Up until mid 2008, I had always been underweight. I used to be extremely lean and my focus back then was to gain weight. I wanted to look decent when I wore shirts and not look like someone hung a shirt on a coat hanger. To get a mental picture, I’m a little over 5’9” and weighed 120 lbs. With the focus to get bigger and look more muscular, I joined a gym. I put in my best effort and sincerely exercised every single day leaving the weekends. I knew I had to gain weight and so, I ate a lot of food. I didn’t really care about which foods to eat or if a particular food was healthy or not. My focus was purely on gaining weight and building muscle. Within 6 months, these changes started showing. I gained a decent amount of weight and by August 2009, I weighed 154 lbs. Mission accomplished.
In the Summer of 2010, I decided to look for an internship to get some industry experience. However, I failed to find an internship and so, I spent the entire summer learning iOS application development and built an iOS app. I basically ended up all day staying home, watching football, learning iOS programming and doing nothing else. As a result, I gained a lot of weight due to my sedentary lifestyle. I ended up weighing 174 lbs by the end of that summer. That was the first time I became overweight. The ideal weight for a male of my height lies in the range of 125 lbs to 168 lbs.
Ever since that summer, I stopped caring about my health. Way too many things became higher priority. For a few years, I had “hit the gym regularly and stay healthy” as one of my New Year resolutions. I could never really do it. I hit the gym on and off here and there a few times a year, maybe. I became really lazy. Fast forward to January 2018, I weighed 187 lbs.
Road to Improvement
Upon my wife’s recommendation (and enough motivation), I booked an appointment for my annual physical with my Doctor. On June 8th, as per my doctor’s suggestion, I started using MyFitnessPal and started keeping track of my weight using my Withings Smart Body Analyzer. I’ve used MyFitnessPal in the past, but, never consistently. This time, I knew I would use it religiously since my doctor suggested it. I have my Withings Smart Body Analyzer setup such that it pushes my weight data to MyFitnessPal every time I step on the scale. I cannot recommend this enough! This is such a useful feature.
As of September 13th, I weigh 165.8 lbs. That means, I’ve lost 21.2 lbs since January 1st and 18.5 lbs since June 8th, the date my doctor suggested that I get my shit together. This puts me back in the healthy weight range for my height and age. For the first time in a little over 8 years, I am in the healthy weight range.
Here’s an (updated 10/14/18) image showing where I currently stand on the BMI scale:
How Did I do it?
If you want to lose weight, you need to understand 2 things:
- The science behind weight loss
- How to keep yourself motivated and maintain consistency
The science behind weight loss
Weight loss ultimately boils down to simple science. At least for the most part.
Caloric Deficit leads to weight loss
You need to burn 3,500 calories in order to burn 1 pound of fat. What it means is that you lose 1 pound of fat over a period of 1 week, by consuming 500 fewer calories than your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), everyday.
500 cals (caloric deficit per day) x 7 (days of the week) = 3,500 cals (caloric deficit over a week) = 1 pound (weight lost by the end of the week).
Motivation and Consistency
There’s only so much understanding the science behind weight loss can do to your weight loss journey. Motivation is extremely important. Discipline and Consistency, even more. Staying motivated through out the period is really hard. The following helped me stay motivated throughout the process:
- Not over-thinking about the process
- Focussing on the result of no more than 1 week at a time
- Being sincere and respecting the process, since, perspective drives performance
Every week, I’d check my weight and watching my weight drop really motivated me.
I still need to lose some more weight. My goal weight is 163.2 lbs.
Here’s a live tracker of the progress of my weight loss.
Update (10/14/18): I’ve hit my goal! 🎉 and here’s a screenshot of the tracker.
There’re so many people out there, who’ve lost way more than 20 lbs of weight. I’ve always believed that if they can do it, I can too. Now you just need to believe that if I can do it, you sure can too!
I want to inspire at least a few people and help them achieve their weight loss goals.