Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

During 2019 I had really let myself go. I developed a problem with over eating and in general felt pretty bad about myself. My clothes no longer fit well and when I looked down I could not even see my feet. By the time the fall and winter holidays hit I was 238lbs. Looking up my BMI I was 29 which marks me as obese. I needed to loose weight but how. According to the BMI calculator I needed to be around 200lbs to be at my proper weight. I needed to loose 38lbs then. Thirty-eight pounds!! Well I’m not there yet but I have made strides. I has been a process I figure would take most of the year to accomplish.

The first thing I did was to try and break it all down into smaller sections or goals/accomplishments. I knew that this would mean a big change in my diet and level of exercise to get myself into a proper weight. I also knew that a few or small changes would be most sustainable over time. So what I decided to do was look for small changes I could take one at a time and see what would work best for me. Completely going vegan was an option but that would mean giving up a number of things at one time which can lead to frustration and disappointment if the results do not come quickly enough. Small steps, baby steps are best at first.

The first thing I did then was stop over eating as much. You are actually full twenty minutes before your stomach actually tells you it is full. What I had been doing was eating until my stomach hurt. This may sound strange to hear but I would just keep eating and eating until I felt over full. One thing I stopped doing was having desert or a snack after dinner each night.

So what I also stopped was eating a snack within two hours of dinner. Near the end of the day I feel more hungry than I do during the day or at the beginning. I had a habit of having some chips or cookies before dinner cuz I felt hungry and then I would continue to eat the full dinner served me. It was too much.

The next thing I did was give up gluten. In some ways this was easy for me as I have a slight gluten intolerance. The catalyst was reading several blogs and getting a couple books from the library on gluten free dieting which really changed my mind on eating gluten or bread for that matter. I don’t want to get into all the scholarly work on gluten and diets here as there are so much already written about those things already. If you want to learn more you could find Wheat Belly by William Davis for clues. He explains it all there. Cutting it out helped me continue to loose weight.

One thing I found I had to guard against was frustration with the process. I would loose weight in bunches and then be at a steady weight for a couple weeks and wondering what I should do next. Cutting back on salt intake initially was a big part of loosing weight early on but then I got to 228 and stayed there for a couple weeks then I cut out wheat and lost some more. I got down to 223 by doing that after a time. But even at these weights I was still considered overweight, not obese.

The next thing I started was fasting. Now the point of this post is not to point you to particular apps or books but to give you ideas of what worked for me and could work for you too.

Fasting is a difficult process. You do not eat for 16 hours. What I practiced was called circadian fasting which means I would stop eating at 7pm and not eat until 11am the next day. This is the most difficult part I felt of this journey as I’m used to eating early in the morning and also I had thought that the one of the best things todo for weight loss was to eat many small meals a day. It doesn’t work like that. You need to stop eating for a period at night and not start until your body has fully woken up.

What I found by fasting was not that I was super hungry all the time. I was hungry the first few days around the time I usually had breakfast because my stomach had become accustomed to having food at that time, but once you break through those hunger pangs you will find — at least I did — that the pangs go away. This also taught me that I do not need as much food on my plate either. It seemed my stomach shrank some and so I needed less to feel full.

At this point I have lost 27lbs so far this year and I am still slightly though less so overweight now. My current weight is 211lbs which is a good weight for me as I feel good in my clothes and when I look in the mirror or down at the scale I feel good about myself again. And that was the whole point.

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C. L. Beard

C. L. Beard

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I am a writer/artist living on an island in the Salish Sea. I write mostly on nature and programming languages. https://chester-beard.medium.com/membership