost per year from the start of my journey in 2003 until now.


Buffedstuff said...

I think your journey is amazing and you are truly an inspiration for all those who think they cannot. I will be sharing your link to all the people that I know from my blog and I wish you only the best as you continue with this amazing journey.

Mr. LowBodyFat said...


thanks so much for your compliment and adding my to your blog. I briefly checked out your Buff Zone, and I couldn't agree more with your last post! Once, I move my blog to its new home, I'll be adding your blog(s) to my blogroll too.

All the best,

Wyan said...


I just had another minor surgery but I will be unable to work out for at least 6-8 weeks. Might be able to do some moderate walking but no weights for awhile. Anyway, I have been using a slightly modified version of the South Beach Diet and usually I lose weight when I go into Phase 1. This time since I haven't worked out things have went a little different. When I started I lost about 3 pounds in the first week and then I went up a little but today I am right back to the starting weight. So I have been using the Fitday online diet journal. What is surprising is somedays I barely get to the 1800 cals and some days not even close. But I have had a couple of days where I went well over the max I set for myself of 2200 so what is my point. Well I went back and looked at the report to see what was out of whack and why I was not losing but staying the same. What I found out was my Sodium intake was an average of 4070 vs the RDA of 2400mg US standards. But the Brits standard is 1600mg which is probably more in line with what we need and also my potassium level was averaging 1951mg versus the RDA of 3500mg. I am retaining fluid and since I can't work out the weight is staying I think. I am going to go back and really start watching my sodium levels and raise my potassium. What do you think or have you had this problem?

Wyan (Juan)

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Wyan (Juan), it's interesting that you mention this, but I've experienced something similar on my journey. When I didn't workout and ate more than 100g of carbs, I noticed that not only did I feel bloated, but I also felt a bit lethargic.

Since I know that grains (whole or refined) and I aren't great friends, I would reign in my carb intake, eat mainly protein and fat, and wait for me to run to the bathroom to get rid of a lot of water weight, which takes three days.

Wyan (Juan) do you find that cereal grains tend to make you feel bloated? I'm asking because not everyone has the same reaction to them as I do.

Wyan said...


Thanks for getting back to me. After reading your entire blog, looking at some of your references and doing a lot of my own research I just stopped the cereal and any type of grains whole or otherwise. No breads, no white potatoes period (baked sweet potatoes once a week),and now no fast foods after learning about the sodium. Can't remember on the cereal making me bloated but I know I felt hungry not to soon after eating them. Also, the thing about running to the bathroom, I experienced that late yesterday and last night into this morning after reigning in my sodium which is very hard to do using American processed foods so I am making a serious concentrated effort to go with natural. Don't know if I told you but in June 2006 I had prostate surgery at the age of 48 with 2 years of complications from the first surgery on June 12th. I'm 50 now and just had my 6th surgery to correct one of the last problems. I am doing ok now and hope to be at least released to start moderate walking soon. Weights in another 6 weeks if not sooner. Going to go with using just my bodyweight. Sorry I am long winded, one last thing for everyone, I like to cook and as I cook I sample so I have got to make a conscious effort to keep my hands and more so my mouth out because I know this adds the weight. Later Wyan

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Wyan, thanks for sharing that. Wow, you've had a lot of surgeries, and I hate to hear about having to have one surgery to fix another. My mother has had three operations on the same knee, and my uncle just went under the knife again for the third time last week to fix another surgeon's mistake! So, it makes me cringe when I hear these types of stories.

Please keep us posted on your routine, as you're able to do more. Hang in there and thanks for writing ...